From today’s WSJ:

“The Social Security program’s costs will exceed its income in 2020 for the first time since 1982—two years later than officials projected last year—forcing the program to dip into its nearly $3 trillion trust fund to cover benefits.

But by 2035, those reserves will be depleted and Social Security will no longer be able to pay its full scheduled benefits, according to the latest annual report by the trustees of Social Security and Medicare released Monday.

“Both Social Security and Medicare face long-term financing shortfalls under currently scheduled benefits and financing,” the trustees wrote, urging lawmakers to take action sooner rather than later to give policy makers enough time to phase in changes and shore up the programs.

Social Security consists of two programs, one for retirees and one for people who claim disability benefits. Taken separately, the retirement program will be able to pay full benefits on a timely basis until 2034, unchanged from last year’s report.”

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Mice and Aging

by Laura Ehrenberg-Chesler on March 27, 2019 in lifestyle

In today’s “Wall Street Journal” there is a fascinating article on the importance of mice to the research of aging. Grace and Blanche, two old mice who were second cousins, reached relative fame before dying within months of each other at their home in Bar Harbor, Maine. Known fondly as the Golden Girls at Jackson […]

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Learning a New Trick from my Old Dog: Friendship- from the WSJ

by Laura Ehrenberg-Chesler on March 18, 2019 in lifestyle

As a dog lover, I really enjoyed Dave Barry’s essay today in the Wall Street Journal about learning to be more open like his dog. From the linked article: I turned 70 in the same year that my dog, Lucy, turned 10—or, in dog years, 70. So we’re basically at the same stage of life, […]

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Corporate Tax Cuts

by Laura Ehrenberg-Chesler on March 13, 2019 in corporate buybacks

From CNBC this morning: “A Goldman Sachs analysis out last week suggests there are misconceptions around the impact of President Donald Trump’s tax cuts. Many on Wall Street and Capitol Hill have said the tax cuts are being spent on corporate stock buybacks and not capital expenditures. Stock buybacks have been under attack on Capitol […]

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Fed Chair Affirms Patient Stance

by Marilou Moursund on February 26, 2019 in Economic Indicators

The Chairman of the Federal Reserve, testified before Congress today. He affirmed that the Fed would remain patient and data dependent when deciding whether or not to raise interest rates. From the linked WSJ article: Fed officials raised their benchmark short-term rate four times last year, most recently in December, but have since signaled further […]

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Retail Sales and the Economy

by Laura Ehrenberg-Chesler on February 20, 2019 in Economic Indicators

December retail sales were disappointing. Investors are concerned that this may presage a slowing economy in the near future. But after those sales numbers were reported, some additional data was released that may contradict the growing concern about a near term slowdown. Goldman Sachs recently reported that “several of the fundamental drivers of consumer spending, […]

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Good News Bad News for S&P Earnings

by Laura Ehrenberg-Chesler on February 7, 2019 in Commodities

A few days ago Ed Yardeni gave a summary of some good news as well as some bad news as it pertains to S&P earnings. All of these points are worth monitoring on an ongoing basis. On the good news side there is: (1) “Rebounding M-PMI. The good news is that the US M-PMI rebounded […]

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Confidence Boosters for the Market

by Laura Ehrenberg-Chesler on January 28, 2019 in Earnings

For the fourth quarter of 2018, and into the month of January 2019, the market has been worried about slowing growth and the possibility of a recession. Earnings reports have been mixed, with several large multi-nationals reporting disappointing numbers. Ed Yardeni articulates a few things that could bolster the confidence of the market over the […]

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Mexico’s New Foreign Policy: A Return to the Past – courtesy of Geopolitical Futures

by Marilou Moursund on January 16, 2019 in Brexit

I think it is interesting that we tend to pay more attention to Europe and the UK rather than what is going on right to the south of us.  Many of the same issues revealed by the Brexit vote, the Yellow Vests in France, and the election of populist leaders around the world are also […]

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Corporate Buybacks vs. Capital Spending

by Laura Ehrenberg-Chesler on December 20, 2018 in capital spending

There has been a lot of chatter this year about corporations buying back their own stock rather than investing in their businesses. On Tuesday, Ed Yardeni debunks this myth with facts. “True Story III: Capital Spending at Record High. Another widely held view is that corporations aren’t spending enough on plant and equipment because they’re […]

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