Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence
The major averages opened lower on little real news and following a failed early rally enter the final hour with very large losses again. So much for Superbowl theory that posits that an NFC win is good for stocks. Crypto currencies get hit again as Bitcoin tests $7,500.
The Institute for Supply Management non-manufacturing or services index gained 4 points in January to 59.9 on strength in new orders and employment. Prices paid increased to 61.9.
Continuing the theme of more rules and yet less enforcement that dates to at least the first Bush presidency and culminated in the 2007-2009 financial crisis. The post crisis task force that looked at the causes listed lack of enforcement of existing rules as a primary causal factor of said crisis per the now forgotten task force and its very good report on the subject. Late Friday we get news that The Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity over at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or CFPB is stripped of its enforcement powers, rendering it toothless. Today we find out that the CFPB is dropping its investigation into the Equifax breach that disclosed the credit card files and other sensitive financial information of nearly every single American and a number of British citizens as well. This despite that fact that Equifax demonstrated an unbelievably reckless and irresponsible approach to IT or information security that directly enabled the breach to occur in the first place. Economic activity requires trust, something that is very hard to gain, and very easy to lose. Why it is that the regulators can’t seem to grasp the importance of this concept and enforce the rules as written is beyond me.