Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence
The major averages hit new record highs Friday despite the government shutdown. With a new trading week underway we have more record highs and an apparent deal to get the government going again. As once again when it comes to stocks, noting matters.
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index which covers some 85% of the economy rose .12 to .27 in December. The 3-month moving average fell slightly to .42 indicating a 3rd month of steady economic growth. Of the 4 categories, 3 contributed growth for the month, the one exception being personal consumption and housing that slipped fractionally.
With everyone focused on tax cuts and the government shutdown it was easy to miss a few presidential pardons recently. For the record Trump owes Deutsche bank at least 130 million Dollars, while the truth is probably closer to 300 million. The German bank is one of the few that would do business with Trump following a number of bankruptcies in the 90’s. That said Trump waived punishment for Citigroup, JPMorgan, Barclays, UBS and Deutsche Bank granting them new multiyear waivers for their roles in numerous scandals involving fraud, market rigging, serial criminogenic behavior and the list goes on and on. Once again, the banks demonstrate they are the untouchables capable of all manner of malfeasance on a serial basis with nothing to fear save a few relatively inconsequential fines. Because while these banks are many things, completely stupid isn’t one of them as they demonstrate over and over again that crime does indeed pay, handsomely at that. Why else would they keep committing these offences?