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Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence

Been out sick, thanks for your patience.

The major averages enter the final hour with small gains on little real news though the level of hype and reckless abandon in the financial markets continues to rival that seen at the beginning of 2000.

The Household Financial Obligation Ratio increased to 15.86% in the 3rd quarter of 2017, the debt service ratio reached 10.29% as the series continues to show high and rising consumer debt levels. Disposable income growth slowed from 3% to 2.1% over the same period. This series has repeatedly been referenced to support the claim that consumers can take on far more debt and keep the party going based on past trends. Primarily because aggregate consumer debt levels are far lower today than they were prior to 2008. Lost along the way is the 10-point drop in the homeownership rate and the commensurate reduction in outstanding mortgage debt levels. As Mark Twain noted, “there’s lies, dam lies and statistics”.

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