July 23, 2018 | Economic and Financial Digest

As Good As It Gets

As expected, the U.S. central bank hiked short-term interest rates by another quarter-point at its June meeting, lifting the bellwether federal funds rate up to a range of 1.75-2.00 percent. It was the second increase so far this year, and the seventh since the Fed moved away from its lengthy zero-rate policy of December 2015. […]

July 23, 2018 | eFocus @ Legacy

When Seconds Count: Why it’s important to name a contingent beneficiary

By: Kathy A. Brost, Trust and Financial Advisor, Legacy Private Trust Company I always recommend that you name at least two beneficiaries for your accounts, and it’s particularly important for IRAs and retirement plans. Generally, IRA owners assume they can name their children or another contingent beneficiary at a later date if something happens to […]

June 15, 2018 | Economic and Financial Digest

Recession Watch

At 107 months and counting, the U.S. expansion is now the second longest on record, topping the 106 months from 1961 to 1969. Not surprisingly, the “recession watch” is on for economists, investors and policymakers. Some, of course, firmly believe that trees grow to the sky and the current upturn can continue forever. That illusion […]

May 25, 2018 | Econtrarian

Thin-Air Credit Growth Slowdown Augurs Poorly for 2018 Domestic Demand Growth

A majority of my readers have asked me to update the discussion about the behavior of thin-air credit or a variant thereof, namely the sum of commercial bank credit (loans and securities) and the monetary base (bank reserves at the Fed and currency). To paraphrase the motto of the former iconic Chicago department store, Marshall […]

May 21, 2018 | Economic and Financial Digest

The Return of Inflation

Welcome back old friend. It’s been a while – close to two decades in fact –that a familiar feature of the economic landscape has been missing: inflation. To be sure, many, if not most, households would disagree with that assertion, noting that prices on the basket of goods and services they typically purchase have been […]