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An occasional sampling of what’s catching the attention of professionals at Landaas & Company

In an interview with Bloomberg, the chief executive/chief investment officer of Soros Fund Management discussed the relative financial health of U.S. consumers as a “shock absorber” that could cushion the economy in the next recession. “For credit card companies, delinquencies are way below pre-pandemic levels,” Dawn Fitzpatrick said. “People are paying down their credit cards at levels that were way, way faster than pre-pandemic. Wage increases are not keeping up with inflation, but I do think consumers are in good shape.”

Suggested by Kyle Tetting

As the Federal Reserve tightens “easy money” policies, it has only limited control over decades-high inflation, Alan Blinder wrote in the Wall Street Journal. The Princeton economist and former Fed vice chair explained current inflation rates have less to do with the Fed than with food and energy prices, supply-chain disruptions and COVID. By raising interest rates and reducing its bond portfolio, the Fed should slowly cool the economy Blinder wrote, but it won’t trigger miracles. “Depending on the details of timing,” he said, “inflation will fall as quickly and dramatically as it rose. We’ve seen it happen before.”

Suggested by Art Rothschild

The Fed’s moves, including the steepest interest rate boost since 1994, have ended a multiyear “bull market in which basically anywhere you put money in the market, you were going to make money,” notes Kevin Roose, a New York Times columnist who writes about technology, business and culture. On the Plain English podcast, Roose discusses with host Derek Thompson some of the possible consequences — for the economy, for investments, for consumer choices — of concluding what they refer to as ZIRP, zero-interest rate policy. They call it the end of the “everything boom.”

Suggested by Brian Kilb

(Please note: We try to avoid linking to articles that require subscriptions, but we cannot control others’ websites. We apologize for any inconvenience.)

(initially posted June 30, 2022)

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