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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Vanessa Guadiana | Posted on: March 23rd, 2015 | 0 Comments

  1. SINCE THE DOWNGRADE – The United States was downgraded by S&P from a top credit rating on 8/05/11 or 1,326 calendar days ago.  Since 8/05/11, the yield on the US 10-year Treasury note has fallen from 2.57% to 1.93% and the S&P 500 has gained +90.1% on a total return basis.  The S&P 500 consists of 500 stocks chosen for market size, liquidity and industry group representation.  It is a market value weighted index with each stock’s weight in the index proportionate to its market value (source: BTN Research).     
  2. SMALL AMOUNT – An estimated 4,600 decedents in calendar year 2015 (out of 2.688 million projected deaths this year) will generate $14.6 billion of federal estate tax receipts for the US government, just ½ of 1% of our estimated annual tax revenue (source: Tax Policy Center).  
  3. EVERYONE DOES IT – The US debt ceiling, previously suspended by Congress on 2/10/14, has now been reset to $18.152 trillion.  The debt ceiling has been raised or suspended 81 times since 1961 (an average of once every 8 months), 33 times under Democratic presidents and 48 times under Republican presidents.  The debt ceiling was raised 18 times during the 8-year Reagan administration, more than any other president since 1961 (source: Peter G. Peterson Foundation).  
  4. TWENTY-SEVEN TRILLION – Total outstanding debt of the United States was $18.152 trillion as of 3/19/15.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected on 3/09/15 that the total outstanding debt of the United States will be $26.942 trillion as of 9/30/25 or at the end of fiscal year 2025 (source: CBO).  
  5. MAKE-UP OF THE NATIONAL DEBT– The total debt of the US government as of 2/28/15 was $18.16 trillion, consisting of $13.08 trillion of “debt held by the public” and another $5.08 trillion of “intergovernmental debt” (source: Treasury Department). 
  6. THE POWER OF EXPORTS – Total exports of goods and services by US corporations reached $2.345 trillion in 2014, up $503 billion from the $1.842 trillion exported in 2010.  26 US states recorded more exports in 2014 than in any year in history (source: Commerce Department).  
  7. ENDING DEFICITS – House Republicans and Senate Republicans released separate long-term budget proposals on consecutive days last week (March 17-18).  Both proposals assume that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed.  The House plan cuts spending by $5.5 trillion and claims to balance the budget in 9 years.  The Senate Plan cuts spending by $5.1 trillion and claims to balance the budget in 10 years (source: Congress).      
  8. PARENTS OR KIDS? – A July 2014 survey found that 31% of US households are providing financial assistance to adult children, a larger number than the 21% of US households that are providing financial assistance to elderly parents (source: American Consumer Credit Counseling).    
  9. SIX-YEAR LOW – The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil closed at $43.46 a barrel on Tuesday 3/17/15, its lowest closing price since 3/11/09 when WTI oil finished at $42.33 a barrel (source: NYMEX).    
  10. FALLING CURRENCY – The Euro fell 12.0% (vs. the US dollar) in 2014 (i.e., from 12/31/13 to 12/31/14), and then has fallen another 10.6% since the beginning of 2015 (to last Friday 3/20/15).  As the Euro falls, the cost of imports coming into the Eurozone rises but the cost of Eurozone exports falls (source: BTN Research). 
  11. SELF-INFLICTED – US health care spending was $2.9 trillion in 2013.  An estimated 75% of the $2.9 trillion (i.e., $2.2 trillion) is spent each year on medical care for chronic illnesses that are preventable, i.e., the illnesses are a function of avoidable behavior including obesity, poor diet, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of physical activity and poor oral health (source: Institute of Medicine).     
  12. NINE FEET – The 108.6 inches of snow that Boston has received this winter season (2014-15) is the highest snow total in the city’s history.  Boston has maintained weather records back to 1872 or 143 years ago.  64.9 inches of snow fell in February, the largest amount ever in a single month (source: National Weather Service).     
  13. BOUNCE BACK – The value of Americans’ equity in their real estate peaked at $10.31 trillion as of 12/31/07, fell to $6.39 trillion by 12/31/11, then climbed back to $11.13 trillion as of 12/31/14 (source: Federal Reserve).  
  14. DOUBLE-DIGIT – The average interest rate nationwide on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was at least 10% for the 12 consecutive years of 1979-1990.  The average rate today is 3.78% (source: Freddie Mac). 
  15. TWO SPORTS – Only 2 athletes in history (Kenny Lofton and Tim Stoddard) have played in the NCAA Men’s Final 4 (college basketball) and in Major League Baseball’s World Series (source: MLB.com). 


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