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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Lisa Navarro | Posted on: August 23rd, 2021 | 0 Comments

  1. WELL ABOVE AVERAGE – The S&P 500 is up +19.4% YTD (total return) through the close of trading last Friday 8/20/21. 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 proportionate to its market value (source: S&P Dow Jones Indices).
  1. FED – The Fed’s Board of Governors is a 7-member group that has 1 vacancy today. Of the 6 current members, the roles of 3 members are up for reappointment over the next 5 ½ monthsRandy Quarles (his role as Vice Chair of Supervision ends on 10/13/21), Richard Clarida (his term as a Fed governor ends on 1/31/22) and Jay Powell (his term as Fed chair ends on 2/05/22) each have looming end dates (source: Federal Reserve).
  1. SMARTER IN ARKANSAS – The only state retirement system to use a “discount rate” of at least 8% today with its retirement funds is Arkansas, i.e., the “discount rate” is aka the “assumed rate of return” that is expected to be achieved by the pension plan. The lowest “discount rate” in the nation today is 5.25%, used by the Kentucky Employees Retirement System (KERS).  A lower “discount rate” is a conservative strategy, forcing the plan to systematically invest higher annual contributions (source: Nat’l Association of State Retirement Administrators).
  1. MONTHLY BENEFIT54 million Americans receive monthly Social Security retirement benefits, including retired workers, dependents of retired workers, and survivors of deceased workers. 42 million Americans receive monthly assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), aka “food stamps” (source: SNAP).
  1. AVERAGE PER MONTH – The average Social Security retirement benefit is $1,503 per month. The average “food stamp” benefit (SNAP) is $157 per month per person (source: BTN Research).
  1. JUST SPEND THE MONEY – The Treasury Department distributed $15 billion in July 2021 and has distributed another $15 billion this month (through Friday 8/13/21) per the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) that was part of the “American Rescue Plan Act” that was signed into law by President Joe Biden on 3/11/21. The payments are currently scheduled to continue through the end of 2021 (source: American Rescue Plan Act).
  1. NOT A LOT ARE USING IT – As of Sunday 8/08/21, 8 million home mortgages are using the forbearance protection made available to them through the 3/27/20 CARES Act, or just 3.26% of the 56.1 million home mortgages that exist nationwide (source: Mortgage Bankers Association).
  1. SKIP THE PUMP – There are 43,600 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the USA. The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed by the Senate allocates $7.5 billion for additional charging stations (source: DOE).
  1. SUPPLY CHAIN DISRUPTION – The Chinese port of Ningbo-Zhoushan, the 3rd busiest port in the world, was forced to partially shut down on 8/11/21 as a result of a coronavirus outbreak. By Wednesday 8/18/21, the 8th shutdown day, 80 ships containing a total of 393,650 20-foot containers were sitting idle in the water waiting for the port to reopen (source: VesselsValue).
  1. AFGHANISTAN – The United States spent $2.26 trillion during its 20-year presence in Afghanistan in fighting the Taliban, rebuilding the Afghan government and training the Afghan military (source: Brown University).
  1. NEED A LOT OF RAIN – The government announced on 8/16/21 reductions to the allocation of water taken from Lake Mead (beginning in January 2022) for the states of Arizona and Nevada, along with cutbacks to Mexico. Arizona’s decrease is equal to 18% of what they currently receive from Lake Mead or 8% of the state’s total water usage.  California will not see any water reduction at this time (source: Bureau of Reclamation).
  1. BOOM TOWN – Phoenix was the 99th largest US city in 1950 (106,818 people). Phoenix is the 5th largest US city today (1.61 million people), per the 2020 US census (source: Census Bureau).
  1. BACK TO WORK – The House returns from recess today (Monday 8/23/21), a break that began on Friday 7/30/21. The Senate is not expected back in Washington for another 3 weeks until 9/13/21 (source: Congress).
  1. BURN BABY BURN – Metabolism peaks in humans at age 1 and then declines through age 20. From age 20 to age 60, metabolism is relatively stable, before beginning another annual decline at age 60 (source: American Association for the Advancement of Science).
  1. IT’S JUST BOBO AND TYLER – In the live-ball era of Major League Baseball, i.e., in the 102 years since 1919, there have been just 2 pitchers who threw a no-hitter in their first career start – Bobo Holloman on 5/06/1953 and Tyler Gilbert of the Arizona Diamondbacks 68 years later on Saturday 8/14/2021 (source: MLB).

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