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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Lisa Navarro | Posted on: September 20th, 2021 | 0 Comments

  1. BAD DAYS – As of the close of trading last Friday 9/17/21, the S&P 500 has gone 223 trading days (just short of 11 months) without sustaining a 1-day loss of at least 3% (total return). When the reality of the pandemic hit in February 2020, the index had daily losses of at least 3% 12 times over 28 trading days.  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).
  1. WE ARE WAY BEHIND – The US may have the 3rd largest population of any country in the world, but # 1 China and # 2 India each have more than 4 times the number of people the US has (source: Census.gov).
  1. RED INK – With just the month of September yet to be counted in fiscal year 2021, the government has taken in $3.59 trillion of tax receipts while spending $6.30 trillion, netting to a $2.71 trillion budget deficit. The US has had 23 consecutive months of deficits, its longest deficit stretch since March 2012 (source: Treasury Department).
  1. RECORD DEFICIT – The largest budget deficit in US history was the $3.13 trillion deficit from fiscal year 2020, i.e., the 12 months ending 9/30/20 (source: Treasury Department).
  1. POLITICS – The House of Representatives convenes today (9/20/21). House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) committed on 8/24/21 to bring the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill (that has already passed in the Senate) to a House vote by 9/27/21.  Pelosi made the commitment in order to gain the support of 10 House Democrats who otherwise would have stalled the $3.5 trillion social infrastructure bill (source: Congress).
  1. AND HERE WE ARE AGAIN – Congress has raised or extended our nation’s debt ceiling limit 78 times since 1960, i.e., an average of once every 9 months. The 78 total is split 49 times under a Republican president and 29 times under a Democratic president (source: Treasury Department).
  1. FACING EVICTION – When the Supreme Court ruled on 8/26/21 that the CDC had no legal authority to issue an eviction moratorium, just 6% of 6 million US renters were behind on their rent (source: Goldman Sachs).
  1. PRICES – Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, was up +5.3% over the 1-year ending 8/31/21. The last year when inflation was up at least +5% was 1990 or 31 years ago (source: Department of Labor).
  1. SHE DID NOT GIVE UPApril Hughes, a participant in Northwestern University’s 403(b) retirement plan, sued the plan’s sponsor 5 years ago (in 2016) for a “breach of fiduciary duty.” The lawsuit was dismissed by a district court in May 2018 and that decision was upheld in an appeals court in May 2020.  Hughes petitioned the Supreme Court in August 2020 to hear her case, a request the high court accepted on 7/02/21.  The Supreme Court’s involvement is expected to provide clarification for district courts and appeals courts as to what constitutes sufficient grounds for similar lawsuits to be dismissed or to move forward (source: Supreme Court).
  1. BUYERS ARE LOOKING FOR A PERFECT HOME – Real estate investors were involved in 17% of the home purchases (1 out of every 6 sales) during the 2nd quarter of 2021. The investors have taken advantage of historically low interest rates to finance upgrades on their purchases, and then realize a profit by reselling to a pandemic-weary buyer who is looking for specific features in his/her new home (source: Redfin).
  1. HONESTLY? – The US government projected on 9/07/21 that 53% of our nation’s “tax gap” are taxes not paid by the top 5% of US taxpayers. The “tax gap” is the difference between what all taxpayers should have paid each year compared to what they actually paid (source: Treasury Department).
  1. BEST AND WORSTKansas has the # 1 “funding ratio” of any state retirement plan, i.e., the present value of assets set aside divided by the present value of pension obligations. At the other extreme, Connecticut is ranked 50th among US states with the lowest “funding ratio” for its state retirement plan (source: GoBankingRates.com).
  1. WORKER SHORTAGE – An estimated 20% of workers in the hotel and restaurant business globally have permanently exited the industry during the pandemic, electing instead to seek employment within industries that may provide greater job stability going forward (source: Tony Capuano, Marriott CEO).
  1. HIT THE ROAD – Average occupancy at US hotels fell to a pandemic-low of 22% on 3/28/20. Average hotel occupancy bounced back during the 2021 summer months, peaking at 71% as of 7/24/21 (source: STR).
  1. DALLAS OR CINCINNATI? – The most valuable NFL football team is the Dallas Cowboys, worth an estimated $6.9 billion. The least valuable NFL football team is the Cincinnati Bengals, worth an estimated $2.4 billion.  The average NFL football team (there are 32 teams) is worth $3.5 billion (source: Sportico).

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