Humphrey Percy Chairman and FounderWed 30 Aug 2023
As the world’s top economic policy makers gathered last weekend to pow wow in the Wyoming ski and leisure resort, they must have been or rather should have been struck by the gulf that separates the haves and have nots in that microcosm of America. Teton County, which is where JH is located, according to the US Bureau of Statistics has the top 1% earning a dizzying average of USD 22.5 million whereas the median income is $94,000. The cost of the average house has risen from $2.5 million pre Covid in 2019 to today’s $5 million. So the 525 basis points of rate hikes, the two years of high inflation and the steep cost of living rises may not have affected the top end of Teton County, but for the majority middle and lower orders, where the Federal Reserve goes next with the US economy will be fundamental to their wellbeing. So not just the world’s market watchers but the legions of waiters, drivers, cleaners and general staff in Jackson Hole will still be sifting through the tea leaves for clarity on what the great minds have concluded.
Now 88 years of age the Croatian artist famed for his drawing, painting and sculptures has enjoyed success at his Rocks Gallery in Sydney, Australia for more than 40 years. Having met his wife Christa Billich thirty years ago in Sydney, I was struck by the force of her personality and sheer business acumen. I was also unable to resist her selling technique which ended up with me buying four large Charles Billich prints. While Charles turned out his art, Christa ensured world wide demand and distribution and of course fame for Billich.
Recession versus Inflation
According to JP Morgan which is an official adviser to the UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, the only way to tame inflation is by a recession. While that is what many fear, if it is that straightforward, why have we been treated to endless commentary about the Goldilocks economy-not too hot, not too cold- for all these long months?
Water Under The Bridge
Picture it: Adele in full flow singing this number on Monday night at the Colosseum at Caesars palace where she is finally discharging her obligations under her Las Vegas residency. Then she stops. Why? the large audience wondered. It turned out she was concerned that one of her fans was being “bothered” by a security guard who quite rightly was encouraging him to sit down seeing as how it was a seated show. Irritating on a number of fronts for the audience but especially so for those trying to see the show when Adele told the fan he could indeed stand up (and block those seated behind him).
If you were around in 1980 and at that time were listening to the radio(wireless for older readers) you would instantly recall the falsetto vocals of US singer Christopher Cross with this song which went to Number 1 this day 43 years ago.
Well, it’s not far down to paradise At least it’s not for me And if the wind is right you can sail away And find tranquility Oh, the canvas can do miracles Just you wait and see, believe me
It’s not far to never never land No reason to pretend And if the wind is right you can find the joy Of innocence again Oh, the canvas can do miracles Just you wait and see, believe me
Sailing Takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be Just a dream and the wind to carry me Soon I will be free
Fantasy It gets the best of me When I’m sailing
All caught up in the reverie Every word is a symphony Won’t you believe me?
Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder
The only haven The avoidance of a hard landing according to many projections of most economically significant geographies has undoubtedly moderated perceived financial risk. Back when recessions were forecasted and priced in as the base case to follow the interest rate hiking cycle, there was greater financial risk within the system. Despite a more sanguine […]
US Interest Rates Nothing much new over the weekend other than while sifting thought the tea leaves from last week, we found that not one but two members of the FOMC, the rate setting and policy making committee of the Federal Reserve, advocated US interest rates staying higher for longer to crush inflation. Within their […]
A revised 2024 The Dollar opens stronger this morning following the Federal Reserve’s decision last night. The decision confirmed interest rates were to stay on hold following this meeting. As we have highlighted following previous decisions, the forward guidance offered by the Chair Jay Powell was once again underwhelming. However, the Dollar’s bid this morning […]