We will cover a lot of ground today. We begin with a new report from Goldman Sachs which argues that the US economy will remain the strongest in the world for many more years. The report rebuts claims that America is a nation in decline. This will be a very interesting discussion given that we have $16 trillion in national debt and exploding. Thank you President Obama!
The upbeat Goldman report was delivered before last Wednesday’s surprising news that the US economy actually declined in the 4Q for the first time since 2Q 2009. While there are reasons to believe that the advance estimate of 4Q GDP (-0.1%) will be revised upward in subsequent reports, the surprise GDP report was not the only bad news in the last few weeks. We’ll take a look at the latest economic reports as we go along today.
From there, we turn our eyes to the Fed. In December, there were rumors that some members of the Fed Open Market Committee (FOMC) were having doubts about the Fed buying a record $85 billion a month in Treasury bonds and mortgages indefinitely. Some even predicted that the FOMC might vote to end such purchases by the end of this year. Not so, as evidenced by the January Fed policy meeting. The Fed made it clear that the $85 billion in monthly purchases will continue indefinitely (unfortunately).
Finally, we look at a new poll from Pew Research Center which found – for the first time ever – that a majority of Americans believe that the government is a threat to our personal rights and freedom! This is stunning! I will summarize this new poll which is loaded with eye-opening data.
It should be an interesting letter. Let's get started.