The Economy

The 2 percent solution: An argument for reparative investment

There are about 4,700 banks in America. Only 21 are Black-owned and they have less than $5 billion in assets. The total amount of assets in U.S. commercial banks is $20 trillion. So if you think about structural racism and access to capital — and 70 percent of African American communities don’t even have a branch bank of any type in those communities — we said, “Why don’t we think about how to address it?” [Continue]

Snapshot of Wisconsin student debt offers broad insights

Nationally, it’s widely reported that there are 45 million students who owe approximately $1.7 trillion in student loan debt. In Wisconsin, we have more than $24 billion in outstanding student loan debt, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Making matters worse is the fact that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority reports 53 percent of Wisconsinites live paycheck-to-paycheck each month. [Continue]

Navigating the pandemic

There is a “hunkering down” mentality among managers in this environment. That’s understandable. Almost no organization can realistically plan for record earnings this year. But let’s not close our minds to the possibility of opportunity. Despite a lack of precedent and a lack of information, you will need to make important decisions in the coming months to navigate this environment. [Continue]

The trouble with cash

The National Retail Federation has predicted a strong holiday shopping season. In its October survey, consumers said they expected to spend an average of $1,047, up 4 percent from what they had planned to spend last year. It’s the 10th consecutive year of increased consumer holiday spending. [Continue]

Aging populace informs monetary policy

Demographic trends are reshaping the U.S. labor force, leading economists and policymakers to rethink the key macroeconomic parameters that drive decision making, and reassess their views about the economy’s longer-run growth potential. Like melting glaciers, changes in global demographics are difficult to see in the near term, but over time they will reshape the landscape. [Continue]

Chicken Little and the economy

closeup of an acorn

Just like Chicken Little, the bond market was recently hit on the head with an acorn, and the yield curve screamed “recession.” The yield curve temporarily inverted, and the three-month Treasury yield was higher than the 10-year yield. This created a bit of hysteria, because an inverted yield curve has predicted the last seven recessions since 1970 with only one head fake. [Continue]