August 11th, 2023
Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Primary Sources

  • July 2023 Senior Loan Officer Survey On Bank Lending Practices: Regarding loans to businesses, survey respondents reported, on balance, tighter standards and weaker demand for commercial and industrial loans to firms of all sizes. For loans to households, banks reported that lending standards tightened across all categories of residential real estate loans. [FRB]


Financial Markets

  • How Long Will Interest Rates Stay High: It’s pricey to borrow to buy a business, car or home these days. Interest rates are expected to fall in coming years — how much is up for debate. [NYT]
  • Cooler July Inflation Opens Door to Fed Pause on Rates: Monthly readings point to continued moderation in underlying price pressures. [WSJ]

Source: Goldman Sachs

This chart by Goldman Sachs compares the pricing of various everyday products among 6 stores in the Houston, TX region: Kroger, Albertsons, Sprouts, Whole Foods Market, Dollar General, & Walmart.

  • Dwindling Excess Savings Could Scupper Markets’ Soft-Landing Hopes: Markets have high hopes for a soft landing for the economy, yet a sharp drawdown in the excess savings could slam into bullish sentiment. [Reuters]
  • Hollywood Strikes Have Already Had A $3 Billion Impact On California’s Economy, Experts Say It’s Causing ‘A Lot Of Hardship’: Dual strikes by Hollywood writers and actors could break records. [CNBC]
  • Heat, War And Trade Protections Raise Uncertainty For Food Prices: Experts are warning of a new normal in which food supplies — and prices — could be rocked more regularly. [NYT]

Financial Planning

  • Credit Card, PayPal Or Cash App? How You Pay Matters: A guide to weighing security, convenience and benefits of each payment option. [WSJ]
  • Property Loans Are So Unappealing That Banks Want to Dump Them: Banks seeking to sell commercial-property loans are encountering a dried-up market with few options for an easy exit. [Bloomberg]

This bar graph from PitchBook shows the steep decline in Megafunds for the first six months of this year. Megafunds peaked last year, and it is evident venture funds are pulling back this year.

Retirement Planning

  • How Unused 529 Assets Can Help With Retirement Planning: You can soon transfer some 529 amounts to a Roth IRA. [Fidelity]

Estate Planning

  • Crummey Trust: Definition, Purpose, How It Works, and History: A Crummey trust is part of an estate planning technique that can be employed to take advantage of the gift tax exclusion when transferring money or assets to another person while retaining the option to place limitations on when the recipient can access the money. [Investopedia]
  • Crummey Letter: Trust Definition and Requirements: Crummey trusts can be a useful estate planning tool for high-net-worth individuals who are hoping to minimize gift and estate taxes. [SmartAsset]

Business Strategy

  • Amazon Cuts Dozens Of House Brands As It Battles Costs, Regulators: Company’s cuts include all but three of its 30 clothing labels, such as Goodthreads and Lark & Ro. [WSJ]
  • Colleges Spend Like There’s No Tomorrow. ‘These Places Are Just Devouring Money’: Students foot the bill for flagship state universities that pour money into new buildings and programs with little pushback. [WSJ]
  • Elon Musk Calls Cybertruck Tesla’s ‘Best Product Ever.’ Here Comes The Test: Truck is expected to hit the market by end of year, two years behind schedule. [WSJ]

This chart breaks down the increase in average incentive and average transaction price for the month of June. Industry average incentive was up 83.6% YoY in June, while the average transaction price was up 1.6% YoY.

Life & Work

  • The Historic Town Of Lahaina, And Its Legacy, Is In Ashes: The town was once Hawaii’s royal capital, and there were fears that some of its oldest buildings had been destroyed by the wildfires. [NYT]
  • They Finally Broke College Football. What Chaos Happens Next: The weekend collapse of the Pac-12 was fast–and hardly a shock. [WSJ]
  • The U.S. Has A Beef With Europe—Over Cheese: Feta, Gorgonzola and Parmesan must be made in certain countries to be sold under those names in the EU. [WSJ]

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