So Much News, So Little Time
Author: Greg Valliere
May 4, 2023
DID UKRAINE REALLY ATTACK MOSCOW? Most Western intelligence experts believe the alleged attack on Moscow was a Russian “false flag.” There certainly was not a serious attempt to kill Vladimir Putin, who lives in a compound outside the Russian capital. But this could give Russia an excuse to intensify its attacks on Ukrainian cities, as this ugly war intensifies in coming days.
AN ODD ASSERTION FROM JEROME POWELL: His press briefing yesterday was unremarkable, but there was one curious head-scratcher — the Fed Chairman conceded that he doesn’t agree with the Fed staff, which anticipates a likely recession beginning late this year, while Powell thinks it can be avoided. A Fed Chairman disagreeing with his staff: a dynamic that will affect analysis of monetary policy going forward.
STILL ANOTHER TROUBLED BANK: Within a day of proclaiming that there would be just three bank failures, analysts now have to contend with PacWest, looking for a suitor this morning after a sharp plunge in its share price.
SIGNS OF SOME AGREEMENT ON BUDGET DEAL: With both sides still far apart on a deal, there’s a belief among Congressional staffers that there are reasons for optimism because some provisions could be ironed out: curbs on benefits for people unwilling to work; energy permitting; spending caps in the “out years”; some curbs in student loan relief. That’s a start, but with Congress in session for less than a dozen days in May, a sense of urgency is still missing.
BIDEN AND AGE, AGAIN: The drumbeat of scathing comments about Joe Biden’s age hit a new decibel yesterday as Sen. Ted Cruz declared that the President can’t get a budget deal “because his mental faculties are too diminished.”
THE ONGOING JEFFREY EPSTEIN SCANDAL: Quite an article in this morning’s Wall Street Journal about the guest lists at the disgraced felon’s NYC townhouse. There’s more to come, we hear. Who looks bad in the Journal’s reporting? Lawrence Summers, for starters.
AND AMID THE FLURRY OF NEWS YESTERDAY comes a fresh sign of urban distress: Nordstroms announced that it is closing its two San Francisco stores. Some analysts blame a consumer shift in favor of on-line purchases and flaws in Nordstrom’s customer service, but the firm conceded that the main reason is “dynamics of the downtown San Francisco market.”
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