1 - The politicians are still arguing over the conditions for raising the federal debt limit, and the August 2 deadline draws ever nearer. I'm sure you have noticed how everyone seems to be blaming everyone else, trying to pin our troubles on one political party or the other. The simple truth is that the U.S. is in a debt mess. That's everybody's fault. Both parties and pretty much all the rest of us have played a part in getting us here. We need to stop blaming and start fixing. For an interesting status report on the situation, read "The D-Word Haunts Wall Street" following This Week's Economic News.
2 - Libbie recently introduced me to a wonderful website called TED Talks. It contains a plethora of thought-provoking (and in some cases mind-blowing) talks by some of the most interesting people in the world. In keeping with our current project of looking at the changing global landscape and our place within it, I thought you might enjoy (and learn from) a TED Talk by economist Martin Jacques, author of When China Rules the World. If you don't have the 21 minutes to devote to the full talk, here's the executive summary: China is indeed well on its way to becoming the leading economy in the world, but that is a cause not for fear but adaptation. Americans and Europeans need to change the way we look at the world's largest country. The link to the video is contained in the image below.
3 - Client reports should be showing up within the next day or two. (Spoiler alert: it was a roller coaster quarter that, in the end, didn't move most investors very far in either direction.)
Hope your Fourth of July was just what it should have been -- hot and fun. Enjoy your short week!