1 - Good news: it looks like the federal government will indeed be able to cut $1.2 trillion from the deficit over the next ten years. Bad news: the reduction almost certainly will not come as a result of the Congressional "supercommittee," but rather as a result of the so-called sequester, a process of automatic across-the-board cuts set to occur in the event of the committee's failure to reach an accord. Indeed, the group's twelve members haven't even gathered at the same table for many days, and members signaled last night that they had failed in their mission. What may be even worse is the very real possibility that Congress could rescind the sequester mechanism and its accompanying deficit reduction. What seems clear is that this problem will once again be kicked down the road, to be settled by next year's presidential and Congressional elections. In the meantime, don't expect the financial markets to be happy about the apparently permanent gridlock.
2 - The combination of deepening European woes and the fading hopes of our country's deficit-reduction committee sent global financial markets gyrating downward last week, and the news doesn't look any better this week. But although last week's losses might well be extended as a result, such an outcome is not a foregone conclusion. If there's one thing I've learned in 17 years of watching this stuff, it's that you usually shouldn't assume an automatic cause-and-effect.
3 - We are especially thankful this year at Millard & Company. We've had an outstanding year in our new home, and as the holidays approach, we count our many blessings. Thankfulness is even more potent when it is applied to the future. We recognize the daunting challenges that surround us in this world. But we choose to see an ever brightening road ahead -- for ourselves, our families, our friends and our clients -- and we will work to make that vision a reality. Some may call it wishful thinking; I call it faith.
Shortly before Thanksgiving last year, my Dad (the Great Bob Millard) and I were having one of our periodic computer lessons where I attempt (almost always in vain) to answer his questions -- questions such as: "Why is my email broken?" and "Where is the Internet?" The video below was my attempt to show him one of the wonders of his home computer: the ability to produce videos. It turned into a spontaneous expression of Thanksgiving for both of us. I sent it last year at this time, and the response was so enthusiastic that I thought I'd share it with you again. Happy Thanksgiving!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!