*OUT OF CONTROL GOVERNMENT SPENDING—WILD BUDGET DEFICITS
The U.S. budget deficit will top $1 trillion this year, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
What that means: The government will spend $1.02 trillion more than it collects in 2020. The widening deficit is a result of the 2017 tax cuts and an increase in spending on federal programs.
The historical context: We haven’t seen deficits of this size during periods of low unemployment since World War II, CBO Director Phill Swagel said. Public debt is projected to reach 98% of GDP by 2030—its highest percentage since 1946.
The good news: “The economy is doing well,” Swagel stressed, thanks to strong job growth and consumer spending. The CBO projects GDP will expand at a “solid rate” of 2.2% in 2020.
Which makes the current deficit more concerning; after all, deficits are supposed to shrink in a strong economy. Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who we’ll hear from later today, said last year “the federal budget is on an unsustainable path.”
*U.S. LIFE EXPECTANCY IMPROVES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FOUR YEARS
Life expectancy in the U.S. ticked up by the slimmest of margins in 2018, from 78.6 to 78.7 years, reversing a trend that has seen the measure fall steadily from its all-time high in 2014. The improved numbers are being credited to a reduction in the number of fatal drug overdoses for the first time in 28 years and a decline in the death rate from cancer, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. However, according to The Washington Post, 2018’s life-expectancy figure is identical to 2010’s, so progress has stalled over the decade, and the U.S. is continuing to fall behind other wealthy countries. Steven Woolf, director emeritus of the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University, said: “It’s good news that there was an increase in life expectancy. That’s what we want to see, but it doesn’t really
*AMAZON’S RIDICULOUS HOLIDAY QUARTER: BY THE NUMBERS
|$87.4 billion: Revenue that beat estimates. |
$3.3 billion: Net income that beat estimates.
798,000: Amazon’s global headcount after it added over 250,000 part and full-time employees over the holiday season. That’s more than the population of Vermont.
150+ million: The number of Prime subscribers, up from 100 million in April 2018.
Four: After Amazon’s 11% stock surge in after-hours trading, it will eclipse $1 trillion in market cap today. There will be four public U.S. companies worth at least $1 trillion (the others are Apple, Alphabet, and Microsoft).
$93 billion: The market cap of UPS at the close yesterday. We only mention it because Amazon’s market cap rose more than $110 billion after it reported earnings. So it gained a UPS plus lots of Morning Brews.
Bottom line: Amazon’s heavy investments in shipping paid off during the holidays.
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A random study by the EPA
revealed that employees of bottled water companies are not tested for
disease, nor are they required to avoid the bottling area if they are
sneezing from colds or have open cuts or infections on their hands.
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*EXAMINER—A LOOK BACK:
July 7th, 1977, Ringo Starr’s birthday. Hollywood Hills.
*EXAMINER — BUSINESS:
- Tesla shares cannot be stopped. They gained another 14% yesterday, one day after they rose ~20%.
- Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg is doubling his already gargantuan TV ad spend following the Iowa caucuses.
- Instagram recorded about $20 billion in ad revenue last year, reports Bloomberg. That’s more than a quarter of Facebook’s 2019 revenue.
*DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know that the President of Macy’s has been reading this LBN Examiner for over four (4) years?
*EXAMINER – HISTORY: DO YOU KNOW?
Alfred Stieglitz (1864)
Stieglitz was the first art photographer in the US. More than any other American, he compelled the recognition of photography as a fine art. After editing a series of photography magazines, he established the famous gallery “291” in New York City. The gallery soon broadened its scope from fine-art photography and introduced to the US works by members of the modern French art movement, including Cézanne and Picasso.
*EXAMINER – INVESTIGATES:
Women who give birth to a baby with Down syndrome have an increased chance of having a second child with the same condition (from 1 in 700 to about 1 in 100).
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