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Confounding and confusing events 9/12/22

Liz Truss was elected Prime Minister of Great Britain and announced that one of her founding principles was the return of the Empire. I’m not talking Star Wars – I’m talking the British Empire, which ended 60 years ago. It appears she does not understand that the world has changed and is attempting to channel Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative principles in her government. It will be interesting to see how long she, and the Conservatives can stay in power. It should be noted that she has said some fairly outrageous things already and is making Boris look good.

The news coverage of the Queen’s death is like watching OJ’s chase and trial, Dianna’s death, or the Kardashians. The Revolutionary War was fought to rid ourselves of Monarchs.

The service sector received some interesting analysis with the Institute for Supply Management indicating that the sector grew while the S&P Global Index indicated that it shrank. It is no wonder why economists and the Fed are confused as to which direction the economy is going.

The Brookings Institution recently published a position paper regarding the USMCA in which it congratulated the Biden administration for stress testing four industry areas and announcing that they would form a Supply Chain Disruption Task Force which seems to me to be an intelligent approach so that we can at least gather data to determine whether or not there are factors or indicators that we can be looking at to determine whether or not the supply chain will be injured by a particular set of issues. This seems reasonable and all three member countries of the USMCA are on board.

Canada’s balance of trade shrank to $4 billion in July primarily based upon the exports of consumer goods. Translation - they exported more goods than they imported, therefore shrinking their balance of trade. This should be good news for the overall US economy and the economy of the USMCA as those goods move into commerce demonstrating that there is demand for them and that consumers continue to spend.

The Ukrainian’s continued march to capture territory is impressive. We, meaning the US, are offering significant and timely support.

Scientists have recently done a study of the best way to walk and it appears they are recommending that you utilize poles, which has the effect of increasing the amount of exercise you get because your upper body is also engaged and therefore you get far more exercise out of the process. There is some indication that this greatly improves your health and is obvious to anyone who cross-country skis. I know myself that the level of exertion from cross-country skiing is far greater than simply walking. Buy some poles or use your ski poles and have a good walk.

The Antarctic ice shelf is deteriorating rapidly, both above and below the surface and this raises and number of interesting questions and potential dangers for the rest of the world. Scientists project that if this ice shelf continues to deteriorate it could raise sea levels from 2-10 feet which would have dramatic impact on coastal cities around the world. Whether or not any steps we take at this juncture would stop that process, seems unlikely to me, although we may be able to contain future ice loss and thus decrease rising sea levels. These issues need to be taken seriously and I think particularly in light of the fact that we have just had an incredible drought and extreme heat in many parts of the world in places as diverse as China, Europe, and the United States. It seems to me we need to be paying attention.

As hard as it may be to fathom, New York could be the key to control the House due to six races. New York 1 R leaning, New York 3, 4, 17, and 18 all lean D, New York 11 likely R, and New York 19 and 22 toss-up.

The European Central Bank raised rates from 0 to .75 while the Fed’s raise hike was the same percentage. Mr. Powell says more hikes to come but they won’t injure the economy. We have heard this before, so I’ll wait and see.

An aid to a medieval King who’s looking down on a crowd with pitchforks and torches says “you don’t need to fight them, just convince the pitchfork people that the torch people want to take away their pitchforks.” Update the torch and the pitchfork and you’ve got the gun debate.

Bill Owens is a former member of Congress representing the New York 21st, a partner in Stafford, Owens, Piller, Murnane, Kelleher and Trombley in Plattsburgh, NY and a Strategic Advisor at Dentons to Washington, DC.

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.

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