Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
VP of Product Development Emerald Asset Management

Good morning.

Markets are up this morning … and while some call it a relief rally due to what is being called by Bloomberg: “… easing of concern around Hurricane Irma and North Korea” … the reason might be deeper than that. It seems that positive data from China and Europe are also helping to boost global markets.

I don’t know. Sure … the storm could have been worse … but some in the Southeast U.S. would not call this “relief” at all. I saw one report that claimed 12 million people are without power … and my sister in Deerfield Beach tells me that … in addition to no lights … gas lines are quite long … and getting food … well … she always wanted to try out a new diet. Still, everyone I have spoken with is safe … and that is the most important thing of all.

With the hurricane taking over the news in recent days, one important item was pushed to the back pages … and that is unfortunate. The U.S. debt just crossed the $20 trillion level … which, according to the U.S. debt clock, equates to over $60,000 per person. But the situation is actually a bit uglier than that. The same source reports that we have unfunded liabilities (future payment obligations that exceed the present value) of over $890,000 per taxpayer. And that is a brewing storm whose damage is impossible to assess if it ever does hit our shores.

On a final note for today (last story below … written, coincidentally, by a reporter with the last name of “Weed”) it seems that the cannabis business has seen such an increase that many of our nation’s colleges are offering courses focused on marijuana.

Sadly, this is too late for me as I attended school so long ago. But if they offered it as an elective, one thing I am quite sure of.

I certainly would have attended more classes.

Have a great day.

Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
Vice President
Emerald Asset Management
610 Freedom Business Center Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
(610) 337-9230 ext. 6

… as of 10:41 AM today …

Quick Look at the News


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