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

Good morning.

As the famous economist, Alfred E. Neuman said, “what, me worry?” … and investors seem to be reciting the same phrase this morning as the S&P 500 achieved another intraday record.

Inflation seems to be on the minds of many and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen provided the opinion that higher prices may be with us for another year. But has that slowed spending? Not if you are a politician … as AP News reports the U.S. budget deficit is expected to hit $2.77 trillion in 2021.

One of the most interesting stories about the deficit is a quote often attributed to Senator Everett Dirksen is “… a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.” Well, it is reported that he may not have said these exact words but a review shows in 1962 he was raising concerns over government overspending. And what kind of deficit did we have for that fiscal year that worried the good Senator? $7 billion. We now run that in less than a day.

I had an interesting experience yesterday (speaking of foolish spending) as I took an aunt of mine to a casino. She cashed in a ticket at the end of the day at a machine and while it was processing stopped paying attention for a minute … and turned to talk to me … leaving a couple of hundred dollars in the tray … for a moment. Someone else came up the machine in the meantime and the money … and the person (who we weren’t paying much attention to) … disappeared. We checked my aunt’s pockets a number of times and then contacted a casino worker. First, they asked her to make sure she didn’t have it on her. Then they checked the machine to make sure it had been disbursed. They “called upstairs” to the people who keep things on tape … who then sent people through the casino who were able to find the person … and returned the money to my aunt. Absolutely amazing.

On a final note, Halloween is coming up and I read that slip-on white Van’s sneakers are in very short supply as “Squid Game” costumes are quite popular. The reason I bring this up is Morning Consult reports that plans for Halloween celebrations are at “pre-Covid levels.”

Get your candy orders in now before prices go up.

The neighborhood kids are coming.

In droves.

Have a great day,

Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
Vice President
Emerald Asset Management PA, LLC
610 Freedom Business Center Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Direct: (610) 285-9905
cell: (856) 625-7915

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