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2023 Déjà vu

Mass layoffs, rampant inflation, uncertainty in the banking and technology sectors. These issues have been in the headlines lately and there has been a lot of talk of the economy being in, or heading towards, a recession. The war in Ukraine continues, with Russia appearing to buy drones from Iran and more weapons from South Africa. In the U.S., immigration continues to affect everyday life, especially in border towns and sanctuary cities. Agricultural regions, businesses in the service and construction industries, all rely heavily on the immigrant skillforce. It will be an interesting election season next year, to say the least.

So what is going on in the banking sector? As interest rates have risen, regional banks are facing higher debt costs. In March, the failures of Signature Bank and Silicon Valley Bank opened everyone’s eyes to the realities of the current situation. The recent news of First Republic Bank re-inforced and really cast light on the industry-wide problem. In response, investors and depositors shifted their relationships to the largest U.S. banks. Some years back there was a movement towards smaller lenders and community banks; the latest activity points to a major reversal of this trend. Which is unfortunate because when we bank locally, we make a positive economic impact locally. Similar to when we shop local, it makes a huge difference.

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2022 is here! What’s in store for cryptocurrency and blockchain?

A blockchain is a digitally distributed, decentralized, public ledger that is shared among the nodes of a computer network. As a database, a blockchain stores information electronically in a digital format. A key difference between a typical database and a blockchain is how the data is structured. A blockchain collects data in groups, or blocks, that hold sets of information. Blocks have certain storage capacities and, when filled, are closed and linked to the previously filled block, forming a chain of data known as the blockchain. All new information that follows that freshly added block is compiled into a newly formed block that will then be added to the chain once filled.

A database usually structures its data into tables, whereas a blockchain, like its name implies, structures its data into chunks (blocks) that are strung together. This data structure inherently makes an irreversible time line of data when implemented in a decentralized nature. When a block is filled, it is set in stone and becomes a part of this time line. Each block in the chain is given an exact time stamp when it is added to the chain. Different types of information can be stored on a blockchain, but the most common use so far has been as a ledger for transactions.  (source: Investopedia).

A top challenge for the industry has been opaque regulations. The Treasury Department proposed rules that would apply a banking regulation known the travel rule to transactions in cryptocurrency. The Treasury Department said banks and cryptocurrency trading platforms would have to collect, keep and pass on records of customer’s cyrptocurrency transactions and counterparties – including verification of their identities – for any transactions exceeding $3,000. The Treasury issued its proposed rules and sought comments from the public but has yet to complete the rules. (source: Dow Jones).

Posted on Leave a comment Arena Naming Rights Go Live purchased the naming rights to the Staples Center in 2021, with the name change taking effect on Christmas Day. is a trademark of Foris DAX Asia Pte. Ltd, a subsidiary of Foris DAX MT (Malta) Limited. The company operates a cryptocurrency exchange app; the exchange currently has approximately 10 million users and 3,000 employees.

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Long lines and strained supply chain continues

The stock market recouped some losses after selloff. Oil, U.S. stocks, European and Asian shares all had some gains.

Airlines are beginning to plan for possible flight delays associated with a new 5G cellular service going live next year.

Omicron variant causing concern as the holidays near, with long lines expected at testing centers, warehouse style retail stores, ports and points of entry. Small to medium size businesses are facing challenges, specifically restaurants, salons and “mom-and-pop” retailers.

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Market Update 12/20/2021

Supply chain disruptions continue to be an Achilles heel of the global economic recovery. With the holidays around the corner, some companies are generating lower than expected sales. Shortages in packaging and transportation during a critical time of the year have only made things more difficult for retailers, wholesalers, importers and exporters. A strained supply chain and broad inflation may continue, as we are seeing lumber prices rise again, reminiscent of a year ago.

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What happens in the markets when there is so much Government stimulus?

When Governments print money, inflation occurs. It’s that simple. We’ve seen it time and time again throughout history, and we’re seeing it now. At the gas pump, grocery store, whether you’re remodeling your home or paying for education, a new car, retirement, etc. The cost of living continues to climb in major metros. It may have dipped a little bit at the beginning of Covid-19, but living expenses are increasing across the board, and likely across the world. We are also probably going to continue experiencing market volatility.

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Small Business Owner’s and Real Estate

The Small Business Administration provides a lot of different funding options for entrepreneurs. If a business is going to occupy at least 51% of the total leasable space, the owner can utilize the SBA 504 program to purchase commercial real estate. This allows for as little as 10% down payment. A conventional / traditional commercial real estate (CRE) loan requires 20-30% down. There is also private money available for investment purposes; however, this tends to more expensive than the other two options mentioned. I’m a big proponent of creative financing. Stay tuned for my upcoming book: MicroFin, Dispelling the myths of creative financing and low to no down payment real estate investing.