Fitch Flips the Switch

Friday, August 4, 2023

Fitch downgraded the U.S. long-term rating to AA+ from AAA

The rating downgrade of the United States reflects the expected fiscal deterioration over the next three years, a high and growing general government debt burden, and the erosion of governance relative to 'AA' and 'AAA' rated peers over the last two decades that has manifested in repeated debt limit standoffs and last-minute resolutions.

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The Fed Presses the Pause II Button

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Pause II

The Federal Reserve announced today a pause in their historic rate hike campaign. The Fed has increased interest rates at the last ten consecutive meetings in an effort to curb inflation. The inflation rate, as measured by the US Consumer Price Index, pushed above 9.0% late last summer and recently dropped to a more palatable 4.0%. While inflation is still well above the Fed’s long-term target (2.0%), there is a lag associated with inflation falling in response to rate hikes, suggesting the downward trend for inflation should continue even after this pause.

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"NEW" WA Capital Gains Tax

Thursday, March 30, 2023

More than a year ago, the 2021 Washington State Legislature passed RCW 82.87 which creates a 7% tax on the sale or exchange of long-term capital assets such as stocks, bonds, business interests, or other investments and tangible assets.  The tax took effect on January 1, 2022, and the first payments are due on or before April 18th, 2023.  Revenue collected from this tax is earmarked to cover educational costs in the state of Washington.

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Banking Sector Update

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

What happened?

We know that many of you are following the news regarding Silicon Valley Bank (or “SVB”) and Signature Bank. For those that haven’t heard, regulators shuttered both banks and seized deposits after growing concerns of their financial situation. Over the last couple years, those firms were flush with cash and their deposits flourished. However, following the Fed’s aggressive rate increases over the past year, those deposits shrunk at an exponential pace, forcing the banks to liquidate at a significant realized loss.

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Secure Act 2.0

Friday, January 20, 2023

The SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (“SECURE 2.0”) is chock-full of provisions – 92, in fact – aimed at improving Americans’ preparedness for retirement. Like SECURE Act 1.0 (passed December 2019), this latest round of legislation provides workers with greater access to retirement plans and further encourages retirement savings. Here are some highlights from the newly passed bill:

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