Due to the uptick in coronavirus cases, a growing number of U.S. states and localities have mandated the use of masks and face coverings while in public. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is suing Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms over the city’s mask mandate – which is punishable by a fine or up to six months in jail – claiming the measure is more restrictive than a state order that “strongly encourages face coverings” but does not require them. On the corporate side of things, Walmart, Kroger and Target announced Wednesday that they would will require customers to put on a mask or face covering inside stores.
“What we really need are drugs that, when given early, can prevent a symptomatic person from requiring hospitalization or very dramatically diminish the time that they’re symptomatic,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told Mark Zuckerberg during a Facebook Live interview. Looking for a treatment, he expects results for a clinical trial on monoclonal antibodies by late summer or early fall. The laboratory-produced proteins – described as “precise bullets” that can be developed from antibodies from other people who’ve been infected by COVID-19 – are hoped to be used to treat sick coronavirus patients as well as for prophylaxis.
Markets rose again this week. The S&P 500 jumped 1.27% and closed at 3,224. The Dow Jones rose 2.32% and closed at 26,671. Year-to-date, the S&P 500 is up 0.88% and the Dow Jones is down -5.3%.
Interests rates were fell slightly from last week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 0.28% and 0.62%, respectively.
The spot price of WTI Crude oil inched higher this week. Prices rose 0.12% and closed at $40.60 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are down -33.51%.
The spot price of Gold rose 0.69% and closed at $1,811.04 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 19.36%.
Business inventories declined by 2.3% in May
Retail sales increased 7.5% month over month in June.
The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index fell by 3.4 points, better than concensus estimates for a larger decline.
Initial Jobless claims fell by 10,000 to 1.3 million in the week of July 11.
Industrial production increase by 5.4% in June, mostly lead by a large increase in automobile manufacturing.
CPI rose by 0.24% month over month in June.
Fact of the Week
Then market cap weighted performance of the top 5 stocks in the S&P500 (Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google) has been +32% year to date. The performance of the remaining 495 stocks in the index has been -7.7% year to date. (Source: Strategas)
Hurricane season in 2020 has started with the earliest 6th named storm on record set to make landfall in the Northeastern U.S. tonight. Tropical Storm Fay is sustaining winds around 50 mph as of this morning and is expected to bring 2 to 4 inches of rain with some isolated areas expecting to see 7 inches. Tropical Storm Warnings are currently in effect for New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut as the Northeast prepares for flash flooding throughout the night. The storm gained structure and transformed into a Tropical Storm this morning and the potential exists for it to become a Category 1 hurricane which is defined by sustained winds of at least 75 mph.
Tensions in Libya escalated further this week after Turkey announced that they will be holding large scale naval exercises off the Libyan coast in anticipation of war in the eastern Mediterranean. One day later, the Egyptian media announced that the Egyptian Army will host their own military drills near the western Libyan border. Turkey has been stepping up its military efforts in Libya recently in support of the government, which is currently battling a civil war. Egypt supports the opposing party in Libya, and this is the first show of force by the Egyptian Army since Turkey began intervening.
Markets rallied this week. The S&P 500 spiked 1.79% and closed at 3,185. The Dow Jones rose 0.98% and closed at 26,075. Year-to-date, the S&P 500 is down -0.38% and the Dow Jones is down -7.44%.
Interests rates were unchanged from last week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 0.30% and 0.63%, respectively.
The spot price of WTI Crude oil fell slightly this week. Prices fell -0.37% and closed at $40.50 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are down -33.67%.
The spot price of Gold rose 1.31% and closed at $1,799.18 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 18.58%.
Initial jobless claims fell by 99,000 to 1.3 million and the four-week moving average of claims fell by 63,000 to 1.4 million. Claims fell by 37,000 in New York, 23,000 in Florida, and by 12,000 in Oklahoma. Claims rose by 39,000 in Texas, 30,000 in California, and by 4,000 in Connecticut.
The ISM non-manufacturing index rose by 11.7 points to 57.1 versus expectations for a reading of 50.2
Wholesale inventories fell -1.2%, in-line with expectations
The producer price index (PPI) fell by -0.2% versus expectations for an increase of 0.4% and the year-over-year rate fell by -0.8%
PPI ex-food, energy and trade services rose by 0.3% versus expectations for an increase of 0.1% and the year-over-year rate was flat
Fact of the Week
The money used by the Federal Reserve in its lending programs and asset-buying programs was “digitally created” by the Fed, i.e., the Fed does not technically “print” money (it does not have a printing press) but rather it creates money with the press of a button on a keyboard. The Fed is forecasted to create$5 trillion of new money between March 2020 and December 2020 (source: Federal Reserve)
The United States is setting records for new confirmed daily coronavirus cases heading into Independence Day weekend as dozens of states have either delayed reopening plans or have taken steps back in the process. After reporting a record 509 new cases yesterday, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee announced that he would pause reopening in the state for 2 weeks and directed all businesses to require face coverings for employees and customers. The announcement from the Washington Governor comes after Texas issued a similar order requiring face coverings as Houston hospitals were forced to move ICU patients as far as 50 miles away as a result of overcapacity. The state of Arizona announced this morning that 91% of its ICU beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients and only 196 beds remain available as 4,433 new cases were reported yesterday in the state. The United Kingdom released travel guidelines easing restrictions on travelers from a handful of countries excluding the United States, continuing to require Americans to quarantine for 2 weeks upon arrival.
In the past two months, the United States has added back a shocking 7.5 million of the 20.7 million lost jobs in April. About 40% of the job gains were in the leisure and hospitality sector as most restaurants and bars have reopened. New jobs in the retail trade industry accounted for about 10% of the total job gains in the past two months as clothing stores and general merchandise stores also reopened. Education and health services jobs also increased substantially, as many dentists, physicians, and private educators went back to work. The rate of job growth in the past two months have smashed expectations as the unemployment rate was expected to rise to 19.1% in May but instead fell to 13.3% while the unemployment rate in June fell to 11.1% versus 12.5% expected.
Markets surged higher in the holiday shortened trading week. The S&P 500 jumped 4.07% and closed at 3,130. The Dow Jones spiked 3.29% and closed at 25,827. Year-to-date, the S&P 500 is down -2.13% and the Dow Jones is down -8.33%.
The yield curve steepened this week as the level of rates remained relatively unchanged. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 0.30% and 0.67%, respectively.
The spot price of WTI Crude oil rose this week. Prices rose 4.68% and closed at $40.29 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are down -34.01%.
The spot price of Gold rose 0.23% and closed at $1,775.35 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 17.01%.
Initial jobless claims fell by 55,000 to 1.4 million and the four-week moving average of claims fell by 1118,000 to 1.5 million. Claims fell by 47,000 in Oklahoma, 8,000 in New York, 3,000 in California, and by 3,000 in Florida. Claims increased by 6,000 in Wisconsin and by 5,000 in Texas.
Nonfarm payrolls rose by 4.8 million in June versus expectations for an increase of 3.2 million
Private sector employment in the ADP rose by 2.4 million versus expectations for an increase of 2.9 million
The unemployment rate fell to 11.1% versus expectations for a reading of 12.5%
Average hourly earnings fell -1.2% versus expectations for a decline of -0.8% and the year-over-year rate rose 5.0%
Factory orders increased by 8.0% versus expectations for an increase of 8.6%
Pending home sales rose by 44.3% versus expectations for an increase of 19.3%
The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index rose by 0.3% versus expectations for an increase of 0.5%
The Conference Board index of consumer confidence rose by 12.2 points to 98.1 versus expectations for a reading of 91.5
The ISM manufacturing index rose by 9.5 points to 52.6 versus expectations for a reading of 49.8
Construction spending fell by -2.1% versus expectations for an increase of 1.0%
Fact of the Week
In 2000, Bobby Bonilla was let go from the New York Mets. Instead of receiving the $5.9 million he was due in his contract, the two parties agreed to defer payment until 2011, when the Mets would begin paying Bonilla $1.19 million every July 1st, through 2035. To this day, he has received $11.9 million dollars from the Mets. If he had instead taken the $5.9 million and invested it into the S&P500 on January 1st 2000, he would have $12.5 million. (Source: ESPN, Bloomberg)
During this Thursday’s stress test of the banking industry, it was discovered that several banks could reach minimum capital requirement levels, prompting the Fed to take action. The Federal Reserve placed new restrictions on the banking industry that requires big banks to cease share repurchases and cap dividends at their current levels for the next quarter. Additionally, banks will need to prove a specified level of net income from the previous four quarters in order to qualify to pay a dividend going forward. Banks are expected to reveal their plans with regards to dividends on Monday, June 29th.
COVID-19 “hotspots” have begun to develop in the United States that include Arizona, Florida, Texas, and California, many of which reporting the largest one-day spike in new cases on record. As a result of the surge in new cases, Houston area hospitals have reached their ICU capacity, leading the state of Texas to roll back their reopening plans and order bars to close immediately. Harris country Texas, the third-largest in the United States by population, just declared a “top level emergency” regarding COVID-19. Shortly after, Florida, which reported a record 8,942 cases yesterday followed suit and ordered all bars to close. Also, the positivity rate in Florida has increased from 4.39% on June 13th to 15.84% this Tuesday, raising questions about the correlation between increased testing and increased cases. The White House coronavirus task force is holding a news briefing regarding the issue today for the first time in nearly two months.
Markets are lower after another volatile week. The S&P 500 fell -2.86% and closed at 3,009. The Dow Jones dropped -3.31% and closed at 25,016. Year-to-date, the S&P 500 is down -5.97% and the Dow Jones is down -11.23%.
Yields also fell lower this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 0.30% and 0.64%, respectively.
The spot price of WTI Crude oil fell this week. Prices fell -4.22% and closed at $38.15 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are down -37.52%.
The spot price of Gold rose 1.53% and closed at $1,770.55 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 16.69%.
Initial jobless claims fell by 60,000 to 1.5 million and the four-week moving average of claims fell by 161,000 to 1.6 million. Claims increased by 22,000 in California, 11,000 in Indiana, and by 10,000 in Florida. Claims fell by 36,000 in Oklahoma, 26,000 in Kentucky, and by 11,000 in Massachusetts.
New orders for durable goods rose by 15.8% versus expectations for an increase of 10.5%
Durable goods orders ex-transports rose 4.0% versus expectations for an increase of 2.1%
Core capital goods orders rose 2.3% versus expectations for an increase of 1.0%
Core capital goods shipments rose by 1.8% versus expectations for a decline of -1.0%
Personal consumption fell by -6.8%, in-line with expectations
Personal income fell by -4.2% versus expectations for a decline of -6.0%
Personal spending rose by 8.2% versus expectations for an increase of 9.3%
Wholesale inventories fell by -1.2% versus expectations for an increase of 0.4%
Existing home sales fell -9.7% to a seasonally-adjusted-annualized-rate of 3.91 million units versus expectations for a decline of -5.6%, led by the Northeast (-13.0%)
Sales of new single-family homes rose by 16.6% to a seasonally-adjusted-annualized-rate of 676k units versus expectations for a reading of 640k units
The PCE price index rose by 0.1% versus expectations for an unchanged reading and the year-over-year figure rose 0.6% versus expectations for a 0.5% increase
The core PCE price index rose by 0.1% versus expectations for an unchanged reading and the year-over-year rate rose 1.0% versus expectations for an increase of 0.9%
The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment fell by 0.8 points to 78.1 versus expectations for a reading of 79.2
Fact of the Week
At the end of 2019, 61% of the world’s foreign exchange reserves (cash held by central banks around the world) was in US dollars. In total, the world’s central banks held $6.745 Trillion, with the second largest reserve position was the Euro at €2.275 Trillion. (Source: International Monetary Fund)
In January, the United States and China agreed to a “Phase One” trade deal where China would be responsible for buying $36.5 billion in U.S agriculture products, an increase from $24 billion in 2017. Year-to-date, China has only purchased $4.65 billion, which is almost half as much purchased during the same period in 2017. Yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said China’s top foreign policy official is still committed to the $36.5 billion in purchases for the year, despite the current shortfall. Pompeo tweeted on Thursday “During my meeting with CCP Politburo Member Yang Jiechi, he recommitted to completing and honoring all of the obligations of Phase 1 of the trade deal between our two countries”.
For the first time in about 50 years, a border clash between India and China broke out after weeks of rising tensions along the disputed and undefined Line of Actual Control (LAC) that separates China and India in Ladakh and the Tibet region. The high altitude and sub-zero temperatures in the mountainous region led to the death of 20 wounded Indian troops. China has not confirmed the death of any of its troops and has accused the Indian army of provoking and attacking Chinese personnel. Both sides have held talks over the phone, agreeing to cool down tensions, expressing that they do not seek escalation to war. Despite the agreed de-escalation, China and India have sent additional military personnel to the region.
Markets rebounded higher this week. The S&P 500 spiked 1.28% and closed at 3,098. The Dow Jones rose 0.33% and closed at 25,871. Year-to-date, the S&P 500 is down -3.68% and the Dow Jones is down -8.98%.
Yields were relatively unchanged this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 0.34% and 0.71%, respectively.
The spot price of WTI Crude oil fell this week. Prices fell -1.42% and closed at $38.84 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are down -36.39%.
The spot price of Gold fell -0.34% and closed at $1,724.80 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 13.68%.
Initial jobless claims fell by 58,000 to 1.5 million and the four-week moving average of claims fell by 235,000 to 1.8 million. Claims increased by 22,000 in Georgia and by 16,000 in New York. Claims fell by 20,000 in Maryland, 16,000 in Massachusetts, and by 16,000 in Oklahoma.
Retail sales rose by 17.7% versus expectations for an increase of 8.4%
Core retail sales rose by 11.0% versus expectations for an increase of 5.2%
Industrial production rose by 1.4% versus expectations for an increase of 3.0%
Business inventories fell by 1.3% versus expectations for a decline of 1.0%
The level of housing starts rose by 4.3% to 974k units versus expectations for an increase of 23.5%
Building permits rose by 14.4% versus expectations for an increase of 16.8%
Fact of the Week
The nation’s 13.3% jobless rate as of 5/31/20 (released on Friday 6/05/20) would have been an estimated 16.3% if the workers who were being paid wages from funds obtained through a “Payroll Protection Program” (PPP) loan were counted as “temporarily laid off” instead of “actively employed” (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).
On Thursday, the FOMC announced that it will leave the fed funds target rate range unchanged at 0-0.25%. The Fed expects no change in the rate through 2022. The statement’s characterization of the current economic situation was mostly unchanged from the April FOMC meeting, and continued to acknowledge the “tremendous human and economic hardship” caused by the virus outbreak. The statement once again noted “sharp” declines in economic activity, “a surge” in job losses, and that weaker demand and lower oil prices are “holding down” inflation. The FOMC outlined its economic projections for the next 3 years, expecting GDP growth of -6.5% for 2020, +5% for 2021, and +3.5% for 2022. They also noted that they will increae holdings of UST as well as residental and commercial MBS in order to “sustain smooth market functioning”.
The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the National Institute of Health will be funding and conducting studies for three potential COVID-19 vaccines beginning this summer. Trials for Moderna’s mRNA-1273 will begin next month, Oxford University and AstraZeneca’s AZD1222 will begin in August, and Johnson & Johnson’s As26.COV2-S will begin in Septerber. The NIH may include additional large-scale studies of other candidates as well, according to Dr. Larry Corey, a member of the committe advising the NIH.
The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) annouced Monday that the business cycle peaked in February, marking the end of the expansion that began in June 2009 and the beginning of a recession. The expansion lasted 128 months, the longest expansion in the history of U.S buisness cycles, dating back to 1854. The previous longest was the 120 month expanison from March 1991 to March 2020.
The markets faded after a strong week last week. The S&P 500 fell -4.73% and closed at 3,041. The Dow Jones was down -5.51% and closed at 25,605. Year-to-date, the S&P 500 is down -4.98% and the Dow Jones is down -9.20%.
Yields fell this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 0.33% and 0.71%, respectively.
The spot price of WTI Crude fell as well this week. Prices fell -7.91% and closed at $36.42 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are down -40.35%.
The spot price of Gold gained 2.79% and closed at $1,732.14 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 14.16%.
Job openings declined 965,000 in April and the outright decline in layoffs was consistent with the stronger than expected May jobs report.
The May core CPI price index fell by 0.06% month-over-month, lowering the year-on-year rate by two tenths to 1.2%, both below consensus.
The producer price index (PPI) increased by 0.4% in May, three tenths above consensus expectations, led by an increase in food prices (+6%) and energy prices (+4.5%).
Initial jobless claims declined to 1.5 million in the week ended June 6, in line with consensus expectations. Continuing claims fell by 339,000 to 20.9 million.
The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment rose by 6.6 points to 78.9 in the June preliminary report, above expectations.
Fact of the Week
From 1927 to 1981, dividend’s accounted for about 60% of stocks total return, while price movement accounted for 40%. Since 1982, dividends only make up about 25% of annualized return (Source: Strategas).
On Memorial Day in Minneapolis, George Floyd, an unarmed black man died while being restrained by a police officer with three officers nearby, all of which have been charged with his death. The tragedy was captured in a cell phone video that went viral and sparked nationwide demonstrations last weekend, some of which escalated to violence and looting. The demonstrations have continued throughout the week and are expected to continue during the weekend resulting in curfews being put in place by major U.S. cities. The National Guard has been called in by nearly half of the country to help police protect communities in the event of violence. A memorial was held yesterday in Minneapolis for George Floyd that was broadcast on networks nationwide.
Nearly a decade after the United States shelved the space shuttle program, a private U.S. company has launched astronauts into orbit for the first time ever. Private company SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, launched its Falcon 9 rocket with two American astronauts on board last Saturday to travel to the International Space Station. An estimated 10.3 million people viewed the broadcast of the launch, the most-watched event that NASA has ever tracked. SpaceX currently holds a $2.6 billion contract with NASA to conduct five more of the crewed flights to the International Space Station.
The markets extended their rally this week. The S&P 500 spiked 4.96% and closed at 3,194. The Dow Jones jumped 6.85% and closed at 27,111. Year-to-date, the S&P 500 is down -0.26% and the Dow Jones is down -3.90%.
Yields spiked this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 0.46% and 0.88%, respectively.
The spot price of WTI Crude climbed higher this week. Prices rose 10.74% and closed at $39.30 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are down -35.64%.
The spot price of Gold fell -2.77% and closed at $1,682.26 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 10.87%.
Initial jobless claims fell by 246,000 to 1.9 million and the four-week moving average of claims fell by 325,000 to 2.3 million. Claims increased by 57,000 in California, 47,000 in Florida. Claims fell by 134,000 in New York, 21,000 in Georgia, and by 21,000 in Pennsylvania.
The ISM manufacturing index rose by 1.6 points to 43.1 versus expectations for a reading of 43.8
The ISM non-manufacturing index rose by 3.6 points to 45.4 versus expectations for a reading of 44.4
Private sector employment in the ADP fell by 2.8 million versus expectations for a decline of 9 million
Factory orders fell by 13.0% versus expectations for a decline of 13.4%
Nonfarm payrolls rose 2.5 million versus expectations for a decline of 7.5 million
The unemployment rate came in at 13.3% versus expectations for a reading of 19.0%
Average hourly earnings fell 1.0% versus expectations for an increase of 1.0% and the year-over-year rate rose 6.7%
Fact of the Week
The S&P 500 has returned 37.7% over the last 50 trading days, making it the benchmark index’s largest 50-day rally in history. (Source: LPL Financial)
Today the state of Illinois transitions to Phase 3 of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan, while Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has the city of Chicago on hold until June 3rd. Outdoor dining at restaurants and bars, hair salons, and non-essential retail businesses are set to reopen with capacity limitations, social distancing, and enhanced sanitary requirements. In addition to businesses reopening, people may begin gathering in groups of up to 10 people. Illinois is expected to move to Phase 4 of the five-phase plan in late June given all of the requirements are met. In New York, five regions are looking enter Phase 2 of their plan, while New York City is on hold until further notice. All 50 states in America are now at least partially reopened and the COVID-19 test positivity rate continues to decline.
Political tensions are rising between the United States and China as a result of the controversial national security law that was approved this week. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that “No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given the facts on the ground.” President Trump held a press conference today announcing that certain foreign Chinese nationals would be suspended from entering the United States and that Chinese officials responsible for the Hong Kong bill would be sanctioned. Additionally, the administration will begin eliminating policy exemptions granted to Hong Kong, as a result of their lack of autonomy from China. President Trump also announced that he is terminating the relationship between the United States and the World Health Organization, claiming that they are “China centric”.
Markets rose significantly again this week. The S&P 500 jumped 3.04% and closed at 3,044. The Dow Jones rose 3.85% and closed at 25,383. Year-to-date, the S&P 500 is down -5.00% and the Dow Jones is down -10.06%.
Yields declined this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 0.30% and 0.65%, respectively.
The spot price of WTI Crude rose this week. Prices rose 5.53% and closed at $35.09 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are down -42.53%.
The spot price of Gold fell -0.14% and closed at $1,732.23 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 14.17%.
Initial jobless claims fell by 315,000 to 2.1 million and the four-week moving average of claims fell by 436,000 to 2.6 million. Claims rose by 17,000 in Pennsylvania, 15,000 in Virginia, and by 14,000 in Kentucky. Claims fell by 48,000 in Florida, 43,000 in New York, and by 34,000 in California.
New orders for durable goods fell by -17.2% versus expectations for a -19.0% decline
Durable goods orders ex-transports fell by -7.4% versus expectations for a decline of -15.0%
Personal consumption fell -6.8% versus expectations for a decline of -7.5%
Personal income rose by 10.5% versus expectations for a decline of -5.9%
Personal spending fell by -13.6% versus expectations for a decline of -12.8%
The Conference Board index of consumer confidence rose by 0.9 points to 86.8 versus expectations for a reading of 87.0
Sales of new single-family homes rose by 0.6% to a seasonally-adjusted-annualized rate of 623,000 units versus expectations for a reading of 480,000 units.
Pending home sales fell -21.8% versus expectations for a decline of -17.3%
First-quarter real GDP growth was revised down to -5.0% versus expectations for a reading of -4.8%
The PCE price index fell by -0.5% versus expectations for a decline of -0.6% and the year-over-year rate rose by 0.5%, in-line with expectations
The core PCE price index fell by 0.4% versus expectations for decline of -0.3% and the year-over-year rate rose by 1.0% versus expectations for an increase of 1.1%
Wholesale inventories rose by 0.4% versus expectations for a -0.7% decline
The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment fell by 1.4 points to 72.3 versus expectations for a reading of 74.0
Fact of the Week
Since bottoming on March 23rd, the S&P 500 gained 32.6% over the next 43 days through 5/20. It was the second best 43 day period for the index in that last 30 years, behind the 37.8% that the S&P 500 gained from 3/09/09 – 5/08/09 (BTN Research).
Patti Temple Rocks has been a Director of Old Second Bancorp since 2015. She is a member of the Board’s Compensation Committee and IT Steering Commit- tee. She has had a distinguished career in the Advertising, Marketing and Communications space, and has held various leadership positions for some industry-leading corporations.
Her most recent role was Managing Director/Client Innovation Officer for Golin, a global communications agency. Previous career highlights include Vice President of Public Affairs, Brand and Reputation for The Dow Chemical Company, and Chief Reputation Officer for Leo Burnett Worldwide. Currently, Patti is Founder and Head of Temple Rocks Consulting, where she is utilizing her marketing and communications experience and expertise for clients looking for growth, both for their business and of their people.
“Patti, with your many years of experience in advertising, marketing and communications, talk to us about how that experience has translated into helpful perspectives and insights as a director for a financial institution.”
PTR: “My background is certainly different than some of the other directors, many of whom are from the financial services industry. My approach at first was to listen closely to the issues and challenges facing the Bank at the Board level, and then make contributions within my areas of expertise. I think that (Board members from) different industries are very relevant to the overall decision
making because of the different perspectives they bring. For example, I noticed that the consumer challenges facing the banking industry are similar to those facing other industries—how to market their products and services to the Millennial demographic and to Gen Z–the next generation after Millennials–and how predictive analytics can play a role in that decision-making process.”
“When you were initially approached as a possible candidate for Old Second’s Board of Directors, what were some of your thoughts out of the gate? What ultimately led you to accept the directorship?”
PTR: “I was intrigued, to say the least, as one of my long-term personal goals has been to serve on a publicly traded board of directors. I did have some concern about my lack of direct experience in financial services but I also knew that in today’s complex environment, boards are expected to ask questions and challenge the status quo to some extent, and not simply be a rubber stamp. I could tell from my conversations with the Bank’s management and other directors that there were highly capable people guiding the Bank with deep financial experience. I felt confident that I could add something differ- ent and hopefully complementary to what they already had. With that perspective, I was honored to say yes to the OSBC opportunity.”
“What would you say are three of the most critical competencies, characteristics or credentials of an effective Board member?”
PTR: “Curiosity is one of the most important…As Board members, we need to have the capacity to ask thought-provoking and challenging questions. (For example): ‘If we didn’t do that, what might happen?’
“Another important characteristic is empa- thy. As directors, we can add value by considering the perspective of customers and employees. At the end of the day, an unengaged employee base will almost always result in disappointed customers. If we can assist Bank management with insights regarding the overall customer experience, that’s a value-add.”
“The last one would be preparation. It’s never a good idea to attend a board or committee meeting blind, without advance preparation. When I first started with the Bank’s Board, there were a zillion acronyms I had to familiarize myself with, such as the OCC and OREO loans and many others that were simply not a part of my normal vocabulary. I couldn’t pretend that I knew what these were…I needed clarification so that I could be conversant and relevant to the discussion. I am very grateful that my fellow directors were very patient with me as I asked questions!”
“Diversity and Inclusion is an important reality for successful companies these days, including here at Old Second. Can you give us some examples of how D/I played an important role in a company’s success?”
PTR: “Without question, Diversity is essential to a company’s success, but not in a numbers-oriented, quota-based way. And there is no Inclusion without Diversity, and vice versa. In an effort to become more diverse, companies need to be careful to not make inappropriate hires that ultimately become bad hires—and often at no fault of the person hired. A diverse hire who is not on-boarded with care is never going to feel included in the organization. Companies need to take even greater care to make sure they have an inclusive environment to welcome the diverse hires into.
“I also believe very strongly in a broad view of Diversity. It is not simply skin color, gender or sexual preference. The best practice today is a workplace that not only looks different from the outside but is also one that values a variety of experiences and perspectives. For me, personally, I believe it is much more important to value my career experiences and insights as a working mom and a 50+ professional than simply the fact that I’m a female. One example that comes to mind is from the auto industry in the 1980’s…- Ford engineers developed ‘pregnancy bellies’ and asked their design engineers to wear them to understand how to design cars for families—including families with pregnant women. While their intentions were good and they got a lot of good PR for the effort, why not just hire some competent women engineers instead of outfitting the men?
“A workforce segment that seems to be getting overlooked these days, and a particular passion of mine, is the older worker. I’m writing a book that addresses this issue: #I’m Not- Done: It’s Time to Talk about Ageism in the Workplace. We must work to remove the stereotype that some workers lose value and relevance after a certain age.”
“What positive signs do you see going forward for the banking industry? What about challenges?”
PTR: “With the greatly improving economy, the future is looking much brighter for financial institutions. The days of banks being constantly slammed and criticized appear to be over, and trust has been established again. That’s the good news, but one of the challenges I see is providing relevant banking experiences to the generations coming up. Traditional brick-and-mortar banks simply are not an important part of their lives…Everything they do banking-wise is mobile, digital. This is very different from previous generations who still prefer one-on-one, in- person transactions. This will require entirely different approaches to what we offer and how we do it to ensure that the services the Bank provide are valued by all these age groups.”
“What makes Old Second Bank’s Mission meaningful to you?”
PTR: I would describe Old Second’s Mission in one word: authentic. You can determine a lot about a company’s culture if you would just ‘turn off the volume and watch the movie.’ I guess another way of saying that is pay attention to what I do, not just what I say. From my experience, if you did that here at the Bank, you will see an organization that truly cares about its employees, that I’m a female. One example that comes to mind is from the auto industry in the 1980’s…- Ford engineers developed ‘pregnancy bellies’ and asked their design engineers to wear them to understand how to design cars for families—including families with pregnant women. While their intentions were good and they got a lot of good PR for the effort, why not just hire some competent women engineers instead of outfitting the men?
“A workforce segment that seems to be getting overlooked these days, and a particular passion while at the same time being a growth and performance-based culture. Mission statements can’t be just flowery words on a piece of paper. There also needs to be accountability at every level of the organization.”
“Patti maintains a website (pattitemplerocks.com) which includes a number of thought-provoking blogs on a variety of topics. One that caught my eye particularly was ‘Don’t Let the Crush of Work Crush You.’ Would you elaborate on what prompted you to write that blog, and give us an executive summary on what you mean by “Don’t Let the Crush of Work Crush You.”
PTR: “In most businesses the goal is to enhance profitability and to make your numbers. This is especially apparent in the 4th quarter of the year, when the push is on to deliver and capture revenue for year-end, and clients have cash that they need to spend or lose it as the fiscal year comes to close. This makes for a particularly crazy end to the year in the agency business. I’ve walked the halls (at previous employers) and have seen the stress and exhaustion on the faces of employees who don’t have much more to give. I’ve found that in these stressful moments it’s so important to not lose the human factor. Continue to maintain empathy for those around you. When we get super busy, it’s easy to lose sight of simple, every-day courtesies—like being kind to one another and treating each other with respect.
“It’s also important to not get caught up in the stress of the moment and try to maintain a close link to what’s truly important to you. We can and should turn our focus to our customers and colleagues, but at the same time we need to take care of ourselves. I’ve also found that maintain- ing a sense of humor is essential! Being able to laugh is a gift not just to ourselves, but to others. And I believe that makes our work better.”
President Trump has signed a bill that imposes sanctions on Russia after Moscow ordered the U.S. to cut hundreds of diplomatic staff and said it would seize two U.S. diplomatic properties. The new sanctions are the equivalent of a “full-scale trade war” according to Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev. The sanctions mark some of the strongest action Congress has taken against Russia since the Cold War. Meanwhile, the investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election is taking a step forward as special counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly convened a grand jury. The move would give him the power to compel witness testimony and obtain evidence. Links between the Trump campaign and Russia are subject to the investigation, although President Trump has deemed the probe a “witch hunt”.
A planned announcement by President Trump outlining a significant trade action against China has been postponed. It was expected that President Trump would direct U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to open an investigation into Chinese violations of U.S. intellectual property rights and forced technology transfer. The move would bypass the World Trade Organization and is getting some rare bipartisan support; with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer saying that the U.S. should skip any investigation and take immediate action against China. It is now unknown when or if this trade action will be announced.
Markets were generally higher this week. The S&P 500 rose 0.23% and closed at 2,477. The Dow Jones rose 1.22% for the week and closed at a new All-Time High of 22,093. Year to date, the S&P is up 11.87% and the Dow is up 13.23%.
Interest rates ended the week a bit lower. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.82% and 2.26%, respectively.
The spot price of WTI Crude Oil decreased by 0.38% this week, closing at $49.52 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices have fallen 7.85%.
The spot price of Gold ended the week lower by 0.81%, closing at $1,259.31 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 9.74%.
Initial jobless claims fell by 5,000 from last week, coming in at 240,000. The Labor Department noted no factors affecting the data this week. The four week moving average for claims held steady at 242,000.
The July jobs reports came in better than expected with 209,000 jobs added, beating estimates of 180,000. The prior two months’ figures were revised upwards by 2,000, bringing the three month average for job gains to 194,000.
The headline unemployment rate edged down to 4.3%, in line with forecasts. The labor force participation rate ticked up 0.1% to 62.9%, making the reduction in the unemployment rate stronger.
Average hourly earnings increased by 0.3% in the month, meeting expectations. Over the last year, wages have grown 2.5%.
Headline PCE inflation was flat in the month of June, in line with consensus expectations. Over the last 12 months, headline PCE inflation has increased 1.4%.
Core PCE inflation (excludes food and energy, Fed’s preferred inflation measure) rose by 0.1% in June, also in line with expectations. Over the last 12 months, Core PCE inflation has increased 1.5%.
Fact of the Week
Since 1962, Congress has increased the nation’s debt ceiling 79 times. This amounts to once every 8 months over the last 55 years. This year, Congress must vote by mid-October to raise America’s debt ceiling or risk defaulting on its debt. (Source: Federal Reserve)
Please contact a member of the Wealth Management Department if you have any questions about this information.