Honestly, it should take your breath away. We are on a planet prepping for further war in a staggering fashion. A watchdog group, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), just released its yearly report on global military spending. Given the war in Ukraine, you undoubtedly won’t be surprised to learn that, in 2022, such spending in Western and Central Europe surpassed levels set as the Cold War ended in the last century. Still, it wasn’t just Europe or Russia where military budgets leaped. They were rising rapidly in Asia as well (with significant jumps in Japan and India, as well as for the world’s second-largest military spender, China). And that doesn’t even include spiking military budgets in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere on this embattled planet. In fact, last year, 12 of the 15 largest military spenders topped their 2021 outlays.
More Americans continue to name real estate than stocks, gold, savings accounts/CDs or bonds when asked which is the best long-term investment. The 34% of Americans choosing real estate this year is down sharply from last year’s record-high 45% but is on par with the typical proportion selecting real estate from 2016 to 2020, before housing prices skyrocketed during the pandemic. Higher interest rates over the past year have cooled the housing market, dampening consumer exuberance about real estate as an investment.
Looming behind market fears over the prospect of a historic US default is the less-discussed risk of what would follow a deal to resolve the debt-ceiling impasse. Many on Wall Street predict lawmakers will ultimately reach an agreement, likely averting a devastating debt default, even if it goes down to the wire. But that doesn’t mean the economy will escape unscathed, not just from the bruising standoff but also as a result of the Treasury’s efforts to return to business as usual once it can ramp up borrowing.
Special counsel John Durham on Monday released his report on the FBI's role in investigating the 2016 Donald Trump campaign's alleged collusion with Russia. This investigation, codenamed "Crossfire Hurricane," had been—according to Durham's report—"swiftly" opened as a full-blown investigation in response to "unevaluated intelligence information" by FBI personnel "without ever having spoken to the persons who provided the information."