The Whomp: Winner Winner Steak Dinner

Not Financial News. Financialtainment | March 16, 2017

DAILY WHOMP


A restaurant owner will buy steak dinners for Northern Kentucky University’s 15,000 students if the basketball squad upsets №6-ranked Kentucky.” Factoring out the bones, sweetbreads, tripe, tongue and liver, you’re looking at about 50 steaks per cow. Which means if the kids from Northern Kentucky pull the upset of the decade, 300 cows will be sacrificed for the victory dinner, which will cost a cool million. That’s what March Madness is all about — slaughtering livestock for blood sacrifice to the basketball Gods to shake up the brackets. Tourney Tipoff is at 12:15 p.m. today.

IN THE MONEY


  • Trump budget slashes funds for EPA, state department NYT
  • Federal judge in Hawaii freezes President Trump’s new entry banWaPo
  • Are rich people more honest than the poor? Study Time
  • AT&T’s $85.4 billion deal for Time Warner wins EU thumbs-upReuters
  • Sports! Soccer team signs goalie who murdered his ex, fed her to dogs CNN

SHOP TALK


The Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates a quarter percentage point yesterday at its March meeting and is expected to keep lifting them at least twice this year. The benchmark federal-funds rate is now a range between 0.75% and 1%. The market reaction was overwhelmingly positive. Stocks soared while the VIX, or “fear” index, dropped 5.45%. The decision was viewed as a vote of confidence for the economy as stated unambiguously by Chair Janet Yellen: “The simple message is the economy’s doing well.”
 
For many observers, the Fed’s bullish stance on rates of the last weeks, and Yellen’s comments following the announcement, signaled the central bank is moving into a new era in which it could more seamlessly remove easy money from the financial system as the economy improves.
 
But by tightening the money supply, did Yellen seal the fate of Trump’s bull market? Even if market bulls would argue rates are still low, less free money is never good news for US companies. Let’s hope US GDP will grow as per the new president’s promises. Otherwise, the next recession could come quicker than expected.

THE NUMBER


337: Cost in U.S. dollars of the average ticket for Round 1 games Dayton vs. Wichita St. and Kentucky vs. N. Kentucky. Check out the nifty infographic of ticket prices: TickPick

DID THINGS GO TO HELL THIS WEEK?


In the most frozen terms possible, yes, things did go to hell this week. The week began with a Nor’easter threatening to derange the East Coast, excited meteorologists predicting the Storm of the Century as panicked New Yorkers scrambled to clear Whole Food shelves before first flake. The city was spared, with an average of 7 inches falling. On Wednesday, the Fed hiked interest rates, which was expected to cause turmoil in the markets. Not to be outdone by Mother Nature or Mother Fed, someone (White House, journalists, the Deep State) released President Trump’s 2005 tax return, showing he paid$38 million in federal taxes. No one was happy with that number, and by late Wednesday wiretapping, healthcare and immigration fingers were wagging on both sides. But, alas, the annual madness of basketball arrived just in time, and Americans scrambled to get their wagers in with illegal bookies and office pools, not caring if things went to hell or not — so long as their underdog made the Sweet 16. Everyone pretty much stopped working by close of business Wednesday, and no one is planning to put in too much work today other than checking their brackets.