While the political world is in an uproar after last night’s debate (more in a minute), markets are relatively sanguine. Equities are a bit higher along with crude oil, gold, and silver. The dollar and Treasuries are flat.

This newsletter is focused on markets, not politics. But they often intersect – and plenty of people all across the political spectrum are weighing in on the lousy performance by President Joe Biden. Reviews of former President Donald Trump are more mixed, but he clearly “won” the debate in the eyes of many (including political betting markets where real money can be staked on a result). Many donors, party leaders, and politicians are openly discussing the chance of Biden stepping down and being replaced by someone before or at the Democratic National Convention in August.

Interestingly enough, we convened an expert “Summit” at the Paris Las Vegas during last year’s August Symposium. We held informal, non-scientific polls on various topics of interest to the markets – including a question about who would win the 2024 presidential election. A majority (5) chose the “New” candidate option as their answer (graphic below), rather than Trump (4) or Biden (1). You can check out the full report we published back then HERE.


On the economic front, the biggest development was this morning’s personal income and spending news. Income slightly beat forecasts, while spending slightly missed them. More important was a key inflation reading embedded in the report – the core Personal Consumption Expenditures Index. It rose only 0.1% in May. That was down from 0.3% a month prior and in-line with economist expectations. On a year-over-year basis, it was up 2.6%, the lowest in more than three years.

All in all, the latest data suggests the economy is slowing modestly and inflation is doing the same. This keeps one or two late-year Federal Reserve interest rate cuts – though not AGGRESSIVE ones – on the table.