Interest Rates. On the Rise Again?

Business

Jorden McVeagh, Editor

rising interest rates

What do Rising Interest Rates Mean for Your Money? | Access Wealth 

This upcoming Wednesday Sept. 21, The Federal Reserve will meet to discuss the topic of raising interest rates once again. The past two meetings have resulted in two interest rate hikes which is significant since they haven’t raised rates since 2018. However, since March alone, the Fed’s benchmark policy rate has risen 2.25% and it stands to go up again after Wednesday’s meeting. After the meeting concludes interest rates once again will receive a bump of three quarters of a point which would bring rates to 3%. In addition, they also could raise rates by as much as an entire percentage point which would bring rates to 3.25%. All around Wall Street it is a back-and-forth discussion between whether or not people think the Fed will continue raising interest rates until November or if inflation will slow down so the central banks can relax for a little. 

Forecasts for the last quarter show that interest rates could rise to as high as 3.5-4% by November and jump up to 3.75-4.5% in December. When it comes to answering the question “do you think this will slow down anytime soon?” economists believe that there is still more to come in the future. Inflation is still rather high in comparison but has gone down over the past year. Before August, the national inflation rate sat at 8.52% with it now sitting at 8.26%. This is certainly moving in the right direction, but still up from last year’s closing rate of 5.25%.

Even though interest rates are still high, this still doesn’t mean the economy is struggling all around. The job market is sitting in an amazing position right now with an unemployment rate of 3.7% equaling 6 million people across the US without work. To put it into perspective, it is generally accepted that an unemployment rate between 4-5% is full employment. Full employment refers to the economic system where anyone who wants to and is able to work is employed. In addition, consumer spending is also still going strong. We are seeing consumer spending numbers at a higher level than it was during the COVID-19 pandemic period, it is still strong with consumers spending $1.392 trillion (USD) in the second quarter of 2022. This is up slightly from the $1.388 trillion that was spent in the first quarter of 2022. 

Finally, the housing market is still high even with the spike in interest rates in the past months. These rate hikes could prove to be costly in the long run though, as too many hikes could result in sending the US economy into a mild recession according to Chief Investment Officer at Girard Timothy Chubb. These hikes could also shift the stock market substantially in terms of market volatility. With interest rates still rather unpredictable, investors have no idea what forecasts for later in the year could look like. July 2023 forecasts have rates anywhere between 3.25-5% which would result in other central banks, such as the European Central Bank, to increase rates as well to keep the market in some sense of balance. If this were to happen it would make the markets that much more volatile making it harder to predict whether a stock price will go up or down based on other market occurrences.

While it is unknown what will happen this week and in the coming months, it will be interesting to see what happens and how it continues to impact the global economic environment. 

 

National Society of Leadership and Success Orientation Night 

Features

Jorden McVeagh, Editor

On Thursday Sept. 14, La Salle’s National Society of Leadership and Success had their Orientation night for new members. For those who haven’t heard of NSLS, it is a national chapter playing host to 1,675,341 members across 771 chapters. La Salle’s chapter was created in June of 2021 by Azaria Soto, Dr. Elizabeth Schroeder, and Dr. Patrick Coyle. The chapter vision is simple but one that shows what is to gain from becoming a member. “Our vision is to help members achieve personal growth, cultivate lasting relationships, and obtain career success”. At their orientation the organization was able to welcome 13 new members to add to their 493 total. 

NSLS  helps provide students with the opportunity to gain excellent experience from a career and personal development standpoint. Not only do students get to network and meet new people at the beginning of their professional careers, but they can also get involved to develop habits that will transfer over into the real world. There are many executive board positions that allow students to run meetings, plan events, and create a plan for growing the organization throughout the year. This is not limited to just one major either. It is open to anyone who wants to join and grow and develop transferable leadership skills. There will be one more orientation night for any students that either missed the first or are interested in joining. The date for the make-up session is Monday Sept. 19. Anyone who may be interested in this should attend this session to learn more about NSLS and begin the process of joining the organization. 

Financial Problems turn Personal Problems for Bed Bath and Beyond

Business

Jorden McVeagh, Editor

https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/tag/bed-bath-beyond/

On Sunday Sept.4th, Bed Bath and Beyond Chief Financial Officer Gustavo Arnal was found dead by New York City Police Officials. The former 52-year-old CFO was identified as deceased after it was found he threw himself off the balcony of his 18th floor high-rise apartment. Arnal had joined the company at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020 after a successful career at companies such as Avon, Walgreens and Procter and Gamble. Arnal was instrumental in guiding triple B through the pandemic through his financial knowledge and his ability to create a strong collaborative culture around him. This news however comes at a terrible time for triple B as they creep closer to declaring bankruptcy. As of now, they are fighting this problem by downsizing.

 As of Wednesday Sept. 7, the company will be laying off 20% of their corporate employees, closing 150 stores, and reducing several in-house home good brands. In addition to this, $500 million has been saved up to help the company fight through the financial hardships they are facing at this time. Shifting the focus back on Gustavo Arnal, on Aug. 23, a lawsuit filed in the US District Court in DC naming Arnal as a defendant in a class action lawsuit. This case pinned him against Ryan Cohen, who accused the company and Arnal of pump and dump schemes to hyperinflate the company’s stock price. The contents of the lawsuit stated that Arnal and other company officials made misleading comments regarding the company’s current financial situation. Bed Bath and Beyond failed to communicate financial plans with investors, delayed stockholders from seeing their holdings and stock positions, and shared fake revenue numbers.

The company also introduced their “Buy Buy Baby” promotion for the purpose of increasing stock price. This promotion saw triple B acquire a privately held baby merchandising company for $67 million. This comes at a time of financial hardship for companies worldwide. It is worth noting that Ryan Cohen, the other side of the lawsuit against Arnal, sold his $178 million stake in the company. As a result of this sale, Bed Bath & Beyond stock (BBBY) dropped by a whopping 19.63%. On Aug. 18, the day Cohen sold his shares, Bed Bath and Beyond stock price dropped from $23.08 per share to $8.63 per share as of today. This was the beginning of the downfall for the company, and they have been fighting to stay afloat since. It will be interesting to see how Bed Bath and Beyond fights through this time and the financial standing of the company moving forward.