CUBATrek 2022


[as a preamble this is written from a United States perspective who are a minority of overall visitors to CUBA.]

This trek was dedicated to my dear friend, Dr. Esteban Dominguez Morales who passed away earlier this year.  Over the years we developed a great friendship.  He explained how he joined the revolution as a young teenager. As he gained formal education; achieving two pHD's, including one from Russia, he became a leading voice in Cuban social issues and economics.  His seminal work on race helped me immensely in better understanding the culture

My trek to Cuba (Coo-ba) just ended.  I remind those who ask the big difference between a trek and a vacation; is work and sacrifice.  Another critical element is my treks are based on a laser-focused efficient budget.  Many of you who follow my articles already know how my passion for Cuba was developed after my first visit in 2015.  The first year was simply more of a bucket-list adventure: explore the country first-hand.  Upon returning that experience led me to do more research into the culture and the history.  I discovered the book “Race in Cuba” and after reading it I had many questions.  Ever since then I committed to doing solid research on racism in Cuba and the impact of Negro League baseball in Cuba. Based on my progress I have two more treks to complete my research and then I will be able to formally publish

Going to Cuba has fascination for many. As the Caribbean’s largest country at 11 million, like many countries there are contradictions. Currently a small but notable population is fleeing the country and seeking asylum status to whatever country that will accept them. The country is dealing with issues where people must make adjustments. It is not as bad as the 1990’s when the Soviet Union collapsed resulting in them not receiving the financial support they had come to expect. From my real-life interviews that was a brutal period where people were fighting for basic survival. The current situation is tough as shortages and other sacrifices are an everyday reality.

While the Biden administration has clawed back some of the draconian measures the Trump administration implemented, those traveling from the United States must be diligent in understanding approved regulations to visit the country. At the same time I notice some are willing to take the risk and travel as a tourist doing things such as visiting beaches, visiting government run businesses and enjoying the country. They do so at their own peril because while the Cuban government may turn the other way, returning back home may result in severe questioning or imposing financial penalties. Part of the basic requirement in visiting is you must have a bullet-proof itinerary (in your possession at all times with your passport and travel visa) to document your “business.”

I missed my 2021 trek as even though Covid was simmering down, the airlines had elevated ticket prices that my pockets could not handle.  Luckily, 2022 showed greater promise as prices became more affordable.  The biggest hitch was selecting a reliable airline because there are many that claim to accommodate Cuba.  I was looking at United but at the last minute had to switch because they were having logistical issues in flying into Jose Marti International.  Luckily American offered the right combination.  LAX to Miami and then off to Havana.

I normally make my treks in November, before or after Thanksgiving so this time I needed to dedicate the entire month as we added going to Belize to witness the Garifuna Settlement celebration. Around August I had to move it into high gear and move into the final planning phase.  This was critical because going to CUBA is very fluid or everchanging as was the case with money or the value of the U.S. Dollar as well as accommodations.

My itinerary was solid as I planned for meetings, interviews and other interactions.  The focus of this trek was to visit Matanzas; San Severino Slave Castle and Palmarde Junco, which in 1874 became Cuba’s first baseball stadium. I am proud to report, even today it stands in its glory as games are still played there.  Additionally, there was much to do in Havana as well as Camaguey and then on to Santiago.  The notion of understanding racism goes back before the revolution which is why it was important for me to see the Moncada barracks as it became a pivotal moment in history. My initial goal was to travel using the updated train system but my host in Matanzas convinced me it was too perilous as schedules were unpredictable.  After acquiescing I made my journey from Havana to Santiago via the Viazul.  Below are highlights of my trek.

Tourist Visa

Assuming you meet one of the twelve categories to travel to Cuba, a tourist visa is basic documentation U.S. citizens will also need to travel.  From my experience pricing will range from $25 to $100.  Staff is generally positioned adjacent the airline you are flying to enter CUBA.  The lower prices are generally available for non-US flights. Unlike past years there is no fear by having your passport stamped by Cuban immigration or suffering the rath once you return to the U.S. and being questioned, “what were you doing in Cuba?”

Inflation

For those whining about inflation I would encourage them to visit Cuba.  As mentioned there are severe shortages of the most basic commodities.  The CUP (Cuban peso) is very fluid and fluctuates daily.  You can exchange on the informal market but like most things – Buyer beware!  In other words, you need to develop a reliable source, or the alternative is simply to exchange at Cadeca’s or banks.  During my visit the rate was ranging $1 equal 110 pesos.  My rate on the informal market was $1 to 150 pesos.  This is a tremendous benefit assuming you are comfortable doing business with the local economy, but you must ditch any resemblance as a tourist.

You will notice national products (i.e., tabac [cigars], rum, coffee and other items) can only be had with an international card.  That can spell trouble as the card is pegged almost dollar to dollar as many of the products are marked in that currency.  One thing I did notice is a few shops at the airport accept CUPs, so that is another opportunity to stretch your buying power.

Shortages

As you’re doing your research on Cuba you will discover lots of news on shortages.  They are real and for most Cubans it remains a nagging headache to wait in endless lines to try and retrieve basic goods.  The other shortage which was new during this trek was the power.  Until you witness it, it is hard to phantom.  The solution is exceptional organizing of your day as well as your resources in preserving power (mobile phones, computers, etc.)

Transportation

Trekking is not for the week and feeble.  For this trek based on my Epson smartwatch I pegged 96 miles of walking!!!!!  The rest was cabs and motorcycles (rider).  For this trip I had planned to ride the local buses, which are now 2 pesos, but logistics prevented that experience.  I journeyed from Havana to Santiago and provinces in between via the Viazul bus system.  Interestingly, locals are prevented from riding the Viazul and must travel on the national buses.  The reason I was told was because the country is trying to ramp up tourism and needs every available seat to those visiting the country. Here is the bottom-line, the country of Cuba is wide and from Havana to Santiago is about 15 hours (except flying which is prohibited from my budget). YOU MUST PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE OUTSIDE OF CUBA (online) and in my case as mentioned I was planning to take the train from Matanzas to Camaguey so I had to do some quick thinking. I contacted my daughter in the US and gave her my Viazul credentials and she was able to secure the ticket and email it to me so I could travel. The cost was:

  • Havana to Matanzas = $21
  • Matanzas to Camaguey = $31
  • Camaguey to Santiago = $21
  • Santiago to Havana = $56

So for $115 I was able to literally go across-country. Of course some chose to fly or hire private taxis. That was not my reality as I opted for the more affordable option. As stressed, this type of travel is not for everyone but for me it is perfect. It does make stops along the way. You are able to go into towns you probably never would have the opportunity to go. THERE ARE NO RESTROOMS ON THE BUS. A smart traveler will always sneak some tissue into their luggage as the custom in Cuba when there are stops is to pay to use the restroom (10 pesos). Also, it is not uncommon for the bus to pull over in the rural terrain to allow those who simply can’t wait to relieve themselves.

Internet

I surely do not come to Cuba to lay on the internet but you do need that resource for communication. The system has greatly improved in Cuba. You now have several options which include getting a sim card, getting a phone, internet cards, etc. I selected internet card and to my surprise the prices have greatly decreased. In the past it was not uncommon to pay 1:1 or with US Dollars. As an example 5 hours would cost $5. Of course some access cards on the informal market. For me I prefer to go to the Ectesa office. Expect a wait should you use this option as there is usually a line to get into the office. I waited about three hours but it was worth it as to my surprise three 5 hour cards cost 375 pesos the equivalent of $2.50 based on my exchange rate. One important thing while the service has greatly improved part of your logistics planning is to map out available hotspots based on your travels.

PHOTOS

Photos of the trek can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate link

California Real Estate Market Booming Even As COVID-19 Pandemic Continues


The above headline is what scares the hell out of would-be homebuyers. As real as the numbers are they are just another hurdle which must be navigated to achieve homeownership.



In December, the statewide median home price was $717,930, up 16.8% from December 2019. But the high prices are not driving buyers away.

The notion of buying a home at $700,000 is one factor which scares many potential buyers into paralysis. While financing is attractive there are hurdles which cause some to simply throw in the towel before even trying. Make no mistake, the aspiration of purchasing a home can be a daunting experience. Several important factors to consider:

  • The story projects great news for those who have succeeded in purchasing a home during this worldwide pandemic. But who has the $140,000 or even $70,000 or $35,000 required down payment stashed away?
  • Using the “average” sales price as a barometer, how many first-time, would-be buyers can afford a monthly mortgage payment of approximately $3,700?
  • Further, based on the above how many “average” people have the income to qualify for a mortgage? Using the above illustration you would need a combined annual income of approximately $115,000.

THE BOTTOM LINE

There is no need to stay discouraged. Even in the best of times acquiring a home requires planning, persistence and laser-focused attention on succeeding. While the numbers are the numbers the fascination in purchase a home is there is the “average” and then there are options. It may mean you will have to do more research. Think out of the box. Be creative. All, with the focus of getting in, somewhere!!!!!! The one constant is however you achieve it, homeownership is a coveted goal and despite the nerve-wracking numbers in the long-haul you can position yourself for financial mobility while meeting a very basic demand………securing shelter.

The last critical point is to network and align yourself with professionals who can help to minimize the myths and set you on the path to achieve, and that may not be the $700,000 home but whatever it may be, it will be yours. Why? Because not everybody sells for the same reason or has the same motivation other than to sell to the buyer who can meet their price and their timeline.

HR2161 saves First-Time homebuyers approx. $5,000.  Will McConnell highjack?


Above image courtesy of Photographer: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg

[Washington, D.C.]  Today First-Time homebuyers received more welcomed news at Nancy Pelosi’s (Speaker of the House/D-CA/12th) House of Representatives passed HR2161.  Labeled as the “obstruction party” by leaders of the Trump administration the bill was passed and headed to the Senate where members are hoping majority leader Mitch McConnell doesn’t try and high jack the bill.  Lately he has proudly accepted the moniker to be known as ‘the grim-reaper.”

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 04: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to the media after attending the Republican weekly policy luncheon on Capitol Hill June 4, 2019 in Washington, DC. McConnell took questions on various subjects including President Trumps proposed tariffs with Mexico. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)


The bill essentially can result in borrowers using FHA mortgages saving $5,375 and is based on an average loan of $211,000.  Current FHA borrower must pay three percent which is known as the standard rate for mortgage insurance or the program which allows the agency operate.   Unlike conventional mortgages where insurance is normally mandated if the mortgage exceeds 80% of the value of the home, FHA mortgage through their mortgage insurance premium (MIP) is mandated regardless of loan to value.

HR2161 would allow borrowers who successfully complete authorized counseling to have their premiums reduced to 2.75%.  If passed and Donald Trump signs it into law you could see millions of buyers enter the marketplace.

 

Many borrowers use FHA insured mortgages as their entry into home ownership.  Contrary to popular belief, especially political leaders who have attempted to vilify the program, historically it helped the United States of America define a middle-class standard.

Mortgage News: Discount Rate, Weekly Survey & D & I


The Feds led by Jerome Powell announced yesterday, discount rates would remain unchanged.  Although Donald Trump has been up to his usual antics of butting in to agencies which demand independence, Powell has been clear and intimated to Trump to stop harassing him or threatening to fire him.


Here is his remarks about why there was no need to change rates.


This week’s mortgage rate survey

June 20, 2019

30-Yr FRM 15-Yr FRM 5/1-Yr ARM
Average Rates 3.84 % 3.25 % 3.48 %
Fees & Points 0.5 0.4 0.4
Margin N/A N/A 2.76

Diversity & Inclusion

While some will swear congress, specifically the House of Representative is doing nothing for the people was they are mired down in whether to impeach Donald Trump or not, in fact there is lots going on.

One such group, the Financial Services Committee has been busy (in addition to coordinating impeachment discussion) hold critical hearings about financial issues affecting the American people.  Today, they held a very important hearing on Corporate Diversity & Inclusion.

Here is the full hearing

Fed Chair Jerome Powell on the skids……again


Some baby-boomers like myself or those who are music aficionados remember the rock group Blood, Sweat & Tears.  In 1968 they produced a hit called “spinning wheels.”  It was a melodic tune that caught your attention.


“What goes up must come down
What must rise must fall
And what goes on in your life
Is writing on the wall!


In the world of Donald Trump those lyrics are a no-no especially when it comes to communicating about the economy as well as regulators who are charged to keep our system running smoothly.  The economy is cyclical.  Some metrics which guide it are up, meaning others must be down in order to maintain fluidity.

Photographer: Aaron P. Bernstein/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As the economy improves regulators such as Jerome Powell who is chair of the Federal Reserve must guide against inflation or pumping too much money into it.  At the same time, when the economy is struggling as was the case with our financial meltdown of 2008, the Feds were charged with lowering the discount rate to make funds more affordable for commercial banks.  Now that the economy is doing well there is very little justification it needs a boost or having the rate lowered.

 

Unfortunately, that is not the case in Trump world.  He likes to tout everything is the best, the greatness on and on, so in his mind Powell needs to lower the discount rate immediately.  It is no surprise that president’s in the past understand the protocol of the Fed and make it a point to allow them to operate from a non-political position.

“Trump is not planning to demote Powell.” Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council

 

For the past year Trump has intimated his disappointment of Powell while suggesting he might fire him.  This is due to the Feds raising the rate as a protection of maintaining a strong economy.  Fortunately for Powell, his position is not a cabinet level.  However, just as Trump harassed and badgered Jeff Sessions, James Comey and other leaders within his administration until they finally departed, he appears to be using the same antics against Powell.

 

Imagine waking up everyday hearing or reading the boss is unhappy with your performance, even though there is no justification, let alone using common sense to communicate the decision.

 

Today and tomorrow the FOMC (Federal Reserve, Federal Open Market Committee) is holding their regular meeting to discuss monetary policy.  The bottom-line announcement usually follows the conclusion of the meeting.  While Trump has communicated his desire that rates must be immediately lowered, most financial experts agree that is unlikely.  They do look to the meeting in July with the assumption things stay the way they are; there may be a lowering in the discount rate.

 

In the meantime, as for economic issues Trump should hum the lyrics of Spinning Wheel to appease his desire to invoke another rash move

Mortgage news: GSIBs as a group have paid at least $163.7 billion in fines!!!


above photo - House Financial Services Committee Holds Hearing On Keeping Megabanks Accountable
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 10: (L-R) Michael Corbat, chief executive officer of Citigroup Inc., Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., James Gorman, chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley, and Brian Moynihan, chief executive officer of Bank of America Corp., listen during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on April 10, 2019 in Washington, DC. Seven CEOs of the country’s largest banks were called to testify a decade after the global financial crisis. (Photo by Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)

The news was initial reported in April but it is worth repeating today because at first the amount seemed like a prank but it truly is real!  Ever since the Democratic party assumed control of the House of Representatives they have moved quickly to implement more accountability as part of their oversight.  Global Systemically Important Banks known as GSIB’s make us some of the largest U.S. commercial banks.

The TARP Bailouts

During the financial crisis or mortgage meltdown of 2008, in 2009 the GSIB’s as mentioned appeared before the Financial Services Committee to discuss the bailouts they received.  On April 10th they reappeared before the committee chaired by Rep. Maxine Waters.  The purpose was to discuss “lessons learned” as well as steps they have engaged to balance the lending spectrum across the nation.

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 10: Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) speaks during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on April 10, 2019 in Washington, DC. Seven CEOs of the country’s largest banks were called to testify a decade after the global financial crisis. (Photo by Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)


$163.7 in FINES

As a group to date they have paid $163.7 BILLION in fines for various consumer abuses and other violations of the law.  Questions remain but one thing is clear; many banks chalked up the fines as the cost of doing business as evidenced by their current behavior and fact collectively they have made over $780 billion in profits.  Has anything changed?

The hearing shed light on why accountability is critical.  The committee has more hearings planned to address specific steps the banks plan on incorporating to benefit all consumers, particularly those that have been historically marginalized.

Here is a list of the fines some of the largest banks have paid in the last ten years:

  • Bank of America has paid $76.1 billion in fines.
  • JPMorgan Chase has paid $43.7 billion in fines.
  • Citigroup has paid $19 billion in fines.
  • Wells Fargo has paid $11.8 billion in fines.
  • Goldman Sachs has paid $7.7 billion in fines.
  • Morgan Stanley has paid $5.4 billion in fines.

Here is the full hearing on video

Mortgage rates continue to drop


Above photo -  David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Mortgage rates dropped to lows not seen in nearly two year.  This morning Freddie Mac announced the benchmark 30-year mortgage fell to 3.820%.   The rate is from data collected as part of their weekly rate survey of lenders who sell mortgages to them.

 

There are $2 Trillion dollars’ worth of mortgages that are eligible for refinancing.

 

According to Mortgage Bankers Association the lower rates reflect to spike in mortgage activity for those refinancing.  Unfortunately, the activity for those purchasing a property has held flat or declined.  This could be due to many borrowers feeling priced out of participating in homeownership?

 

 “Coming out of the Memorial Day holiday, and likely impacted by the financial market volatility caused by the trade tensions, purchase application volume declined for the week. Potential homebuyers may be more cautious given the heightened economic uncertainty.” Mike Fratantoni, MBA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. 

 

Here is a snapshot of this week’s rate survey:

  • 30 year fixed – 3.820%
  • 15 year fixed – 3.280%
  • 5/1 ARM – 3.520%

Convenience Fees/Surcharges for using Debit-Credit Card


Whether you are a consumer (like me) or a business owner cost is always a key consideration.

Lately, I have noticed companies adding convenience fees, surcharges for using debit/credit care, health fees to pay for employee health benefits and/or a living wage issue.  No doubt, operating cost are a critical component in pricing a product.  Some merely add the cost to the product, some separate it as a specific cost, some list the cost on your bill but leave it as an option for you to decide, then some absorb it so that customers don’t feel alienated and decide to take their business elsewhere!!!

“my accountant said I need to pass those cost on to my customers,” store owner

“we need to use the fee income to help pay for employee health benefits,” store owner

The practice is not new but as our society relies on technology via credit card, debit card, smartphone app, etc. it is interesting to note the slippery slope businesses must navigate as if not handled properly they run the risk of losing hard-fought customers.

What are your thoughts and/or your experiences?


Fed Reserve:  Will Powell’s be replaced for ignoring Trump?


Above Photo - Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell Holds News Conference After Federal Open Market Committee Meeting
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 01: Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference on May 1, 2019 in Washington, DC. Powell said the Fed will not raise interest rates this quarter and no rate hikes are likely anytime soon. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

JUST IN



Since assuming the presidency, a lingering quagmire for Donald Trump is understanding running the government is much different than running a closed private business.  The latest example is trying to dictate the actions of  Fed Reserve Board chair Jerome Powell.  Today the Fed rebuffed Trump’s constant badgering to lower the discount rate so that he could claim a political victory by deciding to keep them as-is, until the next meeting.

 

“we reviewed economic and financial developments in the United States and around the world and decided to leave our policy interest rate unchanged” Jerome Powell, Chair of Federal Reserve

 

The Federal Reserve is an august group of professionals charged with managing monetary policy through their Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).  Their actions are non-partisan and usually free of any political influence.  That is, until Donald Trump came along.  The Fed rate is based on the economic environment.  As  a measure to thwart inflation the rate may increase based on positive economic metrics.

 

Some want it both ways

From a political standpoint Trump is enthusiastic to tout positive economic news.   Unfortunately, those like him dismiss the elementary notion of when and how the Fed rate moves.  For months, Trump has suggested to Powell to keep a lid on increasing the rate.  Not only is that type of communication unwise, it is unethical given the Fed’s core responsibility.  From a practical standpoint the Fed rate only declines based on a sliding economy.  If that were to happen it would contradict Trump’s proposition that all and any news from his administration is positive.

Recently two of Trump’s acolytes; Stephen Moore and Herman Cain had been suggested to join the Fed.  Their selection was fueled by their contempt of Powell’s fiscal leadership of the Board.  Just last week following protesting the criticism he received as being a nominee, Cain’s was abruptly dropped from consideration.  Likewise, Moore’s background has come under fire and it appears unlikely he can further survive the nomination process.  Interestingly, several weeks ago to Trump’s delight he applauded Moore for criticizing Powell’s leadership by penning a controversial opt-ed supporting a decrease in the Fed rate.

 

The next Fed monetary meeting is slated for June 18th & 19th.

Read Powell’s remarks HERE

Trump nominates Stephen Moore to Fed Board.  Does this spell trouble for Jerome Powell?


ABOVE CAPTION.  President Trump Announces The Nominee For Federal Reserve Chair Of The Board Of Governors
Jerome Powell, governor of the U.S. Federal Reserve and President Donald Trump's nominee as chairman of the Federal Reserve, speaks as Trump, left, listens during a nomination announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. If approved by the Senate, the 64-year-old former Carlyle Group LP managing director and ex-Treasury undersecretary would succeed Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

“It is my pleasure to announce that @StephenMoore, a very respected Economist, will be nominated to serve on the Fed Board. I have known Steve for a long time – and have no doubt he will be an outstanding choice! @realDonaldTrump “

If your ambition is to serve as part of the Donald Trump administration, it helps to be part of the FOX network, speak negatively about the Obama administration or communicate in the media your disdain for someone in the current administration who happens to be in “hot water” with Donald Trump or his acolyte’s.  This morning it was Steven Moore’s turn to see if he can parlay his loyalty to Trump and go through the nomination process.

Stephen Moore, visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation, listens during a Bloomberg Television interview in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, March 22, 2019. President Donald Trump said he’s nominating Moore, a long-time supporter of the president, for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images


Powell’s dilemma

The Federal Reserve is an independent body with the task of establishing monetary policy.  Currently there are two openings on the board.  Current Board Chair Jerome Powell has been in the crosshairs of Donald Trump for some time.  It doesn’t matter that Powell, a life-long Republican was recently nominated by Trump to his current post less than two years ago.  During that period the stock market hit some low marks.  Rather than blame himself for the policies he adopted which most economist indicated was the reason for the decline, Trump found a new foe in Powell and suffered the wrath and the blame.  Similar to so many officials Trump has appointed, many are independent and do not report or work for the White House.  Their role is to work on behalf of the citizens of the United States of America.   

Unfortunately as soon as whatever work they are doing intimates something Trump or the White House dislikes, they are admonished and chastised for not being a “team player.”

I only hire the best!

During the 2016 presidential campaign and leading up to naming key administration staff, Trump would boast, “he’d “surround myself only with the best and most serious people” — adding: “We want top-of-the-line professionals.”

That may result in a good sound-bite but the results to date have been a big flop.  More than a few people who had the aspiration to be part of team Trump has resigned, summarily shown the front door or indicted due to criminal behavior, while their dreams went up in flames.

Being a panderer has its benefits

In some circles, Moore has been viewed as the ultimate panderer known for making nervous smiles during his stint as a cable-news analyst.  He has demonstrated the willingness to support anything and everything spouted by Donald Trump.  His behavior has been very similar to those who are publicly interviewing for administration post’s knowing full-well of Trump’s appetite in spending as much time as possible consuming media.

The editorial

Up until this morning Moore was an analyst for CNN.

“Moore joined CNN as a contributor in early 2017. Given this news, he is no longer with the network, a CNN spokeswoman confirms.” CNN Chief Correspondent @brianstelter

He was known for his commitment to never admit anything negative about Donald Trump or his administration.  Despite tremendous documentation and evidence to the contrary, Moore’s would presents arguments that might result in an “F” grade in the most basic debate class.  His position was to always deny the obvious.

As mentioned, similar to other appointees Moore’s performance caught the attention of Trump.  But perhaps the thing that sealed his nomination was his March 13, 2019 editorial to the Wall Street Journal which blasted current chair Powell and blamed him for the concern about Wall Street.  This surely supported Trump’s attitude who in turn suggested to Economic Advisor, Larry Kudlow that Moore is just the type of person to fill one of the Fed vacancies.

Interestingly, many view the Federal Reserve as a prestigious organization where top economist who hold pHD’s wind up.  Moore’s resume does not compare to those who currently sit on the board.  Absent of a pHD, for the past three years his core employment was being a pundit for the Trump administration.

 

While Trump’s tweets are considered official communication, Moore indicated he has not received a firm offer.  Assuming it comes later today or within the next several days the next step is to go through the nomination process.  The big question is whether Trump is appointing Moore because he truly is competent and can improve the body or is he being positioned  to promote his views as articulated in his March 13th op-ed.