Early Warning for 24 July 2018

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Tuesday, 24 July 2018. (All times Eastern.)

 

White House

The President is scheduled to attend a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention, followed by two fundraisers, in Kansas City today.


State Department

Secretary Pompeo is attending the Indo-Pacific Strategy Implementation meeting in Palo Alto, California today with Australian officials.


Defense Department

Defense Secretary Mattis is scheduled to attend the Indo-Pacific Strategy Implementation meeting in Palo Alto, California today with Australian officials.

The Carl Vinson (CVN-70) was last reported in the Hawaii Area of Operations. The Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) has returned to her home port of Norfolk, and the Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) returned to port in Yokosuka, Japan. Conflict requiring a Carrier Strike Group does not appear imminent.


Congress

Significant House Activity:

  • The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is holding a hearing on “Cyber-securing the Vote: Ensuring the Integrity of the U.S. Election System”.
  • The Committee on Homeland Security is holding a hearing on “Boots at the Border: Examining the National Guard Deployment to the Southwest Border”.

Significant Senate Activity:

  • The Committee on Foreign Relations is holding a hearing to “examine the China challenge, focusing on economic coercion as statecraft”. *

* Reporting will appear in the Strategic Intelligence Summary or National Intelligence Bulletin.


Economy/Finance

– Yesterday morning, I pointed out that economists expected to see strong growth in home sales to match the strong growth of the overall economy. Compared to last June, home sales have actually decreased by 2.2 percent according to data published after yesterday’s Early Warning. Says one real estate economist, “The housing market led the general economy out of the recovery and now it’s leading” to a slowdown. [source] Analyst Comment: Three factors are contributing to three months of declining home sales: home prices in the U.S. are hitting record highs, interest/mortgage rates are rising, and the U.S. Homebuyer Affordability Composite Index is sitting at 10-year lows.

– As if we needed any further evidence that we’re headed towards a recession, this graph from Deutsche Bank pretty much nails it. We know that troughs in unemployment (or the tops of labor force participation) are correlated with recessions. The economy is doing well now; we’ll probably hit four percent growth this quarter. But there’s a very good chance that, as Bank of America reported last week, a recession starts somewhere between the last half of 2019 through the first half of 2021. That’s our key assumption going forward.


Weather

The National Hurricane Center reports that tropical cyclone activity is not expected during the next 48 hours.

Drought conditions persist across much of the Southwest.

 


What I’m Looking at this Morning

U.S. to clear Sea of Hormuz ‘within days’ if Iran moves to block

Navy running short on anti-submarine tech


Notable Quotable

“[T]he Democrats now look like soft favorites to win a House majority with a little more than 100 days to go.” Larry Sabato, University of Virginia Center for Politics

 

Samuel Culper is a former military intelligence NCO and contract Intelligence analyst. He spent three years in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now the intelligence and warfare researcher at Forward Observer.

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