Morning Blurb-The Federal Reserve and its Fear of Inflation

According to the Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve we can expect to see a slight interest rate increase in the near future.

Vice Chair Stanley Fischer sees an economic rebound coming after a poor first quarter. He also expects an increase in interest rates sooner rather than later.

Inflation is low, job creation after a devasting recession is just getting back on track, millions are still unemployed or underemployed and wages have not risen since God knows when and the Federal Reserve thinks an increase in interest rates is in order? Oh yes, lets make employers hesitate about hiring because loans become more expensive. And what will that do for the average Joe looking for more than a 2% raise next year?

Every time the economy starts to improve the Federal Reserve feels like it has to step in and kill growth because of its imaginary fears of inflation.

I have a suggestion. Why don’t you put that on the back burner until the economy is so hot everyone is getting close to 5% or more wage increases and employers can’t find employees becauce there are more jobs than applicants? The Federal Reserve needs to stop seeing inflation ghosts and let the economy run like a high speed train that has been built.

Oh yes, infrastructure. That’s another topic and reason the Federal Reserve should leave interest rates alone.


Sacramento Coffee Scene Growing Up!

The Sacramento coffee scene is growing up big time. I am referring to the number and quality of coffee houses in the downtown and midtown areas. I will name a few of my favorites. I’m not ranking them. Coffee and the environment it is served in is such a personal preference. What one person loves and thinks is the best may seem terrible to the next.

  • Temple Coffee House located on 9th Street is one I recently visited. Very good coffee. Outdoor and indoor seating near city hall. I have been told there is one on S Street around 29th, but I have not been there.
  • Insight Coffee has several locations downtown now. One on S Street and 8th and one on 10th Street. I think the address is 1010 10th Street, but not positive. ¬†The coffee is good and the one on S and 8th has outdoor and indoor seating. Soon there will be a new location at the new apartment complex called 16 Powerhouse located on 16th between P and Q streets. I have walked by there and it looks like it will open before the end of April. Maybe anyway.
  • Old Soul located off L street in alley way around 17th. I forget the name of the alley. I like their coffee a lot. In fact, their house blends are my favorite. Indoor and limited outdoor seating. Staff is friendly. I always seem to want a second cup when I go there.
  • Chocolate Fish located at 4th and Q outside of the CalPERS complex. Their best drink in my opinion is the Flat White. The Flat White is like a short latte with the same two shots of espresso. Chocolate Fish has some talented staff who brew some great drinks. A second location is near Trader Joe’s off Folsom Blvd. I have not been there, but I expect the brew is good there too.
  • Naked Coffee Lounge on 15th and Q street. The coffee is good and they have been a fixture in the neighborhood for some time now. They have other locations and a restaurant too. Google them for the exact addresses. Their web site shows locations and hours of operations. The one on 15th and Q street offers indoor and outdoor seating. Staff is friendly.
  • Pete’s Coffee. I like Pete’s coffee, but I must admit I never get over to their location at the Safeway complex on 19th Street. Will have to mix up my routine and make a stop there soon.
  • Starbucks is located at 16th and P. Everybody has an opinion about Starbucks coffee. Some love it and others can take it or leave it. I don’t mind Starbucks. They are just not my first pick with all the choices in downtown Sacramento.

I am sure that I left off some great coffee house in downtown Sacramento. This is a short list showing how much Sacramento is growing up when it comes to coffee. Sacramento is growing in a lot of ways. Cofee houses and Pubs are just a couple indicators of an economy that is supporting small business. Look for some major corporations to move here as the city grows. Costs are low compared to the Bay Area and when this happens we will depend less and less on state jobs to fuel the economy. It is just a matter of time.


California Drought Brings Talk of Conservation and Storage

UPDATED 4/9/2015 My views have changed regarding desalination after being educated by someone on energy used and marine life affected by desalination plants. I updated the post below to reflect this new thinking. My previous views were ignorant.

The drought in California continues despite a pleasant rain today. All the newspaper headlines are shouting how the deficit in rain amounts for the past four years is too severe and this will not help at all.

California needs better water storage and it needs to conserve water in urban areas. Watering lawns when we are in a serious drought makes no sense. California is surrounded by water. Desalination should only be implemented as a last resort. It takes too much energy and kills marine life as it sucks in water to power plants. From 1986-1991 California had severe drought conditions. Our memories are short and we need to start living a semi arid life style conserving all the time so we have reserves in storage during lean times.

This is 2015 not 1915 and we need to stop waiting, watching and measuring every year to determine if we will have enough water to grow our crops and quench the thirst of California citizens. The economy is doing well now. Now is the time to bring all water related projects and methods to conserve and cut back on water use to the table. We simply can’t depend on regular storms in January and February anymore. California government needs to acknowledge this and make water conservation, storage and education a daily priority. Our economy and quality of life depends on a forward thinking strategy.


Economy and the Ups And Downs

Markets have been mostly down this week taking analysts by surprise. I’m not sure why they are shocked by these developments.

The strength and depth of this recovery is overblown. Anyone looking for a good, high paying job will tell analysts to go to LinkedIn and browse for jobs. You will find even in low unemployment San Francisco many jobs posted receive three hundred applicants. And other jobs that are not as high paying attract even more applications.

We hear all the time about CEO’s getting million dollar raises. When news stories discuss wage increases for the average American going up by more than 2%, we will see real economic growth¬†long term. Unless of course, the Federal Reserve panics and ruins the party. Until the hidden unemployed and underemployed start working and spending the markets will be up one day and down the next.