Last week, I had the opportunity to attend several briefings by the Pentagon, White House and Treasury Department officials, along with several Congressional leaders in Washington, DC.
The top five topics we discussed were as follows:
1.) There was a sense of accomplishment in the Fed’s response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and in providing initial funds to the scores of communities affected by them. The level of communication between all levels of government received positive reviews.
2.) Achieving tax reform is now the main emphasis on Capitol Hill. The new dogma in Washington is that tax cuts for the middle class, while lowering the corporate tax rate, would lead to an overall stronger economy and be a catalyst for job creation that could provide financial strength for public entities.
3.) The Treasury Department’s major focus seems to be centered on the flow of monies funding domestic and international terrorism. In addition, the threat of inflation looms should there be a big uptick in economic growth.
4.) Though there was an undertone of grave concern over North Korea, there is some hope that recent global sanctions and the possibility of Chinese intervention may lead to a diplomatic resolution.
5.) We met with a bipartisan caucus of 40 members of Congress; they call themselves the “problem solvers.” Led by Tom Reed (R-NY) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), this caucus may become a powerful switch group within Congress.
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Next week, in Part 2, I will discuss how public entities can best deal with unexpected liquidity needs as a result of disruptive events caused by natural disasters.
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