Well, they did it. The House and Senate have finally given approval to the two-year budget and debt ceiling bill. It's now in the President's hands for his signature while the legislature is on holiday until Labor Day. The budget and debt deal removes the threat of a government default and allows the Treasury to resume normal debt financing operations. The budget agreement establishes spending ceilings but does not actually appropriate money to fund the government for the new fiscal year that begins October

1. That piece must be done with specific appropriations for each department of

It is the failure to pass these appropriations that have caused the government shutdowns, and therefore there is still the risk of a shutdown in the fall. Gulp. However, with or without the drama of a shutdown threat, spending bills will pass and the government will be injecting the economy with increased defense and non-defense spending because of the raised debt ceiling. Net-net, this is a positive development for the economy.

US-China trade negotiations in Beijing ended with no break-through this past week. Nothing too terrible about that though, right? There were no signs of serious tensions between either trade party and there were also plans for talks to resume in Septem...

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