Question: Is the economy facing a rocky landing?
Linda Duessel: Well, we have been of the mind here for quite some time that we would face a Rocky Landing in our economy. So that would mean some difficulties early on, which we've actually experienced. We're probably halfway through maybe an 18-month period of what we would call a Rocky Landing where interest rates start to go up, where inflation is a big problem, and you suffer those headwinds. The Fed has a good long history of tightening into recession. I'm not talking about a very mild recession, which is what we are calling for now. A mild recession, which might see 10% earnings decline and we think we may see that this year and it will see a pullback in the stock market, but not the 30% decline that is associated with what would call a real recession. Real recession requires unemployment rate to get up maybe towards 5%, maybe over 5%. That may or may not occur here. And if it doesn't occur, we will have had a rocky landing and not a hard one. So the rocky landing might mean that the Fed raises rates, other parts of the economy fall off and into their own areas of recession. But in general, we're strong. Our central bank said we insist that we're going to tighten interest rates until the moment when we see inflation back to the two percent-ish ideal level that we were at for 40 years. If indeed, this Federal Reserve decides that they will claim victory at 3%, possible, nobody knows, of course. If they did that it wouldn't be the end of the world. We'd live with a bit higher inflation than we were accustomed to over the previous years, but we may not see that sort of a real recession. And that's the camp that we stand in right now.