Quarterly GDP Slowed, Still on Track for Annual Target

By Torrey and Gray | November 28, 2018

Although quarterly GDP slowed slightly from Q2, it is still on pace to hit 3% annualized growth for the year.  Also, GM announced job cuts – it remains to be seen how the market will react to that news.  Overall hiring is still strong. For the full Reuters Article, Click Here.  CAPEX is down, along with oil prices. Torrey & Gray places accounting and finance professionals that drive your company’s goals forward. Contact us if you need permanent employees or temporary staff. We place CFO’s, Controllers, Treasury Professionals, Accounting Managers, Finance Leaders, etc. Based in Hoffman Estates, IL, we serve…

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San Francisco Fed Declares US Economy at Full Employment

By Torrey and Gray | November 20, 2018

In a letter released November 19th, a trio of Fed economists declared the US Economy to be at full employment.  Diving into the reasons – they find education to play a significant factor in workforce participation duration.  In other words- the higher the level of education attained, the longer people tend to work.  The largest factor is age.  As the US population continues to age and the Baby Boomers eventually retire, the workforce participation number will decline.  That factor cannot be mitigated.  So what should we do to ensure we have enough skilled workers?  We argue that anyone who attains…

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New Fed Board Member Bowman Could Bolster Banks

By Torrey and Gray | November 15, 2018

Trump nominee Michelle “Miki” Bowman gets approved to the Federal Reserve Bank Board of Governors.  Her background is from smaller banks and she is expected to represent the voice of community banks who have been struggling to comply with myriad rules imposed under Dodd-Frank.  For the full article Click Here. This development could trigger increased positive sentiment within the banking sector, who have been holding their collective breath hoping for regulatory relief since the 2016 elections. Torrey & Gray is a recruiting and temporary staffing firm specializing in accounting and finance positions.  We serve banks and other financial institutions of…

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Unemployment Claims Rise, But the Candidate Market is Still Tight

By Torrey and Gray | November 15, 2018

As reflected in today’s Wall Street Journal article, recent unemployment claims rose slightly in the latest period.  However, unemployment is still at a 49 year low.  For accounting and finance positions, unemployment is historically around half the general unemployment number, which currently sits at 3.7%.  In Chicago and San Francisco, demand still exceeds supply for qualified candidates.  We see increased movement in manufacturing and financial services, along with a slight increase in demand in the nonprofit sector.  For the full WSJ article, click here. Health Insurance costs continue to suppress small business growth.  As we enter into what for many…

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Could you lose an employee over a $.25 Raise? Yes, according to Amazon.

By Torrey and Gray | October 4, 2018

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Amazon has announced the increase of hourly pay for some of it’s workers.  What is in the fine print is that they have seemed to determine that the advertised hourly wage numbers are more important to lower paid workers than the other benefits that may accrue through traditional employee benefit plans such as health insurance, paid time off and total income due to more hours being worked.  We already have seen the adverse affect of the Affordable Care Act on the reduction in hiring of full time workers ( more retailers hire for…

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CFO’s Realizing Blockchain Potential Sooner Than Predicted

By Torrey and Gray | September 21, 2018

With cyberattacks expected to cost over $6 Trillion annually by 2021, corporate leaders are embracing the benefits of blockchain technology more rapidly than predicted only a year ago.  Spending in this area is projected to exceed $400 million in 2019, up from $315 million in 2017. For the full article in Accounting Today, click here. Torrey & Gray places accounting and finance professionals that drive your company’s goals forward.  Contact us if you need permanent employees or temporary staff.  We place CFO’s, Controllers, Treasury Professionals, Accounting Managers, Finance Leaders, etc.  Based in Hoffman Estates, IL, we serve the Chicago and…

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Public Companies at 40 Year Low

By Torrey and Gray | August 22, 2018

As reported in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, the number of publicly held companies in the U.S. is lower than is was in 1976.  GDP is much higher.  So more money is concentrated in fewer companies, which we would argue poses greater volatility and investor risk.  Why is this?  Reasons include – as we discussed yesterday – fewer new business startups is one example.  Huge costs associated with reporting requirements for IPO’s, low interest rates which fuel private equity investment and increased borrowing, increased pressure on employee benefit costs, higher sales tax – which impacts retailers all contribute. Getting back…

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New Unemployment Claims Approaching 50 Year Low

By Torrey and Gray | August 20, 2018

Goldman Sachs analyst Spencer Hill suggests a combination of factors may lead to a 50 year low in initial unemployment claims.  It is possible we may soon see the number drop below 200,000 for the first time since 1969.  Leading causes include a shift in the workforce away from manufacturing industries, which have more cyclical staffing needs than others.  Another is a decline in new business startups.  A climate of increased regulation including mandatory healthcare – which has caused skyrocketing insurance costs, have led to fewer startups.  Unfortunately, the statistics for new business startups is also approaching a 40 year…

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Morgan Stanley and other banks positioning for Crypto talent

By Torrey and Gray | August 2, 2018

In another high profile move by a large bank, Morgan Stanley announced the hiring of Andrew Peel as their new Head of Digital Assets.  Peel had been considered to be the top Bitcoin expert at CreditSuisse. For the article click here: https://www.ccn.com/morgan-stanley-poaches-credit-suisse-bitcoin-expert-to-head-crypto-division/  Other reports indicate the trend of employees leaving traditional financial services firms for blockchain and cryptocurrency is accelerating globally.  Goldman Sachs has seen a handful of executives leave for crypto hedge fund Galaxy Digital Asset Management. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/09/another-goldman-exec-dumps-wall-street-for-crypto-world.html Asim Ahmad left BlackRock because after investing in crypto on the side, he “got to the point where the one day volatility of…

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High Fees Lead to Kroger halting Visa Payments

By Torrey and Gray | August 1, 2018

Most consumers to not realize or care that whenever they use their Visa branded payment cards, the merchant has to absorb fees of 2% to sometimes 10% or more. Grocery stores like Kroger typically have high overhead and low profit margins. Having to shell out even 2% of sales can have a dramatic effect on profitability. As this chart indicates, their margins percentages have declined by 11% over the last 10 years. How can retailers compete? They are looking into lower cost alternative payment methods such as cryptocurrency merchant platforms. Some platforms include CoinPayments, which offers crypto merchant settlement for…

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