September 10, 2021
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." 
Galatians 5:1
Market Recap

For the week, the DJIA was down 761.37points or 2.15%, to 34,607.72. The S&P lost 76.85 points, or 1.7%, to 4,458.58. The Nasdaq fell 248.02 points, or 1.6%, to close at 15,115.494.

The U.S. economy "downshifted slightly" in August as the renewed surge of the coronavirus hit dining, travel and tourism, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday.
 
U.S. job openings raced to a new record high in July while layoffs rose moderately, suggesting last month's sharp slowdown in hiring was due to employers being unable to find workers rather than weak demand for labor.
 
Local officials who want to extend enhanced unemployment benefits can do so, the White House said on Tuesday, a day after the administration and U.S. Congress allowed a program to lapse.
 
President Biden's will decide whether to reappoint Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell after his term expires in February while Progressive Democrats want the Fed to take on a more expansive role in the economy.
 
Foreign countries greeted the makeup of the new government in Afghanistan with caution and dismay on Wednesday after the Taliban appointed hard-line veteran figures to top positions.
 
The Biden administration plans to take a tougher stance toward meatpacking companies it says are causing sticker shock at grocery stores. 
 
The dollar turned softer early Thursday after a solid three day run this week. Thursday's US schedule included more Federal Reserve speakers, as well as weekly initial jobless claims and oil and natural gas inventory levels.
 
Initial jobless claims dropped for the second straight week, coming in significantly below analyst projections, as several states moved to end their enhanced unemployment benefits programs amid an increasing demand for workers.
 
The United States and Mexico on Thursday resumed high-level economic talks for the first time in four years as the two sides seek to find common ground on a host of issues such as climate change, workers' rights and immigration. 
 
House Democrats unveiled details on Thursday of a proposed $150 billion payment program aimed at wringing greenhouse gas emissions out of the electricity sector.

 
***

Friday Recap: Wall Street ended sharply lower on Friday
as investors weighed signs of higher inflation

U.S. wholesale inventory accumulation slowed in July, lagging further behind sales, and it is now taking wholesalers the shortest time in seven years to clear shelves.
 
U.S. producer prices increased solidly in August, leading to the biggest annual gain in nearly 11 years, suggesting that high inflation is likely to persist for a while as the unrelenting COVID-19 pandemic continues to pressure supply chains.
 
Senate Democrats on Friday unveiled a proposal to impose a 2% excise tax on corporate stock buybacks to help fund President Joe Biden's $3.5 trillion spending package.
 
Two Federal Reserve officials said on Thursday they would sell their individual stock holdings by the end of the month to address the appearance of conflicts of interest.
 
The dollar declined early-Friday, with the DXY hitting a two-day low of 92.48 after rising to a two-week high of 92.86 on Thursday.
 
U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and other Fed policymakers will hold a community discussion on the pandemic recovery on Sept. 24, the central bank said Friday, part of its "Fed Listens" initiative begun in 2019.
 
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones struggled to make gains on Friday as signs that inflation was here to stay eclipsed expectations of an easing in U.S.-China tensions, while a rise in heavyweight technology firms supported the Nasdaq.
 
The Dow fell 0.3% to 34,792.17, with S&P 500 lower by 0.2% and Nasdaq down by 0.1%. Utilities and real estate were among the steepest decliners while energy led the gainers after midday on Friday.
 
The US 10-year Treasury yield advanced by 5.1 basis points to 1.35%. Brent crude rose to settle at $1.47, or 2.3%, to $72.92. The session high was $73.15 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose $1.58, or 2.3%, to $69.72.
 
Gold ended lower Friday, falling back below the US$1,800 mark on a higher dollar and rising bond yields as U.S. inflation remains high. Copper was up for the third consecutive week. Silver lost 3.7% snapping a two-week winning streak.
 
A U.S. federal judge struck down some of Apple Inc's App Store rules on Friday, forcing the company to allow developers to send their users to other payment systems in a partial win for "Fortnite" creator Epic Games and other app makers.
 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 271.66 points, or 0.78% to close at 34,607.72; the S&P 500 lost 34.70 points, or 0.77%, to end at 4,458.59; the Nasdaq Composite fell 132.76 points, or 0.87%, to close at 15,115.494.
 
For the week, the DJIA was down 761.37 points or 2.15%, to 34,607.72. The S&P lost 76.85 points, or 1.7%, to 4,458.58. The Nasdaq fell 248.02 points, or 1.6%, to close at 15,115.494.

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Social Security Increases Will Come at a Cost [Op-Ed]
So, what will come of Medicare when we eventually need to answer for all this spending?

Dan Celia, President and CEO of FISM Inc.
Social Security recipients are likely excited to learn that they could be receiving a major cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2022, in accordance with the steep rise in inflation.

According to reports, the adjustment could be as high as 6.2%, a substantial increase over the 1.3% COLA implemented for 2021 and the biggest rise in decades. The increase will be adjusted and calculated using the CPI-W data through the third quarter of this year.

While the exact increase on Social Security is still to be determined, one thing we know is that premiums for Medicare will be going up. It has been confirmed that premiums for Medicare Part B will be increased based on an income scale. Theoretically, even with a large COLA increase, some Social Security recipients could end up losing money or breaking even based on their Medicare premium increase.

The government is essentially giving you money, then taking it back in order to pay for what they gave you, and then additionally cutting funding on the healthcare you will now be paying more for. It is reasonable to assume that, as the government reduces what they will pay doctors under Medicare Part B, doctors will naturally reduce their quality…(READ MORE)
Be Aware of the Times
This is why you also are to be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. -Matthew 24:44

Seth Udinski, FISM News
In the last year, we have seen numerous destructive events in the world. Plagues, storms, wicked men overtaking nations, and riots across numerous cities have become far too commonplace in the year 2021.

Believers of every age have asked the question: "When is the Lord Jesus returning?" Indeed, our final hope (and, dare I say, our only hope when all else fails) rests in the glorious final victory of Jesus, prophesied in the book of Revelation. Many have tried to predict the day of the Lord's return, but none of us knows the day or the hour.

We would be wise to take a moment and to observe what is happening all around us; to "be mindful of the times." We know from the testimony of Scripture some of the events that are described as the "birth pangs" to the fulfillment of prophecy. According to Matthew 24 these will include wars and rumors of war, nation rising against nation, and an increase in the frequency and intensity…(READ MORE)
The Heartbeat Bill is Not Anti-Woman, It is Pro-Human [Op-Ed]
While Garland, Biden, and pro-choice advocates decry the protection of women’s rights, what is lost in the rhetoric is the baby’s right to life.
 
Michael Cardinal, FISM News
The victory of the Heartbeat Bill in Texas was a sad day for abortionists. The Department of Justice and President Biden have announced plans to unleash their authority in an attempt to undo it and further legislate away an unborn baby’s right to life.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the DOJ will protect women seeking an abortion. He announced that they will seek all options to reverse the Texas Heartbeat Bill. In his press conference on Monday, Garland revealed that the DOJ plans to use the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act to ensure that entrances to abortion clinics remain open and those entering are not intimidated:

“The department will provide support from federal law enforcement when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is under attack. We have reached out to U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and FBI field offices in Texas and across the country to discuss our enforcement authorities. We will not tolerate violence against those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services…(READ MORE)
Biden's 2022 Budget Proposal Lets the IRS See All Transactions Over $600
This time-draining burden disregards banking privacy in order to squeeze more resources out of responsible Americans...
 
Samuel Case, FISM News
Banking organizations are sounding the alarm over a new rule in President Biden’s 2022 budget proposal which would require banks to report to the IRS all transactions over $600 in both personal and business accounts, in an attempt to close the tax gap. Under the current law financial institutions are only required to share information on transactions over $10,000. According to Americans for Tax Reform the proposal would also apply to transactions through Venmo, Cash App, and PayPal.

While the obvious concern is over the invasion of privacy, small banks also fear the new rule would add a burden they may not have the resources to handle. The Independent Community of Bankers argued the government is turning to banks to “act as police for a variety of criminal, or fully legal but controversial, conduct.” The organization lamented that this proposal burdens community banks because…(READ MORE)
Speech Recap: Biden's Frustration Leads to Some Authoritarian Measures
He is also signing an executive order requiring all federal employees and federal contractors to be vaccinated, as well as expanding the healthcare vaccination mandate...

Ian Patrick, FISM News
Biden’s latest update on his administration’s fight against COVID-19 was imbued with anger and frustration at Americans who chose not to take any of the multiple COVID vaccines.
 
In the beginning of his speech, Biden lauded the “over 175 million Americans” who have been vaccinated since he took office and the significant drop in deaths from the deadly disease. He said that the week before he started as President “over 25,000 Americans died . . . from COVID-19,” and now that total has dropped 70% despite multiple variants emerging.
 
It did not take long for Biden to then direct his ire towards those Americans who have chosen not to take the vaccine, once again referring to the uptick in cases as a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Biden says that the less than 25% of Americans who do not even have one dose of vaccine administered “can cause a lot of damage — and they are.” He blamed these Americans and certain politicians…(READ MORE)
US Navy Challenges China's Claims Over South China Sea
The US rejects Chinese authority over these islands citing international law…
 
Michael Cardinal, FISM News
The US Navy dispatched a cruiser near one of the Spratly Islands on Wednesday to challenge the “excessive maritime claims” of the communist nation.

The USS Benfold, a member of the Navy’s 7th fleet, conducted a Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) where they sailed within 12 miles of Mischief Reef as part of “normal operations.”

A Chinese military official condemned the US actions, saying that they had “seriously violated China’s sovereignty and security” adding, “More and more facts have proved that the US is the biggest risk and peace breaker for the stability and peace in the region.”

The Navy issued a statement condemning the Chinese claims about the incident, and said that this was another attempt…(READ MORE)
Biden Hit Hard Following New Vaccine Mandate, RNC and Republican Governors Sue
Biden’s mandate contradicts a statement he made in December of last year, where he said the shot wouldn’t be mandatory…
 
Samuel Case, FISM News
President Biden received swift blowback following his announcement of vaccine mandates for companies with over 100 workers, saying it’s “not about freedom, or personal choice.” Republicans decried Biden’s heavy-handed program, with legislatures, governors, and private entities declaring they’d work to stop overreach from the executive branch. 

Thursday evening, the Republican National Committee announced that it will be suing the Biden administration over the mandate. “Many small businesses and workers do not have the money or legal resources to fight Biden’s unconstitutional actions and authoritarian decrees,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement but when his decree goes into effect, the RNC will sue the administration to protect Americans…(READ MORE
Mu Variant: Potentially Vaccine Resistant & Highly Transmissible
Dr. Charles Chiu, a prominent virologist, found that 78% of infections in fully vaccinated individuals were caused by variants with antibody resistant mutations.
 
Lauren Dempsey, FISM News
MS in Biomedicine and Law, RN
The WHO has identified and is continuing to monitor a coronavirus variant known as B.1.621, or the “mu” variant. This variant was first identified in South America and there are now confirmed cases in 42 countries. While this variant of COVID-19 accounts for 39% of cases in Columbia, the global prevalence is 0.1%. The variant has been identified in the United States, with California reporting a total of 384 cases.

According to health officials, the mu variant is more transmissible than the delta variant and has the potential to resist vaccines. However, according to Dr. Fauci, the delta variant continues to remain the dominant strain, accounting for 99% of the current cases. It is believed that the mu variant could potentially be difficult to vaccinate against. The WHO’s Virus Working Group explains that this new variant “has a constellation of mutations that indicate potential properties of immune escape,” and that further studies are needed to evaluate…(READ MORE)
Abbott Signs Voting Reform Into Law
President Biden blasted the bill after its passing on Twitter, saying that it was “an all-out assault on our democracy.” 
 
Michael Cardinal, FISM News
After months of debate, stall tactics, and protests Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a Republican-led bill into law on Tuesday in an effort to prevent voter fraud in future elections.

SB1, now that it is officially adopted, will enact enhanced guidelines and restrictions for future elections in the Lonestar State . Some of the new regulations as outlined in the press-release from the governor’s office include: providing uniform statewide voting hours, expanding of voting access for registered voters that need assistance, prohibiting drive-through voting, enhancing transparency by authorizing poll watchers to observe more aspects of the election process, banning the distribution of unsolicited applications for mail-in ballots, and giving voters with a defective mail-in ballot the opportunity to correct...(READ MORE)
How to Create a Cyber Safety Plan for Your Small Business
Cybersecurity measures are essential for any small business owner who wants their company to grow without fear of being hacked or compromised.
 
Small businesses are increasingly becoming targets of cybersecurity breaches because cybercriminals recognize that they’re less likely to have strong deterrent systems in place. Many small business owners think they’re insignificant compared to big brands and won’t likely end up on a cybercriminal’s radar. But it’s just this kind of thinking that puts their data, systems and hardware at risk from hackers looking for unprepared and unassuming victims.

Understanding the Top 3 Security Threats to Small Businesses

Understandably, small businesses won’t have the same budget for cybersecurity technology or personnel as large organizations. However, ongoing basic online safety education and best practices are the most crucial layers of an effective cyber safety plan when it comes to the top three security threats. (READ MORE)
California Church Calls Courts to Remove $2.8 Million Lawsuit from Santa Clara County
…over the last year, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly held it was unconstitutional for the government to prohibit churches from holding worship services.
 
Seth Udinski, FISM News
California appears determined to wipe out any hope of religious freedom in the state, specifically for Christians. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdowns, the state has used the pandemic to gain governmental control over its citizens’ First Amendment rights. Now, Santa Clara County is overtly ignoring the Supreme Court’s protection of religious liberty, and a church in the Golden State is fighting back.

Last year, the county filed a $2.8 million lawsuit against Calvary Chapel Santa Clara for continuing to meet despite the lockdowns. The state called the church a nuisance and claimed it functions as a business, thereby forfeiting the church’s protection to meet.…(READ MORE)
7.5 Million Set to Lose Unemployment Benefits as Programs Expire
However, over the summer 23 states had already ended federal unemployment benefits prior to the September 6 deadline.
 
Chris Lieberman, FISM News
On Monday, millions of Americans saw their unemployment benefits end as all federal unemployment programs related to the Coronavirus pandemic expired. An estimated 7.5 million Americans will no longer receive any benefits, while an additional 3 million will lose $300 in additional weekly unemployment compensation.

The enhanced benefits were originally part of the CARES Act passed by Congress in March 2020 to offset the economic impact of the pandemic. With unemployment hitting 14.8% in April 2020, the CARES Act included several programs meant to expand who could receive unemployment and how much they would receive. These programs included Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which paid out $600 (later reduced to $300) to everyone receiving unemployment benefits in addition to what…(READ MORE)
Taliban Announces New Government Officials, Some Linked to Old Regime
Another noteworthy figure in the new government is the new acting prime minister, Mullah Hasan Akhund.
 
Ian Patrick, FISM News
After weeks of waiting, the Taliban has announced that they have filled positions in their new government and it looks eerily similar to what it was 20 years ago.

Afghanistan’s new supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, announced his appointees in his first address since the Taliban took the country over 3 weeks ago. The list, which only consists of men, are primarily members of the previous terrorist regime. The Taliban spokesperson, during a press conference, stated that the members of the government are temporary at the moment.

Of note is the newly appointed interior minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is on the FBI’s most wanted list with a possible $10 million dollar bounty for information leading...(READ MORE)
Biden Seeks $30 Billion in Stopgap Spending to Dodge Government Shutdown
Meanwhile Congress is currently working to propose details of the $3.5 trillion budget bill that looks to fund a laundry list of Democratic agenda items.
 
Samuel Case, FISM News
The White House is asking Congress to greenlight an over $30 billion stopgap bill to avoid a federal shutdown at the end of the month. The funds that the Biden administration is seeking would consist of $24 billion for natural disaster relief and $6.4 billion in Afghan relocation assistance. The government faces the deadline of finalizing and passing a massive spending bill, along with the bipartisan $1 trillion dollar bill, and setting a new debt ceiling which expired on July 31.

On Tuesday the White House Office of Management urged Congress to pass a short-term continuing resolution, as the fiscal year ends this month. “With the end of the fiscal year rapidly approaching, it’s clear that Congress will need to pass a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to provide more time for the FY 2022 process to unfold,” the Office of Management said in a blog post.

The Office of Management listed natural disasters and the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan as “urgent needs” that require “additional funding in…(READ HERE)
"Pineapple Express" Carries Out Secret Rescue Missions in Afghanistan
These brave ex-military men are partaking in a long history of special operations carried out by Americans who believe that freedom is worth risk of one's life.
 
Seth Udinski, FISM News
Even as President Biden capitulated to the Taliban's demands in Afghanistan, leaving hundreds of American citizens abandoned there, a group of courageous former U.S. military members are working to rescue those stranded in the region.

Known as the "Pineapple Express," the organization consists of former special forces and other elite U.S. military members, many of whom served tours of duty in Afghanistan in the years immediately following 9/11. According to a report from ABC News, the group has already rescued more than 500 innocent civilians in the region, sneaking them into the airport at Kabul in the dead of night. The operation was able to maneuver around the horrific ISIS-K Kabul bombing, getting civilians to safety just before…(READ MORE)
San Francisco Program Offers Targeted Individuals $500 Not to Shoot People
David Freddoso was also critical of the program in the Washington Examiner, calling it “cash for criminals”
 
Chris Lieberman, FISM News
In the latest attempt to curb gun violence, San Francisco is instituting a program that will pay individuals deemed “high-risk” not to shoot someone.

The program, known as the Dream Keeper Fellowship, will identify citizens who are most likely to be the perpetrator or victim of a shooting and offer $300 every month as long as they are not involved in a gun crime. Additionally, participants can earn up to $200 more for completing other tasks, such as interviewing for a job, complying with parole, or attending school. Ten participants are set to receive payments when the program pilots in October, while officials hope to add another 30 by the end…(READ MORE)
COVID-19: Are Our Kids Safe?
A new Gallup poll shows that 48% of parents support universal masking for all students, 41% support no masking, and 11% would support masking for unvaccinated...
 
Lauren Dempsey, FISM News
The politicization of COVID-19 has created a political and social divide in America, and as students return to school this gap has widened even further.

For the last 18 months children have been quarantined, masked, and sanitized. Now, just as people were looking forward to a return to normal, schools across the country are re-implementing COVID-19 safety measures based on CDC recommendations due to the rising number of cases around the country. These recommendations include social distancing, wearing a mask, vaccinations, and limited…(READ MORE)
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Events

The Woodlands, TX
September 11, 2021
9:00-11:30 am
Woodlands United Methodist Church
9201 Grogans Mill Rd
The Woodlands, TX 7380
No Registration Required


America at the Crossroads Pastors Conference
Houston, TX
September 12 - 15, 2021
Creating a Modern "Black-Robed Regiment" of Pastors
For only $199.00 per pastor & wife couple/per room,
includes 3 nights/6 meals admission and materials.


Please visit our website for a complete listing of all upcoming events with details. 

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The FISM (Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries) is the home of the program Financial Issues with Dan Celia. Celia focuses on financial headlines, investing, politics and encourages people to be thoughtful stewards of the money God has entrusted to them. Financial Issues is a live call-in radio and TV program heard and watched internationally.

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