Skip links

What Happened Last Week and What It Means to You: June 12, 2023

Week Ending June 9, 2023

$4 Trillion More in Debt…Yikes!!!

The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index declined 0.6% in April… Marking the 13th consecutive decline in The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index.

What does it mean – Not a good sign according to the Conference Board.

Consumer Confidence Index for May featured an Expectation Index that slipped to 71.5… Every month since February 2022, we have seen sub-80.0 readings except for December 2022.

What does it mean – According to the Conference Board, reading below 80.0 is associated with a recession in the next year.

While slowing, inflation continues to move in the wrong direction…Using the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, The core-PCE Price Index, which excludes food and energy, increased to 4.7% year-over-year from 4.6%. No matter how the Fed wants to measure it. Even they are realizing it is not transitory and has everything to do with money supply. And your elected officials just gave them $4 Trillion new ways to create more inflation and bigger government.

May payroll report topped expectations…Better than expected numbers for May. Yet, unemployment goes up to 3.7%.

What does it mean – The Bureau of Labor Statistics continues to cause confusion. One has to ask; how does a great jobs report turn into more unemployment? The payroll survey shows an increase of 339,000 jobs, but an increase in unemployment to 3.7%. Yet, the household survey shows a decrease of 310,000 jobs. The rise in unemployment and the decline in jobs in the household survey suggest that maybe jobs actually declined. Hmmm.


More States report an increase in jobless claims… According to Bloomberg, a growing number of states are reporting an increase in continuing jobless claims.

What does it mean – Big cities and states like CA, NJ, NY, IL, MI and nearly every big city in those states and others refuse to acknowledge their policies are undermining the ability for responsible and productive citizens to grow and prosper. These cities and states are slowly collapsing into a financial debacle because they continue to harbor and facilitate crime, act as a sanctuary city to illegal immigrants, and refuse to prosecute shoplifters, drug dealers, criminals and thugs while promoting social welfare without accountability. The American taxpayer and business owner is stuck with the bill while chaos emerges from the halls of leadership at the city, state, and federal levels.

NYC Office vacancy rates are up 70% in 2023 according to the NY Times…And getting worse every day.

What does it mean –As office property values collapse, and owners of buildings default on their mortgages, this will lead to less property tax revenue for cities like NY, LA, SF, Chicago, Houston, etc., desperate to provide a socialist panacea. Soon, even civil servants will have to face reality as the very people they are supposed to serve and who actually pay all of the income taxes in these cities like NYC are leaving in droves.


Three lessons from NYC… An example of “The socialist Utopia” coming home to roost.

Crime – Compounding the problem in NYC is a massive crime wave taking over public transportation and wreaking havoc on retail stores. This has led to a huge amount of retail and restaurant closures, fewer jobs, and less sales tax and no income tax from the people who worked in those retail and restaurant locations now out of business.

While writing this on Friday, I found myself reflecting on Alex de Tocqueville’s quote about America’s greatness. In Alex de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, he said, “I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers—and it was not there … in her fertile fields and boundless forests—and it was not there … in her rich mines and her vast world commerce—and it was not there … in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution—and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

The real consequences of being a sanctuary city – At the same time, NYC is spending over $1 billion on illegal aliens, and that is aside from the social and crime cost. Not to mention, our President and Homeland Security “Cartel” claims the border is secure. The squeeze on finances is just going to get to the point very soon that NYC will be in financial problems and services will decline.

With no accountability to the American citizen flipping the bill, no consequences for petty crime and massive illegal immigration, the crime problem will just continue, with shoplifting and drug abuse getting worse.

No matter how you slice or dice the NYC economy, every direction and every sliver show a rapidly declining source of income for the city, while its costs go up and interest rates take more of the budget.

NYC rent control Rent stabilization which limits rent increases on a certain group of buildings, and market rate rents, which were exactly that for higher end units. Now desperate to appease more voters to maintain power and control of their failing utopia, the state legislature is considering rent control on market rate units. If that happens you can kiss NYC real estate goodbye. The whole commercial residential property market will slowly collapse. This will have a ripple effect throughout the Nation.

George Orwell said it best. “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”

                                                                 ― George Orwell, 1984

Like the Mayors of Chicago, LA, SF, Houston, Detroit, DC, and the Governor of NY, CA, IL, NJ, MI, and PA, the mayor of NYC Eric Adams and the Governor of NY, Kathy Hoekul are drowning in deceit and struggling to justify crazy. They are in way over their heads.


Hilton Hotel and the Park Suites went into default…Wow. One borrower hands over the keys to the bank on $735 million in defaulted loans.

What does it mean – According to the borrower, the Socialist Utopia is not working in SF and they see no change in sight. They made a calculated decision to walk.

In contrast, Miami and Tampa are thriving. This has nothing to do with Global Warming or good weather. But everything to do with good fiscal and crime policies, and good management by responsible elected officials that are held accountable. And just to top it off, NY state is now mandating no more natural gas hook up for heating, creating another big blow to landlords. There is a major financial and social crisis unfolding in all the major cities now run by left-leaning administrations. This is not going to end well.


What is stakeholder capital… Nearly 50 years ago Milton Freidman led the charge against the European style of Stakeholder Capital and convinced America to rededicate itself to shareholder capital.

What does it mean – Today CEO’s of Target, Nike, Bank of America, Chase and most of corporate America are falling for the trap of stakeholder capital. Unaware or afraid to call out its evil. History shows the destruction of stakeholder capital and the push towards DEI by the very people hired to protect and grow shareholder value. Stakeholder capital also destroys capitalism, wealth, opportunity, ingenuity, creativity, ownership, meritocracy, and most importantly FREEDOM just like socialism.

While America protected shareholder rights prior to the popularity of ESG and DEI initiatives at the corporate level, there’s also mounting pressure from BlackRock, Vanguard and the likes of Bank of America and Chase for the popularity of a European style oligarchy. I guess they loved the idea of the protection of “too big to fail.”

Despite all the data and that supports shareholders and the “Ownership Mentality” that built this country, 181 CEO’s that make up the Business Roundtable, yet most never risked a dime to start the very companies thy run, voted to “redefine the purpose of a corporation and explicitly rejects shareholder primacy.” Here is the article. It is a must read by all.


A picture is worth a Thousand Words!!! The below chart says it all. The European Oligarchy and Big Government ideology continues to destroy creativity and capital creation and ultimately leads to less freedom. Unfortunately, virtue signaling through catchy terms like, “Stakeholder Capital, ESG, and DEI” are at the root of the problem and continue to plague the board room.


It is time to bend the trend of Big Government!!!

Let’s roll America!!

Doug De Groote, CFP®, MBA, CTC
Managing Director

De Groote Financial Group, LLC is a federally registered investment adviser that maintains a principal office in the State of California. The information contained in this message is confidential, protected from disclosure and may be legally privileged. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient or an employee or agent responsible for delivering this message to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, distribution, copying, or any action taken or action omitted in reliance on it, is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by replying to this message and destroy the material in its entirety, whether in electronic or hard copy format.

Jeannie Ewing-Nicholson

Operations Manager

Jeannie started her career in the Financial Services industry in 1994 with Oppenheimer & Company. As part of the De Groote Financial Group, Jeannie is responsible for the operational needs of the firm including cash management and account administration. With her upbeat attitude and attention to detail, Jeannie provides an efficient streamlines experience to ensure clients meet their goals. Jeannie enjoys travel, outdoor activities, Pilates, and is a football and basketball fan. She resides in Westlake Village with her husband, daughter and son.

Mary-Ellen Lykken

Executive Assistant

Mary-Ellen, Executive Assistant at DFG, keeps the office running smoothly by providing administrative support and assisting with scheduling and organization. With a background in human resource and office management, Mary-Ellen comes from the non-profit and services industries.

Outside of the office, Mary-Ellen is committed to the advancement of independence and productivity for those with disabilities. By telling her story of the challenges and joys of raising a child with complicated disabilities, she hopes to help others navigate similar circumstances.

She is happiest when visiting her two grown sons. Otherwise, you can find her competing on the pickleball courts.

Sara Mariniello

Operations Manager

Sara is new to the financial industry only starting in 2022 when she was hired at De Groote Financial. As Operations Manager, Sara is responsible for all the paperwork surrounding opening accounts and investment paperwork and is also responsible for much of the client communication. Sara has her bachelor’s in science and nursing from Concordia University, Texas and worked as nurse for over a year prior to moving back to California. She loves all things sports and church related and is likely spending every free moment with her Husband visiting family in Texas and New Jersey.

Fadi Ahmed

Chief Operations Officer and Chief Compliance Officer

Fadi works with clients to ensure an exceptional experience. He coordinates and assures the planning process and wealth management tools are at your fingertips to provide the clarity you deserve and the transparency and access to all your accounts. Fadi ensures the data and information is reflective in our planning software. All changes and updates flow through his desk and he coordinates those changes with the rest of our team.

Andrew Krout

Wealth Advisor, Co-Chief Investment Officer

Andrew Krout is a Wealth Advisor at De Groote Financial Group, LLC. He also serves as a Co-Chief Investment Officer for the firm, focused on wealth management.

Previously, Andrew served as CIO with Kelly Financial in Boston Massachusetts since 2013. He is a licensed investment advisor representative and insurance producer. He graduated from Saint Francis University with a bachelor’s degree in both finance and accounting. He is a candidate for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation. Andrew holds life insurance licenses in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut.

Andrew is passionate about serving his clients and investment management and how to apply news and current events to investment decisions. He played Division 1 golf in college, and still enjoys playing and watching the sport in his free time.

David Darst

Co-Chief Information Officer

David Martin Darst, CFA is an Investment Advisor to DeGroote Financial Group, specializing in asset allocation and product selection. Previously, David served for 17 years as a Managing Director and Chief Investment Strategist at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, with the responsibility for Asset Allocation and Investment Strategy. He joined Morgan Stanley in 1996 from Goldman Sachs, where he held Senior Management Posts within the Equities Division and earlier, for six years as Resident Manager of their Private Bank in Zurich.

David is the author of 13 books, including bestsellers The Art of Asset Allocation, 2nd Edition (McGraw-Hill), and The Little Book that Still Saves Your Assets (John Wiley & Sons). He also appears as a frequent guest on CNBC, Bloomberg, FOX, PBS, and others, and has contributed articles across a variety of publications.

David graduated with a BA in Economics from Yale University, and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School. He has lectured extensively at Wharton, Columbia, INSEAD, and New York University Business Schools, and for nine years, David served as a visiting member at Yale College, Yale School of Management, and Harvard Business School. He is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts and the CFA Institute. 

Doug De Groote

Managing Director

Doug is a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) with an MBA in Financial Planning, and is an active member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA). Before establishing De Groote Financial Group, Doug founded the United Wealth Management division of United Capital. Prior to that, Doug was a partner at Crowell, Weedon and Co. He regularly contributes to a variety of financial and general media.

Doug’s passion, and what he believes, is that everyone deserves the opportunity; they deserve to have the freedom and responsibility to be pro-active in achieving independence and financial success.

Doug’s life is focused around his family, wife and three children, and making sure they get the foundation that is necessary for them to have the awareness of the opportunities that abound in our great country.

Doug helps increase his client’s awareness and success, to identify and take advantage of opportunities that present themselves and help protect them from some of the pitfalls or obstacles that are thrown in our paths. With regards to their financial circumstances, Doug helps his clients identify their goals, plan for various outcomes and manage their assets to help them make their vision a reality.