Capital Markets

Return of Office Happy Hours, MLB Swings Away, and Kautz Family Fintech: Trial Balance

This week, the Trial Balance highlights the place office happy hours — and alcohol — have in new office culture, and more.
Return of Office Happy Hours, MLB Swings Away, and Kautz Family Fintech: Trial Balance

The Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) saga may be winding down (short of the inevitable lawsuits), as First Citizens BancShares has agreed to acquire the collapsed bank’s loans and deposits. But lest the lessons go unlearned, be sure to reflect on CFO’s coverage, including senior reporter Vincent Ryan’s “5 Tips for Managing Bank Risk,” his coverage of Fed Chair Powell’s comments, and CFO’s new handy downloadable checklist to mitigate single bank failure risk.

Also, Thursday is National Doctor’s Day. We hope you get a chance to recognize your fellow doctors.

(The Trial Balance is CFO’s weekly preview of stories, stats, and events to help you prepare.)

Part 1: It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere

Have you cracked a cold one with a coworker lately?

This week, reporter Adam Zaki dives into the use of alcohol in a company’s extracurriculars, and how executives, managers, and entry-level employees manage the “work hard, play hard” aspects of corporate life.

The different ways in which people now approach work, Gen-Z’s growth in the workforce, and even the cannabis industry’s efforts to equalize themselves with alcohol, will play a major role in how happy hours and corporate events of tomorrow will be approached, conducted, and gauged for cultural value. (March 31)

Part 2: Economic Calendar

Monday — Fed Governor Philip Jefferson, an economist, speaks at Washington & Lee University.

Tuesday — Data on wholesale and retail inventories, S&P Case-Shiller home price index, and the U.S. trade balance in goods.

The U.S. consumer confidence index (The Conference Board’s) is released. It slipped 3 points in February, and economists forecast another small drop for March.

The Senate Banking Committee holds a hearing on federal regulators’ responses to the failures of Silicon Valley and Signature Banks. Witnesses include Michael Barr, the Fed’s vice chair for supervision, and Nellie Liang, undersecretary for domestic finance at Treasury.

Wednesday — The House Financial Services Committee holds its own hearing on federal regulators’ handling of the recent banking turmoil.

Are CFOs as pessimistic about the U.S. economy as they were last December? Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank will release their joint first-quarter CFO Survey. CFOs’ expectations for unit costs, prices, revenue growth, and wages will be watched closely.

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is scheduled to testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on labor practices at the coffee chain. 

ThursdayOpening day for Major League Baseball. For the first time since 1968, all 30 teams are scheduled to play. 

Will the jobs market start weakening? Economists project a small increase in weekly jobless claims to 196,000 from last week’s 191,000.

Due from the Federal Reserve is the weekly report on U.S. bank borrowing from the Fed’s discount window and other facilities, including the new Bank Term Funding Program. As banks shore up their liquidity, borrowing has soared.

The Public Accounting Oversight Board’s standards and emerging issues advisory group holds a virtual meeting on audit firms’ quality controls, going concern standards, and critical audit matters, among other topics. The public can join in watch-only mode.

Friday — Numbers for U.S. personal spending, personal income, and the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index will headline the day. Economists are expecting core PCE to have risen 4.7% year-over-year, flat with January’s reading. Personal income is forecast to have increased, but modestly. A smaller increase in spending (0.3%) than January’s robust 1.8% is forecast.

A canary in the coal mine for bank troubles? The weekly H.8 release from the Fed (assets and liabilities of U.S. commercial banks) is usually monitored for the data on consumer and business loan growth (assets). But the liabilities side has taken center stage recently, as deposit outflows continue at some domestic banks. 

Earnings releases this week — A busy week of earnings reports from biosciences and pharmaceutical companies. Earnings releases are also scheduled for McCormick & Co., Walgreens Boots Alliance, Lululemon Athletica, Dave & Buster’s Entertainment, Paychex, Sprinklr, Micron Technology, Cal-Maine Foods,  and H.B. Fuller.

Part 3: Seeing the Big Picture 

A Father and Son’s Journey to Disrupt the Accounting Landscape

This week CFO wraps up our three-part series that explores a father and son’s journey to create a fintech company. When accountant Derek Kautz saw an opportunity to create a better lease accounting system, his finance veteran father, Greg Kautz, didn’t hesitate to join him in the new venture. 

Greg said his past CFO experience gives them a high-level perspective as they make decisions.

“Because we can see the whole business, we can balance the finance side with corporate planning, development, and operations,” he said. (March 30) 

Quote of the week

We follow the concentration of the rich. — Paulo Poma, Lamborghini