In contemplating August’s market activity, our thoughts drifted to Roman times. In 45 B.C., the Roman Senate honored Julius Caesar by placing his name on the month then known, somewhat drably, as Quintilis. Later, the Senate determined that Augustus Caesar deserved similar recognition, placing his name on the month after July. But this created an immediate issue in the pecking order of Roman rulers – up until then, months alternated between having 30 and 31 days. With July having 31 days, poor Augustus’ stature was diminished by placing his name on a month having only 30 days. To rectify this injustice, the Senate decreed that August also have 31 days, accomplished by borrowing a day from February and shifting other months such that September only had 30 days (to avoid having three consecutive 31-day months).
We provide this historical interlude to illustrate that, while July and August now are equivalent in terms of the number of days, the market environment in these two months during 2015 bore few similarities. In August, volatility returned, commodity prices sank, and expectations of Federal Reserve interest rate action in September diminished.
This issue also contains the article “Noncompete Agreements for Section 280G Compliance” as well as links to various articles of interest, public market indicators, M&A market indicators, and key indices of the top financial institutions in the U.S., providing insight into financial institution valuation issues.
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