More Evidence 2021 A Bummer
I made a personal “investment policy decision” last week: I’ve decided not to play the market until after the presidential inauguration January 20, 2021.
There’s simply too much that can go wrong – too many hidden variable to mess with. Plus a ton of contrary and conflicting views.
Before we roll out the latest data – and take a stab at what it means – a few points on trading:
- There’s a story today about the number of restaurants that have closed-up and are unlikely to ever re-open: 110,000. In and of itself, the number feels small on the surface: It’s not. Most restaurants – if they had any game on at all, had around 10-employees. Couple of people doing dishes out back, a hostess or two, another 3-4 on the wait-staff. Maybe a manager and surely the owner. And that’s for one shift…
- When you push out those kinds of numbers, we’re well over 1-million people. And since restaurants often have a great side benefit (some free meals for employees) the tossing of the former restaurant workers under the Covid bus may account (in part) for the record number of people claiming food stamps.
- In economics – when pushing out numbers – these are primary jobs. There are second-level impacts and layers beyond. The food service delivery trucks. The produce market workers. Who made the paper products (napkins), made, and delivered those? Didn’t the place recently put in a new point-of-sale system? Those companies may survive for a while, but it’s not looking very good.
While our Idiots of the Swamp can’t get their collective poop in a group, did you notice how without histrionics Japan Approves $700 Billion Stimulus Package?
Could it be that Mitch is holding out for cash for everyone? Bipartisan stimulus deal in jeopardy as McConnell refuses to back package.
New Small Business Optimism
National Federation of Independent Business is out with it’s monthly read of future from the trenches – small business owners. Happy-face is there, but it’s wearing a bit thin:
“WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 8, 2020) – The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index declined 2.6 points in November to 101.4 but remains well above the 47-year historical average reading of 98. Six of the 10 Index components declined and four increased. The NFIB Uncertainty Index decreased 8 points to 90, still a historically high reading. Owners expecting better business conditions over the next 6 months declined 19 points to a net 8%.
“Small business owners are still facing major uncertainties, including the COVID-19 crisis and the upcoming Georgia runoff election, which is shaping how they’re viewing future business conditions,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “The recovery will remain uneven as long as we see state and local mandates that target business conditions and disproportionately affect small businesses.”
- Earnings trends over the past 3 months declined 4 points to a net negative 7% reporting higher earnings quarter over quarter.
- Inventory investment plans for the next 3 to 6 months decreased 7 points from a 48-year record high of a net 12% in October to a net 5% in November.
As reported in NFIB’s November jobs report, finding qualified employees remains a problem for small business owners with 89% of those hiring or trying to hire reporting few or no “qualified” applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Twenty-seven percent of owners reported few qualified applicants for their open positions and 20% reported none.”
We won’t even begin to rewrite the NFIB press release – the facts are there –and starkly so – and need to be taken seriously. No second Covid-check’s and a lame-ass congress. Which should explain our pre-election mantra “Throw them ALL Out…”
Debt? The Yoke’s On You
Amidst the gathering gloom, the Fed’s Consumer Debt report (called a credit report because they are on the creditor’s side) didn’t look too healthy, either.
- Revolving debt (as in credit cards) dropped at a 6.7% annual rate. With no second CV checks and BS in lieu of promises kept, you’re like what....Surprised???
- On the other hand, non-revolving was up a tenth to 4.8% annualized. But, just between us, when the money supply has been jacked up 40%, that whispers (just off-stage) that deflation of more than 35% annualized is continuing.
- On the other side, average new car loan values were $34,660 in September, Though we think anyone buying new wheels while facing CV lockdowns oughta have their heads examined. You need a new ride to go where, exactly?
- More inferences are Ure’s for the taking here.
One other thing: If you own bank stocks, note this to your calendar: Federal Reserve Board announces results from second round of bank stress tests will be released Friday, December 18, at 4:30 p.m. EST. After the market closes on a Friday with a couple of cooling off days to follow? “Z’at a hint there Powell, or what?”
Airplanes and Aliens Dept.
Curiously, another “Look! Up in the sky!” of interest rolls out the same day:
Story in the J-Post demands more details as the “Former Israeli space security chief says aliens exist, humanity not ready.” And, goes the story, D.C. and Tel Aviv have been in contact for years.
Once again, is another “wild, unfounded conspiracy theory” proving to be correct? We await confessions and confirmations.
If these “larger contexts” are of interest, tomorrow morning’s “The Oceans of Mars” on the Peoplenomics site will be of interest, too. 4,500 words…and tons of background to finish today.
A.I. News Check
A quiet day between the “warring factions” who use A.I. direction of news to push events around. Usually, we find a couple of widely repeated 7 and 8 words phrases being programmed into the population by news sites.
This morning in one view of the data, the only repeated 7 word phrase is how presidential (hopeful) Joe Biden has decided “…to nominate retired army general lloyd austin…” Pardon the A.I.’s not capitalizing his name, but m ore details on Austin’s appointment flow from Wikipedia over here:
Lloyd James Austin III (born August 8, 1953) is an American retired four-star general. An Army officer, he served as the 12th commander of United States Central Command (CENTCOM). Austin was the first Black commander of CENTCOM.
Before CENTCOM, Austin was the 33rd vice chief of staff of the United States Army from January 31, 2012, to March 22, 2013, and the final commanding general of United States Forces – Iraq Operation New Dawn, which ended on December 18, 2011. He retired from the armed services in 2016.”
Good pick, near as we can figure it.
Another A.I. ping: “coronavirus infections” worldwide are 67.7 million cases today.
Another – if you were planning to move to Europe (are you that dumb?) is
“post brexit.” No doubt a ref to stories like “Moment May Come to End Post-Brexit EU Trade Talks, Says UK PM Johnson.
Harder to find a date? Ghislaine Maxwell losing her hair, weight from imprisonment: lawyers.
Smart or Dumb? You make the call: She owes $581,000 in student loans — the bill is coming due.
Does Bill Gates need more? Battery startup backed by Bill Gates claims major breakthrough. Based on a lithium-metal technology. Ramp-up speed is the issue now…
Getting Older… But Younger
Short version of a Peoplenomics focus story The Reaction Speed Diet from early October. In the public interest…
I’ve been continuing the protocol and measuring my reaction speeds using the online tool Just Park has over here. As of this morning, the “personal clocking” is going along at smoking gamer speeds:
Not bad for almost 72-years old, huh?
If you’re not a subscriber *(shame!) or you aren’t interested in “gunfighter-fast reaction times) the core idea of the article has to do with what I call “evidence-based personal optimizations.” Where you can take a body functional test (lower reaction times) and then using changes in your diet, and so forth, and see what changes speed your reactions.
Data tracking stored in Excel reveals things over time. Following?
As we have long suggested (besides whining about the lack of daily evidence and data-based medicine being marketed by the Medical Industry/Pharma) if your reactions are half the speed of someone else, you will effectively live twice as long…
It’s like being able to read 2-books a day, instead of one.
And yes, that’s one of the insights into why I seem to get so much done. Think of it as personal hyperthreading.
You go think about it (but not slowly, right?) and then?
Write when you get rich (or live faster…),