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The Leyendecker View: February 12, 2021


The truly unique power of a central bank, after all, is the power to create money,
and ultimately the power to create is the power to destroy.

Paul Volcker
 
THE ECONOMIC VIEW

Stimulus to restore full employment by 2022
Careful with your predictions, Janet Yellen.
 
CBO projects $2.3T 2021 budget deficit
That’s before the $1.9 proposed stimulus package.

January small business optimism drops
Below 47-year average.
 
Texas leads US in total exports for 19 years
And tech exports for eight.       
 
THE LABOR VIEW
 
Best Buy cutting jobs and reducing hours
Even as sales surge.
 
Minimum wage up
Jobs and businesses down.
 
Fed Chair suggests bleak jobs picture
Unemployment rate closer to 10%.
 
MEANWHILE IN EUROPE
 
German exports slump in 2020
Imports, too.
 
Europe economy falls further behind US/China
“It’s getting desperate.”
 
The pound is on a winning streak
What? Thought Brexit was destroying the UK.
 
THE GLOBE
 
EU to propose new Russian sanctions
After foreign affairs chief has “humiliating” trip.
 
The most innovative economies in the world
According to Bloomberg ranking.
 
South Korea jobless rate at 21-year high
As virus resurges.
 
THE FINANCE WORLD
 
Do fed policies fuel bubbles?
Was GameStop a red flag?
 
Do PE investors manipulate performance?
Institutional Investor’s take.
 
Banks need to lend money
But not so many companies want to borrow.
 
World’s highest-earning hedge fund managers
Can they afford to pay higher taxes? 
               
CORONANEWS
 
Light at the end of the tunnel
Global 7-day moving average of new cases.
 
116-year-old nun survives Covid
If she can survive Covid at 116, what can't she survive!?
 
Where are the variant strains in the US?
Check the map.
 
US won’t accept WHO virus origin conclusion
Biden administration pushes back on Beijing’s claim.
 
TECHNOLOGY
 
A wave of class action lawsuits coming to big tech
Europe is leading the charge.
 
EU following Australia’s model
Google and Facebook must pay news sources.
 
Technology promises hugs from a distance
Be careful what you wish for.
 
THE WAR ON CARBON
 
EVs are the lowest climate priority
But the highest government and media focus.
 
The battery is ready to power the world
But what’ll we do with millions (billions?) of spent ones?
 
Australia to build world’s largest battery
To be used for solar power.
 
THE CHINA SYNDROME
 
2020 births in China plummet
Preexisting demographic challenge may get worse.
 
Tesla summoned by Chinese regulators
Poor engineering or poor politics?
 
China bans BBC news broadcasts
Don’t criticize us, EVER!!!
 
THE NEXT NORMAL
 
Biden ponders student debt forgiveness
Beginning of a debt jubilee?
 
Will remote work be the new normal?
Cities and regions are betting on it.
While 2021 looks to be another WFH year
 
Two-thirds of 2020 home buyers
Made offers sight unseen.
While housing prices keep booming
 
COOL SCIENCE
                   
Here comes Archer
Vertical take-off planes for “commuting.”
 
Buy the first true 3D-printed home
Check it out on Zillow.
 
Kenyan woman recycles plastic
Makes bricks stronger than concrete.
 
MAKING A BETTER YOU
                   
How to find your Ikigai
Your reason for being.
 
Two-thirds of Americans sleep with their phone
The new “teddy bear”…that controls and tracks you.
 
Hoping for the best
Is a statistical outlier.
                        
HOW ABOUT A BREAK
 
Looking for love
Dating app usage rates and revenue by country.
 
The Super Bowl doesn’t hold a candle
Less than 50% the audience of the World Cup.
 
Greatest sportscar ever made
Which is it?
 
VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
                                 
I am MetaHuman
We may not need real actors soon.
 
The question of love
A philosopher ponders our “modern” version.
 
Fastest, tallest, longest
Saudi Arabia plans 155 mph roller coaster.
 
FROM THE HEADHUNTER’S KITCHEN
 
Mom’s Mexican cornbread
Comfort food extraordinaire.
 
Cozy chicken and dumplings
Yes please, second serving please.
 
The 15 things to know
Before you start trying to be a cook.
 
THOUGHTS FROM DOUG
 
When we compare history to today’s world, it should be obvious that the path to “better” is full of obstacles. Sometimes it may seem we are taking two steps back, half a step forward, then two more steps back. We live our lives in the present, yet productive change often takes place over the course of generations.
 
The earth-saving environmentalist, Elon Musk, just invested $1.5B in a “currency” that’s created by massive use of electricity, lots of which comes from coal. Good ESG, right? Welcome to the modern world of common sense.
 
How does driving up the cost of transportation and electricity (oil and gas) through restrictive regulation help the average person? Are we going to destroy our economy and the lives of many families while trying to save the earth? Does the earth really need saving?
                               
The goal of productivity used to be getting more and more output from labor. Today the goal of productivity seems to be getting more and more output from less and less labor.
 
Technology’s effort to squeeze every bit of productivity from all systems and processes seems a natural mission, but does this effort ensure worthwhile economic livelihoods for people? Being able to purchase everything fast and cheap isn’t so great if people aren’t earning enough in wages. Hmmm…Is this why developed economies seem permanently stuck growing debt, and why central banks are creating ever more ways to get money into people’s hands?
 
Does the relentless insecurity of life in the twenty-first century cause people to stay in their jobs longer? Will we become more comfortable with the familiar? Will our risk tolerance subside?
 
The $1.9B stimulus package looks on its way. A $1T infrastructure program looks on its way. Bring on the debt explosion! It’s only Monopoly money anyway, right? Here comes yield curve control and MMT. Reparations, student debt forgiveness and universal basic income are probably around the corner. Where will all this money come from? Higher taxes for sure. And higher debt, too. And then there’s Mr. Monopoly guy, or is that the Wizard of Oz? What would we call the fed, anyway?
 
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
 
The Leyendecker View: Commodities Prices Set to Boom
February 5, 2021
 
The Leyendecker View: The GameStop War is Raging
January 29, 2021
 

 


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