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The Leyendecker View: March 5, 2021


There has been no incubator 
for unleashing human potential like America.
Warren Buffett

 
THE ECONOMIC VIEW

US business optimism grows
Light at the end of the tunnel?
 
US manufacturing jumps to 3-yr high
Orders surging. A catch up from lockdowns?

Gasoline prices set to keep rising
OPEC goes after US consumers savings.
                      
ADP jobs report misses prediction
Maybe after states back off restrictions, jobs will return.
 
MEANWHILE IN EUROPE
 
Northern Ireland not happy with Brexit
Loyalists walking away from “Good Friday Agreement.”
 
UK to raise taxes
But also increases domestic investment incentives.
 
We must prepare for “an era of pandemics”
Suggests president of European Commission.
 
Eastern Europe attracted to Sputnik V vaccine
Causing challenges for the EU.
 
THE GLOBE
 
What gets you in the top 1%?
In countries around the world.
 
Japan’s new Minister of Loneliness
How long before we have one, too?
 
Global factories are buzzing
Pent-up demand driving growth.
 
Too much US stimulus
May bring global inflation.
 
THE FINANCE WORLD
 
Giant money managers finally taking ESG seriously
Is the “social justice” theme peaking?
 
Private equity faces a new challenge
Piling on too much debt getting legal attention.
 
Berkshire Hathaway’s annual letter
The Oracle of Omaha speaks.
 
Global private equity report 2021
From Bain & Co. – multiples averaged 11.4X.
 
CORONANEWS
 
US hits 2 million vaccines a day
Go baby go!
 
The race against time
What to know about vaccines and mutations.
 
States leading the vaccination race
How’s it going where you live?
 
CDC director warning
“Now is not the time” to lift restrictions.
While states lift restrictions and mask mandates
 
TECHNOLOGY
 
Facebook trains AI to “see”
One less need for human work.
 
Google to upend its ad model
No more tracking your internet searches.
 
Microsoft’s Mesh AR/VR
The next Zoom?
 
SpaceX’s latest rocket successfully lands
And then explodes into ball of fire.
 
THE WAR ON CARBON
 
Oil execs expect crude demand to grow
Even as renewables grow.
 
Europe takes the eCar lead
But China’s experience suggests caution.
 
US faces an uphill climb
Becoming green manufacturing power.
 
Cities ban new gas stations
In California, of course.
 
THE CHINA SYNDROME
 
China’s economy slows
Manufacturing PMI drops to 9-month low.
 
China investment in Australia collapses
If you don’t toe the line, they’ll try to squash you.
 
Yangtze River is drying up
Drought and overuse poise a big problem.
 
Coal falls to 56.8% of total China power
Yet gross coal use grew by 0.6%.
 
THE NEXT NORMAL
 
During pandemic, US grew $1.5T in “extra” savings
Exactly what is “extra” savings?
 
Business travel may be permanently changed
Companies lose interest in road warriors.
 
Space hurricanes coming
Huh? What? More doomsdays?
 
Sperm counts are declining fast
Will the next normal be our last normal?
 
MAKING A BETTER YOU
 
How to be lucky
We could all use more…for sure!
 
The Feynman Learning Technique
Supercharge your learning capabilities.
 
A World Without Email
Reimagining the world of communication overload.
                               
HOW ABOUT A BREAK
 
2020’s biggest archeology discoveries
I originally wanted to be an archeologist.  
 
2021 breakthrough technologies
Predicted by MIT.
 
The cookbooks of 2020
What they tell you about our food future.
 
MINDCATION VIDEOS OF THE WEEK

Vincent Kriechmayr’s run
2021 Alpine Ski Gold Medal winner. Wowser!
 
Media & the Death of Objectivity
An hour long, but well worth it.
 
Altered states
Daily anxieties meets sleepless dreams.
 
FROM THE HEADHUNTER’S KITCHEN
 
Chicken cacciatore
More comfort food, as winter’s not over.
 
Easy apple crisp
Gotta have dessert.
 
Avocado toast on Dunkin’ Donuts menu
Millennial “culture” may now be dead.
 
THOUGHTS FROM DOUG
 
It’s common knowledge that necessity is the mother of invention. Well, necessity is also the mother of get up and get after it. Consequently, if we totally remove necessity from people’s lives, shouldn’t we expect less invention and less get up and get after it?
 
The lack of recent stories about mutant virus strains makes me wonder if we’re getting over-confident.
 
In recent years, there’s been a steep decline in church membership, a steep increase in the use of antidepressants and a steep rise of depression in adolescents. Causation? Correlation? Or what?
 
There’s lots of post COVID “roaring 20s” talk these days. But if you look at history, there’s only one thing today’s world has in common with the 1920s – a pandemic. Back then we had far less debt, far better demographic circumstances, far more worthwhile job creation, early stages of globalization and a manufacturing-based, not a service-based, economy. Maybe that’s why so many people seem to support tsunami stimulus.
 
When we consider the macro forces pushing our global economy—demographics, technological replacement of jobs, and globalization’s continued march—deflation seems like the natural consequence. Any inflation that shows up post COVID likely will not last long.
 
If the new MAGA slogan, “Build Back Better,” is to become real, then Washington needs to respond with incentives to rebuild domestic supply chains. They can’t return quickly without economic incentives.
 
The Federal Reserve’s number one mandate these days seems to be – don’t let financial asset values fall. 
 
If we bow to woke culture, then expect it to grow.
 
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
 
The Leyendecker View: AI Knows Nothing About Investing
February 26, 2021
 
The Leyendecker View: Goldman Launches Robo Advisor
February 19, 2021
 
 
 
 


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