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The Leyendecker View: October 8, 2021


There were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook. And Facebook, over and over again, chose to optimize for its own interests, like making money.
Frances Haugen, Facebook Whistleblower


THE ECONOMIC VIEW

Job growth disappoints once again
200Kish new jobs doesn’t match 500K expectations.
 
Housing affordability matches 2008
Remember what happened in 2008?
Mortgage applications fall 6.9%

US trade deficit hits record in August
We sent $73B+ US dollars to overseas companies.
 
Non-residential construction spending dips
While sector loses 20K+ jobs
Is there a chip shortage problem here?
 
THE INFLATION BOGEYMAN
 
The bond market is saying something
Maybe inflation isn’t transitory.
 
Key inflation gauge hits 30-year high
The Fed is watching closely.
 
Capex is coming back
But inflation means less bang for the buck.
 
HUMPTY DUMPTY SUPPLY CHAINS
 
Fears of a “bottleneck recession”
Shortages are hurting German economy.
 
You should buy holiday presents now
Supply chains likely not improving soon.
 
UK has massive truck driver shortage
They need over 100,000 new drivers.
 
THE LABOR VIEW
 
Paying WFH workers less
Will only get your pissed off workers.
 
PWC says workers can live anywhere
WFH may be here to stay for white collar jobs.
 
Hollywood workers strike
They want better wages and working conditions.
 
MEANWHILE IN EUROPE
 
EU leaders meeting in Slovenia
To discuss how to deal with China and US.
As NATO puts the hurt on Russia
 
Putin blames green energy “hysteria”
On Europe’s current energy problems.
While France and Spain demand new energy rules
Russia decides to release more oil
And more natural gas, too
 
French workers are striking
Protesting excessively low wages.
How about free therapy sessions?
 
GLOBAL
 
UN report warns of a global water crisis
What’s one more crisis these days?
 
The Pandora papers
How the rich, including government leaders, hide their wealth.
 
Global minimum corporate tax is eminent
“We are one millimeter away,” says French finance minister.
Next comes the hard part—making it work
 
Another China property developer in trouble
The second domino has fallen.
 
THE FINANCE WORLD
 
Private equity in the hot seat
Opaque operations no longer OK.
 
Evergrande, learning lessons the hard way
Aren’t all lessons learned the hard way?
 
Biden’s Comptroller of Currency nominee
Really really really hates banks.
 
Blackstone crushes it
With $4B+ profit on Vegas casino sale.
 
THE CRYPTO MEME
 
What’s going on with this Tether thing?
Is a crypto meltdown coming?
 
Seven charts that explain crypto
A picture is worth 0.0034 bitcoin.
 
Biden administration seeks to regulate Stablecoin
Fear they could cause financial panics.
 
CORONANEWS
 
The latest global vaccination progress
Why is China not in this graph?
 
We’re not ready for the next pandemic
What? Another one’s coming?
 
Vaccines cut the risk of transmitting Delta
But not for long.
 
Covid hot spots are in northern cooler states
Are we in for another covid winter wave?
 
TECHNOLOGY
 
GM sees $50B in autonomous vehicle sales
Not good to over promise and under deliver.
 
The endless hunt for dopamine
Because we can’t handle reality?
 
Cheat sheet for Big Tech antitrust cases
Here’s what’s going on.
 
The WSJ’s Facebook Files
In case you want to see it all.
Facebook is weaker than we knew
 
THE NEXT NORMAL
 
Seattle just legalized psilocybin
As clinical trials break ground
Americans struggle with mental health
Pandemic causing spike in anxiety and depression
Many people are emotionally challenged these daze.
Probably why cannabis use is on the rise
 
Today’s exponential age
Will transform economics forever.
 
Is the US set to break apart?
Take a gander at this UVA study.
The new secession movement
 
THE WAR ON CARBON
 
We have way under invested in oil and gas
And now we’re going to pay the price.
Big pain coming for the lower-income consumers
 
India joins the looming power crisis
They need more coal NOW!
As coal surges to record price
Brazil now faces an energy crisis
China problems start rippling around the world
They’re having to buy banned Australian coal
 
Nuclear power to the rescue
Is nuclear power the transition source?
 
South Pole has record cold season
An inconvenient truth?
 
THE CHINA SYNDROME
 
China fully able to invade Taiwan by 2025
So suggests Taiwan’s defense minister.
Australia and Japan issue warnings.
Malaysia also unhappy about recent aggressions
 
A future without American technology
Is Xi’s plan for China.
 
China manufacturing shrinks
More evidence of coming lost decade(s)?
 
Chinese social credit system explained
Do as we say or else…
                       
MAKING A BETTER YOU
 
Work is a false idol
Rest is resistance.
 
Your inner circle should stay small
It increases your productivity.
 
Awe always makes us feel better
Here’s how to find it.
 
HOW ABOUT A BREAK
 
Happy 72nd birthday, Super Soaker inventor Lonnie Johnson
The dream came true for this black American.
 
2,700-year-old toilet found in Jerusalem
And what did it look like?
 
King of Fat Bear Week has been crowned
Meet 480-pound Otis.
 
VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
 
Blessings
Don’t miss this ethereal experience.
 
School of Rock just turned 18 years old
Oh my, it’s an adult movie now.
 
The majesty of moths
Watch them fly at 6,000 frames per second.
Reminds me of Insectosaurus
 
FROM THE HEADHUNTER’S KITCHEN
 
Fall is soup time
Here are 33 great soup recipes
 
Lab grown meat is too expensive
Never tasted it. I like real veggies and real meat.
And here comes the Vrimp!
 
The world’s 50 best restaurants
Topped by Danish restaurant, Noma.
 
THOUGHTS FROM DOUG
 
Long time readers and friends will remember that every October I tend to make this pitch: Life is a 162-game season. The goal is to be in first place at the end of the season. Strive to improve every day. Be patient and persistent. Do good things.
 
To put our proposed “stimulus bills” into perspective: One trillion seconds equals almost 32,000 years. Yep, you read that right.
 
Humans have depended on hydrocarbons for energy since the day we discovered fire. In other words, humanity’s entire economic and social infrastructure has been created around hydrocarbons. There's no easy way to replace infrastructure so old that quickly, easily or cheaply.
 
The losers in trying to make an energy transition too fast will be the middle class and the poor. They’ve used cheap energy to help afford higher inflation in food, health care, education and real estate. As increases in globalization, technology and productivity keep wages down, how are these people going to afford new energy inflation? And what about the emerging market countries?
 
About 18 million non-Hispanic white people in the US live below the poverty line. What happened to their white privilege?
 
Since government seems only to borrow more and more and more, are consumers going to start saving more and more and more? More savings means less consumption. Remember that 70% of US GDP comes from the consumer.
 
The greatest way to reduce the release of carbon in the atmosphere is through conservation. Unfortunately, conservation does not fit well with economies that depend on constant and growing consumption.
 
We’re experiencing massive increases in fuel and electricity costs. Worker wages can’t keep up with “transitory” inflation. China has real estate, debt, regulatory and general economic challenges. Supply chains are in disarray, which may limit goods available for holiday consumption. Delta is spreading in the colder northern states. Are we about to tip into a recession? And if the Fed tapers while we’re entering a recession, what will that do?
 
Why is the time spent commuting on a crowded freeway, maybe for more than an hour one way, the cost of having a job? Why shouldn’t the employer pay for that time? It’s not like a middle-income manager can afford to purchase a home in the much higher-cost, central business district.
 
Why do people like to dance?
 
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
 
The Leyendecker View: Is the Stock Market Rigged?
October 1, 2021
 
The Leyendecker View: Covid About to Decline
September 24, 2021
 

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