• US now going to have to 'decide between two policy mistakes' - El-Erian

    The US dollar is just too strong for the rest of the world.

    The cost of living crisis in the West is the risk of famine in commodity-producing countries. How much does a country like Egypt subsidize (probably most) and how much pass on to the consumer?

    UK imposed a Windfall Tax (to protect most vulnerable people in economy).
  • "I think we've seen enough wealth destruction that we are finally seeing demand destruction all over the economy, and the market people are picking up on that." - Josh Brown

  • The Chinese likened the tax cuts to 'fertilizer' applied directly to the 'roots of the economy.'

    The numbers are added to tax cuts already implemented this year.

  • This is where the market is the economy - Batnick

    "... because they're using their stock as currency to pay employees."

    "... in specific parts of the economy." - Josh Brown. In tech, not the housing market in Okl. Will be felt in housing, spending, and tax receipts in Cali.

    Snapchat's stock options paid to employees are now 40% underwater.

    Stock is down 75% from highs, down like 40% from IPO.
  • Coming into 2022 versus now, by WFC strategist

    We thought you needed multiple compression. You got that. We thought interest rates and especially real rates needed to normalize. You got that. We thought that the Fed had to get motion, whether it's related to the balance sheet or to raising rates. That's been happening. Now we have a 15 or 20% pullback depending on where you look in the market.

    Two last things we needed to see: We needed to see rates come down, and we needed to see some softening of the Fed rhetoric, which is what we seem to be seeing in the short term.

    We're not seeing indiscriminate selling as in the last few weeks.

  • Usually stocks and bonds don't go down together forever, because it's a self-correcting mechanism - Chris Harvey

    Stocks go down, you start to create more value. Bonds go down, and you have a discounting mechanism makes your terminal value higher and all of a sudden we find a bottom.

  • Toxic Positivity | Hacker News 
  • Bye bye, DuckDuckGo

    'Overall' versus 'ultimately' in language hints.

    Currently, Brave is moving to the best browser, but quantity is the solution in any marketplace.

  • (notes:)

    New to us: a situation of high nominal growth. Nominal growth = real growth + inflation. Stagflation = the high nominal growth is absorbed by higher prices but output (production) doesn't keep up (low real growth).

    Labor productivity has been positive so far (output rose), but nominal spending was far greater.

    A reduction in nominal spending is the only viable solution, because it looks like productivity can't be raised much. Economies are approaching capacity constraints. Note: a simple raise in rates isn't necessarily 'tightening' unless it is relative to what is discounted and relative to economic conditions. Note: short-term interest rates.

    Inflation is increasingly entrenched and supplies and inventories are low.

    Stocks: Companies that are most liquidity-sensitive and longer-duration cash flow, have seen the biggest value effect.

    War in Ukraine: big effect on commodities (R a supplier). Normal short-term flight to quality (weeks or a month) and afterwards unfolding macro pressures typically dominate.

    Expect reinforced capex cycle (surge in demand). Lingering bottlenecks. Capexs to boost efficiency. Particularly industrials and materials (companies reshoring to US from Asia due to supplychain disruptions). Automation. Software and info processing equipment over past couple years.

    Governments' choice: tighten to control inflation and face a potential economic downturn, or don't tighten and allow inflation.

    Household balance sheets stronger (than 2018). Lots of cash in bank, appreciated home values and stocks. Poor people wealthier than past 60  years.

    Banks are very liquid. Money printing found its home there. Reallocating into loans.

  • New home sales fell 17% in US
  • Huge money debt and liquidity injected, internal conflict in US (populism), rising of new great powers - the three things right now, according to Ray Dalio

    Where are we in the monetary policy?

    One man's debts are another man's financial assets. So they won't be able to raise interest rates to a high enough level to provide a real return to investors. 3% or 4% won't be enough to compensate for the inflation rate.

    Paradigm shift. People believed everything that happened in the past 10 years, and then they get a surprise, and then they start to change.

    Do I think cash is a safe asset, or bonds are a safe asset? Am I getting a real return? There's gonna be a supply-demand balance. The Fed, individuals, foreigners, and the US gov (to fund its deficit) are all selling/going to sell. Going to produce a squeeze because so much money was put out.

    What's going to get you a real return? Real assets. Like the 70s.

    Everybody's wrong. Everybody wants everything to go up. They keep giving you money. They want you to buy everything. They hype it. The world is holding all these financial assets. You're going to have an environment of negative real returns.
  • Microsoft Research guy commented on how if there were a breakthrough in privacy-preserving tech, there would be more use of AI

    Applications of AI to things like the huge datasets of medical records are bottlenecked by privacy issues.

    Lots of old research that was done, it has since been found that although no one knew it at the time, current tech can see that a person in one research group was the same person as in a different research group.

    Didn't know it at the time either, but scans of eyes can be used now to predict with some accuracy various thigns:

  • US is going to take 'drastic new steps' flying in baby formula with military jets from other countries

    The FDA commissioner was grilled today by Congress about why it's taken months to investigate the Abbot lab. He said they could have done better.

    One of the bills passed by congress was to increase funding for the FDA, partially so they can do more oversight.

    BIden invoked the Defense Protection Act, a wartime tool, to force manufacturers who produce baby formula to prioritize baby food.
  • Gas at $5 is not a problem, but gas at next month $5.50 then $6 etc. is a problem, because people say This is never going to stop and we have to cut spending

    So tightening quickly has another thing in its favor.

  • Crypto, and some stocks, within their niche

    So if you have the best crypto (or company), but there's a ton of crap cryptos and they're all going down, some to zero, your good one will go down too as a part of that. Part is news, part sentiment, part that the people who bought those bad ones also bought the good one and they sell them at the same time, bringing prices lower.
  • The very traits that would have allowed you to survive the crash in 2020 are the traits that would have killed you in the most recent regime change (out of tech etc into commodities and energy) - The Compound guys

    Nobody's in a rush now. It's not like 2020 and 2021 where everything went up every day (and had like 5% drops sometimes) and you couldn't even think straight, just saying 'I can't believe I'm not in this'.
  • Defaults on cars in US

    First time it's been in the news I've seen. Sub-prime car loans.

    Last couple years, car prices and used car prices went up, but there was tons of money from the Fed, so people kept buying things. Loans went up. A lot of borrowers don't have much for a downpayment, or have negative equity. But the car value of course depreciates, so if they were to sell a year or two later they wouldn't be able to pay off that loan.
    Those loans are owned lots by hedge funds pursuing higher return rates. You don't see a lot of banks jumping into that.
  • Baby formula shortage in US

    A big plant (Abbot in Michigan) was put on pause by the FDA. After some reports of infection after babies ate certain baby formulas.

    Baby formula is the most regulated food.

    Some have talked about how we may have a strategic security stockpile of energy, but not of food.

    You can make your own formula, but just be careful.

    For babies age 0-3 months:

    -(non-fat free) evaporated milk: 1 can of formula to 4 of water
    -Boil to homogenize

    That's it. But you can also add (sold as liquid form) vitamins.

    Store in the fridge and use for 24 hours. Not more than 24 hours (dispose of it), because it will start to grow mold/bacteria.

    For babies aged 3-6 months:

    -1 can of evaporated milk to 3 cans of water. (ie less water)

    For babies aged 6-9 months:

    -1 can of evaporated milk to 2 cans of water

    9 - 12 months:

    -1 can of evaporated milk to 1 can of water

    ALWAYS boiling to hemogenize. ALWAYS dispose of it after 24 hours.
  • Dividends (secure-ish ones) might be the investment play of this year or the next couple years

    Can't rely on valuation expansion anymore. So it's just dividends and earnings. And from companies with good balance sheets to ensure the ability to do so for a while.

  • US markets drop between 3 and 5 % for the 3 markets

    So-called 'safe haven' stocks are not immune. Consumer staples like Walmart and Target are seeing slightly higher revenues (nominally, not factoring inflation) but much higher costs (labor, transport, supply chains), and they are not able to pass these costs on to the consumer any more.

    So all stocks went down today almost. Every sector.

    Customers are buying groceries but aren't buying hard goods where stores like Walmart have a slightly higher margin.

    Yes, wages are up, but not as much as inflation. The highest cost increases are food and energy, and that's funneling away spending that would otherwise go to more profitable areas of selling.

    But the US economy NEEDS lower demand in order to trend prices lower.
  • Corporations in US have low debt, high in cash

    The stock market is $35t (so companies could buy back like a 5th of their stock).
  • What affects stocks

    Josh Brown said it missed the most important thing: industry. The best company in the worst industry isn't going to work.

  • US in situation for older adults where their ability to retire is based on how they invested money since they were 20

    Versus social security in other countries.
  • Turkey blocked Sweden and Finland bids to join NATO

    Sweden and Finland had a decades-old policy of neutrality that they now seem to want to change.

    NATO needs a unanimous vote for new members.

    The main reason given by Turkey is that those countries host Kurdish groups the Turkish government deems terrorists.

    Diplomats from the two countries are going to Turkey to try diplomacy, but Erdogan publicly said they shouldn't bother to tire themselves, as Turkey won't accept counties that impose sanctions (export bans on Turkey... Sweden halted arms sales to Turkey after Turkish intervention in Syria 3 years ago) on Turkey, because then NATO would cease to be a security organization and start to be a place where reps of terrorist organizations are represented.

  • Random notes

    We're in a transition environment, and that means volatility (transition to higher rates, inflation, food prices).

    People last year, some people called it a potential hedge. Crypto is showing its true colors in this environment. But are they anything more than a small diversionary thing (Ukraine war they showed a use)?

  • In the video, the officials are whacking those that are bearing the coffin (ie both hands holding the weight above their shoulders).
  • China and decoupling from 'factory China'

    Said that China is indispensable to global supply.

    China makes way more stem graduates (now needed by others). So many production facilities (Japan also has quite a lot). Apple's supply chain. China wants foreign firms there (like Apple). Provinces compete for this business.

    Per capita disposable income is way up steadily in the last 10 or 15 years.

    "China plus one" strategy. Vietnam, India, Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia. But no country can do what China does.

  • Saudi Aramco became biggest company in the world
  • Catalytic converters being stolen from parked cars in US

    They saw the catalytic converters off (filled with platinum, rhodium, and palladium) by sliding underneath the vehicle.

    Fixing them costs about $1500 on some vehicles. To protect against this, people are covering them with metal grills.

    A guy used Apple Airtags under the cars he wanted to target so he could track where they park. He used security cameras to avoid apprehension.

    He found a loophole to sell more than the usual limit of 1 per day per scrap yard. He formed company with the Secretary of State's office, so he could sell as many as he wanted and without proving ownership.
  • Random economic notes from experts

    US stock market has lost $7t in 2022.

    Generational buying opportunity.

    But some of these stocks have almost doubled in PE since pandemic lows.

    Some were used as bond proxies, defensive plays in an uncertain world.

    The 3 major areas of the world are all slowing economically. China lockdowns for Covid. Europe's looking at a recession this year. US is slowing. Growth scare is yet to be priced into markets.

    Keep an eye on investment grade, because if there's been excessive leverage taken there, that's when finance contaminates the economy (instead of the other way around).

    Stagflation as the baseline (El-Erian). Something worse depends on soft or hard landing. Inflation stuck at 5 to 6%. Complacency about CPI numbers.

    UK leader to cut 90k civil servant jobs.

    Some ask if Apple stock bounce (May 12) was a signal for a market bottom.

    We've priced in probably a hard landing. (Brian Kelly).

    We don't know if the type of stock trader who is interested in ARK-types are buying in. The prime brokers and the market makers know; they know if they're creating to lend but they won't tell us. (Jan van Eck) Vandatrack tracks retail flow and I think they're showing buyers. (Batnick)

    Investors are waiting for a higher low, watching constantly wanting to buy.

    There were a lot of narratives about why the bond market was the way it was over the past 10 years. The Central Bank. There's just one reason.

    IPOs (Rivian) and growth stocks (Zoom) were huge but now are small relative to established companies. "It was a relative game." "Did you see what they're paying for Tesla?"

    "Everything trades off of Apple, I think."

    The labor market is SO tight.

    "The Fed is happy. The market decline is orderly (haven't had to pause the market) They're being very transparent about what they're doing. And people still have jobs."

    The only problem is that our cost of living is going up. Wages are going up, but how is your quality of living?

    There's 1.9 (reported) jobs right now for every 1 person seeking a job. You can quit your job and get another one in a snap. How powerful do you feel? Stocks in your portfolio are 30% lower than they were a year ago.

    If there's a recession, we're not low enough (stock market). Because multiples will have to come down and earnings will come down with them.

    The elephant. The Fed is going to get out of fixed income market. And we have commercial banks that provide no liquidity to the fixed income market. So that is where the breakage can happen. Because everyone has to borrow money if they want to buy a house or anything else?

    Does that Fed tighten too much? I don't think they care about asset prices, because they need to kill inflation. They made a boo-boo and they really want to fix it. "Causing inflation." ("Transitory.") That is their job: price stability.

    The pain that's going to come from borrowers having to pay a lot more debt.

    Corporations are OK (balance sheets). It's governments that have borrowed too much money.

    The biggest global risk is a China recession. And that's priced in because China's in a recession.

    Everything prices off of treasuries.

    Circled on the calendar. In June the Fed leaves the fixed income market. (Back in July?)

    The Fed wants to reload their ammo, so they can come back into the market if they want to. Then they can do bond market intervention if they want. As the liquidity comes out of the system and the labor market is still OK. It could be really tough for investors but that's not important to them.

    I think they're more mad at having to pay $200 to fill up their gas tank than anything else right now. The pocketbook of the household is going up. Everything.

    Wages are sticky inflation. Everything else is fixable. You can have more wheat next year. We're getting close to the wage price spiral but we're not there yet.

    The stock market is not the economy, but it is the economy to private companies.

    There's a lot of ebbs and flows to valuations.

    One of the price-setters for venture capital and growth tech is Masayoshi Son, lost $24b in Q1. (He made a lot in Alibaba. He doesn't currently have a lot of money to spend, so.) He still put $2.5b out on the street in Q1. SOFTBANK.

    Some people focus on 0 to 1. I want to focus on 1 to 2. You wanna have more than 1 product. So, Robinhood had low-cost trading. Then what? That's not the company, that's just the 0 to 1. How do you get your competitive pricing moat? You almost know Coinbase is gonna get decreasing revenue from their customers, just because there's going to be more competition. ROBINHOOD. COINBASE.

    There's a lot of fintech companies, all spending money on trying to win customers. The race to zero.

    What are you betting on in the crypto space (for private investing)? Software development teams, that can solve a problem that needs to be solved for a long period of time.

    I can't hire enough people, and you have to pay them too much. My brokerage account shrunk. My cost of everything is up. Everyone quit on me.

    Consumer credit boomed in March (2022). Sign of gas prices are too high, and I need to leave a higher balance on my credit cards. I was not squeezed for the last 2 years (stimi checks). I'm not paying with cash anymore; I'm putting half on my credit card. (credit was way down during stimulus check-era.)

    People say consumer spending is doing good because it's still high. But that's not the right reading. They don't want to be spending that. That's just what it costs now.

    If you greenlight (and regulate well) onshore crypto, people don't need to go to offshore). But the problem is the FCC needs to fight against the banking regulators.

    Bitcoin is maturing as an asset. The biggest country stopped mining and it survived. The mining difficulty rate adjusted. ... But it is not hedging against inflation. Gold didn't hedge inflation in the current environment really well either (it did hit a high last year).

    The dollar is weakening and strengthening. It's at a 20-year high.

    MARKET HISTORY when thinking about Bitcoin. FDR made it illegal for individuals to buy gold. But they could buy gold coins. Coograms and Maple Leafs. Everyone bought gold through futures contracts instead. And then we had gold bullion ETFs.

    I think gold has underperformed the last 5 years because of Bitcoin. People born with a cellphone in their hand. People in Ukraine.

    Smart Contracts have outperformed over the last 12 months. One of them has to be a winner. And you should also buy a basket.

    GDX is more liquid than gold. In a bear market it's hard to trade a gold company.

  • Ruble collapsed by 60% last March when they invaded Ukraine, but is now the strongest performer of 2022 (a 2-year high of 64R/1USD)

    Spending of reserves, being an exporter of petrol, having gas buyers buy in Rubles, doubling interest rates and limiting capital flows, and talking about backing the Ruble with gold and other commodities are factors contributing to its rising valuation.

    Russia has energy, so that's not cramping their style like in some oil importing countries (price has been rising over the past year significantly). Russian consumer appears still strong.

    However, the future. The economy (GDP) is guessed it will shrink 10% in an upcoming recession. Financial sanctions take months or years to take effect, they're not immediate.

    The other currencies that have appreciated against the USD this year are the Brazilian Rial and (a lot) and the Mexican Peso (a little bit). All other currencies have depreciated against the USD this year, the most depreciation seen by Egypt's Pound, Argentine's Peso, Japanese Yen, Turkish Lire, and some other Eastern European money.

  • Recently the US, which has never recognized Taiwan's independence (for the sake of its relationship with the CCP) deleted a sentence on the State Dept website that said the US "does not support Taiwan independence." It changed wording that had referenced Taiwan as being part of China.

    Is the US going to spend some more money on arms for Taiwan?

  • Costa Rican government received a malware attack and declared a State of Emergency

    ... disrupting tax collection and exposing citizen data.

  • #371 RISC-V: How much is open source? Featuring the new ESP32-C3 - YouTube

    His guess is that RISC-V will be successful because it's seen as RISC-V against ARM (monopoly), just as ARM succeeded against INTEL/HP in IoT etc in the 90s. A non-closedSource chip is good for those who want to build their products on top of the chip level.

    The RISC-V foundation recently moved to Switzerland (to be more secure or something).

    WP, Seagate, Huawei and Microchip (Arduino manufacturer) all are customers of ARM and don't like their monopoly.


  • Denmark suspends vaccinations - YouTube 
  • Questions about job seeking companies continues

    Job vacancy NUMBERS have like doubled. A huge spike in the graph.

    But people applying for jobs aren't getting even interviews.

    Some say it has to do with companies and PPP loans:

    "I’ve applied for 350 jobs as a graduating senior with a BS in economics and certifications in project management and barely have gotten any interviews. I’ve gotten 5 different scam posts though!

    "This is absolutely BS and is purely being used as justification for bailouts. The government is funding businesses to lie about their job numbers."

    Someone else:

    "IIRC some college professors had to send out upwards of 1000 applications to get interviews.

    "I imagine the problem now is a lot similar to dating websites; where everyone is looking for the best of the best, without realizing that those top candidates or jobs are either half scams or interviewing what they think will be a great person, only to wind up ghosted and the position left open because that top person they turned everyone else down for found something better.

    "Rather than picking good or even GREAT candidates, they just siphon out a ton of people on the assumption that the sheer volume of resumes they have means the cream of the crop will TOTALLY settle for them and not wind up somewhere else by the time they've sorted all the resumes and sent out responses to those top candidates."
  • "We still haven't felt that 'get me out at any price' type of trading, and while we are likely getting closer to a tradeable low, we don't think we are quite there yet... we continue to look for a sub-4k SPX, with colume based support coming in 3900-39050." - Doc on CNBC

  • Bill Gates published a book called "How to prevent the next pandemic"

    Dr John Campbell pointed out, If it really is how people can save their and others lives, why is Gates, one of the richest people there is, selling it for $25 a pop? Dr John Camplbell has free pdfs of his books.

    Short on money?

  • Will YouTubers become the most hated profession?

  • Calls increase after the first second, and other vaccinations for people under 40.

  • Mortgage refinancing demand dropped 70% from a year ago
  • Some San Diego residents moved to Mexico to save money

    Brokers for this trade usually see investors and retirees buying in Mexico, but now it's young workers too. Some people also work remotely and can live on the waterfront for $200k - $700k (versus in the millions for SD) (or was he saying $200 - 700 per month rent?).

  • Indonesia banned export of palm oil

    ... because of local shortage. Prices for it are up 40%, and people protested.

    Indonesia does 1/3 of global vegetable oil exports. 30m tonnes exported by them. India imports half its vegetable oil from Indonesia, 13m tonnes (60% of that is palm oil, 25% soybean oil, 12% sunflower seed oil). (Malaysia does 32% of India's imports to Indonesia's 55%.) There will now be much more demand than supply. 20% rise in priced expected in India.

    Poorer countries depend more on cheaper cooking oils like palm oil.

  • Inflation since 1 year ago in US, by CNBC

  • DALL-E makes VW Beetles similar to the Beetle

    "Is there something about the design of the Beetle that even variations look similar?" asked Bakz T. Future.

  • Amazon $4b loss, quarterly report

    Stock down 10%.

    Amazon is particularly susceptible to 2 things that are wide trends: consumer spending and supply chains.

    Costs. 1.3m workers. All those expenses going up.

  • DALL-E

    A side-effect of all the DALL-2 posts is you can see who on Twitter works at @OpenAI

  • US GDP dropped 1.4%, in a surprise, first drop since 2020

    Pricing index up 8%. Highest since 1981.
    US importing way more than exporting. Inventory. Some downturns due to interest rates. Lots of distortions in metrics.
  • Twitter employees are all a-twitter, talking about quitting

    Maybe illustrative of something maybe not expected. That it's not just the board of directors responsible for a malfunctioning (or just biased) organization, but, especially after years of use, the users and the workers. It might not be so easy to change and make it inclusive of those same people plus the people who had been excluded by them.

  • "If you have a $3m home that drops to $2.5, that person's gonna be OK. It's the person who bought the average $375k house that drops to $180k that can't refinance it, can't resell it, then can't afford a payment, and may lose his job." - I Allegedly (vlogger)

    Different from 2008 because they got rid of the liar loans and you really had to qualify for loans after that, but they're back now. The underwriting was much more difficult after 2008 (have to have income and a real downpayment). Back to unrealistic times right now.
  • "I don't know if we have a student loan problem, because it's only a problem if you have a debt that you can't pay." - I Allegdedly (vlogger)

  • Housing prices were up in March but sales down 8%. Consumer sentiment is lowering.

    The vlogger here, "These numbers, you don't really need to study them to know how bad these are, because lets face it, you see it when you go to the grocery store, when you purchase things, when you buy gas, you know exactly how you're getting mistreated as a far as inflation is concerned. That's happening to all of us right now."

  • Democrat Howard Dean left Twitter

    Jameela Jamil (actress and feminist) left.

    NYT colomnist Charles Blow left.
  • Dorsey tweet:

  • Musk making some statements in favor of free speech that seem sort of antagonistic to liberals (woke etc)

    Is this the best plan to keep an inclusive, pluralistic platform?

    #Musk #Twitter
  • Big follower number changes day after Musk bought Twitter

    Obama down 300k, Katy Perry down 200k. A Republican congresswoman and Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil went up 100k followers.

    They said this was caused by organic changes (left wingers leaving platform, right wingers joining).


  • Only use Snap?
  • 'For 75 years...': India's veiled dig at US, UK during resolution on use of veto power - YouTube 
  • "The Israeli government on this front has not been putting in guardrails. They have been relentlessly realpolitik in making sure this tech gets to whomever they want it to get to to curry favor geopolitically, and not really considering the human rights consequences." - Ronan Farrow (talking about things his sources said)

    "[Israel is] the leader in this kind of tech [phone spyware]. And I think one think that has allowed this tech to flourish through several years of scandals about abusive misuse of it, is that policy makers said Well these are companies that are closely entwined with the Israeli government. The Israeli MoD oversees the purchases, the approve the countries to whom for instance NSO Group is selling. So it lent to the proceedings an air of legitimacy."

    It is a tool of soft power, helping states get this cyber-offensive spying capability. NYT etc reported recently US helped Djibouti (a military ally) purchase Pegasus. That software was used against Djibouti's PM and civilian officials.

    Farrow said that sometimes a government will go to Israel to buy it, and won't be approved, but the Israeli officials will say Hey go to these guys (outside of the official system) and they can give you this capability. Also that there are lots of other countries ready to step in to sell this capability if Israel were not to do so.

    Hari on Amanpour pointed out that who Israel sells (is allowed to sell) the software to shows global relations. (They weren't allowed to sell to Ukraine because Ukraine is fighting Russia.)

    The industry is supposed to be worth about $16b annually.

  • Phoenix, AZ hottest property market for 33 months straight now

  • Averaging 1 massive crypto hack per week

    $Hundreds of millions often.

  • "The NASDAQ, not for most stocks but for the FANGS, Feb 24, the day Putin invaded. - Josh Brown

    The invasion drove up inflation for a lot of stuff, which put a top in for growth stocks.

  • "Apple is important to everything and everyone" - Josh Brown

    Not just the S&P and people who love tech, but also Berkshire. "Berkshire probably technically can't withstand Apple breaking down either."

  • Is single family home rentals 'the future'?
  • "We're in the only business in the global macro economy where customers hate bargains." - Rob Arnott on value stocks versus tech growth stocks

    20% up and everyone wants to buy, 20% down and everything avoids it, saying There must be something wrong with it.
    Does this mean the market is one of the easiest things to manipulate?
  • Tech stocks are not on discount, they are the bursting of a tech bubble, says Rob Arnott

    Like 2000.
  • "Roughly 1/3 of inflation is sheltered. Home ownership or renting, or hotels and motels" - Rob Arnott

    Hotels and Motels up over 20% last year. Home ownership (which is much bigger) is not counted in CPI as the value of a home) up 32% in the last 2 years. What the BLS does is ask What would the home rent for? They don't know, they just ask the home owners what they think it would rent for.

    We're going to see an illusion that inflation is subsiding in the coming months because those months are replacing big inflation months from 1 year ago, followed by an illusion inflation is breaking out in the summer months because those months will replace low-inflation months.
  • About CEOs of big tech companies, "They're successful because they've operated well near-term and they've had great long-term vision. If you've got great long-term vision there's no way you're reacting to a bear market. We're gonna have them every 5 years." - Mark Mahaney

    "Don't let the markets determine what your corporate strategy is. Maybe your financial strategy but not your corporate strategy."

    Maheney called Musk's purchase timing genius, "Step in with a big premium offer when the stock had been dramatically traded off as part of a bear market in tech stocks."
  • Does Twitter becoming private make it more competitive versus FB, Snap, etc?

    Mark Mahaney of Evercore: "I think Musk is doing something that a lot of investors should do which is that there's a lot of really good tech assets out there that are at very low prices. Yes, Elon Musk offered a 50% premium but it was on a stock that was off 50% since it's highs."

  • Comments on vaccine ads
    (insert video later)

  • This video gives an idea of how China is managing its cities during the pandemic April 2022 (2 years after the start, but after the latest Omicron strain, when China locked down Shanghai again). Lots of images.

    Lower immunity from natural infection - uniquely vulnerable. It was a source of national pride for Chinese that their case numbers had been so low, and they had so 'successfully' weathered the pandemic relative to other countries, although their strict lockdowns of cities caused economic and other problems (such as other health problems due to lack of diagnosis and treatment, access to medicine, etc, psychological problems from isolation, social issues from lack of socialization - it has been said (by Mill in the following terms) that the necessity of the mental wellbeing of people (on which all their other wellbeings depend) lies in freedoms) as well as extreme tracking and monitoring through electronic devices and registration. Some say the Chinese see the issue politically, as the Chinese system versus the West, so it may be less likely China would now permit opening the cities and having more infections, because of the images that would be shown to the world.
  • Mexico nationalized lithium

    "Elon Musk's worst nightmare."

  • India will be selling wheat to Egypt, it looks like

    ... instead of Russia and Ukraine, which formerly accounted for 80% of Egypt's wheat imports. They have a shortage, and have been importing from France, Romania, USA, and others. Prices have risen from $380 to $500 per ton.

    Egypt is the largest or second largest importer (12 of its 21m tonnes per year consumption) of wheat. India is one of the largest producers, and while it hasn't been big in exporting it, it seems India is willing to do so, although it seems unlikely India would be willing to produce and export THAT much. Right now India produces 110m tonnes and consumes 105m.

    They're meeting this week in Dubai. One thing they're doing (some Egyptian experts) is some tests to see what the quality of Indian wheat is, and how adequate it is for the Egyptian market. They found it is good enough, but commercial discussions which will come later will decide how much and at what price.

    Wheat is a strategic commodity, and every country has its own standards for wheat. Because it is strategic, Egypt is really considering whether to add India to its list of strategic importers of the food.

    Because Egypt is an important of wheat, so it can affect international prices of wheat. Not only a price taker but a price setter. That gives them the ability to have communications with several countries that export wheat, and to have some input on that trade of wheat on an international level. Exporters must respond differently when a big importer such as Egypt enters the market, compared with a smaller importer. (Big exporters also are price setters.)

  • CAR unanimously adopted Bitcoin as legal tender

    The first African country to do so.

  • An African man who was imprisoned in Guantanamo is suing Canada for allegedly supplying the US with false info about him

    He suffered various types of torture and maltreatment in the US torture prison.
  • Cameroon signed a new agreement with Russia for Military cooperation

    They have ongoing military agreements.
  • Seen on Facebook


  • 7 years growing. Despite pandemic, recession, whatever.

    Over $2t in 2021 for the first time.

    The biggest arms companies are all in the US except one in the UK.


  • Members of the Saudi royal family have been selling yachts, homes etc for a few years

    Apparently, MBS has cut money usually given to royals. He wants the money to fund ambitious projects. Some say that if the royals have lavish lifestyles, MBS will view them as rivals, and so are opting to hold cash.

  • Musk bought Twitter

    I didn't create a new Twitter account. From his first tweet, I didn't feel pulled back for any reason or anything.

    Someone wrote: "I’m not worried about the “rich guy who owns #Tesla now owns @Twitter. But I am at least slightly concerned that the guy who owns @neuralink and founded @OpenAI now owns the information graph on 300+ million users."

    Perhaps this will shake up social media though, which has been stagnant and widely hated (while being enjoyed) for years and years. We haven't seen any new activity, types of social media, companies, stances toward users and rights, we've just seen new more potent attention-retaining algos like Snapchat and TikTocks viral video streams.

    He bought it for $44b (a value of $54.20 per share).

    Analyists have said there is no downside to his investment, since the Board has done basically nothing since the 2013 IPO, and unlimited upside.

    That he'll attract lots of talent to fix the problems, since everyone wants to work for Musk.

    He has said that he wants the most extreme right and extreme left to both be equally unhappy on the platform. That moderates might want to come back.

    People don't think Musk will want to be CEO. He has a lot of suits to chose from in his other companies, competent people who will just never become CEO where they are.

    Some are saying this will be bad for the Woke movement / people.

    Several social media personalities, celebs, athletes expressed they were happy because they'd been shadowbanned or wanted more free speech.

    Josh Brown, who left Twitter even though he had a million followers, commented saying big celebrities who've left (Kardashians) aren't coming back. There's no way to bring them back. The bigger your account get the more the experience isn't good. Who wants to open up the app in the morning and see 50 negative things said about them? Some people will stay, people who have very thick skins or basically invite controversy.

    Someone tweeted, and Bezos resplied to it, that China may have gained leverage over public discussion, since it can withhold something Tesla needs unless Musk does what it wants on Twitter.

    Some have said Don't fool yourself he did it because he sees sure financial gain. This seems unlikely to me. But also reasonable. Some have talked recently about what will happen when Republicans retake the US government. It might happen in 2 years, or in 6, but sometime it will happen. After Biden was elected and Trump was still in office, most BigTech social media, including Twitter, banned President Trump and other Republicans. What do you think will happen to those companies when a Republican is in office again? The actions taken against SM will be at least in name taken for 'freedom of speech.'

    Musk may expect this will happen in 2 years, given the unpopularity of Biden. Also, this year is midterms (in November), when all the House faces reelections for their 2-year terms, and lots of the senators. The uncertainty of a midterm year traditionally has a downward effect on markets.

    Stock went up 6%. Price per share now is $52.87.

    His first tweet after buying it, and a Bezos tweet a little later.

  • "The easiest of the hard things is crude oil." - Dan Yergin

    Because you can get it from other places. The hardest thing is natural gas.

  • Asia markets continue down

    Lockdowns and lockdown fears. More cases in Shanghai lockdown, now in it's fourth week. Beijing might be next. 

  • "When the dollar is stronger, things break in other parts of the world." - Alicia Levine

    "I think we need to start thinking about what happens to the real economy as a result of the Fed actions and marching forward quickly, and what happens to financial assets. ... and I think it's quite plausible that things could break in the financial asset market globally. Think about what has happened to the Yen, the Yuan, the Euro and the Pound in the last 3 months. A very strong dollar does not bode well for the rest of the world. For multinationals and earnings.

    "I think we're seeing the beginning of the dislocation from the Fed's policy."

    (She doesn't see a recession in the US in the next year, but said that doesn't mean the economy's going to take it all that well.)
  • "If you look at the last two years, we had extraordinary rebound off the lows. You go back even further, 3 years, 5, 10. You go all the way back 13 years to the global financial crisis, and the challenge is that all of that is really a sugar high. All of those gains are really devaluation of the currency." - Mark Yusko

    He said that gold is money (the only thing that is). When you denominate in gold, we're flat since 1996. It's really currency devaluation. Excess liquidity by banks.
  • Macron won a second term

  • NFLX down like 40% in a day after reporting losing 200k customers

    It expects to lose 2m this year. It has like 220m though.

    Reasons: saturation in US (has like 90% of that market), competition with other streaming services (like Disney which is what anyone with kids maybe pays for). Cutting off Russia cost around 700m subscribers. Musk said wokeness was making shows unwatchable.

    Netflix is considering running ads (doesn't now) and not allowing password sharing.

  • "Africans do not want to be part of your (EU) foreign policy. We want to be free to determine for ourselves whether to condemn or not to condemn Russia." - Halifa Sallah

    Speech - YouTube 
  • Disney expected to lose self-governing status

    It's had this status since it opened in the 1960s, so it can do it's own utilities and emergency services and things no the ground it occupies. It made this arrangement with Florida back then.

    But recently CEOs for Disney there spoke out against a bill (the bill would ban the teaching of gender issues to children kindergarden - grade 3) and said they'd try to have it appealed.

    Florida politicians didn't like that such a big company can try to effect lawmaking in this way.

    The bill to take away Disney's self-governing status is making it's way through legal channels very quickly. But Disney has some months before it would take effect anyway, so the matter isn't settled for sure.

    50m people visit Disney each year.

  • China makes security pact with Solomon Islands

    Reportedly just before a US diplomat was supposed to go to keep this very thing from happening.

  • Expectation to keep a level of diversity. At the start of last year they had a dozen black partners among their 400 partners globally, and 5 have left in the last year.

    Questions about the pipeline (black execs to chose from).

    A lot of these black execs who are leaving, they were hired in 2019 or 2020. That's leaving significantly faster than the average tenure of a Goldman partner.

  • You can import your Google Calendar info with like 3 clicks, reportedly. It's called 'easy switch.'