The Causey Consulting Podcast

Saturday Broadcast 12

August 20, 2022
The Causey Consulting Podcast
Saturday Broadcast 12
Show Notes Transcript

Key topics:

✔️ ICYMI news, 8/15 - 8/19.
✔️ Jamie Dimon's desire to see everyone back in the Cube Farm this fall may come true.
✔️ Another real estate mansplainer tried to tell me that there is just noooooo way we could ever have a repeat of 2008. Meanwhile: Blackstone is gearing up to buy houses when the downturn happens. I mean... connect the dots.
✔️ According to Yahoo Finance, at least half of US companies are planning to reduce headcount. Ignore this data at your own risk.

Links I mention in this episode:

Need more? Email me:
For exclusive content you won't find here, become a Patreon Patron!
Siren courtesy of Pixabay

Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in recording this portion of the broadcast on Monday, August 15. We're now halfway through the month of August and I am kind of ready for summer to be over with. I've had enough. It's supposed to be cooling down, knock on wood, it's supposed to be cooling down. I think after tomorrow, I think tomorrow night, we may have some thunderstorms. Hopefully they won't be severe. But I am really ready. You know, I've been checking out the Farmers Almanac. And this is something else I want to talk about, I will be releasing my episode about what it's like to be a farmer right now on Thursday. But please stay weather aware, I mean, depending upon where you are in the world, and some of you are not even in this hemisphere. So your weather cycle is quite different from what's going on here in the northern hemisphere, let alone the Midwestern part of the United States. But I am hearing that here in the states we are in for a harsh winter, I've been hearing that in a lot of places, when it turns into fall, it's going to be chilly and wet. And then we're going to go into a harsh winter. So be thinking ahead. And in terms of bird's eye view of what I'm seeing in the stores, it's still the same as it has been sometimes you go in and things are pretty well stocked. And then you might go in the next week or a few days later. And it looks like a warzone catches catch can I will say that at my local Walmart, I went down the seafood aisle and it was decimated, I was really shocked. Now there was still there were a few slices of fresh salmon and tilapia, like on the fresh part of the seafood section. But if you wanted to buy something frozen, you were out of luck. It just wasn't there. I mean, it is there is something kind of psychologically weird to get to a section of a store and there's just nothing, there just is nothing to choose from at all. At the local Dollar General, they're still resorting to putting stickers on top of stickers on top of stickers. There were some items where there was just no price tag at all. And I guess if you were interested in buying that item, you just have to take it up to the front, have them ring it up and ask how much is it at this moment in time? You know, because if you went back the next day, I would assume it would probably be more expensive than when things just continually seem to be going up. On that note, if we go over to CNBC today, we have headlines such as stores and suppliers clash over price hikes as shoppers hit by sticker shock. I would say Goldman sees a feasible but difficult path for the Fed to defeat inflation without a recession. We'll see. Void your customer lost $1 million saved over 24 years and is one of the many desperate to recoup funds. Walmart strikes exclusive streaming deal to give Paramount plus to Walmart plus subscribers. More than 100 million Americans will experience extreme heat by 2053 mostly in the South and Midwest. And then it shows someone using like a parasol. And the picture in the background shows it's 122 degrees Fahrenheit. So there's something to look forward to. homebuilders say us is in a housing recession, as sentiment turns negative. Do you think? Over on Yahoo Finance we find JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon rips remote work and zoom as management by Hollywood Squares and says returning to the office will a diversity. Yeah, I put this right firmly into my bucket of people get ready. I've been telling y'all been warning y'all been sounding that alarm. I mean, I and I have really amped it up over this past week or two of hey, look, I'm seeing more and more work from home hit pieces slash RTO fluff pieces. I don't think this is a coincidence. I don't think corporate America is being furtive anymore. I think they're putting it right out there on Front Street that they want you back button seat in the cube farm. I'll read a little bit of this article for you. Now naturally, of course, I will drop a link to it so that you can check it out for yourself and I would highly recommend that you do so. JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie diamond blasted working from home and zoom as management by Hollywood Squares using the data TV show reference on a call with the bank's wealthy clients last week to reiterate his long held preference that workers returned to the office Yahoo Finance reports I'm going to break in long enough to say I remember Hollywood Squares. Remember it so you know the fact that they're talking about how old it is and how dated it's like, thanks. Thank you. I'll continue to read. Diamond argued on the Tuesday call that remote work creates an a working environment that's less honest and more prone to procrastination. A lot of people at home are texting each other sometimes saying what a jerk that person is said diamond. Yeah, because they don't want to be on that flipping zoom call anyway. You know Hillar they probably just want to be working. They want to Oh I don't know do their freaking job instead of being on a zoom call. I have said so many times. Y'all so many times. Not ever Everybody wants to LARP that they're on a reality show. Not everybody wants to be on camera all the time. Some people, myself included, find that gross. We're not we're not, we're not into it, we're not into it. And then they put in parentheses. His Hollywood Squares comment refer to the decades old game show that's no longer in production, in which celebrities sat in in a three by three grid to answer questions from contestants. So if you want to feel really old, you just have to remember that millennials and Gen Z kids probably have no frame of reference for Hollywood Squares. Diamond's remarks come as the tussle between management and employees on a return to the office heats up, and a possible economic slowdown threatens to erode employee's leverage to stay home. Going to read that again, for emphasis. A possible economic slowdown threatens to erode employees leverage to stay home, Bank of America already told y'all y'all got too much power, it's time for the employers to be in power. Again, it's time for that pendulum to go ride on back over to corporate America and ride away from you. If you don't think that they would would not use a recession or depression, whatever, whatever this is that spring up, if you don't think that they would use it for their own benefit to drag your butt back. But in seat to the office. I don't know what to tell you, you know, if you are still burying your head in the sand on that point. What is it going to take? I guess I will I know what it's going to take. It's gonna take it happening to you. Right? That's like the poster that said, Well, I had no idea that a job offer could be rescinded. And it's like, well, where have you been? I'm sorry, that that happened to you. That sucks. And it and it's crappy. And it shouldn't have happened to you? What was going on that you weren't reading those articles and being aware of people being more they were warning individuals all through the month of June, hey, this is happening. People have even relocated in some cases and then been told Oopsy daisy, your job doesn't exist. Sorry. Ignorance is not going to be a valid excuse forever, you guys, it's just not wake up, up, up up up. If you feel like feeling even more disgusted today, then you should zoom on over to LinkedIn and check out what's your productivity score. I'll drop a link to that as well. I imagine I'll be blogging about that this week. And I know for sure that I will be discussing this over on my Patreon channel on Sunday. You know, this is a topic that I'm going to have to be able to go from G to PG all the way to R rated for adults. To really say what I need to say about this, I'll read the blurb for you now. The spread of digital productivity monitoring, which exploded during the pandemic represents one of the most significant expansions of employer power in generations writes The New York Times, already prevalent in lower paying jobs such as Amazon warehouse workers and UPS drivers. The software is now being deployed to track the activity of professionals, including doctors and lawyers. The data produced can lead to lost pay and lost jobs and there are a few legal protections against its use held Sopris but many experts say the technology distorts the productivity picture by failing to capture offline and hard to assess tasks and quote if you click on the link which will take you to the New York Times you will learn about like people in hospice care or people that coordinate funerals I guess having to use a point system like you get a quarter of a point if you call a grieving family you get one and a half points if you actually officiate a funeral I'm like what in the actual if I'm gonna keep it clean, y'all I will but what what? What I am Oh, my God. Wow. I mean, you you have to quantify death. Even when you leave this earth you use you slipped the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of God or whatever it is that you believe happens after you leave your flesh suit. You still have to be measurable in some monetary way your corpse has to still be good to somebody. It's rare that I'm rendered completely speechless, but I mean I I'm not I'm not even sure what else I can say about that. Certainly not on a G to PG rated Podcast. Today is Tuesday, August 16. on CNBC we have headlines such as Bed Bath and Beyond sore 70% as meme traders talk up Ryan Cohen's call options purchase. What could possibly go wrong there? American Airlines agrees to buy 20 supersonic planes from boom homebuyers are backing out of more deals as high mortgage rates persist and recession fears linger. Over on Yahoo Finance we find Walmart CFO talks consumers inventory back to school and gas prices. After earnings beat WTI crude oil settles at lowest price since January 25. Zoom stock slashed by city amid new hurdles. Warner Brothers and discovery cut 14% of HBO Max jobs. Over on the side panel for LinkedIn we find Apple tells workers it's time to our to housing recession is here. Nike gives workers the week off. Gen X is the boss but not really. When have we ever been extreme heat belt coming to the US hBo hBo Max lays off 70 employees expats flocking to a host of new cities. If we click on Apple tells workers it's time to RTO we read. Apple has become the latest company to roll out an official hybrid working model telling employees they need to be on site at least three days a week starting September 5. The company's corporate employees are expected to be in office on Tuesdays and Thursdays. individual teams can select a third and office day haha Nice. Apple has long put a premium on in person meetings and demos. The company delayed plans to roll out a hybrid work model earlier this year citing rising COVID numbers. The tech giant has laid off about 100 contract based recruiters over the past week Bloomberg reports citing anonymous sources, but you don't hear about that the cuts at Apple are part of a wider plan to curtail hiring and spending in quote, one of the responders REITs. If at first you don't succeed, try try again. Changing the RTO RTP days from Mondays Tuesdays and Thursdays to Tuesdays and Thursdays and another day determined by each team is a sure winner this time. Not, I'm afraid. The Three Amigos Apple, Google and Microsoft are still clutching to the past. The progressives led by Salesforce 3am, Dropbox, Mehta, United Healthcare and hundreds more are encouraging remote individual knowledge work, they are creating the framework of the new remote infrastructure where employees will come together in person when desirable, in much better locations than the legacy office convenient, flexible and supported by state of the art tech. All the growth will be here for the balance of the decade and quote, I'm not sure about that. That I feel like this is more sort of positivity, wishful thinking, optimism. I understand, okay, they tried this before and it didn't work out. But the times they are changing, the restrictions have been lifted, and a lot of places. Corporate America is not burying its thesis, they want you back but in seat, you have so many people living paycheck to paycheck, I find it very difficult to believe that every single person in this country who lives paycheck to paycheck and is dependent on their job for their salary and benefits is just going to have a mass walkout and say, eff it. To hell with all of this, we're not coming back and you can't make us maybe I will be surprised. I hope I'm proven wrong. You know what I could be? This is just my opinion. And I could be wrong, but I don't see it happening. I here's here's my prediction. As you know, I'm not afraid of making bold statements and bold predictions. Here's what I see playing out. I think a lot of these companies, some of them will just say look RTO or it's your job, they're gonna go the Elon Musk route and just say, Look, you either come back full time, eight to five, Monday through Friday, but in st in the cube farm, or there's the door. Oh, and by the way, we're in a recession. So choose wisely. They're either going to do that, or they're going to do this hell of half measures hybrid bullcrap of, well. Okay, come on back two or three days a week, we'll give you some flexibility. We'll let you choose some of those days or all of those days, but you know, we're going to be button see two or three times out of the week. When everybody starts to complain about how that's not working. It's too chaotic. It's too weird. Sometimes Sally's here. Sometimes she's not. Sometimes I see Billy on Tuesdays. Sometimes I see him on Friday. Things are just chaotic. They'll say, okay, great. Come on back permanently. There's no more work from home. There's no more remote. Now, will there be some companies that maintain remote work? Yes. Yes. And I would highly encourage you to read the fine print. In any job description or any offer letter that you sign. Please read the fine print. Because some of these companies that claim to be 100% remote or not, they still want you to travel quite possibly at your own expense. Whether it's per month or per quarter to some corporate who haul bullcrap, meaning in my opinion, it's all a bunch of bullcrap. Some corporate who hall meeting or some rally the troops, let's all get in the same place at the same time and do force socialization. You still have to do that. So if you're like me and in your mind 100% remote with zero travel means exactly that. You don't want to be in for an unpleasant surprise at some point down the road with your boss telling you hey, you better be buying a plane ticket because we're all supposed to be in x location next week for the kalpoe ground up. Choose wisely. Be smart, I can't tell you what to do. I cannot tell you what to do, in my opinion. And in my prediction, the push for RTO is only going to get stronger. And I think it's important for us to be careful about getting into toxic positivity and toxic optimism or normalcy bias. Well, that would just never happen to me might happen to the guy down the street, it might happen to the Laney one cube over but it would never happen to me. Well, it could. It could. So whenever I see posters that are like, Oh, I just I don't think that RTO is going to take hold. I don't think that these companies are going to on mass demand everybody come back, I myself would not be so sure that. Over on the New York Post, we find Walmart sales get boost from higher income shoppers as inflation rages. In this article, we find higher income shoppers turn to Walmart looking to cut costs on groceries amid surging inflation, helping to boost sales at the nation's largest retailer during the second quarter. Those rising prices also led customers to cut back on non necessary items however, and that weighed on profits as Walmart was forced to cut prices and clear inventory and quote, this is an interesting juxtaposition, I think because you know, we had Simon mall, talking about how the affluent customer is not cutting back based on what they're seeing people still going in Louis Vuitton and Aramis and buying expensive clothing, shoes and bags, etc. So I'm still kind of wondering like when they say higher income shoppers are coming into Walmart. What kind of demographic are we talking about here? Are we talking about people who are middle class to upper middle class? Or are we somehow talking about the same people that are going into high end department stores and paying 1000s upon 1000s of dollars for designer clothing and shoes? I'm skeptical about that. I'm kind of wondering still yet okay, when they're talking about higher income do they just mean you're not living technically at the poverty level? So meanwhile, as we have Walmart, trying to court higher income shoppers and get them coming into the stores, something similar is playing out when this whole debacle was Six Flags. Also on the New York Post, we find Six Flags workers call for CEOs ouster as attendance plunges wages freeze. I will read from that article now. Six Flags employees are taking to social media to demand the ouster of their CEO, who last week said the theme park has become a cheap daycare center for teenagers as he revealed it has lost 2 million customers to anonymous letters posted on Reddit shortly before the Arlington Texas based companies customer defections sent its stock tumbling more than 18% in a single day for trade chief executive Salim bustle as an X happy boss who is out of touch with the workings of the struggling theme park Salim is the laughingstock of the entire company. According to another anonymous employees letter with the title stepped down saline that was posted August 6 on Reddit. None of us have an ounce of respect for him in quote. Now over on the side panel where they have more on Six Flags if you want to read more about the company on the New York Post, we also see three people shot at Six Flags Great America in Illinois, will keep our working class money. Six Flags CEO blasted over daycare for teenagers remark six black CEO we became a cheap daycare center for teenagers Six Flags power outage forces hundreds to weight in 95 degree heat. Yikes. Okay, I'm going to continue to read a little bit more. On a Thursday conference call Bessel told Wall Street analysts he was raising prices at the parks in a bid to weed out rowdy teenagers and replace them with middle class and even lower middle class families. He likened his plans to migrating customers toward target and away from Walmart and Kmart in quote, you know, I've talked before about the idea of a K shaped economy. And that seems to be it. In my opinion. In my analysis, as I've said many times, I am not a professional economist, financial advisor or planner, not a power broker, and I don't sit on the web. I don't rub shoulders with the billionaires and trillionaires and whatever that make huge sweeping decisions about the globe. That's not me. Just my observation here. It seems like more and more places, whether we're talking about theme parks or we're talking about retail stores have this notion of when we just want to court higher income we want to court higher level higher socio economic bracket people. It's almost like they're saying, forget about the poor people. We're just kind of done with them. They're not going to have any money anyway, this recession, depression, whatever is getting ready to cripple them. They're not going to be able to come to an amusement park. They're going to be able to even go in a Walmart and buy clothes or bedding or towels and sheets and whatever. So piss on. That's what it seems like to me I could be wrong. This is just my opinion and I could be wrong. But I really think we are watching a K shaped economy coming into play. There are people who never really recovered from the Great Recession of 2008. And when you think about whatever this is that's brewing up, it's scary as these wealthy people who you know, inflation is not a big deal to them, they're still going in. We've eaten in our mess and buying very expensive clothing and shoes and whatever right what a we're good, we're solid, we can buy all this is not a problem for us. And then other people who are struggling to buy things even at Walmart or the dollar stores. That's troubling. It is I don't see any way around it. I find it troubling. Today it is Wednesday, August 17. on CNBC, we have headlines such as Fed sees interest rate hikes continuing until inflation eases substantially minutes show downfalls for the first day and six as investors assess latest retail data and Fed minutes. Targets earnings take a huge hit as retailer sells off unwanted inventory. If you click on the article about target, you will find that its quarterly profit was down nearly 90% from one year ago. Crypto broker Genesis slashes 20% of workforce and announces CEO exit after loans soured. Feds Call for Water cutbacks to avoid a catastrophic collapse of the Colorado River. I will be talking about what it's like to be involved in farming or agriculture right now, in tomorrow's episode. Spoiler alert, it's not easy. And I would highly recommend if you are hearing farmers and ranchers in your area talking about food shortages, crops not performing well crops being destroyed either by flash drought or flash flood water shortages. In my opinion, you would be very smart to listen to them. Lawmakers call for safety upgrades as people face long lines in the heat at Social Security offices. Over on Yahoo Finance we find tech stocks slide Bed Bath and Beyond continues wild rally lows tempers sales outlook as inflation bites. The Fed has been notoriously bad at committing to forward looking plans. But I'm sure that's not the case. Now I'm sure we can just trust them implicitly. Falling gas prices might be a sign for inflation. Also on Yahoo Finance, we find Blackstone is prepping a record$50 billion dollar vehicle to scoop up cheap homes during the downturn. Here's how to lock in higher yields than the big money. In the first couple of paragraphs we find residential real estate is arguably the most valuable and accessible segment of real estate asset class. Its popularity has driven a disproportionate amount of capital into residential real estate particularly from institutional funds, pushing up valuations and pushing yields lower real estate investment giants continue to buy up homes something that is likely here to stay even with higher mortgage rates. In fact, Blackstone is close to finalizing what could be the biggest traditional private equity real estate investment fund in history, according to the Wall Street Journal and quote. So if we go all the way back to Saturday, broadcast eight, which was published on the morning of July 23, I warned you about this. I dropped a link from the Wall Street Journal about how Blackstone was putting the finishing touches on its record real estate vehicle. This is not completely hidden information. It might be buried a little bit you might have to do some digging for it, but it's out there it is out in the open. You are being told, Hey, here's what's coming. So I find it interesting that we still have real estate agents and brokers that are banging the drum of we're not in a bubble, there's not going to be a housing market collapse. Banks, we're not giving out risky loans. This is not 2007 2008 that could never happen again. Really. As I've said before, don't listen to what corporate America says especially in fluff pieces and puff pieces and PR and marketing. No. Watch what they do. Don't listen to what people say talking heads and pundits and commentators watch what they do. Watch what they do. Let's let's reread this headline one more time. Blackstone is prepping a record $50 billion vehicle to scoop up cheap homes during the downturn. They're telling you that they think a downturn is coming. So regardless of some realtor, some Charlie nobody somewhere that said Ah since 2008 You're going to be just fine. You go and sign on the dotted line overpay for that poopoo house. Right garlis of what those people are saying, I'm going to take a look at what Blackstone is doing. They have a hell of a lot more money than I do, and I daresay they probably have more money than what some Jane Doe, John Doe realtor mortgage broker is telling you to try to sell you something. Clearly, they're preparing for a downturn in the housing market, they are preparing to scoop up houses on the cheap. And this is this is public information you can go I want you to go and read these articles for yourself and make your own judgment. In my opinion, this is very clearly telling me that these huge investment firms see some type of housing crash coming. The other day, I overheard a couple of Realtors talking, I don't know these individuals personally. So there's no way that I can speak to their education, their credentials, how long they've been in the market, I have no idea. I was really just a fly on the wall listening to a couple of people talk. And their prediction was that along about December or January, that's when the real poopoo is going to hit the fan in the real estate market. That's when we'll start to see the short sales, the distressed sales, the early wave of foreclosures coming up December, January. Now again, I don't know them. I'm not a financial advisor or an economist. I'm not a real estate agent or broker myself, I cannot give you advice. And I'm sure if those two individuals were in the room right now, they would say the same thing. I was just a fly on the wall, overhearing a conversation. But I did find it interesting. And I thought that in terms of a timeline, that's probably not a bad prediction, that's probably not a bad roughing it out because foreclosures don't happen instantaneously. If someone gets into a house, they've overloaded themselves and they start missing payments. It's not like that the first late payment or the first missed payment, the bank says okay, foreclosure get out. Now. That's not how it works. There's a process involved to it. In fact, last summer, during the height of FOMO, there was a foreclosure house that came on the market in my area, and the individual who bought the house had done so. And then immediately COVID hit and hit his position, whatever it was, I'm not sure his position was deemed non essential. And he was laid off, and he struggled to find anything else. So he never even made the first payment. He never made a single payment on that house, he got foreclosed upon. And then the house came up for sale in summer of 2021. So there's some lag time there. This the same thing with farmers and ranchers telling you hey, seeds didn't make it this year, our crops got burned up or our crops got destroyed by floodwaters. By and large, we're still eating food that was grown last year. So there are certain things that are lagging indicators, there are certain things that don't show up in the economy or show up in the world. Immediately. Some things do a lot of things don't. So if we start to see the first wave there are the initial signs have cracks in the foundation, no pun intended around December or January. And those people who sort of spitballing ideas around are accurate. That would make sense to me. Now, they went on to say they felt like the real like it would be really bad. And it would be overt. It would be clear to sort of John and Jane Q Public summer of next year. That's when in their in their mind, according to them. That's when it's going to be really bad. I guess I guess it's going to start getting really bad December, January, and then by next summer, it's going to be really, really bad and really, really clear, even to people that bury their head in the sand and kind of goof off and play games. Will that be the case? I have no idea. I've said before I'm not an all seeing Oracle from ancient times or some kind of psychic. I have no idea if that's what's going to happen. But I do find it an interesting prognostication. At any rate, we clearly have Blackstone gearing up with an absolute boatload of money to scoop up on quote, cheap homes during the downturn is why I keep saying be naive at your own risk. You know, if you want to play games, if you want to be the grasshopper that saying all summer, you think somebody's going to roll up in a lifeboat to bail you out. That's your business. That's your business. I myself would not want to live that way. But I just think that naivete and paying more attention to celebrity gossip, who's getting married, who broke up who who's calling who who's got beef on Tik Tok or whatever. Doing stuff like that is going to come at too high of a price in my opinion. Educate yourself. Stay aware of the markets. Don't be worried about Hollywood Gossip right now be worried about how you're going to keep food on the table. Just my opinion, and I could be wrong about that. That's the direction I'm going in. Today it is Thursday, August 18. on CNBC, we have headlines such as home sales fell nearly 6% In July, as housing market slides into a recession. Who didn't see that coming. You know, I don't know what it is about real estate seeming to attract more mansplain errs than any other arena I dabble in but Good grief. Just yesterday, I had to get rid of one that was harassing me about how he didn't think that the real estate market was going to go into a recession. And even if it did, it would just never be as bad as 2008. And I'm like, dude, just get out. There's the door and don't let it hit you on your way out. But you know, one thing we can say positive for Lord Ilan is that he did blow the whistle on bonds. And so one of the reasons why I don't get into arguments with these individuals, I don't I don't try to even go there is because some of them are not even people. That could be bots, they could be AI, they could be paid corporate shows that are there to further a very specific narrative. And so what's the point? What's the point you don't want to give them? You don't want to throw gasoline on an open fire. And you don't want the algorithm on these platforms to go okay, this is clearly getting some traction, these people are in an argument. So we'll promote this. I look at it like a swimming pool. Let's imagine that you had a swimming pool, the water was just perfect. Not over or under treated. Just beautiful, pristine temperature was great environment was great, lovely place for a swim. But then let's say that you allowed people to start peeing, some people pooped. Some people had throw up some people had nosebleeds. How pristine would that water be? How many people would want to go swimming in that swimming pool if they had to do it with all of that sludge? So that's why I just I don't even go there. You know, it could be a bot. It could be a troll. It could be a paid corporate shill or it could just be somebody who is extraordinarily bad at reading the tea leaves. And you know, I don't have time for that. Sorry, I don't. In other news, we find jobless claims edge lower as Fed looks to cool labor market. If we click on that article we find at their July meeting, Fed officials noted tentative signs of a softening outlook for the labor market. That included a rise in weekly claims. According to the minutes released Wednesday, policymakers said they were determined to continue to raise interest rates until inflation was under control, even if it meant more of a slowdown in hiring. Unfortunately, what's good for the American worker is bad for the Feds attempt to bring inflation back down to 2%. And this will complicate their job and cause them to raise rates higher and for longer than many people currently expect. said Chris zaccarelli, Chief Investment Officer for independent investor Alliance. I'm going to read one particular part of that again for emphasis here. Unfortunately, what's good for the American worker is bad for the Feds attempt to bring inflation back down to 2%. Hmm, ignore information like this at your own risk, in my opinion. Do I think that jobless claims have started to edge lower? I'm suspicious of that. I'm not sure that that I would just wholesale believe that looks too cool. The labor market I think the labor market already is getting cool. I think a lot of it just depends on which industry that you're in. Are you seeing the the front end of this? Are you on the beginning part of the tsunami or are you not? In other headlines we find downfalls as Wall Street struggles to revive summer rally, Home Depot and Lowe's cites strong demand and earnings reports but softening could be ahead. Turkey shocks market with rate cuts despite inflation near 80%. Oh, wow. Over on Yahoo Finance, we see stocks choppy retail in focus Bed Bath and Beyond down 20% 97% of executives say we're in a recession or will be I wonder why that is. I wonder why that is? Oh, let me see. Maybe because when you're an executive or you own and operate a business and you're paying close attention to the economy and to your own bottom lines. You're really freaking aware that we're in a recession. Guys like you can't make this stuff up. We also see seller beware us homebuyers are still backing out have deals at the highest rate since the start of the pandemic. Oh, but I'm sure that mansplain or who thinks everything's going to be fine. Fine. Just fine. I'm sure he's right. I'm sure we can probably just ignore all of the evidence to the contrary. Over on the side panel for LinkedIn, we find bosses are back at work alone. Genesis lays off 20% of its workforce what a taco get you to RTO she's RTO deadlines bloom after Labor Day hmm remember Cheney diamond saying that he would really love to see people back but and see in the fall. Mm hmm. Huh. Target takes big hit from discounts. Air b&b tech will crash your party. jobless claims drop unexpectedly No worries over Jin Z's pay later habit. Would I go back and sit but in st and a cube farm for free tacos? No. That's that's an easy question to answer no. I mean, I think Mexican food is like the nectar of the gods it's freaking fantastic. But I I'm not going to go back and commute and be but in seat and a cube farm for free taco Navidad that if we click on RTO deadlines loom after Labor Day, we find a steady stream of companies are ordering employees back to offices after Labor Day, setting up a test of who holds the power in the post pandemic workplace reports Bloomberg firms, including Apple, peloton and Comcast have all told employees to return to Office at least several days a week post September 5. It's a tricky balancing act for businesses. Many executives say in person cooperation is essential for innovation. But employees have been empowered by remote work and a tight labor market and 70% say they look for a new job if they lose too much flexibility in quote. Sure, okay. But what happens when there's more competition for all of those jobs? What happens in a recession? What happens when unemployment is high? What happens when you need to do whatever it takes to keep a job that you have so that you have salary and benefits? It's almost like somebody should have been on the airwaves warning you? Yeah, Mm hmm. Almost like that. Fortunately, we've made it now to Friday. It is August 19. I am ready. on CNBC. We have headlines such as stocks fall Friday to notch weekly loss s&p 500 snaps for week long rally. Bank of America says this is a textbook bear market bounce that will fail. Warren Buffett gets permission to buy up to half of Occidental Petroleum boosting the shares. I am sure there is a story there. Zelinsky Warren's world is on the verge of nuclear disaster explosions reported at Russian military sites. Gen Xers are cutting discretionary spending amid high inflation but continue to save for retirement study says I would like to know what Gen Xers are planning to retire at some point. I don't I don't personally know any. And I'm not one. I would guess that they must be on the older half of Gen X maybe a little bit closer and values and ideas to the baby boomers. But I don't ever plan to retire. Not ever. I want to keep my mind as sharp and agile as possible. And I want still have billable hours the day that I croak. And I don't I don't vary my thesis on that I tell everybody the same thing. I have no desire to ever retire in any traditional sense of the word. This notion of I'm going to sit on the back porch in my rocking chair. I'm going to greet the sunrise every morning. I'm going to listen to the birds chirp as I drink my coffee. Okay, and then what? And then what after that takes up maybe 30 minutes to one hour of your day, you still have all of those other hours of space to fill. And I have seen too many people not just anecdotally oh people off somewhere people I know personally, who have retired and said To hell with corporate America I've done I've had enough. And instead of doing something that energizes them doing something that turns them on and makes them feel genuinely excited to get up in the morning, they just sit in front of the idiot box. They give up and then the next thing you know they've developed a chronic illness or their debt. So to me, I just say no thank you to that. I have no desire for any of that. We also read Regal Cinemas owner Cineworld shares plummet on bankruptcy reports. FTC sending $822,000 In refund checks to student loan borrowers ripped off and debt scam. Over on Yahoo Finance it's a similar seen stocks snap four week winning streak as NASDAQ drops 2%. Bed Bath and Beyond crashes, energy stocks, is there more upside? The experts weigh in. regulators say Buffett can buy up to 50% of Occidental lifetime works health club workspace is designed for agile entrepreneurs. Experts says sticker shock this winter, I imagine that to be true. Survey finds 50% of companies want to cut headcount. But hey, remember everybody is doing great. We are still in a red hot job market unemployment 3.5% to open jobs for every one unemployed person why these are just isolated layoffs. They're just isolated hiring freezes. Meanwhile, if you click on the article, you will find that according to a survey that was conducted by Price Waterhouse Cooper, we find that 50% of companies are planning to reduce overall headcount. 46% of companies said they are dropping or reducing signing bonuses and 44% are resending offers. Please do not get caught off guard and do not bury your head in the sand. Over on the side panel for LinkedIn news we find Wayfair cuts 5% of global work force. Another meme stock ends in tears. Would we expect anything different? Want a child that'll be $300,000? A glum picture for Regal Cinemas, buyers toast hip new lager, water streaming steals cables thrown. jobless claims drop unexpectedly. Hmm, what a mixed bag of strangeness we have there a couple of points I want to make before I wrap this up, call it tonight. I was listening to a gentleman talk online earlier. And he was saying about how he really had not believed that much about shortages. He thought that people in other parts of the country were maybe exaggerating it or maybe they were just fabricating it all together until it happened to him until he went into his local grocery store, which had been fully stocked. Yes, things were more expensive, just like they are all over the place. But there hadn't been any shortages, there really had not been a noticeable decrease in availability until one day he walked in. And there were gaps on the shelves, there was fronting going on, there were attempts to you know, turn bread sideways to make it look like more was there. And that's really when the light bulb went off over his head. Oh, okay. I got it. That's why people in the emergency preparedness community are saying should probably stay aware. I feel like there are a great many people who live their life that way. And I'm not trying to be condescending, and I'm not trying to be rude. I'm just trying to keep it real. There are people who will just think, well, everything's fine and dandy as long as I can go to my local store, and everything's fine. Who cares about anybody else? As long as whatever's going on in some big major metropolitan area hasn't hit my city yet. Oh, well, who cares? By the time John and Jane Q Public wake up and go, Oh, holy Poopoo. Something bad has happened. In my opinion, it's too late. The same thing happens in a mass layoff. If you're out in a river of other people that have all been laid off at the same time, that's a tough position to be in, it is a tough position to be in. The other thing I want to say is that I'm hearing repeatedly from people that I know in the intelligence community as well as people that have military and tactical training, that there's just a lot of heat right now. And what I mean by that is people just snapping off you. I've talked about this in my own adventures, just trying to go to the grocery store, go to the local Walmart in seeing odd behavior, men trying to get abnormally close to me, or people going out in public high as kites. This is not the time. This is not the time. And what I've heard repeatedly is you need to go out with good situational awareness. And obviously, that's, you know, practical advice at any point in time. But when we're talking about inflation, higher crime levels, people being on edge, you need to stay aware, you really do. You know, I had been predicting that we would probably see a long, hot summer, followed by a winter of discontent. And now here we are, here we are. What I have heard repeatedly is you got to go out with an attitude of don't start No, she won't be No. In other words, don't mean mug people. Don't try to stare them down. Don't try to get involved in conflicts. Because if you go out with them with a chip on your shoulder acting like you're ready to get in a fistfight or you're ready to start something with somebody, they will take you up on that offer. This is not the time to be a smart mouth. It's not the time to push people around, you go out you get what you need to get and then you get home but you don't try to start trouble with other people or they will take you up on the offer. And they might have a little bit more power in the situation then you do. You might be writing some checks with your mouth that your body cannot cash. And it is not the time to be doing that. I understand. I'm not trying to sound like an ER I'm not trying to sound like a gloom and doom or I'm just telling you what about passing the word along from people I know with, let's say a higher a higher level of understanding of things and I have just just putting that out there information for your entertainment only. In the meantime, stay safe, stay sane, and I will see you in the next episode.