The Causey Consulting Podcast

Saturday Broadcast 39

March 11, 2023
The Causey Consulting Podcast
Saturday Broadcast 39
Show Notes Transcript

 Key topics:

✔️ ICYMI news, 3/5 - 3/10.
✔️I feel like Corpo America is gonna look at people filming themselves working and say, "If you want that level of surveillance, c'mon back to the office and we'll happily give that to you." 😣
✔️Crypto, bank runs, and collapses. Implosions in less than 48 hours. SMH.
✔️Low interest rates + hyped stock + M&As followed by a deflating Big Tech bubble. Where have we seen this before . . . sounds like the late 90s/early 00s.
✔️Do you understand bank bail-ins?


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Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find us online anytime at And now, here's your host Sara Causey. Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. Today it is Sunday, March 5, over on the latest layoffs roster for LinkedIn. Before I get into the newest announcement, I want to point out that the paragraph above the litany of layoffs has changed. For quite some time, they wanted to remind us that we still had a red hot job market. There were supposedly all these open jobs and we still had a blazing hot labor market. 3.4% unemployment rate, blah, blah, blah. Well, now the paragraph has changed. Another reason why I tell you and I tell you and I tell you, if you wait to be officially told something, in my opinion, you are waiting too late. You are waiting way too damn late. After several months, during which both mass layoffs and hiring have neared record levels, private sector data points to a labor market that could be starting to normalize. Companies that have been plagued by staff shortages are having an easier time hiring. The Financial Times reports even as other sectors remain under pressure to prune costs, the LinkedIn news team continues to have an eye on industries that are hiring, as well as on the latest job cuts below. Normalize, there's that word again. To me this goes back to what I've also warned you about someone will put on soft pastel colors and they'll speak in a very gentle way. Like it's hypnotic. Like it's NLP programming. In spite of mass layoffs, the job market is still good. And everything is okay because it's starting to normalize. Some people flew too close to the sun like Icarus, and they over hired. But that's not every industry, people are still doing great. This is just normal. It's not a market crash of any kind. You shouldn't panic and you shouldn't be worried, normalizing. Right? Okay. Sure. And also, yeah, I imagine that companies that did supposedly have a difficult time hiring due to labor shortage, I'm sure they are having an easier time. Because if somebody gets laid off, and they need a J, ob ASAP, they might be desperate. Some of these companies, in my opinion, in my analysis, they put up now hiring signs to get their PPP loans. And the now hiring signs never came down. But yet, they never really hired people either. They just sat back and gripe that nobody wants to work, all of Gen Z is supposedly lazy and will not hold down a job. But as I shared with you a couple of Saturdays to go, go when we went out to eat. I was so tired, I didn't want to cook and I didn't want to dirty up any dishes. I just wanted to be fed, the restaurant was fully staffed, I saw no gaps in personnel in front or back of house, going to the grocery store or to $1 General to pick up odds and ends. I'm not seeing staffing shortages there either. And it really makes me wonder about the credibility of the so called labor shortage, even in places like retail or hospitality. This is just my opinion, it is just my theory. And I could be wrong. But I think some of these places declined to hire on purpose. I think this went along with the narrative of nobody wants to work, all of Gen Z is supposedly lazy. We just can't find anybody. Golly, gosh, we're trying we've got the now hiring sign in the window. It went up with the PPP loan that we took, so we kind of couldn't take it down. But we don't really want to hire anybody either. We put an ad out online, but nobody's coming. Nobody's applying. Nobody wants to work anymore. I juxtapose that with the story that I heard from a cashier, who told me I applied all over town, and nobody called me back. This place was the winner by default, because at least they called me back. At least they gave me a telephone interview, whereas nobody else did. And I'm just wondering, why are there all of these now hiring signs in the window, and people are saying nobody wants to work in retail anymore? I tried like hell to get a job and only got one call back. Like why would that be happening? Things that make you go hmm. I feel like this goes back to the old saying. People say believe half of what you say and none of what you hear If your eyes are telling you this place is fully staffed, I'm not going in stores and I'm unable to find a single employee anywhere. Yet the mass media is telling me that nobody wants to work anymore. I go into a shop or into a restaurant and I see plenty of people who look like they're probably younger millennials or older Gen Zers. And they're on the job. But then the media is giving me generational clickbait and telling me that none of these youngsters want to work anymore. If it were me, I would want to pay attention to what I'm seeing in real time, instead of what in my opinion, is just hot air and bullshit that comes from corporate controlled mass media. Just my opinion. The addition to the layoff roster this morning is the autonomous truck group embark trucks is laying off 70% of its staff and closing two of its offices. The company said the remaining 30% will focus on winding down operations. Oh, oh, that gives me a headache. I remember during the Great Recession, there were things like that that would happen. You'd have a wave of layoffs where most of the company would be let go. But a few key people would be kept on to wind down the operations to close the plant to close the manufacturing facility. And they would be given usually some type of incentive to stay, you'll get a bonus after this or will vest your 401k like something would happen to help them stay motivated to remain there during the winding down process. That to me is another flashback to Oh 809 Now when we click on this article from the Financial Times that LinkedIn references we find first ft US labor market tensions ease. I shouldn't wonder major US employers from fast food chains to arms manufacturers, arms manufacturers. Hmm. You know, I've told you before that if the engines of war decided to fire up if the Neo cons and the Neo lives decide we're going to war because that's what benefits the military industrial complex then guess what? We're going to war. From fast food chains to arms manufacturers are reporting a dramatic improvement in hiring conditions despite official data, showing unemployment at its lowest level for decades. I'm wondering the next time that that is released and refreshed. I wonder if we're gonna get any kind of uptick whatsoever. How long is that bullshit number gonna stay up there? And then once it does start tracking upward? How false isn't going to be then? So many questions in my mind. Senior executives across a host of s&p 500 companies gave optimistic updates on the labor market in recent quarterly earnings reports. Corporate commentary has been very notably different from previous quarters said Binky Chadha, chief global strategist at Deutsche Bank for many consumer facing businesses such as yum brands, which owns fast food chains KFC and Taco Bell. staffing shortages, since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic have not only driven up costs, but hit sales as some restaurants struggled to maintain normal operating hours. However, yum chief executive David Gibbs said this month we're seeing an increase in applications stores are returning to their pre COVID operating hours. We like the environment we're in in quote. Oh, I don't want to do it. Oh, I don't want to do it. But I think I got to do it. Sarah was right yet again. I repeatedly have posted that article from the intercept about the leaked memo from VOA saying we hope conditions get worse. We want the balance of power to come back to corporate America. So I am sure that these executives like the environment, Baron, I will be publishing an episode I'm not sure when I don't know if I will drop it this week or next week. But the premise of it is corporate America doesn't surprise the state and the state doesn't surprise corporate America. If you have not yet woken up to the reality of crony capitalism, that they are all quid pro quo scratching one another's backs. I am not sure what it is going to take. If corporate America says we're tired of this bullshit, we want applicants we want to be back in the power position. We're tired of people that want to work remotely. We're tired of people that come in and act like they think their poopoo doesn't stink. They ought to know that corporate America's poopoo doesn't stink. Crash this sucker. And let's get going. We want 2019 to come back, make it happen. Well, now we're here If you chose to ignore that, if you were sitting around listening to the hot air and hopium crowd, giving you lollipops and gumdrops, then you are in for a rude, rude awakening. Over on, we find the US housing market just took another hit. This week's seasonally adjusted mortgage purchase application index came in at the lowest level since 1995. Well, who's surprised by that? Still yet, when I go and I poke around, whether it's for sale by owner or I go on to look at what's available, that I might be interested in in terms of doing my farm expansion, nada, zip, zilch. Even if I won the lottery, if I won some big Powerball Mega Millions, where once the taxes and the legal fees were paid on it, I had multi million dollars in the bank that belong to me. I still wouldn't buy the crap that's available. I mean, even the raw land where you would have to build a house and build a barn and put the fences in and have the utilities even that even the wrong land, they want too much money for it. And the locations suck. I mean, the stuff that's on the market for you to choose from, in my immediate area in the radius where we've been looking sucks. I even if money were no object, I wouldn't want it. The lack of choice has been incredibly depressing. And then what is being offered for sale sucks. The few places that appear to be in good condition. We're not talking about the burned out meth trailers or the shotgun shacks or a place where half the roof is gone. But an actual brick and mortar house that looks good, you can tell that grandma and grandpa have maintained it well, or maybe somebody got overly ambitious and they built something of a McMansion out in the country, and now they want shed of it. The amount of money that they're asking for these places, is absurd. Even if I did have the Mega Millions, if I went and shaved off the kind of money that they're asking for these places, I wouldn't keep that money for very long. I'd be one of the sob stories that you see on TV, the lottery ruined my life. I went and spent and I was irresponsible. And now I don't have anything. You know, like the old yarn a fool and his money are soon parted. I would not want that to be me. Even if I didn't work for the money. I didn't earn it. I just got it all of a sudden from the lottery. I wouldn't want to waste it on a dupe house that sucks. And unfortunately, where I live, if that's what's available. I suspect in a lot of places people are waking up to the reality not just about the economy overall. But they're looking at these houses and going why on earth would I buy a limit and an overpriced lemon that some of the sellers are going to have to get real. And if any of these realtors are going to make it they're going to have to offer something better than crap. Just my opinion. We also read a super strain of an antibiotic resistant stomach bug is on the rise here in the US and I wanted to talk about that to say, I'm telling you last year when I got that viral food poisoning, that is what kicked off my q4 from hell. I got so sick. I never even knew that viral food poisoning was a thing. I thought it was like when you consumed a bacteria or a fungus and it got in your guts and tore everything up. I did I didn't even know that there was such a thing as viral food poisoning. But even before I got sick with it, and turned into a long hauler there for a while. Man that stomach bug was horrid. I was so freakin sick. It's just it's scary to think about the things that are out there now. Like what whatever happened to a case of the sniffles you know where you stayed home and you had some Sprite or some ginger ale, you ate chicken soup. And you felt crummy for two or three days and then you went back to school or work. It's like this stuff now is on some other level. We also find remote workers are adopting a new practice called body doubling in which they watch strangers work online. Because there's nothing creepy or bizarre about that. What the eff Nicole aanya 24 goes live on tick tock for about five hours every day all while juggling her full time job as a data analyst. You might wonder like a 1960s infomercial Narrator How does she do it all? The answer she's doing both at the same time live streaming herself working from home to an audience ranging from hundreds to 1000s of viewers. She usually starts work at 9am and goes live an hour late Later on he is tick tock live followers, which she calls work alone together have earned her 100,000 plus followers. She has an aesthetic desk setup with ambient music, and she stops working from time to time to answer questions in her comment section from viewers who work alongside her. Anya is body doubling or parallel working a new term for an old strategy doing work in the presence of others. traditionally done in the same room. The trend is now taking over tick tock live and zoom as remote work leaves many people struggling to concentrate or looking for community in quote, oh, my God. What? Yeah, it isn't a new term for an old strategy. It's called being in an office. If you want to hang out with other people, if you want to socialize, if you want somebody to watch you work those in in a bullpen or a cube farm and your boss is going to be more than happy to get up and be up. You're behind every five seconds. I feel like corporate America looks at this and they go well, you then you need to come on back. If you're that bored. If you're that unhappy being at home that you need to film yourself working and have some sort of bizarro community of people all watching each other work together on tick tock, then you need to come on back. Just now, that is something that I cannot understand. As someone who loathes the digital pan Opticon. You know, I feel like I will hold out man, I'm an old crusty hold out against all of this mass surveillance. And I know that it's a losing battle. I know that it is. I get that, believe me. But it's like man, I'm going to try to hold down to the bitter end against the brainwave readers and the brain chips and all of that, who on earth would want to sit and voluntarily film themselves working for that length of time every day, and be watched? You know, I recorded that episode. After I finished Glenn Greenwald's phenomenal book, no place to hide where he talks about meaning Edward Snowden, and he talks about the data that Snowden released about here's how deep the surveillance program goes. Here's how little privacy that you actually have now in the digital age. And one of my points of wonderment, just a question that I sort of asked out loud is Does anybody still care? Was this information released on purpose? Not saying that Snowden did it on purpose? For this reason? I'm just saying like, did the powers that be allow him to release the information so that people would just kind of shrug their shoulders eventually and say, Okay, we were scandalized by this at first, but now we're not. Now it's old news. And we accept mass surveillance, because we know that's the price we pay to live in the digital age, in order to have access to the internet, and the smartphones and the streaming services and all of that we accept mass surveillance. I mean, I really, really wonder that's the kind of thing like, in the middle of the night, when you're laying awake, and you're thinking about the world, you don't say it out loud to anybody else. But you're just like, did all of that happen on purpose? Was Was all of that allowed to happen so that people would just accept mass surveillance and go along with it? The Can we just get kicked down the road and nobody would really care anymore? I don't know if that's the case. But I think some I think you could make the argument for sure. And I think another facet of that is the rise of social media and getting it to where everybody can have their 15 minutes of fame. Reality TV, which let's use that in air quotes, please reality TV, which we know is pretty much staged. Let's let's motivate people to want to be surveilled. Let's make them feel like their life is irrelevant unless they're being watched. Give them their dopamine and their serotonin for going online and engaging with the content we want them to engage with. And for filming themselves, it makes the job easier on the agent assigned to them if they just willingly put it all out on social media anyway. I mean, it's like, people don't even want to have a private or a personal life anymore. It's rare that I'm rendered speechless, but I mean, I find that sad. Nevertheless, I definitely feel like someone's manager could very easily say, if you want community that bad if you're not busy. If you feel like you have enough gaps in your workday that you can film yourself and do a live stream every single day and stop to answer questions from the community, then it's probably time for you to come on back. I feel like a manager could easily make that argument. We also unfortunate find the great pandemic migration hazard resulted in a lot of regrets and tears. 2022 was a year that saw massive change. Americans spent two years waiting somewhat aimlessly through pandemic lockdowns with no real idea of what life would look like on the other side. They responded on mass by changing major aspects of their lives, including how and where they live. Millions of people packed up and left densely populated cities or simply sought a change in scenery and lifestyle. And while many people didn't move far, 75% of Americans have regrets about their move. According to a survey for real estate brokerage firm home Bay, it pulled 1000 Americans about their experience moving within the past year. While most Americans reported approaching their moves during the pandemic with positive emotions, more than 40% say they cried during the moving process. Two of the most common regrets people had were wishing they moved into a bigger home 20% and simply missing their old home 20%. the hassle of moving and the cost of it were also both high up on the regret list. Interesting. A quarter of Americans in home based survey reported leaving major cities for the suburbs. upsizing was the next biggest reason people decided to move, followed by the flexibility of remote work provided and being closer to friends and family. The survey found however, that despite where they moved by and large, Americans prefer to live in cities over suburbs and rural areas, only 29% of Americans stated they would choose to live in the suburbs. And 31% said they choose to live in a rural town if money were no object. I would also add to this, like the post that Orlando miner read about the family that moved away from where the husband and wife worked, they got called back the camo back or to or it's your job, and now they're facing a long commute. They regret what they've done, and they're not sure what's going to happen next. So I feel like another possibility with this great pandemic migration regret is if you moved away from your job because you listen to somebody that told you, the company will be remote. First, we're super committed to that we really want to be work from home or work from anywhere, like forever, you can totally trust us as they got their fingers crossed behind their back. And you listen to that you made a major life and financial decision based on what you were told, because you put your faith in corporate America and the mass media. And now you're screwed. How are you prepared to handle that? A little more of a dystopian headline. homerun the LA Times as well as the Daily Mail we find millionaire la homeowners are spending $150,000 on executive protection dogs to guard their homes after being left terrified by a spate of burglaries in the crime ridden city. In the TLDR points we find as a crime wave continues to plague the West Coast millionaire homeowners are now enlisting guard dogs to protect their Mega mansions. Despite charging six figure sums for their services protection dog trainers are seeing a surge in demand. The spike comes as Los Angeles has seen an 8% rise in violent crime under woke da George Gascon. Wow, $150,000 for a guard dog. Holy Lord. Wow. Hmm. That's another area where I almost don't even know what to say. I guess the point, other than the absurd cost of that the thing that jumps out to me, Well, there's two things, people with money are always going to come up with cash that they can spend on something that matters to them. I think that's why a lot of these stores have said, well, we're just gonna cater to the wealthy and the ultra wealthy. We're done trying to cater to the middle class, we're not worried about the working class or the working poor kinda like eff them, we don't care, we know that they're gonna get steamrolled by what's coming. They're not gonna have any disposable income. So we're all going to try to court the wealthy and the ultra wealthy. So apparently, that even includes $150,000 executive protection dogs. Wow. The other thing that jumps out to me is if it's this bad right now, how that isn't going to get, because see, you're still not even allowed to know that we're in a recession. And I still say by the time you are told we're in a recession, How bad will it really be? Will it be a depression at that point? By the time they tell you unemployment is ticking up? Maybe if they allow you to know that it's five or 6%? How much will it really be? I mean, easily, you could double or triple it easily. How bad will it be then if you're going around from place to place desperate for work and you can't buy a job, which is how it was during the Great Recession? How bad is it going to be if it's this bad now when we're in the opening act of this terrible poll? way that we're being forced to attend crime waves wealthy people buying absurdly overpriced guard dogs. If it's this bad now, How bad will it be? I really hope that you are thinking these things through. I hope that you're not in lollipops and gumdrops, land playing pretend everything's fine. Before I sign off for this part of the broadcast, there was a tweet that I saw that just gave me a headache. The New York Times tweeted a reader asks the ethicist we have an employee we would like to fire because of his poor work ethic. We knew his father was dying of cancer and decided not to fire him. His father has now died. How long do we need to wait before we can let him go? So speaking of dystopia, we want to get rid of this guy. We didn't feel like we should do it. When the dad was dying of cancer. We thought that might be a little bit raw. But now that the dad is dead, we can finally trim his ass and we're just trying to ask an ethicist. How do we go about doing it? Yeah, so I'm going to tell you yet again, one more time for the people in the back in the cheap seats. Corporate America does not care. They don't care about you. They answer to the shareholders, the investors, the Board of Directors, they do not answer to us. They do not answer to John and Jane Q Public. I'm thinking again about the episode that Jocko willing Did you figure out the rules of the game. You look at the structure, you look at the rules, and then you figure out how to play the game. I don't give advice and I don't tell anybody what to do just opining for your entertainment only and thinking out loud. That's what I would want to do. Knowing that corporate America doesn't give a damn. Knowing that they would write to a newspaper column and say, Hey, we really want to fire this guy now that his dad is finally dead. We've been waiting all this time for the man's father to drop dead of cancer, it's finally happened and we want him out of here. Knowing that kind of attitude exists, I would want to figure out what do I need to do to best take care of myself and my family. It's not about doing what's best for the fat cats and the greedy powerbrokers. It's about what are you going to do to make sure that you and your family survive what's coming. Because not everybody has the luxury of being able to go buy a $100,000 plus executive guard dog. And not everybody can hoard gold and silver. Not everybody can go to a private wealth manager. Some people are standing in the Dollar General or the grocery store making decisions about do I need the gallon of milk? Or do I need the jug of laundry soap, what's going to be the most important for the household this week? You have to think about what's best for you and your family. Me personally, if I had a job right now, if I were working as a full time w two employee, I would not want to get fired. I would not want to be out on the job market at the same time as all of these other people. Because I really believe this is the tip of the iceberg for mass layoffs. I'm sorry, if that upsets you. I'm sorry if that makes you cry in your coffee today. I'm just trying to tell you the truth as I see it. We're at the tip of the iceberg. We're in the opening act of this mess. So it's not about trying to line the pockets of the fat cats. In my mind it would be about how do I not get fired? How do I keep money in my pocket so that we can keep the lights on and we can keep food in the fridge? Because these people don't care if somebody would be raw enough to write into a newspaper about how soon can I fire this guy now that the dad is dead? Damn, that tells you everything you ought to know. Today it is Monday, March 6, a frequent tuner enter pinged me about something happening with silver gate and I definitely think it's worth mentioning in the Saturday broadcast. I'll drop a link to this article on the The title is uh oh, the crypto collapse has reached the real financial system. The byline reads silver gates troubles may make it harder to get out of crypto and into dollars. And this was published on March 4. Silver gate one of the most important banks and crypto is in big trouble maybe existential trouble. silvergate didn't start in crypto. It started in real estate. But in January 2014 The bank jumped into Bitcoin a volatile year. Bitcoin started the year at $770 and closed above $300. in December. Some of the companies that were being formed at the time to provide services to this budding Bitcoin space, many of them were struggling to find and maintain bank accounts said silvergate CEO Alan Lane in a June 2022 episode of the odd lots podcast. So that was really where we started. The focus at the bank was institutions, other companies, some of which work with consumers. For instance, Genesis, the now bankrupt crypto lending subsidiary of DC G was among silvergate early clients. The bank developed the silvergate exchange network, which was a way for crypto institutions such as Coinbase, Gemini and Kraken to transact in dollars 24/7 We've got all of them ln said in 2022, all of the major ones any anybody who is serious about regulation and quote and here's where things start to really get hairy. Also among Lane's clients FTX federal prosecutors are now examining silver gates role in banking Sam bank Minh, Fried's Fallen Empire, the more pressing problem is that the collapse of FTX spooked other silver gate customers, resulting in an $8.1 billion run on the bank 60% of its deposits that walked out the door in just one quarter. Worse than that experienced by the average bank close to the Great Depression. The Wall Street Journal helpfully explained. In its earnings filing, we found out that silver gates results last quarter were absolute dogshit this is in the article. It's not me editorializing, a $1 billion loss. Then on March 1 silvergate, entered a surprise regulatory filing. It says that actually the quarterly results were even worse, and it's not clear the bank will be able to stay in business and quote. So yeah, as the frequent tuner enter, and I were talking about, is this a sign of things to come? It's easy to say, well, that's crypto, or to shrug your shoulders and say, Well, look, they were in volatile markets anyway. cryptocurrency and real estate, it was probably doomed. Or will they saddled up with Sam Venkman fried and look how that turned out. It's easy to get into that normalcy bias of it would just never happen to me. It wouldn't happen at my local community bank, it wouldn't happen to somebody outside of crypto. And I think my concern there is how sure do you feel about that? Because it's easy when something is having its heyday to think it's going to last forever. Gestures broadly, the job market, the housing market cryptocurrency I just think that we have to be careful of hearing these stories and then shrugging it off, that happens to someone else. That happens because someone played with fire in cryptocurrency and wasn't that stupid. Bank runs worse than the Great Depression. Could that be coming to a theater near you? I hope not. But again, it was important to me to talk about this article on the air, whether you're involved in crypto or not. It's so important to understand what Lynette Zeng has been talking about bank bail ins, the repeal of Glass Steagall, the Dodd Frank Act, unsecured creditors, FDIC insurance, if you have not taken the time to learn about those things yet, if you have not taken the time to wargame out a strategy yet. I don't give you advice. I don't tell you what to do. I'm not a financier or an economist. I don't give financial advice of any kind. If it were me, maybe this is the very first Saturday broadcast you've ever tuned into. Maybe you have no idea who Lynette Zeng is or what the hell I'm talking about. I would highly encourage you to do that research. If it were me, I would want to know another frequent tuner enter sent me an article from The Washington Post titled a mile long line for free food offers a warning as COVID benefits and and it was published on March the fourth, she actually lives not too far from where this photograph was taken of the mile long line. And she said I think people need to understand how dire the situation is for some of these people. And certainly the argument can be made. Why are we printing up fiat currency and driving up the rate of inflation? Why are we sending billions with a B overseas to other nations when we have people in our own country suffering like this? Those arguments are valid. In this article, we read Hazel Green, Kentucky, as he claimed the first spot in a mile long line for free food in the Appalachian foothills, Danny Blair vividly recalled receiving the letter announcing that his pandemic era benefit to help buy groceries was about to be slashed. Kentucky lawmakers had voted to end the state's health emergency last spring. By default cutting food stamp benefits created to help vulnerable Americans like Blair weather the worst of COVID-19 instead of a $200 a month, instead of $200 a month, he would just get 30 he crumpled up the letter and threw it on the floor of his camper. I thought wow, the government is trying to kill us now, said Blair 63, who survives on his social security disability check and lives in a mobile home with his wife after their house burned down five years ago. They are going to starve us out. Blair and his wife hop into their truck twice a month at 4am to ensure they get a few staples at the Hazel Green Food projects giveaway. On a recent Friday they waited nine hours until local prisoners on work duty started loading bags of meat and vegetables, potato chips and cookies into vehicles in one of the nation's most impoverished communities. From the front to the back of the line the sea of despair and hardship along this desolate Kentucky highway foreshadowed what may be in store for millions of Americans as the federal government ended the remaining pandemic increase in monthly food stamp benefits this week, and quote, I hope that if you're listening to this you have prepared as best as you possibly can. When we think about food shortages, we have to be careful that we don't imagine there's just no food on the shelf. There's just no food anywhere, and people are going to have to go out to the woods to hunt deer and squirrel and possums. And that's it. Sometimes a shortage can mean there's not enough available not not that the shelf is empty when you go in the store, just that there's not enough available in general, there's not a variety of choice, and what is there is limited and it's way more expensive. I hope that you have prepared for that as best as possible. Again, the argument can be made why are we sending billions of dollars overseas? When there are people here at home, suffering in that way and dealing with food insecurity? That is a valid question to be asked. Over on the layoff roster we can add to it Sirius XM is feeling the slowdown in car sales as subscriptions to the satellite radio network are often included with new vehicles. The company is laying off 475 people or 8% of its headcount. Why Nordstrom left Canada, as Nordstrom lines down its operations in Canada after nearly a decade, analysts are increasingly asking what went wrong and why so many US retailers such as Target are leaving the market. Retail experts say Nordstrom wrongly assumed that the model that worked in the US would also do well in Canada, it scaled too fast and overestimated the local consumers interest in luxury goods per CBC News and quote. You know, I've told you before these companies that are all saying the same thing we want to go after the wealthy and the ultra wealthy, there are only so many of those people to go around. Not everybody on the market is going to be able to say I will court luxury buyers only and to hell with everyone else. That's one thing. The other thing is here we go with the same narrative again scale too fast. Just grew too fast tried to do too much. We flew too close to the sun, like Icarus. And now here we are. I feel like we're going to find that over and over and over again. As we get further into this downturn. That's going to be one of the XSplit explanations and air quotes for it. Also on LinkedIn, we find works $2 billion personality test industry, the personality testing industry has grown to roughly $2 billion. As employers increasingly use the tests for remote and hybrid teams. The New York Times reports roughly 100 million workers annually are asked to take psychometric tests which look to classify personality and aptitude. But as more managers use them to make decisions around hiring and career development, some are questioning whether they're really up to date or useful. And new companies are emerging to offer more research backed assessments, right? Okay, so instead of just getting rid of them, let's have some new ones pop up. Great, of course, at McKinsey, some consultants look at the balance of introverts and extroverts on a team when staffing projects I'm sure they do. Scotiabank is now partly focused on personality tests, results in at school hiring in order to bring more diverse candidates. Well, I won't bury my thesis here. I'm not a fan of them. I feel like there's room for bias, sort of like with standardized testing. And the studies that have shown that standardized tests tend to overwhelmingly favor or Wasp men. But yet you're telling me that we're going to test people so that we can get diversity. You'll have to forgive me if I just don't quite believe that to be true. We also find new measure shows true exec pay. Companies are disclosing the real value of executive compensation packages under a recent Securities and Exchange Commission rule. The Wall Street Journal writes since the rules adoption last August, around 65, companies have reported compensation actually paid on their executives accounting for changes in stock award values as prices fluctuate. The practice is designed to tell investors how much an executives compensation package is really worth each year, as well as identify poor pay practices in quote. You know, I've talked about Nomi Prins, the idea of goading everybody onto 401, Ks and IRAs and getting into the stock market, how she talks about the exponential increase in CEO pay where there has not been an exponential increase in real wages for your average everyday worker. Twas ever thus. Earlier today, in his weekly column, Ron Paul published an article, the Federal Reserve's magic trick big tech. In this we read, now you see it maybe soon you won't. Over the last year the seeming ability of stock values of many technology companies to keep rising forever met resistance. This was true even for the major technology companies known collectively as big tech. During the last 12 months meta parent company of facebook, whatsapp and Instagram, Amazon and alphabet parent company of Google and YouTube suffered layoffs, and big declines in stock prices. These were the result of both bad decisions and changing market conditions. For example, the end of COVID lock downs obviously reduced demand for Amazon's delivery services. Also, an increasing number of people are leaving Facebook and other meta sites for newer social media sites. Many of those who use social media for political organization, education or discussion are abandoning Facebook and YouTube for sites such as rumble. Okay, I'm going to skip down just a little bit here the magician in this scenario, the Federal Reserve played a major role in big and medium and small Tech's rise and fall technology writer David Streatfeild. Hopefully I'm saying that right. Writing in The New York Times recently examined how the Feds 2008 market meltdown related policy of near zero interest rates led many investors to throw money at tech companies. In many cases, these investors would not have bought tech company stock had the Fed not distorted the signal sent by interest rates, which are the price of money. The historic expansion of the Fed balance sheet thanks to quantitative easing also helped create a tech bubble. Now that the Fed is raising interest rates, although still keeping them well below what they would likely be in a free market. The tech bubble is being popped as investors are able to get a more realistic view of a tech company's value. This is causing a painful but necessary correction. For example, Carvana, which aim to be the Amazon of used cars went from an$80 billion valuation to a $1.5 billion valuation a 98% loss in just 18 months. Also, the Fed created tech bubble allowed Amazon to lose millions opening new businesses including physical bookstores. Amazon announced in March of last year the same month the Fed started increasing interest rates that it would close all of its bookstores. The tech bubble enabled large companies to grow via mergers and acquisitions. Many small and startup companies attracted investors with a promise of a big payoff from an acquisition. The frequency of tech related mergers and acquisitions is a major reason behind the left and some people on the rights renewed interest in antitrust laws. Federal Trade Commission Chairman Lea con Lena Khan, excuse me owes her position to the advocacy of using antitrust to limit the growth of big tech cons crusade against big tech has suffered some setbacks in the courts. However, Khan need not worry since the Federal Reserve may do a more effective job of limiting tech related mergers and acquisitions than the FTC ever could in quote. I'm having a lot of flashbacks to Nomi Prins book other people's money. Next week, I will drop an episode specifically about that book. But this is shadows of Bust. I know in this article, Ron Paul mentions 2008 and the market meltdown. But we can go back farther than that to the late 90s, early aughts. And one of the things that nobody talks about in that book mergers and acquisitions, you hype a stock up and then instead of paying for a company in cash, which is the way that it was done before you pay for it and inflate bid stock. And then when the bottom drops out, everybody is in trouble. I really hope that you're paying attention to these types of things. Even if you don't own anything in the stock market. You're not involved in big tech. I feel like this is just another piece of the puzzle. This is yet another shoe waiting to drop. Today it is Tuesday, March 7. Over on CNBC we have headlines such as dow sheds 500 points sell off intensifies as Powell comments on higher rates spook investors. Two year Treasury yield jumps to highest since 2007. As Powell hints Fed may need to increase pace of hikes. So here we go. Yet another reference another shadow of that. Oh 70809 time period. Yet somehow you are still expected to think that we are not in a recession. Over on Reuters this morning we found Bank of America CEO sees us technical recession in third quarter. Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan said on Tuesday, the US economy would reach a technical recession starting in the third quarter. Moynahan told the financial reviews Business Summit in Sydney. A US recession would not be deep and the bank forecast interest rates would start falling in the second quarter of 2024. The bank expects three quarters of negative US growth led by a corporate slowdown with the consumer sector in good shape. He said in quote. So this is what's being disseminated to those of us in the unwashed masses. Not a recession yet. Now it's coming. It's still down the road. You'll see the technical recession in q3, but it's not going to be date not going to last for a super long time. We're going to have a corporate slowdown, but the consumer sector is going to be in good shape. Sorry, I don't believe that. I don't believe it. I think we're in a recession right now. I think by the time that some White House spokesperson or whoever trots out, like the town crier of olden times and says we are in a recession, burn Pepperberg. You may now officially say we have reached the technical definition of a recession. By then we could be in an economic depression. We could also be in full on 1970s era stagflation as well. I mean, this could be a real true, complete mess. By the time you are officially told God help you seriously. I go back again to Jared a Brock's article about the hyper elites engineering and recession because they want to pick up your stuff on the cheap. This is the here and the now if you don't want to believe that I am sorry, I don't see any other way around it. And before we go back to CNBC, let's divert for a second over to Yahoo Finance where we find Biden's one size fits all plan to protect renters comes at the expense of mom and pop landlords. We read a new White House plan to nationalize housing policy and grant renters more protection has left Mom and Pop landlords with questions and concerns. The blueprint for renters Bill of Rights lays out five principles that President Joe Biden hopes will shape future PolicyMaking at all levels of government with the aim of protecting renters and promoting Rental Affordability. It was designed to save renters from egregious rate hikes discriminatory tenant screenings, anti competitive information sharing, especially among large corporations and unfair evictions. Excuse me, I need to cough. So very grateful for the pause button. While most reasonable landlords support the notion of protecting America's 44 million renter households, especially after house prices, and rents went stratospheric during the pandemic. Hmm. Wonder why that was? Hmm. Could it be due to the complex nature of housing policy? Oh, that's what did it the complex nature of housing policy okay. The idea of a one size fits all solution has been met with criticism, and in striving to protect renters, the plan might leave millions of homeowners out in the cold. Over 20 million of the 50 million rental units in the US are owned by Mom and Pop landlords, also known as individual investor landlords and quote, not for long. You want a prediction alert here it comes not for long. No, not for long. When you look at the number of hedge funds and corporations buying up residential real estate, not for long, they're gonna run the mom and pop landlords out of the business. And I know Believe me, there are two sides of this issue. I am not a landlord myself. Never have been never want to be. That's not of interest to me. Some people will say landlording is evil. It's from the pits of Hell, no one should ever do it. And then you have other people that say, well if it's a mom and pop landlord, they really care about the tenants. They are providing a safe place to live. They're not price gouging the no it's not from the pits of hell. I'm not going to get into the middle of that discussion. That's for you to make up your own mind on my prediction alert is the mom and pop landlords. No, not anymore. Over on Fox News of all places we find Blackrock other investment firms killing the dream of home ownership journalist says the New York City risk and Investment Management Titan Blackrock is among several high powered firms pushing working families out of the housing market and into rentals, therefore depriving them of capital and the opportunity to build credit and equity. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Blackrock led by billionaire Laurence Fink, is purchasing entire neighborhoods and converting single family homes into rentals, while in cities like Houston investors, like think account for one quarter of the home purchasers and quote, do you not imagine that that will get worse as Mom and Pop landlords say, Screw it. We can't do it. It's too litigious. We don't want to be in the middle of this. It's not worth it anymore. Well, who's going to be there waiting in the wings to take over? One imagines that it probably will be these corporate investors and huge hedge funds mean, what do you think? In a moment of just well, really Atlantic really around the same time that that story was published on Fox News we find on the Atlantic. BlackRock is not ruining the US housing market. The real villain isn't a faceless Wall Street Goliath, it's your neighbors and local governments stopping the construction of new units. long pause there. In the article, we find such faceless institutional investors are reportedly more likely than ordinary Mom and Pop landlords to aggressively raise rent and evict people who can't afford it and quote, well, what in the hell do you think is coming? Seriously, at some point, you're gonna have to wake up to the reality that what Jared a Brock is telling you is the truth. These hyper elites want your stuff. You have nothing to do you have to be happy. Yeah, you're not going to own anything. And then what are you going to do when all of these huge investment banks and Wall Street fat cats own the property? They're gonna own it, you see Zevo not doing nothing. Zevo UNEF leasing, y'all. Yeah, they will. They they, they will own it. These fat cats, these power brokers, these Wall Street jackals. They'll own everything. Now you're not going to as a peon. You'll have to rent everything. Everything. You'll have a subscription for everything. And you'll be happy as you sit and eat your cricket burgers. Sure. Returning to CNBC, we find Fed Chair Powell says interest rates are likely to be higher than previously anticipated. Yeah, that's another no shit Sherlock moment if you're surprised by that you shouldn't be. Yellen warns that losses tied to climate change could cascade through the financial system. Oh, I see. Okay. Okay, so we're gonna blame entire generations, Gen Z is lazy and unmotivated. They won't work. Men are laying out of the workforce. They're on a girlfriend's couch or they're in grandma's basement. It's their fault. John and Jane Q Public, they flew too close to the sun. They wanted to hippity hop across the market during the Great resignation. It's their fault. Now if all else fails, it's the fault of climate change. Okay, sure. weightwatchers to enter obesity drug space hoping to ease threats to its business. Oh, I see. Okay, so, worst case scenario. You don't need to worry about trying to lose weight through modifying your eating habits and taking exercise. Just take a pill man. Just take an effing pill and watch that weight fall right off. See then you get to be part of the system that is Big Pharma. Okay, great. What wonderful news we see today. Over on the side panel for LinkedIn, we find latest layoffs. I'll click on that in a moment. Homebuyers retreat, a spring arrives. That's another no shit Sherlock moment who has the money for that? Still and yet, here in the Midwest, people are asking absurd amounts of money. For anything with acreage, and it's like there's just simply no way. There is no way. Man, it's in my opinion, okay. I don't give you advice. I don't tell you what to do or what not to do in my opinion it is hunkered down in is batten down the hatches. It is figuring out what you need to do to survive where you're at. If you are in a place that is affordable for you, even if you're not crazy about the house anymore, even if you're not crazy about the neighbors, even if maybe the land is not as great as you wish it was. If if things are survivable, they're not ideal, but they're manageable and they're survivable. You know, for me, just just thinking out loud for me and my family. It's all about let's hunker down and figure out what we need to do to survive this mess. Because I feel like it's going to be a mess. It already is a mess, quite frankly. But hoof Wow. Wow. When this suppose it technical recession that Brian Moynihan is talking about when that hits and q3 If that's when we're allowed to know the truth, most deliver the truth? God help us all seriously. Google cracks down on promotions. Banks overwhelmingly embrace hybrid. More consumers seek revenge and interest rates are headed higher, says Powell. So when we go to the layoff roster, let's see what we can find today. At lassen, I think I'm saying that right Atlassian, the business software maker behind Trello and JIRA is letting go of 500 full time employees or 5% of its workforce. The company said the cuts are not financially driven and instead reflect a shift in focus. Okay, I don't reckon that matters too much. If you're the person on the receiving end of it. If you get handed a pink slip and they say, well, it's not because we're cutting costs. It's because we're shifting our focus doesn't matter over much to you. I would expect that you're going to feel disappointed and upset about it. Either way. Going back to Yahoo Finance by way of fortune, we find Google boss Sundar Pichai says staff are bemoaning office ghost towns, it's just not a nice experience. here here's another wave of the future. If you want to LARP about work from home and work from anywhere, being forever you go ahead you'd be my guest. Be my guest listen to those man's blinders and the hot air and the hopium but do it at your own risk. Sundar Pichai is facing what may likely be Google's biggest competitive challenge in the 25 years since it was founded. his company's dominance in AD rich search engine queries is under acute threat by Microsoft's AI enabled being just as heavy investments in Google Cloud mean the business continues to bleed red ink in an industry where profits seem to grow on trees for other hyperscalers. Now as we scroll down, we find in comments recorded on tape and obtained by CNBC Pichai urged employees affected by his cloud office evolution plan to remember that prime office real estate doesn't come cheap in its five largest locations, including San Francisco and New York. There are people by the way, who routinely complain that they come in and there are big swathes of empty desks. He said last week, it feels like a ghost town. It's just not a nice experience. There's a simple motivation behind this penny pinching parent company Alphabet is under pressure and quote. Yeah, I mean, where do you think this is going? On the one hand, you can imagine that they will just give up that expensive real estate. And if they did, whenever the price went down, somebody else would just gobble it up. I'm telling you, I don't think they're going to bulldoze these buildings. Now, if you want to make the argument to me that it's the another manifestation of UVO nursing and if you'd be happy, maybe it is part of the 15 Minute city, maybe it's going to be turned into 350 square foot per person. tenement housing, where you sit on your VR headset, and that is your life and you eat your cricket burgers, burgers all day. I listen to that. But I find it hard to believe that they will just bulldoze these buildings and nothing will happen. And if you were one of the people being forced to come home back to the office, and you looked around and other people were like, Screw it, I'm not going to come in it's whatever to me. I imagine you would feel bad about that. Like why am I being made to come in when other people are not being made to come in? What the hell is this? That's just human nature LARP and play games at your own risk. Today it is Wednesday, March 8. Over on CNBC we find job openings declined in January but still far outnumber available workers. In the TLDR key points we read. The Labor Department's jolts report showed there are 10 point 8 million openings down some 410,000. From December. That equates to 1.9. Job openings per every available worker quits a signal of worker confidence and mobility fell to 3.8 8 million, the lowest level since May 2021. Do you think that right now, there's 1.9 jobs open for every available worker? Do you think that there are indeed 10 point 8 million legit open jobs, they pay a living wage, they have some benefits. And the hiring manager is actually going to pull the trigger and hire someone for the position. I don't know about you, but I don't believe it. Over on Yahoo Finance we find key recession indicator since investors sharpest warning in 42 years. The Treasury yield curve is sending the market a stark warning about recession risks with the difference between two year and 10 year treasury yields reaching the widest since 1981. So there's another throwback to another recession. We've seen references to Oh 70809 We can also go back to the recession of 82. We could go back to 70s era stagflation whatever it is, that's brewing up to me it doesn't look good. And now I don't believe there's 1.9 legit open jobs for every one unemployed person or that we still somehow in the midst of mass layoffs have a 3.4% unemployment rate. Stocks waver amid continued jobs strength. And they have a picture of Jerome Powell scrunching his face up but it looks really distorted weird. January us job openings dip but still high at 10 Point 8 million. Oh right. 98% of funding in tech, those two men says Randi Zuckerberg, so for International Women's Day, we can all reflect on the fact that 98% of funding at Tech still goes to dudes. US rail systems safety is a top priority across this entire industry. Is it housing buyers stuck waiting on the sidelines? Yeah. Again, I go back to Orlando miner talking about sit it out with purpose. Stay on the sidelines until you find something that you can legit afford. I don't give financial advice. I don't tell anybody what to do. For me personally, that's your only option. I wouldn't even consider buying an overpriced lemon house at an 8% rate. No way. No way. stock market will crash in 60 days, according to the best selling author on the Lehman collapse. Okay, well, I hope not. But I think at this point you sort of have to be open for whatever is about to happen. I know that sounds depressing, but that's where we're at. When we go to the latest layoff roster we find that they have added Grand Theft Auto publisher Take Two Interactive confirmed a PC gamer that is laid off employees but it did not say how many over on MarketWatch. There's a disturbing though not surprising headline today 68% of Americans couldn't cover their living expenses for even a month if they lost their job a survey finds. This gives me flashbacks to those documentaries that I watched about the heat or eat dilemmas in Britain. That debt counselor saying people have already cut right down to the bone. There's nothing left. They're not going out for fun and frivolity. There are no budget cuts left that they can make. And the survey in one of those documentaries saying that the average Britain could only make it for 19 days if they lost their job unexpectedly. So I'm not surprised that we're faring about the same here in the US. And this is another reason why I say I think in my opinion, it's important to have a job loss survival plan mapped out ahead of time. I also think it's important to have an RTO survival plan mapped out ahead of time. I'm not gonna sit here and give you sugar plums and gum drops and unicorns and fairy dust. I'm not going to do that. I find it extremely hard to believe that there will be a giant nationwide walkout in response to RTO. Especially when you see that statistic that almost 70% of people are at a point where they could not make it for an entire month without a job Bob, but yet somehow you're supposed to LARP and play pretend that these same people are going to sit it out at home, making no money. They're going to let their kids starve to death. They're going to let everything go back to the bank, let everything be repoed. Because they're idealistic, dammit, no, they're not. No, I don't think anybody's idealistic anymore. Really? Maybe a few people are try try to avoid always never everyone, no one. I don't think that there are many people that would be idealistic anymore. I think most folks go along to get along. They've been trained properly through the school system to be good corporate drones. And I just think most people are going to say, Okay, well, this sucks. We don't like it. We don't want to go back. But we also don't want to starve. We don't want to lose the house or get kicked out of the apartment. We don't want the car to get repoed. So I guess we'll go back. I'm not telling you that it's right or that it's fair. I'm telling you. That's what I see coming. And I hope that you have adequately prepared. Something else that's been on my mind. It's been a few days back now, I think but Dan over it, I allegedly was talking about someone who had showed him a letter that they would only pay vendors at 120 days now. It like superseded whatever agreement you had with that company before you're gonna get paid at net 120. This is also why I say I think it's important if you own and operate your own business, or you own and operate your own freelancing desk and you're kind of a gun for hire on the outside. Be prepared in case that happens. What will you do if you have a client, a good client, somebody that you're not necessarily just itching to fire anyway, who says this supersedes all other agreements? If you want to continue working with us, it's net 120. That's a long time to wait. When you need money. When you need that cash in hand ASAP, that can be a long time to wait. And then if you're not completely sure that they're legit, then you really have stress, because what if they draw out payment terms? And then it gets to be net 120? And it's still not there? 151 80 and so on. I mean, are you prepared to handle that? Have you thought about in advance how you would handle that? Because see, I don't feel like it's gonna be sunshine and roses for those of us who freelance either. I've been honest with you and saying I'm already watching as freelance postings dry up. The other day, I saw someone who was looking for a full on full desk recruiter and they wanted to pay$11 an hour. This is in America. I'm not talking about somebody in another country. I'm not talking about someone trying to solicit individuals from developing nations. I'm talking about an American company seeking American employees. A full desk full cycle recruiter 11 bucks an hour. Not looking good, folks. Today is Thursday, March 9. I can't remember which Saturday broadcast it was, but I know it was one of the recent ones where I talked about seeing a headline on Of all places where they were warning people about the prevalence of the Norovirus and I talked about how viral food poisoning was the thing last year that kicked off my cue for from hill where I went from having viral food poisoning and being sick as a dog for about a week. And then apparently, while my immune system was suppressed, that's when I got the flu and strep throat at the same time, and I just really took ill and felt horrible. Well, drumroll, please. In the midst of this norovirus outbreak, it visited my household again. I guess if there's good news, I clearly had some antibodies to it, because it did not lay me out the way that it did last year. I guess. I guess that's the good news. But for a solid 24 hours this week, I felt like death warmed over. After that I improved. And fortunately, I knew what to do. I had medication and I knew the appropriate steps to take to weather the storm so to speak, and then start to feel better faster. Although I do think there's something to be said for antibodies and natural immunity because it did not impact me as severely this time around as it did the last time around where I felt like I was going to die. And I needed to be on an IV more than once. Thank God it wasn't that bad this time around. Why am I bringing this up? Well, in the midst of this going along with Murphy's Law, I had to get on a Zoom meeting. We all know how I feel about video calls, especially video calls that 100% could have been a telephone call or an email instead. No need to belabor the point. err. But in the midst of feeling like hard boiled, stir fried dog poo poo. Here we go, I have to get on video. There was a person who had sent me an RFI slash RFQ. I didn't put my name in the hat for his project, I didn't bid on it, where I kind of already knew what was going on. This was really one of those emails that you get from out of the blue, hey, I have a project, I think you might be a good fit for it. I want to talk about it. And of course, I want to do it on Zoom. So part of me was like, Maybe I'll get lucky. And he'll say, Hey, this is not a good time. After all, can we reschedule? Because I don't want to be the one to reschedule. I really don't want to get on this video meeting in the midst of feeling like roadkill. And having to keep the old school Tupperware vomit bucket close by in case things really go sideways in the midst of this, I really don't want to do that. But I don't want to cancel or reschedule either. Why is that? Well, because I don't believe the hot air and the hopium. I know that we're in a recession. I know that the job market right now sucks. I don't believe that there's two open jobs for everyone unemployed person or that unemployment is still somehow 3.4%. I don't believe that mass layoffs are only relegated to big tech IT professionals and Silicon Valley. I know better than that. I also have seen the mass layoffs that have impacted people like HR, TA and recruiting professionals. So I'm not naive. I also know that when you have a call of that nature set up as a freelancer, it's similar to if you're a W two employee looking for full time work, and you have an interview setup. If you cancel or you ask to reschedule, there are people that superficially they'll say, Sure, that's fine, no problem. But it really becomes a strike against you. I'm not telling you, that's fair. I'm telling you. That's reality. So I knew deep down if I contact this guy, and I say I'm so sorry, but I have contracted norovirus at the worst possible time. I cannot get on video right now. Is there any way that we could reschedule this being at least apparently a decent human being he would say, of course, I would never want somebody to get on a video when they're puking their guts out. But then sometimes what happens is people say that because nobody wants to be the bad guy. And then they just go sue. Yeah, sure. We'll take a couple of days feel better. And we'll get back in touch later. And then you never hear from them again. So yeah, I'm not naive about the way that the corporate world works. I don't smoke hopium out here all day, I try to be a realist. So I went ahead with this meeting. And I have to say that in spite of the fact that I did feel like roadkill, and I felt like I had to put on quite a lot of makeup to disguise the fact that I was pale and ashen and felt horrible. I did okay, I made my way through it. And I was able to focus on what this person was saying. And I, I still don't quite exactly understand the nature of what he was looking for. Initially, I was like, Well, maybe you didn't understand because you were sick. And things were moving a little bit slowly in the old noggin up there. But even after I started to recover, I'm like, What the hell even was that? I think what he wanted was somebody to be a recruiter, almost in the MLM sense. Now, I'm not saying this person was running a pyramid scheme, or an MLM. I'm not saying that at all. I think he just wanted a recruiter in that sense, because, you know, like in pyramid schemes and MLMs, they want somebody to be a recruiter, but it's not recruiting to fill a job, it's recruiting to get more people on boarded into the pyramid scheme. There was a very definite vibe that I felt kind of like Inigo Montoya. When he's like, you keep using that word, I don't think you know what it means. That's how it felt to me like, Okay, you keep using the word recruiter, and you say that you're looking for a TA professional, but I don't think you actually know what those words mean. Because it's like, I want a recruiter, but I don't want you to recruit people that actually fill jobs. And I'm like, what? Based on what he said, and when I could make sense of it. It sounded like what he actually wanted was more of a sales and business development person. Because in my opinion, those people that go out and recruit for pyramid schemes and MLMs that's what they are. They are salespeople. They are selling you on an opportunity. They're giving you champagne wishes and caviar dreams, and they're trying to get you involved in this pyramid scheme with the promise of money. And to me, that's kind of how it sounded. Again, I'm not saying this individual who shall remain nameless. You're never going to know who he was or anything about the company. Not saying that he was running an MLM. I just felt like the overall project was super weird, and that he wasn't clear on what he actually wanted. Bringing up this story for several reasons, one, even for freelancing, even if you are a successful freelancer, and you have a pedigree behind you, you have positive testimonials, and a high rating from your clients. Even if you own and operate your own business, and it's historically been a successful business. The pickins may be slim for you, depending upon your industry, and depending upon the clientele that you serve. I don't believe that we're waiting for some mystical recession to ride over the hill at some point, maybe q3, maybe q4, but it's not here yet. No. Oh, no, no, during the Great resignation, during all that heat that was in the market back in 2021, if somebody sent me an RFI, or an RFQ, and it wasn't clear to me exactly what they wanted, then I would email back before we get on the telephone, where before we get on a video call, tell me more about your company. And let's get clear on who you are and what you want, so that I'm sure whether I can help you or I can't. Now, you have to really play the game more. So the way that the prospective client wants you to play it. I'm not saying that you let your boundaries down or that you have no boundaries at all, and you take anything. What I am saying is that, in my opinion, based on my experiences, not giving you advice, just telling you the world as I see it right now, some people may have to get more flexible. You may have to inconvenience yourself. If you're a job seeker, and the interviewer says the only time that I can do these interviews is between 9am and 3pm. Monday through Friday, that's all I can offer you. And you're telling them well, I want to be a late night creeper. And have you call me at 10pm They're probably going to say no. The great resignation is over with for white collar knowledge work. There are people unemployed, there are people already who are desperate. Again, I am not telling you that this is right or that it's fair. But I think some of the chicanery and the shenanigans that went on on both sides of the table are going to have to get cleaned up. There are companies who are going to take advantage of the fact that we're in a recessionary economy, they know that we are Make no mistake about that. And so they're going to look for people who go along to get along and who toe the line. If that offends you, I'm sorry. But I don't want to give you hot air and hopium and nonsense. On the other side of the table. If you are a candidate who thinks that someone needs to interview you at 10 o'clock at night, or three o'clock in the morning, in the absence of some kind of major timezone difference. Maybe they're interviewing you, and you're in Europe, and they're on the east coast of the United States, there's by necessity, there's going to be a timezone difference, I get that. But if we're talking about people who are in that same timezone. And you're saying, Well, I don't want to interview during standard business hours when you can be available, because that's like, not convenient for me. So can you call me at like 10 o'clock at night, they're probably not going to do that. If that hurts your fee fees, I'm really sorry. But they're probably not going to do that. You may have to figure out ways to run your traps ahead of time and to do your own due diligence to figure out is this phone call worth my time is the Zoom meeting worth my time. And those boundaries may have to get more flexible than they would have been when the economy was more forgiving. When there was a great resignation when there was all of the heat and the FOMO and the Yolo. The opportunities regardless of whether we're talking about full time w two opportunities, or we're talking about freelance 1099 work, they are not they're, by and large, the way that they were 2021 and even 2022. Companies are scaling back. They're getting nervous, they're getting scared, they're having layoffs, they're having hiring freezes, and the positions that are open that are considered to be mission critical. Hey, we need to fill this role regardless of what the economy is doing. We're not going to be able to make it without this role being filled those positions, the competition is fierce. And if you act the fool during the interview process, they will move on. Again, I'm sorry if that hurt someone's feelings. I'm sorry if that's new news. I think we just have to be realistic here. The other night on CBS News, there was a story about car thefts. And the statistic they gave was that right now in this country, we're seeing more car thefts than we did in 2008 2008 was the last time that we saw vehicle thefts to this level. So there's another shadow of Oh 70809 and the Great Recession if you were an adult if you were alive and well All and in the work world at that point in time, you remember what it was like, if you had a job, you did whatever it took to hang on to that job quitting over something that was frivolous or silly or something that, okay, I was upset about that for a night, but then I got over it, that was just not something that you did. And I think that sometimes what happens with individuals that rage apply, I've talked about this before on my blog, and on the air here, rage applying is nothing new. It's just a new name put on an old phenomenon. Someone got their nose out of joint with their co workers or their boss, they had a bad day at work, they had a bad performance review. And so they got home that night, and they were pissed off. So they just started to apply for other jobs. Oh, yeah, you don't want me we'll I'll show you I'll leave. And then after they have a day or two to calm down about it, they don't feel that way anymore. Or maybe they sat down with their spouse or their partner and said, Oh, I'm gonna get out of there and spouse or partner said, well, actually, you're not, we need your benefits package, or we need that salary. You just changed jobs six months ago, you don't need to Job hop again. And they got a little cold water thrown on their plans. And so now they don't want to leave. I'm going back to what Jed Hill says in malice. And believe me, I'm putting that same ethic into what I'm doing as a freelancer, this is the here and the now welcome to the land of you don't have a choice. See, that's one of the reasons why even in the midst of norovirus, I didn't want to cancel that Zoom meeting. Welcome to the land of you don't have a choice. You at least in my opinion. And what I'm doing, the way I'm approaching it is I at least want to hear somebody out. Unless I can suss out ahead of time, this is not going to be a good fit. This is miles away from what I do. It makes no sense. I would be utterly miserable on this project, I wouldn't be able to do a good job or this is an MLM it's a pyramid scheme. This might not even be legal. In situations like that it's an automatically off the table scenario. But in the absence of those drop dead deal breakers, I'm having to be more flexible. This is the here and the now. I wish I could tell you otherwise. But this is reality as I see it. If we go over to LinkedIn to look at the latest layoff roster, we find LinkedIn members are posting about layoffs at payroll and workforce management provider UKG fitness company Zwift has let go of 15% of its workforce or about 80 people. Over on CNBC, we have headlines such as Biden budget would cut deficit by $3 trillion over decade with 25% minimum tax on richest Americans. Oh, I'm sure. I'm sure here we go trotted out again. And it doesn't matter. You don't have to send me hate mail over this. It doesn't matter if it's a neocon or Neo lib. Same old, same old. We're going to tax the billionaires we're going to finally wring it out of them. No, they won't. No, they won't. Those people will hire the best accountants and the best attorneys and they'll move their money to some sheltered bank account somewhere and there will be no taxes paid, and the TLDR key points we find. Biden also raises more revenue by increasing taxes on oil and gas companies hiking the corporate tax rate to 28% up from 21% and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices. The President's spending priorities include increasing funding for early childhood education and childcare, expanding the $35 cap on insulin prices to all Americans and expanding free community college. The budget also boosts military spending, ob BT Dubs, here we go military industrial complex, and the engines of war. When did that happen, man? You know, whatever happened to the LIBS being the anti war party. Now it's like standard operating procedure that if you're a NEO lib you had damn well better be a war hawk. When did that happen? The budget also boosts military spending to more than $835 billion, making it among the largest peacetime expenditures in US history. Well, I reckon that may not be for long. Biden still faces the unresolved standoff with Republicans over whether to lift the debt ceiling. What a mess. Here's some prediction alerts for you. These billionaires, they're not going to pay taxes, they'll figure out a loophole. The corporations won't either they'll use shell companies and shell companies and they will transfer their money around again we're talking about billions of dollars here. They can hire the best of the best to avoid all of this. It's not like John and Jane Q Public going down to the h&r block, okay, completely different situation. Also on CNBC, we find GM offers buyouts to majority of us salaried workers, but people are doing great 3.4% unemployment rate to over In jobs for every one unemployed person, sure, Jim Cramer tells investors to be opportunistic as market awaits jobs report. I don't tell you what to do, I don't give financial advice, but I'm surely not going to be opportunistic. Whatever comes out of that jobs report, I highly, highly doubt that it's going to be anything accurate. You can live on this cruise ship for $30,000 per year less than the average cost of rent in New York City. Wow. But you're living on a freaking cruise ship. I'm not really sure that that's what I would want to do. I suspicion I would be seasick and miserable most of the time. But sure, there's a solution for you. If you can't live on terra firma. Just go live on a cruise ship. There's a big Girl Scout Cookie shortage and the group is frustrated with its main Baker. Definitely going to get hate mail here. But you know, one of the things that I like about being remote only and 1099. Freelance and all of that is not having to go in the office and be bombarded with food. Because you always got that person that wants to bring in doughnuts or sausage rolls in the morning and you'd have 10 Different coworkers that would be pressuring you to buy Girl Scout cookies, or the office manager, somebody would buy a couple of boxes and say, Oh, I don't want to eat all of these myself, you're gonna have to help. So they would open the package, and then there they would be in the break room. So I think if you're trying to maintain a weight loss, so you're trying to lose weight, or maybe you're diabetic, and there's certain things you just can't eat, like being around sweets and temptations all the time, as well as pressure to spend money. Not exactly my favorite thing. Over on Yahoo Finance, it's a similar scene. One thing that I would add to their information is mortgage rates surge again, flirt with 7%. Again, who's surprised? As well as why used car prices are going up again? Well, prices are going up. The things that matter, have not gone down. The Fed is not solving the problem. They claim that they're going to but you know some of these people are the same ones that tell us the recession hasn't happened yet. It's still forthcoming. Stay tuned for the recession. Sure. Over on Business Insider, we find we need to get Monday back and get people in the office earlier in the week says the CEO of the world's largest insurance marketplace. And if you're surprised by that you shouldn't be if you're surprised by that you've been listening to the hot air and hopium crowd on social media you haven't been here. And the TLDR key points we find Lloyd's of London CEO says people are mostly going back to the office Tuesday to Thursday, per the Financial Times. We need to get Monday back CEO John Neal told the Financial Times, many corporate leaders are trying to get employees back to the office after three years of pandemic induced remote work and quote, and this matches with some information that I reported on to you. I had a source who told me that based on what was happening at corporate meetings as in his company that we're going to divide the company up into two teams team one would have their puppy treat work from home day on Tuesday. Team too, would get the puppy treat work from home day on Wednesday. But there would never be a point Monday through Friday where there wasn't somebody in the office. And his take on it was they wanted Monday to start the week off right and have their kickoff meetings and cowpoke round ups. And then Thursday and Friday to cap the week off to have people in office all together. So that meetings and weekend projects. I don't mean weekend isn't Saturday and Sunday, but the week ending projects could all take place on Thursday and Friday. But there would never be even on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at a point in time where the office was a complete and total ghost town. Could that be coming to a theater near you? I think it's possible. Are you looking for more? Don't forget you can find Sara on her blogs at Causey consulting And at Sara You can also read her content on medium and substack on with the show. Today it is Friday, March 10. And Wow. What a day. I'm not going to be shy. I'm going to come with this straight out the gate. I told you so not shy in saying so because I did repeatedly. If you did not listen to the episode that I recorded about bank bail ends and unsecured creditors. Please go do that as soon as possible. If you did not watch the Kitco video featuring Lynette Zane where she breaks it down about the Dodd Frank Act, bank bail ins who is an unsecured creditor what possible things could this mean for you? You and your finances. Please go watch that. The it is not the time to play games. I hope you're ready for another 2008 I really do. I really, really do. So the big news of the day over on CNBC, here's how the second biggest bank collapse in US history happened in just 48 hours. I'm gonna button and say, when you think about people in the prepping community, or Lynette Zeng, more specifically, it is better to be 10 years too early than 10 seconds too late 48 hours. Can you imagine that? In the TLDR key points we find the company's downward spiral began late Wednesday when it surprised investors with news that it needed to raise 2.2 5 billion to shore up its balance sheet. There was a hysteria induced bank run caused by VCs Ryan Falvey, a FinTech, investor of rest of ventures told CNBC. All told customers withdrew a staggering 42 billion of deposits by the end of Thursday, according to a California regulatory filing. Now those who remained with S v b phase and uncertain timeline for retrieving their money. I hope to god that's not you. I hope to god that's not you. And I hope that nobody listening to this is caught off guard. So many visions of 2008 Oh, but we would just never have another great recession. Everything is a little different now. Sure. We also find on CNBC Roku says 26% of its cash reserves are stuck in Silicon Valley Bank. The TLDR key points there around $487 million, or 26% of Roku is cash reserves are stuck at Silicon Valley Bank. The streamer said in a Friday SEC filing. shares fell after hours on the news, but the company believes its remaining reserves will be enough to meet its financial obligations for at least the next 12 months and quote. So this is not just something that could impact individual people, but also something that can impact businesses. Just wow. Also, on that note on CNBC companies scrambled to meet payroll and pay bills after s VBS swift failure. Tech companies that held deposits at SVB are wondering when they're going to be able to pay employees and their bills after the banks collapsed. The FDIC was named as the receiver of Silicon Valley Bank on Friday after the bank was closed by California regulators. The number one question is how do you make payroll in the next couple of days said Ryan Gilbert, founder of venture firm Launch Pad Launch Pad capital. Yeah, what if you need that money? Because that is your job. That is your paycheck that's on the line. Can you see how the ripple effects of this could impact so many people? Even if you don't have a dime of money in that bank? What if the company that you work for does Oh my God, I hope that the I hope that none of this is catching you off guard. I really I sincerely do. Over on the New York Times Silicon Valley Bank fails after run on deposits, the FDIC took control of the bank's assets on Friday. The failure raise concerns that other banks could face problems too. Well, no shit. No shit. Did I go back yet again to Jed Hill and malice. Welcome to the land of you don't have a choice. This is the here. And now. If you are surprised by any of this, or maybe you're like, Oh, well, I guess things are real. I guess maybe we could have another 2008 I'm sure hoping that we wouldn't, but I guess maybe we could. It may be too late for you. I hope it's not and I hope that I'm wrong on that, but it might be too late already. You can call me Debbie Downer if you want to but I lived through this movie before. I know how it plays out. Also, in kind of a note of one of these days, people will learn that Grifters are Grifters doesn't matter who's bankrolling them, you know. On that note, we find CNBC Jim Cramer urged viewers to buy Silicon Valley Bank stock last month. CNBC analyst Jim Cramer is once again being pilloried on social media after a clip resurface showing the Mad Money host recommending viewers buy shares of Silicon Valley Banks parent company, which owns the tech driven commercial lender that swiftly collapsed on Friday in quote. Yeah, remember what he said about Bear Stearns merely days before they went under? One of these days you're gonna learn Grifters are going to grift it is what they do. Oh, speaking of grifting Well, we may as well talk about the jobs report. Here's where the jobs are for February 2023. In one chart, oh, our good friends at CNBC they'll tell us the TLDR key points leisure and hospitality has been consistently one of the strongest sectors as the US economy has recovered from the peak of the COVID 19 pandemic, really, banks are failing. People are drowning in credit card debt. Even folks that make 100 grand a year or more are paycheck to paycheck. highest number of auto thefts since oh eight highest number of auto delinquencies since oh nine. But yeah, we're recovering from the peak of the pandemic. Restaurants and bars accounted for 70,000 job gains last month. However, the sector is still 2.4% below its pre pandemic employment level, According to the Labor Department. I see. So we're still being told that the unemployment rate is not too bad. Over on LinkedIn, we find hiring hot wages cool in February. Job growth climbed more than expected in February. The Labor Department reported Friday suggesting hiring remains strong despite the Federal Reserve's attempts to crash the job market. Oops. Oops, no, that's not in the article. Oh, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I just told the truth there. You can't do that. Naughty Sarah. No wonder you're already shadowbanned loops. Let's start over. The Labor Department reported Friday suggesting hiring remains strong despite the Federal Reserve's attempts to cool the economy. Non Farm payrolls rose by 311,000. Above economists forecast of 225,000. But below the 504,000 jobs added in January. Other indicators suggest the Fed may be having some success and its inflation fighting campaign. Where the hell is that? wages rose point 2% from a month earlier the slowest gains since February of 2022. And the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.6%. The entire labor market is cooling off. Luke Tilley chief economist at wealth manager Wilmington Trust told The Washington Post, but it's still incredibly tight in quote. Yeah, so if you believe that somehow it's cooling off, but it's incredibly tight can sell you some oceanfront property here in the Midwest. If you think that wages really rose point 2%? I don't believe that they did. But if they did, that's not enough to keep pace with inflation, which is supposedly cooling off. No, it's definitely not. Do you think the unemployment rate is only 3.6% amid wave upon wave of layoffs. I mean, look, I'm just I've said before the gloves are coming off, you know, if you're listening to hot air, and hopium, you're listening to the so called influencers on LinkedIn where like, you just can't believe there would be RTO just can't believe this would happen. It's like these companies don't care about talent. If you're still listening to them, you are probably not going to make it in my opinion. If you had no idea that bank collapses, we're coming, and the whole ball of wax around bail ins and unsecured creditors, unsecured depositors if you don't have any idea what that means. You're probably not going to make it in my opinion. I sort of feel like you know, if we want to use the parable of Noah's Ark, this is the point in time where the sky is starting to darken and you can feel some drizzle. You haven't already made some provisions if all of this is brand new to you, I hate to be Debbie downer, but you're probably not going to make it. Probably not. I know that sad. I'm not telling you it's right or that it's fair. I have been busting my ass. Getting on my blog and on this podcast trying to tell you I think this is going to be Saturday broadcast 39 That's how long I have been doing this trying to blow the whistle, ring the alarm bell and say something wicked this way comes. I hope I hope that you've been prepared over on the latest layoff roster, you know, because we're supposed to somehow reconcile this a slower wage growth, a spike in jobless claims and all of these layoffs with a 3.6% unemployment rate. In my opinion, the only purpose for that well there's two purposes one is to keep john and jane Q Public pacified so they don't freak the eff out like the bank run that we just saw. Okay, that's part of it. Keep keep everybody docile and calm. The other thing is to perpetuate This narrative that the job market is still red hot, it is still churning and burning to just an unnatural degree. So the Fed has to step in, they have to crash it. It's a necessary evil. They don't want you to have to take the icky medicine but you're going to have to in order for things to get better. That's reality as I see it. Lockheed Martin has informed officials in Maryland that it will let go of 176 employees in a heavy lift helicopter division. Well, you know, shits getting bad if somebody that has, you know, connections to defense contracting is having to have layoffs. Lord help us all. Former home tap employees are taking to LinkedIn to share about layoffs at the equity sharing company, window and curtain company Hunter Douglas is closing a facility in Cumberland, Maryland and cutting 361 jobs. The fading promise of rapid delivery startups has claimed 2% of go puff employees or about 100 people. Following previous cuts to its staff and warehouse footprint last year. The San Francisco 40 Niners have reportedly laid off close to 30 employees, including the executive vice president and general manager of Levi's Stadium and the team's head of security. Wow. Zhu Lily has laid off an undisclosed number of employees in its second round of job cuts within a year. The layoffs are separate from those at QVC and HSN, which are also owned by Zuly. Lee's parent company curate more than 350 employees of Johnson and Johnson's med tech division and California will be laid off as part of a global revamp in the country's infectious diseases and vaccine groups. LinkedIn members are posting about a 30% reduction at bonus Lee an employment recognition platform that recently raised $18.9 million, as well as job cuts at b2b marketing firm Madison logic. Clif Bar and CO alerted California officials that around May 1 it will eliminate 34 jobs at its Emeryville headquarters. General Motors, which eliminated 500 salaried positions in late February is now offering voluntary buyouts to a majority of corporate employees based in the US. Millennial news outlet morning brew has laid off 40 additional staffers after undergoing a 14% workforce reduction in November. Those silver gate clients will receive their deposits back i Well, I hope that's true. As the crypto bank lines down operations, its employees are out of work. The same is true for employees of catch, and two can both of which are shutting down. Wow. Wow, that's horrible. I hate having to read this. I would love to get on here and say you know what things are improving. It's time for me to roll up the sidewalk have my weekends back. I'm not going to do these Saturday broadcasts anymore. Things are okay. Oh, shit. No, no, no, no. No, I still think we're in the opening act. We're further into the opening act. But we're not even act one of this yet. In my mind, I think act one starts somewhere around the time when you're officially told stagflation, hyper inflation, recession, whatever, whatever nomenclature, they want to come out. And oficially say this is that will be Act One. And I know I know that sounds pessimistic I do. I'm actually going to drop a link to a video that I watched it came up on my YouTube, I believe, not by coincidence, maybe the algorithms, you know, maybe it wasn't divine providence, maybe it was the algorithms. But in this video, Earl Nightingale talks about a 30 day exercise that you can do to really focus your brain on success to get clear about your goals. And you write out the goals with clarity on a card, and then you look at it first thing in the morning after you wake up. And then you look at it again. Last thing before you go to bed at night. You want to really get it fresh in your brain at those times. And at any other point in time. If you start to feel discouraged if you start to feel like I'm never going to find another job or I'm never going to get a promotion. I'm never going to make this business work. You can refer back to that card. As I always say I don't give you advice and I don't tell you what to do. Me personally, I'm going to do that 30 day exercise. I started it today. And it does make a difference. For me anyway it does. Because we are being char broiled in bad news. There plethora of things to feel pessimistic about right now. I wish that was not the case. But right now in the opening act of a severe economic downturn in my opinion, yeah, you can get pessimistic for sure. And so I think be unable to pull yourself out of that is important. Because you still have to work, you still have to pay the bills or if you freelance, you still have to do that if you own and operate your own business, you still have to do that. And you're more likely to have success coming at it from a successful frame of mind. Unfortunately, the more that we get down in the dumps, and we predict failure, it's like the universe just gives us more of that. It gives us more things to feel crappy about. Your mind is going to be a huge asset to you. In this downturn, I believe. Likewise, I think that when you get to that place of preparation, where you say, all I can do I've done, there's nothing more I don't have any more money that I can give to this, I don't have any more time I don't have any more effort, all I can do have done, you have to just get into that still point that that place of serenity of just saying I have to let go and let God or whatever you believe in let go and let the universe trust my higher self trust that fate will take care of me. But that's after you prep, in my opinion, that's not beforehand. That's not laying around smoking hopium and just trying to believe that everything will be alright. So I will drop a link to that video because I found it to be really inspirational and really helpful, but not in a hopium kind of way. Because Earl does talk about you have to put the work in. This is not about you writing some magical incantation on an index card, and then you put zero effort into it. You have to really marry the mindset with the tactical practical elements of life is just frankly, not a good sign of things to come if we're seeing banks collapse. And the fact that that happened within a 48 hour period is also very scary. Better to be 10 years too early than 10 seconds too late. By the time that everybody else starts to panic by the time people are in Chicken Little The sky is falling mode, it is probably too damn late. I'm sorry if that hurts your feelings. This is just not the time to sugarcoat anything. This is the time to be prepared, not scared. Not running around like a crazy person but diligent focused, get clear about what you want. Try that 30 day exercise that Earl talks about if you think that that will help. Do your preps Do you have I don't know week or two of food and water put back. Think about the people in California who all of a sudden Hello blizzard. Some of those people were trapped. They could not get out and help themselves or help other people either one. You know I talked about earlier who is coming to save you. Do you think it's the FDIC? Do you think it's the government? Do you think it's corporate America? Do you think it's the guy down the road? If you can't look in the mirror and say you know what? Who's coming to save me, it may very well be me. If you can't look in the mirror and say that and feel confident about it. You might not make it through this. You might not. I hope I'm wrong. I hope that maybe there will be some magical Hail Mary pass that turns all of this around. And we don't have to go through another great recession slash global financial crisis 2.0. I don't know what that would be. I want to have hope that that could happen. But I also want to be prepared in case it doesn't stay safe, stay sane. And I will see you in the next episode. Thanks for tuning in. If you enjoyed this episode, please take a quick second to subscribe to this podcast and share it with your friends. We'll see you next time. bla