The Causey Consulting Podcast

Saturday Broadcast 46

April 29, 2023
The Causey Consulting Podcast
Saturday Broadcast 46
Show Notes Transcript

Key topics:

✔️ ICYMI news, 4/24 - 4/28.
✔️I can tell you: there are more and more conversations going on behind closed doors about layoffs, budget cuts, trimming the fat, how to spin company shrinkage in a way that doesn't scare people, etc.
✔️Is remote work BS? According to corpo real estate investors, LOL.
✔️Of course more people are using the gig economy. It's called survival.


Links where I can be found:

Need more? Email me:


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 Monday, April 24. Over on CNBC we find Disney begin second larger round of layoffs brings total to 4000. Jobs cut ESPN to begin layoffs as part of Disney cost cut sources say Tucker Carlson leaves Fox News in wake of Dominion defamation lawsuit. I also saw a news alert that Don Lemon is apparently out at CNN as well. So something going on in the world of mass media, Bed Bath and Beyond vows that can pull off a sale. Social media raises bank run risk fueled Silicon Valley Banks collapse paper says and there you go. There's your narrative right there. It's not about shadow banking, it's not about chicanery and bad behavior. No, it is the fault of John and Jane Q Public on social media. Over on Yahoo Finance, it's a similar scene stocks waver ahead of more heavyweight earnings. Carlson departing Fox News after Dominion settlement, Fox News Media and conservative host Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways sending shares of the network to slide in mid morning trading on Monday, down about 5%. Bed Bath and Beyond timeline the chaotic final years. The commercial real estate market is wobbling and two of the largest players are feeling the pain of higher rates and tighter credit. The byline reads two of the largest commercial real estate players are feeling the pain as brutal market conditions take their toll. Mortgage fees are changing for homebuyers next month. If you plan to buy a house soon, you should be aware of these fee changes that will affect your upfront costs. Yet I'm sure we could still find plenty of brokers and real estate agents today willing to tell us how great of a time it is to buy a house. Unfortunate we find remote work is bullshit. And the office situation will change says real estate billionaire Sam Zell real estate billionaire. People need to be together. Oh boy. When we click on that we find remote work is a bunch of bullshit. According to Sam Zell, the outspoken real estate magnate known for his colorful language. One of the biggest lies in the world is that people working from home are more productive than people working in the office, the billionaire founder and chairman of equity group investments, told a New York University luncheon on Wednesday, you have much less productivity if you're working from home in your pajamas with three little kids running around than if you're in an office and quote. Wow, a lot going on there. So all remote work is bullshit. And I feel like there's an obvious sexist dig at women, because disproportionately women are responsible for childcare still yet. Although for men working from home, stay at home fathers working from home fathers. Let's don't leave them out either three little kids. This reminds me so much of the article that I talked about in my blog posts from earlier today, I'll repost it in the links that I put in this podcast episode. But this idea that if you work from home, automatically, you're in pajamas. And you have like the old lady in the shoe. You have like 20 children running around. It's like you're trying to work a corporate job and then also run a daycare simultaneously. It sexist, it's bigoted. That same CEO also talked about someone selling the family dog as part of their commitment to the firm. Everything about that is so creepy. Don't have pets don't have children don't have any obstacle whatsoever that could stand in the way of you swearing your fealty to corporate America. But yeah, I post anything about compliance, obedience, conformity. This is the stock and trade of corporate America. And it gets suppressed so fast. It'll make your head spin. Which tells me I'm right on the money. Also in this art Nichelle Zell, of course is not a neutral observer. Hmm, really. The shift to remote work has hammered commercial real estate where he made much of his fortune leading to rising vacancy rates and falling property values. Morgan Stanley analysts recently forecasts something worse than the great financial crisis for commercial real estate. And last month, Tesla and Twitter CEO Elon Musk tweeted that all of the economy's looming threats the state of the commercial real estate debt market is by far the most serious. Many remote workers, however, would beg to differ with Zell about working from home. In a Pew Research survey published last month, 56 of respondents said working from home helps them get work done and meet deadlines. While 37% says it neither helps nor hurts. But some of the respondents would agree with his comments on remote workers, particularly younger ones, just starting their careers, being less connected to colleagues and mentors and missing out on opportunities in quote, oh, so we get some of that nonsense as well. Won't Someone please please think of the children? I understand you don't want to come on back. But won't Someone please think of these young Gen Z ears that just don't understand the glory and the power and the majesty of being together as in seat of the cube farm. We've got to come back for them. They're not going to have a fair shake working from home. They're out in the streets begging, go go out right now. Go right now to the nearest street corner and look, and you will see young people 2526 years old and younger, begging in the streets to go back to the office. They are so freaking tired of work from home arrangements. They are begging in the streets. Yeah. Right. I was interviewed again, by work life, and I want to provide you with the full quote that I gave to them. Because things have to get edited for content or for clarity I get that. The question posed to me was what's keeping you up at night? As someone involved in HR and staffing and the job market? What is the thing right now in the midst of all this chaos? Sort of like pick your poison? What is the thing that's keeping you up at night? Which is a great question. Here's my full and complete response. One of my biggest concerns is the unwillingness to face reality. I think some folks have their heads in the clouds, especially as it relates to RTO. And I worry that too many people will simply not be prepared for what's coming. More companies are clamping down on the remote work holdouts, and as was recently reported in The Wall Street Journal, some are offering relocation and sign on bonuses in order to recruit individuals who commit to in person work. Job openings for fully remote roles are tapering off yet I still see people posting on social media about how they will resist RTO forever, Gen Z will universally refuse to work in an office, everyone will sign a petition and so on. For me, the smart move is putting together an RTO survival plan rather than plugging your fingers in your ears and refusing to hear that the job market is changing. And I stand by every bit of that. I think maybe some of the sarcasm was lost in the quote that got published. But you get what I'm saying? No, Gen Z is not going to universally refuse to work in an office and no one's going to give a shit about a petition. We've already seen that Amazon said, okay, you've got an angry Slack channel and a petition, no one gives a rip, you're coming back. In the same way that people under the age of 25 or 26 are not out in the street clamoring for a return to the office. On the other side of the equation. No, they're not going to universally refuse to go back to an office environment. When you're in this feudalistic type of environment, fascistic type of environment really, of do this or starve do this or lose your house, do this or lose the apartment do this or lose the car, do this or your children suffer, you're going to go back. I'm not telling you it's right or that it's fair. I tucked at the end of the blog post that I published this morning about the scene and network. We're mad as hell and we're not gonna take it anymore. What I hope to do is just wake people up, wake up, wake up, get off of tick tock and whatever other social media bullshit channels you're watching and be aware that these decisions impact your life. What the Fed does, the CBD sees the food supply. I need to carve out some time no pun intended to record the episode I intend to publish on Thursday about farming. Big Ag, big food, big beverage, Big Pharma. And the terrifying reality of the junk that's going into our food supply. Farming last year was so difficult. We were in that drought we had flood rains and then it was like a switch got flipped, and we went into drought and I lost so much food my corn literally burned it just desiccated right there on the stalk. I've never seen anything like it. It was as though somebody walked out there with a blowtorch and lit it on fire. Crazy, just crazy. I feel like there's so many things that really and truly do impact the average person's life, their ability to put food on the table, their ability to to earn a living, and to have money in the bank. But people ignore those things that are so important. They'd rather worry about royal gossip or celebrity gossip, reality TV and just bullcrap. They want to get all wound up about partisan politics, you're great because you're this and he's bad because he's that I'm a neocon or I'm a NEO lib. And so I have to toe this line. It's just crazy. Meanwhile, it's like, well, we're all being marched off the cliff by the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Like, please wake up. Do you really think that these individuals invested in corporate real estate are going to bulldoze all of it? Because I sure don't? Do you think all of these companies hyped up on getting you back to the cube farm? To ensure that you're compliant? You're obedient? Your conformist? Do you think they're just gonna roll the sidewalks up on that? I don't think so. Today is Tuesday, April 25. Hopefully, I can speak clearly and enunciate. Well, I had some dental work done earlier. And my tongue felt like it was about five times its normal size. I don't know how much Novocaine they gave me it didn't seem like that much. But holy cow. Wow. Like numb from my nose all the way down to my neck and like tongue felt like a deck of playing cards in my mouth. It's crazy. I'm not quite finished yet. But I'm at least past the halfway mark on the dental work that I have to have done. And I haven't had to have any. In years, I have not had major dental work done in years and knock on wood. Hopefully, I won't have to go through this again for a long period of time. Because it is no fun. I just I don't know, I don't ever tell you what to do or what to think for me. I want to get those types of things out of the way. Feels like we're in a low A calm before the storm. Because who knows? Who knows? I hope not. I pray not. But we just don't know. Could we have another world war? Are things going to calm down at some point between Russia and the Ukraine? I don't know. What about China and Taiwan? It's going to happen with the banks. Could we have another Black Monday in the stock market? Could we have another great recession? Another 2008 2009? All of those things are possible. I hope none of them happen. But they're possible. And I just, I don't know, for me and my family. I feel like it's smart to get certain things done and out of the way rather than being in pain or having some medical necessity that pops up in an sh TF situation. Or what if there's another that comes down the pike and we're told you have to stay home again for some who knows how long in reality period of time to flatten the curve. I feel like anything is up for grabs at this point. Over on Yahoo Finance we find alphabet earnings beat company announces massive $70 billion buyback, the Google parent posted EPs and revenue beats while authorizing the massive stock buyback. Also Microsoft beats on earnings despite cloud struggles. First Republic plunges nearly 50% after it reveals deposit Exodus. NASDAQ lead stock plunged ahead of tech earnings, excuse me, General Motors to discontinue production of Chevy Bolt EV Chipotle stock searches on q1 earnings beat well you know there for a while we were told just go get a job at Chipotle. Chipotle is gonna hire the entire country. So if you get laid off from a tech or a finance job where you were making well over six figures, don't worry about it. Go get you a 17 $18 an hour job at Chipotle and it will all be okay. UPS drops amid weakening consumer demand. Check this out. Google parent alphabet discloses how much it compensated CEO Sundar Pichai in 2022 Google parent alphabet on Friday disclosed in an SEC filing how much compensation it gave CEO Sundar Pichai for the prior year, approximately 226 million dollars. Can you even imagine? Alphabet first quarter earnings top estimates, announces 70 billion stock buyback, investors will eagerly await an update on alphabets AI plans when the company reports first quarter earnings after the bell on Tuesday. Genius. Yeah, there's I want to be careful what I say here, but there's so much chicanery and shenanigans that go on with those stock buybacks and companies taking out easy money in order to put it into the stock market and do all of these highly speculative financial stunts, for lack of a better word. And I'm not saying for the record that that's what I think is going on with Google or with alphabet, but it certainly makes you wonder. Bed Bath and Beyond just filed for bankruptcy eight months after an activist investor and college student made a combined $180 million profit. Morgan Stanley analysts think commercial real estate is heading for something worse than in the great financial crisis. In the byline. We read commercial real estate headwinds, which are particularly strong in the office space sector will increase the risk of defaults distress and delinquencies. I don't I don't know. I don't know. As I've said before, I don't I don't tell you what to do or what to think, in my opinion. I have to believe that more of these offices are going to push for RTO. I also think they're going to pick up commercial real estate on the cheap. And then they're going to hurt people on mass back into the office. The only hitch I can see in that good long would be another pandemic, or some other type of world war situation. If there was a declaration of martial law, for example, and we were all sent back home. Okay. People would be working from home again. But in the absence of something really drastic, I think you're going back. I know that's not what anybody wants to hear. But that's what I see coming. Again, in the absence of something really intense. I think you're going back. Bad news, too many people are cashing out their 401 K plans? Probably because they need the money. It's the economy stupid. Of course they do. First Republic stock plummets 49% After revealing deposit exodus in March, the disclosure raised new questions about the fate of a San Francisco lender that was at the center of a banking system crisis in March. The new nine to five starts at 6pm for many Gen Z ers and millennials and they'll walk out on employers who don't accommodate them. With Gen Z set to take up 25% of the workforce by 2025. Could we see firm shifting their working hours to accommodate young night owls? No. Why do you think they're working so hard? To trigger a crisis? I don't know. It's it's not. It's just not terribly difficult for me to look at all of these components, move the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together and go yeah, they're gonna crash this economic jalopy bring everybody to heel. And that's going to be that they'll bring in their CBDCs they'll make whatever mandatory rules that they want to. I know that sounds terribly pessimistic. I'm just I'm trying to be real about all of this. I don't live on hot air and hopium. US default on debt would trigger an economic catastrophe says Janet Yellen. I wish that I had something of a high note to leave you on. At this point in time, I don't. I hope that you are getting yourself in as good a shape as possible mentally, spiritually, physically, financially, all of it. Today, it is Wednesday, April 26. Over on CNBC, we find Disney sues Florida Governor Ron DeSantis alleges political effort to hurt its business. First republics dramatic slide continues, stock falls more than 20% as bank looks for rescue deal. Amazon starts layoffs in HR and cloud units. We also find a recession may be coming. Here's how long it could last. According to economists. I'm not even going to click on that because really, a recession may be coming. If an economist is telling you that a recession might be on the horizon and then you want to listen to what they have to say about how long it's supposedly going to last. Good luck. on Yahoo Finance we also learn if First Republic handed out billions in ultra low rate mortgages to the wealthy, it backfired horribly. The byline reads the bank is now fighting for its survival after its strategy of winning over wealthy clients with huge mortgage loans went wrong. What a shock. On geek wire we find internal FAQ what Amazon is telling employees before they return to the office next week. Remember the days of working from anywhere, they're officially over at Amazon. The tech giant wants its corporate and tech employees back in their assigned offices three days a week, no matter how far they roam during the pandemic. That's one of the key details from an Amazon FAQ addressing employee questions about his new hybrid work policy which starts may 1. The internal document obtained by geek wire covers everything from indoor air quality systems and office redesigns to support for nursing parents and policies for bringing dogs to work. The wide range of topics illustrates the challenges that Amazon and others face as they bring workers back to the office, including some who were hired during the pandemic and have never met their colleagues in person, all button and say, Well, I'm sure some of them are going to be in for wonderful surprises. That person who annoyed the crap out of you on Zoom, now you have to deal with them face to face. But the core questions focus on where and when employees need to be back. We expect all employees to return to their assigned office at least three days a week when they're building is ready. It reads those unable to comply should talk with their managers to explore options, such as allowing extra time until you can relocate back to your assigned area or transferring to another team near your location. Wow. So let's be clear about what's being said there will give you extra time to relocate, or to perhaps transfer to another team. That's near where you're at now. But we're not going to just say oh, well, you moved away, so we're going to make an exemption for you. Don't worry about it. Everything's gonna be totally fine. No, they want you back. That that feels very clear to me. I don't remember what news outlet it was on but something popped up on my phone earlier. And it was like, because Jamie Dimon is taking a hard line on return to office. It's going to hurt JP Morgan Chase. And I'm like, No, it won't. No, it won't. When you look at the amount of money that JP Morgan Chase possesses the amount of money that Jamie Dimon himself possesses and how he became the top dog on Wall Street. No, it won't. It won't. I hate to burst your bubble. If you've been listening to the hot air and hopium crown on all of this. I'm sorry. I just think it's so important to have an RTO Survival Plan roughed out, especially if you are one of those individuals that moved away. The office where you would be expected to report is three, four or five hours away from you now. Have you thought about what you will do and how you plan to handle that? Are you looking for more? Don't forget, you can find Sara on her blogs at And at You can also read her content on medium and substack. On with the show. Today is Thursday, April 27. Over on Yahoo Finance by way of Bloomberg we find us in worst of both worlds with high inflation GDP slowdown. Hmm. You don't say the US economy was slowing even before the brunt of any credit crunch stemming from the recent bank failures, while inflation accelerated highlighting the enormous challenge faced by the Federal Reserve GDP rose an annualized 1.1% In the first quarter, notably less than the median forecast for 1.9%. In Bloomberg survey, the slowdown was largely driven by an inventory drawdown with an acceleration in consumer spending provided the main impetus for growth. Still, economists warn that momentum slowed as the quarter progressed and a warning sign for the current quarter in quote. Yeah, I don't think that you need to be any economist to understand this idea of being stuck in the worst of both worlds. It amazes me that people that are still saying, Oh, we're recessions out there it's coming it's on the horizon. We're not there yet, but it's coming. Sure wink wink nudge nudge some guy I don't even know what he was pitching really sent me some crap like that on LinkedIn the other day something about in the coming recession and I was just wrote back like yeah, the coming recession, huh lol and that got rid of them. Just trying to sell that nonsense to somebody else. Because if you have common sense you already know this is the here and the now. On Business Insider a couple of days ago they published layoffs are here for those who do chose to learn to code. Well, I warned you about that last year, June 12. Of 2022. On medium I published maybe just learn to code wasn't the answer. The overlords don't always have your best interests at heart. Let's just say that. On CNN, they have a 2023 layoff tracker. I don't know where the one on LinkedIn went to. But we'll we'll pivot over to CNN. April 2023. Tyson Foods, three M lift. I think that's the big news today that lift is going to further cut their workforce, Whole Foods, delay, Deloitte, Buzzfeed, David's Bridal, Walmart, McDonald's, Bed Bath and Beyond. In March, we saw meta, Disney, Accenture, Amazon indeed, and Sirius XM. I hope that you have a strategy in place. I hope that you've been thinking about a job loss survival plan, an RTO survival plan. I hope that you're prepared and not scared. Today it is Friday, April 28. Over on CNBC first republic is the main story. First Republic most likely headed for FDIC receivership sources say shares dropped 40% Fed report on SVB collapse faults banks, managers and central bank regulators. Dow gains more than 250 points Friday as index finishes best month since January. California bans the sale of new diesel trucks by 2036. Key inflation gauge for the Fed rose point 3% in March as expected. Oh I'm sure. Over on Yahoo Finance we find this earnings season is all about AI. Microsoft alphabet and meta are just three of the companies focusing on AI and their earnings reports. The Fed FDIC say we weren't forceful enough before bank failures. Twitter to take 10% cut on subscriptions after 12 months, stocks rally to capital weekly gains. Ai a great buzzword to jump stock price up. Well perhaps that's what's happening. We'll just ignore bank failures will tell you that that part of the economy is completely and totally sound. Nothing to see here. People move along move along. Meanwhile, we'll just talk about AI to pump up the stock market. Again, I just think if we were making a dystopian movie or some satirical novel, it would be perfect. Also on Yahoo Finance, we find the gig economy is much larger than thought Is it though? I think more people are aware of the fact that people are turning to freelance work or gig work just to try to get by. Government surveys suggest that gig workers constituted a small portion of the labor pool but that might not be right. According to a recent study. All I can do is roll my eyes. Speaking of which, over on LinkedIn, we find more young workers just scraping by inflation is squeezing all generations, but Millennials appear to have been hit especially harder by the rising cost of living. Some 73% of millennials Americans ages 27 to 42. Report living paycheck to paycheck compared with 60% of the wider adult population. According to a payments and Lending Club survey. Experts say older millennials face a particularly tough financial juggling act, because they have to support children and their aging parents. I'm going to butt in and say what the hell do you think Gen X has been doing? I really think that that's more so the situation that a lot of us in Gen X are in having to deal with children that are either older or have come into adulthood, as well as elderly parents and their struggles and their health issues. A growing share of Gen Z is also living paycheck to paycheck. 66% say they are struggling up eight points from 2022. The number of boomers and seniors living paycheck to paycheck has stabilized at about 50% After surging in early 2022. I'm not completely sure about that. mean we can manipulate this data to say anything that we want it to say. But if you go in the store, you will see senior citizens as well as young people working jobs and some people will say I got bored, I retired but it's not really what I thought it was going to be and so I came back to work. For other people. They'll say I had to do it. I need the money. Smaller pay bumps for jobs switchers. Workers who stick with jobs are seeing their pay rise at a faster clip. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Jobs stairs got a wage bump of 5.9% in March based on a three month moving average, up from 5.6% in August. Those who switched jobs continue to secure bigger raises with their wages growing 7.3% in March, still, that's down from 8.4%. Last summer, with fewer workers exiting the quit rate fell to 2.6% in February from 3% in 2021, employers feel less pressed to pay a premium for new hires. I'm gonna say that again, employers feel less pressed to pay a premium for new hires and quote, now that does match that last sentence that does match with what I'm seeing in real time out in the job market. It absolutely does. I feel like if somebody is still out there, asserting that the great resignation is going strong, and people are hippity hopping all over the job market and they're just finding it so easy. They are way way out of touch. I don't know what kind of hot air and hopium they're on, but it's not matching with reality. Also, speaking of first republic on LinkedIn, we find FDIC to take over first republic, the US government appears to be making moves to take over first republic bank with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation imminently putting it under receivership. Reuters reports citing an anonymous source shares, we're hitting fresh lows on Friday with the FDIC, Treasury Department and Federal Reserve in urgent talks to save the troubled lender and avoid another shock to the banking system. All but in long enough to say but hey, it sound right. The banking system is sound. You don't have anything to worry about. Remember Dave Ramsey telling you that what happened at SVB? Well, that's just an anomaly. Those will play holes. You said that so many times was so disgusting, they will play holes. They were just a bunch of VC dudes out there playing fast and loose with cash and so it's whatever, but it could just never, ever, ever happen to a local bank near you. And what's more, according to him, you're just a giant dumbass if you even worry about that. Something super fishy, super fishy. If somebody's out in the media telling you you're an idiot. If you worry about something that's completely plausible. That tells me all that I need to know. A corporate shill paid misinformation? Sorry. Oof. Gosh, I guess I need a throat lozenge there. First Republic was thrown into crisis Monday when its customers withdrew $102 billion in deposits. Earlier in the week three scenarios seemed possible a buyer could purchase the bank or as much as 100 billion of its assets at a premium. The large lenders that provided a 30 billion lifeline in March could provide additional assistance, or the FDIC could take first republic into receivership. The Federal Reserve released his report Friday on silicon bank valleys collapse no excuse me, Silicon Valley Banks collapse and quote, yeah, we're living in strange times it to me. And this is just my opinion. And it could be wrong. I published a blog post earlier about the so called worst of both worlds that we're in now with inflation as well as the GDP contracting, I would argue the job market is also contracting. Could we be in for 70s era stagflation? Yeah, of course, we could be that is a very real possibility. To me, it feels so much like the lead up to 2008. I said before that I felt like we were only in the opening act. I feel and this is again, just my opinion, just might just want I'm going on in my gut. It feels like now we're starting to transition from the opening act to act one. Now I can't sit here in chapter and verse explain it to you logically, but just these bank failures, this bank going into FDIC receivership, we're being told nothing to see here, a recession is coming. But like it's not going to be until probably q3 or q4, it's going to be shallow, it's going to be short lived. So yeah, it's going to suck, but it's not going to suck for very long, and it's not going to suck super hard. The more that we're told that the more I'm like this is going to be freaking awful. I hope I'm wrong. I hope that the mass media, commentators are giving you correct information and it will just be a shallow blip on the radar. I just don't think so. You know, I tell you the same thing. I have a finger on the pulse of the job market every single day. And I am seeing so many companies say wait a minute. Oh, wait a minute. Do we really need to fill that position? Is it really mission critical? I mean, the roles been open for three months and John Doe, the hiring manager can't decide on anybody. Maybe he can just do without for the rest of the year. Those conversations are happening and they're happening now. You can choose to not believe me you can choose to say no, I still think The great resignation is going on. I think that people are hippity hopping across the market 3.5% unemployment rate, you can choose to believe all of those things. If you choose to, completely up to you. I would be super careful with that line of thinking because I have some inside baseball here from the job market. And I'm telling you, these conversations are taking place. Maybe we don't need to hire for that role. After all, we're going to have to do budget cuts, it's time to start trimming the fat. I am hearing these conversations happening. You know, it's sad when from an HR consulting perspective, you're getting a lot more requests for information or request for quote from people who want to know about layoffs, and firing and how to cut the budget and how do we spin this to the employees so they don't feel so bad about it. I'm trying to tell you as best as I can, here's what's actually going on behind the curtain. take that for what you will 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.