The Causey Consulting Podcast

Saturday Broadcast 16

September 17, 2022
The Causey Consulting Podcast
Saturday Broadcast 16
Show Notes Transcript

Hello, Hello, thanks for tuning in recording this portion of the broadcast on Monday, September 12. Kind of crazy to think it's already the 12th day of September. And with this being a short month anyway, I'm pretty sure it's just gonna glide by not necessarily complaint kind of ready for q4. Definitely ready for cooler weather. We had a really nice cool snap yesterday and it was awesome. I think the nighttime low was 45. So cool and crisp, I slept like a rock. And then when I was outside this morning doing my farm tours, it was so nice, nice to be outside without immediately bursting into flames who are being attacked by various and sundry bugs and insects. It was nice, a nice little sneak preview, I hope of the type of fall weather that we have in store. You never know in the Midwest, you really don't. I saw a couple of like rogue meteorologists on YouTube going against the grain, saying that they think the almanacs are incorrect, and that we will actually have a warmer, maybe even hotter than normal falling winter. And that will get very little snow and ice across the country. So we'll see. I guess over the course of time, they will either be proven to be idiots or proven to be geniuses. We'll see which direction it goes in. But in the meantime, it was just so nice to have a little summertime reprieve. Before I get into the headlines, I wanted to talk about something that I'm seeing, as well as things that I'm hearing from other people around the country, which is food already being bad as it's sitting there on the shelf, or you get at home and it spoils very quickly. When I was at my local Walmart over the weekend, I noticed that with yogurt, there were like cups and jars of yogurt on the shelf full price, not something that had been siphoned off for a clearance if you wanted to take your chances, but on the shelf full price yogurt with a Best Buy date from the beginning to middle of August. Now yes, I know, there's some leeway there with yogurt going past the best by date. But when we're talking about yogurt were the best by date is already a month or more past ill and then being asked to pay full price for that as though it's still in date. I think that that's crazy. So make sure that you're checking the expiration and Best Buy dates on everything that you're picking up, I would not recommend putting something in your cart, just throwing it in there. And assuming that it's still in date, and it's still good. I think it is smart to take a look at the expiration date and make sure that you're not going to get something home that's already expired. And then you have to drive back to the store and try to haggle about having them take it back. I've also had some similar weird experiences with steak. I have bought some steaks recently from a local store. I'm not going to name any names, just say have bought the steak from a local store. We would all recognize the name if I said it out loud. And it was awful. I mean, absolutely awful, very little actual edible meat. But like globs of fat and gristle. And these were not cheap cuts. I mean, for what I paid, I was pretty bummed out that most of it had to go to the family dog. Because it's like, okay, well do you want to eat a big blob of fat and gristle? I thought we were getting actual meat here. So that's disappointing. It really is. And I am hearing similar things from other people around the country, regardless of the store that they shop at, regardless of the price point regardless of the region. They're in food either spoiling very quickly or getting it home and it's already spoiled. Even stories of frozen food where once it was de thawed, it smelled terrible, like it was already rotten. When they got it at the store even though it was frozen solid. There's something very odd about all of that. So I cannot give you advice. All I can do is say that in my opinion, it would be a wise idea to check the expiration dates before you throw something in your cart. And then also have a good food safety food preparedness i for the things that you're doing. Because if you buy something and even though it's in date, it smells terrible, or you you buy something frozen, and then you thaw it out and it smells like garbage. That generally indicates a problem. And I would rather be safe than sorry because getting food poisoning is not fun. Having to go to the hospital, not fun having to suffer with some severe GI tract problem. Not fun at all. So use good judgment and use an abundance of caution. I feel like it's very sad to even have to talk about a topic like that, that in today's modern world. It's like well, you might buy something and then when you get home and thought out it might smell like garbage and you might just have to throw it away. There should be some modicum of being able to expect good clean, hygienic products that are still in date, especially when you've paid full price for them. I've just I find that really frustrating. If we go over today to CNBC we have headlines such as dow climbs more than 200 points as markets relief rally pushes higher. Wow. Goldman Sachs to kick off Wall Street layoff season with hundreds of job cuts this month. Hmm, well, that sounds a little bit more to me like a bite out of a reality sandwich. On the one hand, we're being told that the markets are trying to rally back and everything's great, but then we're also being told that the season of layoffs is here. Also worth note, if you go over to the New York Post, you will find that Goldman Sachs is no longer going to offer free coffee. The headline there reads Goldman Sachs yanks free coffee perk as bankers returned to five day week. So that sounds fairly terrible. I'll read a little bit from that article for you now. It's time for Goldman Sachs bankers to wake up and smell the coffee and pay for it too. As employees filed into the Wall Street giants headquarters in lower Manhattan last Tuesday for a mandatory return to a five day workweek, they got an unwelcome surprise. The free coffee station had been wheeled away sources told the post the complimentary Grab and Go station at the entrance of 200 West Street cold brew as well as stashes of French Vanilla creamer, almond milk, soy milk, and half and half had appeared during the pandemic to encourage attendance according to insiders, but the brass has since determined it doesn't need sweeteners to get people back to the office sources told the post. Instead management now believes the threat of getting fired should be more than enough incentive the sources set in quote. How many times have I warned y'all? We're going now from the carrot to the stick. I've been predicting this for months. They would play things, Sweetie, sweetie, lovey lovey at first. But now you don't even get free coffee. So there's a couple of things I want to say about that. Obviously, the first one is we've gone from the stick the carrot to the stick. They're telling you either get your butt back in that cube or it's your job. How long will it be before we find out that Wink? Wink? Unemployment is not really less than 4%? I don't know. But I do think it's coming. And I do think that corporate America by and large will tell people there's no more perks, there's no more benefits. There's no more Mr. Nice Guy, if you decide to walk out you better choose wisely. You better really be thinking about yourself because and then unemployment rate is way higher than any 3.7 or 3.5%. Here we are. This is this is the beginning stage. The second thing that I want to say about that is I worked at a company years ago, it's not on my CV and I was not there for very long at all it was it was an unpleasant blip if I'm being honest. But one of the ways that I knew that the company was in trouble was because no more coffee. Initially, they tried to hide it by like reusing old coffee grounds over and over to the point where the coffee didn't even really look or taste like coffee anymore. It's pretty gross. I just started making my own at the house and bringing it in. But finally they just dismissed with the pretense of having free coffee in the office. And it was like, if you want something, you're just going to have to bring it yourself because we can't finance the coffee pot anymore. In my opinion, that's never a good sign. Now they didn't have this Grab and Go station with some, you know, fancy pants stuff. It was literally just ground coffee in a pot. So if companies that are are wealthy are starting to say, well, we can't finance the Grab and Go station for you anymore. That's really not a good sign in my opinion. Over on Yahoo Finance, we have headlines such as railroad strike wouldn't be an economic Black Swan. Goldman Sachs chief economist says they are all over the news today, aren't they? Stocks extend gains as Wall Street awaits CPI report, Twitter whistleblower to testify that could get interesting. New York Fed anticipates inflation to decline to 5.7% in a year isn't really in decline. If there's still inflation present. Like this seems to me to be a contradiction in terms and yeah, it's gonna continue to go up, but it's just not gonna go up as much and so therefore, we're going to try to spin this as saying it's going down. Okay. All right. Meanwhile, Gallup released an article called is quiet quitting real, and it's based on a survey that they conducted recently. I'll drop a link so you can check it out for yourself. The story highlights are at least half of the US workforce is quiet quitting the workplace amid the pandemic got worse for younger workers. managers are essential to combat in quite quitting. I'll read from the article for you now. Quiet quitters make up at least 50% of the US workforce probably more Gallup finds the trend toward quiet quitting the idea of spreading virally on social media that millions of people are not going above and beyond at work and just meeting their job description could get worse. This is a problem because most jobs today require some level of extra effort to collaborate with coworkers and meet customer needs. US employee engagement took another step backward during the second quarter of 2022, with the proportion of engaged workers remaining 32%. But the proportion of actively disengaged increasing to 18%. The ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is now 1.8 to one, the lowest in almost a decade. The drop in engagement began in the second half of 2021 and was concurrent with the rise in Job resignations, managers among others experienced the greatest drop, the overall decline was especially related to clarity of expectations, opportunities to learn and grow feeling cared about and a connection to the organization's mission or purpose, signaling a growing disconnect between employees and their employers in quote. Now, I can only speak to my own experiences. But whenever I would talk to job seekers during the Great resignation, the throes of the great resignation, I literally did not have one single person saying everything here is peaches and cream, I just really don't feel cared about or I don't feel like my boss has been compassionate enough during the pandemic. I never heard anybody use those words or phrases. I would say that the people that I interacted with, it was a pretty good 5050 split, about 50% of people were just job hopping to get more money. They felt like they were underpaid, overworked and underpaid, where they were out, and they wanted the opportunity to get more money, plain and simple. The other 50% did have some kind of issue with their immediate supervisor. But nobody ever said well, I just don't feel like Bob cares about me or I just don't feel like Sally factors in my emotions to the job often enough. Nobody ever said that to me. I'm not saying that those individuals are not out there. I'm just saying that I never dealt with it. The types of issues that I would hear candidates talk about where my boss wants everybody to come back to the office or my boss wants to put tracking software or my boss wants us to be available 24 hours a day so that if a client calls it two in the morning, we're expected to answer the call or we get demerits. If we don't, that sort of thing. So I am a little bit suspicious, let's say about some of the things that they put in that paragraph about opportunities to learn and grow feeling cared about a connection to the organization's mission or purpose. Okay, maybe. But I think oftentimes, it's not as complicated as some of these pollsters or pundits want to make it out to be. Is your boss a jerk? Are you paying? Well, I mean, sometimes it doesn't have to be any more complicated than that. Today, it is Tuesday, September 13. Over on CNBC, we have headlines such as dow tumbled 1200 points for Worst day since June 2020. After hot inflation report. Well, yeah, no da in another will Yeah, no dull moment. We also find inflation isn't just about fuel costs anymore as price increases broaden across the economy. Yeah. Anyone who's living and working and paying their bills could have told you that Biden administration prepares for a potential railroad workers strike. no end in sight for Wall Street deals slump As JP Morgan says advisory revenue plunges. 50% Kathy Woods still believes deflation is on the horizon says the Fed is making a mistake. We'll see. Warner Brothers discovery CFO says company's streaming services are underpriced. rising inflation slams crypto prices bid go Sue's galaxy and Dev preps for merge. Goldman says you can count on these stable growth stocks even in a tough market like this one. Okay. Over on Yahoo Finance, it's a similar scene. Stocks crushed, NASDAQ plummets 5.1% s&p 500 drops 4.3% as August inflation data triggers market meltdown. The byline reads US stocks got smoked on Tuesday, after inflation unexpectedly increased from July to August cementing another aggressive rate hike from the Fed right beside it, there's another headline, Wall Street reacts to August's shock, inflation data. Who is shocked? For whom would this be a surprise? I mean, what? I think even if somebody had been living under a rock at this point they would know all of this. stubbornly high rent food prices boost US inflation in August. I like how they say stubbornly high rents as though it's just totally random. Like, suddenly these rents are just stubbornly high. And we don't really know why it's like it just happened out of nowhere stubbornly high rents. Morgan Stanley expects the s&p 500 to plunge and other 17 to 27%. Within the next four months, any doubt Fed will raise rates by 75 basis points next week is gone after HUD, US inflation data. Mm hmm. Yep. Before I jump over to the side panel for LinkedIn, I want to highlight a report that the network company Alignable released last Wednesday, I will drop a link so you can check this information out for yourself. But it found that 63% of small businesses surveyed said that they put hiring on hold because they can't afford to add staff and 10% of that group say they're actually laying people off. They go on to say this decline is quite significant as it's 18 percentage points higher than it was in July. Beyond that the percentage reducing their staff jumped 6% to 10%. This month from just 4% in July and quote, but remember, people are doing great, we should ignore the fact that Goldman Sachs is deeming of layoff season. And they've gotten rid of the free coffee perk, because they feel like you should just go ahead and come on back. And if you don't, the fear of job loss ought to be enough to keep you there. We've pretty well gone from the carrot to the stick, in my opinion. Ignore information like this at your own risk. If you want to believe that everything is sunshine and roses, somehow there's going to be a Hail Mary pass to save the economy or the job market. Okay, I wish that I could get on those sugar plums and gumdrops. I guess. On the side panel for LinkedIn, we have inflation shows signs of stubbornness. This is kind of like the stubborn rent headline, as though these things just happen by magic. Oh, inflation is just stubborn. The rent prices are just stubborn, and we don't even know why it's happening. Of course, of course. Sure. New York Times and NBC workers refuse to RTO retirees priced out of paradise study women less interested in management. Where are the missing workers? US incomes plateaued in 2021 census says Starbucks aims to woo non union staff who's hiring funeral homes. So that doesn't sound McCobb or troubling hat all okay. All right. Let's click on New York Times and NBC workers refused to RTO this is this sounds juicy to me because, as I just said, I feel like we've transitioned from the carrot to the stick and I'm interested to see how these refusals will play out. I'll read the blurb for you now. Some employees of the New York Times and NBC News are defying orders to return to the office both companies and said they wanted workers to be in for at least part of the week from September 12. But according to the Times Union around 1280 members said they would stay home, with the standoff coming as part of a wider union push to renegotiate terms at the company. Meanwhile, around 215, NBC News staffers also vowed to keep working from home. unions across the country have been growing in strength in recent years, with numerous companies seeing employees grouped together to push for better working conditions. And quote, again, I think it'll be interesting to see how this plays out. Will they go on strike? Will there be scabs that cross the picket line? I mean, I don't know. I really don't know. I just think it will be intriguing to see how long this plays out. And then in juxtaposition, how deep this recession goes, you know, I've said many times before, the higher that unemployment gets and once it becomes really obvious to John and Jane Q public, because that's what it's going to take me sitting here as somebody that has deep expertise in the job market, someone who's been in the job market literally every day for over a decade now. It's almost meaningless for me to sit here and try to say, Hey, hello, alarm bells are ringing, tingling, tingling, like it's time to pay attention. There's no way in hell in my opinion that we have any 3.7% unemployment rate Wake Up, Up up up up until John and Jane Q Public or Holy smokes, it seems like every place has layoffs, it seems like there's just unemployed people everywhere until that happens for the average member of the public, there's just a disconnect. They see the headlines, they see the snippets, and they just don't connect the dots between the absolute BS in my opinion that's being put out there by the media versus what's actually happening in reality, what's happening as far as brewing up a further poopoo storm. So Will Will their strike be successful? We'll see. Will the unions be able to renegotiate terms? We'll see. What about people that are not unionized will probably whenever the bosses say come on back or it's your job, they're gonna be going on back? I don't see any way around it. I don't I hope I'm wrong on that. I do. Time will tell. I also want to click on where are the missing workers because this plays into one of the conspiracy theories that just cracks me up that all of these people just blipped it was like when Santos did his finger snap in The Avengers movie and all of these people just literally vanished. A close second to that one is people like Mitch McConnell claiming that all these people are still quote, flush with cash from the semis, like a STEMI check they got in 2020 is been enough to hold them over all this time. All these people are living in all these grandma's basements. And it's like, just wouldn't you know, don't even say it Sarah because common sense is not common. That was about to say wouldn't common sense tell you that that's a load of hot air. I don't know how I'll read the blurb for you now. The American workforce may have returned to its pre pandemic size as of August a milestone in economic recovery. That's like a royal look, king or queen or some feudal lord making their proclamation in front of the trumpeters a milestone in economic recovery prefer? Sure. But it's still millions of workers short, why labor force participation cratered amid shutdowns instead of continuing to grow at the pre COVID pace. That's why businesses still point to a worker shortage as they struggle to meet resurgent demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the return of Americans to the labor pool is now lagging most among retirees and men between the ages of 25 to 54. In quote, why would it not be lagging amongst retirees? I mean, people who had enough money truly to retire and live beneath their means they've said Peace out, they're done. But then also notice we have the same headline above saying retirees are priced out of paradise. Some people who retired said holy crap, I wasn't prepared for this kind of hyperinflation, I'm gonna have to go back and try to get a job again. As far as men between the ages of 25 to 54, some of those people probably started their own business, or they went into the gig economy. They got tired of working for somebody else and said, I'm willing to take on whatever responsibility I have to to just get some freedom. I've said many times before, I did not encounter people during the throes of the great resignation, who just went to live in grandma's basement, or people who told me they were so flushed with cash that they were just going to say, Peace out to the job market forevermore. And that was going to be that they were going to hang out and watch Netflix all day. So yeah, I do think at least it's interesting that they're covering this topic. But it's not a wonder to me that people feel confused, because you're told retirees have been priced out of paradise. But then you're also being told well, retirees are part of the reason why there's a quote, labor shortage. Oh, and there's a labor shortage, because we've had this milestone and economic recovery. But then at the same time, 63% of small businesses have said they're either going on a hiring freeze and or they're going to have a layoff. I mean, so much conflicting information. Just my opinion could be wrong, I can't give you advice can only opine for your entertainment only. I think it's really important to use good judgment and critical thinking. And I think it's important to pay attention to what you see going on around you. When you go to the grocery store. Do you really feel like the shelves are stocked as they used to be? Do you feel like the prices are comparable to what they were three or four years ago? I mean, gas going down? I don't know maybe 50 cents a gallon has that made enough of a difference to offset everything else? Your food and your necessity items and your clothing and the school supplies for the kids this year? Has that really helped. And by the way, whenever we quit tapping into the strategic reserves, I would be very shocked if we didn't see gas prices going back up again. The only way I would think that would not happen would be if we do go into deflation. I don't claim to be an economic expert because I'm not. And I don't claim to know exactly what kind of economic poopoo storm that we're careening into. The only thing I can really say is that, in my opinion, from my perspective, reading the tea leaves as best as I can, we definitely do seem to be headed into something not good. I have wondered before if it will be like, what if the 82 recession had a baby with the 2008 great recession? And we have to live with the consequences of it for two or three years? I hope not. I really hope not. There could be some other economic doodoo fast that we have to deal with. It could be deflation, it could be you know, the value of the dollar just completely goes into the tois lay. I don't know. I really don't. But I feel like if you needed a headline to tell you that inflation is still bad. If you needed a headline to tell you that American workers haven't just blipped like fan OHS finger snap them, or that most small businesses say they're going on a hiring freeze or they're laying people off. Where have you been? Where have you been consuming your news? Where have you been getting your content? This might be a really good and auspicious time, in my opinion, to evaluate where you're getting your information from. And if the people that you have been listening to have been historically correct in the predictions that they've made, just my two cents. Today it is Wednesday, September 14. on CNBC, we have headlines such as Ford asks dealers to invest in EVs as it chases Tesla like profit. Biden announced his first round of funding for evey charging network. Hmm. I guess we're supposed to ignore the fact that California is having an energy crisis. And there are points in time when people are being discouraged from charging their EVs. Also, I guess, supposed to ignore the fact that there was a recall earlier this summer about fire risk. So I guess we'll just set that to the side and have high hopes here. NASDAQ closes higher on Wednesday as stocks stabilized following massive sell off. Hmm. Strokes long devil beard thoughtfully. It's almost like someone should have been on the airwaves saying, it always seems like the fat cats at the very top profiteer off of these economic crises. It always seems like they're a cat with nine lives, they just always seem to land on their feet and everything goes well for them. The people in the middle class and the lower classes get squeezed to death. But these people just always seem to sell off at exactly the right time. Isn't that something? What a coincidence, we have their wholesale prices fell point 1% In August, amid inflation fears. Hmm. So that kind of makes it sound like inflation is this boogeyman in the corner. Like it's not real. It's actually just some clothes that you haven't folded and put away yet that are lumped up on your chair. But at three o'clock in the morning, when you're bleary eyed, it looks like a zombie coming out your brains. Inflation is not real. It's just a fear. It's just the boogeyman in the corner that you guys are afraid of shame on you. Meanwhile, of course, it's a reality. Still, yet every time I go in a store or I need to hire somebody to perform a service, it's more expensive than it was the time before. There's no way in my mind based on what I am seeing and my own real world experiences day to day and week to week that I'm seeing any kind of abatement in inflation. Sorry, I'm just not. California alleges Amazon inflated prices with supplier deals. Stock market could rally big in fourth quarter, but there will be more pain first. I'm sure there will be. Railroads say they won't lock out workers as negotiators meet with labor secretary Walsh, over on Yahoo Finance, it's a fairly similar saying stocks rebound after worst day since June 2020. Housing Affordability hits worst level in 37 years. I think anybody that's been on a real estate quest lately could tell you that. I really don't think we need a headline to let us know and cue us in on that information. You know, I can only speak to what I'm seeing here in this part of the country. And here in the Midwest. I don't think a lot of sellers have completely gotten the memo just yet. I would say that the single family houses especially like a little starter house in a suburban neighborhood with a postage stamp yard, those places still seem to be selling pretty well. Even with the bump in interest rates. There seems to be a high level of interest to be in the Midwest in the burbs. But for properties that have some acreage that you could use for a farm or place it's already being used for farm or ranch the prices are still insane. The quality is low in my opinion. It's largely poopoo houses they have a lot of things wrong with them. Or people have been running cattle or raising horses but they have no barn they have no stables they have no appropriate facilities. It's like they just turn their cattle or turn their horses loose on a patch of land and said, All right, good luck to you here, they're gonna kind of make it or you're not burned out myth, trailers, places of that nature that people still think that they need to get a million dollars for. And I really applaud Orlando miner, because I feel like on his channel, he's on the airwaves on a regular basis talking common sense, in my opinion. And as he's pointed out before, if you overprice the property by 200k, even if you make a 50k reduction on it, yes, it looks good on paper, it looks impressive. But then what are you left with your left with a place that still 150 grand over priced, and who wants to deal with that? Maybe somebody somewhere maybe Great Aunt Harriet died and left them with a big pot of money, maybe they won the lottery and isn't that great, and they want to grossly overpay for something that they will probably then have to turn around and put another 100 grand of repair work into where they'll have to try to find somebody to build them a barn or to improve their fences. And I'm like, Y'all go ahead, y'all go ahead. I would much rather strategically quit sit on the sidelines and just kind of wait for conditions to improve. I know several other people doing exactly the same thing. Including people that want to move cross country, people that live in more densely populated areas that want to go out somewhere where they just hear crickets, and birds chirping. They don't hear any traffic. They don't have any city noise, but they're in the same predicament. I don't want to go somewhere and grossly overpaying and then wind up in foreclosure. So some of us have just had to put those types of dreams on hold as we wait for conditions to improve. I wish it wasn't so but here we are. We just have to play the hand that we're dealt. Also on Yahoo Finance, California alleges Amazon stifled price competition and lawsuit. Walmart set to offer digital banking and checking accounts, markets and sectors close higher in the aftermath of Tuesday's sell offs. Expedia CEO says not seeing consumer recession right now. Hmm. Well, that's interesting. I've talked about this before. I can't sit here in good conscience and tell you that in my part of the Midwest, everybody has just rolled the sidewalks up. Nobody's having any fun. Nobody's going anywhere and everyone is living in a very like waste not want not Depression era. People are being very strategic with their finances. I mean, almost can't even say that with a straight face. Because I think of people like the ones I've talked about down the road that have every doodad every gadget the yard seems to just continually be stuffed full of more junk. Not long ago, they wheeled out, like the washer, the dryer and the refrigerator, and some other appliances that have braindump. Now maybe it was a stove. I don't remember. But they had several appliances that they were waiting to have somebody pick up and haul off. And the appliances looked fine. We're not talking about okay, well, this is you know, like avocado, green and harvest gold probably have been in there since 1978. And they just gave up the ghost finally, those appliances that seem to last forever, because I'm sorry, regardless of what people think. It used to be that things were built to last and things would last longer. I remember I had a cell phone I called the Franken phone. It was old Nokia phones that lasted and lasted and lasted even though it had been dropped and abused and not treated particularly well at various times. You couldn't break the stupid thing. Now it seems like cell phones go obsolete and start having technical problems in no time. Same thing with your tablets and computers and laptops. It's crazy. So the appliances they took out of the house were not old appliances from the late 70s that okay, you know, we salute them. We thank them for their service in the house because they are dunzo they have been faithfully showing up on the job for more than 40 years. And now it's just time for them to go to the recycler or the junkie or wherever they go. No, they to me. I mean, maybe they had all gone bad at the same time. I don't know. Unless you that Charlie. No, I wasn't so I can't say that those appliances didn't all go bad. But to me just from the outside looking in, it looked like they just said we don't want these appliances anymore. We have to have all new they've also gone and bought one of the kids another one of those like loud, fake motorcycle things. I don't know where the money is coming from legal illegal or otherwise I don't I don't know mate, maybe Great Aunt Harriet left him a big bundle, but they seem to spend money like it's water. And to me that's crazy. So I can't sit here and tell you. Oh, everybody here in the Midwest, they're staying at home. They're not driving anywhere. There's no discretionary income. They're not traveling. No one's doing anything fun. That's not what I see. Even though I try to go and buy groceries or go to the feed store or if there's any other The items I need. I tried to go at offbeat times because as I think you all should know, by now I'm a crusty old introvert. I'm not what you call a crowd person, I don't like being pushed and shoved. And, you know, I also just don't like being out at times when I might feel unsafe. I've talked on the airwaves before about times when I would go in the store and just people would be in my space, you know, men would be lurking and just behaving oddly. And it's like, what is the deal or people just being obviously impaired, whether it's alcohol or drugs. So I try to go out at times when I feel like it's going to be less densely populated in a good way. And I feel safe, whether I'm with somebody else at the time, or I have to run errands by myself, whatever the case may be. I tried to go at offbeat times, because I do not like being in a crowd. And I also don't like going to places where I feel fundamentally unsafe. Now, that's just me. But anytime I'm out, there are other people out on the road. There are other people out shopping. It's not like wow, people are just not driving because of the gas or wow, people are just not going anywhere. Because the prices of everything so high, people are not buying anything in the grocery store, you will see people that you can tell that they're buying less than they normally would. I'm buying less than I normally would for our household and I've had to get really strategic about where my budget is going. I have also talked on the airwaves before about recently buying some steaks that were awful. Most of which went to the dog it was like Gordon Ramsay This is a dog's dinner. Well, yeah, it pretty much was because it was only maybe 30 to 40% edible. And the rest of it was just globules of fat, and gristle. So the dog made out like abandoned in that situation. But I'm like, Okay, this, this is a waste of time, energy and money to cook up steaks that are mostly just fat, and GRISTLE and a dog's dinner, like, we need to be able to eat too. So I've had to get a lot more particular and strategic, not only about checking expiration dates, and trying to do as much QA QC in the store before I buy something, but just saying I'm going to have to shave money out of the budget somewhere else, I'm gonna have to try to make more money. Like Dan Locke said, you don't have a savings, probably we have an income problem. So trying to make more money, but then also shave more money off of the budget and other places to just shop for higher quality items. Don't write me in and get on your high horse. I'm not saying it's right. I'm not saying it's fair. It shouldn't be that way. You should be able to go into a supermarket, especially with all these you know, supposedly glorious FDA and USDA regulations. Supposed to be able to go in the supermarket and get things that are in date fresh and good quality. If you buy a particular cut of steak that is not supposed to be globules of fat and GRISTLE you should get what you pay for. I just don't think we're living in that world right now. Will things return to normal at some point? I hope so. But I don't know. So in the meantime, I'm having to just really focus on buying things of a higher quality. There have been commentators for years that have made note of how little Americans budget for food, we have the tendency by and large, not everybody okay, not everyone, but by and large, we have the tendency culturally, to want food quickly. I want this quick. I want it cheap. I want it easy well and be always go to the store, get some boxes and bags and be able to eat the food quickly prepare the food with as little effort as possible. And I want it to be cheap. Damn it, that's what I want. And we may just be moving away from that time. Aside from having some things in your pantry that you've put back as emergency rations, whether that's for a tornado or hurricane a blizzard, what if we get snowed in for two weeks and we can't go anywhere in that situation. Canned ravioli canned spaghetti starts to look really good. If the only thing you have around is a spam sandwich, you're going to eat the spam sandwich, I promise you. But in the meantime, and we're talking about day to day living trying to eat healthfully and not just have everything out of a can not just have everything that's been like super high Ultra process, and it'll last on your shelf for an eon basically, the only solution I found to that problem is to spend more money on higher quality products. I hate it. It's not something that I feel like is fair, but I feel like it has to be done for me. I can't give you advice. All I can do is opine for your entertainment only. But for me that that's really the solution to the problem. Instead of having to throw stuff either to the chickens, nothing goes to waste around here. Chickens are like feathery garbage disposals, they're not really picky about things. So if there are leftovers that wouldn't be appropriate for the dog. It's usually something that the chickens can have and they're very often thrilled about it. They're all very healthy too. So no complaints about them. But it's like pan we need to be able to eat too. And it really sucks to have to increase your grocery budget. Not because that's something that you want to do, or because you're increasing it, well, the family's grown or we're taking somebody in temporarily, but you're, you're buying actually less food, you're having to spend more money just so you don't get something that's globules of fat or just so you don't get something that's out of date or something that spoils two or three days after you buy it. Just strange times that we're living in. I hope it's not getting to be Soylent Green times, but who knows, sort of feel like nothing much would surprise me anymore. Today is Thursday, September 15. Kind of crazy to think that we are now at the halfway point for this month. Over on Yahoo Finance, we have headlines such as mortgage rates breach 6%, for first time since 2008, the rate on the 30 year fixed mortgage jumped to 6.02% from 5.89%. The week prior, according to Freddie Mac, who didn't see this coming. This should not be surprising information to anyone. I was trying to quest back in my mind to when I purchased a foreclosure house back in 2007. I think that the interest rate I had was like seven or seven and a half percent, which felt like highway robbery. But I think it was just a combination of the income or lack thereof that I had at that point in time with the fact that I just didn't have a lot of credit history wasn't that I had bad credit, it was just that I didn't have much credit history for them to go on at that point in my life. So it was like here, we're gonna give you a higher than normal rate. And I think that's perhaps what some people don't take into account is 6.02% might be what's available for someone with good credit. If someone has a lack of credit history or perhaps some booboos on their credit report. What is their interest rate going to look like? Mean? It's not going to be an easy time. Stocks slide amid flurry of economic data and corporate news. US railroads avert worker strike. Congressional stock trading talks at loggerheads. One way to put it. Railroad stocks rise amid workers reaching tentative Labor Agreement. Prepare for a lengthy time of slow growth. Hmm. Okay. Over on the side panel for LinkedIn, we find news stories such as Adobe to buy rival figma for $20 billion. Is a white collar recession coming isn't it already here. Kanye West ends partnership with GAP Patagonia founder gives company away JP Morgan circumspect on layoffs. Starbucks pouring $450 million into revamp mortgage rates highest since 2008. tentative deal reached on rail strike lights out for showtimes streamer. Meanwhile, the news broke yesterday that Twilio or Twilio, however you prefer to say it is going to lay off 11% of its workforce. And I'm already seeing the posts on my LinkedIn feed of people who are impacted by those layoffs, which is not a good situation at all. Over on American banker.com We can read a little bit more about this JP Morgan situation. The headline says JP Morgan says layoffs are on the table in investment banking. Now I'll read for you now. JP Morgan Chase could lay off staff in a bid to counter falling investment banking revenue. America's largest bank by assets expects investment banking fees to fall in the third quarter by between 45% and 50%. From a year ago, Chief Operating Officer Daniel Pinto said Tuesday at an investor conference hosted by Barclays. In addition to reducing headcount, the bank could reduce compensation Pinto set and quote Mm hmm. Warn y'all about that, too. I told you that we would not only see things like layoffs, hiring freezes, etcetera. But we would also start to see pay cuts. I think that will most especially happen to people who want to work from home. I think some of this carrot and the stick that's transitioned to the stick is going to be well if you're that committed to remote work, you need to take a pay cut. And then finally as we go deeper into what I believe will be the great recession 2.0 Then we'll see it spread across the board. Well, hey guys, we need to really all band together here. We don't want to lay any more people off. So do you think some of y'all could take a pay cut just so we can all stay employed? It happened before. There's no reason to think it's impossible that it could happen again. Now if we click on is white collar recession coming we read the US workforce is emerging from the health crisis in a new shape. Hmm, yeah, I'd be willing to bet that that shape is the shape of a que the jobs recovery during the pandemic skewed so sharply in favor of white collar workers, that the group now faces the most risk of layoffs and a recession or economic slowdown. Those employed in professional and business services are up by more than 1 million from 2020. And those in leisure and hospitality down by 1.2 million, while the economy added a solid 315,000 payrolls in August, those for white collar workers fell for the first time since before the crisis. Two thirds of employers expect a recession according to an August survey of small and mid sized businesses by Principal Financial Group and quote, yeah, I don't think that we have to wonder and wait and watch is this coming? This is like that comparison of fears of inflation, like inflation is just the boogeyman in the corner and you children are scared for nothing. It's just a crumpled up clothes on the chair. Yeah, it is it coming. Could there be a white collar recession? I just don't know. Well, I mean, come on can use the phrase desert. Come on, man. You know better than that. One of the responders writes just last month, a top search term was quiet quitting. Now there is talk of a white collar recession with new layoffs headline almost being daily, the latest being Goldman Twilio or Twilio. And now Patreon. Yes. So the other day, we also received news that Patreon had laid off several staff members, including apparently its whole security team or cybersecurity team, which was only comprised of a few people do I find kind of odd for a platform of that size? I'll be talking soon. I think it may be next. Okay, today's Thursday. So I think it's next Thursday's episode, I will be talking about why I chose to quit the free and low cost platforms, including Patreon. For me, it was so much of a time drain, and the lack of return on investment just made it not worth my time anymore. And I feel like sometimes people just don't value information as much as they should, when they're getting it for free, or for a few dollars. Now I know you might be crossing your arms and saying yes, but I'm getting this information from you on a free podcast. And that's true. But imagine if you did every free platform available to you, if you did every low cost platform available to you. I'm only one person and there's only so many platforms that on any given day I have time to be active on, I still have to work for my clients, I have to get billable hours, I have to work with my VA and let her know what needs to be done. It's like I don't have time to just throw out masses and masses of content on these free platforms for educational courses and low cost platforms like Patreon. For me, it was just like, This feels like a lot of effort for no money, or almost no money. So I decided to quit. And I think if other people come to that same conclusion with some of these platforms, then the layoffs will obviously get worse in order to keep people employed, they have to have an increased amount of revenue. If that's not happening, then what other choices there but to reduce headcount? So this responder goes on to write are the two connected? Was this a case of over hiring in the boom cycle? Or is something more at play here? I definitely think there was FOMO and Yolo. That happened in the job market the same way that it happened in the housing market. And I think people saw how difficult it was not only to hire, but to also retain talent. And for some of those people or so headache inducing, you would try to tell them your hiring funnel is bloated. It doesn't make sense. You have duplicated steps, you're waiting too long. And some of them would listen, a lot of them would not a lot would just simply say no, we think our hiring funnel or our hiring process is fine. We just want everyone else in America to comport to what we're doing. We don't want to imagine that our process might be the problem. It might be hamstringing us. We just want these damn candidates to comply. We want obedience, why are they not being obedient? And so some of them chose to over hire expecting attrition. But then if that doesn't happen, if if you hire people in at a bloated salary that you know you can't sustain, and you've done that multiple times across departments, at some point, you have to pay the piper. So is there a white collar recession coming? In my opinion, and as Dennis Miller always said, it's only my opinion, and I could be wrong, in my opinion, there already is one. Waiting to see if that's going to happen, I think is a little bit silly. I think it's already here. On that same note, over on CNBC, we have a new headline today. So this is the same CNBC that at the end of August was telling us inflation was starting to ease and people are feeling better, huh? Sure. Of course they are. So now they're singing a different tune, telling us it's belt tightening time, how to save as food inflation jumps more than 11% in a year. Mm hmm. Yeah. Imagine that. And so one of their suggestions is to use a cashback app or to pay with the right card and to try to get some kind of credit card that will give you cash back. And I'm like, right, right, right, right. So as if people don't have enough credit card debt, as if we haven't just read that depressing article about people using Buy now pay later for food. You know, there's a quote at the end of that article about I don't want to be in debt for a carrot. I mean, did you ever think if you live in the Western world, if you lived if you live in a what would be considered a, quote, first world developed country? Did you ever think you would see the day that somebody would have to put a carrot on a buy now pay later plan, and that just It blows my mind? It's difficult for me to really imagine that. It just is. Also related to that. Over on payments.com There was an article about how did $1,400 become the new average emergency expense, and I want to talk about that. Now, of course, I'll drop a link so that you can check it out for yourself. All read now, for years $400 has served a shorthand for the precarious state of the US consumers financial health, namely whether they could afford to meet an unanticipated emergency expense. The number has been firmly entrenched in the discussion on finances in this country, including in the annual reports on economic well being released by the Federal Reserve every year. Now, it seems a long way off by about $1,000. The way Lending Club financial health officer Anoosh Nya, hopefully I'm saying that right, said he sees it, the figure falls woefully short of the reality confronting us today. It turns out as joint research from his company, and payments uncovered, that unanticipated emergencies actually cost consumers an average of $1,400. In quote, to me, I think of the old statistic, that 75k is the happiness threshold, anything that you make below that you're going to be improved when you hit 75k. But beyond 75k, your happiness supposedly doesn't improve that much. But when we adjust for inflation, that number becomes more like 100 grand now, maybe more. I mean, as we go further and further into what I think is going to be hyperinflation, then I think it's going to be even even above 100k, and in some cities with a very high cost of living in r&d is above 100k. It's more like 120 130k for what's used to be 75k. So here we are, the happiness threshold is somewhere around 100 grand, the emergency budget threshold is now gone up from 400 to 1400. This is sad news. I hate to have to report on it. But it's like at what point? Do things calmed down a little bit? At what point do things get better? I don't know. Earlier today, Russell Brand released a video and it's the kind of video I watched. And I thought Yeah, so at some point, he's going to be silenced more than likely. And the title of the video is, you've got to be effing kidding me. I'll drop a link to it so you can see it for yourself. But he references an article from the New York Post titled Democrats $53 million spending on Mega Republicans belies just how cynical their threat to democracy cries are. And it's like, what kind of weird, you know, upside down world are we living in? Where you're going to give $53 million? To help people that you are calling far right? You're saying they're dangerous. You're saying that you want to try to save democracy from them. But yet you're shelling out $53 million to help their campaigns. If that doesn't highlight this idea of it's one big club and you and I are not in it. I'm really not sure what will mean we see this at inaugurations we see this at fundraisers and that political hoo ha get togethers where opponents who were supposedly bitter rivals are hugging and their wives or their husbands are all hugging and everybody's like all chums, the whimsy pals the Wowsie and it's almost like okay, well, we put on theater. We put on pantomime for you. We pretended that we hated one another. We pretended like my opponent is a threat to democracy. Oh, yeah. Well, my opponent is a philanderer and a liar and an embezzler, and we put up our Dukes and we went out in the arena. But now we can drop the pretense we can let you know that we really were just all on the same team. I mean, to me, this is just further evidence of all that. Of course, in my opinion, it goes way beyond just okay, the two political parties, what's the real difference? It also bleeds over into corporate America and what I believe to be crony capitalism. The idea of this being a free country, a free enterprise a free market. I mean, no, I don't I just don't know how any sane person could really believe that at this point, but there's so much interwoven Enos and interconnectedness between these markets and these politicians and these fat cats and Wall Street bankers, as I have said before, just as has ever has always ever been, someone will profit from this whatever happens in the stock market whatever happens in the in the economy, whatever industry or industries we're asked to give bailouts to with our sweet taxpayer money, someone will get very, very rich, it won't be us. It will be somebody who probably is already extremely wealthy to begin with. Just my opinion, and I could be wrong. That's what I see coming. Today is Friday, September 16. It is hot and humid where I am. So far I have to say the almanacs prognostications for my part of the Midwest for the month of September, if not born out to be highly accurate. You know, I'm a proponent of looking at where you're getting your information from and sussing out have these predictions come to pass, or have they just mostly been hot air. Unfortunately, for us, we are getting plenty of hot air. In fact, we may be under a heat advisory the day of the equinox. And I'm like, this sucks. So the almanac had been saying that the 20th through the 23rd, we would have unsettled weather, a lot of thunderstorms, maybe even a tornado or two. But then the weather would become unsettled, but noticeably cooler. And I thought, Oh, nobody wants to tornadoes or violent thunderstorms, but noticeably cooler would be amazing. Unfortunately, right now, the long range forecast locally, shows basically no rain, but a lot of heat, maybe even as I said, a heat advisory on the day of the equinox. And I'm like, no, no, I'm a fall in wintertime person. And I don't like it when we get cheated out of the fall part of that. I don't mind the winter, necessarily. But I do like a transition. And I hate it when it's like hot, hot, hot, cold. Just all of a sudden, it's like we get a week maybe two if we're lucky, have nice a tunnel weather where you just go outside and a sweater and it's pleasant. You do your outdoor work without breaking a sweat bugs are not everywhere. The trees have that beautiful variety of yellows, reds, oranges, gold, and it's just pretty, it's nice. It's pleasant, to be outside and to work outdoors. But I don't know, it seems like more often than not, it just goes from hot, hot, hot to boom, cold. There have been plenty of times that I have been outside on the lawn mower in November, in a T shirt and shorts, or a t shirt and a lightweight pair of pants. Which is crazy when you think about it. You know, it's like why? Why would that still be the case? I don't live in Florida. I don't live along the Gulf Coast where that would be considered normal. So I'm just like, can we please have an auto? So I sort of feel like the almanac gave me this false hopium that we might actually have in a terminal September and maybe we will maybe the forecast will change but I'm not seeing it yet. I have not run out and bought a snowblower or done anything because they predicted that we would see blizzards and snow squalls and we might it could very well be that their predictions for the Fall turn out to be not so accurate. But we may indeed have a wild winter we're honestly we're due for one. And thinking back to the last time that we had an ice storm thinking back to the last time we had a blizzard with you know, five and six foot snow drifts and all that it's been a while and we're seeing some similar weather patterns play out to the years when we had bad ice storm bad Blizzard, we'll see what happens. I do think it's important to be prepared for any contingency but at the same time, don't don't over prepare, don't spend money that you don't have because if I went and spent $1,000 on a snowblower and we got one inch of snow for the entire winter, I would be mad. So we'll see. I just I mostly wanted to gripe I think that we may be under a heat advisory on the autumnal equinox. That really just doesn't seem fair to me. But what are you going to do? on CNBC? We have headlines today such as stocks closed lower on Friday, extending sell off for worst week since June for s&p 500 and NASDAQ Biden White House just put out a framework on regulating crypto. Please, please don't make us bailout crypto. I really don't want to do that. Mehta shares plunged 14% This week falling close to their pandemic low. FedEx CEO says he expects the economy to enter a world wide recession. Yeah, if we're not in one already wink. Who could see otherwise? Who could see otherwise? fed meeting ahead, we'll decide whether stocks can stabilize or fall back to bear more Look at Lowe's. Over on Yahoo Finance, it's a similar scene. FedEx earnings missed the weakest set of results Deutsche Bank has seen in 20 years. stocks closed lower on heels of FedEx earnings warning is the stock market headed lower. Experts weigh in. Lithium price surge hits automakers as Evie production ramps up this week and Biden nomics fooled by gas prices. History shows no example of hiking us rates too fast summer says and they're referring to former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers. The s&p is forming a bottom one technical analyst says markets are spooked by inflation. Cathy wood and Elon Musk see a bigger issue. The lifeboat is leaking. Many seniors still at risk of financial drowning, even as Social Security could get biggest boost in 40 years. About 150. Bed, Bath and Beyond stores are closing. And then they also have a list. So if there's one that you enjoy shopping out, you can check it out to see if it's one of the ones that is impacted. Oh, over on cnn.com There are a couple of interesting and bizarre tidbits. So they're talking about how Queen Elizabeth's children have held a vigil beside her coffin. And I think at one point in time, the cue to pass by the coffin and pay your respects was like 24 hours long. It may be less than that. Now, I'm not sure but I think earlier today, it was a full 24 hours that you'd have to wait in line, but they're reporting okay. The funny the funny thing is King Charles saying I'm a self made millionaire. I can't even respond to that. The non Funny thing is they're also reporting a sexual assault was committed in the queue to view Queen Elizabeth's coffin. And it's like, how, how on earth? does that even happen? I mean, like, what is going on with security? What's it's almost just unbelievable. Sometimes the things taking place in the world, like what What is even happening. Now in their eye on the economy section we read, Americans are feeling better about the economy, but inflation worries still loom. In that article we read, Americans continue to feel slightly better about the economy as gas prices retreat from their early summer highs. Consumer sentiment in September notched up to its highest level since April. According to the latest survey from the University of Michigan. Preliminary data released Friday showed an increase in the consumer sentiment index to 59.5 in September from 58.2. In August, I'm going to button long enough to say that I mean, September is not even over yet. Feels maybe a little bit premature to say that consumer sentiment had fallen to a record low of 50 in June when gas prices hit historic highs across the country. But the continued decline in fuel costs since then has allowed consumers to feel a little more optimistic. Despite the gains sentiment remains historically low. And comparable to levels the University of Michigan survey found during the depths of the Great Recession in quote, There you go. I don't personally know of anyone who is saying, you know, I feel better. I would say I know a few people who have said, well, at least the gas prices are going down. I've known a few people who said that. But as I've argued before, what happens when we stop tapping into the strategic reserves? I feel like that's probably not going to happen until after the midterms are over. I think we're going to limp along because it's not that far away. Okay, it's the middle of September now we have less than two months before all of that's going to happen. So once it's time for the political pageantry and theater to be over with and the midterms are decided, what then I only see one of two scenarios playing out. If deflation happens, then yes, but if deflation does not happen, then I just don't see any way that gas prices wouldn't start to tick up again. So to me, this feels like a Pyrrhic victory. Oh look, sort of like the labor market looking over here to open jobs for every one unemployed person. 3.5% unemployment rate looking looking at this job market how great it is. Now ignore everything else that's falling apart. Look at how hot this job market supposedly is. People are doing great. Same thing with the gas prices, in my opinion. Well, so the gas prices have come down about 50 cents a gallon. Don't you feel better? Now you're still getting bent over? I'm just trying to think of, you know, not crass way to put it but you're getting bent over at the grocery store and literally everywhere else. But you know, the gas prices focus on that is ridiculous. I went to a used bookstore not that long ago, and I was amazed at how much they had had to raise their prices. I mean, it's just, it's everywhere. Seems like whatever it is that you want to buy right now, it will be higher than the last time that you were in the store. It's crazy, even thrift stores, we're seeing the same thing. I hadn't been in the local thrift store in quite a while I went in not long ago. And I'm like, wait a minute, it's almost like I can't even afford to shop here. Because used items that you know, at one point in time would have been highly affordable, they've had to raise their prices to and then on top of it, they're not getting as many donations people are hanging on to their goods longer than they would in a more robust economy and actual more robust economy. So it's crazy. It's crazy. I don't feel that it's wise, I cannot give you advice. I cannot tell you what to do. Speaking solely for myself, I don't feel it's wise to get too hung up on the gas prices. When gestures broadly look at the cost of everything else, I'll feel a lot better. When the grocery store prices go down. And the feed store prices for the animals go down when things start to stabilize for the everyday necessities. And who knows if we do have a warmer than normal winter and we don't have to use as much natural gas that's fine by me from from an economic perspective, even though I do like the wintertime. And I think it's necessary to have some hard freezes to kill off unwanted bugs and things in the soil that need to not exist all the time. From an economic perspective, not having to use as much expensive natural gas is not necessarily a bad thing. Who knows what we'll really see, but I would be careful of getting overly optimistic based on these shiny objects. That's what it feels like to me shiny object syndrome. Oh, look, look over here at the job market. A look. Oh, look over here at the gas prices ignore anything else that doesn't fit into that convenient narrative. Okay, sure. Okay. Wow. Well, I'm about ready to hit the hay. So I'm going to call in today. Stay safe, stay sane. And I'll see you in the next episode.