✔️ ICYMI news, 2/18 - 2/24.
✔️Some of these mansplainers and finance bros who want to convince you that up is down and left is right are gonna get steamrolled by what's coming.
✔️You're only just now being told that inflation is far from over. No duh! But you're still expected to believe that the recession is not here yet. 😒
✔️Negative equity = when you owe more than something is worth. This is happening in the auto market already. Do you not think it could happen again in the housing market? Wait and see.
Links where I can be found: https://causeyconsultingllc.com/2023/01/30/updates-housekeeping/
Need more? Email me: https://causeyconsultingllc.com/contact-causey/
Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find us online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. And now, here's your host Sara Causey. Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. Today it is Saturday, February 18. Again, getting a head start because there were several headlines that jumped out at me. And something I want to talk about. Over on CNBC, we have a recession could be deeper than expected this year says analyst, here's what it means for your money. I'm gonna go ahead and say that if you've been reading my blogs with any regularity, if you've been tuning into this podcast with any regularity, it's not going to be deeper than you expect. You already know what time it is. Hopefully you already have your job loss survival plan, you already have an RTO survival plan, if that's relevant. If you freelance or you own and operate your own business, hopefully you have some kind of plan B, C, D F, roughed out so that if the primary way that you make money becomes not feasible for a little while, you're going to be okay. Hopefully none of this is catching you off guard. In this article, we find income inequality must be taken into account. Much of the source of inflation comes from stimulative pandemic era monetary policies that saw many Americans significantly increase their cash reserves. Cash they've spent at a high rate since COVID. Restrictions began to ease Siddiqui said, I hope I'm saying that right. The top 20% of wealthiest households who fund their lifestyles through savings are barely feeling the effects of rising rates. Siddiqui said. But the bottom half of earners who rely on wages to support themselves are feeling the crunch, having racked up record credit card debt and personal loan balances. The bottom quarter of earners are likely to run out of excess savings this quarter. Siddiqui said with wages not growing fast enough to keep up with consumer spending that will likely hurt companies that rely on low income people as customers he said in other words, there are already two economies afoot and one is hurting, the top quartile is behaving like it's the roaring 20s. The bottom quartile is entering a recession. Siddiqui said in quote, yeah, there's a lot that just in that segment of the article that I read to you, there's so much that we could talk about there. I don't personally believe that anybody was flush with cash, based on the 2020 stimulus checks. I'm sorry, I don't, that's just my opinion. And I could be wrong. But when you look at the cost of living, who in the hill is flush with cash based on getting a $1,200 or a$600, or an $800 stimulus checks? Who like who, even if we round everything up and say that somebody got six or $7,000, back in 2020, in the form of stimulus, cash, that money is bound to be long freaking gone. I don't I just don't buy it. I don't buy this idea that everybody was super responsible with that money, they put it into savings, like let's all just sit here and LARP that people put it into like a high yield savings account, or they invested it in something that took off and that $6,000 is now$60,000 I don't buy it, I don't freaking buy it. The top 20% of wealthiest households will of course, they're not going to feel the effect of rising rates. They're in a different income bracket. They're living a different life. You know, I've talked before about seeing that article that Neiman Marcus said we're not going to try to cater to people outside of the wealthy and the ultra wealthy the days of trying to court, middle class or people that are sort of nouveau Rhaetian trying to project a certain image that's done. We're going after wealthy consumers. You know, there was also some news that we saw, I think last year about Six Flags saying the same thing. And we don't want the poor people coming in anymore making trouble for us. We want to attract more affluent customers. Every business is going to be saying the same thing. We want to go after people that have money to spend. This is another reason why I believe if you freelance and you own and operate your own freelancing desk, or you own and operate your own business, you better come up with some alternative plans. Because if everybody in your market is going after the same consumer, there's going to be a hell of a lot of competition for those dollars. And I just don't think that you need to kid yourself about that. Okay, then this analyst talks about the bottom half of earners who rely on wages to support themselves or feeling the crunch, having racked up record credit card and personal loan balances. Remember, we saw that dystopian quote about people doing Buy now pay later for food. And someone said, I don't want to go into debt to buy a carrot. That's horrible. How can we believe that people were flushed with cash, and that they had tons of stimming money and they used it responsibly, and it lasted and it lasted and it lasted like the miracle of the loaves and fishes. But then now we're being told home well, oops, a daisy. In reality, all of these people have racked up record credit card and personal loan balances. Those two things don't make sense. You can't reconcile them out unless you assume one of those statements is not true. It's either not true that people were flushed with cash, and they've made it last all this time, or they have record credit card and personal loan balances. I know which side of that equation I believe the bottom quarter of earners are likely to run out of excess savings this quarter. If they had any excess savings to begin with. That will likely hurt companies that rely on low income people as customers, maybe maybe not. That's going to depend on the individual company because as we've also seen people in that 100k And above income bracket shopping at places they didn't shop out before like Walmart, Family Dollar Dollar Tree Dollar General, some of those companies may be able to stay afloat by people who are middle class that are getting squeezed downward into the working poor segment. This is reality. This is reality. This analyst also says the top quartile is behaving like it's the roaring 20s the bottom quartile is entering a recession. We have two economies afoot and one is hurting Well, yeah, no shit. Yeah, yeah, of course, of course. In this weird, jacked up, crony capitalist system that we have, it is not a free society, and it is not a free market. I go back to Bill Hicks yet again, if you think that you're living in a free society, try going somewhere without money and see how far you get. Of course, there are two economies of foot. Why are we only just now seeing this? I suppose because it's becoming so freakin obvious that even the mainstream media can't ignore it completely, although I'm sure they'd like to. So the people at the top are behaving like it's the roaring 20s. And then the people at the very bottom are entering a recession. Well, we've been in a recession, change the technical definition all you want to support whatever old man neocon or old man Neo lib is in office at the time, it doesn't matter. We've we've been in a recession. How deep is this going to go? Will it turn into an economic depression? Is it going to be like 1970s stagflation? I don't know. And I don't claim to know. But I think it's a little bit behind well, not a little bit. It's way behind the eight ball to be telling people who a recession could be deeper than expected this year really? Isn't an already deep isn't it already scary? For those of us who are in the working class, of course it freaking is. Now if you're making millions and millions of dollars or you went off and you drink spring water and ate sustainably sourced fish at Davos, I'm sure you don't give a rip. That's why I say the fat cats and the corporate raiders and the hyper elites need to go first. If you're gonna get out and tell people just get breakfast, have a cup of coffee if you can afford that sit in your cube under constant digital pan Opticon surveillance shut the EFF up comply conform comport and ignore your stomach growling you can make it until noon. I mean we finally just gonna get to the point where it's like Dhoni have have intermittent fasting not because you want to or you've subscribed to some fitness cult, no offense, that's how I feel about it. I just feel like it's one of those trends. If you are fasting by choice for religious reasons, for fitness reasons, Mazel Tov, I'm not gonna get under your skin. It's your business man. It's your business. If you're telling someone who's hungry They should fast in a rules for the but not for me capacity shame on you. You are a despicable person, in my opinion, if that's how you're behaving. How would you feel if that was your mother, your father, your child, a brother, a sister, and just go without food? You don't really need it anyway because you're just a dirty pull up. Over on fortune we find back to broke. Americans are racking up debt and burning through their savings. Economists warn it could spark a recession. Okay, well, here we go. Pardon the dryer, I have to do laundry catches catch can it's a farm stuffs dirty all the time. So here we go. Again, it could spark a recession. Okay. Sure. It could, it might oh, oh. Despite high inflation, rising interest rates and a consistent recession prediction from Wall Street, Americans have continued spending at near a record pace over the past year opting to splurge on Disney vacations, and DoorDash deliveries all but in long enough to say that's not accurate for everybody. I know of let me think for just a second. Because I don't want to use anecdotal Oh, somebody somewhere I want to really hone in on people that I know personally. There's one person that I talked about where this guy and his family took an expensive Disney vacation. And I was like, how are they affording it? I have a pretty good sense of what he makes and when his wife makes and I'm like, unless, you know Rich mommy and daddy or grandma and grandpa somewhere are footing the bill for this, they have to be putting it on a credit card. So I can say I know one person that took the fam on an expensive Disney vacation. And I have a couple of friends that I would say they they appear to us like GrubHub and DoorDash on a regular basis. But this is certainly not everybody that I know or that we sort of collectively as a family know. I'm thinking back to those documentaries that I watched about Britain, and people having to make these decisions about heat or eat. And that father saying I lie to the kids, I tell them that I'm going to eat dinner later after they go to bed. I'm not hungry right now. When in reality, I'm just not going to eat anything at all that night. And one of the commentators and one of those videos was like a debt counselor, a credit counselor, who said, when you talk to these people, they've already cut down to the bone. There is no frivolity. There's no fun budget. It's not like they're just out blowing money on silliness that could be done away with, they've already cut down to the bone. There's nothing left to cut. So I think we have to be careful about the idea that everybody like the whole of American society has splurged on Disney vacations and DoorDash deliveries. I think that some of these people are racking up personal loans and credit card debt to pay for the basics to cover their utility bill to cover medical expenses or the health insurance for the month to cover their groceries to buy gasoline. I don't think that everybody is purchasing expensive airfare and travel arrangements and Grubhub and DoorDash and all that. I don't think so. rising wages and a cash buffer of savings that was built up during the pandemic when spending slowed and benefits like stimulus checks and enhanced employment boosted incomes have provided consumers with unprecedented spending power. No, it hasn't. According to Liz young head of investment strategy at Sofi, an online bank, but data shows many Americans have begun financing their new spending habits with credit cards and draining their savings in recent months as the cost of living soars. Some experts fear that means a spending slowdown or even a recession could be on the horizon. My intuition and common sense says there's not a bottomless pit of savings to support this level of spending. And there's not a bottomless pit of wage growth to keep it elevated enough to drive GDP indefinitely. Jung wrote in a Thursday article, time will tell but I still believe something's gotta give. Well, yeah, no, duh. Of course there's not a bottomless pit of savings. There never was. Neither is there a bottomless pit of wage growth to keep everything elevated? No doubt the US consumers credit card balances jumped 7% in the fourth quarter of 2022 to a new record high of 90 No Excuse me$986 billion. A New York Federal Reserve report showed this week. And Morgan Stanley estimates that last year alone, consumers spent roughly 30% of the 2.7 trillion in excess savings they built up during the pandemic with lower income consumers tap be in lower income consumers tapping closer to 50%. Oh, yeah, almost sometimes they get tongue tied, because it's like I don't even. I don't believe that there was $2.7 trillion in excess savings that just came from stemming checks that got dispersed to working class people. I'm sorry, I just I don't believe it. Don't believe it. I think if we look at the wealth transfer, because remember, Oxfam talked about this at Davos, when we look at who really made the money during the pandemic, it wasn't working class folk. Okay, let's be real. Americans ailing savings accounts and increasing reliance on credit cards is likely to cause consumer spending, which represents 70% of US GDP to slow this year. And with leading economic indicators like manufacturing orders and credit conditions deteriorating as well. Some economists like autumn on I am not going to take a stab at that last name, because I just don't think I could say it correctly. Senior Director of economics at the Conference Board, a nonprofit research organization believe a recession is inevitable, and quote, of course, we're already in a recession. It's equally frightening to me to think about how much of a consumer economy that we have here in the States 70% of the US GDP is based on consumer spending. I understand commentators who say what do we produce? Why are we just a nation of debtors and consumers? It's scary to think about. But yet, we're still supposed to believe that everybody did fine. Due to stimulus checks. From the pandemic, they were flush with cash. They saved that money, they hoarded it, they invested it. But now home, pod, it's going away. They made it last they made every dollar of that STEMI check count, but it's going away now. And because they can't consume and consume and consume and consume, they are going to cause a recession. We've seen this suppose it recession that's supposedly coming. blamed on all sorts of working class people, it's your fault, because you worked from home. It's your fault, because you don't want to RTO it's your fault, because you won't spend enough. It's your fault because you spend too much. It's your fault because you were flush with cash and stuck in a basement somewhere. It's your fault, because you're not going downtown to cross pollinate. It's your fault because you rely on credit cards too much. How can you even keep the lies straight. It's like a big tangled up ball of yarn that your cat's been playing with, and you'll never get it straightened out again. We also find on fortune.com bosses are trying to lure workers back to the office with a free coveted perk quiet and privacy. I'm gonna bet that it cannot match the quiet and privacy you would have in your own flipping home. Now unless you're in a situation where you don't like your home life, maybe you allow the children to run the household and they're screaming like Banshees and bouncing off the walls. Maybe you have a spouse that for some reason you want to stay married to but you hate their guts. I don't know. I don't know. But I'm willing to bet that for a lot of people who value quiet and privacy, it's going to be kind of difficult to beat the Hacienda for that. And then the photo that we have that goes along with this article we see the Gensler co CEOs Diane Hoskins and Andy Cohen, smiling. So here we go. We're about to talk about Gensler as the largest US design and architecture firm with almost $2 billion in global revenue last year, Gensler hears daily from major corporate clients desperate to figure out what the workspaces of the future should look like to finally get employees back to the office in greater numbers and quote, beyond that, you have to go into a paywall, which I am not going to do for this American sky of propaganda. In my opinion, that's what it is. Yeah, a couple of things there. Number one, you're going back. You can LARP you can play that everybody is going to have a nationwide strike and demand work from home that a change.org petition is going to be enough to hold off the corporate overlords forever. You can LARP if you want to. But I just don't think that work from home is going to last for everyone forever. I also don't think not everybody is built to be a freelancer or to own and operate their own business. We're seeing all kinds of hot air and hopium on the internet will just be a freelancer. If you want to keep working from home, take care of yourself calm For your own retirement, cover your own benefits, just do everything yourself. Not everybody can do that. That is not an option for everybody. And not everybody wants to do it. In the same way that the economy is not set up to where everybody can just go work in the hospital, everybody can go work fast food, everybody can deliver pizzas, everybody can deliver DoorDash and Grubhub. And the economy will be just fine. No, it won't. There has to be enough economic diversity to fill these freaking jobs. Not everybody can be a burrito maker and make ends meet. Similarly, not everybody is cut out to freelance full time. Back on January 10, I published a blog post titled So says the people designing the office spaces, and it was suppressed. Little old me trying to go up against multibillion dollar companies and Rage Against the Machine. Yeah, that'll work. So in this article, or blog post, I should say I wrote, I always say if someone has a vested interest in parting you from your money, you'd be wise to factor that into your decision making. Whether it's a realtor or broker still trying to hang on to the FOMO and Yolo delusions of 2021 or someone encouraging you to buy the dip in the stock market, it's important to consider their angle, do they benefit from you spending your money? Last Monday we found this gem on LinkedIn focus is a top priority of RTO. Many of those working from home during the pandemic have revealed their number one reason for returning to an office to focus on my work, yet at the same time offices as they exist today are failing to enable workers from this objective according to the conclusions of a workplace survey conducted by the Gensler Research Institute, collaboration which one might have suspected would be the top draw to RTO was actually fifth on the list. So how can companies aid their employees looking to fuel the focus Fast Company suggests more semi enclosed areas in addition to offering the quiet tech free zone what a riot go back to the office to focus first. This hot on the heels of their articles about people feeling frustrated by desk bombers? Jeez, it's like they expect the public to be so dumb. They won't register the contradictions. Who are these Bramble said invest Seinfeld voice? Who are the folks claiming that their number one reason to RTO is to focus on work. Well, let's check out the article from Fast Company that LinkedIn references. One immediate observation this article was published on December 9, so it's not exactly brand new and fresh. The top reason people want to come back to the office to actually do some work. people crave spaces that facilitate focused work. But many offices still aren't designed for the way people work most effectively. After nearly three years of a global pandemic and months if not years of working from home. The main thing drawing workers back to their offices is the desire to simply focus on their work. But at the same time offices in the US have hit a 15 year low when it comes to how effective they are for enabling focused work. This troubling mismatch is one of the top takeaways from the 2022 US workplace survey from the Gensler Research Institute the research arm of the global architecture and find and design firm, Gensler Hmm Okay, on one hand, we're told that people are clamoring for RTO to focus on work and on the other many offices aren't designed for effective work. I only believe one of those statements to be true. I go on to talk about how it's easy for the people who design and build offices to push for RTO and to tell companies with existing real estate that they need to redesign the spaces to woo the workers back, create a problem, present a solution, collect the money. The government has done this for years and so has corporate America. Rather than continuing to allow the plebs to work from home, spend millions of dollars redesigning your offices with quiet spaces in them. I also point out that last year Fast Company recognized Gensler twice for being one of the most innovative companies and best workplaces in the world. Let's also don't leave out LinkedIn either because LinkedIn is parent companies, Microsoft and they have been involved with Gensler as well. So if you simply Google against learn Microsoft, you will see project after project pop up. I suppose. That's a coincidence. Yeah. Yep. So I returned to my thesis you're going back unless you have one hell of a good plan to continue remote work forever. Maybe you have some money socked away. If corpo America says you're going back and you're living paycheck to paycheck and you're drowning in debt, you're gonna go back. Nobody's gonna sit out and starve, or worse yet allow their children to starve. I just don't see it happening. Something else I want to talk about? Before I sign off for this part of the broadcast, I was so tired today. I've been working I've been I've been doing what I got to do to try to get ahead of this thing, or at least keep my arms around it in some way. I was so tired. I did not feel like cooking, dirtying up a bunch of dishes. So I said, let's just let's just pick a place that's affordable. And eat out. I'm worn out. I don't have an inmate, not today. Not today. The restaurant that we went to, was fully staffed. The there was plenty of waitstaff out on the floor. There was plenty of kitchen staff. In the back there was a lady who appeared to be maybe a manager or an assistant manager walking around asking everybody, did their food come out in a timely fashion? Does it taste good? Did they need anything? It was like 2019. I mean, you would not have noticed any labor shortage in there whatsoever. And it wasn't like okay, but Sara, there were only maybe three or four other people in the restaurant. No, there was a good number of people. The same time that we were, I noticed no labor shortage in there at all. On the way back, I stopped off at the grocery store to go in and get a few things. I saw no labor shortage in there either. None. The self checkouts were the hottest area all of those were up and running. So most people like myself that were just going in to get a few odds and ends were using the self checkouts. But I did look and there were three or maybe four open check lanes with checkers and baggers working. I did not notice a labor shortage in there either. Something else that I want to say is that at the restaurant, the person that was either the manager or assistant manager appeared to probably be in her 30s Everybody else looked like they were under the age of 25. So no, it is not true. This generational clickbait bullshit that no young millennials and no Gen Z ers at all are working or capable of holding down a job. That is that is just patently not true. I'm also starting to wonder about just how much of a labor shortage there still is in leisure, hospitality, restaurants, fast food, the grocery store, etc. I saw no evidence of it this evening. Now, I'm not going to tell you it's the same everywhere. All I can do is speak on what I see in my section in the Midwest in real time. Neighborhoods are still falling apart. A lot of that economic distress foreclosure impending type look on the houses. No, no labor shortage in the restaurants, no labor shortage in the grocery store people working people doing what they have to do. So I'm skeptical, even now of the BLS numbers as they relate to the fast food and the Hotel Motel and those sectors, maybe all that starting to get hyped up and made up to I don't know, just letting you know what I'm seeing in real time. And I am suspicious. Today it is Monday, February 20. Kind of crazy to think that we're way past the halfway point for February. Since this is a short month anyway. We're just a hop skip and a jump away for March. I mean, as crazy as this year is q1 seems to be speeding by not a complaint. Over on fortune.com we find housing market once again braces for higher mortgage rates. The byline reads the average 30 year fixed mortgage rate just shot back up to 6.8%. Hmm. But remember, during that one little dip in the market where the rates ticked down ever so slightly, you had realtors and brokers telling you to buy the dip. Who is going to be buying these houses at an almost 7%. And I would assume that's probably if you have good credit. If your credit is iffy, or you're not able to put enough money down how much higher is the rate going to be than 7%. We also find Wall Street's top strategists warns stocks have climbed into the death zone where they shouldn't go and cannot live very long. But yet at the same time, if you go anywhere near the Great Depression, if you start talking about the market crash of 29 Even though those comparisons are already being made, if you go anywhere near it, people think that you're crazy. You're a doom and gloom or you must be some doomsday person you think the sky is falling like Chicken Little and it's like, no don't think the sky is falling. I've never once gotten on here and said Mad Max Thunderdome. Zombies are going to eat your brains. This is going to look like something out of a sci fi novel or a Hollywood movie. You better run for your life. You better go live in the hills, you better be prepared to skin squirrels. I've never told you anything like that. I don't personally think that all of society is about to collapse tomorrow. Maybe I'm wrong. But no, I don't get into the extreme scenarios of go live in the hills and wait for zombies to eat your brains. The article that I talked about with the economist saying the upper 25% of wealthy people are living like it's the roaring 20s. I sort of feel like you should maybe ignore that at your own risk. If even in mainstream media sources, now you're hearing any economist saying, well, these people over here are pretending that it's the roaring 20s while the people at the bottom 25% are already in a recession. How long do you think that can go on? Just asking. Also, unfortunately, find Welcome to the flexitarian diet revolution. The no where office is here, and the four day workweek could be next. Yeah, I don't know about that. I'm going to double down on what I have already been predicting for months. Now. If corporate America wants everybody, just I'm using sort of everybody in air quotes here. Everybody in order to mean most people, collectively, the bulk of workers in this country. If they want you to come on back, they want you to RTO that's what most people will do. I know it's a romantic and fun notion to think about some nationwide strike of Hell no, we won't go. But I feel like you have too many people living paycheck to paycheck, and drowning in personal debt to just sit at the house with no income of any kind for months on end and somehow be alright. I'm sorry, I don't see it happening. Some companies might adopt a four day workweek they might have you get your 40 hours in doing 410s. That's not unheard of. Do I think that most companies in the country will do that? Probably not. Because I think the mayors of these big cities, the same ones that are squawking about how you need to go downtown and cross pollinate. You need to be in those shops, you need to be in those diners you need to use the public transport system because if you don't, you're hurting the children. We're not getting the tax revenue that we need for little old ladies and people in the hospital and the kids. We're going to put these people in front of you and say you're hurting them if you don't RTO let me what what propaganda and manipulation. So I find it hard to believe that they would say alright, Friday, Saturday and Sunday it's okay for these areas to be a ghost town. We'll take it Monday through Thursday. I think they really want you back 2019 style. You need to go back be buttoned seat Monday through Friday at the cube farm and that's that. Over on CNBC, we find layoffs are spreading, but some employers can't hire fast enough, really. And then the photo that goes with this article is a join our team now hiring sign for Chipotle. So here we go again. Here we go. Again, just go get a job as a burrito maker. If you get laid off from finance, real estate, or big tech, or some other type of white collar knowledge work job, where you might have been making one 150 200k Go get a job 1317 bucks an hour at Chipotle and you'll be alright. Is Chipotle gonna hire the whole country? What even is this? When we click on that article we find COVID legacy of weirdness. A legacy of weirdness. Okay, I told you this was coming though unprecedented times the pandemic led to unprecedented times, people over hired they weren't sure how to respond appropriately and so oops a daisy. Now we have this mess. I'm rolling my eyes COVID legacy of weirdness, layoffs spread but some employers can't hire fast enough. In the TLDR key points we find layoffs have recently expanded beyond tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon. I told you, I sat out here. I blogged about it. I got on my medium and my substack account on this podcast and I told you this is not isolated to big tech, it is not isolated to Silicon Valley. Please do not think that if you are outside of an IT job, you would be impervious to a layoff. I told you that and I told you this a long time before the MSM decided it was okay for you to know. service industries such as hospitality and restaurants have been hiring to rebuild after the pandemic. The Fed has been closely watching job and wage growth as it seeks to tame inflation. Oh, I'm sure Then we have a sign here, the one I was telling you about for Chipotle. The little description of the photo tells us a sign for hire is posted on the window of a Chipotle restaurant in New York, April 29, of 2022. So at that point in time, there was a sign in the window of this restaurant, join our team starting at 17 per hour, plus cash bonuses. So that should be enough for you. If you were making six figures and living paycheck to paycheck at your six figure job, go ahead and be a burrito maker in New York for 17 bucks on our plush cast plus cash bonus, and you'll be just fine. Meanwhile, I heard earlier, the statistic about how much people are spending on rent. You know, the old school rule of thumb is that you should only be spending, I think 30% of your income towards your mortgage or your rent. But you have people that are spending now 50 6070 In some cases 80% of their income on their rent, or their mortgage payment. How is 17 especially in New York, how is 17 an hour going to be enough for you to make rent? I don't get it. In this article we read job cuts are rising at some of the biggest US companies but others are still scrambling to hire workers, the result of wild swings and consumer priorities since the COVID pandemic began three years ago. All button and tell you I warned you about this as well. Hospitality, fast food, the kinds of industries that always have a high turnover, a high churn and burn rate. Okay, if you want to argue that the great resignation is still going on there, and those companies are still struggling, I believe you. If you want to tell me there's still a doctor and nurse shortage, I'll believe you. If you're telling me that the great resignation for other white collar knowledge work is going strong and people are hippity hopping and they don't give a crap and they're just wild and crazy like they were in 2021. No, I don't believe that. Nor do I believe that there are two legitimate open jobs for every one unemployed person where they're actually going to hire and pay a living wage and some benefits. Don't believe it. tech giants Mehta Amazon and Microsoft, along with companies ranging from Disney to zoom have announced job cuts over the past few weeks. In total, US based employers cut nearly 103,000 jobs in January the most since September 2020. According to a report released earlier this month from outplacement firm, Challenger gray and Christmas. There's that company again we see them a lot in the mainstream media. Meanwhile, employers added 517,000 jobs last month, nearly three times the number of analysts expected. This points to a labor market that's still tied to particularly in service sectors that were hit hard earlier in the pandemic such as restaurants and hotels. The dynamic is making it even harder to predict the path of the US economy. No it's not. Consumer spending has remained robust and surprise some economists despite headwinds such as higher interest rates and persistent inflation. All of all of it is part of COVID pandemics legacy of weirdness set David Kelly, global chief strategist at JP Morgan asset management, a legacy of weirdness. The BLS is scheduled to release its next nonfarm payroll on March 3, well, there's something for us to look forward to what kind of hot air hopium and Bs in my opinion, will we get from that? Will we finally be allowed to know that unemployment is going up? Or will we still be told that we have the lowest unemployment rate in 50? some odd years? And guess we'll find out. Kelly has also said there's a difference between saying the labor market is tight and the labor market is strong. Many employers have faced challenges in attracting and retaining staff over the past few years with challenges including workers childcare needs, and competing workplaces that might have better schedules and pay. With interest rates rising and inflation staying elevated, consumers could pull back spending and Spark job losses or reduce hiring needs in otherwise thriving sectors and quote, sure, so this is more it's your fault peon. If you decide to be fiscally responsible and pull back on your spending, you're gonna cause the recession. Meanwhile, we're still seeing these dystopian heartbreaking articles about how credit card debt and personal debt is the highest it's ever been. I think in America, the credit card debt has now reached a new threshold of $1 trillion. Of course, people are gonna pull back. Of course they will. That's what you do in a recession, including workers childcare needs. I've warned you about this too. You may be in a child Hair, eldercare or pet care desert, whereas you were not before. Some of the organizations that were available 2019 and above, may not exist anymore. A lot of them in my part of the Midwest are out of business. These are things that you have to think about when you're putting together an RTO survival plan. You have to figure out what are my options here? Who's going to take care of the kids, or if you're taking care of an elderly, relative, an ill relative, somebody needs to take care of the pets, who's going to do those things when you are to rather than burying your head in the sand and assuming that would just never happen to you. I think it's a wise idea to wargame these strategies out in advance. Under the heading the big reset the big reset Where have we heard that before? That sounds an awful lot like the great reset. The big reset? Hmm. Interesting. Some of the recent layoffs have come from companies that beefed up staffing over the course of the pandemic when remote work and E commerce were more central to consumer and company spending. Right there. They're telling you there I mean, this is not a very thesis if you care to read it when remote work and E commerce were more central. Let me let you in on a little helpful hint. What does that mean you're going back. Amazon last month announced 18,000 job cuts across the company. The Seattle based company employed 1.5 4 million people at the end of last year nearly double the number at the end of 2019 just before the pandemic according to company filings. Microsoft said it's cutting 10,000 jobs about 5% of its workforce. The software giant had 221,000 employees as of the end of June last year up from 144,000 Before the pandemic tech used to be a grow at all costs sector and it's maturing a little bit said Michael gape and head of US economic research at Bank of America global research, okay, it's maturing. See here we go back to this narrative. The job market is normalizing now, there was the FOMO and the Yolo and the weirdness of the pandemic. So the fact that mass layoffs are happening now that's normal. Look at how these companies are trying to get back to normal. They over hired to deal with the fact that you peons and plebs really took to the whole remote work thing. But now that's dying off. Tech is maturing a little bit. This is not an artificially manipulated boom bust cycle to enrich the hyper elites and allow them to take your stuff on mercifully No. The market is maturing. It's normalizing. Maybe if we wear soft pastel colors, and we talk in this gentle, non threatening language, you'll think everything is fine. Other companies are still adding employees. Boeing, for example, is planning to hire 10,000 people this year, many of them in manufacturing and engineering. It will also cut around 2000 corporate jobs, mostly in human resources and finance departments through layoffs and attrition. The growth aims to help the aerospace giant ramp up output of new aircraft for a rebound in orders with large sales to airlines like united and Air India. Airlines and aerospace companies were devastated early in the pandemic when travel dried up and are now playing catch up. Airlines are still scrambling for pilots of shortage that has limited capacity while demand for experiences such as travel and dining has surged. Chipotle is planning to hire 15,000 workers as it gears up for a busier spring season to support its expansion in quote. Okay, sure, maybe airlines are experiencing greater demand for travel and dining. Maybe. So maybe some people that were cooped up during the pandemic, that have some disposable income are like, okay, we're vaccinated, we will wear a mask on the plane, whatever we got to do to get back out and travel, we'll do it. Maybe that's true, I don't know. Just going to put on my tinfoil suit and go into the tinfoil cave here. I also think it's entirely possible that any company that even touches the military industrial complex or defense contracting might potentially be enriched by all of these potential global conflicts. Maybe they know something we don't maybe they know what's coming. I don't know one way or the other. You have to make up your own mind on that. I just I'm sort of like, okay, so we're supposed to believe that the overall economy and the overall job market is fine, because fast food joints and hotels are hiring and the engines of war inside the military industrial complex are going to need to staff up. So that means everybody else is doing great doing fine. Nothing to see here. People move along, move along. Sure. On that note, President Biden makes surprise visit to Kyiv just days before one year anniversary of Ukraine war. This has been going on for a year. Yeah, you know, I talked before about the Whisper on the wind. That perhaps not saying this is a fact I'm just telling you, this is a whisper on the wind. It's a theory it's an idea. The idea is out there in certain circles, that the Korean conflict was the sort of entry into getting the general population of America accustomed to partaking in these conflicts where there was no clear victor, there was no clear agenda. It was like endless conflict after endless conflict. After endless conflict. Like there's not going to be really any more of a Pax Romana meaning a period of peace. We're just going to go from one conflict to another to another, we're gonna have the military spread out all over the globe. And every dustup that happens, we're going to be in the middle of it, the one year anniversary of this, and then when they showed a clip on TV, Zielinski is still over there wearing his sweatshirt and khakis. I don't think I've ever seen him dressed in anything other than a t shirt or a sweatshirt and khakis like Does he own any other clothes. What it tells me and this is just my opinion, and I could be wrong is that it's dressing to convey a message. To me it feels like central casting. You're supposed to be wearing a t shirt and khakis. You're supposed to be wearing a sweatshirt and khakis. We want you to have a very particular look. And I knew whenever the MSM started calling him Churchill and a T shirt. I was like, Yeah, this is this is playing mu American scale propaganda. I can't see any way around it. Just I don't I don't trust it. I don't trust it. I could be wrong. I just I think there's so much more going on that we're never going to know about. Over on barons.com. We also find the information that companies are laying off workers to control costs. These include PayPal AT and T and Tinder owner match group. They are among the several s&p 500 companies saying that their trimming their workforces should provide a boost to their financials this year, at least 27 US companies with market capitalizations of 10 billion or more are mentioned positive effects Oh or more have mentioned positive effects from layoffs since the start of the latest profit reporting season in January. Okay, so as long as these very wealthy 10 billion or more companies have mentioned positive effects from layoffs. Well, that's all that matters. I've told you that before, too. They don't answer to John and Jane Q Public are the working poor, the shareholders, the investors, the Board of Directors, those are the people that matter. And if those people say we want to squeeze blood from a stone, we want to stay profitable no matter what if we need to trim some people Oh, well, that's their problem. That's what's going to happen. Understand this is not sunshine and rainbows. It's not lollipops and sugar plum fairies. I'm just trying to be real with you about how these maneuvers actually work. If you want somebody to give you hot air and hopium and Suzy cream cheese and Pollyanna sunshine, don't come here. No, no, no. My goal is to tell you the truth as I see it so that you I hope can be prepared. You can make those survival plans. You're not going to be smacked upside the head by what's coming. You'll already see it coming in advance. Today it is Tuesday, February 21. Over on CNBC, we have headlines such as Walmart and Home Depot are getting ready for a consumer slowdown. Home Depot misses revenue expectations for the first time since 2019. We know there's going to be a consumer slowdown. Who has disposable income right now. I wrote a post going back to that song money's too tight to mention. It sure is. sell off on Wall Street gain steam with the Dow dropping 500 points. Spring Break gets pricey as travelers return to old booking habits. Yeah, I always say that. I don't give advice. I don't tell you what to do. If it were me, if unless I could just outright afford to pay for some kind of vacation like that. I would not do buy now pay later throwing on a credit card. I'd rather have a staycation at the house that I could afford than run up a huge credit card bill to go out and party. I'm an old fogy, though. So what do I know? Ukraine live updates. Biden says key F stands strong. Putin suspends nuclear arms treaty with the US. So we're so so many flames are getting fanned over there. It is a scary time. Over on Yahoo Finance, we find stocks slide after dour outlooks from Walmart and Home Depot. Walmart gains high income shoppers amid stubborn inflation. Yeah. I heard a commentator the other day, who was saying, well, it's still the poor people that are shopping at the dollar stores and the Walmart. And I'm like, No, it isn't. people making six figures people who have never gone in a place like Dollar Tree Dollar General or Walmart are going in now. Because they're having to do what they need to do to get necessity items. Maybe it was nice to shop at some higher end stores before. But when it comes down to it, you're going to eat, you're going to wash your body, you're going to wash your clothes, you're going to take care of the kids. This is another reason why I say in my opinion. The left toyed fantasy, the Neo lib fantasy that all of these people are going to have a nationwide strike, they're going to say hell no, we won't go to RTO. They're going to stay at home and just draw a line in the sand for as long as it takes. No, they won't. No, they won't. You will have scabs, who will cross a picket line like that? And in this situation, I'm not saying I entirely blame them. Because if your kid is sitting there hungry? How much does your ideology matter to you? At that point? You're going back if corporate America makes a blanket statement that you're going back, and you're not independently wealthy, or you're not one of these people that Mitch McConnell thinks is just everywhere, flush with STEMI cash and living in Nana's basement. Unless you have somebody else paying your way in the world, and they're fine to continue allowing that situation to go on. You're going back. We can LARP we can have fantasies all that we want to. But I think we have to get real and it doesn't matter which side of the coin you're on. Because in the neocon world, you're being punished and you should be punished because over on that side of the spectrum, you should lick the boots of corporate America. Then over on the Neo lib side of the table. Everybody is going to have a nationwide strike and demand work from home forever. No, they won't. We also see us existing home sales dropped to 12 year low. Again who is surprised by that? People that are making six figures are having to go to discount stores just to survive. Who the hell is going to buy a do to poop overpriced house at a 789 percent interest rate right now. Now Yeah, now we also find another I don't even know how to describe it article. Why tech billionaire Mark Lorre isn't big on reading books. Yeah, so few people read anymore anyway. In this article, we find serial entrepreneur and tech billionaire mark. Laurie doesn't have time to spend hours each day reading books. This guy is trying to change the world. After all. I always say that reading takes time away from thinking Lori said on Yahoo Finance. Laurie added that although reading can trigger new thinking, going too deep into someone else's point of view can lead to tunnel vision, making it difficult to see different sides of an argument in quote, well, look, I'm no serial entrepreneur, I'm no tech billionaire. I would never claim to be any of those things. I'm just an ordinary average human being. And I couldn't disagree more. I think that by reading books, getting out of your own head, listening to somebody else's perspective, that does help you to avoid tunnel vision. It helps you to get out of the echo chamber. If you're reading books from a wide variety of authors on the political spectrum in different places. I don't think that's a bad thing. Reading takes time away from thinking one of the most thought provoking things you can do is to read here's what I take out of this. thing this anyone call it an artist Hold this BS crap. Don't read. It's already becoming cost prohibitive to read as Jared a brought points out in his article on Medium about you will own nothing and that includes books, it's already getting cost prohibitive. Just don't read, here's what you need to do peon, you need to sit in the cube, you need to sit down, shut up and do what you're told, reading takes away from the objectives of corporate America, you need to sell your soul to accompany and go by their agenda, do what they tell you to do. Reading takes too much time away, that we could exploit out of you, we could monetize that time to our own benefit. So instead of you reading a book, and actually I don't know discovering some things about how the world actually really works, you need to sit down, shut up, not read and sell your soul to accompany. That's what I take out of it. Go read the article for yourself. Make your own decisions. Yeah, guess what I'm encouraging you to read. Don't read this interview? Because reading is so flipping important. Somebody would say I don't have much time for reading. It gets you out of your own thoughts into somebody else's thoughts. Yeah, that's the point. Try to keep it clean. Over on fortune.com we find Amazon staff might get paid 50% less than what they were expecting because shares in the online giant have fallen so much. Russian hawks fume after Biden beats Putin to a triumphant welcome in Kyiv on wars symbolic anniversary, a demonstrative humiliation of Russia. I don't know about that. Sort of photo op picture that I saw earlier of this event. It looked like Biden was sitting at a desk made for a child. It looked a lot like a white and gold bedroom set that I had when I was a little girl. It looked like he was sitting at my old vanity table that I had back in the early 80s. And Zielinski was standing there in his sweatshirt and khakis looking on favorably. But that is a demonstrative humiliation of Russia. You're talking to me do my and just to be clear, I'm not telling you that I support anything that's going on over there especially not genocide and innocent people getting killed and the engines of war cranking up hell no. Peace, we should be praying for peace. But as I've told you before, if the industrial, the military industrial complex, and the engines of war fire up and they tell us we're going to war, probably what's gonna happen 145,000 cans of infantile pro Soviet infant formula recalled over possible bacteria risks. It seems like that baby formula situation just cannot get a break. I feel so sorry. I have so much compassion for people that are reliant on these infant formulas and they can't neither can't get what they need, or they get it and then now it's being recalled over possible bacterial risks. More than 122 million Americans have high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease and stroke. Also some great news how one woman turned a part time side hustle in her spare room into a gifting company making over $3 million a year. Champagne wishes and caviar dreams. You too, can have lifestyles of the rich and famous. So if you get laid off from a job in the tech industry, in finance in banking, then go get you a job at Chipotle because apparently Chipotle is going to hire the entire United States. Get you a job at Chipotle and then start a side hustle in your spare room and YouTube can have a gifting company making over $3 million a year. This is completely plausible for everybody. Yeah, as I've said before, it's your choice how much hot air hopium and nonsense you want to listen to. I'm going to double down on what I've said before, I think it's past time to get strategic about who you're listening to and why what are they telling you what's believable. If they issue predictions do the predictions come true? It's it's past time to be evaluating the commentators and the media sources that you read based on that. If you're still off in law and believing that we have a 3.4% unemployment rate and then everybody can go be a burrito maker and it'll be just fine. I feel bad for you. Over on LinkedIn if we go to the latest layoff tally, we will find Ericsson the Swedish maker of telecom equipment is cutting 1400 jobs amid softening demand for 5g equipment. layoffs are afflicting the crypto industry with polygon emerging as the latest company to announce cutbacks. Other companies that shed headcount this year include magic Eden protocol labs Bitrex chainalysis, prime trust and coin tracker JPMorgan Chase, which reportedly cut hundreds of employees from its ailing mortgage business earlier this year, has laid off about 30 investment bankers in the Asia Pacific region. It's one of the biggest reductions to Hong Kong and China based banking staff in years and quote, but yeah, people are doing great 3.4% unemployment rate. Everything's happy, everybody's good. Sure. Are you looking for more? Don't forget, you can find Sarah on her blogs at Causey consulting llc.com. And at Sara causey.com. You can also read her content on medium, and substack. On with the show. Today, it is Wednesday, February 22. Before I get into today's headlines, I want to tell a story that I feel is important. As I've said many times, in my opinion, if you have created a business, around a platform that you don't own or control, I think you're playing a dangerous game. If you have leveraged your entire ability to provide for yourself and your family, or a huge chunk of your ability to provide for yourself and your family on a platform that you don't own or control. I believe that's not a great idea. If you are subjected to someone else's whims, their rules, their algorithms, and those things change, or you get banned or shadow banned for any reason, or no reason at all. How would you handle that? I've mentioned before a few times, I think that I run a fan club for an actor. And we had a very strange experience. I'm not going to mention the name of the social media platform. I don't want to borrow any trouble for myself or for him. But we have been through the wringer with one particular platform. And we have not ever found out why. One morning, it was like all of the admin privileges were blocked. And we were just hamstrung, nobody could do anything as far as moderation, content, posting, running ads, nothing. And when we went through the process with tech support with customer service, which that was a joke, there was no customer service to speak of it was just a lot of us getting the runaround, and not understanding what happened to this day. I can't tell you what happened or why we were targeted. There was nothing going on in that fan club that pertained to politics, religion, no hot button Hot Topic issues. I always kept the gene pool clean. I did not allow hate speech, people trying to advertise financial schemes or porn or anything like that. So it was so surprising to me that just out of nowhere one day, like we just had a bull's eye on our back. We tried and we tried. And we just could not get any straight answers, nor could we get anything reinstated. So I finally said, it's clear to me that they don't want our business. You've paid them a small fortune in ads, they clearly don't care. They don't want us. So why would we fight to stay there? Let's just take our platform somewhere else and go on. Now imagine if that were you? What if that were your business? What if that was the only way that you were providing for yourself and your family? So when I see these ads when somebody tries to ping me online, and they're like, Oh, I help coaches or consultants or business owners or entrepreneurs or circus clowns 10 times their revenue using and then insert a platform here, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, whatever. I'm just like, how are you making it? First of all, the second thing is what are you going to do if you ever get banned or shadow banned? Or the algorithm changes and you are screwed? I can't tell you what to do or what not to do. I don't give advice. I just know if it were me. I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that. And having been through this experience with the fan club. If they'll do it to somebody who's I'm using air quotes. You're famous because I just I hate this whole idea of Oh, somebody's more important because they're a celebrity and who gives a crap? And you know how I feel about celebrity gossip. See, we didn't get into that crap either. Oh, I heard this person was dating that person and somebody's gonna get a divorce. sent No, no, no, ain't nobody got time for that. My point is if they'll do it to somebody famous if they'll do it to somebody who spent how many untold 1000s of dollars and ad spend and not give a shit straight up not care and treat people like dirt. What are they going to do to a solopreneur? Who's out there? Telling coach Oh, coach is all helping 10 times your revenue? I'm sure you will. It's getting spooky out there guys. It is. And I just feel like this is only going to get worse as time goes on. Take that information for your entertainment only. I just felt compelled. I'm like somebody out here needs to hear this. Over on CNBC. Today, we find Fed minutes show resolve to keep fighting inflation with rate hikes. Who's surprised by that? You shouldn't be. Elon Musk meets with California Governor Newsom at Tesla's new engineering headquarters to discuss expansion. Oh, all right. Well, how nice for them, I guess. Bitcoin drops 3.5% polygon labs cuts jobs and coin base usage continues to fall. Over on Yahoo. finance's a similar scene, Bond King Jeffrey gunlock. Here comes the hard economic landing, whether it's a hard or soft landing. gunlock says you need an umbrella. I can't. For the life of me, I can't imagine a soft landing to all of this. If you can good for you. I had a mansplain earlier today on social media, speaking of the cesspool that social media has become a man's blader try to tell me that you will not sing Do you have to be happy is going to be a good thing. And I'm like, Well, you go first. You think that you're such a hot intellectual stuff trying to mansplain the WEF to me. You go first you go ahead and you own nothing. And you get in your cubicle and eat your cricket burger and have your brainwaves measured and then you come back and tell me how it went. Stocks wobble as investors evaluate Fed minutes, Fed minutes ongoing hikes needed to wanted 50 Point hike. How many more rate hikes will there be? I don't know. I truly don't know. See, we also see no soft landing is in the cards from Fed rate hikes look for recession and a buying opportunity once stock prices decline. Oh by the dip. A soft landing is not coming. Even though we told you for months you were totally going to have a soft landing. But hey, by the dip. This is another situation in my mind of like, well, okay, you go first, you go ahead and you buy that dip. And you see how far you get buying the dip. Over on LinkedIn news, we find latest layoffs. All right. Well, let's see who's been added to the list. Trying to think of I think the last time Erickson was the most recent one, so let's go up here. After predicting a $30 million deficit for the year NPR will eliminate at least 100 positions or approximately 10% of its staff, despite CEO Mark Zuckerberg widely reported promise that no additional layoffs would follow an 11,000 person workforce reduction in November. More job cuts are expected to at Mehta. The Washington Post reports. The article echoes of Financial Times piece published earlier this month with both publications citing anonymous sources. Consulting giant McKinsey is redesigning its non client facing teams in a move that could see 2000 support staffers laid off. Former employees are posting on LinkedIn about job cuts at SAP woods, which announced in January it would lay off 3000 people, but hey, soft landing by the dip, it's all going to be okay. They also posted yesterday this article office landlords are giving up and I wrote some I think I tweeted about it and put something on LinkedIn about it. It's like no, they're not. No, they're not. Here's my theory on this. And and if you if you're looking to subscribe someplace where I post, most, if not all of my content, my sub stack is getting to be the place where podcast episodes, blog posts, social media type posts, I'm trying to do as much as I can over there. So if you want a subscription substack is a great place to go do it. I talked about like, here's my mind. Here's here's what's in my mind. I cannot talk today. Wednesdays are superstitiously supposed to be a good day for communication, but I think my brain is scrambled. Oh boy, anyway, in my mind, no, no, no, no, no. In the same way that we will see the housing bubble deflate and residential housing will suffer. I think the same thing will happen with corpo real estate and then you will have people scooping up those buildings on the cheap. And if corporate America and the state in collusion with one another decide you're going back to the office, guess what? You're going back? I don't see any way around that. I don't I'm sorry. There was also an article on here earlier about states saying that they had given tax breaks to certain companies with the understanding that their employees would be bought in seat in the office and they would be spending money in generating tax revenue. And if that doesn't happen soon, those tax incentives will be taken away. So who do you think is going to win? Workers who say hell no, we won't go and we're going to sign a petition. or corporate America and the state huh, let's think real hard about that one. I don't think it's difficult to figure out. We also find layoff plans can be exaggerated, according to the Wall Street Journal. While the drumbeat of layoff announcements continues, history shows that the final cut often ends up being smaller than projected. i Yeah, I'm sorry, a Wall Street Journal review of nine companies Well, nine, nine hole companies Well, gee willikers. And with that, that's clearly an accurate cross section of the whole flipping country. A review of nine companies that announced job cuts in January found most contracted by less than planned. Dropbox, for example, said it would lay off 11% of its staff in 21, but ended only 3% smaller, announcing layoffs can earn a company investor points and a share price pop. But things change jobs are lost to attrition business picks up or growth occurs at a new unit. Mehta shares surged more than 6%, after it announced plans to cut more than 11,000 jobs in the wake of disappointing earnings. And someone who is apparently a journalist at the Wall Street Journal posted here on LinkedIn, all those big layoffs you're hearing about, they may not make companies much smaller. We looked at layoff announcements by big companies in January of past years. So we can compare how you're in employment change companies that said they layoff significant numbers of staff often wound up pretty close to the same size, thanks to hiring in other areas, delays and other factors. Not all of them very clear in quote. Okay. You're gonna bet your job on that. What a mixed bag of insanity. And then we also see multigenerational living is back. Yeah, you bet it is. Because people have to do that. There are people in situations where they are forced to move back home, or they have elders that are forced to move back home, somebody may have retired thinking that they were fully prepared to live off of a pension and then they got a nasty surprise when they found out that they couldn't. Also on CNBC, Wall Street has purchased hundreds of 1000s of single family homes since the great recession. That was the article that was mansplain to me about how important it is to understand that renting can really be a smart move when you go first pal. go right on ahead and you do that. You will not sing and you have to be happy. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yep. So we have the Neo libs who have turned into war hawks. They'll give as much money as you want to print to Karina. But let's forget about the poor people in Ohio that are suffering from toxic waste after the train derailments. You have the Neo cons who want to lick the boots of corporate America and act like oh, these hedge funds, they're just so deserving. They're going to do what's best trickle down economics. Wow. I don't know what else to say. Today, it is Thursday, February 23. Over on CNBC, we have headlines such as dow falls 200 points Thursday s&p 500 heads for five day losing streak. FTX founder Sam Bateman fried hit with four new criminal charges. Retirees lost 23% of their 401 K savings in 2022. Fidelity says it's horrible. Feds point to overheated wheel bearing and report on Ohio train derailment. Well, at least there's more information coming out about the fact that there was a train derailment in Ohio. Rolls Royce shares soar by 23% After annual results crush expectations. As I've said before, there are luxury brand companies saying we're just not suffering the ultra wealthy are continuing to spend money at our companies so kind of not hurting us. Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of plots and provocations ahead of war anniversary. Wells Fargo lays off mortgage bankers days after rewarding some with a California retreat. I'm just shaking my head about all that you can do. Over on Yahoo Finance, it's a similar scene stocks fall after back to back losses for s&p 500 and Dow invidious stock pops as results show growing lead in AI chip race. Mortgage rates spike again surge closer to 7%, who is going to buy an overpriced doodoo poop house at a 789 percent interest rate? Not me. I mean, obviously, if you get the price right on something, you can overcome a higher interest rate. But here in the Midwest, I'm going to give you the same song and dance that I've told you month after month after month. properties with some acreage that would be appropriate for farming for ranching for homesteading, people are still wanting obscene amounts of money for shotgun checks. So I think I'm gonna pass on that I'm gonna, like Orlando miner said sit it out with purpose, I'm going to continue to stay on the sidelines. And just wait. Domino's earnings staffing has improved across all positions, CEO says Hmm. Can't say I would say that that's a surprise. Part of it probably is people taking the jobs because they've been laid off. And they're just trying to do whatever it takes to make ends meet. And part of it also could be that some of these places really didn't have staffing problems to begin with. To be clear, I'm not saying that Domino's is one of them, because I don't know. But I do think some of this narrative that we heard over and over again, entire generations are lazy. People are flush with cash, they don't want to go back to work. Nobody in Gen Z is willing to hold down a job anymore. So much bunk. So much nonsense. I told you before about the store cashier I spoke with who said I applied all over town. All of these places that had now hiring signs in the window, I turned in applications. And the place I'm working at now is the only one that called me back, they became the winner by default. So I think some of these places didn't really for real have staffing shortages. In last week's broadcast, I talked about how we went out to lunch because I was exhausted, didn't want to cook and dirtied up a bunch of dishes. And the restaurant was fully staffed front of house and back of house, I saw no labor shortage at that place whatsoever. We also find tip of the negative equity iceberg, a record number of Americans are grappling with $1,000 car payments and drivers can't keep pace. This is also sad, but not surprising. In the article we find with a record 16% of American consumers paying at least $1,000 a month for their cars. It's no surprise that drivers are starting to fall behind on their bills. The percentage of borrowers at least 60 days late on their car payments is higher today than it was during the peak of the Great Recession in 2009. And quote, yeah, so anybody that's out there, in my opinion, telling me, we would just never have another Oh 809 You better be so careful listening to people like that. We've got too many statistics that are as bad or worse than they were during the great recession. And I don't remember inflation like this. I remember the gas price being high. But I don't remember going to the grocery store every flipping week, it was more expensive than it was the week before. I don't remember that going on in a way. This, this really could be as bad or worse. So if you're listening to the hot air and hopium crowd, you have to be very careful about that. I'll be publishing a blog post probably later today about this whole kerfuffle of the Amazon petition and angry Slack channels. Supposedly if we get enough people to sign a petition, then Amazon will walk back it's already out our tea. Oh edict and I'm like, No, they won't. Reminds me of Peter Griffin in Family Guy on that episode where he's like lowest take a letter. Dear life serial, who do you think you are? Same thing, what is a petition going to do against corporate America? Really, if it comes down to keeping people happy, or keeping the investors and the shareholders and the executives happy, who do you think is going to win? We can LARP all day long about On a petition and an angry Slack channel, but I have doubled down, triple down, quadruple down on this. And I'm one of the few if not the only subject matter expert in staffing and recruiting, who's willing to tell you these things, because the most of them want to get on social media and get their social media score. They want to get their dopamine bump and their claps and their likes and their shares. I'm just out here telling you the truth as I see it. If corporate America and the state especially collude together and tell you you're going back, guess what? You're going back? This economic downturn could be as bad or worse than the Great Recession? Do you really think that people are going to sit at home and starve have like a hunger strike and nationwide hunger strike? To work from home? No, they won't. I don't buy it. Don't buy it. I saw an article the other day that popped up on my phone from one of the news channels. If I can find it. Again. I'll try to look for it. But some executive at Walmart was warning that food prices will not be going down in the near future, which of course is yet again a no dumb moment. If you want me to believe that repetition is going to solve everyone's problems, that with food prices not going down anytime soon, people will just sit at home and starve to avoid RTO it's not going to happen. Save your breath. Over on LinkedIn today we also find quitters spark the great return. The great reshuffle sparked another movement the great regret. A recent paycheck study showed that 80% of employees who left their jobs amid the pandemic regretted their reaction to that sinking feeling attempts to return to a former job. Almost 70% of workers tried to get their former job back. As the honeymoon period ended employees found themselves with an entirely new set of stress, pressure and challenges but the effects are exacerbated in a less familiar environment. Inner gauges Greg Barnett told Sherm that is when the regret sets in, in quote, whether or not 80% of employees who job hop during the Great resignation, regret it now that feels like a very high number to me. And I'm just going to slip on my tinfoil hat. In my opinion, that's all this is. I'm opining for your entertainment only I'm not sitting here saying it's a statement of fact, I'm telling you, in my opinion, from my perception. This feels like the type of material that's designed to warn you, it's designed to shame you and it's designed to kind of You better not, you too, could wind up in the great regret. If you leave your job and you don't get in the in the cube farm and sit down but in seat and do what you're told you're going to have that sinking feeling. And then when you tried to boomerang back, they might not take you. It feels very like Shamy very warnie very, don't do it, little baby, don't you do it. That's how it feels to me, I could be wrong. Maybe I'm Miss perceiving the situation. When I was interviewed by Yahoo to talk about quiet quitting, I talked about loud saying, whenever the great recession hit, and unemployment got high, people were calling and walking in begging for a job and there was nothing to offer them. You wanted to make it clear. I'm bought into the company and I want to do whatever it takes to stay here. I don't see any way around that either. I think there are some people who may have been, I'm going to try to think about this too. They may have gotten used to the climate that we had during the Great resignation, where if somebody looked at you sideways, or they popped off, he could just say, I'm not going to put up with this by Well, once you're finally allowed to know that unemployment is not 3.4%. And there are not two legitimate open jobs that will pay a living wage for every one unemployed person. I'm pretty sure that a if corpo America tells you to come back or it's your job, you're gonna go back and be you're gonna get loud about making sure that they know you're gonna stay. I don't see any way around it. I don't unless you become independently wealthy. If you go out on your own as a freelancer and you're able to make a go of it. Some people do have recession babies, I had one. I had an iteration of self employment that failed spectacularly. And then I've had one now that has succeeded and has kept me going for all this time. It's a roll of the dice. And sometimes in life, we have to jump in and deal with the crisis demands in order to keep the money train Rolling. So if you want to LARP about nationwide strikes and petitions go right ahead, but I'm going to try to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground. Today it is Friday, February 24. It is major big time TGIF. The bed has never looked so good. I am ready. I've been busy. So that's not a complaint. I'm tired from working hard. And that's that's a good thing. Definitely during a recession. Over on CNBC, we have headlines such as luxury EV maker lucid appears to have a demand problem. stocks closed lower after hot inflation data, as new data shows inflation rose in January. Hmm, you don't say? Did you really need a report to tell you that? Couldn't you use like your eyes and ears? Key fed inflation measure rose point 6% In January, more than expected, again, really, really was more than expected. Because I would think if you were paying attention and looking at the price of goods in the stores, you would pretty much know and I don't think it's any point 6% either. Just saying fed can't tame inflation without significantly more hikes that will cause a recession paper says that. Yeah, I'm gonna say it. I'm gonna say it. I told you. So. I did. I'm told you this was one of the ways the narrative could shape up. One was Oopsy. Daisy, this just happened. And golly, gosh, like who could have seen it coming? We just didn't know. Oops, our bad, honest mistake. That's one way that it could go. This is the other way of how it could go. The medicine is icky. We know it tastes gross, but you're gonna have to take it. This is the solution. In this article, we find the Federal Reserve is unlikely to be able to bring down inflation without having to raise interest rates considerably higher, causing a recession. According to a research paper released Friday. former Fed Governor Frederick Myshkin is among the authors of the white paper that examines the history of central bank efforts to create disinflation, despite the sentiments of many current Fed officials that they can manage a soft landing while tackling high prices. The paper says that is unlikely to be the case, hold button and say yeah, if you have common sense, if you can put that noggin and something's rattling around in there, thank you pretty much know that there's not going to be a soft landing. We find no instance in which a central bank induced dis disinflation occurred without a recession. I'm not having Listen, I don't mean to laugh at the apocalypse. It's just like, you know, slap happy because I'm so tired and I'm slap happy because this is all common effing sense. Or it should be. We find no instance in which a central bank induced disinflation occurred without a recession, said the paper, co authored by economists, that I am not even going to attempt the names of because I don't want to butcher them. The paper was presented Friday morning during a monetary policy forum Presented by the University of Chicago. Gosh, let me think about that, where if we heard people talk about that, you know, I seem to remember Lauren, Vermont, saying that Obama had gone off to the University of Chicago and drank the neoliberal Kool Aid. Okay, presented by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Fed has implemented a series of interest rate hikes in an effort to tame inflation that hadn't been at its highest level in some 41 years. Markets widely expect a few more hikes before the Fed can pause to assess the impact the tighter policy is having on the economy. However, the paper suggests that there's probably a ways to go again, did we need to be told that no, it's obvious simulations of our baseline model suggests that the Fed will need to tighten policy significantly further to achieve its inflation objectives by the end of 2025. The end of 2025 We're still in q1 of 2023. So all those people who wanted to act like we would just never have another 2008? Of course not. Remember that. Stuff started getting really bad in oh eight and oh nine. It was 2010 2011 before you really started to feel like you could catch your breath. Hmm. The more that things change, the more they stay the same. The paper however, rejects the idea of raising the 2% inflation standard. In addition, the researchers say the central bank should abandon its new policy framework adopted in September 2020. that change implemented average inflation targeting allowing inflation to run hotter than normal in the interest of a more inclusive employment recovery. The researchers say the Fed should go back to its pre emptive mode where it started raising rates when unemployment fell sharply. Fed Governor Philip Jefferson released a reply to the report saying the current situation differs from previous inflation episodes. He noted that this Fed has more credibility as an inflation fighter than some of its predecessors. It does. Unlike in the 1960s and 1970s, the Federal Reserve is addressing the outbreak in inflation promptly and forcefully to maintain that credibility and to preserve the well anchored property of long term inflation expectations. Jefferson said, end quote, and that ends the article. So the headline is the Fed can't tame inflation without significantly more hikes that will cause a recession paper says, But then at the same time, according to the Fed governor, you're supposed to believe that the Fed now has more credibility. In terms of fighting inflation. Yeah, doing a bang up job so far. Wow. Wow, we will we well, I'm so impressed. Over on Yahoo Finance, it's a similar scene, the Fed is gearing up for a longer than expected inflation fight. Two officials suggested that inflation could persist longer than thought after the central bank's most closely watched inflation gauge surged by the most in months. This is only a surprise if you haven't been paying attention. And here's the thing. You know, I've said many times, I feel like this downturn, whatever it is, stagflation, recession, depression, whatever the label turns out to be. It's going to separate out people who paid attention from people who didn't. People who used good critical thinking skills from people who listen to hot air hopium and bullshit. Yet again, today yet again. I had another man Splinter finance, bro type dude, try to convince me that people will accept less pay in order to continue working from home. And that even if corporate America issues and RTO edict, people just won't go that the companies of the future are going to be remote only. And that remote work is going to be the norm not our to not button seat and I thought to either you're smoking some really nice, good hopium and it is good, good. And maybe you need to share it. Or it's like are you deluding yourself, are you trying to delude other people? Like do you really feel real belief that? And if so, why? But yet again, I say some people are going to get steamrolled by what's coming. They always do in these downturns. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. I go back yet again to Jared a Brock's wonderful article. And I mean, wonderfully written and wonderfully researched. Not the topic is wonderful. But I go back to his wonderful article about how the hyper elites want your stuff. They want this recession to happen. So they can scoop up assets on the cheap, you will owe nothing and you will be happy. But yet you have morons. Like, they will go along. They will go along. I saw on Twitter, Dr. Stuart wooley, who I really like, made some comment about people it's like the turkeys buying the pot of boiling water they're going to be cooked in. That's exactly. That's it exactly. Some of these people will just seal clap and they'll go along with any hot air and hopium that they find. It's like they're so desperate for that hot air to be true. So desperate for the fantasy to be real. And it's sad. You know, it is instead of waking up and saying what do I need to do to prepare myself and my family to be in the best shape possible for this? They would rather listen to when I believe the companies of the future are going to be remote. Okay, well, I'm glad that you believe that. Where's your evidence? Oh, you don't have any Okay, great. Well, thanks. But I had another finance bro, who tried to convince me that you will not sing a DVB happy is going to be a good thing. Maybe it's not so bad. If we become a nation of renter's, maybe it's not so bad if these huge global conglomerates buy up all of the real estate, and then you just rent everything on a subscription basis. And he pulled some quote of somebody saying I don't own anything and I've never been happier and I'm like, well then you go first. Get right in line there, bud. And go first. You go ahead and you give up your possessions you you own nothing on does in Viva see if you are happy. Oh, no, no, no, no, no, he's gonna own his stuff and have his investments. He's just trying to convince the serfs and the peons that it's a good idea. I don't know if the guy has a corporate sponsor behind him or if he's just that much of a bootlicker. But I'm telling you, I'm just sick and tired of these mansplain errs, do to think that a woman is not capable of understanding the economy. A woman is not capable of understanding finance or money. Meanwhile, I think about somebody like Lynette Zeng who could run circles around these idiots just like right Oh, but a woman can't understand economics. Sure, no, we also find this weekend Biden omics somebody land this thing? Well, it ain't gonna be a soft landing oil market drastically different than when Russia invaded Ukraine, huh? You don't say Black Rock cooperating with SEC probe of investment advisors rule. When we click on that we find Blackrock said it was cooperating with the US Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into record keeping of electronic communications of its investment advisors according to a filing on Friday. The asset manager is the latest in a list of financial firms under the regulators scrutiny. Earlier this week, Wells Fargo said US regulators were investigating the bank's retention of employee communications over on approved messaging tools. The SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission fined 16 financial firms last year, a combined $1.8 billion after it was found that their employees had discussed deals on personal devices and apps and quote, this seems to be a thing. Just having unsecured communications not not using appropriate outlets for things that shouldn't be discussed on an unsecure server. And why even be surprised by it anymore? We also find new homebuyers are backing out of deals. Why do we need to ask why? As mortgage rates inch closer to 7% hundreds of 1000s of inflation weary homebuyers across the US are backing out of deals. Nationwide, the number of newly pending contracts to buy a home plunged from 58,000 to 55,000. During the week ending February 17. Altos research found that its first declined since the start of the year a notable reversal from what appeared to be a slowly recovering housing market ahead of the spring. I don't know did anybody say it was recovering for real? I guess I missed that memo. The downturn and pending contracts came as mortgage rates rebounded after a brief brush was 6% Earlier this month, pushing droves of homebuyers back to the sidelines, especially rate sensitive first time buyers and quote, well, if you're rate sensitive, whether you're a first timer or this is the umpteenth time that you've purchased a home good for you. I don't give financial advice. I'm not an economist, I am not a power broker. I don't sit on the web, we know these things already. If it were me, if some realtor or some broker had told me, Well, rates are going back down, and the real estate market is healing, we're not in a bubble, things are going to be okay. And I had drank that Kool Aid and smoked that hopium. And then all of a sudden, I realized like, oh, things are not looking so good anymore. Maybe this is not the time. Or if I had any inclination whatsoever that my job was not steady, that I could get a pink slip. Or if you freelance or your own and operate your own business, like if I felt like maybe business could drop off and I might have to really scrape the bottom of the barrel to make ends meet. You know, I think that I would say to myself self, this is probably not the best time to get off the sidelines. I think I'm going to not listen to realtors and brokers who have a vested interest in parting me for my money. I think I'm going to put myself in first place and make sure that I do what's best for myself and my family. I don't want to get steamrolled by what's coming. And even if I had to rent a place a while longer, or I had to stay in a situation where I didn't particularly like the house but I did like the mortgage and I did find the mortgage payment to be highly affordable. I don't think that I would want to jump that's just me. Me, okay call me crazy, call me kooky, call me overly conservative with my finances. But that's the approach that I would have. I just think it's a good rule of thumb that if someone has a vested interest in parting you from your money, you have to factor that into your decision making. I just think it's so important, so important. Something was brought to my attention. Before I go over and read the absolute litany of companies laying off on the LinkedIn announcement. There's something something was brought to my attention. And I'm going to have to be careful because this person presented me with evidence, so we don't have to do whispers on the wind. But the person wanted to remain anonymous. And so I want to respect that wish a person tipped me off to an article from the San Diego Union Tribune. The article is titled California slashes incentives for new rooftop solar promotes batteries to shift grid costs. And you might wonder, okay, well, why why are you talking about this? Okay, so in the article under the heading, no one's happy. But neither side was happy with the CPUC decision, solar advocates warn the new rules will undermine solar's rapid growth in California, existing rooftop systems are capable of generating about 12,000 megawatts of electricity. According to the CPUC, almost six times what the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant generates. The proposal is a step backwards when we really need to be moving forward with solar and battery storage. Bernadette del chiaro, Executive Director of the California solar and storage Association said in a statement, it is a dark day in California when the utility regulators try to block out the sun power company say the framework does not go far enough. Now I'm going to scroll down just a little bit and get into the nitty gritty. The California solar and storage Association has estimated the average compensation rate would drop from 30 cents per kilowatt to eight cents a reduction of 75%. Since solar installations can run into the 10s of 1000s of dollars, the group argues that the lower compensation will extend the payback period to such a degree that customers will have less incentive to make an investment in rooftop solar delt Yarrow called The New Rules a loser for California on many levels in quote. Okay, so the source wanted me to talk about this issue. Because if you have the payback period, dropping so that customers are really not incentivized to spend the money upfront for rooftop solar, what will happen to companies that are involved in rooftop solar? Will they have to lay off? Will they have hiring freezes? Will they have wage cuts? I don't know. I don't know the answer to that question. And the person who directed me to this article didn't know the answer to that question either. And it was just important to the source for me to get this information out to say, layoffs are not just isolated to big tech. There are other industries out there that are not immune. So don't ever think please, please, please, please don't listen to the misinformation that's going around. That mass layoffs are big tech and Silicon Valley only. And as long as you're not working for one of those firms, you're probably going to be alright. be so careful with that. Now when we returned to LinkedIn to check out the newest layoffs, layoffs on the roster for today, days after confirming it would cut 1400 jobs and Sweden telecom equipment maker Ericsson said in a memo to employees seen by Reuters that it plans to eliminate 8500 jobs worldwide. Oh boy. So that jumped? Former Ernst and Young employees are posting on LinkedIn about layoffs at the consulting giant which appear to have primarily affected the talent acquisition team. Hmm. Yeah, I told you remember, I made a prediction that as we saw layoffs happening in HR, recruiting, talent, acquisition, etc. You would see more shingles going out for people calling themselves coaches, Career Coach, interview coach, Job Interview coach, rabbit in a hat with a bat. This is going to happen because the HR staffing recruiting these arenas are not impervious to layoffs either. I practice what I preach. I haven't been sitting out here smoking hopium I've been getting my mind right about what what to do in the event that HR staffing and recruiting projects are few and far between. I've prepped myself for that. I hope that whatever industry that you're in, you're prepared for it to the Washington Post and The Verge both report that meta is planning additional layoffs echoing the Financial Times piece published earlier this month. Evie go a network for fast charging electric vehicle stations is reducing its headcount by 40. Rolls, biotech and pharmaceutical firms are busy handing out pink slips with workforce reductions at jounce therapeutics. 57% of staff in pill pharmaceuticals, 16% of staff, graphite bio 50% of staff, and Seibon 15% of staff, arch oncology laid off all employees and we'll wind down operations Oh my god. Credentials platform strong dem laid off 40 of its team members, driverless trucks startup loco mation will reportedly cease operations and layoff about 80 people. Whoa. So companies just flat out saying we're done. Right? But hey, it's still a workers market. The recession hasn't happened yet. How just how peerstreet a real estate financing company will lay off a significant number of employees by mid April, unable to find the buyer. It's been seeking since 2022 generics maker acorn Pharmaceuticals is filing for bankruptcy and abruptly letting go of all its employees who will receive no severance pay and lose their health benefits by months end. Lord have mercy. Please, please, please, please, please, please, if you if you think everything that I talked about is BS and why you're even tuning in. If you think that I don't know, if you're just a troll or something. I am begging you. Whether you like this broadcast or you don't I am begging you. Please rough out a job loss survival plan. Please think about what you would do. A company that's letting go of all its employees, no severance pay, losing health benefits by the months? And what if that were you? Or your best friend or a parent? Or if you have a grown child that's out in the workforce? What if it was them? Well, Wells Fargo, which said in January move away from home loans has laid off hundreds of mortgage bankers and consultants According to CNBC. Wow. Yeah, it's tough out there. It is tough. It is tough. Yeah, but okay. But then the mansplaining wants to tell me that companies of the future will be remote only in corporate America can demand whatever it wants, people won't listen. I don't I mean, how can you how can you think that what What planet are you on? Where's your head at? I don't, I can't, I guess I just can't make that make sense. Also, shameless plugs, sort of I was interviewed by the London Daily Post, to talk about the labor market, both here in the States. And in the UK. There was an article that was recently published by The Guardian. That's one of the things that we talked about in this article about the UK economy being affected by stagflation. And how unemployment is on the rise, I will drop a link if you want to check it out. You know, you've got people in the UK facing these heat or eat dilemmas, heat the house, or eat. Now I told you about those documentaries I watched and a dad saying, I'll let the kids eat their dinner. And then after they go to bed, I'll tell them that I'm going to eat. I'm not hungry right now. But I'm going to eat later. And then meanwhile, he doesn't. But he just doesn't want them to know that he's going hungry at night, because he doesn't want to scare them. He doesn't want them to worry. These are very real situations. You know, when people saying this is the first time ever I've gone to a food bank, nurses, teachers, people that have professional jobs, saying I'm having to go to the food bank, or I can't afford clothing. I can't afford new school shoes for the kids. We're having to try to tape and glue shoes back together to make them last longer. But yet, you're supposed to believe that people are doing great. I think if you really talk to people, if you get out of the ivory tower, and you actually talk to working class people, you know, immediately it's BS, I was talking to a person. Again, I want to protect privacy here. I was talking to a person earlier this week. And whenever we were discussing layoffs and various industries right now that are hurting, he said, Hey, have you ever have you ever heard that old political slogan? It's the economy stupid, and I laughed out loud? And I said, Oh, yeah. Yeah, I definitely have. I've talked about that a lot on the show. broadcast this economy stupid and he said, I think maybe we need to just change that now to it's the recession stupid and I'm like we could do that. But the thing is, you'd still have people that would deny it. And some of these idiot mansplain errs and finance bros would be the first one, we know how to do research and well, you have fun with that. But see, in my mind, they're going to be like these people in the real estate market, realtors and brokers who told me that we were not in a manipulated market, we were not in a housing bubble, and we would never have another 2008 Now these people have had to roll up the sidewalks and go get other jobs. I don't feel sorry for liars and manipulators. If you're looking for me to be all warm and soft and cuddly about it. I don't know. This is not the place for that. If you lie, you manipulate you cheat people. You try to convince them that it's raining when you're standing there pee peeing on their leg now, I don't feel sorry for you. And that's that is very well what could happen to these finance Bros and these man's blinders that are living in an alternate reality. That does not have to be you. I hope that you have a job loss Survival Plan roughed out. If your job feels stable, but you're a W two employee. Do you have an RTO Survival Plan roughed out? Do you know who is going to take care of the kids? Or if there's an elder that lives with you? What does the elder care situation what's going to happen to the pets? Have you thought these things out? Or are you still smoking some hopium? I think that's what it boils down to. Stay safe, stay sane, please use your brain. 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.