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The Digital Dollar Death Knell, Kroger Eats Albertsons & Un-Wells Fargo

The Digital Dollar Death Knell, Kroger Eats Albertsons & Un-Wells Fargo

Project Hamilton Execute order Star Wars meme

Friday Four Play: The “Executive Order 14067” Edition

Great Ones, y’all know I’m not one for conspiracy theories. I’m more of a Occam’s Razor kinda guy.

But you have a … kinda … sort of a beard? Anyway, you don’t shave!

Geez, not that kinda razor. Occam’s Razor is a philosophical theory that basically states that, all things being equal, the simplest solution is the correct one. Or in layman’s terms, it’s the K.I.S.S. theory.

Keep it simple, stupid! I know that one!

Of course you do. Lol.

What I'd miss keep Greatness flowing meme

So when I read my colleague Ian King’s dissertation on everything that’s wrong with central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) this week — “3 Problems With The Fed’s Digita`l Dollar” — I was highly skeptical to say the least.

I mean, Ian’s three issues with CBDCs — government control, valuation concerns and tracking concerns — are already happening, aren’t they?

Note: If you have no idea what I’m talking about, click here and read Ian’s article first, then come back. I’ll wait.

There, now y’all are up to speed, right?

So I’ll ask again: When it comes to paper dollars, doesn’t the U.S. central bank already have government control over the greenback, government control over tracking where dollars are spent and really iffy valuation concerns?

You’re preaching to the choir, Mr. Great Stuff. We already know this!

Nice to see we’re on the same page here, Great Ones.

I mean, aren’t most of our transactions already digital anyway, thus making our daily financial interactions already tracked, controlled and valued?

Yes. Yes. Yes. A thousand times “Yes!” Get to the point, man! And K.I.S.S. please!

I’m just covering my bases, Great Ones, before I hit you with the truth bomb.

And the “truth bomb” is this: If you think the government … or any government for that matter … has control over currencies now … just wait until CBDCs arrive in force.

You know how cryptocurrencies are designed to get around government control? Yeah, CBDCs are the exact opposite of that. They’re like the “dark side” of the crypto force.

I’m talking instantaneous tracking for every single transaction, instantaneous valuation adjustments and instantaneous account balance adjustments.

That sounds absolutely awful. But that last one … how is that legal?

Oh, it’s already legal. It’s just that right now, you can hold physical cash as a way to prevent the government taking your money while you fight in court. With CBDCs? Yeah, it’s gone first, then you fight … with a much smaller war chest, I might add.

Unfortunately, Great Ones, the ball is already rolling on this one after President Biden signed Executive Order 14067.

Banks bash crypto digital currencies ironic meme

Phase 1 of Executive Order 14067 is already underway, and it’s called Project Hamilton.

Like Alexander Hamilton? I know there’s a million things he hasn’t done…

Oh, just you wait. Just you wait…

I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory. But it’s all very, very real.

Case in point: You’ll note that both links above go to official government websites … not YouTube videos where someone has “done their own research.”

It’s going to happen. CBDCs are inevitable. And, no, voting for “the other guy” won’t make a lick of difference. This is a “both sides” kinda thing. Red, blue … it doesn’t matter here. They all want control.

The only remaining question at this point is: How are we going to deal with this situation?

Well, we are in luck. Y’all know the government doesn’t do anything fast, so we have plenty of time to prepare for this unprecedented money-ageddon.

Money-ageddon?

I said what I said … albeit, it’s a little tongue in cheek.

The solution to this situation is simpler than you might think.

Yes! A K.I.S.S. solution for a K.I.S.S. problem. Lay it on me!

Well, Great Ones, Ian King has been tracking every development in this plot — for 10 years.

As you’ll see here, the plan has been fast-tracked by presidential Executive Order 14067 … meaning there’s a small window of time left to protect yourself and your family.

There’s little time to waste — which is why Ian’s chosen this moment to share his presentation with you.

And without further ado, here’s your Friday Four Play:

No.1: Kroger? I Hardly Know ‘Er

Kroger rescues Albertsons do not resist meme

What does that even mean?

Nobody knows what it means, but it’s provocative. Gets the people going…

Just like a mega grocer buyout!

Kroger (NYSE: KR) announced that it’s buying Albertsons (NYSE: ACI) and forming a grocery store Voltron to take on the almighty Walmart (NYSE: WMT).

When the Waltons are eating everyone’s lunch, there’s safety in numbers, I guess … even if you’re already two of the biggest supermarket operators around.

The deal was struck at $34.10 per share, valuing Albertsons at about $24.6 billion. How often do you get to witness one of the largest grocery store buyouts in decades? This is incredible.

Oh yeah, Great Stuff. I’m … yawn … just so enthused. Absolutely running amok.

Amok! Amok! Amok!

Surprisingly, Kroger and Albertsons investors weren’t all that excited by the shebang, with both KR and ACI down 5% and 7%, respectively.

No. 2: Bobbing For Apple’s Interest

Apple high-yield savings accounts Dexter meme

Good news, iFans!

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) is finally giving Apple customers what they’ve always wanted.

Oh boy, is it a headphone jack? I hope it’s a headphone jack. I bet it’s a headphone jack.

Y’all need Bluetooth. And nope. It’s a high-yield savings account!

Oh. OK?

Yup. You didn’t ask for it, but you’re getting it anyway in typical Apple form.

In its continued push into fintech (and the oh-so-lucrative data that it offers … just sayin’), Apple announced it’s offering high-yield savings accounts for Apple Card holders. And to make it all possible? It’s your boy … Goldman Sachs.

Also in typical Apple fashion, there were no actual details about these accounts other than the bare minimum needed to drum up hype. You can have your Apple Card cash back automatically dropped into the savings account, which is nice. I guess…

But Tim Cook and co. stayed silent on the actual interest rates you’d get with an Apple Card savings account, which makes me really wonder what Apple considers “high-yield.” I’ll reserve judgment for when the yield is revealed, but I’m gonna bet it’s … not that high.

C’mon, man. Don’t build me up just to break me down. I know that’s basically the Apple Way™ but jeez. Where can a Great One get some money on their money these days?

Show me the yield!!!

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No. 3: If You Know, You Nose

Wells Fargo solving problems didn't know you had meme

You know, Great Ones, the past few years have brought us so deep into the Bizarro World of market news, that until this morning, I almost forgot about the time that the Beyond Meat (Nasdaq: BYND) COO bit some guy’s nose off in a road rage incident.

What? How could you forget NoseGate 2022?!

Trust me: That’s the least that BYND investors have to worry about.

The meatless meatmaker will cut 19% of its workforce, including some top execs. Obviously, COO Doug Ramsey is gone after he pulled a Hannibal Lecter on that one guy’s nose. But also gone are Chief Financial Officer Philip Hardin and Chief Growth Officer Deanna Jurgens.

When you’re eliminating your growth officer (phrasing?) that pretty much shows where Beyond Meat’s priorities are right now.

Which is … where?

At this point, Great Stuff is basically popping some kettle corn and watching Beyond Meat and Peloton (Nasdaq: PTON) race to the bottom of their respective markets, biting their noses (sorry) just to spite their faces … and investors.

Do you bite your nose, sir?

I mean, both are basically brands just begging to be bought out by more capable management, which I wouldn’t blame investors for fantasizing about. Any day now…

No. 4: Big Banks Are The Best

Beyond Meat stop firing workforce that would be great meme

That’s right: You know you weren’t gonna get through the week without a word from everyone’s least favorite bunch of stocks … the big banks.

Specifically, the redheaded, fraudulent stepchild of the bad batch: Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC).

By the numbers, Wells delivered a semi-decent double beat: Earnings per share came in at $1.30 and beat expectations for $1.09, while revenue of $19.51 billion also topped estimates for $18.78 billion.

To paraphrase headmaster Dumbledore: “Well done, Wells Fargo. Well done. However…”

Wells Fargo being Wells Fargo … the bank took a $2 billion hit to its earnings due to, you guessed it, shelling out for “litigation, customer remediation, and regulatory matters.”

When is this bank not trying to pull some shady shenanigans? Seriously.

Oh yeah … and there’s also the fact that Wells Fargo set aside $784 million in case of loan defaults. That part ain’t shady, but it spooked investors nonetheless, considering the bank had previously cleared out $1.4 billion from its “provisions” last year.

At this point, it’s clear that Wells Fargo isn’t just prepping in case of credit losses — it’s expecting them.

Of course, if you have any thoughts on today’s Great Stuff, chime in to the inbox! We’ll kick off the conversation for you:

  • Have you heard of Project Hamilton before today? Did you make sure to see what Ian King has to say so you’re prepared?
  • How high do you think Apple’s “high-yield” rates will be?
  • What’s the deal with Kroger buying out Albertsons? (And why is Publix the one supermarket to rule them all? Real Great Ones know … y’all know.)
  • Any of you get screwed over by Wells Fargo and want to rant about it? We’ve got trained rant-listeners on standby.

Head on over to our inbox to share your side of the story: GreatStuffToday@BanyanHill.com.

In the meantime, here’s where you can find our other junk — erm, I mean where you can check out some more Greatness:

Regards,
Joseph Hargett. Editor of Great Stuff

Joseph Hargett
Editor, Great Stuff

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