Wall Street’s Inflation Fetish
It’s Wednesday, my dudes!
We are halfway through the trading week, with very little from Wall Street to show for it. In fact, the S&P 500, the Dow and the Nasdaq have all gone basically nowhere since the beginning of May.
If you ask around among the talking heads on Wall Street, the reason they’ll give you for stagnating stock market growth is inflation. You know … that thing that makes things more expensive?
You mean a lack of supply and a glut of demand?
No, silly. That would make too much sense after coming out of a global pandemic lockdown.
No, no, no! Even though we’ve never seen a global economic situation like this, it has to be inflation — Wall Street says so.
What? Next, you’ll be droning on about “The Base Effect” and how post-pandemic year-over-year comparisons are the real culprit … when, clearly, workers are just lazy.
I mean, did you see the latest U.S. wage growth data in last week’s May jobs report?
For the second straight month, hourly wages grew faster than expected.
Grubby little unemployed workers demanding a living wage while sitting on government handouts? What gives?
It is this unexpected wage growth that provides the latest wrinkle in Wall Street’s inflation fetish. According to concerned economists, the U.S. economy is facing a wage-price spiral:
1. Wages go up.
2. Business costs rise due to higher labor costs.
3. Businesses raise prices to recoup costs.
4. Workers demand higher pay due to higher prices.
5. Rinse, repeat.
As you can see, this whole inflation situation could be solved if people would just listen to Art Laffer and realize most minimum wage workers “aren’t worth $15 an hour.”
Clearly, Mr. Laffer knows what we’re all worth. I mean, he did write a bestselling book about supply-side economics, after all.
And supply is just booming right now, right? Oh, wait…
Laffer? I barely know her.
You beat me to it.
Anywho, if you’d like to take a minute and wipe the sarcasm off your screen, I do have a realistic takeaway despite my caustic remarks above.
Y’all Great Ones already know my stance on inflation, but Josh Bivens, EPI director of research, offers another:
That’s just how an economy adjusts to a big increase in demand. Or, put differently, that’s what happens when an economy that was practically shut down for nearly 12 months finally reopens its doors.
Once again, nothing to see here yet but sensationalism, speculation and scare tactics. My advice right now, Great Ones: Remain calm. Trust your research. And try not to invest in companies with massive debt loads — you know, just in case.
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For years, Bitcoin bulls have dreamt of a time when the world’s leading cryptocurrency would finally be accepted as legitimate legal tender. Today, that dream came true … in El Salvador.
Clearly, El Salvador isn’t the global economic powerhouse Bitcoin bulls hoped for, but you’ve gotta start somewhere, right?
And where better for a decentralized currency to take off than in developing countries where local currencies “are weak and extremely vulnerable to market changes and that triggers rampant inflation,” says Nigel Green, deVere Group CEO.
In fact, Nigel expects more developing countries to jump on board the crypto bandwagon, and that’s good news for cryptos and investors.
Nigels … man, you just gotta like Nigels.
We all know the fantasies of “Instagram Reality.” Photoshopped pictures. Fake travel posts. If you can fake it, and it gets “likes,” it’s fair game on social media. That is until someone starts taking 30% of your “hard-earned” social media money — we’re all looking at you, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL).
But Facebook’s (Nasdaq: FB) Instagram head, Adam Mosseri, thinks he has a way around the 30% Apple tax: the really-real world. “If we could help brands and creators vet each other and find each other, they could make those transactions happen offline,” Mosseri told CNBC.
So, instead of going head-to-head with Apple and risk hurting its own walled garden in the process, Facebook is urging users to meet up IRL — that’s “in real life” for those not hip to internet slang.
This is quite possibly the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. People who photoshop everything from their waists to their location are going to touch grass and meet up IRL to do business? Doesn’t that defeat the point of social media to begin with?
The Road Doesn’t Go On Forever…
And the party eventually ends. Sorry, Robert Earl Keen.
At this point, I’ve gone from laughing at Lordstown’s (Nasdaq: RIDE) utterly abrupt exit from the Wall Street limelight … to feeling sorry for any lingering RIDE investors.
Seriously, if the company’s latest announcement hasn’t shaken out the most boneheaded RIDE bulls, I don’t know what will.
It seemed like just the other day that Lordstown had the Nasdaq and SEC in a tizzy over not filing an earnings report. Remember how we joked about the company “forgetting” to report earnings to save face over not having any earnings?
Yeah … about that. Today, Lordstown confirmed that it’s close to running out of cash and, in its own words, has “substantial doubt” that it will stay afloat over the next year. RIDE shares fell 27% on the news yesterday afternoon and crashed another 17% this morning. Call that a white-knuckled RIDE.
Team Rocket’s Blasting Off Again
When it absolutely positively has to be there overnight, forget FedEx … strap a rocket to it! The Pentagon is playing around with the idea of using rockets to deliver supplies to military hot spots. Take that how you will.
The idea is that you can follow SpaceX’s lead and use the same space-delivery rockets to send up to 100 tons of cargo anywhere around the world — in under an hour. It’s like Pentagon Prime shipping, but with potential nuclear fallout!
As anyone who grew up pre-1989 might predict, one of the rocket-propelled cargo idea’s “biggest challenges had been to prevent an adversary such as Russia or China mistaking an incoming rocket hauling supplies from one equipped with nuclear warheads.”
Speak of mutually assured destruction? That seems like a pretty big risk, if you ask me. (Nice story, tell it to Reader’s Digest!)
But according to Dr. Greg Spanjers, program manager for the new Air Force Rocket Cargo initiative, they “know how to handle that deconfliction,” which is basically just military jargon for “Hold my beer!”
Welcome to poll day, Great Ones! Your chance to sound off on today’s hot-button issues and groundbreaking talking points … or at least whatever we think you’d like ranting about. As you can see, it’s already been quite the sarcastic and diatribe-laden week, so why not join in for yourself? Drop me a line at GreatStuffToday@BanyanHill.com.
In last week’s poll, we asked for your thoughts on Amazon’s annual junk sale — Prime Day. And as it turns out, y’all weren’t all that bothered by the Bezos blowout bonanza. Two-thirds of Great Ones were indifferent on Prime Day overall, while just under a third of you agree with me that it’s a rip-off now.
And for the two of you who just love the chance to load up on extra Fire Sticks and Amazon Echo surveillance devices … my condolences.
Now, in much more exciting news, things that go boom — intentionally or otherwise.
I know more than a few of you are already frantically typing up an email to us paranoid about the Pentagon’s rocket-powered cargo ideas. Take a deep breath … and go check your canned food reserves if you’re that worried about World War III.
But before that, be sure to click below and let me know what you think:
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Until next time, stay Great!
Editor, Great Stuff