Democracy Is Now in Decline

September 9, 2022
Leyendecker Executive Search

September 9, 2022

It has always been easy to hate and destroy.
To build and to cherish is much more difficult.
Queen Elizabeth, RIP

THOUGHTS FROM DOUG

As US interest rates rise, the dollar grows stronger. Since global commodities are traded in dollars, the stronger the dollar, the more commodities you can buy with each dollar. This lowers the price of commodities. You think this is the Fed’s way of tackling inflation?

I expect most of you saw the recent news about enormous student learning loss caused by pandemic shutdowns. Maybe what’s “lacking in schools” has nothing to do with school and everything to do with the breakdown of the traditional nuclear family.

Whenever you see a new policy come out of Washington, it’s probably a good thing to ask:  What are the unintended consequences going to be?

The stock market sure seems like it wants to hear some good news. Wanting to hear good news is probably not the sign of a new bull market. Expecting to hear more bad news is probably the more accurate sign of the next bull market starting.

Let’s say Europe and/or the US grow offshore wind generation measurably over the next decade or two. If so, and for some reason war breaks out, how difficult will it be for our enemies to knock out those wind turbines and undersea transmission cables?

The global economy is stumbling badly while most global central banks are raising interest rates because of inflation. How are higher interest rates going to fix an economic slow down?

Electricity costs are exploding while renewables like wind and solar make the electric grid infrastructure fragile. Fragility decreases reliability. To “solve” this problem, EV owners may eventually be told when they can and cannot charge their vehicles.

It appears wage growth is going to be highest for lower-paid jobs. This suggests that all manner of service prices are going to keep rising. Sounds like there’s going to be a lot more cooking at home.

I was wondering the other day when dogs and cats will begin to decide that their “assigned” gender roles are all messed up.

THE ECONOMIC VIEW

China’s exports are sputtering
When China slows, the world slows.

Consumer sentiment is terrible
Worse than during Covid lockdown.

Homes sold for below their list price
For the first time since March 2021.

A real estate crash
Seems headed for San Francisco.

THE INFLATION BOGEYMAN

Industrial metals prices are melting
Investors sense a recession.
Ocean shipping rates plunge 60%

No Labor Day auto deals this year
Will we always pay list price from now on?

The costs to grow food in the US
Are skyrocketing.

THE LABOR VIEW

Gallup looks at “quiet quitting”
What should the work-life balance be?

Strong wage growth prospects for 5-10 years
So suggests The Conference Board.
But wait, has wage growth stalled?

Workers will return to the office, right?
Data says don’t bank on it
Some Apple workers say no thanks

MEANWHILE IN EUROPE

After Germany’s Russian experience
They seek less dependence on China

Massive bankruptcies may be coming
To the UK, will Europe follow?
Europe may be in deep trouble

Energy’s windfall profits get taxed
May subsidize European energy costs.
Can they pay the $2T in rising costs?
As Russia shuts off Nord Stream gas
And gas prices explode
Here come the street protests

ECB hikes interest rates
Why hike rates when a recession is coming?

THE NEW ENERGY TRANSITION

The world is reaching a coal shortage
Drought forces China to burn more coal.

Can Africa grow without fossil fuels?
Africa needs more natural gas
Energy poverty affects hundreds of millions.

China and Philippines talk oil & gas
A joint effort to find more hydrocarbons.

PLAYING WITH FIRE

Russia is losing the war
The economic war, that is.

Mr. Putin is not happy.
He’s threatening the West even more

Russia wants Ukrainians to freeze
As they take big nuclear plant off the grid.

The G7 cap the price of Russian oil
You think Russia will find a work-around?

GLOBAL

Global economies are stalling out.
Except for India

India has built an aircraft carrier
Jump on in, the water’s “warming up.”

Iran nuclear deal off the table
According to Israel.
Iran forges ahead with nuke program

A NEW WORLD ORDER?

After years of growth
Democracy is now in decline

North Korea to help Russia
Will send workers to Ukraine.
China, Russia and Iran gang up on US

The supply chain transformation
Is already on its way.

THE FINANCE WORLD

The S&P “10” trade at a 24.7 PE
The S&P “490” trade at a 14.6 PE
Are those 490 stocks undervalued?

Junk bond defaults are rising
Not a good time for high leverage.

A market doomsday scenario
QT will suck liquidity out of the market.

TECHNOLOGY

How amazing is the iPhone?
Cool time series on iPhone revenue growth

Tech companies moving out of China
How will China react?

Looking for venture money?
Get ready to lower your valuation

THE CRYPTO MEME

Economist Paul Krugman hates crypto.
Here are some of his crypto quotes

If you’re a crypto investor
You want to avoid this scam

Can quantum computing destroy crypto?
And all things blockchain?

THE NEXT NORMAL

Pot and hallucinogens
Are very popular with young folk

Life post Covid returns to normal, mostly.
Except for people going into the office

Babies do good work in Japan
In nursing homes.

THE WAR ON CARBON

It’s all the steam engine’s fault
Check out this climate graph.

Europe burns wood for energy
And is destroying forests in the process.

Let’s bury carbon in the ground
Not so fast, say farmers and environmentalists.

THE EV DREAM

Chevy’s mainstream EV
Will hit the market soon.
Jeep’s offroad EVs coming soon, too

The US has the nickel needed for EVs
After we dig out 1,000 ft of dirt to get it.

Lithium prices go through the roof
EV prices will have to follow.
Projected EV demand not going to help here

THE CHINA SYNDROME

Visualizing China’s social credit system
They track you…all the time.
China can’t manage Covid well

Travel restrictions grow
Not good for their economy.

China lent money to emerging markets
Now they can’t pay China back.

MAKING A BETTER YOU

Small acts of kindness
Can have an enormous impact

Want a healthier heart?
Then laugh every single day.

The delights of mischief
All work and no fun…

HOW ABOUT A BREAK

What’s it like going on The Joe Rogan Experience?
A former guest gives the scoop.

Here’s the fall foliage prediction map
Best plan your trip now!

The universe has how many galaxies?
Way more than billions and billions.

SONG OF THE WEEK

“Go Your Way
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss in Austin.
Lyrics are poetry, you know.

VIDEOS OF THE WEEK

Netflix’s Blasted trailer
Bros and UFOs having Norway fun.

Windows 95 launch party
Check out Steve Balmer!

Tim Burton returns with Wednesday
Get his Adams Family take.

CASTING AROUND THE PODS

How to make the world a better place
Jordan Peterson talks with Bjørn Lomborg and Ralph Schoellhammer.

FROM THE HEADHUNTER’S KITCHEN

Steak tips, a Massachusetts speciality
Save this recipe!

The “evocado” is more environmentally friendly
Yuck!

Honey roasted squash with goodies
Sweet and savory yum.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Are We Heading into a Chip War?
September 2, 2022

Biden’s College Loan Cancellation to Cost $1 Trillion
August 26, 2022

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