Are Interest Rates Way Too Low?

June 24, 2022
Leyendecker Executive Search

June 24, 2022

When change happens in the world, you adjust to it.

Warren Buffett

THOUGHTS FROM DOUG

Remember, because of the base effect, official inflation data from Washington could fall in the next few months, but prices could still be painfully high to most people.

In 1981, when inflation was 10.8%, President Ronald Reagan deregulated oil and gas. In 1982, the inflation rate was 6.16%. By 1983, the inflation rate was 3.21%. Was it just Fed Chairman Paul Volker’s rate hikes that tamed 1970s inflation? Hmmm…

There have been 46 US presidents. That means today’s president represents a bit more than 2% of the country’s history. Maybe we shouldn’t take our presidents too seriously.

US greenhouse gas emissions have been coming down since 2005. Just sayin’.

The US is a very large country, with population centers all over the place. Getting goods moved across the country requires a large transportation network. Just look at all the 18 wheelers on the road. These truckers are key to the country’s supply chain. And in order for our country to operate efficiently, we need low transportation fuel prices.

Are we in the process of trading financial asset inflation for goods and services inflation? Financial asset inflation has been happening for over twenty years. So how long will goods and services inflation stick around?

Do you think the enormous amount of violence, sex, dysfunctional and dystopian narratives on television and in our movies has desensitized us and influenced our mental state? Is glamorizing deviant behavior and depressing storylines good for society?

Some people think retreating from wide-open globalization is a mistake. It will lead to higher inflation and lower economic growth, they say. Okay, so are we and our allies going to let Russia back into the global system? If not, then countries that choose to make trade alliances with Russia will also then be excluded from globalization, to the effect of shrinking globalization. Conclusion: There’s no going back. Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall and has cracked in too many pieces to be put back together again.

You can figure most anything out. All it takes is a little time and lots of desire.

THE ECONOMIC VIEW

Are housing prices about to drop?
Capital Economics thinks so
Existing home sale prices set record
Yet luxury home sales plunge
While “bubbliest” global housing markets are at risk

Interest rates may be way too low
According to a Fed monetary policy report.
Getting to new normal could be painful

Housing affordability collapses
Housing boom is petering out.
Here are the signs as to why

THE INFLATION BOGEYMAN 

Oil market will be tight for several years
Suggests Exxon’s CEO.
Gasoline prices could go much higher
Biden wants gas tax holiday
But Democrats maybe not on board

Producer prices up over 10%
This will trickle down to consumers.

Median rent in Manhattan skyrockets
More people moving there than pre pandemic

South Korean truckers strike
Is global labor wage-price inflation coming?

THE LABOR VIEW

How to get to the top
Wing it, wing it, wing it good.

Inflation-adjusted pay cuts
They’ve been happening for over a year.

Here come more robots
Replacing workers in factories
Replacing workers in warehouses

MEANWHILE IN EUROPE

Europe could be in big trouble soon
Is Russia about to cut off all gas?
Germany plans for rough road ahead

Dimitry Muratov is a stud!
Raises $103.5 MM for Ukrainian children.

UK rail workers strike
Macron wants to buy votes in France
Germany restarts coal-fired plants
Tough times in Europe these days.

PLAYING WITH FIRE

Russia bombing Ukrainians with propaganda
The weak link in Ukrainian support is France
Romanian grain harvest could be light
Might Belarus invade Ukraine?
Might Belarus invade Ukraine?
China may supply Russia with aircraft parts
Russia and China sign gas pipeline deal
China and India finance Russia’s war effort
Is gas rationing coming to Europe?
EU may have another round of sanctions
China is now Russia’s top oil buyer
India supports Russian oil
The ruble is performing magnificently
Who hit Russian refinery with drones?
Russia attacks Ukraine’s food infrastructure Russia attacks
Ukraine’s food infrastructure
Russia escalates cyber attacks on the West
Britain introduces new sanctions
Ukraine could be in EU soon

GLOBAL

Global unhappiness soars
All will be better with more tech, right?

What are global central banks doing?
Raising rates while economies stumble?

Latin American politics in disarray
Anti-establishment rise destroys the center.

THE FINANCE WORLD

We’re in the golden age of global fraud
Is the world too complicated to manage?

Bear markets and their recovery
How does today’s market compare?

Junk bond spreads getting wide
Are defaults coming?

Historical mortgage rate graph
Great info. Not comforting.

THE CRYPTO MEME

Tether, another stablecoin
Doesn’t look very stable
Oh Tether, please don’t collapse
Dominoes may be about to fall

Hackers, fraudsters and drug lords
They all love crypto.
Crypto scams cost people $1B in 2021
Not much different in NFT land

TECHNOLOGY

Can we fix social media?
Maybe here’s how

Smarter AI will change creativity
A great promise or great peril?

Is the internet making life easier?
Or did our grandparents have it better?

THE NEXT NORMAL   

Belief in God dips to new low
Mental health problems are on the rise
As social media changes our brain
Do we have a new pandemic?

Can Mark Cuban save Medicare billions?
If so, let’s get on with it ASAP.

Here comes the teacher crisis
There’s not enough of them, supposedly.

THE WAR ON CARBON

Carbon removal is now essential
Gotta do more than eliminate oil and gas.

Fusion energy
Is just not happening soon
Yet Seattle startup keeps trying

Is lithium a toxic substance?
Europe is mulling this over.

THE CHINA SYNDROME

China’s “very dangerous trajectory”
Xi becoming less pragmatic and more erratic.

China starts to put screws in Taiwan
Targeting specific industries one at a time?

China wants to censor all social media
You can only post what Beijing approves.

THE WASHING-TONE

Nicotine may soon be banned
Will fat and sugar be next?

Imports from China could take a hit
Due to a new law banning goods made by forced labor.

Is racial equity the next Fed mandate?
Fed mandate? Huh?

Tax refunds could take several more months
Do Democrats want to win any elections?

Supreme Court supports religious schools
So states may have to support them, too.

Debating climate change
Could soon be disinformation

Online privacy bill on the way
Will this hurt tech profits?

MAKING A BETTER YOU

Are you exercising too much?
Can that be possible?

How to feel better naked
Well…ah…what can I say?

Choose enjoyment over pleasure
Enjoyment creates more happiness.

HOW ABOUT A BREAK

How animals see the world
Well…it ain’t like us.

The ten best hikes in the US
Bring along some Band-Aids.

The best ice cream in every state
It’s summer time!!!

SONG OF THE WEEK

God Only Knows”
The Beach Boys
Brian Wilson just turned 80.
Lyrics

VIDEOS OF THE WEEK

Cha Cha Real Smooth trailer
25-year-old Dallas guy directs second film.

Yunchan Yim wins Van Cliburn piano award
With amazing performance

Here comes the solar-powered car
44 miles a day at $280K

CASTING AROUND THE PODS

Inflation’s Revenge
Risk Talking’s Allison Schrager with Mickey Levy.

FROM THE HEADHUNTER’S KITCHEN

You can’t wait for your first “air steak”
Pulling carbon from the air. Yammy!

Grilling cheese is highly underrated
That’s grilling cheese, not grilled cheese.

Want to make homemade ice cream?
Get one of these

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The Leyendecker View: Energy Regulation Could Totally Change
June 17, 2022

The Leyendecker View: Does Government Debt Even Matter?
June 10, 2022

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