16 March 2020

1) Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft is stepping down from the company’s board of directors, which makes it the biggest boardroom departure in the tech industry, since the death of Apple’s Steve Jobs. Additionally, Mr. Gates is vacating his board seat at Berkshire Hathaway Inc., intending to devote his time to his philanthropic efforts. He will continue serving as a technical advisor to Microsoft.

2) Oil prices climbed up 5% on the announcement by President Trump that the Department of Energy would purchase crude for the nations’ strategic petroleum reserve. The objective is to boost oil prices to keep shale producers in business, because oil needs to be $40 or more a barrel to break even, depending on the particulars of an oil field. The shale oil companies are further in trouble because they are carrying a high debt level. Shale oil production is very capital intensive and therefore very sensitive to oil prices if companies aren’t to go bankrupt. Some suggest that the Russians engineered the rupture of the Saudi Arabia – Russian agreement to limit production levels as a means to cripple the U.S. shale oil production and thereby make America dependent on foreign oil again.

3) President Trump and the Congress have agreed on several provisions of a package, but have been far apart on others. Their discussions center on ways to minimize the economic impact of the coronavirus fears. One point is to ensure that every American can receive a virus test without consideration of money.

4) Stock market closings for – 13 MAR 20:

Dow 23,185.62 up 1985.00
Nasdaq 7,874.88 up 673.07
S&P 500 2,711.02 up 230.38
10 Year Yield: up at 0.95%
Oil: up at $32.93

13 February 2020

1) NASA (National Air and Space Administration) has asked for a 12% increase to give a $25.2 billion dollar budget for next year. Nearly half of this years proposed budget is for NASA’s lunar project with much of the money going to the biggest American space companies. Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Aerojet Rocketdyne will be the primary beneficiaries with $1.4 billion dollars going to the Orion spacecraft and $2.26 billion dollars for the Space Launch System. There is $3.37 billion dollars proposed to fund a crewed lunar lander system.

2) Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell suggest that the central bank may not have the ability to fight the next recession and therefore Congress may need to get ready to help. This is a result of the already low interest rate, one of the prime tools used by the central bank to counter recession trends. Tax cuts and government spending increases may be necessary to fight a downturn, for there is little else the central bank has to counter a recession.

3) The giant aircraft maker Boeing Aircraft is facing bigger problems than just fixing its 737MAX and getting it certified to fly. The company needs to be focused on its next generation of passenger aircraft. Boeing didn’t get any new orders for aircraft in January compared with 45 orders last year, while delivering 13 airliners compared with 46 last January. Boeing is falling behind its rival Airbus and must build its next generation of planes to remain competitive. This means getting its 777X finished and ready for delivery with its other wide body plane, the 787 Dreamliner. In the background is a possible new design concept the 797.

4) Stock market closings for – 12 FEB 20:

Dow 29,551.42 up 275.08
Nasdaq 9,725.96 up 87.02
S&P 500 3,379.45 up 21.70

10 Year Yield: up at 1.63%

Oil: up at $51.69

4 March 2019

1) Early estimates for the cost of the left’s proposed Green New Deal are $93 trillion dollars, an amount that is four times the present National Debt. This translates into about $650,000 dollars for each person in America. The present National Debt is $22 trillion dollars, with many fearing the debt is already a danger for America’s future viability. The study also refuted claims of the Green New Deal being an investment in America’s future, that the savings would pale in comparison to investment.

2) Lyft, a ride sharing app much like Uber, has filed for an IPO. Some are claiming we’re in an end game for automobiles, that car ownership is on the decline. Car ownership is becoming too expensive for people, so it is shifting from private car ownership to ‘Transportation as a Service’ spurred by the upcoming self driving cars.

3) Congress will soon be facing the budget problem again. With the National Debt now at $22 trillion dollars and the debt ceiling reinstated this last Saturday, this promises to be another major contentious issue for the congress to fight over. Estimates are that the US will add another $12.2 trillion dollars in the next ten years.

4) 1 MAR 19 Stock market closings:

Dow                 26,026.32    up    110.32
Nasdaq             7,595.35    up      62.82
S&P 500            2,803.69    up      19.20

10 Year Yield:    up   at    2.76%

Oil: down    at    $55.75

22 January 2019

1) The new Congress may have profound future economic impact for America. New members of the Financial Services Committee includes members of the radical left of the democratic party, with very little experience in fiscal matters, but having a strong socialist agenda for reforms to the banking system. Fears for the impact are growing as these members expound on their desire to eliminate big banks in America.

2) Brexit is having an effect on British consumer spending. Reduce retail spending with retail sales falling 0.9% over concerns for consequence of Brexit uncertainty. Consumer spending had been strong during the summer of 2018.

3) Netflix is burning through its cash at a staggering rate to pay for their blockbuster original hits, having spent $3 billion dollars for productions in 2018. Their negative cash flow is expected to accelerate in 2019, but they are still adding new subscribers. All this to remain competitive with the other subscribers of Amazon, Hulu and Google with Apple, Disney and Warner Media also entering the market.

4) 18 JAN 19 Stock market closings:    China announced spending spree of America products, bumping the markets upward.

Dow                    24,706.35      up    336.25
Nasdaq                 7,157.23      up      72.77
S&P 500                2,670.71      up      34.75

10 Year Yield:    up   at   2.78%

Oil:      down   at    $53.76

LATEST TRADE WARS: MEXICO IMPOSES TARIFFS ON U.S. IMPORTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By: Economic & Finance Report

Mexico has imposed tariffs on American imports such as pork, apples, grapes, cheese and steel. This is in connection to the tariffs President Trump imposed on steel and aluminum, which affects NAFTA countries Mexico and Canada.

The effects will alter the relationship on NAFTA; one which President Trump has already expressed is in unfair to American workers. He has stated he either wants to renegotiate a fair agreement amongst the NAFTA countries (USA, Canada, Mexico) or independently negotiate with Canada and Mexico, as  separate individual countries. Mexico and Canada have both denounced such a proposal by Trump.

This is coming at a critical time for NAFTA, as Mexico gears for presidential elections on July 1, 2018 and US congressional midterm elections are in November 2018. -SB

 

T-MOBILE & SPRINT MERGER ON THE HORIZON, IT DEPENDS ON WHO U ASK?

By Economic & Finance Report

It seems that two cell phone providers are seeking to merge in a global partnership. It has been noted that T-Mobile and Sprint are mergering to form a super cell phone network; which will then in place only bring about three top cell phone providers internationally.

The new company will be called T-Mobile. The deal is worth around $26.5 billion and values estimates the alliance to be worth around $150 billion after completion.

The merger can expect tough regulatory hearings on the formation of the partnership, especially by Chairman Ajit’s FCC, and select congressional committees.

Many analysts see the merger approving between 50%-60%, in passing regulatory approval. They also indicate the stakes are higher for Sprint then they are for T-Mobile, for regulatory approval. -SB

 

CVS BUYING HEALTHCARE GIANT AETNA…

By: Economic & Finance Report

Pharmacy giant CVS is buying the third biggest healthcare company, Aetna for a reported $69 billion dollar deal, which includes cash and stock options.

This deal is coming to fruition just in time as the Senate and US House Reps each passed their version of the tax reform bill, now the two versions will go into conference with negotiators from both chambers. The end bill looks like it will be touching President Trump’s desk before Christmas, for his signature into law.

Both CVS and Aetna are power houses in their respective industries and business sectors. CVS beong one of the biggest retail and pharmaceutical chains in the US and Aetna being in the top 3, in the healthcare industry. Both companies have indicated that the merger makes sense because the consumer(s) will be the ultimate winners from the deal because they will be paying a lot less and saving alot more for medical prescription drugs in the US. -SB

TENSEGRITY STRUCTURE: A Simple Stick and Thread Model of a Structure Formed Solely by Tensions Shows Millennials What They Must Have!!!!!!!!!!

By: James Lyman BSAE, BSEE, MSSM

Economic & Finance Report

A tensegrity structure is a structure held together solely by the tensions of connecting strings or cables, held erect without any physical connections of the structure members themselves. Only by the actions of tension can the structure exist. So you might ask, “So who cares about tension structures? What does that have to do with my problems as a millennial?” Well, the answer is— because a tension structure is an excellent model of how a modern government functions . . . what a modern government must have if it is to be effective in addressing the problems facing the people. The simple stick and thread model on the left side of the picture represents what the structure of a modern government must be in order to be functional.

Looking more closely at the left side we see the three sticks colored red, white and blue, standing erect without being directly connected to each other. There is about a half inch gap between each stick where they cross over in the center. Only the silver color threads connecting the sticks, are holding them together by being in tension with each other, thus defying gravity so they remain standing. It should be apparent by simple inspection, that if the strings are cut, the structure would collapsed, and looking at the bottom right of the picture, we see scissors posed to cut two of those threads. When those threads are snipped, the structure immediately, and without any further action, collapses into a heap, as seen on the upper right portion of the picture, no longer able to stand on its own.

So now the question is, which side of the picture represents our present government? Well, on the day of his retirement from Congress, Speaker Tip O’Neill stood on the steps of the Capital and warned about the new generation of politicians, what he called ‘sound biters’, who were very skilled at using the news media for their political careers … and very little else. Despite his warnings, over the years, the Congress has slowly filled up with those sound biters leaving a domestic government unable to address any problems what so ever, whose only method of solving problems is to try and ‘spin’ everything towards what their constituents want to hear. This has spread to the other organs of the governments where now the paid government employees address problems they are charged with by spinning … by using the proverbial ‘smoke and mirrors’ to create an image that problems are being solved.

The real consequences of the influx of these sound biters was the breaking of those tension members which held the government up, as the sound biters struggled to cope with problems which they’re so ill equipped to handle. In frustration, they sought to weaken and circumvent the tension members, the checks and balances of our government, thereby cutting the threads. Just like the model above, the structure of the modern government has collapsed to become completely ineffectual. Our wonderful government that, over two centuries, has done so many wondrous things to America is now the heap of sticks shown in the upper right portion of the above figure.

And all this at a time when millennials face increasing problems and troubles. Because of the job displacement by technology, coupled with increasing difficulties of keeping individuals in an advance technology society, the millennials very much need the governments (note plural) to be working the problems they face. They very much need functioning governments if they are to have any sort of a future at all. But with the lost of the balance from tensions required for a modern government to function, the youth of America are left with nothing to help them as their world slowly, but surely crumbles and they are left out.

Those strings of tension that hold a modern government upright and functioning, have been cut by the application of mass marketing and mass media technologies to our political system- the same exact technologies used to sell tampons, hemorrhoid salves, laxatives and toilet paper. So it should come as no surprise why we keep getting tampon presidents, hemorrhoid ointment vice-presidents, laxative senators and toilet paper congressmen. To restore the balance to our government, we need such things as a line item veto, term limiting and limiting outsiders from participating in other people’s elections. The Congress must regain control of the vast government bureaucracy of federal employees, if they are to govern domestic America as the Constitution intended. The vast amounts of monies now used in the political system must be limited, if the ‘sound biters’ that Tip O’Neill tried to warn us about, are to be driven out of Washington and our modern government restore to functionality.

 

The tensegrity structure is what every millennial must know to really understand how a modern government really works.

 

PREZ of RICHMOND FED RESERVE BANK RESIGNS AFTER SCANDAL EMERGENCE……………..

By: Economic & Finance Report

 Former Fed President of Richmond’s Federal Reserve Bank, Jeffrey Lacker has resigned today; effective immediately. Richmond’s Federal Reserve Bank  had issued a statement about the resignation of Lacker.  The head of Richmond’s Federal Reserve, Mr. Jeffrey Lacker had improper discussions with a financial analyst from Medley Global Advisors, on “confidential information” relating to Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy.

There was an ongoing investigation that the Federal Reserve Inspector General, Mark Bialek just concluded. No charges will be brought on Mr. Lacker, but he has lost his job as Richmond’s Federal Reserve point man.  Mr. Bialek’s investigation started in 2012, when information of  private Federal Reserve information had leaked.

Many members of the US Congress have been critical on the prudence of the  US Federal Reserve, and this episode certainly adds fuel to the fire, members in Congress have stated on numerous occasions that there is a lack of transparency; within the Federal Reserve’s fiscal policies and initiatives. -SB