09/12/18

Attitude = Altitude

How high you go in life sometimes is created by your attitude, your confidence. Economies have similar linkages.

How confident, how optimistic is American small business – the engine of new job creation in the US – today?

Turns out they’re very confident, very optimistic.

The National Federation of Independent Business has been tracking the optimism of its members for a long time, seventy-five years. They are the voice of small business.

Monthly, they survey their owners to gauge business sentiment.

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09/12/18

Jobs USA

Big Red Car here with a prayer on my lips for the Carolinas and the impending Florence hurricane. Evacuate if y’all are along that coast. Do not risk your life to ride it out.

So, one of the most interesting elements of the current economy is the status of jobs and job openings. Unfortunately, we do not have sufficient data to track this back through prior business cycles because the data was simply not collected back in the day.

There are four data points of interest:

 1. Job openings – positions for which a company is seeking an immediate hire

 2. Hires – former job openings for which a company made a hire

 3. Quits – current employees who voluntarily left a job with a company

 4. Layoffs and discharges – company terminated jobs and firings

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09/7/18

Tesla Talk – Elon Musk

The Big Red Car is a fan of Tesla, the idea of a new kind of electric car is exciting. It has been a “thing” for a decade. The BRC is, however, skeptical of the leadership of Tesla, specifically Elon Musk.

Image result for images elon musk smoking weed

Tesla CEO Elon Musk smoking a perfectly legal joint while being interviewed by Joe Rogan for a podcast. Rogan offered the joint to Musk after saying he had rolled the weed in tobacco leaves. Asked how often he partakes, Musk said, “Almost never.” Prior to this, Musk and Rogan had been chatting while enjoying some Old Camp on the rocks. They discussed expensive cars, watches, the dangers of artificial intelligence, space travel, terra-farming on Mars, and weed. The interview started at 9:30 PM and lasted until 12:15 AM.

Is it possible to be a fan of a product and a skeptic of a company? Concerned about the stability of a CEO? Apparently.

Several odd things have caught my Big Red eye.

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09/6/18

RH – Restoration Hardware, Swimming Upstream

I am always interested in turnaround stories and in companies who are swimming upstream. Such a company is Restoration Hardware.

Restoration Hardware has been public since November 2012 and had been owned by PE firms in the past. I love them for their enormous couches because I am an enormous Chevy Impala and like to lounge on a big couch.

This is a damn big couch. You can get any of their leather couches in a 10 foot length.

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09/5/18

Nike – Social Justice Warriors

So, I have long given up on the National Football League and, of course, it’s college football season, so who needs them?

Turns out Nike does and made the fallen angel Colin Kaepernick the centerpiece of their 30th anniversary “Just do it!” advertising campaign.

Image result for nike logo images

Doesn’t impact me – well, other than I am not buying any Nike stuff, but I’m a long time vintage Adidas guy anyway.

So, I got interested in what other social justice things Mighty Nike was involved in and, WOW, did I find out some troubling stuff.

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09/4/18

Tired – That Special Kind of Tired

Big Red Car here with the Labor Day holiday in the rear view mirror. Rained all day in the ATX, but we love our September rains. Bring. Them. On.

Got me thinking about the number of times I’d worked hard and ended up bone crushingly tired.

It was a special kind of tired.

I wish that every man and woman in the United States could experience that phenomenon. Good hard back breaking work followed by a paralyzing level of tired. It gives a person worth.

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09/3/18

Accidental War With Iran

Big Red Car here on Labor Day thinking about a weird topic – accidental war with Iran.

The reason I am thinking about this is a recent threat I have seen in several Middle East periodicals suggesting that Iran will close off the Straits of Hormuz if the US imposes sanctions on the sale of Iranian oil.

The US has already begun to impose sanctions on Iran as of early August with another round of sanctions to hit in November of this year. The November sanctions will include sanctions on Iranian oil.

Image result for images iran navy

Small rocket-equipped Iranian vessels practicing attacking shipping in the Straits of Hormuz. The Iranians have a large number of such vessels and might achieve the element of tactical surprise in their first such attack.

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