05/14/24

Joe Biden’s Chinese Tariffs — I Approve This Action

I usually disagree with all of Joe Biden’s economic policies which is the reason I am caught so off guard by one that I approve of: tariffs on a range of Chinese goods.

Chinese – US trade has grown substantially since the 2001 inclusion of China in the World Trade Organization, a strategic blunder in my view as it has primarily benefited China at the expense of the US.

In that admission, the Chinese agreed to market access to China for foreign manufacturers, protections for intellectual property, and transparency around trade laws and regulations. None of this materialized.

BTW, the US has only had “normalized” relations with the People’s Republic of China, the Red Chinese, the Communists, since 1979. Continue reading

04/25/24

Non-Competes Are Dead?

Comes now the Federal Trade Commission with a new self-generated rule (meaning not the result of Congressional legislation) killing non-competes in the workplace except for senior employees making more than $151,164 — no idea what that number comes from — and who are part of the employers’ policy making process.

This has been brewing for a long time. Continue reading

01/22/24

The Digital Devils Of Davos I

If you were left off the invite list for Davos this year, I can empathize with you. I was invited, but, alas,  I had to babysit my three granddaughters and my jet was in the shop. Again.

Not to fret, Taylor Swift wasn’t invited and she was the Time Person of the Year 2023. So, you’re in good company, mate. BTW, did you know Swiftie was also the Time POY in 2017? Why?

WTF is Davos, Big Red Car?

Continue reading

06/27/23

American Trade: Friendshoring, Nearshoring, Onshoring

The American trade scene and supply chains, in particular, were rocked by the intrusion of The Great Pandemic, the War in Ukraine, the future War in Taiwan, worldwide political upheaval, and an increasingly prudent and muscular trade nationalism.

Two of those things — The Great Pandemic and the Ukraine War — were unwelcome surprises.

OK, maybe “muscular trade nationalism” is a little strong, but you get the drift.

What does American trade look like, Big Red Car?

Here is what American trade looks like today (click on it to make it readable):

Continue reading

03/15/23

Silicon Valley Bank — Losers, Winners, Saints, Sinners

In the sordid saga of Silicon Valley Bank who are the losers, winners, saints, and sinners?

Losers

 1. The management who all rightfully were fired for their gross incompetence. Particular note of CEO Gary Becker who really blew it.

 2. The incompetent Board of Directors who failed to provide even a modicum of actual oversight.

 3. The shareholders who owned the now worthless stock.

 4. A goodly number of the employees who will lose their jobs in the latchup that follows hereafter.

 5. The real estate lessors who leased space to SVB. All those leases will be cancelled in bankruptcy or insolvency.

 6. The plethora of vendors who provided services to SVB who will now never be paid because of the bankruptcy. Continue reading

11/18/22

Hold On On That Victory Lap, Amigo

So the Biden White House put on their jogging shoes and took a victory lap last week because “. . . IT IS WORKING!”

“It” is, of course, the admin’s brilliant inflation reduction plan – a highly secret document, apparently – that resulted in PPI (Producer Price Index – the price of things on the manufacturers’ dock before it arrives at the consumer) “falling” from 8.4% in September 2022 to 8.0% in October.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, right?

Continue reading

11/10/22

A Short Primer on Inflation

The markets were gaga today with an inflation report of 7.7% (annual rate) down from 8.2% the prior month (40-year high) and a monthly rate of 0.4%.

Those are the numbers, but folks seem unable to understand how they apply. So, please allow me to provide an example.

 1. Suppose a year ago, a dozen eggs cost $2.00. With me? Continue reading

10/18/22

Housing – The Canary In The Coal Mine

The other day I used the above phrase — the canary in the coal mine — and a person said, “What does that mean?”

Canary in a cage with an oxygen bottle resuscitator. Real life thing.

Miners carried canaries in special cages into the depths of underground coal mines because the canary was more sensitive than humans to deadly gases like carbon monoxide.

If the canary died, then the miners hauled ass and, hopefully, revived the canary. Continue reading