12/6/19

The Numbers — The Trump Economy

It does not matter whether you love or hate President Trump, the economy is not influenced by your individual feelings or emotions.

Nancy Pelosi, who does not hate President Trump and who is a great Catholic, is praying for the economy and President Trump. [President Trump is praying for her also. The Big Red Car is praying for both of them though not at the same time.]

Here she is with that powerful pointer finger of hers. Looks great for 80, no?

The economy is impacted by policy coming out of Washington and since early 2017, that policy has been guided by President Trump.

Today, we learned that unemployment has dipped to the lowest level in half a century — 3.5%. The US created more than 266,000 jobs in November 2019. Hello, America!

This has to be the best labor market in a century.

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12/3/19

Medical Pricing Transparency

When we think of medical treatment, we rarely think of competitive bidding, but that concept is as applicable to medicine as it is to construction. Pricing transparency, anyone?

The Trump admin did something to make the price of medical treatment more competitive, by issuing new rules via an Executive Order.

Trump explains pricing transparency.

The new rule that impacts healthcare pricing transparency the most is:

Calendar Year 2020 Outpatient Prospective Payment System and Ambulatory Surgical Center Price Transparency Requirements for Hospitals to Make Standard Charges Public.

Who makes up these names?

By way of background, hospitals and healthcare providers do, in fact, publish lists of what they charge for various treatments and procedures. The problem is that they are not the same prices they charge to insurance companies. They are hugely inflated. They are difficult to obtain.

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09/19/19

Amazon Hiring

Big Red Car here on a rainy day along the Houston coast. They are saying Houston might get TWO FEET of rain. Wow!

So, Amazon has been holding a hiring extravaganza. They held a multi-city job fair on 17 September 2019 in Arlington, Boston, Nashville, Dallas, Chicago, and Seattle. This is where the job fair is being held, but the jobs are all over the country.

Young lady pointed out to me that the “a” and the “z” on the logo are connected by the arrow ’cause Amazon will sell you whatever the heck you want from A >>>> Z. OK?

You will note that they did not hold a job fair in Long Island City because the local Dem politicians ran Amazon and its proposed HQ2 off. That ended up with places like Austin By God Texas and the places noted above getting more of the hiring tasking.

You may credit the savant Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for that move. Well played, AOC. Who needs those stinking jobs, eh?

Yeah, I did that. Ran off those 25,000 Long Island City Amazon jobs. Me. Green New Deal rules! (Notice I have my “smart girl” glasses on.)

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09/6/19

Apple Bonds — Making Applesauce

Beautiful day in the lovely city of Atlanta enroute back to Savannah from whence I fled Dorian the Hurricane Monster. It was a pleasant diversion with one of the highlights being the Georgia Aquarium, a recommendation from a pal/reader. Great recommendation.

So, Apple has just sold some corporate bonds. Corporate bond yields are trending down with the general flight from equities into bonds. But, Apple doesn’t pay general corporate bond yield prices — about 6% for others.

No, sir.

Apple placed $7B of 3 to 30 year maturities at very tight spreads above Treasuries. They had intended to place $3-4B, but the book grew so quickly (more than $25B in offers to buy Apple bonds), they went with the bigger number.

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09/3/19

Tariffs — The Tariffs Are Working

A lot of folks whose opinions I respect have been saying that the Trump admin tariffs against China will simply impact our lives in the form of increased prices.

I have maintained otherwise. I have consistently said the imposition of tariffs will create structural changes in the way American importers source and deliver goods to the US economy; and, they will change the way individuals buy/boycott Chinese goods.

As a personal example, I no longer buy any Chinese goods. None. I check everything to see where it was made. Made in China? Adios!

Now, we are seeing the truth of that. I was right. <<< Obnoxious utterance ALERT!

Allow me to rub your nose in it, may I, please?

Comes now the story of the American dollar store industry in the specific exemplars of Dollar General and Dollar Tree who were literally created by their ability to access low cost foreign made goods and to sell them to a slice of America who not only wants a bargain, but desperately needs one.

These stores are ground zero when it comes to selling foreign sourced goods. They are the canary in the mine shaft. The canary has begun to sing.

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05/31/19

Mexican Tariffs

We woke up today to find out that Free Range, Free Trading, Fair Trading President Trump had imposed a 5% tariff on Mexican goods imported into the United States that will grow to 25%. We imported almost $400,000,000,000 of Mexican goods into the US in 2018.

Do the math — 5% equals $20,000,000,000 while 25% equals $100,000,000,000 in tariff revenue.

I have one thing to say — “What took you so damn long?”

Related image

I will spare you the factual basis for why the US should punish Mexico other than to say that Mexico is the launching pad for illegal immigration into the United States.

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05/28/19

Tariffs Fallout

Everybody is an expert on tariffs, right? We talked about them when we discussed the Canadian Softwoods Lumber Tariffs and how it worked to American advantage. I’ll put a link at the bottom of this blog post.

Here’s some good news — Fiat Chrysler is going to build one of the largest automobile production facilities in the US joining other foreign manufacturers who are making huge investments in the Carolinas (talking to you, BMW and Mercedes).

This new plant has a price tag of $1.6B and will be accompanied by a $0.9B expansion of an adjoining facility.

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