Saturday, February 29, 2020

There's No 'There' There

Why will this stock market slide be really bad?  The entire rest of the economy is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

Name an economic indicator that's not the Stock market.

Deficit - Worse
Inflation - Worse
Consumer Prices - Worse
Wage growth - Worse
Personal debt - Worse
Housing market - Worse
Treasury bonds - Worse
Energy Sector - Worse
Retail Sales - Worse
GDP - Worse
Manufacturing - Worse
Consumer Spending - Worse
Retirement - Worse
Trade - Worse
Currency - Worse
Employment - Even, but it can only get worse and the jobs being created for the last two years are almost all low wage/low skill

There's no 'there' there!  Behind the stock markets is a red herring.  The record levels for stocks were achieved by a fraudulent Trump tax bill, in reality a massive handout of US Taxpayer dollars to wealthy people and corporations.  They used a lot of this money not to create jobs and expand businesses, but to buy back their own stock.  They saw the rest of the economic indicators, so to give themselves a buffer they bought back their own stocks, adding value, in turn driving up the markets.

Corporate America was waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Something would eventually scare Americans away from the stock market.  Enter the CoronaVirus.  CoronaVirus is deadly, but the real danger to America is what this disease could do to our economy, an economy driven by consumerism.  People not shopping.  People not eating out.  People not traveling.  This is not 1950's America with a strong backbone of manufacturing.  Those manufacturing jobs were eagerly shipped off to China so the executive class could make millions instead of hundreds of thousands.  Today, we're an economy driven by personality.  The hottest style, latest fashions, desired restaurants and coolest gadgets; if people stop buying the US brand, we're doomed.

CoronaVirus also has another economy crippling effect.  Eighty percent of the people infected with CoronaVirus get a mild version of the virus, but it still takes 2 to 6 weeks to recover.  Two to Six weeks!!!  This country can't survive 10% of its workforce being sidelined for a month.  Most Americans live check to check so a non-paid month will drain ever bit of charity America has, and quickly!

We are definitely headed for a recession, but there's a clear potential for a major economic depression.  Why?  The Ag Sector is in shambles due to Trump's unnecessary trade war.

The Great Depression didn't start off as a depression.  It was a recession, but then something extraordinary happened.  There were major crop failures in 1930, and then again in 31, 32, 33, 34.  There was an extended nationwide drought (the Dust Bowl), something no one thought could happen.  The Ag Sector before the Dust Bowl was economically stronger then it is today, but no one had even though of doing a model of what would happen if the entire sector went down for multiple years.  With no faith in corporate investments, and the Ag suffering the worse crisis in its history, the country entered a depression.

The entire Ag sector today is a mess.  Trump's trade war killed off markets, with some damaged for decades.  Farm Bankruptcies are near record highs.  Farm foreclosures are up.  Crop prices are stalled.  And with the added weather problems we've had for the last few years (a weather pattern forecast to continue for the near future), there's limited hope the Ag Sector can brace Wall Streets fall.

The financial experts at CNBC and Fox Business were screaming Buy Buy Buy at the beginning of the week.  By the end of the week, they were lashing out against "wussy" investors afraid of a few down stocks.  They see where this is going and they're trying to bully investors back into the markets.

CoronaVirus in America is getting worse by the second and patient zero is the US economy.  It's currently in a hospital bed listening to its vital signs get worse. And as of right now, there doesn't seem to be anything which can cure the patient.

Friday, February 28, 2020

The Friday Link for 2/28/20

Leap Year Fever!  Catch it!...well technically we probably can describe Coronavirus as 'Leap Year Fever' and you probably shouldn't catch that...

Why Leap year? Watch Mojo has a nice little breakdown for you:

For the rest of this week, a few unrelated clips, starting with My Cartoon President continuing their brilliant takedown of the Democratic Debates.

A SHOCKING end to an Antiques Roadshow segment with an official set mock up of the Ark of the Covenant from the "Raiders of the Lost Ark."  Remember, it's made of picture frames, trophies, glue guns decoration and spray paint.

And finally this week, Jim Gaffigan, the funniest man in America today, talking about drinking and bars.

Have a great Leap Day February 29th!  And have a great weekend.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Blue State Ball 2020

It's time for my annual recap of the fun we had at my radio station's (AM950 KTNF) annual big get together, The Blue State Ball!

This year we were in NE Minneapolis at Bauhaus Brew Labs.  I do not drink, but I did hear from many people that the beer was amazing!  Check them out!

Our national host this year was a crowd favorite.  Thom Hartmann flew in from the west coast!

By the way, that grinning idiot on the left is me.  We had the station staff there including all the producers and front office people.

That last guy is the owner of the station, Chad.  Our main speaker was the US House Representative from the MN-05, Ilhan Omar.  

She was so amazing.  Such a kind caring person.  She talked about Minnesota joy!  
After her we had an outstanding showing of Minnesota politicians.  

State Auditor Julie Blaha

Minnesota Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent

Hennepin County Sheriff Hutch! 

Plus two of my favorite soon to be Minnesota state Senators, Lindsey Port and Mary Kunesh-Podein!

Thom tore it up on stage! 

The surrogates for the Presidential candidates, including the Speaker of the Minnesota House Melissa Hortman and State Senator John Marty! 

It wouldn't be a Blue State Ball without the station founders, Janet Robert and Bill Luther!

They let this idiot on the stage.

I love how that last photo makes me look like a money noticing something in the crowd that scares me.  We had a lot of the weekend shows and great music as well! 

And of course the listeners. 

It was very cool to have it on a Sunday afternoon this year.  
The recurring theme was how this year, 2020, was going to be a huge year!  Get ready to work people!  We have so much to do!