Showing posts with label Economy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Economy. Show all posts

August 17, 2021

Disastrous Politics

This Afghan withdrawal and the Taliban overrunning the country is a complete fiasco. 

- 20 years of blood and treasure: $2,000,000,000,000, and 2,500 lost US military personal and G-d knows how many casualties (oh, about another 20,000)!

Now complete and utter chaos, and a turnover to terrorism.

Reminiscent of Iran's overthrow of the Shah and the U.S. hostage crisis for 444 days and when we lost Vietnam and the helicopters frantically evacuating US embassy personnel from the rooftop. 

BTW, what happened to our "Red Lines" on chemical weapons in Syria?

Where are our inherent values and the dependability of who we are and what we stand for?

Now we are once again emboldening Iran, North Korea, China, and Russia. 

Moreover, US Admiral says China is within 6 years of potentially taking Taiwan (guess where most of the computer chips are made and we already have a shortage)!!!

On top of this we have the Delta variant of Covid (and fears of worse coming) for this 1.5 year long pandemic with the CDC mask on again/off again non-sensical guidance. 

Then we have a $1,200,000,000,000 infrastructure bill and a $3,500,000,000,000 social welfare bill in the works to put on top of the US already almost $29,000,000,0000,000 national debt

Any ideas what that will do to the value of the US currency in the world and inflation rearing its ugly head.

I am starting to see a run on food and home stables in the stores again with items sold out.

Consumer confidence is shaking and the stock market is teetering off at a very high precipice. 

Oh, don't forget the border crisis which is getting out of control again. 

What the F*** is going on here?  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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April 27, 2021

Motif For The U.S. Economy


This seems like it could be a major theme of the U.S. economy. 

"Buy Now, Pay Later!"

And then...

"Foreclosure"

You can't borrow infinitely.

It eventually has to be repaid. 

Where will the money come from?  

Print more.

Worth less!  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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February 12, 2021

Forecast 2021 By Andy Blumenthal




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September 22, 2020

Much To Be Afraid Of

Life size scary-looking Jack In The Box at Home Depot. 

When this clown dude pops out, you'll sh*t your pants. 

And who really wants to be more scared in this world anyway?

With Covid, Cancer, Corruption, Cyber Attacks, Identity Theft, Radicalism, Terrorism, War, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Loss and Death, Environmental issues, and the Economy don't we have enough to be afraid of already?  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 12, 2020

IMHO Warning: Stock Market MAJOR Correction Imminent

I went to the mall today.

This is a few weeks into reopening phase 2!

I expected people would have pent up demand and be swarming the stores even while keeping their social distance.

They weren't at the mall! 

The stores were nearly void of people.

The shelves were virtually empty of goods.

Whatever merchandise there was seemed to marked "sale, sale, sale" even on the already deeply-discounted clearance items.

It was completely frightening--like the economy is dead or on severe life support!

Most stores had 3 or more associates standing around or sitting twiddling their thumbs.

This while the stock market keeps ticking up and the NASDAQ is reaching new highs almost daily.

Coronavirus is surging again across much of the U.S. and there is almost 140,000 dead in the U.S. after just 5 months even though much of the population was in self-quarantine.

The economy looks to me in sh*t shape, despite the U.S. pumping $3 trillion dollars more of debt to artificially prop up the economy and the fed lending out money at super low rates.

It makes NO sense for the market to be hitting all time highs as if everything is all roses when the economy is still a true mess!

The New Yorker magazine wrote back in May of a post coronavirus "decade of depression" with an L shaped recovery, yet we keep seeing a V-shaped one and no one seems to be able to offer any plausible explanation for it.

Two-months ago, even before the recent stock run-up to higher levels, Business Insider reported that "the Stock Market is trading at its highest valuation in 18-years."

Last month, Forbes reported that "the stock market appears to be reaching unsustainable highs."

Yesterday again, Bloomberg reported that the "economic recovery is faltering."

Almost daily, I read that companies are laying off their workers (in Travel, Transportation, Entertainment, Retail, Energy, etc.) or declaring bankruptcy (e.g. Hertz, JC Penny, Neiman Marcus, Chesapeake Energy, and more).

This while we are still, in the best case scenario, maybe half a year away from the possibility of a tested, approved vaccine. And then it will still need to be mass produced and mass distributed to hundreds of millions of people in this country and billions globally.

In the meantime, we certainly could be up for a second wave of Coronavirus on top of the flu in the fall/winter. And then the Coronavirus may mutate and become more virulent requiring annual vaccines like the flu shot--more hit or miss.

All this while U.S.-China trade war is imperiling our economy further, and arch-enemies Iran and North Korea remain national security threats.

To me this all points to that we are nowhere near out of the woods and perhaps that there is a wildfire raging and no one seems to be paying any attention!

The stock market euphoria is a common trap and is the definition of "irrational exuberance" but comes after investors have been robotically indoctrinated to buy the dips!

IMHO, buyer beware, beware, beware. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 11, 2020

Stock Market Pinocchio Style


Look folks, Pinocchio's nose is getting longer by the minute.

The market continues on a tear, even while the economy is heading in the other direction. 

I know people have been conditioned to buy on the dips, but I'm not sure that applies while we're in the middle (or maybe still just in the beginning) of a pandemic that has claimed 286,000 lives in just over 2 months (and that's with a global shutdown)!

Somehow, there is a notion that when things start to reopen that all the problems will just magically go away, including the $3 trillion we just added to our national debt, all the bankruptcies being declared, and all the job losses that are becoming permanent. 

If you believe this, perhaps you'd like to buy the Brooklyn Bridge.

The greater fool theory is alive and well.  ;-)

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 6, 2020

Lockdown In Coronavirus

This photo is sort of what it feels like to be in lockdown during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

You're stuck inside, but still have to keep everything moving anyway!

As we enter the next phase with people itching to go back out and "restart" life and the economy and the second wave where more people unfortunately get sick, we are really as they say:
Stuck between a rock and a hard place. 

And that's where bad things can happen (G-d forbid) and it's never a good place to be. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 26, 2020

Count Your Blessings

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Count Your Blessings."
I just wanted to share a short reflection with everything going on in the world these days with coronavirus and the economic shutdown: I see people are scared and confused, under lockdown and feeling financial strain, and many are getting sick and dying. But I remember the words of my dear father who used to say: "Count Your Blessings!" And he was so right. There are so many things, literally every moment of every day, for us to be grateful for:

Certainly, we all face extreme difficulties or challenges at times in our lives, but things can always be so much worse, and there is still so much for us to be grateful for. Therefore, truly thank you G-d with a hundred blessings—and more—for every moment of every precious day. And we affirm that surely the L-rd who created us will continue to sustain us, and that ultimately all will be for the good.


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 22, 2020

Free COVID-19 Cure

This sign was just too great. 

Advertisement with the little slips at the bottom to tear off. 
Free Cure for COVID-19.
Please take an information strip below

And what do the strips say:
Stay the F**K at home

I wonder why no one took any of the strips? LOL

Like every meaningful issue, we have people on both sides of the aisle fighting it out what is the right thing to do. 

And when it comes to life and liberty, passions certainly run high. ;-)

(Credit Photo to my son-in-law Itzchak for sharing this with me from his friend in California)
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April 14, 2020

Plan To Restart The Economy WILL Look Something Like This

What will restarting the economy after Coronavirus look like?

Well Israel has a well-thought-out 4 Phase Plan (pending approval) and I would imagine that the U.S. plan will look something very much like this:

- Phase I: Tech and Finance, some Import/Export industries, 50% of Public Sector, and Preschool

- Phase II: Commerce/Retail Stores, Elementary School (ages 6-10)

- Phase III: Cafes, Restaurants, and Hotels, and most of the rest of the Education system

- Phase IV: Leisure and Entertainment: Culture, Sports, Large Shopping Malls, and Flights

There are 4 additional key provisions to this plan:

- 2 Week Buffer between phases to review and evaluate success before moving forward with the next phase. 

- "People over 60 and at-risk populations will not resume normal activity throughout the four phases."

- Resuming these activities occurs with the exercise of continued caution (e.g. social distancing, testing, etc.)

- Expect 2nd outbreak in the Fall and therefore continue to build up healthcare capabilities in preparation for this. 

This sounds like an excellent plan as a basis to reopen and one that we can and should build upon. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal and thank you to my sister for sharing this with me)

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April 12, 2020

Reopening The Country WITHOUT Endangering The Masses

I understand the absolute need to reopen the country from this Coronavirus. 

We can't shelter in place forever and watch our economy go into the toilet and our national debt bankrupt us!

Therefore, once we have the mechanisms to control the deadly spread, we must open up offices and stores again gradually to get people working and our economy going again. 

At the same time, I am pissed by those corporate executives that actually have the chutzpah and are pushing for us to open up crowded theaters, stadiums, and other such entertainment or other venues that are NOT critical and pose a greater risk for contagion to masses of people. 

Instead of these CEOs understanding the need to hold off on this pending a vaccination or adequate disease control measures, these greedy corporate chieftain seem to care little to nothing about the health of their customers, and only about lining their fat pocketbooks with more ticket sales. 

I think it's criminal type behavior to push our government to open prematurely and irresponsibly those venues that are of greatest risk to potentially millions of people to get sick or dead in order for them to profit from it!  ;-)

Note: It's reported that COVID-19 compared to the flu in 22 fewer days infected 11x as many people and killed 60 times as many

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 7, 2020

The Grass Still Needs To Be Mowed

Even with Coronavirus and the associated lockdowns and social distancing, the grass still needs to be mowed.

These two are doing the work but also look like they could be playing some bumper cars too! 

So it is: Life goes on; the world is not (yet) ending. 

Unfortunately, there are people suffering and dying. 

And we need to help them and try and save their lives. 

Also, not forget their families and those out of work. 

But as far as the world is concerned, the grass still keeps growing. 

The living will go on living as best they can. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 5, 2020

The Covid-19 Graph -- No One Wants To Confront

This is the Coronavirus chart that I don't think anyone wants us to confront. 

Rather than the typical chart we are shown with one high and then it tapers off and all is well...

There could be scenarios where there are multiple curves and peaks. 

For example, if we send people back out to (work, school, etc.) and stop the social distancing too early--while there are still Coronavirus carriers around us and we don't have an effective vaccine--then the contagion can start all over again. 

Further, even with a vaccine, if the virus mutates (and could become more virulent) then this infection can go on spreading and killing with multiple peaks. 

In short, this is the chart that speaks to cases where businesses are closed and people out of work much longer than expected, and where the recession takes hold and does some potentially real and lasting damage above and beyond what's perhaps already priced in. 

Again, let's hope and pray that we don't stop the social distancing prematurely and that our doctors and scientists get the vaccine for us sooner rather than later. 

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 22, 2020

We Just Magically Found $2,000,000,000,000

It's amazing how we can magically find $2 trillion for a Coronavirus "Rescue Plan."

This after we already wasted over $6.4 trillion (and thousands of our dead and wounded) through 2017 in unexplainable and endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with no known or lasting benefits to this country (while archenemy, Iran continues their pursuit of nukes unabated). 

And for decades, we haven't been able to find money for:

- Decent healthcare for all Americans.

- Ensuring our national security, including adequate planning and disaster preparedness for things like Coronavirus, cybersecurity, WMDs, EMPs, and for critical infrastructure protection. 

- Repairing our aging roads, bridges, and infrastructure

- Fixing our broken public education system.

- Helping our countless of homeless and needy lying the streets of our nation. 

- Restoring our space program to get a man on the moon again or put another shuttle into space. 

When politics are in play, there is plenty of money to go around. 

But when the nation needs proper care and feeding, there are no adults in the room. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 29, 2020

A Jewish Scorecard: Trump vs. Sanders

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "A Jewish Scorecard: Trump vs. Sanders."

In nine months, we will go to the polls again to elect the next President of the United States. Right now, it's looking like it will be Donald J. Trump versus Bernie Sanders. What is the scorecard of these two men when it comes to the State of Israel⁠—the Jewish homeland that we have returned to after 2,000 years of exile, persecution, and deep yearning, and where the majority of the world's Jewish people currently reside?

In the end, no candidate is perfect, and each has their own critical flaws. However, you, as the voters will need to tally the score for yourselves and decide who will be President in 2020 and what that means for this country as well as for the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

(Photo: Adapted from Flickr post by The White House (Public Domain) and Linda Sarsour's Twitter account profile picture)

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August 17, 2019

Copy Any Key

Thought this was pretty cool in Safeway supermarket.

A automated key copy machine. 

You insert your key. 

And out pops a duplicate for you. 

Home, car, business, whatever.

What is happening to that guy who used to work the key copy machine at the local locksmith?

Who says automation and robotics isn't taking and going to take away jobs. 

I still remember that key machine--where the locksmith would put the key on one side and a blank on the other, and the machine would copy the surface grooves of one unto the other. 

Now even that is gone. 

I guess we're lucky still to have keys (for now).  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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March 1, 2019

North Korea - No Deal!

This is sort of what I feel happened with North Korea and the U.S. at the Summit in Vietnam this week. 

We went into this thinking that the enticement of moving from war to prosperity, like with Vietnam, would set the stage for North Korea to see that truly, peace is the answer! 

But when there is no real trust between the people negotiating, then you get a lot of gesturing, but no real determination to make a commitment--like getting rid of those crazy nukes!

For now from North Korea's perspective, "one in the nukes is worth two in the prosperity"...and they aren't going to disarm so easily and give away what they consider their ace in the hole.  

High hopes, lots of drama, confusion and blame, and ultimately a big let down.

If North Korea would give up their nukes, and Iran would give up their pursuit of nukes...WOW, WOW, WOW, oh what a world that would be. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 21, 2019

-25,000 Jobs NYC

While some politicians are hard at work to create jobs, revive our manufacturing, and expand our economy...

...Others like NY Representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are busy destroying jobs from her city. 

After a grueling competition for the Amazon HQ2 with 200 cities offering incentives to land one of two 2nd Headquarters for Amazon, the winners were Arlington, VA and Long Island City, NY.

These lucky cities were to divide 50,000 new jobs and $5 billion in investment by technology and e-Commerce behemoth, Amazon. 

Instead of thanking G-d for their good fortune and celebrating their win under the political savvy of New York's Governor, Andrew Cuomo and NYC's Mayor, Bill de Blasio, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez railed against the "corporate welfare" and basically killed the deal. 

What should be critically noted is that incentives for Amazon were based on meeting their performance benchmarks for NYC and Arlington and were not corporate charity or handouts. 

What Socialist, Ocasio-Cortez failed to understand is that Capitalism is successful precisely because of competition and incentives for performance, and that capital is ideally allocated to where it can get its highest return. 

In short, New York and Virginia weren't giving away the farm, they were competing for great jobs and investment in their cities--and that's what 200 cities recognized from Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. 

Aside from AOC's blatant bigotry and Anti-Semitism so far, she has goofed with a Green Deal that promised income security (socialist handouts) to those "unwilling to work" and sought to get rid of everything from "farting cows" to Airplanes, and now she's lost 25,000 jobs in NY. 

Voters in NY and Democrats in Congress should be paying attention to their new Socialist champion and one of its extremists in chief. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 27, 2019

Impotency of our Democracy


The U.S. democracy is severely broken. 

We are supposed to be "one out of many," but instead we are many out of one.

There is a tearing at our nation's fabric. 

Resistance.  Obstruction.  Polarization.  Gridlock.  Shutdown.  Identity Politics.  Hating on each other.  Can't get anything done. 

Legislatively we're at an impasse.

It's not just the border wall...

- No full year (let alone multi-year) budgets for all Federal agencies.

- No Healthcare Fix

- No Immigration Reform

- No Education (STEM) Improvement

- No USA Infrastructure Bill 

- We are losing our edge to a resurgent Russia and a China taking world stage militarily and economically. 

Executive Branch has its hands tied. 

Special Counsels.  Congressional Inquiries.  Judicial injunctions.  Media Lynchings.

Alone.  Thwarted.  Unable to lead or act. 

Presidential hand tied by mommy Pelosi and Daddy Schumer.

State of the Union cancelled. 

Presidency is compromised in the eyes of every national competitor and demagogue in the world. 

Without a strong leadership reestablished and permitted to act, we are running a very strong risk of losing our superpower status and becoming just another has-been nation.

Don't think it can't happen.  

The three branches of the government should be working together and helping each other to strengthen our nation's survival, prosperity, and success.

If we don't stop the madness, then we will implode and it won't be a pretty or a happy day for anyone--Democrats or Republicans. 

Last chance for E. Pluribus Unum.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 26, 2018

Tired Of All The Whining About China

I don't know about you, but I am so tired about all the whining about China. 

- They are stealing our intellectual property. 

- They are hacking into our systems. 

- They are unfairly forcing us to transfer technology to them.

- They aren't opening up their market to us. 

OMG stop the complaining already!

If you don't like what they are doing, then do something about it. 

Tariffs are a start, but just a small one. 

Seriously, if you can't incentivize them to stop the harassment and unfair trade practices by adding them to the World Trade Organization, investing in them, and partnering with them, then you need to actually compete with China. 

- They steal our sh*t--you help yourself to a generous serving of theirs.  

- They break into our systems--you find your way into their systems.

- They try to unfairly take away our markets and jobs--you take away theirs big time.  

Everyone knows that to deal with bully, you must fight back!

The more we are scared into inaction, the worse it gets.

This doesn't mean that we should get into a military exchange with China, but we do need to get into a confrontation over what economic and global partnership should mean and look like. 

China is an old and truly great nation and their people should be highly respected.

However, the USA should also be treated right, and if that means it's time for a heart to heart and some evening up of the playing field then that is what has to happen. 

We have to restore respect to America, not by becoming bullies ourselves, but by standing up to them when we are being taken advantage of.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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