This Week in Summary 10/14/2022

Oct 14, 2022 | Bubble Monitor, No Bull Economics

Bubble Monitor Chart

A string of bad economic news pushed the stock market much higher on Thursday, October 13th? Say what? Ok, on days like these it seems hard to believe that the stock market is not manipulated by… Let’s recap, inflation numbers were higher than expected with the core CPI accelerating to a new 40-year high, both the 10-year & 2-year Treasury rates recently hit the highest level in 10 years, the US Dollar index fell (good or bad – you choose) and oil prices jumped higher. Well, at least seniors will appreciate that the 2023 social security cost-of-living adjustment will increase by +8.7% (the highest increase in 40 years) but let’s not worry about who will pay for this. Hey, Uncle Sam has deep pockets – well maybe less so now that the US Treasury Department can expect -$100B/year less from the Federal Reserve (read this) at a time when its borrowing costs are poised to go through the roof thanks to their same friends at our independent Central Bank who believe that they should hike interest rates sufficiently to cause a recession (to cool the labor markets you understand). Of course, all this has the pundits talking about hiking our taxes to pay for all of this even though the Federal Government doesn’t really rely on taxes to fund their spending. Forget that Carmax’s management recently reported that consumer confidence is currently lower than at the height of covid – let’s do everything we can to squash what’s left of economic growth anyhoo. Ok enough poking fun at the Fed and the Feds, check out our recent posts on what to understand about the consumer from tanking Internet stocks. Also, read this for insights into home ownership – a very important topic as it relates to the consumers who shop at your businesses. Thanks for reading!  


Why are Internet Stocks Tanking?

Carmax Provides Valuable Insight on Consumer Confidence

Promoting Home Ownership

the Fed Puts the Hurt on Uncle Sam

Cracker Barrel’s FY4Q22 Margin Struggles

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15 Second Posts

What is the Federal Government’s Job?

A couple of weeks ago we conducted a thought experiment in which the government became a nonprofit, and this week we propose another thought experiment in which the government becomes a public corporation. We suggest that this could provide very useful input into the debt ceiling debate.

The Importance of the Balance Sheet in Financial Analysis

While most investors are focused on sales growth & margins, they would be well served to further consider the strength of a company’s balance sheet. We look at BlackRock’s financial condition as an illustrative point.

The Importance of Free Cash Flow in Financial Analysis

Cash represents the lifeblood of all business enterprises which is why it is important to analyze free cash flow which we define as operating cash flow minus capex, dividends, and stock buybacks. We illustrate DoorDash as an example of why cash flow analysis is so important. 

Lessons From Tucker Carlson

There are many theories about why Fox booted Tucker Carlson, but it may be a very simple reason which can instruct everyone involved in the consumer retail segment.

It is Imperative that Climate Change Regs Incorporate Economic Reality

This week we spotlight efforts by international agencies to lower the earth’s temperature by imposing onerous regulations on energy producers. We suggest it will be better to: begin a process of implementing continuous improvements designed to support both economic & climate progress; and use international organizations to share tech & best practices as opposed to providing them with regulatory powers best left to individual nation-states.   

Part 3 – It’s Nice for the US to Save the Climate, But What About the Rest of the World?

In our last 2 posts, we outlined the probability that the UN’s push to lower the world’s temperature by -2 degrees Celsius could drive significant U.S. energy price hikes & shortages. How is this going to help as Asia ramps up the use of coal? Can humans lower the earth’s temperature anyhow?

Part 2: Who is Left to Make Investments in Fossil Fuels & Clean Energy?

There is not a lot of incentive for profit-seeking companies to invest in demonized fossil fuels or in clean energy projects lacking ROI. This points to substantially higher energy prices and supply shortages that will have a profound economic impact.

Part 1: Ramping Energy Demand Clashes with UN’s Environmental Goals

From 2021 to 2050, ExxonMobil forecasts that 85% of the population growth will be driven by developing countries, which in turn, will drive a +15% increase in energy demand.

What if the Federal Government Was Turned into a 501c3 Non-Profit?

Given all the focus on the debt ceiling, we propose a thought experiment in which all 100 federal agencies must compete for charitable donations. If taxpayers get to choose for themselves what to fund, what might we learn? 

Like Sinatra Croons: “So you see it’s all up to you, you can be better than you are.”

The top-paid hourly workers are currently enjoying the fastest wage growth, indicative of the current challenge to recruit & retain a skilled labor force.

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