This Week in Summary 7/1/2022

Jul 1, 2022 | Bubble Monitor

Bubble Monitor

The Bubble Monitor printed mostly in the red for the week ending Thursday, June 30, 2022. Crypto continues to get hammered as the US dollar strengthened against the Euro – all of which may be part of the strategic goal to defend the world’s reserve currency that is currently under attack by efforts to launch a new BRICS competitor. Just as a reminder, we need the US dollar to continue as the reserve currency if we hope to fund our huge trade deficits and ongoing money printing excesses. To this end, there is talk of the Fed taking another large interest rate hike in July which could help defend the US dollar, but at a dear cost to both the economy and the capital markets. Conversely, some investors believe that the recent Fed rate hike has wreaked enough economic damage such that we have seen the last of the rate hikes, with maybe even the possibility of rate cuts in short order. Such wishful thinking may have contributed to last week’s stock market rally. In any case, there is a developing liquidity crunch brewing for several crypto hedge funds and their lenders which threatens to spread into a contagion along the lines of the 2008 financial crisis. That would be a bad thing

Weekly Spotlight

What is the government’s report card for handling the economy? We start by revealing how government expenditures/GDP has steadily risen over time to a point where it seems fair to say that Uncle Sam is badly crowding out the private sector. Along the same lines, we question whether taxes are now even considered as a means to fund government spending, or perhaps just a lever to moderate consumer spending. However, nothing better highlights the crisis of out-of-control government spending than the $5.7 trillion covid stimulus experiment which drove economic demand much higher while the lockdowns, and an associated fear over returning to work, choked-off supply. The results are something much more catastrophic than “transitory inflation” given a supply chain that never fully returned. To this end, we share highlights from Darden’s (the largest casual restaurant chain) recent financial report which shows the extent of hyper-inflation on food costs that the consumer must bear. Finally, we note that the Fed’s performance is an important part of the government’s failing grade, and its decision to hike interest rates through the roof to address a supply shock stands out. We explore how the doubling of mortgage rates in so short a time could impact home prices but, of course, there are many more long-term consequences from this action that cannot yet be measured.

Follow us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube!

Disclaimer of Liability
Marketing Consumer Research Weekly Banner
NoBull Posts Thumbnail
Restaurant Research

Email Sign-up

15 Second Posts

Latest Release for Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE)

The consumer still looks good according to the government’s recent release of personal consumption expenditures (for August 2023) as there have not been any material changes in growth for either disposable income or consumption expenditures.

Small Biz Insights on Trucking Industry

In this post, we discuss the massive post-covid changes to the trucking business with Tony Lovallo who has been running his own freight company since 2010. Tony’s insights provide a 360 look into the shipping business & consumer patterns with important economic implications.

Darden 1Q24: Sales +11.6% Y/Y, Comps +5.5% Y/Y

Darden reported that industry same-restaurant sales increased +0.9% and industry same-restaurant guest counts decreased -4.2% during its fiscal 1Q24. The chain’s comps outperformed the industry by +4.1% and its traffic outperformed by +4.3% (= flattish traffic for Darden during the quarter).

Job Market Looks Solid

In this chart, we subtract total quits from total hires. The excess of hires over quits looks very good relative to the historical level even though the positive gap recently dipped slightly. Workers are staying at their jobs longer even as they continue to have new employment opportunities.

The Economics of Politics

As the U.S. gears up for the 2024 elections, it is important to consider changes to our elections and governance that can unite the citizens of this great country.

2Q23 Retail Same Store Sales

NoBull’s Retail Same Store Sales Report benchmarks 80+ large consumer retail companies by domestic same store sales including annual (2019 – 2022) and quarterly results (2Q22 to 2Q23).

Walmart Investor Presentation: Inflation Here to Stay

While general merchandise prices are lower y/y, they remain elevated compared to 2 years ago. As Walmart does not believe general merchandise and food (dry grocery) & consumable prices are ever going to completely disinflate, management suggests the need for a country-wide wage increase rebalancing.

Interesting Conversation with Fed Chair Powell

Okay, Powell didn’t actually take our call, but we offer a transcript of a potential discussion between the Fed Chair and John Q. Public. It’s very insightful, so please read on.

The Problem with Investment Diversification

Every investment advisor and business student knows that portfolio diversification is key to wealth building. Show me an investor who can beat the S&P 500 Index by buying a few handpicked stocks and I will show you a hedge fund manager in the making. However, there is a huge problem with this strategy that no one is talking about.

Part 3: Analyzing Performance of Low-Income Oriented Retail Companies

We created an index for the financial performance of 5 low-income oriented retail companies to assess the health of this demo. While we recognize that these companies have benefited from the trade-down of higher-income consumers, things look reasonable at least through calendar 2Q23. 

Digital Marketing Opportunities
Restaurant Research

A Restaurant Research LLC Company