The last newsletter of 2020 is brought to you by the less-than-sign. We are, of course, referring to the shape of the economic recovery post-COVID. Earlier in the year, it was posited that the letter V would be the winner, but it turns out V was already spoken for. Ditto L.
W was popular for a hot second amongst the non-V-believers, but at that point you're getting dangerously close to tautology and Elliott Waves, unless you want to get into semantics about whether the middle peak of the W comes up even with the start and end peaks (as with typeface), or gets short-changed a bit (as with handwriting).
As far as letters go, K is now far and away the dominant narrative for economic recovery, despite itself already being spoken for as well.
And really, K is a bit of a misnomer, since you can't graph a vertical line (valid functions, people!). But we suppose that "less-than-sign" doesn't have the same easy memefication potential (or strong lobby presence in DC perhaps?) despite being more descriptively accurate, so K wins. For the sake of truth and trying to avoid the memefication curse that is currently plaguing our society, we will make a valiant Alamo-like stand and refer to it as the "less-than-sign" recovery. Which, while a mouthful, is still less burdensome than the also accurate "the-right-side-of-the-letter-K" recovery.
In any case, the point is that the economic COVID recovery is completely bifurcated. There's one group of people doing fantastically well, and there's one that is suffering massively. By and large, the upper arm of the less-than-sign was already the "upper" part of society. And the lower arm was already the lower arm. The COVID response has mainly served to exacerbate the already-growing wealth disparity in this country. And for that, you can and should rightly blame the Fed, Congress, and many state governors. Let's recap:
What a time to be writing an April newsletter! We've picked up a few new readers since last year, so before we jump in here, just a quick reminder that April is the month we let our tinfoil hat flag fly. In previous years, we've looked at The War on Cash, the Looming Pension Crisis, and the Magical Groupthink necessary for our economic system.
In a spooky bit of foresight, last April's newsletter asked you, dear reader, to "put 1984 back on top of your summer reading list". If you didn't, do yourself a favor and definitely put it on your quarantine reading list, because we are there.
What do Machiavelli, Churchill, Rahm Emanuel, and the Washington Post all have in common? This newsletter. This month we'll look at the intersection of the phrases "Never let a good crisis go to waste" (Machiavelli/Churchill/Emanuel) and "Democracy dies in darkness" (WP). Because what we have right now in this country is a very good crisis and a whole lot of darkness. This will be a link-heavy newsletter, as we attempt to shine a light on various things that are actually happening. We leave it up to you to make your own connections and follow the rabbit hole as deep as you'd like.
Do you ever find yourself pulled back through history and imagining what life was like for a particular group back in the day? Like the Mayans, or the Romans, or the French aristocracy? Or maybe you looked at the Super Blood Wolf Moon eclipse this January and wondered how many past regimes had been overthrown and leaders axed (literally) because such things were perceived as having lost the favor of the gods? Or maybe not and we’re just weird like that.
In any case, this is an April newsletter, so dust off that aluminum foil and let’s pull back the curtain on the collective solipsism behind the not-so-invisible hand that guides our markets. Also, put 1984 back on top of your summer reading list. Ready? Let’s go.
Welcome to the second annual installment of our April tinfoil hat series, where we role-play Al Gore and attempt to shine the harsh light of inconvenient truth on the crumbling facade of government narrative.
Last year we looked at the “War on Cash” (update - anybody else catch Apple CEO Tim Cook saying “I’m hoping to be alive to see the elimination of money” earlier this year at their annual shareholder meeting?...). This year, we’re going to take a look at the “Silver Tsunami” (catchy, but blatantly stolen unfortunately - can’t take any credit for coining that one) headed our way. We originally wanted to also spend a little time mocking the charade that is government data releases, but that turned out to be too long and dry even for us. Maybe next year.
Silver Tsunami, or Lies That Pension Plan Tell and Why Your Taxes are Going Up
So much for the summer doldrums! Three big things happened this month that probably went unnoticed by most of you reading this. And please note, when we say “big things that went unnoticed”, we mean “big” in that super geeky personal finance way and not “unnoticed” because we think you are all ostriches.
Those three things are, in no particular order of importance: our one-year anniversary, passage of the DOL fiduciary rule, and a Fed announcement of quantitative tightening. If you caught all three of those things this month, give yourself a gold star! And if not, well that’s what we’re here for...just keep reading.
April Fools' has come and passed, but here’s our April newsletter at last. And in honor of all the April Fools out there, we’re going to take a little detour, put our tin foil hat on, and present some conspiracy soon-to-be-fact coming to a world near you.
Here’s a story. Not about a man named Brady. Also not about a little guy that lives in a blue world. Well, maybe about that guy. He definitely doesn’t live in a green world...because this is a story about the War on Cash.
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