Thoughts from June 15, 2020

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In a short few weeks, it will mark the 7th anniversary of moving my family from Los Angeles to Raleigh, NC.  The list of reasons why is long.  CalPERS is just another ridiculous organization that I am glad to be away from, but sadly, the stable retirement of many friends and family is dependent upon CalPERS.  This is an insane practice, but one which has been used before and will be used many times over in the years to come by pensions that can’t keep up with their obligations.  Any deepening of the stock market correction for any significant period of time will blow the whole thing up anyway.  https://www.ft.com/content/2a6ec6aa-492e-4e7d-85f8-83789a2bc481

  1. Tesla #1

Shares of Tesla are now up 139% YTD while everything about the company seems to be trending in the wrong direction.  Sales down.  Deliveries down.  Earnings non-existent.  Factories offline.  Demand down.  But with all of that as a background, Tesla became the largest Automaker IN THE WORLD (in terms of value…not actual making anything), surpassing Toyota.  I am not surprised in the least considering we are in the age of valuing only the distant future while completely discounting the past.  https://www.marketwatch.com/story/tesla-passes-toyota-as-worlds-most-valuable-car-company-2020-06-11

  1. Jobs lost from Demand Destruction will not come back

While many of the 40M+ jobs that were lost over the past few months will come back as the economy reopens, many will not.  And not just from restaurants closing or small businesses shutting their doors.  Ultimately, when demand stops, companies cut.  Those cuts are permanent and will only be replaced when demand returns to a robust pace.  For many industries, it may be years.  Recessions (and dare I say Depressions) change people’s behavior.  The financial security there once was is now in question.  There will be more saving, and therefore less spending.  With many out of work, they also will be spending less.  Less spending means less revenue for companies which typically means less profit which means more job cuts.  It is and likely will be a vicious cycle.  I keep reminding people.  We are only 3 months into this.  3 months.  There is a lot more coming.  https://finance.yahoo.com/news/millions-jobs-could-permanently-lost-110000772.html

  1. Speculation is not investing

Hertz did announce today a $500m follow-on offering, but was quick to note that is was very likely the shares are worthless.  Wow.  Typically I am more of an anti-gvt involvement kinda guy, but this is one where I wish the SEC would step in and protect investors.  There is very little moving Hertz stock except retail speculators.  More to come on some of these other companies that should be worth next to nothing.  https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/11/frothy-trading-in-bankrupt-companies-penny-stocks-sent-red-flags-that-a-pullback-was-due.html?__source=sharebar|linkedin&par=sharebar

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