Thoughts from June 29, 2020

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So I was writing the next section of WHY I AM STILL A BEAR, and towards the end I re-read everything and realized it was horrible.  Sorry!  That happens sometimes.  I feel like I am running a bit on fumes right now, so for today, I am going to go back to the usual format of highlighting some stories/thoughts on the day:

  1. Major employer layoffs:  IBM, Accenture, HSBC, Quantas, Nike

Big companies are announcing layoffs.  When the pandemic started and the world shut down, it made sense that retail companies laid people off.  So when we look at the unemployment claims from March and April, it is somewhat understandable.  The problem is now.  It is nearly July.  Unemployment claims this month are still stuck around an aggregate of 20 million workers.  That is a big number, and the picture is getting uglier.  HSBC announced 35,000 layoffs worldwide, and companies like IBM and Accenture didn’t announce layoffs, but thousands have received their walking papers.  Unfortunately, this is just he beginning. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2020/06/24/white-collar-wall-street-professionals-will-witness-layoffs-and-bonus-cuts/#6937e8153875

  1. More bankruptcies….Chuck E Cheese?!?

Growing up I didn’t get to Chuck E Cheese as often as I would have liked.  In fact, I think I had one birthday there when I was eight, so when my wife asked what I wanted to do for my 25th birthday, I said CHUCK E CHEESE!!! Seriously…it was fun, but a little lame at the same time.  That was more than a few years ago, and now Chuck has filed for bankruptcy but don’t fret too long.  As with most corporate bankruptcies these days, the company will actually still be in business but its debt will get reorganized and the equity shareholders will be wiped out and new ownership will be put in place.  And it makes sense, not only for CEC to reorganize, but a lot of companies.  This is a good list, but it is growing daily…including today with Chesapeake Energy filing last night and GNC late last week.  Again, like the layoffs above, I fear this has only just begun. https://fortune.com/2020/06/29/companies-filing-bankruptcy-2020-during-coronavirus-pandemic-covid-19-economy-industries/

  1. IMF projection – not a good sign

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is notoriously poor at forecasts, so their latest is a stark warning.  Of all the major “global” experts, the IMF latest economic forecast is the most pessimistic, projecting -4.9% global growth for 2020.  That may not sound like a lot, but it is significant.  The bigger concern is that since the IMF is rarely correct and the vast majority of the time is too OPTIMISTIC, we could be looking at an even worse global economic landscape this year.  I would not be surprised to see it closer to 7%, especially since China is barely growing and Europe the US and Japan will all be negative contributors. https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WEO/Issues/2020/06/24/WEOUpdateJune2020

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