Not surprising, but stupid and misleading – Ag exports

Not surprising, but stupid and misleading – Ag exports

Dr H put out a great post this morning on the continued exporting of US meat products during a time where companies / officials are claiming broken supply chain and farm goods / animals being destroyed … Something just does not reconcile based on this post.

The original content came from Reuters, and from their piece, quote, “While pork supplies tightened as the number of pigs slaughtered each day plunged by about 40% since mid-March, shipments of American pork to China more than quadrupled over the same period, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

Smithfield, which China’s WH Group bought for $4.7 billion in 2013, was the biggest U.S. exporter to China from January to March, according to Panjiva, a division of S&P Global Market Intelligence. Smithfield shipped at least 13,680 tonnes by sea in March, Panjiva said, citing its most recent data.

To quote an old farmer friend of mine, “something sure smells like pig sh^t!”

Mary Meeker’s team on C-19

Mary Meeker’s team on C-19

The ever insightful Mary Meeker and team put together a piece on C-19 following her typical content pattern.

I did not find it as actionable as her regular internet updates, but she and team definitely put down things that a) need to be included in my framing of investment opportunities and risks, and b) are going to require additional research / work and time to provide actionable insights.

The piece is worth the read

I will leave their insights to your harvesting, but the one point she closes on and I totally agree … “We will get thru this, but life will be different”

Non-urgent $ reads – 4-30-2020

Non-urgent $ reads – 4-30-2020

  • Household Debt: The Anchor Dragging Economic Recovery
    • —not actionable for me
    • but did point out interesting demographic in younger consumers and their absence of mortgage – which means their disposable is tapped and insecurity just spiked
  • The Facade Of Financialized Demand
    • — CSCO was example from 2000 – I thought a great thought exercise and commented
    • Comment: A good thought exercise – another example – CSP sell elastic capacity – as new companies and existing companies reduce their demand the infrastructure to support elastic demand was in place – somebody now owns a under utilized capital asset(unless demand elsewhere surfaces) … who owns that capital asset? They are holding the risk without elastic demand staying even or positive. Enterprise corporates own less and less of those assets vs yr 2000. But somebody has those assets on their books
WOW – Google’s smart energy usage ideas

WOW – Google’s smart energy usage ideas

I can’t even comment on it except, “wish I thought of that”!


New carbon-intelligent computing platform

Our latest advancement in sustainability, developed by a small team of engineers, is a new carbon-intelligent computing platform. We designed and deployed this first-of-its kind system for our hyperscale (meaning very large) data centers to shift the timing of many compute tasks to when low-carbon power sources, like wind and solar, are most plentiful. This is done without additional computer hardware and without impacting the performance of Google services like Search, Maps and YouTube that people rely on around the clock. Shifting the timing of non-urgent compute tasks—like creating new filter features on Google Photos, YouTube video processing, or adding new words to Google Translate—helps reduce the electrical grid’s carbon footprint, getting us closer to 24×7 carbon-free energy.


Thinking of other countries and the need for food

Thinking of other countries and the need for food

Some data behind the recent statement from UN fearing famine, quote: “The head of the UN’s relief agency issued a warning in April that the coronavirus pandemic could produce “famines of biblical proportions.” In an article on the UN’s news website, this troubling forecast was explained and expanded on as follows: “As the virus plunges more and more people into poverty, and governments respond to the crisis with protectionist policies that restrict food exports, as many as 265 million people across 30 countries could now face starvation.”

Infographic: Where Reliance on Food Imports is Highest | Statista


Mr Duy on FOMC – April 2020

Mr Duy on FOMC – April 2020

The ever rational and candid Mr Duy posted his views on the FOMC decisions and actions from yesterday’s presser.

Here’s the ‘bottom line’ quote: “Bottom Line: The Fed has pulled out all the stops to support the economy and will continue to use every tool at their disposal to minimize the tail risks to the outlook and support the recovery. Powell and his colleagues have not declared victory; they anticipate a long road ahead. Here’s the thing: Powell gets it. He understands the enormity of the situation. He isn’t going to stand by and let it all fall apart without a fight. And he isn’t going to walk away after the first round.

For me, there were three things that hit me – 2 from Mr Duy and 1 from Mr Powell.

1 – Powell is the right person for this job and we almost lost him

2 – FED is in the game 100%; they have become the ‘pig’ at breakfast when so many others are hardly the ‘chicken’ (if you don’t know that little contrast, let me know)

3 – Powell made it very clear like at least 3 times – FED loans money, they (legally) do NOT grant money – that’s the job of fiscal lords (Congress and Treasury)

One more add to compliment Powell – (Heisenberg mentions it too in a rather cutting criticism of Powell’s critics) – he showed empathy to people suffering and to all of us dealing with this – something in short (very short) supply from current elected / appointed DC officials.

Ecosystem destruction & virus infections

Ecosystem destruction & virus infections

Wow … this was eye opening

Quote: “Over the past century, the human population has exploded. At the height of the 1918-1919 Spanish flu pandemic, the global population was around 1.8 billion, less than a quarter of what it is today. In the past century, millions of humans have spent years slaughtering wildlife; cutting down trees; placing cows, chickens, and pigs in close contact with wild animals — providing ample opportunity for viruses to make a deadly leap.

Even in the face of enormous environmental changes, Epstein and other scientists are convinced that it wouldn’t take much to make a big difference, whether it’s shuttering wildlife markets or bat-proofing pots for date-palm sap with a small screen. “These are wholly human-made, human-driven events, and knowing that is hopeful, because we can actually focus on changing the way we do things,” Epstein said. “These pandemics are preventable.”

W.A.T. Spring 2020 #4

W.A.T. Spring 2020 #4

W.A.T. = Walking around townNote: This week there was sun, warm weather and wonderful misty rain – a typical OR April; the flowers loved it! (reminder to click on the image to see full size – much better resolution)

Non-urgent $ reads – 4-25-20

Non-urgent $ reads – 4-25-20

NOTE: These were read over a couple of sessions, but posted together

*Session 4-24*

Most important read:

— read 2x – incredible deep and important but the immediate actions are not obvious, but this will prompt several deeper dives, starting with historical assets price trends 1933 thru 1950

BAC: Big Bank Comparison: Bank Of America, Wells Fargo, And Chase

— thro out WFC – BAC cheaper but JPM higher yield and better management. Next step for me is to combine BAC, JMP, BMO and RY as to which 2 deserve new capital. Ideally, 1 US & 1 CA

Southern Company Is A Powerhouse Among Utilities

— average value solid dividend – good view in valuing doc quality but nothing on their markets just a numbers in the book review – necessary but not sufficient

Alphabet Proves Why Cash Is King

— not actionable for me; with that said, however, i am seriously evaluating GOOG for a 2H investment after marketing spends are re-normalized

Tons Of Insider Buying Lately – Is That A Bullish Indicator? You Might Be Surprised

— basically don’t trust insiders any more than u trust analysts

The Buying Opportunity Of A Lifetime? Think Again

— uses history to refute and dies not seem to see the near term lows- yet

Coronavirus Sparked Healthcare ETFs In General, But Ultimately, We Really Do Need To Pick And Choose

—- all etf – not actionable for me

Inflation Expectations Are Way Underpriced

—not actionable for me

The Risk Of A Lost Decade For Stocks

—interesting but not actionable for me

***Session 4-25***

POR: Portland General Electric Company (POR) CEO Maria Pope on Q1 2020 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

— simple straight forward – happy new shareholder – increase position as opportunity surfaces. $43 is next buy target after nibbling at $45.

ERIC: Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (ERIC) CEO Börje Ekholm on Q1 2020 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

— no material change to strategy – q2 will be risk as expected C-19 and seasonally – comfortable with design win, momentum. Stock price may / may no fall further as Q2 unfolds, but additional capital should wait those results – better line of sight to 5G spends globally (delays).

Divergence In REIT Valuations Creates Opportunity

— favs include MPW, FPI & pref too, STAG; I am not a fan of any of them but for different reasons. I am staying with DOC within REIT common.

Coronavirus Harms Supply Chains: Prof. Ted Stank

—pretty high level but aligns with my views – supply chain will become more expensive eventually; not because of fundamental producer changes, but stocks within flows that today do not exist as everybody was working on J-in-T-I without any stocks.

— really PR collateral, but I applaud them for publishing and it only confirms my selection

The Fed Versus Reality

SH is an interesting idea – seems at face value better than SPY puts

Weekly High Frequency Indicators: The Decisions Made By A Few Will Determine Vastly Different Economic Outcomes

— no material changes and a tough exercise when data changes so materially

Bank of Nova Scotia Provides Opportunity For Safety And Growth

— Div as safe as BMO, Mexico weak link – consumer still has high risk – too early – pacific strategy is sound but C-19 risks outweigh the entry point … after Q2 for me when better direction visible, especially vis-à-vis BMO and RY that I already hold

Rocky Start To REIT Earnings Season

— still bullish on home building – seems 1q too early for me – numbers will get worse before uptrend

S&P 500 Weekly Update: Staring At The Crossroads

— not actionable for me

INTC: Intel Headed For An Extended Downturn

—sky is falling, but it’s really the old story imho – INTC is leaning in to servers, but CSP grow with lower margins and enterprise shrinks – so simple to see / evaluate. Until enterprise or non CSP server volume picks back up, margins will suffer

Pay attention! State bankruptcy

Pay attention! State bankruptcy

The Atlantic published an article this week that I think is a very important read on what could be possible objectives for Republicans to desire state bankruptcy – especially large voting blocks of “blue” voters.


“Since 2010, American fiscal federalism has been defined by three overwhelming facts.

First, the country’s wealthiest and most productive states are overwhelmingly blue. Of the 15 states least reliant on federal transfers, 11 are led by Democratic governors. Of the 15 states most reliant on federal transfers, 11 have Republican governors.

Second, Congress is dominated by Republicans. Republicans controlled the House for eight of the last 10 years; the Senate for six. Because of the Republican hold on the Senate, the federal judiciary has likewise shifted in conservative and Republican directions.

A state bankruptcy process would thus enable a Republican Party based in the poorer states to use its federal ascendancy to impose its priorities upon the budgets of the richer states.”

Bike lanes, yes!

Bike lanes, yes!

A recent study on economic impact of adding bike lanes came back with interesting results. Quote, “Researchers studied 14 corridors in 6 cities — Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Memphis, Minneapolis and Indianapolis — and found such improvements had either positive or non-significant impacts on sales and employment. Essentially, adding improvements like bike lanes largely boosted business and employment in the retail and food service sectors.”

Adding bikes is one step to reducing cars … less carbon, less pollution, less noise, generally less bad stuff and all without material impact to business – seems like a fair trade to me!