02 Jul Saturday Broadcast 5
Saturday broadcast, 6/25 – 7/1
✔️ ICYMI news.
✔️Empty shelves, fronting, stores keeping lights off and AC barely on.
✔️A lot of people working side hustles just to make ends meet but hey: everyone’s doin’ great!
✔️IMHO, I am sus regarding anyone who says the entire job market is still red hot and even the beloved tech sector isn’t slowing down. What planet are they on?
✔️Lagging indicators are exactly that. By the time you’re “officially” told there’s a problem, it’s probably too late to do more than react.
Links I discuss in this episode:
Transcription by Otter.ai. Please forgive any typos!
Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. So I’m recording this portion of the broadcast actually on the previous Saturday night as in the evening of June 25. I wanted to update you give you a sort of bird’s eye view of what I’m seeing in my local Walmart here in the Midwest. The same sections I reported on last week that were kind of hit or miss or that look like a warzone. Same thing this time around. If you were looking for the economical, like $1 or less shampoo and conditioners, those are very hard to find. I did not see any of the cheap conditioners and only a couple of bottles of the inexpensive shampoos. Now if you’re the type of person that you’re looking more in the $5 to $25 per bottle range, you’re good, you’re solid on that if you’ve got the money to spend and you want $20 A bottle shampoo, it was definitely there and available at my local Walmart. The feminine hygiene aisle. Same thing as last week, there were quite a few gaps on the shelves. Now they had gotten in some more of the economically priced pads. And there were a few and I really emphasize a few boxes of regular flow tampons. Everything else was sort of disheveled. And there were areas where there just wasn’t product on the shelves. The vitamins section looked pretty good. It looked like they were pretty well stocked there. The aisle where they keep the over the counter medications was definitely hit or miss a lot of the allergy medicines. Were not there. I had to buy the more expensive Flonase tonight because that was the only option. And here where I live in the Midwest, it seems to be like one of the allergy capitals of the entire country. So trying to go without some type of non drowsy allergy care is difficult. I noticed that the family size like the large canisters of things like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, were gone. Now you could still find the cheaper bottles so like if you just wanted to get a package of like 20 ibuprofen for $1 Those were still there. Same thing with like the Tylenol. Aleve was more expensive, but it was still there. So if you needed to get some over the counter pain relievers, those were still there. The aisle where they keep the canning supplies was insane. Things were just sort of strewn about on the shelves pushed around moved around, you couldn’t even tell what was what and what item went with what price the cheaper items were already gone. I did not see any pickling spices that were left. And if you are looking for Mason jars, I am hearing around different parts of the country that they’re in short supply. I was able to find like one package when I went this evening and I’m not planning on doing a bunch of canning, but I may do some pickling just depending upon like the crop of cucumbers that I have, or I may want to pickle some eggs. So we’ll see. But I have heard that just finding good old fashioned mason jars can be difficult right now, at my local store. It just looked really disheveled and crazy. There was still plenty of toilet paper available. Although that was another area where I started to see gaps. There were some products that just weren’t there. It looked like the more expensive brands were better stocked were the more economy brands were the ones that look like the people were hitting the hardest. The paper towel, I’ll look pretty good to me. It looked like it was pretty well stocked. The Gatorade aisle, the sports drink aisle was way worse than it was when I was there last week. So last week, it was about 5050 split this week. It was it really was barren. It really really was. So if you wanted to get like the single service, if you just wanted to get like one bottle of Powerade or one bottle of Gatorade, you could still find that, but the like the family packs, forget it, you were you were completely out of luck at that party. The Produce Section was a mixed bag, I did notice a lot of gaps where there just wasn’t fresh produce to choose from. I needed to get a few potatoes and it was a challenge to find potatoes that were in good shape. A lot of the potatoes that I picked up were already soft and rotten. They just you could tell that they were way past their prime and not worth buying. I found some oranges that were in good shape. The like summertime berry section, whether the raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and so on that had been picked pretty clean. And the things left on in that particular part of the cooler just didn’t look like they were in good shape. Like they probably got left behind for a reason. So that’s what I saw when I went today. Some of the same sections that had been picked over and not restocked last week. We’re still looking to not be in great shape again this week. Also this evening, who speaking of wonderful news. Also this evening, I received a notification when there was little news alerts on my phone. And it was from Bloomberg News and the article Well is titled us layoffs hiring freezes our tip of labor market slowdown. The two little bullet points under the headline read, rising jobless claims slowing wage growth points to weakness, Feds actions to cool demand will increase unemployment rate and quote. So now you are being told officially by a news outlet, the Feds actions are going to cool demand. And that will increase the unemployment rate. Now, I’ve been sounding the alarm on this for a while now, in my personal opinion, I believe that the unemployment rate right now today as I’m sitting here recording this is higher than what you’re being told that it is. So if the Feds actions are going to increase the unemployment rate, what kind of poopoo storm are we going to see in the coming months, a frequent listener sent an article to me and it was a story I actually had not heard yet. He said it was okay to give him a shout out on the air. So thank you to Jeff in Texas for sending this into me. It’s not news that is great to hear. But I do appreciate the tip. So the story is canceled for convenience in North Texas family loses home after builder backs out without warning. So apparently just a matter of days before they were going to close on this home the builder back out. And they had movers booked they had some items bought for the house. And then they were told sorry, but you’re not actually going to be moving in we are going to cancel for convenience and put the house on the market because evidently they wanted to list it for like $300,000 More than this family had contracted to buy the house for. And it turned into a complete and total mess. So definitely just feel awful for that family that that happened. And I think this points toward the insanity that has been happening in the housing market. You know, I’ve complained more than a few times about the insane Oh prices that I have seen here in the Midwest people taking piece of crap junk houses, and putting a million dollar price tag on them. I mean it it has just been crazy. And it is very sad to hear about such unscrupulous behavior going on out in the market. I stumbled across a disturbing article from Yahoo Finance that was actually published in the middle of May. I’m not sure how I missed it. But I wanted to sort of redress that wrong now, the article is titled Why the Fed wants corporate America to have a hiring freeze. And if you scroll down in this article, you’ll find the following paragraph freezes typically happen when C suites and boards decide that business conditions have become very uncertain. The Fed doesn’t have a seat at those discussions, but it does have the blunt force tool of rate policy and its effect on stock prices. Chair Powell has made it clear that he wants to see openings declined, and quote, We are living in a really weird time. We’ve seen greed and insanity take hold in the housing market. We have seen all kinds of job hopping and job changing and things staying open for a long time and companies that want to put candidates through an eight round interview for a $10 an hour job. I mean we and and plenty of situations where I sincerely believe that a candidate applied all over town and either never got called back from anybody or only got called back from one company. When I am hearing those stories from people out in the market. I don’t believe that they’re lying to me, I believe that they’re telling the truth. So there’s been some really weird chicanery that’s gone on in the job market. And I don’t quite know exactly how to classify it other than to say like, something is fishy. Something is not adding up. Are there more hiring freezes and layoffs and rescinded offers in the future? Unfortunately, I think so. I don’t think that the entire tidal wave of what is yet to come this sort of day of reckoning, if you will, in the job market. I don’t think we have fully experienced that yet. I hope and pray that I am wrong. I would love to be incorrect. On that prediction, believe me, and I’ll give you my boilerplate here. This is not advice of any kind, legal, financial, moral, spiritual, whatever. This is not advice. This is just me imparting my opinions to you like an op ed, this is for your entertainment only. I hope that I am wrong. So it’s Sunday night and I’m going to try to be brief because I am exhausted. Yesterday, I discovered that one of my ewe was limping. If you’re not familiar with what a ewe is, it’s a female sheep. So she was limping did not know if she had done something to her leg or to her hoof. As it turns out, she had stepped on something not sure what and it had developed an abscess, so the abscess had to be drained and she had to be given medication. But as you can probably imagine, she wasn’t super cooperative for that process. So I feel like I have been in a wrestling match with a lion. My entire spinal column hurts my neck, my shoulders. I am just done. Oh, and my biceps too, I guess from trying to hang on to her while the vet was out here but I am I am spent so If you go over to Yahoo Finance you will see headlines such as stocks pace towards worst starts since 1970. What to know this week so they’re already telling you on Sunday night like hey, probably not going to be a good and bruised US stock investors brace for more pain. Recession may not be here yet but Stagflation is, US families face exponential increase in child care costs as CEO. Meanwhile, Cadillac is set to roll out a $300,000 ultra luxury electric vehicle. Consumer Sentiment fell to a record low in June. Netflix’s must have status more a curse than a blessing. Robert Kiyosaki says that hot inflation will wipe out 50% of the US population. Here’s what he means by that and how to protect yourself. How can I stop the pain and make money in this nightmarish market? Bank of America says this is the best hope for bowls in 2020 to a cold dark place. Michael Burry thinks the market has plenty of room to plunge, but he finally sees value in these four stocks. Russia defaults on foreign debt for the first time since 1918. Wow. Now Meanwhile, back at the ranch. If you go over to CNBC, you will see an article titled recruiters say the tech job market is still red hot despite isolated layoffs and cautious words from execs. Okay, so the little TLDR key points blurb says recruiting and economic experts say they aren’t seeing a slowdown in the tech labor market despite some recession fears they say layoffs and hiring slowdowns are few leaving the market mostly unmoved workers are still in the driver’s seat experts said and quote sounds an awful lot like the analogy I’ve been using have the cops and move along people move along nothing to say nothing to see hmm so if you skip down there’s a little header here in this article that says layoffs slowdowns isolated. I’ll read Microsoft Facebook parent meta in Vidia hope I’m saying that right and snap, have all announced plans in recent weeks to hire less vigorously, what spin they’re just going to hire less vigorously. It’s not a hiring freeze, they’re just going to hire less vigorously. As inflation, the war in Ukraine and the continuing effects of COVID-19 around the world have dampened the outlook for the rest of the year. Venture capitalists are warning their portfolio companies to prepare for darker times. And some startups are laying people off or closing shop. But experts said the cutbacks are so far isolated in quote, If you see Ecco, yes, show how to ski. And yet, here we are, you know, it’s like, wait a minute, what? One of the things that I want to say here is you can put out a request for interviews or request for information, for any topic with any spin that you want to be emphatically clear, I’m not saying that’s what happened here. Because I don’t know, I truly don’t know. I’m just making the general point that if a journalist wants to write an article with a particular angle in mind, it is certainly possible for a journalist to put some lines in the water and say, here’s what I want to write about. Now. I want experts who will come forward and back me up. Not saying that’s what happened here. Just saying that, you know, it is possible in the world in which we live. Under the heading employees still in the driver’s seat. There’s an individual who was interviewed, and she says that one out of every 10 calls that she gets is related to economic concerns, but that most people who are calling her are employers that are hoping to see if talent is becoming more available. And then she responds to them when they call saying Nope. You know, there’s there’s a lot to unpack there. And if I wasn’t sore and ready to take a couple of Tylenol, arthritis pills, I would get I would get further into it. But suffice it to say, it’s concerning to me. You know, if this information that this individual is providing for the article is true, it’s disturbing to me that only one out of every 10 calls that she’s receiving is related to economic concerns. How in the hell, how, how, how 10% of the phone calls that you get, are people going Hey, what’s up, you know, should we be worried? Should we be concerned the other 90% I apparently don’t care, or are people that are just sort of like vultures waiting to see, hey, can we pick people up on the cheap? So so many things to unpack there. So aside from the fact that it’s deeply concerning to me, if only one out of every 10 individuals is calling, saying, Hey, what’s up, I need the Intel are we in a slowdown? What’s going on? That’s disturbing. But then on the other side of the coin, you have what I have been trying to tell people here on Patreon on my blog, like corporate America is going to take advantage of a recession, they’re going to take advantage of inflation, they’re going to take advantage of people who are over a barrel. This is reality. Is it fair? No. Do I agree with it? No. Is it reality? I believe that it is. Do I think that we will see pay cuts? Do I think that competition for open jobs will get stiffer? Yes, I do. I do. I mean, the fact that this individual is saying in this interview, yeah. People are already calling me asking if they can find talent easier. That’s a sneak preview of what’s to come. I hope I am wrong on that. And as Dennis Miller said, it is just my opinion, and I could be wrong. I hope I am wrong. But I worry that I’m not. It’s Monday now. And if you scoot over to CNBC, it’s apparent that they’re not being as bullish today as they have been. Today, we see headlines such as Wall Street layoffs likely ahead as to your hiring boom turns to bust. Better late than never. I’m glad they’re at least putting this information out. Now. If you click on that particular article, the little TLDR key points read. broad based job cuts loom at major banks for the first time since 2019, thanks to a confluence of factors that have cast a pall over markets and cause most deal categories to plunge this year. Industry sources said the math is ominous. head count at JP Morgan’s investment bank, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley jumped by 1317 and 26% respectively, in the past two years amid a hiring binge. Meanwhile, capital markets revenue has fallen off a cliff. When banks have a revenue problem. They’re left with one way to respond, said one Wall Street recruiter and that’s by ripping out costs in quote. Other headlines include Russia slides into historic debt default as payment period expires. s&p 500 is little changed as stocks struggled to maintain their comeback from bear market lows. 44% of Americans work his side hustle to make ends meet how to decide if it makes sense for you. If you click on that article, you will find Americans are increasingly turning to side hustles to make more money amid economic uncertainty and persistent high inflation. But remember, inflation was transitory wink, some 44% of Americans are working at least one extra job to make ends meet each month according to a survey from inch Insurance insurance. That’s okay. And a small business insurance marketplace. The online survey of more than 1000 adults working at least one job took place from May 31. Through June 2, another 28% said that they took on a secondary gig due to inflation, the highest the US has experienced in 40 years driving up costs and quote, yeah, so remember inflation is transitory. Also remember that people are doing great. They’re going into this downturn in better shape than ever before. They’ve got tons of money and savings. They don’t hardly have any credit card debt. Nothing to see here. People move along, move along. So today, it’s Tuesday. And if you go over to CNBC, you will see headlines such as dow falls 400 points as momentum from bear market bounce fizzles. Who’s really surprised by that today? I mean, I feel like if that’s a big shocker to you, then I’m not really sure what else to tell you. New York Fed President John Williams says a US recession is not his base case. He G seven countries ban Russian gold imports. France backs calls for Russian oil price cap, sex trafficker Gilling Maxwell sentenced to 20 years in prison. Frankly, I would think that that would be front page news networks would be breaking in to talk about that sentencing. I really haven’t heard anything about it other than just seeing this headline, which is actually a little bit buried over on CNBC. Now if you go over to the side panel that CNBC has, you’ll find another article titled, job loss is a reality of the business cycle. Six steps to take after job loss. Boy, their tune has changed, hasn’t it? We’re not nearly as bullish as we were just just a matter of days or even a week or two back. Remember when I was on the Saturday broadcast talking about how it’s like La La sunshine and roses. They’ve changed their tune. So now instead of lollipops and hearts and unicorns, you’re being told, Hey, job loss is just a reality. So you need to sit down and take your medicine like a good little child and just understand that this happens. The key points in this article read companies such as Tesla and Coinbase have announced layoffs and there are signs of impending cuts on Wall Street, a US recession would add to the toll. Here’s some key financial moves for workers to make after losing a job in quote. So if you scroll down a little bit and read from the article you will learn at a macro level the job market is still hot and companies aren’t yet shedding jobs in earnest. Layoffs were at a historic low in April. Unemployment Claims are around pre pandemic levels and the unemployment rate is hovering near a five decade low. But cracks are emerging. Recruiters think Wall Street seems poised for significant cutbacks in the second half of the year, while firms such as Tesla and Coinbase have recently announced workforce reductions. fears have risen in recent weeks, that the economy may tip into a recession. That’s not a foregone conclusion. But if it happens, layoffs would almost certainly increase. The Federal Reserve is anticipating joblessness will rise in coming years as policymakers increase interest rates to combat inflation in quote. Yeah, so if you’re a frequent tuner, enter, have this podcast where you dip in and read my blog from time to time, you already know. I’m sure what I’m about to say, gonna give my boilerplate not any economist, professional financial planner or advisor, I don’t sit on the World Economic Forum. I’m not a power broker. What I’m about to say is simply my opinion, and not to be construed as any kind of legal or financial advice of any kind. As Dennis Miller has always said, this is only my opinion, and I could be wrong. In my opinion, I don’t think that the job market is still hot. I don’t think that layoffs are at some kind of historic low, or that the unemployment rate is just superduper, low under 4%. And there’s nothing to see here. People move along with long when they say cracks are emerging, and kind of the cracks have been emerging. Several months ago, I saw the cracks emerging and I was like, oof, I think from a personal finance standpoint and a business finance standpoint, it’s time to reel the spinning in it’s time to prepare in case we have a long hot summer, followed by a winter of discontent. And I’m glad that my spidey senses told me that I don’t think that we may tip into a recession. I think that we’re already in one. And this idea of well, the Federal Reserve is anticipating that joblessness will rise. Give me a break. There’s an article I’ve mentioned before that was published in Yahoo Finance in the middle of May of this year. And the title of the freaking article is why the Fed wants corporate America to have a hiring freeze. The thesis here is not buried. Okay, this this information is not impossible to find. It’s not tinfoil hat conspiracy theory stuff that’s like woowoo out on the fringe somewhere either on the far left or the far right. And it’s so you won’t you can only hear the message on a shortwave radio in the middle of the night. No, this is access accessible, easy to find information. Nobody’s hiding anything. All of this information is being put out on Front Street for your consumption. So you know, I feel like a broken record here, but I’m gonna say it again. It’s super duper important to get intentional and strategic in my opinion about who you’re listening to and where you’re getting your advice. Be careful about influencers and social media panderers who just want to tell you everything is great. Everyone’s doing great. We’ll never have another financial crisis just FOMO and Yolo and spend and racking up debt and everything’s groovy Is it is it. We’ve made it now to Wednesday. If you go to CNBC, you will see headlines such as crypto hedge fund three arrows capital plunges into liquidation as market crash takes toll. I really hope that we’re not going to wind up having to bail out crypto and when I say we I mean the taxpayers. I really hope that that’s not what’s brewing up here. But I would not be surprised how vows to prevent inflation from taking hold in the US for the long run. Stocks waver Wednesday as Wall Street attempts to regain its footing. Goldman expects weak Tesla results recommends these Evie plays. Bed Bath and Beyond replaces CEO in leadership shakeup as retailers sales plummet. If you bounce over to Yahoo Finance, the stories are pretty much the same. Stocks mixed in choppy session amid lingering inflation and growth concerns. Bed Bath and Beyond in the end days after a quote dumpster fire analyst says, Powell says no guarantee the Fed can avoid a hard landing. America slowly forgets Abercrombie and Fitch. You also have the headline Should I wait for real estate prices to crash before I buy a house? Here are three simple reasons why this housing downturn is nothing like 2008. And the byline rains waiting for housing to plunge, you may be waiting a long time. Yeah, I don’t know about that. I think you will have some people. And this is just my opinion. I’m not a broker, a real estate agent or a real estate professional of any kind. I’m just giving you my opinion. In my opinion, I think you will have some people who hold out I’m seeing that here in the Midwest. I’m seeing people that are still putting junk houses on the market and wanting millions of dollars for them. And I mean, junk, just a piece of crap. Not in good locations, not in good condition houses that people think are gold mines. So you’ll have some holdouts for sure. But I think most buyers have kind of they’ve reached the flinch point. They’ve gotten to this place where they’re looking at the interest rates, they’re looking at how much they have to cough up for a down payment to even get in a junk house. And they’re saying no, thanks. I think I’ll wait it out. So if we just look at basic supply and demand, the more that these people with junk houses try to drive their prices up and the more that buyers say no, thank you, we’re not interested. What do you really think is going to happen? In my mind, what goes up must come down and if there’s not enough demand for the supply that’s out there. Sure, somebody can sit with the house on the market for eons overpriced, but if nobody buys it, then what? If you scroll down a bit you will also see headlines such as this recession will be the most severe yet Peter Schiff called the 2008 financial crash and now says the next downturn will be worse. The bottom of the bear market is still 10% away. Morgan Stanley Wealth Management says and the odds of a recession have doubled. No DOJ, as we used to say back in the 90s. Cathy wood I erred on inflation but recession is here. That’s also a no DOJ moment. On Wednesday evening, a news alert popped up on my phone and the headline reads job cuts are rolling in. Here’s who is feeling the most pain so far. Naturally. I will drop a link to it so that you can read it for yourself. I want to read a little bit of it for you here. The dominoes are starting to fall in the US economy as the Federal Reserve pumps the brakes on the economy many American companies are retrenching there is a growing fear that as the central bank aggressively hikes interest rates to fight high inflation, it could tip the US economy into a recession and executives are cutting back. A host of companies have announced job cuts or hiring freezes in just the last two weeks. Now I’m going to skip down a little bit further because there’s a point I want to make. under a heading job market is unsustainably hot says Fed chief we read. Fed Chair Jerome Powell says he and his colleagues are trying to stabilize the job market that is unsustainably hot wages have been rising at a fast clip in an economy where the unemployment rate is at 3.6% which is very close to its pre pandemic low. You have two job vacancies essentially for every person actively seeking a job and that has led to a real imbalance in wage negotiating Powell said when answering questions at a press conference two weeks ago and quote. Yep, I told y’all this was coming. I did they I knew that corporate America I knew that the power brokers were going to sit back and say Okay, y’all had your little great resignation. You had your little rebellion. But now it’s time to come on back. It’s time for the pendulum to swing around in favor of us again. And now we’re going to victim blame you we’re going to look at you and say well, you guys just gotten greedy you didn’t want to work every time that you job hopped you wanted to get a higher and higher wage in order to do it. And now it’s time to pay. If you scroll down a little bit there’s another heading which reads pandemic darlings are cutting the most. Under that we find a lot of recent layoffs have come from what have been hot, high growth parts of the economy that did especially well during the pandemic. For instance, the exercise equipment company peloton took off when gyms closed similarly, Netflix’s popularity soared when people were stuck at home binge watching TV shows and movies and quote. Yeah, so I also warned you that this was coming. At some point it was going to y’all need to come on back to the office for everybody. And so what I glean Well, one of the things that I gleaned from this article is they’re they’re telling you in advance what’s getting ready to happen. Okay, we already have Jamie Dimon from JP Morgan talking about how he envisions most people being back button seat and offices sometime this fall. Listen, that’s not that far away. And we’re rapidly careening into the month of July by the time I publish this Saturday broadcast So it will be the month of July, we will be on the Fourth of July holiday weekend at that point, the autumnal months are not that far away. Now we see that the layoffs are happening with these companies that took off. And they did well, when y’all were at home, when it was considered okay to ride your exercise bike and to sit at home and binge watch Tiger King, it was okay, but now it’s time to come on back. In other words, they’re not planning on you being sitting in the house, they’re not planning that you’re going to be binge watching Netflix, they’re not planning that you’re going to be buying stay at home exercise equipment, they’re planning that your butt is going to get back in that cube farm. And if you want to work out, you’re going to be doing it at a gym or on in some sort of on site, fitness facility at your job, you’re not going to be hanging out watching Netflix. And as Elon Musk claims only pretending to work, you’re going to be in the digital panopticon with your butt sad and a cube where somebody can watch you ignore, ignore all of the signs at your own risk. If you have a high commitment to working from home, then you need to be paying particular attention to all of these things rather than burying your head in the sand and trying to be a denialist. You need to to perk your ears up and be paying the most attention to these trends right now. So we’ve made it to Thursday, and I wanted to hop on and talk about what I’m seeing in the job market. I will review the headlines later. I’m not really sure what the markets are going to do, how crazy that might get. So I will come back to that later in the day. Earlier, I published my podcast episode, job market predictions. And also this morning, I had a conversation with a friend of mine that pertains to the job market. One of the predictions that I make in that episode for your entertainment only is that I think as layoffs continue, we very well could see more people turning to freelancing and to the gig economy, not necessarily because they want to, but because they feel like they have to in order to try to make ends meet. And as I was talking to my friend this morning, he said, You know, I have no idea when the dust settles what kind of label we’ll get officially pinned to the economy, will it be hyperinflation, stagflation or recession? Who knows. But if you have somebody who’s been living paycheck to paycheck, as a lot of people in America do, and they suddenly get laid off, they don’t have any immediate prospect wind up about how they’re going to get back to work fast and replace that income, it’s going to feel like they’re in their own personal Great Depression. Regardless of what label gets put on the economy, it’s going to feel like they are in an economic depression in terms of their household finances. So he and I kind of went down the rabbit hole about personal finances and micro economies. And, again, not not trying to sound all er and gloom and doom and pessimistic. I just want to be real with everybody. In terms of the freelancing projects that I’m seeing, the overall number of things that are posted, as well as the quality of what’s getting posted has been a sharp decline. And especially when you juxtapose the way that the market was this time last year, there’s almost no comparison. Now to be totally clear, I’m not saying that there aren’t any high quality projects still posted. Yes, there are there are some great projects at great companies for a sensible rate of pay. Yes, there are. They’re just becoming fewer and farther between. So even the freelancing and temporary and project based markets are starting to get thin. And some of the jobs and I’m seeing posted that maybe even just six months ago, would have had maybe four or five applicants at most have way more than that some of these jobs would not have had any applicants in the throes of the great resignation, there was zero applicants. And everybody would have just looked at it and like now, no, thank you. Well, we’ll pass on that. But now it’s like this job has been posted for two hours and it already has 75 applicants. That’s clearly a warning sign. Ignore this kind of data at your own risk. I’m not giving you any type of official advice. I’m just putting some information out there for you. I’m kind of being like the geek that’s doing some homework on your behalf and reporting back to you. To give you one example of some of the wonkiness that I’m seeing somebody had posted a contract assignment earlier. I think it was maybe yesterday. It was sometime a day or two ago in the week and they wanted a full on HR manager for $10 an hour. Now this was not somebody in a developing country. This was right here in the US a full on HR manager with credentials for 10 bucks an hour. And I thought, Man, this this job market has gotten so bizarre, so bizarre if you thought it was weird during the Great resignation when people were job hopping and you had employers getting on TV, whining that nobody wants to work and and people are just lazy. Well, it’s about to get weirder. Another thing that I’m seeing is that there is just very little sense of urgency. And even companies that say, Oh, yes, we’re highly motivated. We want to move quickly. We needed this filled yesterday. Ha, no. Huh. And from what I am seeing, and all I can do is speak to my own personal experiences from what I am seeing. It’s like that meme of the man standing there going. So that was a lie. On Tuesday of this week, I published a blog post titled ain’t nothin flying right now. And hashtag real talk. That’s when I’m seeing Orlando miner had recorded a YouTube video about how in certain markets, homes that typically would be flying off the markets, they would have had multiple showings multiple offers, and the houses just boomed by the time that that most buyers have even had the opportunity to firstname.lastname@example.org and see these houses, they would have already been gone, they would have already been under contract and would have been a done deal. That’s not happening so much anymore, these houses are starting to sit there as buyers go. I don’t think so. And in the same way, that overpriced houses are not flying off the market as they had been last summer, I’m honestly seeing the same thing out in the job market. And I know, I know, that’s not going to be welcomed news to a lot of people, people are going to hear that and be ready to throw rotten tomatoes at me. And I totally understand. But again, I’m just trying to be real with you know, I had had seen an article about the average days to hire, and how high those rates still were even during the Great resignation, where most professional jobs had an average day to higher rate of like 30 to 50 days. And this was like last summer, when the great resignation was going on. And we were having to tell hiring managers move it or lose it, you cannot slow but around or you’re gonna miss good talent you have to get going. So here’s my point. If companies were that slow moving in a heavily candidate driven market, how much slower could they become in a client driven market. And that applies across the board, whether we’re talking about full time, part time w two to 99, freelance temporary whatever, I really feel that the pendulum has already started to swing over in favor of client companies and in favor of hiring managers over candidates and employees. So we just don’t know what the future holds. But I don’t want anybody to be caught off guard. And in my mind, part of doing some job market and career prepping is thinking about what you would need to do. If the opportunities in your field whether we’re talking about freelancing and gigging or whether we’re talking about full time w two employment, what would you do if those opportunities were moving as slow as molasses? Because some of them are, and it does not matter what kind of rhetoric you hear from the hiring manager. Oh, don’t worry. We learned our lesson during the Great resignation. We move fast. We run lean, we eliminate unnecessary steps. We needed somebody like yesterday, ha, were totally motivated. Don’t hang your hopes on that. You need to have some kind of game plan put together about what you would do in the event of somebody hitting you know the nuclear option in your life. Ie What if you had a layoff, and it was difficult to find something for three or four months or in the event that you’re doing project based work and nobody wanted to move their butts? Sit down with a professional if you need to. I am not a professional economist, financial planner or advisor. I cannot and will not and do not give you financial advice. If you need to talk to a professional about how to draw up a budget and how to have that in case of emergency break glass financial plan. I think it’s an auspicious time to do that. Trust your gut and get professional help if you need it. Okay, so it’s later in the day on Thursday, the markets have closed and we read headlines on CNBC such as s&p 500 Post worst first half since 1970. NASDAQ falls more than 1% in the quarter. Bitcoin just had its worst month in more than a year. GM and Ford rising Tesla falling in evey car wars in US Bank of America analysts says natural gas dropped 16% posts worst month in more than three years. Although Do you think that any cost savings would be passed along to the consumer? I highly doubt that. If you saw the side panel of LinkedIn news today, you saw headlines such as tidal wave of layoffs hits San Francisco talent more shifts in industries favor. Hmm Imagine that. It’s almost like somebody should have been on the airwaves and on their blog warning you that that’s exactly what’s been going on. New NATO vision zeroes in on Russia. How inflation five Right is worth the risk. Inflation stays near record high. US regulator comes for tick tock and Google grapples with executive exits. There was a commenter I mean, this is so LinkedIn. So LinkedIn, there was a commenter on the article talent, warships and industries favorite I just want to read a little bit for you here. Tech unemployment was 1.4% in March 1.7% in April 2.1% In May total unemployment hovering at 3.6% near 40. Year all time lows, tech is still leading the way for employment and this is without digging into how other industries supply chain manufacturing food etc. are firing on all cylinders. TLDR getting laid off sucks but layoff posting on LinkedIn is fear porn and quote. Lordy Lord, reminds me of the part in A Christmas Carol when Ebenezer Scrooge says all retired a bedlam. If we go over to Yahoo Finance, we’ll see headlines such as stocks slide to close worst first half and 52 years. The major averages were tracked to post steep declines for the month of June and first half of 2022 as recession fears remain elevated. Omicron experts want more data to guide fall booster shots. Bed Bath and Beyond burned over 500 million in first quarter analysts says housing priced out homebuyers now face sky high rents. Crypto Winter is coming after sec rejects key Bitcoin ETF Dow Jones dives after key inflation report. tech stocks are having their worst year ever. Here’s what history says about what happens next morning brief and quote. I’ve said it before I’ll say it again, the risk of sounding like a broken record. I think in my opinion, it’s a really good time to be strategic and insightful about who you’re listening to, and where you’re getting your information from. If you’re spiritual or religious, if you believe in some type of higher power, pray on it. If not meditate, get in contact with your gut instinct, your higher self. You know, we live in such an age of digital vomit and constant news and all news is breaking news anymore. There’s just no such thing as like a garden variety news story these days. We’re surrounded by so many things, trying to grab our attention. That even just going into a dark quiet space in your house or your apartment and getting quiet. Getting still being able to really tune in to your own gut instinct that can be a challenge sometimes. So I think at the very least whether you believe in prayer, whether you want to connect to some energy outside of yourself, or you just want to connect to your higher self and your own gut instinct. In my opinion, this is a really good time to get in contact with that information. What is your gut telling you is your gut telling you hey, you know what the social media panderers and the people on LinkedIn who think everything’s fine. And everything’s dandy and unemployment is still under 4%. My gut instinct tells me that they’re probably right, cool beans, you know, you it’s up to you, you and your family have to do what’s best for yourself. It’s not my place to say otherwise. My gut instinct personally speaking only for myself is telling me that that’s a load of BS. Also, the unemployment rate is historically known as a lagging indicator, ie by the time you’re being officially told that unemployment has gone up, it’s too damn late. Caveat emptor, let the buyer beware. In my opinion, this is a really smart time to be judicious about who you’re listening to and what information you’re consuming. All right, we made it to Friday, I saw an article this morning on LinkedIn that I wanted to highlight for several reasons. The article is called Design for mod z abruptly shuts down and I’ll read the blurb for you now. Digital interior design startup mod z submit pics of your space designers tell you where to put the sectional sofa is closing up shop. The seven year old startup which raised nearly $73 million in funding was an acquisition talks with an unknown company just last week. The deal fell through According to TechCrunch and leave staff designers without a job and customers without designers. We intend to fulfill customer merchandise orders CEO Chanda Tillerman said Mazzi will pivot to monetizing its software via a revamped offering called Mazzi Pro and quote Yikes. So several things I want to point out for one thing the word abruptly this wasn’t something that apparently people knew was already brewing up kind of had some advance notice a little bit of warning maybe could see the writing on the wall. They’re using the word abruptly. Also seven years old, it’s not exactly like they just set out a shingle yesterday. I mean, after you kind of hit hit the Seven year point, I mean, can you still be called a startup? I’m not sure about that. I tend to think about startup companies as being a lot younger than that. But the point I’m making is they were already established. They weren’t people in grandma’s basement calling themselves a startup or a company that just launched last year, they were already seven years old. And they had raised nearly $73 million in funding, which is not pocket change. Again, we’re not talking about somebody in grandma’s basement with $500, trying to make it on a wing and a prayer. Oh, it didn’t work out kill Sopris. Now, this was an established company that had raised some significant money. We don’t know who the prospective buyer was with the deal that fell through. But once it fell through, it apparently really caused the Poopoo to hit the fan. So these designers are now out of a job probably didn’t see it coming. I’m not putting this out there as fear porn. I’m not putting this out there to say every job in the world right now is in jeopardy, not at all. I’m really telling you to keep your head on a swivel and to stay alert, Don’t bury your head in the sand. If there’s any way possible that you can know what the health of a company is, either while you’re working there, and you need that job. Or if you’re thinking about making a change, you need to really look before you leap and do some due diligence, do some research, try to figure out as much as you can. Sadly, I don’t think that this is going to be an isolated trend over the next few months. I hope and pray that I am wrong. I really do. But I just think that instead of this being a blip on the radar owes is just one company, it’s probably not anything to worry about, well, there could be a ripple effect. That’s why it’s important to stay informed. Don’t bury your head in the sand that now is not the time for that. All right, so we’ve made it now to Friday evening. And as per usual, I am spent. I’m really glad that this is a long weekend. I am in need of it. I was not able to get out this morning before the heat of the day. My work schedule is kind of crazy this morning. So I went and ran a couple of quick errands on my lunch break. It was already hot by that point in time. It’s oddly muggy, too. I think we might finally get some much needed rain tomorrow, we’ll see it certainly feels like it could could go in that direction. Very similar to what I saw last Friday. overhead lights turned off in certain parts of the store. Air conditioning was minimal at best. There wasn’t a lot of difference between walking across the parking lot. And then going into the stores it was really stuffy and uncomfortable. So pretty much had to just wait until I got back in the car and blast the air conditioning to get cooled back off. A lot of fronting to where items are being shoved to the front of a shelf to make it look like everything’s stopped pretty well when in fact it’s not. Other areas of the stores were just bear. Laundry Detergent looked like it had been hit pretty hard and hadn’t been replenished. Paper products were starting to get thin. That being said you can still find toilet paper and paper towels. It just didn’t look like as many of them on the shelf. And I heard from a friend of mine who lives in North Carolina that where she shops at like Sam’s Club and Costco they actually are having toilet paper shortages. So just something to think about. I’m not telling you go and hoard toilet paper. I’m just telling you from a bird’s eye view there are certain stores where the inventory is looking thin. And there are certain stores where they’re shoving items to the front to make it look like nothing to see here. People move along but as soon as you take an item off, you realize okay, there’s nothing waiting behind it. If you went to the side panel of LinkedIn news today, you saw headlines such as California pumps up gas prices. Alto gets Amazon exec lays off staff. Mortgage rates dip but not much. Stars and strikes July 4 trouble and recession were emitted to slash hiring. If you go over to Yahoo Finance, you will see bond market doubts Feds ability to thread the needle. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell admitted that there is no guarantee that the central bank can avoid a hard recession, introducing market fears that the Fed may not follow through on its plan to raise rates to 3.8%. Stocks kickoff July with gains after worst first half since 1970. Key dock worker contract expires talks continue. Voyager suspends trading deposits, withdrawals and rewards. Earlier today, news story popped up on my phone from Fortune. And the title of this article is the economy probably just plunged into a recession according to a real time data tracker used by a key Federal Reserve Bank. Yeah, so earlier this week, I published a blog post about lagging indicators and I feel like I’ve been trying passionately to get the word out that by the time official proclamations are made, by the time the general public sort of wakes up out of their stupor of celebrity gossip and whatever the hell people are doing. It’s too late by that by the time somebody sits down to you and says I hereby I proclaim to you, we are in a recession, or we are in 1970 stagflation it has occurred. By the time that happens, it’s too late. It’s it’s too late not trying to be gloom and doom not trying to be an ER but it’s like, you know, if you haven’t made some financial preparations if you haven’t been paying attention, I don’t know what else is going to do it for you. Also, today, Orlando miner put out a video about Airbnb trying to forbid parties, people renting a house for like one day or one night to throw a big party. And then the neighbors complain in some situations, I guess, things have escalated to a point where violence broke out. And I think there was a story he played where somebody got shot in the arm had an Airbnb party, and it’s like, whoa, that’s pretty intense. So as I was sitting there watching this, I just typed in the comments exactly what I thought, depending on how bad inflation continues to get Who the hell is going to have all this money for throwing parties, and a couple of individuals, I won’t, I won’t be like Chef Ramsay and call them donuts. But a couple of individuals were very quick, to enlighten me that people always have money for parties. And that is so funny that people think that higher inflation means that people just stop their way of life. Absolutely not. Consumption just decreases. But they don’t really stop their quality of life. And I’m like, Oh, God. Here’s the deal. You know, and I fully admit kind of my own bias around this, because I do to some of the projects that I work on, I’m around a pretty fair number of active and former military, individuals in the federal government, individuals in the intelligence community, as well as just private civilians who actually give a crap about emergency preparedness. And they’re the kind of people that when they look at the tea leaves and economy, they say, All right, we need to cut down the fun budget, it’s time to eliminate anything extra and really focus on the basics. So when I hear like, oh, people are always going to have money for parties, I’m like, well, that’s idiotic. If I were recording this, for my Patreon channel, I would have used a little bit more blue language, but you get what I’m saying, like, some of these people are going to be hurting, because they’re often lala land and they’re, they’re not paying attention. They think that the music’s gonna play forever. And in fairness to what these people have said, there was a guy I saw on TV, I don’t know exactly where he was from. But you know, in the US, obviously, he was driving a big gas guzzler SUV, and he was bragging on TV about how he had filled up the entire back of it with fireworks, and he and the family were going to cook out and they were going to have this big blowout for the Fourth of July. And I’m like, Well, what are you going to do? If you need that money later for I don’t know, food, for toilet paper for medicine? I mean, like, how are you prepared to handle that? I mean, did you go to the firework stand and put all of that on a credit card where the interest rates probably going to go up? I mean, so it just gets it gets frustrating for me to see people who just don’t care. They don’t get it, they don’t care. And as these people are pointing, pointing out, okay, people always have money for parties. Well, I hope they enjoy themselves. I hope they have a lot of fun. I really do. Because I think when the music stops playing, it’s not going to be fun for anybody. I hope I am wrong. Because I’ve said many times, like Dennis Miller always said, this is just my opinion, and I could be wrong. It’s not meant to be taken as advice of any kind, legal, financial, moral, spiritual, etc. We’re all entitled to our own opinions. It’s a free country. In my opinion, if you’re not waking up, you’re not paying attention. You’re already behind the eight ball and you’ve got friends and family that you care about. Share this broadcast with them. Start pay is start paying attention to what’s happening in the markets don’t get relentless about it. Don’t become obsessed, don’t get paranoid and assume the sky is falling or we’re all about to careen into, like a Mad Max apocalyptic scenario. I don’t think that I just think we’re going to be pinched. You know, I think the economy might get really rough now for how long? Who knows? Could be a few months could be a few years, I have no idea. But I would rather feel like I paid attention and you know, I trusted people who I felt like were a little bit more informed than me that kind of read the tea leaves and even better than myself and say, Yeah, I think things might get rough for a little while. I think we might be in for you know, some unpleasant times in this country for the next few months. I wouldn’t you know, I’d rather filter in that Intel for myself and check it against my gut instinct. So I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July weekend. We will not be going to the fireworks stand and spending 1000s of dollars I intend to rest and enjoy it and just unwind however you choose to celebrate. I hope it’s happy and fun and safe and I will catch you in the next episode.