27 Aug Saturday Broadcast 13
✔️ ICYMI news, 8/22 – 8/26.
✔️ “Apple employees claim they’re doing ‘exceptional work’ remotely as Tim Cook orders them back. They’re probably wrong.” WOW. Ignore the RTO fluff pieces / WFH hit pieces at your own risk, IMO.
✔️ Most recent homebuyers feel buyers’ remorse about their real estate purchases. This is another example of times when a delay in your process can turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
✔️ If you’re out there doing “revenge spending” that you cannot afford in order to impress randos on social media… what are you thinking?!
Links I mention in this episode:
Transcription by Otter.ai. Please forgive any typos!
Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in recording this portion of the broadcast on Monday, August 22. Over the weekend, as I was doing my shopping, taking care of things for the humans and the animals in my life, it seemed like I went out at times when everybody else had the same idea. I am still in my part of the Midwest, which is all I can speak to. I am not seeing people just staying at home, people avoiding stores, people not driving very much there were still a lot of people out. And I think it’s because in this particular time of the year, so many schools are going back in session. And a lot of the things that I saw were there were huge gaps in the aisles were like breakfast and school lunch type foods for kids. Potato chips, cereals, pop tarts, oatmeal, that kind of stuff. lunch meat and bread, peanut Oh, the peanut butter aisle at my local Walmart was decimated. Things like that seem to be in short supply. I also known as a lot more people shopping at places like Dollar Tree and Dollar General. So when you go especially if you’re not there, at an offbeat time, you’re gonna want to pack your patience. There was a lady ahead of me who behaved very erratically. She got in line, but then she got out of line and just vanished. She didn’t say anything to anyone. But then she came back with a few more items and made this big production of setting her things down on the conveyor belt and kind of giving me a dirty look. It was almost like she was trying to start something and I thought, oh, no, oh, no, no, no, no, I’m not falling into that trap. You have already been told by people who have been well trained in the military people in the intelligence community. This is not the time don’t start. No, she won’t be no. So I didn’t make eye contact with her. I didn’t pay any attention. And I just tried to tune her out. So you may encounter people that it’s almost like they’re just spoiling to get into a conflict. And, you know, I can’t give you advice. I can’t tell you what to do. But as far as I’m concerned, I don’t want to go anyplace where I would feel unsafe. If I were in an area where I thought that going by myself to a store or a neighborhood was a bad idea. I would make sure that I had friends and family with me. And I would not try to get into any kind of altercations with anybody. If I felt like somebody was just looking for trouble or looking for a fight, I would not want to be the person that they picked the fight with. Over on CNBC, we have headlines such as dow slumps 600 points Monday to rap worst day since June as summer rally fades. AMC shares tank 40% as Regal Cinema owners, Warren have put potential bankruptcy. You know, I’m not entirely surprised by that either. I was thinking about this. When I saw that headline. I was really like questing back into my mind. Like, when was the last time that we went and sat down in a movie theater? I honestly think that it was fall of 2019. I know it was before all of the COVID and Pandemic stuff. And then movie theaters got shut down for that period of time. And we just never went back. I enjoy having a movie night here at the house. I know a lot of people argue it’s not the same. It’s not the same experience to try to watch something on your phone or laptop or on the tilt the television at home. And I get that I used to love going to the movies. It was like a big affair. But the prices are high the concessions are high then there was all that mess with COVID where the theaters got shut down. And I’m at a point now where it’s like I don’t just wait you know if I rent something on Vudu and we hate it. So be it you know, or something through DISH Network, whatever. All right, okay, we paid 599 for this and it sucked. We weren’t very impressed. That’s better than going to the theater and paying 14 or $15 per person and then realizing that you didn’t even like the film. So how the movie industry is going to make it through this I really don’t know to be determined. We also read zoom pairs back annual forecast as revenue growth slows to single digits. You’re not going to be sad if zoom calls just totally go away. I’m so over the video call platform for to eliminate 3000 jobs in an effort to cut costs but remember people are doing great layoffs are isolated. Over on Yahoo Finance we find stocks crushed in Monday market meltdown, NASDAQ falls 2.6% Dow drops 640 points. Musk demands Dorsey turnover Twitter info on fake accounts. That will definitely be interesting. I doubt we will ever know on any of these social media platforms exactly how many accounts belong to like bots, AI corporate shills trolls, but I’m interested to see how this turns out. homebuyers seek affordability beyond the suburbs. Now if we scroll down we will also find Apple employees claim they’re doing exceptional work remotely as Tim Cook orders them back. They’re probably wrong. Bom bom bom bom. Of course, I will drop a link to that so that you can read it for yourself. I want to point out a couple of paragraphs in particular here. The petition written by a group of workers known as Apple together claims that employees have been doing exceptional work throughout the pandemic, whether they have been working from home or from the office. But questions still persist about what effect remote work actually has on productivity, with recent data suggesting that the cultural quirks behind working from home mean that companies like Apple demanding workers returned to the office may have a point. I’m going to scroll down a few bars and continue to read. remote workers are wasting up to 67 minutes a day doing menial and unnecessary tasks just to prove to their supervisors that they are actually virtually engaged with their work. And what the authors call digital presenteeism, more and more remote workers are feeling pressured into proving to their superiors that they are visibly online, and in doing so are adding an average of 5.5 redundant work hours a week to their regular schedules. remote work may also have contributed to deteriorating what work culture tried to say that fast deteriorating work culture and consequently lower productivity for certain employees. According to another recent study published in MIT Sloan Management Review, the study’s authors found that remote work is leading to a higher number of less important meetings that have a bearing on worker happiness and potentially productivity in quote. Right, right. Right, right. Yeah, I mean, look, I’ve talked about this many times before, if somebody is determined to game the system, or to you know, to be a little bit more crass about it screw off, they’re going to do that. It does not matter if they’re at home, it does not matter if they’re in the office, they will figure out a way to game the system if they are bound and determined to do that. I feel that when these reports are saying the remote workers are wasting more than an hour every day just doing unnecessary tasks, it’s because they feel they are being surveilled. This all goes back to the digital pan Opticon. At any moment in time, you either are being watched, or you could be watched. And most people I think are waking up from their naive stupor. And they understand Yeah, probably are being monitored. If I have a laptop or a cell phone or any piece of employer tech in my house, they are probably using it to surveil me. So you have these mounds, jugglers and things to try to do. Jesus is coming busy. And it’s absurd. If you just said, I’m results oriented, I really don’t give a crap what your process is, okay? I care that the result is done well and on time. And if it’s not done well, and on time, then you’re fired, I’m going to leave you to do what you see fit for the job, things would be completely different. There would really be no wasted time on menial tasks and unnecessary BS and jiggling the mouse you I feel like you would separate the wheat from the chaff really fast. You see this in freelancing work, you’re either going to provide the deliverable on time and give the client what they want, or you’re fired. I mean, it’s just that it’s just that simple. Most of the time, now you’re going to run across some micro micro managers. And then the NiNis. Nancy, the nitpickers that want to get into the minutiae of your process are trying to boss you around and you have to decide how much of that you’re willing to put up with. A lot of times it depends on your own personal finances to be candid. But it’s not a surprise to me that people feel that they’re doing redundant work, and they’re trying to just make sure that they pop their head up like a prairie dog will get out of the hole, like hey, I’m here, hey, I’m here, you know, don’t fire me because my team’s light went orange. It’s just a bunch of BS. It is. But in my opinion, okay, my opinion and I could be wrong. In my opinion, corporate America is not going to learn what I would consider to be the appropriate lesson from this, which is quit punishing people, tell them do this, or it’s your job and make it just that cut and dry. You’re not going to sit here and screw off. We’re not going to pay you to watch Netflix all day. We want you to provide a deliverable and then if you don’t, then you don’t, that’s the end of the line for you. If you do then that’s great. And we keep going. We’re not going to measure your process. We’re not going to look at how many mouse jiggles and keystrokes you had the day we’re going to look at the end result. If you’re doing a good job for us. We’re not getting in your sandbox, but they won’t do that. No, no, no, no, no, no. They’re gonna use this as justification to get everybody back in the cube farm. Don’t believe me? Just watch. Today it is Tuesday, August 23. on CNBC, we have headlines such As we’re in a housing recession, here’s what that means for homeowners, sellers and buyers. 72% of recent home buyers have regrets about purchases. Dow falls 100 points after Wall Street suffers worst day since June. Twitter whistleblower alleges executives misled board and public on spam and security. Zoom shares fall 14% following revenue myths and gloomy forecast. I haven’t varied any of my opinions on the video call platforms. I’ll be glad when we can just go back to conducting business over the phone and via email like normal human beings, normal decent human beings. Not everything has to be on a video. Okay? Now if we click on this article, about 72% of recent homebuyers have regrets about their purchases. Here’s what we learned. The number one reason for the buyer’s remorse. 30% of respondents said they spent too much money. The second most common regret was rushing the home buying process with 30% saying their purchase decision was rushed and 26% indicating they bought too quickly. And quote, I am still seeing places put on the market here in the Midwest, obvious lemon houses, places with clear problems where the owners are throwing their hands up in the air saying oh, well, we’re not going to do anything to fix it. Now. We still want two or 300 grand over what would be reasonable. And we’re hoping somebody will just miss show up by magic and give that to us. You know, things that trend on the coasts are in larger, more metropolitan areas, it takes some time before that trickles in to the breadbasket of the US. But yeah, I haven’t seen massive price reductions and a housing crash happening in this part of the country just yet. But I’m not naive. I know that at some point, the band will stop playing. And it’s interesting because if you get on some of the websites that show foreclosure or pre foreclosure, some of the homeowners that were trying to sell these places that it’s insane, just extreme bizarre prices are now in pre foreclosure. And I find that very telling. Over on Yahoo Finance, we find what odd Macy’s stock move tells us about retail right now. Brutal profit warnings are the new good news on Wall Street provided you are a retailer that sells discretionary clothes like Macy’s. What stocks mixed after a run of bad economic data inflation act to have no measurable impact on inflation. analysis says new home sales fall by 12.6% in July, the lowest since January 2016. world food shortage going from bad to worse. You know I talked about farming right now being a nightmare. And I’ve said it said it before. I will say it again. Ignore the information coming out of the agricultural industry. ignore the warnings of farmers and ranchers at your own risk. Do that at your own risk, in my opinion. Over in the personal finance section on CNBC, there’s an interesting article titled, despite recession fears and fueled by revenge spending, Americans spend $314 a month on impulse purchases. In the little TLDR key points summary we find even as the cost of living surges, and more Americans say they are stretched too thin. They’re also spending more on impulse purchases. More than half of all purchases are spontaneous. According to one recent report. Social media doesn’t help. Under the heading pandemic shopping changes boosted impulse buys we read. To be sure the pandemic has changed the way people spend money. Consumers abandoned ingrained shopping habits hurtling e commerce into hyperdrive according to an analysis by McKinsey and Company. Americans are spending more on clothing, travel and experiences. The report also said and are now conditioned to believe they can get whatever they want, whenever they want. I think it’s a pretty thin argument to say that this idea of like Western world or American shoppers saying I want what I want when I want it is somehow new to the pandemic. Now perhaps we could argue that the pandemic exacerbated it, but it’s by no means a new phenomenon. I talked about this in my bonus episode from August 15. Called who is coming to save you and I talked about what it was like to run a CSA style side hustle and have customers just tell me point blank Well, I know that you don’t customize these produce boxes. But wink wink nudge nudge you’re gonna do it for me. My husband doesn’t like this. My wife doesn’t want that. So even though you don’t customize and you can’t magically pull fruits and vegetables out of your rear end. You should do that for me. That out Today has been around for years. It is nothing new to the pandemic. If we scroll down a bit we also read. It’s not just the allure of celebrities like the Kardashians anymore. Seeing influencers and even friends posting in restaurants on vacation or shopping creates a Keeping Up with the Joneses mentality that is hard to resist. nearly 40% of young adults said they spend more of their money on experiences than necessities like paying bills, in part because they want to share it on social media, according to a separate report by Credit Karma and quote, yeah, okay. All right. Feel free to call me a stick in the mud. Feel free to call me a crusty old woman. Okay, XOR that’s fine. But y’all got to get over that. Oh, my Lord, I want to buy this so I can post it on social media. I want to go out and see and be seen so that I can post it on social media and I don’t know try to impress random people. That’s No, just no. there gonna be some people that don’t make it in my opinion. And if you’re splurging on experiences and junk that you don’t even need to try to impress people on social media, you may not make it through a severe economic downturn. I get it, I get it. Okay, X are okay. gloom and doom are? Yeah, that’s not that is not, that is not the direction that I would be going down right now at all. Today, it is Wednesday, August 24. I kind of can’t believe how fast the month of August seems to be zooming by. Not that that’s a complaint. I don’t want to wish my life away. But I am ready for the cool Christmas of fall. I am so ready for the terminal months and I really hope that we get a nice good fall and not just hot hot summer two weeks of fall followed by a long cold winter to be determined in the Midwest you just never know. on CNBC we have headlines such as what to know about Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan who qualifies how it works and when to apply. Nvidia says gaming market conditions are challenging q3 forecast misses, Salesforce trims full year expectations for earnings and revenue. peloton strikes a deal to sell fitness equipment and apparel on Amazon. Home prices fell for the first time in three years last month. And it was the biggest drop since 2011. Not really seeing that just yet here in my section of the Midwest, as I’ve said before the smaller starter homes with a small yard if they are priced within some type of human reason. They are still getting offers larger properties or places with acreage. There are still people in this part of the Midwest that want to put out a burned out house trailer on 10 acres and say well we need a million dollars for this. No one appears to be giving that to them but I guess there’s a lot of try. Over on Yahoo Finance we get the interesting take of America’s trash flow isn’t signaling a recession CEO explains. Republic Services CEO does not see a recession in America’s trash. Over on the side panel for LinkedIn we find Biden unveils student debt relief. Americans want minimum 73,000 Pay laid off workers finding jobs FAST home prices take a serious tumble. Newman’s own kin Sue Newman’s Own that doesn’t sound very good. peloton turns to Amazon to sell bikes. Nordstrom and Macy’s cut forecasts. If we click on laid off workers finding jobs fast we read, unemployed Americans are finding jobs faster than ever. Even with the economy slowing and more companies announcing layoffs. What’s going on? The pandemic labor market has proved so strong, with roughly two jobs open for each job seeker. That cuts made by startups and big corporations have yet to put a dent in demand. As of July the average unemployed worker was without a job for eight and a half weeks down from 14.4 weeks a year earlier. According to the Labor Department. In the words of one staffing firm the balance of power is still with the job seeker. Other recent Labor Department data show the share of those unemployed for less than five weeks surpassed those out of work for at least 27 weeks in January. The number of unfilled jobs fell in June to 10 point 7 million from a record 11 point 9 million in March, but remained almost double the 5.9 million people looking for work and quote, as of the time that I am recording this on Wednesday evening, everyone who has responded to this seems to be pretty favorable and they want to keep touting this statistic To open jobs for everyone, unemployed person, labor market, hot labor shortage, labor shortage. So apparently, we’re still not yet out of what I would call, in my opinion, labor market puff pieces. Every body is doing great. Now more people are having to go to pawn shops to pawn things that they never thought they would. I am hearing from people out in the market that are not indeed finding jobs quickly and just boomeranging right back into employment after a layoff. If you think about the average unemployed worker, according to these statistics, when you think that the average unemployed worker was without a job for eight and a half weeks, when individuals are living paycheck to paycheck, having to go two and a half months, without without pay, I mean, there’s no money coming in, and they’re having to deplete savings or turn to their credit cards. Try to ask friends and family for loans, do what they can based on whatever they’re getting from unemployment that can feel like a hell of a long time to be without any money coming in. I understand people are gonna say that you sound like a gloom and doom or why can’t you just read this article and feel happy about it? Because I have difficulty believing it. So sorry, I do. We’ve made it now to Thursday, August 25. on CNBC we have headlines such as here’s how peloton CEO Barry McCarthy’s turnaround plan is going. The byline reads peloton shares plummet after company reports big loss and declining revenue. So I guess that’s how it’s going. s&p 500 rises as Wall Street seeks cues from the Federal Reserve at Jackson Hole. Powell is not likely to tell investors what they want to hear in Jackson Hole speech. Amazon strikes green hydrogen deal with fuel cell maker plug power, sending shares up Bitcoin depot inks $855 million sphc deal and why midterm candidates want crypto donors. Hmm, I wonder why. Tesla threatens to sue critic over ads showing its cars hitting kid sized mannequins and the picture that they have used that goes along with that article. It’s a picture of Lord Ilan in a tuxedo, scowling and I swear he looks like a Bond villain. Over on Yahoo Finance we find Bank of America downgrades three homebuilders amid housing downturn. The byline reads a softening housing market prompted analysts at Bank of America to downgrade their rating on three prominent home builders on Thursday. Oh, but you know, I shouldn’t worry because all of those mansplain errs and bots have told me that the housing market might be a little tricky. It might be a little frothy but everything is going to be okay. Yeah, okay. All right. Stocks gain as Feds Jackson Hole meeting gets underway. Loan Forgiveness sees opposition from some of Biden’s own allies. Tesla stock split isn’t the only catalyst for Evie King. significant decline in demand Toll Brothers boosts buyer incentives as home orders fall by 60%. Who can really be surprised by that? Who wants to be holding the bag right now, you read these articles about people that have buyer’s remorse they got in during FOMO they bought a place that they were just sure was great. And then most people regret it. They are not feeling good about the purchases that they made. So to me, none of this news should really be surprising to us. There’s also some chatter over on CNBC about Dollar Tree and dollar generals stocks falling with that said Dollar General stock did not fall as much as Dollar Tree. And the reasoning behind that is because Dollar General bet on food and groceries more so than other goods. And that’s what people are needing right now. I think that really speaks volumes. People are not as excited about non necessity things. Now of course, people had to go back to school shopping and I would consider those to be necessity items. You can’t send your kid to school with no supplies. But by and large what people are buying are absolute necessity items like food. What does that tell you? Does that sound to you? Like people are doing great and everything’s fine. Likewise with the student loan bailout, you know everybody’s doing great people are shaking and bacon and their finances are in wonderful shape then why do they need help paying their student loans back? Long, long dramatic pause there to ponder that why are they going to pawn shops having to pawn things they never thought they would? Why are they having difficulty making ends meet if people are doing great? Why are we having financial distress At last we’ve made it to Friday, August 26. I am so ready to go to bid. on CNBC we have headlines such as Powell warns of some pain ahead as the Fed fights to bring down inflation. Powell comments fuel 1000 Point market rout Friday as stocks slide for a second week. Over on the side panel for LinkedIn news we find fed to fight inflation to finish. The thing about Office Friday’s diamond not backing down on our to world’s top Password Manager hacked IRS to waive $1.2 billion in late fees, Salesforce trims outlook stocks dip, SpaceX and T Mobile no more deadzones prices keep climbing purchases slip. The article about Office Fridays has really just profiling people who are stuck in the hell of half measures aka hybrid work. And they’re going into the office on either Mondays or Fridays because they feel like the office is less populated on those days. And I can’t say that I blame them. I mean, for on a Friday the office is the last place that I would ever want to be. But I guess a lot of people feel that way. And so to avoid probably coworkers that get on their last good nerve, they’re just going in on whatever the least populated days are probably to avoid interruptions to be able to keep focus. I mean, there’s just there’s so many things about being stuck in a cube farm that I absolutely do not miss. Now if we click on this article diamond not backing down on our to want to read the blurb for you now. JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon wants workers back in the bank’s New York City home office full time. The New York Post reports. While the company officially allows a hybrid schedule. Insiders tell the post that diamond expects to see employees five days a week and those who work from home could be more vulnerable to layoffs. JP Morgan is a major real estate investor in Manhattan and it’s building a $3,000,000,000.70 storey headquarters on Park Avenue for up to 15,000 employees. Diamond compared remote work to management by Hollywood Squares during a recent call with clients saying it slows down honesty and decision making. Being in the office also bolsters workplace diversity and apprentice programs. He said and quote, this is one of the topics that I have been trying to sound the alarm on for months now. I don’t feel like it’s hidden information. I don’t feel like it’s a very thesis. I think most of corporate America wants workers back. But in seat in the cube farm. They’re not willing to give up their corporate real estate, they still own buildings or have long term leases on buildings and expensive places and they want you back. They also in my opinion, want you back in the digital pan Opticon. It’s easier for them to surveil you, if you’re sat there. Otherwise, you’re gonna have to deal with them watching your every move virtually. I mean, this is again, this is not hidden information. It’s right out there in plain sight productivity metrics, no surveillance, we’re watching you. Now we have the added cherry on top that if you’re working from home, you could be more vulnerable to layoffs. This is something else that I have been trying to warn people about. At some point corporate America could flex its muscles and say come on back or it’s your job. Oh, and by the way, unemployment is higher than any 3.5%. So choose wisely. In my opinion, I can’t I cannot tell you what to do. I cannot give anybody advice. Everyone’s individual situation is different. If it were me if I had built my life around being at home, and I liked it, and I had what I would call my domestic infrastructure laid out, childcare, eldercare, pet care, not having as much wear and tear on the vehicles not having to spend as much in expensive gasoline. As when I was commuting and working outside the home. If I had everything set up and it worked for me, it was how I liked it. I wasn’t some high powered extrovert that wanted to hurry up and get back to the office. I enjoyed being at home and I had everything set up to work correctly for me. I would not I would not underscore it bold typing, I would not want to bury my head in the sand and get into this mentality of well, my employer would just never demand that I come back. They would never do that. Well they don’t own an office anywhere that I’m aware of. They would just never I feel like a broken record, but I’m gonna say it again anyway. In my opinion, being naïve at this point in time here is too big of a price tag. It’s too big of a risk. Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you to be a gloom and doom or and to expect The Zombie Apocalypse, Mad Max road warrior, zombies out in the street, eating your brain, none of that. I just think, you know, again, at the risk of sounding cynical, I just think that when it comes down to it, these fat cats in corporate America, they the amount of money, the amount of power, the amount of resources that they have access to, in comparison to just the average working class person. It’s unfathomable. I’m going to be releasing a bonus episode on Monday called Mephistopheles in Manhattan, because I watched another documentary on Java discover. And yeah, it was horrifying. There’s a there’s a part in this documentary that I watched, where the former CEO of Lehman Brothers is talking about eating somebody’s heart, stealing it out of their chest and eating it while it’s still beating and the person can watch. But yet, you think that corporate America cares about you? Just the amount of naivete, you know, are there some good companies in this world? Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. There are. I’m not going to sit here and say that every company is behaving like the fat cats during the 2008 recession. The point that I’m trying to make here, probably not very artfully, because my brain is awfully tired right now is that if JP Morgan Chase, if Jamie Dimon says you’re coming back, or it’s your job, if you want to work from home, then we’re going to constantly surveil you and put you on the firing squad for a layoff. A lot of people are gonna go back. When Lord Elon said, you know, pretend to work somewhere else, you come on back or it’s your job. These large companies are kicking the door open for other companies to follow suit. Now, that’s not to say that every company is going to follow suit. Yeah, I believe there will still be companies out there that value remote work, and they’re cool with it. Some companies will not. So my suggestion, and it’s all this is just me offering an entertaining suggestion is have some idea where on the spectrum, your company falls, are they really remote friendly? Are they chomping at the bit for people to come on back to the office? Can’t tell anybody what to do? Just if it were me, I would want to have some sense of comfort around my working arrangements. And would I be suddenly called back to the office and all of my domestic infrastructure would have to go out the window. It’s better, in my opinion, to plan ahead and to think ahead, just so you’re not caught off guard and you don’t have that sensation of the rug being pulled out from underneath you. In the meantime, please stay safe, stay sane, and I’ll see you in the next episode.