01 Apr Saturday Broadcast 42
✔️ ICYMI news, 3/26 – 3/31.
✔️As RTO becomes clearer, we see more Johnny Come Latelys jumping on the bandwagon. 😒
✔️Companies are talking about existential threats and laying off like it’s 2008 but hey: labor market is still red hot and people are doin’ great! 😣
✔️”Paring back CapEx, paring back hiring.”
✔️Attention is an important currency, too. Who are you listening to? As companies are shedding jobs, it seems more people are turning to social media to grift.
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/more-companies-watching-remote-workers-184015079.html (Vindicated yet again. They even use the term panopticon!)
Links where I can be found: https://causeyconsultingllc.com/2023/01/30/updates-housekeeping/
Need more? Email me: https://causeyconsultingllc.com/contact-causey/
Transcription by Otter.ai. Please forgive any typos!
Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find us online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. And now, here’s your host Sara Causey. Hello, Hello, thanks for tuning in. Today it is Sunday, March 26. If you go over to fortune.com this morning, the main story du jour is RTO. Quelle surprise. We find Salesforce is shuttering slacks remote work research group Future Forum amid CEO Marc Benioff back to Office push. The byline reads when Future Forum launched in 2020. Its head wrote that the sudden move to remote work provides the opportunity to question decades of orthodoxy about a nine to five, office centric, homogenous work culture and quote, We of course, did because see, that’s what you were supposed to be doing in 2020. You needed to go home with your laptop and your cell phone and continue working. But now that they want you back, then you’re supposed to just go back, question the orthodoxy when that’s what they tell you to do. Be a nonconformist, when that’s what they tell you to do. But otherwise, sit down, shut up and go back to the cube farm. And it cracks me up to see how many Johnny come lately is there are on this bandwagon. All of a sudden, Oops, oh, maybe RTO is actually going to happen. Yeah, do you think? Meanwhile, I have warned you and warned you and warned you about this reality. I don’t think it takes a genius to understand the idea that all of these companies are not going to universally bulldoze their corporate real estate. Elon Musk gives Twitter employees details on very significant stock awards after relentless layoffs and cost cutting. The US housing market is holding up the best in the global correction. Well, we’ll see how long that lasts. Deutsche Bank scare forces German chancellor to borrow line from Silicon Valley Bank CEO no cause for any kind of concern. Wink. On that note, there was a video I saw earlier on Kitco, about emergency Fed rate cut by June, only six US banks could be left by 2025, which would pave the way for C, B, D Cs. And in that video, they talk about executive order 14067. Let’s just read a snippet from Wikipedia about that executive order. The executive order aims at developing a digital assets policy plan and organize federal regulators efforts in this area. The order outlines five main goals which includes protection of consumers and investors monetary stability, decreasing financial and national security risks, economic competitiveness and responsible innovation. It also asks for more work to be done into developing a United States Central Bank digital currency and quote, notice how they just slide that in. But listen to the language. It protects consumers and investors. Oh, let me imagine I’m in a pastel sweater here just a minute. It protects consumers and investors, it stabilizes money, it decreases financial and national security risks. It helps economic competitiveness. And it promotes responsible innovation. Now, btw, it also asks for a CB, DC so that you are not single Doofy be happy. And we can track every GD thing that you do all the time. But don’t worry about that. Because as long as we put on a pastel sweater, and we speak in very calming, soothing NLP type ways, then you’re going to be just fine. Oh, and by the way, keep listening to the hot air and hopium bullshit crowd telling you that RTO just simply won’t happen. Yeah, do that at your own risk. Because it’s interesting to me how many of them now are starting to reverse course. The preponderance of evidence now is so clear that any any person out on the street who knows nothing about the job market could say yeah, I think RTO is probably becoming inevitable at this point. I guess we better saddle up and get ready to come on back. To me, that’s not a thought leader. You’re not an influencer, if you just look at statements of the obvious. If those are the people that you’re still listening to God help you. Today, it is Monday, March 27. Over on Yahoo Finance, we find why First Citizens got a 16 and a half billion dollar discount for taking over Silicon Valley Bank. The byline reads to get a deal done. Government regulators agreed to a series of concessions, stocks and banks rise after SVB sale. First Citizens acquires troubled Silicon Valley Bank by Nance and CEO sued by CFTC over regulatory violations CFTC sues binance cz on alleged unregistered derivatives and crypto assets. Chewy CEO sees a more cautious consumer. Yes, this again goes back to it’s the economy stupid. Also on Yahoo Finance by way of the street the brutal layoff email Disney CEO Bob Iger sent employees today. When we click on that, and we go over to the street we find Disney is the latest big company to announce cuts. CEO Bob Iger on March 27 sent out an email to Disney employees informing them that the layoffs are now Since February have begun, as I shared with you in February, we have made the difficult decision to reduce our overall workforce by approximately 7000 jobs as part of a strategic alignment of the company, including important cost saving measures necessary for creating a more effective, coordinated and streamlined approach to our business. It begins. Iger goes on to say that affected employees will be notified beginning this week with leaders communicating to affected employees over the next four days. The letter says a larger round of layoffs is coming in April, with the goal being 7000. Staff cuts before summer ends. Iger remain professional in expressing his feelings about the layoff saying the difficult reality of many colleagues and friends leaving Disney is not something we take lightly. The CEO also made an ominous mentioned closer to the end of the email for our employees who aren’t impacted. I want to acknowledge that there will no doubt the challenges ahead as we continue building the structures and functions that will enable us to be successful moving forward. I ask for your continued understanding and collaboration during this time in quote. Well, it’s not difficult to figure out. People who are left behind typically have to absorb the workload of the individuals who were laid off. Now, I’m not trying to put words in his mouth. It just seems to me that a fair interpretation could be those of you who are left if you intend to keep your job here and stay. You need to sit down, plug in and do whatever you’re told. Earlier on the side panel for LinkedIn, there was news about NPR is continued layoffs. It’s disappeared at this point. But over on NPR ‘s website itself we find NPR cancels for podcasts amid major layoffs in PR move this week to cut 10% of its staff and stop production of a trio of acclaimed seasonal podcasts, invisibility via louder than a riot and rough translation as it seeks to closing yawning budget gap that stands in excess of $30 million. The network also canceled a comedy podcast unveiled just a year ago called everyone and their mom a spin off of the mainstay radio program. Wait, wait, don’t tell me. The Science Podcast shortwave is reducing production and we’ll no longer have new episodes daily. We literally are fighting to secure the future of NPR at this very moment by restructuring our cost structure. It’s that important. NPR chief executive John Lansing said in an interview, it’s existential and quote. But people are doing great remember 3.6% unemployment rate robust labor market. On the side panel for LinkedIn, we find nearly half of workers have a side gig. Are you surprised by that? I’m not when you look at the statistics on Gen Z having to Polly work to make ends meet. Inflation that is not transitory cavalierly who surprised? One job may no longer be enough to pay the bills. You think nearly half of us employees have a side hustle or source of supplemental income. Bloomberg reports citing new data from Lending Club and payments.com. According to the report experience working remotely and flexible post pandemic work schedules have made it possible for a growing number of people to explore alternative income streams. The extra earnings which come from activities, including selling used items online and accepting gigs via Apps like TaskRabbit amount to more than $50 billion monthly, much of which is going on taxed. Prediction alert, not for long. It’s not just lower paid workers who have side gigs. 62% of people earning more than 100k per year have growing supplemental income. We are because 100k doesn’t go anywhere near as far as it used to. That was the Hallmark. If you were making six figures, you were doing good. You had breathing room. Not anymore. Not in an economy like this one. Much of which is going on tax. Yeah, not for long known. All those new. All those new agents coming into the India Ralph Susie. Now, that’s not going to be on tax for long. Another prediction alert. As more and more people get herded into the office. The ability to have more than one job at one time and the ability to manage maybe more than one side hustle at one time is going to diminish. I don’t see any way around that. If you have to be back in the cube farm but and see Monday through Friday from eight to five. That is going to limit the window of time that you have unless you’re just not going to sleep, which some people don’t get a lot of sleep. That’s the reality when you’re working poor. It’s going to limit your time to be able to work another job or to run a side hustle even if you are just selling used items online. Doing something like eBay or Etsy or Poshmark, which is not dependent on you typically being but in seat from eight to five in order to do it, you’re going to be stuck doing those things on your own time. Because if you try to do them at work and you get busted in the digital pan Opticon, you’re going to go bye bye. And nobody wants that in a recession. Or if we have 1970s era stagflation, where we have inflation coupled with high unemployment, nobody’s gonna want to get thrown out on their behind. We also find investors pulling deposits from banks. So even though we were told that that had stopped, and people are doing great and this the banking system is like totally sound you guys wink wink Fingers crossed. Now we find investors pulling deposit from banks, apparently that’s still going on. Cash is leaving banks and flooding into money market funds at the fastest pace since the start of the pandemic, as businesses and investors seek safe havens following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, all button and say so while the fat cats and the elites are telling John and Jane Q Public to sit down, shut up and not worry about it. Apparently, businesses and investors are like eff that. I see this as a bellwether, I see this as a warning sign. So no, I’m not just gonna sit back and do nothing. But thank you. So far, this month, more than $286 billion has moved into money market funds, which typically hold low risk assets, such as short term treasury bills, corporations, and small businesses whose bank deposits may exceed the $250,000 covered by federal insurance are likely leading the flight to safety Axios reports and quote, I always, always, always say I do not give you advice, and I do not tell you what to do. I am not an economist, a financial planner, or advisor, I don’t sit on the web. And I’m not a billionaire or a hedge fund manager for billionaires. I think that, for me, just thinking out loud, just totally giving you my personal opinion for me. And you know, the dogs that are here in the room with me at the time, just just imagine that I’m talking to the dogs. I think that if businesses and investors are looking for a safe haven, if they have assessed the situation as being not freaking good, and they’re looking at wealth and asset protection, I think it’s probably a good idea to do the same thing. Even if we’re not talking about large amounts of money if you’re listening to this broadcast, and you’re like why don’t have anywhere near a quarter million dollars in the bank or more like a business or some hoity toity investor person. Why? Why should I worry about this? Hey, it’s your decision. It’s your judgment call. In thinking about these different corporations and CEOs and financial commentators who have said, if you are planning on needing your money in the next two to three years, it would be better to be cautious than not cautious. That’s important. Because if an investor has a million dollars, but they’re living beneath their means, and they don’t necessarily need access to that full million to be able to survive, that looks a hell of a lot different than someone who’s living paycheck to paycheck. If that $300 that you have is going to make or break your ability to pay your rent, to pay the car to buy groceries at the store. That $300 is a hell of a lot more important to you than the same $300 would be to an investor with a million a million dollars. I think it’s wise to think about these things ahead of time. Today it is Tuesday, March 28. Over on Yahoo Finance we find stocks edge lower bond yields rise as SVB failure takes center stage in Congress. Stocks slipped as investors monitored the latest developments in the banking sector after the sale of Silicon Valley Bank, Sam bank Winfrey charged with bribing Chinese officials. Apple launches Apple Pay Later Buy now pay later program. Yeah, I expect to see more of that. I’m still reading dystopian articles about people doing Buy now pay later and using their credit cards for groceries. Home prices dropped for seven straight month to start 2023 terms of what I’m seeing here in real time in the Midwest, for the types of properties that I would be interested in. People are still smoking a lot of cr*ck c*ca*ne. They still want absurd amounts of money for not great properties. I think they still want to get high on the hopium that they’re living in 2021 and that someone is going to show up and pay $2 million for a half million dollar property or pay half a million dollars for a burned out meth trailer on a handful of acres. No, probably not. Now in terms of the single family homes, postage stamp yard, suburbia, some of those houses are still selling, although you will see what I might call microscopic price reduction. ones 5k or 10k off, not really anything that’s going to make a significant difference in your mortgage payment. But almost like, Hey, we’re going to do a nominal reduction just so we show up as recently reduced on realtor.com. Obviously, I can’t speak for the bigger cities, that maybe they have farther to fall in terms of the home prices. But where I’m at in the Midwest, I’m not seeing enough of a price correction yet to really be interested, especially in light of the interest rates, what’s going on in banking, what’s going on in the job market? I’m going to continue to do what Orlando miner talked about, which is sit on the sidelines, and sit it out with purpose. Do what you need to do to be in the best position possible so that when something comes available that you do like you’re ready, Americans predict mortgage rates will soon top 8%. I would not be surprised. Oh, here we go. Drumroll, please. A recession in 2023 is now inevitable. layoffs in tech and finance will spread to other sectors. Oh, do you think? Hmm. Well, if you’ve been with me for a while, then none of that is a surprise to you. And you can sit back and laugh. And how far behind the eight ball any kind of mainstream media news outlet really is. On that note, Jeffrey gunlock predicts a US recession will start in a few months. How many times have we heard and heard and heard and heard that? Oh, it’s not here yet. But it will be maybe next quarter, maybe in a few months, maybe next year? And it’s like, really? Who else is tired of hearing that played out message? Elon Musk warns a new financial crisis is knocking at the door. The byline reads commercial real estate debt and mortgages are a serious threat to the economy warns the serial entrepreneur and billionaire. Well, there’s some kind of financial crisis of brewing. I think we can agree on that. Over on unfortunate.com we find national home prices fall for the seventh straight month. Since peaking in June, US home prices have fallen 3% on a seasonally adjusted basis and 5% without seasonal adjustment. Is that enough? I know that people don’t want to think about a mass correction. But based on some of the things I’m seeing, like when I’m telling you $2 million for a half million dollar property that’s so grossly overpriced that it has to come way down. I don’t see any way around that. Disney joins Microsoft and Snapchat as latest big name company to slink away from Metaverse ambitions. Billionaire bond King Jeff gunlock tells the Fed must choose between fighting inflation or rescuing the banks but it can’t do both. Well, more than likely, they will rescue the banks, especially if the important people bank there. And inflation is just going to keep on going and going and going. I don’t see any relief from it. I wish I could believe that relief was on the horizon. But I’m not seeing any evidence of it yet. A government report says work from home is dying out a remote work guru says that’s false. You know, I was tempted to click on that and read it. But it’s like in my mind two wrongs don’t make a right. I’m not going to worry about some BLS report or some self professed remote work guru telling us that the BLS report is false. It’s almost like, in my opinion, what if you had two falsehoods put together? Do two lies make a truth? Well, no, they don’t. I’m also going to drop a link to a video that was published on CNBC about three weeks ago, where Rebecca Patterson, who is a former chief investment strategist at Bridgewater Associates, talks about what’s going on with the economy from her perspective. The video itself is titled consumers edging closer to a breaking point says former Bridgewater chief investment strategist. But one of the things that caught my attention in this video is that she says, companies are going to pare back on their capital expenditures and pare back on hiring, you’re going to see layoffs, you’re going to see companies spending less. So again, I will say if you have not roughed out a job loss survival plan, if you freelance if you own and operate your own business, and you have not come up with Plan B, C, D about how you would make money in a downturn. What might you do if the primary way that you make money now dries up for a while? It might be too late. Better late than never better to start today than not to start at all. But thinking out loud here. I really have to believe you would be behind the eight ball on this. Are you looking for more? Do Forget you can find Sara on her blogs at CauseyconsultingLLC.com. And at SaraCausey.com. You can also read her content on Medium and Substack. On with the show. Today it is Wednesday, March 29. Over on CNBC we find Dow jumps more than 200 points with tech stocks leading the charge. Credit Suisse whistleblowers say Swiss bank has been helping wealthy Americans dodge US taxes. Really? Well, I think yet again to Billy Madison. Miss Lippy’s car is green. Billy likes to drink soda. Of course, they’re going to do that. As I’ve said many times, these billionaires have high powered resources, attorneys, accountants, bankers, hedge fund managers, they’re going to figure out where the loopholes are. So whenever some politician trots out and talks about we’re finally gonna do it. We’re gonna close those loopholes where taxes billionaires gonna make it pay their fair share, it’s just nonsense. That’s all it’s like, on the peanuts ramp on ramp, ramp ramp. That’s all I hear. It’s, no, they’re not even if they had to get up and leave. Which by the way, I heard a statistic earlier about how many American expats there are people who have just left, I mean, whatever they have to do to preserve their wealth is what they’re going to do. No, they’re not going to pay their fair share in taxes. It’s not going to freakin happen. Also, House lawmakers Terron, the top bank regulators and second hearing this week on the SVB collapse, a hearing okay? And what’s going to change there? What will really happen? long pause so you can think about that for yourself because I doubt a damn thing will change. Okay, so they have to sit there on camera and get castigated by a politician. They don’t care. Nothing will change. Elon Musk and tech leaders urge paws on dangerous race to make AI as advanced as humans. What could possibly go wrong there? How borrowers can keep their student loan payments on hold once Bill’s resume. But what happened to that loan forgiveness? Are people even thinking about that anymore? I mean, I guess if you were planning on that being a real game changer for you. You’re wondering what happened to it, but I’m not even hearing anything about it in the news cycle anymore. Speaking of the news cycle, over on TechCrunch, we learned lucid to lay off 1300 employees and restructuring lucid group the US automaker that produces the luxury all electric air sedan is cutting his workforce by 18% as part of a restructuring the company disclosed in a regulatory filing. Wow. We live in some trying times. It doesn’t have to be all gloom and doom. However, I feel like the Buddhist idea of the middle path is so relevant in this situation, staying aware, staying apprised, but not allowing the news to consume you. And not getting to a point where you feel like there’s no beauty and warmth and comfort left in the world anymore. I’ve been practicing what I preach. I talk about being strategic about who you listen to, and why. And periodically I will do a sort of audit on myself. Why am I listening to this podcast or consuming this content on social media? Why do I follow this person? Is this YouTube video actually worth my time? Even if I’m multitasking? Maybe I’m listening to something as I’m working out in the yard? Or maybe I’m listening to something as I’m doing the dishes or folding laundry still yet that is precious real estate. Attention is the new currency. Why am I holding attention to this? Why am I subscribed to this person’s channel? Is this somebody that I would want to support? I’ve been doing some housecleaning as of late. And I know that I’m going to try to be careful here because I don’t want to be divisive. There’s a certain school of thought, like, the happiest I’ve ever been, is when I just quit watching the news. I’ve stopped reading the newspaper, I stopped paying attention to what’s going on in the world. I don’t care about politics. I don’t care about geopolitics. I just day in and day out. I take it one day at a time and I don’t even think about the economy. I don’t think about the news cycle. And I understand that line of thinking. One part that I find kind of funny about that is those people are typically really ready to tell you I put them in the same bucket as militant proselytizing atheists and vegans who want to make damn sure you know where they stand, and they want you to agree with them. And if you don’t Ready to fight flight people who say I don’t consume social media, I don’t consume the news. But then they want to post on social media about how they’re not consuming social media or how they’re not consuming the news. And it’s like, well, if you’re really not consuming it, and you’re not trying to be an attention, person that’s trying to be really careful about by words there. You’re not going out and fiending for other people’s attention, then why are you putting this out there? If you want to take a social media break and go, if you don’t consume the news, if you don’t feel like what’s happening in the economy, makes a damn bit of difference to you, then that’s cool. You go and do you. I think for me, aside from the like humble brag and the self aggrandizement, that turns me off about that. It’s like, is ignorance bliss. If you’re financially sound and stable, and if the wheels come flying off of this jalopy and you’re good, you’re solid. Okay, cool. Maybe ignorance was bliss for you. Maybe you were right all along. But are you going to be the type of person that needs to go beg, borrow and steal from friends and relatives and neighbors? That’s where I have an uneasy feeling about it. Because if you have spent time burying your head in the sand, and then you expect everybody else to support you, because you were the grasshopper that sang all summer, that’s not fair. It’s not a fair expectation for you to say, well, I’ll just move back in with grandma or mom and dad. I’ll get in a relationship just so I can couch, surf on the furniture and hang out at their place. But I’m like, not going to consume any news. I’m not going to do anything. I’m just going to live in the moment. If that works out for you, great. But I feel like if you’re going to be in that ignorance is bliss mentality. You better have some preps ready. I mean, I’m just saying, I’m thinking out loud here. So I feel like on one side of the spectrum, you have individuals who are of that school of thought, I don’t consume any news. I don’t pay attention to the economy. I live one day at a time fly by the seat of my pants. I don’t plan ahead and who cares? We could all die tomorrow. So why should I save money? Why should I have extra food in the pantry? I’m just going to live for the day and I’m not going to think about anything else. On the other side, you have Chicken Little The sky is falling. We’re in the Thunderdome zombies are going to eat your brains. And I have been trying to be as strategic as I can be about weeding people out who are on those extremes. Whether it’s ignorance is bliss, forget the economy I’m just going to positive think my way out of everything. ie the toxic positivity toxic optimism crowd and then also clearing out Chicken Little Thunderdome you’ve only got four more days you’re willing Tamar weeks. If I see somebody doing that, and I’m listening to their podcast, or I follow them on social media or on YouTube, it’s just an automatic dismissal, I have been working to clear off the detritus. Because as I said, attention is currency. And the language that we use matters. Even if it’s language that you are allowing to get into your brain from someone else. It’s not not only the language that you use yourself and your own internal monologue, but also language that you’re consuming. Because even though you might think well, this is on in the background, it’s on while I’m working or it’s on while I’m folding laundry it’s on while I’m tending the garden, I’m not really engaged per se, that stuff is still getting into your mind. And I feel like it’s really important to guard your mind and what you’re putting in there. I’m tempted to use the old cliche garbage in garbage out. So I’ve been cleaning house and just really trying to be more strategic even more so than I already have been about who I’m listening to and why. And then also assessing is this person trying to sell me something? The this is for sure. gonna paint something of a bull’s eye on my back. I’ve debated on whether or not to bring it up. But I think I think I should even within the prepper community, even within people who talk about disaster preparedness or emergency preparedness or just general preparedness living a lifestyle of homesteading, or living a lifestyle of practicing good for thought. Some of those people have turned into Grifters, or maybe they were Grifters all along. I don’t know. Some of them could be Johnny come lately that just saw the movement, read the tea leaves. They saw the economic freefall that we seem to be in. They saw the need for emergency preparedness and they thought you know what? I think I’ll get started In this community, I think I will come here and try to exploit people’s fears and see what money I can make or see how many likes and comments and shares that I can get for clout. I hate to say that, and I’m sorry if that offends anybody, but I’m seeing more and more of it, people that I would call Grifters. They’re out for themselves. And some of them may or may not even live a homesteading kind of lifestyle. And that’s not a debate that I want to get into. Because you will find that kind of infighting within the emergency preparedness community anyway. Oh, these people are fake. They say they live on a farm but they don’t. They’re standing in front of a fake backdrop. They drive down the road and they film on somebody else’s property. These people say they’re completely sustainable, but they’re really not I caught them using water from the city. Some of these arguments that you can find are so petty and so silly. The point that I’m trying to make here for you for my listeners is Caveat emptor. Is someone trying to sell you something because you can find all sorts of investment advice right now is the best time to and then fill in the blank. buy real estate, buy property, buy precious metals, buy emergency preparedness goods, buy solar panels, get ready to live in the Thunderdome buy cryptocurrency buy the dip in the stock market and blah, blah, blah. There’s tons of people trying to sell things to you. And I think the onus is on you to be smart and to protect yourself and your family. Is this person who’s pushing real estate so hard invested in real estate? Is this person who’s telling me to take all of my money out of the bank and put it in gold bars? Are they the ones selling the gold bars? These people who are telling me that I need to live off of solar panels and well water? Are they profiting off the solar panels? These people who are telling me to buy the dip and invest in certain stocks? Are they profiting from that? Caveat emptor, please be careful about who you are listening to and think about what kind of agenda they might have? What is in it for them? Are they making more money than you might imagine? on their social media? Have they turned YouTube or social media into a career for themselves? And you might be tempted to say, well, this particular person, ah, they might be a little click Beatty, they might be a little intense, but they don’t appear to be selling me anything. Are you subscribe to their channel? Do you like and follow their pages? That revenue is coming from somewhere. And people can make a pretty penny in ad revenue. They can have a lot of influence on social media. Now I’m not talking about maybe they have millions upon millions of followers. But I think you get what I’m saying attention is still currency. And it still matters to the algorithms and to the platforms that these people are on. Are you maybe not buying anything from these people or taking investment advice from them? But if there’s somebody that you feel like might potentially be a grifter? Are you still consuming their content? That’s something that I want to be really cognizant of, as we go forward into whatever this is recession, depression 1970s era stagflation and so on. Am I paying attention? Maybe I’m not paying money. I’m not paying currency to somebody. But am I paying attention to people who are profiteering from that, and it’s not a message I want to support. I’ve really worked to clean up my feeds, because I don’t want to just consume gloom and doom news all the time, I want to have my finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the economy. And by the way, I’m going to drop a link in this episode to the announcement that was on the Federal Reserve’s website about fed now digital dollars coming this summer, I want to know about that. It’s important to me to know what’s going on in the broader economy, what’s going on in the job market, and I have a very deep understanding of the job market as well as how it relates to these other facets, these other markets. That’s important to me, and I’m not looking to give that up. However, I’m not looking to think about that 24 hours a day. I’ve recommended Brian Scott’s channel before I really enjoy some of the meditations and some of the stories or the books that he reads on the channel. And I’m working to clean up what I’m listening to. So that if I’m feeling a little bit down, I’m getting back into the anagram that I use in my own coaching which is M A E or may mindset attitude expectations. Because I think part of what we have to do is manage our expectations. and manage our mindset. It would be so easy right now, if you’re aware if you’re if you’re awake and you’re aware of the difficulty that’s going on the number of people lining up at food banks, people defaulting on their auto loans, defaulting on their student loans, etc. You know, we’re in a poop storm, you know that and it’s so easy to succumb to that and to just feel gloom and doom and Debbie Downer about it. Unfortunately, from an energetic standpoint, when we do that we just attract in more things to feel bad about. It’s like bad news begets bad news begets bad news. So as I always say, I don’t give you advice, I don’t tell you what to do. Speaking for myself, I am cleaning up those feeds and I’m paying a super good amount of attention to where I’m placing my attentive currency. And I’m assessing whether or not these people are trying to sell me something. Are they Grifters? Are they using clickbait? Do they seem trustworthy to me or not? What is their expertise? Where are they coming from? What kind of angle might they have? Maybe that sounds cynical, but I’m trying to stay on that middle path. I’m not into ignorance is bliss and I’ll just ignore everything, but also not going down the rabbit hole of Thunderdome. Madmax, zombies eating your brains and clickbait. Today it is Thursday, March 30. It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is the last day of q1. We’re decidedly into the springtime, the grass is getting green, the trees are starting to bud out into bloom get their leaves back. We’re absolutely in the light half of the year, because of daylight savings and the spring forward and everything. I don’t think it actually got dark until like eight last night. I’m not a big fan of that. To be honest. I missed the dark half of the year. It’s okay with me when it gets dark at like six or seven as opposed to eight or nine. Just feels kind of unnatural to me. Plus all the heat, all the bugs, all the snakes. I’m like oh, summers coming like it or not. It’s going I’m sure I’m the odd person out on that. But I miss q4 Because my q4 of last year is just a blur. It’s a blur of illness and recovery and tests and going to the cardiac ward and all of that mess. It’s like I want to do over but not sick I want to be able to enjoy October and November and there’s really beautiful a Tom no months. It’s like I want the dark half of the year to cut back. But the way the time is flowing and going at this point, all blink. I mean it’s almost April so in no time it will be September October November. Over on CNBC Today we find s&p 500 rises to a three week high as investors bet the banking crisis has stabilized. Well, good for them. I don’t think I’m going to bet in that direction. But they can if they choose to. More home sellers are sitting it out of the spring housing market. That does not surprise me. jobless claims edge up to 198,000 higher than expected. Is it higher than expected? Again? I don’t think so. Sam Venkman fried pleads not guilty to latest round of federal fraud and bribery charges. Biden calls for range of banking regulations in the wake of SVB and signature bank failures, bomb. Same poop different days. And it doesn’t matter to me if we’re talking about neocon or Neo lib, it doesn’t matter. I’m gonna trot out the same old BS about we need more regulations. Well what happened to the regulations? We did have they just get repealed. They just get rolled back. Same song and dance with we’re gonna tax the billionaires. No, you’re not. And if you try to they’ll just leave, they’ll find loopholes they’ll find go arounds or they’ll pack up and they’ll leave. But you’re not going to get that tax money. Now that is not going to happen. Over on Yahoo Finance, it’s a similar vein. Fed officials call March rate hike appropriate with inflation high and banks resilient. Well, inflation is high but I don’t know how resilient these banks are. The byline reads two Federal Reserve officials hinted the bank has more work to do in its fight against inflation. Stocks higher as Wall Street looks to extend rally. Mortgage rates fall for a third straight week in blessing for buyers. Oh, there are a lot of unknowns on what’s next for the US banking sector. You don’t say? Now we also find more companies are watching their remote workers work from home on camera, but it’s costing them big time. Oh, boy, the pan Opticon might be realer than we realize. Oh, you don’t say you don’t say wonder where they got that term. Earlier this month resume builder.com surveyed 1000 business leaders at companies operating on a primarily remote or hybrid plan. The vast majority of them admitted to monitoring their employees in some shape or form. Perhaps most dystopian more than 1/3 required employees to be on a live monitored video feed. Three and four of those companies have fired employees because of what they found via their monitoring software. A similar amount 70% said they’ve had employees quit over their refusal to be monitored, companies are sticking with their choices. 97% believe using the software has an increased worker’s productivity. But just 10% of those companies admitted that they’re using the monitoring software as a means of encouraging a return to in person work in quote. Yeah, no Sherlock. It’s just funny to me. I may as well just crack open a cold beer and pop some popcorn and sit and watch this because I tell you what’s coming, and then I get vindicated? Yes, we’re in a digital pan Opticon. And I’ve warned you about that for a long time. I have also warned you repeatedly that if you have any piece of employer tech in your home, and I don’t give a damn what it is, even if it’s a thumb drive, I don’t care what it is cell phone, laptop, tablet, thumb drive, maybe even a Q tip, at this point, assume and err on the side of caution that you are being surveilled. Like I would never put an employer provided laptop or cell phone in a sensitive part of my house, I would never undress in front of it. I wouldn’t have like a serious discussion with a child or a spouse in front of it, then wouldn’t be the time to get in front of your work laptop and have an argument with your spouse or have it out with one of your kids about something that’s going on at school? No, no way. No way. I would myself assume that every damn thing you do on that technology is being monitored every keystroke, every mouse click if you’re using one of those mouse jiggler things? No. Oh, no, no, no, no, I would assume every single thing that you do everything that you say, is being monitored. I mean, speaking of Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden we already know that we’re being surveilled constantly anyway, by our technology. It’s going to be even worse when you think about employer provided technology watching you and listening to you and collecting all of this data about what you do constantly. Because as they admit to in this article, companies have fired employees, three out of four in those companies said they fired employees because of what they found in the monitoring software. This is another big time, no dull moment. They’re not monitoring you for shits and giggles. For a grim for a laugh, it’s punitive in my opinion, they want to make sure that they are squeezing blood from a stone, and they are getting as much productivity out of you as possible. In my opinion, that’s what it really boils down to. The other side of the coin, also, as they talk about in this article is encouraging RTO just come on back. I’ve warned you about that too. For people that want to draw a hard line in the sand and say I want to stay remote, no matter what if they’re not at a company that truly for real, for real, for real is work from anywhere work from home friendly. They will apply the carrot first and then it will go to the stick. They’ll incentivize you and they’ll give you these ridiculous late 90s era perks in the office. They’ll do the song and the dance to try to lure you back to the office. If that doesn’t work, you’re gonna get the stick come on back or it’s your job. It’s gonna look very Lord Elon. If you don’t show up full time ass and see that the cube farm Monday through Friday by x date we will assume you have tendered your resignation and your badge will no longer work you go that’s what this is going to look like when they get to the stick part of the carrot and the stick. But see this relentless Surveillance can be alright well you can either come to the office where you’re on camera all the time, but we have them hidden and things like the smoke detector and the ceiling tiles and you’re not going to see the cameras whereas if you continue to work from home, then we’re gonna make you sit on a live monitored video feed where if you blow your nose, pick your nose, sneeze cough, we see everything. We time your bathroom breaks. We know if you yelled at your dog or you yelled at your kid or your spouse came in and had a 10 minute discussion with you while you were on the clock about what you want to eat for lunch that day, we’re going to know everything. And people will ultimately weigh and measure that. And it’s like, do I want to stay home and be relentlessly surveilled? Or do I want to go back to the digital panopticon slash cube farm where I’m being surveilled, but it’s not so overt. That’s not a decision that I can make for you. Obviously, every person listening to this will feel differently about that issue. But I told you about somebody that had indicated to me that on a freelancing job, this person said, you know, we can either hook you up with monitoring software that takes screenshots every few seconds, or you can just film yourself working and turn it in. But if we don’t get a film or the screenshots, we just won’t pay you. Oh, how degrading mean it’s degrading enough when you’re talking about a W two employee. But when you freelance when you are taking on all of the risk, and you’re covering your own benefits, oh, eff off No, no. Sitting in being filmed relentlessly all day. That’s gross. Some people maybe get their kicks for Matt, but I know I sure don’t. Anyway, to get back to the point RTO is coming. I think yet again of Jed Hill, this is the here and the now welcome to the land of you don’t have a choice. RTO is not going to go away a petition or an angry Slack channel is not going to stop what’s coming. I’ve been vindicated on that as well. I’m being vindicated on what I’ve warned you about with the digital pan Opticon and the relentless surveillance may make these decisions as best as you can for yourself and your family. Caveat and tour. I don’t give advice and I don’t tell you what to do. The closest I will come to that is the onus is on you to protect yourself and your family to decide what you will and will not put up with and to decide what your boundaries are. be naive at your own risk. Today it is Friday, March 31 TGIF in a major way, I’m so tired. I hope that I will get this episode out on time in the morning, but this is definitely a night where I just want to melt into the blankets. I just want to go to sleep. The weather has been so bizarre today. So in other parts of the Midwest and down in the south are terrible tornadoes. We didn’t have any tornadoes or thunderstorms but we did have the insane winds like 6570 mile an hour winds constantly. There were trees uprooted. property damage, wildfires that broke out. It’s been a very weird, weird Friday. Over on CNBC today, we find stocks closed higher Friday, NASDAQ notches best quarter since 2020. Key fed inflation gauge rose point 3% In February less than expected. Okay, so this is one of those situations where you’re expected to think that this is good news, because it was only wink wink point 3%. And it was less than expected. So everything’s fine. Take your pablum little baby and go on back to sleep. The Fed has got it under control. Social Security Trust Funds depletion date moves one year earlier to 2034. Treasury says. Yeah, for me being in the younger part of Gen X, I guess I’ve just always intuitively known that retirement was just not going to be in the cards for me and probably for a good chunk of my generation as well. I think millennials and Gen Zers came to that conclusion almost immediately. But even for me, it didn’t take very long looking at the tea leaves and gestures broadly, like the world didn’t take long for me to figure out that this idea of the pension and the gold watch are great granny living in a house that she inherited, that’s been in the family forever, and it’s already bought and paid for and she can live off of Social Security and live beneath your means. And it’s all good. I was like that’s that’s not going to be the reality for me. And I wonder what kind of dire circumstances could be in store if Social Security runs out if pensions start having difficulties if we have more bank failures, obviously, I hope none of that happens. I just wonder for people that have drank the retirement Kool Aid how that’s going to work out Google Will founder former Disney exec to get subpoenas in JP Morgan Epstein lawsuit. Biden tells Russia to release Wall Street Journal reporter and then there’s all a plethora of information about the orange MAN indictment. I will revisit that momentarily. Over on Yahoo Finance, we find depositors Yank another $126 billion from US banks. The byline reads customers withdrew another $126 billion the week ending March 22. Bringing total industry deposits to their lowest level since July 2021. But hey, nothing to see here. People move along, move along. It’s all good. And then right after that, we find bide nomics. Don’t upset the banks. Schwab hit by worst month since 1987, amid cash sorting woes. Doesn’t seem to be super great news. Dr. Doom Nouriel Roubini warns economic trilemma is making a financial crash inevitable. One of the world’s richest men knows why Silicon Valley Bank really failed people on iPhones. Stephen Schwarzman worth $42 billion, and the head of a firm managing almost $1 trillion says social media is what doomed the bank. Yeah, those darn kids, those darn kids and their Twitter and their Instagram and their tick tock. They did this. It wasn’t the speculators. It wasn’t risky practices. It wasn’t shadow banking. No, it was those darn kids again. And then also we find a plethora of information about Orange Man and the indictment. And is he enjoying this? is he enjoying me? Attention, whatever, whatever, whatever. I’ll just speak in code about all of this because it’s pretty much what you have to do. Unless you want to get in major big time hot water, which I don’t. I’m exhausted. I’m tired. The last thing I feel like doing tonight is getting myself pulled off the airwaves. As I said before, when he was first putting out these Nostradamus proclamations of potentially being arrested, it’s like well, first of all, who does that? John and Jane Q Public typically don’t. They typically don’t go online and predict their own arrest, and people get an A kerfuffle about it. That seems rather odd to me. Is this part of a media circus? And again, I don’t know the answers to these questions. I’m merely asking them out loud and conjecturing out loud, but to be emphatically clear, I don’t know. Just wondering out loud, is this part of the media circus? Is this something to distract you from something else? That’s a hell of a lot more important? In other words, hey, looky over here at Orange Man. And he’s probably going to be arrested and like, Isn’t that crazy. But then something else that’s much more important that could potentially impact your life in a much deeper and more profound way is going on. But this is being touted as something big and important that you should pay attention to. Is it political theater of some kind? Because I don’t ever tell you what to think or what not to think. I myself don’t see a difference between your average neocon and Neo lib. I also don’t see a big difference between any of these fat cat politicians and their cronies, the people that get trotted out every four years for us to vote on for us to select. Even though I mean it’s laughable, like if you really for real had someone that was going to change the system and really for real drain that swamp, they would never make it into power. Just in my opinion, it’s a false bill of goods. And think years ago, South Park did an episode lampooning that and I won’t even say the two characters that they put up for, for grabs put up for votes, but I mean, that’s what it’s like, here, choose between this repulsive person and the other repulsive person, and it’s like, Oh, great. Awesome. And then you still hear people like yeah, I didn’t vote for this guy and hold my nose the whole time I was doing it but I hate him less than I hate the other one. What a system. But again, just totally thinking out loud, just speculating, just conjuring, I have to think that this can’t be real, it has to be some kind of in my opinion, theater stage production, bullcrap theater, for optics for politics, to get everybody all rah rah it up to be partisan, again, red versus blue, us versus them and all of that nonsense, because, again, in my opinion, if you really looked at the ways that people are more alike than different, you would be able to break down those walls around economic class and around race and around religion. And if people in the have nots category came together, and they overcame those issues that are supposed to be there to divide us, there are a hell of a lot more have nots than there are haves. So I just wonder out loud who benefits from this idea of let’s get everybody rah rah up about Orange Man. And then let’s make it super partisan. Because if you’re blue, then you’re supposed to be very excited about this. And happy about it. And you’re supposed to act like it’s real, and it’s going to actually accomplish something, which sounds ludicrous to me. And if you’re red, then you’re supposed to be super mad. And you’re supposed to go out and do something about it. Well, I’ve told you my opinion on that. I sure as shit would not. Pardon my candor. It’s late. And I’m just trying to be super real with you. I wouldn’t. If we were talking about my spouse, children, immediate family members. Like Hell, if they told me Yeah, I think I oughta… Oh no. Nyet. Nein. Oh, no. Oh, no, no, no. No.
All you need do is look at what happened between December and February. On that number of day that would fall between the numbers five and seven, if you know what I mean, to see what your fate could potentially be if you did that. That already, like on the CBS nightly news tonight, I saw all this crap about people are fanning the flames on social media. And they showed a pretty incendiary comment that I won’t repeat, because again, I don’t want to get in hot water. And it’s like, but you don’t even know you don’t know if that’s a person, a flesh and blood person who’s drank too much red Kool Aid. Or if it’s a bot, a troll a piece of AI programming, a paid shill, a foreign spy, a provocateur of some kind? You don’t even know who’s doing that? You said another reason why I say if it were me or an immediate family member, no, no nerve. I wouldn’t go out to protest. Nor would I go out to celebrate. Neither one is just too dangerous. We are not living in the age of let’s gather at the park. peacefully, we’ll make sandwich board signs and maybe somebody will have a loudspeaker and we’ll say what we need to say and then everybody goes home. A generation or maybe two ago, okay, but not now. It’s just too much of a powder keg environment. There’s no way that I myself would go or it would endorse an immediate family member going to do anything No way. No way. I’d rather live to see another day and have my freedom. Sorry if that offends you. But you know, there are times when self preservation matters a hell of a lot. And for me self preservation being around to take care of my family and my animals. That means a hell of a lot more to me than any politician. I don’t care where they come from. I don’t care what their political orientation is. I don’t care. I care about me and mine. I know that. Again, just thinking out loud, I have to imagine that wherever this falls on the level of theatrical performance, when you look at the donors, when you look at the buddies when you look at the money, will there ever actually be a prison sentence? Will there actually be jail time?
Are you kidding me? If you’re stunning they’re like well hell yeah there will be, go blue . . .like all you have to do is go back and look at the people who donated to the campaign. The same people who profiteer like absolute villains Bond villains during that administration if you really think, oh, there’s gonna be jail time we’re turning it around and cleaning things up. Sure, right. Of course. That is definitely some next level hopium that is hoping that goes way beyond
Oh, work from home is gonna last forever, you guys. A petition and angry Slack channel. Yay, we’re
gonna really stick it to the man. No, you’re not. No, you’re not. No, you’re not. They’ll just tell you to hit the bricks. And they’ll hire scabs or they’ll hire robots and that’ll be the end of that. Even more so hoping to imagine that the x highest person in the office again, I’m having to speak in code and riddles here that x times person was gonna go to jail. Are you shitting me? No. Because he this has happened and happened and happened it happened and happen. We have to play pretend like this is something new, but really it’s not. I need to talk about Glenn Greenwald’s book with liberty and justice for some I intend to do that. Hopefully this week, I watched a great documentary about plutocracy. And some of the points in that documentary tie in very well to Glenn Greenwald’s book so I’m hoping that maybe the Thursday episode, I can cover both that documentary and Glenn Greenwald’s book. I’ve been talking about that for weeks now. And I need to finally get around to doing that. But in that book, he talks about the same narrative over and over and over.
You know, Gerald Ford, talking about okay, this was a national nightmare, and we need to just put it behind us. We need to forget about tricky Dickie and just move on down the road. It’s time for the nation to heal. Okay, and then Obama did the same thing. Okay, we know that there were things that happened in the double you and chick Daini capsule, try to talk in riddles. Bear with me, the W man and the chick Daini administration that shouldn’t have happened. But you know what, let’s let the national nightmare be over. Let’s forget about it. It’s time for the nation to come together and heal. I mean, it’s the same freakin script. What do you think will happen here? At some point, somebody, I don’t even care what party it’s from, who even gives a rip it about that anymore? I don’t even care what party it’s from. Somebody will try it out and be like, Look, the national nightmare is over. We need to just move on. We need to heal as a nation and come together and look forward to a brighter future. Don’t believe me? Just watch. I always say I don’t tell you what to do or not to do. I don’t give you advice on this podcast. I sit here and give you my op eds for your entertainment only. And, yeah, for your entertainment only. I would just, you know if it were me or an immediate family member, I would be really, really careful. I’d be careful about who I’m listening to. I’d be careful about what kind of content I’m consuming on social media and I myself would not want to go out to any of these events connected to the Orange Man. If that offends you, I’m so sorry. You do you? You do you? Your decisions are different from mine. Your beliefs are different from mine. The only thing I will say firmly and resolutely is please stay safe. Please take care of yourself. Use good situational awareness. Don’t be goofing around playing on your phone. So many people now walk around zombified and glued to that Gd phone. Ah, like, if you’re out in public, if you’re in a big group, and I don’t care whether you’re out of celebration, or you’re at a protest, don’t be glued to that frickin phone, my friend. Keep your head on a swivel and use good situational awareness. If that’s what you’re going to choose to do. I’m not going to I’m going to keep my asset the house where I feel safe. But whatever you choose to do, please stay safe. As well as that stay sane. Keep your head on the swivel, and I will see you in the next episode.
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