It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a little joe …
Welcome to another rousing edition of Black Coffee, your off-beat weekly round-up of what’s been going on in the world of money and personal finance.
I hope everybody had an enjoyable week. Without further ado, let’s get right to this week’s commentary …
Some battles are won with swords and spears; others with quills and ravens.
— George R.R. Martin
Credits and Debits
Debit: Did you see this? Nearly four million people quit their jobs in April, which is almost double the number of employees who quit a year earlier. Among private-sector workers, this April 2.8% told their boss to take his job and shove it — that’s a full percentage point more than last April, when the so-called “quits rate” fell to a seven-year low. As for those who are still happily employed …
My self checkout line always has the slowest bagger in the whole place… you.
Matt (@matt6053) June 9, 2021
Debit: Perhaps not coincidentally, the number of job openings soared by a record 1 million to 9.3 million in April — that’s the highest number of open positions in the history of US jobs data. In fact, thanks to generous government unemployment benefits, so few people are now incentivized to work that there were just 1.06 unemployed workers for every job opening last month — that’s down from 1.35 in February and from 4.6 at the peak crisis moment last April. That’s also great news for this recently unemployed magician:
Debit: Then again, why would anybody work when they become an overnight stock market millionaire! Just be aware that a growing number of financial analysts say there are multiple warning signs of a coming correction — somewhere in the vicinity of (gasp!) 5% to 10%. Although … with the Fed’s printers stuck on overdrive, what used to be considered a relatively reasonable forecast now seems like a completely off-the-wall prediction.
Me searching for reality… pic.twitter.com/nh1HqYAQEG
Vaccine Passports Are The Opposite of Freedom (@DreamzAbstract) June 10, 2021
Debit: Meanwhile, US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, said this week that even though inflation is now at the highest level since Paul Volcker hiked rates to 20%, and the US is about to issue another $3 trillion or so in debt just to fund existing stimulus programs, the US should push forward with its $4 trillion spending plan. Yes; even if it triggers persistent inflation and higher interest rates. No, really; she actually said that.
BINGO! Housing is 41% of core (incl utils and other). Shelter alone is +/- 34%. They use the BS Owner’s Equivalent Rent crap. https://t.co/pUmMlpr7eE
Liquidity Trader (@Lee_Adler) June 10, 2021
1970s inflation was transitory for the entire decade until I came around.
Volcker’s Ghost (@BushidoBlade61) June 10, 2021
Debit: Of course, Ms. Yellen tried to justify her ludicrous opinion with this line of absurd reasoning: “We’ve been fighting inflation that’s too low for a decade.” What? Silly me; I thought debauching our currency was a bad thing. The hopelessly out-of-touch ivory-tower economist then went on to opine that, higher inflation “would actually be a plus for society.” Yes; because the public absolutely craves declining purchasing power.
On the bright side, if you exclude everything you pay for, the cost of living is flat. https://t.co/dpqOtsGb5u
Rudy Havenstein, Cicada Resistance Front (CRF) (@RudyHavenstein) June 10, 2021
Debit: By the way, it was mentioned here last week that negative real rates are rocket fuel for gold — as they should be. So … just how negative are real interest rates at the moment? Well … with the 1-year Treasury yield at 0.5%, and the the latest grossly-understated CPI annualized at 6.5%, that means real rates are negative 6.0% — and getting more negative with each passing day. The last time real rates were this negative was 1980 when, according to Shadow Stats, gold was selling for an inflation-adjusted price of more than $10,000. So you’d think the yellow metal has some catching up to do.
Present value of money theory must be an interesting lecture in finance class….
Corbin Hudson (@MisterPwny) June 10, 2021
Credit: Despite the latest CPI data for May showing price inflation is only getting worse, both stock and bond prices continue to soar higher; blithely ignoring all of the macro- and micro-economic fundamentals. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. If there’s a silver lining to all of this insanity, I guess people can always check their latest 401(k) statements. That is … if they have one.
Markets Are Rigged (@SamBlak65731531) June 10, 2021
Credit: In other news, this week financial reporter Pam Martenson pointed out that, “for reasons that have yet to be explained, when it comes to the $1.7 trillion cryptocurrency market — which is effectively a con-game based on the greater fool theory — nothing is regulated. Not the cryptocurrencies; not the promoters; not the exchanges; and not the firms that are providing as much as 100 times leverage to fuel this ‘rat poison squared,’ as Warren Buffett characterized bitcoin.” Okay. Then this begs a simple question: Why not?
The comments in here suggest NONE OF YOU HAVE A CLUE WHAT YOUR DOING !!! SmH
Justin (@JustinW48610765) June 3, 2021
Debit: Martenson concluded her report by noting that, “the US now has the dubious distinction of being the capital of innovation for every conceivable type of fraud surrounding cryptocurrencies — a ‘currency’ backed by nothing and regulated by no one.” Preach it, sister. Maybe the hodlers should take a lesson from these guys on how to challenge dubious huckster claims with some probing questions of their own:
Debit: Speaking of con games, the US National Debt is now so big, each taxpayer owes more than $225,000. Keep in mind this doesn’t include all of the unfunded liabilities like Social Security, Medicare and other government promises; if you include those, the number jumps to more than $1.2 million per taxpayer. The only thing keeping this monetary charade alive is the dollar’s continuing role as the world’s premier reserve currency.
Dollar purchasing power: turn this chart 180
StocksfreakShow (@StocksfreakS) June 4, 2021
Debit: As the dollar continues its death march into the hyperinflationary abyss, most Americans’ living standards — which have been artificially propped up for more than 40 years now — are going to fall and life is going to change for all of us because the wealth they thought they had will be proven to be a lie. The good news is, after the reckoning, living standards can quickly recover — as long as a new monetary system is introduced that ties the national currency to gold.
Debit: Until then, almost everyone in Congress will remain oblivious to the fact that, in so many ways, they’re the ultimate reason why we’re stuck with the current fraudulent dying debt-based monetary system we do have — not the “wealthy tax cheats;” not the small businesses and corporations who risk their own capital to raise everybody’s standard of living; and not the people who are accused of failing to pay their “fair share.”
The federal government brings in $4trillion a year but spends $6trillion a year. The United States Government is insolvent. We dont have a income problem we have a wasteful Congressional spending problem via fiscal policy.
Underworldpics.io (@UWmixradio) June 11, 2021
Credit: One last thing: Financial analyst, Bill Holter, notes that as the reckoning approaches, you’ll see that goods become scarce and dollars become hard to spend. He also warns that the failing dollar is going to feed on itself because “human nature is that when people can’t have something, they want it even more.” Uh huh. In other words, the best time to protect yourself is now — while you still can. I know; I keep repeating myself. But at least I’m not the only one.
But can it carry coconuts better than swallows?
Rotbringer Decrona (@PoxFulcrum) June 6, 2021
By the Numbers
The world’s 50 highest-paid athletes collected $2.8 billion over the 12 months ending May 1. But this year’s list features many more notable numbers:
0 The number of athletes appearing on the list from Major League Baseball, the NHL or Nascar.
4 The number of athletes who surpassed $100 million in total earnings this year. (Conor McGregor, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Dak Prescott)
8 The number of sports represented on the list, led by football with 18 athletes. Soccer (8), tennis (4), golf (3), Formula 1 auto racing (2), boxing (1) and mixed martial arts (1) rounded out the list.
16 The number of nationalities represented on the list. Other than the US, which has 34 athletes ranked, the only country to have more than one athlete is France. (Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba)
31 The average age of the 50 athletes on this year’s list. Phil Mickelson (50), Tiger Woods (45) and Tom Brady (43) are the only athletes over 40 on the list.
$34,000,000 The cutoff to make this year’s ranking, beating the previous high of $31.7 million from 2019; it’s also a 55% increase in ten years.
$60,000,000 Tennis star, Naomi Osaka’s, 12-month earnings — that’s the highest total ever for a female athlete.
$1,040,000,000 The amount this year’s top 50 collected in off-the-field earnings from their endorsements and business activities.
The Question of the Week
Last Week’s Poll Result
Where do you get your most important info?
- News aggregation websites (24%)
- Print or online newspapers (21%)
- Blogs (17%)
- Radio or podcasts (15%)
- Television (13%)
- Social media (6%)
- Spouse or significant other (3%)
More than 2100 Len Penzo dot Com readers responded to last week’s question and the results verify that television has very little influence on where people get their most important information today; in fact, only slightly more than 1 in 8 people say they get at least some of their most important info from the boob tube.
If you have a question you’d like me to ask the readers here, send it to me at Len@LenPenzo.com and be sure to put “Question of the Week” in the subject line.
Useless News: Prescription Fill
This lady noticed that her dog could hardly hear so she took it to the veterinarian. He determined that the dog’s problem was hair in its ears. So he cleaned both ears and the dog could hear fine.
The vet then proceeded to tell the lady that if she wanted to keep this from recurring she should go to the store and get some hair remover, and then gently rub it in the dog’s ears once a month.
After receiving the vet’s instructions, the lady went to the drug store to get some hair remover.
At the register the pharmacist says, “If you’re going to use this under your arms don’t use deodorant for two days.”
“I’m not using it under my arms,” said the lady.
“Well … if you’re using it on your legs, don’t shave for five days.”
“I’m not using it on my legs either,” the lady said. “If you really must know, I’m using it on my schnauzer …”
The pharmacist replied, “Then be sure to stay off your bicycle for at least a week.”
More Useless News
Here are the top — and bottom — five states in terms of the average number of pages viewed per visit here at Len Penzo dot Com over the past 30 days:
1. West Virginia (2.38 pages/visit) !
2. New Hampshire (1.94)
3. North Dakota (1.86)
4. Idaho (1.81)
5. Maine (1.80)
46. Vermont (1.15)
47. Virginia (1.13)
48. Montana (1.12)
49. Wyoming (1.10)
50. Hawaii (1.02)
Whether you happen to enjoy what you’re reading (like RD Blakeslee and the rest of my really good friends in West Virginia … for the second month in a row!) — or not (ahem, Hawaii) — please don’t forget to:
1. Click on that Like button in the sidebar to your right and become a fan of Len Penzo dot Com on Facebook!
3. Subscribe via email too!
And last, but not least …
4. Please support this website by patronizing my sponsors!
Thank you!!!! 😊
Letters, I Get Letters
Every week I feature the most interesting question or comment — assuming I get one, that is. And folks who are lucky enough to have the only question in the mailbag get their letter highlighted here whether it’s interesting or not! You can reach out to me at: Len@LenPenzo.com
This week Motzmotz submitted this grievance to the Len Penzo dot Com Complaint Department:
No one reply to the comment I leave here, and possibly nobody care the comment I leaved. [sic]
Not true. Anyone who leaved a comment can rest assured that I readed it.
If you enjoyed this, please forward it to your friends and family. I’m Len Penzo and I approved this message.
Photo Credit: public domain