Aug
17

Remarkable R-E-S-P-E-C-T

The Friday File: Yesterday legendary singer and songwriter Aretha Franklin died at 76. During her spectacular career, she won 18 Grammys, sold 75 million albums, had 17 Billboard pop chart top 10 songs, and quit flying in 1983 preferring a custom tour bus. Her best-selling album was Amazing Grace, … [Read more...]

Aug
16

Underregulated Uber

Last week, NYC imposed a series of regulations that last one year on Lyft/Uber that will primarily reduce their supply of drivers. Until now, profit maximization for Uber/Lyft simply meant having more drivers. That gave Lyft/Uber no incentive to optimize driver time or capital. Now, ride-hailing app … [Read more...]

Aug
15

Excellent Equities

One week from today, the current bull market will reach 3,453 days in duration, surpassing the longest bull market of 3,452 days which went from 10/11/90 through 3/24/00. During this near 10-year period, US equities have returned about 420%, excluding dividends, since the bull began on 3/9/09. One … [Read more...]

Aug
14

GDP Growth

CY2018 US GDP growth should average 3.1%, led by rising employment, strong income gains, tax cuts, increased defense spending and very strong consumer and small business confidence. During CY2019, growth is likely to steadily slow, yet still average a solid 2.6% as tax cut impacts fade, trade wars … [Read more...]

Aug
13

Troubled Turkey

With the Turkish Lira down 26% last week and 41% YTD, Turkey’s in crisis. The declining lira has pushed inflation to 16%, short-term interest rates to 23%, and its huge debt, over half of which is foreign-denominated, will be much harder to repay. Turkey’s new finance minister, President Erdogan’s … [Read more...]

Aug
10

Airline Animals

The Friday File: Last year, US airlines carried 849 million passengers, up 3.1% versus 2016. That’s not where the growth is. In 2017, the number of pets carried by US carriers reached 784,000, up 11%. Pets are generally transported for a fee ($125 each way) in the cabin or cargo hold. The same … [Read more...]

Aug
09

Poor Promotions

Research shows that high-performing sales representatives are more likely to be promoted into management. For example, a doubling of sales boosts the probability of promotion by 15% above baseline. But the new manager’s pre-promotion doubling of sales is also associated with a 7.5% reduction in the … [Read more...]

Aug
08

Poverty Percentages

While the percentage of Americans who say that they are either doing OK or living comfortably is 74%, up from 63% in 2013, the first year for which data are available, many Americans struggle financially. Fully 40% of Americans say they cannot come up with just $400 in an emergency without selling … [Read more...]

Aug
07

Amazing Apple

Last week, Apple became the first US firm to surpass $1 trillion in value. In 2007, PetroChina first hit this milestone; it’s now worth $200 billion. There is little doubt that Apple, along with Amazon, Alphabet, and Microsoft, (each worth over $800 billion) and other such superstar firms like … [Read more...]

Aug
06

Job Jolt

July’s net job growth of 157,000 was solid, especially considering the closure of Toys “R” Us, which resulted in 32,000 job losses in hobby and game stores. May and June were substantially revised up, the broadest measure of unemployment hit 7.5%, its lowest level since 5/01, while headline … [Read more...]