More on Personal Growth
1 year ago Draft
12 practices of the zenith individuals I know
Calmness is a vital life skill.
It aids communication. It boosts creativity and performance.
I've studied calm people's habits for years. Commonalities:
Have learned to laugh at themselves.
Those who have something to protect can’t help but make it a very serious business, which drains the energy out of the room.
They are fixated on positive pursuits like making cool things, building a strong physique, and having fun with others rather than on depressing influences like the news and gossip.
Every day, spend at least 20 minutes moving, whether it's walking, yoga, or lifting weights.
Discover ways to take pleasure in life's challenges.
Since perspective is malleable, they change their view.
Set your own needs first.
Stressed people neglect themselves and wonder why they struggle.
Don't ruin your life to please others.
Calm people create more than react.
They love creating beautiful things—paintings, children, relationships, and projects.
Hold your breath, please.
If you're stressed or angry, you may be surprised how much time you spend holding your breath and tightening your belly.
Release, breathe, and relax to find calm.
Rushing is disadvantageous.
Calm people handle life better.
Are attuned to their personal dietary needs.
They avoid junk food and eat foods that keep them healthy, happy, and calm.
Don’t take anything personally.
Stressed people control everything.
Calm people put others and their work first.
Keep their surroundings neat.
Maintaining an uplifting and clutter-free environment daily calms the mind.
Minimise negative people.
Calm people are ruthless with their boundaries and avoid negative and drama-prone people.
1 year ago
Six Things Best-With-Money People Do Follow
I shouldn't generalize, yet this is true.
Spending is simpler than earning.
Prove me wrong, but with home debt at $145k in 2020 and individual debt at $67k, people don't have their priorities straight.
Where does this loan originate?
Under-50 Americans owed $7.86 trillion in Q4 20T. That's more than the US's 3-trillion-dollar deficit.
Here’s a breakdown:
🏡 Mortgages/Home Equity Loans = $5.28 trillion (67%)
🎓 Student Loans = $1.20 trillion (15%)
🚗 Auto Loans = $0.80 trillion (10%)
💳 Credit Cards = $0.37 trillion (5%)
🏥 Other/Medical = $0.20 trillion (3%)
At least the Fed and government can explain themselves with their debt balance which includes:
-Providing stimulus packages 2x for Covid relief
-Stabilizing the economy
-Reducing inflation and unemployment
-Providing for the military, education and farmers
No American should have this much debt.
Don’t get me wrong. Debt isn’t all the same. Yes, it’s a negative number but it carries different purposes which may not be all bad.
Good debt: Use those funds in hopes of them appreciating as an investment in the future
-Mortgage, home equity loan
Paying cash for a home is wasteful. Just if the home is exceptionally uncommon, only 1 in a million on the market, and has an incredible bargain with numerous bidders seeking higher prices should you do so.
To impress the vendor, pay cash so they can sell it quickly. Most people can't afford most properties outright. Only 15% of U.S. homebuyers can afford their home. Zillow reports that only 37% of homes are mortgage-free.
People have clearly overreached.
5% down can buy a 10-bedroom mansion.
Not paying in cash isn't necessarily a negative thing given property prices have increased by 30% since 2008, and throughout the epidemic, we've seen work-from-homers resort to the midwest, avoiding pricey coastal cities like NYC and San Francisco.
By no means do I think NYC is dead, nothing will replace this beautiful city that never sleeps, and now is the perfect time to rent or buy when everything is below average value for people who always wanted to come but never could. Once social distance ends, cities will recover. 24/7 sardine-packed subways prove New York isn't designed for isolation.
When buying a home, pay 20% cash and the balance with a mortgage. A mortgage must be incorporated into other costs such as maintenance, brokerage fees, property taxes, etc. If you're stuck on why a home isn't right for you, read here. A mortgage must be paid until the term date. Whether its a 10 year or 30 year fixed mortgage, depending on interest rates, especially now as the 10-year yield is inching towards 1.25%, it's better to refinance in a lower interest rate environment and pay off your debt as well since the Fed will be inching interest rates up following the 10-year eventually to stabilize the economy, but I believe that won't be until after Covid and when businesses like luxury, air travel, and tourism will get bashed.
Bad debt: I guess the contrary must be true. There is no way to profit from the loan in the future, therefore it is just money down the drain.
-Credit card debt
-Vacations, weddings, parties, etc.
Credit cards and school loans are the two largest risks to the financial security of those under 50 since banks love to compound interest to affect your credit score and make it tougher to take out more loans, not that you should with that much debt anyhow. With a low credit score and heavy debt, banks take advantage of you because you need aid to pay more for their services. Paying back debt is the challenge for most.
Choose Not Chosen
As a financial literacy advocate and blogger, I prefer not to brag, but I will now. I know what to buy and what to avoid. My parents educated me to live a frugal, minimalist stealth wealth lifestyle by choice, not because we had to.
That's the lesson.
The poorest person who shows off with bling is trying to seem rich.
Rich people know garbage is a bad investment. Investing in education is one of the best long-term investments. With information, you can do anything.
Good with money shun some items out of respect and appreciation for what they have.
Less is more.
Instead of copying the Joneses, use what you have. They may look cheerful and stylish in their 20k ft home, yet they may be as broke as OJ Simpson in his 20-bedroom mansion.
Let's look at what appears good to follow and maintain your wealth.
#1: Quality comes before quantity
Being frugal doesn't entail being cheap and cruel. Rich individuals care about relationships and treating others correctly, not impressing them. You don't have to be rich to be good with money, although most are since they don't live the fantasy lifestyle.
Underspending is appreciating what you have.
Many people believe organic food is the same as washing chemical-laden produce. Hopefully. Organic, vegan, fresh vegetables from upstate may be more expensive in the short term, but they will help you live longer and save you money in the long run.
Consider. You'll save thousands a month eating McDonalds 3x a day instead of fresh seafood, veggies, and organic fruit, but your life will be shortened. If you want to save money and die early, go ahead, but I assume we all want to break the world record for longest person living and would rather spend less. Plus, elderly people get tax breaks, medicare, pensions, 401ks, etc. You're living for free, therefore eating fast food forever is a terrible decision.
With a few longer years, you may make hundreds or millions more in the stock market, spend more time with family, and just live.
Folks, health is wealth.
Consider the future benefit, not simply the cash sign. Cheapness is useless.
Same with stuff. Don't stock your closet with fast-fashion you can't wear for years. Buying inexpensive goods that will fail tomorrow is stupid.
Investing isn't only in stocks. You're living. Consume less.
#2: If you cannot afford it twice, you cannot afford it once
I learned this from my dad in 6th grade. I've been lucky to travel, experience things, go to a great university, and conduct many experiments that others without a stable, decent lifestyle can afford.
I didn't live this way because of my parents' paycheck or financial knowledge.
Saving and choosing caused it.
I always bring cash when I shop. I ditch Apple Pay and credit cards since I can spend all I want on even if my account bounces.
Banks are nasty. When you lose it, they profit.
Cash hinders banks' profits. Carrying a big, hefty wallet with cash is lame and annoying, but it's the best method to only spend what you need. Not for vacation, but for tiny daily expenses.
Physical currency lets you know how much you have for lunch or a taxi.
It's physical, thus losing it prevents debt.
If you can't afford it, it will harm more than help.
#3: You really can purchase happiness with money.
If used correctly, yes.
Happiness and satisfaction differ.
It won't bring you fulfillment because you must work hard on your own to help others, but you can travel and meet individuals you wouldn't otherwise meet.
You can meet your future co-worker or strike a deal while waiting an hour in first class for takeoff, or you can meet renowned people at a networking brunch.
Seen a pattern here?
Your time and money are best spent on connections. Not automobiles or firearms. That’s just stuff. It doesn’t make you a better person.
Be different if you've earned less. Instead of trying to win the lotto or become an NFL star for your first big salary, network online for free.
Be resourceful. Sign up for LinkedIn, post regularly, and leave unengaged posts up because that shows power.
Consistency is beneficial.
I did that for a few months and met amazing people who helped me get jobs. Money doesn't create jobs, it creates opportunities.
Resist social media and scammers that peddle false hopes.
#4: Avoid gushing over titles and purchasing trash.
As Insider’s Hillary Hoffower reports, “Showing off wealth is no longer the way to signify having wealth. In the US particularly, the top 1% have been spending less on material goods since 2007.”
I checked my closet. No brand comes to mind. I've never worn a brand's logo and rotate 6 white shirts daily. I have my priorities and don't waste money or effort on clothing that won't fit me in a year.
Unless it's your full-time work, clothing shouldn't be part of our mornings.
Lifestyle of stealth wealth. You're so fulfilled that seeming homeless won't hurt your self-esteem.
Extroverts aren't required.
Showing off won't win you friends.
They'll like your personality.
#5: Time is the most valuable commodity.
Being rich doesn't entail working 24/7 M-F.
They work when they are ready to work.
Waking up at 5 a.m. won't make you a millionaire, but it will inculcate diligence and tenacity in you.
You have a busy day yet want to exercise. You can skip the workout or wake up at 4am instead of 6am to do it.
Emotion-driven lazy bums stay in bed.
Those that are accountable keep their promises because they know breaking one will destroy their week.
Since 7th grade, I've worked out at 5am for myself, not to impress others. It gives me greater energy to contribute to others, especially on weekends and holidays.
It's a habit that I have in my life.
Find something that you take seriously and makes you a better person.
As someone who is close to becoming a millionaire and has encountered them throughout my life, I can share with you a few important differences that have shaped who we are as a society based on the weekends:
-Best time to work with no distractions
-Take walks and be in nature
-Major family time
-Plan out weeks
-Go grocery shopping because health = wealth
#6. Perspective is Important
Timing the markets will slow down your career. Professors preach scarcity, not abundance. Why should school teach success? They give us bad advice.
If you trust in abundance and luck by attempting and experimenting, growth will come effortlessly. Passion isn't a term that just appears. Mistakes and fresh people help. You can get money. If you don't think it's worth it, you won't.
You don’t have to be wealthy to be good at money, but most are for these reasons. Rich is a mindset, wealth is power. Prioritize your resources. Invest in yourself, knowing the toughest part is starting.
Thanks for reading!
1 year ago
How can you bargain for $300,000 at Google?
Don’t give a number
Google pays its software engineers generously. While many of their employees are competent, they disregard a critical skill to maximize their pay.
If Google employees have never negotiated, they're as helpless as anyone else.
In this piece, I'll reveal a compensation negotiation tip that will set you apart.
The Fallacy of Negotiating
How do you negotiate your salary? “Just give them a number twice the amount you really want”. - Someplace on the internet
Above is typical negotiation advice. If you ask for more than you want, the recruiter may meet you halfway.
It seems logical and great, but here's why you shouldn't follow that advice.
Haitian hostage rescue
In 1977, an official's aunt was kidnapped in Haiti. The kidnappers demanded $150,000 for the aunt's life. It seems reasonable until you realize why kidnappers want $150,000.
FBI detective and negotiator Chris Voss researched why they demanded so much.
“So they could party through the weekend”
When he realized their ransom was for partying, he offered $4,751 and a CD stereo. Criminals freed the aunt.
These thieves gave 31.57x their estimated amount and got a fraction. You shouldn't trust these thieves to negotiate your compensation.
Negotiating your offer and Haiti
This narrative teaches you how to negotiate with a large number.
You can and will be talked down.
If a recruiter asks your wage expectation and you offer double, be ready to explain why.
If you can't justify your request, you may be offered less. The recruiter will notice and talk you down.
a tiny bit more than the present amount you earn
a small premium over an alternative offer
a little less than the role's allotted amount
Recruiter: What’s your expected salary? Candidate: (I know the role is usually $100,000) $200,000 Recruiter: How much are you compensated in your current role? Candidate: $90,000 Recruiter: We’d be excited to offer you $95,000 for your experiences for the role.
So Why Do They Even Ask?
Recruiters ask for a number to negotiate a lower one. Asking yourself limits you.
You'll rarely get more than you asked for, and your request can be lowered.
The takeaway from all of this is to never give an expected compensation.
Tell them you haven't thought about it when you applied.
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1 year ago
(The author's opinions should not be used to make investment decisions or as a recommendation to invest.)
The pandemic and social media pseudoscience have made us all epidemiologists, for better or worse. Flattening the curve, social distancing, lockdowns—remember? Some of you may remember R0 (R naught), the number of healthy humans the average COVID-infected person infects. Thankfully, the world has moved on from Greater China's nightmare. Politicians have refocused their talent for misdirection on getting their constituents invested in the war for Russian Reunification or Russian Aggression, depending on your side of the iron curtain.
Humanity battles two fronts. A war against an invisible virus (I know your Commander in Chief might have told you COVID is over, but viruses don't follow election cycles and their economic impacts linger long after the last rapid-test clinic has closed); and an undeclared World War between US/NATO and Eurasia/Russia/China. The fiscal and monetary authorities' current policies aim to mitigate these two conflicts' economic effects.
Since all politicians are short-sighted, they usually print money to solve most problems. Printing money is the easiest and fastest way to solve most problems because it can be done immediately without much discussion. The alternative—long-term restructuring of our global economy—would hurt stakeholders and require an honest discussion about our civilization's state. Both of those requirements are non-starters for our short-sighted political friends, so whether your government practices capitalism, communism, socialism, or fascism, they all turn to printing money-ism to solve all problems.
Free money stimulates demand, so people buy crap. Overbuying shit raises prices. Inflation. Every nation has food, energy, or goods inflation. The once-docile plebes demand action when the latter two subsets of inflation rise rapidly. They will be heard at the polls or in the streets. What would you do to feed your crying hungry child?
Global central banks During the pandemic, the Fed, PBOC, BOJ, ECB, and BOE printed money to aid their governments. They worried about inflation and promised to remove fiat liquidity and tighten monetary conditions.
Imagine Nate Diaz's round-house kick to the face. The financial markets probably felt that way when the US and a few others withdrew fiat wampum. Sovereign debt markets suffered a near-record bond market rout.
The undeclared WW3 is intensifying, with recent gas pipeline attacks. The global economy is already struggling, and credit withdrawal will worsen the situation. The next pandemic, the Yield Curve Control (YCC) virus, is spreading as major central banks backtrack on inflation promises. All central banks eventually fail.
Here's a scorecard.
In order to save its financial system, BOE recently reverted to Quantitative Easing (QE).
BOJ Continuing YCC to save their banking system and enable affordable government borrowing.
ECB printing money to buy weak EU member bonds, but will soon start Quantitative Tightening (QT).
PBOC Restarting the money printer to give banks liquidity to support the falling residential property market.
Fed raising rates and QT-shrinking balance sheet.
80% of the world's biggest central banks are printing money again. Only the Fed has remained steadfast in the face of a financial market bloodbath, determined to end the inflation for which it is at least partially responsible—the culmination of decades of bad economic policies and a world war.
YCC printing is the worst for fiat currency and society. Because it necessitates central banks fixing a multi-trillion-dollar bond market. YCC central banks promise to infinitely expand their balance sheets to keep a certain interest rate metric below an unnatural ceiling. The market always wins, crushing humanity with inflation.
BOJ's YCC policy is longest-standing. The BOE joined them, and my essay this week argues that the ECB will follow. The ECB joining YCC would make 60% of major central banks follow this terrible policy. Since the PBOC is part of the Chinese financial system, the number could be 80%. The Chinese will lend any amount to meet their economic activity goals.
The BOE committed to a 13-week, GBP 65bn bond price-fixing operation. However, BOEs YCC may return. If you lose to the market, you're stuck. Since the BOE has announced that it will buy your Gilt at inflated prices, why would you not sell them all? Market participants taking advantage of this policy will only push the bank further into the hole it dug itself, so I expect the BOE to re-up this program and count them as YCC.
In a few trading days, the BOE went from a bank determined to slay inflation by raising interest rates and QT to buying an unlimited amount of UK Gilts. I expect the ECB to be dragged kicking and screaming into a similar policy. Spoiler alert: big daddy Fed will eventually die from the YCC virus.
Threadneedle St, London EC2R 8AH, UK
Before we discuss the BOE's recent missteps, a chatroom member called the British royal family the Kardashians with Crowns, which made me laugh. I'm sad about royal attention. If the public was as interested in energy and economic policies as they are in how the late Queen treated Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, UK politicians might not have been able to get away with energy and economic fairy tales.
The BOE printed money to recover from COVID, as all good central banks do. For historical context, this chart shows the BOE's total assets as a percentage of GDP since its founding in the 18th century.
The UK has had a rough three centuries. Pandemics, empire wars, civil wars, world wars. Even so, the BOE's recent money printing was its most aggressive ever!
BOE Total Assets as % of GDP (white) vs. UK CPI
Now, inflation responded slowly to the bank's most aggressive monetary loosening. King Charles wishes the gold line above showed his popularity, but it shows his subjects' suffering.
The BOE recognized early that its money printing caused runaway inflation. In its August 2022 report, the bank predicted that inflation would reach 13% by year end before aggressively tapering in 2023 and 2024.
Aug 2022 BOE Monetary Policy Report
The BOE was the first major central bank to reduce its balance sheet and raise its policy rate to help.
The BOE first raised rates in December 2021. Back then, JayPow wasn't even considering raising rates.
UK policymakers, like most developed nations, believe in energy fairy tales. Namely, that the developed world, which grew in lockstep with hydrocarbon use, could switch to wind and solar by 2050. The UK's energy import bill has grown while coal, North Sea oil, and possibly stranded shale oil have been ignored.
WW3 is an economic war that is balkanizing energy markets, which will continue to inflate. A nation that imports energy and has printed the most money in its history cannot avoid inflation.
The chart above shows that energy inflation is a major cause of plebe pain.
The UK is hit by a double whammy: the BOE must remove credit to reduce demand, and energy prices must rise due to WW3 inflation. That's not economic growth.
Boris Johnson was knocked out by his country's poor economic performance, not his lockdown at 10 Downing St. Prime Minister Truss and her merry band of fools arrived with the tried-and-true government remedy: goodies for everyone.
She released a budget full of economic stimulants. She cut corporate and individual taxes for the rich. She plans to give poor people vouchers for higher energy bills. Woohoo! Margret Thatcher's new pants suit.
My buddy Jim Bianco said Truss budget's problem is that it works. It will boost activity at a time when inflation is over 10%. Truss' budget didn't include austerity measures like tax increases or spending cuts, which the bond market wanted. The bond market protested.
30-year Gilt yield chart. Yields spiked the most ever after Truss announced her budget, as shown. The Gilt market is the longest-running bond market in the world.
The Gilt market showed the pole who's boss with Cardi B.
Before this, the BOE was super-committed to fighting inflation. To their credit, they raised short-term rates and shrank their balance sheet. However, rapid yield rises threatened to destroy the entire highly leveraged UK financial system overnight, forcing them to change course.
Accounting gimmicks allowed by regulators for pension funds posed a systemic threat to the UK banking system. UK pension funds could use interest rate market levered derivatives to match liabilities. When rates rise, short rate derivatives require more margin. The pension funds spent all their money trying to pick stonks and whatever else their sell side banker could stuff them with, so the historic rate spike would have bankrupted them overnight. The FT describes BOE-supervised chicanery well.
To avoid a financial apocalypse, the BOE in one morning abandoned all their hard work and started buying unlimited long-dated Gilts to drive prices down.
Another reminder to never fight a central bank. The 30-year Gilt is shown above. After the BOE restarted the money printer on September 28, this bond rose 30%. Thirty-fucking-percent! Developed market sovereign bonds rarely move daily. You're invested in His Majesty's government obligations, not a Chinese property developer's offshore USD bond.
The political need to give people goodies to help them fight the terrible economy ran into a financial reality. The central bank protected the UK financial system from asset-price deflation because, like all modern economies, it is debt-based and highly levered. As bad as it is, inflation is not their top priority. The BOE example demonstrated that. To save the financial system, they abandoned almost a year of prudent monetary policy in a few hours. They also started the endgame.
Let's play Central Bankers Say the Darndest Things before we go to the continent (and sorry if you live on a continent other than Europe, but you're not culturally relevant).
Pre-meltdown BOE output:
FT, October 17, 2021 On Sunday, the Bank of England governor warned that it must act to curb inflationary pressure, ignoring financial market moves that have priced in the first interest rate increase before the end of the year.
On July 19, 2022, Gov. Andrew Bailey spoke. Our 2% inflation target is unwavering. We'll do our job.
August 4th 2022 MPC monetary policy announcement According to its mandate, the MPC will sustainably return inflation to 2% in the medium term.
Catherine Mann, MPC member, September 5, 2022 speech. Fast and forceful monetary tightening, possibly followed by a hold or reversal, is better than gradualism because it promotes inflation expectations' role in bringing inflation back to 2% over the medium term.
When their financial system nearly collapsed in one trading session, they said:
The Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee warned on 28 September that gilt market dysfunction threatened UK financial stability. It advised action and supported the Bank's urgent gilt market purchases for financial stability.
It works when the price goes up but not down. Is my crypto portfolio dysfunctional enough to get a BOE bailout?
Next, the EU and ECB. The ECB is also fighting inflation, but it will also succumb to the YCC virus for the same reasons as the BOE.
Frankfurt am Main, ECB Tower, Sonnemannstraße 20, 60314
Only France and Germany matter economically in the EU. Modern European history has focused on keeping Germany and Russia apart. German manufacturing and cheap Russian goods could change geopolitics.
France created the EU to keep Germany down, and the Germans only cooperated because of WWII guilt. France's interests are shared by the US, which lurks in the shadows to prevent a Germany-Russia alliance. A weak EU benefits US politics. Avoid unification of Eurasia. (I paraphrased daddy Felix because I thought quoting a large part of his most recent missive would get me spanked.)
As with everything, understanding Germany's energy policy is the best way to understand why the German economy is fundamentally fucked and why that spells doom for the EU. Germany, the EU's main economic engine, is being crippled by high energy prices, threatening a depression. This economic downturn threatens the union. The ECB may have to abandon plans to shrink its balance sheet and switch to YCC to save the EU's unholy political union.
France did the smart thing and went all in on nuclear energy, which is rare in geopolitics. 70% of electricity is nuclear-powered. Their manufacturing base can survive Russian gas cuts. Germany cannot.
My boy Zoltan made this great graphic showing how screwed Germany is as cheap Russian gas leaves the industrial economy.
$27 billion of Russian gas powers almost $2 trillion of German economic output, a 75x energy leverage. The German public was duped into believing the same energy fairy tales as their politicians, and they overwhelmingly allowed the Green party to dismantle any efforts to build a nuclear energy ecosystem over the past several decades. Germany, unlike France, must import expensive American and Qatari LNG via supertankers due to Nordstream I and II pipeline sabotage.
American gas exports to Europe are touted by the media. Gas is cheap because America isn't the Western world's swing producer. If gas prices rise domestically in America, the plebes would demand the end of imports to avoid paying more to heat their homes.
German goods would cost much more in this scenario. German producer prices rose 46% YoY in August. The German current account is rapidly approaching zero and will soon be negative.
German PPI Change YoY
German Current Account
The reason this matters is a curious construction called TARGET2. Let’s hear from the horse’s mouth what exactly this beat is:
TARGET2 is the real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system owned and operated by the Eurosystem. Central banks and commercial banks can submit payment orders in euro to TARGET2, where they are processed and settled in central bank money, i.e. money held in an account with a central bank.
Let me explain this in plain English for those unfamiliar with economic dogma.
This chart shows intra-EU credits and debits. TARGET2. Germany, Europe's powerhouse, is owed money. IOU-buying Greeks buy G-wagons. The G-wagon pickup truck is badass.
If all EU countries had fiat currencies, the Deutsche Mark would be stronger than the Italian Lira, according to the chart above. If Europe had to buy goods from non-EU countries, the Euro would be much weaker. Credits and debits between smaller political units smooth out imbalances in other federal-provincial-state political systems. Financial and fiscal unions allow this. The EU is financial, so the centre cannot force the periphery to settle their imbalances.
Greece has never had to buy Fords or Kias instead of BMWs, but what if Germany had to shut down its auto manufacturing plants due to energy shortages?
Italians have done well buying ammonia from Germany rather than China, but what if BASF had to close its Ludwigshafen facility due to a lack of affordable natural gas?
I think you're seeing the issue.
Instead of Germany, EU countries would owe foreign producers like America, China, South Korea, Japan, etc. Since these countries aren't tied into an uneconomic union for politics, they'll demand hard fiat currency like USD instead of Euros, which have become toilet paper (or toilet plastic).
Keynesian economists have a simple solution for politicians who can't afford market prices. Government debt can maintain production. The debt covers the difference between what a business can afford and the international energy market price.
Germans are monetary policy conservative because of the Weimar Republic's hyperinflation. The Bundesbank is the only thing preventing ECB profligacy. Germany must print its way out without cheap energy. Like other nations, they will issue more bonds for fiscal transfers.
More Bunds mean lower prices. Without German monetary discipline, the Euro would have become a trash currency like any other emerging market that imports energy and food and has uncompetitive labor.
Bunds price all EU country bonds. The ECB's money printing is designed to keep the spread of weak EU member bonds vs. Bunds low. Everyone falls with Bunds.
Like the UK, German politicians seeking re-election will likely cause a Bunds selloff. Bond investors will understandably reject their promises of goodies for industry and individuals to offset the lack of cheap Russian gas. Long-dated Bunds will be smoked like UK Gilts. The ECB will face a wave of ultra-levered financial players who will go bankrupt if they mark to market their fixed income derivatives books at higher Bund yields.
Some treats People: Germany will spend 200B to help consumers and businesses cope with energy prices, including promoting renewable energy.
That, ladies and germs, is why the ECB will immediately abandon QT, move to a stop-gap QE program to normalize the Bund and every other EU bond market, and eventually graduate to YCC as the market vomits bonds of all stripes into Christine Lagarde's loving hands. She probably has soft hands.
The 30-year Bund market has noticed Germany's economic collapse. 2021 yields skyrocketed.
30-year Bund Yield
ECB Says the Darndest Things:
Because inflation is too high and likely to stay above our target for a long time, we took today's decision and expect to raise interest rates further.- Christine Lagarde, ECB Press Conference, Sept 8.
The Governing Council will adjust all of its instruments to stabilize inflation at 2% over the medium term. July 21 ECB Monetary Decision
Everyone struggles with high inflation. The Governing Council will ensure medium-term inflation returns to two percent. June 9th ECB Press Conference
I'm excited to read the after. Like the BOE, the ECB may abandon their plans to shrink their balance sheet and resume QE due to debt market dysfunction.
I like YCC like dark chocolate over 80%. ;).
Can 80% of the world's major central banks' QE and/or YCC overcome Sir Powell's toughness on fungible risky asset prices?
Gold and crypto are fungible global risky assets. Satoshis and gold bars are the same in New York, London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, and Shanghai.
As more Euros, Yen, Renminbi, and Pounds are printed, people will move their savings into Dollars or other stores of value. As the Fed raises rates and reduces its balance sheet, the USD will strengthen. Gold/EUR and BTC/JPY may also attract buyers.
Gold and crypto markets are much smaller than the trillions in fiat money that will be printed, so they will appreciate in non-USD currencies. These flows only matter in one instance because we trade the global or USD price. Arbitrage occurs when BTC/EUR rises faster than EUR/USD. Here is how it works:
An investor based in the USD notices that BTC is expensive in EUR terms.
Instead of buying BTC, this investor borrows USD and then sells it.
After that, they sell BTC and buy EUR.
Then they choose to sell EUR and buy USD.
The investor receives their profit after repaying the USD loan.
This triangular FX arbitrage will align the global/USD BTC price with the elevated EUR, JPY, CNY, and GBP prices.
Even if the Fed continues QT, which I doubt they can do past early 2023, small stores of value like gold and Bitcoin may rise as non-Fed central banks get serious about printing money.
“Arthur, this is just more copium,” you might retort.
Patience. This takes time. Economic and political forcing functions take time. The BOE example shows that bond markets will reject politicians' policies to appease voters. Decades of bad energy policy have no immediate fix. Money printing is the only politically viable option. Bond yields will rise as bond markets see more stimulative budgets, and the over-leveraged fiat debt-based financial system will collapse quickly, followed by a monetary bailout.
America has enough food, fuel, and people. China, Europe, Japan, and the UK suffer. America can be autonomous. Thus, the Fed can prioritize domestic political inflation concerns over supplying the world (and most of its allies) with dollars. A steady flow of dollars allows other nations to print their currencies and buy energy in USD. If the strongest player wins, everyone else loses.
I'm making a GDP-weighted index of these five central banks' money printing. When ready, I'll share its rate of change. This will show when the 80%'s money printing exceeds the Fed's tightening.
Tech With Dom
1 year ago
6 Awesome Desk Accessories You Must Have!
I'm gadget-obsessed. So I shared my top 6 desk gadgets.
These gadgets improve my workflow and are handy for working from home.
Without further ado...
Computer light bar Xiaomi Mi
I've previously recommended the Xiaomi Mi Light Bar, and I still do. It's stylish and convenient.
The Mi bar is a monitor-mounted desk lamp. The lamp's hue and brightness can be changed with a stylish wireless remote.
Changeable hue and brightness make it ideal for late-night work.
Desk Mat 2.
I wasn't planning to include a desk surface in this article, but I find it improves computer use.
The mouse feels smoother and is a better palm rest than wood or glass.
I'm currently using the overkill Razer Goliathus Extended Chroma RGB Gaming Surface, but I like RGB.
Using a desk surface or mat makes computer use more comfortable, and it's not expensive.
Third, the Logitech MX Master 3 Mouse
The Logitech MX Master 3 or any from the MX Master series is my favorite mouse.
The side scroll wheel on these mice is a feature I've never seen on another mouse.
Side scroll wheels are great for spreadsheets and video editing. It would be hard for me to switch from my Logitech MX Master 3 to another mouse. Only gaming is off-limits.
Google Nest 4.
Without a smart assistant, my desk is useless. I'm currently using the second-generation Google Nest Hub, but I've also used the Amazon Echo Dot, Echo Spot, and Apple HomePod Mini.
As a Pixel 6 Pro user, the Nest Hub works best with my phone.
My Nest Hub plays news, music, and calendar events. It also lets me control lights and switches with my smartphone. It plays YouTube videos.
Google Pixel Stand, No. 5
A wireless charger on my desk is convenient for charging my phone and other devices while I work. My desk has two wireless chargers. I have a Satechi aluminum fast charger and a second-generation Google Pixel Stand.
If I need to charge my phone and earbuds simultaneously, I use two wireless chargers. Satechi chargers are well-made and fast. Micro-USB is my only complaint.
The Pixel Stand converts compatible devices into a smart display for adjusting charging speeds and controlling other smart devices. My Pixel 6 Pro charges quickly. Here's my video review.
6. Anker Power Bank
Anker's 65W charger is my final recommendation. This online find was a must-have. This can charge my laptop and several non-wireless devices, perfect for any techie!
The charger has two USB-A ports and two USB-C ports, one with 45W and the other with 20W, so it can charge my iPad Pro and Pixel 6 Pro simultaneously.
These are some of my favorite office gadgets. My kit page has an updated list.
Links to the products mentioned in this article are in the appropriate sections. These are affiliate links.
You're up! Share the one desk gadget you can't live without and why.
1 year ago
Why Bill Gates thinks Bitcoin, crypto, and NFTs are foolish
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates assesses digital assets while the bull is caged.
Bill Gates is well-respected.
Reasonably. He co-founded and led Microsoft during its 1980s and 1990s revolution.
After leaving Microsoft, Bill Gates pursued other interests. He and his wife founded one of the world's largest philanthropic organizations, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He also supports immunizations, population control, and other global health programs.
When Gates criticized Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs, it made news.
Bill Gates said at the 58th Munich Security Conference...
“You have an asset class that’s 100% based on some sort of greater fool theory that somebody’s going to pay more for it than I do.”
Gates means digital assets. Like many bitcoin critics, he says digital coins and tokens are speculative.
And he's not alone. Financial experts have dubbed Bitcoin and other digital assets a "bubble" for a decade.
Gates also made fun of Bored Ape Yacht Club and NFTs, saying, "Obviously pricey digital photographs of monkeys will help the world."
Why does Bill Gates dislike digital assets?
According to Gates' latest comments, Bitcoin, cryptos, and NFTs aren't good ways to hold value.
Bill Gates is a better investor than Elon Musk.
“I’m used to asset classes, like a farm where they have output, or like a company where they make products,” Gates said.
The Guardian claimed in April 2021 that Bill and Melinda Gates owned the most U.S. farms. Over 242,000 acres of farmland.
The Gates couple has enough farmland to cover Hong Kong.
Bill Gates is a classic investor. He wants companies with an excellent track record, strong fundamentals, and good management. Or tangible assets like land and property.
Gates prefers the "old economy" over the "new economy"
Gates' criticism of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency ventures isn't surprising. These digital assets lack all of Gates's investing criteria.
Volatile digital assets include Bitcoin. Their costs might change dramatically in a day. Volatility scares risk-averse investors like Gates.
Gates has a stake in the old financial system. As Microsoft's co-founder, Gates helped develop a dominant tech company.
Because of his business, he's one of the world's richest men.
Bill Gates is invested in protecting the current paradigm.
He won't invest in anything that could destroy the global economy.
When Gates criticizes Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs, he's suggesting they're a hoax. These soapbox speeches are one way he protects his interests.
Digital assets aren't a bad investment, though. Many think they're the future.
Changpeng Zhao and Brian Armstrong are two digital asset billionaires. Two crypto exchange CEOs. Binance/Coinbase.
Digital asset revolution won't end soon.
If you disagree with Bill Gates and plan to invest in Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, or NFTs, do your own research and understand the risks.
But don’t take Bill Gates’ word for it.
He’s just an old rich guy with a lot of farmland.
He has a lot to lose if Bitcoin and other digital assets gain global popularity.
This post is a summary. Read the full article here.