Topley’s Top 10 – August 4, 2021

1. Transitory Inflation……S&P Real Earnings Yield Hits 1970’s Level.

Michaela Arouet

https://twitter.com/MichaelaArouet

2. Consumer Price Index (CPI)-Is the Measurement of Housing Costs Disconnected ?

Opinion: Shock: Rents rising three times as fast as ‘official’ inflation figures

Brett Arends

Another reason to own your home in retirement

Rise since January 2020 in the “Shelter” component of the official CPI figures, S&P/ Case-Shiller U.S. National House Price Index, and median listing prices at Realtor.com

If you want to be reminded why it’s such a good idea to own your own home in retirement, listen up to Matthew Fine.

He’s the guy who’s taken over Marty Whitman’s old mutual fund, Third Avenue Value TVFVX, -1.02% (up 66% in the past 12 months, incidentally). And in his latest letter to his investors he’s pointed out something that he has been watching and a lot of Wall Street hasn’t.

In a nutshell: The official inflation figures are a bit of a crock (my word, not his, of course). And the reason is that actual house price inflation is running way, way ahead of the official house price inflation.

Not sure where to live in retirement? Our tool can help you decide

You can see the numbers in my chart, above.

The number on the left is what the U.S. Labor Department, which compiles the official inflation data, says is the increase in housing costs from January 2020 through April of this year. (I’ve used what they call the “Shelter” number, which excludes all the other homeownership costs like utilities. This is just the cost of owning the home.)

The number in the middle is what the nationally-recognized S&P/ Case-Shiller U.S. National House Price Index says has happened to house prices over the same period.

The number on the right is what Realtor.com—which, like MarketWatch, is owned by News Corp. NWSA, +0.45% —says has happened to average listing prices over the same period.

Hmmmm.

Nothing to see here, folks! Move along!

Fine is an inflationista: He thinks inflation is likely to be higher than the Federal Reserve expects, and less “transitory.” He has a number of arguments to do with low, low interest rates, and material and labor shortages as the world reopens. But one of them is this issue with the official inflation figures and housing.

“As it relates to inflation as depicted by the Consumer Price Index (CPI),” he writes, “the measurement of housing costs appears to be substantially disconnected from reality.”

“The U.S. government has estimated rental rates for primary residences to be growing at 2% or less in recent months,” Fine writes. After talking to homeowners, he adds, it reckons “market rental rates for owner-occupied homes have been growing slightly above 2% recently and at a decelerating pace.”

I added the italics. You can see why. Have you seen any decelerating pace in real estate costs lately? Where are these people talking to homeowners?

And this isn’t trivial. Shelter costs account for about one-third of the total official inflation figure. Yet the government has to guess at it. The biggest number? They ask owners how much their home would cost to rent. Yes, really.

OK, so house prices and housing costs aren’t the same. You don’t have to buy a new home every year. The collapse in mortgage rates means your monthly housing costs go down, even if house prices stay the same or go up. This is why the government focuses on “rents” rather than purchase prices.

 But the numbers here aren’t that helpful for the Labor Department either.

According to the official figures from the Labor Department, rents nationwide rose about 2.5% in the 12 months to June.

But Realtor.com tracks rents too, using actual market data through its website, and it has a different inflation figure.

Try: 8.1%. Yep. In other words, the private market’s estimate of housing cost inflation is more than three times the “official” number.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/shock-rents-rising-three-times-as-fast-as-official-inflation-figures-11627397608

3. Wall Street Buy Ratings Back to Highest Levels Since Internet Bubble Burst.

https://twitter.com/Schuldensuehner  Holger Zschaepitz

4. 10 Year Hit 1.13…Back to Feb. Levels

10 Year Treasury Yields.

www.stockcharts.com

5. Peaks in Early August are Normal Under New Party

LPL Research

https://i2.wp.com/lplresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/8.2.21-Blog-Chart-2.png?ssl=1

6. Amazon Post Earnings Correction Put the Stock Back in Sideways 1 Year Pattern.

AMZN July 2020 to July 2021 in a Box

www.stockcharts.com

7. Capex is Set to Grow for Most Sectors

2021-2023 Capex Growth Sizeable

https://hsl-pnw-downloadable-files.s3.amazonaws.com/1181/c9988993-817c-4dcf-b17c-b9254b87f269-v12.0-66d03c143f724620a1ba4002a0952375.pdf

8. Ratio of MSCI China to U.S. Equities Lowest Since 2005

This weakness has pushed the ratio of Chinese to U.S. equities down to its lowest level since 2005.

9. New SEC Boss Wants More Crypto Oversight to Protect Investors

Bloomberg-The nation’s top securities regulator has unusual expertise in digital assets, but he says he’s no cheerleader for them

By Robert Schmidt and Benjamin Bain

It’s become a parlor game in Washington, on Wall Street, and in Silicon Valley to figure out where U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler stands on cryptocurrencies. Industry lobbyists tune in when he testifies before Congress. Lawyers parse his speeches. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. wealth advisers recently boasted in a research report about looking for clues in 29 hours of the Blockchain and Money course he developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That’s an arduous but perhaps not novel undertaking, since videos of the classes have garnered millions of views online, something that amazes even Gensler.

In his first extensive interview about the digital money craze, Gensler signaled that his deep interest in the subject doesn’t mean he’s simpatico with the hands-off oversight approach that many enthusiasts would like to see. Policymakers have struggled with how to respond to the mostly unregulated $1.6 trillion market, which has seen explosive growth and wild price swings. Gensler is contemplating a robust oversight regime, centered on establishing safeguards for the millions of investors who’ve been stocking their portfolios with tokens. “While I’m neutral on the technology, even intrigued—I spent three years teaching it, leaning into it—I’m not neutral about investor protection,” says Gensler, who on Tuesday gave a speech about crypto at the Aspen Security Forum. “If somebody wants to speculate, that’s their choice, but we have a role as a nation to protect those investors against fraud.”

Gensler has asked Congress to pass a law that could give the agency the legal authority to monitor crypto exchanges, but he says the SEC’s powers are already broad. There’s been much discussion over the years about which kinds of digital assets fall under the SEC’s purview. Some such as Bitcoin that act like currencies are considered commodities, not securities. But there are thousands of other coins, and Gensler believes most are unregistered securities that must comply with SEC rules.

Broadly he noted that technology has sparked economic progress throughout human history, and he sees a similar boost from digital assets. That may only come, however, with strong and thoughtful regulation. As an analogy, he says the automobile industry didn’t fully take off until governments laid out driving rules. Speed limits and traffic lights provided public safety but also helped cars become mainstream. “It’s only with bringing things inside—and sort of clearly within our public policy goals—that a technology has a chance of broader adoption,” he says.

Hester Peirce, a Republican commissioner on the SEC known for her advocacy of light-touch regulation of digital assets, says she’s eager to work with Gensler. “A lot people just want more clarity,” she says. “I come from a perspective that people should have the maximum freedom to engage in transactions they want to engage in voluntarily. Society needs to have that discussion about what is the right regulatory framework.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-08-03/will-government-regulate-crypto-sec-chair-gary-gensler-on-bitcoin-and-oversight?srnd=premium&sref=GGda9y2L

10. The Science Of Sleep: 10 Surprising Health Benefits

Improved sleep habits can be a panacea for modern living. Thomas Rutledge Ph.D.

KEY POINTS

  • Sleep may be our most important health habit.
  • In lives dominated by mental and emotional stress, our need for sleep is greater than ever.
  • The most effective remedies for sleep are behavioral rather than pharmaceutical.

For all its amenities, modern life is surprisingly difficult. A century ago, the primary challenges of living were physical; we worked in factories or on farms, and housework and meal preparation demanded hours of labor. After many millennia of existence defined by dawn-to-dusk physical demands, the burden of modern living has been lightened by vehicles, automated devices, broadband internet, and same-day delivery services. Citizens from the 1920’s, however, would likely be disappointed to learn that a century of unparalleled technological progress has largely exchanged lives dominated by physical stressors with lives dominated by emotional and social stressors. It is difficult to argue that we are happier than a century ago and—despite having longer lifespans boosted by clean water and antibiotics—in most ways less healthy. The same technological forces that shaped modern times have offered many remedies to 21st century ailments. We have activity trackers to inspire exercise, social media to assuage loneliness, diet books and internet health gurus to guide our nutrition, and a dizzying number of entertainment options in the form of television channels and video games.

Yet for all these breakthrough gadgets and expensive technologies, arguably the most effective balm for modern living is sleep. No medicine, supplement, or psychotherapy provides even a fraction of the benefits conferred by sleep to our minds, bodies, and spirits. While a profit-hungry industry strives to create market demand for sleep products, the wise consumer appreciates that healthy sleep is overwhelmingly the product of cost-free habits and lifestyle practices rather than equipment or pharmaceuticals. We know what works: regular sleep and wake routines; morning sunlight to optimize circadian hormones; regular exercise to generate physical fatigue and ameliorate stressmeditation and relaxation for calming the mind; cool and dark bedrooms to facilitate restful slumber; and consistent CPAP use for those with sleep apnea. For the typical person, their sleep can be dramatically improved by the practice of these latter strategies without lightening their wallet. Recent science further demonstrates the diverse ways that sleep improves our well-being. The range may surprise you; virtually no area of physical or mental health is exempt from the effects of sleep.

A summary of sleep science

1. Sleep and pain sensitivity: Even a single night of poor sleep reduces our pain threshold. A study by Matt Walker’s team at UC Berkeley showed that, compared to brain function after a full night’s sleep, pain-related areas of the brain were 42 percent more sensitive to pain stimuli induced by laboratory tests. For context’s sake, a 42 percent difference in pain sensitivity is larger than the effect of many pain medicines.

2. Sleep and alcoholThe relationship between sleep and alcohol use is complex. On one hand, small amounts of alcohol show short-term benefits in helping some people initiate sleep (this benefit wears off, however, for most people within a few days). In contrast, any benefit from falling asleep faster may be nullified by the suppression of REM sleep caused by alcohol. The alcohol-REM suppression effect appears to be dose-related. For example, REM sleep may rebound to higher than normal levels in the second half (i.e., catching up on lost REM) of the night after smaller doses of alcohol have been metabolized. In the case of higher doses of alcohol, however, REM suppression may occur throughout the night as is often seen in persons with alcohol dependence.

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3. Sleep and caffeine: With an estimated 90 percent of Americans reporting daily caffeine intake, it is important to understand the effects of caffeine on sleep and health. Research shows that caffeine has an average half-life (the time needed to metabolize 50 percent of the drug) of approximately five hours. However, due to differences in drug metabolism between people, this can range from one and a half to nine and a half hours! In real-life circumstances, this means that the average person consuming a cup of coffee at noon (about 100 mg of caffeine) would still have about 50 mg of caffeine in their body at 5 p.m. and 25 mg at 10 p.m. These results, however, would vary markedly for slower caffeine metabolizers, who might still have a high percentage of caffeine affecting their body in the evening. For these reasons, many researchers encourage stopping caffeine use at least six hours before bedtime.

4. Sleep and vaccine response: In a world dominated by pandemic news and recommendations to vaccinate, a curiously overlooked fact is the importance of vaccinating in a well-rested state. Quality sleep profoundly affects the ability of our immune system to mount a favorable response to vaccination. For example, in one of several studies measuring immune system response to flu vaccines, a group of healthy participants restricted to four hours of sleep for six nights showed less than half the number of antibodies ten days after vaccination. Expressed reversely, this implies that receiving a vaccination in a well-rested state could double its effectiveness.

5. Sleep and learning: Practice does not make perfect. More accurately stated, it is practice—coupled with quality sleep—that enables learning and improvement. In a 2002 study of participants assigned to a motor learning task combined with differing sleep-wake patterns, participants obtaining a regular night’s sleep after learning showed a 20 percent improvement in the task the next day. In contrast, participants staying awake for the same period showed no improvement. Interestingly, more than 50 percent of the improvement could be explained by the amount of stage 2 non-REM sleep that is typically obtained early in the night.

6. Sleep and dementia: Because the brain is an energy-intensive organ, it produces a lot of metabolic waste products. Sleep serves a vital restorative function by facilitating the removal of the waste products accumulated in the brain during the day. Without sleep, this cleaning process does not occur, with potential long-term implications for dementia. For example, in a 2018 cross-over study assigning participants to a normal sleep versus a single night of sleep deprivation, the latter condition was associated with significantly reduced clearance of β-amyloid, a plaque associated with risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.

7. Sleep and hormones: One of the primary roles of sleep is hormone regulation. Optimizing sleep improves the function of appetite hormones such as leptin and ghrelin as well as sex hormones such as testosterone. Even in young men, sleep loss rapidly disrupts hormone function. In a study restricting sleep to five hours per night for one week in a group of healthy men in their 20’s, daytime testosterone levels were lowered by 10-15 percent and accompanied by large self-reported decreases in vigor.

8. Sleep and healing: Whether you are an athlete recovering from training or a patient recovering from surgery, sleep is critical for your body to heal. In addition to the above hormonal and immune system effects of sleep, sleep is also the period of peak protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is the process of creating new proteins and is an essential part of repairing damaged tissues and creating new cells. A 2021 study recruiting healthy young adults found that a single night of sleep deprivation decreased protein synthesis by 18 percent, along with a 21 percent increase in cortisol and 24 percent decrease in testosterone.

9. Sleep and heart rate variability: Heart rate variability (HRV) refers to beat-to-beat variability between heartbeats. Counterintuitively, greater HRV is healthy, representing a dynamic heart capable of responding effectively to internal and external demands. Low HRV is associated with poorer metabolic function and increased risk of cardiovascular events. Improving the quality and quantity of our sleep is one established way to maintaining higher levels of HRV and it is never too young to start. Even in children and young adults, for example, research shows that impaired sleep is associated with reduced HRV.

10. Sleep and insulin sensitivity: Even partial sleep deprivation has rapid adverse effects on insulin sensitivity. For example, in a crossover study of participants with type 1 diabetes obtaining full and four-hour sleep intervals, insulin sensitivity was reduced by more than 20 percent following the night of partial sleep deprivation. Many other studies with type 2 diabetes and even metabolically normal participants show similar results. For comparison’s sake, the improvement in insulin resistance achieved by healthy sleep is as large or larger than established diabetes medicines such as metformin.

Disclosure

Indices that may be included herein are unmanaged indices and one cannot directly invest in an index. Index returns do not reflect the impact of any management fees, transaction costs or expenses. The index information included herein is for illustrative purposes only.
Material for market review represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results.
Material compiled by Lansing Street Advisors is based on publicly available data at the time of compilation. Lansing Street Advisors makes no warranties or representation of any kind relating to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the data and shall not have liability for any damages of any kind relating to the use such data.
To the extent that content includes references to securities, those references do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy, sell or hold such security as information is provided for educational purposes only. Articles should not be considered investment advice and the information contain within should not be relied upon in assessing whether or not to invest in any securities or asset classes mentioned. Articles have been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it. Securities discussed may not be suitable for all investors. Please keep in mind that a company’s past financial performance, including the performance of its share price, does not guarantee future results.
Lansing Street Advisors is a registered investment adviser with the State of Pennsylvania.

Topley’s Top 10 – August 2, 2021

1. The gap between US home price appreciation and overall inflation has never been wider.

Charlie Bilello

2. S&P 500 Held 50 Day 5 Times Since March

cidimage001.png@01D7853F.8FEC2250

www.stockcharts.com

3. Future Returns of Nasdaq Based on Historical

Marketwatch-So the real point of these parlor games should be to introduce a reality check into your projections of the market’s future. Recent years have been far better for equities than we have any right to expect going forward.

What is realistic? The answer depends on various factors, such as whether you take the market’s current extreme overvaluation into account. But if you simply extrapolate the past into the future without regard to valuation, you should look at as long a past as possible. In the case of the U.S. market, data is available at least as far back as 1793 (courtesy of a database from Edward McQuarrie, professor emeritus at the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University).

Based on his database, here’s what I project for the Nasdaq’s performance in coming years:

·  Overall market’s annualized return since 1793: 6.1% annualized above inflation

·  Expected inflation over next decade: 1.6% (per Cleveland Fed model)

·  Nasdaq Composite’s expected return relative to overall market: Minus 0.1% annualized (per data since 1926 from Dartmouth professor Ken French on the performance of the large-cap growth sector, which is closest to the stocks that dominate the Nasdaq Composite)

The net result: A nominal return of 7.6% annualized in future years. That’s a lot lower than the Nasdaq Composite’s 41.8% return over the past 12 months, or its 23.8% annualized return over the past five years.

In fact, 7.6% annualized is not much better than the Nasdaq Composite’s average return since the top of the internet bubble. At a 7.6% annualized clip, it will take 9.7 years for the index to reach 30,000. Keep in mind that, assuming that the market’s current overvaluation impacts equities’ future return, it will take even longer for the Nasdaq Composite index to reach 30,000.

The bottom line? Trees don’t grow to the sky. While celebrating the good fortune the markets have produced in recent years, most definitely you should not get greedy.

Mark Hulbert is a regular contributor to MarketWatch. His Hulbert Ratings tracks investment newsletters that pay a flat fee to be audited. He can be reached at mark@hulbertratings.com

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/nasdaq-15-000-is-near-do-i-hear-30-000-11627374665?mod=home-page

4. Tesla Good Quarter…Now Valued about 4-and-a-half Volkswagens ($149bn market cap), 12 Ford Motor Companys ($56bn) or 16 Ferraris ($41bn).

Most investors in Tesla aren’t probably expecting to see major profits at the company any time soon, instead investing in the hope that in 5, 10 or 15 years Tesla will be at the core of the electric vehicle revolution — and making the profits that go with that position.

So those investors may have been pleasantly surprised this week when Tesla reported a tidy profit in its latest quarter. They’ll have been even more surprised that Tesla reported a profit even if you were to exclude the $354mthe company got from selling regulatory credits (which it gets because its cars are zero emissions).

That’s a first for the company, which historically has always had to rely on selling its excess regulatory credits in order to turn a net profit.

Of course, Tesla needs to keep delivering (cars, and eventually profits) in order to justify its massive share price — which currently values the equity in the company at $670bn. That is about 4-and-a-half Volkswagens ($149bn market cap), 12 Ford Motor Companys ($56bn) or 16 Ferraris ($41bn).

https://www.chartr.co

5. ETFs Take Over Active Management …..2021 Active ETFs Arriving at Double the Rate of Passive.

Bloomberg-Sam Potter and Elaine Chen

Sat, July 31, 2021, 8:00 AM

(Bloomberg) — Record inflows. Record fund launches. Record assets. If active money management is in decline, someone forgot to tell the ETF industry.

Amped up by a meme-crazed market and emboldened by the success of Cathie Wood’s Ark Investment Management, stock pickers are storming the $6.6 trillion U.S. exchange-traded fund universe like never before — adding a new twist in the 50-year invasion from passive investing.

Passive funds still dominate the industry, but actively managed products have cut into that lead, scooping up three-times their share of the unprecedented $500 billion plowed into ETFs in 2021, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. New active funds are arriving at double the rate of passive rivals, and the cohort has boosted its market share by a third in a year.

fdd0d32d0118596fd9d3c51512277c54

Cathie Wood Is Just a Start as Stock Pickers Storm the ETF World

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/cathie-wood-just-start-stock-120000320.html

6. Fixed Income Returns YTD.

Bespoke-Fixed Income Weekly: In this week’s report we look at the long term history of real rates.
Our Fixed Income Weekly helps investors stay on top of fixed income markets and gain new perspective on the developments in interest rates.  You can sign up for a Bespoke research trial below to see this week’s report and everything else Bespoke publishes free for the next two weeks!

https://www.bespokepremium.com/interactive/posts/think-big-blog/fixed-income-weekly-7-28-21

7. Inflation has Never Been this High with Bond Yields this Low.

Bonds and Inflation Posted July 26, 2021 by Michael Batnick

So this is different. Inflation has never been this high, with bond yields this low.

Rates should, in theory, be a way to gauge what market participants think about future inflation. Higher inflation would cripple today’s coupons, so again, in theory, investors would demand higher rates for that risk.

But investing isn’t about theories. At some point, we need to acknowledge reality. It’s probably time we update our models, mental and otherwise.

There are varying explanations as to why this relationship may no longer hold, and I think the most compelling one is that there are so many price-insensitive buyers.

Allison Schrager recently highlighted this, showing that 54% of U.S. debt was purchased by the fed and government last year.

Tracy Alloway has been all over this concept of “flows before pros,” first writing about it in 2017.

In a world with so much money, buyers are as important as fundamentals. This concept is widely discussed, but I think still underappreciated. It impacts everything and isn’t going away any time soon.

8. A Few Things to Know About FED Bond Buying

Deal Book NY Times…Here are a few key things to know about the bond-buying, and key details that Wall Street will be watching:

  • The Fed is buying $120 billion in government backed bonds each month — $80 billion in Treasury debt and $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities.
  • Economists mostly expect the central bank to announce plans to slow those purchases this year, perhaps as soon as August, before actually dialing them back late this year or early next. That slowdown is what Wall Street refers to as a “taper.”
  • There’s a hot debate among policymakers about how that taper should play out. Some officials think the Fed should slow mortgage debt buying first because the housing market is booming. Others have said mortgage security buying has little special effect on the housing market. They have hinted or said they would favor tapering both types of purchases at the same speed.
  • The Fed is moving cautiously, and for a reason: Back in 2013, markets convulsed when investors realized that a similar bond-buying program after the financial crisis would slow soon. Mr. Powell and crew do not want to stage a rerun.
  • Bond-buying is just one of the Fed’s policy tools, and is used to lower longer-term interest rates and to get money chugging around the economy. The Fed also sets a policy interest rate, the federal funds rate, to keep borrowing costs low. It has been near zero since March 2020.
  • Central bankers have been clear that tapering off bond purchases is the first step toward moving policy away from an emergency setting. Increases in the funds rate remain off in the distant future.

Jeanna Smialek writes about the Federal Reserve and the economy. She previously covered economics at Bloomberg News, where she also wrote feature stories for Businessweek magazine. @jeannasmialek

Jumping prices and the ghost of 2013’s market meltdown loom over the Fed.

Found at Crossing Wall Street https://www.crossingwallstreet.com

9. Infrastructure Bill May Tax Crypto

“Not A Drill”: Infrastructure Bill Could Sink American Crypto Industry

BY TYLER DURDENAuthored by Jeff John Roberts via Decrypt.co,

The government aims to partially cover the cost of a massive infrastructure bill by taxing crypto companies… and the entire industry will feel it.

Things just got ugly for crypto in Washington, D.C.

For years, the threat of major regulation has been raised like a hammer, ready to smash the crypto industry. Now, the hammer is ready to drop in the unlikely form of a major infrastructure bill in the U.S. Senate.

“This is not a drill,” writes Jake Chervinsky, an influential crypto lawyer and a sober voices in a hype-prone industry. In a must-read Twitter threadChervinsky explains how the $550 billion bill – which is primarily about roads and bridges – could shiv American crypto companies.

The pain comes in the part of the bill that explains how the U.S. will help pay for those roads and bridge. Namely, the bill states that Uncle Sam plans to cover $28 billion of the costs by squeezing crypto brokers.

The trouble is that the bill defines “broker”—a term normally used to describe the likes of Coinbase and Robinhood—as basically any business that touches crypto.

As Chervinsky writes,

“This definition is so broad, it could apply to nearly every economic actor in the US crypto industry, if read literally.”

The catch-all “broker” term could apply to miners, DeFi startups, and others who will have to file customer forms with the IRS, a task that is in some cases impossible.

The upshot is that the U.S. crypto industry is in the same position as the online gambling industry a decade ago when Congress regulated it out of existence. In the eyes of lawmakers, crypto companies—like online casinos—appear to be both sinful and rich, which makes them the perfect target for a revenue raid.

https://www.zerohedge.com/crypto/not-drill-infrastructure-bill-could-sink-american-crypto-industry

10. People Complain About Everything.

Hiram Figueroa Jr• 2ndCo Host Leaders Lead the PodCast, KeyNote Speaker, PHP Cooridinator, Entrepreneur Leadership within the Veteran Community, Never Above you, Never Below you, Always Besides you.6d • 6 days ago

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Imagine being born in 1900.
When you are 14 years old
World War I begins
and ends when you are 18,
with 22 million dead.

Shortly after the world pandemic,
flu called ′′ Spanish “,
killing 50 million people.
You go out alive and free,
and you are 20 years old.

Then at the age of 29 you survive the global economic crisis that started with the collapse of the New York Stock Exchange causing inflation, unemployment and hunger.

Nazis come to power at 33.

You are 39 when world war 2. begins
and it ends when you are 45 during the Holocaust (Shoah), 6 million Jews die.

There will be a total of more than 60 million dead.

When your 52th Korean war begins.

When you are 64, the Vietnam war begins and ends when you are 75.

A baby born in 1985 believes his grandparents have no idea how hard life is,
and survived several wars and disasters.

A boy born in 1995 and 25 today believes that the end of the world when his Amazon package takes more than three days to arrive or if he doesn’t exceed 15 likes for his posted photo on Facebook or Instagram…

In 2020., many of us live in comfort, have access to various sources of entertainment at home and often have more than needed.

But people complain about everything.

They have electricity, phone, food, hot water and a roof.

a picture of people smiling and posing for the camera

https://www.linkedin.com/in/hiram-figueroa-jr-97837bb6/?miniProfileUrn=urn%3Ali%3Afs_miniProfile%3AACoAABidiqwB3x6bd5FucusZyf_bsWasv2kmoBg

Disclosure

Indices that may be included herein are unmanaged indices and one cannot directly invest in an index. Index returns do not reflect the impact of any management fees, transaction costs or expenses. The index information included herein is for illustrative purposes only.
Material for market review represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results.
Material compiled by Lansing Street Advisors is based on publicly available data at the time of compilation. Lansing Street Advisors makes no warranties or representation of any kind relating to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the data and shall not have liability for any damages of any kind relating to the use such data.
To the extent that content includes references to securities, those references do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy, sell or hold such security as information is provided for educational purposes only. Articles should not be considered investment advice and the information contain within should not be relied upon in assessing whether or not to invest in any securities or asset classes mentioned. Articles have been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it. Securities discussed may not be suitable for all investors. Please keep in mind that a company’s past financial performance, including the performance of its share price, does not guarantee future results.
Lansing Street Advisors is a registered investment adviser with the State of Pennsylvania.

Topley’s Top 10 – July 30, 2021

1. American Consumer Net Worth All-Time Highs.

2. Stock Buybacks Set to Ramp Up

Image

In the USA, Buybacks are going to start ramping post Earnings..

PKW Stock Buyback ETF…sideways since March

www.stockcharts.com

3. Short High Yield Bond ETF New Lows.

Spreads all time lows for high yield bonds but SJB short ETFs making new lows.

www.stockcharts.com

4. Inventory to Sales Ratio at Record Lows

United States: At the national level, inventories-to-sales ratios are at record lows.

Source: Deutsche Bank Research

The Daily Shot Blog https://dailyshotbrief.com/the-daily-shot-brief-july-28th-2021/

5. Blackrock Dominates ETP Market (Exchange Traded Product) ETFs

Source: Bloomberg via @EricBalchunas

From Barry Ritholtz Blog https://ritholtz.com/2021/07/10-tuesday-am-reads-343/

6. Dow Jones Coal Index…$75 to $250 Since Nov. 2020

www.stockcharts.com

7. Renewables Became Second Most Prevalent Energy Source in 2020……..Coal was Cut in Half.

Morning Brew

8. A Look at What the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Would Do

The White House and bipartisan lawmakers have agreed on a package that would provide funding for roads, bridges and other physical infrastructure

President Biden during an event marking Amtrak’s 50th anniversary in Philadelphia in April. The deal would inject $66 billion in rail to address Amtrak’s maintenance backlog and upgrade and expand service.Credit…Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

By Madeleine Ngo

Published July 28, 2021Updated July 29, 2021, 8:11 a.m. ET

After weeks of debate and discussion, the White House and a bipartisan group of senators said on Wednesday that they had reached agreement on an infrastructure bill.

The $1 trillion package is far smaller than the $2.3 trillion plan that President Biden had originally proposed and would provide about $550 billion in new federal money for public transit, roads, bridges, water and other physical projects over the next five years, according to a White House fact sheet. That money would be cobbled together through a range of measures, including “repurposing” stimulus funds already approved by Congress, selling public spectrum and recouping federal unemployment funds from states that ended more generous pandemic benefits early.

Although Mr. Biden conceded that “neither side got everything they wanted,” he said the deal would create new union jobs and make significant investments in public transit.

“This deal signals to the world that our democracy can function, deliver and do big things,” Mr. Biden said in a statement. “As we did with the transcontinental railroad and the interstate highway, we will once again transform America and propel us into the future.”

Lawmakers have yet to release legislative text of the bill, and although the Senate voted to advance it in an initial vote on Wednesday evening, it still faces several hurdles. But if enacted, the package would mark a significant step toward repairing the nation’s crumbling infrastructure and preparing it for the 21st century.

Here is a look at the bipartisan group’s agreement for the final package.

Funding for roads and bridges

The package provides $110 billion in new funding for roads, bridges and other major projects. The funds would be used to repair and rebuild with a “focus on climate change mitigation,” according to the White House.

That funding would only begin to chip away at some of the nation’s pressing infrastructure needs, transportation experts say. The most recent estimate by the American Society of Civil Engineers found that the nation’s roads and bridges have a $786 billion backlog of needed repairs.

Highway and pedestrian safety programs would receive $11 billion under the deal. Traffic deaths, which have increased during the pandemic, have taken a particular toll on people of color, according to a recent analysis from the Governors Highway Safety Association. Traffic fatalities among Black people jumped 23 percent in 2020 from the year before, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In comparison, traffic fatalities among white people increased 4 percent during the same time period.

The deal also includes funding dedicated to “reconnecting communities” by removing freeways or other past infrastructure projects that ran through Black neighborhoods and other communities of color. Although Mr. Biden originally proposed investing $20 billion in the new program, the latest deal includes only $1 billion.

Investments in public transit

Public buses, subways and trains would receive $39 billion in new funding, which would be used to repair aging infrastructure and modernize and expand transit service across the country.

While the amount of new funding for public transit was scaled back from a June proposal, which included $49 billion, the Biden administration said it would be the largest federal investment in public transit in history.

Yet the funds might not be enough to fully modernize the country’s public transit system. According to a report from the American Society of Civil Engineers, there is a $176 billion backlog for transit investments.

Big investments in rail and freight lines

The deal would inject $66 billion in rail to address Amtrak’s maintenance backlog, along with upgrading the high-traffic Northeast corridor from Washington to Boston (a route frequented by East Coast lawmakers). It would also expand rail service outside the Northeast and mid-Atlantic.

Mr. Biden frequently points to his connection to Amtrak, which began in the 1970s, when he would travel home from Washington to Delaware every night to care for his two sons while serving in the Senate. The new funding would be the largest investment in passenger rail since Amtrak was created 50 years ago, according to the administration, and would come as the agency tries to significantly expand its service nationwide by 2035.

Clean water initiatives

The package would invest $55 billion in clean drinking water, which would be enough to replace all of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines. While Congress banned lead water pipes three decades ago, more than 10 million older ones remain, resulting in unsafe lead levels in cities and towns across the country.

Beefing up electric vehicles

To address the effects of climate change, the deal would invest $7.5 billion in building out the nation’s network of electric vehicle charging stations, which could help entice more drivers to switch to such cars by getting rid of so-called charger deserts. The package would also expand America’s fleet of electric school buses by investing $2.5 billion in zero-emission buses.

See more

Funding the investments

How to pay for the spending has been one of the most contentious areas, with Republicans opposed to Mr. Biden’s plan to raise taxes and empower the I.R.S. to help pay for the package. Instead, the bipartisan group has agreed on a series of so-called pay-fors that largely repurpose already-approved funds, rely on accounting changes to raise funds and, in some cases, assume the projects will ultimately pay for themselves.

The biggest funding source is $205 billion that the group says will come from “repurposing of certain Covid relief dollars.” The government has approved trillions in pandemic stimulus funds, and much, but not all, of it has been allocated. The proposal does not specify which money will be repurposed, but Republicans have pushed for the Treasury Department to take back funds from the $350 billion that Democrats approved in March to help states, local governments and tribes deal with pandemic-related costs.

Another $53 billion is assumed to come from states that ended more generous federal unemployment benefits early and return that money to the Treasury Department. An additional $28 billion is pegged to requiring more robust reporting around cryptocurrencies, and $56 billion is presumed to come from economic growth “resulting from a 33 percent return on investment in these long-term infrastructure projects.”

9. Taliban is Assassinating Afghan Pilots.

Reuters–Special Report: Afghan pilots assassinated by Taliban as U.S. withdraws

Phil StewartIdrees AliHamid Shalizi

A member of the Afghan air force marshals in an A-29 Super Tucano at Hamid Karzai International Airport near Kabul, Afghanistan, January 15, 2016. Picture taken January 15, 2016. To match Special Report USA-AFGHANISTAN/PILOTS U.S. Air

KABUL, July 9, (Reuters) – Afghan Air Force Major Dastagir Zamaray had grown so fearful of Taliban assassinations of off-duty forces in Kabul that he decided to sell his home to move to a safer pocket of Afghanistan’s sprawling capital.

Instead of being greeted by a prospective buyer at his realtor’s office earlier this year, the 41-year-old pilot was confronted by a gunman who walked inside and, without a word, fatally shot the real estate agent in the mouth.

Zamaray reached for his sidearm but the gunman shot him in the head. The father of seven collapsed dead on his 14-year-old son, who had tagged along. The boy was spared, but barely speaks anymore, his family says.

Zamaray “only went there because he personally knew the realtor and thought it was safe,” Samiullah Darman, his brother-in-law, told Reuters. “We didn’t know that he would never come back.”

At least seven Afghan pilots, including Zamaray, have been assassinated off base in recent months, according to two senior Afghan government officials. This series of targeted killings, which haven’t been previously reported, illustrate what U.S. and Afghan officials believe is a deliberate Taliban effort to destroy one of Afghanistan’s most valuable military assets: its corps of U.S.- and NATO-trained military pilots.

In so doing, the Taliban — who have no air force — are looking to level the playing field as they press major ground offensives. The militants are quickly seizing territory once controlled by the U.S.-backed government of President Ashraf Ghani, raising fears they could eventually try to topple Kabul.

Reuters confirmed the identities of two of the slain pilots through family members. It could not independently verify the names of the other five who were allegedly targeted.

In response to questions from Reuters, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed the group had killed Zamaray, and that it had started a program that will see Afghan Air Force pilots “targeted and eliminated because all of them do bombardment against their people.”

A U.N. report documented 229 civilian deaths caused by the Taliban in Afghanistan in the first three months of 2021, and 41 civilian deaths caused by the Afghan Air Force over the same period.

Afghanistan’s government has not publicly disclosed the number of pilots assassinated in targeted killings. The nation’s Defense Ministry did not respond to requests for comment. The Pentagon said it was aware of the deaths of several Afghan pilots in killings claimed by the Taliban, but declined comment on U.S. intelligence and investigations.

Afghan military pilots are particularly attractive assassination targets, current and former U.S. and Afghan officials say. They can strike Taliban forces massing for major attacks, shuttle commandos to missions and provide life-saving air cover for Afghan ground troops. Pilots take years to train and are hard to replace, representing an outsized blow to the country’s defenses with every loss.

Shoot-downs and accidents are ever-present risks. Yet these pilots often are most vulnerable in the streets of their own neighborhoods, where attackers can come from anywhere, said retired U.S. Brigadier General David Hicks, who commanded the training effort for the Afghan Air Force from 2016 to 2017.

“Their lives were at much greater risk during that time (off base) than they were while they were flying combat missions,” Hicks said.

Although Taliban assassinations of pilots have happened in years past, the recent killings take on greater significance as the Afghan Air Force is tested like never before.

Just last week, U.S. forces left America’s main military bastion in Afghanistan, Bagram Air Base outside Kabul, as they complete their withdrawal from the country 20 years after ousting the Taliban following the Al Qaeda attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/afghan-pilots-assassinated-by-taliban-us-withdraws-2021-07-09/

10. Top Meaningful Activities

Before discussing the study, let me quickly describe two common paths to psychological well-being: Living a happy life and living a meaningful life.

·  Happy life: A pleasurable life of safety, security, and comfort.

·  Meaningful life: A life of self-actualization and pursuit of worthy goals.

Arash Emamzadeh (adapted from Hooker et al., 2020)

Psychology Today

Are Meaningful Daily Activities Linked to Well-Being? Arash Emamzadeh  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/finding-new-home/202101/are-meaningful-daily-activities-linked-well-being?collection=1164317

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