Category Archives: Daily Top Ten

Topley’s Top 10 – December 01, 2022

1. Proxy for Risk…See If Softbank Breaks to New Lows

2. Bear Market?…Nasdaq NDAQ Approaching New Highs

3. Video Game Sales First Down Revenue Year in a Decade

NERD ETF $40 to $14

HERO ETF Global X Video Games and Esports $26 to $18

4. Vanguard Developed International ex-U.S. Closes Above 200day Moving Average

5. Tesla Price to Sales 23x to 8x

Macro Trends-Tesla price to sales chart.

6. Tech Jobs on Ziprecruiter Went Up 87% in One Year…..Now Falling

Marketwatch Zoe Han

The number of job postings for jobs in the technology sector on ZipRecruiter peaked in May with more than 1.9 million jobs, up 87% from February 2020 just before the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic.  But hiring started declining in June around the same time as the Fed’s first 75 basis point hike (one basis point is equal to one hundredth of a percentage point, or 1% of 1%). In October, the number of job postings for tech jobs fell to 1.3 million.

Employers are seeking to fill fewer entry-level tech roles. On Nov. 15, only 2.7% of the active job postings for data engineers on ZipRecruiter were looking for “junior,” “entry-level” or “level I” candidates. Demand was even lower for enterprise resource development engineers (1.6%), software developers (1.2%), software engineers (0.8%) and systems engineers (1.8%). Instead, a large share of active job postings across those roles were seeking “mid-level” or “level II” candidates — 71% of the software-developer job postings and 48.6% of software engineers.

7. $8 Trillion…1/2 of Chinese GDP Collateralized by Land Values

The property downturn is a particular problem for China as local government debt – of which there is an estimated $8 trillion of outstanding, half of China’s GDP – is often collateralized by land values. Falling land values increase the chance of collateral calls, leading to the distressed sale of other assets, adding to deflationary dynamic.

China saw the largest rise in private debt since 2010 of any country in the world, with the private-debt-to-GDP ratio rising a dizzying 90 percentage points.

That has led to China’s debt service ratio, the ratio of its debt service repayments to private disposable income, to rise above 20%.

The BIS notes that DSRs of 20%-25% have preceded financial crises in other countries. Hong Kong’s DSR is even worse at over 30%.

One increasingly likely lever China will pull (and has been pulling) to ease the debt problem is allowing the yuan to weaken, and perhaps eventually dropping the fixed-rate exchange system altogether. Property easing measures and an eventual exit from Covid restrictions will help, but the debt problem is not going away.

8. We have Showed this Chart Before but Now 3 Months in a Row of Falling Rents….Another Lagged Inflation Number

Housing costs 40% of CPI

9. The Pentagon fails its fifth audit in a row If the Defense Department can’t get its books straight, how can it be trusted with a budget of more than $800 billion per year?

Written byConnor Echols

Last week, the Department of Defense revealed that it had failed its fifth consecutive audit.

“I would not say that we flunked,” said DoD Comptroller Mike McCord, although his office did note that the Pentagon only managed to account for 39 percent of its $3.5 trillion in assets. “The process is important for us to do, and it is making us get better. It is not making us get better as fast as we want.”

The news came as no surprise to Pentagon watchers. After all, the U.S. military has the distinction of being the only U.S. government agency to have never passed a comprehensive audit.

But what did raise some eyebrows was the fact that DoD made almost no progress in this year’s bookkeeping: Of the 27 areas investigated, only seven earned a clean bill of financial health, which McCord described as “basically the same picture as last year.”

Given this accounting disaster, it should come as no surprise that the Pentagon has a habit of bad financial math. This is especially true when it comes to estimating the cost of weapons programs.

The Pentagon’s most famous recent boondoggle is the F-35 program, which has gone over its original budget by $165 billion to date. But examples of overruns abound: As Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Jack Reed (D-RI) wrote in 2020, the lead vessel for every one of the Navy’s last eight combatant ships came in at least 10 percent over budget, leading to more than $8 billion in additional costs.

And another major overrun is poised to happen soon, according to a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office.

The Navy plans to expand its ship production in an effort to maintain an edge over China, with a particular focus on a new attack submarine and destroyer ship. The Pentagon has proposed three versions of this plan at an average cost of $27 billion per year between 2023 and 2052, a 10 percent jump from current annual shipbuilding costs.

But the CBO says this is a big underestimate. The independent agency’s math says the average annual cost of this shipbuilding initiative will be over $31 billion, meaning that the Navy is underestimating costs by $120 billion over the program’s life.

As Mark Thompson of the Project on Government Oversight recently noted, these overruns “shouldn’t come as a shock” to anyone who has paid attention to DoD acquisitions in recent years. “But it does suggest a continuing, and stunning, inability by the Navy to get its ducks, and dollars, in a row,” Thompson wrote.

So will the Pentagon manage to get its financial house in order any time soon? It’s possible, if a bit unlikely.

Despite the long odds, a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) proposed a bill last year that could help make that happen. The legislation would cut one percent off the top of the budget of any part of the Pentagon that fails an audit. That means that, if the proposal had already passed, 20 of the agency’s 27 auditing units would face a budget cut this year.

Unfortunately, momentum around that bill appears to have fizzled out, leaving the Pentagon’s accountants as the last line of defense. Per Comptroller McCord, the DoD hopes to finally pass an audit by 2027, a mere 14 years after every other agency in the U.S. government blew past that milestone. That may coincide with another historical moment, according to Andrew Lautz of the National Taxpayers Union.

“[W]e could reach a $1 trillion defense budget five years sooner [than the CBO estimates], in 2027,” Lautz wrote.

Responsible Statecraft’s independent, authentic journalism promotes democratic accountability and poses a transpartisan challenge to militaristic foreign policy! Responsible Statecraft is the online magazine of the Quincy Institute(QI). Please help us lift up new voices of realism and military restraint with your 100% tax-deductible donation to the Quincy Institute in support of Responsible Statecraft. Donate here.

10. Cognitive Strategies of Elite Soccer Players and Athletes

Psychology Today Can time dilation explain soccer superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo? Raj Persaud, M.D. and Peter Bruggen, M.D.


  • Perceptual time can appear to slow down in some instances and may have practical benefits.
  • Elite athletes deliberately train under more challenging conditions that they would normally endure.
  • Physical strength may compete with superior mental processing to determine who wins in sporting competitions.

Soccer is the planet’s most popular sport (outside of the USA), and the FIFA World Cup is therefore perhaps the largest mega-event in sports, possibly even surpassing the Olympics in worldwide fan interest.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

Source: Fanny Schertzer

Arguably the two greatest soccer players of all time, Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal and Lionel Messi of Argentina, are both playing in the current FIFA World Cup tournament in Qatar, representing perhaps the last opportunity to witness such a unique spectacle.

Theories as to why some elite athletes become practically unbeatable, invoke not just physical strength but also neuroscience and psychology.

How to Freeze Time

A research paper entitled, “Can Lionel Messi’s Brain Slow Down Time Passing?” suggests that elite competitors become outstanding at anticipating their opponent’s next move, before they make it.

The authors argue that the key reason why the Argentinian soccer star is difficult to stop is that he makes sure his adversaries don’t have enough time. This is because, so the argument goes, in Messi’s mind time passes more slowly.

These authors contend that if perceptual time for an elite athlete slows down, this enables them to see more of what is happening on the field of play. Paradoxically, if their sensory systems work faster, then more computations-per-second deliver a “wider bandwidth” for grasping events on the pitch.

The authors of a study entitled “Psychological and Neural Mechanisms of Subjective Time Dilation”, show how for any set period of time, certain events can be experienced as longer than others.

For example, they suggest you try this for yourself: Take a quick glance at the second hand of a clock or watch. Immediately, the tick will pause momentarily, and appear to be longer than the subsequent ticks. Yet, they all last exactly one second.

Suppose for athletes like Lionel Messi, on the field of play, they see the equivalent of the second hand as always running slower than their opponents?

Another study entitled, “Mastery in Goal Scoring, T-Pattern Detection, and Polar Coordinate Analysis of Motor Skills Used by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo,” argues that it is the dynamic nature of superior skill that distinguishes the elite athlete; the player needs to perform the right action at the right time.

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Goal-scoring sequences were analyzed from the moment the player receives the last pass to the moment he scores a goal, and the conclusion of this investigation was that both players, Messi and Ronaldo, better anticipate the actions of their opponents, resulting in higher success in attacking.

In a paper entitled, “The Discovery of Slowness: Time to Deconstruct Gretzky’s and Messi’s Predictive Brains,” the Argentinian example, it is suggested, was preceded by the astounding case of ice-hockey star Wayne Gretzky.

Between 1979 and 1999, the Canadian ice hockey player broke numerous records. As he was not a particularly impressive physical specimen, when trying to explain how he differed from other players, it would appear that during a match, time could be said to “freeze” for him.

According to Gretzky, he considered ice hockey as a rather slow game. By weaving together his reading of immediate sporting predicaments, Gretzky often predicted what would happen next.

Being able to predict what is going to occur is not just useful for elite athletes, it is of everyday significance in our daily lives as well.

The authors of a study entitled, “Why am I Always Late? Modelling the Cognitive Mechanisms Underlying Anticipatory Timing Under Uncertainty,” give an example: imagine trying to swat a fly? This requires being able to predict precisely where the insect will be and when, given the fly usually moves faster than you can. In life, you are not just spontaneously reacting to some event, but rather you are frequently engaging in anticipatory timing, calibrating your actions for a scenario you figure is coming.

A lot of life is a kind of choreography, where if you are not good at anticipating the move of your protagonist, you are going to collide.

In their experiment, subjects viewed the motion of a ball and then had to predict where it would be when it was occluded from view for a while.

The authors found there was a link between people’s ability to correctly anticipate the ball, and some other key aspects of their lives, linked to time judgments, including their tendency to be late, the ability to plan ahead, starting and completing tasks on time.

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The results of this experiment suggested that generally becoming more aware of the passage of time, even as simple as glancing at a clock more often, could help improve anticipation, and this could have knock-on benefits to us in a wide variety of different areas of life, particularly if we have generally a problem with timing.

But what if you want to get as good as Lionel Messi with your visual reaction time? Can you make time slow down with training?

A study entitled “Sports Vision Training: A Review of the State-Of-The-Art in Digital Training Techniques” points out there is a long history of athletes purposefully practicing under tougher conditions than they would find in an actual match, in order to develop.

From the use of strobe lights in otherwise dark settings, to digitally controlled eyewear that can be used in natural practice situations, by intermittently disrupting vision, individuals are only allowed to see brief snapshots of their environment. They therefore train under tougher conditions, which include a disrupted visual experience.

The stroboscopic effect, the theory goes, produces better visual skills when athletes return to normal conditions.

The Takeaway

The recurring pattern in the lesson of how to become an elite athlete is to create tougher conditions than normal, and the body and brain grow and adapt in response to the challenge, becoming stronger and fitter.

Lionel Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency as a child, and at five foot seven inches he remains one of the shortest players in the FIFA World Championship.

According to the website, if we take a continental average, the European dominance in average height across teams at the current FIFA world cup is massive. The average height of European squads in Qatar is 183 cm. This drops to 180.9 cm for South American teams.

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The shortest squads in terms of average height will be from North America, with their average heights touching only 180.7.

But it appears that even in sport when physical reality like height can be very important, it is possible for psychological mechanisms to compensate.

Maybe time slows down for Lionel Messi because this is how he adapted over many years to compensate for his body being shorter, compared to all the other kids, who may now be taller.

Faster mental speed, for some, could be more than a match for slower physical growth.

Topley’s Top 10 – November 30, 2022

1. World Yield Curve Inverts

I am not familiar with this yield curve but first time in 22 years     From Dave Lutz at Jones Trading The average yield on sovereign debt maturing in 10 years or more has fallen below that of securities due in one-to-three years, according to Bloomberg Global Aggregate bond sub-indexes. That has never happened before based on data going back to the beginning of the millennium.

The Most Important Curve as we await Powell tomorrow?  He loves the 3m18m Curve – The last 2 times it inverted like it is now, the Fed has paused it’s hiking campaign.

2. This is Where We Got the August Sell Off

S&P Trades Back to 200day Moving Average

3. MegaCap Tech ETF Still Holding Above 200 Week Moving Average.

4. The Largest Holding in MegaCap Tech is AAPL….$550B in Buybacks Last 10 years

(Bloomberg) — Apple Inc. has shelled out more than $550 billion buying back its own shares over the past decade, more than any other US company, and the technology juggernaut shows no signs of slowing down.

“This is an aggressive bet that they made, something that Steve Jobs would have never done, and it’s paid off nicely for the company and its investors in part because the stock has done well during that period,” Munster said of the share repurchases.

Apple, the world’s largest company with a market value of almost $2.3 trillion, also is in a league of its own when it comes to share buybacks.

In two of the last five years, it has outspent the second-highest repurchaser by least $50 billion. It spent almost $90 billion last year, about equal to the market value of Citigroup Inc.

5. Munis Just Had Best Month Since 1986

LPL Research

6. S&P Price to Sales Update…Not Sure What it Looks Like Minis FANG+

Liz Ann Sonders Schwab S&P 500’s price/sales ratio has come down significantly from peak … orange circles highlight where ratio was at major market lows in 2020, 2018, 2009, and 2002

7. U.S. Household Debt to Service Ratio

Irrelevant Investor Blog

8. Forclosures Non-Existant Right Now

Wolf Street Blog-Foreclosures dipped in the third quarter and have been at ultra-historic lows since the mortgage forbearance programs, where delinquent mortgages were put on ice, and no longer counted as delinquent.  Most of the borrowers have now exited the forbearance programs, either by having the mortgage modified in some way, or by having sold the home and paid off the mortgage, which was easily possible amid the pandemic spike of home prices. The free pandemic money also helped.

Foreclosures, after ticking up for two quarters, ticked down again in Q3 to just 28,500 mortgages with foreclosures, thereby nixing the beginnings of a trend that had been forming. During the Good Times before the pandemic, there were about 70,000 mortgages with foreclosures, more than double the current number:

9. Gaslighting Word of Year

MorningBrew  Gaslighting “psychological manipulation over an extended period of time that causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts,”


‘Gaslighting’ is in everyone’s head

Photo Illustration: Dianna “Mick” McDougall, Source: Gyrgy Halmos/EyeEm/Getty Images

It’s 2022 and “gaslighting” is in: Merriam-Webster Dictionary chose it as its word of the year.

Interest in “gaslighting,” which the dictionary defines as “psychological manipulation over an extended period of time that causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts,” is at an all-time high. The term for your ex’s favorite activity was searched on Merriam-Webster’s website 1,740% more than in the previous year.

The sustained high volume of queries on earned “gaslighting” its word of the year status, as the selection process is based solely on data, according to the brand.

While it may be the word of the moment, the modern definition of “gaslighting” dates back to the 1938 hit play Gas Light. The onstage thriller and its two screen adaptations chronicle a man’s diabolical attempts to convince his wife that she’s going insane by telling her that she’s imagining the dimming of the gaslights in their apartment.

The play made “gaslight” the verb it is today, though for a long time it was seldom used by anyone outside the psychology community. But starting in the 2010s, “gaslighting” steamrolled its way into common parlance.

Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find an internet rant about a bad relationship that doesn’t involve someone getting called out for being a “gaslighter,” and in some corners of the internet its imperative form frequently appears alongside the words “gatekeep” and “girlboss.”—SK


10. Brett Arends’s ROI-These are the top 5 ‘financial regrets’ of Americans over 50 Marketwatch Brett Arends

There’s an old joke about a man in the Wild West who’s about to be hanged for some crime he had committed. As he is standing on the scaffold, and the hangman is placing the noose around his neck, the criminal tells the crowd, “this is going to be a real lesson for me!”

One of the great problems with retirement planning is that by the time we realize the big mistakes we’ve made it’s usually too late to do anything else. Those who have (for example) spent too much while young, and who then end up old and broke, can always say in their dotage “this has been a real lesson to me,” but how exactly is that going to help?

Which brings us to the question of what we can do to try to prevent those financial regrets, by taking the right decisions when we still have time to change our actions. This isn’t simply a challenge for each of us individually, but also one of public policy. How can we do more to encourage more and better retirement planning?

Economists Abigail Hurwitz of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Olivia Mitchell of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton business school recently conducted a survey of older Americans on the subject of financial regret. They polled 1,764 Americans over the age of 50 through the University of Michigan’s ongoing Health and Retirement Survey. In the survey the average age was around 72.

What they found was interesting and useful.

Older Americans have five major financial regrets. One or two are quite surprising.
And those regrets increase, dramatically, when people are encouraged to think more about how long they are likely to live.

Let’s start with the regrets. In the survey, the No. 1 financial regret of older Americans, shared by a thumping 57%, was not having saved more for their retirement during their working years. And while you can’t save more if you don’t earn more, those looking back with regret also blamed themselves for “not planning ahead” and “living day to day.”

Second on the list, surprisingly: Not buying long-term-care insurance, to pay for a nursing home or similar. This was a regret by 40% of those polled. There is a widespread misapprehension, especially among non-retirees, that Medicare will pay for your stay in a nursing home. It won’t (except in narrow and quite brief exceptions). You’ll have to pay for it yourself. Medicaid will step in, but only when you have run out of money.

Third on the list, 37% of older Americans regret not working longer, while 23% regret claiming Social Security too early—that is fifth on the list.

You can start claiming at 62, and many do. But if you wait you will get more each month. Someone waiting till they are 70 to start claiming will end up getting checks that are nearly 80% bigger.

The two most powerful levers you can pull to improve your retirement prospects, even as late as your 60s, is to keep working for longer and to delay taking Social Security as long as possible.

Meanwhile at No. 4, a remarkable 33% of older Americans regretted not investing more in a lifetime annuity or similar product that would produce a guaranteed income for life.

As part of the survey, the researchers also gave some of the subjects objective information about longevity, showing them mathematically the chances that they would live to a ripe old age. The result? Financial regrets went up. In some cases, they went up a lot. “Healthy people given objective longevity information were 43% more likely to express regret about not having saved more,” Hurwitz and Mitchell report. Those given the objective data about survival probabilities “expressed twice as much regret about not having purchased LTC insurance, and 2.4 times greater regret for not having purchased lifetime income payments,” they write.

So if a key to preventing financial regret in old age is to think more, and earlier, about how long we’re likely to live, reflect on this: According to CDC data, among those who make it to 65, half can expect to live into their mid 80s and a quarter into their 90s. About 10% can expect to live to their mid-90s. And those numbers are rising. Which is great news — unless you run out of money.

Topley’s Top 10 – November 29, 2022

1. Risk Appetite at Lows

Dan StratemeierManaging DirectorEquities, Event Driven Strategies  How about these charts.   Thanks to Twitter and Fundstrat for consolidating them.

2. However Short-Interest Very Low

Goldman notes Short Interest remains very low..

3. Dividend Growers About to Break to New Highs

SDY Dividend Growers ETF

4. IBM Chart

Old Tech…50day thru 200day to upside

IBM Year to Date…+9.5% vs. S&P -16%

5. IBM vs. AAPL 2022

This chart shows IBM rally vs. AAPL since August

6. Commodities +14% First Half 2022 vs. -3% Second Half

7. Chinese Yuan to US Dollar Chart…Watch Break to New Lows

8. Cost of Owning Home vs. Renting Breaking to New Highs

WSJ-By Lori Ioannou

9. Adaptive Reuse Apartments…Office to Apartments

NY Times By Michael Kolomatsky

Homes Became Offices, and Offices Became


10. How to Be a Better Thinker, Innovator and Problem Solver

By Dan Gregory and Kieran Flanagan | November 15, 2022 | 

Cogs replaced hands, so to speak, during the U.S. Industrial Revolution, when businesses rushed to automate manual tasks. Now the technology rush is removing the cogs as we hurry to replace people with automated systems. With true artificial intelligence not too far away, the trend for less human involvement is set to continue into the future.

So it makes sense that business is evolving too, moving from a “doing” model to a “thinking” model.

As technology handles more tasks, mental agility has never been more important. If we want to future-proof our businesses—and ourselves—we need to be able to think, rethink and even unthink current processes. Like anything, coming up with solutions and new ways to see things takes practice.

Behavioral strategists Dan Gregory and Kieran Flanagan, authors of the 2014 book Selfish, Scared & Stupid, teach people in business how to become better thinkers, innovators and problem solvers. Here are their best tips to get your mind muscles working:

1. Ideas are a numbers game.

When brainstorming, you want the numbers on your side. This is the secret to the best creative and problem-solving minds on the planet. You have to generate enough options to get the obvious thinking out of the way. Like reps at the gym, you need to push through the easy and get to the difficult for the best results.

Your first ideas are obvious and thus first-level thinking. You need to go deeper than that to find gold. You must go beyond that first-level thinking to discover the unseen ideas which truly solve the problem.

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2. Think in questions.

Train your brain to think in questions, not statements. The problem with statements is that they presuppose a solution and can stop you from thinking innovatively. In contrast, questions open up your mind, letting you find solutions. Asking for a shelf sticker that draws attention to a product, for example, is very different from questioning how to increase the noticeability of a shelf.

The first gives you exactly what you asked for, but the latter could lead to breakthrough ideas like new packaging or product designs, sound-activated point of sale or multiple products in new flavors.

3. Don’t come up with ideas. Come up with solutions.

You need a problem to solve. One of the biggest problems we see is people saying, “I need a great idea,” and then wondering why they can’t think of anything. We have never come up with a great idea in our combined 40-plus years in business, but we have come up with a huge number of innovative solutions.

Ideas solve problems (even those the market is unconscious of), and if you have not defined a problem, chances are you will not miraculously have any ideas that are useful. Spend time looking for problems that need solving rather than trying to think differently about nothing in particular.

4. Back yourself into a corner.

The tighter the corner, the more creative you seem to get. So much so that creative people have a mantra: “Grant me the freedom of a tight brief.”

The brain seems to work better under duress; perhaps our survival instincts kick in and adrenaline fuels us to find a way out. So find a problem and then add parameters until you feel a little panicked. Slight beads of sweat forming on your brow are perfect.

5. Collide ideas and thinking.

Your ability to think differently is crucial. A great way to do this is to get different inputs and inspirations from different people, places, industries and systems. If you want to become an agile thinker, you have to learn beyond your own role, read a lot, be interested in everything and look to other industries to see what they are doing.

The most successful patents often combine thinking or tech from different industries, and new product design can be as simple as colliding thinking. For example, putting use-by dates onto pillows as the Australian brand Tontine did is a food industry idea repurposed very successfully.

Are you ready to start working out and developing those idea muscles? You may be surprised at what you can do.

This article was published in May 2015 and has been updated. Photo by Ground Picture/Shutterstock

Topley’s Top 10 – November 28, 2022

1. Dollar Value of Negative Yielding Debt $18 Trillion to $1.8 Trillion in One Year

Jack Ablin-Cresset Capital

2. Rates Rise….Margin Debt Collapses to Negative

Top Down Charts Blog Margin Called!  File under “things that look exactly like 00/01 & 08/09”.

Source:  @topdowncharts

3. EFA-International Developed ETF Closes Back Above 200 Week Moving Average.

Dollar weakens and international rallies….50day never crossed below 200day on chart.

4. Fertilizer Prices -40%

@Charlie Bilello Another big positive on the inflation front that hopefully continues: fertilizer prices peaked in late March and are down 39% since, now at the lowest prices since September 2021. This is great news given their high correlation to food prices.

5. Steel Stocks Not Acting Like Recession 2023 is a Lock

Reliance Steel New Highs

Steel Dynamics New Highs

6. Covid Stock…Beyond Meat Hit $240 at High….$12 Last

7. Covid Bubble Stock …RedFin Hit $90….$5 Handle Last

8. Venture Money Flowing to Quantum Computing but Profits Decades Away

Barrons-Eric Savitz IDC last year estimated that the market for quantum computing services, mostly delivered by the cloud, could grow to $8.6 billion in 2027, up from $412 million in 2020, a compound annual growth rate of more than 50%. 

More tantalizing is a 2021 report from Boston Consulting Group that put the potential value creation from quantum computing at $450 billion to $850 billion—with $90 billion to $170 billion of that flowing to the quantum industry players. But investors will have to be patient—Boston Consulting Group doesn’t expect the industry to reach that scale until 2040 or later.

9. Shoppers Expecting Big Discounts for the Holidays

From Nasdaq Dorsey Wright

10. Every Ordinary Moment is an Opportunity to Make the Future Easier or Harder

Tiny Thought-Farnam Street Blog

Something I try to teach the kids: Every ordinary moment is an opportunity to make the future easier or harder. 

When they engaged in ineffective behavior I used to ask them if what they were doing is going to help them get what they wanted. Now I ask them if they’re using gasoline or water. The visual is a powerful (and often humorous) way for them to pause and ask themselves if what they’re doing is making things easier or harder. 

Sometimes we pause a conversation or action, and I ask them, “if we wanted to pour gasoline on this, what would it look like?” their responses often give us something to laugh about. Then I ask them, “what would it look like to pour water on this?” Then I hit “unpause!” and step away. They rarely choose to add fuel to the fire. 

Here’s an example of how it plays out in real life. Last night my oldest stepped on the toe of his younger brother, which started to get heated as the youngest instinctively reacted. I walked by and said, “Pause! … I don’t want to know what happened. Just tell me, if you wanted to pour gasoline on this fire, how would you do it?” I listened and then followed up with, “if you wanted to pour water on this fire, how would you do it?” Then I said, “unpause!” and watched them both choose water as I walked away. 

With water or gasoline, you can start a fire, make it bigger, or put it out. The choice is yours. 

(Share this Tiny Thought on Twitter)

Topley’s Top 10 – November 23, 2022

1. Last 30days…FANG -6% vs. SPY +7%

FANG+ vs. SPY Chart straight down……50day breaking 200 day to downside

2. Crude Oil Approaching Sept. Lows

Crude chart…50day went thru 200day to downside in September

XLE Oil Stocks Outperforming the Commodity….this chart is showing XLE performance vs. Crude Oil

3. Gas at the Pump Did Take Out Sept Low….$5 to $3.66

From Dave Lutz Jones Trading But Bespoke notes the AAA national average price of a gallon of gas took out its September low yesterday (before today’s big drop in oil prices). Should help November CPI. Down 10 cents/gallon MTD.

4. Only Stock Drawdown in History Where 20 Year Treasury Lost More than Stocks

I’ve shown the below chart multiple times documenting how this is the only year in history where in a top 20 drawdown for stocks, Treasuries (the risk-off asset) during that drawdown lost more (my hell).

But what if the drawdown isn’t over in stocks?

Can Treasuries still work?

9:38 PM – 18 Nov 2022 

5. Crypto Stock Implosion Summary

Wolf Street Blog

6. Kailash Concepts Charts on Cap Weighted Russell Large Cap Growth….30 Names Make Up 65% of Index

Sign up for trial

7. GMO Latest 7 Year Real (inflation adjusted) Returns

GMO *The chart represents local, real return forecasts for several asset classes and not for any GMO fund or strategy. These forecasts are forward-looking statements based upon the reasonable beliefs of GMO and are not a guarantee of future performance. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and GMO assumes no duty to and does not undertake to update forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks, and uncertainties, which change over time. Actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in forward looking statements. U.S. inflation is assumed to mean revert to long-term inflation of 2.3% over 15 years.

Source: GMO

Found at Advisor Perspective

8. Unwinding the FED Balance Sheet

The Fed’s balance sheet is now down roughly $340 billion from the peak.

Source: Daily Shot

9. Qatar World Cup Spending vs. Historical Hosts…$220B vs. $12B

Soccer spend-The 2022 World Cup got underway yesterday as hosts Qatar lost to Ecuador in the opening game. Having reportedly spent $220bn on the tournament, Qatar’s focus for the competition may not strictly be based on soccer results.

What’s the score?FIFA’s decision to elect Qatar as the host nation led to allegations of corruption back in 2010 and criticism and controversy have hardly ceased since. With Qatar’s human rights record and its maltreatment of migrant workers and the LGBT community, many have accused the state of sportswashing; attempting to tidy their reputation via the World Cup. It’s been an expensive clean-up effort if that’s the case.

Qatar has gone all out, basically building a city to host the final and outspending every nation that’s held the tournament before them. All told, the state has reportedly shelled out a staggering $220bn to prepare for kickoff, though Bloomberg estimated that the true cost could be as high as $300bn. The US, by comparison, spent just $500m when they hosted back in 1994.  Even if we were to adjust for inflation, the American tally would be a drop in the ocean compared to the Qatar figures — which become even more mind-boggling when compared to the host’s relatively-small $180bn GDP figure.

10. The Lessons Never Change in the Stock Market

Liz Ann Sonders quotes from legendary investors

Edwin LeFevre

“Fear and hope remain the same; therefore the study of the psychology of speculators is as valuable as it ever was. Weapons change, but strategy remains strategy, on the New York Stock Exchange as on the battlefield.”

“The sucker has always tried to get something for nothing, and the appeal in all booms is always frankly to the gambling instinct aroused by cupidity and spurred by a pervasive prosperity. People who look for easy money invariably pay for the privilege of proving conclusively that it cannot be found on this sordid earth.”

“Speculators buy the trend; investors are in for the long haul; ‘they are a different breed of cats.’ One reason that people lose money today is that they have lost sight of this distinction; they profess to have the long term in mind and yet cannot resist following where the hot money has led.”

“Never try to sell at the top. It isn’t wise. Sell after a reaction if there is no rally.”

“…there is nothing new in Wall Street. There can’t be because speculation is as old as the hills. Whatever happens in the stock market today has happened before and will happen again.”