Financial Markets

Biden campaign in a nutshell?

We think Ronald Reagan’s comments work well with the Biden campaign. Higher taxes for most. More anti-competition regulation for many industries and subsidies for green energy.

Which begs the question. Do you honestly think politicians can spend your money better than you can?

As Nobel laureate Milton Friedman once said,

You can spend your own cash on yourself – you have a great incentive to economise and get the best bang for your buck. You can spend your own money on somebody else, perhaps by buying your neighbour a present. Again, you will seek to economise; but you won’t care as much about getting good value for money. “You will, of course, want to get something the recipient will like – provided that it also makes the right impression and does not take too much time and effort…Then you can spend somebody else’s money on yourself. Imagine a lunch on an expense account: you will try and spend as much as you can get away with, with limited incentive to economise, but seeking to get the best possible meal for the price. Last but not least, you could spend someone else’s money on yet another person. You will have little interest in economising – and won’t care too much about getting the greatest value for money.

Sinister Big tech’s intentional election meddling

Big tech is determined to tell users what they deem is suitable for consumption. The top screen grab is from Facebook. Head of Comms, Andy Stone, made it clear the social media giant would curtail the Biden conflict of interest news story under the guise of ‘fact checking.’

The NY Post article that surfaced overnight revealed emails from Hunter Biden’s PC which showed he was leveraging his then VP father’s relationship with Ukrainians execs.

Twitter went to an even more interesting approach to suggest the NY Post link was “unsafe” to prevent views.

What we do know from history is that the more efforts made to cover one’s tracks, the more one guarantees to raise awareness to those problems on a stratospheric level.

Ultimately, big tech firms were granted immunity from prosecution as they promised to be mere hosts of content without fear or favour. Now that they are using discretionary editing, they should lose their sanctuary status and be liable to prosecution for suppressing free speech.

These are deep-seated liberal activist platforms. As businesses they are free to exercise commercial decisions. However they don’t have a right to flaunt laws without real world consequences.

Today big tech crossed a line and outed themselves as interfering in the election.

NBA Game 5 2020 viewers -70% vs 2019

Rut Roh! It seems that all the political activism on the basketball court has seen NBA Game 5 drawing only 5.7 million viewers, according to TVLine, representing a nearly 70% decline from the 18.22 million viewers who tuned-in for Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals when the Golden State Warriors took on the Toronto Raptors.

No wonder the NBA is promising to keep its woke activities behind closed doors in 2021.

The NBA finally figured out that fans watch sports to distract themselves from politics and financial/marital/work stresses, not have it shoved down their throats.

#GetWokeGoBroke

Disney’s Double Standards

Never let social justice get in the way of the almighty dollar or RMB.

Disney is having a hard time explaining why it was happy to threaten to pull the company’s production apparatus from Georgia if the state passed a controversial ban on abortions performed after a fetal heartbeat is detected but was happy to shoot part of the film, Mulan, in the Xinjiang region in China where the government has been accused of oppressing the country’s Muslim-minority Uighurs.

Disney responded as follows:

The film is a celebration of female empowerment, based on a 1,500-year-old Chinese poem…The scenes in Xinjiang amount to just 78 seconds and were done to capture the region’s dramatic desert scenery and the historic Silk Road. Most of the movie was shot in New Zealand.

We don’t have an issue with corporations acting in the best interests of shareholders. We only wish they would be consistent in their application of social standards. Ideally, they should shut up.

Sadly, in an ESG consumed finance world, listed corporations are focused on making ever more woke gestures and statements to appease institutional funds who run guilt tripping rackets which coax gullible investors into thinking they are being socially responsible when in reality they’re forking over higher fees to line their pockets in a market structure ruined by low margins ETFs. It is a total con.

Really, Telstra?

Is this really a time for a blue chip Australian corporation to make jokes about the health of the leader of the free world and his wife? At what point do we jettison basic human decency?

We highly doubt the board approved this but the PR team has got rocks in its head to push something so crass.

If Barack and Michelle Obama had caught COVID-19 there is no way in the world Telstra’s woke PR team would tweet something like this. It would be drenched in poetic well wishes, support and a sped t recovery.

If Trump was to succumb to coronavirus, would Telstra tweet, “karma is a bitch“?

What a disgrace. Let’s not forget that Telstra is the major telecommunications company for the Australian Defence Force which is joined at the hip with the US as an ally. The government should ditch them for another provider with attitudes like that.

Emboldening goons by glorifying criminals as victims

Two LA County Sheriff deputies are fighting for their lives after a gunman shot both of them in an unprovoked attack.

To make matters worse, BLM protestors blocked the entrance & exit of the HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM yelling “We hope they die.”

These are the same people demanding their manifesto is the right path forward for America.

This sort of stupidity stems from:

Statistics obsessed sports stars who put feelings before facts and emblazon the names of criminals on their uniforms to paint them as heroes. Then the leagues who promote this woke activity wonder why audience numbers are plummeting.

Politicians like Kamala Harris who support groups which bail out criminals charged with rape, murder and assault.

BLM leaders who say that looting is just a form of reparation and that stores are insured anyway. An easy position to take when judiciaries led by district attorneys like Diana Becton require police to question whether looted items were necessary before pressing charges. Who doesn’t need a 75″ flat panel TV?

A media that dedicates days upon days reporting on “mostly peaceful protests” as cities burn while deliberately ignoring the murder of a 5yo kid shot in the head by a neighbor because it doesn’t fit a narrative.

Hollywood actors making woke videos to apologize for their white privilege and encouraging the defunding of police as they hide behind gates mansions guarded by armed rent-a-cops.

Day after day our newsfeeds are plastered with images of BLM protestors harassing law abiding citizens dining out. These mobs are descending on their neighborhoods in the middle of the night to yell profanities and threaten homeowners.

We have idiots attacking tea shop operators for not being black owned and attacking patrons for not supporting her madness.

A woman on a flight screamed “white privilege” at a cabin attendant just trying to do her job.

This is what the stench of identity politics delivers. No intelligent debate. Just glorification of people who commit rape, assault, battery, armed robbery, domestic violence, murder, deal drugs, resist arrest and hold guns to the bellies of pregnant women.

Perhaps this video of concerned citizens ‘physically’ restraining someone who attacked a cop is the perfect example of the true feelings of those who have had enough of false narratives perpetuated by the media which end up harming their communities way more in the long run.

As Tomas Sowell said, “Activism is a way for useless people to feel important, even if the consequences of their activism are counterproductive for those they claim to be helping and damaging to the fabric of society as a whole.”

Dallas Stars CEO admits the NHL team is losing fans

Dallas Stars CEO Brad Alberts has said the NHL team is losing season customers due to the pre-game BLM protests but “stands by our organization’s commitment and support our players 100% to express their views.

What these multi-millionaire sports stars fail to grasp is that their homes and neighbourhoods aren’t being destroyed. So the last thing their (former) fans – who drive past smouldering building shells where police precincts once stood or plinths with no statues atop – need is a lecture.

Fans want to watch sports to distract them from the toils and stresses of life. Not to have it thrust in their face before a whistle has been blown. The irony is that the NHL had avoided woke displays of social justice and ratings were rising as a result. Perhaps they’d drawn eyeballs from the weaker viewing numbers in NBA, MLB and NFL. Instead of heeding common sense, the NHL followed suit and have shot themselves in the foot. 

The leagues and teams are well within their rights to push politics in sports but we will have no sympathy when fans abandon them. Just like any business. To risk alienating core customers through badgering is never a smart move. Did we need Gillette to demand men check their toxic masculinity? Do we need Nike to serve up messages using players who embody some of the worst aspects of team and sportsmanship?

What we don’t quite understand is why the leagues are so eager to push causes where the people they name were hardly role models in society before they became known? Drug abuse, domestic violence, armed assault, battery, sexual assault, trespassing, outstanding warrants and resisting arrest. 

To top it off, the player strikes just add to the patronizing behaviour of these well-paid celebrities. To strike when fans are turning off in droves is a bit like sending emails to an ex-girlfriend after she dumped you. You might claim she is nothing without you but at some point, you realize that all of that correspondence has been directed to her junk folder. 

Get woke, go broke. 

Goodyear skids off hypocrisy highway

One Team? More internal corporate workplace training nonsense. Police Tribune reports that Goodyear Tire has introduced a “zero tolerance” policy which promotes “intolerance.”

The list of “Acceptable” included “Black Lives Matter” and “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride (LGBT).”

The list of “Unacceptable” included “Blue Lives Matter,” “All Lives Matter,” “MAGA Attire,” and “Political Affiliated Slogans or Materials.”

The employee who posted the photo of the slide said that it was part of the diversity training at Goodyear’s Topeka plant. It apparently originated in the company’s headquarters in Akron, Ohio.

Fascinating to see internal corporate diversity departments think equality is found through active discrimination and suppression of free speech.

380 million reasons to feel oppressed

Mookie Betts (middle) has just signed a $380 million 12 year contract with the LA Dodgers baseball team. We don’t doubt his abilities.

Betts has agreed to make a charitable contribution of $100,000 annually out of the $27m he makes per annum. The egregiously unfair part of the deal is that he will be forced to stay in 4/5-star hotel suites while on road trips.

Imagine what he might have received if America wasn’t so systemically racist?

Cynically, one wonders whether kneeling for the BLM movement, while Marxist in its roots, might end up helping the agents of minority players leverage woke teams to offer even bigger paydays to atone for decades of oppression? Good on them if they can exploit capitalism for their own benefit.

We just hope these teams factor in the possibility that turning sports into politics may end up eroding the fan base by such an extent that they may end up unable to honour the deals to maturity.

The things we do for ESG inclusion

You know, whenever we encounter racism, sexism or homophobia, the very first thing that pops into our head to lead that fight is Halliburton. The things companies will do to boost their ESG/SRI and CSR scores.

If Halliburton feels so strongly about it, perhaps they should cease all dealings with those Middle Eastern countries where homosexuality carries the death penalty. We are confident the shareholders will approve giving up 28% of revenue. Although to be fair, Halliburton did specify there is no place for it at Halliburton or America. Anywhere else must be acceptable.

The hypocrisy. What next? A commitment to go carbon neutral?