Monday, February 27, 2017

The Political Page, T+38 -- February 27, 2017


Later, 1:55 p.m. Central Time: Matt has his fingers on the pulse of the American electorate. His page has not been refreshed since this morning. Americans are still pre-occupied with the debacle over the Oscars last night. Meanwhile, Trump has had his televised reality show, and the Dow is on to its 12th consecutive record-setting day.
Original Post

Last night's Oscars: so "yesterday." It is quite amazing how fast things are moving. Over at The Drudge Report it's still all about the flub at the Oscars and the incredibly shrinking ratings. But in the real world, it's all back to Trump. He is hosting the nation's governors and the market goes from -40 to almost flat. Will it go green? Whatever. I digress. It is amazing how fast Trump can change the conversation. Whenever Obama came on, folks changed the channel. Now folks are looking for Trump twitters and/or speeches.

This is truly bizarre:

While typing this, I was listening/watching to Trump's speech to the governors. This guy never quits working. His reality show is every morning. While watching -- over the course of the last 10 minutes or so -- the market went a -40 points to up over 10 points now. Really, really quite remarkable.

Trump: in the last two administrations, the US has spent $6 trillion fighting "wars" in the Mideast.

Stu Varney notes that the Sunday New York Times business section had not one story on the Trump rally:
  • not mentioned: $3 trillion increase in American company market value
  • not mentioned: 11 consecutive days of recording Dow
  • top story: deforestation in the Amazon (you have got to be kidding)
Wendy's kiosks: previously reported -- this is the "sleeper" story of the decade. Think about this: in a few years we have gone from not even hearing about the technology to driverless cars on the road. But relatively nothing about kiosks at fast food restaurants. Compared to driverless cars, how difficult can self-ordering kiosks be? Everybody is looking at the $15 minimum wage as driving this. Wendy's said kiosks will pay for themselves in less then two years -- that's that challenge. Hiring workers / turnover of workers is pretty "steady-eddy" -- no real change from quarter to quarter so investors are not surprised. But putting kiosks in has a huge up-front cost that can spook investors. But what if companies are allowed to write-off that entire investment in the year in which they are bought, rather than depreciating over years or decades. That could be driving Wendy's decision.
In addition, self-ordering kiosks has increased opportunities for data mining. Folks may enter additional information; perhaps take a short survey while / after ordering. Perhaps loyalty rewards. Perhaps Wendys could go cashless. Or CBE (cash by exception). Apple stores are 99% cashless, I assume. One can pay with cash, but there are no visible cash registers.
Issa is an idiot: he calls for a "special prosecutor" to investigate "ties" between Russia and the Trump campaign team. The "special prosecutor" law "expired" in 1999. Issa: an idiot, or clever like a fox.

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