Saturday, October 10, 2020

Pandemic? What Pandemic? Shortest Recession On Record --October 10, 2020

Link here

The lede:

What pandemic? Despite a steady drumbeat of Covid-19 cases around the country, the net worth of the wealthiest Americans dramatically rebounded in the five months ended in August—far outpacing growth in other parts of the world.

According to a new report by wealth research firm Wealth-X, the richest North Americans—classified as those with a net worth of at least $30 million—have already recovered much of their pre-pandemic wealth. Their collective net worth grew 37%, to about $12.5 trillion from the end of March, a time when parts of the country were operating under shelter-in-place orders, to the end of August.


The number of individuals in North America worth at least $30 million also rose 28% to 104,440 during that same period. That represents a major recovery from the first quarter, when the number of high-net-worth individuals around the country had dropped by 23% from the end of 2019. The number of ultrahigh-net-worth individuals in both the U.S. and globally is down by roughly 3% since the end of 2019.

Hope for NYC:

“Unlike in ‘typical’ recessions, the bulk of the damage to wealth holdings from the pandemic will most likely have been frontloaded,” the report says. 
“As the global economy rebounded in the second and third quarters of 2020 from its temporary cessation of activity, helped by extensive stimulus and support programs, there was a broad bounceback in financial markets and renewed opportunities for wealth creation.” 
The report offers a glimmer of hope to New York City developers who are grappling with an excess of high-end condominium projects. 
Manhattan residential sales were down 46.3% in the third quarter of 2020, compared with the same period last year
There are currently more than 20 months of supply of homes on the market, not including shadow new development inventory that is not publicly listed
Sales of higher-end apartments are outpacing those of entry-level units. Sales of homes priced at $5 million and above were down only 23.2% overall.

In The Rain In Charlotte! -- Are You Kidding Me? -- NASCAR Xfinity Series -- Notes From All Over -- October 10, 2020

Slippin' and slidin': caution; re-start in a few minutes; three laps to go after the re-start. Pouring rain and dusk. NASCAR Xfinity Series -- Charlotte. The race was scheduled from 2:30 to 5:00 p.m. It's now 5:55 p.m. and they have just completed stage 2. Are you kidding me? When they run out of daylight, the race ends. First lap after the re-start, one car completely spins out, completely two full circles and hitting the wall before getting underway again. But get this: the track stayed green! No caution. On lap one in overtime, lead car (Chase Briscoe) spins out and Allmendinger goes on to win. Incredible race in downpour, dusk and standing water.

Contactless Delivery -- Covid-19 Negative

Photo sent by my Oregon nephew, Corvallis, OR:

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. 

It's Not That He Doesn't Want To Answer The Question,
He Doesn't Know What The Answer Is

Shout-out to Spectrum cable: I can access network television -- hundreds of stations -- on my mobile Apple devices. That capability has been available for the past few years. Early on, the process was a bit "choppy" and "buggy" but it was tolerable. But over time, it has improved, and I have been using it fairly often on my Apple laptop. I never really thought of watching television on my iPad until today. I have the largest iPad screen available so I was curious. I tried it out today. 

Wow, it's perfect. It's incredible how seamless and how perfect it is. This explains a lot. The Spectrum app to watch television is optimized for "true" mobile devices like iPhones and watches, and not for laptops. That seems to be true for a lot of apps that folks can used on both their iPads and laptops. 


Quibi: Apple has no interest in purchasing short-form video streaming service Quibi. 

Faster deliveries: Apple to use local retail stores as distribution centers; we're going to see a lot more of this across the entire retail spectrum. We talked about this on the blog a long, long time ago. Only makes sense. Hard to believe that some folks on "social media" think this is a mistake. LOL.

Amazon Prime Day

Link here.

  • number to remember: $10 billion in sales over the two-day sale, October 13 - 14, Tuesday - Wednesday. This will be fun to watch; will Amazon site crash?
  • but look at the data points buried at the end of this story:
    • JPMorgan analysts are projecting revenue of about $7.5 billion this year, up from its forecast of $5.3 billion last year;
    • since last year: Amazon has increased warehouse square footage 50%
    • Amazon opened 100 new operations buildings in September
    • Amazon Logistics will deliver more than 50% of all package from Amazon fulfillment centers, thereby reducing dependence on third-party shippers

ONEOK Presentation -- September, 2020

Link here.

Slides 5 - 9 particularly relevant to the Bakken.

Nobel Peace Prize For 2020 Goes To The "World Food Programme" -- October 10, 2020

Nobel Peace Prize: Not unprecedented, but very rare for the prize to be given to a group. The good news: it will result in minimal controversy and minimal discussion.

Speaking of Controversy

October 10, 2020: the "peculiar" Covid-19 case with regard to President Trump. Has he commented on any loss of smell; has any 74-year-old with co-morbidities with low oxygen sats (?), admitted to a major metropolitan hospital with respiratory symptoms and a a positive Covid-19 test ever "cured" so quickly? Link here. Also, see these links:

35-minute video for flat-earthers: "crucial viral update, September 8, 2020."

The Most Dangerous Animal On Earth

Recent report:

  • the most dangerous animal on earth. Not only is he a racist but he doesn't even wash his hands when outside, visiting the park.

Quick, pop quiz: what is the demographic (age, sex, and race) most associated with gun felonies in Chicago?


COP raises dividend by 2 percent. Not trivial, considering.

P & G plans to return a lot of money to its shareholders this next year (fiscal 2021). Link here

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site.  Do not make any investment, financial, job, career, travel, or relationship decisions based on what you read here or think you may have read here.

Not Unexpected If One Thinks About It

Fast-food chains doing well. Link here.  

The coronavirus pandemic is splitting the restaurant industry in two. Big, well capitalized chains like Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and Domino’s Pizza Inc. are gaining customers and adding stores while tens of thousands of local eateries go bust. 
Larger operators generally have the advantages of more capital, more leverage on lease terms, more physical space, more geographic flexibility and prior expertise with drive-throughs, carryout and delivery. 
A similarly uneven recovery is unfolding across the business world as big firms have tended to fare far better during the pandemic than small rivals, thinning the ranks of entrepreneurs who could eventually become major U.S. employers. 
In the retail world, bigger chains like Walmart Inc. and Target Corp. are posting strong sales while many small shops struggle to stay open.The divide between large and small restaurants surfaced in the summer. 
Chipotle more than tripled its online business sales in the second quarter while Domino’s, Papa John’s International Inc. and Wingstop Inc. all reported double-digit same-store sales increases in the third quarter compared with the year-earlier period. 
McDonald’s also said U.S. same-store sales rose 4.6% in the third quarter. That included a rise in the low double digits during September, its best monthly performance in nearly a decade. It credited faster drive-throughs and promotions.

Intermodal Rail Service Coming To North Dakota -- October 10, 2020

Link here.

A longtime effort to bring intermodal rail service to North Dakota is finally coming to fruition.

BNSF Railway’s plan to provide an intermodal unit train at a facility in Minot is a “game changer,” said Gov. Doug Burgum. It will reduce shipping costs for farm products by as much as 25%, he said.

Intermodal service allows producers and processors to directly load containers on rail in Minot to ship to international destinations. State officials have pursued intermodal rail service for more than two decades, Burgum said.

An intermodal train that will arrive in Minot next week will be “arguably the first true intermodal operation in the state of North Dakota,” said James Leiman, director of economic development and finance at the North Dakota Department of Commerce. “This is the real deal now.”

Just in time. Over at twitter today:

North Dakota among top ten US states in soybean production. Link here. The US had been the #1 producer of soybeans in the world, but apparently overtaken by Brazil in 2019 / 2020 season.

From a reader who follows this closely:

The soy beans this year in America are of fantastic quality, some of the best in years. The 2019 crop of both bean and corn were substandard from USA norms; that is why the Chinese backed away. The CCP can buy from anywhere, so why NOT buy the best?

By Christmas the Chinese will  announce purchases of corn, because the corn crop is also fantastic this year. 
All of  the 2020 soy beans in south Minnesota are combined.  75 % of the corn is combined..  corn 14.5-17 % moisture.The standard moisture for corn is 15.5 percent, so when grain is delivered at greater than 15.5 percent grain moisture, the weight is adjusted down. (This reflects the remaining weight when the grain is dried to 15.5 percent moisture, losing water weight in the process.)

No artificial drying. Locally, 56.5-58-lb test weight. Lots of sugar/oil in the corn.

Week 41: October 4, 2020 -- October 10, 2020

Top story of the week:

Top international non-energy stories:

Top international energy stories:

Top national non-energy stories:

Top national energy stories:

Top North Dakota non-energy stories:

Top North Dakota energy stories:

Geoff Simon's top North Dakota energy stories:

  • Buyers looking at Coal Creek station; could mean $2 billion investment;
  • DMR wants to incentivize operators complete 80 additional wells this calendar year by "re-purposing" Covid-relief funds;
  • Mineral disputes not over despite Supreme Court rulings;
  • DAPL Emmons County pump station construction begins;
  • Oasis aiming for quick emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy;
  • Intermodal service in operation after years of effort;
  • ND's proposed pilot program for longer semis draws opposition from groups;
  • Court strikes down Obama-era rule targeting leaks from public lands drilling;





Pemex Issues $1.5 Billion Bond To Refinance Massive Debt -- October 10, 2020

Link here.

  • first time since receiving a BBB- rating, Pemex raises new debt
    • 6.875% coupon
    • $10 billion bid for the bond
  • already the most-indebted energy company in the world
    • $100 billion in debt prior to this new bond
  • despite efforts by AMLO to ameliorate debt crisis
    • Pemex given tax relief
    • reversal of liberalization measures taken by the previous government
  • hope springs eternal
    • bond substantially oversubscribed
  • production:
    • previous forecast: 2.027 million bpd
    • new forecast: 1.857 million bpd on average
    • most recent: 1.692 million bpd -- much below its forecast for the year
    • will have to have spectacular months going forward to get back to forecast average