Background: US household net worth surges in 3Q20, during the pandemic.
The net worth of U.S. households rose to a record in the third quarter as the value of stock portfolios and real estate surged, a Federal Reserve report showed, highlighting the skewed nature of an economic recovery that has disproportionately benefited wealthier Americans.
Household net worth rose 3.2% in the third quarter from the second quarter to $123.52 trillion, the Fed said Thursday. Household debt rose 5.6% to $16.4 trillion, its fastest pace in at least two years.
Stock-market gains have driven much of the increase in net worth. The S&P 500 index and Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 8.5% and 7.6%, respectively, in the July-September period, building on even bigger advances in the second quarter.
Many economists have described a K-shaped recovery from the coronavirus-induced shock early this year. More affluent Americans are doing well, while millions of others—including lower-paid workers in vulnerable jobs in retailing and restaurants—are seeing their incomes and net worth decline.
So, if you have a house and haven't lost your job during the pandemic and remain an investor and can work from home, you are doing very, very well. Which pretty much describes the people Steve Liesman was addressing in the note below.
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.
TSLA: did anyone see this coming? TSLA up almost $30 today; trading at $649. 30 / 620 = 5%. Raised $5 billion without blinking an eye. Today is December 17th. At the end of two business days (is that correct?) TSLA will be trading in the S&P 500 which changes everything.
Steve Liesman: I thought he was going to cry on "Fast Money" on CNBC. I truly thought he was going to break down. He was visibly shaking by the time he signed off. His "colleagues" did what they could to shore him up.
By the way, my pet peeve: headlines like this one ... "how Covid-19 is damaging our economy." In fact, Covid-19 is not damaging our economy. It's our reaction to Covid-19 that is damaging our economy -- if one agrees the economy is being damaged at all.
A reader asked about my Steve Liesman comment above. I knew it would raise questions when I posted it. I was curious if anyone else had similar thoughts or if I was completely off-base. I was "trolling" in the sense that I was curious what others who caught the segment might have thought.
This was my reply to the reader who asked the question. My "not-ready-for-prime-time" reply with some slight editing:
During Fast Money today, for some reason, they called on Steve Liesman regarding the jobs report today.Steve Liesman sounded incredibly disturbed that the four traders +1 (moderator = Melissa Lee) seemed to be gloating about how well investors were doing in the market and specifically these four making tons of money on the market when another 800,000 people were collecting unemployment checks today. [If not gloating, they certainly seem completely removed from current events.]Liesman, of course, has been reporting these jobless numbers on a weekly basis for months now and today he seemed to be taking it too personally. [I haven't watched CNBC in months and generally try to avoid watching Liesman so I don't know how his response today compared to his composure over the past year, or even longer.]Several times during the segment he said "he loved those guys (the four traders on Fast Money)" and "that they were his friends" so it wasn't a personal attack on them. [But it certainly seemed like a personal attack to me.]But many of these guys (I think all four now) appear to be reporting from home and they are in what appear to be million-dollar homes -- and to me, Steve Liesman, simply seemed to be losing it. These four guys making money on the stock market while the population Steve Liesman is reporting about is made up of folks collecting unemployment checks.I know exactly where Liesman is coming from but generally reporters -- unless they are supposed to be giving their opinion -- just stick to the news, or the report, but today Liesman really seemed to go off-script.The Fast Money traders all gave lip service to the great job Liesman is doing and said they agreed exactly with what he was saying: whatever that was. It seemed, to me, it was uncomfortable for everyone. There was no closure, no real wrap-up and then Melissa Lee quickly cut to commercial -- not necessarily unusual -- but it seemed a "cold" end to the segment.I assume I am over-reading what I saw because of my general dislike of Liesman's reporting over the years (I remember all the Joe Kernen discussions with Steven Liesman) but the "conversation" did seem a bit unusual.
Here's the segment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTwkfOzzzxs.
I'm re-watching the segment now and I don't think I'm too far off the mark. Look at the nice homes these folks live in and reporting from and seemingly oblivious to the unemployed. Right, wrong, or indifferent, that's what Steve Liesman seemed to be reacting to. I think he embarrassed the four folks reporting from their million-dollar homes.
Watch Michelle Lee's "weird" smile when Liesman began his monologue at 0:47 -- was she taking Steve Liesman's comments seriously; was she hearing what he was saying; or was she completely missing this, trying to keep the show upbeat? This reminds me of the very famous segment when Jim Cramer blew up (seemed "to lose it") some years ago on live television and Erin Burnett appeared worried about whether she might have to react to a reporter having a seizure (or worse) on live television.
Right now, in the background is a segment on The News With Shepard Smith: luxury gifts for dogs. I don't have the sound on so I don't know where it's located ... oh, here it is ... via google -- https://mishkacakes.com/. This is in San Francisco, home of the homeless. The video on TNWSS was downright obscene; scroll down through the website and imagine all this put to video and music and being watched by the 855,000 newly unemployed today.
This is one of the problems. It's not that there's a pandemic; it's the way the media is televising it and reporting it and the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots.
Again, I watch a lot of television (mostly old black and white movies on TCM and unless the ad is a PSA regarding the importance of wearing masks, no one in televised commercials or in the programming itself are wearing masks. Nothing is shut down -- there are no lock downs on television. Life appears to be going as normal, and I think it finally got to Steve Liesman today on nationwide television.
So much more could be written; now I see a segment in the background on teachers "pushed to the brink." I have strong thoughts on that, too, as we all do, but on this one I'm so far out of the mainstream I won't say a thing. Again, none of the talking heads on television are wearing masks. Shepard Smith isn't wearing a mask.