Saturday, October 9, 2021

Notes From All Over -- Part 3 -- The Road To New England -- October 9, 2021

A balmy autumn Saturday afternoon when electricity should be "dirt-cheap," New Englanders are seeing sky-high prices (relative to what they should be), link here.

Note the need to "import" expensive Canadian hydroelectricity. And EVs -- not even a 1% penetration yet. This will be fascinating to watch over the next couple of decades.

The September, 2021, Jobs Report -- US Gasoline Demand -- October 9, 2021


Jobs, September, 2021:

  • hindsight is 20-20, or is it 20/20?
  • how were the analysts so far off?
  • what did Steve Liesman miss?
  • this was a great example of "group think" and trusting the (wrong) memes;
  • in the big scheme of things, I track very few metrics
  • but one metric that I do track would have predicted the "bad" September, 2021, jobs report
  • again, it's a metric I track and post weekly

The analysts were so far off this suggests the analysts are not looking at hard data but simply reading headlines and talking memes.

This is the one metric that foreshadowed the JOLTS report / jobs report for September, 2021, gasoline demand over the past six weeks:

US crude oil in storage, days of supply: back down below 28 days.
27.6 days versus 28.2 days last week, link here.

Notes From All Over -- Part 2 -- The Wave Edition -- October 9, 2021

NFL: ratings up 17%; numbers are only going to snowball -- link here.

  • this Thursday: Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Tom Brady vs Philadelphia Eagles / Jalen Hurts?

The Wave

The ultimate Utah road trip, link here.

Parry House, from wiki:

Parry Lodge is a historic motel-restaurant complex in Kanab, Utah. 
The main building was built in 1892 for Justin Merrill Johnson, the son of Mormon settlers, who lived here with his wife Emma and their five daughters. 
Johnson built a barn, and a bungalow was built by Gideon Wilson Findlay, who was married to Mandana Farnsworth, a niece of the Johnsons, and lived here with their six daughters. 
In 1928, the main house was purchased by three brothers from Salt Lake City, Chauncey, Gronway, and Whit Parry, and more other buildings were erected on the property 1930-1931 as it was turned into a motel-restaurant complex. 
The buildings were designed in the American Craftsman and Victorian Eclectic styles. 
The complex has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since August 14, 2003.


The Wave: link here.  

To get to the wave:

  • permit required
  • three-mile trek across open desert, no specific trail, no government guides
  • five deaths in past five years? Need to fact check
  • the trek is considered moderately difficult
  • map-reading skills mandatory
  • road to trailhead impassable with rain

Notes From All Over -- Part 1 -- Sports, Jobs, And Investing Edition -- October 9, 2021

MLB playoffs: best site?

Sports: best sports on television right now, 12:00 noon, Saturday, October 9, 2021 -- 

  • #6 Oklahoma at #21 Texas. At start of second quarter, Texas, 28, and OK at 14. Wow. Six touchdowns in first quarter. Technically the sixth touchdown at the opening of the second quarter. But.

Jobs, September, 2021:

Apple: thinking big

  • Apple Car
  • Hollywood: Apple building new regional headquarters in Hollywood;

Investing: re-posting -- see this post:

Roth vs traditional IRAs: see if you can find the fallacy in the argument presented by this writer -- "why I won't do a Roth IRA conversion -- even  if this is the last chance." Brett Arends is very, very knowledgeable and has been around for quite some time. How he missed this fallacy is beyond me. His argument:

  • most of us -- including the writer, Arends -- are almost certainly going to be better off in a traditional IRA
  • his fallacy: see if you can find it

This article really, really "haunts" me -- the writer is so off the mark. Roth vs traditional IRA? This is a no-brainer. 

If I only knew then what I know now.

The writer assumes lower middle class and middle class are big investors. No. Living month-to-month. The "investor class" will be much better off with Roth IRAs. 

Just wait until investors who got a very, very small tax break at the front end and then see how huge the RMDs will be at the other end, regardless of the tax bracket. At the front end, getting a tax break on a $6,000 investment; at the other end, being taxed on a $25K RMD.

Later, November 20, 2021: another really poor article trying to explain the disadvantages of a Roth IRA. This is not a disadvantage in the strict sense of the word "disadvantage," and for 99.99% of Americans it's not even applicable: the "disadvantage"? A married couple earning more than $207,000 / year cannot contribute to a Roth IRA. After that, the article is boring, tedious, irrelevant. For serious investors who want to leave a legacy for their heirs, the Roth IRA is a much better vehicle than the traditional IRA. Period. Dot.

FWIW -- Covid-19 -- Sweden Vs Israel -- October 9, 2021

Quick! Before we get started, if you want to see Dr Fauci's worst nightmare: the Alabama - Texas A&M football game; stadium jam packed; no masks; and, arms around their each other in the stands: 7:13 p.m., Saturday night, October 9, 2021, in Aggieland. 

We've been seen stadiums filled with fans for the past four weeks, and during that same period of time Covid cases in the US are plummeting. 

Later: upset of the year -- Texas Aggies, unranked, beat Alabama, was #1. 

Sweden Vs Israel

Reposting from October 7, 2021:

Covid-19: I said the other day that vaccinations would now snowball --
  • United Airlines is already there;
  • Los Angeles passes most stringent "passport' requirement;
  • IBM will mandate vaccines
  • now, today, breaking: American Airlines says all workers must be fully vaxxed;

And vaccinations are "snowballing":
  • anyone tracking the data on number off vaccinations given will see that once cities, counties, and corporations started mandating vaccinations, the number of vaccinations given daily has really, really picked up:
  • prior to the recent mandates, daily vaccinations were trending toward 500,000 daily;
  • now? solidly above one million vaccinations daily
  • some of those numbers are boosters, but most are new folks finally getting with the program

Sweden vs Israel

Links without comments:

  • Sweden:
    • population density: 25
    • average age: 41
    • my favorite memory: Swedish meatballs
    • active infections:
      • 8% of the peak
      • decreasing
    • highest daily average reported almost a year ago, December 22, 2020
    • quick: what percent of the Swedish population is vaccinated; answer at link;
  • Israel:
    • population density: 400
    • average age: 31
    • my favorite memory: lox on a bagel
    • active infections:
      • 51% of its previous peak and falling
      • 22% of its all-time peak and falling;
      • I believe the Israelis began boosters on August 30, 2021 (need to fact check)
    • quick: what percent of the Israeli population is vaccinated; answer at link;
  • Flashback:
    • "grim warning from Israel"
    • vaccination blunts but does not defeat Delta
    • Science, August 16, 2021

Later: Florida


  • cases are now down 90% in the past month and a half; link here;
  • no new statewide policy
  • no mask mandate, no vaccine passports
  • Florida now tied for 48th in the country in current case rate
  • how many weekends with football stadiums packed with tens of thousands of unmasked fans

Where We Stand Today

Link here.

Total cases / population (pretty obvious how this can be explained):

#1: Tennessee
#2: North Dakota
#3: Florida
#4: South Carolina
#5: South Dakota

Total deaths / population (pretty obvious how this can be explained):

#1: Mississippi
#2: New Jersey
#3: Louisiana
#4: Alabama
#5: New York
#13: South Dakota
#25: North Dakota

Hoisted With Their Own Petard

It is clear, without a bit of doubt, in the United States, with regard to the economy, politics, and Covid-19, a lot of folks were hoisted with their own petard.

Mixing metaphors, it will be impossible to get that genie back in the bottle. That train has left the station. The horse is out of the barn. 

But if we want to get back to the original, it is impossible to stick the pin back in the grenade. 


I did not realize this: the jobs number for September, 2021, the one reported yesterday, 194,000, that was the smallest monthly gain of the year. Think about that. We should be well past the fear of Covid-19 (and we aren't as a nation) and "everything and every state opened up in September." Back to school and back to work. Link here.

This explains why Steve Liesman, when he saw the numbers, he let out an audible gasp. Most of us just saw the number come in below expectations (yawn) but Steve saw two things, the second being more important than the first:

  • analysts' estimates had missed the actual number by a country mile; and,
  • he saw immediately, this was the smallest monthly gain of the year.

It did not make sense. Airlines were back; health sector was back; transportation was back; schools had re-opened; students returned to college; football and baseball stadiums were packed with non-masked fans. 

You wanna see the stunned live reaction to "real low" jobs report, here  it is: over at Media-ite. His reaction was akin to an 8th-grader watching 9-11 replays.

Liesman knew immediately.

Defied all credibility.

Immediately all was blamed on Delta.

Not the airline, but the virus.

I think they are wrong. The explanation goes back to Deming, and it goes back to ESG before ESG was a thing. [Note: for simplicity sake: I have a broad definition of ESG.]

More on that later but I'm going kayaking with Sophia.

Good luck to all. 

Oh, by the way, the first analyst's response to why the number was so low: bus drivers did not come back to work.