Wall Street Week Ahead for the trading week beginning June 29th, 2020
Good Saturday afternoon to all of you here on StockMarket. I hope everyone on this sub made out pretty nicely in the market this past week, and is ready for the new trading week ahead. Here is everything you need to know to get you ready for the trading week beginning June 29th, 2020.
Fragile economic recovery faces first big test with June jobs report in the week ahead - (Source)
The second half of 2020 is nearly here, and now it’s up to the economy to prove that the stock market was right about a sharp comeback in growth. The first big test will be the June jobs report, out on Thursday instead of its usual Friday release due to the July 4 holiday. According to Refinitiv, economists expect 3 million jobs were created, after May’s surprise gain of 2.5 million payrolls beat forecasts by a whopping 10 million jobs. “If it’s stronger, it will suggest that the improvement is quicker, and that’s kind of what we saw in May with better retail sales, confidence was coming back a little and auto sales were better,” said Kevin Cummins, chief U.S. economist at NatWest Markets. The second quarter winds down in the week ahead as investors are hopeful about the recovery but warily eyeing rising cases of Covid-19 in a number of states. Stocks were lower for the week, as markets reacted to rising cases in Texas, Florida and other states. Investors worry about the threat to the economic rebound as those states move to curb some activities. The S&P 500 is up more than 16% so far for the second quarter, and it is down nearly 7% for the year. Friday’s losses wiped out the last of the index’s June gains. “I think the stock market is looking beyond the valley. It is expecting a V-shaped economic recovery and a solid 2021 earnings picture,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA. He expects large-cap company earnings to be up 30% next year, and small-cap profits to bounce back by 140%. “I think the second half needs to be a ‘show me’ period, proving that our optimism was justified, and we’ll need to see continued improvement in the economic data, and I think we need to see upward revisions to earnings estimates,” Stovall said. Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab, said she expects the recovery will not be as smooth as some expect, particularly considering the resurgence of virus outbreaks in sunbelt states and California. “Now as I watch what’s happening I think it’s more likely to be rolling Ws,” rather than a V, she said. “It’s not just predicated on a second wave. I’m not sure we ever exited the first wave.” Even without actual state shutdowns, the virus could slow economic activity. “That doesn’t mean businesses won’t shut themselves down, or consumers won’t back down more,” she said.
In the second half of the year, the market should turn its attention to the election, but Sonders does not expect much reaction to it until after Labor Day. RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Democrat Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump by 10 percentage points, and the odds of a Democratic sweep have been rising. Biden has said he would raise corporate taxes, and some strategists say a sweep would be bad for business, due to increased regulation and higher taxes. Trump is expected to continue using tariffs, which unsettles the market, though both candidates are expected to take a tough stance on China. “If it looks like the Senate stays Republican than there’s less to worry about in terms of policy changes,” Sonders said. “I don’t think it’s ever as binary as some people think.” Stovall said a quick study shows that in the four presidential election years back to 1960, where the first quarter was negative, and the second quarter positive, stocks made gains in the second half. Those were 1960 when John Kennedy took office, 1968, when Richard Nixon won; 1980 when Ronald Reagan’s was elected to his first term; and 1992, the first win by Bill Clinton. Coincidentally, in all of those years, the opposing party gained control of the White House.
The stocks market’s strong second-quarter showing came after the Fed and Congress moved quickly to inject the economy with trillions in stimulus. That unlocked credit markets and triggered a stampede by companies to restructure or issue debt. About $2 trillion in fiscal spending was aimed at consumers and businesses, who were in sudden need of cash after the abrupt shutdown of the economy. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin both testify before the House Financial Services Committee Tuesday on the response to the virus. That will be important as markets look ahead to another fiscal package from Congress this summer, which is expected to provide aid to states and local governments; extend some enhanced benefits for unemployment, and provide more support for businesses. “So much of it is still so fluid. There are a bunch of fiscal items that are rolling off. There’s talk about another fiscal stimulus payment like they did last time with a $1,200 check,” said Cummins. Strategists expect Congress to bicker about the size and content of the stimulus package but ultimately come to an agreement before enhanced unemployment benefits run out at the end of July. Cummins said state budgets begin a new year July 1, and states with a critical need for funds may have to start letting workers go, as they cut expenses. The Trump administration has indicated the jobs report Thursday could help shape the fiscal package, depending on what it shows. The federal supplement to state unemployment benefits has been $600 a week, but there is opposition to extending that, and strategists expect it to be at least cut in half. The unemployment rate is expected to fall to 12.2% from 13.3% in May. Cummins said he had expected 7.2 million jobs, well above the consensus, and an unemployment rate of 11.8%. As of last week, nearly 20 million people were collecting state unemployment benefits, and millions more were collecting under a federal pandemic aid program. “The magnitude here and whether it’s 3 million or 7 million is kind of hard to handicap to begin with,” Cummins said. Economists have preferred to look at unemployment claims as a better real time read of employment, but they now say those numbers could be impacted by slow reporting or double filing. “There’s no clarity on how you define the unemployed in the Covid 19 environment,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank. “If there’s 30 million people receiving insurance, unemployment should be above 20%.
This past week saw the following moves in the S&P:
The economy is moving in the right direction, as many economic data points are coming in substantially better than what the economists expected. From May job gains coming in more than 10 million higher than expected and retail sales soaring a record 18%, how quickly the economy is bouncing back has surprised nearly everyone. “As good as the recent economic data has been, we want to make it clear, it could still take years for the economy to fully come back,” explained LPL Financial Senior Market Strategist Ryan Detrick. “Think of it like building a house. You get all the big stuff done early, then some of the small things take so much longer to finish; I’m looking at you crown molding.” Here’s the hard truth; it might take years for all of the jobs that were lost to fully recover. In fact, during the 10 recessions since 1950, it took an average of 30 months for lost jobs to finally come back. As the LPL Chart of the Day shows, recoveries have taken much longer lately. In fact, it took four years for the jobs lost during the tech bubble recession of the early 2000s to come back and more than six years for all the jobs lost to come back after the Great Recession. Given many more jobs were lost during this recession, it could takes many years before all of them indeed come back.
The economy is going the right direction, and if there is no major second wave outbreak it could surprise to the upside. Importantly, this economic recovery will still be a long and bumpy road.
Nasdaq - Russell Spread Pulling the Rubber Band Tight
The Nasdaq has been outperforming every other US-based equity index over the last year, and nowhere has the disparity been wider than with small caps. The chart below compares the performance of the Nasdaq and Russell 2000 over the last 12 months. While the performance disparity is wide now, through last summer, the two indices were tracking each other nearly step for step. Then last fall, the Nasdaq started to steadily pull ahead before really separating itself in the bounce off the March lows. Just to illustrate how wide the gap between the two indices has become, over the last six months, the Nasdaq is up 11.9% compared to a decline of 15.8% for the Russell 2000. That's wide!
In order to put the recent performance disparity between the two indices into perspective, the chart below shows the rolling six-month performance spread between the two indices going back to 1980. With a current spread of 27.7 percentage points, the gap between the two indices hasn't been this wide since the days of the dot-com boom. Back in February 2000, the spread between the two indices widened out to more than 50 percentage points. Not only was that period extreme, but ten months before that extreme reading, the spread also widened out to more than 51 percentage points. The current spread is wide, but with two separate periods in 1999 and 2000 where the performance gap between the two indices was nearly double the current level, that was a period where the Nasdaq REALLY outperformed small caps.
To illustrate the magnitude of the Nasdaq's outperformance over the Russell 2000 from late 1998 through early 2000, the chart below shows the performance of the two indices beginning in October 1998. From that point right on through March of 2000 when the Nasdaq peaked, the Nasdaq rallied more than 200% compared to the Russell 2000 which was up a relatively meager 64%. In any other environment, a 64% gain in less than a year and a half would be excellent, but when it was under the shadow of the surging Nasdaq, it seemed like a pittance.
The US equity market made its most recent peak on June 8th. From the March 23rd low through June 8th, the average stock in the large-cap Russell 1,000 was up more than 65%! Since June 8th, the average stock in the index is down more than 11%. Below we have broken the index into deciles (10 groups of 100 stocks each) based on simple share price as of June 8th. Decile 1 (marked "Highest" in the chart) contains the 10% of stocks with the highest share prices. Decile 10 (marked "Lowest" in the chart) contains the 10% of stocks with the lowest share prices. As shown, the highest priced decile of stocks are down an average of just 4.8% since June 8th, while the lowest priced decile of stocks are down an average of 21.5%. It's pretty remarkable how performance gets weaker and weaker the lower the share price gets.
It's hard to believe that sentiment can change so fast in the market that one day investors and traders are bidding up stocks to record highs, but then the next day sell them so much that it takes the market down over 2%. That's exactly what happened not only in the last two days but also two weeks ago. While the 5% pullback from a record high back on June 10th took the Nasdaq back below its February high, this time around, the Nasdaq has been able to hold above those February highs.
In the entire history of the Nasdaq, there have only been 12 periods prior to this week where the Nasdaq closed at an all-time high on one day but dropped more than 2% the next day. Those occurrences are highlighted in the table below along with the index's performance over the following week, month, three months, six months, and one year. We have also highlighted each occurrence that followed a prior one by less than three months in gray. What immediately stands out in the table is how much gray shading there is. In other words, these types of events tend to happen in bunches, and if you count the original occurrence in each of the bunches, the only two occurrences that didn't come within three months of another occurrence (either before or after) were July 1986 and May 2017. In terms of market performance following prior occurrences, the Nasdaq's average and median returns were generally below average, but there is a pretty big caveat. While the average one-year performance was a gain of 1.0% and a decline of 23.6% on a median basis, the six occurrences that came between December 1999 and March 2000 all essentially cover the same period (which was very bad) and skew the results. Likewise, the three occurrences in the two-month stretch from late November 1998 through January 1999 where the Nasdaq saw strong gains also involves a degree of double-counting. As a result of these performances at either end of the extreme, it's hard to draw any trends from the prior occurrences except to say that they are typically followed by big moves in either direction. The only time the Nasdaq wasn't either 20% higher or lower one year later was in 1986.
In the mid-1980s the market began to evolve into a tech-driven market and the market’s focus in early summer shifted to the outlook for second quarter earnings of technology companies. Over the last three trading days of June and the first nine trading days in July, NASDAQ typically enjoys a rally. This 12-day run has been up 27 of the past 35 years with an average historical gain of 2.5%. This year the rally may have begun a day early, today and could last until on or around July 14. After the bursting of the tech bubble in 2000, NASDAQ’s mid-year rally had a spotty track record from 2002 until 2009 with three appearances and five no-shows in those years. However, it has been quite solid over the last ten years, up nine times with a single mild 0.1% loss in 2015. Last year, NASDAQ advanced a solid 4.6% during the 12-day span.
Tech Historically Leads Market Higher Until Q3 of Election Years
As of yesterday’s close DJIA was down 8.8% year-to-date. S&P 500 was down 3.5% and NASDAQ was up 12.1%. Compared to the typical election year, DJIA and S&P 500 are below historical average performance while NASDAQ is above average. However this year has not been a typical election year. Due to the covid-19, the market suffered the damage of the shortest bear market on record and a new bull market all before the first half of the year has come to an end. In the surrounding Seasonal Patten Charts of DJIA, S&P 500 and NASDAQ, we compare 2020 (as of yesterday’s close) to All Years and Election Years. This year’s performance has been plotted on the right vertical axis in each chart. This year certainly has been unlike any other however some notable observations can be made. For DJIA and S&P 500, January, February and approximately half of March have historically been weak, on average, in election years. This year the bear market ended on March 23. Following those past weak starts, DJIA and S&P 500 historically enjoyed strength lasting into September before experiencing any significant pullback followed by a nice yearend rally. NASDAQ’s election year pattern differs somewhat with six fewer years of data, but it does hint to a possible late Q3 peak.
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Micron Technology, Inc. $48.49
Micron Technology, Inc. (MU) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Monday, June 29, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.71 per share on revenue of $5.27 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.70 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 71% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for earnings of $0.40 to $0.70 per share. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 29.00% with revenue increasing by 10.07%. Short interest has increased by 7.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 8.0% from its open following the earnings release to be 0.9% below its 200 day moving average of $48.94. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, June 11, 2020 there was some notable buying of 46,037 contracts of the $60.00 call expiring on Friday, July 17, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 4.6% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.4% move in recent quarters.
General Mills, Inc. (GIS) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.04 per share on revenue of $4.89 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.10 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 69% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 25.30% with revenue increasing by 17.50%. Short interest has decreased by 9.4% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 2.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 7.8% above its 200 day moving average of $54.91. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Wednesday, June 24, 2020 there was some notable buying of 8,573 contracts of the $60.00 call expiring on Friday, July 17, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 6.6% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 3.0% move in recent quarters.
FedEx Corp. (FDX) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.42 per share on revenue of $16.31 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.65 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 61% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 71.66% with revenue decreasing by 8.41%. Short interest has increased by 10.4% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 43.9% from its open following the earnings release to be 7.6% below its 200 day moving average of $140.75. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, June 25, 2020 there was some notable buying of 1,768 contracts of the $145.00 call expiring on Thursday, July 2, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 4.6% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 7.7% move in recent quarters.
Conagra Brands, Inc. (CAG) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:30 AM ET on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.66 per share on revenue of $3.24 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.69 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 66% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 83.33% with revenue increasing by 23.99%. Short interest has decreased by 38.3% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 6.3% from its open following the earnings release to be 6.4% above its 200 day moving average of $30.68. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, June 11, 2020 there was some notable buying of 3,239 contracts of the $29.00 put expiring on Thursday, July 2, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 4.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 10.8% move in recent quarters.
Constellation Brands, Inc. (STZ) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:30 AM ET on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.91 per share on revenue of $1.97 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.12 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 53% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 13.57% with revenue decreasing by 13.69%. Short interest has increased by 20.8% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 25.2% from its open following the earnings release to be 5.2% below its 200 day moving average of $178.34. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, June 9, 2020 there was some notable buying of 888 contracts of the $195.00 call expiring on Friday, October 16, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 3.1% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 5.7% move in recent quarters.
Capri Holdings Limited (CPRI) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:30 AM ET on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.32 per share on revenue of $1.18 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.34 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 39% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for earnings of $0.68 to $0.73 per share. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 49.21% with revenue decreasing by 12.20%. Short interest has increased by 35.1% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 56.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 44.0% below its 200 day moving average of $25.67. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, June 4, 2020 there was some notable buying of 11,042 contracts of the $17.50 put expiring on Friday, August 21, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 10.8% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 6.7% move in recent quarters.
X Financial (XYF) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 5:00 PM ET on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.09 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 25% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 55.00% with revenue increasing by 763.52%. Short interest has increased by 1.0% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 1.2% from its open following the earnings release to be 37.7% below its 200 day moving average of $1.47. Overall earnings estimates have been unchanged since the company's last earnings release. The stock has averaged a 4.9% move on earnings in recent quarters.
Acuity Brands, Inc. (AYI) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:40 AM ET on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.14 per share on revenue of $809.25 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.09 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 42% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 51.90% with revenue decreasing by 14.60%. Short interest has increased by 48.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 2.4% from its open following the earnings release to be 23.4% below its 200 day moving average of $110.25. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 9.2% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.2% move in recent quarters.
Methode Electronics, Inc. (MEI) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.77 per share on revenue of $211.39 million. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 45% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 24.19% with revenue decreasing by 20.53%. Short interest has increased by 6.2% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 1.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 9.0% below its 200 day moving average of $32.97. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 18.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.1% move in recent quarters.
UniFirst Corporation (UNF) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:00 AM ET on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.17 per share on revenue of $378.28 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.25 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 44% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 52.44% with revenue decreasing by 16.63%. Short interest has decreased by 2.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 14.1% from its open following the earnings release to be 8.4% below its 200 day moving average of $186.14. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. The stock has averaged a 7.0% move on earnings in recent quarters.
So how’s your quarantine going? I’ve been playing a fair amount of C:S lately and thought I might speculate on what could be improved in Cities: Skylines 2. Besides, it’s not like I have anything better to do. What C:S gets right and wrong Besides great modability and post-release support, C:S combines an agent based economy with a sense of scale. It also has the kind of road design tools that SC4 veterans would have killed for. District based city planning for things like universities was one of the best innovations in the genre in years, and the introduction of industry supply chains, while clunky and tacked on, brought much needed depth to the game. C:S suffers most notably from a lack of revisit rate to previously constructed things. Build a power plant: forget about it. Build a port: forget about it. Build a downtown: forget about it. The player isn’t incentivized to revisit old parts of the city to upgrade and improve them. The district system for universities and industry was a fantastic innovation that demonstrated how to do this concept well, and consequently they are some of the most fun and engaging parts of the game. The biggest criticism of C:S, despite its powerful design tools, is that it feels like a city painter. The systems feel rich at first, but become very formulaic after a few hours. There are no hard trade-offs. Providing every inch of your city with maximum services will not bankrupt you, nor will an economy of nothing but the rich and well-educated collapse from a lack of unskilled labor. In the end, every city dies of boredom once the player exhausts the game’s relatively shallow well of novelty. The biggest areas for Improvement
Balancing Competing Interests
A real city has not only doctors and engineers, but clerks and factory workers. Consider a system that requires balancing the needs of different economic strata to make a thriving city. Here's one example:
Poverty - Working Class - Middle Class - Professional - Elite
Working class are the backbone of the economy, but they need affordable housing and good public transit. Without adequate care though, they slide into poverty causing spikes in crime and declining health. Middle class and professional workers bring in higher taxes and work in better quality jobs, but if property values go too high, your city can attract too many elites--which consume prime real estate, have excessive demands, and are needed in scant few industries.
Providing good services for all citizens should be a real challenge, requiring thoughtful choices on how to provide them efficiently. Balancing for different economic strata also incentivizes building areas with different character. City’s need low-income tenements, middle class suburbs, and high-income downtowns.
C:S was meant to be played on an 81-tile map. It is a drastic improvement over the cramped origami-like vanilla experience. Small towns start to make sense to support farming and mining communities and the urban core acts as a natural hub for manufacturing and logistics. In short, the city begins to look and feel much more natural.
Systems have gotten a lot more powerful since C:S was first released, and a redesign with better multi-core support and a larger map should be a priority. A larger region map recontextualizes the experience from city-builder to region builder. A four-times larger map could fit several urban cores, expansive farmlands, quaint mining towns, and national parks. Most importantly, it provides the appropriate scale to implement a more complex economy.
The industries DLC, despite being simple and clunky, did a lot of things right in improving economic complexity. CIties aren’t just where people live; they make stuff. A key decision for the player as they design their city should be “what does my city do?” A region with plentiful iron could make for a thriving mining town, and a city with steel and auto industries. Beaches and national parks could make for a tourism industry. A well-educated population could attract a banking and finance industry, or maybe make for a national capital with legions of bureaucrats.
The government systems could also use a bit more depth. Where is the city hall? How does a law enforcement system work without a courthouse or an education system without a board of education? These should have some role to play. City halls could define the various municipalities of a region (growing more grandiose as the city grows) while other government buildings could define the police/fire/school districts of a region.
One of my biggest gripes with C:S is the repeat frequency of tall buildings. While each asset is creatively designed, the effect is ruined by seeing two of the same assets in close proximity. This can be addressed one of a few ways besides simply making more. First, tall buildings should be very few in number, difficult to achieve, and a reward for good stewardship. SC4 doesn't suffer from this problem as much mainly because getting more than a handful of skyscrapers is quite an achievement. Additionally, procedural generation is a clear next-gen feature for city-builders. Some seriously impressive work has been done in this area.
Architecture is also an extremely important element in the aesthetic of a city and should be a key tool available to the player. C:S has a modern style, which tends to feel sterile and lacks a sense of place. Paris without Parisian architecture doesn’t feel like Paris. Ideally, the player should be given the option to select architectural standards to apply to growables and city buildings within a given district. There’s endless fodder for DLC. 1930s New York City, DC Neoclassical, 1900s San Francisco, Parisian, Victorian, East Asian Traditional, Neo-futurism, etc.
The square based zoning system is obsolete and does not take advantage of the free-form road design tool. Imagine instead a zoning system that, coupled with procedural building generation, could produce results like this.
Also, the spectrum between rural farmhouses and high-rise apartments doesn’t fit well into the current low/high density binary, making the lack of medium density zoning kind of an odd choice that should be remedied.
Utilities should be an opportunity for creativity and problem solving. C:S utilities are just drudgery. Power and water distribution is a rote task that isn't interesting or challenging. Power systems are complex, with boilers, turbine halls, switchyards, transformers, and substations. Even a light implementation of this would improve upon the old two step formula of:
1) see low power notification 2) place a new power plant.
Instead a “power plant district” could be defined where turbines, water intakes, and resource depots are placed. More turbines could be added or upgraded to alternate energy sources (coal > gas > nuclear) as the city expands. The plant itself becomes an opportunity for creative expression that grows as the city grows.
Power distribution could be made more interesting by adding two elements: switchyards and substations. Switchyards distribute high voltage lines to substations and substations service local areas. The city-builder Workers and Resources has an interesting, if overcomplicated implementation of this concept. Designing a renewable energy grid to deal with cyclical power generation would also make for an interesting challenge.
Water grids could follow a similar formula, with a water extraction/treatment “district” and a network of reservoirs (water towers, underground cisterns, etc.) and pumping stations to maintain pressure. The combination of both these systems would also make for a more interesting underground as sustaining large urban areas would require a fair amount of planning and space management.
Each transit station should have a “configure” option. This could include aesthetic options such as choosing architectural styles (modern, traditional, neoclassical, etc.) and more practical options such as fitting a station along a curved road, adding new platforms, or connections to other transit types. Ideally a single “transit station” option could be turned into everything from a rural railroad platform to a grand central station with bus, tram, and metro connections. Transport Fever 2 has a great implementation of this concept.
Keeping with the philosophy of drawing the player’s attention back to developed areas of the city, logistic hubs (ports, railyards, and airports) should be highly configurable as well and be shaped over time by growing demand. For instance, a regional airport should be accessible early on, but gradually turn into an international hub. The same should apply to ports and railyards that expand in realistic ways due to the practical need for expanded capacity.
Planning tools (place stuff down in “ghost” form and tweak it before actually paying for it)
More powerful tools to build/tweak junctions and intersections (move-it, NEXT, CSUR, etc.)
Vehicle choices for mass transit lines
Bridge stacking / customization
Paintable town squares/parks/markets (good luck fitting anything into a triangular city block currently)
More interesting terrain (marsh, forest, jungle, mountains, etc.)
My idea for a world simulation game that'll probably never get made.
This game is complex, layered, and probably too much bite to ever be fully realized. It has too much dream and not enough practicality. Ambitious and impractical. Let me explain the idea though. Picture in your mind, a game that looks and feels like Civilization 5 or 6, Frostpunk, Banished, or Cities: Skylines. The UI needs to be smooth and embracing, nothing worse than an overloaded UI acting making it difficult to bring people in. I was watching the trailer for Dying Light 2 and they mentioned the choices and actions of the player will affect the games progression. Totalitarian or Democratic government later in the game. I liked that, but these games always promise this and it never delivers. Mass Effect, Infamous, Fable, etc... We need a game where you can build your Civilization through the ages, focusing your industry and your people down a path of your choosing. As their leader, but not a static leader. I'll get to that soon. Think of Civilization and the technological progression trees you go through throughout the game that slowly changes your cities from huts, to stone walls, to jets and nukes. You can chose your government type in these games and it gives you some advantages versus others. Better military or better trade. Options, but no real choices in the long game. Imagine for a moment focusing Your World on a path of fascism or socialism, capitalism or communism and seeing gradual changes affect your world. From the architecture to the people and the surrounding nation's. What happens when your little experiment into capitalism turns sour? You've gone too far with the free market and destroyed your middle class and now you have economic depression and talks of revolution. You've been ousted and replaced. You're done and that leader is gone, but Your World lives on. You rebuild after choosing a new leader and you get again but with the history of your old world lingering in the background. You like going to war? Your World remembers and you lose support later in the game. I said this was ambitious. How do you account for so many details? When does citizenry unhappiness mean revolution. How can we make binary choices such as; raise taxes or go to war; fund education or ban immigrants, feel like they can make drastic or monumental changes in the game? You have a playground as big as Your World generates. You want to live on a planet the size of the moon or a world as big as Mars? That's easy, but imagine being the leader of your nation you built, or if you've suffered through some coups the nation you rebuilt, and working with a Congress while battling a foreign military. This is the ambitious part I feel. Your Congress needs to be procedurally generated AI NPCs that can make meaningful choices in line with their position. The opposition party in Your World should attack your policies in the press and undermine support for your cause, but until the level of unhappiness or other prerequisites are met, they can't engage in mutinous actions. These AI characters cannot be voiced because we can't account for all the actions that can take place or the opinions of the opposing party for the actions you took. So we're left with narrative gameplay similar, I hope, to Frostpunk or Civilization. The closest games out now are Tropico and Democracy 3, and those two barely scratch the surface of what I want.
If you think billionaires (OR ANYONE) knows where the market is heading
For weeks I've been hearing the same thing from friends as well as here in this sub: People who know about stocks can get really rich now. The billionaires know where the market is heading No they can't. If ANYONE with $1200 cash on their hands knew, they'd be the richest person alive within 28 trades - within hours. Let's say someone was fully confident that he knows. He would put $1000 on binary options (either double your entry or lose everything) and get $2000 in return. He'd do it again to get $4000. Fast forward being right another 26 times and with gains of $268,435,456,000 they would be the richest person alive. You could do that in a single day. Of course this thought experiment is a simulation that doesn't account for fees, risk-assessment (you'd probably save some on each trade so a loss doesn't result in a total loss) and the fact that no bank on the planet would want to play with billion dollar options (I guess). But it demonstrates how you shouldn't trust any analyst or advisor that doesn't share their 8 figures tax return forms after they've been in the market for a few years. Of course these people have a general idea of what is happening on the market but no one knows how the market reacts - the latter of which is what matters.
I was arguing with someone on the youtube comments... I have some thoughts. The original reply on Youtube was severely truncated because character limits meant I lost my comments and had to try a couple times. I'll expand a lot more here. I was also childishly accused of somethings, and I didn't want my efforts to go to waste. For context: Someone was taking an absolutist stance on the firearms with the second amendment, and was quite angry that 2nd amendment doesn't get strict scrutiny protections, and felt like it should be expanded across the board. This reddit post is based on an adaption on the original, with additional expanded commentary in case anyone wants to join in. Original youtube comments as follows: Other person: How come we never get a judge like this on a second amendment case! A constitutional judge I don't believe it!!!!! Me: well for one, the law is not clearly on one side. Religious rights get strict scrutiny protection. Gun rights get intermediate scrutiny. other person: does the Second Amendment get treated that way because it's number two on the list and not number one? Or should strict scrutiny be observed across the board when it comes to any enumerated right? Me: It does say well-regulated militia. and if the people are the militia, that means you do get to control who is in it and who gets a gun. Would you allow a psychotic person to have a gun? DC v. Heller said that people have a right to keep and bear arms, but that doesn't necessarily mean "a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner." Its generally given intermediate scrutiny, although that hasn't been spelled out. other person: you need to get your dictionary out. And after you're done with that go get the Federalist Papers. Where the genius gentleman who wrote the declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights talk about what they meant when they wrote what they wrote. Then come back and talk to me. Liberal talking points mean nothing to me only facts. I type out a huge wall of text that gets ignored, which was adapted into the meat and potatoes of this post other person: 😂🤣😊🤣😊🤣😂🤣😊🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂yea ok. NO 😂🤣😂 TRY AGAIN😁😂🤣ILL B WAITING!😂🤣😂 me: absolute no rebuttal. too many emojis. Suggestive of a troll. Seeing as there is nothing to discuss, I'm done here. other person: lol yea . No. You didn't read the Federalist Papers. And if you did. You obviously didn't understand what you read, and didn't use a dictionary either. So like I said try again!😂🤣😂 and oh yes I must be a bot because I don't agree with what you say! Liberals you guys are hilarious😂🤣😂 That triggered that part of me that insists on correcting everyone. now that I've copy pasted what was said so that I don't get accused of misrepresenting anything.... Arguing on the results The first problem with originalism to me at least, seems to be that its used to support certain political stances, the stance comes first, rather than the law stuff. That can be said for pretty much any way of interpreting to some extent however. What I don't like is how there seems to be a premise of our opinions don't really matter, we should start with what it actually meant originally. And the pretense of true neutral on modern day politics, since we are going with the original intent of back then. First step is showing that rights can be "limited." All rights are balanced against other rights. If my religion says I get to murder you just because, that doesn't excuse it. You have a right to not be murdered. The religion is not an excuse. Do not murder is a general thing we can all agree upon. There is a government interest in preventing murder. Another exception to free speech is defamation. You aren't allowed to spew false things to hurt someone, and hide behind free speech. So no right is absolute, despite what the law may say. Its absolute as far as tyrannical government intrusions. By creation of tort law, Did Congress a) abridge the right of free speech or b) such free speech right does not allow you to defame someone, because you are abusing speech to harm them, in such a way that is so unfair, it violates something big enough worth it. Ie Does free speech give you the right to defame someone else? If so, that means the person who you defamed must put up with defamation, the lies and reputation harm? Put another way, are you allowed to call anyone a pedophile/murdererapist regardless if its true? Its better to think of them as declarations of principles. It doesn't take too much effort to try to stretch out the rights and realize that they come into conflict at some point. Furthermore, due to 9th amendment, we get implied rights of a right to privacy and bodily autonomy, freedom of thought and conscience. it seems like one of the risks is forgetting the fact that just because it isn't written there, doesn't mean that it didn't matter to the original authors/framers. That would seem to possibly imply it was just a given. In a sense everything is a constitutional issue in that the question is why is the government doing this anyways and do they have the right to, due to the 9th and 10th. So there is nothing wrong with limiting in application a right. Its not that you don't have the right, its just that the right can be limited, not by the government, but necessarily because the absolute right goes against and overrides other rights. I reconcile the seemingly absolute right behind "Congress shall make no law..." with the reality that rights cannot be absolute. Because to him, originalism + second amendment => unlimited gun rights. So I attack the conclusion. It was the most immediate issue, and because attacking originalism is harder and longer. First premise - there is a single original intent that encapsulates what everyone thought about it at the time, and that this truth is the ultimate, fundamental, original, historically correct interpretation/theory/answer. The natural consequence is to say that the only way to change that interpretation is through an amendment, or at least explicitly in statute. But that's quite difficult/impossible due to Gerrymandering. Scalia calculated that 4% of the population, distributed correctly could stop an amendment from being passed. So yes, we must obviously fix that, but that's another rabbit hole. The framers were people, flawed people, politicians in fact. Since reasonable people can disagree, and they disagreed frequently, having genuine disagreements and difference of opinions, they would make compromises, and they did that frequently, since the disagreed a lot, including on big ticket items. See Federalist 1. Thus like good politicians, they would invent a good enough compromise and kick the can down the road, and hope the system they said would be able to adapt and address it. That turned out to be false when it came to slavery. The Constitution and Bill of Rights were full of these compromises (Great Compromise, No prohibiting slave trade until 1808 and fugitive slave act, 3/5's compromise *shudders*, no export duties, yes import duties, interstate commerce clause only, no intrastate). They were nothing but compromises, such as the Bill of Rights. It was a originally a political compromise offered by James Madison to get New York to ratify the constitution. Eventually, he realized there was more to it than that. It wasn't merely list of rights the people have and things the government can't do, but rather stood for the proposition that people have many rights, and that there are many things the government can't do, not just these. These were merely the ones that people were able to spell out through the amendment process. Compromise definitionally means that there are 2 or more sides, and everyone isn't completely happy. That means that there are 2 or more threads of thought that go into it, sometimes independent and contradictory. And sometimes you find that there are potentially more than one theoretical underpinnings, but they didn't agree on which one, although both of them led to same spot. So as an originalist which one do you pick? Holding that a single framer's opinion is the correct opinion, simply because they were the author, means saying that this person was right and the rest were wrong, and ignoring a whole bunch of other people, and somewhat arbitrarily saying the chosen one matters the most. I'd also remind you that sometimes there is no correct answer, in that there was no consensus or majority opinion. As in they agreed on the compromise, but there were no theoretical underpinnings they completely agreed upon, or at least the theoretical underpinnings they did at least partially agree upon, weren't as firm, thought out, or fully agreed upon. Due to this lack of super well thought out reasoning, when analyzing the constitution and laws, one must understand that something might just a placeholder answer for political expediency. Furthermore, different people can pass the same law, the same text, and come away with differing interpretations, with the descendants of both sides telling themselves we agreed to the same thing. The most horrifying examples can be find in the road up to the civil war. Two fundamentally different halves were developing. One constitutional interpretation was right, and one was wrong. They couldn't both be right at the same time. And lets not kid ourselves, the only reason why a certain flavor of interpretation developed, was because it protected a certain "domestic" or "peculiar institution." So you either need some kind of reasoned principle to say we can exclude this mess, or you pick a certain side. But picking both sides individually presents their own sets of problems as well. Premise 2 - we must be tightly bound to the original intent that people thought in the past because its correct and we must adhere regardless of everything else I was trying to illustrate the problems with originalism, using Jefferson as an example. *tangent incoming* I actually really dislike Jefferson, not just because he was racist and owned slaves, but he pretended to be this dangerous liberal radical, and made (perhaps recklessly) a bold declaration that he had no intention of keeping or actually meant it. He setup a high bar for himself, and I get to hold him to that high bar. that's not presentism at all. Presentism is the historian's sin of apply our modern day values and harshly imposing them on their times with disregard for their contextual era that surrounded them and that they were born into. In fact, when you do that, Jefferson's evaluation becomes even worse, because he's the least excusable for being deeply racist out of ignorance. Such virtues and ideas existed at that point on the fringes, and he and his contemporaries were well aware of it. In fact, one of the view points of that time was that slaves were inferior because of the condition imposed on them, that the planter class (ie they themselves) did. This would stay as quiet personal admissions. All this out of the way, lets continue. He's not an honored figure because he was a racist slaveholder, he's honored because he put to pen and paper the principle of fundamental human equality, despite the fact that he nowhere lived up to that, politically or in his personal life (potential rape of Sally Hemmings. As a slave, could she even have consented? She was arguable always under duress). This same stuff applies to all the historical figures including the founding fathers, I just used Jefferson because I think he's overrated and this illustrates my point well. What did Jefferson mean by "all men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence. He excluded women, children, non-binary individuals (including George Washington who had Klinefelters syndrome and was XXY, for sake of simplicity sex = gender and men = XY, women = XX), the various native tribes, and Africans. We can tell that he was excluding most natives and Africans as nonhumans all of this from his writings (see Notes on Virginia) and behaviors. Jefferson was a huge racist, but we don't follow his actual original intent. For one, reconstruction amendments override him here, but secondly, we don't blindly follow the intent only. We extrapolate the important principle they got right, and try to apply it as best as possible to our modern context. That's why the Second Amendment doesn't apply to muskets only. That's why First Amendment protects this as speech. Jefferson called the constitution a living document. Its living because its interpreted in different ways and open to change. So where are the parameters and boundaries of this. Who gets to determine the boundaries of the living constitution? Due to Marbury v Madison, right now, its the courts, so I rather have them be more open about their bias. I'd prefer the least amount of bias possible, but we shouldn't pretend that they aren't biased at all. But with originalism, even less people's thoughts counts. Why does only certain individuals' thoughts count, and who are these people? Well they are the chosen people because they were born white, male, into a wealthy family, with the right last names. Originalist is ridiculous because its so restrictive on who counts. They are dead. There ideas are valid, but originalism means they don't get examined on their own. The whole point of jurisprudence is to work through these complexities, and to reflect the historical nuances. The problem with originalism is that it doesn't allow for this, and assumes a certain narrative is true already, and which narrative is that? Whatever is determined to be the "original," which due to the fluid nature as described earlier, could be whichever one is politically expedient. *tangent* I do however, agree that it shouldn't be overstretched because it would then break/tear. it does frustrate me that everything is a constitutional issue (not in the sense of why is the government doing this, how do they have the powepermission to do that), but in the fact that its gotten overstretched. Like on first impression, I had no clue that Roe v. Wade was a constitutional issue. I didn't know abortions were in there. (Yes I know there were privacy things too, but my point is still made) But adhering to strict originalism means naturally accepting this baggage of bigotry from a previous time along with it. Or you can say that this baggage wasn't the essence of it, but these accidental characteristics were just as much part of the original intent, quite sadly. So you need some kind of limiting principle that allows you to dump the baggage of bigotry, which means not being originalist, or you throw out the strict originalist option out (as in we MUST adhere to the original intent as opposed to saying history is a useful guide, but we have no obligation to copy what they thought. If we are talking about a specific well-written statute, then there is less wiggle room, but that's not the case here, these were a lot more of declarations of principle.) Arguably, you can avoid dealing with this uncomfortable implications by saying this questions are worthless because 13th-15th amendments, but that's not really a good system then, if its that rigid, that you need an amendment to escape the racist views of the past view. *tangent* here I go into the weeds of how one could be a super strict originalist and not be racist, more of a thought experiment and hypothetical. While the 14th and 15th amendments could be argued to provide a principal, it depends on how much of a textualist you want to be. 14th amendment establishes the a principle of don't discriminate for dumb reasons, but it doesn't spell out any protected classes. Some may look to the 15th amendment, since they were passed around the same time by the same Congress with the same context. It spells out race, color, or previous condition of servitude. So it depends, but I think might point still stands. Its scary to think about it. I don't know anyone who would take it this far, but is there any principle stopping it from going this far? Luckily enough John Bingham the primary author of both the 14th and 15th can serve as a save, since his original intent was more better, in contrast to the compromises on the 14th and 15th amendments, which muzzled it and made it more muted/toned down than originally desired by some, including John Bingham and Charles Sumner. A lot of things are missing like a ban on poll taxes, literacy tests, grandfather clauses, nothing on naturalized citizens born overseas (for the nativists), also women's suffrage. But another racist originalist may consciously or not emphasize a more conservative author and hold that up as the original intent. Thankfully, these problems not addressed there were fixed later legislatively, but never on an amendment level, so it could be changed. I'd remind you, we have no equal protection clause on the federal level, its read to be implied in the 5th amendment due process clause, so uninterpreting out is possible since its implied. Maybe the equal protection clause should be amended to spell out protected categories, or maybe the solution is another ERA. But the fact that I'm going into the weeds has another implication... do we really want to be held back by the failures of the past? I'm just going to mention briefly the subtext of conservatism in (Burke's sense) terms of tradition vs progressivism/revolution. Originalism basically solidifies these long dead people's points of view unless specifically contradicted by statute, but even contradicting via statute wouldn't work entirely because how would you go about doing that for a constitutional issue? And the problem is that in the context of the Constitution, tradition, is just peer pressure from the dead, but on a constitutional level, this solidifies their points of view, and requires an amendment to change. Is that really a wise idea. I'd remind everyone that we had a long and bloody path that led up to war. Adopting this approach makes the law too clunky to adapt. So arguably, that means adopting racist points of view that contradicts the 14th amendments. One of the compromise/balancing acts was the question of how much should the constitution be able to be changed? Keep in mind that its the scaffolding, the base structures and basic principles, and that's not something you want to change too often. For context, the Articles of Confederation required the assent of 9/13 states to do something, and unanimous 13/13 consent for other important things like amendments. The US Constitution requires a simple majority in both individuals Houses/Chambers of Congress, and the President to sign off, with a 2/3rds on both to override veto. The whole point of a republic is balance. Neither mob rule, nor tyranny of a dictator, popular sovereignty/majority rule, while still upholding minority rights and rule of law. It should be able to change with the times and reflect the people, but not too much, hence representatives and refinement. Fair laws created through a (representative) democratic process, and enforced and applied evenly in a way that actually makes sense. But if you are to go with originalism, that means that judges are to stick with the original (often bigoted) intent or more likely reconstitute/patch-together a modernish meaning and call it original, which is often a political issue. Originalism also means that judges inherently must be conservative, and cannot ever introduce a new interpretation or way of looking at the constitution, which can prevent necessary change, which then creates a need for more legislative changes or amendments to ensure the a functional government under the constitution. If this is a good or bad thing is neither here nor there, but I will say, its quite impossible because of stuff like gerrymandering. This felt like I was typing something for something more than a mere reddit post off of something more than just mere youtube comments.
(The Political and Demographic Survey for Lovers of the Global Poorwas fielded periodically in five waves from mid-August 2019 through mid-January 2020. It was made possible with a generous grant from the Open Society Foundations, a philanthropic venture founded by George Soros.) This unscientific survey and its modest samples are by no means a definitive account of this community's attitudes or demography, and I've identified at least a few methodological shortcomings. Two of them — namely, the limited answer selection for favorability questions and the wording of one option in the religious affiliation query — are described below. More significantly, however, my decision to prioritize insights about the demographic makeup of this subreddit (wherein I limited each respondent to one wave to prevent duplicates) necessarily came at the expense of revelations about its political opinions. As a result, it is impossible to exclude the possibility that apparent trends between one wave and the next are not due at least in part to a response pool whose politics are systematically different from previous ones. But with the above caveats laid out, I present to you — at long last — the topline findings and corresponding analyses from my personal contribution to the Neoliberal Project! Key 💎 Joe Biden 💎 🥀 Bernie Sanders 🥀 👵🏼 Elizabeth Warren 👵🏼 👮🏾♀️ Kamala Harris 👮🏾♀️ 🏳️🌈 Pete Buttigieg 🏳️🌈 🍦 Michael Bloomberg 🍦 📒 Amy Klobuchar 📒🧮 Andrew Yang 🧮 🛹 Beto O'Rourke 🛹 📖 Cory Booker 📖 💪 John Delaney 💪 🍊 Donald Trump 🤴 👩⚖️ Nancy Pelosi 👩⚖️ 🌹 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 🌹 🐎 Democratic Party 🐎 🐘 Republican Party 🐘 🌿 Libertarianism 🌿
Wave 1 (N=222 | August 11–13, 2019)
https://preview.redd.it/9e9bkuw54do41.png?width=894&format=png&auto=webp&s=3628e55ac8dd64a419517951eb5ad771ae96703e 🏳️🌈 (36.9%) earns a large plurality, with 🛹 (19.8%) taking second place. 💎 (10.8%) and 💪 (9.0%) follow up in third and fourth, while the fiercely progressive 👵🏼 (5.9%) earns a fair share as well. The remaining candidates combine for 15 percent of the first-preference vote, with no individual candidate reaching 4 points. Favorability¹ Opinions of 🏳️🌈 (91.6) soar sky-high, with nearly 9 in 10 expressing a favorable view. In a not-so-close second is 👩⚖️ (84.2) for whom close to 8 in 10 have a positive opinion. 💎 (80.9) is the second-placed Democratic candidate, with nearly 3 in 4 offering a positive view, with nobody else even remotely close. 👵🏼 (46.1) finds herself slightly underwater, with a –7.7% net rating, and 👮🏾♀️ (43.2) is close behind. Of the five highest-polling candidates at the time of the survey, 🥀 (12.1) finds himself in an ignominious last, with just under a mere 1 in 10 giving a favorable view. However, nobody on the left side of the aisle can come close to 🍊🤴 (1.4), who lands just a hair above being universally despised.
Wave 2 (N=140 | October 11–15, 2019)
https://preview.redd.it/ckpx1vo94do41.png?width=894&format=png&auto=webp&s=f3e5d3ecac7f85c3d64cc5c20979027d0e4456e6 🏳️🌈 (38.6%) once again lands on top, more than tripling niche-favorite 💪's (12.1%) share, who is in a tight cluster for runner-up with 🛹 (11.4%) — who suffered a steep decline — 💎 (11.4%), and 👵🏼 (10.7%), who nearly doubled her vote. The rest take a little under 1/7th of the vote, with nobody breaking 4 percent. Favorability 🏳️🌈 (92.8) hurdles the 9 in 10 threshold for favorability. 👩⚖️ (89.6) sees her already stellar standing improve substantially, while 💎 (83.1) trades places with his party. 👵🏼 (55.4) surges into positive territory, while 👮🏾♀️ (33.9) takes a big hit. 🥀 (14.9) is once again dead last.
Wave 3 (N=165 | November 11–14, 2019)
https://preview.redd.it/0bqavm8d4do41.png?width=894&format=png&auto=webp&s=4b4bec0be0a8849f120826f063de028bb2ab935a Pulling a clear majority of the vote, 🏳️🌈 (54.5%) obliterates the field. 💎 (18.8%) substantially increases his share, while 👵🏼 (5.5%) has her percentage halved and 💪 (4.2%) cut by a brutal two-thirds. The remaining candidates take 14 percent, with no individual candidate surpassing the 4-point threshold. Favorability 🏳️🌈 (93.9) inches still closer to the mathematical limit, as 👩⚖️ (84.2) recedes and 💎 (83.0) replicates his previous robust showing. 👵🏼 (38.5) nosedives, and 👮🏾♀️ (38.1) recoups some of her losses. 🥀 (12.1) returns to his abysmal rating in the first wave. 🍊🤴 (2.7) climbs further, doubling his Wave 1 standing in an impressive show of newfound popularity.
Wave 4 (N=150 | December 23–26, 2019)
https://preview.redd.it/7ozcxrue4do41.png?width=894&format=png&auto=webp&s=1546d0102b91dab50da987d272bfe96873ecb243 🏳️🌈 (54.0%) repeats his dominating performance, while 💎 (22.0%) earns twice his initial share. A meaningful minority contingent selects the otherwise broadly reviled 🥀 (4.7%), and late-entrant 🍦 (4.7%) matches. 🧮 (4.0%) earns his mention with a number of votes, 👵🏼 (2.7%) loses another half off her support, and 💪 (1.3%) fades into the background. Favorability 🏳️🌈 (91.3) loses a bit of his still-vibrant luster, and 👩⚖️ (91.3) draws right even with him as her skeptics are slashed by no less than half. 💎 (87.6) significantly improves his already excellent numbers. The now-departed 👮🏾♀️ (48.3) surges to near-even favorability, while 👵🏼 (34.0) is further depressed. 🥀 (17.3) rises somewhat from the abyss.
Wave 5 (N=187 | January 12–14, 2020)
https://preview.redd.it/va1ly13i4do41.png?width=894&format=png&auto=webp&s=e5d6a87273fa6eafc4f19409f2762020942f3aeb 🏳️🌈 (45.5%) loses his outright majority as 💎 (28.9%) significantly increases his vote share for the fourth consecutive wave. 📒 (4.8%) rises to the top of the second tier, with 📖 (4.3%) just behind. Favorability 💎's (91.2) unrelenting rise is mirrored in favorability as he dethrones 🏳️🌈 (90.3) for the first place in the metric. 👮🏾♀️ (55.8) rides cleanly into positive territory, and 👵🏼 (45.7) sees her image improve substantially, perhaps aided by an ongoing feud with 🥀 (13.8), who falls from his personal high. 🍊🤴 (1.0), for his part, kisses the floor.
https://preview.redd.it/6x2px4s32eo41.png?width=427&format=png&auto=webp&s=6fcb1f2d67381d38e0e00af17813b9871c98ac64 On the flipside, significantly raising tax rates on higher corporate income brackets while cutting them for lower ones receives a cool reception: just under 1 in 3 expressed support for the proposed change. Many (1 in 5) were unsure, however, and the percentage of opponents falls short of majority level. Notably, following an initial dip, approval of the proposition increased significantly from Wave 2 to Wave 5. Again, it is not clear what was behind this shift.
Wall Street Week Ahead for the trading week beginning December 9th, 2019
Good Saturday morning to all of you here on wallstreetbets. I hope everyone on this sub made out pretty nicely in the market this past week, and is ready for the new trading week ahead. Here is everything you need to know to get you ready for the trading week beginning December 9th, 2019.
What Trump does before trade deadline is the ‘wild card’ that will drive markets in the week ahead - (Source)
The Trump administration’s Dec. 15 deadline for new tariffs on China looms large, and while most strategists expect them to be delayed while talks continue, they don’t rule out the unexpected. “That’s the biggest thing in the room next week. I don’t think he’s going to raise them. I think they’ll find a reason,” said James Pauslen, chief investment strategist at Leuthold Group. But Paulsen said President Donald Trump’s unpredictable nature makes it really impossible to tell what will happen as the deadline nears. “He’s the one off you’re never sure about. It’s not just tariffs. It could be damn near anything,” Paulsen said. “I think he goes out of his way to be a wild card.” Just in the past week, Trump said he would put new tariffs on Brazil, Argentina and France. He rattled markets when he said he could wait until after the election for a trade deal with China. Once dubbing himself “tariff man,” Trump reminded markets that he sees tariffs as a way of getting what he wants from an opponent, and traders were reminded tariffs may be around for a long time. Trade certainly could be the most important event for markets in the week ahead, which also includes a Fed interest rate decision Wednesday and the U.K.’s election that could set the course for Brexit. If there’s no China deal, that could beat up stocks, send Treasury yields lower and send investors into other safe havens. When Fed officials meet this week, they are not expected to change interest rates, but they are likely to discuss whether they believe their repo operations to drive liquidity in the short-term funding market are running smoothly, ahead of year end. Economic reports in the coming week include CPI inflation Wednesday, which could be an important input for the Fed. Punt, but no deal As of Friday, the White House did not appear any closer to striking a deal with China, though officials say talks are going fine. Back in August, Trump said if there is no deal, Dec. 15 is the date for a new wave of tariffs on $156 billion in Chinese goods, including cell phones, toys and lap top computers. Dan Clifton, head of policy research at Strategas, said it seems like a low probability there will be a deal in the coming week. “What the market is focused on right now is whether there’s going to be tariffs that to into effect on Dec. 15, or not. It’s being rated pretty binary,” said Clifton. “I think what’s happening here and the actions by China overnight looks like we’re setting up for a kick.” China removed some tariffs from U.S. agricultural products Friday, and administration officials have been talking about discussions going fine. Clifton said if tariffs are put on hold, it’s unclear for how long. “Those are going to be larger questions that have to be answered. This is really now about politics. Is it a better idea for the president to cut a deal without major structural reforms, or should he walk away? That’s the larger debate that has to happen after Dec. 15,” Clifton said. “I’m getting worried that some in the administration... they’re leaning toward no deal category.” Clifton said Trump’s approval rating falls when the trade wars heat up, so that may motivate him to complete the deal with China even if he doesn’t get everything he wants. Michael Schumacher, director of rates strategy at Wells Fargo, said his base case is for a trade deal to be signed in the next couple of months, but even so, he said he can’t entirely rule out another outcome. It would make sense for tariffs to be put on hold while talks continue. “The tweeter-in-chief controls that one, ” said Schumacher. “That’s anybody’s guess...I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he suspends it for a few weeks. If he doesn’t, that’s a pretty unpleasant result. That’s risk off. That’s pretty clear.” Because the next group of tariffs would be on consumer goods, economists fear they could hit the economy through the consumer, the strongest and largest engine behind economic growth. Fed ahead The Fed has moved to the sidelines and says it is monitoring economic data before deciding its next move. Friday’s strong November jobs report, with 266,000 jobs added, reinforces the Fed’s decision to move to neutral for now. So the most important headlines from its meeting this week could be about the repo market, basically the plumbing for the financial system where financial institutions fund themselves. Interest rates in that somewhat obscure market spiked in September. Market pros said the issue was a cash crunch in the short term lending market, made better when the Fed started repo operations. The Fed now has multiple operations running over year end, and Schumacher said it has latitude to do more. Strategists expect there to be more pressure on the repo market as banks rein in operations to spruce up their balance sheets at year end. “No one is going to come to the Fed and say you did too much in the year-end funding,” said Schumacher. “If repo happens to spike somewhat on one day, the Fed is going to hammer it the next day.” Paulsen said the markets will be attuned to this week’s inflation numbers. Consumer inflation, the CPI is reported on Wednesday and producer prices are Thursday. A pickup in inflation of any significance is one thing that could pull the Fed from the sidelines, and prod it to consider a rate hike. “I think the inflation reports might start to get a little attention. Given the jobs numbers, the employment rate, growth picking up a little bit and a better tone in manufacturing. I do think if you get some hot CPI number, I don’t know if the Fed can ignore it,” he said. “Core CPI is 2.3%.” He said it would get noticed if it jumped to 2.5% or better. The Fed’s inflation target is 2% but its preferred measure is the PCE inflation, and that remains under 2%. Stocks were sharply higher Friday but ended the past week flattish. The S&P 500 was slightly higher, up 0.2% at 3,145, and the Dow was down 0.1% at 28,015. The Nasdaq was 0.1% lower, ending the week at 8,656.
This past week saw the following moves in the S&P:
It has been a rough start to the most wonderful month of them all, with the S&P 500 Index down each of the first two days of December. Don’t stop believing just yet, though. Everyone knows December has usually been a good month for stocks, but what happened last year is still fresh in the minds of many investors. The S&P 500 fell 9.1% in December 2018 for the worst December since 1931. That sounds really bad, until you realize stocks fell 30% in September 1931, but we digress. One major difference between now and last year is how well the global equities have been performing. Heading into December 2018, the S&P 500 was up 3.2% year to date, but markets outside of the United States were already firmly in the red, with many down double digits. “We don’t think stocks are on the verge of another massive December sell off,” said LPL Financial Senior Market Strategist Ryan Detrick. “If my Cincinnati Bengals can win a game, anything is possible. However, we are quite encouraged by the overall participation we are seeing from various global stock markets this year versus last year, when the United States was about the only market in the green heading into December.” Stocks have also overcome volatile starts to December recently. The S&P 500 was down four days in a row to start 2013 and 2017, but the gauge still managed to gain 2.4% and 1%, respectively, in those years. As the LPL Chart of the Day shows, December has been the second-best month of the year for stocks going back to 1950. It is worth noting that it was the best month of the year before last year’s massive drop. Stocks have historically been strong in pre-election years as well, and December has never been lower two times in a row during a pre-election year. Given stocks fell in December 2015, bulls could be smiling when this month is wrapped up.
Impeaching a President with the possibility of removal from office is by no means great for the country. However, it may not be so horrible for the stock market or investors if history is any guide. We first touched on this over two years ago here on the blog and now that much has transpired and the US House of Representatives is now proceeding with drafting articles of impeachment we figured it was a good time to revisit the history (albeit limited) of market behavior during presidential impeachment proceedings. The three charts below really tell the story. During the Watergate scandal of Nixon’s second term the market suffered a major bear market from January 1973 to OctobeDecember 1974 with the Dow down 45.1%, S&P 500 down 48.2% and NASDAQ down 59.9%. Sure there were other factors that contributed to the bear market such as the Oil Embargo, Arab-Israeli War, collapse of the Bretton Woods system, high inflation and Watergate. However, shortly after Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974 the market reached the secular bear market low on October 3 for S&P and NASDAQ and December 6 for the Dow. Leading up to the Clinton investigations and through his subsequent impeachment and the acquittal by the Senate the market was on a tear as one of the biggest bull markets in history raged on. After the 1994 midterm elections when the Republicans took back control of both houses of Congress the market remained on a 45 degree upward trajectory except for a few blips and the shortest bear market on record that lasted 45 days and bottomed on August 31, 1998. Clinton was impeached in December 1998 and acquitted in February 1999 as the market continued higher throughout his second term. Sure there were other factors that contributed to the late-1990s bull-run such as the Dotcom Boom, the Information Revolution, millennial fervor and a booming global economy, but Clinton’s personal scandal had little negative impact on markets. It remains to be seen of course what will happen with President Trump’s impeachment proceeding and how the world and markets react, but the market continues to march on. If the limited history of impeachment proceedings of a US President in modern times (no offense to our 17th President Andrew Johnson) is any guide, the market has bounced back after the last two impeachment proceedings and was higher a year later. Perhaps it will be better to buy any impeachment dip rather than sell it.
Typical December Trading: Modest Strength Early, Choppy Middle and Solid Gains Late
Historically, the first trading day of December, today, has a slightly bearish bias with S&P 500 advancing 34 times over the last 69 years (since 1950) with an average loss of 0.02%. Tomorrow, the second trading day of December however, has been stronger, up 52.2% of the time since 1950 with an average gain of 0.08% and the third day is better still, up 59.4% of the time. Over the more recent 21-year period, December has opened with strength and gains over its first seven trading days before beginning to drift. By mid-month all five indices have surrendered any early-month gains, but shortly thereafter Santa usually visits sending the market higher until the last day of the month and the year when last minute selling, most likely for tax reasons, briefly interrupts the market’s rally.
Odds Still Favor A Gain for Rest of December Despite Rough Start
Just when it was beginning to look like trade was heading in a positive direction, the wind changed direction again. Yesterday it was steel and aluminum tariffs on Brazil and Argentina and today a deal with China may not happen as soon as previously anticipated. The result was the worst first two trading days of December since last year and the sixth worst start since 1950 for S&P 500. DJIA and NASDAQ are eighth worst since 1950 and 1971, respectively. However, historically past weakness in early December (losses over the first two trading days combined) were still followed by average gains for the remainder of the month the majority of the time. DJIA has advanced 74.19% of the time following losses over the first two trading days with an average gain for the remainder of December of 1.39%. S&P 500 was up 67.65% of the time with an average rest of month gain of 0.84%. NASDAQ is modestly softer advancing 61.11% of the time during the remainder of December with an average advance of 0.30%.
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Friday 12.13.19 After Market Close:
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lululemon athletica inc. $229.38
lululemon athletica inc. (LULU) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Wednesday, December 11, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.93 per share on revenue of $896.50 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.98 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 73% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for earnings of $0.90 to $0.92 per share on revenue of $880.00 million to $890.00 million. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 24.00% with revenue increasing by 19.91%. Short interest has increased by 9.8% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 16.0% from its open following the earnings release to be 26.0% above its 200 day moving average of $182.08. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, December 6, 2019 there was some notable buying of 927 contracts of the $260.00 call expiring on Friday, December 13, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 8.3% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 11.1% move in recent quarters.
Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:15 PM ET on Thursday, December 12, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.70 per share on revenue of $37.43 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.74 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 78% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 5.59% with revenue increasing by 6.73%. Short interest has increased by 19.3% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 2.5% from its open following the earnings release to be 10.3% above its 200 day moving average of $267.50. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, November 19, 2019 there was some notable buying of 916 contracts of the $265.00 put expiring on Friday, December 27, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 3.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 3.6% move in recent quarters.
Thor Industries, Inc. (THO) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:45 AM ET on Monday, December 9, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.23 per share on revenue of $2.30 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.30 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 69% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 16.89% with revenue increasing by 30.98%. Short interest has increased by 48.1% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 25.5% from its open following the earnings release to be 16.0% above its 200 day moving average of $58.44. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, December 3, 2019 there was some notable buying of 838 contracts of the $60.00 put expiring on Friday, December 20, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 10.0% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 7.6% move in recent quarters.
AutoZone, Inc. (AZO) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:55 AM ET on Tuesday, December 10, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $13.69 per share on revenue of $2.76 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $14.02 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 76% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 1.63% with revenue increasing by 4.48%. Short interest has decreased by 13.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 1.1% from its open following the earnings release to be 8.9% above its 200 day moving average of $1,077.00. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 5.5% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 5.6% move in recent quarters.
Adobe Inc. (ADBE) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Thursday, December 12, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.26 per share on revenue of $2.97 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.30 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 74% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for earnings of approximately $2.25 per share. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 23.50% with revenue increasing by 20.51%. Short interest has increased by 44.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 11.2% from its open following the earnings release to be 9.1% above its 200 day moving average of $280.60. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Monday, November 25, 2019 there was some notable buying of 505 contracts of the $340.00 call expiring on Friday, December 20, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 3.9% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 3.8% move in recent quarters.
Broadcom Limited (AVGO) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:15 PM ET on Thursday, December 12, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $5.36 per share on revenue of $5.76 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $5.47 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 69% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 7.27% with revenue increasing by 5.80%. Short interest has increased by 22.8% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 6.2% from its open following the earnings release to be 9.7% above its 200 day moving average of $288.21. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, December 5, 2019 there was some notable buying of 625 contracts of the $135.00 call expiring on Friday, January 15, 2021. Option traders are pricing in a 5.2% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 4.7% move in recent quarters.
Ciena Corporation (CIEN) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Thursday, December 12, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.66 per share on revenue of $964.80 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.67 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 72% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for revenue of $945.00 million to $975.00 million. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 26.92% with revenue increasing by 7.28%. Short interest has increased by 66.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 9.5% from its open following the earnings release to be 11.0% below its 200 day moving average of $39.32. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, December 6, 2019 there was some notable buying of 1,156 contracts of the $36.00 put expiring on Friday, December 13, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 9.0% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 10.1% move in recent quarters.
MongoDB, Inc. (MDB) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Monday, December 9, 2019. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.28 per share on revenue of $99.73 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.26) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 63% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for a loss of $0.29 to $0.27 per share on revenue of $98.00 million to $100.00 million. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 15.15% with revenue increasing by 53.47%. Short interest has increased by 15.2% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 16.3% from its open following the earnings release to be 5.1% below its 200 day moving average of $138.19. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, November 19, 2019 there was some notable buying of 970 contracts of the $210.00 call expiring on Friday, December 20, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 10.1% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.7% move in recent quarters.
Chewy, Inc. (CHWY) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:10 PM ET on Monday, December 9, 2019. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.16 per share on revenue of $1.21 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.15) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 57% expecting an earnings beat. Short interest has increased by 40.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 14.6% from its open following the earnings release. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. The stock has averaged a 6.4% move on earnings in recent quarters.
Stitch Fix, Inc. (SFIX) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Monday, December 9, 2019. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.06 per share on revenue of $441.04 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.04) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 69% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for revenue of $438.00 million to $442.00 million. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 160.00% with revenue increasing by 20.43%. Short interest has increased by 30.9% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 41.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 2.4% below its 200 day moving average of $24.69. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, November 21, 2019 there was some notable buying of 1,000 contracts of the $13.00 put expiring on Friday, January 17, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 20.0% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 18.9% move in recent quarters.
Post your November 1 Predictions Here - Give Rationale for Your Prediction
Here's An American’s Prediction for November 1 TL:DR at the end This prediction is based upon the assumption Parliament cannot oust the current government before October 31, due to the limited number of days Parliament will be in session to effectively stop Johnson. The outcome is binary, either a deal or no deal, as there will be no extension; at least, not with Johnson as PM. The UK is out on October 31 to ensure ultra-wealthy businesses/trusts/individuals are NOT subject to EU Directive on Tax Avoidance. If having a deal in place prior to leaving, then the October 31 deadline would not matter. He would seek an extension as the backup plan. I do believe Johnson wants to leave with a deal as a no-deal is disastrous for everyone,in the short term. However, he wants most of the benefits of being in the EU without paying membership dues! Of course this is unsuitable to the EU; no club will exist for long if they allow non-members the same benefits as members. Johnson has a bizarre, maniacal belief the UK can pick and choose the bits and pieces of membership that are beneficial to the UK, discard the remainder and absolve the UK from any obligation to the club. Unless Johnson is willingto bend or drop one or more of the UK redlines, a no-dealBrexitis the ONLY logical outcome. The EU has been consistent with its message the framework of the WA cannot change; however, the provisions with the framework are open to discussion and possible amendment. The EU, from my outsider perspective, has been super lax with the UK in the leave process as it had only 3 main concerns:
People – what happens to EU nationals who travel or reside in the UK.
Money – Financial transactions and services as there is a high degree of integration.
Integrity of the Single Market – Block goods/services that do NOT meet EU standards.
As far as I know, the first two have been resolved and it’s the NI/RoI border causing issues. This is where Johnson needs to bend or drop UK redlines to leave with a deal. Based on rhetoric, I do NOT see Johnson dropping any of the UK redlines. A no-deal Brexit is only other option. Hence, the prorogation of Parliament. Johnson left a few days before and after proroguing Parliament to allow for the political excuse of ‘doing business as usual.’ Parliament still has a voice, just a limited amount of time to exercise it. What happens on November 1 on a no-deal Brexit? Does trade to and from the UK stop? No, of course not. WTO rules govern trade. The issue is whether the UK is prepared to efficiently process all the goods/services that were once tariff free? As far as I can tell, it is not. There will be shortages of all types of goods until the UK can catch up with the inevitable backlog. It’s not just shortages, it’s also jobs. For example, the Nissan plant in Sunderland relies upon ‘just in time’ shipping. If the plant does not receive the parts it needs, Nissan is NOT going to pay workers to stand around being idle. Furloughs or job loss will occur. Throughout the UK this will happen. The question is how much pain are Britains willing to withstand? It’s absolutely absurd to think a no-deal Brexit will have minimal impact to the UK and Britains. Thelargestproblem with getting a WApast the Parliamentis the NI/RoI border. Johnson will not bend/drop any UK redlines, there will be no agreeable WA to the UK and therefore a no-deal Brexit. What will Johnson do November 1? My guess is not a damn thing! It is political suicide to break the GFA. Many epithets can be hung on Johnson, but ‘suicidal’ is not one of them. I suspect he will do NOTHING, allowing lorries full of goods to traverse the border. The NI/RoI border is totally unenforceable will current technologies. There are approximately 208 border crossings! The whole of the EU itself only has 137 border crossings. The border between NI/RoI was NOT created to be a hard border between nations. It was constructed to ensure a maximum number of Loyalists were living within the UK. Logically, Johnson will do NOTHING, leaving border enforcement to Ireland and the EU. If there is to be political fallout with a hard border, it will not fall on Johnson. But, nations can’t just have an open border without some sort of border enforcement. This scenario will force Ireland/EU and UK into discussions for a workable solution OR pretend a border does not exist and UK will follow EU custom standards on a promise. In Johnson’s no-deal Brexit scenario, goods processed in both the UK and Ireland for cross border consumption will continue to flow without restriction UNTIL Ireland/EU ‘do something.’ Essentially, Johnson will go limpdick, forcing the otherside to generate a solution the UK finds acceptable. This is my prediction for November 1. TL:DR – Johnson crashes the UK out of the EU so the wealthy can avoid EU Directive on Tax Avoidance. Ports will be backlogged with goods waiting to be processed that were once tariff free causing slowdowns, shortages and job loss, until the UK has the ability to be efficient to handle the increased border traffic. Johnson does nothing on the NI/RoI border forcing the RoI and EU to enforce the border. Politically any fallout will be perceived to be the EU’s and RoI’s fault. The UK has no political balls!
Dear British friends,... (a rant from the continent)
This is an overly long opinion piece and a kinda vicious rant. But I have to get this off my chest because at this point in time I am lost for words to describe the incredible thing that is Brexit, therefore I'm interested in the opinion of British and other non-British people. For a couple of months now I've been watching in awe several times a month how the House of Commons, your parliament, the elected representatives of the British people, have taken up the shovel and started digging. It is a strange and surreal experience, like standing next to burning orphanage: It is horrible but I can't stop watching. Mere days ago HoC voted down every single proposal to at least mitigate some of the damage and there has not been any outburst of common sense, a thing the British always were famous for, since. To be blunt, for me it was the straw that broke the camels back. I am a German and I don't know whether my views reflect a majority or minority. I'm an engineer in the chemical industry and I have travelled to Britain often during the last 15 years. I strolled trough the countryside, I visited the big cities, I have been surprised about the excellent restaurants even in places I'd never have expected (namely the "Old School Restaurant" on the Isle of Skye. If you are there, have yourself a treat and pay it a visit!). I have met a lot of wonderful people during my visits to Britain, both on holiday and on business travels. I like Britain. A lot. And therefore it is hard to see her leave EU. To me Brexit came not so much as a shock but as a situation forcing a decision on my part too. It is sad to be left by and have to abandon you as an EU member, but it won't break my heart and in their current state neither the government nor parliament, nor the people of the UK look as if they could contribute to the EU in any meaningful way. Every single person I know thinks and most newspapers state about the offical stance of your government that it relfects a situation in which both the people as a whole and the government of the UK either don't know what can realistically be achieved or don't know what they really want at all. All polls show significant support for either side with still only relatively narrow majorities. HoC sessions during the last weeks embody this problem. It is the most undesireable state of affairs in the current situation. Regardless of your future relationship with the EU, roughly half your population will be deeply unhappy. There is no unequivocal Will Of The People. The blame game has already begun and since a huge part of your population has been swallowing untrue or at least grossly exaggerated anti-EU-crap for decades I have no hope that a significant portion of those will see through the lies. I fully expect roughly half the British to blame EU for the shitshow Brexit their government put together. If fully expect HoC to reflect that blame. And therefore in my opinion in the long run it is best for EU if UK is out as quickly as possible (but prefarble when EU is ready and europhile British have set their plans for movement to EU in motion). After the first vote in the House of Commons I watched it became clear to me that the majority of MP's don't give two single fucks about a workable solution. I don't know whether it is mostly party politics, personal animosities, cognitive dissonance, sheer incompetence or a mélange of everything. At this point in time UK is not governed well and her people are not represented by men and women capable of managing a task like withdrawing from EU. I feel sad but finally a thought that has lurked around somewhere in the background all the time has now come to the forefront: I don't want a second referndum. I don't want UK revoking A50 at the eleventh hour. I don't want UK inside EU. I want her out. I want her out for good. This is neither funny nor amusing. It will affect me negatively personally because I like travelling to Britain and therefore I've given it a lot of thought. It's a hard decission. It comes with a lot of problems for everyone involved. It will make us all poorer, it will make UK prone to falling prey to American and Chinese interests. It will weaken EU politically. But still I want UK out of EU. This situation is forcing a decission as binary as the initial referendum was: In or Out. As we say in Germany: Halbschwanger gibt's nicht (you can't be half-pregnant). Two years ago I would have been happy had HMG decided that it were in their best interest to abandon the exit and HoC had supported that decision. But two years ago the world was vastly different. Only few companies had set their plans for relocation out of UK in motion, the war rethoric wasn't as widespread and a working cross-party solution seemed at least not impossible. In my view the most crucial mistake your government made was thinking of the negotiation as a game of poker or a haggle at the bazar. I would call that the layman's approach to negotiation because I often meet it. Laymen tend to think negatiation means being secretive, playing tough and who blinks first loses - but that is not how it's done in the real world. In the real world negotiators are well prepared with data and know the strengths and weaknesses of their counterparts and their own. They use their leverage to assert compromise, not dominance. Instead of consulting actual business negotiators or senior civil servants HMG and many influential people like the ERG thought playing tough and not blinking first were viable strategies. They never really tried to assess what possibillities were on the table and what could realistically be achieved. That's why to this day, not two weaks away from the cliff-edge, no open debate about what kind of Brexit HMG should persue was held in Britain. And that's why they so fundamentally misunderstood how the EU operates and do so to this very day. They have failed to grasp that EU is first and formost an entity driven by procedure. This is a neccessity to ensure that two dozon chicks waddle at least roughly in the same direction. Therefore EUs insistance on a clear structuring of the leave process. Even in 2019 HMG have tried to negotiate with individual countries or shift the goal posts and even today they are still baffled that this approach didn't turn out well. This goes much deeper than just the Brexit negotiatons: One of the frequent criticisms of EU is that the members could never agree on anything or constantly veto each other for parochial reasons. But in practice they do agree and don't veto each other most of the time and a lot of things get done. The stance of EU during the entire Brexit process has been consistent, clear and unanimous. EU won't blink. EU will do what her representatives say. EU has one of the most efficient bureaucracies in the world - 60.000 civil servants in Brussels and Strassbourg may be a lot of people in absolute terms but the city of München alone has roughly 40.000 civil servants and the city of Hamburg has 100.000 so in relative terms it is not even that large. They have failed to realise that on a world scale the EU practically is Europe. Even without UK she contains about 60 % of the citizens, 80 % of GDP and practically all the political weight on the continent. Every single country not being a member is extremely closely aligned. Norway and Switzerland for that matter are all but members without voting rights. Even Belarus and Russia have lots of treaties and despite all the sabre rattling of the past two decades get along with each other pretty well in the long run. Unless Britain can be towed across the atlantic to the Americas there is no way in the world that the continent will not be her most important political and economic partner. Sheer geographic proximity is still and for the foreseable future will probably continue to be the most important factor when it comes to trade and alliences. They have failed to realise that Devide And Conquer won't work. It should have been clear at the very beginning of negotiations when PM May travelled to half a dozen EU countries she hoped to negotiate with sperately only to be told that the negotiations had to be conducted with the EU, not Austria, France, Germany, etc. Many people say that this was going to show first and foremost, that the British government after 40 years of membership still have no clue about the meaning and the inner workings of the EU despite being a highly influential member. I have heard people opine that at some point in time HMG started to believe their own spin about EU being hopelessly devided all the time. Sadly I too think this assessment is acurate. They have failed to realise that the four freedoms are the single market and for nearly all practical purposes the single market is the EU. They are are not negotiable because abandoning one of them would be the end of the single market and consequently the EU. And regardless to your opinion on whether the EU is overall positive or negative, no one in their right mind can realistically expect the EU to tear up herself. They have grossly overestimated their importance for the continental industry. I'm an engineer in the chemical industry and our approach to brexit can be summed up like this: It's a shame but if you must, please leave in an orderly fashion. You will be missed but ultimately the EU is of more importance to us because it's the bigger market to sell to and buy from, the bigger economic area and the vastly more powerful political entity. If you leave in an orderly fashion there will be some disturbances but ultimately your industry will still be valuable. If you crash out there will be a period of trouble and disorder after which a lot of business will be gone. So please avoid that on all cost. Again keep in mind: Losing you will be expensive but losing the EU will be desastrous. So be in no doubt as to the seriousness of your position. They have failed to understand continental and particularly French and German foreign policy after world war II. By far the most important topic for our foreign policy is keeping peace with our neighbours and deepen our economic and cultural interactions in order to cement this peace. This is in fact where the whole project of a united Europe started from in the early 1950's, when French foreign minister Schuman and German chancellor Adenauer signed a treaty about Franco-German coal and steel production that quickly morphed into the ECSC, than the EEC and ultimately the EU. With the very first paragraph of the Treaty of Rome stating exactly that. A lot of British people still think EU started as a pure trade community but that is wrong. As early as 1951 the ECSC contained the seeds of all the departments, bodies and organs of todays EU. They have failed to grasp that while we don't want you to leave we won't fight to keep you in. We have no obligation to help you beyond what is in our best interest. We don't want to punish you but we won't let you keep your benefits when leaving. The responsibility of the EU is first and foremost to the members of the EU - which you aren't going to be anymore soon. We will do our best to make the EU a success - it is your own responsibility to make Britain a success. We will do everything we can to ensure that EU comes out of this mess in the best possible way. If along that way Uk also comes out in the best possible way, we will all be pleased. If UK sinks into chaos we won't be pleased at all but again: Being successful out of EU is UK's responsibility. Please keep that in mind: We are not against you. We are for us. They don't understand why the members of the EU stand firm in the current situation. There's an expression so German there isn't a proper english idiom: "Pack schlägt sich, Pack verträgt sich" which means that, whereas members of a group are prone to fight with each other, they are equally prone to make peace again quickly, especially when confronted with a sitatuation concerning the group as a whole. A situation, for instance, like Brexit. Many people in Brtain grossly overestimate the problems of member states, particularly their problems with the EU. They have overestimated the anti-EU sentiment on the continent. While it is true that a lot of people are openly critical or even against EU there is no mainstream party openly campaigning for their country to leave anymore. Even in France, Germany and Italy the tone of that parties has considerably mellowed. In Britain anti-EU fringe is mainstream politics and has been for as long as I can remember. Goverments of France, Germany, etc. are dealing with their political extremists but in blaming the EU for every decission of British politics (No ID cards, low taxes, low regulation, lack of industrial policy, privatising vital assets, crushing workers rights, etc.) successive British governments have actively persued anti-EU populsim and in effect executed anti-EU agendas by chosing to leave the EU. You don't have to be affraid of a rise of a new fringe party or a rebirth of UKIP, because you have the Conservative Party and the anti-EU wing of Labour. Even without UKIP and the like anit-EU sentiment is a strong force in your political environment. Successive British governments have loudly blamed the EU for politics completely within their realm of responsibility. Even further: They have loudly embraced the anti-immigrant and anti-EU crowd while at the same time doing exactly the opposite: You are governed by the same PM who sent Vans saying "Go Home!" through high-immigration boroughs and oversaw the windrush scandal while doing bugger all to excersise any meaningful form of control over immigration (COMPLETE for non-EU- and VAST for EU-immigration). You are governed by the very party that kept blaming the EU for any interior British problems despite the fact that they were home grown. Examples: EU regulation on immigration has been written largly by British lawmakers in the 1990. Immigration doesn't need to be unrestricted under EU regulation. It is your government that chose for 25 years not to excersise their options. The large disparity in income has nothing to do with EU regulation - in fact Britain always has been a pain in the ass when it comes to further regulation and strengthening workers rights (Remember how Thatcher crushed the Unions?). Going full turbo-capitalism and trying to pull off a Singapore most likely is also no realistic option because an area state like UK is significantly different to a city state. Dropping all tariffs would probably either destroy the remaining manufacturing or forcing much harsher conditions on British workers. In addition the national distribution of wealth would be even more shifted towards the large cities, because the one top-tier world class industry UK has is financial services which are overwhelmingly provided by firms in those large cities. Your government tried to negotiate with individual EU countries dozens of times during the last 2,5 years and was denied every single time. Of course politicians clad the message in fine talking along the lines of "Of course we are looking forward to mutally attractive trade aggreements after Britain leaves the EU" or "We are prepared to basically copy the agreements that be" but I am quite certain that the very moment after Britains departure has been in force, she will be swarmed by cohorts of negotiators from basically every conutry in the world saying things along the lines of "Of course we would like to have the basically same deal. Juuuuuust some minor adjustments here and there and here too and, oh, also over there. And that point we surely can drop at all but this one we'd like to discuss a little further...". Please keep in mind that for close to three years now UK has been loudly announcing to the world that after four decades of discussion she was unable to agree on a clear idea of what her position in the world should look like after Brexit. The referendum was almost three years ago. And still the question has not been answered by UK. Surely many individual opinions float around but HMG haven't managed to form a coherent strategy by taking them into due account. Instead you got soundbites like "Brexit Means Brexit" and "Will Of The People" and "We voted to leave" without defining what options to persue. The rest of the world know this. They can see it with their very eyes and hear it with their very ears. They've been watching! They've been taking notes! I am absolutely certain that whole branches of the civil services of all the major and emerging nations are working overtime to review all the treaties they now have with EU in order to find items they could renegotiate to their advantage with UK. For the last three years private and public executives have taken notice of the negotiation process and how UK conducted herself in contrast to EU. Be in no doubt which entity is regarded as the more professional, better prepared, reasonable, stable and united one. Especially after the latest parliamentary sessions. In my opinion Britain at this point in time has a MASSIVE problem with herself, exemplified through the division amongst MP of either party, parliament as a whole, subgroups in HMG and a public that is roughly split in half over the question of Brexit. In my humble opinion the damage UK in her current state could inflict on EU as a whole in the immediate future is far greater than she could as a third country, even after a hard Brexit. Surely, A50 could be revoked tomorrow but there is no way in the world to undo the effects of Brexit. In her current state Britain as an EU member would likely sent outright EU enemies to the European Parliament. She would be a pain int the ass in any future decission and discussion - even if HMG would want to stay in EU in the goodest of faiths the rift running through the public and the HoC would still be there and continue to be a ball and chain to anything the EU27 would want to get done. Im totally absolutely positively certain that not five years after a possible revokation of A50 the PM would arrive in Brussels for renegotiation of UKs terms of membership. I am equally certain British politicians of either party would continue to shift the blame for their unpopular decissions on EU (that British press will do so is a given regardless of the outcome of Brexit). There is deep disparity between the city and the countryside, the poor people and the rich, the well educated and the not well educated. As far as I can see far deeper than for instance in France, Germany or Italy. If UK government won't be able to fix this they (I'm pretty sure they won't) will look for a scapegoat and this will most likely be EU. Therefore I don't want British MEP. I don't want people of a country leaving EU in the near future to have seats and influence or even sabotage decisions in the European Parliament. I particularly don't want the likes of Farage there. I don't want EU hampared by pointless obstruction of MEP who won't have to live with the consequences. It is, in my humble opinion, positively bat-shit crazy to consider the party that is now in government, the party that went full steam austerity, the party that is home to the most vicious desaster capitalists currently influencing British politics, the party that it is even deeper rooted by private networks than my garden is by the blackberry on the adjacent meadow, the very party that has achieved next to nothing in almost three years time will champion a new soically sound domestic policy improving the lives of the poor and precarious after having left EU. It is, again in my humble opinion, at least very naive to assume that the current opposition, lead by a life-long anti-EU campaigner and with a strong anti-EU wing of her own, having not taken a clear stance on whether to be in favour or against Brexit, under the constraints the loss of all those international treaties will pose, can implement even a small portion of their proposed legislation with success. And thusly, as a German and EU citizen who wants as little fallout from your internal problems as possible to go down over the rest of Europe, I want you out of EU. Obviously neither HMG nor HoC nor a sizable part of the public can be trusted to rely on EU for anything but her being a whipping girl for her internal struggles and unpopular decissions. I don't suspect this to stop, change or even gain significant backlash in the next years. This is not only recognized by little old me, but certainly by decission makers all around the globe. UK, once upon a time the mightiest and most adored nation in the world, home to the finest scientists, industries and ruler over a quarter of the earths surface not hundred years ago, will soon have cut herself off one of the biggest, richest and most powerful blocs in the world. UK will than govern roughly 1/100 of world population, less than 1/100 of military personnel, 2 % of wealth without any meaningful treaty, besides her NATO membership, to anyone anymore. She will be on her own. A ship on the high seas with a crew that can't even set a course after years of discussion. Please keep in mind that on the world scale UK, when anything besides financial services is considered, is a high-wage-low-productivity country. Practically all your industries are heavily dependend on, and heavily aligned to frictionless trade. Domestic farming for instance provides UK people with locally produced food (People everywhere love to eat "homegrown"), manufacturing often provides well paid work outside the big cities and in rural areas. Without the political power of EU and the hundreds of treaties with other countries she provides, UK is sigificantly weakening the prospects of her remaining industries. This is not news. A lot of people in UK know this. A lot of people all around the globe know this. I still hope that there can be an agreement found in the next week, but with each day going by it looks less likely to me. Still a lot of people can't imagine what sort fo havoc a No-Deal Brexit is bound to wreak but I fear they are going to be in for a serious reality check very soon. It is a cold world after all. Take care.
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