Alchanati Campbell & Associates
Dear Reader,Dominance. Some say it’s cruel and inhumane. Some say it creates inequality and supports greed. But I say it’s necessary for success. “Only weak people get upset, complain and give up”, “survival of the fittest”, “don’t be afraid of confrontation, people are more afraid of you”, “be hard to get”, “always be an alpha male”, “nobody will ever tell me no again, I am going to make sure of that”, “do not dwell on anything. When something bad or unpleasant happens, move on right away”, “never give a fuck”, and “don’t express weakness to others”. These are the principles you live by; created from mistakes and forged from the reflections of those mistakes. You’re a creator and an innovator. You work for yourself and you don’t take shit from others. You know that what’s yours is yours and you accept everything that happens outside of your control.You’ve built and strengthened a mindset that you live by. But sometimes, you take it too far. You lose your sense of humanity and your touch to love and be loved. The taste of greatness causes you to prioritize work and business over everything else. You can no longer smell the roses and beauty is only green with dollar signs. There needs to be a balance: work and play, give and take, want and be wanted, respect and be respected. You might be an asshole to others, but to yourself, you’re just pulling strings and playing with puppets.
The Market. China’s economy grew 6.2% between April and June, the slowest growth since the early 1990s. The bond market is driven by the state of the economy and the sentiment of bond traders. The Feds now believe that there is a disconnection between inflation, unemployment, and economic growth. In 2018, the number of people suffering from hunger soared to an eight-year high to a total of 822 million. Manufacturers of car parts are starting to innovate the wheels, tires, headlights, and glass to prepare for autonomous driving. Humans generated 2.01 billion tons of solid waste in 2016 and by 2050, that could rise to 3.4 billion tons (12% of all municipal waste in 2016 was plastic). Uncertainty from trade conflicts, weakening economic growth, expectations of a bad earnings season, and increasing tension between the US and Iran are making investors nervous. Professionals are suggesting investment interest in: global telecommunication stocks, diversifying into international stocks like European equity, and infrastructure funds. The Feds signaled that they would act as appropriate to sustain the expansion of the economy. Investors need to start preparing for a world with lower interest rates.
Why Amazon is NOT a monopoly. Amazon is a big e-commerce company, and it’s getting bigger every day. But Amazon is not huge. Last quarter, they took in $34.2 billion in sales, but only profited a mere $3.5 billion. Total annual retail revenue in the US in 2016 was $3.7 trillion dollars… Amazon accounted for only 3.6% of that. Now you can defend by saying that Amazon commanded 43% of all online sales in 2016 and 1 in 4 US adults are Amazon Prime members, so obviously that defines them as a monopoly. Then I would rebuttal by saying: Webster defines a monopoly as “exclusive ownership through legal privilege, command of supply, or concerted action”. In terms of retail sales, Amazon represents much less than 10%. That’s about 20% shy of the amount needed to demonstrate monopoly power. Furthermore, they don’t have a control on supply. This is where their business plan comes into play. Yes, they generate billions in sales, but they lose billions in discounts. They do this to hook more people into prime, and their other services. Granted, many prime subscribers use Amazon for the vast majority of their online purposes, but that is a consumer choice simply because of what Amazon offers. Countless stores have an online presence. The only real “barrier to entry” that stops another online mega-retailer like Amazon from popping up is demand. There are thousands of online stores that customers can choose from. This is a perfect demonstration of competition. In a monopoly, there is no real competition. It only seems like Amazon is above the competition because they have expanded their business into other industries to attract customers. Think about it. If you as a consumer can have a one-stop-shop, wouldn’t you go there as often as possible?
Happiness and well-being. Happiness is simply the balance of pleasure over pain. Happiness is achieved by finding a balance in life between what you can achieve and accepting what you cannot. Happiness is influenced by factors such as health, status, employment, and family. Well-being is a balance in the domains of life; health, work, and social relationships. Psychological well-being consists of self-acceptance, positive relations with others, autonomy, environmental mastery, purpose in life, and personal growth. Family, health, and friends are the highest-ranked social values.
Attitudes towards taxation. Society depends on the revenues from taxes to provide essential public services like education and healthcare. But many people hate to pay taxes, and some do not pay taxes. Tax evaders fail to pay 17% of tax dollars owed to the US, costing the US hundreds of billions of dollars each year. People would be more inclined to pay taxes if they believed that wealth incurs a responsibility to give back to society. Reframing the meaning of wealth can shape people’s attitudes about paying their taxes. Wealth-as-responsibility is the idea that wealth confers a responsibility to give back to society.People might feel better about paying taxes after recognizing that their financial success is due in part to societal factors. And when individuals receive messages and notices conveying the idea that wealth confers a responsibility to give back to society, it can enhance their satisfaction with taxation.
Time over money. Prioritizing time over money encourages greater investment in daily social interactions. Valuing time over money facilitates social connection. Busyness comes at a social cost: not having enough time to spend with friends and family. People who valued time over money made decisions that enabled them to have more free time. Those who value time over money spend less time working versus socializing with new peers as compared to students who valued money more than time. People who valued money more than time were less interested in social interactions that could come at a cost to their ability to study or work. People who valued money versus time were less interested in workplace interactions that could potentially have an immediate cost to their productivity. The tradeoffs you make between time and money will directly impact your social connectedness.
What is Libra? Libra is Facebook’s ‘failing’ attempt at redefining the financial institution and the central reserve currency as we know it. They have ambitious goals to launch a faux cryptocurrency which shares few aspects with the general industry, through a centralized attempt at taking over the traditional payment processing system, through reducing fees and cutting down transaction times to seconds. Libra is a digital currency and it will have a slight backing to a basket of currencies and government securities, although the user can never directly turn in their Libra for a share of this pool. Government entities are cautious regarding allowing Facebook, one of the largest tech companies in the world, to delve into the finance industry. If they were able to capture a small portion of current financial transactions, cross-country flows using western union, and from their current user-base, they would be one of the largest financial institutions in the world. This poses the question, do you trust Facebook all that much to allow that to happen?
The Alchanati Campbell and Associates Team
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