Alchanati Campbell & Associates
Gratitude and empathy: these are words for the developed world. For those who got lucky in the Ovarian Lottery. For those who live a life where food, shelter, and survival is a given. It’s handed to us and fed to us and bestowed upon us. There are no questions asking if we deserved this or earned this through hard work and sweat. To receive these is natural; we’ve become accustomed to it. Two characteristics; selfless acts that show you’re conscious of your being. Two characteristics that would balance out your ego, self-pity, inaccurate hatred and all the other nonsense noise in the background. Because there’s absolutely no reason for those. Let’s get to it:
The Ovarian Lottery. “You don’t know whether you’re going to be born rich or poor, male or female, infirm or able-bodied, in the US or Afghanistan. All you know is that you get to take one ball out of 5.8 billion balls. And that’s you,” (Warren Buffett). This is called the “Ovarian Lottery”. It’s how I got so lucky to live the life I have. I won the lottery with my parents. I won the lottery with my brother and sister. I won the lottery with my extended family, friends and the opportunities and experiences I have had. But not everybody is as lucky as I am. One of the greatest challenges of this world is to appreciate and enjoy what we ourselves have- even though there are others who have more.
Wealth inequality. In order to survive, any flowing system must evolve to increase its access to flow. If movement is hierarchical, then so is wealth. For example, our highway systems operate through a few large, high-capacity freeways and many small, local streets. Today, globalization continues to create an unequal distribution of wealth over the population. As time moves on, inequality cannot be avoided even with legislation.
The Fed. Interest rates went unchanged on Wednesday. The Fed has committed to a more patient approach of hiking rates which means slower interest rate increases on the horizon.
PG&E goes bankrupt…. again. Just a few nights ago The Pacific Gas and Electric board of directors voted to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This move is not surprising since the company did the same thing after the energy crisis in 2001 and has considered it several other times. There are two main options a company can choose from if it wants to file for bankruptcy. A company can file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 11. Chapter 7 is used when a company has no viable future and their debts are so massive that they have no choice but to liquidate the company. Chapter 11 is known as a business reorganization and that allows the business to restructure their debts and present a plan of how they will pay back their creditors. California lawmakers and financial analysts have speculated that PG&E has no need to file for bankruptcy and that PG&E, one of the nation’s largest utilities would be able to pay off their debts in spite of the recent fires. Equipment owned by PG&E caused at least 17 of the 21 major wildfires that burned through California in 2017 and may be responsible for several of the fires of 2018. 98 civilians and 6 firefighters died from the 2018 fires. Liabilities for these fires cost the company $30 billion, bringing their total debt to $52 billion at the end of September. It is possible that PG&E is using their leverage as a large utility and Chapter 11 bankruptcy to avoid directly paying for the damage they caused in the recent wildfires. Whatever the case may be, California lawmakers voted to allow PG&E to take out 10 billion dollars in bank loans to continue operations through the bankruptcy. It is likely that PG&E will continue to power most of Central and Northern California and remain a major U.S. utility throughout the bankruptcy as taxpayers and customers help foot the bill.
The current state of Venezuela. Over the last week, Venezuela has gone from bad to worse, as hyperinflation runs rampant in the country leaving people starving on the streets with nothing but a shattered government to turn to. An entire briefcase of money could barely buy you a pack of toilet paper as the annual inflation rate grew past 1,300,000%. Infrastructures crucial to daily life like health care and transportation are crumbling. On January 23rd, Juan Guaidó, the leader of the legislature, declared himself acting president on the grounds that the recently reelected president, Nicolás Maduro, won the presidency by using force and corruption. The US along with several other nations are recognizing Juan Guaidó as the rightful president which has only escalated political tensions. Nations all over the world continue to show interest in the situation because Venezuela has one of the largest oil reserves in the world.
The Alchanati Campbell and Associates Team
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