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09-SEPTEMBER 21-2023

The MagicGood morning.  The rising inflation of the past few years has more than offset the rise in wages that occurred during the pandemic.  Many workers are pushing for higher wages as a result. Those in unionized workforces are pushing for big hikes – or they’ll go on strike.
We’re already seeing strikes impact the major U.S. autoworkers.  But members of Kaiser Permanente may go on strike in several Eastern states, which could lead to a strike expanding to healthcare workers as well.
If strikers get their demands met, companies will need to raise prices to offset higher labor costs… which could kick off another wave of inflation. Investors and traders alike should keep an eye on the trend.  If it continues to strengthen, it may mean lower returns in sectors seeing big wage jumps.

Now here’s the rest of the news:

Government Revenues Way Down Even With Tax Hikes
In August 2022, President Joe Biden signed the misnamed Inflation Reduction Act into law, which included a new tax on companies’ financial statement income, new IRS funding to increase audits and more taxes on… [Read Here]

Why Housing Is Unaffordable For Most People
This is the direct consequence of the Federal Reserve’s decades of stimulus: extremes of financial inequality that gave the wealthiest the means to bid up housing to the point it’s no longer affordable… [Read Here]

September 21, 2022

Complaints VS ComplimentsGood morning.
With the stock market down heavily over the past 10 months, there are some relative bargains now.  But looking at overall market valuation, we still look a bit expensive.  In fact, by some measures, we’re still incredibly overpriced, even compared to the stock market in 2008 or the dotcom peak in 2000.
One such indicator is the stock market’s total capitalization relative to gross domestic product.  Dubbed the “Buffett Indicator” as a preferred measure of valuation by Warren Buffett, it has a current reading of 2.44.  Historically, that’s high, with the dotcom peak hitting just 2.11.  And that’s after the market has been moving down for the better part of a year.
Today’s investors and traders alike can look at this as another piece of data that we’re not out of the woods yet, and we may see some downside pressure in the coming weeks.

Now here’s the rest of the news:

Living Standards Plummet Across The Globe
The ill-considered sanctions against Russia have exposed the most acute problems of Europe which is rapidly losing its economic power.  A tremendous amount of businesses are on the verge of bankruptcy. A flood of migrants from… [Read Here]

How The Fed Could Crash The Housing Market
Investors are getting spooked that the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes could damage the U.S. economy (just look at Tuesday’s selloff).  One area of growing concern: housing. Interest rate hikes can lead to higher mortgage rates… [Read Here]

September 21, 2021

Summer Fun_39Good morning.
Most investors have been bracing for a market pullback for some time, and it’s something we’ve been warning about even before Evergrande started its collapse.  Typically, seasonal drops this time of year lead to a pullback of 5-10 percent.  Investors should consider 1-2 of these drops in the course of a normal year.  With monetary and fiscal policy still at full throttle to support the economy, this level of a drop has been far and few between.
Now, research from Morgan Stanley suggests that the odds of a full-blown bear market, with a 20 percent correction, are on the rise.  The investment bank already has a year-end target for the S&P 500 about 10 percent below current levels.  While that would still lead to an up year for the market, it would also take a lot of current profits off the table.  For now, extreme caution in the market is the name of the game.

Now here’s the rest of the news:

The $700 Billion Gimmick at the Center of Biden’s Tax Plan –Eric Boehm, Reason
Biden’s plan will raise taxes on individuals earning as little as $30,000 annually by 2027, but that’s just a trick to make the overall cost look lower… [Read Here]

September 21, 2020

My WordGood morning.
Stocks continued their recent slide on Friday, as many big tech names faced analyst downgrades, adding some salt in the wound to the recent selloff.
Even worse, the drop on Friday allowed the S&P 500 Index to slide under its 50-day moving average.  In the short-term, that’s a bearish indicator that there’s more trouble ahead, and another 10 percent decline may be in the cards for the next few weeks.

Now here’s the rest of the news:

Gold Price Could Double
“I think the drivers for gold strength not only remain but actually have been strengthened.  Central bank money printing isn’t really solving problems, it’s delaying the problem.  Gold will benefit purely from being a physical asset that you cannot print.” –Diego Parrilla

September 21, 2019

Record SalesGood morning,
In aa era of over-the-top corporate CEO’s, Patrick Byrne often vies for the top spot.  Having announced his resignation from, he also filed a Form 4 showing that he sold his entire stake in the company, worth around $90 million.
With that wealth, Byrne reports that he’s looking to invest the pile of dough into gold, silver, and cryptocurrencies, where he dabbled while running Overstock.  His rationale?  To keep his wealth outside the hands of the “deep state.”

**  **  **

Just got handed a copy of Harvey Mackay’s Nationally Syndicated Weekly Column Distributed In 100 Newspapers Around The Country…

Don’t Mess With Home Plate

John Scolinos - Hall Of FameCoach John Scolinos was legendary among college baseball coaches.  Over his 45-year career he was the head baseball coach at Pepperdine University from 1946 to 1960 and at California State Polytechnic University Pomona from 1962 to 1991, compiling a career college baseball record of 1,070 wins, 954 losses and 13 ties.  Scolinos was also the head football coach at Pepperdine from 1955 to 1959.

But those numbers aren’t what define him, or what people probably remember him for.  Rather, his most memorable moments are quite possibly a speech he delivered that talked about the importance of seventeen inches.

In January 1996, the 78-year-old Scolinos addressed 4,000 baseball coaches at the 52nd annual American Baseball Coaches Association convention in Nashville, Tenn.  For many, his presence alone was worth the cost of attending.

He took the stage to a standing ovation.  Dressed in dark pants and a light blue shirt, his outfit was accessorized by a full-sized, bright white home plate hanging from a string around his neck.  He spoke for 25 minutes without acknowledging his unusual attire.

And then, he explained.  “You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck.  Or maybe you think I escaped from Camarillo State Hospital,” he began.  “No, I may be old, but I’m not crazy.  The reason I stand before you is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about baseball in 78 years.

“Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?” he asked the Little League coaches who were there.  “Seventeen inches,” someone replied.

“That’s right,” he said.  “How about in Babe Ruth’s day?”  Another coach hollered out, “Seventeen inches?”

Addressing the high school coaches in the room, “How wide is home plate in high school?”  “Seventeen inches,” came the reply.


“You’re right!”  Scolinos barked.  He repeated the question to the college, minor league and major league coaches in the audience.  The answer never varied.  Seventeen inches.

“And what do they do with a big league pitcher who can’t throw the ball over 17 inches?  They send him to Pocatello (Idaho),” he said.

“What they don’t do is this: They don’t say, Ah, that’s okay Jimmy.  You can’t hit a 17-inch target?  We’ll make it 18 inches, or 19 inches.  We’ll make it 20 inches so you have a better chance of hitting it.  If you can’t hit that, let us know se we can make it wider still, say 25 inches.

“Coaches, what do we do when our best player shows up late to practice . . . What if he gets caught drinking . . . Do we hold him accountable?  Or do we change the rules to fit him?  Do we widen home plate?” he challenged the audience.

Scolinos went on to illustrate his points, drawing on the home plate he wore.  He outlined the consequences of bending the rules and failing to insist on performing up to standards not only for players, but for themselves, their children, schools, churches and government.  The spellbound crowd learned so much more than baseball lessons that day.

His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players — no matter how good they are — your own children, your churches, your government, and most of all, keep yourself, ALL, at 17 inches.”

This lesson applies across all disciplines.  We all have superstars in our organizations, and if we are lucky, they hold themselves to the standards we have set for all employees.  If they haven’t achieved that discipline, it is up to management to hold them accountable.  And management must be up to the task.

Every organization has a metric that can be compared to 17 inches.  Figure out what it is and insist on that standard for everyone.

Demanding the best from yourself is a perfect place to start.  It doesn’t matter whether you are in the mailroom or the corner office.  Be an example for all those around you, regardless of your position.

And then watch what happens.  Pride of accomplishment, increased productivity, more job satisfaction.  When people know they are performing at their best, the entire organization benefits.  And customers notice a difference too.  All because you understood the importance of 17 inches.

Coach Scolinos left this world 10 years ago.  Perhaps he never knew how many have benefited from his inspired advice.  But I know I will never look at home plate the same way again.

Mackay’s Moral: Keeping your standards high is the only way to play the game of life.  🙂

Come From Aways, Do You?

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