I am NOT RETIRED from the Securities Finance industry. I have recently completed several projects (below) and am looking to lend my almost 40 years of expertise to firms via consulting or via full-time positions.
- I designed and crafted an 11-week state-of-the-art virtual training/e education course on the Fundamentals of Repo, consulting with Pierpoint’s Finance Academy. You can learn more about the course here: https://www.pierpoint.info/courses/the-fundamentals-of-repo.
- I continue to share my opinion and expertise with the industry through articles in various periodicals.
- I have been consulting with an electronic trading platform, potentially for Repo.
- I have been consulting for 2 years on a new product for the Repo market, Modified Repo, which could solve many industry issues, from liquidity to balance sheet optimization, to even Firesale Risk.
- I am participating as the Repo expert for the Pierpoint Alpha Community (PAC)- training/networking/brainstorming/question-answering group, Pierpoint Alpha Community (PAC), and subsequent forums.
So, if you need my Securities Financing expertise or access to my vast network of about 9000 clients, contact me at
My Repo Commentary is posted FREE (it’s actually always been free) on my website: www.repocommentary.com. It also pops up on LinkedIn, the Global Investors Group (ISF Magazine) website, and on CentralBanks.com as an op-ed. I am interested in entertaining you and taking your mind off the pressures you are under at work or even remotely. Since its inception in 1982, the Repo Commentary does not represent the views of any of my former employers and reflects only my opinion and includes only publicly available information. I make a strong effort to attribute any quotes or thoughts that are not my own, I do not make any marketing spiels, and I really am more interested in entertaining (70-80%) you than boring (20-30%) you with too much market info. You have more than enough stress already! Feel free, as always, to send me information, comments or pictures, to make it better!
Holidays or Events (08/23):
- Buttered Corn Day
- Cuban Sandwich Day
- European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism
- Hug Your Sweetheart Day
- International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition
- Internaut Day
- National Cheap Flight Day
- National Sponge Cake Day
- Valentino Day
- Ride the Wind Day
- Battle of Kursk Day (Russia)
- Day of the National Flag (Ukraine)
- Liberation from Fascist Occupation Day (Romania)
- International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition
- National Day for Physicians (Iran)
- Umhlanga Day (Swaziland)
Some Famous People Born on (08/23):
- 1754-Louis XVI of France
- 1785-Oliver Hazard Perry, American commander
- 1890-Harry Frank Guggenheim, American businessman and publisher, co-founded Newsday
- 1912-Gene Kelly, American actor, singer, and dancer
- 1917-Tex Williams, singer-songwriter and guitarist
- 1931-Barbara Eden, American actress and singer
- 1932-Mark Russell, American comedian and pianist
- 1934-Sonny Jurgensen, American football player and sportscaster
- 1943-Nelson DeMille-American lieutenant and author
- 1946-Keith Moon-English drummer, songwriter, and producer
- 1949-Shelley Long-American actress
- 1949-Rick Springfield-Australian-American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor
- 1958-Julio Franco, Dominican baseball player and manager
- 1966-Rik Smits, Dutch-American basketball player
- 1968-Chris DiMarco, American golfer
- 1970-Jay Mohr, American actor, producer, screenwriter
- 1970-River Phoenix, American actor, producer, screenwriter
- 1978-Kobe Bryant, American basketball player and businessman
- 1990-Mike Yastrzemski, American baseball player, grandson of my favorite all-time baseball player, Yaz. I found this cool too, his grandfather, Carl, celebrated his birthday on 8/22, the day before Mike.
Daily Weird Facts (from factslides.com):
There are over 500,000 alcohol-related deaths in Russia each year.
“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.”—William Morris
Currency and Commodity Markets:
Oil prices closed at:
$74.34/barrel on 10/5/18
$47.66/barrel on 12/23/18
$48.63 on 01/07/19
$73.77/barrel on 4/29
$58.81/barrel on 1/17/20
$35.92/barrel on 3/11
$27.15/barrel on 3/18
$24.90/barrel on 4/01
$31.80/barrel on 4/12
$28.31/barrel on 4/17
$20.03/barrel on 4/27
$35.69/barrel on 5/20
$50.70/barrel on 01/04/21
$66.34/barrel on 03/05
$61.30/barrel on 04/01
$63.68/barrel on 05/13
$72.25/barrel on 06/15
$74.86/barrel on 07/02, just where it was on 10/5/18 at the top of the list. What a roller coaster!
$72.30/barrel on 07/15
$68.03/barrel on 08/13
$68.06/barrel on 09/09
$90.99/barrel on 02/18/22
$97.28/barrel on 07/22/22
$94.47/barrel on 08/02/22
$90.59/barrel on 08/22/22
My West Palm Beach gas station is charging $3.44/gallon, down 50 cents in 2 weeks, and below the national average.
One USD versus the Yen was trading at (these are all around Repo Commentary dates:
104.80 on 02/07/20
99.23 on 03/11/20
103.55 on 12/16/20
110.63 on 04/01/21
108.61 on 04/28/21
110.05 on 06/15/21
111.44 on 07/02/21
109.94 on 07/15/21
109.59 on 08/13/21
109.92 on 09/10/21
115.15 on 02/18/22
136.03 on 07/21/22
132.15 on 08/01/22
137.51 on 08/21/22
One Euro was trading on:
12/24/18 at $1.1426
12/06/19 at $1.1688
03/11/20 at $1.1937
05/04/20 at $1.0903
12/16/20 at $1.2196
02/04/21 at $1.2625
04/01/21 at $1.1774
04/28/21 at $1.2123
07/02/21 at $1.1822
07/15/21 at $1.1806
08/13/21 at $1.1797
09/10/21 at $1.1820
02/18/22 at $1.1342
07/21/22 at $1.0236
08/01/22 at $1.0201
08/21/22 at $.9943 wow! We started this at $1.08. Highest since 2002
One British Pound was trading on:
12/24/18 at $1.2655
12/06/19 at $1.3819
02/07/20 at $1.3574
03/24/20 at $1.2231
12/16/20 at $1.3494
02/16/21 at $1.3903
06/15/21 at $1.4083
07/02/21 at $1.3743
07/15/21 at $1.3819
08/13/21 at $1.3866
09/10/21 at $1.385
02/18/22 at $1.3583
07/21/22 at $1.2017
08/01/22 at $1.2222
08/21/22 at $1.1763 uh oh
One USD versus the CAD at:
1.3442 on 12/24/18
1.2530 on 12/06/19
1.2390 on 01/17/20
1.3540 on 03/18/20
1.2752 on 12/16/20
1.2186 on 06/15/21
1.2417 on 07/02/21
1.2539 on 07/15/21
1.2515 on 08/13/21
1.2644 on 09/10/21
1.2737 on 02/18/22
1.2877 on 07/21/22
1.2848 on 08/01/22
1.3051 on 08/21/22 getting stronger
With data showing continuing price increases and the Fed’s aggressive action to combat that inflation, precious metals, a historic hedge against inflation, one would think Gold would be advancing. But, it has been dormant. Gold prices:
07/27/20 a record $1,944.71/ounce
01/04/21 a new record $1,948.00
Bitcoin was trading at (around Repo Commentary Dates):
$8,185.21 on 7/25/18
$6,350.00 on 10/5/18
$3,774.97 on 12/24/18
$3,598.90 on 01/16/19
$3,421.10 on 02/06/19
$8,100.00 on 05/16/19
$7,215.79 on 05/17/19
$11,919.30 on 06/25/19
$9,790.37 on 07/24/19
$10,183.90 on 09/10/19
$8,235.46 on 10/02/19
$7,470.41 on 12/06/19
$8,876.87 on 01/17/20
$9,793.18 on 02/07/20
$7,871.60 on 03/11/20
$3,867.00 on 03/13/20
$5,216.64 on 03/18/20
$6,728.03 on 03/24/20
$7,748.29 on 04/27/20
$8,775.36 on 05/04/20 pre halving event
$9,794.46 on 06/04/20 post halving event
$10,849.00 on 07/27/20
$15,160.90 on 11/10/20
$19,411.50 on 11/30/20
$20,665.10 on 12/16/20
$31,592.20 on 01/04/21
$36,607.50 on 02/04/21
$48,526.90 on 02/16/21
$58,093.71 on 02/21/21
$43,170.01 on 02/28/21
$49,207.43 on 03/05/21
$58,979.60 on 04/01/21
$63,237.00 on 04/15/21
$54,886.50 on 04/28/21
$54,242.00 on 05/12/21
$39,804.90 on 06/15/21
$33,039.30 on 07/02/21
$31,280.00 on 07/15/21
$47,796.20 on 08/13/21 ouch what a whipsaw!
$46,574.40 on 09/09/21
$67,582.60 on 11/08/21 not a Commentary date, but the all-time high
$35,070.10 on 01/22/22 not a Commentary date, but relevant to show its volatility
$40,015.10 on 02/18/22
$23,143.10 on 07/22/22
$22,975.30 on 08/02/22
$21,169.80 on 08/21/22 down 340.60
On 3/13/20, just post COVID-19 breakout, Bitcoin had cratered at $3,867. It rallied sharply in the last few weeks before the ‘halving event’ on 5/12/20, its 3rd halving event. It exploded in early 2021, as new corporate investors (including Elon Musk) jumped in. On 4/15/21, it hit a high of $63,237. It made almost exactly a 50% downward correction, falling back to early 2021 levels, wiping out all 2021 gains. All of a sudden, it began climbing higher again in the Fall of 2021, hitting an all-time high of $67,582.10 on 11/08/21. But, volatility wasn’t over and was not for the faint of heart. The SEC signaled it is willing to take a hard line approach towards cryptoasset regulation and what Chair Gary Gensler has called the “Wild West of finance”, by threatening to sue Coinbase over a plan to offer accounts that pay interest on cryptoasset holdings. This has also intensified the debate about the SEC’s jurisdiction over cryptoassets. All of this led to another massive correction of nearly 50% (again), bringing it down to interim low of $35,070.10 on 01/22/22. Now, as I look at the moves since I wrote the last Repo Commentary, it was about $40,015 then and rallied to $47,454 on 03/28/22. Then it started the long road down, cratering at $18,948 on 06/18/22. It is currently struggling to maintain some upward momentum, but it is creating a long period of stable prices, which may lead to a breakout. Blockchain suffered on Friday, with blockchain stocks opening lower and cryptocurrencies generally weaker, with Bitcoin and Ethereum both plunging. My sources are still speaking regularly to me about Staking and Mining. They also are now talking about auction bidding for NFTs. Since the beginning of the year, the value of cryptoassets held in decentralized finance entities, commonly called DeFi, has fallen from $170 billion to about $61 billion, according to data provider Defi Llama. This industry suffered a major blow when the US Treasury sanctioned Tornado Cash, a platform which helps traders enhance their anonymity.
The Belfast Telegraph reports how Brexit and a blundering DUP have ensured that United Kingdom union’s days may well be numbered. If there was a poll tomorrow, 48% of the Irish would vote to remain in the UK and 41% would vote to continue the Irish unity. Meanwhile, in Scotland, support for rejoining the EU has been skyrocketing among voters. The Times reports that there is a huge delay for the “Festival of Brexit” at Weston-super-Mare. The UK government is in dispute with the EU over the UK’s membership in the EU 100 billion Horizon research program. It has written the EU urging it to “end persistent delays” in delivering on its promise to allow British access to EU research collaborations. Some critics believe that this is just the preamble to a UK withdrawal from the program. There is a call now to make post-Brexit grace periods permanent. That would mean that the NI Protocol would not be fully implemented. That diplomatic dispute is worsening and there is more EU legal action over post-Brexit border rules. A minister says that inflation could increase the bill for outstanding UK spending commitments to the EU by up to GBP 7.5 billion.
Global Financial News:
Five Chinese state-run companies plan to delist from the NYSE before the US forces them to do so, in a dispute over auditing. The companies are: Aluminum Corporation of China, China Life Insurance, China Petroleum & Chemical, PetroChina, and Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical, according to the WSJ and Financial Times. The IPO market is on track for the slowest year since 1995, due to increasing interest rates, already elevated inflation, and the Russia/Ukraine war. The pipeline in the US has dried up, forcing young companies to draw down cash and wait for IPOs to make a comeback. Wall Street firms are continuing to work to develop blockchain into their trading, with varying success. The idea is that blockchain will lower costs, time, and risks. Having been involved in FinTech in some way my entire career, I know that that can be a political struggle within Wall Street firms, as some management views it as an expense item, not a revenue item. It’s a hard argument to wage, to explain that savings translates to future increase revenue. Also, the allure of Fintech and running on best-of-class technology has an attraction for clients and can directly lead to revenue, giving the firm gravitas. Sorry, I’m starting to argue my own new position. JPMorgan Chase already has been using its Onyx, its blockchain-based network in place, while Goldman Sachs is trading some securities on blockchain-based networks and working to develop its own platform, per the WSJ. “Blockchain technology is going to rewire all financial services,” says former NYSE President Tom Farley. Money managers, investors, and financial market strategists are positioning themselves for continued inflation, believing that recent interest-rate hikes will bring down inflation from recent highs, but doubt the world’s central banks will actually get inflation down to their targets, mostly around 2%, any time soon. Fund managers are shifting into inflation-protected bonds, commodities, and increasing their allocations to cash, per Bloomberg. Eric Noll has been elected as the next chair of FINRA, succeeding my former Morgan Stanley colleague, Eileen Murray. Hedge funds have positioned in record numbers that this week’s Jackson Hole speech by Fed Reserve Chair Powell’s speech will reveal a commitment to maintain the current hawkish tightening policy of the FOMC. There were rumors that the Fed might turn more dovish and hint at easier monetary policy in 2023, but those rumors have quieted down. Banks issued $9.2 billion in loans to cities and states in Q2, filling the gap left my mutual funds who abandoned the municipal bond market amid rising inflation and yields. It was the highest quarterly growth in municipal lending in about a decade. Moscow Exchange will prohibit US Dollar’s use as collateral, per Reuters. A rule proposed by the SEC would use trading volume to expand the definition of a market dealer, while a second proposed rule would require traders with more than $50 million in assets to be classified as dealers, in what might be an overreach of authority, according to the WSJ editorial board. Did you know that the average duration of a Recession is just 10 months, going back to WWII. We are technically in a Recession, after 2 consecutive quarters of negative GDP, which started in January. So, technically, based on historical average, we may be out of this Recession by November. A counter-argument to that though is that since 1950, each time inflation has exceeded 4% while unemployment was below 5%, a recession began sometime in the next 2 years. So, while we are technically in a Recession by definition, maybe the Recession hasn’t even hit yet. Don’t look now, but CPI registered its second official reduction of the year, down 0.2% in April and down 0.6% in June. So, inflation may be starting to be tamed. Earnings also weren’t bad for stocks, as 77% of the S&P 500 companies beat earnings estimates in Q2. I’ve always been kind of a contrarian. When the herd loves a trade, that’s when I want to get out of it or sell it to them. Recent surveys show that just 1 in 4 people think now is a good time to invest, and a whopping 65% say they are keeping more cash out of the market than they should. This is true herd mentality, sell when tickers are in the red and buy when tickers are in the green. But, this is opposite of a profitable strategy, unless you are very careful. You may wind up selling near the lows and buying near the highs.
US Market News:
Still at levels above the magic 30,000, the Dow is still well above its pre-pandemic peak of 29,569. But, it has retreated since the beginning of 2022, when it set a record high. The aggressive monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve to squash alarming inflation (brought about partly by the huge multi-$trillion injections of money into the economy by the US government to combat the economic disaster brought on by the pandemic), the war in the Ukraine, and negative GDP numbers, gave a 3-punch combo to the stock market. Strategists now are differing on the sustainability of stock rally, which is the longest winning streak this year. JPMorgan strategists say the rise can extend through year-end, while Morgan Stanley strategists expect a resumption of bearishness soon, per Bloomberg. On Friday, the 3 major US stock indices opened lower en masse, as we hit a huge $2 trillion option expiration date. It was referred to as a “gamma unclench.”
Here are the latest DJIA closes (this is the next list I intend to trim to just important dates):
08/21/22 33,063.61 down 643.13 for the day
01/04/22 36,799.65 all-time record high close
2/12/20 29,551.42 pre-pandemic high
S&P 500 has closed on:
10/5/18 at 2,885.58
12/26/18 at 2,467.70
12/06/19 at 3,145.91
02/07/20 at 3,335.27 down 10.51 from new all-time high
03/23/20 at 2,237.40
12/15/20 at 3,647.49
01/13/21 at 3,809.84
02/03/21 at 3,830.17
02/16/21 at 3,923.59
03/05/21 at 3,841.94
03/31/21 at 3,972.89
05/12/21 at 4,063.04
07/01/21 at 4,319.94
07/14/21 at 4,374.30
08/13/21 at 4,468.00
09/09/21 at 4,493.28
01/03/22 at 4,796.56 all-time high
02/17/22 at 4,380.26
07/21/22 at 3,955.47
08/01/22 at 4,118.63
08/21/22 at 4,137.99 down 90.49
S&P has drifted from its all-time high at the beginning of the year.
Nasdaq closed on:
10/5/18 at 7,788.45
12/26/18 at 6,554.36
12/06/19 at 8,656.07
02/07/20 at 9,555.96 down 16.19 from new all-time high
03/23/20 at 6,860.67
06/04/20 at 9,615.81 don’t look now, but we have set a new record high, above the previous high of 2/07/20!
12/15/20 at 12.505.06
01/13/21 at 13,128.95
02/03/21 at 13,610.54
02/16/21 at 14,047.50 new record high
03/05/21 at 12,920.15
03/31/21 at 13,246.87
05/12/21 at 13,031.68
07/01/21 at 14,522.38
07/14/21 at 14,644.95
08/13/21 at 14,822.90
09/08/21 at 15,286.64
12/27/21 at 15,871.26 all-time high
02/17/22 at 13,716.72
07/21/22 at 12,059.61
08/01/22 at 12,368.98
08/22/22 at 12,381.57 down 323.64
Nasdaq managed to reach its all-time high before 2021 ended, but has suffered a 20% drop since, as tech has gotten hit hard.
The US Treasury market is focused on Inflation, the Fed’s aggressive tightening policy, and Ukraine and Russia. Maybe, it has an eye on GDP and Unemployment and Housing bubble. I think back when I started in 1982 and 20% Fed Funds overnight on year-ends and typical double-digit regular Fed Funds and how today’s typical traders and salespeople have not seen any of that. Yet, even though the yields are much higher now on US Treasuries over the entire curve, particularly versus the 0.00-0.25% Fed Funds target of the last few years. Yet, if you look at my tables below, Treasury yields have backed up nearly to the exact same levels they were in October 2018, a mere 4 years ago. And, who says Treasuries don’t have price volatility like stocks?!?! I hope that Risk Managers who set haircut policy for longer-term Repos pay attention to the price/yield volatility and move away from 0% haircuts. Do they not remember Long Term Capital?
2 YEAR NOTES closed on (trimmed list):
10/5/18 at 2.88%
12/18/18 at 2.65%
12/06/19 at 1.61%
02/06/20 at 1.44%
03/11/20 at 0.50%
03/17/20 at 0.47%
03/23/20 at 0.28%
05/10/20 at 0.16%
07/24/20 at 0.14%
12/15/20 at 0.11% wow really low!
01/04/21 at 0.11%
01/13/21 at 0.14%
02/03/21 at 0.11%
02/16/21 at 0.11%
03/05/21 at 0.14%
03/31/21 at 0.16%
05/12/21 at 0.16%
07/01/21 at 0.25% wow!
07/14/21 at 0.23%
08/13/21 at 0.23% back to 7/14 level, after having fallen 2 weeks ago to 0.17%
09/09/21 at 0.23%
02/17/22 at 1.49% what a dramatic change, as the Fed moved into tightening policy to rein in inflation
07/21/22 at 3.10%
08/01/22 at 2.90%
08/22/22 at 3.32%
3 YEAR NOTES closed on:
10/5/18 at 2.99%
12/18/18 at 2.64%
01/07/19 at 2.47% (inverted to 2years)
12/06/19 at 1.64%
02/06/20 at 1.43%
03/11/20 at 0.58%
03/17/20 at 0.54%
03/23/20 at 0.31% wow!
05/10/20 at 0.21%
07/24/20 at 0.17% wow!
11/09/20 at 0.25%
12/15/20 at 0.18% wow!
01/04/21 at 0.16% record low!
01/13/21 at 0.22%
02/16/21 at 0.17%
03/05/21 at 0.32%
03/31/21 at 0.35%
05/12/21 at 0.35%
07/01/21 at 0.47% wow!
07/14/21 at 0.44%
08/13/21 at 0.44% which ignores that it hit 0.33% on 08/02/21
09/09/21 at 0.43%
02/17/22 at 1.70% back to 2019 levels
07/21/22 at 3.07%
08/01/22 at 2.82%
08/22/22 at 3.36%
5 YEAR NOTES closed on:
10/5/18 at 3.07%
12/18/18 at 2.65%
12/06/19 at 1.67%
02/07/20 at 1.45%
03/11/20 at 0.66%
03/17/20 at 0.56%
03/23/20 at 0.38%
03/26/20 at 0.51%
03/31/20 at 0.37%
07/24/20 at 0.27% wow!
12/15/20 at 0.37%
01/04/21 at 0.36%
01/13/21 at 0.48%
02/03/21 at 0.46%
02/16/21 at 0.42%
03/05/21 at 0.79%
03/31/21 at 0.92%
05/12/21 at 0.87%
07/01/21 at 0.89% not much increase
07/14/21 at 0.80%
08/13/21 at 0.79% it hit 0.65% on 08/03/21
09/09/21 at 0.79%
02/17/22 at 1.85% also back to 2019 levels
07/21/22 at 3.00%
08/02/22 at 2.66%
08/22/22 at 3.17%
7 YEAR NOTES closed on:
10/5/18 at 3.18%
12/18/18 at 2.74%
12/06/19 at 1.78%
02/06/20 at 1.56%
03/11/20 at 0.78%
03/17/20 at 0.91%
03/23/20 at 0.63%
03/26/20 at 0.72%
03/31/20 at 0.55%
07/24/20 at 0.44% record low
11/09/20 at 0.70% back to near pre-COVID level
12/15/20 at 0.64%
01/04/21 at 0.64%
01/13/21 at 0.80%
02/03/21 at 0.81%
02/16/21 at 0.76%
03/05/21 at 1.23%
03/31/21 at 1.40%
05/12/21 at 1.34%
07/01/21 at 1.24%
07/14/21 at 1.11%
08/13/21 at 1.08% hit 0.95% on 08/03/21
09/09/21 at 1.08%
02/17/22 at 1.94% also back to 2019 levels
07/21/22 at 2.99%
08/02/22 at 2.64%
08/22/22 at 3.12%
10 YEAR NOTES closed on:
10/5/18 at 3.23%
12/18/18 at 2.82%
09/09/19 at 1.83%
10/01/19 at 1.65%
12/06/19 at 1.84%
02/06/20 at 1.65%
03/11/20 at 0.82% wow!
03/17/20 at 1.02%
03/23/20 at 0.76% and back down again
07/24/20 at 0.59% record low
11/09/20 at 0.96% back to pre-COVID level
12/15/20 at 0.92%
01/04/21 at 0.93%
01/13/21 at 1.10%
02/03/21 at 1.15%
02/16/21 at 1.09%
03/05/21 at 1.56%
03/31/21 at 1.74%
05/12/21 at 1.69%
07/01/21 at 1.48%
07/14/21 at 1.37%
08/13/21 at 1.29% hit 1.19% on 08/03/21
09/09/21 at 1.30%
02/17/22 at 1.97%
07/21/22 at 2.91%
08/01/22 at 2.60%
08/22/22 at 3.03%
30 YEAR BONDS closed on:
10/5/18 at 3.40%
12/18/18 at 3.07%
07/24/19 at 2.58%
09/10/19 at 2.11%
12/06/19 at 2.29%
02/06/20 at 2.11%
03/11/20 at 1.30%
03/17/20 at 1.63% way up!
03/23/20 at 1.33% back down
07/24/20 at 1.23% record low
11/09/20 at 1.73% back to pre-COVID level
12/15/20 at 1.65%
01/04/21 at 1.66%
01/13/21 at 1.82%
02/03/21 at 1.92%
02/16/21 at 1.84%
03/05/21 at 2.28%
03/31/21 at 2.41%
05/12/21 at 2.40%
07/01/21 at 2.07% dramatic drop almost below magic 2%
07/14/21 at 1.98%
08/13/21 at 1.94% although it hit 1.83% on 08/04/21
09/09/21 at 1.90%
02/17/22 at 2.31%
07/21/22 at 3.08%
08/02/22 at 2.92%
08/22/22 at 3.24%
Housing prices are still through the roof in places inland from California, NYC, and other traditionally expensive locales. Experts blame this on COVID. The remote working environment forced on many companies, has made people crave more space and move out of cities, shorelines, and states, which kind of spread the housing crisis inland to other states. The Atlantic reports that home prices nationwide jumped 20% last year, according to the Case-Shiller Index, the highest rate of increase since 1979 (even higher than the Housing Bubble of 2006-2007). In the 4 biggest cities of Florida, rents have gone up 25-55% year/year. California, despite losing 360,000 residents over the last few years, still has a housing shortage of nearly one million homes/apartments, which is why prices haven’t gone down. The Atlantic describes a typical bidding war taking place in suburban Texas, that would normally be seen in California’s frenzied housing market. The pandemic was expected to shift workers to remote locations in the suburbs and would bring metro prices down. Actually, two years later, housing costs in those metro areas are at record highs and the affordability crisis has spread across suburbia.
The Housing supply and demand forces have both been culprits in this housing crisis. Typically, they act inversely to each other and have opposite effects on prices. But, unusual circumstances were created by the pandemic. Once we were out of many of the COVID restrictions, homeowners who worked remotely, suddenly had savings and government aid, historically low interest rates, and took interest in their homes (which were now their workplaces). This caused a boom in home repairs and remodeling. It also caused a boom in demand for upgrading homes to new larger homes. The problem is that this increased demand ran into a wall of supply problems. There was suddenly a labor shortage, coupled with high tariffs, and a huge supply chain problem, so builders and building materials were in ridiculously short supply. Prices for materials, like lumber, increased by nearly 500% from March 2020 to March 2021. According to a housing industry expert, some 25% of all construction jobs remain unfilled. A number of already started city apartment building projects were halted. Now, with interest rates forced higher by the Federal Reserve and uncertain builders, permitting and supply continue to fall short of high demand.
Currently, the average renter in any major US city spends more than 1/3 of their income on rent, and in Miami and Los Angeles, the typical renter spends more than ½ of their income on rent.
Repo/Securities Financing News:
DTCC’s Project Ion, its distributed-ledger technology (DLT) driven settlement service is now live in a parallel production environment. It is now processing an average of more than 100,000 bilateral equity trades daily and up to 160,000 trades on peak days. This will align with the SEC’s plans to move the US market to an accelerate T+1 settlement cycle. MarketAxess daily volume of matched repo trades has jumped 17% in first half of 2022. Eurex has promoted Maximilian Dannheimer to Head of Prime Sales and FIC Derivatives and Repo Sales, after 13 years at Eurex. Dixit Joshi will return to Credit Suisse as its CFO, leaving as group Treasurer of Deutsche Bank. Oliver Bisset-Johnson, former BNP Paribas trader, has become an agency lending trader at Deutsche Bank. The SEC’s decision to let MiFID II no-action letter expire could cause problems for the industry. The introduction of this expiration date could through global research markets and the relationships between European, global asset managers, and US brokers into chaos. Baton Systems has added OCC, the Chicago-based clearer of futures, options and securities lending trades, to its collateral management network. Now, clearing members of Baton will be able to automate collateral management across 11 CCPs globally via the Baton Core-Collateral ecosystem. An ECB Opinion Paper is recommending dropping CSDR mandatory buy-ins, as it takes a look at CSDR settlement discipline and assesses how well market participants have adapted to the cash penalties regime.
I mentioned at the top that I’ve been currently consulting on a new product for the Securities Financing market, Modified Repo. It could solve a lot of liquidity issues for broker/dealers, CCPs, seclending agents, mREITs, pension funds, municipalities, money funds, central banks, sovereign wealth funds, corporate credit unions, ETFs, hedge funds, asset managers, and other sectors. If you get a chance, ask me about it.
Upcoming Securities Financing Conferences:
IMN-25th Beneficial Owners’ European Securities Finance & Collateral Management Conference, London, 9/13/22. In person.
RMA-Securities Finance and Collateral Management Conference, Key Biscayne, FL, 10/10-10/13/22 in person. I will be there and looking forward to seeing you all!
Securities Trading Association (STA)-89th annual Market Structure Conference, Washington, DC, 10/12-10/14/22 hybrid, in person and streamed.
Finadium-Rates & Repo Conference 2022, 11/02/22, NYC hybrid, streamed and in-person reception the following week.
Securities Finance Times-Securities Finance Technology Symposium, 11/22/22, London, in person.
Federal Reserve News:
The Fed Funds rate, which is still the target rate of Federal Reserve monetary policy and changes to which are made by and announced by the FOMC at regularly scheduled meetings, is currently set at 2.25-2.50% (remember, the Fed has been using a target ‘range’ for a while). When I last wrote, the target rate was still 1.50-1.75%, but then the Fed on 07/27/22 announced a hike of 75bp in the target rate. It wasn’t quite the 100bp that many market participants were expecting, but it was still a big move. It will have a ripple effect on mortgage rates (particularly floating rate mortgages), prices, and consumer demand. It was part of the Fed’s aggressive tightening of monetary policy to combat rampant inflation. The last inflation reading was a historic 9.1%. But, simultaneously, GDP showed two negative consecutive quarters, the definition of a Recession. What is a Federal Reserve to do? Actually, the Fed has 2 main missions: Keep inflation in check (around 2%) and keep the unemployment rate at a low equilibrium level. It is not charged with keeping stocks from collapsing, supporting GDP, or other economic tasks, in its mission. Having been a Fed watcher for my whole career, I know better than assuming one can predict the Fed’s behavior or what is Fedspeak and what is genuine foretelling. So, on Friday, Chairmen Powell threw a curve of Fedspeak in, following the 75bp increase in the Fed Funds target rate by the FOMC, he ‘observed’ that economic growth had slowed (a nod to the GDP figures), and wouldn’t ‘commit’ to another telegraphed 75bp rate hike in September. This has fueled speculation that the Fed will spin on a dime and stop raising rates and go fight lack of economic growth. We used to call this “irrational exuberance”, which like previously, has led to a rebound in the stock market. The Fed generally does not turn on a dime, or more specifically Fed policy does not usually turn on a dime. It is more like a supertanker that slowly changes course. In fact, I would liken it to the 3 decisions of a trader: buy, sell, or do nothing. Once it embarks on say Easing, it usually goes to a Neutral period, before embarking on Tightening. Except for huge economic crisis, like 2008, the Fed rarely moves right from one policy to the opposite policy immediately. Don’t forget, Powell did not retract the Fed officials’ June projection of the Fed Funds rate reaching 3.8% in 2023, which is currently 50bp higher than where the market is pricing it now.
The Federal Reserve posts an Effective Fed Funds Rate (EFFR). The Overnight Bank Funding Rate (OBFR), is also published by the NY Fed to capture the volume-weighted median of overnight federal funds transactions, Eurodollar transactions, and the domestic deposits reported by banks.
The next FOMC meetings are: 09/21/22, 11/02/22, and 12/14/22. All of the scheduled meetings are two-day meetings. I have listed the 2nd day. However, as we saw on 3/3/20, the FOMC can call emergency meetings at any time, even on weekends, especially during the pandemic crisis we were in.
The Federal Reserve’s Reverse Repo Facility (RRP), which has over 300 approved participants (mostly banks, GSEs, and MMFs) is used as a tool by the Federal Reserve, along with its Fed Funds target-setting monetary policy, and IOER for depository institutions, to help control short-term interest rates. The Fed is currently only repoing out US Treasuries from its portfolio and typically only Overnight. Note that the Fed has the nomenclature backwards, it is actually Repoing securities out of the Reverse Repo Program and taking cash IN from its perspective. As if Repo nomenclature, bid and offer, and acronyms weren’t hard enough for everybody.
The FOMC in July 2021 issued an additional statement regarding “Repurchase Agreement Arrangements”. It announced the establishment of a domestic Standing Repo Facility (SRF) and a repo facility for foreign and international monetary authorities (FIMA Repo Facility). Both facilities are intended to be backstops to the money market.
There is talk in the market that the Fed is now going to be challenged to taper US Treasury purchases alongside a shrinking deficit. Also, it will be challenged to explain what it is doing in clear messages in this environment. Maybe the Fed should officially end forward guidance, as Bloomberg suggests?
Earthquakes and Volcanoes:
Here are significant earthquakes for just two days. It has been extremely active and these are fairly strong quakes. There is some definite concentration in the South Pacific.
08/23 5.8 Balleny Islands region
08/23 4.8 SW of Meulaboh, Indonesia
08/23 5.2 SE of Pangai, Tonga
08/23 6.2 S of Pagar Alam, Indonesia
08/23 4.5 ESE Ofunato, Japan
08/23 5.0 W of Tual, Indonesia
08/23 5.4 Pacific-Antarctic Ridge
08/23 5.2 Pacific-Antarctic Ridge
08/23 4.5 S of Fiji Islands
08/23 4.8 NNE of Kon Tum, Vietnam
08/23 4.6 WNW of Tyrnavos, Greece
08/23 4.5 WSW of Lebu, Chile
08/22 4.5 WNW of Cold Bay, Alaska
08/22 4.5 WSW of Tingloy, Philippines
08/22 4.6 SW of Khost, Afghanistan
08/22 4.5 WSW of Santa Cruz, California
08/22 4.5 SSE of Cuauhtemoc, Mexico
08/22 5.5 SE of Nusa Dua, Indonesia
08/22 5.1 central Mid-Atlantic Ridge
08/22 5.3 NNE of Yonakuni, Japan
Summer Heat waves continue to rage across parts of the United States, setting record highs and have affected over 140 million people. The heat has brought dangerous conditions in the Northwest, south-central US, and parts of the Mid-Atlantic into the Carolinas. Well-organized areas of heavy rain and thunderstorms continue to pose a threat for flooding in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. There is a seemingly endless hose of monsoonal and Gulf of Mexico moisture that has created almost a conveyor belt of heavy rain and thunderstorms from the Southwest to the central Appalachians. These valleys and mountains are now quite vulnerable to flash flooding, as well as rising creeks and rivers. It has caused unprecedented flooding in Texas, in the desert Death Valley National Park, Zion National Park, etc., closing many of them. Death Valley NP will reopen weeks after devastating flooding.
In Florida, we have had nonstop 92-97 degree heat, sometimes with Sahara desert dust (creating a greenhouse heat effect and affecting everyone’s allergies), or brutal breezeless humidity, shooting us up continually into 100-110 degree heat indices. Last week was the same pattern every day, with intense afternoon thunderstorms. It’s very hard for anyone to do much outside, particularly sports like golf, as it is usually 90 degrees by 9am. I and others have suffered from heat exhaustion in attempting to play in the sun.
I welcome another new resource for the Repo Commentary, the World Weather Information Service, started in June 2022, covering 3,447 cities. Since June and July 2022, persistent, record-breaking heat waves have affected parts of Europe, sending temperatures soaring into triple digits, causing wildfires, evacuations, and heart-related deaths. In June, temperatures of 40-43 C (104-109 F) were recorded in parts of Europe, with the most severe temperature anomalies in France. The second heatwave occurred in mid-July and extended north to the United Kingdom, where temperatures surpassed 40 C (104 F) for the first time ever. The highest temperature recorded during this round of heatwaves is 47.0 C in Pinhao, Portugal on 07/14/22. For Fahrenheit users, that’s 47.0 x 9/5 +36=116.6 F. The heatwaves are believed to be part of a permanent climate change in Europe. Climatologists linked the extreme heat to the impact of climate change, and experts predict that changes in the jet stream as a result of climate change will cause heat waves with increasing frequency in Europe. Furthermore, they note that due to the jet stream, the increase in heatwaves for European countries is 3 to 4 times higher than for other countries in northern mid-latitudes, such as the US. Meteorologists blame the June heatwave on a rare interaction between the high pressures that generate atmospheric stability, Tropical Storm Alex, the strong sunshine of the boreal summer and an air mass emanating from North Africa that entered the Iberian Peninsula loaded with suspended dust and sand, which led to a haze over the area. Last year, July 2021, Europe was dealing with devastating floods.
Top US earth scientists from NASA and NOAA announced Thursday that 2021 was among the hottest years on record, the 6th hottest for average global surface temperature, to be precise. That makes the last 8 years the 8 warmest in over 140 years of reliable record-keeping. Temperatures in 2021 were nearly 2 degrees hotter than average temperatures in the late 1800s. But, more importantly, NASA and NOAA both issued warnings for the decades-long trend of upward temperatures. With current carbon-cutting commitments from global nations, the world is on track to warm by some 5 degrees Fahrenheit, which would have extreme, disastrous environmental consequences. We are already seeing some of those consequences, according to both organizations, including extreme fires, severe deluges, destabilized ice sheets, ocean heating, sea level rise, great disruptions to animal life, and vector-borne diseases (creatures that infect us with pathogens, like mosquitoes and ticks). President Biden’s administration has been focusing recently on climate change and even is discussing the radical use of massive windfarms for the Gulf of Mexico to replace the traditional offshore oil rigs there.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season BEGAN June 1st and ends November 30th. On 12/09/21, CSU issued an extended forecast for the 2022 hurricane season, predicting slightly above-average activity with 13-16 named storms, 6-8 hurricanes, and 2-3 major hurricanes. La Nina pattern should keep the area less active, after two consecutive years of higher-than-average named storms. La Nina has the opposite effect from El Nino, which is when Pacific waters are warmed and there tends to be fewer hurricanes in the Atlantic. La Nina tends to cool Pacific waters. In 2021, ocean water temperatures hit a record high average temperature. 2021 was the third most active hurricane season on record for named storms with 21 named storms and 7 hurricanes. 2020 had 30 named storms and 2005 had 28 named storms.
The Pacific Hurricane Season BEGAN 5/1/21 and ends 11/1/21.
In the 2020 pandemic-shortened season, in the World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Tampa Rays 4 games to 3, to win in another exciting (and rare) 7-game series.
In the 2021 pandemic-impacted season, in the World Series, the Atlanta Braves shocked the sports world by beating the favored Houston Astros 4 games to 2.
The 2022 season is almost two-thirds through.
My Red Sox never showed up this year. They had a good few streaks, but currently they are in the cellar of the AL East, where the high-flying Yankees hold a commanding lead, despite becoming more human lately, with a summer slump. The Moreno family is exploring selling the Angels. Ironically, they are probably the most under-performing baseball team with the greatest talent in MLB. They had one of the best players all-time, until recently, Albert Pujols. They have the best player every year, Mike Trout, and the best phenom, Ohtani, who is one of their best hitters and pitchers. Even retiring Albert Pujols has been on a tear lately. Pujols just tied Barry Bonds for the most pitchers (449) ever homered off all-time. It was the 693rd HR of his career, putting him only 21 behind Babe Ruth. Something you don’t see often, the Twins turned a triple play for the second time this season, this time against the Rangers. It was the 17th triple play in Twins history. The latest standings show the Yankees in first in AL East, the Guardians in first in the AL Central with the Twins and White Sox on their heels, and the Astros well ahead in the AL West. In the NL East, the Mets have a lead over the Braves, the Cards have a lead over the Brewers in the NL Central, and the Dodgers are crushing everyone in the NL West. Dodger great announcer Vin Scully died on 08/02/22 at age 94.
The PGA season is winding down or heating up, depending on your perspective. Yes, they played the 4 majors. And, yes, one of them was called the Players Championship. But, that’s a misnomer. Anyway, the whole year, players have been building up their FedEx Cup points, which eventually lead a certain number to the first leg of the FedEx Cup Championship (kinda like the Triple Crown in horse racing). The second leg was held this past weekend at the BMW Championship in Wilmington, DE. Each leg, the field is reduced to just the top number of players. The finale will be this week at East Lake Golf Club. Will Zalatoris was ranked No.3 in FedEx Cup points, so would have been a favorite to win the FedEx Cup Championship and would have started the tournament at -7. I forgot to explain that depending on placement in the preceding legs of the Cup, a player is given an advantage or disadvantage of strokes. So, although Cantlay won the BMW Championship, the FedEx Cup leader ahead of him is Scott Scheffler, who sits at -10 going into the Championship. The reason I bring up Zalatoris is that he injured himself, badly, in the 3rd round of the BMW Championship, herniating 2 discs in his back. So, he has withdrawn from the real Championship. He gets all the great exemptions for the 2023 season. But, he can’t get the $18 million winner’s check. Not only that, had he played and held on to 3rd place, he would have at least gotten a check for $5 million. But, because he withdrew, he is immediately dropped to last place in this stage, which is only 30 golfers. He will only get a check for $500,000. Only. He’s also out for next month’s Presidents Cup. Yeah, did I say that this is the end of the 2022 PGA Season? Well, not yet.
Here’s a subject that it is irritating for a lot of Floridians. I got into a major discussion this past weekend with some golfers. Florida, for a long time, boasted that it was the mecca of golf. Not only is the PGA headquartered here, but so is the USGA, and the LPGA. In addition, almost every top golfer in the world, not just the USA, now lives here. In Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter, at least 12 top pro golfers live. So, it is complete consternation that the PGA has decided to move to Houston, TX and, in fact, just unveiled its state-of-the-art headquarters. Previously, they were headquartered at very dated PGA National (where the Honda Classic is held). And, if that isn’t enough, in 2020, the USGA announced that it was moving its second headquarters and its tournaments from its World of Golf Village location in St. Augustine, FL to the Pinehurst (Southern Pines course) in North Carolina, “the home of American golf.” It is also moving its main headquarters from current facility in Liberty Corner, New Jersey. The USGA’s huge museum and library will be staying in New Jersey.
Perhaps in response to the LIV, the PGA just announced its 2022-2023 schedule of 44 regular-season tournaments and has increased the purses to a record $428.6 million in prize money. In other golf news, former Masters champion and current LIV Golf golfer, Patrick Reed, has just sued Golf Channel and Golf Channel analyst, Brandel Chamblee, for $750 million in alleged damages, saying that Chamblee has been mean to him and has hurt his career. Seriously?? This is what it says in the suit, filed in Houston: “Golf Channel and Brandel Chamblee have conspired as joint tort-feasors for and with the PGA Tour, it’s (sic) executives and it’s (sic) commissioner Jay Monahan, to engage in a pattern and practice of defaming Mr. Reed, misreporting information with falsity and/reckless disregard for the truth…purposely omitting pertinent key material facts to mislead the public, and actively targeting Mr. Reed since he was 23-years-old to destroy his reputation, create hate, and a hostile work environment for him…” Hilariously, it goes on to say that Chamblee’s analysis has led fans to taunt Reed! So, now if a professional athlete doesn’t like the way he is portrayed by analysts or sports networks, likely because of his poor play or abilities, he can sue them? We may as well extend that to Hollywood and allow every actor or actress who got a bad review from a critic to sue that critic, because that review affected box office sales on a movie or a play, and that hurt the actor’s feelings and pocketbook. Tom Weiskopf died on 08/21/22 at age 79.
The 2020 NFL season ended with Super Bowl LV, which was played in Tampa Bay, with the Bucs beating the Chiefs 31-9. It was the first time that a team had played in the Super Bowl in their home stadium.
The 2021 NFL season ended with a dramatic playoff schedule of many close and Overtime games. In the end, the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals (who were the worst team in the NFL only 2 years ago), 23-20. It was only the second time (and in a row) that a team had played in the Super Bowl in their home stadium.
We have begun preseason for 2022 NFL season. In fact, I thin the finale is 09/12. Tampa Bay’s No.1 and the NFL No.1 probably wide receiver, Mike Evans, hurt his hamstring already. QB Tom Brady also needed to take 11 days off of practice and preseason to handle a personal issue. I think it may be a family health issue. TE Rob Gronkowski who was going to come out of retirement again to join Brady on the Bucs, thought better of it and stayed retired. That’s okay, because the Bucs added about 4 pro-bowl receivers and a couple of star tight ends, so they’ll probably be okay. So, Deshaun Watson was originally suspended for 6 games of the 2022 season. The NFL negotiated a deal with the NFLPA to suspend him for 11 games (season is 16 games) and fine him $5 million. So, the Browns, who seemed intent on hoarding QBs and 1st-round draft picks, lost their starting QB for 11 games this season. Deshaun is running the scout team. Jacoby Brissett has been slated to start the first 11 games. QB Joshua Dobbs is expected to be their No.2 QB, or No.3 if you are including Watson. The Browns’ No.1 pick and previous starting QB whom they traded to the Panthers will be their opposing QB in Game 1 of the season. Ironically, as Baker Mayfield stands under center against the Browns, the Browns are still paying him $10.5 million salary this year. Panthers QB Sam Darnold is now the No.2 QB on that team. Weirdly, there is a connection there. Mayfield was picked No.1 in the 2018 Draft by the Browns and Darnold was picked No.3, two spots behind him, by the Jets. The Seahawk’s coach Pete Carroll says that the team will take its time to decide on a starting QB between Geno Smith and Drew Lock. Their season opener will be against the Denver Broncos with new QB Russell Wilson. Ravens RB Gus Edwards is out for at least 4 weeks of season with a knee injury. Chargers CB J.C.Jackson had ankle surgery and will be out 2-4 weeks. Commanders DE Chase Young is out first 4 weeks of season with a knee injury. Washington will retire QB Sonny Jurgensen’s No.9 jersey during the 2022 season.
The 2021 NHL season (which normally would have started in 2020 and wrapped around to 2021) was delayed and started 1/13/21. The regular season is normally 82 games, but was only 56 games this year, once again due to the pandemic. In the end, The Tampa Bay Lightning repeated as Stanley Cup Champions, beating the Montreal Canadiens 4-1.
The 2021-2022 season began on 10/20/21. It ended with a spectacular playoff schedule. The Tampa Bay Lightning tried to 3-peat as Stanley Cup Champions, but ultimately lost to the Colorado Avalanche.
The Carolina Hurricanes have added veteran center Paul Stastny. The Bruins made the fans happy (me included) by re-signing captain Pierre Bergeron and center David Krejci. ASU has named its new multi-purpose arena, and Coyotes home, Mullett Arena. Some of you will remember playing golf with me at one of the conferences on that Ping course in sleet! There are a lot of trade rumors swirling. The Oilers are supposedly planning on targeting Patrick Kane and Phil Kessel. Bruins Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy are both sidelined for the first couple of months of the season.
The 2020-2021 NBA season tipped off more than two months later than usual on 12/22/20. The Suns beat the Bucks for the Championship. The 2021-2022 NBA season had a normal 82-game schedule and the Finals were won by the Warriors over my Boston Celtics in an exciting series. The NBA has decided to retire the late Bill Russell’s jersey for all teams.
The Nets and Kevin Durant have agreed to “move forward” together. There are teams looking at Lakers Carmelo Anthony. Crypto.com Arena has announced plans to upgrade the home of the Los Angeles Lakers. The Suns will bring back the “Sunburst” uniform for 2022-23. Haslem is set to return to play for the Heat for his 20th consecutive season with one team, joining Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowiztki in that feat. LeBron and Tatum shined at the abbreviated CrawsOver, a star-studded pro-am game. There is a blood donation rumor out there about Magic Johnson.
The NASCAR Cup Series of 2022 has begun. Here is the 2022 schedule and winners:
02/06/22 Busch Clash at LA Memorial Coliseum-Joey Logano
02/17/22 Bluegreen Vacations Duel 1 at Daytona-Brad Keselowski
02/17/22 Bluegreen Vacations Duel 2 at Daytona-Chris Buescher
02/20/22 DAYTONA 500-Austin Cindric
02/27/22 Wise Power 400 Fontana,CA-Kyle Larson
03/06/22 Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas-Alex Bowman
03/13/22 Ruoff Mortgage 500 at Phoenix-Chase Briscoe
03/20/22 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta-William Byron
03/27/22 EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at Austin-Ross Chastain
04/03/22 Toyota Owners 400-Richmond Raceway-Denny Hamlin
04/09/22 Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 at Martinsville-William Byron
04/17/22 Food City Dirt Race at Bristol-Kyle Busch
04/24/22 GEICO 500 at Talladega-Ross Chastain
05/01/22 DuraMAX Drydene 400 at Dover-Chase Elliott
05/08/22 NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington-Joey Logano
05/15/22 NASCAR Cup Series at Kansas-Kurt Busch
05/22/22 NASCAR All-Star Open at Texas-Daniel Suarez
05/22/22 NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas-Ryan Blaney
05/29/22 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway-Denny Hamlin
06/05/22 NASCAR Cup Series at WWTR in Illinois-Joey Logano
06/12/22 Toyota Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway-Daniel Suarez
06/26/22 Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway-Chase Elliott
07/03/22 Kwik Trip 250 presented by JOCKEY at Road America-Tyler Reddick
07/10/22 Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart at Atlanta-Chase Elliott
07/17/22 Ambettor 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway-Christopher Bell
07/24/22 NASCAR Cup Series at Pocono Raceway-Chase Elliott
07/31/22 Verizon 200 at the Brickyard Indianapolis-Tyler Reddick
08/07/22 FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan-Kevin Harvick
08/14/22 Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond-Kyle Larson
08/21/22 Go Bowling at The Glen, Watkins Glen
08/27/22 Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona
09/04/22 PLAYOFFS round of 16: Southern 500 at Darlington
09/11/22 PLAYOFFS: Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas
09/17/22 PLAYOFFS: Bass Pros Shops Night Race at Bristol
09/25/22 PLAYOFFS round of 12: AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas
10/02/22 PLAYOFFS: YellaWood 500 at Talladega
10/09/22 PLAYOFFS: Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte
10/16/22 PLAYOFFS round of 8: South Point 400 at Las Vegas
10/23/22 PLAYOFFS: Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami
10/30/22 PLAYOFFS: Xfinity 500 at Martinsville
11/06/22 PLAYOFFS CHAMPIONSHIP at Phoenix
Formula One integrity is hanging in the balance after failure to publish an Abu Dhabi report. There was a 23-race F1 calendar for 2021. It did not begin until 3/28/21. F1 has announced another 23-race F1 calendar for 2022. Here is the 2022 schedule and here are the winners. Hamilton hasn’t won a single race yet, which is a shock. And Verstappen seems to be winning most of them:
03/20/22-Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix-Leclerc
03/27/22-Saudi Arabia-Verstappen edged Leclerc
04/24/22-Italy Rolex Gran Premio Dell-Emilia Romagna-Verstappen
05/08/22-United States Crypto.com Miami-Verstappen
05/22/22-Spain Pirelli Gran Premio de Espana-Verstappen
07/10/22-Austria Grosser Preis Von Osterreich-Leclerc
07/31/22-Hungary Magyar Nagydij-Verstappen
09/04/22-Netherlands Heineken Dutch
09/11/22-Italy Pirelli Gran Premio D’Italia
10/23/22-United States Aramco
11/30/22-Abu Dhabi Etihad Airways
IndyCar Racing circuit (Indy cars are generally considered faster than F1 car along straight lines, mostly because their races are on oval tracks, while F1 tracks are more intricate, requiring better brakes and more aerodynamic grip than Indy cars). The 2022 schedule and the winners:
02/27/22 St. Petersburg-Scott McLaughlin
03/20/22 Texas-Josef Newgarden
04/10/22 Long Beach-Josef Newgarden
05/01/22 Barber-Pato O’Ward
05/14/22 Indy Road Course-Colton Herta
05/29/22 Indy 500-Marcus Ericsson
06/05/22 Detroit-Will Power
06/12/22 Elkhart Lake-Josef Newgarden
07/03/22 Mid-Ohio-Scott McLaughlin
07/17/22 Toronto-Scott Dixon
07/23/22 Iowa-Josef Newgarden
07/24/22 iowa-Pato O’Ward
07/30/22 Indy Road Course-Alexander Rossi
08/07/22 Nashville-Scott Dixon
08/20/22 St. Louis-Josef Newgarden
09/22/22 Laguna Seca
Most people think that vehicle crashes and deaths are an equal-opportunity health problem. That is not true. According to the CDC, lower-income people are much more likely to die in crashes. Also, the racial gaps are quite large, larger even than racial gaps on cancer deaths. This gap (8.21 Blacks per 100,000, 6.81 Latino, 6.33 White, 1.42 Asian) is even more notable now that the US is experiencing an alarming increase in vehicle deaths. The Secretary of Transportation says it is “a national crisis of fatalities and serious injuries on our roadways.” It is much more alarming than I ever knew. More than 115 Americans died on average every day this year. Experts are still puzzled by the cause of the increase, though many point to distracted driving and less aggressive policing of speeders as possible influences.
Low-cost Icelandic airline, Play, plans to launch flights from Washington Dulles International. British Airways plans to cut 5,000 round-trip flights this Winter. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises will now accept at-home negative COVID-19 test results for unvaccinated passengers. You can’t turn the news on without hearing about all the flights that are being cancelled every day in the US, either due to lack of flight attendants, able pilots, air traffic controllers, or other FAA personnel. Now there is a new interactive website from the Department of Transportation that will show cancellation and delay policies for US airlines. It will be launched in the coming weeks (09/02) and represents an effort by the DOT to arm passengers with information amid widespread summer travel chaos. The key feature of the website is a section of travelers’ options when there is a cancellation or delay that was “due to circumstances within the airline’s control.” DOT Secretary Buttigieg said directly in a letter to all airlines, “When passengers do experience cancelations and delays, they deserve clear and transparent information on the services that your airline will provide, to address the expenses and inconveniences resulting from these disruptions,” adding the “level of disruption Americans have experienced this summer is unacceptable.” The DOT has requested “at a minimum” that airlines provide meal vouchers for traveler who experience a delay of 3 hours or more, as well as lodging for traveler who are forced to wait overnight at an airport. The DOT has also proposed a rule change that would require airlines to issue a refund if a domestic flight is delayed by more than 3 hours. Airlines across the US and the world have experienced widespread problems over the summer, which have generally been blamed on a combination of staffing shortages and air traffic control issues. In total, more than 100,000 flights have been canceled in the US so far this year and nearly 1 million flights have been delayed. According to the DOT, US airlines have delayed about 24% of domestic flights and canceled about 3.2% of flights in the first six months of 2022. Several airlines cut back on summer schedules in an effort to keep up, but some have extended those efforts into the fall, especially American Airlines and United Airlines. American Airlines is cutting 31,000 flights ahead of holiday season. The Cayman Islands is eliminating all COVID-19 travel restrictions. Did you know that many countries now require proof of return when flying or sailing there? You need to have proof that you have a return flight or sailing back to the US, or they won’t let you enter that country. I believe this is to cut down on illegal immigration. If you have a work visa or temporary visa to be in the country, that would also suffice. I had a friend who was traveling to the Bahamas where his boat happens to be and he had to show proof of return to the US, in order to gain entry into the Bahamas. Some Venice tourists have been fined over $1500 and called out by the Mayor for riding motorized surfboards down the Grand Canal. Yuck, I’ve seen what that water looks like. Great Smoky Mountains National Park will begin charging parking fees starting next year. You can island hop around Hawaii for $39 on Southwest Airlines through the end of the year. ExpressJet Airlines, a subsidiary of United, has filed for bankruptcy. Airbnb is continuing to crack down on parties with new booking technology. You can bring your car along on your next Amtrak trip with the $39 auto train sale. Frontier is celebrating new routes with a $69 flight sale. You can now take a seaplane from NYC to Washington, DC. Airbnb US hosts earned more than $300 million last Labor Day Weekend. According to Airbnb, these are the most popular US destinations for Labor Day weekend:
- Columbus, OH (?)
- Raleigh, NC
- Tampa, FL
- North Kingstown, RI
- Jacksonville, FL
- Cambridge, MA
- San Francisco, CA
- Reno, NV
- Saint Petersburg, FL
- North Charleston, SC
As of today (08/24/22), globally, over 6.458,487 people have died from COVID-19. More than 597,810,083 (08/24/22) people have been confirmed infected with COVID-19. The US has the most deaths from COVID-19 of any country in the world, 1,041,517. The next COVID-19 booster shots will target Omicron. The boosters will be bivalent and include both the original vaccine formula, as well as a component that targets Omicron.
The COVID-19 pandemic, one of the deadliest in history, triggered severe social and economic disruption around the world, including the largest global recession since the Great Depression. Widespread supply shortages, including food shortages, were caused by supply chain disruption. The resultant near-global lockdowns created an unprecedented reduction in pollution. Educational institutions, public areas, and entertainment venues were partially or fully closed, as were businesses and restaurants, and many events were cancelled or postponed. Misinformation circulated through social media and mass media, and political tensions dramatically increased. The pandemic raised issues of racial and geographic discrimination, health equity, and the balance between public health goals and individual rights. Resultant business restrictions and remote working permanently restructured the economy, leading to workers leaving jobs and changing careers, and businesses severely reduced or permanently shuttered. The impact of the lack of skilled workers now in certain industries and at certain levels of workforce hierarchy is still being felt today, expressed in the airline industry’s cancellations of flights, restaurants restricted hours or tables, commercial real estate vacancy increases, etc. due to lack of workers.
President Biden’s wife, the First Lady, has now tested positive for COVID-19, shortly after her husband tested positive for the second time in a month. He is now negative.
The CDC has decided to do an “ambitious” massive overhaul of the agency, in light of the many missteps it had during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, a week later, Dr. Fauci decided that he will relinquish his duties at CDC and semi-retire, after nearly 4 decades, beginning in December. He has been the de facto ‘fall guy’ for anything negative related to COVID-19. For those of you who live under a rock and don’t get these pestering phone calls and emails, there are many lawsuits and a class action suit against the Marine Corps Camp Lejeune by soldiers and their families, who served there between August 1953 and December 1987, due to alleged contaminated water on base. The side effects allegedly include:
- Bladder cancer
- Cardiac birth defect
- Female infertility
- Hepatic Steatosis
- Neurobehavioral Effects
- Other Cancers
- And more
I just wanted to make sure you and your family knew, before I block the emails from coming in.
Cannabis for chronic pain has been linked to a slightly increased risk of arrhythmia, according to a preliminary study. A new study shows that skipping breakfast can negatively affect your child’s physical and mental health. What they eat and where they eat are also important. A new study finds that some people with Monkeypox may not have symptoms. A new CDC investigation finds that even with appropriate cleaning and surface disinfection, monkeypox virus is still detectable on most surfaces. The FDA has approved a new version of HUMIRA Biosimilar known as HADLIMA to treat certain types of arthritis and other autoimmune disorders. The CDC is investigating if Romaine Lettuce is the source of the recent E.coli outbreak that has caused 29 illnesses and 9 hospitalizations in Michigan and Ohio. Hearing Aids will soon be available over-the-counter, without prescriptions, at drugstores this fall, due to a new ruling by the FDA. The latest TikTok trend is dangerous, which is no surprise with TikTok trends. Videos claiming that you can improve the quality of your sleep and reduce snoring by duck-taping your mouth shut, is being labeled dangerous by many health experts. There is now a nationwide recall of Capri Sun, as total of 5,760 cases of the drink have been voluntarily recalled by the brand’s parent company, Kraft Heinz. Officials in NYC say that polio has been detected there and may be spreading among unvaccinated New Yorkers, with hundreds of cases unaccounted for. Baby gear manufacturer 4moms has recalled their MamaRoo Baby Swing, and RockaRoo Baby Rockers due to a strangulation risk from an unsecured strap.
Two Argentine paddleboarders were surrounded by 12 whales, which swam next to them for about an hour. The FDA is taking steps to move away from animal testing and experts say that this may ultimately lead to the development of more effective medications for humans. Bird flu has killed at least 700 vultures at Georgia animal sanctuary. A 61-year-old Florida postal worker is dead after she was mauled by 5 dogs. Her vehicle broke down on Sunday in Putnam County, and she was attacked by the dogs while working on the vehicle. A neighbor with a firearm shot it in the air to try to dissuade the dogs, which was unsuccessful. Other neighbors and the dogs’ owner joined to pull the animals off the woman. The animals were then seized by authorities and will be euthanized. Animal Control officials had visited the dogs’ home at least twice in the last three years. Michigan officials are probing mystery canine parvovirus-like disease after over 30 dogs die. One of the world’s largest moths has been detected in the US. It has a wingspan of 10 inches and was spotted in Washington State. A capuchin monkey is believed to have dialed 911 from a California zoo, Zoo to You, near Paso Robles, sending San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies to the location. A 10-year-old boy has lost part of his leg, after shark attack while on vacation in the Florida Keys.
Singer/Actress Olivia Newton-John died on 08/08/22. She was 73 and had fought cancer three times over the last decade. She is best known for being one of the earliest successful crossover artists from country to pop music. She is equally as well known for her iconic role as Sandy in the movie GREASE. She was one of my favorites. Actress Anne Heche died on 08/12/22 at age 53, after succumbing to injuries she received in a car accident in which the car drove through an entire house.
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez got re-married at his antebellum home south of Savannah, GA. They got married in one of those Elvis chapels in Las Vegas earlier this summer. John Boyega says he is done with the STAR WARS franchise. Snoop Dogg is presenting a children’s series Doggyland-Kids Songs & Nursery Rhymes. I don’t know what to say. Modern Family star Sarah Hyland married Wells Adams. Andrew Garfield reveals “starving” himself for his role in movie SILENCE. Scott Disick suffered minor injuries in a car accident over the weekend. Ten months after the shooting on the RUST set, Alec Baldwin says he still thinks about it every day. A League of Their Own gets a makeover from the successful movie, in an ambitious but uneven new Amazon series. I know, can’t we create new movies and series, or is there no originality or creativity left in Hollywood? Sylvester Stallone’s wife of 25 years has just filed divorce here in Palm Beach County.
I need to see JURASSIC WORLD (which is the 6th installment in the Jurassic franchise), OPERATION MINCEMEAT (2021), AVATAR: THE WAY OF THE WATER (2022), UNCHARTED (2022), BULLET TRAIN (2022), and THE GRAY MAN (2022). But, these are the ones that I HAVE seen and my 1-10 rating:
NO TIME TO DIE 8.0
WRATH OF MAN 7.0
THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS 7.0
THE CARD COUNTER 6.5
THE UNFORGIVABLE 6.0
HOUSE OF GUCCI 5.0
GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE 4.0
TOPGUN: MAVERICK 8.8
Technology & Space News:
The WSJ reports that startup Fintech lenders that hold bank charters are giving more attention to attracting deposits as a source of capital to, as interest rates rise and the credit quality of many retail customers is deteriorating. They are now looking for long-term investors with the patience to ride out a downturn and for new buyers of the loans they originate. The FTC has dropped Mark Zuckerberg from lawsuit seeking to block Meta’s latest VR acquisition. Meta has reached a $37.5 million settlement of Facebook location tracking lawsuit. A former Twitter executive is blowing the whistle on the company. He says that Twitter is vulnerable to Russian and Chinese influence. He alleges reckless and negligent cybersecurity policies. Twitter has warned employees that their bonuses could be cut in half this year. The timing of the whistle blower may have an impact on Elon Musk’s attempt to takeover Twitter. He has just subpoenaed the former CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey. Instagram is testing a new feature that looks just like rival BeReal. Apple has issued an emergency security alert. You should probably update your Apple devices right now! A monumental case looks to crack open the world of auto-warranty robocalls. A spacewalk at the ISS was cut short by an issue with Russian cosmonaut’s spacesuit. One controller said to him, “Drop everything and start going back right away.” NASA has just released sound from a black hole that sounds very spooky and is getting a lot of attention on Twitter. NASA has proudly moved its new super-rocket, Artemis, to the launchpad, its first such rocket in 50 years. It is taller than the Statue of Liberty and will be unmanned the first couple of times to the Moon. Later it will be manned and those astronauts have been undergoing extensive training for months now, mostly in swimming pool labs. Artemis is intended to give NASA an early lead in the Moon race with China, who intends to eventually set up a base there with Russia. So, this time the space race is with China. The US also intends to build a base on the Moon and more than 20 nations have signed on to the American-led Artemis program to explore the Moon. Artemis is intended to go to the Moon and eventually go to Mars.
Liz Cheney, former Republican Senator from Wyoming, lost the Republican Primary on 08/16 to a Trump-supported Republican. Cheney, daughter of infamous Dick Cheney, chaired the Senate investigation into the Washington, DC riots on January 6, and has been very critical of former President Trump. She now is considering a Presidential run to stop Trump from being re-elected. A Democrat beat a Republican in a New York Congressional race, which some see as a bellweather of the national mood. Now that Lake Mead has been going dry with its decades-long drought, officials have found 5 bodies, sunken boats, and a ghost town, so far. Lake Mead, which is located below the Hoover Dam on the Nevada-Arizona border. The water surfaced there has dropped more than 143 feet since 2000. The water surface is now at the same level that it was in 1937, when the lake was filling up after the Hoover Dam had just been built. Those of you with children are probably aware that, as part of the pandemic governmental aid, school lunches in the US were free for two years, feeding 26 million students. Well, that program has just ended and is having an impact on the financial well-being, especially of, families on the border of still qualifying for some aid. President Biden was able to get his sweeping Inflation Reduction Act into law. The new US law contains wins for land conservation and for farmers, but it misses opportunities for school lunch programs and soil erosion prevention. It makes a significant move, $400 billion, against Climate Change, but it is late for the US to get in the battle. It is intended to promote domestic production of clean energy technology and generally retrofitting America to survive climate change. If all goes to plan, the Act would reduce US emissions by 40% by 2030. There are many tax credits and rebates for Americans to buy electric vehicles (EVs), install heat pumps and better insulation, and put solar panels on their roofs. It could result in several thousands of dollars per household. Cleverly, the government chose not to take the hard road of meaningful action on climate change by an actual phaseout of use of fossil fuels and go up against the huge lobbies. Instead, the government turned to the tax code, and used public money to fund the public good of mass decarbonization. That new demand to get large tax credits will then spur huge development in product suppliers and fuel that industry, leading to an overall increase in awareness and position for climate change fighters. Most analysts believe that Nordstrom has arguably the best-looking department stores and customer service in clothing retailers. But, even those attributes aren’t enough to lure consumers to spend money on discretionary purchases like clothing, with inflation raging. The company is even feeling the pinch at the Nordstrom Rack clearance items at their discounted outlet stores. So, it continues to take even steeper markdowns on its items. The slowing demand environment will cause a $200 million hit to profits in the second half of the year at Nordstrom. It is emblematic of other industries relying on discretionary spending. Its profit warning and red flag commentary caused a 15% drop in its stock price today in pre-market trading.
In the Russia/Ukraine war, Russian authorities are accusing the Ukraine for carrying out the car bombing that killed Daria Dugina, 29, an ultranationalist commentator who was very pro-Putin. Ukraine has denied responsibility. As we approach the six-month anniversary of the war, Ukraine’s President warned citizens of potential intensified action by Russia on the anniversary. Money for programs to help Ukrainians has been robust, but the war has drawn funding away from other crises, per the UN. The Thai court has suspended the PM and coup leader Prayuth. There are now no fuel imports to UK from Russia for the first time. Imports of goods from Russia fell to GBP 33 million in June, the lowest level since 1997. Peru is suing an oil company, Repsol, for $4.5 billion over an oil spill of 10,000 barrels that it sees as the worst ecological disaster around Lima in recent memory. An underwater pipeline owned by the company caused a tsunami-size oil spill in January, when an Italian-flagged oil tanker, Mare Doricum, was unloading at Repsol’s La Pampilla refinery. There is also an ongoing criminal investigation into Repsol’s executives. In South Africa, thousands of strikers in a nationwide strike against the high cost of living are demanding government action. Passengers were recently stuck for hours inside the Channel Tunnel between England and France. India has fired its Air Force officers for a missile misfire. China is in the midst of its worst drought on record. The UN Secretary General Guterres is shocked by the resumption of Ethiopia fighting and has called for “an immediate cessation of hostilities.” Fighting has resumed in Ethiopia’s civil war in the north of the country, after a 5-month ceasefire. Tigray forces deny that a plane was shot down by the Ethiopian federal government and that it was carrying weapons for Tigray from Sudan.
The Brightline train has struck a person again in Florida. Oddly, on the same day, the commuter Tri-Rail, also struck a person on the other track in Palm Beach County.
Here’s a look at new restaurants in 2022 for Palm Beach County:
- Casa Cana-North Tequesta (opened February)
- Lewis Steakhouse (sister to Okeechobee Steakhouse)-Jupiter/Indiantown (opened May)
- Taco Shack-Jupiter/Abacoa (opened July)
- Rembar-Jupiter/Bluffs (opened May)
- AquaGrille-Juno Beach (opened March)
- Mystic Lobster Roll Company-Juno Beach (opened April)
- Double Roads Tavern w stage-Jupiter (relocating)
- HoneyBelle-Palm Beach Gardens/PGA National (opened February)
- Voodoo Bayou-Palm Beach Gardens/Downtown (opened February)
- Cactus Grille and Tequila Bar-Palm Beach Gardens/Donald Ross (opened January)
- Legends Tavern & Grill-Palm Beach Gardens/Donald Ross (opened May)
- Ela (Indian)-Palm Beach Gardens/Donald Ross
- El Camino-West Palm Beach/The Square (opened June)
- Zona Blu-West Palm Beach/Okeechobee (opened April)
- Pig Beach BBQ-West Palm Beach/S.Dixie (opened June)
- Common Grounds Brew and Roastery-West Palm Beach/S.Dixie (opened February)
- Bodega Taqueria y Tequila-West Palm Beach/Clematis (opened February)
- Mockingbird at The Regional-West Palm Beach/The Square (opened February)
- The SoSo-West Palm Beach/S.Dixie (opened April)
- Hive Bakery Café-West Palm Beach/S. Dixie (opened March)
- Sweetgreen-West Palm Beach/The Square (opened January)
- Kosher Chobee-West Palm Beach/Okeechobee (opened June)
- Sicilian Oven-Wellington Mall (opened June)
- Bar 25-Delray Beach/Atlantic Ave.
- The Falcon-Delray Beach/Atlantic Ave (opened May)
- The Gringo-Delray Beach/Atlantic Ave (opened March)
- Akira Back-Delray/Pineapple (opened March)
- The Blue Dog Cookhouse and Bar-Boca Raton (opened April)
- Mister 01 Extraordinary Pizza-Boca Raton (opened March)
- Ah-Beetz-Delray Beach (opened May)
- Spadella-Delray Beach (opened November)
I would list all of the restaurants that closed during the pandemic for good, even just the ones that had been open for at least 15 years, but I’m afraid the list might be longer, and depressing.