Markets searching for a shred of news

The news lull of August is in full swing. I have been looking for two hours for a shred of meaningful news to opine about.

A quick look at the financial headlines tells you everything you need to know about global markets. Currency devaluations in Turkey and China are making markets jittery for lack of any real news.

Now don’t get me wrong, China cutting the value of the yuan as a response to President Trump’s tariff threats has meaning to the backwater currency trading markets, but to make global markets move on the scale they have this morning is a bit of overkill and a result of lack of news on other fronts.

The same with the Turkish lira devaluation taking down the emerging markets. This is less than a blip on the screen any other time of the year. Today it’s leading the website.

So now we have big moves in currencies and sovereign bonds — two markets that most investors know very little about — driving overall stock markets.

Well perhaps later today we can get back to real market-driving news like Tesla’s Elon Musk on Twitter showing the check he received from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to take the electric automaker private.

If this continues tomorrow, I think I’ll give you an update on my honey bees and the honey I harvested. It’s a helluva more interesting than currencies and sovereign bonds.


Starbucks customers find social change to be a grind

Starbucks ran headlong into the great divide of the US.

The over-priced coffee shop came out over the weekend saying that it would allow people to use its spaces — including restrooms — without making a purchase.

This policy change was spurred by Starbucks “partners” calling police in Philadelphia last month on two black men sitting in a shop waiting on a friend.

The majority of customers in Starbucks are under 35-years old and that’s where it ran into trouble by trying to placate this base by saying it would open up its stores to everyone. In NYC this would include the homeless and mentally deficient.

The blowback on social media was fast and furious as people posted protests to the policy change. It’s bad enough to pay upwards of $3 for a coffee followed by three adjectives, but to then have to worry about safety had Twitter going nuts.

Well, come Monday, Starbucks had to walk back this “space race” by saying it wants its outlets to be safe for all customers and that it would draw the line somewhere between paying customers and others using its stores.

This is what happens when a retailer attempts to impose social change on its customers, which many may believe in, but some do not.

Personally, if I was charging these prices for coffee and getting away with it, there is no way I would do anything to get my customers perturb.

This issue goes back to the post I did recently on Starbucks and Amazon not wishing to pay additional corporate tax to the city of Seattle to fight homelessness in the area where both have their headquarters.

I called those moves hypocrisy and I can say with all honesty that Starbucks should focus on returning value to its shareholders and not be so concern about changing the world because they already have.

Who else could get away with charging these prices for something I can buy from a street cart in Midtown Manhattan right outside one of its outlets for 50 cents in a traditional blue and white cup.

Bezos, Schultz and their pure hypocrisy in Seattle

The hypocrisy of Jeff Bezos and Howard Schultz is so absolutely delicious.

The blowback Amazon and Starbucks are giving the city of Seattle over a new tax being levied on employers to help fund homelessness programs in the city is classic “do what I say, not what I do”. Continue reading

Trump’s China tariff battle really about IP

President Trump — bolstered by the 750-point snap back in the Dow Wednesday — tripled down on his China tariffs Thursday stating the US was looking at an additional $100 million in imports.

Market futures on Friday morning seem to confirm that the new ploy has a much smaller effect on the markets. Futures this morning are down 200 points as oppose to -500+ Wednesday morning. Continue reading