Tonight will be a blow off night as most are looking for election news or getting set up for the big QE 2.0 speech tomorrow. A few notes and then some fun stuff.
I Have Always Said the Stock Run Up is Not Helping Most People
Barry Ritholtz over at The Big Picture covers a point I have made time and again, most "normal" people really do not have much money in stocks and the money they do is parked in hard to get out vehicles like 401k's and other retirement plans. From Barry:
Home Equity as a Percentage of Household Net Worth
Two other factors to keep in mind when discussing the wealth effect:
1) The vast majority of Americans have very little money tied up in equities. The median family’s portfolio is worth well under $50k
2) The biggest investment remains real estate, with a median value of $200k. At 20% down, it still reflects 10 to 1 leverage.
Hence, why nationally, the wealth effects of real estate are far more than stocks . .
Now I am aware many writers out there have big bucks. I am glad many of you have friends and family that are smart and have worked hard and may have large holdings that they use well. The fact remains most Americans do not. The QE 1-50 HFT FED pump job on markets has been for the benefit of traders and banks. It also makes a nice talking point "Look the markets are UP huge! You know what that means right?" The tech wreck was the last time regular folks chased stocks, not anymore. After being wiped out on real estate I doubt gold, silver, cotton, sugar, or oil will soon become favorites either.
Financial Blog Wars
Downtown Josh Brown of The Reformed Broker (Ha, reformed from what I wonder....?) must have spent hours putting together the coolest grouping of finance blogs of all time. Set with the backdrop of "Star Wars" we get a breakdown of a monster list of names. The categories in the post are:
Jedi Masters - Macroeconomics, Capitalism, Big Picture Wisdom
Droids - Technicals, Trading, Charting, Options, Quantitative Analysis
Jawas - Distressed Asset Salvage, Value Investing, Fundamental Research, Stockpicking
Death Star - Mainstream Media Blogs, Commentators for The Empire
Rebel Alliance - Misfits, Rebels, Originals & Wild Cards
Galactic Senate - News, Multiple Voices, Aggregation
Bounty Hunters - Mercenary Journos, Newsletter Authors, Pundits for Hire - not necessarily financial bloggers but definitely part of the conversation
If you click on over you will notice Economic Disconnect has made the list in the Rebel Alliance - Misfits, Rebels, Originals & Wild Cards category! I have to admit, this made my whole week and it is only Tuesday! Thanks so much Josh!
P.S. That category is the best one, IMO.
None of the Above
the 1985 film "Brewster's Millions" is a favorite of mine. Starring Richard Pryor and John Candy the film's summary notes:
Brewster is challenged to either take $1 million upfront, or spend $30 million within 30 days to inherit $300 million. If he chooses the former, the law firm becomes the executor of the estate and divides the money among charities (after taking a sizable fee). In the latter case, after 30 days, he may not own any assets that are not already his, and he must get value for the services of anyone he hires. He may donate only 5% to charity and lose 5% by gambling. Neither may he buy expensive goods and destroy or give them away. And he's not allowed to tell anyone, even Spike. Monty decides to take the $30 million challenge. A paralegal from the law firm must accompany him to keep tabs on all spending.
Seems easy but it is quite hard. Brewster finds innovative ways to spend the money including mailing a million dollar collective stamp as postage and running for Mayor of New York.
Well, not really. One of the best ways to burn cash is a political campaign, and thus Brewster runs on the platform of "None of the Above" which aims to have no one win the mayor race! It is very funny and almost sadly true that candidates are usually bad and slightly less bad to chooses from. Here is a clip:
Of course we cannot vote for none of the above, but I do hope plenty of incumbents get shown the door tonight. Banner from the film:
McRib? Who Cares! Bring Back the Old McDonald's Chicken Sandwich!
I saw this headline today and it got me thinking:
The McRib Returns
Who cares? The McRib is actually pretty good, but the limited time thing is a drag. From the article:
It's like running through a field of four-leaf clovers. It's like finding a unicorn chillin' at the fountain of youth. It's like a hundred Christmases slathered in barbecue sauce. It's the return of the McDonald's McRib sandwich. And, to many people, it's an event to get excited about.That was too funny.
The McRib phenomenon is something special in fast food. It's an incredibly popular pork sandwich (cut to look like a short stack of ribs) that only appears once every so often. Despite fans clamoring for it to become a full-time member of the McDonald's menu, the folks at the Golden Arches unleash its pork-flavored fury only once in a while. That time is now.
This put me in mind of two McDonald's items that deserve their own letter writing campaign to bring back as soon as possible.
This thing was cool because it came in two halves that you put together. It was fun! You could even make the sound that the robot Transformers make when they transform when you did it, not that I EVER did that! Here she is:
We need this to come back, it will support aggregate demand I promise!
Ok, now the main point of this post,
The Original Fried McDonald's Chicken Sandwich
What was better than a fried chicken sandwich from Mickie D's? Not much, not at all! This thing was just pure awesome and it condensed perfection on the styrofoam packaging.
Made with a little lettuce (who cares) and a ton of mayonnaise this baby was just the ticket. Report cards were maintained at straight A's (except handwriting!) by Economic Disconnect on the promise of McChicken dreams coming true. Here is a picture of the now extinct holy grail of fast food:
Economic Disconnect actually invented the "double stacker" idea KFC seems to like over twenty years ago. You get two of these bad boys, get rid of the bun from one, and stack the two McChicken's together and now you are really in business! It was a double stuffed thing of desire. It was what was best in the world. It was safety and warmth in a box. It was all this and so much more.
Please join me in my campaign to get both the transforming McDLT and the old school McChicken sandwich back on the menu. In these troubled times, we need all the help we can get. We can even skip the styrofoam I guess.
Have a good night.