Years or Months? We're approaching the end of week 8 and I'm still trying to figure out what life will look like next month, next year and beyond. There's this small matter of our retirement savings. We're getting closer to the time in our lives when we'll start drawing down on that savings and it's largely intertwined with the stock market and the American Economy. I was initially bullish buying on every major decline. I had resisted buying Facebook stock for many reasons until recently when it was low and I suspected that all of us would spend more time on social media. That seems like a good move a few weeks later having purchased it at $147 a share and now seeing a number $60 higher. But is this fool's gold? Are we on the edge of a bigger downturn? I see lots of predictions about life on the other side and while articles often reflect what we want to read and returning to normal is sort of boring to read, I suspect that this will change our social interactions in some way for at least another decade. What I don't see clearly is what will change. Working from home becomes the norm? Sure. Flying on airplanes becomes expensive and much less common? Reasonable conclusion. Companies we know and love closing? Yes. Real estate prices plummeting as a result of those closing businesses? Definitely. The real question is what will it take to get consumers spending. That will drive much of the economy and for that they need confidence. I have no confidence right now. I'm watching my money very carefully? I'm feeling less giving today on Giving Tuesday because there is so much uncertainty. My feeling today is that the economy is in a three to five year slump...just enough for the newly elected Democratic president to catch heat about his responsibility in a lackluster economy during the entire administration. Vaccine would change that. Treatment would change that.
Banana Bread. Made it. It's become my specialty. Made a change to the recipe last night. Added chocolate chips. Now they are a permanent part of the recipe.
Deaths. Over 2500 people lost their life today in the US to COVID-19. This was the fourth worst day on record and just 15 days since the worst day (2683). Projections of total deaths was raised to 134,000 by August and that's almost double the projection from just last week. That model updated yesterday abandon's the quick fall in daily deaths and now shows a very slow decline. Why? Today's deaths have more to do with the new infections from a few weeks ago, but the experts seem to agree that we are rushing back too soon and with no serious commitment to adopting a "best practices" approach to mitigating the risk. The "open up" crowd is effectively creating a consumer base that will be scared to spend money for a long time. Sadly the short-term pressure is likely to cost us dearly over the long-term.
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