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Month: August 2021

Season 3, Episode 20: The ‘New Normal’ of Blue-Collar Labor Shortages

With Gad Levanon, head of Labor Market Institute at The Conference Board

Gad Levanon, head of Labor Market Institute at The Conference Board, joins the podcast to discuss his views of employment trends.

Levanon’s analysis differs from the consensus view of labor markets. In his view, unusual demographic and educational trends are causing a ‘new normal’ of shortages among blue-collar workers. These jobs can be expected to see fast wage growth, bringing a host of restraints on the next stage of economic expansion.

Content Highlights:

  • The ‘new normal’ of labor shortages (3:35);

  • The economic impact of rising wages for blue-collar workers: corporate profits and higher consumer prices (7:29);

  • Automation has the potential to help the trend somewhat, but there are reasons to be skeptical (10:37);

  • How close is the U.S. to reaching full employment? (14:29);
  • What all of this says for the next stage of the economic cycle (16:57);
  • Background on the guest (20:22);
  • The ‘work-from-home’ trend and how that is impacting things (22:47);

  • Other trends in employment and labor markets (27:27);
  • The guest’s primary concerns about the economy and society at present (31:22).
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Season 3, Episode 19: When Investors Become Gamblers — And Why It’s Happening Now

With William L. Silber, Author of ‘The Power of Nothing to Lose: The Hail Mary Effect in Politics, War, and Business’

William L. Silber, author of the book ‘The Power of Nothing to Lose: The Hail Mary Effect in Politics, War, and Business,’ joins the podcast to discuss his thesis that individuals, including investors, can become reckless gamblers if they have nothing to lose.

Silber has a career dating back to 1966 in academia and Wall Street. His comments are pertinent in the present day of cryptocurrencies, the ‘retailization’ of options trading, NFTs, and meme stocks, among others. So is his recommendation (not investment advice) to reduce risk exposure.

Content Highlights

  • When people have downside protection and limitless losses, “they tend to become reckless and almost gamblers” (3:48)

  • Rogue traders and the skewed payoff that makes them go rogue (14:41);

  • What to make of the present day and investors’ collective risk appetite, especially regarding meme stocks? (17:32);
  • Background on the guest (24:55);

  • A valuable lesson learned at Odyssey Partners in the 1980s: what’s an exit strategy? (27:47);
  • Is this a time for investors to reduce risks and sell stocks? (30:26);

  • Precious metals and their place in a modern portfolio (36:52);
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Contrarian Calls, Revisited: David Neuhauser’s Bullish Call on Vista Oil (Updated)

Adds David Neuhauser’s comments at the bottom of the story.

Presenting at the second Contrarian Investor Virtual Conference on June 3, 2020, David Neuhauser of Livermore Partners made the bullish case for Vista Oil (VIST).

Vista, “the leading pure play company in the Vaca Muerta basin,” interested Neuhauser because of its strong leadership and management, the large number of undeveloped locations in the basin and “an interesting dynamic where they have credential wells and their shale wells.” The shale wells have produced “beyond expectations,” and with oil prices rebounding there was “substantial valuethe ” in the company, he said. VIST was trading around $3 at the time of Neuhauser’s presentation.

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