My back to work morning
train WFH reads:
• The Price of the Stuff That Makes Everything Is Surging: Global economic rebound is fueling a blistering commodities rally The prices of raw materials used to make almost everything are skyrocketing, and the upward trajectory looks set to continue as the world economy roars back to life. From steel and copper to corn and lumber, commodities started 2021 with a bang, surging to levels not seen for years. The rally threatens to raise the cost of goods from the lunchtime sandwich to gleaming skyscrapers. It’s also lit the fuse on the massive reflation trade that’s gripped markets this year and pushed up inflation expectations. With the U.S. economy pumped up on fiscal stimulus, and Europe’s economy starting to reopen as its vaccination rollout gets into gear, there’s little reason to expect a change in direction. (Bloomberg)
• Record Share of Companies Are Beating Earnings Estimates Corporate earnings have rarely looked this good. With the earnings season more than halfway over, most companies in the S&P 500 have surpassed analysts’ profit expectations. As of Friday, results from 87% of those that have reported were better than expected, according to Refinitiv. That is above the historical average of 65% and on pace for the highest share since Refinitiv began tracking the metric in 1994. And companies aren’t just beating estimates—they are topping them by far more than usual. (Wall Street Journal)
• Top tax frustrations for Americans: The feeling that some corporations, wealthy people don’t pay fair share The public’s frustrations with the U.S. tax system have not changed much in recent years. Far more Americans continue to say they are bothered “a lot” by the feeling that some corporations and wealthy people do not pay their fair share of taxes than by the complexity of the tax system or even the amount they pay in taxes. (Pew Research Center) see also C.E.O. Pay Remains Stratospheric, Even at Companies Battered by Pandemic The divergent fortunes of C.E.O.s and everyday workers illustrate the sharp divides in a nation on the precipice of an economic boom but still racked by steep income inequality. The stock markets are up and the wealthy are spending freely, but millions are still facing significant hardship. Executives are minting fortunes while laid-off workers line up at food banks. (New York Times)
• Days of Future Past There are a lot of philosophies being created in the hearts of minds of people who either cannot remember a market environment before the present one or who have never experienced any other environment because they have only recently gotten started as investors. Recency Bias is the term used to explain this sort of thing. Whatever just happened starts to feel like it is the thing most likely to happen next. (Reformed Broker)
• What Financial Advisers Are Telling Rich Clients About Biden’s Tax Hike Top earners are seeking guidance before their rates on capital gains rise—and they’re being told to buckle up. But some advisers are finding clients hesitant to sell, after years of being told to do anything to avoid triggering a taxable event. “We have one of the lowest capital-gains rates in history right now, but my clients still don’t pay capital gains. They still don’t sell stock. They don’t like taking any gains.” (Bloomberg Wealth)
• The strange case of the ‘$100m deli’ and the universities that own a slice: Duke and Vanderbilt universities, two of the most prestigious seats of learning in the US, are among the biggest shareholders of a company that owns a single sandwich shop in New Jersey and has a stock market valuation of $100m despite recording just $13,976 in sales last year. (Financial Times)
• The Problem With Apple’s Plan to Stop Facebook’s Data Collection “It’s not just giving users the choice,” said Gennie Gebhart, acting activism director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the internet-rights advocacy group. “It’s forcing these app developers to ask permission and possibly just stop tracking preemptively so they don’t have this scary permission associated with their app.” There’s a whole industry built around targeting ads using personal data, and if enough people start regularly opting out of tracking, Apple’s new tool could frustrate many of the businesses in this space. (Slate)
• Next Generation of Covid-19 Vaccines Could Be Pill or Spray These newer vaccines, from U.S. government labs and companies including Sanofi, Altimmune. and Gritstone Oncology, also have the potential to provide longer-lasting immune responses and be more potent against newer and multiple viral variants, possibly helping to head off future pandemics, the companies say. (Wall Street Journal)
• Higher Ed 2.0 (What We Got Right/Wrong) Higher education is the most important industry in America. It’s the vaccine against the inequities of capitalism, the lubricant of upward economic mobility, and the midwife of gene therapies and search engines. College graduates lead longer, healthier, and more prosperous lives. University research provides the raw material for corporate innovation. Our institutions call to our shores the best and the brightest from around the world, many of whom stay to make America a stronger nation, and form connective tissue with their home countries. (No Mercy / No Malice)
• Heartbreaking Photos Show How Dire This Coronavirus Surge In India Is As cases in India surge faster than anywhere in the world, Indians struggle to care for their family members who have COVID and mourn lost loved ones. (Buzzfeed)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Jonathan Miller, co-founder of Miller Samuel. Miller is the go-to expert on real-estate appraisals and transactions, running one of the most prominent real-estate data analytics firm, and their data engine powers numerous real estate brokerage research nationally. He is also sought after as the go-to appraiser for many of the most expensive penthouses in Manhattan.
Global Civilian Firearm Ownership Per Capita
To learn how these reads are assembled each day, please see this.