I was driving to a haircut this afternoon and over town I could see rolling flashes of lightning. On the radio was all the commentary about our President’s personal attorney pleading guilty and implicating the President while the President’s former campaign chairman being found guilty on bank and tax fraud.
By the time I got to the salon on the Rio Ruidoso, the rain was pouring, the thunder was booming and the lightning flashing.
See the analogy? The storm in Ruidoso blew over by the time I got this post written. Will the political headline storms blow over too?
Should the markets be freaking out about these Trump personal attorney and campaign chairman headlines?
I don’t think I’d freak out too much (yet?) about the potential for all these criminal Trump associates to take down the President. But here’s one way I was thinking about whether we should be shocked that President Trump’s personal attorney pled guilty and implicating President Trump while the President’s former campaign chairman was found guilty on bank and tax fraud in the same afternoon. The futures dipped a fraction of a percent after hours on these headlines, so the market’s not freaking out about it right now either.
I wonder if the markets would be freaking out and I can imagine that the DJIA futures would be down 2-3% if this were seven years ago and the headlines were: “President Obama’s personal attorney pled guilty and implicating President Trump while the President’s former campaign chairman was found guilty on bank and tax fraud in the same afternoon.”
Now I’m no fan of Obama or Trump, equally disdainful towards each of them, but I can imagine that the markets wouldn’t be taking such striking headlines about our most recent past President in stride like it seems to be right now.
I tend to think the way the markets are ignoring such headlines is another indicator of how complacent the markets are right now. And while that doesn’t mean the markets will pull back tomorrow or anytime soon in any serious manner, it does mean the risks are higher that it does than they were two weeks ago, I suppose.
I’m going to discuss these topics and the other major financial/tech/political headlines tomorrow on The Cody Willard Show which we’ll broadcast live at 12pm noon ET tomorrow (Wednesday) including here on Facebook and here on YouTube. Here’s our home page: The Cody Willard Show. We also publish it each week in podcast form on iTunes, Soundcloud and Stitcher.
Meanwhile, here’s another transcript of this morning’s The Cody Willard Show.
Announcer: Coming up on The Cody Willard Show, is China a friend, a foe, or something else altogether? Then, some good news, including why all you need is love. Plus, sports with Ross the Boss and Cody talks stocks. The Cody Willard Show is brought to you by TradingwithCody.com.
Cody: Welcome back everybody to another episode of The Cody Willard Show. I am indeed Cody Willard, eponymously so, eponymously so? Hippopotamusly so. This is where we try to be objective. We strive to be objective and not just give you some sort of pretend unslanted news because I might be a little slanted, but I’m not slanted left or right in the way that any other news organization is framing the issues these days. I’ve Chris McHugh, my partner-in-crime, co-executive producer. I never know which way to point when I pull him up, when he pulls himself up.
Chris: Very often, Cody, I only watch Fox News channel, so you help me get the other side of the story because without you, I would just have Sean Hannity talking points in my head, and that’s it.
Cody: Well, there is a lot of people in your boat, millions of people watching Fox News or CNN or vice versa, MSNBC, as their exclusive source for news and what topics are chosen to be reported upon and how they’re framed. Chris, let’s jump into some of this news, real fake fake news, real news.
Chris: That’s right.
Cody: Does two fakes make a real?
Chris: It sure does. As a matter of fact, Trump, his economic advisors and much of his focus has been on China with new tariffs, endless talking about technology and electrical property theft and its role in North Korea. Is China a friend, a foe, or something else altogether? It’s a mystery, Cody.
Cody: Let’s see if we can’t unravel this onion of a mystery. Look. Long story short, to answer your question, I would think that China is mostly foe, not friend. You’ve got to remember, as mixed as our economy is, as corrupt as our republican democrat regime and the whole system partisanship and the control of the voting electorate and the whole paradigm of elections and government rule here in the United States, China is communist. It is now a dictatorial hippopotamusly, reference to earlier, but yeah, it’s basically a dictatorship now and it’s communist.
Cody: For 15 years, 20 years that I’ve been analyzing stocks and seeing technology companies from Corning to Apple go over and open factories or partnerships in China, and I’ve often asked, “What happens if at one point, the Chinese government just says, ‘Hey, we’re nationalizing everything in our country, every factory’?” You might think you’ve got 50% ownership in it, US company, Apple, Corning, anyone, every major manufacturing company has either supplies coming from China or is actually in China itself with their factories and supply chain. That stuff can be nationalized.
Cody: We’ve got to remember the lessons of history. We’ve seen in times of crisis, in economic crises, countries will go to extremes and they will nationalize assets. We’ve seen that in decades past. You see it even in Venezuela in the last 10 years. That stuff does happen in a communist dictatorship. I’ve often wondered, “What happens if one day we wake up and they do nationalize a bunch of the assets and the factories?” I will say China, a trading friend, but a trade foe.
Chris: Cody, what do you think about this video that you had sent me that we’re going to roll here about the factory situation, whatnot? We live in a leisure society and we like to talk a good game about conditions and factory conditions, and I wouldn’t buy that if somebody was toiling for 12 hours a day, and factories where they have suicide watch and special netting because people are living in dorms away from their families. What did the video that we’re going to show here, what did your gut say? What was your initial reaction to it?
Cody: Well, look. Life is hard everywhere, including in the United States. There are people in the intercity, people in rural America, people everywhere in this country and in countries all over that toil, that suffer, working to minimum or close to minimum wage jobs in this country at fast food places trying to feed your kids and support a family without healthcare.
Cody: These things are real here and this underscores that the world is a hard place. It’s hard in China. It is hard here. People toil everywhere and we can continue to make the world a better place. We’ve got to talk about these things. There is the entire paradigm of ownership class versus labor. It’s still very real today. Labor has lost so much power. Workforce has lost so much wealth as a share of this global GDP and the global wealth in this world. Chris, what’s your take?
Chris: Well, it’s so interesting. Just back to this video, though, and seeing that they work 12 hours a day, they were given one uniform, which is showing right here, and I’m wondering, this was not some NYU project, and I’m wondering was this a hit piece on Apple? Even if it was, I’m thinking you can’t just blame Apple. These are general conditions in China and whatnot, and what’s interesting, I think the shot that they showed there, nobody really that works in this factory can even afford an iPhone.
Chris: It’s very conflicting. Like you said, we do live in this leisure society and we are very spoiled. Certainly you were talking about cell phones, not cell phones, but fast food. That’s much different than this gentleman’s working conditions. You’re not living in a dorm. You could go into town. You can go back home. You could probably much more easily quit you job and move over from Taco Bell to McDonald’s or wherever you wish, but it’s very sad I think, and for a company that charges so much money for their product and you think about how profit and where’s your-
Cody: Can’t you say the same thing about McDonald’s? Here in the United States, the owners of McDonald’s are taking home tens of billions of dollars of profits a year. The executives are paying themselves millions upon millions, if not tens of millions of dollars individually each every year, and you see people who should be retired. You see men, women, ages 30 and 40 who you know have kids at home who are working these minimum wage jobs.
Cody: It’s not like I have an easy answer to any of this, either. It’s not like I think we should just raise minimum wage. Economies happen, but what we do and what we can do, what we can do together, Chris, and what the Cody Willard Show frankly I hope in addition to striving to be objective, it wants to shine a light on things that just need to be discussed. We need to continue to … Whether that’s a hit piece on Apple or not, there are people in China who need our help. There are people in our community who need our help. Let’s continue to talk about them, shine a light on them, not beg the government to help them more. Let’s you and I individually figure out ways to do it.
Chris: That’s the key, and that’s what I was getting at, because I keep repeating this a lot all through the weekend, and that we’re walking around my neighborhood here, and in 1952, this was a post World War II neighborhood. People had little capes. You had four rooms, you had tiny little closets, not a lot of extra clothes, and then I’m walking with my father-in-law and we’re seeing all this ginormous houses, which are way bigger than you need, cars that are way more expensive than what you require. They’re status symbol cars.
Chris: I was speaking with my father-in-law, because my take always is if you grew up “poor” or middle class, I think it’s a lot easier for you to have that cut off valve where you say, “You know what? Maybe I don’t need that $80000 luxury car. Maybe I’ll just get that Cadillac, and hey, how about I put that money into my community or donate it to charity?”
Cody: I don’t know, man. You see, Alan Iverson’s a great example of that is not necessarily universally true, and who are we to judge? My house is bigger than it should be, but any house that has individual rooms is bigger than the … Just in my own personal life and experiences, I lived in Harlem, not Harlem outright, but Harlem proper, but 101st and Amsterdam surrounded by projects.
Cody: My building, it was not a luxury place, let’s put it that way. Next door to me on the 11th floor, this little, not squalid but it wasn’t exactly a luxurious place, but there was a Haitian family, eight people in a one bedroom apartment in New York City making a go of it, and happy kids, great family. I’m in touch with them and love them to this day. Who am I to … Maybe I can look at people who have helicopters and boats and six mansion vacation homes, but those people in Harlem can look at me and say the same damn thing.
Chris: Yeah. Well, anybody who’s wealthy knows that wealth doesn’t make you happy. If you’re happy, you’re happy. If you’re living in a studio apartment with four kids and you’re happy, then you’re happy. For those that are unhappy doing that, my question always is, why do people continue, who can squirrel away a little bit of money to go apply for that job, say the next state over where it’s a more rural area and they can have a better quality of life, but they’re away from family and whatnot, my question is why do we all want to live on top of each other in these inner cities and have a poor quality of life? When you live in that city for such a long time, you forget that there’s a world around you and maybe your quality of life could be better, but it’s always hard for me driving through New York City or whatnot and seeing people on top of people and the political system that drives them to do so.
Cody: And emotional system. People are accountable for their own actions in many ways, too. Certainly everyone is a victim and or beneficiary of circumstance, but like you just said, you can choose. I lived in New York. I lived in rural New Mexico for the first 23 years of my life. I lived in New York City on top of people and underneath people, mostly underneath. It’s a long way out the bottom of that totem pole when I was serving coffee at Starbucks. Anyway, I chose to leave. I’ve chosen to do both. You can always choose to reinvent yourself. Donna’s always been an inspiration to me in that case.
Cody: Chris, I sort of like the theme of today’s show. We got a different vibe here going and we’re doing some debate even, discussion and whatnot. Let’s talk. I’ve got something that I know you’re about to reveal. Let me just jump the gun if I can. I put this on my Twitter feed, and it’s a feel good thing, guys. When we talk politics and things and I’m mad at Obama and I’m mad at Trump and I’m mad at Bush and Clinton and everybody, right, but step back.
Cody: What a beautiful world we live in. How tragic it is that there is a homeless man on a subway who is hungry and shirtless, but how beautiful that on an individual basis, an individual person, from one race to another race … Forget the race. Why do we even talk race? Let the race go. This beautiful man sitting there reaching out to another beautiful man, and not just giving him the literal shirt off his back, but helping him put it on. Moving on. Nobody’s there giving that guy who gave that shirt a high five or applause. We can be that. We can individually do that.
Cody: I always tell people, yes, giving to Red Cross and charities are great, but when a hurricane hit in New York a few years ago, which one was it, I actually booked some rooms for some friends who were displaced. Their house flooded. You could go to the Red Cross but you can also individually impact lives probably much bigger, like that man just did there on the subway. Chris, what were you going to say there?
Chris: I think that’s so important. I talked to somebody who lived in New York City around there and he lived in Bali, India, and he lived in London, and I complained about the façade and how unfriendly New Yorkers can be a lot when I lived in that area, and he said it’s this big city thing. It’s just the way that you have to operate in there, and I understand that, but it’s so nice to see somebody in the city operating with all the heart that a human being should have. It is rare.
Chris: I remember walking probably across, I was going across 6th Street when I was working in Manhattan, and there was this woman who was trying to get people’s attention, this older woman, and everybody was just kind of moving away from her because they thought maybe she was going to beg or something. I got closer, and I just realized she needed help crossing the street. For me, it was just such a wonderful, fulfilling, glorious moment, and we almost died. She was so slow. We almost died and got ran over because the light changed. I couldn’t even get her across in time, but it’s those little things that you’re talking about that really make a difference.
Chris: This weekend, we traveled via boat, via ferry from Connecticut to New York in this town called Port Jefferson, and it was much more New Yorky, like we were saying before the show. There wasn’t as much talking to strangers and things like that, but there were very kind moments, especially with the kids at the playground and things like that. I just think individually, we have to remember.
Cody: You’re hitting an important note there. I’d forgotten this. I used to talk about this all the time. When I first moved to New York from New Mexico, I didn’t know a soul. I showed up, stayed at the sister’s apartment of a friend actually up there near where I ended up living. She lived at 96th, I ended up living there on 101st and Amsterdam.
Cody: From her kindness to opening her doors to a friend of her brother’s who was a stranger, to the place where I went to buy some furniture when I rented that one room tiny little apartment, I don’t know, the immigrant man who ran the place at the end of it, I bought a dresser. When I was walking out, I’d said, “How much is that bed frame?” He was like, “It’s $150.” I had moved to New York with a few thousand bucks in my pocket and didn’t have $150 extra. I just said, “Oh, shoot.”
Cody: When they delivered the dresser, the frame was in there, too. He said, “Look, someday when you’ve made it, you come pay me back,” when I called and asked, “Why was the frame in there? I couldn’t afford it.” He said, “No, man, it’s on me until someday you come back me back.” I did. I did. When I got my first big paycheck on Wall Street, it was actually when I got my first paycheck on Wall Street, a small one, I went and paid him the $150 back.
Cody: A man down at the bottom of the apartment building, again, a retired, struggling guy living in a rent controlled apartment gave me a boombox because he saw me carry nothing into that apartment and he knew I didn’t have a TV. He asked me. He said, “You don’t have a TV or nothing?” I have a terrible accent. I can never imitate other accents. Maybe I shouldn’t anyway, because I always get accused of whatever.
Cody: Anyway, point being, the guy gave me and lent me his boombox and I would listen to the radio and listen to Sunday night football, Monday night football for the first several months I lived there. That was my apartment entertainment, generosity from just strangers in New York. It’s a beautiful, friendly city. Who knew?
Chris: Yeah, and that’s something … My mic is getting real crusty here, Cody.
Cody: Chris, let’s hop over. We’ve got some bad movie reviews. I’ll toss over to the bad movie reviews. Corey Turner in the house.
Cory: This is Cory Turner, and welcome to Cory Turner’s Amazingly Bad Movie Reviews. 1964, science fiction horror movie, The Creeping Terror. That’s something that most horror movies are never able to do, live up their title.
Cory: Using actual rocket footage but played in reverse, an alien lands on earth and starts a rampage of death and destruction that seems to find every couple making out in the entire county. No one is safe from this alien, who has a taste for human flesh.
Cory: No one runs. They just sit there and scream, like, “Ah,” as it slowly comes and eats them. They could just slowly saunter away. Complete with a creature costume that has you too busy trying to figure out what it is to be scared, The Creeping Terror just gives you the creeps.
Chris: You know, no, my mic is still going to be bad.
Cody: Chris, we’ve got one segment left, The Truth Trifecta. Let’s hit it and we’ll wrap it up. Number one, ladies and gentlemen, on your truth trifecta today. Everybody hates Twitter. Trump says social media is kicking off conservatives. Liberals have long though that Twitter is way too liberal and not kicking off conservatives.
Cody: Look, Twitter certainly has an obligation to help the world not have hate spewing everywhere. It has an obligation to try to make it a good network and that there’s usefulness in it. That’s also because it wants to be a capitalist profitable company. All of that stuff feeds upon itself.
Cody: There is no easy answer. Jack Dorsey can’t hire a million people to monitor every video that’s ever been uploaded and every comment that’s being posted back and forth on Twitter, but you guys, self-police. People are good. You are good. You see something bad, bad is relative, but you see something outright calling for violence, if you see something … That stuff that Alex Jones was doing was not okay. That’s why he got banned from Twitter for a week. He did something recently that was reported and Twitter took action.
Cody: Chris, point number two, everybody loves Apple. Last week, it might’ve been two weeks ago, I did a victory lap because I had predicted that Apple would be the first trillion dollar company eight years ago when it was worth $150 billion, and here’s it’s worth a trillion today. It’s up even more since then, another 5% or 10%.
Cody: There was a bear. When I was driving back, I had to run an errand this morning, I was coming into the office listening to CNBC on Sirius, and they were in there debating Apple. The bear was being mocked. Everybody was sure the bear was wrong and they were disdainful to him, like, “How dare you have never had a buy reading on Apple. It’s so obvious that it’s going up and it has been obvious that it was going to go up.”
Cody: Whoa, boys, that might be the time to … Like I said, when everybody’s celebrating a trillion dollar company and everybody’s mean, outright mocking to the poor bear, well, yeah, the bear should’ve known better, but still, that’s probably a good time to trim a little. I might personally trim a little Apple. Expect a trade alert, you Trading with Cody subscribers.
Cody: Point number three, roll it for me, Chris. Everybody should hate syrup. Look, you love Apple, you hate Twitter. Whatever, man, but I do have something you actually should hate. Syrup. Pepsi bought Soda Stream today for $2.3 billion and the Wall Street Journal’s headline is Pepsi did so in a bad to get more active in the health drink industry. Soda Stream is not healthy.
Cody: Speaking of which, I was at the grocery store the other day and I was checking out. I love coconut water. I was like, “Oh, let me grab one of those big old coconut waters,” or 50 or something like that. I was like [inaudible 00:25:25]. I got back to the office. I’m sipping on this thing. I didn’t do that, but I’m like, “That tastes a little artificial.”
Cody: It says on here USDA organic, non-GMO. Oh, wait a minute. From concentrate. What? Organic coconut water from concentrate, natural flavors. Yeah, the republican democrat regime got lobbied to the point where you can just put natural flavors when it is in fact a bunch of chemicals. I guess syrup, coconut syrup in water reconstituted and sold with chemicals in it is considered USDA organic. Hate syrup, man. Come on, government. Get that syrup out of here. If it is syrup, don’t say it’s non-GMO and organic [inaudible 00:26:28] from concentrate.
Cody: All right, everybody, that’s another edition of The Cody Willard Show. Thanks so much to my gargling sounding executive producer, Chris McHugh. Chris, let’s hear your voice to check us out.
Chris: Oh, gargle, gargle, gargle.
Cody: Sure, now it works.
Chris: Yeah, I know.
Cody: Thanks everybody. That’s a wrap. Peace, love, and happiness.
And here’s a picture of Amaris and me playing “The Floor Is Lava” while I was at home earlier before coming back to the office to finish this post.