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We’ve had several policies that have hurt small businesses, especially since the advent of Covid. The US administration just implemented a policy to move gig/independent workers to employee status. How does this hurt small businesses? Carol Roth, our special guest for this episode, discussed that in this Week Ahead.
Also, we’ve seen a lot of negative news this week with producer prices, wages, consumer prices rising. One Twitter user asked what would Carol do if she was in charge? What would she do and how does she think it’d help?
Albert helped us look at the Fed and is the dovish Fed dead? We’ve known this for some time, and there were hopes for a pivot, but that seems to be over.
Tracy also talked about diesel inventories, which she talked about for a very long time. She helped us dig into that in this episode.
1. US policy punishing small businesses
2. The dovish Fed is dead
3. Diesel inventories
4. The Week Ahead
This is the 38th episode of The Week Ahead, where experts talk about the week that just happened and what will most likely happen in the coming week.
Follow The Week Ahead panel on Twitter:
0:48 Key themes for this week ahead
2:43 US policy on gig workers
7:48 Is this to slow down job creation?
10:00 What other things will make things uncompetitive for small businesses?
12:07 What adjustments would Carol Roth do if she’s with the Fed?
16:47 Debt buying and the Fed
19:00 Forecasts for some currencies
20:00 Does the Fed understand that this is a supply-induced inflation?
23:50 They’re not thinking through the political fallout
25:25 Is diesel priced in dollars globally? And what’s the impact?
28:00 How long does the diesel shortage last?
31:34 What’s for the week ahead?
Tony Nash: Hi, everybody, and welcome to the week Ahead. I’m Tony Nash. Today we are joined by Carol Roth. Carol is from Chicago. She’s the author of the War on small business. She’s got an amazing Twitter following an amazing Twitter presence. Carol, thanks so much for joining us. Really looking forward to getting your perspectives today.
We also have Albert and Tracy and I’m looking forward to getting their views on the Fed and on energy today as well. The key themes today we’re looking first at US policies punishing small business. Carol has a really unique perspective, obviously a book on the broader implications of this, but there are some recent policies that she’s been focusing on that will talk about some of those things.
Next. Albert will help us dig into the Fed. And are we looking at the end of the Dovish Fed? I think we’ve known this for some time, but there’s always kind of been some hope that there’s going to be some sort of pivot and that seems to be over.
Next we’ll look at diesel inventories. Tracy has been talking about this for a long, long time, but it really seems to be coming to a head. So we’ll dig into that today as well. Please take a look at our product CI Futures. It’s a forecast subscription product. It’s $99 a month. We cover a few thousand assets over a twelve month horizon economics, currencies, commodities, equity indices. So please take a look at that. The URL is on the screen. Thanks a lot for that.
Before we move on, please like this video, please subscribe to this video. You’ll be able to see all of them and we really want you to be able to see us every week as we bring these in.
So Carol, thank you very much for joining us. I know you’re busy, really demanding schedule. It means a lot to us that you could join us. So thank you very much.
Carol Roth: This is an amazing crew and I can’t believe you left out recovering investment banker out of my introduction because that’s really the most important part,
TN: Right, exactly. And a Raiders fan as we learned last week over Twitter as well. So we’ll forgive you for that. Anyway, thanks very much. I love the work you do on small business. And you’ve been talking about a recent policy and we’ve got a tweet of yours on the screen talking about the Bind regime pushing gig employees to be full time employee status with companies. Can you talk us through what that means for small businesses and why is that a competitive disadvantage?
CR: Yeah, I think the first thing that people really need to understand is how important small business is to the economy. Because I think a lot of people think, oh, it’s small, it’s just a little piece. Before COVID, small business was about half the GDP and about half the jobs. And at this point we have about 32 6 million small businesses in the US.
So if you’re somebody who believes in the concept of decentralization and that being important to economic freedom, this is the decentralized portion of the economy. This is very independent. It’s very spread out geographically via industries backgrounds. Whatnot by the way which is why big business, big governments and big special interests don’t like small businesses because they’re very hard to corral. If you look at the other half of the economy, it’s in the hands of 20 plus thousand big businesses. So it really is that sort of David versus Goliath battle but also this battle between decentralization and centralization. And we have seen all of these efforts over a long period of time to destabilize small businesses and to make competitive advantages to really tip the free market in favor of those big businesses.
And certainly the policies around COVID right, were the biggest example of that ever. It was an epic wealth transfer from Main Street to Wall Street done not based on data and science but based on political cloud and connections. So now that we kind of know what the story is in terms of this unholy triumvirate, if you will, the big business, the big special interest, big government attacking small businesses, you then look as to what else they can do to really make it harder for small businesses to compete.
So there’s this Department of labor ruling that’s come out. It’s followed something called AB Five in California. If anybody has heard or followed what was going on in California and then it has been and passed the House on a federal basis under the Pro Act. But basically the idea is they want to take gig workers and independent contractors which by the way the estimates, they number around 53 million people in the United States.
So again, this is not a small number of people who are being affected and they want to say you can no longer have the freedom to decide how you work. We don’t want you to be able to enter into a contract in a way that works for you. We don’t want you to have that flexibility. You have to be an employee. Now this may sound like, oh well, that sounds great for people.
Why would they not want to be an employee? Well, there are a lot of reasons why you don’t want to be an employee. The first is you might not have that opportunity. And that’s the biggest issue because it is very difficult. And the government are the ones who have made this very difficult for a company to hire their first employee and also to keep them on an ongoing basis.
If you hire somebody as an employee versus a contractor, you have to pay in a portion to Social Security. It affects interest. It can affect your 401K or step plans. It just kind of reverberates throughout your business and so it becomes very challenging and difficult. So if you are a small business who maybe gets busy during a certain season or need help just in certain areas, you tend to bring on independent contractors. Or if you’re creative, if you’re running a movie, you’re obviously not bringing everybody unnecessarily as an employee. You might have a caterer who comes in and feeds people, or if you’re a hairdresser, you may want to rent out a chair in a salon. And the salon doesn’t have the wherewithal to make these employees.
So they’re framing this as we’re trying to help the employees. This is going to really stick it to big business. But there are literally hundreds and hundreds of different categories of employees. Anybody who’s a 1099 employee and doesn’t have a business entity that this will threaten not only their economic freedom, the ability to work the way that they want to be flexible, but literally their livelihoods.
So if you believe in choice, it should be your work, your choice. And now the Department of labor wants to give another giveaway to all of those big special interests.
TN: So, Kara, when we’re in an environment right now where the Fed is trying to slow down job
creation, our small company is the largest portion of job creation as well. So is that another tool potentially, maybe unintended or not, I don’t know to slow down job creation?
CR: Yeah, I mean, certainly if you think of the small companies, they’re the ones that don’t have the financial wherewithal or the fortress balance sheets. They have not been loading up on the cheap debt because they have to personally guarantee it and don’t have the same scale as the big companies. So it’s a challenge for them to survive an environment where the Fed is going, we’re going to destroy demand. It’s basically we’re going to destroy the little guys who can’t endure this pain. So that’s small business. And you’re right. Having the ability to be flexible going, well, maybe I can’t hire an employee, but maybe I can hire somebody as a contractor parttime, and when things get better, I can bring them on as an employee. Or maybe this is just a flexible way that we can work in the future so we can have different people and they can also work with different companies in a way that suits them.
Absolutely. This is going to be on the shoulders of small business. And as they always do, they say, oh, this is an attack on Uber and Lyft. When this happened in California, Uber and Lyft went out and they put it on the ballot. They got an exemption, but they didn’t take everybody else with them. They just got it for a handful of big industries. And all of the other small guys were basically screwed.
So the idea that this is somehow in an attack in the front against the big guys and the small guys are going to come out smelling like a rose is a joke. If you believe that. I’ve got a bridge to sell.
TN: You right. Okay. So we have small businesses that just barely made it through COVID. So that was really a regulatory way to suffocate small business. And my company is one of them that scraped through and now we have these full time employee regulations coming in from the Department of labor. Are there other things on the horizon that you’re seeing that could make it even more uncompetitive for small businesses?
CR: I mean, everything that they’ve done is making it noncompetitive for small business, whether it’s regulation. You think about all of these minimum wage regulations and how these big companies like Amazon and Walmart have shifted their position and decided to lobby for them. Well, why do you think that is? That’s because they know they’re going to pay that level anyway and they don’t want to have the flexibility for the smaller companies to be able to maneuver around.
That certainly a higher interest rate environment messing with the labor force in general, let alone having a rule like this. The supply chains, the decisions that were made, whether it was a direct you have to close your business down or these indirect issues that affected labor supply, whatnot they killed by mandate around seven figures worth of small businesses. And unfortunately, Tony, as you’ve shared personal stories, there are many others that are just scraping by to survive.
And it’s just this like, you know, you get knocked down, you get up again and then they just keep knocking you down and you keep knocking you down. If you wanted people to succeed, if you wanted people to pursue the American dream, if you wanted economic freedom, you would be working to remove
barriers, make it easier for people to work, make it easier for companies to hire in the way that makes sense for both parties, and make it easier to be a small business. And every single thing that comes out
of government at all levels, by the way, it’s not just federal, but state and local is doing the exact opposite.
TN: Yeah, it’s overwhelming. We could talk about just that alone for hours. Let’s move on to former investment banker Warden Grad. You know your way around the economy. There is a tweet put out a few days ago asking you, if you had the big chair, what adjustments would you make to the economy, monetary policy, whatever, to change the environment today to make things better? What are a few things that you would do if you were Chair Powell or Janet Yellen or something like that?
CR: Burn the fed down. I burned down the Federal Reserve. The very first order of business, I put myself out of a job. And I say that kind of jokingly, but I like to clarify. I would take away the Fed’s powers because as I’ve said to many people before, the only thing worse than the Fed making monetary policy decisions and meddling in the markets and doing things like printing money and whatnot would be Congress doing that? So you don’t want to have those if you get rid of the Fed, you don’t want to have somebody else take away the powers. We’re really getting at, you know, getting rid of those powers to interfere. So that would be the first thing I would do.
But obviously that would not solve what is going on. Now. This is not going to be a surprise to any of you, but what we’re dealing with right now is a supply side imbalance. And it has been. They stimulated demand, but they stimulated it into a supply constrained economy. And so we are under supplied, as I know Tracy tweets about all the time in energy, certainly in labor, as we’re talking about food, housing, other commodities. So I personally don’t believe that the Fed has the tools to solve this problem and attack it. And frankly, I think that they’re going to just cause a massive amount of destruction not only here in the US. But reverberating through the global economy, which then swings back and has an impact on the US.
So what needs to be done, again, are policies that remove barriers to supply. What we’ve been talking about, certainly on the energy front, anything that we could do to stimulate supply of energy, which again, do it here, where we do it more cleanly, and not let China and Venezuela and all these countries that don’t do it cleanly be the ones to do that. Because the last time I checked, we all share the same air. It’s not like you believe in a smoking section, right? Like, oh well, they’re just smoking over there, we’re great over here in the same restaurant. Like, that’s so stupid.
So we would obviously do a 180 on energy policy. The same thing with labor. All the things we’re talking about make it easier for companies to hire people to go to work in the way that they want to work and then we close that gap in the labor market, which is insane.
The same thing in housing. The National Association of Home Builders did a study last year. $94,000 in regulatory costs are added to the cost of every new home from the government. I mean, that’s insane. The average house is almost 4000. So like 25% of the cost is in regulation. And I’m not saying we don’t need anything, but that’s certainly excessive and it’s gone up by something like 30% to 50% over a very short period of time. So it’s those kinds of things that the policies need to be focused on stimulating the supply and shrinking that supply, demand and balance by increasing supply, not by trying to kill the demand. And that’s just where I land on it.
Albert Marko: That’s exactly what I was tweeting last few months now. And actually on the show is they are trying to create demand destruction, but the problem is the supply disruption that they’re creating and they put themselves in a doom loop to where when demand comes back, there’s no supply. So you get a cycle of inflationary situations happening, and it’s bad here, it’s worse in Europe and it’s even worse in Asia. So we’re going to be stuck in this until the policies start changing, not just from the Fed, but it’s got to be political also because the governments are doing this COVID zero in Asia and the energy crisis in Europe, and they’re just making it worse. So until those policies change, we’re going to be stuck in this cycle.
TN: Yeah. So I respect both of you, but the Fed doesn’t. So they’re going to do whatever the hell they want. What’s really interesting to me is you guys may have seen today. The treasury was asking investment banks. Hey. Do we need to buy some of the debt off of you so that we can create some liquidity in debt markets. Just basically transfer some cash to you so we can take some of those assets off your balance sheet.
Whether it’s the Fed or the treasury or whatever is done. It just seems like the benefit is for the small circle of people. And when you talk about whether it’s interest rates or QT or whatever, it seems like interest rates are the bluntest instrument that hit the biggest number of people. Right. And it’s hard for me to understand why that’s absolutely necessary.
And Albert, we’re going to segue into your section on the death of the Davis Fed. If we look at interest rates, we’re looking at a terminal rate about around 5% now. Right. And so help me understand what is happening with the Fed, what you’re hearing, what you’re seeing and what you’re expecting for the next couple of months.
AM: Well, I mean, everything at this point well, it should have been for a year now, but everything from this point on is strictly to combat inflation. They are getting screamed at by literally everybody to get the 5.5%. Not just five, they’re going to get the 5.5%. They’re going to do 75 again on this next meeting and then another 75 after that. And their intention is demand destruction. That’s what they’re going to do. And they’re not going to be dovish anymore. But they’re have to walk a tightrope here because Europe, they’ve destroyed so much in the global market, specifically Europe that lost 30 trillion in the bond market, that it could be a systemic problem.
And they can’t have that, so they’ll do 70. Five to 75. Talk guidance extremely hawkish. They’re intent on trying to get inflation down until November and December.
TN: November and December.
AM: They’re going to do 75 both. And they’re just going to have to because their time is out and they have
no more tools left to hit. Inflation at JPY at. Euro will be at 90.
TN: And JPY will be what?
AM: I don’t know the correlation on that one off hand, but the euro is definitely going to go to 90. 90 to 90 on this. But it’s all $30 trillion, Tony. That’s a lot of money. The only people in the money. Yeah, it’s still a lot of money. So when the treasury starts talking about, do we need to buy debt back from banks? Is that the US. Banks or is that European banks? Because I guarantee there’s going to be some European banks in there.
TN: Oh, they have to be. Yeah.
AM: Like I said, they’re causing systemic problems and they can’t have your completely blow up. I mean, they’ll use them for a scapegoat to stop QT announce QT stop. But that’s where we’re at it right now.
TN: Okay, so does the Fed understand that this is largely supply induced inflation?
AM: No, they don’t. They don’t? No, because people do what they know, right? If you go back and you look at what Yelen did, when I say Fed, I just toss in the treasury at the same time because they’re one of the same. They talk. They talk, and they have correlating policies and whatnot. And if you look back in 2013, this is what Yellen did last time. She drove the dollar up, crushed the markets, and drove all the money back into the United States. Yes, the United States market looks all beautiful at 3600 to 3700, and people talking about Fed pivots and 3900 in the es, but it’s not real.
CR: Okay, so first of all, can we just discuss the fact that between the time that Janet Yellen was Fed chair and Treasury Secretary, the woman pulled down over $7 million in economic speeches when she didn’t know how to handle, you know, coming out of quantitative easing. She didn’t see inflation. She said that I think this was actually from you, Tracy, but she said that everything looked great in the treasury markets and then the next day went, oh, yeah, I’m worried about liquidity. I mean, clearly, I’m not sure she knows anything.
And I want to know how to get in on that gig in terms of making that money for speeches for something that you know nothing about. But I find it hard to believe since everybody and their brother has been talking about all of the issues that are going to happen here.
And maybe it’s my wart and bias, but I go along with Jeremy Siegel, noted finance professor who’s been out there hammering the Fed, saying, look, first of all, you not only do you not necessarily have the tools we’ve seen some elements of demand destruction in small places, and it takes a while to work through the system.
So if you go too fast, kind of like you didn’t see it on the front side, you’re going to do the same thing and you’re going to overshoot. But the bigger issue alluding to what Albert said is the potential to drag down the global economy. I mean, that the fact that you can end up with currency crises, with a treasury market crises, the whole slew of risk assets could be a massive sale of risk assets so that they
could get their hands on dollars because the Fed wants to keep raising interest rates.
It just seems to me it’s not a question of do they not know this? It’s a question of what’s their intention are. They trying to drag down the global economy so there is a financial reset, so they can introduce some sort of a central bank digital currency and have an excuse for it. It just seems to me to go, oh, they’re ignorant of what’s going on. When every single one of us sees this, you’ve got the IMF talking about it, you’ve got professors talking about it.
The fact that this hasn’t crossed their mind with the people that are involved yelling aside, but the Powells of the world and other folks there, that just seems not very likely to me.
AM: No, it’s not. A lot of it is political right there’s. U.S. Midterms, they don’t want Trump back, so they start throwing in these economic numbers to make Biden Democrats look good. And that screws up Fed
policy going forward. I mean, Yellen takes a dollar up, the Fed gets stuck, and then they have to go back and create a new crisis in Europe or Ukraine or whatever crisis they want to create sometime in the future to blame for everything. Yeah, I think the Fed guys are smart. I think they do know these are not stupid people, although certain people, they. Know they just don’t care.
TN: I think you’re right. I think they don’t care. But what I think they’re not thinking through is the political fallout we saw that Chancellor or the exchequer in the UK kicked out today after about two weeks in office or something. And that’s relatively light compared to what happened in Sri Lanka a few months ago and what’s happening in Africa, what’s happening in, say, Pakistan, Bangladesh, what’s happening in Latin America.
So I think we’ll see political fallout here as a result of the Fed’s inability to understand the implications. Where it will really hurt is if it hits Japan and you get minority party in Japan back in power. They’ll pay attention then. And if you see powers in Europe that aren’t favorable to the US. But that’s already kind of starting to see Czech Republic and Hungary, certainly we’ve. Already started to see this, and it’s just getting started.
We thought we saw populism in 2016. I don’t think we’ve seen anything yet. I think we’re going to see
this in a big way globally.
AM: Yeah, Tony, you’re right. I mean, the Europeans are absolutely screaming at yelling about this because she straight up lied to them about the bond market. She can’t even talk to the Norwegians
or the Swiss at the moment. This is how bad it’s become.
TN: Yes, I believe it. Okay, so let’s move on to energy. Tracy, you’ve talked a lot about distillates for a reason, warned us for months about diesel shortages and diesel prices, and it seems like it’s really coming back. And as you talk about this, I want to understand, is diesel priced in dollars globally? And so is that going to hit supply chains in other countries as well because of the pricing basis of diesel. Coming out of refineries
Tracy Shuchart: diesel’s price in local currencies and trade in local currencies. Products are crude, obviously, prices in dollars and traded that way globally, except for some instances. But products are generally like Nat gas, it’s traded in different currencies. But really, I mean, we were having a diesel problem. This started back in 2021, so this is nothing new. I was tweeting about it summer of 2021. I was really worried about distalates. I started tweeting about that then because I saw our inventory slow down. It’s even worse now.
But what’s come to a head all of a sudden, and what’s making this obviously 10 million times worse, is that Europe, for instance, mostly bought diesel from Russia, and they’re trying to lean off of that, right? And so in the meantime, the US. Is trying to supply Europe with diesel. But now over the last week, we’ve had three weeks of ongoing refinery strikes with total. So France has 2500 gas stations that have at least one product that is completely gone, and 2000 of them are shut down entirely. And then we just had a malfunction in the Netherlands and Shells Curtis refinery, which is the largest diesel refinery in all of Europe.
So right now we have a massive global problem that is just getting worse. And if you see the diesel crackspreads have been they’re ridiculously flowing out. And backwardation is flying right now, which is kind of obscene. In the meantime, we’re still drawing these distills. We had a 9 million build and a 4 million draw in distance, and we’re headed into winter. So we’re going to have major problems here already in the United States, particularly in the Northeast, because they don’t have the refinery capacity there to really supply that area.
TN: Okay, so what does that mean? How long does this last? Does it last into spring? Does it last beyond spring? I’m curious about the magnitude of the impact on price, but I’m also curious about the duration, how long this is going to last.
TS: Well, you know, I mean, this has pretty much been gone ongoing since 2021. We’ve had times where it’s worse and times where it’s not. But it’s been over a year now, over a year and a half now. I don’t see that going away anytime soon because we don’t have the supply. We don’t have enough heavy oil to, you know, to make these products globally, especially when you’re cutting off Russia, because that’s what they produce is heavy oil. You’ve got Venezuela that’s producing 700K bpd. They’re not producing anything. And most of that’s going to China to pay for debts. We don’t have them. We’ve got Canada, but we don’t want to build pipelines right. For that. We can import more for that. So, I mean, we have kind of a global shortage of heavier oils. And sure, we get some from the Middle East.
That’s fine. We get some from Saudi Arabia. They own motiva here in the United States. And certainly they do produce diesel, but it’s still it’s still not enough. And especially when you’re talking about the west, it’s talking about, you know, we’re talking about a complete oil embargo on December 5 of Russian
oil and oil products.
TN: So this isn’t something that’s done by January. This has legs for quite a while.
TS: Yeah, absolutely. We’re already seeing prices rise. We’re at 518 a gallon for diesel here in the United States on a national average, which is higher than gasoline prices, by lots higher than the average. And the gasoline people that I talked to at Opus basically say, man, this is not even a safe level. This is going much, much higher.
CR: I have a question for you, Tracy. So it seems to me everyone seems to be focused on getting through the winter in Europe and the immediate impacts, as if there’s, like, some magic solution waiting on the other side as more of a layperson in this area. It seems to me that this massive under investments, this supplied depression that we’ve been having, there’s nothing coming online to help with that. So doesn’t that suggest that this is something that doesn’t get sorted out even though there may be some volatility, but, like years and years and years that we’re going to be dealing with?
TS: Yes, absolutely. I mean, we’ve got a problem for the next eight to ten years. Really? And if you look at, you know I know if we look at the natural gas situation in Europe, everybody’s thinking, oh, we’re at 95% full before winter, we’re going to be fine. If we just make it through winter, that’ll be fine. That’s great and all, but if you are not replacing that, you’re going to need it in the summer. You need to keep refilling that. So it’s not like, you know, unless they decide to stop using natural gas in March, end of story, we still have a problem. Right. And the next winter is probably going to get even worse.
TN: Great. Just so you know. Awesome. Okay, so let’s move into kind of the week ahead section. Albert, you want to get us started. What are you looking at going into the week ahead? What’s on your mind?
AM: Continuation of the Feds 100 basis point rate hike. I mean, they’re not going to do 100, but they’ll tell the market that they might start thinking about it and the market might start pricing it in. So we’ll definitely have a lot of weakness in the market going ahead in the next week, but it’s midterms, so you never know,
they could defend the quote unquote Trumpl ine of 35, 40 so they don’t look like complete idiots and give them Fodder for the midterms. Do you still think we’re going to hit maybe 3200 or something eventually? I can guarantee you that by the end of the year for sure. The economic indicators across multiple data sets is just atrocious right now.
TN: Okay, great. Carol, I know you’re not really kind of in Marcus, but what are you keeping your eye on for the week ahead?
CR: So I do actually commentate on markets from a sort of a macro perspective, and much like Albert, I’m sort of in the camp that until the Fed tells us what is their intention, is this really just about the midterms? Are they feeling the pressure that it’s risk off from my perspective until we know what’s happening with them. So that’s been sort of my perspective.
TN: Great. Okay. Thanks, Tracy.
TS: On China next week, party congress looking at China, I want to see what they’re going to do policy wise because that’s definitely going to affect the commodities market. We all know that they’re looking for a five 5% GDP by the end of the year, which they’re not going to get. They’ll say they got it, but we all know that they’re not going to get it. So I want to look, an economy is suffering right now and we’re starting to see stirrings of unrest in China. Right.
There was just that article where they had the people on the bridge with the signs that got scrubbed from China Internet. But I think that she is going to have to do something to stimulate that economy. So I’m kind of looking to see what his focus is on that and if they have any plans going forward to simulate the time. Because again, that’s going to affect the commodity markets and to see if he has a plan for the housing market. Oh, he’s got a plan.
TN: Central planners always have plans, don’t they? That’s right. So if you talk to any China economist
for the bank, they’ll tell you that China is going to hit five 5% or maybe they live on the edge and say five three. Right. So as you said, we know they’re going to make it issh somewhere in the ballpark, but we know in reality you can’t have a zero code environment and make a growth rate that high. So my worry, I was just talking about this with somebody earlier in the week, my worry is that China really has made that transition to a slower growth environment for starting with demographic reasons, but also some structural reasons that they put in place.
And I think what she’s going to talk through next week, although not directly, but someone indirectly, is much more control, which will lead people to the conclusion that it’s not a safe place for foreign investment anymore, which will lead them to a slower growth environment economically. Because he’s basically talking about leveling people out. Right. And everyone has the same maybe not opportunity, but the same outcome. And you can’t necessarily do that in China with some of the economic outperformers that you’ve had, like Jack Ma and other people. You have to bring people down instead of push people up. And that’s what I’m expecting.
Again, he’s not going to say he’s going to bring people down, but that’s what I expect is the main message coming out of next week’s meeting.
AM: Yeah, he has already done that, Tony. And there is a little bit of a power struggle with Wang. Yang is actually slated to be power sharing with him. All they’re trying to get him to do that, but all my sources have said that they’re locking down for code with zero until at least March, so we’ll see what kind of fake numbers they come out with.
CR: I will add that this all ties into their social credit system, which is the most advanced one in the world right now. And they really started the social credit on the business front, which is notable for the reasons you were saying. You can’t have that capitalism that’s leaked in a little bit over the past several decades and have these outperformers. So it’s an easy way to sort of bring those folks down a peg and then let that bleed into sort of the individual social credit. And it’s something we should be paying very close attention to as the Fed keeps talking about things like Central Bank, Digital Currencies, and as we see these companies going after people for misinformation, what part of that could leak here as well.
TN: Yep, very worries. So okay, guys, thank you so much for your time. Carol, I’m so grateful that you can join us today. Please come back anytime. Really appreciate this, guys, and have a great week ahead.