The Worst Part About President Trump’s Tweet On Interest Rates- By NEIL SISKIND

The problem is not that the Fed could be influenced by the President’s tweet- the President can speak to the Chairman in private or public. The problem is what belies that tweet- the President’s fear of what he sees in the economy, combined with his decision to make any future problems look like the Fed’s fault, not his. The problem is that the President appears to acknowledging concern about the economy, while covering his presidential butt -otherwise he would have made his feelings known to the Chairman- in private.

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Chairman Powell & Alan Greenspan’s Deadly Errors- by NEIL SISKIND

The Fed Chairman and Alan Greenspan- probably Janet Yellen, too- look at consumer and business spending, wholesale and retail prices, and employment (among other things) to determine inflation and inflation expectations. But, when they see inflation, they fail to weigh consumer debt and low wages heavily enough against the inflation picture. When they raise interest rates, they fail to account for higher interest rates plus higher gas prices (which, themselves, can lead to higher interest rates, or at least be a factor in such) being too cumbersome for heavy personal balance sheets and stagnant incomes. Moreover, neither Chairman adequately addressed- and hardly address- housing prices, especially as to how they are connected- or should be connected to wages. Vast housing price growth in a society that lacks equally or faster income growth is entirely inappropriate, and economically dangerous.

These factors, combined, led to the great recession. The lack of wage growth and growing consumer debt should have led to higher interest rates sooner. Again, like then, we have a Fed raising its target rate while never speaking of the high housing prices and the consumer debt that is allowing for the higher retail spending and continued home buying (now slowing).

Should the Fed keep its Fed funds target rate low and slow down it’s quantitative tightening program? I’m not suggesting this. Low rates can’t persist forever or asset bubbles and other bubbles will emerge and grow. But, to suggest that incomes are doing okay and housing is fine, and that spending will rise sans excessive consumer debt as gas prices rise and incomes stagnate is either ignorant or just psycho-babble intended to try to keep markets stable as rates rise. If these are in fact Jedi mind games being played by Chairman Powell- he should look to how that played out for Mr. Greenspan- and develop a better strategy.

Chairman Powell wrongly believes that he has reached stability in the economy through monetary policy because low wages are causing low inflation rates as spending persists, interest rates rise, gas prices are elevated, and homes are unaffordable.

That’s success? This is stability?

Incomes, incomes, incomes … it’s the incomes, stupid. More accurately, it’s the debt to income ratios … stupid. And it’s the incomes to home prices ratios … stupid. Consumer spending is 70% or so of the economy. How can that continue without wage increases, and how can home prices rise as incomes don’t? And how can spending continue as interest rates and gas prices rise while incomes stagnate? … stupid.

Here’s Why Chairman Powell Does Not Fear A Flattening Yield Curve- By NEIL SISKIND

The Fed is not only controlling short end rates, but is also rolling debt off of its balance sheet on the long end, and, therefore, it, along with Treasury sales to fund the national debt and deficit, is also controlling the long end of the curve, too.

Now- this is a false sense of security, because, even if the curve is not flat or inverted, if one subtracts out the Fed and Treasury it probably would be– so it’s form over substance. In other words, expectations of slowing would still be intact as reflected by the number of bond owners and influx or inflows of dollars into bonds. So, just because the yield curve is flat to steep (as opposed to flat to inverted) does not mean that investors and businesses have confidence and are investing and spending.

However, a curve with some steepness does mean that banks can keep lending in a profitable manner. Thus, the shape of the curve can keep credit rolling even if expectations are slowing- and such open credit markets can, in turn, create investing and confidence- sort of self-fulfilling.

So, it’s a risk on the part of the Fed that a flat to steeping curve, though artificial, will not evidence a slowdown where credit continues to be available to keep the economy intact.

What may be more important, as a measure of investor confidence, is not the shape of the curve, but the increase in total bond buying (and also where stock indices and the Dollar are). But, if the shape of the curve allows lending to continue, it could help … as long as the quality of borrowers and loan covenants remain high … but evidence shows that the quality of such factors are heading lower.

Amazon Killed The Product Entrepreneur- by NEIL SISKIND

You would have to be crazy to go into a product-oriented business these days. While a business can sell its products on Amazon, so can thousands of competitors, making price the main and only driver of sales. Moreover, the risk is there everyday that Amazon goes into your product category, in which case you can never out-market that competitor or offer the lowest price.

Further, brick and mortar retailers are consolidating (and closing), and the bigger ones are getting bigger- causing less and less variety and options of outlets in which to make product sales. It is harder and harder to get into stores, and large stores are making their own private label products.

Finally, the cost to advertise and market online is getting higher and higher as content floods the Internet. It is nearly impossible to get consumers to find or pay attention to your ads.

Of course, sometimes products will go viral and take on a life and buzz of their own- but those are one in a million.

The only products worth selling going forward are the most unique and patented ideas- and even those will be hard to get noticed on the Internet with all the competitive content. Marketing is as, or more important than, inventiveness (except to the degree that ideas and inventions can be sold to large companies).

Amazon and the Internet have killed the product entrepreneur. Product sales, more and more, are only for large companies.

 

 

Neil S. Siskind, Esq., President
The Siskind Law Firm
Tel: 646.530.0006

Neil Siskind is the Founder & Chairman of The Fatherhood Assignment
Neil-Siskind-photo
Learn more at:  http://www.neil-siskind-the-fatherhood-assignment.org/

Neil Siskind is the Conservator of the Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve
Neil-Siskind-Picture

The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve is over 7 acres of environmentally-pristine waterfront land in a magnificent setting along New York’s majestic Hudson River. The Preserve includes a variety of species of animal and plant life, and is a precious example of the thoughtful maintenance of New York’s priceless open spaces. The land’s uses are limited to outdoor recreation such as hiking and climbing, and the study of ecology, nature and land use. The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve allows for the intelligent contemplation of our valuable natural resources and the most effective ways to maximize them and keep them protected.

Neil Siskind, Founder, “National Fatherhood Day” – March 29th

Neil-Siskind-pics
To encourage recognition of the needs of boys and girls who are living without fathers or father-figures in their lives.

Read about the non-profits and charities whose missions Neil Siskind supports and promotes: www.neilsiskindsupports.com
Caring is Free®

You can read what clients and associates say about Neil Siskind at: http://siskindlawfirm.com/neil-siskind-bio/.

Neil Siskind’s Volunteer Work:

– Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Volunteer

– Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, My Fundraiser- Help Neil Siskindhelp children with cancer to be more comfortable: http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR?px=3182108&fr_id=2632&pg=personal

– Make-A Wish Foundation- Help Neil Siskind make sick children’s wishes come true by creating your own fundraiser: Neil-Siskind/Help-Make-A-Child-Smile.htm

– DonorsChoose.org- Donate to one of my needy public classrooms: http://www.donorschoose.org/NeilSiskindGiving

– Champion Children– We seek to inspire people through stories of children who have overcome challenges: http://siskindlawfirm.com/neil-siskind-champion-children/


Neil Siskind’s Pro Bono
 Work:

– Saving Senior Citizens- Protecting New York’s senior citizens from fraud and financial abuse www.savingseniorcitizens.com

– Senior FreeStart Business– Pro Bono: We seek to help put senior citizens in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy: http://siskindlawfirm.com/free-start-business/

– Veteran FreeStart Business– Pro Bono: We seek to help put Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy: http://siskindlawfirm.com/free-start-business/

– In development: The Neil S. Siskind School of Hope: A free school to teach inner-city youths the skills of entrepreneurship and importance of economic self-sufficiency.

Neil Siskind’s Government Work:

– Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Boston, MA, 1994, Intern
– Office of Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Newington, CT, 1992, Intern
– Hartford County Department of Probation, Hartford, CT, 1991, Intern

Neil Siskind’s Community Assistance:

Financed & operated a legal clinic providing low-cost legal services to struggling Long Islanders during the recession to help clients resolve debt, organize finances, and launch new businesses.

Neil Siskind’s Professional Curriculum Vitae: http://neilsiskind.com/

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Who Cares About Snap’s Earnings? Really, Who Cares?- By NEIL SISKIND

This is not going to be one of those, “Hey it’s the Internet, profits don’t matter” pieces.

But close.

Internet companies need sales of products or digital services to make money.

But social media companies and entertainment businesses like Snap, need volume of customers so that they can sell the products and services of others.

There is a big difference.

The ecommerce companies in days of yore, like pets com and so many others, had to advertise to sell products and had to be inexpensive, indeed, profitless, to outsell brick and mortar companies- two enormous costs.

Snap does not have to undersell anyone. The more users the more revenue, and then the more valuable their sales channel for other companies to sell their own products and services with commissions to Snap.

Snap can and does do deals for Snapchat where revenues are split with content providers. So Snap creates cool free tools and uses them to drive traffic to Snapchat,

Now, yes, it is very true that creating tools costs money. A lot of money. And that is the problem. But at some point once the traffic is there, each new tool or feature is just an incremental cost, and, over time, each revenue dollar for marketing the products of others outweighs each dollar required to create and  introduce a new feature to its vast user base. And at that point the profit splitting deals become enormously profitable.

Snapchat has an unusual business model. It is about eyeballs… but not about eyeballs for static content like, say WebMD, or news sites. It is about eyeballs that spend hours and hours using the variety of proven-to-be-sticky features. This is different even than Facebook and Instagram, which have no features. They are used just for posting comments and picture and making comments… just clicking on and off of things.

Snapchat is more like a gaming platform, but where all the fun features are free with advertising the products of others as the revenue source. The entertaining features keep users engaged for hours at a time, and with focus … as opposed to skimming through and clicking on and off articles similar to those that can be found all over the Internet.

Selling products at low prices and no profit is hard to sustain. Giving away content for eyeballs is hard to make money with if that content is static and one-dimensional, or bland, or common.

So, Snapchat is one case where a company CAN lose money and make it up on volume long before they go broke.

 

Neil S. Siskind, Esq., President
The Siskind Law Firm
Tel: 646.530.0006

Neil Siskind is the Founder & Chairman of The Fatherhood Assignment
Neil-Siskind-photo
Learn more at:  http://www.neil-siskind-the-fatherhood-assignment.org/

Neil Siskind is the Conservator of the Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve
Neil-Siskind-Picture

The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve is over 7 acres of environmentally-pristine waterfront land in a magnificent setting along New York’s majestic Hudson River. The Preserve includes a variety of species of animal and plant life, and is a precious example of the thoughtful maintenance of New York’s priceless open spaces. The land’s uses are limited to outdoor recreation such as hiking and climbing, and the study of ecology, nature and land use. The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve allows for the intelligent contemplation of our valuable natural resources and the most effective ways to maximize them and keep them protected.

Neil Siskind, Founder, “National Fatherhood Day” – March 29th

Neil-Siskind-pics
To encourage recognition of the needs of boys and girls who are living without fathers or father-figures in their lives.

Read about the non-profits and charities whose missions Neil Siskind supports and promotes: www.neilsiskindsupports.com
Caring is Free®

You can read what clients and associates say about Neil Siskind at: http://siskindlawfirm.com/neil-siskind-bio/.

Neil Siskind’s Volunteer Work:

– Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Volunteer

– Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, My Fundraiser- Help Neil Siskindhelp children with cancer to be more comfortable: http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR?px=3182108&fr_id=2632&pg=personal

– Make-A Wish Foundation- Help Neil Siskind make sick children’s wishes come true by creating your own fundraiser: Neil-Siskind/Help-Make-A-Child-Smile.htm

– DonorsChoose.org- Donate to one of my needy public classrooms: http://www.donorschoose.org/NeilSiskindGiving

– Champion Children– We seek to inspire people through stories of children who have overcome challenges: http://siskindlawfirm.com/neil-siskind-champion-children/


Neil Siskind’s Pro Bono
 Work:

– Saving Senior Citizens- Protecting New York’s senior citizens from fraud and financial abuse www.savingseniorcitizens.com

– Senior FreeStart Business– Pro Bono: We seek to help put senior citizens in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy: http://siskindlawfirm.com/free-start-business/

– Veteran FreeStart Business– Pro Bono: We seek to help put Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy: http://siskindlawfirm.com/free-start-business/

– In development: The Neil S. Siskind School of Hope: A free school to teach inner-city youths the skills of entrepreneurship and importance of economic self-sufficiency.

Neil Siskind’s Government Work:

– Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Boston, MA, 1994, Intern
– Office of Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Newington, CT, 1992, Intern
– Hartford County Department of Probation, Hartford, CT, 1991, Intern

Neil Siskind’s Community Assistance:

Financed & operated a legal clinic providing low-cost legal services to struggling Long Islanders during the recession to help clients resolve debt, organize finances, and launch new businesses.

Neil Siskind’s Professional Curriculum Vitae: http://neilsiskind.com/

Sponsored Advertisements

Inventors, IP Owners, Manufacturers
Learn How To Bring Products To Market And To Expand Your Distribution Channels
The Complete Guide To The Ways To Manufacture & Sell Your Products

Oh, No. Is This The Future For Our Communities?- By NEIL SISKIND

As consumers do more of their shopping online, including for large items such as furniture, warehouse space is tight. New warehouse space is getting occupied as soon as its completed. The industrial availability rate has fallen for a record 2 consecutive quarters. We’re seeing a blur in the lines between retail and warehouse space as companies sell and warehouse and deliver orders from one location, making large industrial space necessary for businesses that, previously, only needed a storefront, which was kept filled with product to sell locally. Now, every retailer sells worldwide and has to be ready to do so. Of course, the largest retailers are always ready to do so and need more and more space for that purpose, including to warehouse items on the proverbial “last mile”.

Retail-space vacancies across Americas have been surging for years. Many storefronts across America, in rural, suburban, and even urban markets sit empty- and ugly. They are blights on our communities.

Owners of retail properties have been trying new strategies and ideas to make retail more appealing to shoppers.

With the surge in the need for warehouse and fulfillment space close to consumers and highly populated areas, will retail landlords seek to capitalize on this need for warehouse space and fulfillment centers by turning storefronts and strip centers into warehouses? Will all or much of the excess retail space become industrial space? Will our strip malls be turned into warehouses and shipping centers, and pickup and drop off facilities?

All this empty retail space has to be used. It will have to be re-purposed in some way- either as condos or as warehouses- as office and retail space needs dwindle- and as affordable housing and warehousing needs grow.

Will we all soon be living within a couple of miles, or within a couple of blocks from industrial parks?

 

 

Neil S. Siskind, Esq., President
The Siskind Law Firm
Tel: 646.530.0006

Neil Siskind is the Founder & Chairman of The Fatherhood Assignment
Neil-Siskind-photo
Learn more at:  http://www.neil-siskind-the-fatherhood-assignment.org/

Neil Siskind is the Conservator of the Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve
Neil-Siskind-Picture

The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve is over 7 acres of environmentally-pristine waterfront land in a magnificent setting along New York’s majestic Hudson River. The Preserve includes a variety of species of animal and plant life, and is a precious example of the thoughtful maintenance of New York’s priceless open spaces. The land’s uses are limited to outdoor recreation such as hiking and climbing, and the study of ecology, nature and land use. The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve allows for the intelligent contemplation of our valuable natural resources and the most effective ways to maximize them and keep them protected.

Neil Siskind, Founder, “National Fatherhood Day” – March 29th

Neil-Siskind-pics
To encourage recognition of the needs of boys and girls who are living without fathers or father-figures in their lives.

Read about the non-profits and charities whose missions Neil Siskind supports and promotes: www.neilsiskindsupports.com
Caring is Free®

You can read what clients and associates say about Neil Siskind at: http://siskindlawfirm.com/neil-siskind-bio/.

Neil Siskind’s Volunteer Work:

– Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Volunteer

– Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, My Fundraiser- Help Neil Siskindhelp children with cancer to be more comfortable: http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR?px=3182108&fr_id=2632&pg=personal

– Make-A Wish Foundation- Help Neil Siskind make sick children’s wishes come true by creating your own fundraiser: Neil-Siskind/Help-Make-A-Child-Smile.htm

– DonorsChoose.org- Donate to one of my needy public classrooms: http://www.donorschoose.org/NeilSiskindGiving

– Champion Children– We seek to inspire people through stories of children who have overcome challenges: http://siskindlawfirm.com/neil-siskind-champion-children/


Neil Siskind’s Pro Bono
 Work:

– Saving Senior Citizens- Protecting New York’s senior citizens from fraud and financial abuse www.savingseniorcitizens.com

– Senior FreeStart Business– Pro Bono: We seek to help put senior citizens in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy: http://siskindlawfirm.com/free-start-business/

– Veteran FreeStart Business– Pro Bono: We seek to help put Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy: http://siskindlawfirm.com/free-start-business/

– In development: The Neil S. Siskind School of Hope: A free school to teach inner-city youths the skills of entrepreneurship and importance of economic self-sufficiency.

Neil Siskind’s Government Work:

– Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Boston, MA, 1994, Intern
– Office of Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Newington, CT, 1992, Intern
– Hartford County Department of Probation, Hartford, CT, 1991, Intern

Neil Siskind’s Community Assistance:

Financed & operated a legal clinic providing low-cost legal services to struggling Long Islanders during the recession to help clients resolve debt, organize finances, and launch new businesses.

Neil Siskind’s Professional Curriculum Vitae: http://neilsiskind.com/

Sponsored Advertisements

Inventors, IP Owners, Manufacturers
Learn How To Bring Products To Market And To Expand Your Distribution Channels
The Complete Guide To The Ways To Manufacture & Sell Your Products

Here’s The Problem With A Trade War That Wall Street Overlooks- by NEIL SISKIND

It’s not a trade war itself that will “do in” a strong economy- though, of course, it depends on the extent and depth of the war. Nevertheless, the big risk from the trade war is that the economic expansion was over … until we had tax cuts and new capex bonus depreciation rules.

The tax cuts alone will not ramp-up the economy. Not for long. It is the capex rules that were vital to economic expansion.

If companies are fearful of capex in this environment- then the economic expansion is, officially, over.

So it’s not trade and tariffs that are the problem, its’ the potential for a lack of capex because of it.

Now- if tariffs lead to buying more “American made” products, and if that leads to more American jobs “and” higher American wages, then, where wage growth from capex is substituted with wage growth from domestic jobs, the economic expansion could be intact- if the wage increases lead to more consumer spending.

But, if this does not happen, and capex does not happen, then we are in for a downward spiral.

President Trump has seemed to have placed his bets on the creation of more American jobs to compete with the, now, higher priced imports. But, the supply chains for a rapid ramp-up of American manufacturing and distribution in what has been foreign manufacturing, is not, necessarily, intact. Plus, consumers may simply not pay more for products until they get paid more … a chicken and egg issue.

So, President Trump is betting on something else … which would have to be China’s capitulation.

President Trump is betting with the U.S. economy as his chips. Let’s hope that whatever goes into the pot comes back in spades.

American Express Is Refusing Me Fraud Protection

American Express is refusing to protect me from 6 potential cases of fraud on my American Express credit card, even after keeping me on the phone for half an hour collecting details. These large corporations are all working together these days. They have so many intertwined interests and joint initiatives. This is the problem with letting companies be so large.

I guess I have no more use for AMEX with their high rates if I can’t get fraud protection. I’ll stick with Mastercard.

Here Comes Snapchat- Finally- By NEIL SISKIND

Finally, after years of building-up its young-user base, the Pandora deal proves what all us long-time, long-term Snap investors have long known: That Wall Street analysts don’t understand Snapchat; that Snapchat is not competing with Instagram- Instagram is competing with Snapchat; that Snapchat doesn’t have to be profitable to be valuable; that Snapchat’s value is in its daily active users; that Snapchat does not need more daily active users than Instagram any more than Microsoft needs more Cloud users than Amazon in order to be profitable, or any more than Intel needs more chip clients than NVIDIA, or any more than the Yankees need more fans than the Red Sox in order to be profitable. Snapchat only needs to succeed and be valuable to its advertising and service provider clients and to its own content and service initiatives. The Snapchat-Pandora deal proves that access to millions of young users will be valuable to companies- and they will pay Snapchat to get that. This is all that matters. And through deals with Pandora and Amazon that are already happening, and many others to come that help Snap monetize the Snapchat user base, the stock of Snap … will soon crackle and pop!

With all the accounts being proved fake on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, it seems that Snapchat’s “real” user-growth rate and numbers may be much more in-line with these “fake-account” social media companies’ than has been thought.

The only thing that can stop Snap now is a trade war.