Is The Yield Curve Flatter Than You Think? Is The Economy About To Crash?

Bond Yields

Bond yields are being pushed higher by Treasury auctions to fund government spending, by quantitative tightening, and by investor fears of each of the aforesaid (causing investors to avoid bonds, putting further upward pressure on yields).

The yield curve, may, otherwise, be much flatter. “True” investor sentiment may be getting masked by government interventions.

If there is little to no inflation (yet to be seen), cash is a fine choice for investors if bond prices are under pressure by the government, and by related investor concerns.

Consumers’ Incomes and Costs

The demand side (consumers) is seeing stagnant wages (so far), higher gas prices, and, potentially, higher consumer product prices due to higher raw material costs caused by fiscal stimulus, and, in particular, by capex bonus depreciation rules.

Supply-side capex investments are not leading to wage growth- so far. Supply-side economics only works if there is trickle-down to the demand side in the form of income growth for employees (a/k/a consumers) so that product sales to consumers can grow; otherwise such supply-side capex just amounts to bad investments sans a positive ROI.

Consumers may suffer a potential “quadruple whammy” of stagnant wages, higher interest rates, higher oil and gas prices, and higher consumer product prices (though, probably not much higher, because of the Amazon effect). Any further dollar weakness will also create a lower real wage.

Business Costs

Businesses may suffer from higher input/commodity costs in their normal manufacturing processes (and/or in the wholesale prices they pay for goods) caused by businesses taking advantage of accelerated capex depreciation and demanding more raw materials.

Business/supply-side capex investments will have difficulty being profitable without a consumer/demand-side to afford more products.

Businesses may experience the “triple whammy” of potentially higher input/raw material costs due to new capex rules, higher costs of capital due to higher interest rates, and more debt-ridden consumers with tighter budgets due to stagnant wages and what amounts to higher taxes (i.e. higher gasoline prices and higher interest rates).

Earnings (and/or guidance) have not been great so far, and some or much of the good EPS results have been due to share buybacks.

Risk Indicators?

Costs are going up for everyone. Earnings and incomes are not, necessarily, organically, growing.

Looking ahead, tell me what looks good. Unemployment is low- but this may reflect that fast-growing large companies (like Amazon and Home Depot) are growing at the expense of smaller competitors that they are putting out of business and then hiring away their labor for longer hours and at lower wages. Certainly the employment and wage numbers, taken together, indicate or actually prove this out. Chip stocks are not looking good. Apple is having product sales slowdowns. Facebook’s growth has been due to misusing our data and invading our privacy- which will stop.

(At least Snap is up quite nicely.)

The U.S. dollar- despite some recent minor strength (some of which may be caused by a safe-haven trade)- is weak.

If capex by many companies, or any other factor(s), significantly pressures commodity prices upward without growth in consumer incomes and without [organic] earnings growth for businesses, that would be “stagflation”- bad for businesses and bad for consumers (and even, eventually, bad for commodity producers, which would see prices crash before too long as demand dries-up in a resulting recession).

And don’t get me started on real estate- that’s for a whole other article.

“True” Investor Sentiment?

Despite growing consumer and business costs and downside risks to future earnings and real estate values, would you buy bonds knowing that the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve are on the other side of the trade?

The yield curve may be trying to speak … but has the hand of the government covering its mouth.

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Neil Siskind Is Running For Governor

Not really … but with the lack of good options developing out there … who knows?

 

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

Neil Siskind is the Founder & Chairman of The Fatherhood Assignment
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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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My NBA Prediction

If neither the Cavaliers or the Spurs make it to the finals this year, LeBron will go to the Spurs to play under Coach “Pop” with Kawhi Leonard and Lamarcus Aldridge, as the next big 3. Patty Mills and/or Isaiah Thomas will play point guard. There will also be a couple of strong 3 point shooters, such as Kevin Love or Kyle Korver, and some young up-and-comers with high level 3-point shooting skills and some defensive chops. A deep bench will include many of the present Spurs players.

*If Leonard should decide to not re-sign with the Spurs (unlikely) LeBron and Leonard will go to the same team. The only alternative to all of this is if LeBron gets together with Anthony Davis. But, the Spurs scenario is my base case.

Kars4Kids

There is an old saying in business: “All press is good press”.

I’ve never believed that saying. Maybe it’s good for a movie star, who will take any visibility he or she can get. But when it comes to consumers- you can’t annoy the hell out of them, or offend them.

Kars4kids does nothing more than harass, annoy and bother me.. by TV, by radio, by music … the commercials are my nightmare. I shut them off immediately.

As far as that old saying above … I remember the company “well”, and I would never give money to this organization. It’s one thing to do charity and goodwill- it ‘s another to bother people over and over and over for it.

Let’s not forget …  executives of nonprofits only make money if the organization raises enough money from which it can take salaries. It’s not just about charity. These are businesses.

I do not even know what this organization does or who or what cause it supports- and I don’t care. If it’s a good cause, I would seek out any other organization supporting that cause and donate my money there, instead.

It’s one thing to market a cause- it’s another to be offensive and bothersome when asking for money or selling a product. Enough is enough at a certain point.

Why Is Facebook’s Cheating Surprising? It Isn’t

Mark Zuckerberg has been accused of stealing the idea for the whole company from his friends in college. He steals idea after idea from Evan Spiegel. If he ever had an original idea in his head, it would die of loneliness. Is it surprising he would take things from us, too? This is who he is. As long as he can get away with being mean and making billions from it, he will keep doing it.

#deletefacebook

America’s Secret War- by NEIL SISKIND

Just as in China, America- through monetary tightening and tax policy- is fighting a housing bubble. In an environment of stagnant wages and rising interest rates and house prices out of whack with incomes, the government is secretly fighting a war. Pervasively low borrowing rates for years, which has not only encouraged home buyers, but has also encouraged investors from the U.S., China, Russia, and many other nations to buy homes as investments, has caused an enormous bubble to form. Another major contributor to this bubble is commercial real estate. No- not the price of commercial real estate- but the deflation in retail and office space due to technology, e-commerce and the office sharing movement, respectively. Because of value deflation from oversupply and under-need in retail and office markets, investors and builders have turned to residential investments as safer bets. This has pushed home prices too high and caused too much residential construction. Rate hikes and stagnant wages will cause a fast decline- soon.

Former Chairpersons Janet Yellen and Alan Greenspan have both acknowledged existing asset bubbles, generally. Chairman Powell, however, in his recent testimony to Congress, specifically denied a housing bubble. He is not wrong- he is just being deceptive. He is managing the problem- in the same way that financial analysts and traders refuse to mention the potential housing crisis for fear of causing a panic and another economic collapse. Real estate is the only asset class that Chairman Powell specifically said is fairly valued. Since when does a Fed Chairman give his analysis of a specific asset class like real estate? Oh- right- Alan Greenspan said the same thing in 2006. Hmm. I’m dubious when the Fed Chairman makes a point of mentioning that real estate looks all clear.

Rising interest rates, despite a lack of notable or noteworthy inflation, in concert with tax policies that are unfriendly to real estate, are taking hold and affecting housing markets … quietly … as the Fed barely mentions the “b” word (bubble), while one clearly exists.

Denial is not a river in Egypt- it’s a concerning stream of consciousness.

Jurors’ Case Analyses: “The Extraordinary Fact As The Cynosure” Approach™ – by NEIL S. SISKIND

“The Extraordinary Fact As The Cynosure” Approach™ (herein, for convenience, “The Extraordinary Fact Approach™”) is an approach to a criminal prosecution or civil lawsuit that requires that if there is an “extraordinary” fact in a case- not an opinion or a theory- but an “undisputed” or “proved” fact pointing to a likelihood of guilt or liability, one not sufficiently contradicted or rebutted or offset or overpowered by another fact, then a juror should use that “extraordinary” fact as that juror’s premise for finding a defendant to be guilty or liable. The “extraordinary” fact(s) in a case, a fact that, taken alone, and not contradicted or neutralized by some other fact(s), indicates guilt or liability, should be the starting point for a juror from where that juror works backward to find factual contradictions or rationales that make the “extraordinary fact” of lesser value towards that juror’s opinion of guilt or liability.

Rather than rely on a prosecutor’s or a plaintiff’s counsel to list a litany of facts and arguments that counsel intends to prove, and rather than allowing counsel on both sides to define the vital and material facts, it is the juror, who, following opening arguments, should define, for himself or herself, as early on in the case as possible, the material fact(s), that, if proved, alone, point(s) to a likelihood of guilt (if a criminal case) or liability (if a civil case). Just because counsel on both sides take on the job of and seek to control the narrative, it is the job of a juror to define, for himself and herself, what fact(s) is/are material to guilt or liability, despite counsels’ attempts or desires to define that which is or should be material for a juror. While the law that applies to a case is to come from the respective court and counsels, which facts indicate a violation of law, and whether there was a violation of law is up to the juror.

A prosecutor or plaintiff’s counsel will allege, and then present, as many facts and storylines as possible on which it can potentially hang its hat to prove guilt or liability. Defense counsels will attack evidence, deny responsibility, present excuses and explanations, blame others, and offer character traits and behaviors that a defendant’s lack of propensity to commit an act.

“The Extraordinary Fact” Approach is a thought process designed to help jurors to develop clarity in cases that are filled with facts and theories, and that are rife with, seemingly, contradictory scenarios, by identifying the “extraordinary” fact, that, if not neutralized, points, strongly, to guilt or liability. It is a process for breaking down the complexity of case presentations. “The Extraordinary Fact” Approach aids jurors to focus on fundamental and undisputed or proved extraordinary “facts”, that, in and of themselves, alone, point to a likelihood of guilt or liability- and then to determine if any other fact diminishes that “extraordinary” and proved fact.

“The Extraordinary Fact” Approach requires that the “extraordinary” fact be directly addressed by the defense, rather than the defense using unrelated facts, theories, and/or arguments about and related to other matters. The Approach helps jurors to keep focused on the cause of the “glow of guilt” or the “glow of liability”, if there is one, and not be confused or distracted by irrelevant matters, distractions, off-point facts, or crafty lawyering.

The “extraordinary” fact should be identified as early on and as accurately as possible so that the juror’s thought-map for the case is intact from start to finish, providing for consistent and clear thought about evidence and arguments as they unfold and as they are presented. Early identification of the “extraordinary” fact of the respective case can provide for linear analysis of otherwise non-linear presentations. Prosecutors and plaintiff attorneys play a role, in the opening statement, throughout the case, and in the closing argument, in helping juror’s to identify the “extraordinary” fact; though, each juror is a free-thinking individual and may have his or her own idea as to what the “extraordinary” fact, if any, is.

In criminal cases, defendants are presumed innocent. In civil cases, liability must be proved by the applicable legal standard. These are always the starting points of any case. In a criminal case, The “extraordinary” fact is, likely, the fact (potentially, among or along with other facts) that led to an indictment, and is the fact that stands out in the case at the outset in the mind of the state, and, likely, in the minds of jurors. “The Extraordinary Fact” Approach is not intended to upend, supplant, suppress, or substitute for reasonable doubt[1] or the presumption of innocence in a criminal case, or for the applicable legal standard in a civil case; it is not a proposed legal standard. It is intended to create a starting line for a juror to process and analyze forthcoming and incoming information.  It provides a juror with a  thought-structure for a case that should guide the juror’s analysis and thought-process throughout a case. “If” a juror has identified an “extraordinary” fact at the outset that begins to chip-away at the presumption of innocence in a criminal case, or the yet to be presented evidence to establish liability in a civil case, it helps that juror to create a mental path or a cerebral framework for working through a case’s facts, dicta, theories, hypotheses, and evidence. Whether there exists an “extraordinary” fact will determine the mental path a juror takes to reach his or her result. A case may have an “extraordinary” fact from where a juror’s path starts, or it may not.

The “extraordinary” fact can be one determined either intellectually or emotionally. An “extraordinary” fact must, logically and objectively, put suspicion in a juror’s mind. This could be through the power of reason or through an emotional response. It is important, however, that in the latter case, feelings be as objective as possible. If a juror focuses on an “extraordinary” fact that is determined to be “extraordinary” through his or her “feelings”, he or she should examine those feelings to make sure they are resulting not, solely, from his or her own biases or experiences. While this can be difficult to do or to ensure, if an “extraordinary” fact is in focus, in order to find reasonable doubt, that fact must have, objectively, been determined to be “extraordinary” to a juror, otherwise the final opinion and vote would not be based in reason.  A fact must be determined to be an “extraordinary” fact based on objective review and objective interpretation, and not on subjective elements, alone. Naturally, the subjective mind plays a role in any analysis that is not based in numerical or scientific data- or on fact-based images. An “extraordinary” fact must be an “undisputed” fact- but the “extraordinary” element may still contain subjective influences. This should be avoided as best as possible. It must more than a feeling.

Inherent in “The Extraordinary Fact” Approach is that a fact must be objectively “extraordinary”. It can’t be just an objectively “interesting” fact, or just an objectively “compelling” fact, or just an objectively “persuasive” fact- it must be “extraordinary”. It must show a likelihood of guilt or liability; it must provide the “glow of guilt” or the “glow of liability”.

“The Extraordinary Fact” Approach shifts the burden to the defense (intellectually, not legally).

An “extraordinary” fact that is not rebutted, or neutralized, or offset, or contradicted, or in any other way diminished, is still not, necessarily, enough, alone, for a juror to determine that no reasonable doubt exists and that a respective defendant is guilty as charged, or that a party is liable. An “extraordinary” fact, as defined by “The Extraordinary Fact” Approach, is only meant to identify the core, or the crux, or the central cause(s) for the “potential” to find a respective defendant to be guilty as charged or liable. The basic elements of a case still need to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal case, and up to the applicable legal standard in a civil case. For instance, in a murder trial, even if it is perfectly clear that a defendant wanted to kill his wife, and that he owned a gun, and that he told a friend of his plans for his wife’s murder (the “extraordinary” fact)- the fact that the wife is, in fact, dead, the manner of death, her time of death, and the lack of a verifiable alibi for the husband are still necessary elements to establish in order to prove or accept his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil case it may be perfectly clear that a party failed to perform the most important part of the contract, despite any excuses and explanations, but the plaintiff would still need to show that it resulted in damage or loss, or else there is no liability.

A fact, once disproven or contradicted, under The Extraordinary Fact Approach, can no longer be an “extraordinary” fact.

Nothing about The Approach is to suggest that if the “extraordinary” fact is disproven or somehow neutralized by the defense, a juror can not still find guilt or liability based on other evidence.

So let’s put “The Extraordinary Fact As The Cynosure” Approach to the test using some well-known criminal cases.

The Murder of JonBenet Ramsey

The “extraordinary” fact in this case was a father who never shed a tear, ever, in any interview, no matter if it was soon after, or long after, the death of his daughter. Any reasonable person would think that any other reasonable person under such a circumstance would be emotional, if not sad, if not depressed. Yet John Ramsey was cool and poised as a cucumber in every interview he gave.

This fact can easily be considered an “extraordinary” fact based on emotions, while also being objective. A reasonable person could find this extraordinary. In other words, it would not take an extremely or overly-sensitive person to find this bothersome, and it would not require someone to have been a victim of a similar crime in order to be moved.

In the JonBenet case, there was another “extraordinary” fact: There was no person ever shown, to any degree, to have been present in the Ramsey home on the night of, immediately prior to, or immediately following the murder.

This is an fact that can be determined by “intellect”- as opposed to emotion- to be “extraordinary”.

Neither of these “facts” are anything less than “facts”. They are not controverted in any way.

There is no fact that contradicts or overpowers these facts. John Ramsey was never shown to be depressed, tearful, or dismayed by the death of his daughter while he slept. No other person was ever shown to be in the home.

Indictments are easier to obtain than are convictions. In the Ramsey case, there were no indictments, despite the old adage- You can indict a ham sandwich. In the case of an indictment based on the “extraordinary” facts above, it still would not lead to a conviction, unless a jury, too, felt that the person indicted was guilty based on “extraordinary” facts that are not contradicted or disputed, and are not outweighed by greater facts that prove the “extraordinary” fact wrong, irrelevant, or of lesser consequence.

The Murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman

The “extraordinary” fact in this case was that O.J. had beaten up Nicole on numerous occasions, as proven by photographs and admissions by O.J.. This was a known fact. Ron Goldman was at Nicole’s house while she was murdered and was caught up in the act. This is a known fact.

A bloody glove was found at O.J.’s house soon after the murders that matched another bloody glove found a the murder scene.

There is no fact that contradicts these facts.

O.J. enters the courtroom innocent- until proven otherwise. The “extraordinary” facts provide great weight otherwise, and shifts the burden to the defense (intellectually, not legally) to counteract the “extraordinary” facts. No facts were shown that O.J. did not have significant violent tendencies towards Nicole or that any person saw O.J. elsewhere during the murders. No facts contradict that Ron Goldman was on the scene by happenstance. Facts were entered into evidence that the officer who found the bloody glove at O.J.’s home may be racist. Jurors had to decide if this was true, if it mattered, and if there were enough other facts entered into evidence to render this scenario unimportant. Using “The Extraordinary Fact” Approach, a juror would have predetermined which facts are the most important to the case and gave O.J. the “glow of guilt”, if any. By the time of the evidence of the officer’s racism, a juror, using The Extraordinary Fact Approach, would have already known if this aspect of the case- the finding of the glove- was one, or any, of the “extraordinary” facts that needed to be addressed by the defense. The outcome of a juror’s thoughts on the officer would have some or no influence on such juror’s final opinion of innocence or guilt depending on that juror’s initial thought-construct of the case using “The Extraordinary Fact” Approach.

The Murder of Caylee Anthony

While Caylee was missing, the “extraordinary” fact is that her mother was at bars partying and having a blast while Caylee was missing. This is a fact.

Another “extraordinary” fact is that Caylee was not reported missing for a month.

There is no fact that contradicts or diminishes either of these facts.

An emotional response, through objective thinking, leads one to believe that Caylee’s mother did not care- making her look guilty, shifting the burden to the defense (intellectually, not legally) to prove these “facts” wrong, through an undisputed or a proved fact(s), thus, dispelling the mother’s suspicious activity and possible motive.
In order for a juror to convict the mother, they would still need to know the manner and time of death and that the mother had no verifiable alibi.

The Assassination of President Kennedy

A rifle, allegedly, with Lee Harvey Oswald’s fingerprints, was, allegedly, found at Oswald’s place of work, from where the shots, allegedly, came.

None of these are undisputed or proved facts. Therefore, there can be no “extraordinary” facts. These are all reports and/or allegations. Moreover, there was no one who knew Oswald to want President Kennedy dead. There was no motive. Without an undisputed or proved fact for a jury, there can be no “extraordinary” fact upon which to assume a likelihood of guilt, and, thus, there is no need for the defense to show a contradictory or overpowering fact. If, however, for example, at trial, an expert(s) made a good case that the fingerprints on the rifle were Oswald’s, that the rifle was owned by Oswald, and that the chain of custody from the finding of the weapon until it was logged in at the police station until it was brought to trial was intact, it could be said that this fact, Oswald’s ownership and last use of the weapon, was an “extraordinary” fact that meets the standard of “The Extraordinary Fact” Approach, thus putting the (intellectual, not legal) burden on the defense to show contrary or overpowering facts.

Donald Trump vs. Stormy Daniels

Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels entered into an agreement where Daniels, by her signature to the agreement, agreed that she would not disclose her relationship with Trump, or any details thereof, to anyone, ever. Yet, she disclosed it to many people, including on television. As a consequence, Donald Trump is suing Daniels for breach of contract.

The “extraordinary” fact in this case will be that Daniels, after signing such a settlement agreement where she agreed not to disclose the relationship, nevertheless, disclosed it. If this fact is undisputed or proved, there is reason, despite any other facts, to find Daniels liable. The defense will present reasons and excuses for the disclosure, but, if the defense does not “factually disprove” disclosure, then, using “The Extraordinary Fact” Approach, there is a strong likelihood of a juror finding Daniels liable.

 

“Compounded” facts can, together, indicate a scenario ripe to implement The Extraordinary Fact Approach. There may exist no single fact, alone, that provides a juror that potentially pivotal and concise starting point. But, several facts that are compounded, fact upon fact, can, together, provide a juror the starting point of the “extraordinary” facts which must be rebutted or overpowered by the defense in order to be removed as a potential cause of that juror’s vote of “guilt” or “liability”. Combining several or numerous undisputed or proved facts may be necessary where no one undisputed or proved fact is strong enough to persuade a juror that such fact, alone, is the proper starting point for that juror to start his or her line of thinking, processing, and analyzing the respective case with an “extraordinary” fact.

Here’s an example:

In the case against American novelist, Michael Peterson, in 2003 in North Carolina, for the murder of his wife, Kathleen Peterson, the following undisputed facts, among others, were presented: Kathleen Peterson was found bloodied and dead at the bottom of her staircase in her home; Michael Peterson had been the last person to see his wife alive; the two were home alone at the time of her death; there was an unusual amount of blood on the walls of the stairwell for a simple accidental fall; Michael Peterson had written a novel where a man murdered his wife and made it look accidental; and many years earlier, Michael Peterson’s friend, Elizabeth, was found dead at the bottom of  staircase after he left her home (it was ruled an accidental fall after he had already left and Peterson was not charged). Any of the above facts, while interesting, strange, and or curious- each fact alone may not be “extraordinary” under “The Extraordinary Fact” Approach, but all of these facts compounded upon one another seem to rise to the level of “The Extraordinary Fact” Approach’s “extraordinary” standard.

 

“The Extraordinary Fact As The Cynosure” Approach is not limited to legal analysis. The Approach also can apply to business analyses and business strategy. Here’s an example:

If a company is deciding to offer a consumer product or create a retail concept, the “extraordinary fact(s)” involved would be that people shop by using Google, and their first instinct is to look for the best prices and options on Amazon. These are the undisputed facts that are of the first and foremost considerations for retail sales, and that are undeniably true. The next step is to determine what facts contradict or rebut these facts, or overpower these truths, such that the product or retail concept can either go in a direction without consideration for Google or Amazon, or can proceed without the threat of Google or Amazon, or should determine how the concept can be designed to best benefit from these extraordinary truths. The thought process about selling a consumer product or products should begin with the “extraordinary fact or facts” that people’s shopping, by and large, and more and more, begins in these places. Likewise, the product or store concept itself should be analyzed in light of its target customers and its commercial potential by beginning with an “extraordinary fact” about the target customer and the utility of and competition for the new product or store concept.

 

_____________________________________________________
[1] Reasonable doubt is doubt that would be reached by a reasonable and typical juror when hearing or seeing such evidence. In the absence of reasonable doubt, a defendant must be found “guilty”. If reasonable doubt exists, a defendant must be found to be “not guilty”.

endnotes

  1. The word “juror” throughout this paper. But, “The Extraordinary Fact As The Cynosure” Approach can, certainly, be applied by justices and judges (i.e. any finders of fact) in their case analyses, too.
  2. In civil lawsuits, as opposed to criminal prosecutions, it will be inherently more difficult for jurors to identify the “extraordinary” fact, because business matters, and, particularly, complex business matters, are not within the common experiences of the average juror, whereas criminal activities are more relate-able and occur within the parameters of daily life. This makes the use of “The Extraordinary Fact As the Cynosure” Approach to identify “extraordinary” fact even more vital so that a juror in a civil lawsuit does not get lost in the “muck” of the case.
  3. While jurors, and potential jurors (i.e. each respective state and county’s citizenry) must be educated on “The Extraordinary Fact As The Cynosure” Approach, whether it is the job or duty of the respective court to provide the necessary education would be a discussion point within legal communities, court systems, political parties, state legislatures, and societies, in general. 

 

“The Extraordinary Fact As The Cynosure” Approach™, Copyright 2018 Neil S. Siskind. All Rights Reserved. Copyright under Berne Copyright Convention, Universal Copyright Convention, and Pan-American Copyright Convention. No part of this paper may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, digital, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior permission of the author and publisher.

 

Big Companies: The Reason Why Wages Are Stagnant- by NEIL SISKIND

When Amazon or Starbucks opens a new store in Manhattan or China, it makes international news and circulates in the news feeds all day long- but when sixteen delicatessens and sporting goods stores from Cleveland to Orlando shut their mom and pop doors after 30 years in business, there’s not a word about it from the national media, even though it means job losses, real estate vacancies, retail support-service revenue losses, and losses for wholesalers to these stores.

From pizza shops to hardware stores, from liquor stores to clothing stores, from sign stores to cleaning companies- large companies have decimated Main Street jobs.

The people who get new jobs in large companies have to work more and make less. For example, a hardware store employee or owner who wants to stay in the hardware industry has to go work at Home Depot at a lower wage and longer hours.

Is Amazon replacing the wage of every owner and every employee of every bookstore and every sportswear store that closes on a Main Street somewhere? I think not.

The growth of large companies that are getting larger and taking market share from smaller retailers due to their better prices derived from their enormous scale is why the jobs are there- but the wages stink. The data speaks for itself.