Nolte Notes 9.20.21

September 20, 2021

It is way early to be getting ready for Halloween, but I’m hearing “I’ve got a spell on you” running around in my head when looking at the market action of the past few weeks. From monetary policy to fiscal policy, the continued rise in Covid cases and economic slowing as a result, the markets are struggling to figure out what to do next. This past week was the (now) much-anticipated consumer price index that came in below expectations. The higher product prices and lower consumer prices mean that corporate margins will likely be under some pressure in the coming quarters. Even as concerns over rising inflation show up near the top of consumer worry list, interest rates have remained very stable around current levels. This week we’ll hear from the Fed directly as they likely make their “ho-hum” announcement that their target for interest rates will not be changing. What will be more interesting is how Chair Powell discusses their plan to reduce the amount of bonds they are buying, which will also start the clock on when the Fed is likely to raise interest rates. Maybe less the spell and more the sound of silence.

We are smack in the middle of what has historically been the worst 12 weeks for the financial markets, yet the SP500 is slightly higher over the past six weeks. The economic data, as has been highlighted over the past month or so, has been coming in “worse than expected” and many attribute the weakness to the rise in the Delta variant. When checking out TSA daily “activity”, there is a noticeable decline in travel since early August vs. a “normal” 2019 that remained stable through the summer months. Consumer surveys are highlighting worries about rising inflation. Certainly, businesses are feeling the pinch. Many cannot get the stuff they need to sell to the end consumer or finish their products for sale. The reduced supply of goods is one of the key factors behind the higher inflation reports. Chair Powell will likely address some of those “transient” pieces at his press conference. However, supply chains do not look to be getting repaired soon and outages of various products will likely be a feature as we get closer to the holiday season.

The bond market is also under “the spell”, as it has moved very little over the past few weeks. The difference between short and long-term rates is also stuck. Worries about inflation, economic slowing, or robust growth do not show up in the bond market just yet. The bond model used to project interest rates over the short-term also indicates lower yields ahead with only commodity and utility prices showing up negative in the five-factor model. How much of the inflation fears are grounded in the transitory discussion or will be a long-term issue will not be known for at least the next six months, if not longer. By that time, we should have a better sense of what “transitory” really means.

The last few weeks of the third quarter should determine whether the broader market can regain its mojo. This quarter has been led by technology and surprisingly, utility companies, with the difference between large-cap growth and value, exceeding 5 percentage points. The “why” is likely due to the rising virus counts and overall weaker economic data that investors believe will be around for a while. If the economy struggles, technology has become the safe play. Valuations remain extremely high, however by themselves do not “make” the market decline. Once things get going on the downside, though, they are likely to end somewhere around “fair” value. Based upon today’s earnings, that would mean a 20-30% decline. That is not a “call” that the markets will do that over the next few weeks or even months, but something to watch for whenever the markets begin to unravel.

The short-term direction of the markets may be lower, but the Fed meeting this week should provide investors plenty to chew on as we start the fourth quarter soon. Bond should provide direction, so we will be watching their reaction to the press conference later this week.

The opinions expressed in the Investment Newsletter are those of the author and are based upon information that is believed to be accurate and reliable but are opinions and do not constitute a guarantee of present or future financial market conditions.

2:30

Nolte Notes 9.6.21

September 6, 2021

In what may be considered “Delta Dawn”, the current variation of Covid is beginning to show up in the economic data. Friday’s huge miss on employment (250k vs est of 750k) caused barely a ripple in the financial markets. After much head scratching, investor’s figured that the Fed would continue to keep rates lower for longer as well as postponing their tapering of bond buying. Bad news is good news when it comes to the financial markets today. The surprises continue to occur on the downside, from employment to the various assessments of economic activity. Employment in the “customer facing” portions of the economy were essentially flat from the prior month. Manufacturing added jobs and the employment rate fell again, getting close to 5%, as the total workforce is contracting with more retiring all together. This week will be light on economic data, save for the produce price report on Friday. The next focus for the markets is inflation, as worries are beginning to surface that growth is slowing with inflation not being as transitory as the Fed expects.

The markets continue to grind higher, making 50+ new all-time highs this year and pushing the valuation levels of the market to all-time highs as well. Why? Investors are back to the belief that there is no alternative to stocks. Bond yields are very low, money market rates are essentially zero and the Fed continues to support “risk taking” by keeping rates low. How long can it last? Longer than many currently believe. Yes, a correction of 3-5% is long overdue, however a larger decline is not yet on the horizon. At some point the markets will have enough of the debt creation and decline, but so far, the signs of a larger decline are not evident. The market internals remain less than stellar, with stocks making new all-time highs still lower than their peak in June. The number of stocks above their long-term average price has been falling since March, another indication that investors are focused on the largest of the large US stocks. The markets have shifted back toward growth and away from the “re opening” trades, fearing that Covid will continue to make any economic recovery very uneven. If inflationary pressures continue to build and economic activity slows further, investors may indeed decide that the Fed will have no alternative but to raise rates. That could drop the curtain on the advance, but that may be months away.

The bond market has reversed course a bit over the last few weeks as the difference between short and intermediate term treasuries is getting larger. The difference between high yield and treasuries is also contracting. Both conditions have been supportive of risk taking in the markets and has led to the recent rally in stocks. Until the markets believe that the Fed will be raising rates to combat inflation, the interest rate environment should support stocks. Worries about a larger decline in stocks are usually preceded by a flatter Treasury curve and widening spread between high yield and Treasuries, which is not the case today. The tipping point will likely occur when investors begin to worry more about the likelihood that inflation is not transitory. The Fed’s favorite indicators of inflation are all well above their 2% target and rising. So far, the markets are buying the transitory label on inflation.

The song remains the same in the equity markets, the largest US stocks are doing well, while the rest of the markets suffer. International stocks gained some traction with the decline in the US dollar. The dollar has been relatively strong as the US economy has performed better than many of their international competitors. Looking over the longer term, the dollar has been bouncing within a range since last July. A break lower could indicate better strength internationally, higher would mean a stronger US relative to others. A declining dollar would also mean that international holdings would fare well as those gains buy more of an ever-cheaper dollar. The international markets, especially emerging markets, are among the best long-term estimated returns. However, that is predicated upon a more normal functioning global economy.

The long-term key to the markets may lie in strength of inflation and investor’s fears that it is more than transitory. That is not likely to show up in the next inflation report or two, but persistence into yearend may concern investors.

The opinions expressed in the Investment Newsletter are those of the author and are based upon information that is believed to be accurate and reliable but are opinions and do not constitute a guarantee of present or future financial market conditions.

2:30

Nolte Notes 8.30.21

August 30, 2021

Everybody’s working for the weekend, or until Friday when Fed Chair Powell started his talk on policy. The Jackson Hole confab has been known to be a spot where new policies are rolled out, from the Bernanke tapering to Powell’s inflation target changes last year. Investors were concerned that another bombshell could be dropped. However, what was said was music to investors ears. Tapering but not raising rates for a looonngg time was the tune. Subsequently, Fridays “everything rally” put stocks again at new all-time highs and the delivered promise of lower rates for even longer. This could keep stocks rising. The economic data remains ok, while inflationary pressure continue to build. This time, however, inflation is due to supply problems that adjusting rates won’t fix. This week’s employment report comes ahead of a long weekend ending the summer doldrums. What happens next is likely to be driven by inflation and Covid, which is well out of the Fed’s purview. The markets have held up well during one of the poorer months in the calendar, but the next two historically have been just as poor.

Even after Friday’s rally, the markets are looking a bit ragged. The largest stocks are once again taking the performance lead. That in turn has meant the bulk of stocks are not following the indices to all-time highs. The shine has come off the “reopening” trade. The enthusiasm for a full economic recovery is following the slowdown in air travel and lower energy prices. The economic backdrop remains challenging as many locations are going back to masking mandates. Those steps “backwards” are keeping many companies from going back “full-time” and giving consumers pause before heading to the mall or other activities. The combination of stimulus rollback in a few weeks and increasing fear or the virus may put another kink in the road to recovery. The markets are not reacting to the economic data as much as to the still very easy monetary policy. The reason the markets rallied so strongly Friday was a clear indication that investors are hyper focused on the direction of monetary policy. Stocks are likely to continue to get bid for as long as the fed remains accommodative.

Chair Powell’s comments got the bond market going too. Unfortunately, there are more questions than answers. How long will tapering take? At what point do rates rise after tapering finishes? How will the path of the virus impact policy? Just how transitory is inflation? Will slowing economic data keep the fed involved in the financial markets longer than expected? The yield spread remains well below spring levels when it was anticipated the economy would be roaring back. Yet it has not collapsed to a point that would start investors worrying about a completely different set of outcomes. Investors also piled back into high yield bonds, supporting the dregs within the bond market world. Another indication of investor’s desire to take on risk, no matter the asset class.

The rotation back toward the largest companies also means a move toward technology. The momentum has been waning for the various sectors within the SP500 since May, with technology getting back up to the “very overbought” territory. Fridays everything rally may start a new leg higher for some forgotten parts of the market. Small and international stocks were among the big winners on Friday after underperforming the broad market for the last few months. From strictly a valuation perspective, companies outside of the US are much cheaper than similar ones inside the US. Better returns from international markets require better growth there vs. here and a weaker dollar to translate those returns to the dollar. The biggest knock-on international stocks are the lack of technology stocks. Domestic weights are around 30% and less than 20% overseas. After a decade of US dominance in the performance race, there should be a rotation to overseas, but until tech takes a back seat, it will remain a US-centric performance race.

The market continues to churn higher but is showing some signs of internal weakness that could (maybe?) push stocks lower over the next few months. At this point, nothing more than a much-needed rest/reset for investors. That said, even the 2+% decline of two weeks ago was seen as a buying opportunity. At some point the “buy the dip” will not be working as well as it has over the past 16 months

The opinions expressed in the Investment Newsletter are those of the author and are based upon information that is believed to be accurate and reliable but are opinions and do not constitute a guarantee of present or future financial market conditions.

2:30

SVP Paul Nolte Interviewed on TD Ameritrade 8.26.21

SVP and Portfolio Manager Paul Nolte discusses the flattening of the yield curve, and how the markets view the economy.

Click here to watch the video

9:05

SVP Paul Nolte Interviewed By Reuters 7.26.21

Reuters interviews Paul Nolte, SVP & Sr. Portfolio Manager

Kingsview SVP Paul Nolte discusses portfolio allocations in light of Beijing’s regulatory crackdowns.

Click here for the full article

3:00

SVP Paul Nolte Interviewed By Reuters 7.20.21

Reuters interviews Paul Nolte, SVP & Sr. Portfolio Manager

Kingsview SVP Paul Nolte discusses the Delta variant’s potential effect on economic reopening.

Click here for the full article

3:00

Nolte Notes 7.12.21

July 12, 2021

“We’re all mad here, I’m mad. You’re mad.” And so down the rabbit hole we go! Just when you think you have it all figured out, the economy and/or the markets throw you a curveball. Maddening, sometimes. But we are in a deranged time where everyone is a bit crazy. We celebrate huge employment gains, yet at the recent pace, it will take another seven months to regain the old employment peak. Job openings continue to grow as companies of all stripes can not find willing workers. Many “consumer-facing” businesses have shortened hours due to a lack of employees. The Federal Reserve believes easy money can solve this problem, so they keep rates at historically low levels while pumping over $100B into the markets every month. “When you have a hammer…”Goods are having a tough time getting to market and prices for nearly everything are rising. Many believe this will work itself out over the next year as companies fully staff up and supply chains are working properly again. Some wonder if the economy is permanently damaged. The coming week will have inflation, retail sales and sentiment indices released. The madness is not likely to get resolved this week!

Worries about the Fed “starting to think about thinking about” cutting back their bond purchases knocked down stocks for a day, but the “buy the dip” crowd piled back in on Friday, pushing stocks to yet another record and 14th weekly gain in the last 19 weeks. Yes, there are some chinks in the armor, but the easy monetary policy is what rules the day. Over those 19 weeks, 90% of the stocks within the SP500 remain above their long-term average price, however the last few weeks, barely 50% are above their short-term average price. Meaning stocks have rallied so strongly that any short-term pullback has done little to dent the long-term picture. Within the S&P500 industry groups, all but telecom are above their long-term average, so until the market “technical” begin to break down in a more meaningful way, the path of least resistance looks to be higher. Growth has been the big winner over the past few weeks as interest rates have declined. Could the rate decline be warning the markets that the best/fastest economic growth has passed? Potentially, however, we would like to see a few more indicators pointing that way before beginning to worry about the next downturn.

The yield curve flattening is a warning sign of slower economic growth. However, without a signification push higher in the yield differential between junk and treasury bonds, long-term worries are not yet heightened. Earnings season gets started this week, and there will be plenty of commentary about what companies are seeing in their “end markets” and their capacity to fill demand. Finally, comments regarding pricing and inflationary pressures could also impact bond yields, pushing them back up if investors believe those pressures are more than just “transitory” as the Fed currently believes.

The quick rotation between “growth” and “value” has been driven by changes in interest rates. As interest rates rise, value does well. As rates fall, growth does well. Both are tied to the re-opening of the economy. If investors believe that the re-opening is going well and pricing pressures are building, value does well. If investors believe the best of the economic growth is now behind us and we are heading back to the recent average growth of 2%ish, then growth will do well. From a long-term perspective, growth is very overvalued, with various companies selling at their highest price to earnings multiples going back to 2000. While value is also expensive in absolute terms, relative to growth, it is about as cheap as it has been going back to the late 1990s. We believe that over the next few years, the overall market will struggle to provide meaningful gains, but that value should shine relative to growth as the economy slowly works its way back to “normal”.

Interest rates have been driving the markets as well as various parts of the markets for the past nine months and that is not likely to change. Hence, we will be watching yield differences between various asset classes for clues as to when markets are likely to make a significant shift. Not yet in the cards but watching closely!

The opinions expressed in the Investment Newsletter are those of the author and are based upon information that is believed to be accurate and reliable but are opinions and do not constitute a guarantee of present or future financial market conditions.

2:30

Nolte Notes 6.2.21

June 1, 2021

What was Hollywood’s six-million-dollar man is now Washington’s six-billion-dollar man. Inflation impacts everything! The new budget rollout late on Friday will be the starting point for wrangling about deficits (do they matter?), spending programs (remember shovel ready?) and initiatives the current administration would like to put forward. An interesting provision is an increase in capital gains tax rates that would be retroactive to April. While many are wringing their hands about the proposals, what gets passed, should make for some interesting beach reading this summer. Back at the economy, the inflationary figures continue to run “hot” as the economy continues to lurch toward a full re-opening. Supplies channels are still not operating correctly and are unlikely to get back to normal before year end. Employment is getting better as the weekly jobless claims’ numbers fell again last week. The coming data dump for the first week of June will include the “official” jobs report that should see some improvement over last month’s disappointing figures.

The markets continue to chug along, even in the face of data that historically would have had the markets falling. Higher inflation and large job gains are generally a recipe for hiking interest rates. However, looking at the bond market, you would have to shake a few traders to get them to move. Ten-year treasury rates remain below their March peak, and “risky” high yield bonds have traded well. Investors are amazingly comfortable with a Federal Reserve that has been buying large quantities of Treasury securities every week. Along with a commitment to keep interest rates lower for longer, investors have little choice but to buy equities to get any kind of return. That has pushed valuations of the equity markets to extremely high levels, rivaling those of 1929 and 2000. What is currently missing is a reason to sell. Until the Fed begins to discuss withdrawing from their purchase program, or we begin to see investors move out of risky portions of the markets, the momentum is still on the bull’s side and stocks can get pricier still. The warm sun calls and living is easy…for now.

After a very rough first quarter, bond investors have been rewarded with “staying the course” as returns have been positive in each of the last two months. Bonds have even given stocks a run for their money since late April, providing essentially the same return without the daily swings. If there are concerns in the bond market, it is that the bond model has swung negative, indicating the direction for interest rates may be higher in the coming weeks. The model has been negative much of this year and even as rates have moderated, they really have not dropped too far from their March peaks. Commodity prices are likely to be the key driver for interest rates going forward.

The markets have been swinging back and forth between growth and value for much of the past six months, however value has been the “winner” overall, as it has been two steps forward, one step back for value stocks. These are the parts of the markets that will benefit from the continued opening of the economy as we go from virtual meetings to in person, from FaceTime to face-to-face. There have been and will be plenty of bumps along the way, however the differences in valuations between these two asset classes tends to favor value ahead of growth. Comparing technology’s performance vs. nearly every other S&P500 sector shows technology’s performance peaking in the third quarter of last year and underperforming since. Even comparing technology to international, shows a similar relationship. The rotation away from technology is hard for investors to do, as the allure of high growth keeps them from moving. However, the valuation on technology stocks in general is well ahead of their historical norms, while valuations of other sectors and asset classes remain near or below historical norms.

“Sell in May and go away” is a Wall Street adage that historically shows the markets doing poorly in the summer. However, the last few years it would be better to hold the stocks and just go away. Will this year be any different? Or will the Fed keep the good times rolling with as easy monetary policy? Stay tuned.

The opinions expressed in the Investment Newsletter are those of the author and are based upon information that is believed to be accurate and reliable but are opinions and do not constitute a guarantee of present or future financial market conditions.

2:30

CIO Scott Martin Interviewed on Fox Business News 5.24.21

Program: Fox Business Tonight
Date: 5/24/2021
Station: Fox Business News
Time: 5:00PM

BRIAN BRENBERG: Well, for reaction, let’s bring in our panel, Carol Roth, former investment banker and author of The War on Small Business, Scott Martin, Kingsview, Wealth Management Chief Investment Officer and also a Fox Business Contributor. Welcome to you both. Glad to have you both. Carol, let me start with you. I’m looking at this so-called counter offer coming from Democrats, just one point seven trillion dollars. They came down 10 times more than Republicans apparently went up, according to Jen Psaki. This a counteroffer or is there even a negotiation happening at all right now?

CAROL ROTH: I mean, the whole thing is so insane, Brian, because their definition of infrastructure is so insane based on their definitions. I should be getting a gift card to Nordstrom’s shoe department because I walk around a lot to get from point A to point B.. I think the bigger issue here in the we came down this many percent versus this many percent, the big issue is spending. And we as citizens spend on average for our lifetime earnings just shy of thirty five percent of them in taxes. And in some places, people who live like in the state of New Jersey, it’s just shy of 50 percent. So we don’t need the government getting into any new spending. They need to be finding places where they already have money and shifting it for infrastructure, which should be a priority. All they’re doing, though, right now is saying, OK, well, who is going to pay for it when we should all collectively be pointing the finger back to them and say, no, we don’t want to we don’t want anyone to pay for it. We want you to be more wise with the spending.

BRENBERG: And Scott, you know, this latest proposal actually took down some of the actual infrastructure in the bill. The one thing that the bipartisan agreement would have needed, it’s actually removed here. But let me ask you this. I look at this thing and I say, here’s the strategy. Let’s get bipartisanship on a little infrastructure and take everything else and shift it to that reconciliation bill. And what does America end up with? Four trillion dollars in spending? Is that what’s happening here?

SCOTT MARTIN: Yeah, and that’s a number that it might seem like really small when we get done with all this spending, Bryan, because there’ll be bills beyond bills after this. Look, put me down on the gift certificate or gift card for the Shoe Department because it looks like we’re heading that way. I mean, Carol, and I know being in Chicago, the local issues that government has here on misspending tax dollars. And the other thing that worries me, too, Brian, you talked about bipartisanship. I mean, this is that whole mantra of the government saying we know what to do with your money better than you do on really anything. And one thing to think about is even the Obama administration and even saying that’s as old as time is, how about introducing like a private public partnership type of agreement where you can factor in the private partnership that we can get with local businesses, local experts, local workers, create actual real jobs and not get the typical waste, fraud and abuse that we see with massive spending bills like this. But instead, it’s all like, yeah, we’ll come with a compromise or an exception here and knock it down a few hundred billion dollars and call that a good offer. It’s shameful.

BRENBERG: You know, Carol, you wrote the book on the war on small business. I look at this situation right now. Big companies look at big government and they say, I can navigate that. I know how to work it. I’ve got contacts there. I know how to spend money there. But it’s small businesses who look at all of this spending and beyond that, all the taxes that are supposed to pay for it. And they say we’re the ones who cannot navigate this. We get lost or we get dictated to when spending like this happens.

ROTH: Yeah, I mean, if you think you want to come up with a definition of infrastructure, small business is the backbone of the economy that fits the definition better. But unfortunately, this is all intentional when you have pre-covid thirty point two million small businesses that are all independent minded and want to be left alone and don’t want big government, they are very hard to control. That stands as the polar opposite road block of central planning. Central planning wants to have a handful of big businesses and cronies to deal with. And so what happens? The small businesses end up as collateral damage. And so none of this is unintentional. It’s completely intentional. As you said, the small businesses cannot navigate all of these tax increases, all of these roadblocks to economic freedom. And at the end of the day, this is bad for each and every one of us and for our economy.

BRENBERG: Scott, I only have a few seconds left, but your thought really quick. Does this thing fall apart? And if so, are you happy about that?

MARTIN: Oh, definitely not happy about it, happy about it, the fact of it does fall apart, we don’t get this crazy spend that’s going to possibly come down the pike. I think eventually they’re going to work something out, Brian, but they’ve got to change the face of this thing pretty quick and pretty fast. Otherwise, it’s going to be a nasty fight

BRENBERG: Carol and Scott wouldn’t have anyone else to talk about this than you. Thank you for being here today. Appreciate it.

4:53

CIO Scott Martin Interviewed on Fox Business News 5.13.21

Program: Your World with Cavuto
Date: 5/13/2021
Station: Fox Business News
Time: 4:00PM

CHARLES PAYNE: As President Biden was meeting today with a group of Republican senators on infrastructure, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio leading another group of Republicans and saying, forget spending, it’s time to get Americans working.

MARCO RUBIO: Enhanced unemployment benefits are creating an incentive for people not to return to work until they expire because people are lazy, i’m not accusing anyone of being lazy, it’s because people are logical, because it’s logic that if you’re going to make close to what or as much, in some cases more than what you do in your work, you’ll go back to work when that expires. We have a labor crisis in this country.

PAYNE: All right, so who’s right here, I want to go to Fox Business contributor’s Scott Martin and Gary Kaltbaum, along with Optimal Capital’s director of strategy, Frances Newton Stacy. Gary K, I got a feeling I know what you’re going to say, but we’re sure we’ll be going more spending or more workers.

GARY KALTBAUM: Well, look, it’s unfortunate that the president said there’s no data. He can come to Lake Mary, Florida, and I’ll walk him into some restaurants and they’ll tell him exactly what’s going on. The theme parks are offering bonuses, and all you have to do is just go print out what all the states are giving before this extra on unemployment. There are some states that are paying out nine hundred dollars with the extra per week. So people are definitively staying home. I’m pretty sure the President knows this. I wish he would roll this back sooner rather than later. Why? Because there are a lot of businesses just getting off their back that can’t go one hundred percent because they can’t find people to show up at this juncture.

PAYNE: To be clear, the administration says they haven’t seen the evidence because they know it’s out there. They’re just saying they haven’t seen it yet.

Real kid. You know, Frances Newton Stacey, right. Turn around three o’clock. The biggest trend on social media is we are closed. In other words, the left now saying we’re not going to go back to work, even with the CDC guidelines, until we get more money. We feel like we’ve got big business on the ropes. McDonald’s raise their prices so we can still see a worker crisis.

FRANCES NEWTON STACY: Yes, we definitely could. I think what’s kind of weird is that taxes are going to go up, right? And these companies that made it through covid and God bless the ones that didn’t, the companies that made it through covid have a record amount of debt service probably on their books. And so I think that this sort of demand and supply in the hiring is going to kind of even out toward the end of the year. Also, I think that there is some other sort of, you know, headwinds coming in the system that might kind of even out the record amount of pent up demand that we’re seeing play out now. So this hiring thing could even out. But I do agree that it should be handled on a localized basis, because if you just cut it off at the federal level, you really do risk leaving some people behind. And locally, you can analyze that a bit better.

PAYNE: Yeah, you know, at this point, though, Scott, we’re talking about small businesses to Gary’s point, it’s gone on a long time. It was a noble thing to do. This has been this has been extended now two or three times. So the question is, do we need it right now?

SCOTT MARTIN: No, and I love how Marco Rubio used the word logic, like you don’t need evidence, I mean, it’s easy to ignore the evidence if you close your eyes. But like logic. I mean, I get it, too. If you’re getting paid to stay home or go out and party, go to the beach, whatever you want to do after you’ve been cooped up, by the way, thanks to the government for a year. Yeah, I would do that as well. I mean, I’ll say that right now. So the fact that we want to get this great reopening going, we want the markets and economy to enjoy a normalized environment, yet we’re going to keep this stimulus going. It’s just crazy to me. And it’s because the government wants to control you. They still want to have control. They still want to have you dependent and under your thumb for funds. And so as long as we are in this position, I’m now concerned, Charles, about this great reopening and the pent up demand that Frances was talking about, because there’s no way that demand is going to be satisfied if you’re a small business, a big business, if you can’t find the workers to service people.

PAYNE: You know, Gary, we just heard from President Biden at the top of the show, he came out, he took a victory lap, and he’s been in an awkward position because I think a big part of this is that they have to sell a certain amount of fear, a certain amount of urgency. There’s no way you can push through another four trillion in spending and at the same time say things are great.

4:24