Kingsview CIO Scott Martin discusses the great reopening, global supply chains, and what pricing pressures mean for small businesses.
Program: Cavuto Coast to CoastDate: 6/2/2021
Station: Fox Business News
NEIL CAVUTO: Want to bring Jared Levy into this Delancey Strategies, President Scott Martin, Kingsview Asset Management. Gentlemen, of course, for this restaurant owner, you can pull all the academic prescriptions you want. It’s making his business a tougher business. And he he he really doesn’t need that coming out of the pandemic where he’s hurt enough just finding labor and finding workers. Now, this. So I’m wondering, Scott, I know a Federal Reserve district president, Philadelphia saying this run up will be short lived, but it’s not short lived. This guy.
SCOTT MARTIN: No, in any short lived period doesn’t feel good to the business owner. I mean, Jeff talked about it with a fella there about he’s losing money on the wings today, hoping they go down in price in the future. I mean, that’s a scary hope to hang your profits on. And that’s something that concerns me, Neil, about this great reopening that’s out there. Yes. Global supply chains hopefully will get back on track and therefore some of that pricing pressure will alleviate. But the mom and pop the small business down the road that competes with the big business in your neighborhood. Those guys and gals don’t have the pricing power with their suppliers that some of the bigger companies have. And so when you look at this re-opening happening and saying, hey, this is going to be great and it’s going to help everybody, as the administration likes to say, it’s probably going to help the big guys more than anything, because the small guys still have a lot of that pressure, as the fellow said, to talk to Jeff about passing on those price increases that they’re seeing from their suppliers.
CAVUTO: Yeah, you know, when you look at this chart and you want to step back and say, let’s hope things calm down, these ransomware spikes or whatever you want to call them, they can’t go on forever. Of course, we’ve seen enough incidents where we’re beginning to wonder how true that is. But but that even the run up we’ve been seeing in a lot of these prices, all of these developments, they were real. The surge in things like car and truck rentals and the haircut, first of all, services, meals, et cetera, that was in place long before any of these attacks. And I’m just wondering if the Federal Reserve, which seems to think it won’t last very long, is wrong on that it’s going to compel them to respond to it or risk falling behind the curve. Right. I mean, so how does it play this?
JARED LEVY: Yeah, this is there’s two pieces here, right? I mean, one, you know, my heart goes out to every small business owner in this country because the key here is, is not the just the price increases. It’s the fact we’re traders. Right? We talk about investing, buying, selling. Remember, these guys have run businesses. You don’t go to your local burger joint and see the burgers swimming up 10 cents, down a dollar, up two dollars. They don’t operate that way. You know, when things get missed, when things get priced or major crisis happen, they reprice and they stay that way. We don’t see a lot of undulation. So the bottom line is these guys are going to have to ratchet up and it’s going to stay that way at the consumer level and at their level if they’re going to stay open. So that’s one problem. You know, and this isn’t a JBS issue. And I’m referencing the Meat-packing company in the meat distribution company. This is a bigger, broader effect that’s taking place around the world. I’m talking about inflation. It’s going to continue. Unfortunately, you’ve got a lot of money stashed away. You’ve got a lot of folks I mean, I can’t get work done on my house. There’s nobody available. People are paying two, three, four times for services to get them done. Now, do you do you correct that with with interest rates immediately? I mean, it’ll shock the marketplace, but I don’t know how a rise in interest rates or policy or even Putin saying don’t hack. You know, hey, guys, don’t don’t nobody do any ransomware attacks. How that’s really going to change things. This is a much longer, bigger arm that’s swinging right now. And frankly, I don’t think that even an extreme jump is going to correct it. So so, again, I don’t think this inflation is short lived. And I think it’s something that’s here to stay. We’re going to have to really adjust and it’s going to take some time.
CAVUTO: Yeah, you know, whether you’re worried about this returning to the 70s type of place, which I think is a bit overwrought, it’s still a trend that’s firmly in place. And on that point, Scott, I’m wondering how the market deals with that. I mean, it seems to recognize that the backdrop for this is strong demand. We’re coming out of our homes. Obviously, bookings are very strong on airlines, one of the best travel weekends we’ve seen since before the pandemic. So the trend is the economy’s front. I get that. But when does the market get or will it respond to this stubborn uptick in prices that might continue for a while?
MARTIN: It’s when the sugar high runs out, Neil, from that euphoric run up of this great reopening that we’ve been anticipating. I mean, I’m in Ohio today and they’ve removed, as you’ve been talking about on the show today, all the mask mandates statewide, which is great. So that provides that sugar high, the excitement for that run up, that demand that you talk about to show up. But when we get there and I think to Jared’s point, when these price increases don’t alleviate, then you kind of stand around and be like, well, now what? Now we need wage increases. Now we need increases in wealth and things like that to start paying for all the increased costs that we’ve seen. And that’s when I think the markets need to really take heart to this. Now, what you will see, though, is in some of the bigger companies like the Starbucks of the world and Netflix, some of the companies we own, Neil, in our portfolios, you’re going to see pricing power there. I mean, companies like those can raise their prices a dollar or two and likely get the buy in from consumers. But those are a select few. And so it basically shakes out not to be sexist, the men from the boys to use that term as to how some companies are going to be able to weather those price increases and the stock prices are not going to suffer versus others that cannot.
CAVUTO: All right, guys, I want to thank. We’re going to have you back a little bit later here.
Kingsview CIO Scott Martin discusses nationwide real estate sectors; corporate, industrial and residential.
Program: Cavuto Coast to Coast
Station: Fox Business News
NEIL CAVUTO: Want to get reaction to all of this with Jared Levy and Scott Martin, you know, Jared and Scottie, think about it, commercial rents are going to continue going down. I mean, I guess they’re anticipating a comeback as businesses and people return to those businesses. But this might be more the norm, what we just heard. So, Jared, what do you think?
JARED LEVY: Yes. So Manhattan’s a kind of an unfortunate but now fortunate microcosm, right? Median rents in that city dropped to twenty seven hundred dollars in the first quarter of the year. That’s the lowest of all time. And you got to think about Manhattan. Right. It’s kind of really need a lot of very small, very expensive places. A lot of things are vertical. So for retailers, not really sort of a great place to be. Now, that’s not to say that there can’t be a rebirth like the one we just saw. The issue is how do we fill up all those big high rises that are now being vacated by big companies moving elsewhere where there’s lower taxes, lower cost of workforce, et cetera. So, you know, another interesting point, Seattle just dethroned Manhattan as the number one spot for foreign investment. So I’m not ready to buy in on Manhattan Persay. But I will say that real estate across the U.S. is seeing the commercial real estate is seeing a huge change in evolution. Sam Zell just dump three point four billion in a mammoth mammoth real estate investment group. I believe they’re a huge industrial operator. So they service like Amazon’s people like that. So I think that’s where the big money to be made in commercial real estate’s going to be Manhattan. Who knows? But but interesting to say.
CAVUTO: Yeah. And you think about it, too, Scott, to Jared’s point, I mean, when when people do return to their offices and a good many will, they’ll be spread out a little bit. They’re not going to be packed like sardines like they had been before. We don’t know all the details, but we do know enough that the demand for still more office space is going to be cold for a while. I’m just wondering how this plays out in cities like New York.
SCOTT MARTIN: Well, I would add Chicago to that list, my hometown, Neil, which is suffering, too, I mean, we’re looking at Chicago occupancy rates near our office in downtown Chicago, less than 20 percent, and with no end in sight, frankly, of people coming back or deciding to. And so I think that’s that’s really interesting takeaway. You know, there’s other cities, though, Dallas, Denver, that have weathered some of the corporate real estate difficulties much better. And so those will probably bounce back faster. But, yeah, Manhattan, San Francisco, certainly Chicago. You have the impact, as Jared said, from the vertical dearth of people coming back with respect to some of the corporate office buildings being empty and then also the mom and pops or even just the retail that was built around, say that corporate infrastructure, that that’s at risk now, too. So really, I think it depends on where you go and kind of what sectors you’re in. Industrial real estate has been an area we’ve done a lot of investing in because of the expansion from Amazon and companies like that. But corporate in some of those long famed leading cities of the United States really looks to struggle here going forward.
CAVUTO: Would either of you look at real estate investment trust in this environment, some of them have been beaten down quickly, if I can. Gentlemen, Gerard, to you,
LEVY: the answer is yeah. You’ve got to be really careful here. Remember, here’s the key to investing in real estate. If you can’t jack up your rents enough to meet inflation, there is no protective measures there. The good thing is there’s a lot of preferential tax treatment. But again, I would look at I like multifamily in some cities, but certainly I would stay away from high density areas. Like Scott just mentioned. The big metro areas would be a place that I would avoid in general in terms of reinvestment.
CAVUTO: Scott how about you, REITS, any interest in them?
MARTIN: Yeah, yeah. Multifamily Neil and Florida, even some residential housing expansion that’s going on outside of cities like Nashville and Denver, as I mentioned, that are doing very well through the pandemic and have a lot of growth ahead of them.
CAVUTO: All right, gentlemen, I want to thank you both very much, Jared and Scott, on all of this.
Program: Fox Business Tonight
Station: Fox Business News
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.