“Let’s turn that unemployment check into gainz.” – Jeff
Hey there carnivores,
Pinch us. It’s another day of market gains, and the Dow is officially in bull territory.
Today we’re talking jobs… or lack thereof.
Jeff & Jason
It Could be Worse
You might want to sit down for this…
US jobless claims came in at… wait for it… 3.28M for the week ending March 21. *Big Buck Hunter Voice* “That’s a new record!”
Surprisingly, that number wasn’t as bad as people thought. No, seriously. Despite having the highest number of unemployment claims in a week since 1982 (700k were filed), consensus estimates were in the 1M to 4M range. Some economists even estimated the damage could be as high as 6M to 7M.
It’s not all moderately good news though. The record-setting week for unemployment ended a streak of 113 straight months of US employers adding jobs. Don’t care if it’s a no-hitter or keeping a balloon off the floor at the office, never like to see a broken streak.
The bottom line…
Many believe that this is just the beginning of more bad news for the economy. Unemployment is often a lead indicator that signals a potential downturn in the economy. And recession is on economists’ radars…
GDP for the 2nd quarter is expected to drop between 20% and 30%. There is a chance that the stimulus package, if it ever gets passed, could reduce that number to 17%. Gee, thanks. Beyond Q2, GDP has been forecast to contract by 2%, compared to growing 2.86% in 2018 (the most recent data).
☑️ Board AF.
Another Facebook board member bit the dust on Thursday. No, not from coronavirus. The surprise announcement indicated that director Jeffrey D. Zients would GTFO following FB’s annual shareholder meeting held in May. Looking like JZ might have to delay his retirement for a bit.
This marks the fifth independent director in the past year to socially distance themselves from Overlord Zuckerberg. I mean, would you want to have a conversation with him? The others? A who’s who of politics and commerce: former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, former Genentech exec Susan Desmond-Hellmann and former AmEx boss Kenneth Chenault.
Chenault left just two weeks ago after a disagreement with “that soulless rat f*ck, Zuckerberg” (ok, we made that part up). This might come as a shock, but Chenault and Zients were boys. Zients will be replaced by Robert Kimmitt, a former deputy secretary to the Department of the Treasury.
☑️ “The rent is too damn high.”
That’s what The Cheesecake Factory is saying to more than 300 landlords. According to the restaurant responsible for America’s obesity epidemic, (and bang bang shrimp) it won’t be paying rent on April 1st as it faces tough times thanks to coronavirus.
This is, of course, surprising considering there is never less than a two-hour wait at the local Factory when Steve tries to take Nance out for a nice dinner. No word on how malls plan to deal with the deadbeats. Perhaps give the spot to a PF Changs?
☑️ Sleeping with the enemy.
Stewart Butterfield is getting into bed with Satya Nadella *throws up a little bit in mouth*. Slack’s CEO told analysts that the messenger app is working on technology that will allow its users to chat with Microsoft Teams’ users. Sooo the equivalent of Twitter users being able to slide into IG DMs. Is nothing sacred?
The (kinda strange, if we’re being totally honest) announcement comes just a week after MSFT indicated that it had 44M daily active users on Teams. Slack had 12M as of October.
☑️ If he dies, he dies.
Forget NCAA student-athletes… the real victims of the coronavirus-fueled sports blackout are gamblers, and the companies fueling their addiction. DraftKings, which would be knee-deep in busy szn (read: NCAA tourney) is currently relying on table tennis matches in Eastern Europe to give gamblers their fix. You haven’t lived until you’ve suffered a bad beat at the hands of a Belarusian table tennis ringer. In fact, more than 60% of funds wagered on DK in the past week were on ping pong. Let that sink in. Times are getting so tough that you can even gamble on ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ and the Democratic debates. The American Gaming Association estimates that coronavirus shutdowns could cost casinos and sportsbooks $43.5B.