Who to blame?

From Vice:

Good News: Economy Sucks, You’re Screwed, and It’s All Your Fault, Economists Say

Good news everyone: wage increases are slowing, raises are getting smaller, layoffs are beginning to happen, and inflation is all your fault. And you should be grateful about all of this, according to a series of recent headlines from the economic and political press.

“Millennials are to blame for sky-high inflation,” a CNBC tweet recently read. Politico ran an article titled “Pay raises are getting smaller. That could be a good thing for workers.” The premise was quite simple: inflation was being driven by wage growth, inflation is hurting workers, slowing down wage growth will help workers eventually. Politico later changed the headline to “There’s one hopeful sign for the Fed on inflation. Really” after backlash but the core thesis remained the same. 

As debates over who or what is to blame for inflation and the looming threat of a recession, commentators have begun to focus on millennials again and the way they should (and shouldn’t act) in the current moment.

In the CNBC article, Smead Capital Management’s chief investment officer, Bill Smead suggested millennials were to blame for inflation for spending years saving money instead of buying homes and cars.

“So we have in the United States a whole lot of people, (aged) 27 to 42, who postponed homebuying, car buying, for about seven years later than most generations,” Smead told CNBC. “But in the past two years they’ve all entered the party together, and this is just the beginning of a 10-to-12-year time period where there’s about 50 percent more people that are wanting these things than there were in the prior group.”

This picture doesn’t exactly square with reality, however. In June, a CNBC survey of wealthy millennials (millionaires) found that nearly half were deterred from buying a car, a car, or taking a vacation because of inflation and interest rate hikes. An earlier survey in February painted a darker picture where nearly half of millennials said their savings had decreased during the pandemic and a third said their savings were less than their credit card debt.

Gains from the pandemic were largely limited to wealthy boomers and corporations, in fact. It is, after all, the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans who own 90 percent of stock and saw the pandemic rally transfer more wealth upwards into their pockets. Corporations in highly concentrated industries have been able to hijack prices and curtail wages while shifting blame to consumers and workers squeezed for fatter profit margins.

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46 Responses to Who to blame?

  1. grim says:

    Maybe some blame for NJ Transit…

    As fiscal cliff looms, NJ Transit forges ahead with ambitious spending plans

    As NJ Transit’s board approved its $2.75 billion budget and revised an ambitious capital plan at Wednesday’s meeting, the forecast in the coming years is even more dire than predictions made by the agency four months ago.

    According to board documents from March, in 2026 — the fiscal year when COVID relief funding is expected to run out — the budget gap was predicted to be $549.3 million. In board documents presented Wednesday night, that number is now $842.6 million — a 53% increase.

    This prediction is in large part due to lower revenues from tickets and fewer COVID-19 funds available to make ends meet that year. The federal COVID funds could have been stretched through fiscal year 2026 if Gov. Phil Murphy’s office had stuck to the formula when negotiating how to split federal funds, which instead resulted in surrendering $849 million to New York. Meanwhile, Murphy has not raised fares for five straight years.

    Asked how the agency could forge ahead with an aggressive capital plan while dealing with a systemic budget gap and potential additional $840 million deficit in 2026, Corbett said he is spending what is necessary to elevate the agency to be a model transportation system.

    “We want to be a first-class transit agency, and that’s what it takes,” Corbett said. “But, yeah, there’s a cliff coming, and that’s going to be a real challenge for electeds.”

  2. dentss Dunnigan says:


  3. Juice Box says:

    Grim that story really bugged you I see. That Fund out of Arizona quoted in the article is a nobody with only 4 Billion in assets. Might as well have quoted the people who wrote the latest Elon Musk gossip story for the WSJ.

    Buying a car or a home requires going into debt, from the data that is available the Millennials are up to their necks in debt, and that debt keeps growing and growing.


  4. Libturd says:

    The formula is simple. Every decision Murphy makes is about image. Running empty trains looks good and claiming no fare increases is because the ridership is low, it would probably hurt more than it would help. Then there is bragging about Atlantic City, borrowing billions without referendum when we didn’t need to. Supporting public schools over charters in one of the few places charters are winning. It’s all about his image and his soon to be failed run for president. And you and I are paying for it.

    Really, he’s the absolutely worst governor we’ve ever had. But you wouldn’t know it because his rich friends who benefit from all of his largess, will keep on sending in blood money to support his many anonymous PACs.

  5. Libturd says:

    In other news, I spent the weekend down in AC masked whenever the situation called for it. We get home, and I find out that the mother (friend of ours) that was hanging with us all weekend, just tested positive (faint response on home test). Gator and her went to see a show on Friday night and of course Gator masked up, but I wasn’t aware that she wasn’t careful and she chose not to wear one. Now the family waits for Covid. We’ll test tomorrow. Shame too, it was a wonderful weekend. We have decided to stay away from our so-called friends from now on. Truth be told, she supposedly told me she doesn’t mask any more, but I didn’t hear her.

    We’ll discuss the multi sale after the quiet period.

  6. Juice Box says:

    NJ Transit’s 10 year plan is to increase capacity 10-20% and switch all buses to electric at a cost of $1 million per bus!! The nominal range of these buses before a four hour recharge is around 213 miles. That means more buses and drivers to cover the same routes as the buses will either have to be charged fully every night or switched out. The governor has been constantly raiding the Turnpike Authority budget to pay for their money losing NJ Transit operations, in addition to all of the federal money given. It’s only a matter of time, do they really believe that people are going back to mass transit at pre-pandemic levels plus growth? They will all be gone when the cows come home Gov Murphy will be out in four years and he is term limited….he will fade just like the fat man before his has..

  7. Libturd says:


    Biggest weak of earnings of the Summer. As I predicted back in February was it? The market will be flat for the Summer and will resume its panic late August into the Fall. I was looking wrong until last week. So far, I have called this market like a psychic on a hot streak. If this call continues rolling, I’m gonna need protection.

    Libturd says:
    October 28, 2021 at 5:06 pm
    Happy Halloween. SFW, not so much for your sanity.


    Libturd says:
    October 31, 2021 at 8:44 am
    Facebook just be trying to disrupt. Helps the stock price.

    Here’s hoping there is no shortage of York peppermint patties in my kid’s boo sacks.

    Happy Halloween buffoons. Save your Chiklets. You might need to sell them next year.

    From the Nasdaq record high on November 19th last year to today, the index has dropped 26%. At it’s bottom on June 16th, it was down 33%.

    From the Fiscal crisis bottom March 2, 2009 to November 19th last year the bull run in Nasdaq returned an astonishing 1022%.

    So if you think the market can’t fall much further, just look at the last two sentences.

  8. Libturd says:


    I think the pendulum might be swinging back.

    Gator said the comedian who opened at the show she saw was telling jokes offensive to the disabled. I also just got a Victoria’s Secret postcard that had hot chicks on it like they used too. Sure, one of them wasn’t white. But the last mailer might have been the peak of this madness. SFW


  9. Hold my beer says:


    Get a bottle of 500 milligram Quercetin. It reduces inflammation and is believed to reduce the chances of cytokine storms.

  10. Libturd says:

    I will the moment we test positive or feel any symptoms. So far, no sign.

  11. Ex says:

    Prednisone also helps a lot with inflammation.
    Might be easier to find.

  12. Ex says:

    Congrats on the multi!

  13. Libturd says:


  14. Juice Box says:

    Been a full week now since my Mom starting feeling sick and then tested positive for Covid. She tested positive for Covid again as of yesterday. The PAXLOVID antiviral pills seem to be working she is feeling ok for the last few days, but that script was for only five days.

    Did some more reading up on that med. It’s actually a script for two different meds, Nirmatrelvir and Ritonavir. Nirmatrelvir inhibits a key enzyme that the COVID virus requires in order to make working copies of itself that can infect new cells. After the Nirmatrelvir pills are taken the COVID virus that is copied and released cells is no longer able to enter uninfected cells and stops the continued infection. The other drug Ritonavir is now used to boost levels of antiviral Nirmatrelvir. Ritonavir essentially shuts down the breakdown of the other drug Nirmatrelvir in the liver, so that it doesn’t move out of your body as quickly and it will remain working much longer perhaps weeks.

  15. NJCoast says:

    I know at least 10 people who have had covid in the last month ranging from 1 to 75+years old. Vaccinated, unvaccinated, taking antivirals, not taking anything, my great nephew who has a shunt in his brain, and everyone has had the same trajectory. Feeling bad for 1-3 days then on the mend from there.

  16. Juice Box says:

    There are 1,017 hospitalizations in NJ Hospitals right now for Covid. That is something we are trying to avoid with my 85 year old mom and her sister for over two years now. Best thing to do it’s stay away from people when you are old…

  17. Hold my beer says:

    Took me 9-10 days to test negative after initial positive test. Day one sore throat. Day 2 hoarse voice and tested positive and felt like a flu. Day 3-7 felt like a cold with night sweats. I was still sleeping 15 hours on day 8. Was like being a cat. Never felt really sick. Was just sleepy. And as soon as I felt really tired I was taking a nap within a few minutes.

  18. Libturd, Waiting for Covid says:

    Good stuff to know. Thanks for sharing.

  19. hobojoe says:

    NJ transit will just pay for all of it with their new speculative high-rise developments in Hoboken.


    Regarding the “public investments”, those are all things which were promised and re-promised under various other giveaways and never delivered.

  20. Juice Box says:

    Just what Hoboken needs a new 20 story office building with no parking across from Texas Arizona and a 28 story residential tower that will also have no new parking. I hope anyone who buys there likes the smell of diesel burning and the sound of train horns in the morning.


  21. BRT says:

    Lib, just supplement Zinc/Quercitin. You can stop it before it even gets started. If you want natural sources of both, it’s Oysters and Capers…not a bad meal option.

  22. leftwing says:

    Lib, off the cuff as I’m traveling again today….

    A couple weeks ago I posted that vol was contracting with no real upward stock movement and the quip that somebody knows sumpin’…Why’s that relevant…need to trade the market we’re in and this market – today – seems full…Last week’s extraordinary gains made up for the vol movement signaled the prior week.

    Regardless, I continue to believe the Fed presser will be calming and with some professionals still calling for 100bps (smoking dope) there may be a positive market response but….

    (1) Other meaningful macro financial data comes this week as well not just Fed (2) Tons of earnings across nearly every major sector and among major market components (3) VIX is hanging 23, a soothing Fed and positive response should be good for another 3 points off, do we really believe that on the other side of a positive Fed we go to a sub-20 VIX environment [no, not through the Fall, and neither does the VIX futures curve]…

    As I mentioned the other day the trade was on 12th-14th, and more than a couple of my stocks hit their thresholds I was unfortunately though on a 15 hour travel day then….

    So, with the above caveats, what am I looking at…individual stocks for sure not indices due to the above…I’m interested in HLT and MAR if they come off a bit. I may step in front of GOOG earnings, I see lines around 100 and 90 [108 now]…She hits 90 that’s nearly 20% off which takes the multiple down from 20 -> 16, how can I not be a buyer there (or conversely the multiple stays a 20 and next year’s earnings forecasts come off 20%, does anyone think they’ll take that kind of hit?). META [167 now] has a line for me at 160 I’ve traded multiple times now, anything beneath that on ad concerns I’m loading up some more – hard….if you look at that trade post an ER share price decline let price and volume drive your buy (ie, don’t jump in the first day of decline necessarily, look toward the three day rule).

    I may jump in front of ER on any of the above as well in addition to GOOG, all through options.

    Would advise against anyone putting on a share trade before ER in these names…Vol in these individual stocks is unusually high even taking into account ERs…In any environment if you jump in long shares ahead of a binary event arguably you are not getting adequately compensated for your risk…doing so in a high volatility environment only increases the amount for which you are not being fairly compensated….Plus I just don’t like SPX knocking on the door of 4000 with VIX at 23 ahead of these events…market should be receptive to Fed, but too much other data around creating too much static after too much of a recent runup….risk to me is to the downside despite my positivity on the Fed…

    Good luck all.

  23. leftwing says:

    Also UPS, before market tomorrow….188 now, 14.7x forward…I see lines at 170 (down 18, or 10%) market pricing in a move of about 13.00…..next line at 155…she blows earnings tomorrow look for a buy over the next few days. I’m writing some premium now at levels beneath spot for Friday.

    Less comfortable on this one than NFLX or HCA, which had taken large dips and provided protection to the downside of around 15%…this one has more limited protection, hasn’t come off as hard, is exposed to an assumed AMZN retail slowdown, has a line beneath where I’m writing that I’m not thrilled about, and below that line (155) there is dead air for this to rip down to 125….

    Not the best setup or my highest conviction, but better than a stained mattress in an unconditioned top floor room across from the PA….

    If she blows up tomorrow AMZN and FDX may very well get tapped as well, if your interested in a long sympathy trade.

  24. Libturd says:

    Juice. It looked that way in 1990. Tex/Arizona replaced another terrible bar around then. We used to party at the Clam Broth House when it was turned into a night club for a few years.


  25. Libturd says:


    Interesting trades. Hope they work out. I’m just gonna sit pretty here right now unless something strong hits my radar. I’m not much of a trader.

  26. BRT says:

    RIP Paul Sorvino

  27. Boomer Remover says:

    Lib, congrats on the sale! Didn’t hang around on the market all that long, eh? You gonna 1031 that nut?

  28. Libturd says:

    Hasn’t sold yet, as far as I know. Still collecting offers, as far as I know. Again. Silent period.

  29. Jim says:

    Congrats on sale, always fix it up to get best price. I did the same, asbestos removed, new furnaces, granite counters.
    I would not do 1031 at your age , sit back and enjoy life, I was tired of 2am calls and late rent.

  30. Libturd says:

    Nope. Done with this landlording bullsh1t for good. The stock market is so much easier and no sweat equity. I would miss the write-offs, but I pretty much have everything I need. It’s all long-term gains and within limits (most likely). Remember. At, best, I expect my place to have doubled in value.

  31. Libturd says:

    Uh oh!


    Amazon is down 5% in sympathy in after hours.

    Unless you are shorting, stay OUT of this market.

  32. 3b says:

    Lib : Congratulations. You deserve it.

  33. Fabius Maximus says:

    Murphy going green. I think I’ll take the $250 for the home charger.


    New Jersey will spend millions of dollars to get people to ditch gas stations and purchase all-electric vehicles to fight climate change, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday.

    It includes a payment of up to $4,000 to reduce the price of an electric vehicle and $250 to help pay for a charging station at their homes, Murphy said. Another $4 million will go towards giving incentives for apartment buildings and condominiums to install charging stations for their residents to use.

  34. Libturd says:

    Murphy is on a spending spree like no other. Oh the collapse is going to be brilliant. I feel really bad for the next guy.

  35. Fabius Maximus says:

    Going back to the bars on main street discussion. I stopped into this place yesterday. A little pricy, but worth it.


    They are doing it right. Lots of craft on tap and great food. They also turned their carpark into covered seating which was a nice break from the sun.

  36. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Just like the woke movement will revert to the mean, so will this. Millennials might want no human interaction, but generation z will. They will look at no human interaction as old and lame.

    “HUMAN CONNECTION: The job market is confounding. Managers say they’re still struggling to find good people to hire, while job seekers say that applying online can feel like shooting their résumés into outer space. To fix this disconnect, companies and candidates are refocusing on in-person recruiting and pitching.

    The walk-in strategy that landed your first job bagging groceries or scooping ice cream just might help secure your next one. Taped-up invitations to “apply within”—rendered obsolete by digital HR portals and impractical during the pandemic—are reappearing on office doors and storefronts for white-collar and skilled trade jobs.”


  37. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Murphy def trying to run for president. I find myself drifting to the right. There is no reason govt should subsidize electric cars at this point. High gas prices are already doing it.

  38. Mike S says:

    I just spent nearly 50 hours in airports / airplanes in the last 10 days… all five flights I took had a mask mandate, and I think I will end up covid free, feel great so far (was gone little over a week with minimum mask usage)

  39. joyce says:

    I think it should be means tested. What do you think?

    Fabius Maximus says:
    July 25, 2022 at 6:58 pm
    Murphy going green. I think I’ll take the $250 for the home charger.


    New Jersey will spend millions of dollars to get people to ditch gas stations and purchase all-electric vehicles to fight climate change, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday.

    It includes a payment of up to $4,000 to reduce the price of an electric vehicle and $250 to help pay for a charging station at their homes, Murphy said. Another $4 million will go towards giving incentives for apartment buildings and condominiums to install charging stations for their residents to use.

  40. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Nj is different…we aren’t Phoenix or Florida. We will stagnate rather than crash.

    “So I’m just curious, is anyone seeing the market soften in NJ? We just got outbid on a condo by almost 40K over asking. Multiple all cash offers. What’s everyone else seeing? Same complex as where I bought last December for 85k less! The ‘softening market’ is constantly in the news but reality on the ground is different.”

  41. The Great Pumpkin says:

    One of my tenants has been house hunting all year. Last I heard, they’d been beat out on 4 homes due to offers going 50K+ over asking. Inventory is still pretty low, compared to amount of buyers looking. We have more inventory now than we had last year, and earlier this year, but homes are moving pretty fast, unless they are really overpriced. (northern Bergen Co.)

  42. leftwing says:

    “I’m not much of a trader.”

    Understood. Trade is a trade though, meaning my entry parameters don’t differ much regardless of expected holding time horizon. Nor do my exits for that matter. It’s a buy and (eventual) sell each time. Days, weeks, months, years.

    Point I’m getting at is after this bumpiness of the next few weeks we may see a dip into Sept but after that it’s over….GDP/consumption data is full see-through, Fed is at or with a clear path to their endpoint, and we are at/through mid-terms….remember, market always leads coming out of a recession, and usually reverses while in it. Meanwhile, the seven octogenarians whose sole call whether a recession occurred or not will be deciding such when the market (and very possibly economy) is ripping.

    Recession dating is the biggest rear view mirror event…better, it is a massive head fake (arbitrage) this time…who cares if these seven NBRE people determine months after the fact whether a recession occurred and then ended in 4Q22? No one. Zero bearing on today’s (and for that matter tomorrow’s) prices. Look out the window, forget the technical terms….we are sliding, and economy can have another leg down, but post midterms the market (if not economy) will be off and running.

    My sole goal – and why I post these stocks – is right now they can go on sale…I think it likely META may breach the 160 line on ER, say she does and runs to 140? Last time you will see that price. Forward guidance is being adjusted now by all companies, there is maybe one more bite at the apple in late October for 3Q earnings but if so that is a faux pas by a company….Otherwise, your coupon for a discount has an expiry. Use it before you lose it on defined weakness to levels you like.

    Did UPS (holding my nose) and a leg in on GOOG today….

  43. leftwing says:

    UPS is intended to be a ST trade…GOOG I want for a LT hold but at sub 20x forward ideally….

  44. Libturd says:

    It all makes sense. There’s no losing at these levels with quality companies. Though, I’m convinced we see new lows.

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