Are we there yet?


As usual, the news isn’t really the news.

With everyone talking Barbieheimer, Twitter ‘X’ and those pesky climate gods turning up the oven, you might not have noticed rising stocks (all seven of them) joining the party. Right on cue, and like a van full of kids who can’t stop asking ‘are we there yet?’ murmurs of a 2023 bull market are suddenly louder.

What do you say?

Shall we pull over and check the map?


Memes of the day


A Warning

I’m not one to read tea leaves. But when the talking heads sound a little too excited, I’ll go with the advice of English physician William Harvey and let my eyes be my witness.

If you look close enough – as old fashioned as that sounds – news for factors and the broader economy ain’t exactly rosy.

Here’s what I see:


Transportation on the Brink

Freight factoring, which makes up a huge chunk of the factoring market, is already wobbling. Florida-based Surge Transportation just filed for Chapter 11, leaving some twenty Factors who were owed money (and plenty more carriers) out to dry.

Between that, and Yellow’s 22,000 drivers narrowly avoiding a crippling Teamster strike, my heads on a swivel. Freight leads economic activity, recessions included. If companies like Surge and Yellow are one snag away from bankruptcy, we should all be watching the road.


Risk Assets at an All Time High

A.I. growth?

S & P 500?

Peak Inflation?

Considering the oblong, ahistorical shape of everything, we might be talking about Jenga blocks. In an article for InvestorPlace, Michael A. Gayed throws cold water on a summer bull market.

“Like an onion, this market gets stinkier once you start peeling back the layers. If the broader U.S. stock market is actually much weaker than it looks and the current rally would qualify as one of the weakest starts to a bull market ever, is it really the start of a new bull market?”

Bull market; Are we there yet?

To his point, the data doesn’t lie.

Given the last eight months, (and compared to the first eight months of previous bull markets) a broad rally is a strange result.

Granted, strange things happen. But what passenger plane takes off after half-assing it down the runway?


So Where Are We in the Hero’s Journey?

Great question.

Whether or not the economy takes off, it’s one worth asking—even if we don’t like the answer.

Where there’s overconfidence, and a nagging feeling of danger up ahead, the oldest story template of all time tells us one thing: the hero is right outside the cave, pulling himself together for the supreme ordeal.

What’s inside?

If the hero loses, certain death.

If the hero prevails, also certain death.

That is, the death of his doubts and weakness. The death of beliefs and assumptions that got him this far. The death of thinking that taking down Darth Vader, and without conquering his own fear and anger, will be easy.

Who knows?

Maybe the death of shortcuts—like thinking A.I. and a few hot stocks can make up for dumb policies, tight credit, and a wobbly transportation sector—is what we need, broadly speaking.

Not there yet, but let’s wait and see.


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