Wal-Mart vs Amazon. You kidding me? $WMT, $AMZN, $QQQ

OK so there is a narrative that Wal-Mart is giving battle to Amazon in on-line retailing.  Do you believe that?  Amazon is a technology company that organically develops tech driven opportunities. Wal-Mart is an old school retailer who is buying technology to compete.  While everyone buys Wal-Mart is just stumbling into on line because they are big in physical space.  Amazon actually understands what their engineers are doing. Well, relatively speaking.  The clan in Arkansas is based on trust funds and professional third parties. Just not the same drivers in play.

Wal-Mart will get a few wins because of its size. It’s perspective is still yellow happy faces and low prices. This can be beaten.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.

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WalMart Takes Market to Moon $WMT, $SPY

Wall Mart lifted the market because of good earnings. Really.  This tired big box that thinks its going somewhere in on line retail doesn’t have the clout to sustainably move the market. It was just an excuse. Someone had some spare gas which they threw onto a bonfire and watched a dangerous spike.  The American economy is not in that good shape. Otherwise retail in general would be better not just Wal Mart.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective. 

$GE Derails its Choo Choo Division

General Electric wants to divest its locomotive division. Hmm Warren Buffett makes big bets on trains. Locomotives equal productivity in trains so lets get rid of it.  Definitely gives you a tell as to what GE is not thinking about as it looks for ways to return to the glory years when everything it touched turned to gold.

Siemens maybe?

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.

Asian Dynamics, Korean Nitroglycerin and Black Swans $VIX, $QQQ, $SPY, $GLD, $DJX, $USD

Lots of big Asian Meetings coming up. Trump going to the big ones.  He’s sent three aircraft carriers to hold his place until he gets there. No visit to DMZ. Wise to eliminates a provocation opportunity for the North Koreans.

But the underlying vibe has changed some.

Trump just wants to whack North Korea and Kim Jong-un and carve out place in history.  Mad man does good thing sort of thing.

Japanese Leader Abe coming off a very democratic two thirds super majority.  He has a mandate to increase Japan’s military posture.  Korea will only be a starting point. Then there is the South China Sea, Shipping Lanes, Muslin insurgencies in Phillipines, Indonesia etc.  Abe is probably China’s biggest concern.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping who has just been crowned by the Chinese Communist Party as the most powerful leader since Mao and has his own aspirations.  Xi should be Abe’s biggest concern.

Problem is Trump and western world see this as a Korea problem. Japan and China see this as an age old conflict for Asian Dominance with an American irritation. Trump and the Pentagon will most likely prevail in the shooting phase, compliments of the American Taxpayor.

What about round two.  Just as Bush went into Iraq with a short term game plan so too do I fear Trumps short term game plan. He has no long game.

That is how you get Black Swans. This is how you grind up the South Korean Economy which China  would like to replace.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective

North Korea’s Olympic Spirit $USD, $VIX, $GLD

In case you’re not a sport fan but are concerned about Black Swans chew on this.  The 2018 Winter Olympics are scheduled in South Korea some 50 miles south of the famous border separating North and South. Dates are Feb 9 to Feb 25. This is just 3 months away.

Plenty of time to pulverize North Korea and then hold the games.  Mind boggles over the opportunities as viewed by North Korea. Will the US team go disguised as the US Marine Corp or will the US Marine Corp go disguised as the Olympic team.

Black Swans are usually not on the balance sheet.

BTW next games in 2022 Beijing.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.

Japanese Inflation to go Ballistic $JPY, $USD

Japan will militarize and spend significant amounts of capital on armaments. Militaries even the efficient ones need huge amounts of manpower.  Japan’s unemployment rate is around 2.8%.  Japan needs to staff a military industrial complex and then compete with the other more established arms merchants.

They’re about to let the genie out of the bottle and ignite the inflation fuse.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.

Puerto Rico A Banana Republic Wrapped in an American Flag $USD, #TRUMP, 

Puerto Rico was devastated by hurricane. So was Texas, Florida parts of Louisiana and Alabama. Why is Puerto Rico still on its ass?  Trump tossing rolls of paper towel bad optics as it was is not the problem. Puerto Rico managed themselves as a Banana Republic. A population under 5 million ran up debts in the tens of billions. But has no infrastructure that can deal with a hurricane. There was inadequate thinking in advance. Now that the island has been destroyed they have the same chance that Japan and Germany had after WW2. Rebuild properly and become a jewel in the Carribean. Small population makes this easy.  Biz opportunity for a few select companies

Or culture wars continue.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective