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News From the Control Tower - 04/29/2020

This week's reads feature:

1.  Prviate companies, like Publix, are stepping up to help with the food distribution system. Recently, farmers have been forced to dispose of food while food banks need the food more than ever.

Supermarket Steps Up To Buy From Farmers, Dairies And Donate To Food Banks

2.  If you want to better understand the social media economy, read anything by Taylor Lorenz.  Here, she profiles Josh Zimmerman, a life coach for creators, whose careers have become ever more consuming, uncertain and subject to scrutiny under coronavirus.  

Influencing? In This Economy? It’s Only Gotten More Competitive

3. Billionaire Carl Icahn sees "good opportunities" but also expects more sell-off until the Coronavirus is contained. He predicts “in the short term we could still see some big downdrafts.”

 Icahn sees opportunities but warns of more 'downdrafts' ahead: Bloomberg

4. Speaking of predictions of the future, Howard Marks of OakTree Capital says it's impossible to know. In this memo, Marks provides a great rundown on questions about the economy in light of the Covid shutdowns.  He also provides a nice analysis of the recent actions by the Fed.  

Knowledge of the Future – a Memo by Howard Marks of OakTree Capital

5.  Noah Smith at Bloomberg worries that the US government has propped up the stock market too much.  He argues that stock markets are supposed to fall sometimes.  Unemployment is rising at a record rate. Businesses are vanishing in huge numbers. Much of the economy is on life support as fear of a pandemic keeps Americans at home. Global trade and investment are collapsing. The economy is looking at the possibility of a long-lasting depression. So why is the stock market doing so well? The S&P 500 Index is down for the year, but has recovered by half from its March low point.

Stock Markets That Never Fall Are Up to No Good: A federal backstop for equities will lead to distortions that weigh on growth.

6.  Inexpensive motorcycles and scooters will make up the largest group of new vehicles hitting the world’s roads in the next decade—and a rapidly growing share of those bikes will be electric, say manufacturers and analysts.

The Future of Electric Vehicles May Ride on Two Wheels: Electric motorcycles and scooters could soon have their moment in India, China and other emerging markets

Bonus: Most everyone has challenges staying home and practicing social distancing, but some really have it tougher than others. 

‘This Is Crazy’: 6 Kids, 1 Dog and a Mom With Covid-19