My regular readers know that this monthly newsletter almost always comes out on the last day or two of the month. Coming out mid-month makes this a somewhat special edition.
There are numerous messages about Covid-19 with almost every business telling you what they’re doing to keep you and their employees safe. For me, it calls to mind the saying (supposedly an ancient Chinese curse which seems to be undocumented), “May you live in interesting times.” Clearly, these are interesting times.
On Thursday March 12, 2020 the stock market had it’s largest one day point drop in history. I remember the sell-offs of 1987, 2001, and 2008. In each case there were subsequent recoveries. But as fear of the unknown set in, traders dumped stocks on concerns that economic activity would significantly slow and bots responded in kind. Against that backdrop, what can the average person do to help? Spend!
As Thursday wound down I called the local Jeep dealer and ordered new tires for our Cherokee. It wasn’t urgent; I could have gotten a few more months out of the old tires but advancing the purchase helps keep economic activity up as the nation takes action to “flatten the curve”. The dollars spent support Firestone and their employees, downstream suppliers, the owner of the local dealership, the mechanic who installed the tires and did the alignment and many others.
On Friday afternoon, I got a message from REI announcing a sale (apparently, they knew I was in a spending mindset). I made another purchase. Purely discretionary. Friday evening is pizza night for us. Lately, my wife tends to make it at home. Instead, we went out. The restaurant had made some procedural changes in an effort to limit interaction. With a somewhat smaller crowd, I left a larger than usual tip.
Before I started writing this, I ordered two books from an author I recently met. Between drafts, I walked down the street and picked up a new pair of running shoes.
None of these small purchases will move the economic needle but worldwide economic activity is dependent upon how +300 million people in the USA and billions around the world respond to current events.
This is my 168th edition and I don’t think I have ever asked my readers to share or forward but this time, I’m going to ask that you do exactly that.
As we navigate the coming weeks, stay informed, act responsibly, and if you can afford to do so, advance some purchases so we can help lessen the economic dip as we flatten the curve.
The consumer drives the US economy. Spend!
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The archive of these monthly newsletters is posted at the Resources section of homza.com
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