January 9, 2020
We continue to look ahead at 2020 – and indeed the coming new decade.
Though, we were chagrined to find a note from Walter W. in our e-mail inbox, where he points out:
The decade does not end until midnight, December 31, 2020. (Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife)
Walter, we haven’t read Zero, but we’re putting it on our list. In the meantime, you’re absolutely right… though we also suspect that the best “New Decade” parties are past – having happened on December 31, 2019.
Perhaps this is one of those times where it’s more fun to be wrong.
And as we focus on 2020, if you haven’t already reserved your seat to watch – live on air – three American Consequences feature contributors share each of their No. 1 recommendations for 2020, we recommend you do so now.
You’ll hear from…
- David Eifrig, former Goldman Sachs derivatives trader and eye surgeon…
- Steve Sjuggerud, the former hedge-fund manager and currency expert who called the Melt Up…
- And Porter Stansberry, who predicted the rise of online retail in 1999, gene sequencing in 2000, the rise of mobile payments in 2002, the fall of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2008, and $100 oil in 2014.
- Plus, a special guest who has worked with some of the most powerful names on Wall Street – including Steve Schwarzman, George Soros, John Griffin, Steve Cohen, and Julian Robertson.
To hear more about what is coming for the economy, stock market, and presidential election in 2020… plus receive three actionable recommendations that you can take advantage of as soon as the markets open – click here to learn more and reserve your seat.
And now, we look to Enrique Abeyta, who was working on Wall Street during the turn of the last millennium and the Internet boom. And today, he points out two tech developments that could be far bigger than the Internet…
Two Bigger-Than-the-Internet Tech Developments
Enrique Abeyta, financial analyst and owner of Revolver Magazine
My first day working full-time on Wall Street was the day that Netscape went public – August 9, 1995.
This was the real kickoff of the Internet era on Wall Street, and within a few years, the first generation of Internet giants would go public. Yahoo was the first real Internet content company to go public in 1996, and then Amazon became the first real e-commerce company to go public in 1997.
As I think back to that period, one of the most interesting aspects of it was that initially, all of the stocks of the companies that – in theory – would be negatively impacted by a disruption of free Internet content and e-commerce sold off very strongly. The businesses, though, didn’t miss a beat. And while investors were absolutely right about the eventual result – they were a decade early on the actual impact!
The newspapers and retailers are perfect examples… There was an initial moment where investors feared that these new Internet companies would cause great disruption to these traditional business models. Those investors were absolutely right! It just took about another 10-plus years for those impacts to really be felt.
Those early Internet pioneers in content and commerce had business models where we knew that it could all be built. However, in those early days, the technology or infrastructure wasn’t there to support them.
I would use the analogy of putting a man on the moon. By the early 1950s, we knew how to do it… But it would take another 15-plus years to develop the technology to actually do it.
I feel very similar right now about two huge technological developments that will change our world as much – if not more – than the Internet did 20 years ago…
Autonomous driving and electric cars.
With both of these technologies, we know that they will work and that eventually the technology will develop enough to make them economic… and ultimately dominate the market. And I suspect that it will happen quicker than it did for the Internet.
The ramifications of both of these are massive…
Think about the impact on auto accidents if the vast majority of cars are autonomous. Each year, there are 6 million auto accidents in the U.S. involving 3 million injuries, counting for 1% of total deaths. What happens to auto insurance companies in this scenario? Auto repair?
The electric-car technology is not technically related to autonomous driving, but it is being developed along a similar path. If the majority of the U.S. auto fleet primarily uses batteries, then oil consumption would plummet. Sixty-five percent of the consumption of oil in the U.S. is just for personal vehicles.
This has huge ramifications for the energy industry, as well as on a geo-political basis. Ultimately, these technological developments will be as big – if not bigger – than the internal combustion engine.
Now here are some of the stories we’re reading…
Fewer than 10% of Americans moved to new places in the 2018-2019 year, the lowest rate since the Census Bureau began tracking domestic relocations in 1947.
Cost-conscious farmers are looking for bargains, and tractors from that era are well-built and totally functional, and aren’t as complicated or expensive to repair as more recent models that run on sophisticated software.
John shows me the lobster fisherman’s license he received at age 16. Dated July 1, 1938, the creased and torn document is a remnant from the Depression, when lobsters sold for 15 cents a pound. After high school, he bought a brand-new boat, paying for it the Maine way: “I went into the woods and cut 100 cords of pulpwood with a bucksaw and ax,” John remembers. “There weren’t no chainsaws.”
And let us know what you’re reading at [email protected].
Publisher, American Consequences
With P.J. O’Rourke and the Editorial Staff
January 9, 2020