Competition Weekend

Hey Influence Traders,

The Ryder Cup, which pits the best US golfers against Europe’s best, is on this weekend.

It’s fun and exciting to watch.

Almost as fun as the stiff competition going on in DC and around the World.

House Republicans vs Biden vs McConnell

The mainstream media has not reported this, but multiple articles of impeachment against President Biden have been introduced by House Republicans.

The primary issues are Biden’s handling of the U.S.-Mexico border problem, his attempt to expand the federal moratorium on evictions, and the withdrawal debacle from Afghanistan.

House Minority Leader McCarthy has promised to consider the allegations, but Senate Minority Leader McConnell has expressed no desire to proceed with impeachment talks.

House Progressives vs. Centrists

Biden is playing arbitrator between centrist Democrats and progressives in an attempt to get his signature spending bill passed amid plummeting poll numbers.

Biden admitted this week that his agenda is at a “stalemate,” amid high-profile fights between moderates/progressives, House/Senate, and Dems/Repubs.

Senator Manchin seems ticked that progressives want to hold the infrastructure bill hostage to force a vote on the $3.5 trillion boondoggle bill.

Progressives say that they are willing to vote for both bills … together.

It will be a big week.

The House Budget Committee advanced the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion social spending plan yesterday. 

It had to piece together chunks of legislation approved by 13 House committees.

Democrats hope to pass the package using a process called reconciliation that allows them to bypass the Senate GOP filibuster.

Also on Saturday, Speaker Pelosi sent a letter to House Democrats saying the coming week will be a “time of intensity [and that] we must pass a Continuing Resolution, Build Back Better Act and the BIF."

She added that Sept. 30 “is a date fraught with meaning” since it is the end of the fiscal year that could trigger a federal government shutdown if the debt limit is not addressed.

Also, if the House does not pass the Senate-approved $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, funding for surface transportation programs will expire and that will further exacerbate US supply chain problems.

Without a single vote to spare in the Senate and as few as three in the House, Schumer and Pelosi are going to have to scramble.

But progressives don’t want to play. They’ve promised to torpedo the infrastructure bill if the House does not first vote on the $3.5 trillion boondoggle bill.

Rep. Jayapal, the head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, was fairly direct on Friday, saying: “I don’t bluff, I don’t grandstand. We just don’t have the votes for it … it cannot pass."

Democrats in the House, Senate and White House want to advance the boondoggle legislation through a special budget process, known as reconciliation, that sidesteps the Senate filibuster.

Some Republicans are arguing that the bipartisanship by Democratic leaders has guaranteed the bills’ eventual collapse.

China/Biden vs. Crypto

In a blow to crypto and banks, President Biden is nominating regulation junkie Saule Omarova to run the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

The Cornell law professor has argued that tokens may destabilize the economy and are vulnerable to abuse.

This pick will spark another partisan battle in the Senate.

Saule Omarova not only hates crypto but she is a fierce critic of big banks. 

She has argued that major banks have failed to serve broader public needs, and that the Federal Reserve should replace private firms in consumer banking. Say what?!

In a paper published last year, she proposed “a series of structural reforms that would radically redefine the role of a central bank” and “fundamentally alter the operations and systemic footprints of private banks, funds, derivatives dealers, and other financial institutions.”

The cryptoverse is also in an uproar over China banning the use of crypto for transactions, so here’s some perspective: they’ve banned it every year since 2013!

NYC vs Big Tech

New York City legislatures passed groundbreaking legislation that will set minimum pay and working conditions for couriers employed by app-based food delivery services like Grubhub, DoorDash and UberEats.

Mayor de Blasio has promised to sign the bills regulating the food/tech industry.

The legislation will prevent the food apps from charging workers fees to receive their pay; make the apps disclose their gratuity policies; prohibit food delivery apps from charging delivery workers for insulated food bags; and require restaurant owners to make bathrooms available to delivery workers.

Supply Chains vs. The World

A record number of cargo ships are stuck outside the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach waiting to unload cargo.

The pandemic has battered the global supply chain, offloading the surging demand on to suppliers and leading to shortages of goods and containers and increasing costs for consumers.

The Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex is the largest in the US and 9th largest in the world, and moves 40% of container imports into the US and 30% of exports.

62 container ships are waiting offshore to unload cargo this week, with the backlog growing weekly.

The big issue is the result of a shortage of trucks and drivers to pick up goods, as well as overwhelming demand.

The California ports are working with the Biden administration and the transportation department to reduce delays for ships … but with the utter dysfunction currently in Washington I don’t see a fast solution.

And it’s not just the US, supply chain issues are hitting everywhere. Nike (Ticker: NKE) has indicated shortages and Costco Wholesale (Ticker: COST) has warned that higher prices are coming because of freight and labor increases.

Chip Makers vs Autos

The global chip shortage is estimated to have cost carmakers over $210 billion in revenue so far in 2021. The shortage will result in 7.7 million fewer vehicles being built this year.

In an attempt to address the issue, the word on K-Street is that the U.S. government will meet with Ford (Ticker: F), GM (Ticker: GM) and Apple (Ticker: AAPL) to discuss how to fix this supply issue.

Again, with the utter dysfunction going on in DC today, I’m not hopeful of a fast solution.

Regardless of what’s happening in DC or elsewhere, trading guru Andrew Giovinazzi has been making #PowerMoves in the Capitol Gains portfolio.

The live Power Moves portfolio trade log is here.

Cutting Through the Noise for You,

Frank Gregory


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