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The Oliver Anthony Indicator

Soft landing? No way.

Let’s just look at the Oliver Anthony indicator. The viral sensation shouldn’t surprise anyone— Anthony’s song, Rich Men North of Richmond, is at the top of Apple’s charts because our country is so full of people who feel the way he does. …And forget about Rich Men, how about his song I Wanna Go Home? If that song ever gets any traction, well, that would be a straight-up harbinger of doom.

At any rate, it doesn’t really matter whether you like his music or not, but it’s important to recognize that a lot of people do and that that’s probably not good.

As Anthony recently posted on Facebook, “I wrote the music I wrote because I was suffering with mental health and depression. These songs have connected with millions of people on such a deep level because they’re being sung by someone feeling the words in the very moment they were being sung. No editing, no agent, no bulls***.”

“There’s nothing special about me. I’m not a good musician, I’m not a very good person. I’ve spent the last 5 years struggling with mental health and using alcohol to drown it. I am sad to see the world in the state it’s in, with everyone fighting with each other. I have spent many nights feeling hopeless, that the greatest country on Earth is quickly fading away.”


Just a few days after the release of Rich Men North of Richmond, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Emergency Nurses Association collectively released a report pleading for more support and resources as the number of children and teenagers with mental health concerns overwhelm emergency departments nationwide.

Here in San Diego, Dr. Willough Jenkins, medical director of emergency and consultation liaison psychiatry at Rady Children's Hospital told NBC last week that the number of kids seeking psychiatric emergency care in her ER has grown from approximately 30 a month in recent years to 30 a day.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study back in February that found an "unprecedented level of hopelessness" and suicidal thoughts among the nation's youth, yet economists want to talk about a soft landing? It’s patently absurd.


As of this writing, there are many, many stocks that are down staggering amounts, and many of them are bellwether blue-chip names:

· Disney (DIS) is off 58% since its highs in March 2021

· 3M (MMM) is down 53% since its May 2021 highs

· Ford (F) is down 54% from its highs

· CVS (CVS) is down 40% from its highs

· Alcoa (AA) is down 70% from its highs

· Qualcomm (QCOM) is 44% off its highs

There are sector-specific slumps happening in manufacturing, chemicals, cardboard boxes, freight, tech/electronics, residential and commercial property, mergers and acquisitions, and advertising. We expect one of two things that will get people to stop talking about an economic soft landing— either this list of slumping industries gets longer, or they have to bury a child.


September is historically far and away the worst month of the year for stocks, and we see things shaping up that way this year. However, we are heartened that Vanguard’s money market (VMRXX) is currently yielding a whopping 5.42% (which just means our dry powder is lit), and we expect the end of the year to present opportunities for equity investors, especially with companies focused on AI. At some point, we expect failures in the job market, the depletion of consumers’ savings accumulated from Covid-era stimulus, the highest interest rates in 15 years and a massive mental health crisis to all apply downward pressure to stocks, but we believe that when that happens, it will manifest itself as a trend, not just a choppy trading phenomenon.

Click here to invest with Chad.

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