Through the Looking Glass: A New Age is Coming
As I was wrestling with what to write for today, my lovely managing editor Nicole inspired a prompt.
She hinted to me that today is both her birthday and Halloween. Perhaps I could make something of that!
So this is a Halloween-Nicole Daily Prophecy (coming to you a day later). Halloween surely offers an excuse for a spooky trumpery of tricks and tweets, trade wars, terrifying pterodactyls winging in on the cover of Scientific American, unicorns tumbling into Initial Public Offering (IPO) pratfalls, equity bear hugs, multi-trillion-dollar deficit horrors honing in on us from everywhere, and bulls loose in China shops and supply chains.
At the end after all the tricks, Nicole’s birthday may even give us a treat. Perhaps, for people working in crowded offices, there are larger investible opportunities in real 10 gigabit Wi-Fi 6 than even in pie-in-the-sky 5G next-generation wireless.
In my pile of recent publications, I had no problem finding further Halloween tricks. From The Economist’s glam glower of “Elizabeth Warren’s plan to remake American capitalism” and the growling bears of Barron’s “Bracing for 2020,” to the Atlantic’s paranoid palpitations over the power of Jeff Bezos and Amazon Prime, I merely had to step through the looking glass and into the world of the mad hatters of the mainstream media.
Once through the looking glass, I plunged into a terror-trail phantasmagoria, resembling my “terror Halloween half-marathons” at Thacher Park nearby. There would be uncanny coils of time reflux (negative interest rates that say the clocks are running backward), and eerie diminuendos of “secular stagnation” (that signify an ever-slowing pace of innovation). There would be twisted yield curves that portend recession and crash, and weird Halloween revenue surprises at Texas Instruments (TI) and other trade casualty chip companies. We should watch for overreactions to microchip setbacks.
Everywhere I looked there would be climate change horror-stories and harrowing predictions of a Chinese debt crash and global slump. Haunting the think tanks and serioso foreign policy circles would be the US war naval college, huffing-and-puffing about Chinese expansion and island-building in the South China seas.
But as I’ve said before, we’d be ghoulish to ignore the opportunities this country provides…
Boo! Here Comes China
Newt Gingrich’s book, Trump vs. China, which I wrote about yesterday, contained an entire chapter about this tedious subject. It’s a new era, folks. China is at least 20 times stronger than it was. The idea of the US continuing to dominate the South China seas makes no more sense than China dominating the Gulf of Mexico.
I’m not worried about any of that stuff, since I understand the upside message from the Pooley-Tupy time-price paradigm. Measured by the number of hours of work needed to earn the money to buy crucial goods and services, the world economy continues to boom and debt burdens continue to shrink.
In true time-price terms, interest rates remain around 3.6%. This is around the normal true rate that held for British consols (treasuries) over the 200 years of the gold standard. If interest rates aren’t truly negative and innovation continues to thrive, the economic horror stories of Halloween go away.
We can still worry about the scandal of money ($5.1 trillion a day of currency trading) and the hypertrophy of finance (nearly 40% of all profits) and the breakdown of families, the paralyzing excesses of lawyers and litigation in the US, and even the obesity crisis. But our problem is neither a technology slowdown nor a true outbreak of interest rate negativity nor a fundamental disorder of capitalism.
According to time-prices, for example, China’s living standards have been improving for decades not at the usually estimated 6-8% a year but 11% a year. In other words, believe it or not, the Chinese regime underestimates the true growth of China’s economy.
I know that ghosts haunt empty apartments in thousands of new buildings in some new Chinese cities. China has huge excess capacity in steel and concrete. But time-prices measure GDP over hours of work. All the surplus spending and waste is included and counteracted by widespread improvements in incomes, innovations, and lower real costs.
Wi-Fi 6 Presents an Exciting Birthday Gift
Meanwhile, for Nicole’s birthday treat, we want to get her a Wi-Fi 6 router from NETGEAR, which (with Taiwan’s ASUS) dominates this vital technology.
We also want to get you some shares in NETGEAR. Its symbol is NTGR. This estimable company is currently rebuked and scorned by investors because of the ups and downs of its transition to the new Wi-Fi standard. But NETGEAR is already leading the industry, delivering several routers that comply with the new standard.
What everyone is underestimating is the impact of the coming 5G expansion, by a full gigahertz, of the unlicensedspectrum bands that will be used by Wi-Fi 6. No FCC spectrum auctions are needed.
Today, some 70% of smartphone calls are completed over Wi-Fi. With Wi-Fi 6 and 5G that number will grow, along with a huge expansion of world data traffic deeper into the zettabytes. Wi-Fi 6 will eventually deliver the vast bulk of it and NETGEAR is well-positioned to ride the crest of this wave.
When Nicole is in the office she will be able to share her new router with 31 other computers, each enjoying 10 gigabits per second connections. She will be safe from any huge new floods of daily writing or even video from me and her other charges.
The new router will seamlessly exclude data-frames from competing Wi-Fi networks and will enable the full exploitation of the expanded 5G wireless links coming soon to downtown Baltimore and other cities. Nearly all offices and most homes will need new routers.
So perhaps it can be a happy birthday for Nicole and a happy Halloween for all.
Editor, Gilder’s Daily Prophecy