Category: Business

2024 Week 9

Notes, thoughts and observations - Compiled weekly

Rough times for gaming as budgets are slashed and employees let go. Both Sony and Electronic Arts announced major changes. Given the strength of PC and mobile gaming, you must wonder about the future of consoles. 

Apple throws in the towel on self-driving cars. Does this signal capitulation that the technology is nowhere close to road ready? Another interesting point is why Apple is reassigning employees from the car division to AI. Is this a FOMO move or was Apple already working on its own AI for vehicles? 

Regarding a US recession the data doesn’t indicate that. In fact, many believe there is no imminent danger despite some conflicting metrics. What is a risk is further bankruptcies, like for Macy’s who is closing 150 stores nationwide. The move is due to decadelong underperformance and investors looking for ROI. Things look dark for the retailer if the company can’t pull out of the dive. 

The US economy’s statistical vital signs are, if not healthy, at least stable.

The US economy’s statistical vital signs are, if not healthy, at least stable.

The guys on the All-In Podcast had a great discussion about the structure of Nvidia’s business and a breakdown of recent results (worth a watch/listen). A couple of big questions: Are these results based on a sustainable revenue model or are they simply due to a one time build out?  Second who spends $22 billion? Big tech companies with lots of cash and not a lot of investment options. But at some point, investors will look for ROI and that could be bad for everyone involved. 

Real estate and energy continue to hum along. Home sales are slightly down, but prices are not. It should be noted that long-term inflation accounts for most of the rise in home prices. Meanwhile energy prices remain low in the US because of the shale gas revolution. To quote: “We’ve found almost three Saudi Arabia between oil and natural gas.” 

Finally, an interesting tertiary observation about the expansion of AI chips and data centers which generate a lot of heat. Folks are beginning to pay attention to the water usage, for cooling, that these data centers demand. It brings into question the location of data centers in drought-stricken areas, but it also opens the door for alternative cooling technology that Intel and other startups are working on.


Continue Reading…