Category: Business

2024 Week 2

Notes, thoughts and observations - Compiled weekly

Tech layoffs have taken the front page as three years of layoffs have far exceeded cuts demanded by simply over hiring. AI is often to blame, but the most likely candidate is the end of zero interest rate policy (ZIRP). Easy money will take time to unwind. 

The stock market has already priced in rate cuts, but it is pure fantasy unless the domestic (US) economy takes a dive. Inflation has proven sticky, and analysts warn of a bumpy ride in the short term. However, an economic downturn might be near as coincident indicators point toward recession and consumer credit contracts. Nearly 30% Americans are behind on debt payments. 

Meanwhile declining demand for oil indicate a global recession and slowing demand from China, and Middle East tensions. Likewise global shipping is under pressure and as it grows more difficult and dangerous, it also grows more expensive. Companies are looking to de-risk, and near shore nations like Mexico offer cheap manufacturing labor. 

Red Sea Shipping Update, Maersk Pauses Transit Until Further Notice

Red Sea Shipping Update, Maersk Pauses Transit Until Further Notice

Less surprising is the headline that America’s corporate offices are emptier than at any point in at least 4 decades. Remote work, accelerated by the pandemic, has led to a staggering 19.6% of office space in major U.S. cities wasn’t leased. Companies are increasingly interested in smaller, more flexible spaces. 

Finally, Gartner recently identified an interesting disruption that you may not have considered. Analysts are predicting a Golden Age of “Silver Workers” due to the talent crunch. The increased experience and productivity of seasoned workers coupled with the democratizes skills via AI could maximize elder workers’ value. The combination of retirement shortfalls and declining worker demographics could make this prediction a reality.


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