30 Bearish Trends (Sept 2021)

Random Observation/Comment #734: I’ll become a bear when everyone gets overly bullish.

Why this list?

I find it funny that I started with 30 bullish trends (because I was feeling optimistic after adopting 2 kittens). The truth is that I see-saw between all these contradictory feelings. I guess that’s what makes the markets. Not to fall for any FUD, but I’ve written about 30 Crypto FUD narratives, 30 Possible Causes of the Next Market Crash, and 30 Global worries (from 2019) before.

  1. COVID variations / General sickness – This is where top-down vaccine mandates could have saved a lot of lives. We’re moving towards an endemic (i.e. continually mutating virus like the flu that requires yearly boosters) at this rate.
  2. Global inequity – Within a country, there’s easily an unfair set of lines drawn by past generations of privilege. Between countries, there are varying degrees of political unrest and national availability.
  3. Supply chain disruption – This will likely cause inflation or severe delays. Manufacturing companies will have backed up orders with no room to store more items because they’re missing one processor to complete the device.
  4. Commercial working real estate – Due to remote working, we’ll see a heavy decline of families in cities with even fewer reasons to pay high rent for expensive real estate. I think the WeWork model actually has a chance of a rebirth.
  5. Unemployment – Specifically in lower wage retail jobs, we’ll continue to see opportunities for teenagers to work hard and get fast promotions. There’s also the other side of higher demand for skilled workers.
  6. USD – I don’t have too much faith in the dollar in the next 3 years. There might be a digital yuan play happening in the next 6 months. I also see general global trade disruption leading to a relative devaluation of many trading pairs. China will swoop in as they already control the means of production and supply chains.
  7. War – There has already been a clear internal civil war within the US between party lines and I’m sure we’re constantly waging a cyber-based war with Russia, China, and North Korea.
  8. US Debt – I doubt the US will default because it’d cause too many cascading issues. We’re right now just focusing on what other things we can sneak into signing.
  9. Politics – There’s nothing wrong with democracy as an ideal, but clearly it sacrifices speed/decisiveness for inclusion. We can still keep a capitalist society building on economic means and growing a middle class without layers of corruption focused on reelection.
  10. Higher education establishments – Universities with $50k tuitions have crazy margins and aren’t really being the tide that lifts all boats. It’s a profit making company that has a hook on young stupid audiences that think its the only way because company hiring filters out non-university graduates or creates a pay cap without credentials. I’m hoping large tech companies help change hiring practices.
  11. Mental health – This is understated. So many people have lost family members and felt lonely through this pandemic. We’re all a little off because the whole world is slowly falling apart. This is fine.
  12. Addictive gambling sites masked as trading/investing – To counteract that lonely feeling, let’s try get-rich-quick schemes through day trading with the worst skills. YOLO on calls that likely lead to lucky few bucks or complete spirals. If you check your portfolio more than 5 times a day, then you’re likely doing something wrong.
  13. Climate change impacts – Is it just me or are seasons just getting harsher? It’s more of a yearly change than a 5-year comparison too. If we needed to wear masks and stay inside for a pandemic, then we’ll need to reduce individual energy footprint and ride more bicycles for the next wave of climate change problems.
  14. Infrastructure – Trillions of dollars is not enough to save the problems we have across the board. I’d tackle utilities first like electrical, water, gas, sewage, etc because what happened to Texas could happen to other states and countries. Unfortunately, the money created is very easily getting siphoned into private companies that have monopolies on these contracts. It looks a lot more like military spending blackholes.
  15. Comparison culture – Instagram is bad for people. Everyone’s putting up a front. Show what you want to be and hopefully it’ll be true? I just don’t think it helps with body image even if there’s some positive advocacy by accounts.
  16. Cancel culture – There’s some positive collaboration on certain outrageous actions from corporations or individuals, but it seems like a very easy way to get Russian hackers to make people turn against each other.
  17. Herd immunity – We’ve reached a standing point on vaccinations with the public
  18. Birthrates in the new generation – It seems like none of my friends want to have kids and I don’t blame them. Kids are expensive and most of us don’t like the future we’re predicting in the next 15-20 years.
  19. Fashion – This is probably just me, but I’m totally okay with sweatpants and startup t-shirts for the rest of my life. I also think comfortable skinny jeans will never go out of style.
  20. Women’s equity – Through the pandemic, women were the first to leave their job in lieu of daycare for kids and existing lower salaries, which has lead to a huge decline in workforce diversification.
  21. Ransomware and Spyware – If you think clicking links to ads and opening suspicious emails was bad, think about all of the social engineering vulnerabilities to companies that provide core infrastructure across utilities. The hacks from SolarWinds was super scary. I’ve been paying attention to how this level of scams have impacted individuals just dipping their toes in crypto.
  22. Social bubbles / echo chambers – Clearly we all read/watch/communicate through these curated recommendations and bubbles. I try my best to do my own Wikipedia research, but who knows what you can trust these days. Everything seems like propaganda for me to be a good consumer.
  23. Travel – The pandemic might be over for first world countries in the next year, but the more exotic areas will take many more years to work out access to healthcare and trust issues. My view of personal travel is pretty much local long weekend drives to National Parks.
  24. Insurance – I personally hate the insurance business model, but it’s so easy to see this crumble after natural disasters or in a health crisis. I predict there will be inadequate coverage when things really go bad.
  25. Space tourism – I don’t understand why this is even a thing. Seems like an expensive flex.
  26. Military spending – What have we learned from Afghanistan? What happens to all those government contracts and supplies of unnecessary warfare? Budgets are so misappropriated.
  27. Healthcare / Doctor’s salaries – As there’s more push towards universal healthcare coverage, there’s an off-balance reward to doctors who spend 8 years in med school. The fairness to sick people is clearly more important here, but there will also be a lot more sick people.
  28. Oil and coal companies – They’re all trying to pivot, but do so way too slowly for the amount of impact it has on climate change. We’re still too reliant on fossil fuels.
  29. Substance Addiction – I’m totally guilty of being a pandemic alcoholic and it’s not a great feeling. I think we’re all a little too addicted and dependent on different crutches to get through the weeks and months.
  30. Regulations on crypto – This is about to get worse before it gets better. The clarity will be good for overall adoption and I think there’s enough momentum for this to be bullish (if not economically stable) in the next few decades.

~See Lemons Be a Bear