Trashcan Treasure- A 13th-century painting that hung unloved for decades in a Frenchwoman’s kitchen was sold at auction last week for $26.8 million—the most ever paid for a medieval painting. The woman, in her 90s, never thought much of the tempera panel, which she’d believed to be a Russian icon. It might have ended up in the trash during a house move this summer, but an auctioneer who had come to value furniture suspected it was a masterwork. Experts later identified it as Christ Mocked by Italian artist Cimabue, a forefather of the Italian Renaissance. “When I held the picture in my hands,” said buyer Fabrizio Moretti, “I almost cried.”
Hero Holding Two Beers– A Nationals fan was hailed as a World Series hero this week after he nabbed a home run ball while holding a beer in each hand. Jeff Adams had just bought two cans from a vendor in the second inning of Game 5 when the Astros’ Yordan Alvarez smashed the ball in his direction. Recalling his Little League days, Adams put his chest out, angled it down, and let the ball roll to the floor—all without spilling a drop of beer. Adams said he wished his old coach could have seen his feat: “This guy taught me how to do that.”
Sensational Stallion- A horse in South Korea has become a YouTube sensation by perfecting the art of playing dead whenever someone approaches to ride him. Jingang—dubbed “the world’s most melodramatic horse”—buckles his legs, theatrically collapses, and closes his eyes at the mere sight of a prospective rider. “That horse is a genius,” said one fan. “Wish I could just do that every time someone I don’t like comes near me.” Watch him in action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3dC3Z8pf5U
Weekly Focus – Think About It
“Before you become too entranced with gorgeous gadgets and mesmerizing video displays, let me remind you that information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all.”
–Arthur C. Clarke, Science fiction writer and futurist
They did it.
The Federal Reserve lowered interest rates last week, as expected. There were no enthusiastic fans singing the Baby Shark song, but the Federal Open Market Committee’s decision was well received.
Reuters reported, “Gaps between market expectations and the Fed’s own outlook have been wide at times this year, a source of concern for policymakers who don’t want to kowtow to markets, but also don’t want to surprise or disrupt them. But, the two are now roughly in line with the idea that the Fed is on hold and the economy continuing to chug along, a fact highlighted by data showing 128,000 jobs were created in October…”
Last week’s unemployment report was full of good news. It reported job gains and moderate pay increases, according to Barron’s, but there was a counterintuitive twist. The unemployment rate increased even though the economy added new jobs. That was good news, too, because it meant more people are returning to the workforce.
The only bad news was found in manufacturing. The October ISM manufacturing index ticked higher, but remains in contraction territory. CNBC reported, “Manufacturing has been at the heart of the economy’s sluggishness, with a drop in business investment a big reason for the third quarter’s sluggish 1.9 percent [economic] growth pace.”
Barron’s attributed softness in manufacturing to the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.
By the end of the day on Friday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index had closed at a record high three times in five days. The Nasdaq Composite also reached a record high.
What will we do with Parking garages? As the popularity of ride-sharing services and personal transportation options (like scooters and bicycles) grows, the need for cars in urban areas may diminish.
The arrival of autonomous vehicles could reduce demand even further.
Pew Research explained, “By 2030, 15 percent of new cars sold will be totally autonomous, according to one estimate. One in 10 will be shared. And, as it becomes easier for people to summon shared or autonomous cars when they need them, fewer people will want to own their own vehicle, meaning fewer cars overall.”
So, what’s going to happen to all of the parking garages?
There are a lot of interesting ideas about how parking garages might be repurposed. Some companies plan to reserve the spaces for autonomous vehicles. Others are remodeling garages to accommodate businesses and services.
For example, one company is buying properties with the intention of turning them into “commercial kitchens for delivery-only restaurants and other consumer services.” Other possibilities include:
- Recreational areas
- Movie theaters
- E-commerce distribution centers
- Flood protection areas
- Urban farms
- Apartment buildings
The co-CEO of an architecture and design firm told Axios News, “An obvious and functional challenge we face is that these structures were not originally designed for human habitation. These spaces often require us to raise the floor height, level the floors between ramps and incorporate design techniques that bring natural light into the space.”
Redeveloping parking garages may be challenging and costly, but it could create opportunities for investors.
John Klevens, CFP
This material is intended to provide general financial education and is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied upon for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. Individuals involved in the estate planning process should work with an estate planning team, including their own personal legal or tax counsel. This material is for informational purposes only and is not an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any securities.
Securities and Advisory Services offered by John Klevens through KMS Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC and an SEC Registered Investment Adviser. Klevens Capital Management and KMS are separate and unaffiliated.
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The Week Magazine
https://www.barrons.com/articles/what-the-perfect-jobs-report-means-51572627916 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/11-04-19_Barrons-This_Perfect_Jobs_Report_Looks_Like_a_Game-Changer-Footnote_2.pdf)