December has officially begun and this month is short because of the holidays, so politicians only have a few short days to fight over nothing, agree to disagree, screw over the little guy and head back to their respective states to gossip about everything they didn’t get done this month. In short, this will get interesting!
Here are some important events to keep an eye out for:
- 2021 budget: Congress must agree on a spending bill, often called “Omnibus,” since it condenses 12 different bills into one package.
If they can’t, one million jobs are at risk, because of a government shutdown. The street isn’t pricing in the probability of such an event, so any delays or last-minute rocking of the boat will not be taken with ease by traders.
Basically, this needs to be wrapped in a nice bow by the 11th, or we’re in trouble.
- Stimulus Plan: Many programs, which have kept the piper from getting paid, expire this month. Yesterday, I spoke with a fund manager who is a top executive in one of the world’s largest real estate funds, one that I personally invest in. He straight up told me that landlords are paying bad tenants to leave, so that they can fill those vacancies with better-screened tenants, who have steady jobs or more savings.
We believe that Congress is too out of touch with the survival mentality and struggles of the average American family to understand the urgency of the eviction crisis. Some six million renters are behind and won’t be able to pay without rental relief. We anticipate a “kick the can down the road” approach, where the moratorium is extended to February, perhaps even March, instead of providing aid.
Secondly, we put the odds of a stimulus check getting passed in the month of December at less than 20%, according to today’s situation. Both parties have so much riding on the January 5th 2021 Senate race in Georgia, that conceding now to the other party’s stimulus demands would show weakness to their base.
The HEROES Act is too large and the Skinny Bill is too conservative. This is why we don’t think a compromise is coming before the winner of Georgia emerges.
- Covid-19 Restrictions: There’s been an interesting shift in how the government is “marketing” the best way to behave, going forward. Washington’s Task Force is realizing that the people just don’t listen to them, so they’re spinning the responsibility back to the individual level.
Dr. Fauci, and to a larger extent, Dr. Deborah Birx, are both acknowledging that with Thanksgiving and Christmas, families will congregate, so stopping that will be a futile waste of time.
The government is now telling each and every American something to the effect of: “You know what Coronavirus is. You pretty much know if you’re at risk or not, and you know family members who are to be kept from getting exposed, since they might die, so use your judgement, when living your life. We don’t want to enact stay-at-home orders, close schools, malls and restaurants. We don’t want to announce lockdowns, curfews or other restrictions, but if you can’t follow some basic rules, such as (1) wearing a mask, (2) washing hands frequently and (3) keeping distant from others, whenever possible, we’ll be forced to, since hospitalizations and fatalities are rising sharply.”
This new approach is a twist, since it puts the blame on society, not on the administration, if they announce Covid-19 restrictions. It’s like a parent telling a child not to put his fingers near the fireplace, but the kid won’t listen. The parent lets the child get close enough to feel the heat, but stops him from getting burned badly.
I can’t stress this enough; I’m taking profits where it makes sense and waiting patiently. November was a record month for stocks; a pullback is so very imminent and unavoidable.