Despite the 6.5% stock market rally over the last three months, a handful of billionaires are quietly dumping their American stocks . . . and fast.
Warren Buffett, who has been a cheerleader for U.S. stocks for quite some time, is dumping shares at an alarming rate. He recently complained of “disappointing performance” in dyed-in-the-wool American companies like Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and Kraft Foods.
In the latest filing for Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett has been drastically reducing his exposure to stocks that depend on consumer purchasing habits. Berkshire sold roughly 19 million shares of Johnson & Johnson, and reduced his overall stake in “consumer product stocks” by 21%. Berkshire Hathaway also sold its entire stake in California-based computer parts supplier Intel.
With 70% of the U.S. economy dependent on consumer spending, Buffett’s apparent lack of faith in these companies’ future prospects is worrisome.
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When it comes to getting a job, the USA has bifurcated into two employment worlds, the digital world and the brick and mortar world.
The brick and mortar world is everything you physically touch. Its manufacturing. Its retail sales. Its distribution. Its construction. Etc.
The digital world is everything defined by what you find on computing devices. It can be on your desk, in your hand or in the cloud.
What has happened is that the brick and mortar world has had every bit of intelligence that can be sucked out of it completely removed. Any information that can be created, identified or recognized is being captured in as automated a process as possible and delivered to “big data” or even small data databases in the cloud. What used to require some intelligence at the brick and mortar work place has been seeded and ceded into the cloud.
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