1st Quarter 2021
by Joe A. Hollingsworth, Jr.
• The hot topic of the moment is vaccines and how they are going to solve our pandemic. I must say, I am a skeptic on this as more of the honesty and side effects come to be known. Coupled with people who don’t naturally prefer to take vaccines, I think the consensus is wrong; and, vaccines will not be the absolute economic solution. While much is at risk, a great deal of the economy will not be returning even if vaccines are 100% successful (restaurants, concerts, office buildings, etc.).
I believe over a period of time people will come to adjust to COVID and its perpetual threat just like we have cars. Obviously, we must find a way to mitigate car crashes, because we like the use of cars. First, we implemented seat belts, then air bags, then assistance from AI such as back up assistant cameras. More and more, people will realize that this is a virus (or some variation thereof) we will have to live with.
• After being appointed to her position at NASDAQ, the President and CEO Adena Freidman announced a new social requirement for capitalistic companies to meet NASDAQ requirements and possibly be eliminated from the NASDAQ index. Diversity, not profit, has become the topic of the day for her. Instead of making it easier, less costly and with less regulation being the mantra of the day to be on the NASDAQ, Ms. Freidman’s demand that Board Members self-identify by race, gender, and sexual orientation which is not only problematic, but hilarious. Have we really come to that? Surely, we realize that these are not socialistic companies with socialistic tendencies, but their job is to return dividends or equity appreciation for their clients. It sounds like the book “Atlas Shrugged”.
It appears to me that this is best handled by the federal or state legislators; and, if they believe the public favors it over capitalism and at the penalty of lower returns because of less informed and knowledgeable board members, they should pass the legislation.
• Last, but not least, the world economic forum at Davos has become globalized, again. They have an idea to repackage themselves as “the great reset”, and America’s corporations are standing in line to help fund their “eliteness”. Irresponsible and low yielding corporate actions always create the inability to govern properly. These large companies use hard earned cash to support causes that shareholders have very little input on. They seem to be operating by their recently released quote which is “endeavor everyday to create value for all of our stakeholders whose long-term interest are inseparable”. When they substitute the word stakeholders, they mean customers, employees, suppliers, and communities as well as shareholders.
Our opinion is a little bit agreed goes a long way! Industrial real estate and business in general best benefits its goals when allowed to earn returns largely uninhibited.