Ron Gruner is a friend and fellow pilot and technologist. He founded, served as chief executive, and monetized three successful technology firms during his long career: Alliant Computer in 1982, Shareholder.com in 1993 and Sky Analytics in 2009. Each of is companies was a pioneer and leader in its industry. Although not a politician, Ron is uniquely qualified to write We The Presidents about the last 17 U.S. presidents and how they shaped today’s issues. He applied his vast business experience to quantify the impact of presidencies. His extraordinary research citations enabled bipartisan facts over opinions. A must read. You can buy the book here.
We are still struggling to get the optimum combination of vaccination, testing, and hygiene. Things are far from under control. Where I live in Florida, cases were up 575% over the past two weeks. Events of all kinds are being cancelled left and right making it very hard to plan. Consensus seems to be we will see the peak within a month. are The WHO has a dashboard which shows what is going on country by country. Globally, as of December 17, 2021, there have been 318.6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 5.5 million deaths. A total of 9.2 billion vaccine doses have been administered. The unvaccinated continue to be a major problem. Hospitals are still filling up and some are stopping elective procedures to make beds and staff available for care of the unvaccinated. They are unvaccinated are being very unfair to all of us but especially toward our hospitals.
The launch of the Webb observatory was a really big and important event. As of Friday afternoon the Webb had only 120 million miles to go to get the L2 where it will go into orbit around the Sun. Visit the “Where is Webb?” page and see a snapshot of the current status. The primary mirror wings are now fully deployed and latched into place. The 18 primary mirror segments and secondary mirror are adjustable via six actuators that are attached to the back of each mirror. The primary mirror segments also have an additional actuator at its center that adjusts its curvature. After the individual mirror segment deployments are completed, the detailed optical mirror alignment process begins which is about a 3 month process. It will take months but eventually we will be treated to some spectacular images from near the beginning of time.
Tech stocks in my “other” category are still getting hammered. A knowledgeable friend told me a negative correlation between PE multiples and interest rates and the 10 year t-note yields have moved up to 1.7%. Tech stocks generally have higher PE’s so they suffer more. Also, analysts think the values were too high and a de-risking is needed. I remain bullish on tech. Might take some time to get strong again. GAMMAT stocks were all up at $10.6 trillion and 26% of S&P 500. U.S. States and Governments around the world are creating legislation and regulation to reign in the big techs but market must believe it will take a long time and will probably get watered down.
Crypto was volatile but still at $2 trillion and 18% of gold. Coinbase had a small rise. Their prospects look good to me. I remain bullish overall for crypto. I expect to see some regulatory moves, which would be good, and hopefully approval of some ETFs. As of Friday, there are 16,805 cryptocurrencies. I did some analysis on the list. Bitcoin is 39.7% of the total of all crypto. Ethereum is 19.2%. The top 8 represent 75% of the total, the top 33% represent 90%, and the top 65 represent 95%. You can see 99+% of crypto don’t amount to much. A lot of innovation is underway and some of the ones now worthless could become huge. Elon Musk said Tesla was now selling merchandise with payment by Dogecoin. The only thing I found in their Shop was a Cybertruck hat priced at 200 Dogecoin. With DOGE at 19 cents, the hat would cost $38. No thanks, but I will keep watching this experiment.