Ramp Report #1

Big Stock, Big Misery, $30T, Gas Prices Go Brrr

Hello friends,

I just transitioned over to Beehiiv from Substack.

Why did I make the move? Mostly because I saw the product, fell in love, and wanted to support the smaller creators and startups. There is absolutely no shade thrown at Substack, they have a great product and I enjoyed using it. But I wanted to help Tyler and his team create something even better over here.

In a previous post, I laid out some newsletter sub-verticals that I was interested in exploring. I'm going to lay them out again so the reader isn't confused about different types of posts entering their inbox at different times.

  1. The most interesting charts I saw this week with some brief commentary. The reason I like this format is a) I'm already bookmarking them every day on Twitter b) many people miss them because they aren't online as much as I am and c) it will keep me writing every single day instead of waiting until the weekend. I plan on putting these out similar to the previous Ramp Recap posts (late Sunday or early Monday).

  2. Ramp Cap Table - I’ve been exploring my VC and Angel channels to understand more about the startups I am investing in. The plan is to have conversations with some of the founders and see if a deep dive would be of value to them and to the readers. These posts would be more infrequent as it takes time to go through the business. The current goal is to try and produce 1 deep dive per month and if the pipeline fills and time allows start moving to 1 deep dive every 2 weeks. Startup founders, VCs, or angels interested in this option can reach out directly at [email protected].

  3. Evergreen thinkboi pieces. This is how my blog originally started but evolved over time. Many of those evergreen pieces continue to live on at www.330ramp.com.

  4. Data on the People's Portfolio $WERAMP. This is still a work in progress and would be similar to the previous Ramp Recap emails where I track the performance of the portfolio. I've been running a few ideas past some friends about doing a value/momentum barbell approach. Again, this is TBD until I feel comfortable with the layout and timing. We may substitute to a monthly or quarterly update.

With all of that said, let’s dive in to some of the most interesting things I saw on the Twitter machine this week.

👎 Big Stock, Big Misery: After losing a whopping $252 billion of market cap, the social networking company quickly went from being the fifth largest company in the S&P 500 to the seventh. The stakes are getting higher as the top 5 biggest declines in market value (on a $ basis) have come in the past 2 years. This is really just a function of how large these companies have become - more than many of us ever thought was possible. Even just 3.5 years ago, Facebook declined $121B in a single day which is still only half of the destruction they experienced this week.

As noted by Gina Martin Adams: One reason the market reaction to Meta’s miss was so vicious - the company historically rarely misses earnings. The 2018 miss took nearly 20% off of market cap - not as much as 2022 but gigantic nonetheless. On a personal level, Zuckerberg's net worth dropped by $31 billion; now he's only the 10th richest person in the world at $89.6 billion. Poor Zuck. We should launch a GoFundMe.

🎢 Volatility is here to stay: The volatility on the short end of the yield curve has picked up markedly. This trend picked up steam during last October/November timeframe when Powell flipped to a hawkish stance amidst the rise of the omicron variant. This was also around the same time that he mentioned retiring the word “transitory” with regards to inflation remaining persistent.

Treasury yields are now at the highest levels since the start of the pandemic as the Fed plans to hike multiple times and reduce their balance sheet this year.

🛢 Gas Prices Go Brrr: US Average Gasoline prices are hitting their highest levels since 2014. AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross mentioned to Fox News that prices are likely to creep even higher "for a while" mainly due to tension created by Russia's threats toward Ukraine. On top of geopolitical tensions, the other key factors in keeping prices elevated are the cold weather and the fact that OPEC+ production is still below pre-pandemic levels.

🚫 Cancel Culture: Cancel culture continues its crusade against Joe Rogan for "spreading misinformation" and after a compilation video resurfaced of him using some racial slurs in previous podcasts. Here's the thing with cancel culture, if you give an inch they take a mile. While Rogan has "apologized" for both instances, it hasn't stopped many in the mainstream media from crucifying him. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Maybe they're all afraid of his massive influence against their legacy dinosaur boomer brands.

🍞 Let's Get This Bread: Data from Bloomberg shows a record 50% of U.S. small-business owners said they raised compensation in January amid still-elevated job openings, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

With some 47% of small businesses reporting job openings last month that they could not fill, employers have been raising wages to attract skilled candidates -- a trend that doesn’t appear to be reversing any time soon.

🏭 No One Wants To Work In Manufacturing: Why would you work in manufacturing when you could simply work from your basement? According to this chart from Matthew Klein and the BLS, American workers (particularly blue-collar workers and people-facing roles) have been quitting their jobs for better opportunities elsewhere.

One of the biggest issues facing the manufacturing sector is it no longer provides the good paying jobs it once did, particularly through the 30-year stretch between 1976 and 2006. Manufacturing workers want higher pay. But they also want respect, a safe workplace and more flexible schedules, and they’re willing to walk out if they don’t get it. The pandemic has exploited these opportunities and given power back to the people, assuming they have the skills for the other job they're applying for.

💸Wake Me At $40 Trillion: The Treasury Department this week reported that the total national debt of the United States surpassed $30 trillion for the first time in history, an amount equal to nearly 130% of U.S. GDP.

Here's how this number looked on the first day of the last three administrations, according to the Treasury Department:

  • $10.6 trillion when President Obama took over on January 20, 2009

  • $19.9 trillion when Trump took over on January 20, 2017

  • $27.8 trillion when Biden took over on January 20, 2021

That's all for this week. Thanks for subscribing and sharing.