Postcards - Do This Whenever You See Buffett Buy OXY

Dear Old Friend,

I always told myself I wouldn’t be a “helicopter parent” – hovering over my child and making sure she didn’t get scrapes or bruises. But this morning, until I finally caught myself, I told my daughter to slow down, not run down the trails, and hold my hand while slowly descending rocky trail steps.

In Switzerland, they push their kids up and down the mountains by the age 3. Since everyone has liability insurance, everyone is on their own. It creates a real sense of personal responsibility.

It’s not a tortious society – so if a five-year-old trips off the unrailed pathway with a 30-foot slide… no one can sue the local park… I saw school kids climbing 45-foot-tall trees…

Amelia was a trooper… and I laid off. Fear of heights is my problem… I don’t need to make it hers. It was a good lesson.

There were other lessons…


Welcome to the Jill Biden National Marble Trail… Brought to You by Pfizer and JPMorgan Chase…

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Today, we took a Gondola to the halfway point of a Hasliberg mountain and then hiked three miles down various trails to our hotel.

Along the way, the children played a marble run game. Colored balls would zip and spin down chutes, rattle off bells, and display its creators’ engineering skill and imagination.

As we hiked, we discussed some differences between Switzerland and the U.S. This hiking/marble trail was a perfect example.

Imagine trying to put one of these marble trails in a public park in Massachusetts.

First, Congress would quietly allocate money in a pork barrel spending provision linked to something important – like the annual U.S. defense budget, so it’d be rubber-stamped without questions. They’d make a point to honor the wife of a progressive President in the trial’s name. Maybe Jill Biden.

Next, they’d spend $300,000 on environmental surveys. They’d analyze the impact of the trail game’s construction on local duck nesting, or the wood stain’s runoff into a stream two miles away, or a peer-reviewed paper in partnership with the Brookings Institution exploring the impact of capitalism on deer mating.

Then, Sen. Elizabeth Warren would force wooden marble producers to warn that these golf-ball-sized objects are a choking hazard…

There’d be permitting. Letters from U.S. Fish and Wildlife. Meetings among EPA officials. Zoom calls among Federal agencies and state ones. OSHA would regulate working conditions along the walking trails. That process would take 18 months… easy.

Once it was finally built (after numerous construction delays due to a skilled labor shortage), all 12 marble stations would have a sponsor on them – one round would be brought to you from Pfizer. The main trail sponsor, JPMorgan Chase, would ask you to scan QR Codes so you can receive offers for checking accounts.

The value of this private data would offset sponsorship costs.

Finally, once Elizabeth Warren cut the ceremonial red ribbon, a local poet would provide a wandering account of the history of injustice in the hiking community. Fifteen people would clap.

And what should only cost about $5,000 in wood, volunteer labor, and roughly a week of work… It will end up costing $2.1 million, centrally planned budgeting that hand picks the labor at inflated costs, and probably four and a half years of our time.

But that’s not all… Sadly, it’d likely fall into a state of disrepair within two years. It’d be covered in spray paint.

The Pork Barrel provision will have stated that the park could only hire union labor to fix it… with a 10% annual pay step-up…

Eventually, the J in the “Jill Biden” would fall off… offering the perfect summation of our nanny state’s condition: ILL.

That is the state of America… a pencil pusher’s paradise.


The Week Ahead - OPEC


SUNDAY, June 4: We had a very good day Friday for oil trading and investing as short sellers covered positions ahead of Sunday’s OPEC+ meeting. Before the meeting, OPEC barred Reuters, Bloomberg, and the Wall Street Journal from the event. I’ve speculated there will be a lot of discussions – and disagreement – over Russia’s inability to meet its voluntary cuts. There might also be some candid talk about U.S. energy policies…

Reuters (obviously hovering around) reports OPEC is considering another one million-barrel cut to production. That’d bring total cuts since October 2022 to 4.6 million barrels. Brent prices are now down 20% since that October meeting.

I argue that the best trade in the oil markets remains selling put spreads on Occidental Petroleum (OXY) at the $55-$52.50 level or just buying the stock outright. Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) continue to buy the stock in a range of $56 to $58. And I must ask… if Buffett is buying at that range over and over… why are people selling?

MONDAY, June 5: Oil stocks will move after the OPEC+ meeting. But the star of the day is Apple (AAPL). The company will hold its WWDC2 event. The company should reveal an Augmented Reality headset. This would be the next frontier for the tech giant.


TUESDAY, June 6: The three-day NAREIT REITWeek kicks off, and we’re looking for clues on the state of commercial real estate.


WEDNESDAY, June 7: Trading will be furious on GameStop (GME) as it reports earnings. I’m watching Campbell Soup (CPB) to better understand consumer spending and food inflation. I’ll also focus on Adamas One (JEWL) after its IPO lockup ends.


THURSDAY, June 8: A quiet day features earnings from DocuSign (DOCU), Signet Jewelers (SIG), and Vail Resorts (MTN).


FRIDAY, June 9: After the massive moves in the Nasdaq 100 over the last month – and momentum in NVIDIA (NVDA) and other AI stocks, NASDAQ releases its short interest report. We’ll find out how much short covering (forced buying) happened in May.


See you out there,A person with a skull on his arm Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Garrett Baldwin

Florida Republic Capital (Available on Substack)


About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

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