Thursday, Apr 14th 2022

Three Things (4/14)

Commentary

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” ―Thomas Jefferson

The below content and projections are the opinion of the authors. Any conclusions or takeaways are their own. This should not be considered as investment advice. Investing involves the risk of loss and returns are not guaranteed.

1) Google investing $9.5 billion U.S. offices this year as companies push forward next phase of return to office

  • This investment covers plans to build offices as well as data centers across 17 states.
  • Google said this investment will create 12,000 jobs in 2022.
  • The company’s workers in the Bay Area were asked to return to the office three days a week, beginning this month.

Titan’s Takeaway: Companies like Google set the pace for employment norms across the knowledge economy. And the company’s desire for nearly every employee to keep regular contact with an office suggests the “remote only” future that might’ve seemed inevitable during the pandemic has been pushed further out.

2) Incoming South Korean government to reverse nuclear phase-out as sustainable energy plans continue to take shape

  • South Korea is the world’s fifth-largest nuclear power producer in the world, according to the latest data.
  • Under the outgoing Moon administration, South Korea had planned to reduce operational reactors to 17 from 24 by 2034.
  • The incoming Won administration has said these plans led to increased emissions amid the country’s push for net carbon neutrality by 2050.

Titan’s Takeaway: As Titan clients are aware, our optimism around uranium is rooted in a view that nuclear power will be a necessary component of national pushes towards carbon neutrality. Seeing one of the world’s biggest nuclear power generators backtrack on plans to de-emphasize this energy source affirms this stance.

3) JP Morgan results suggest some economic softening as first quarter earnings season begins to ramp up

  • The bank’s profits in the first quarter fell to $8.28 billion from $14.3 billion a year ago.
  • The firm took total credit charges of $1.5 billion, citing elevated inflation and the war in Ukraine.
  • Mortgage originations at the bank also fell 37% amid a surge in interest rates; auto loan originations fell 25% as vehicles remain in short supply.

Titan’s Takeaway: Jamie Dimon’s 15-year tenure at the helm of the country’s biggest bank makes him an essential voice in tracking the financial sector’s impression of the U.S. economy. And when Dimon says he sees “significant geopolitical and economic challenges ahead,” we believe investors would be naïve not to take note.

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