Thursday, June 6, 2024
HomeFinancial AdvisorThanks, Joe! Updating Brandon’s Restaurants

Thanks, Joe! Updating Brandon’s Restaurants



I spend a lot of time debunking investment-related bullshit. Given the general innumeracy of the public, it’s easy for a dishonest publisher of economic data to create narratives that are not only false and misleading but effective at confusing the public.

Typically, it takes years before sufficient data amasses to prove how wrong these people were. That was the case with my warnings about housing, subprime mortgages, and derivatives in the mid-2000s. If you were looking at the right data sources with an open mind – and very few people were – all of this was obvious.

Sometimes, it only takes months. At the end of March 2020, I suggested that the hand-wringing surrounding the pandemic’s impact on equities was excessive; I reminded readers that externalities tend to make markets briefly wobble, then resume their prior trends. Again, any market historian would tell you the data supports this position.

Then there are the rare occurrences where less than a week later, the charlatans are revealed for the grifters they are. This was the case in a nonsensical video depicting 100s of restaurant closings as proof the United States was in economic collapse. Axios reported yesterday that “2024 will be the U.S. restaurant industry’s biggest year ever in sales — $1.1 trillion by the end of December, per National Restaurant Association estimates.”

This is based on the first half of the year sales, which are running at a record pace. I am skeptical of the full-year projections — 5.4% rise in revenue is robust — but recent surveys suggest year-over-year increases are likely. 33% of restaurant operators expect sales to be higher for the full 2024 calendar year versus 2023; 45% expect them to hold steady. And two-thirds say the number of restaurants in their area has rebounded from pre-pandemic levels, according to Axios.

Innumeracy is rampant in our culture; partisans are willing to misuse/abuse economic data to manipulate and mislead their audience s. This is an ever-present threat to investors. Those who listen to dishonest brokers of information (Aka Wendy Bell) will suffer economic losses.

It is a stark reminder of Joan Robinson’s warning: “The purpose of studying economics is not to acquire a set of ready-made answers to economic questions, but to learn how to avoid being deceived by economists.”



Brandon’s Restaurants (May 30, 2024)

Maybe Coronavirus Didn’t End the Bull Market (April 1, 2020)


Restaurants are having their biggest year ever
by Jennifer A. Kingson
Axios, June 5, 2024

REPORT: 2024 State of the Restaurant Industry
National Restaurant Association, February 05, 2024


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