Instant Karma Newsletter 8.24.20
  • Details about this week’s Republican National Convention are remarkably scarce. The party didn’t even issue a new platform, opting to reuse the 2016 platform instead. One certainty: President Trump will be part of each night. 

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This week’s Republican National Convention is still pretty much a mystery.

Sure, we know it starts Monday in Charlotte, North Carolina, with the theme of “Honoring the Great American Story.” We know that in a break with tradition, President Trump will be a part of every day of the convention, not just the final day when he accepts the Republican nomination for president with Mike Pence as his vice president. And we know that George W. Bush, the only living Republican former president, will not be at the convention and isn’t supporting Trump’s re-election.

Beyond that, it gets a little fuzzy.

Late last week, there was still no event schedule available to the public. Media outlets tried to piece together a list of speakers, expected to include former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, and Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst.

Unlike last week’s Democratic National Convention, which offered plenty of proposals for voters and impact investors to pore over and pick new investments accordingly, the Republicans don’t really have any available. They don’t even have a new platform. They simply passed the same one from the 2016 convention — complete with complaints about the “current administration” — to avoid a fight over changes during the pandemic.

The lack of a new platform doesn’t mean Republicans don’t recognize how dramatically different the world is now compared to 2016. Though the platform talks about how “climate change is far from this nation’s most pressing national security issue,” a growing number of Republicans are looking to fight climate change from a conservative point of view.

They will likely discuss their plans for the next four years throughout the convention. They just don’t want to give anyone advance warning about what they are — perhaps to keep their audience interested.

Here’s what else we’re watching this week:

POST OFFICE HEARINGS (Monday): Postmaster General Louis DeJoy will somehow face an even tougher grilling when he faces the House Oversight Committee Monday about his cutbacks at the Postal Service. DeJoy already announced that he would suspend his cost-cutting measures, which have been blamed for delaying mail deliveries and are seen as threatening the November election, before he appeared before the Senate on Friday, but that did not answer many questions. The inquiries will likely be even more pointed in the Democrat-led House.

STOCK SPLITS: Apple and Tesla stocks will split this week as the high-flying companies try to price their shares lower for more mainstream investors. Tesla shareholders of record as of Aug. 21 will receive five shares for each share they own after the markets close Friday. Apple shareholders of record as of Monday will receive four shares for each share they own. Sure, splits don’t change the underlying value of the companies and they’re not as effective these days since many brokerages allow investors to buy fractions of shares for as little as $5. Of course, those realities haven’t stopped either stock from surging on the news.

NEW HOME SALES (Tuesday): Will the winning streak continue? New home sales reached their highest level since 2007 in June, driven by low interest rates and the exodus from major cities to smaller ones because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to working from home. 

In case you missed it

Shareholder resolutions are growing in popularity and effectiveness. Phillips 66 wants to turn an oil refinery into the world’s largest biofuels facility. Fighting climate change and COVID-19 with an environmentally friendly HVAC upgrade. Viking Cold Solutions’ thermal energy storage technology lets big freezers become powerful batteries to drastically cut energy usage. 

Levity break

When you want to create your own background noise — coffee shop with a mix of rain and crickets maybe? — there’s A Soft Murmur.