August 10, 2022

CIO Scott Martin Interviewed on Fox News 7.8.22 Your World With Cavuto

Charles PayneemploymentFox NewsKingsview Investment ManagementKingsview PartnersNeil CavutoScott Martinwork from home

Kingsview CIO Scott Martin discusses the work-from-home movement and national employment numbers.

Program: Your World with Cavuto
Date: 7/08/2022
Station: Fox Business News
Time: 4:00PM

CHARLES PAYNE: Should the U.S. be going Dutch? FOX News legal analyst Mercedes Colvin is with us along with Kingsville Asset Management. Scott Martin. Scott, I’m going to pick up on the productivity thing and America, this last labor productivity report we had was down 7.3%. Now there’s a lot of variables in there. But, you know, you hear folks from Elon Musk to Jamie Dimon all saying we need people to collaborate face to face. I think this would put employers at a serious disadvantage. Your thoughts?

SCOTT MARTIN: It does, Charles. And you’re right about the productivity numbers. They are ugly. And what a coincidence that kind of goes in line with a lot more folks working from home over that time period, huh? So just. Just data. Just statistics. But I think Jackie pointed out some interesting things. I was shocked to hear that they actually do work in Europe. That’s a new one for me. But let’s see, it does spill over to United States. You know, we hire a lot of folks every year, Charles. And I will tell you, man, a lot of folks that we have the requirement for the job, whether it’s the trading and the operations compliance at our firm. We require those folks to be in the office. And a lot of folks I mean, you look at the JOLTS survey, by the way, the job opening and labor turnover survey, try to say that three times fast, 11.3 million jobs are out there for folks to take. But similar to what we’ve been trying to hiring, trying to hire this year, Charles, these folks don’t want to come into the office or they want to work two days from home, then three, then four, and it keeps accelerating and get full benefits and full salaries. So as Elon Musk pointed out, we want to require, at least on our firm folks to be in the office for a minimum amount of hours or give up some of the benefits or the salary if they want to stay home.

PAYNE: Mercedes, the legalities of this could have could the nation even force what this even be legal?

MERCEDES COWIN: Well, there could be. I mean, we saw that we have regulations that a lot of corporations was concerned about during the COVID. And obviously we’re still in the COVID phase. But when you look at some of the regulations that come down, yes, they can make those types of laws, but frankly, it’s not necessary. I mean, we saw a lot of overreach by some of the regulation that came down during the last couple of years. So there are mandates that can come forward and regulate this type of of hiring and firing and whatnot. But at the end of the day, if the employees want to work from home, guess what? They can choose other places to work. Employers have to make the decision whether that that talented candidate who wants to work from home can actually work in their in their offices without this government oversight and regulation. I think it’s kind of ridiculous. It’s self regulating. The corporations can do it on their own without needing government to really have a say in it.

PAYNE: Right. Right. I mean, right now, that’s the way it is. But, you know, there’s a big push in this country to sort of follow what Scott was saying, that sort of European model on things like that. And if if they did try to this, though, I mean, would there be a good challenge, what I’m worried about? For instance, the American Psychiatric Association did a big survey earlier this year, and over half the folks complained about some sort of mental issues associated with having work from home, loneliness, isolation, those kind of things. I can see people trying to sue their employer over something, the decision that they made.

COWIN: And they can’t. I mean, that’s a great point because Charles, they can sue under the Americans with Disabilities Act and say, I need to work for home. And for these following reasons, they can sue under the local anti-discrimination laws. There are so many laws already on the books that can regulate working from home. It’s not necessary to then clutter the courts again with other rules and regulations and encumbering corporations that either can self regulate because they want that talented candidate or too would be subject to to discrimination laws that are already exist if any of those decisions are being challenged in court. So I can’t imagine a universe that we would see these types of regulations coming to the United States. But then again, things have been so different in the last couple of years. Who knows what the future will hold?

PAYNE: You know, also these last couple of years, Scott, we saw where the stock market has sort of been a proxy for all of this. A year ago, all of those work from home stocks went through the roof, right? The peloton of the world, the zooms of the world to donkey sides of the world. All of a sudden they’re crashing big time. You know, is the stock market at least saying, hey, what everyone was saying was going to be the new normal, maybe won’t be the new normal?

MARTIN: Yeah, it was a little bit of a chase that was on Charles. But you’re right. I mean, people still are staying home, which is interesting, vis a vis those stocks and those stocks are still in the tank. So it’s an interesting aspect. I like what Mercedes said, though. It should be a self-regulating, like the free market will figure it out. But that’s one of the reasons, guys, that we have so much trouble filling these jobs. A lot of these folks out there that are they’re job seekers don’t want to do the things that the employers want them to do. With respect to coming to the office, I’m curious what Hunter Biden’s companies are going to do, though. Let’s see what their move is and then maybe we can follow that.

PAYNE: Of course, Mercedes in New York, you look at things like subway use is still under 50%. Meanwhile, I think everybody goes to the office down in Miami. Everyone’s moving down there. So I guess it might have something to do with where you are. Right. And listen, there’s some other issues that kind of influence whether we want to go to work or not. And New York City, I think it might be be crime and just the just the hassle of get to the office. Mercedes.

COWIN: Oh, I’m sorry. You’re talking to me, Joe. Yes. I mean, look, there is obviously a lot of challenges when it comes to certain jurisdictions around the country. But New York City, for one, has its own built in challenges. And I think commuting is one. Traffic is crazy, as you know. I’m sure all of us travel who travel into the city on a daily basis are dealing with overwhelming traffic. And the rising crime is a real issue. As an employer myself, we employ a lot of people in New York City. It’s a big, great point. It’s got these gas prices, $6 plus out here trying to get into the city. So all of that combined, there’s a lot of challenges.

PAYNE: I came back to the office early because I miss my colleagues. Thank you both very much.

MARTIN: And we missed you.

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