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Thoughts from the Frontline Archive, February 2021

The Great Jobs Reset
  • February 26, 2021

The Great Jobs Reset

We are almost through February and (knocking on wood) the US COVID-19 situation is improving daily. The B117 and other variants haven’t yet made a big impact. Possibly they will, but as time passes more people are getting at least partial protection through vaccines. The “race” I’ve described seems to be going the way we hoped.

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Random Thoughts from the Frontline
  • February 19, 2021

Random Thoughts from the Frontline

Readers often ask how these letters appear so regularly. The answer is we have a process. Normally, I talk to my associate Patrick Watson on Monday about the next weekend’s letter. We both go into research mode, verbally outlining a letter, and by Thursday I have an outline and some background research. This gives me plenty of time to flesh it out, so to speak.

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Overstimulation Risk
  • February 12, 2021

Overstimulation Risk

Among the many strange, unforeseen changes of the last year is a new respect for Keynesian economic theory. Practically everyone in power now agrees that deficit spending produces GDP growth. They differ only on its expected magnitude and duration. The few exceptions are mostly outside the halls of power.

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Controlling the Curve
  • February 5, 2021

Controlling the Curve

If time is money, then interest rates are the price of time. The most important interest rates in the world are for US Treasury securities. This is why I’ve long said it makes no sense for a committee to set those rates. The markets could do just fine without that help, thank you. But the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee arbitrarily decides the overnight Federal Funds rate. And lately, it doesn’t stop there.

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