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DEPARTMENT OF THE PANDEMIC LEGACY
A new phase in the pandemic has opened (in the West) but the legacy from the first wave will be lasting. Across advanced economies, people believe that the pandemic has left us more divided instead of united. Via Pew
Follow the money
The hot US housing market continues to benefit the rich (and that is a driver of division). A profound example of wealth inequality accelerated by the pandemic. Via New York Times
Central banks are finding it increasingly difficult to avoid issues pertaining to inequality. One measure is the number of times central bankers have addressed these ideas in speeches directly over the past two decades. But what should central banks do to remedy the situation? The Economist has some answers. Via The Economist
DEPARTMENT OF ASSET CLASSES
All about diversification
I found this interesting discussion in the Financial Times on the quest to create a single index that could capture all market performance, across all asset classes. The thing that struck me is what the asset allocation of US endowments, traditionally excellent models of stewardship, looks like. Probably vastly different than the simple bond-equity split so strongly recommended by traditional advisors. Via FT
Goldman Sachs has placed Bitcoin near the bottom of its risk-adjusted asset returns. While the cryptocurrency is up 16% on the year, it is prone to breathtaking swings in price. Via Bloomberg
ESG is maturing
Impact investing has given way to some extent to environmental, social, and corporate governance standards. There is real investment (and penalties) associated with the issuance of bonds with clear ESG goals. Finance will be crucial to creating a sustainable economy - mostly transmitted via the mechanism of cost of capital. Via WSJ (I talk about the link between finance and decarbonisation with Kim Stanley Robinson on the podcast.)
DEPARTMENT OF HEATWAVES
The heatwave crippling the western areas of North America is unprecedented in many ways. Dr Rober Rohde gives us some perspective using the chart above. He writes on Twitter: “In the 70 years prior to 2021, the worst observed heatwave for the region corresponds to an average of ~35 °C (95 °F). The GEV model estimates the worst possible is ~37 °C (99 °F). But in 2021, we reached 39.5 °C (103 °F)” Via Dr Robert Rohde
If we take a step back and look at the rising temperature over the past century, the march of warming is simply unavoidable. Via Climate/NOAA
The more things change, the more they stay the same
What does a colour say about the consumer? Maybe not that much, as styles seem to move like ocean waves. Via e-recep
Tech talent pools
Despite a push by smaller cities in the US and Canada to attract top tech talent, major tech centres are holding strong. Via Axios
You’ve never had it so good?
After a shockingly bad pandemic year, more Americans than ever think they are thriving. Via Gallup
🤩 Don’t forget to pre-order my first book. Early orders help drive momentum. (As a reader of Exponential View, I’m pretty certain you’ll want to read it.)
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