In this latest issue of my weekly podcast, we discuss the latest news on vaccines. The FDA reports that the Moderna vaccine is "highly effective" after examining the trial data. They are expected to give emergency approval by Friday. The Moderna vaccine is easier to handle than the Pfizer vaccine because it does not need to be stored at Antarctic temperatures. This will be key to supplying rural communities.
The US is likely to enter an accelerating recovery in 1Q + 2Q. How quickly is open to debate. The biggest economic danger maybe something unexpected politically after Biden steps into the White House. But if we're looking at something purely endogenous to the economy, I would say rising inflation rates along with an even more rapid rise in inflation expectations.
There is a renewed rise of the political right in Italy. Matteo Salvini's Lega party shows declining support, but that decline is being more than made up for by the rise of a new young leader, Giorgia Meloni (age 43), who is leader of The Brothers of Italy. Their motto: "God, family, and fatherland." It's now the third most popular party behind the center-left Democracy and Lega. Meloni is savvy, clever, and nuanced--unlike Salvini. She supports subsidizing a higher birthrate, using the Italian navy to intercept refuges, and denying birth citizenship to immigrants.
With avid fandom declining among teens and young adults, the pro sports world is redoubling its efforts to hook the next generation. Execs are hoping that sports betting will do the trick, along with more short-form videos and behind-the-scenes looks at the players.
Political pressure to cancel student debt is mounting—and so are the tensions surrounding the idea. Economists, activists, and policymakers are deeply divided over debt forgiveness and disagree on whether it would help or hurt the economy.
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