For decades, Americans have enjoyed falling prices for cars, electronics and furniture. Until the Covid-19 pandemic, that is. For the past year, prices for durable goods have been rising—and not just by a little. Whether those prices come back down is a key part of the puzzle facing the Federal Reserve as it plots how to handle an unexpectedly strong burst of inflation.
As investors, we know the world is more interconnected than ever before. Social media allows us to connect with people from all over the globe: Zoom enables seamless video communication anywhere there is a data connection: Apple and Google have created platforms that put endless amounts of information at our fingertips. However, even with this connectivity, many investors stay rooted in their home country's stock investments.
The U.S. response to climate change and decarbonization is ramping up, and putting a focus on the country’s electricity mix. As pressure has increased for near-term and immediate action after the UN’s latest IPCC report on climate change, major economies are starting to make bolder pledges. For the United States, that includes a carbon pollution-free utilities sector by 2035.
The White House, hoping to make good on Biden’s campaign promises ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, has billed the plan as a generational investment. The Senate overwhelmingly approved the $1 trillion infrastructure bill earlier this month in an effort to rebuild the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges and fund new climate resilience and broadband initiatives. The House aims to pass the bill by October.
Although no economy is the same and there are relevant differences between the Japanese and the US or European macro setup, we can learn quite a few things by studying what happened in a jurisdiction that experimented with QE and ‘‘QE + fiscal’’ already 20-30 years ago.
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