March 2022 Newsletter
I hope you are doing well and enjoying a little extra sunshine and longer daylight hours. This winter felt longer than usual to me, so I am extra excited about the arrival of springtime (and the start of hurling season!).
While news from Ukraine has captured most of the headlines lately, I think inflation is actually the more impactful story. In retrospect, this story began in February of last year, when certain high-growth funds topped out and began a slow slide downward, accelerating into year-end. Largely, this has mirrored an increase in the proportion of investors who believe inflation may be higher in the years ahead. If you're interested in why that has happened, and what you might expect going forward, I encourage you to check out this video by NYU professor Aswath Damodaran. I also put together a few notes of my own along with a summary of his presentation, which you might enjoy.
As far as Ukraine-Russia news is concerned, the thing I found most interesting is how the sanctions on Russia have unfolded. The short version is that Russia and its citizens have been locked out of the international banking system, meaning they can't access any foreign-held assets, or conduct any cross-border transactions. I didn't even realize that was possible, so it is fascinating to me what it might mean for economic diplomacy/warfare going forward. If you'd like to learn more, Matt Levine at Bloomberg wrote a great article on this topic, which I think you might enjoy.
Finally, I thought this interview between Lex Fridman and Mark Zuckerberg was really interesting, as they discuss some of the biggest problems and unknowns facing the creation and maintenance of the digital world. Last year, Meta (formerly Facebook) announced its intent to become a metaverse platform over the next few years. Ambivalent as I am about Meta, I am really stoked about the concept of an entirely digital world, experienced in 3 dimensions. Too, for those of you familiar with the "Mark Zuckerberg is a robot" meme, you'll appreciate how Lex starts the interview.