A few columns ago, I mentioned that a hip replacement was in my future. Well, the future has come and gone, and I have entered the recovery and rehabilitation stage. All has gone well, and I still do not know how much this has cost.
No worries however. I now have the TSA get-past-the-screener-with-my-shoes-on card. This card, and no longer limping, are the best benefits of the procedure.
A remaining constant in this stage is the amount of time spent waiting while healing. Unfortunately, I have had no calls from a creative entrepreneur wanting to buy my idle time for their use. So I simply watched and listened to whatever.
I would like to share with you some of these random observations made while healing.
The demand for United States Treasury securities (across all maturities) by Chinese investors has been falling precipitously. The article I read says that this is due to smaller dollar holdings by Chinese exporters due to smaller trade deficits with the United States. The net of this is that the Federal Reserve may pause pushing interest rates higher as their forecasted probability of the economy slowing has increased. Not mentioned in the article is that all of this is time-consistent with President Trump’s tariffs policy on Chinese goods. With all my idle time I thought about calling the White House to point this linkage out, but I hate being put on hold. I guess it is what it is.
Unexpectedly, I had to go to Atlanta where I continued spending time waiting and healing. Most of my waiting time was spent in and around an area called the Beltline. This project (essentially an urban trail) links parks and neighborhoods and has been a stimulus for intercity development. The idea came from a Georgia Tech masters thesis in 1999. The thing I saw everywhere was young people and apartments. There were no hotels or convention centers. There were just young people everywhere. I know that Atlanta is Atlanta and Brunswick is not, but I’m just telling you what I saw. The Beltline is a project based on the cooperation of competing constituencies.
Next, my best friend took pity on me and sent the link to a 5-hour YouTube video (I told you that I have lots of idle time) produced by the Hoover Institution that was a 10-year retrospective of the 2008 recession and associated housing crisis.
Some of the best economists in the world talked and debated. I stayed awake most of the time. Their conclusion was that the economic turmoil was the result of misguided government policy and associated unintended consequences.
It was reassuring in my resting state to know that what we know now is what we knew then. Government policy, no matter how well intended, generally ends up causing instability.
My last observation breaks my heart. At the end of the Sugar Bowl, one the talking heads said that even before the game started it appeared to them the Dawgs really had not shown up to play. This hurt but may have been true. At the very least, Uga’s handlers saved him from that stupid longhorn steer. I am glad that they showed up.