• The Exchange Nov 22

    The Worlds That Will Loosen FANG

    I’m trying to get into a DAO, because that’s what all the cool kids are doing these days. The main criteria for this particular one are a personal questionnaire, some basic familiarity with Discord and crypto, and a startlingly high entry fee. I highly doubt I’ll get in.   Not all DAOs are similarly gated; ConstitutionDAO, which just narrowly missed...

  • The Exchange Nov 18

    Kelly Evans: What's Happening to Visa?

    Up until now, Visa and Mastercard could kind of fly under the radar while society went after more obvious Big Tech “villains” like Google and Facebook. Part of that is their age; they aren’t new players that raise new problems, but rather decades-old businesses in what used to be a rather boring corner of tech known as “payments.” And...

  • The Exchange Nov 15

    Kelly Evans: Can the Fed Afford to Raise Rates?

    I don’t mean, “Can the Fed afford the risk of rate hikes that might slow the economy.” I mean literally, can the Fed afford to raise interest rates. It’s a topic you’re starting to hear more about lately. And it’s because the Fed’s own exposure to interest rates has changed dramatically.   Just this morning, Jefferies issued its 2022 macro outlook....

  • The Exchange Nov 9

    Kelly Evans: The Arrival of Self-Driving Cars

    If you had told me back in 2015 that we’d have driverless cars on the roadways this year, I’d have thought you were insane. That was the year I wrote about the “mushy middle” problem of automation for CNBC. And while some might argue the events of recent weeks prove just how problematic this transition will be, I now...

  • The Exchange Nov 2

    Kelly Evans: The Rise of Tesla

    Don’t look now, but Tesla is trading around $1,200 a share. It actually closed above that level yesterday, just a day after closing above $1,100 for the first time. And that was just four days after it first closed above $1,000, which also came just a day after it closed above $900 for the first time ever.   So yes, its…

  • The Exchange Nov 1

    Kelly Evans: Crypto Is the New Macro

    Morgan Stanley’s new crypto coverage launched this morning just as Bloomberg published a story noting that “Wall Street is Amassing a Crypto Army and Paying Up for Recruits.” And just a day after the crypto world celebrated the 13th anniversary of the Bitcoin white paper that predated the launch of Bitcoin itself in 2009–at a value of $0.0008 each.   The…

  • The Exchange Oct 25

    Kelly Evans: Can the World Afford Populism?

    We’ve talked before about whether policymakers have overstimulated U.S. demand relative to our capacity to supply. What if it’s happening at a global scale?   Goldman’s Jeff Currie recently spoke about the reasons why commodity prices have spiked even higher this year than expected on the rebound in demand. One of the biggest factors, he said, is that populist “redistribution” policies have...

  • The Exchange Oct 21

    Kelly Evans: The Right Kind of Carbon Tax

    In my humble opinion, if lawmakers seriously want to pass a carbon tax right now, they better start calling it the “Carbon Rebate Plan” and highlight that this is the only deal on the table right now to help low-income families cope with soaring energy costs.  Senator Ron Wyden (a Democrat from Oregon) told The New York Times he’s had a...

  • The Exchange Oct 18

    Kelly Evans: The Lure of Tesla

    As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been a bit obsessed with the energy and EV transition lately since it suddenly seems to be happening at an accelerating pace. “Time to write about something different,” I told myself over the weekend.   Then we took a little field trip to the local farmer’s market yesterday morning, like we often do. (It’s somehow...

  • The Exchange Oct 15

    Kelly Evans: The Wrong Kind of Stimulus

    Economists spent the past three decades perfecting the art of Keynesian stimulus. Then Covid hit.  As the months drag on, it’s increasingly clear that Covid is more of a supply shock than a demand shock to the U.S. economy. Do you remember the endless stories about supply chain problems after the 2007-08 financial crisis? Nope. Neither do I. Because...

  • The Exchange Oct 6

    Kelly Evans: Nat Gas Is the New Oil

    If the 20th century was the era of oil, is natural gas the key fuel of the 21st?   One reason why nat gas prices continue their parabolic spike right now is that it’s the easiest replacement for coal as countries are under pressure to reduce emissions and, in China’s case, deliver on their promise of “blue skies.” Which is...

  • The Exchange Sep 30

    Kelly Evans: We Got the Carbon Tax, But Without the Rebates

    The defeat of the Waxman-Markey bill in 2010 wasn’t the end of the U.S. clean energy push, after all. We ended up with piecemeal regulation that has more or less amounted to raising the cost of carbon anyhow, but without the key offset to households–the rebates to cover their higher energy bills.   This season is not going to be...

  • The Exchange Sep 27

    Kelly Evans: The Everything Shortage

    A few BP stations couldn’t get fuel because of a lack of truck drivers, and next thing you know half of Britain is out of gas, thanks to panic buying. Now, an isolated problem has become a national nightmare.  This is how the pandemic is still leaving deep marks on society, unleashing one lollapalooza event after another after another. Everything is...

  • The Exchange Sep 23

    Kelly Evans: The Trouble With Fuel Cells

    So far, the Elon Musk version of the world is winning. Even as sales of EVs are starting to take off, fuel cell-powered vehicles remain a tiny market niche. Hydrogen-powered fuel cells may have advantages to battery-powered EVs, but they’re expensive, lack charging infrastructure, and have never had a Tesla-esque breakthrough with the public. Musk famously called them “fool...

  • The Exchange Sep 21

    Kelly Evans: The Energy Profiteers

    Back when the oil price spiked to nearly $150 a barrel, in 2008, it kicked off a huge controversy about the degree to which “financial speculators” were to blame (here’s a great retrospective). In fact, none other than Gary Gensler–who became chair of the CFTC, and is now chair of the SEC–said at the time he believed speculation “was partly...

  • The Exchange Sep 13

    Kelly Evans: They Bitcoined Carbon

    The price of fossil fuels keeps surging. The situation in Europe is getting worse. Natural gas prices are spiking through the roof–even worse than they were last week. Even oil is higher today as Goldman says $80 for U.S. crude could be next, up from about $70 where it’s trading today. Why? Because there is “growing scarcity across physical...

  • The Exchange Sep 7

    Kelly Evans: Are Energy Bills About to Spike?

    Don’t look now, but the price of natural gas is soaring, and it’s already creating major headaches over in Europe.  The surge–which started with a cold winter last year, but has been accelerated by a mysterious drying up of supplies from Russia, and Europe’s drive to phase out fossil fuels–means prices are now up fivefold from 2019. And there’s...

  • The Exchange Sep 3

    Kelly Evans: Why Did Hiring Stop?

    The most notable thing about this morning’s big jobs report miss was the sudden stop in hiring in the leisure and hospitality sectors.   Literally, those sectors had “unchanged,” i.e., zero, net jobs added after adding 350,000 per month on average in the six months prior. There are still 1.7 million “missing” jobs if you compare total employment in those sectors…

  • The Exchange Sep 1

    Kelly Evans: Power Outages

    I wasn’t joking about fossil fuels not being able to compete. In fact, none other than the Iraqi finance minister is issuing the same warning to fellow OPEC members today–just as the cartel holds its latest meeting.   Writing in The Guardian, Ali Allawi and IEA coauthor Fatih Birol note that the expected plunge in oil demand by 2050 would...

  • The Exchange Aug 31

    Kelly Evans: Home Prices Are…Just Getting Started?

    These numbers are insane. The Case-Shiller index just posted an 18.6% year-on-year gain for June. Home prices are now 41% higher than their last peak in 2006, during the housing bubble.   And it’s not because Case-Shiller is a “big-city” index. For starters, the broader 20-city composite was up 19% in June, outperforming the core 10-city index. What’s more, the separate…

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