Below is our world-renowned Demographer Neil Howe's latest weekly podcast. Neil discusses newsworthy market events that will prove the most timely, topical and consequential in the week ahead.

He talks through the news looming largest on his radar screen to keep your investing laser focused and confident. This free webcast compliments his in-depth research product Demography Unplugged.


NEW PODCAST: The Fed Worries, Abe Steps Down, and India Clashes Again with China (9/2) - demoimage

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In this latest issue of my weekly podcast, we discuss the Fed's annual retreat at Jackson Hole. Beamed in virtually to the retreat, Jerome Powell formally announced that the Fed is changing its policy of pre-emptively raising rates to avert future inflation. The Fed will wait until inflation is modestly or well above +2% before they raise them. Those who attended also heard from eminent economists who presented historical evidence linking epidemics and economic depressions (even brief ones) to negative long-term economic performance. By "negative" we mean lower real rates of return and slower population growth. By "long-term," we're talking about twenty or thirty years. The mood of the discussion was downbeat at best. 

US economic indicators were mostly positive. The Kansas Fed Manufacturing Index rose from 7 in July to 23 in August. And the Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index also rose from -3 in July to 8 in August. While these are both high readings, diffusion indexes measure the rate of change rather than absolute strength. The readings are measuring the massive swings from record-breaking lows in April and May. The ISM Manufacturing PMI rose from 54.2 in July to 56 in August, marking its biggest expansion since November 2018. 

77% of Americans believe that the country is further divided as a result of C19. According to a new Pew poll, this is a significantly higher share than in the thirteen other developed nations surveyed. The US (along with the UK) also stood out in how negatively it rated the government’s response to the outbreak. It's clear that Covid-19 is Trump's greatest liability going into the election. 

Is the convention bump a thing of the past? Before 1992, it wasn’t unheard of for candidates to see favorability increases of five to 10 percentage points after party conventions. But in recent years, post-convention enthusiasm has faded. In the past six elections, the incumbent party’s candidate has seen, on average, a favorability bump of just two points. And this year seems to be no different. Probable explanation: In a polarized America, everybody has already made of their minds. Polls have hardly changed since either the DNC or RNC.

US shows support for Taiwan. The White House declassified six assurances Reagan made to Taiwan in 1982. Among them were promises that the US wouldn't make a date to end arm deals nor would they pressure Taiwan to negotiate with China. The move was aimed at showing China that the US is fully committed to the island.

Abe to step down. On Friday, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo announced he would be stepping down for health reasons. The party will vote on his successor by mid-September, but only parliament and regional party heads will be allowed to vote. This will better enable Abe to choose his successor and keep his legacy of conservative nationalism alive. 

India and China clash on disputed border. Near the highly contested Himalayan border zone, China supposedly landed a plane within Indian territory. While troops from both countries had a standoff, violence was avoided. The altercation is a step back from the two countries' ongoing talks to settle the border dispute. 

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Neil Howe is a renowned authority on generations and social change in America. An acclaimed bestselling author and speaker, he is the nation's leading thinker on today's generations—who they are, what motivates them, and how they will shape America's future.

A historian, economist, and demographer, Howe is also a recognized authority on global aging, long-term fiscal policy, and migration. He is a senior associate to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C., where he helps direct the CSIS Global Aging Initiative.

Howe has written over a dozen books on generations, demographic change, and fiscal policy, many of them with William Strauss. Howe and Strauss' first book, Generations is a history of America told as a sequence of generational biographies. Vice President Al Gore called it "the most stimulating book on American history that I have ever read" and sent a copy to every member of Congress. Newt Gingrich called it "an intellectual tour de force." Of their book, The Fourth Turning, The Boston Globe wrote, "If Howe and Strauss are right, they will take their place among the great American prophets."

Howe and Strauss originally coined the term "Millennial Generation" in 1991, and wrote the pioneering book on this generation, Millennials Rising. His work has been featured frequently in the media, including USA Today, CNN, the New York Times, and CBS' 60 Minutes.

Previously, with Peter G. Peterson, Howe co-authored On Borrowed Time, a pioneering call for budgetary reform and The Graying of the Great Powers with Richard Jackson.

Howe received his B.A. at U.C. Berkeley and later earned graduate degrees in economics and history from Yale University.