Join our Hedgeye Demography analyst Neil Howe on a monthly research odyssey, as we dive into the latest news that loomed largest on his radar screen the past month.
Last month we saw health care spending fall for the first time, preliminary data on birth rates, and the first look at 2020 life expectancy.
Below are my top insights from February 2021.
U.S. Births Now in Free Fall (2/08)
We’re getting our first look at U.S. birth rates during the pandemic, and it’s not promising. Monthly data from December 2020 for five states, including California and Florida, show that births fell by more than 50,000 compared to a year earlier.
Preliminary data indicate that total U.S. health care spending likely fell in 2020. While spending has recovered somewhat from its pandemic-fueled drop in the spring, it’s estimated that overall it was down 2.0% from 2019.
Most Americans, not just investors, are transfixed by the drama of online amateurs ganging up on hedge fund professionals.
The short squeeze on GME has attracted every conceivable metaphor: Main Street v Wall Street, David v Goliath, Millennials v Boomers, Populists v Elites, nihilistic Deplorables v privileged Incumbents--or, per this op-ed, “GameStop is Rage Against the Financial Machine."
Covid-19 Pandemic Update (2/11)
In this episode, we focus on five major new C19 variants or mutations (one each originating in UK, Spain, and South Africa, and two originating in Brazil). We cover their ability to evade current acquired immunity from prior infections or from vaccines and what they portend longer term for the pandemic in 2021 and beyond.
Top Podcast Episode:
Demography Unplugged: Listener Questions, China v UK, and Italy Hails Super Mario (2/10)
In this episode, Neil answers listener-submitted questions. Is Joe Biden a grey champion? Is America in danger of entering a new war? Does policy matter in times of extreme partisanship? Have pandemic lockdowns created a new baby boom?
We go in-depth on all of these questions and much more, along with a brief market update and a world news roundup.
Prompted by the magnitude of the pandemic's death toll, the CDC issued an early and unusual "half year" mortality report for the first six months of 2020. Finding: Life expectancy at birth declined by a full year, from 78.8 in 2019 to 77.8 years--the shortest lifespan since 2006.
As always, I encourage you to visit Demography World where you can find an archive of all our work. Your subscription includes daily NewsWires, other reports, and videos.
Managing Director, Demography
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ABOUT NEIL HOWE
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.