Rosengren & Carney
Treasury Hat Trick
Stop Drinking Now
A Brief Commercial
Orlando, Washington DC, St. Thomas, and SIC 2017
Basic economics tells us all resources are scarce, but our demand for them is not. Hence we need methods to allocate the limited supply of each resource. A significant part of economics is the study of those methods.
One exception to the rule, though, has developed in the last few years: The amount of information available to us is practically unlimited. Open your internet browser, and most of that information is just a few clicks way. But if media industry profits (or lack of them) are any indication, demand for that information is anything but infinite.
One problem with information is that much of it is biased. I know, for instance, that when I read a certain economist commenting on recent data, he is going to put a spin on it that reflects the particular economic soapbox he prefers to stand upon. And while I will occasionally take time to read such people, just to kind of keep up on “influencers,” they often don’t really add much to the conversation.
Then there are those who are always delivering fascinating surprises. They do enormously deep dives into arcane data and tease out insights of real importance – connections to other ideas or solutions to challenging problems – they come up with new and different way of looking at the world. I don’t know what you call them, but “seekers of truth” is how I label them. They are just as curious as I am about how the Grand Puzzle all fits together, and they are describing the pieces as viewed from the another side of the table. I value these thinkers. (Sitting here thinking about it, I realize that I need to put a list together of some of my best resources. Some of them are expensive to access; but, surprisingly, more and more of them are either cheap or free. I will get around to that project and make it available to you one day.)
Back to the main plot line. What is scarce isn’t information itself (we’re all nearly drowning in it) but the ability to process it into something useful. All of us, including me, are still figuring out that part. And the creation of really valuable information takes time. I have had a vivid demonstration of that fact myself these last few weeks as I try to launch a new business andprepare for the upcoming Strategic Investment Conference. You cannot believe how much personal preparation goes into talking with every one of the speakers and figuring out how to blend their ideas so that something coherent emerges from our shared experiences at the conference.
And then there are the challenges of keeping up with my regular writing and research andputting in the many hours it takes to be a dad and granddad, always in the middle of a crisis or two. Life is what actually happens after you make careful plans.
My own particular approach to drinking from the enormous information firehose has a couple of key features.