Investment Opportunity of a Lifetime

Written by on January 14, 2022

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To the Editor:
The underinvestment made in recent years, as well as the compliance required to bring on a new supply of materials to address the energy transition, supports a long investment horizon (“The Commodities Boom,” Cover Story, Jan. 7). As new markets evolve, informed active managers will capture the best opportunities. An investment opportunity of a lifetime is just beginning.

Doug Groh, On

To the Editor:
Commodities are the place to be for inflation. Oil, gold, silver, copper, nickel, farmland, water—I own them all.

Jack Smith, On

Tesla’s Niche Future

To the Editor:
Tesla’s problem is its limited range of models, with just two volume models (“Is Tesla Stock Headed to $1,400 or $67? Why Predicting Auto Makers’ Performance Is Tricky,” Streetwise, Jan. 7). As competitors roll out electric offerings, Tesla will remain a niche player unless it can offer a broader range of models. It will also be interesting to see how it does with a large-scale recall and no dealer network. Personally, I am thrilled with our Toyota RAV4 Prime, which allows us to go electric locally and still travel off-grid to Maine. It is a far more attractive vehicle than the Tesla Y to boot.

Janet Lewis, On

Federal Largess

To the Editor:
It’s hard to know what to make of a federal government that financed 48% of its 2020 budget with debt issuance, which it then sends to local governments (via state grants), many of which are not logistically equipped (due to manpower and material constraints) to spend it (“States Could Drive Rising Prices Even Higher. Here’s How,” Jan. 6).

Case in Point: Manatee County, Fla., which has been running serial $100 million surpluses even before receiving the federal largess, clearly does not need additional revenue that will just sit in a money-market fund earning a tenth of 1%.

Instead of blanket distributions, a little more targeting of federal funds is called for, so that we can more prudently distribute the money to the poorer counties and states that have a legitimate need for assistance.

Mike Meehan, Bradenton, Fla.

The Metaverse

To the Editor:
After reading the article on what the metaverse is all about, I’m sorry to say I’m still confused (“The Metaverse Is All the Talk at CES. Defining It Isn’t Easy,” Tech Trader, Jan. 6). I guess I’ll have to buy an Oculus virtual-reality headset. The only problem with my being over 80 years old is that my wife may notice me wearing it and have me put away.

Martin Blumberg, Melville, N.Y.

Larry Fink’s Opinion

To the Editor:
Regarding the “He Said” item on the Jan. 7 Review page, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink is quoted as saying, “I believe in the power of American capitalism. Progressives don’t believe deficits matter. I do.” I wonder why Fink did not also castigate conservatives who have actually rung up bigger deficits in the past 50 years than any Democratic administration or Congress. It wasn’t Democrats, not all of whom are progressive by any means, who rang up the Ronald Reagan deficits of the 1980s. It wasn’t Democrats who took us into two wars we are still paying for. It wasn’t Democrats who gave us the George W. Bush or Donald Trump tax cuts, neither of which did anything for most people. It wasn’t a Democrat who said, “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.” Fink’s opinion is not helpful at all.

Dennis Read, Reston, Va.

The Arthur Burns Fed

To the Editor:
Your Back Story article confuses words with actions in the Ford administration (“Can We Whip Inflation Now? Good Luck With That,” Jan. 5). The real story, found in the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price index, is this: There were two inflation spikes in the ’70s. The first spiral, to 12%, was driven by Lyndon B. Johnson/Richard M. Nixon policies. The rate dropped an astonishing five percentage points in two years under President Gerald Ford and Federal Reserve Chairman Arthur Burns. Burns courageously introduced the novel dual mandate and tight money policies. The second spike, also to 12%, resulted from Jimmy Carter’s rejection of that hugely successful policy, despite the recession ending in the January of his election. Fed Chairman Paul Volcker went to school on the Ford policy, copying it without attribution, but only 1½ years after his appointment and starting on the day that Ronald Reagan was elected. Reagan realized that he had four years to ride out a tight-money recession before his next election campaign. Ford had a mere 28 months.

Robert Messman, Denver

Hostage Leadership

To the Editor:
Jay Clayton and Mark Wiseman contend that political leadership is dominated by career politicians (“What We Can Learn From Our Covid-Crisis Failures,” Other Voices, Jan. 7). I believe that political leadership is being held hostage by a worldview that we all were witness to on Jan. 6, 2021.

To learn from our Covid failures, look no further than John Barry, author of The Great Influenza. The main lesson from 1918 is very clear: Tell the truth, lead with facts, and trust science.

Jen Stark, Washington, D.C.

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