Economics in Orbit

Fireside Chat
Rapid Fire
Fireworks Show
Some Final Thoughts
Scars from the Great Depression

The history of humanity, at least as taught in most schools, is really about two seemingly opposite forces: human innovation and human conflict. The same intelligence that lets us accomplish great things also sets us against each other. But sometimes, we rise above it.

Last week I saw on Twitter (where you should follow me, by the way. Seriously. I am really getting into late night Twitter as my relaxing/learning/commenting time, something I never expected), someone saying the COVID-19 pandemic may be the single most “global” event in human history. It’s happening almost everywhere, to almost everyone, at about the same time. That idea made me look for other examples.

The 1969 moon landing came to mind instantly. Yes, the astronauts were American but it was about humanity: “One giant leap for mankind.” People around the world experienced it together, as best as the day’s technology and politics allowed. For a moment, at least, other conflicts faded away.

Now in 2020, we badly need another such moment. The pandemic may be global but it’s not pleasant or unifying. So I, for one, looked forward to Wednesday’s SpaceX rocket launch. Not only because it was going to be our country’s first manned launch in years, but the first time a private company sent humans into space.

I grew up reading science fiction novels in which such scenes were common. SpaceX had to scrub the launch due to bad weather, but they will try again Saturday. We will see what was once science fiction actually happen again. And not just happen, but happen in the middle of this otherwise awful time.

To me, this is a metaphor of renewal. Great things can emerge from the ashes. We will get through this, and we will have a better world. I know it will be hard to understand from reading this letter, but I am strangely optimistic and looking forward to the future, uncertain as it may be.

Today I’ll share some more insights from the Virtual Strategic Investment Conference. Frankly, I could go on for weeks like this, but this is going to be my last letter on the SIC. We had so much expertise and wisdom beamed in from all over the world. I’ll give you a few more highlights and then offer my own personal takeaway.