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Hi Friend,

How's it going? The first week after Labor Day always feels frantic. Everyone is waking up after the summer holidays. 

I am back in New York City, just in time to enjoy the early autumn action. I'll joyously report that New York is not dead. In fact, quite the opposite. Here in the Village, things are lively. The demographic skews younger. It feels more pedestrian. The streets are open and lined with outdoor dining and greenery. Car traffic is down. All the people out and about is wonderful. New York feels a little grittier. A little more real. And I love that. 

Living in New York is a unifying experience. It's so diverse and there is so much hustle. Nothing about that has changed.

Today is the anniversary of a terrible day when terror was inflicted on New York, evident with the loss of the Twin Towers. Tonight, the sky will be decorated with those strong beams of light that go from lower Manhattan to the heavens as a beautiful tribute to those who lost their lives 19 years ago. 

Today's Contents:

  • Song of the Week: Under Pressure
  • The Economy Under Pressure: Jobs and Workforce Participation

Weekly Song: Under Pressure

Under Pressure feels apt for the week. Summer is over. Fall is here. Everything feels under pressure in the US. The education system. The politics. Technology equity prices. Jobs and unemployment. What's the solution? Pressure can be good but may not be easy. Where do we want to get to? Queen and David Bowie say: Give Love. Classic song. 

Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie

Pressure: pushing down on me,
Pressing down on you, no man ask for.
Under pressure that burns a building down,
Splits a family in two,
Puts people on streets.

Can't we give ourselves one more chance?
Why can't we give love that one more chance?
Why can't we give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love?

'Cause love's such an old-fashioned word,
And love dares you to care for the people on the edge of the night,
And love dares you to change our way of caring about ourselves.
This is our last dance.
This is our last dance.
This is ourselves.

Under pressure.
Under pressure.

Declarative Statements Spotify Playlist

Economics: Jobs and Labor Participation Rate Under Pressure

I've spent time this week talking Macroeconomics in a small seminar hosted by an MIT Professor. Of the many things we discussed, I was quite interested in the gap between the economic recovery and the market recovery.

The best sources are Trading Economics which has a huge repository of indicators with long time frames and Track The Recovery which is more focused on the economic impacts of COVID. 

One of the more worrying economic trends in the US is the persistent drop in the labor force participation rate and the continuation of high new unemployment claims as shown in the charts below. It was explained to me that the story of labor force participation change from the 1960s to 2000 is one of women joining the workforce in large numbers. The drop after 2008 is indicative of a segment of the population 'losing hope' and that the lack of reliable childcare may keep workforce participation rates down.

Recommend playing around with the data if you're interested! 

Labor Force Participation Rate in the United States increased to 61.70 percent in August from 61.40 percent in July of 2020.

Sensible Investing: Good Reads

Nikola—How to Parlay An Ocean of Lies Into a Partnership With the Largest Auto OEM in America. Short-seller report from Hindenberg research.

Bessemer Venture PartnersInvestment Memos. The firm opens up on the investment memos for their early bets on Shopify, Pinterest, Twilio and more. HBS doesn't have case studies this good! 

Snowflake - A deep dive into the hottest IPO of the season. 

Welcome to your bland new world - An excellent read on the formula behind the buzzy D2C brands. 

Why Cooper Black become pop culture's favorite font: Video. Hint: curved bottom letters are very forgiving. 

What's a rolling fund? It's all the rage in the Twitterati community. Here are the details form AngelList. 

How does a BDC make $31M out of ice machines? Nick Gray explains here

Short and sweet this week. I was under pressure to deliver.

Thanks for reading, friends. Please always be in touch.  

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Katelyn Donnelly
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