growth. Businesses will start openingup in January; and by the middle of nextyear, I think the virus is totally gone.
What else do you know about the
It isn’t just a vaccine against COVID- 19.That’s important enough, but it can alsobe used rapidly for many different typesof diseases. So it’s really a very important medical breakthrough.
How will that change the virus’ path?
As the vaccine starts to be distributed,[the number of cases] will godown. You’ll have a total crashin cases in the first quarter ofnext year; and then basically,there won’t be any increase, justminimal in comparison.
Some people say they don’t
trust a vaccine. Isn’t that a
With its being 90% effective [asPfizer reported], you don’t need to haveeveryone inoculated. Once people startgetting the vaccine and everyone seesthe numbers aren’t going up and thatBiden is leading a campaign [for vacci-nation], [they] will get it too.
What else supports your positive
outlook for the economy?
Other companies will be coming outwith vaccines, probably by the endof the first quarter of next year. Iexpect they’ll be just as successful [asPfizer’s]. Four vaccines of differenttypes will be available.
You stated in July that you knew you’d
be able to get a dose of the Pfizer
vaccine before year’s end. On what did
you base that?
People thought I was crazy. But I knewwhat the progress was, what the science was, the speed that trials werebeing done.
I assume you want to get it yourself?
Definitely. I’m in the older age group [75years old] and have had some medicalissues that might put me near the topof the list to have the vaccine at the endof December, which is when it will beavailable for front-line medical workers,higher-risk people and those in nursinghomes. Then it will, sort of, roll out.
What’s your short-term outlook for
The liquidity that’s been provided bythe Fed is enormous, [together with] theCARES Act, which provided so muchmoney. The increase in money supply hasbeen so dramatic that the liquidity is justlike kindling wood in the system. As soonas business opens up next year — peoplestarting to travel again, go to restaurantsand live events — there’s going to be a tremendous increase in economic activity.
What’s your forecast for the stock market?We’ll see a rotation in 2021 toward thevalue stocks away from growth becausetech stocks are so expensive and peopleare going to seek income and look todividend-paying stocks going forward.
Many in the industry have been saying
the market is due for a big correction.
What’s the biggest threat?
I don’t see any really big threat to the
Your thoughts about bonds?
market now [except] if the Democrats
take over the Senate, that would be a
big negative. I do think that a number of
tech stocks are overblown. there might
be a correction in some tech, but it could
be offset with a surge in the stocks that
have lagged because of COVID.
I’m very bearish on bonds, especiallygovernment bonds. They’ll be the onesthat will do the worst. I don’t think thatin your lifetime, we’ll ever see interestrates as low as we did this year. Bondsare going to have capital losses. Peopleshould move to stocks.
Will unemployment drop much in 2021?I see the unemployment rateremaining relatively high. It willgo down next year but not towhere it was before COVID. Itcould take years.
A lot of people who were laidoff aren’t going to be rehirednext year. They’ll have to beretrained or else they’ll drop outof the labor force. This was anopportunity to get rid of everyone the firms thought weren’t productive or weren’t needed in a new economy.
Does retraining require starting college
or returning to college?
Not necessarily. A college education isoverhyped in terms of its importance. Youneed training that industries are going tobe offering, training that leads right to thejobs that [companies] need filled — not thetraining that’s typical of most universities.
How will people survive economically
while waiting to be retrained?
There’s going to be extended unemployment compensation. They’ll survive.There will be jobs. There are lots of jobsif you’re skilled.
Jane Wollman Rusoff is a contributingeditor who specializes in interviews withthought leaders. An author and prolificjournalist, Jane is founder of www.
“We’re going to go back to
an environment of horse
trading … [That is], things
will get done through more
traditional ways [again].”