From Covid to Comeback – WSJ

Jon Rahm of Spain celebrates with the trophy after winning the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course on Sunday in San Diego.


Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

“Investors are growing more fearful of a Fed mistake,” says a headline at corporate cousin Marketwatch. “A survey now finds ‘central bank policy error’ is the third biggest risk to the market,” writes Steve Goldstein. But he also notes that “higher-than-expected inflation and bond yields” were identified as the biggest risk, which many may eventually count in the category of Fed policy errors. The survey comes from

Deutsche Bank,

which finds such concerns rising since April.

Fortunately investors aren’t the only ones growing concerned. While the president of the New York Fed still isn’t ready to turn off the emergency money spigot, other Fed regional bank presidents are beginning to recognize that the post-Covid economy has been rising for a while and doesn’t need gargantuan federal intervention.

The Journal’s Michael Derby reports:

Federal Reserve Bank of New York leader

John Williams

said he isn’t ready for the U.S. central bank to dial back the support it is giving the economy amid uncertainty about the recovery from the pandemic…

Mr. Williams’s comments were his first public remarks since last week’s rate-setting [Federal Open Market Committee] meeting, at which officials held their short-term interest-rate target at near zero, where it has been since March 2020, and pressed forward with monthly purchases of $80 billion in Treasurys and $40 billion mortgage bonds.

These purchases, executed with money created by the Fed, have roughly doubled the Fed’s balance sheet since the start of the crisis. Yet with the emergency over, the money printing continues. Mr. Derby notes:

Before Mr. Williams spoke, two other Fed officials at another virtual event said the day for paring back the central bank’s bond-buying stimulus is growing closer. Robert Kaplan of the Dallas Fed and

James Bullard

of the St. Louis Fed didn’t specify when the central bank should act in a joint virtual appearance Monday, but both said the time for the central bank to rethink its strong support for the economy is getting closer, if it hasn’t already arrived.

Mr. Kaplan, reiterating a view he has held for some time, said, “I’ve been more of a fan of doing some things, maybe, to take our foot gently off the accelerator sooner rather than later so that we can manage these risks” around the recovery process, in a bid to “avoid having to press the brakes down the road” with a more abrupt shift in monetary policy.

Many consumers are no doubt hoping the Fed will recognize 5% inflation as a good moment to lay off the accelerator.


Comeback from Covid

Andrew Beaton reports in the Journal:

The best golfer in the world who had yet to win a major knew he had the perfect excuse if he fell short at the U.S. Open.

“Hey,” Jon Rahm convinced himself. “I had Covid.”

Over the course of 15 days, Rahm rode a pandemic roller coaster unlike anything else in sports since the onset of the pandemic. He received the results of a positive Covid-19 test on national television when he was on the verge of winning another tournament. Instead of collecting a $1.7 million prize, he quarantined. And this weekend he emerged in the most dramatic way possible: Rahm actually won the U.S. Open.

Rahm, the No. 3 ranked golfer entering the tournament, prevailed for his first major with a 6-under-par performance at Torrey Pines. The 26-year-old Spaniard became his country’s first player to win the U.S. Open by sinking back-to-back birdie putts… electrifying galleries and eliciting roars that carried across the grounds.

Let’s hope that in the future we can view this story as a metaphor for all of today’s young people—gracefully accepting a massively expensive burden for a questionable public health benefit and then ultimately soaring to unprecedented levels of achievement.


An Autumn Hiring Boom?
The Journal’s Eric Morath and Greg Ip report:

Nearly 15 million people claimed unemployment insurance benefits in late May, up from about 2 million before the pandemic. Some may not be working because they receive more from the enhanced unemployment benefits offered during the crisis than they would earn in the available jobs. But those benefits expire in September.


Midway Milestone
John Kass signs off following a remarkable run as a compelling columnist and reader favorite at the Chicago Tribune and recalls:

I’ve loved this newspaper from the moment I walked through the doors of the Tribune Tower as a smartass kid copy boy more than 40 years ago.

And later, I’d read those amazing quotations in the tower lobby, from Milton to Flannery O’Connor. Wisdom carved in stone. They were prayers to remind us of the great Western tradition.

My favorite, from Lord Macaulay, still gives me chills:

“Where there is a free press, the governors must live in constant awe of the opinions of the governed.”


Best of the Press

Few opinions of the governed have ever inspired more awe among the governors than those of Joseph Rago, the magnificent Journal editorial writer who passed away in 2017. Ten years ago he received a Pulitzer Prize for his incisive critiques of ObamaCare and his work has been inspiring writers young and old ever since.

The wonderful news is that his great legacy continues. The Fund for American Studies announces Faith Bottum as the 2021 recipient of the Joseph Rago Memorial Fellowship for Excellence in Journalism.

Joe Rago’s intellectual interests were both broad and deep, and therefore Ms. Bottum seems to be a perfect selection. According to the fund:

A 2021 graduate of the South Dakota School of Mines, Bottum earned a degree in civil engineering with a focus on structures… Her new translation of “The Ancient City,” Fustel de Coulanges’s 1864 classic account of the religious origins of Greek and Roman urban culture, will be published this winter by St. Augustine’s Press.


James Freeman is the co-author of “The Cost: Trump, China and American Revival.”


Follow James Freeman on Twitter.

Subscribe to the Best of the Web email.

To suggest items, please email [email protected]

(Teresa Vozzo helps compile Best of the Web. Thanks to Wes Van Fleet.)


Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8