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Richard Drew / AP

The NYT Dealbook details the sobering letter Seth Klarman recently wrote to investors cautioning against overconfidence in the stock market. Klarman, runs the $30 billion Baupost Group, has been compared to Warren Buffett (and actually has received praise from Buffett) and has only lost money in three of the past 34 years.

  • On the markets: Klarman anticipates a "lengthy decline in dollar hegemony, a rapid rise in interest rates and inflation, and global angst."
  • On protectionism: He said "America-first protectionism" will "leave society worse off" and that investors are being blinded by the "potential benefits of stimulative tax cuts" when they know adding barriers to trade is not a path to growth.
  • On Trump's tax cuts: He said "The Trump tax cuts could drive government deficits considerably higher" and said they will harken back to the 2001 tax cuts that "fueled income inequality while triggering huge federal budget deficits." Klarman added that even without Trump's tax cuts, government debt will "skyrocket" when interest rates are raised.

Klarman's advice: Hedge fund managers should stop investing in funds that track the market — like index funds and exchange traded funds (E.T.F.s) — as it's depressing their returns. Hedge funds only returned 23% from 2010 to 2015, compared to the 108% returns for the Standard & Poor's index.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
28 mins ago - Economy & Business

The fragile recovery

Data: Department of Labor; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits is falling but remains remarkably high three weeks before pandemic assistance programs are set to expire. More than 1 million people a week are still filing for initial jobless claims, including nearly 300,000 applying for pandemic assistance.

By the numbers: As of Nov. 14, 20.2 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits of some kind, including more than 13.4 million on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs that were created as part of the CARES Act and end on Dec. 26.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
48 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The top candidates Biden is considering for key energy and climate roles

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has urged President-elect Joe Biden to nominate Mary Nichols, chair of California's air pollution regulator, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The reported push by Schumer could boost Nichol's chances of leading an agency that will play a pivotal role in Biden's vow to enact aggressive new climate policies — especially because the plan is likely to rest heavily on executive actions.

U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows

Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% from 6.9%, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The labor market continues to recover even as coronavirus cases surge— though it's still millions of jobs short of the pre-pandemic level. The problem is that the rate of recovery is slowing significantly.

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