WSJ’s Most Accurate Economist feat. Dr. Belinda Román | Aspen Funds
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WSJ’s Most Accurate Economist feat. Dr. Belinda Román

 

Dr. Belinda Román, St. Mary’s University associate professor, joins to discuss what led to her optimistic forecasts in 2023 and her outlook for 2024 & 2025.

 

Connect with Bob Fraser on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/bobfraser10/
Connect with Ben Fraser on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/benwfraser/
Connect with Belinda Roman on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/belinda-roman-19726150/

 

Invest Like a Billionaire podcast is sponsored by Aspen Funds which focuses on macro-driven alternative investments for accredited investors. https://aspenfunds.us/

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Transcription

Economic Outlook and Federal Spending

Belinda Roman: We’re seriously going to have to think about the spending and what we’re spending on. We still have a lot of momentum. There’s a lot of positive feedback loops going on in the economy and the federal spending is still quite high in certain areas. So why wouldn’t we continue to see growth? 

Bob Fraser: You predicted stronger 24, you’ve been right.

What are you saying for 25?

Belinda Roman: I think it’s one of those, like we’re on a little slide path. Cause if you look at the graph, And you read closely what the Fed is saying. That there’s some slowing, but there’s always growth and there’s always inflation. Some price adjustments upward are a good thing, so long as everybody else is following along.

We’ll catch up, especially consumers in certain parts of the U. S. are going to start to catch up. They’re adjusting their spending already. 

Introduction to the Podcast and Guest

Ben Fraser: Hello, Future Billionaires! Welcome back to the Invest Like a Billionaire podcast. Bob, who do we have on? 

Bob Fraser: Oh my goodness. You would not believe who is going to join us.

This is Belinda Roman, literally the number one, most accurate economic forecaster for 2023, according to the Wall Street Journal. So she’s going to come on and tell us what’s been happening and tell us. What we can expect. 

Ben Fraser: Don’t want to miss it. Enjoy this show. It’s going to be great. 

This is the Invest Like a Billionaire podcast where we uncover the alternative investments and strategies that billionaires use to grow wealth. The tools and tactics you’ll learn from this podcast will make you a better investor And help you build legacy wealth. Join us as we dive into the world of alternative investments, uncover strategies of the ultra wealthy, discuss economics and interview successful investors.

Welcome back to another episode of the Invest Like a Billionaire podcast. I am your co host, Ben Fraser, joined by fellow co host, Bob Fraser. Today we have a very exciting guest. I’ve been looking forward to this conversation for probably a few months now. 

Belinda Roman’s Background and Methodology

Ben Fraser: So we have with us today, Belinda Roman. She is the associate professor of economics at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. And we first heard about her when the wall street journal picked her as the most accurate. Economist for 2023 predictions. And so we said, Hey, we’ve got to reach out to Belinda and have a conversation. And so now we’re here and very excited to have her on the show and get her take on her kind of unique methodology of how she looks at economic predictors.

And then also get her take on what’s. Her take on the go forward play out of the U. S. economy here and internationally as well. So Belinda, thanks so much for coming on to the show. 

Belinda Roman: Yeah. Thank you very much for inviting me. Thank you. 

Ben Fraser: Yeah. Give us a little bit of background just on your kind of story, how you got into what you’re doing.

And a little bit of your methodology for how you think about economic predictions. 

Belinda Roman: Okay. I was invited to join the channel for the Wall Street Journal. They had a call. And I thought, I want to answer this because part of my training is to practice my profession.

So I decided to throw my hat in the ring and say, okay, yeah, I’ll try this. It was a couple of years back, I think it’s been about four years now. The first couple of times I was like, I’m going to be an econometrician, I’m going to be very rigid. I’m going to follow all these things. And I failed miserably.

It was too low. I was getting the numbers wrong and I thought there’s something else that I need to think about. And that’s when I started to think more about the experiences of people and what I see in the media and what I hear as I’m walking around San Antonio and other parts.

What do I see? The closed, people opening, closing, shutting doors. Something else is going on that’s not captured in the numbers. And then how do I integrate that into my analysis, because that’s always the challenge to put the anecdotal and the fuzzy stuff in your hard numbers. And so that’s what I’ve been working on since the first two years, I was completely out of line with even the panel.

I was like, I’m wrong. It’s not that I’m wrong. I’m just too different, but I was too low. And I couldn’t. 

Bob Fraser: You had to be completely shocked when they picked you as the number one most accurate forecast. 

Belinda Roman: I was when actually, when I got the email for the Wall Street Journal, like we need to talk to you. I thought, Oh no, I’m in trouble.

What did I do? I missed something. I, I didn’t put a number in and they were like, no, you’ll be interested to know that you came out at the top of the list. I was like, what? Okay. All right. Okay. So that means my adjustments help. Now, mind you, I wasn’t, I didn’t get everything exactly right. I was the closest to it.

What ended up being the final numbers. So the. 

Bob Fraser: I mean, there’s such huge variation. Everybody back in 2023 is predicting a recession, everybody. And I actually was one of the few who wasn’t, which is why when I saw the article and what you had predicted, I’m like there’s someone who is very much out of consensus and has been right.

Consumer Spending and Economic Predictions

Bob Fraser: And I, my, my analysis was driven entirely on the consumer. When 70 percent of the economy is a consumer and you look at what’s happening, the consumer was on fire with their spending. You look at very high cash balances, low debt service, low financial obligations and high wealth effects.

I’m thinking the consumer is going to drive this thing home. Yeah. And there’s just when the consumer is that, that spends that much, you’re just not, you cannot see a recession because they’re going to create massive demand. And I could not get my head around the recession in spite of the yield curve being inverted and all that.

Belinda Roman: Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. As a matter of fact, about two, three years ago, I was in a presentation by the local Fed and they were talking about that inversion. I’m like, okay, where is it? When’s it going to happen? And that was the problem. It’s going to happen, but we don’t know where. And that got me thinking, I was like, wait a minute, we need to be a little bit more, thoughtful about what we’re actually saying and with all of this.

Bob Fraser: If 70 percent of the economy is consumer and the consumer is spending like there is no tomorrow and creating incredible demand, how can you predict recession? You have to, there has to first be consumer change and I’m still waiting for it. I’m still waiting. You see a little dips, but it’s still on fire and I’m thinking 24 is going to look a lot like 23.

Yeah. 

Belinda Roman: I would agree with you. I think there’s these little dips, but we’ll never know if the recession actually happened until the National Bureau of Economic Research tells us it will happen in two or three years from now, but that’s too late for us to admit. So you know, you see some softening and that’s why I tried to use that language.

You see some softening and they’ll tell us audit’s done. It’s going to be a recession, but there’s some softening, but we still have a lot of momentum and a lot of positives, there’s a lot of positive feedback loops going on in the economy and the federal spending is still quite high in certain areas. Why wouldn’t we continue to see growth? Why would I continue down that path? 

Bob Fraser: Yeah you predicted a stronger 24, a little softer, but yeah, but strong and you’ve been right. And again, a lot of people are, we’re still predicting recession at the beginning of the year and now it seems like more and more people are getting on board with a soft landing.

Yeah. Yeah. And, which literally I have been saying for a couple of years and and I still think we’re going to see the same, right? So longer range, what are you seeing for 25, are you seeing more of the same? 

Belinda Roman: I think so. I think it’s one of those, like we’re on a little glide path because if you look at the graphs and you read closely what the Fed is saying and everybody else, that there’s some slowing, but there’s always growth and there’s always inflation.

And when you actually think about inflation, some price adjustments upward are a good thing, so long as everybody else is following along. So I thought, no, this can’t be, this can’t be that. It’s all just going to bottom out. It’s going to, we’re going to continue, but we’re going to slow and that’s okay.

That’s a good thing. We’ll catch up, especially consumers in certain parts of the U S are going to start that. catch up and they’re adjusting their spending already because we’re hearing about sales and the big box stores are starting to change their prices coming down. So things are changing. It’s just not going to be this precipitous thing that we’ve been trying to imagine.

That V shape that they kept saying, it’s going to be like this, and then it’s a W, and then it’s a K. I was like, what are we doing? 

Bob Fraser: Yeah. 

Inflation and Labor Market Dynamics

Bob Fraser: Some of the big questions, of course, have been, around inflation and And again, very few people have got inflation right and and my view for a couple of years was that we’re going to see higher inflation is going to be stickier than we wanted because I think so many economists are stuck on cyclical analysis, not Structural analysis.

And if you look at inflation, there’s a couple of structural elements here. One is labor short, there’s a labor shortage that is driven not cyclically. It’s not just by the business cycle. It’s driven by a labor shortage driven by demographics and worker habits changing. People are opting to not work.

And there’s a, just a, It’s just a labor shortage that drives up all labor costs and you see it’s still labor costs are still rising and the third element is energy and energy is a very tiny component of the inflation indexes, but it’s much bigger impact because energy underlies everything and I, I see energy prices continuing to be a sticky factor.

Because of underinvestment in energy globally and probably has dropped 55%. So my view is that inflation is going to be sticking here more than people want. And it’s been and I’ve said for a couple of years, I don’t think they’re going to be able to get to 2%, not right now. Not unless they create a massive hard landing in the economy.

So what has been your forecast for inflation and what were you forecasting for 24 and what’s your view going forward? 

Belinda Roman: Yeah I would agree with your assessment. I think prices, especially wages, that’s where all of that is, all of that is stickier than we give it credit for, so it’s hard to bring, it’s hard to bring those numbers down.

And so I, when I looked at my forecast, I was like, this is going to take longer than we want it to take. We can’t have that immediate gratification like we like, so it’s going to take longer and needs to be more sensible. And I also agree with your assessment of. The demographics from a woman’s perspective, you also got childcare and all the other things that all of that is more, more expensive as well.

So it’s counter to the narrative that we’re going to get down faster. So I had inflation a little bit higher for longer. Coming down, the interest rates are not changing. When I read that some of the predictions were six times this year, I was like, no way. It started at nine. Yeah, nine meanings of the year.

Yeah. I was like no. It’s easier to go up than it is to come down. Let’s be real about that. So I was like, no, I think they’re gonna be more sensitive and more deliberate and as much as they don’t want to be part of the political calendar. It’s probably in the back of mind. If you change too close to the election, or just after, it’s just gonna not look right.

Is it? I think they’re bad. 

Bob Fraser: Yeah, accused of taking sides. Exactly. Exactly. They’ve clearly tried to be very independent, so exactly. Yeah. So in, inflation has been sticky and it just seems like it’s going to continue to be. Do you think the Fed is going to be able to get to their 2 percent goal?

I don’t know. Do you think we’re going to see that in the next, let’s say 12 to 18 months? 

Belinda Roman: It’s one of those questions that it’s all about how you manage the numbers, how you calculate inflation and how you think about the numbers as opposed to how it feels for everybody. So maybe they get there in two, three years, but everybody’s still going to feel that pinch because all the numbers stayed higher than we originally wanted.

It’s where the inflation numbers will adjust and I don’t think they’re going to come. It. It’s going to be hard to get them down in some of the food prices, because we’re just going through so many catastrophic changes there. And then like you said, the energy sector isn’t investing in the way that we probably thought they would, because they’re trying to pivot as well and get other things in place.

I think those kinds of issues are going to be what keeps inflation slightly higher for longer. And we just need to be thinking and cognizant of that. And then you’ve got macroeconomics one to one, more federal spending, more inflation, more movement pressure up where it’s all of that coming home to Rooster.

So how do you control it? 

Federal Spending and Interest Rates

Bob Fraser: And I want to talk about rates, interest rates, and of course, the Fed controls the lower end of the market, right? They control short rates by setting them, but longer rates are controlled at auction, right? Yeah. And we’ve seen, I don’t know if you’ve been tracking how closely you track the treasury auctions and in, at long rates, but we’ve seen some very weak treasury auctions and we’re seeing record treasury issuances.

We’re seeing treasury quarterly issuances at 7 trillion in a couple of the quarters, recent quarters. To give, put that in context during the Bush years, we had about 1 trillion per quarter during the Obama years, about 2 trillion per quarter and Trump about 2. 5 trillion Under Biden, it’s been 5 to 7 trillion.

Anybody tells you if you’ve got lots of supply, supply and demand, and we’ve got twice as much supply and really four times as much as it was 10 years ago. What’s the demand? Who’s going to buy the treasuries? And we’ve had extremely weak auctions. My view is, and so this is, I’m a super economics dork, tracked, I actually started as more of an Austrian hard money economist years, decades ago.

But recently MMT has become Kind of a fashion and the idea is that we can run massive deficits and it never we never pay for them, right? We never have to pay for them. I think we’re seeing the endgame of MMT. I think we’re seeing there are limits to how much we can borrow And how much deficit spending we can do.

And I think we’re seeing a lot of pressure on this and I think rates, it’s likely we may see rates continuing to be very high and continuing to trend even higher as long as the federal government continues on this path. So I’d love your take on that. 

Belinda Roman: No, absolutely.

I agree with you there. I think that’s, the Fed has been very cautious not to say that. Because they’re only one side, one pillar of the policy, the economic policy. But I think they’ve been pointing at it for a while now. That federal spending and the political cycle is a, is an issue.

And as our politics, international politics changes, and some of our partners don’t want to buy as much as they used to of our debt, that’s a problem. And but We’re not saying it. We’re saying it without saying it. So you see headlines that might say, we’re changing, we’re pivoting, we’re changing this, we’re changing that.

And I think You know, we’re seriously going to have to think about the spending and what we’re spending on because modern monetary theory is, yeah spend, but like anything else, it’s about what you spend on. So are you spending on developing your workforce?

Are you spending on developing your skills? infrastructure or technology around everything, or are you spending it on buying more bonds, buying more things, creating almost like a, for lack of a better word, a Ponzi scheme where you’re buying to buy rather than buying to produce and build out a base.

And that’s where I think we’re having an issue. Except for the military spending, because that’s a big chunk of the federal budget, isn’t it? That and we’re involved in a number of things, maybe a couple of years down the line, some of the technologies become commercialized, but we don’t have that time to wait, do we?

We don’t have that. 

Bob Fraser: Yeah. So yeah, let’s look at the budget. So much of it is mandatory spending, right? You look at social security, Medicare, it’s all mandatory. And what is it? 2030 is now the end date where now social security is bankrupt again. And here, and look at our demographics. We have more and more people entering into it and fewer paying into it with the retiring of baby members.

There’s only one way that goes. We’re seeing higher interest rate payments. So, as a percentage of the budget that’s climbing we’re seeing fewer buyers of treasuries because of the trade deficit. So when we buy stuff overseas, they recycle those dollars into treasuries. That’s not happening.

We’re seeing the green economy, the inflation reduction act, which I just want to laugh every time I hear the title, a trillion dollars spent on green subsidies. We know that, we just, we can’t afford this and that, but the green economy is very expensive and all these things were, you know, so we’re seeing this deficit spending.

Kind of going haywire and are the markets going to hold us accountable. 

Belinda Roman: Right? Exactly. Yeah. No it and are the voters right because that’s also the future what we’re doing now is the burden of the future That’s well, how do we feel about that? And if there aren’t gonna be any workers, it’s a very complicated story Isn’t it?

But is it sustainable in the future? And I and I do think about those things because our demographics are changing our politics with regard to immigration, which has been a helpful, over the history of the United States, immigration, more people working and we, we just had a long history of it, especially those of us that are in flyover country, right?

We rely on a lot of people coming and going and working in agriculture and different industries. The immigration debate to me is an element of it. Forget politics. We need workers because the demographics are changing. 

Bob Fraser: No question. And, the work shortage can be solved by that.

So Belinda, the question is there going to be a price to pay for the deficits through higher interest rates? 

Belinda Roman: Yeah, long rates. Okay, so the interest rates are high right now, aren’t they? And I do, I do go and look at the treasury and I see when they’re retiring debt, replacing and All of that was great when the interest rates were low, but now that they’re higher, that’s a challenge.

And if we stay at this higher rate for longer, then, our bills are going to be higher for longer as well. And I think the Fed is trying to balance all of that, but it’s almost an impossible task, isn’t it? Because there’s headwinds coming their way. And I think that’s going to be difficult, I hope that we don’t get to the point where we do like some countries do and say, let’s lop off a few zeros off of these numbers and start over again.

I don’t see us doing that, but I do see us parallelism. 

Bob Fraser: Yeah. Yeah. It’s hard for me to see how we’re not going to see higher rates. I think a lot of people are expecting rates to normalize and of course this is all the younger people who have interest rates, long rates, normal is 2%. But if you look back, I’m a little bit older and long rates have been five and 6 percent throughout most of the United States history.

And I think since the eighties, seventies, eighties, of course, it has been much higher. Normalized rates were probably right there and very possible because of the deficit. So we could see even higher than this. for an extended period of time to induce buyers to buy all this debt that is being produced.

Belinda Roman: Exactly. And mind you, we’re competing with Europe and other places that are also trying to sell. I, that’s why I think economic history is important to know your history because rates went really high in the seventies. And we were very different if you go back, you push out your time horizons, that there are these moments where rates can be really high and how detrimental they are to certain other aspects of the economy. Keeping that in mind. 

Bob Fraser: Yeah. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan, and he’s he’s expecting higher rates and they’re preparing for rates as high as 8%, long treasury rates and he’s, he called out that he said the green economy, the remilitarization and the aging workforce, all things he’s very concerned about it.

And it shocked Wall Street when he said that in his annual report. Yeah. So I think it’s a real possibility that we’re gonna, we’re gonna see rates go up before we see ’em go down long rates. 

Belinda Roman: I think the Fed’s hoping that’s not the case. 

Bob Fraser: I know. everybody. Yeah.

Yeah. We’re in the real estate sector. Who wants to see high rates? 

Belinda Roman: Exactly. Because that’s, you feel it a lot, don’t you? Very real, very interest rate sensitive. So I think. If you’re looking at all the presidents are out talking now, and some of them are talking about, maybe there’s a hype there, maybe there’s not, and sometimes I read them, and I wonder if that’s their position, or are they out there kind of priming the pump a little bit, what’s happening, that these conversations are happening, and then you see it in the stock market numbers, I think, today.

The Dow started 300 points down. I was like what is going on now? And who said something so that we can figure it out. 

Bob Fraser: Yeah. I’ve given up trying to figure out what markets moved today. They’re boys, it’s a, who knows? Yeah. Yeah. 

Local Government Spending and Economic Impact

Bob Fraser: So what’s your, what do you think, just give us thoughts about 2025 and the election. How much do you think the election plays into economic rates? 

Belinda Roman: Economy is chugging along anyway, isn’t it?

Despite the best efforts of either side. So that’s the good news. And I think it’s in some of these entitlements and maybe some of the discretionary spending where we. Where do we start to think about, okay, how are they, how is that national picture going to influence? I think my position is always that, it’s all local.

And what happens at the local levels and how can local governments and state governments manage expectations as well as the requirements? Because that has to bubble up at some point. And then it starts to change and if local governments don’t, Can’t do what they need to do. Their revenues are changing or they’re actually quite buoyant.

Like they are in some cities then, that’s maybe good news. And it’s a counter to what happens at the national level. That’s what I, that’s what I’m thinking at the moment, because, some cities are experiencing, where you’re benefiting and maybe this is happening in the Midwest, in Kansas city, where you’re getting in those influxes, your sales tax, all those riveting news that fund, what local, Are increasing.

So that’s happening in some of the cities and Texas where we’re seeing these windfalls in which they can then recycle. Are they gonna recycle ’em again, infrastructure, education, healthcare, all those things that we need to help what we’ve been talking about? Or is it gonna go somewhere else?

Or is it going to go just sit somewhere else and not be productive for what we need? Yeah. That’s when I looked at some focus and said, what are we actually doing? 

Bob Fraser: You’re making a great point that so much of government spending, it can actually be positive or can be neutral or even negative, right?

To the economy. And I’m thinking about California, which is now running record deficits. I think they’re at a 45, 45 billion dollar deficit at this point. And they’ve spent the money and they’re seeing, they’ve raised the minimum wage, which is driving business away, taxes on gasoline.

And you’re seeing a huge exodus of wealthy people leaving the same with New York. I’m looking at the, reading articles about the city of city there, the is Illinois in the city of Chicago, right? And they’re huge deficits and they’re using the federal stimulus money to pay their pensions.

Bring your pensions up. Correct. Your pensions and this kind of spending, it’s just not helpful. And so much of what’s going on. And I don’t think so. Is going to grow the economy. Yeah. We’re seeing this, the stimulus, everybody, all the states benefited from the stimulus. You’re talking about local economies, but they’ve, they didn’t really spend it and they didn’t use it to produce growth and pro business or, pro jobs kind of spending that I’ve seen.

Belinda Roman: Yeah, no, that’s true. Some of the studies I see that are coming out, the money didn’t flow in the way We had hoped. And that’s an issue again. It’s about how you spend to develop the local structure, because the macro economy is all of us building up to it, right?

We don’t scale literally, linearly, but we contribute to that. So if it’s not the locals that are developing their infrastructure and doing something positive like that, then how can you see it? It’s eventually going to come out in the macro as well. And that’s why we’re having a hard time, I think, understanding it and pegging it properly in our analyses.

Real Estate Market Trends

Bob Fraser: I don’t know how much you’re aware or how much you track the real estate industry, but you’re seeing a huge kind of collapse of office real estate and real struggle in multifamily real estate and it’s been overbuilt. And of course, the office is completely changed. How much are you seeing that are you tracking that at all?

And what are you seeing? What are you seeing there? 

Belinda Roman: No, yes. I, that’s a question that everyone’s asking. How do we build up, for example the business districts that are in the core of the city, like Chicago saying they’re going to offer big incentives to get people back downtown. Certain cities are, even here in San Antonio, we’re thinking of redeveloping downtown to get more activity there because nobody’s using the commercial space, at least not how they want it.

And, part of that is psychology. If we found out during COVID that we’re too close to each other, that causes a problem, then of course we spread out, right? So that trend is there and maybe still apprehensive and then, it’s crazy. So I do watch it because it tells you something.

Maybe we’re not all going to be there. So if we’re going to spread out, that’s not very environmentally friendly, is it? Because we’re going to spread out and use up more we become more suburban. And so I watch that and I also watch the building because, if companies are starting to slow down, some property prices are starting to come down, the values are changing.

That’s important things to watch because they’re so important in terms, and they’re interest rate sensitive. So it has been taking a little bit longer to see it filter through. 

Bob Fraser: Yeah. 

Stimulus Impact and Future Outlook

Bob Fraser: What’s your view of the stimulus? Of course there was a record stimulus. To me, it seems like it was.

Political politics, a gift, right? These politicians looked at the chance to give away stuff and it produced a lot of what we’re seeing in terms of inflation, consumer spending, etc. What’s your view? Stimulus, it’s a fact. 

Belinda Roman: Yeah. I’ve been thinking a little bit about this, because for a lot of economists, there’s two camps.

Do we give everybody a guaranteed income? A guaranteed something? Versus Some other or you don’t get anything and I think again, it’s about how you spend that money. So if you give money with no strings attached, sometimes it doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to work out. And we might be seeing, we might be seeing some of that and maybe some of that money would have been better served saying we need to beef up the healthcare system.

Clearly we found that was an issue. How nursing homes, everything, all the things that we saw collapsing. That’s what we should have been supporting and giving more to instead. It was a kind of, here’s a pot of money, go spend it. And I’m not sure that was the best idea either. And I’m a big advocate for equity and help supporting, and looking at poverty and that sort of thing.

But sometimes. You also got to think a little bit more about the unintended consequences of some of these actions. 

Bob Fraser: Yeah, for sure. When are you going to prepare your 2025 outlook? Is that something you’ll be looking at the end of the year? 

Belinda Roman: Yes. At the end of the year. So the Wall Street Journal asked me.

This quarterly. So I was like, okay, what month am I? So I can start thinking about the next month and the next quarter. And then in December is when they’ll ask us for, okay, what do you think for 2025? Because that’s what they base their opinion on, this is the person that was the most accurate or not.

Bob Fraser: I got to actually give them your forecast for inflation, for economic growth, GDP growth, et cetera, et cetera. 

Belinda Roman: Exactly. Give them all of that. Yeah. All right. Yeah. And I go back and look, and then I’ve also noticed something interesting about the numbers. Yes, the headline numbers there, and then two or three months later, it’s adjusted.

They get, keep adjusting and some of them go up, some of them go down. And I’m like that’s really the number I should be watching because that’s closer to what we are really going to be where we’re going to be. 

Bob Fraser: Sometimes a lot of attention to the adjustments that make sense. Yes. 

Belinda Roman: Yes. Cause that means, we have some of the labor numbers, especially like February and March was like, Whoa, that’s a big number.

That one came down some. And then the one in March was a little bit lower and that went up. So there’s a net change there. That’s interesting, because that means they are also over. optimistic or under, under, forecasting some of the numbers. So clearly we need to be thinking a little bit more about all of this.

Bob Fraser: And do you publish anything to a blog or anything like, like that? 

Belinda Roman: Oh, I wish I’m chasing my students around the campus because they stayed on track. Otherwise, I’d like to spend more time putting some material out there. But maybe this summer I’ll be able to put some more of my work up there.

But most of my time is maintenance and I tell the students, look, you can do this too. You can let’s try it. Let’s see what you think. Tell me what you think. Tell me what you would predict in this case. Not what you read on Tik Tok or anywhere like that. Not anybody.

Just what do you think based on what we’ve learned and how the method works and what are you seeing? So that’s going to be the next generation. I want them to get it right. So I have my social security, right? 

Bob Fraser: Good luck. I can’t imagine getting your economics from a tick tock. 

Belinda Roman: Yeah. To do that.

Yeah. There’s some crazy stuff out there and I’m like, okay. But at the end of the day, you have to think for yourself as well. Critical thinking and say, is this real or not? Yeah. 

Ben Fraser: Awesome. 

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Ben Fraser: Belinda is so fun to have you on. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing your wisdom and what you’re seeing in the markets.

And for all those listeners, be sure to follow the Wall Street Journal and Belinda’s 2025 forecast. And we’ll see if you win the top spot again and love to have you back on down the road. 

Belinda Roman: If I don’t, I’ll be a one hit wonder, won’t I? I guess I’ll join some of those names.

I don’t forecast for competition. For competitors purposes. For a different reason. And I think that’s also an important thing to remember. I’m not competing. I’m just trying to get it right and understand what’s going on. 

Ben Fraser: Yeah, that’s awesome. Thank you so much for coming on.

It’s really fun to have you. 

Belinda Roman: Sure. Thank you very much for the opportunity.

Ben Fraser: This is the Invest Like a Billionaire podcast, where we uncover the alternative investments and strategies that billionaires use to grow wealth. The tools and tactics you’ll learn from this podcast will make you a better investor. And help you build legacy wealth. Join us as we dive into the world of alternative investments, uncover strategies of the ultra wealthy, discuss economics, and interview successful investors.

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