This week, we speak with Neil Dutta, partner and head of economic research at Renaissance Macro Research, where he analyzes global trends and cross-market investment themes. He was previously a senior economist at Merrill Lynch, and an analyst at Barron’s. He has appeared on Bloomberg TV and CNBC as well as in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, Associated Press, and Bloomberg News for his insights on interest rates, inflation, the manufacturing sector, employment, and consumer spending.
We talk about his early career working with David Rosenberg at Merrill Lynch, where he learned how to be a sell-side research economist in the client service business. His call at the end of the financial crisis declaring the end of the recession was bold, widely disparaged — and precisely correct. He then worked with Ethan Harris at Merrill, rounding out his apprenticeship in terms of fixed income and the Fed versus the more equity-oriented Rosie.
We discuss what was then a very out-of-consensus call at the end of 2021, where he argued that the Fed would raise at least four times and 50 bps each. He was one of the few who had that insight, and even that was far too conservative. This reflected a bit of wisdom he had picked up working with Harris: “In this business, you must weigh probabilities, and then pick your battles wisely.”
A transcript of our conversation is available here Tuesday.
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Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with William Cohan, M&A investment banker at Lazard Frères, Merrill Lynch, and JP Morgan Chase. He is also an accomplished author, was a columnist for Vanity Fair’s Hive, and a founder of Puck. He is also a NYT bestselling author of multiple books on Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns, and Lazard Frères. His latest book on GE is titled: “Power Failure: The Rise and Fall of an American Icon.”