America’s major problem is income inequality, while climate change tops the planet’s list of problems, in Jeremy Grantham's opinion. If some skeptics see him as an alarmist on climate change, that’s just fine with him. In all likelihood, he is a lot more knowledgeable more than the skeptics.

Those who know him well are often amazed at the depth and breadth of his knowledge. Whenever a new book is about to come out and make a splash in finance or economics, colleagues call Grantham, who has extensive contacts in publishing, to ask if he’s heard of it. Invariably, he’s already read it.

Anyone who has seen Grantham speak can’t help but notice the supreme self-confidence with which he makes arguments, but he occasionally flashes mischievous glimpses of self-deprecation. Speaking at a CFA Institute event in 2012 when many were capitulating to the post-crisis gold craze, Grantham told the audience he was certain the precious metal’s price would tumble. What was his proof? “I just bought it,” he told attendees.

When it comes to voicing his opinions on markets, politics or the environment, Grantham is no shrinking violet. The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, with more than $500 million in assets, is his major outside interest.

Grantham is not a believer in American exceptionalism. Sadly, however, America is “looking pretty exceptional” when it comes to measures of social cohesion like suicides, falling middle-age life expectancy, people incarcerated and health care. It is the most unequal country in the developed world, just ahead of Brazil. “It would help if people looked at the facts,” he declares.

Recent elections in America and his native England have not been encouraging. “The long, long mistreatment of the American middle class by Democrats and Republicans has been disgraceful,” he says. “That’s one thing Donald Trump got right.”

Grantham finds claims that America’s slow economic growth since the Great Recession can be traced to former President Obama’s excessive regulations to be “ludicrous.” Republicans, he says, blame “all bad things on regulations, including toothaches.”

That's an interesting perspective for a money manager who, according to numerous reports, managed a subtantial portion of Dick Cheney's money while he served as vice president. Grantham gives the Trump administration’s goal of reaching a 3% sustainable growth rate a “one in 10 chance” of success.

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