Conversations with ATX Leaders Part II: Britt Harris

If someone had told you fifteen years ago that you would be taking off your shoes, your belt, and having your whole family be searched in order to be admitted to the airport, you most likely would not have believed them. Now those practices are assumed and accepted as safe and essential.  When society passes through a significant struggle, things will change. Britt remarks, “That does not mean that everything changes, but something will.” What will emerge as we pass through this pandemic?  What will be our new normal? Join us for part two of an ongoing conversation about faith and economics.


Early in our series we heard from Britt Harris, Chief Investment Officer of the University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Management Company.  We are continuing our conversation as we emerge from COVID-19.  What does Travis Scott have to do with the Great Depression? Wondering how COVID-19 will actually impact your retirement?  Your investments? How long will it take for the economy to recover from this pandemic? What happens when we go to war with a virus? These are just a few of the questions we explore with Britt


“People don’t realize we are treating this like a war.” In a war, you fight for your survival.  The philosophy has always been do whatever it takes and spend whatever it takes to sustain your country. “In World War II that’s what we proclaimed and we have done the same against this virus,” shares Britt. In comparison to WWII loses of 500,000, our country braced for a projected loss of 3 Million. Britt explores the impact of this framework for our country’s economics.


We are all making judgements, decisions for the future of our business, our society, etc.  As leaders, it is less about our opinions of those decisions, but more how we decide to respond to those decisions. Our government made decisions in the face of COVID-19.  Through the analogy of a “monetary dragon,” Britt illustrated how economics have matured and evolved over time.


“We entered the year thinking this was going to be a very normal year,” reflects Britt. “This is a roller coaster ride.” As the stock market reflects what it thinks is going to happen, we can observe not only economic patterns, but social trends, traffic patterns, and beyond to observe the pace at which things will return to normal.


As he considers people’s concerns for a second wave of the virus and the result of government subsidizing, two of the main sources that will impact economic pain, Britt considers how trends across economics, society and faith will shape the next eighteen months for most families, businesses and churches.  A crash course in economics and culture, you don’t want to miss this insightful conversation.