While Omicron continues to grab headlines, and economists, investors, and Congress grow increasingly wary of the immense U.S. fiscal expansion as evidenced by rates heading higher, here’s a grabber: Inefficiency is not rewarded. This applies to mortgage originations, or… baths? Who wants to monkey around with taking the time and effort to fill it up at the right depth and temperature when, for $2,700 for the technology, you could verbally tell Kohler’s computer to do it while you’re pulling into your driveway? I’ll take the manual route. (Or if you have $8,000 burning a hole in your pocket, how about the “Stillness Bath” inspired by Japanese forest bathing? I’ll take the American forest bathing experience, thank you very much.) In the technology vein, in Moscow, despite privacy concerns, you can use your face as a ticket to ride the metro. What about technology creating edible weed tickets? Technology is certainly allowing more people to work from home. BlackRock, Inc., and American Express Co are extending their hybrid work plans as the Omicron COVID-19 variant spreads across the United States. Goldman Sachs is encouraging its eligible U.S. staff to work from home until January 18. Macy’s is asking its employees for their vaccine status. (Interject WWII movie clip where German soldier states, “Papers, please.”) Today’s audio version of the commentary is available here and features a short discussion between Robbie Chrisman and myself about current events. This week’s is sponsored by SimpleNexus, an nCino company and homeownership platform that unites the people, systems, and stages of the mortgage process into one seamless, end-to-end solution that spans engagement, origination, closing and business intelligence.