Daily Digest 8/24 - The End Of U.S. Economic Growth, The Cheapest Generation, Doctor Burnout
The analysis links periods of slow and rapid growth to the timing of the three industrial revolutions (IR’s), that is, IR #1 (steam, railroads) from 1750 to 1830; IR #2 (electricity, internal combustion engine, running water, indoor toilets, communications, entertainment, chemicals, petroleum) from 1870 to 1900; and IR #3 (computers, the web, mobile phones) from 1960 to present.
Let’s start off with some basic definitions (all taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics). Unemployed are persons who “do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior 4 weeks, and are currently available for work”. Another important metric to note is the labor force, which is a key figure for calculating unemployment. The labor force consists of anyone over the age of 16 save “all persons confined to institutions such as nursing homes and prisons, and persons on active duty in the Armed Forces”. Individuals must have looked for work in the last year to be included in the labor force.
It’s almost as if currencies are designed to confuse you. In fact, sometimes they even lie to you. Take the pound sterling for example; each 5, 10, 20 and 50 pound note assures you, the esteemed owner, the gracious right to redeem it for… 5, 10, 20 and 50 pounds respectively. Either there’s an awkward “I-give-it-to-you-so-that-you-can-give-it-back-to-me” manoeuvre involved here or somebody’s lying. Well, this quirk and much more is cleared up when recounting the evolution of currency systems over the past two centuries; and as it turns out this history is far more exciting than is usually let on (think political thriller as opposed to economic textbook!).
Rickards on Iran-Israel, Australian Dollar, Yuan (oliveoilguy)
James Rickards, senior managing director of Tangent Capital Partners and author of "Currency Wars," discusses the impact of an Iran-Israel conflict on financial markets, the outlook for the Australian dollar, the Chinese yuan, and the Euro. Rickards speaks with Deirdre Bolton on Bloomberg Television's "Money Moves."
China Confronts Mounting Piles of Unsold Goods (westcoastjan)
The severity of China’s inventory overhang has been carefully masked by the blocking or adjusting of economic data by the Chinese government — all part of an effort to prop up confidence in the economy among business managers and investors.
Silver Tacks on the “30″ Handle (Taki T.)
I am expecting the following chart to change significantly in tomorrow’s COT report, even though it will only capture this Tuesday’s price action and not the big upmoves Wednesday and today.
Research over the last 10 years has shown that burnout – the particular constellation of emotional exhaustion, detachment and a low sense of accomplishment – is widespread among medical students and doctors-in-training. Nearly half of these aspiring doctors end up becoming burned out over the course of their schooling, quickly losing their sense of empathy for others and succumbing to unprofessional behavior like lying and cheating.
The Cheapest Generation (Ben Johnson)
Don’t blame Ford. The company is trying to solve a puzzle that’s bewildering every automaker in America: How do you sell cars to Millennials (a k a Generation Y)? The fact is, today’s young people simply don’t drive like their predecessors did. In 2010, adults between the ages of 21 and 34 bought just 27 percent of all new vehicles sold in America, down from the peak of 38 percent in 1985. Miles driven are down, too. Even the proportion of teenagers with a license fell, by 28 percent, between 1998 and 2008.
The report mixes NGLs, which feed petrochemicals and domestic or industrial fuel applications, with conventional oil, which is the main source for transportation fuels. When fractionated, NGLs yield propane, butane and light naphtha. These products cannot replace oil distillates such as gasoline, diesel or jet fuel.
The debate over whether global warming is natural or manmade is an artificial one: scientists know that both factors can affect the planet’s temperature. The real question is which factor is doing the heavy lifting — and a new report in Nature released Wednesday says that on the Antarctic Peninsula, at least, human-generated greenhouse gases have almost certainly been by far the most important driver of warming over the past half-century.
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