This equalizing was a rare outcome in modern times but by no means unique over the long run of history. Inequality has been written into the DNA of civilization ever since humans first settled down to farm the land. Throughout history, only massive, violent shocks that upended the established order proved powerful enough to flatten disparities in income and wealth. They appeared in four different guises: mass-mobilization warfare, violent and transformative revolutions, state collapse, and catastrophic epidemics. Hundreds of millions perished in their wake, and by the time these crises had passed, the gap between rich and poor had shrunk.
In the aftermath of the dot com crisis Greenspan cut interest rates to near-zero in the early 2000s, igniting the housing bubble, which neither he nor anyone else at the Fed was able to detect along the way. He even made it into the dictionary, as the “Greenspan put” became the term for government bailing out its Wall Street benefactors. From this the leveraged speculating community learned that no risk was too egregious and no profit too large, because government – that is, the Fed – had eliminated all the worst-case scenarios. Put another way, under Greenspan profit was privatized but loss was socialized.
Wal-Mart In Trouble (suziegruber)
In spite of the increase in revenue, Wal-Mart’s prospects appear bleak in the face of the growth of online giant Amazon. At a Berkshire Hathaway meeting last year, Buffett described Amazon as “a big, big force” that “has already disrupted plenty of people and it will disrupt more.” He also said many retailers, “including us in a few areas, have not figured the way to either participate in it or to counter it.”
Digitalization, Efficiency and the Rebound Effect (blackeagle)
Debates about the so-called rebound effect go back to William Stanley Jevons’ work in the 19th century, although they had been forgotten for too long.Rebound effects occur if a reduction of inputs per unit of output (efficiency) generates an absolute increase in output (growth). Since the 1980s, research on the phenomenon recurred in the niche of energy economics, but rarely made it into other disciplines. Until now it only sporadically pops up in public debates. With two books on the rebound effect (Santarius, 2015; Santarius et al., 2016), I tried to broaden the perspectives on this phenomenon by systematizing when and why rebound effects can occur. But what does the rebound effect mean in the light of digitalization? Why did the promising ICT-driven efficiency improvements so far not lead to a significantly reduced overall resource demand? Might they even lead to an increased demand by way of rebound effects?
Tomorrow’s cities – nightmare vision of the future? (blackeagle)
“Bees exist on Earth to pollinate flowers, and maybe humans are here to build the machines,” he says.
“Urban robots are just starting to appear, and in 200 years time, machines may run the urban form.
Inflation is skyrocketing — the International Monetary Fund estimates that the country’s inflation is expected to rise 1,660 percent this year and 2,880 percent next year. Shortages of food, medicine, and many basic items abound in what was once the richest country in South America per capita in the 20th century. Malaria is ravaging a country that was the first in the world to eliminate the disease in its populated areas.
This global divergence is covered up by the record highs of global stocks in the past week. On Wednesday morning in London the MSCI All-Country World index was setting another new high, after breaking the 2015 high a week ago. Look below the headline, and the high is all about the U.S., which makes up more than half the market value of the global benchmark. Japanese, European and emerging-market stocks all remain below their postcrisis highs, let alone their precrisis highs, in both dollars and local currency.
Iraq has contractual obligations to foreign oil companies, and must deal with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), which controls fields in the north, making any production cuts quite complex. In this way, Iraq faces more challenges than other OPEC members in trying to comply with the deal.
The plan to save the DPFP was proposed by Dan Flynn, chair of the pensions committee in the Texas House of Representatives, and calls for Dallas taxpayers to contribute 34.5% of police and firefighter salaries each year into the failing pension system, up from 27% in 2015, plus an incremental $11 million per year. In total, the adopted plan will cost Dallas taxpayers an extra $22 million per year.
Gold & Silver
Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group
Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."