Not every aspect of black American life is as bad as it was half a century ago, but the improvements shouldn’t be overstated. There is more widespread participation in politics and access to education has increased. But disparities in employment, wealth, and incomes have stayed the same or deteriorated. Today, “America is a country more divided, with less economic opportunity,” wrote Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz in his section of the new report (pdf).
Spring Home Sales Could Be the Weakest in Years (sign-in required, Adam)
The economy is booming, take-home pay is rising and millennials are getting married and having children. Despite all those homebuying catalysts, real-estate agents said this could be one of the weakest spring selling seasons in recent years.
How to Buy a Gun in 15 Countries (Afridev)
Many Americans can buy a gun in less than an hour. In some countries, the process takes months. Here are the basic steps for how most people buy a gun in 15 of them. Many countries have exceptions for specialized professions, and local laws vary.
For now, US investors can still buy Russian government bonds, although it’s always possible that new sanctions could bar them from doing so. Even if that were to happen, Moody’s expects that Russia would be able to finance its spending because of new fiscal rules that have resulted in “very low borrowing requirements.” The government plans to reduce deficits to a level that can be financed domestically, according to Moody’s, and the finance ministry has been on a foreign-exchange buying spree since 2017.
The 2018 Retirement Savings survey found that 42 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved. If they don’t boost their savings, they’ll likely retire broke because that’s not enough to cover a year’s worth of expenses. On average, adults 65 and older spend almost $46,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
China’s Coming Financial Meltdown (thc0655)
As Anbang’s business became more highly leveraged and its asset-liability maturity mismatch grew, policyholders became more nervous and started demanding their money back instead of extending the maturities on their policies. An insurance version of a run-on-the-bank was beginning. The Chinese authorities moved in to bailout the policyholders and prevent an out-of-control financial panic.
Consider for a minute the Internet during its onset, or especially distributed ledger technologies (DLT — a term encompassing all distributed ledger tech: DAG, HashGraph, etc.) today. The Internet threatened and has now revolutionized nearly every industry in existence. Today, DLT has the potential to do the same, disrupting industries from peer-to-peer payments, finance and the Internet-of-Things, to healthcare, contracts, and supply chains. And there is real potential. But the application is not yet there. This thus creates the environment for a massive bubble. Everyone is free to speculate wildly because there is no way to disprove it. Tell me a toaster will revolutionize the automotive industry and I’ll call bullshit. Toaster-like-technologies haven’t done it, so the speculation holds no water. But tell me DLT will disrupt the aviation industry and make a convincing argument…I can’t disprove that.
“Many platforms refer to themselves as ‘exchanges,’ which can give the misimpression to investors that they are regulated or meet the regulatory standards of a national securities exchange,” said the SEC in a statement on its website. “There is no reason to believe that such information [on digital currency platforms] has the same integrity as that provided by national securities exchanges.”
The finding challenges decades of research suggesting that new neurons continue to appear in the hippocampus, an area of the brain involved in memory and emotion. It also calls into question claims that both exercise and some anti-depressant drugs could boost the production of new neurons in the hippocampus.
Cognitive biases have been studied for decades by academics in the fields of cognitive science, social psychology, and behavioral economics, but they are especially relevant in today’s information-packed world. They influence the way we think and act, and such irrational mental shortcuts can lead to all kinds of problems in entrepreneurship, investing, or management.
It’s not totally clear why this outbreak is so bad. It could be that rats are finding their ways into more homes in search of food, or that they’re intentionally brought there as a meal (rats are a high-protein source of food). Additionally, the tools for finding the virus have already improved. “When you don’t have the ability to detect the disease, you’re not going to find it,” Lina Moses, an epidemiologist at Tulane University told the Atlantic. Better labs can mean more cases, and perhaps an improved healthcare system, Moses said, but this factor probably doesn’t account for the surge of cases within the country this year.
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