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    Daily Digest 4/3 – The End Of OPEC Is Near, Greening Arctic Ice Explained

    by DailyDigest

    Monday, April 3, 2017, 2:45 PM

Economy

First Post-Brexit Tremors: Theresa May “Would Go To War” To Protect Gibraltar (jdargis)

As The Telegraph adds, Howard said the British Government will stand by Gibraltar during Brexit talks amid claims of an EU “land grab” for the territory by Spain. It came as Spain confirmed that it would not initially block an independent Scotland’s attempts to join the European Union (EU). Alfonso Dastis, Madrid’s foreign minister, reportedly said Spain would not veto an independent Scotland’s EU hopes – while stressing he does not want to see the country leave the United Kingdom.

Student Debt Giant Navient to Borrowers: You’re on Your Own (jdargis)

Borrowers can’t reasonably rely on America’s largest student loan servicer to counsel them about their many options, Navient said on March 24 in a motion to dismiss the case, because its primary role is, after all, to collect their payments.

“There is no expectation that the servicer will act in the interest of the consumer,” Navient said in response to the litigation filed Jan. 18 by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Create Your Escape Plan Now (Tiffany D.)

As I mentioned last week, Americans aren’t exactly skipping with merriment down gold-paved streets. In fact, the country has been rapidly declining in international happiness rankings for about a decade. According to the World Happiness Report: “While the U.S. ranked third among the 23 OECD countries surveyed in 2007, it had fallen to 19th of the 34 OECD countries surveyed in 2016.”

Trump Aides’ Disclosures Reveal Surge in Lucrative Political Work (jdargis)

Those disclosures, contained in 92 personal financial statements of Trump administration staff members released starting Friday night, offer a hint of how an explosion in spending has expanded the lucrative array of private political work in Washington, enriching even the anti-establishment activists and operatives who sided with Mr. Trump.

The customer is always wrong: Tesla lets out self-driving car data – when it suits (jdargis)

Data that shows up in the press often comes from the onboard computers of the cars themselves and can tell the public – and law enforcement officials – whether a customer’s hands were on the wheel, when a door was opened, which of its self-driving processes were active at the moment and whether or not they had malfunctioned.

How Many Robots Does It Take to Replace a Human Job? (jdargis)

Those numbers prove that changes are already happening, and those changes can be instructive for the future. The study’s authors find that the addition of one robot per 1,000 workers reduces the employment-to-population ratio (the number of people actually employed in an area divided by the number of people of working age) by 0.18 to 0.34 percentage points, and reduces wages by between 0.25 and 0.5 percent. On the low end, this amounts to one new robot replacing around three workers. The impact is unsurprisingly most pronounced in manufacturing (particularly in the production side of the auto industry), electronics, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals, among others. Perhaps most importantly, there were negative effects for virtually all workers except managers.

The End Of OPEC Is Near (Michael K.)

A cartel is a group of like-minded producers, who act in concert—or collusion—to achieve a shared goal of increasing their profits by means of restricting supply, fixing prices, or destroying their competition by illegal means. The average life of the 20th Century cartels has been 3.7 to 7.5 years, according to various studies by Margaret Levenstein and Valerie Suslow. In the past two centuries, cartels have been able to influence prices by an average of 25 percent.

Greening Of Arctic Ice Explained: Thinning Sea Ice Causing Massive Growth Of Dangerous Phytoplankton (jdargis)

“Our big question was, how much sunlight gets transmitted through the sea ice, both as a function of thickness, which has been decreasing, and the melt pond percentage, which has been increasing,” noted Chris Horvat, the first author of the study. Horvat is attached to the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 3/31/17

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