Incurable American Excess (jdargis)
To return from Europe to the United States, as I did recently, is to be struck by the crumbling infrastructure, the paucity of public spaces, the conspicuous waste (of food and energy above all), the dirtiness of cities and the acuteness of their poverty. It is also to be overwhelmed by the volume and vital clamor of American life, the challenging interaction, the bracing intermingling of Americans of all stripes, the strident individualism. Europe is more organized, America more alive. Europe purrs; even its hardship seems somehow muted. America revs. The differences can feel violent.
Keynesian Fallacy and Collapse (Wilson S.)
It is unclear why the error has remained undetected for so long. Perhaps it is the awesome reputation of Keynes. But in my school days, many of the students who were relatively weak in mathematics went to the C classes and studied business, commerce and economics. If this is a general reflection, it may explain the low level of technical skills among professional and academic economists. The mathematics on display in economic journals is generally not pretty.
China’s stocks posted their biggest gain in a month amid speculation the government will accelerate mergers of state-owned enterprises to bolster economic growth. Investors also speculated China will act to prop up growth following a wider-than-expected drop in exports.
The statement from the IMF that they have decided to “extend the current SDR basket by nine months until September 30, 2016” has created quite a stir. The initial reaction by many was to assume this meant that the IMF was going to delay making a decision on whether or not to include the yaun/renminbi in the basket until Sept 2016.
A more parsed reading of the statement however led others to point out that the IMF did not say they have moved back the decision date for a new basket. Instead the statement just said that the current basket would be kept in tact until Sept 2016 and noted that “the proposed extension… would not in any way prejudge the timing of conclusion or outcome of the review.”
There are many other forms of nontechnological medicine that have the weight of scrutiny behind them. In a meta-analysis published just a few years ago, researchers looked at all the accumulated randomized controlled trials examining how acupuncture fared in treating people with chronic pain. They found that not only did acupuncture work better than no-acupuncture control groups, but there were also significant differences between acupuncture and sham acupuncture. This suggests that not all of the benefits are placebo effects.
Oil is losing value just as investments in the petroleum industry are heading for the biggest drop since 2000. To cope with the shift, companies such as Statoil ASA started restraining spending more than six months before Brent crude started to tumble.
With just one model on sale to support all its R&D, it’s understandable why a share sale might be on the horizon. When you look at Tesla’s finances the same way that GM and Ford report theirs (generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP), the company lost nearly $15,000 per car this last quarter. Although Tesla says this number is more than covered by income from EVs it leases direct to customers, designing and developing cars is neither cheap nor simple, and the company will need cash to grow into a multiple-model lineup.
The Permian Basin in West Texas remains one of the few bright spots compared to other shale basins in North America. Drilling there is still profitable, with low costs and existing infrastructure. A series of pipelines have come online in West Texas over the past year, eliminating the discount that Permian oil traded at compared to the WTI benchmark. The Wall Street Journal notes that RSP Permian (NYSE: RSPP), a Permian driller, successfully sold new equity, a sign that investors are still keen on drillers in the basin. RSP sought to raise funds to complete acquisitions and the company raised $157.5 million by selling new stock this week. There is a lot of speculation about when and to what extent lenders and equity investors will pull out of the shale sector, but RSP’s successful offering demonstrates that there is still an appetite for shale companies among investors.
Turning cow poo into power is profitable for US farm (Arthur Robey)
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that more than three million tons of greenhouse gas emissions were eliminated last year by Homestead and the 246 other US livestock farms which have installed biogas recovery systems.
That’s equivalent to taking more than 630,000 cars off the road.
Gold & Silver
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