Mr. Zhou’s sudden downfall — he is the first sitting provincial party chief to be purged by Mr. Xi — underscores the uncertainty that permeates the Communist elite as they contend with two unnerving developments beyond their control: an economic slowdown that appears to be worse than officials had anticipated and that could mark the end of China’s era of fast growth, and a campaign against official corruption that has continued longer and reached higher than most had expected.
Analysis Of Recent IMF Report On SDR Adjustments (FREEPOM) (westcoastjan)
“The possibility of a new currency included in the basket has also generated a higher-than-usual level of uncertainty for SDR users. Moreover, SDR users have underlined that should a new currency be added to the SDR basket, more lead time than usual would be required to adjust to the new composition. Many have indicated that a lead time of six to nine months would be desirable in such a case.”
As you can see, household debt was relatively stable from the mid-’50s until the turn of the century, when it ballooned for a few years until the Great Recession hit and then was subject to significant deleveraging in the years since. Still, as Neil notes, average household debt is nearly twice as high today as it was in 1989, with most of the increase coming in the form of mortgage debt, although student loans are taking a bite, too – they’re up sixfold, from $888 per household in 1989 to a painful $5791 in 2013.
Americans Are Ready to Say Goodbye to Uncle Sam (Tiffany B.)
According to the survey, enjoying “a better quality of life” and “lower cost of living” abroad were the most popular reasons to consider relocating to another country. According to the survey results, life in America is undermined by expensive health care (chosen by 55% of respondents), lower taxes (51%) and poor education (48%). Indeed, in a recent ranking of global quality of life, there is not a single American city in the top 25.
Wind Energy Is Having a Railroad Moment (jdargis)
In 2009, Skelly helped found Clean Line, which has raised more than $100 million in capital from investors including National Grid. The idea: build a series of long-haul transmission lines—400-, 500-, 700-miles long—and rent capacity to wind developers so they can send their power to market. (Rule of thumb: It costs about .3 cents to send a kilowatt-hour of power 100 miles.)
On the economic data front, German producer prices clawed their way out of deflationary conditions (MoM), while tales of retail sales in the UK came in shy of expectations, bucking the trend of recent positive data out of Blighty. Here in the US, weekly jobless claims came in a wee bit worse than expected at 277, 000, ticking higher for the fourth consecutive week. These collective overnight releases have done little to lift the mood in broader markets, as a blanket of bearishness has been laid across equity markets overnight, while government bonds across the board are being bought up like hot cakes.
“Globally there’s probably been approaching a quarter-million layoffs from the oil industry. And hundreds and billions in cancelled projects,” said Walter Zimmermann Jr, vice president and chief technical analyst at United-ICAP. “Houston is getting hit especially hard. You go to Houston and nobody talks about the economic benefit of lower oil prices. And certainly no one is talking about that in the Bakken Field [North Dakota].”
30 whale deaths prompt NOAA task force (Time2Help)
“NOAA Fisheries scientists and partners are very concerned about the large number of whales stranding in the western Gulf of Alaska in recent months,” said Dr. Teri Rowles, NOAA Fisheries’ marine mammal health and stranding response coordinator. “While we do not yet know the cause of these strandings, our investigations will give us important information on the health of whales and the ecosystems where they live. Members of the public can greatly assist the investigation by immediately reporting any sightings of dead whales or distressed live animals they discover.”
Gold & Silver
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