Houston was born from the wreckage of a cataclysmic storm in 1900, and in the decades since has weathered not only water and wind but the gyrating fortunes of the oil industry. The sprawling megalopolis, which takes a perverse pride in its booms and busts, will endure Harvey as well, said Patrick Jankowski, senior vice president of research for the Greater Houston Partnership.
The reason is pretty simple. Insurers needed to make up shortfalls after the crisis. But in a decade of low interest rates they had to venture beyond their traditional holdings of vanilla bonds. They now own vast amounts of stocks, high-yield debt and a variety of alternative assets — a bucket that can include hard-to-sell stakes in private equity investments, hedge funds and real estate.
You Might Be A Partisan Hack If… (Afridev)
There’s nothing sexier than an independent free thinker who seeks understanding and stands in their own truth, come what may. There is nothing less sexy than someone who gets their worldview pre-packaged from the pundits and politicians of the Democratic or Republican party and thinks what they’re told to think.
Is Your Portfolio About to Burn to the Ground? (Tiffany D.)
When the business cycle is petering out, sending us into the contraction phase, the degree of correlation within and between price movements of various asset classes — such as stocks, bonds and commodities — begins to decline.
Asset prices that usually move together start to move independently. Oil futures drop but retail sector stocks rise, for example. Transport stocks suffer but some automakers do well.
The government of President Xi Jinping approved the merger of Shenhua Group Corp., the country’s top coal miner, with China Guodian Corp., among its largest power generators, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission said Monday. With assets of 1.8 trillion yuan ($271 billion), the new entity will be the world’s second-biggest company by revenue and largest by installed capacity, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Opinion: No, hurricanes are not good for the economy (cmartenson)
Over the years, I’ve observed a tendency among economists and traders to view such events through a demand-side prism. They see lost income translating into reduced spending on goods and services, which might even warrant some largesse from the central bank.
Of course, that is precisely the wrong medicine. Supply shocks reduce output and raise prices. The Federal Reserve’s interest-rate medicine affects demand. Lower interest rates will increase the demand for gasoline, among other goods and services, but they have no effect on supply. An easing of monetary policy under such circumstances would increase demand for already curtailed supply, raising prices even more.
Among the plants being shut down was Exxon’s 560,500-bpd facility in Baytown – the second-largest oil refinery in the U.S. after Port Arthur. Shell also started shutting down its Deer Park facility, which has a capacity of 340,000 bpd, and Phillips 66 started the shutdown of a 247,000-bpd refinery in Sweeney. Texas houses some 4.944 million bpd in refining capacity.
SB 623 has been moving through the Legislature for months, but was amended Monday to include the tax on water for both homes and businesses. It also imposes taxes on farms and dairies, roughly $30 million annually, to address some of the contamination caused by fertilizers and other chemicals. Because it includes new taxes, the proposal will need a two-thirds vote in each house to pass, which supporters concede will be a battle.
Gold & Silver
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