Daily Digest 3/14 - Iceland Lifts Capital Controls, In Praise Of Cash
The move closes a fraught chapter in the country’s economic history, but Iceland faces new challenges as growth rebounds — some say too quickly for its own good.
In Praise Of Cash (jdargis)
The cashless society – which more accurately should be called the bank-payments society – is often presented as an inevitability, an outcome of ‘natural progress’. This claim is either naïve or disingenuous. Any future cashless bank-payments society will be the outcome of a deliberate war on cash waged by an alliance of three elite groups with deep interests in seeing it emerge.
The social media “echo chamber” is real (jdargis)
Google and Facebook are trying automated solutions to prevent the spread of fake news via social media. However, coming up with good solutions will be challenging, because the larger underlying problem is that social media allows users to self-segregate. Existing social-media algorithms feed users news sources that they have previously shown interest in. Over time, this narrows the news sources of Facebook users and tends to expose them to information that reinforces their own perspectives. So they become increasingly polarized.
Lower insurance prices were a silver lining for Republicans in the C.B.O. report, but the plan would effectively cover fewer older Americans.
If Musselman is right—if he can actually make this happen—it would be nothing short of a miracle. Everyone in the state knows firsthand that the fracking revolution in the Lower 48 has crushed Alaskan oil, that ‘70s-era answer to OPEC. Four decades after the Trans Alaska Pipeline System went live, transforming the North Slope into a modern-day Klondike, many Alaskans fear the best days have passed. Jobs have vanished. The budget in Juneau is a disaster.
Goodenough himself says that when he first coinvented the lithium-ion battery in the 1980s, almost no one in the battery or consumer electronics industries took the innovation seriously. It was only Japanese labs and companies like Sony that first began to explore the world we all today inhabit—with lithium-ions powering nearly every portable device in the marketplace, as well as electric vehicles and even next-generation airliners.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has announced a cut in its nominated loadings for both March and April, as maintenance is scheduled at UAE's oil fields where Murban and Das are produced. As our ClipperData illustrate below, Murban and Das loadings have been strong in the last three months, holding close to 2mn bpd. These two light sour grades account for two-thirds of UAE's exports, and production cuts in the coming months will likely be reflected through into lower loadings.
Fortress Of Plenitude (jdargis)
Already, there’s been one withdrawal. As civil war broke out in Syria, the Aleppo-based International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) submitted 116,000 varieties of wheat, barley, chickpeas, lentils, and other crops for safekeeping beneath the ice. In September 2015, with ICARDA’s former headquarters in the hands of opposition forces, the organization accessed a portion of its samples, so that researchers in Morocco and Lebanon could reestablish them for future generations.
Gold & Silver
Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group
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