Beijing Car Sales Tick to 1,200/Day

It is staggering the pace at which new autos are hitting the roads of Beijing, with the rate now touching 1,200 a day. After passing the U.S. in terms of new car sales earlier this year, the citizens of China seem eager to make up for lost time in getting to developed world levels of […]

America’s Fiscal Train Wreck and Cassandra’s Curse

Crossing administrations and decades, America’s bipartisan fiscal cluster-f**k has reached a kind of apogee (or nadir, depending on your point of view). Solving it requires a bipartisan solution, which means one almost certainly will not come. This, of course, makes the U.S.’s fiscal problem the world’s problem — which the world will solve via the […]

Moody’s on California: Nice Weather, Shame About the Insolvency

Meant to post this sooner, but here you are, your moment of California bond-rating zen: Moody’s Investors Service has placed the State of California’s A2 general obligation rating, as well as the ratings for lease debt and other state-backed debt listed below, on Watchlist for possible downgrade. The Watchlist action reflects the following: an expected […]

Recessions, Startups and the Fortune 500

Great new paper out from my Kauffman colleague Dane Stangler looking at the relationship between economic cycles, startups and Fortune 500 company founding. It is highly worth reading. Here is the release: The study, “The Economic Future Just Happened,” found that more than half of the companies on the 2009 Fortune 500 list were launched […]

Be It Resolved: There is No Credit Market

Interesting musing from John Carney follows from a post of his refereeing the contretemps between Niall Ferguson and Paul Krugman: We’ve broken the credit markets. Where once we could learn a lot about investor sentiment and expectations from the credit markets—including the markets for treasuries—the signaling function now is by and large useless. That’s because […]

Honey, I’m Done with the Whole Treasuries Thing

It’s admittedly an excruciatingly boring subject, one made worse by the ghoulish personalities of most people who talk about such things, but there is no denying that hugely important developments are underway in Treasury yield curves. Check the following two figures to see the rapid steepening under way — the tail in the first graph […]

New Oil Shock is “Inevitable”

A new McKinsey report is out arguing that an oil shock is inevitable, and it could come sooner than expected. When? As early as 2010, under the firm’s “moderate” economic downturn scenario, and as late as 2013 if the downturn is more harsh. It’s not all unalloyed oil awfulness, however, with McKinsey pointing out that […]

Lester Brown on the Coming Food Crisis (Again)

Not exactly upbeat reading, but Lester Brown’s polemic in the current Scientific American on the coming global food crisis is worth a look. He argues that “food shortages could bring down civilization”. On the other hand,as Ron Bailey points out, Brown has said this sort of thing many times in the past, and been wrong. […]

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