January 18, 2018

Perspective

Visual Capitalist – Over the Next Year, Germany Will Hit a Scary Demographic Milestone – Jeff Desjardins 1/16

WSJ – Daily Shot: Amerisleep – The State of Sleep 1/17

Worthy Insights / Opinion Pieces / Advice

Mauldin Economics – The Fed Has Put Itself Out of Business, Where to Now? – John Mauldin / Lacy Hunt 1/16

Pragmatic Capitalism – Will Centralized Entities Ruin the Decentralized Party? – Cullen Roche 1/15

  • “One of the key aspects of the crypto boom that keeps bothering me is the inherent conflict between centralized entities and decentralized entities.”

Markets / Economy

WSJ – Daily Shot: Reuters – Dow Double 1/16

  • “It took just over five years for the Dow to double.”

Energy

Reuters – U.S. oil industry set to break record, upend global trade – Liz Hampton 1/15

  • “Surging shale production is poised to push U.S. oil output to more than 10 million barrels per day – toppling a record set in 1970 and crossing a threshold few could have imagined even a decade ago.”
  • “And this new record, expected within days, likely won’t last long. The U.S. government forecasts that the nation’s production will climb to 11 million barrels a day by late 2019, a level that would rival Russia, the world’s top producer.”
  • “The economic and political impacts of soaring U.S. output are breathtaking, cutting the nation’s oil imports by a fifth over a decade, providing high-paying jobs in rural communities and lowering consumer prices for domestic gasoline by 37% from a 2008 peak.”
  • “U.S. energy exports now compete with Middle East oil for buyers in Asia. Daily trading volumes of U.S. oil futures contracts have more doubled in the past decade, averaging more than 1.2 billion barrels per day in 2017, according to exchange operator CME Group.”
  • “The United States now exports up to 1.7 million barrels per day of crude, and this year will have the capacity to export 3.8 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. Terminals conceived for importing liquefied natural gas have now been overhauled to allow exports.”

Cryptocurrency

FT – Investors face barriers trying to turn bitcoin profits into pounds – Kate Beioley 1/16

MarketWatch – 5 key reasons bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies have lost a stunning $400 billion in 10 days – Mark DeCambre 1/17

  1. South Korea
  2. Russia
  3. China
  4. Bitconnect $BCC
  5. Bitcoin futures

WSJ – Bitcoin Extends Rout, Dipping Below $10,000 – Paul Vigna and Gregor Stuart Hunter 1/17

  • “Bitcoin fell as low as $9,966, down around 6% on the day and nearly half from its Dec. 17 record of $19,783.21, according to data from CoinDesk. A day earlier, the cryptocurrency plunged as much as 25%. Later in the U.S. morning, the price bounced back above the $10,000 mark.”
  • “Wednesday’s drop spread quickly to other major digital currencies. Ether was down as much as 33%. XRP was down 47%. Litecoin was down 35%. Newer tokens like Cardano, EOS and Monero were down 35% or more.”
  • “’We have very fast-moving weather systems in the crypto world,’ said Charles Hayter, the chief executive of research firm CryptoCompare. ‘One moment it’s absolute exuberance, and then it’s pure fear and panic, running for the exits. It’s quite interesting’.”
  • “’This is what you’d expect in a nascent market with a lot of misinformation,’ said Mr. Hayter.”
  • “For all the volatility, bitcoin prices remain in a general uptrend, measured by technical analysis. ‘Suggestions that this is the start of the demise of cryptos is very premature,’ said Fawad Razaqzada, a market analyst at Forex.com.”
  • “The first of Cboe’s (Chicago Board Options Exchange) futures contracts expired on Wednesday, prompting a flurry of trading as market makers rushed to settle transactions and roll over some contracts into next month. Futures traders make a profit if the value of prices and futures diverge when they expire.”
  • “But the assumption that opening a path for bitcoin to institutional buyers would accelerate that momentum hasn’t happened. In fact, the ability to short bitcoin appears so far to be a winning bet. Bitcoin touched its record high the day before futures began trading on Dec. 11 and has been falling since then.”

WSJ – Daily Shot: Ripple 1/16

WSJ – Daily Shot: Capital Economics – Bitcoin Mining Locations 1/17

Health / Medicine

NYT – After a Debacle, How California Became a Role Model on Measles – Emily Oster and Geoffrey Kocks 1/16

Agriculture

WSJ – Daily Shot: Bloomberg Agriculture Subindex 1/16

  • “Bloomberg’s agriculture index continues to hit cycle lows. As a result, US net farm income is down by over 50% since 2013 (according to the USDA).”

Education

MyinTuition – Quick College Cost Estimator – Content below by David Leonhardt at the NYT 1/17

  • “Many people believe that college costs more than it actually does.”
  • “Average net tuition at community colleges is less than zero — seriously — once financial aid is taken into account. Average in-state tuition at public colleges will be just $4,140 this year. And many elite private colleges cover much of their sky-high list-price tuition through scholarships.”
  • “Yet many middle-class and low-income families believe tuition will cost them tens of thousands of dollars a year. This misperception has a serious downside. It keeps some people from attending college, even though the financial (and nonfinancial) benefits of a degree are enormous.”
  • “Fortunately, a growing number of colleges are starting to take tuition misperceptions seriously. Sixteen top colleges are announcing this morning that they’re joining an effort called MyIntuition — an online calculator that lets people answer just a few questions, anonymously, and receive an estimate of how much attending each college would cost.”
  • “The 16 include Boston College, Brown, Davidson, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, St. Olaf and Yale. They’ve joined 15 others that already participate. The calculator was created by Phillip Levine, an economist at Wellesley College.”

China

FT – China infrastructure projects fall foul of debt concerns – Tom Mitchell 1/16

  • “Costly projects abandoned after Beijing focuses on meeting ‘needs of the people'”

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