It's Over: From 70% Odds to 5.5% in 135 Days
Hillary's odds on Intrade.com, from 70% in February 2008 to 5.5% today (click graph to enlarge).
Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
Hillary's odds on Intrade.com, from 70% in February 2008 to 5.5% today (click graph to enlarge).
Check it out here at the Global Rich List. Enter your annual salary and find out how you rank (percentage ranking) among the 6 billion people on the planet, based on world salary data from the World Bank Development Research Group. Here are a few examples:
To address rising oil and gas prices, there's not much we can do about rising global demand, but we can do a lot to increase supply. Cato Institute's Jerry Taylor outlines 4 ways to increase domestic supplies of oil and gas in today's NY Post:
The global oil flow map tells an interesting story: The U.S. sucks in oil from oil-producing countries around the world on five continents, despite the fact that it has much of its own domestic energy resources that are currently off-limits. Then when demand for oil increases in emerging markets like Russia, China, India and Brazil, and these countries compete with the U.S. for a limited supply of global oil, the U.S.: a) complains about high oil prices, but b) refuses to open up its own domestic oil supplies.
A new oil refinery has not been built in the United States since 1976. During that time, our gasoline use has increased over 25%. The nation's 149 existing refineries have been running at maximum capacity trying to meet record demand and, as a result, not only do we import oil, we actually have to import 10% of our daily gasoline from refineries overseas.
Via WonderMark, click to enlarge.
Well, OK, let me rephrase that. Many of the Founders were the 18th-century equivalent of a certain category of modern-day bloggers — writers on political topics, typically using a pen name, who are also connected to formal journalism and simultaneously active in partisan politics.
Zimbabwe's Official inflation rate: 165,000 percent
Blogossary is an online dictionary for bloggers, wannabe bloggers, or those who just want to know what a blog is.
The good news is that Detroit home sales through April are up by a whopping +48% (YTD) compared to last year (3,360 homes sold in 2008 YTD vs. 2,267 last year), but the bad news is that the average price for a home sold in Detroit has fallen by almost 56% to only $20,514 so far this this year, compared to an average price last of $46,183 for the January-April period! Compared to the peak of $97,850 for the average Detroit home price in 2003, prices have fallen by 79% (see chart above, values are annual except for 2008, which is YTD, data available here).
BUSINESSWEEK -- Billions of dollars are spent developing cancer drugs, but precious few get approved. Is the FDA part of the problem?
Gas prices in Michigan have fallen for 8 consecutive days, according to MichgianGasPrices.com (blue line above), reflecting falling crude oil prices over roughly the same period (red line above).
As Food Prices Spiral, Farmers, Others Profit
1. People who argue that speculation is destabilizing seldom realize that this is largely equivalent to saying that speculators lose money, since speculation can be destabilizing in general only if speculators on the average sell when the currency (commodity) is low in price and buy when it is high.
To help offset high gas prices, the 4-day work week is coming back (just like it became popular in the 1970s and early 1980s when gas prices rose); just another example of how consumers will find many ways to deal with $4 gas: buying smaller cars (see post below), driving less, and working four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days to achieve 20% savings, etc.
The 1995 Geo Metro pictured above (92,800 miles) has a Kelly Blue Book Retail Value of $1,790 and a Private Party Value of just $1,335, but it just sold on Ebay for $5,200 (with 34 bids).
For a century, an ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous knowledge class -- social planners, scientists, intellectuals, experts and their left-wing political allies -- arrogated to themselves the right to rule either in the name of the oppressed working class (communism) or, in its more benign form, by virtue of their superior expertise in achieving the highest social progress by means of state planning (socialism).
The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity is no longer socialism. It is, instead, the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism.
The Zimbabwe 10 million dollar note pictured above, is currently worth about only $4 (USD) on the black market. See more examples here of the "World's Most Worthless Money."
Nashville, TN -- Kroger Co. says it has made a "significant" investment in The Little Clinic LLC to support a rollout of the in-store health centers across its locations nationwide.
No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.
Despite all the squabbling between New York and London for bragging rights, neither is actually home to the largest number of billionaires in 2008 according to Forbes. That honor belongs to Moscow (see chart above).
The Russian capital is home to 74 billionaires, with an average net worth of $5.9 billion. That's quite a jump from just five billionaire residents in 2002. Moscow knocked off perennial No. 1 city New York, who is close behind with 71 billionaires and an average net worth of $3.3 billion. It is the first time since 2001, when Forbes started closely tracking the city data, that New York hasn't been at the top.
But Mumbai, India, earns bragging rights as the city with the richest billionaires. Mumbai's 20 billionaires, including two of the world's 10 richest (brothers Mukesh and Anil Ambani), are worth an average $7.6 billion, handily besting Moscow's $5.9 billion average.
MP: In terms of total wealth of the billionaires represented in the table above, the billionaires in the emerging markets of Russia, Turkey, Hong Kong and India have a combined net worth of almost $800 billion, far greater than the $600 billion of combined wealth of the advanced economies of the U.S., U.K. and Japan billionaires.
Buried inside today's BEA report on April Personal Income (tables available here, see Table 10) is the statistic that "Real Disposable Personal Income" grew at an annual rate of 1.82% in April 2008 compared to April 2007, the highest rate of growth since December 2007 (see chart above). This will probably not get a lot of attention from the media, but provides some additional evidence that the U.S. economy is not on the verge of recession, and might in fact actually be moderately healthy.
1. The S&P 500 Index consistently outperformed 98% of mutual fund managers over the past three years and 97% over the past 10 years, ending October 2004. In two 30-year studies, the S&P 500 outperformed 97% and 94% of managers. In addition, only about 12% of the top 100 of managers repeat their performance in the following years. Therefore, it is not possible to consistently pick next year’s hot mutual fund manager.
Take Care Health Clinics, which began operation in 2005, has 28 clinics inside Walgreens stores in the Chicago area. The newest opened yesterday in Rockford. Take Care isn’t alone in the rapidly growing retail health-care market, however. The Chicago area has 24 MinuteClinics, each inside a CVS pharmacy, and Wal-Mart has also forayed into the health-care market and offered other clinics space in six Indiana locations.
Walter Williams explains why the futures market, which takes into account both the present and the future availability of goods, is a vital part of a smoothly functioning economy.
The simple fact is that the prices of oil and gasoline are determined by supply and demand—which neither private oil companies nor speculators have any power to dictate in their favor. If they had such market mastery, then why didn't they use it in the 1990s, when gasoline was selling at a barely profitable $1 a gallon? To be sure, speculators can bid up prices—but they only do so when they believe that oil will become even more expensive in the future, and only make money when they are right.
The question Congress should really be asking, then, is: What nonmarket factors are distorting supply and demand? If they sought an honest answer, they would discover that much of the blame lies with Congress itself.Read more here.
The National Association of Realtors released its latest report today on the Housing Affordability Index (HAI) for April, showing a slight decline to 129.4 from the March level of 130 (see chart above) due to a slight increase in median-price home in April.
Despite its pious denunciations of the behavior of U.S. investor-owned oil companies (IOCs), Congress by its actions over the years has ensured the economic viability of the foreign national oil company cartel (which control nearly 80% of world petroleum reserves).
How is it that everyone complaining about high gas prices can see this simple relationship:
The discount retailer already has made major inroads into accessible, affordable care through lower drug prices, walk-in clinics and electronic record-keeping. Why stop there?
The chart above is based on data in the recently released 2008 Investment Company Fact Book from the Investment Company Institute, showing the rise in the popularity of indexed mutual funds from less than 1% of all equity mutual fund assets in 1987 to 11.5% in 2007.
Total Number of publicly traded U.S. companies on the NYSE (2,764), NASDAQ (3,200) and AMEX (883): 6,847
"Lowering prices is easy. Being able to afford to lower prices is hard."
Time to develop and market a new drug: 10-15 years
"The college idealists who fill the ranks of the environmental movement seem willing to do absolutely anything to save the biosphere, except take science courses and learn something about it."
The latest news of Michigan's deepening budget woe is a national warning of what happens when you raise taxes in a weak economy (see chart above, Michigan's jobless rate vs. national).
Leave it to the Democratic majority in Congress to fight rising gas prices and growing dependence on foreign oil by imposing a windfall-profits tax on U.S. petroleum companies, while refusing to let them tap America's vast oil and gas reserves in the Alaskan wilderness and offshore.
The chart above shows inflationary expectations from January 2004 to April 2008, calcuated as the spread between: a) the yield on regular 10-Year Treasury notes (constant maturity, data here) and b) the yield on 10-Year Treasury Inflation-Indexed Securities (data here). The data suggest that a) inflationary expectations are going down, not up (see trend line above) and b) inflation expectations were much higher in 2004, 2005 and 2006 than in 2007 and 2008?
Why hasn’t the United States adopted the same healthcare system as Europe, Canada, and nearly all the rest of the developed world? While the United States is portrayed as the outlier, the truth is that another developed nation has eschewed the European government-payer model—with a great deal of success. That nation is Singapore, a city-state with a population of just 4.6 million but a lot to teach America.
MIT Researchers Point to Potential Economy-boosting Technologies (link)
Interesting post here about Sweden from Lane Kenworth, Professor of Sociology, University of Arizona: