Thanks to Bob Wright for the tip.
Update: Many states are also reporting rising tax revenues in December including Oklahoma, Kentucky, Nebraska, Georgia, Arkansas, and Massachusetts,
Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
1. Offshore Gold Rush: "AngloGold Ashanti and De Beers, two of the world’s largest metals and minerals mining companies, are searching for gold deposits under the Atlantic sea. Both companies are currently carrying out lots of research into the technical feasibilities of carrying out gold exploration under the seas." Just as Julian Simon and ECON 101 would have predicted - higher commodity prices stimulate exploration and discovery, often then leading to greater supply and lower prices, i.e. high prices today frequently lead to lower prices tomorrow.
North Dakota pumped another record amount of oil in November, at an average daily rate of 355,038 barrels, which is double the amount of oil produced as recently as the summer of 2008, and 44% higher than a year ago (data here). Experts predict that production could double to 700,000 barrels per day within four to seven years in the Peace Garden State, which would put North Dakota ahead of both Alaska and California, and second only to Texas in oil production for American states.
(Reuters) - "Tax collections in most U.S. states continued to grow at the close of 2010 as employment conditions improved, a survey released on Thursday showed.
A comment by Gale Pooley on this CD post suggested adjusting the cost of gas to account for increases in worker productivity over time, and the chart above does just that. It shows the time cost of a gallon of gas, measured by the number of minutes of work at the average hourly manufacturing wage (BLS data here) required to purchase a gallon of gas at the nominal, retail price in each year between 1939 and 2010 (EIA data here).
Here are the latest posts from Brad DeLong and Don Boudreaux on the "Stupidest Man Alive" kerfuffle. While Brad and Don work out the terms of their possible upcoming bet on the future trends in the inflation-adjusted prices of natural resources or petroleum products, let's do a quick review of the historical record of real gas prices over the last 92 years (this series goes back to 1919, which is the longest historical price record I could find for oil or gas).
From John Murphy's original Chamber post, supplemented by Cato's Dan Ikenson (in bold):
Here's some new support for economist Julian Simon's optimistic view that resource scarcity wouldn't ever be a problem, even with a growing world population, because of the power of innovation, discovery, human ingenuity, entrepreneurship, substitutes, and technological progress to overcome any resource shortages: the ocean floor might contain reserves of minerals vastly greater than those on land.
The Rational Optimist Matt Ridley asks the question: "With one tenth – well, 11% -- of the twenty-first century now consigned to history, what is the verdict so far?"
I had the distinction of recently being nominated by UC-Berkeley economist Brad DeLong as the "stupidest man alive," but I'm in pretty good company with fellow c0-nominees NY Times science writer John Tierney and George Mason economist Don Boudreaux. It should be noted that John Tierney might be "stupid," but he is now a little richer thanks to his "stupidity," having just won a $5,000 bet on the price of oil. Perhaps my stupidity will pay off that handsomely someday?
The American Staffing Association reported that its weekly Staffing Index of contract and temporary employment demand ended the year at 92 for the week ending 12/26/2010, which is 19.5% higher than the same week last year, 26% higher than the comparable week in 2008, 6% higher than the same week in 2007 and 11% higher than 2006.
The New York Federal Reserve updated its "Probability of U.S. Recession Predicted by Treasury Spread" this week with treasury yield data through December 2010, and the Fed's recession probability forecast through December 2011. The NY Fed's Treasury model uses the spread between the yields on 10-year Treasury notes (3.29% in December) and 3-month Treasury bills (0.14%) to calculate the probability of a U.S. recession up to twelve months ahead (see details here).
NEW YORK, January 3, 2011 – "Driven by a wide range of upbeat grassroots economic news, the Dow Jones Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) jumped 2.2 points to 46.1 in December, breaking out of its previous range and indicating the economy could be picking up momentum at the start of 2011. The ESI is determined by in-depth analysis of national news coverage across 15 daily newspapers. It held steady at 43.9 in October and November."
Last week, I featured the recent Census Bureau report showing that state and local tax revenues increased by 5.21% in the third quarter this year compared to 2009, which is the largest quarterly increase since the fourth quarter of 2007 (see chart above). Dennis Cauchon now reports in today's USA Today that:
From global advertising agency JWT, comes its list of "100 Things to Watch in 2011," including Africa's growing middle class, bamboo (as a building material, clothing, etc.), the rise of beer sommeliers and the rise of the city of Detroit, the decline of the cash register, digital etiquette and digital interventions, etc.
The Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) World Stock Market Index closed out the year by reaching a 27-month high of 1280.07 yesterday. This was the highest closing index value for world stock markets since September 19, 2008 in the wake of Lehman Brothers' filing for bankruptcy on September 15, and the subsequent financial meltdown caused the MSCI World Index to drop below 700 by March 2009 (see chart). As I reported previously, it's a significant milestone that world stock markets have now returned to their pre-Lehman levels.
From the New York Times: