Sunday, July 2, 2017

Update on The Yield Curve

From the New York Times:
"That is probably not what most people want to hear — stock investors especially. In the first half of the year, after all, stocks have performed spectacularly. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index returned 9 percent through June, churning out gains so regularly that it may seem churlish to note that clouds are appearing on the horizon.
Yet like a long-range forecast about a possible storm, an old and trusted financial indicator is telling us that trouble may be looming.
Simply put, while the Federal Reserve has been raising short-term interest rates since December, the bond market hasn’t gotten the memo. The longer-term rates that are set through bond market trading have, for the most part, been declining, though there was a brief reversal in the last few days. But the disconnect over the last few months is a sign that bond investors believe economic growth and inflation are still weak and the Fed’s actions are premature."
A good primer on The Yield Curve - -

App - The Human Story

An Idea Worth Considering - Owning Your Social Media Data

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Mind Game of the Week - How Would Jeff Bezos Run a [Fill in the Blank]?

No Longer Accustomed to Manufacturing

From The Atlantic - article on Chinese investment and management of manufacturing operations in the U.S. - -

"It’s possible that the U.S. workforce is not as skilled at manufacturing as it used to be. Many of the people who worked in manufacturing in the 1980s, before the wave of offshoring, have since retired, and younger people don’t have as much experience in factories. The economist Tyler Cowen has argued that Americans are more averse to adjusting to change than they were in the past, which potentially makes them less likely to take jobs in new fields. “You could say we got a little spoiled” as America created better and better jobs, Cowen told me. While Cowen sees this as a negative, it’s the result of a positive development: American workers are no longer interested in low-paying, backbreaking jobs like picking crops, for example. “People are not willing to become a wreck by age 60 or 65 anymore,” he said. But it makes life more difficult for employers who don’t want to (or can’t) pay workers more or improve the jobs that are available.

Cowen also pointed me to a study published last year in the Journal of Hand Therapy that indicates that today’s workers might be physically weaker than American workers of the past, which would explain some of why it’s harder to find good factory workers. Men younger than 30 have weaker hand grips than their counterparts in 1985 did, the study found. Grips might have gotten weaker because men are no longer accustomed to working in manufacturing or farming, but are instead prepared to sit at desks and work on computers."

Modeling the Oroville Dam Spillway Failure

The Impact of AI on Sports Viewing

Summer Reading List

New to the book bag - -

  • The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley are Changing the World by Brad Stone
  • Love, Africa: A Memoir of Romance, War, and Survival by Jeffrey Gettleman
  • One Mission: How Leaders Build a Team of Teams by Chris Fussell
  • Qatar: A Modern History by Allen Fromherz
  • Churchill & Orwell: The Fight for Freedom by Thomas Ricks
  • CEO, China: The Rise of Xi Jinping by Kerry Brown
  • Island People: The Caribbean and the World by Joshua Jelly-Schapiro

Wheat Outlook

The Big Four of Transportation Trends

Great overview in Meeting of the Minds:
"The general press and transportation specialty publications are bursting with reports of new developments in four major disruptive transportation technologies:
  • Shared rides
  • Electric vehicles
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Connected vehicles
As we look back on the auto revolution since 1945, we have spent trillions of dollars on cars and related infrastructure. These investments transformed our country and greatly assisted us to an unprecedented level of prosperity. Yet there are many things we would no doubt do differently with 20/20 hindsight to shape the use of cars in relation to other modes of travel and in relation to the urban forms we want to live in. As we look on in amazement at the current technological prowess on display in the auto and mobility industries, it is important that we learn from the automobile revolution of the last 75 years. We can learn from the past to shape new developments to meet shared goals as these technologies unfold, rather than suffer the impacts of unintended consequences."

A Paragraph to Ponder

From the New York Times:

"For example, about half of all Canadian immigrants arrive with a college degree, while the figure in the United States is just 27 percent. Immigrant children in Canadian schools read at the same level as the native born, while the gap is huge in the United States. Canadian immigrants are almost 20 percent more likely to own their own homes and 7 percent less likely to live in poverty than their American equivalents."

A New Rule of 3s for Survival

My new rule of 3s for survival - - three weeks without food, three days without water, three minutes without air, and three seconds without an Internet connection!!  From Fast Company - the impact of the Internet in your pocket and how it changed everything.
"In 2007 we were still thinking, “Why would I want the internet in my pocket when I’m walking around? If I want to get on the internet I’ll sit down in front of my computer.” So 50 years from now, we’ll look back and see the iPhone as the demarcation point between when the web was growing, and the era when the web was ubiquitous and something where everybody, even your grandmother, is using it–not only daily, but on an hourly basis.
And 2007 is around the same time that Facebook was discovered by everybody. I think it’s really the combination of the iPhone/smartphone and the rise of social media that really leads to the internet as we understand it today. I’m looking out on the street in Manhattan right now, and seven out of 10 people walking by are looking down at their screen."