Yesterday, I went to the mall. This is not a new occurrence. I go to the mall almost every day. It is where the grocery store and the office supply store are, as well as the Starbucks and many, many restaurants. To get to the mall, I ride for about 10 minutes on a mini-bus, filled with people heading in my direction. Yesterday, the driver stopped on the way to fill up his tires. The compressor was owned by a guy who had set up a little business for himself on the side of the road. That’s also no big deal.
It’s an election year. That must mean it’s time for Congressional representatives to announce support for ridiculous Constitutional amendments and for state leaders to instill fear in the population by creating all sorts of boogeymen, like (imaginary) undocumented Mexicans running roughshod in the Arizona desert, beheading (imaginary) poor, unsuspecting, hardworking, freedom-loving, salt of the earth Americans.
Which has me wondering: why is discussing problems and solutions like grown ups so unpalatable in America?
I should make clear from the outset that I am not an economist. So this post is more of a question for those of you out there who actually know something about the way economies, and more specifically financial investments, work.
When I want to learn about something, I generally start with my good friend, the Google. Depending on how much I want to know, it can stop there, or lead me to the local public library. Sometimes, when I want to know a lot about one particular thing, I even head for one of the university libraries in town.
They get six years of free reign during which they drive the country into a ditch. Not just any ditch, either--a snow-filled ditch with a pond of thin ice at the bottom, far, far away from the nearest gas station.
Then, they start losing. So, instead of asking themselves why they are losing, they double down, and lose some more.
Right after the election was over, I started a series of posts called Stuff I Learned, about the history of American presidents, as I read a book called The American Presidency. I didn't get very far into the book, and now I can't find it. I'm not all that worried about finishing, not being a fan of non-fiction.
So, at least for now, I won't be sharing with you the stuff I learned about American history. Instead, I'm hoping you'll share with me stuff you already know, because I'm confused.
I have been following this very closely for the last week. Iceland is in for another eruption. It is fascinating how close they were to the actual day it would erupt. Scientist have been reporting the lava as it moved under the crust. This is a bad situation for Iceland because this is subglacial and can cause a jökulhlaup which is an water ice flood. This thread will continue to update through the night.
No one I read explains money matters better than Frances Coppola. Here she begins a series on the changing nature of money.
These days, nearly all forms of money bear interest, which makes them indistinguishable from interest-bearing assets. [T]he paying of interest on bank reserves, coupled with the decline of physical currency, all but eliminates the distinction between interest-bearing safe assets such as Treasury bills and what we traditionally call “money”. All assets can be regarded as “money” to a greater or lesser extent: the extent to which assets have “moneyness” is really a matter of liquidity.
I'm hoping that this article by Amos Harel, defense correspondent for Israel's Haaretz newspaper, comes through the paywall. Harel is someone I read regularly. He has this no-nonsense straight-forward way of writing that I find refreshing, and many others might find dull. But he knows his stuff. Here's his not so positive assessment of what the future looks like for Israelis and Palestinians.