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30 days

Does the US Need a Rate Cut?

There is absolutely no need for a rate cut.

1 month

Mortality Rate of Children Over the Last Two Millennia

The global mortality rate of infants and youth up to the age of 15, based on an average of many studies, was almost one-half (46.2%) for the two millennia up to about 1900. By 1950, it was 27%. By 2017, it had fallen to 4.6%.

1 month

Gold – Is It All that Glisters?

Uncertainty about US trade policy has truncated the rally in stocks Gold remains supported by central bank buying and fears of a US$ collapse Gold miners look best placed to reap the benefits regardless of direction A collapse in the U$ is needed for gold to rally substantially In Q4 2018, as stocks declined, gold rallied 8.1% and gold mining stocks 13.7%. It was a prescient reminder of the value of gold as a portfolio diversifier. There have, however, been some other developments both for gold and gold mining stocks which are worthy of closer investigation.

1 month

Where Will America Find Caregivers as its Elderly Population Rises?

As we look ahead two or three decades into the future, we know several demographic facts with an extremely high degree of confidence. We know that that the number of elderly people in the population will be rising, and as a result, the demand for long-term care services will rise substantially. We also know that the birthrate has been falling, and so this generation of the eventually-will-be-elderly has had fewer children than the previous generation.

1 month

The Global Paper Industry: Still on the Rise

Paper is an old industry, dating back to 100 BC in China. For several decades now, there have been predictions that paper would decline, as businesses converted to the "paperless office" and as people moved to reading online rather than on dead tree. How is that transition going? The short answer is "only OK." For a longer answer, the Environmental Paper Network offers a review in The State of the Global Paper Industry, subtitled "Shifting Seas: New Challenges and Opportunities for Forests, People and the Climate" (April 2018).

2 months

Pareidolia: When Correlations are Truly Meaningless

"Pareidolia" refers to the common human practice of looking at random outcomes but trying to impose patterns on them. For example, we all know in the logical part of our brain that there are a roughly a kajillion different variables in the world, and so if we look through the possibilities, we will will have a 100% chance of finding some variables that are highly correlated with each other. These correlations will be a matter of pure chance, and they carry no meaning. But when my own brain, and perhaps yours, sees one of these correlations, I can feel my thoughts start searching for a story to explain what looks to my eyes like a connected pattern. 

2 months

Why Did the US Labor Share of Income Fall So Quickly?

The share of US national income going to labor was sagging through the second half of the century, but then plunged starting around 2000. The McKinsey Global Institute takes "A new look at the declining labor share of income in the United States" in a report by James Manyika, Jan Mischke, Jacques Bughin, Jonathan Woetzel, Mekala Krishnan, and Samuel Cudre (May 2019).