Raul’s World, $7000 Finish Line, Mr. BRIC, The Dollar, Copperfinger, Bad Company, Third Mandate, Be Wrong, NDP’s Impact, Tee Tim
Raul Castro’s joke about Cuban austerity and two wishes not three reminds us as Chinese authorities stare down inflation, commodities spike, and the US government’s finances rapidly deteriorate that we might want that extra wish.
Articles on Cuba, the inevitable slowdown in China, Canadian competitiveness, a conversation with Jim O’Neil, understanding the US dollar, and the risk to commodities, a blow-by-blow analysis of America’s finances, Jim Grant on the Fed’s third mandate, a video essay on why being wrong is right, and the Jack effect.
Also why a later tee is good for your golf.
Can Raul Castro afford the third wish?
Financial Times – Cuba Libre?
Rummaging round the Communist party’s central committee headquarters building in Havana, Raúl Castro finds an old lamp. Curious, he gives it a rub. A genie emerges and offers two wishes. “Only two?” asks Cuba’s president. “Yes,” replies the genie. “Times are tough. We’ve cut back.”
China will slow from plus 10% growth to 8% once per capital income hits $7,000.
Wall Street Journal -- Great China Debate Continues: How Fast, How Long?
Three Morgan Stanley analysts are the latest to weigh in on an old question that has lately resurfaced among China-watching economists: How much longer can China continue to grow at a 10% a year and provide a rocket-ship-sized engine of growth for a sputtering world economy?
Jim O’Neil of Goldman Sachs came up with the term BRICs to describe the rising influence of Brazil, Russia, India and China and is interviewed by Charlie Rose. (ed’s note – everybody’s long China …)
Charlie Rose – Jim O’Neil
Jim O’Neill is presently the Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
TD Economics analyses Canada’s declining competitiveness and argues that the Canadian dollar is trading about 20% above fair value, and Canadian business are not productive.
Pdf below -- Competitiveness a Pressing Problem for Canadian Businesses
A couple of useful commentaries on the US dollar.
Washington Post -- The politics and economics of a falling dollar
realize that these kinds of discussions about currencies and macroeconomic imbalances can make your head hurt if you dwell on them for very long.
Washington Post – The Value of the Dollar: Five Factors for Investors
To most investors, the value of the dollar is an abstraction; its fluctuations are mostly ignored.
China Daily – No Let Up in Monetary Tightening
China will continue to tighten its monetary policy to check inflation in the second quarter of this year, economists say.
Commodity warning sign.
Newsweek -- Copper Is King
Copperfinger doesn’t have the same ring as Goldfinger. Nor would you be very impressed by a man with a copper gun.
Wall Street Journal -- US economy just a notch above Greece
US finances are in almost as troubled a state as the worst-hit members of the euro zone, economists say, underscoring the pressing need for Washington to reach agreement on how to reduce the deficit.
Quote worth quoting.
“Projections from the Congressional Budget Office suggest that the national debt could rise from 62 per cent of GDP to 100 per cent in 2025 and 200 per cent by 2040, compared with its 1946 high of 122 per cent.”
Forbes -- US government’s fiscal plight, the numbers say it all
What follows is a bird’s eye view of the U.S. government’s fiscal plight. No projections or prognostications, just where the government stands today on some key financial metrics. As an intro, we must say the trends look horrible.
The Third Mandate.
Business Insider -- Jim Grant: Bernanke Has Unilaterally Added A Third Fed Mandate That Guarantees QE3
Officially the Fed has a dual mandate: stable prices and high employment.
When I saw that Stephen Harper showed up in Saanich yesterday to give Gary Lunn a boost presumably against Elizabeth May it made me think how wrong I might be given my strident case made on national television last week (Don Martin’s Power Play on CTV) that she had no chance. ‘I err therefore I am’.
Kathryn Schulz on being wrong being the path to being right. (ed’s note – thanks Kathryn).
TED – Being Wrong
Most of us will do anything to avoid being wrong. But what if we're wrong about that? "Wrongologist" Kathryn Schulz makes a compelling case for not just admitting but embracing our fallibility.
At the end of a very long day of knocking on doors in the lower end of the socio-economic part of the riding of St. Paul’s in January 2006, my campaign’s strongest door knocker and I were confronted by a pair of angry long time NDP supporters. “You”, they hissed, “have made Harper Prime Minister because of forcing this election.”
I wonder what they would say now.
Globe and Mail -- Tory majority could hinge on where votes bleed to NDP in final week
There is only a week left in this unexpectedly surprising election campaign and the final outcome is still unpredictable. But when the votes are counted May 2, where the surging New Democrats make their gains and whether the Liberals can hold on to their own seats could mean the difference between minority and majority government for the Conservatives.
Timing your tee time off to suit your body’s rhythm will trim your handicap. Thanks to John of Toronto for sending this in.
New York Times – Early Birds Less Likely to Catch the Birdies
Do you love being the first one on the golf course?
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