Carpe Diem

Monday morning links

CO2percap1. Chart of the Day: CO2 emissions per capita in the US increased slightly last year, but were back to the same level as in 1963 (50 years ago), and 23% below the peak in the early 1970s, thanks to the boom in shale gas, which has displaced coal for electricity generation.

2. Markets in Everything: “The First Bank of Facebook“?

Not content with being just a platform to host cat photos and status updates, Facebook is readying itself to provide financial services in the form of remittances and electronic money. The social network is only weeks away from obtaining regulatory approval in Ireland for a service that would allow its users to store money on Facebook and use it to pay and exchange money with others, according to several people involved in the process.

3. Markets in Everything II: Storefront is the “Airbnb For Retail

Storefront launched as a platform to connect those who have shops or empty real estate in highly trafficked areas with merchants who wish to make their goods available without making major investments in opening up a store right away.

4. In Mexico, you can pay your federal income taxes with artwork.

5. VIDEO: Rare historical photos in color.

6. 100 Life Skills: How Many Do You Have? Find out here.

7. Bonus Pay: Amazon will pay workers up to $5,000 ….. to quit.

8. North Dakota Oil Boom: To help fill 25,000 current job openings (with another 76,000 expected by the end of the decade), the state has launched a national advertising campaign called “Find the Good Life in North Dakota.

9. North Dakota Oil Boom II: Some of the current 25,000 job openings in North Dakota include financial advisers to handle the state’s booming oil wealth, which is creating lots of new millionaires who need financial advice.

10. Liberate the Poor with Home Businesses: For areas of the country without an oil boom, Wendy McElroy says we should “Let a Thousand Home Businesses Bloom,” which are often an important path to prosperity for poor people because:

First, the business overhead is usually low. Second, it allows people to use their labor as equity to develop a business for which financial or capital equity is not available. Third, it does not require higher education. Fourth, people own the means of production, such as an equipped kitchen or a garage with tools.

 

 

25 thoughts on “Monday morning links

    • i got 94. if you master just over 1 new skill a year, you’ll beat me age for age. seems like you should have that in the bag.

      i find #76 really funny.

      “I understand how the stock market works.”

      i wonder how many false positives that gets?

      • I did not check that one off. i understand the basic theory, but other than that…well, I pay someone to handle my money

      • I checked 81. Apparently ‘m lacking some important domestic skills, like how to properly set a table, and since I don’t use Facebook, I don’t know how to change my privacy settings.

        morganovich

        “I understand how the stock market works.”

        i wonder how many false positives that gets?

        I suspect that people at both the low and high end of the bell curve of actual knowledge about the stock market will check this item.

        I didn’t check it because I know enough about how the stock market works to understand that I don’t know enough about how the stock market works.

        • though it’s sort of open to interpretation too.

          i mean, if you understand that stocks are partial shares of companies and that they trade on markets with bids and asks and etc etc one could say they know how a stock market works in general terms.

          one need not be an HFT algo expert and know how to use dark pools without getting mugged to claim basic knowledge.

          one need not be able to predict what it will do to know how it works.

          i know how a superball works. i have no idea where it will go if i drop it down the stairs.

          • i mean, if you understand that stocks are partial shares of companies and that they trade on markets with bids and asks and etc etc one could say they know how a stock market works in general terms.

            You’re right. I DO know how the stock market works in general terms, I just don’t know how to make it work for me. :)

  1. “ome of the current 25,000 job openings in North Dakota include financial advisers to handle the state’s booming oil wealth, which is creating lots of new millionaires who need financial advice.”

    Gee, it’s rough when a millionaire needs financial advice. Looks like a good opportunity for the successors of Bernie Madoff.

    • chuck-

      that seems like an odd sentiment.

      why would owning land under which oil was found impart even basic financial planning or investment skills?

      these seem like exactly the sort of folks who could benefit from some good advice to both compound wealth and avoid getting creamed on taxes.

      • So having a lot of money is a PROBLEM, just like not having enough money is a problem, and requires specialized, paid assistance. Evidently almost everything is a problem that requires outside help.

        • Evidently almost everything is a problem that requires outside help.

          Sure. Isn’t that the basis of a market? People trading skills? I, who am good at fishing, trading my skill for you, who is good at building?

        • chuck-

          “So having a lot of money is a PROBLEM”

          again, that’s a very strange way to put it. having money is an opportunity. knowing how to plan for that opportunity helps you realize it. money is also quite easy to lose. put a million dollars in your mattress in 1970 and today it’s worth 16 cents on the dollar.

          there are lots of ways to lose money, including doing nothing.

          “There’s never enough, is there?”

          you seem to have some odd bitterness around the making of money.

          so, what, someone makes money from oil and then they are supposed to just let it rot? how is that good for anyone?

          they lose from inflation, and people who could put it to productive use lose from less available capital.

          if rich people acted like scrooge mcduck and put all their money in a big vault i physical form, you’d get a stagnant economy and hamstring growth and innovation.

          • “they lose from inflation”

            According to our own democratically elected government, there isn’t much of any inflation.

            ” people who could put it to productive use lose from less available capital”

            How exactly do they “lose”? If someone has $1000 buried in his backyard, who is losing? And how?

            Perhaps some people are willing to give up the opportunity to acquire interest on their wealth in exchange for instant liquidity, that liquidity has value to them.

          • Maybe rather than put the money in a silo and swim in it after supper it’s better to buy residential real estate or time shares in Cabo San Lucas or season tickets to Kansas City Royals games.

          • Chuck

            According to our own democratically elected government, there isn’t much of any inflation.

            What, you believe those bozos?

            How exactly do they “lose”?

            They (those who would put it to productive use) lose by having to bid a higher price (interest rate) for the scarcer capital that’s available.

            If someone has $1000 buried in his backyard, who is losing? And how?

            Everyone loses. The owner and any potential borrow lose the use of the capital if it’s buried in the backyard.

            Perhaps some people are willing to give up the opportunity to acquire interest on their wealth in exchange for instant liquidity, that liquidity has value to them.

            Of course, but what is the purpose of having liquidity? Just to say “I’ve got $1000 in my hand” only has value when it is used for some purpose. That potential purpose must be worth more than the foregone earnings.

          • “They (those who would put it to productive use) lose by having to bid a higher price (interest rate) for the scarcer capital that’s available.”

            How is that the saver’s problem? Is he under some obligation to make life easier for others? How about the guy that then receives the higher interest rate? Aren’t things better for him?

          • “Of course, but what is the purpose of having liquidity?”

            First of all, liquidity is required for emergencies. You could look at it in some cases as self-insurance. For example, you could keep $50,000 in a checking account for a serious medical emergency rather than pay $600 a month for medical insurance. You could then also use that money to get a good deal on a diesel pickup that some guy has to sell at a loss because he didn’t have any liquidity to cover the expenses of the divorce his wife filed because he bought a new pickup.

          • “How exactly do they “lose”? If someone has $1000 buried in his backyard, who is losing? And how?”

            it’s a loss to the overall economy as, with less investable capital, you get less investment at the margin.

            to take an extreme case, imagine everyone took all their money and buried it in the yard. now imagine you have a great idea for a start up, but lack the initial investment to get it going. where is the capital going to come from if it is all buried in mason jars?

            i am not saying that people have an obligation to make their capital available, it’s theirs and then can do with it what they like. i am just pointing out the effects of certain choices

            “Perhaps some people are willing to give up the opportunity to acquire interest on their wealth in exchange for instant liquidity, that liquidity has value to them.”

            of course. it becomes a question of “how much liquidity do you need/prefer?” this is why investments need to offer returns (risk weighted) to encourage people to forgo liquidity and current consumption in exchange for profit and more consumption later.

            regarding inflation, well, one can have long and interesting discussions about CPI and what it captures and does not. personally, i think it reads (by design) significantly lower than actual price level changes. but that would seem to make the case for having to get a return on money or lose it to attrition stronger.

            that is the price of complete liquidity. you lose money every year by having it.

          • chuck

            How is that the saver’s problem? Is he under some obligation to make life easier for others?

            Heh! Perhaps I wasn’t clear. Higher interest rates hurt economic growth. Morganovich explains it much better than I did.

            How about the guy that then receives the higher interest rate? Aren’t things better for him?

            Now you want to argue both for and against liquidity? The saver isn’t obligated to either borrowers or lenders. It is his capital and he can do with it whatever he wishes, including burning it. The consequence of his actions may be higher interest rates in the overall economy.

            First of all, liquidity is required for emergencies.

            No it isn’t, credit can serve the same purpose. In fact that’s an attractive option in a low interest rate environment.

            You could look at it in some cases as self-insurance. For example, you could keep $50,000 in a checking account for a serious medical emergency rather than pay $600 a month for medical insurance.

            You could, and thank you for providing an example that makes my point for me. The opportunity cost of the interest foregone may be less than the price of the insurance. Of course, I suspect that $6oo/mo will buy a lot more than $50k of coverage for most people.

            You could then also use that money to get a good deal on a diesel pickup that some guy has to sell at a loss because he didn’t have any liquidity to cover the expenses of the divorce his wife filed because he bought a new pickup.

            Again, an example that makes my point for me. The saver is hoping some unknowable and unpredictable combination of events will occur that provide him with a larger gain than the foregone earnings on his cash. And again a great use for available credit while his $50k earns interest.

    • I find a good financial adviser to be invaluable. I have a guy, and although we are friends, I find his disinterested manner in my money to be good. He wants it to earn (so he can make commission), so he often talks me out of these flash-in-the-pan fads that prop up all the time.

  2. #4 I have heard of dumb ideas, but this one is right up there with the dumbest. In a country with a 50% poverty rate, what people really need is more public art collections. Not only doesn’t this program support itself, it costs money for storage and administration of the collections. The Mexican government would have MORE revenue without this program.

    This explains a lot.

  3. “CO2percap1. Chart of the Day: CO2 emissions per capita in the US increased slightly last year, but were back to the same level as in 1963 (50 years ago), and 23% below the peak in the early 1970s, thanks to the boom in shale gas, which has displaced coal for electricity generation.”

    This certainly is an improvement on a per capita basis since the 1970s, and, hopefully, more to come.

    However, using roughly 17.5 tons per capita in 1963 and 2013 and roughly 180million population in 1963 and roughly 308million population in 2013, the total CO2 emissions in 1963 was roughly 3.15billion tons and in 2013 was roughly 5.35billion tons in 2013 – hardly an improvement.

    • kleht

      However, using roughly 17.5 tons per capita in 1963 and 2013 and roughly 180million population in 1963 and roughly 308million population in 2013, the total CO2 emissions in 1963 was roughly 3.15billion tons and in 2013 was roughly 5.35billion tons in 2013 – hardly an improvement.

      Who cares? What’s your point?

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