Monthly Archives: October 2016

Why The Industrial Revolution Didn’t Happen In China

Here’s a link to an interview from the Washington Post with Joel Mokyr of Northwestern University who is the author of “A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy.”

LINK: Why the Industrial Revolution didn’t happen in China

One of the primary themes of the discussion is how China chose order over competition, and, as such, lost its long held technological primacy.

The practical application of scientific knowledge, and the willingness to challenge old orders of thought, stand out as the main catalysts behind Europe’s industrial inception and advancement.

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What Happened to Negative Yields?

All of a sudden we are back to only two countries that have negative yields on their 10 year bonds: Switzerland and Japan.

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10 year yields in Finland, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands are once again in positive territory.

It can not be repeated often enough that when yields rise, bond prices fall. As such, the price of the current German 10 year bund has experienced a decline of almost 3% this month:

bunds

It is worth noting that this bond does not pay a coupon, so there isn’t even the slight consolation of being able to reinvest cash flows. And yet people paying 101.50 for this paper a month ago.

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Does Advertising Ruin Everything?

I can’t quite recall the context, but I’ll never forget the following line delivered by my father: “I understand that I got this for free, but somehow I feel ripped off!”

In his new book Tim Wu addresses the current omnipresence of advertising and charts out just how we got here. Here’s the opening paragraph to his interesting discussion with The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson:

“Harvesting was perhaps the original U.S. industrial activity. Economic growth relied on the reliable conversion of plants and animals into salable products, like cotton and beef. But the 21st century’s most successful industrialists, like Facebook and Google, harvest another commodity as abundant as wheat or crude oil. In the new industry, the fields are media and entertainment, the harvesters are advertisers, and the crop is attention.”

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Millennials and Retail

“Let’s start at the conclusion: Millennials are about to blow the world’s mind in the best possible way. The idea of a shut-in nation spending the prime of their personal and professional lives playing video games in mom’s basement is lunacy. Millennials aren’t space aliens. They are the spiritual grandchildren of Baby Boomers with longer life spans and better toys.”

millennials

LINK: Millennials & Retail Myths

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