We scour the best of publications that cover the markets & economy, the world of business & finance, asset & wealth management, monetary & fiscal policy, Europe & Asia, the news & politics, science & technology … and throw in a bit of arts & entertainment, just to keep it light. Here’s what we found particularly compelling in the last 24 hours:
Paulson on Comcast/TWC, Sprint/T-Mobile and Consolidation (MoneyBeat – WSJ)
An Open Letter to JPMorgan Chase Shareholders (Simon Johnson/NYT)
The Dawn of the Age of Artificial Intelligence (The Atlantic)
Earnings still killing it (Bespoke)
The middle class’s missing $1.6 trillion (Reuters)
Byron Wien expects 20 percent gain for S&P 500 (CNBC)
Karzai overplays his hand in poker game with the U.S. (Fiscal Times)
Ukraine on the brink (SoberLook)
Lipper Fund Flows: Equity Etfs Reverse The Trend With $3.5 Billion Net Inflows (Alpha Now)
Kleiner Perkins founder Tom Perkins puts his foot in his mouth…again (Daily Ticker)
How long-term unemployment may get you a pay raise (Term Sheet: Fortune)
ECRI Weekly Leading Index (Doug Short)
The Dollar and The Damage Done (Eichengreen/Project Syndicate)
Michael Jackson vs. IRS: Thriller battle over value of the estate (Investment News)
Succinct Summary of Week’s Event (Big Picture)
The charts below are courtesy of Gallup, Doug Short (see reads above; Fortune piece) and Facebook (ht Business Insider).
Gallup’s P2P metric tracks the percentage of the adult population aged 18 and older that is employed full time for an employer for at least 30 hours per week. The differences in P2P rates across states may reflect several factors, including the overall employment situation and the population’s demographic composition. States with large older and retired populations, for example, would have a lower percentage of adults working full time. West Virginia and Florida — both in the bottom 10 — have some of the largest proportions of older residents, with more than half of each state’s adult residents older than 50 (52.9% and 51.5%, respectively), and both states rank in the bottom 10 states on the P2P index. Regardless of the underlying reason, however, the P2P index provides a good reflection of a state’s economic vitality.
The chart below, from Doug Short, shows inflation-adjusted hourly earnings going back to 2006. Aside from a jump during the recession, which was the result of employers firing people and cutting back on their hours rather than giving actual raises, the average American hasn’t seen his pay go up substantially at all. There are several reasons why the average American hasn’t seen a pay increase in years, but consistently high unemployment is at the top of that list. With so many people out of work, employers simply have no incentive to give raises. And it doesn’t appear that this problem will be going away anytime soon.
Facebook created this map showing the most talked about Olympic sports, by county. Some observations, courtesy if Business insider:
- Europe loves biathlon.
- Figure skating is the most popular sport so far, with a diverse selection of countries talking about it more than anything else this week.
- The first snowboarding medal in British history, a bronze by Jenny Jones in slopestyle, shot that sport to the top in the UK.
- Argentina likes curling?!
- Alpine skiing is #1 in Lebanon after Olympic skier Jackie Chamoun posed for a topless calendar.
- In many instances, medals dictate buzz. Snowboarding is #1 in Japan because of their silver and bronze in halfpipe. Ski jumping is #1 in Slovenia because of Peter Pervc’s silver.