Showing posts from December 21, 2014

Happy Solstice! :-)

Click here for The Beatles, "Here Comes The Sun" *RON

China Invests in Region Rich in Oil, Coal and Also Strife

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[This bodes poorly for the Uighurs, an ethnic group that has always had a hard time in China, since China has shown precisely zero concern about blood being mixed with its oil in the Sudan. While you're at it, check out Santa's real workshop: the town in China that makes the world's Christmas decorations*RON*]

By Edward Wong, New York Times, 20 December 2014

More than half a century since China started pumping oil in its arrid west, tensions continue to rise over inequality and ethnicity in Karamay, which is now one of the countries wealthiest cities. Photo by Gilles Sabrie for The New York Times.

KARAMAY, China — In a desolate park on the city outskirts here, oil bubbling from the ground fills small pools next to a wooden walkway. By one pool is a statue of a bearded ethnic Uighur man sitting on a donkey, playing a lute.

The symbolism is telling. China is ramping up energy production here, turning the northwestern Xinjiang region …

Talk of rebound in mining deals as valuations sink

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[There's a cyclic slump in the mining industry. Commodity prices are dropping (including copper and silver, which are big in BC), and mining stocks generally have been dropping for three years now, meaning that the mining companies are cash-strapped, which is making some think there are mining acquisition deals to be made at good prices. I wonder how this will affect the mini-boom in mining we've been experiencing in BC? *RON*]

James Wilson and Arash Massoudi, Financial Times, 21 December 2014

Tumbling commodity prices are aggravating the problems of cash-strapped mining groups and could spur a rebound in dealmaking in the sector, analysts and bankers said.

Mining stocks, which enjoyed a bull run for the best part of a decade as China growth spurred demand for commodities, suffered another year of declines in 2014. The S&P Global Mining Index has fallen each year since 2011. The value of mergers and acquisitions in mining fell for th…

Wealth inequality and the marginal propensity to consume

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[The rich spend less of their money beyond their fixed costs - because they don't have to. The poor really only have fixed costs, so they spend proportionately more of whatever money they can lay their mitts on. This study supports this finding by showing that a fiscal stimulus targeted at the lower half of the wealth distribution is 2 to 3 times more effective than one that includes the rich. *RON*]
By Nick Bunker, The Washington Center for Equitable Growth, 17 December 2014

If someone handed you $10 right now, what would you do with it? Would you decide to spend it right away? Or would you stash it away? Or some combination of the two? The answer to that question would in part reveal your marginal propensity to consume, or MPC for short. This statistic goes a long way toward understanding the consumption behaviors of families. More or less, it tells us how much more spending happens when a household or individual gets more income or wealth…

The Alarming Research Behind New York's Fracking Ban

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[An analysis of the findings in Governor Andrew Cuomo's 184-page review of hydraulic fracturing. Hello? Christy Clark?! *RON*]
Nicholas St. Fleur, The Atlantic Monthly, 19 December 2014

The battle over untapped natural gas in New York State appears to have reached its end. Following an extensive public health review of hydraulic fracturing, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a complete ban on the oil and natural gas harvesting practice in the state on Wednesday.

The 184-page report, conducted by the New York State Department of Health, cites potential environmental impacts and health hazards as reasons for the ban. The research incorporates findings from multiple studies conducted across the country and highlights the following seven concerns: