(Community Matters) an important Economist article about Fracking – Sorting frack from fiction
There are three main concerns: that it could set off earthquakes or play havoc with water supplies; and that methane could escape into the atmosphere and exacerbate global warming. . . . A report from America’s National Research Council on energy and seismic activity, due to be published later this year, records only two incidents of minor tremors associated with fracking—the one in Britain and just one in America, despite the scale of activity there.. . . With over 20,000 wells drilled in the past decade there have been only a few instances of groundwater contamination, all of them due to breaches of existing regulations.. . . The EPA is now conducting the biggest study ever into all aspects of shale exploration [including methane emissions], likely to be published next year, which might help allay public fears.
(Community Matters) encouraging editorials from the New York Times and The Economist (cover: Comeback kid: Rebuilding America’s Economy) – quotes from Politico’s Playbook:
MOOD MUSIC – N.Y. Times col. 1, “In Latest Data, Economists See Signs of Pickup: Growth Is Not Robust, but It’s Firming Up,” by Annie Lowrey : “Economists at many of the most-watched forecasting organizations, both public and private, expect growth to pick up through the summer and into the fall, although only to a pace broadly considered sluggish, if not dismal. … [H]eadwinds have started to slack, leading some economists to believe that jobs and growth numbers will track up modestly. Perhaps most significant is the falling price of oil. … Economists pointed to surging new car sales as … a sign that households are confident enough to make a major purchase … [T]here are accumulating signs that housing has turned around, perhaps auguring … an upturn in construction jobs and growing sales.” http://nyti.ms/MoSszf
–COVER OF THE ECONOMIST, all global editions, is a gym-rat Uncle Sam: “Comeback kid: Rebuilding America’s economy “: “America’s economy is certainly in a tender state. But the pessimism of the presidential slanging-match misses something vital. Led by its inventive private sector, the economy is remaking itself. Old weaknesses are being remedied and new strengths discovered, with an agility that has much to teach stagnant Europe and dirigiste Asia. … [T]here is a boom … in high-value services (architecture, engineering and finance) and a growing ‘app economy,’ nurtured by Facebook, Apple and Google, which employs more than 300,000 people; its games, virtual merchandise and so on sell effortlessly across borders.” See the cover. http://econ.st/LM6qyZ Read the editorial. http://econ.st/NoGE0X
(Community Matters) Travel & Leisure
(Community Matters) inflation is being reported as less than 2%, but by the 1980s formula, it’s almost 10%. Is high inflation squeezing US consumers?
in Marfa for a McDonald Observatory board of visitors weekend as well as for Marfa Public Radio. My house guest is John Del Vecchio, a portfolio manager of a short fund and an author. So, not hard to imagine us discussing the difference between core & headline inflation and why any government reported inflation numbers are or aren’t accurate (at least within historical context). John’s introduced me to a site: Shadow Government Statistics which I find fascinating and to which I’ve just subscribed.
for instance, while the official inflation rate is under 2%, if we use the 1990 government definition, it’s 5%. It is almost 10% as measured by the 1980 definition. There are strong arguments that the latter most accurately reflects inflation as experienced by consumers