Perfect Primes

 The Friday File: In 1951, the longest known prime number was 79 digits. It passed 10,000 digits in 1980, 100,000 digits in the early 1990s, 1,000,000 digits in the late 1990s, and is now over 23 million digits. There is a prize of $150,000 for the person who finds the first prime with 100 million … [Read more...]


Saudi Sale

 The Saudi Arabian Oil Company wants to sell 5% of itself to investors. The Saudis suggest the firm is worth $2 trillion, partly due its staggeringly large reserves. But, dividing free cash flow of $80 billion/year, which is where dividends come from, over market capitalization and assuming that … [Read more...]


GDP Growth

 18Q1 GDP is shaping up relatively poorly, with few forecasters expecting as much as 2.25% growth, and this after a relatively strong 17Q4 at 2.5%. The culprits are many including; delays in income tax refunds, weak inventory rebuilding due to soft post-Christmas retail sales, growing fears of a … [Read more...]


ISIS Income

 Total revenues of ISIL or Islamic State peaked at nearly $2 billion in 2015. Revenue included the sale of up to 75,000 bbl/day of oil, resulting in $600 million, taxes of $500 million, kidnapping, which generated $150 million, and extortion, which was worth $750 million. As the territory under its … [Read more...]


Housing Harm

While housing starts have been steadily rising since 2011, and existing sales have been growing, albeit very slowly of late, for even longer, things may slow going forward. A combination of suddenly higher mortgage rates, new tax laws that mildly depress the value of higher-priced homes, and now … [Read more...]


Costly Candy

 The Friday File: The world’s most expensive stock (if you can call it that) chocolate bar that isn’t coated in edible 24-karat gold leaf, that doesn’t come with a rare gold coin, and that doesn’t weigh over 100 lbs, is a boundary-pushing 2015 vintage, Ecuador-based, chocolate bar from To’ak that … [Read more...]


Crummy Curfew

 Since 1995, DC has imposed a curfew for those under age 17 to improve safety. Regrettably, after examining the data, the policy has made things worse. The curfew increases gunfire incidents by 0.045 per precinct, or about seven more gunfire events per week. This is because the streets are less … [Read more...]


Perky Portfolios

 In 17Q4, US household wealth rose by slightly more than $2 trillion to a record $98.75 trillion, or 6.8 times disposable income, surpassing the previous record of 6.52, in 06Q1. The increase in wealth attributable to the soaring stock market was $1.35 trillion, while wealth from real estate … [Read more...]


Bogus Bull

 Last Friday, the current bull market turned nine, the second longest bull since the 1942, but still several years away from the 1987-2000 record bull. How much longer can it last? Who knows, but don’t look to the stock market. Since 1900, there have been 22 recessions and 20 have coincided with a … [Read more...]


Excellent Exertion

 February’s job report was stellar! 313,000 net new jobs, the best increase since 7/16, and upward revisions to December and January totaled 54,000. Moreover, the labor force participation rate rose from 62.7% to 63%, a rate not bettered since 3/14. That led to the labor force rising by 800,000, the … [Read more...]