Celebratory Chanukah

 The Friday File: Tonight is the fourth night of Hanukkah, or Festival of Lights, and the 2,184th time this holiday is being celebrated. The tallest menorah, or candelabra, was 60 feet high, weighed 37,500 lbs, and was located in Latrun, Israel. The largest number of simultaneously spinning dreidels … [Read more...]


Marriage Modification

 In 1960, in 14.6% of marriages husbands had more education than wives. The reverse was the case 7.1% of the time. The remaining 78.3% of marriages had spouses of equal education. This imbalance peaked in 1980 when in 23% of marriages husbands were better educated while in 11% the wife was. Now, in … [Read more...]


Invisible Inflation

 The number of times the Fed boosts rates a quarter-point in 2018 will depend entirely on GDP growth and inflation. If both perk up, expect four hikes, if they both remain weak, expect two. The low and falling unemployment rate suggests that inflationary pressures should build. However, researchers … [Read more...]


Autonomous Autos

 With competition already brutal in the ride-hailing sector - Uber lost almost $1.5 billion in 17Q3 - competition looks to get still more intense. Google is planning to employ as many as 24,000 autonomous vehicles, while GM and other big automakers are planning similar offerings. With so many large, … [Read more...]


Lotsa Labor

Employment growth was 228,000 in November and is averaging 170,000 jobs since August. The key takeaways: the job market is very strong, and growth is well distributed with solid gains across all education levels! The hurricanes have left no traces, and while wage growth is hardly Bitcoinesque at … [Read more...]


Memorable Memorization

 The Friday File: This week, the World Memory Championships are being held. The reigning world champion is American Alex Mullen. He holds the world record for the longest sequence of numbers memorized in an hour at 3,029, cards in an hour at 1,626, and numbers in five minutes at 520. Marwin … [Read more...]


Suffering States

 As of 2015, there were 13 states that sent more money to Washington than they received in federal spending. The sums include federal salaries, military contracts, Social Security payments, Medicaid, corporate and personal taxes and so on. The biggest loser, NJ at -$3,478/person, followed by CT at … [Read more...]


Rocketing RVs

 Shipments of recreational vehicles, towable or motorized, hit a then record 390,000/year in 1978. In the double-dip recession of the early 1980s, they cratered to 108,000. They then slowly rose again, reaching 390,000 in 2006, the peak of the Housing Boom, only to crash to 166,000 in 2009. Since … [Read more...]


OPEC Output

 OPEC, Russia, and other countries controlling 60% of global crude production have extended their withholding of 1.8 million bbl/day of oil, 2% of output, from 3/31/18 to 12/31/18. The forces at play here are threefold; rising global GDP boosting demand by 500,000 bbl/day, declining production in … [Read more...]


Bitcoin Bonanza

 Over the weekend, Bitcoin hit $11,780/coin. Bitcoin finished 2016 at $968.23, and YTD is up 1,200%, yes, twelve mindboggling hundred percent. In terms of currency in circulation, the US dollar leads with $1.5 trillion, followed by the euro at $1.2 trillion, the Chinese yuan at $1 trillion, the … [Read more...]