Sleeping Beauties

By |2019-05-31T06:16:44-04:00May 31st, 2019|Global Market Update|

Are we getting enough sleep? Source: Fancycrave. CC0 Sleep is an increasingly important part of a healthy lifestyle. When we sleep, our bodies repair themselves and our minds reboot. Our circulatory system uses sleep to rebuild damaged blood vessels, especially in and around the heart. We use extended periods of low blood pressure and a lower heart rate to clear out fat and patch up weak vessel walls. Folks with chronic sleep problems can be 50% more likely to develop cardiovascular issues, like high [...]

Four Cheese Pizza

By |2019-05-29T17:50:56-04:00May 29th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Sometimes simple things taste the best. Photo: Viktor Hanacek. Source: Picjumbo Cheese, bread, tomato sauce, spices, and a little basil can make an outstanding pizza. Bake it just right, and it forms the base of a delicious meal. We don’t need a lot of fancy ingredients whose names we can’t pronounce from countries we’ve never heard of. Nor do we need to grow the wheat in our own back yard or use cheese from our own cows, although fresh basil is nice. What’s important [...]

Building Blocks

By |2019-05-29T05:55:48-04:00May 29th, 2019|Global Market Update|

What is capital? Photo: Fancycrave. Source: Pexels. CC0 Capital makes things. Factories and design studios and drilling rigs and construction equipment are capital. To build the Panama Canal, the managing engineers employed thousands of steam-powered excavating machines, rather than millions of workers with shovels. Today, our economy runs on data, rather than power. It needs creative people who can pull new ideas and material and suppliers and delivery together on a mobile platform that’s elegant and easy to use. Aggregators have been the way [...]

Unsolvable Problem

By |2019-05-28T06:00:19-04:00May 28th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Some problems don’t have a solution. Beal Equation, Source: Wikipedia Brexit is an unsolvable problem. The problem is the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. The Republic of Ireland is part of the European Union. The border between them is open and unguarded, as a result of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. That agreement was ratified by three referenda in Ireland and Northern Ireland, as well as by legislation in the UK [...]

Game of Networks

By |2019-05-20T14:48:31-04:00May 20th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Connections matter. Illustration: Gerd Altman. Source: Pixabay. CC0 We’re a networking species. There’s a part of our brains that’s devoted to making connections with other people. All mammals have this lobe, the “limbic lobe.” It supports long-term memory, emotions, motivation, and our sense of smell. The structure of our limbic system may be one reason why some scented candles can have a soothing effect. But the most important effect of our limbic system is how it facilitates social interactions. A recent experiment with rhesus [...]

Bird’s Eye View

By |2019-05-16T06:00:23-04:00May 16th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Privacy is over. Source: Pixabay. CC0 That’s what I thought when I read about Orbital Insight. They’re a software company that analyzes images from satellites that tell us something, anything about the world we live in – how much oil is in storage tanks in China, how many cars are parked in Walmart parking lots, or what’s the health of the crops planted in North Dakota. By using public and private imagery and sophisticated AI software, the company can evaluate what’s happening on the [...]

IP – Oh, No!

By |2019-05-15T05:57:57-04:00May 15th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Is Uber the next Facebook? Photo: Quotecatalog. Source: Flikr. CC BY 2.0 Uber went public on Friday, to celebration and consternation. The $70 billion initial public offering is one of the biggest ever. And the shares promptly dropped 6% on their first day of trading, and even more over the next few days. The company has been growing their revenues by around 50% per year, but unlike many hot growth companies, their expenses have been growing just as fast. As a result, they don’t [...]

Getting Booked

By |2019-05-14T05:58:57-04:00May 14th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Why do we love old books? Photo: Dean Moriarty. Source: Pixabay There’s something romantic to “old book smell.” It’s a kind of earthy, musty aroma of old leather and paper. Maybe the smell invokes trips to the library when you were a child. It’s quite attractive to many people. There are even high-end perfumes that try to mimic it. Old paper releases distinctive odors as it breaks down, notably lignin, which produces a vanilla scent when it decomposes. Different presses use different sources of [...]

Ready, Set, What?

By |2019-05-13T05:30:13-04:00May 13th, 2019|Global Market Update|

How can we be ready for what comes next? Photo: Russographer. Source: CC BY-SA-2.0 “Be prepared” is the Boy Scout motto, and it’s good advice if we’re headed into the mountains. We need to be physically ready for challenge of the peaks – core body strength, cardio-vascular endurance, and mental focus. We need to have adequate clothing and emergency supplies, like a headlamp and compass. And we need to know the terrain and trails we’re headed into. Maps, guides, and experienced friends help [...]

Chinese Fortunes

By |2019-05-08T05:43:00-04:00May 8th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Is China a major market? Photo: Kalligan. Source: Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0 The short answer is, duh. China’s economy is huge. They’re the world’s second largest, at $12 trillion, more than half the size of the US. They’re a big player in trade, manufacturing, consumer goods, and mega construction projects. Their Belt-Road Initiative has the potential to re-draw global trade relationships. But their equity market isn’t nearly as significant. At $4 trillion, they’re a small fraction of the world’s equity markets, and less than [...]