Media Worth Consuming - December 2017

Jonathan Rochford

Private equity owned subprime auto lenders are struggling with high arrears. Millions of Americans are being chased for debts they don’t owe. Calpers is accused of increasing its equity allocation to avoid a lower assumed return and higher contributions. Resets on CLOs help to evergreen deals and reduce ramp-up issues.

Big owners of bitcoin are selling down. The litecoin founder sold all of his holding after the price jumped from $4 to over $300 this year. The difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum. The CryptoKitties game is slowing down Ethereum trading. There’s anecdotal reports of people using loans secured against their homes to buy bitcoin. The South Korean crypto exchange Youbit declares bankruptcy after being hacked, 15-25% losses are expected. One estimate has bitcoin needing all of the world’s existing electricity supply by 2020 as the cost to mine one bitcoin in the US starts at $3,244.

Politics & Culture

The Saudi Arabian government wants $6 billion from a Prince for his freedom. A Saudi general was tortured to death after refusing to hand over his wealth. Saudi princes go on an overseas spending binge whilst austerity applies at home. The UAE refuses to play the anthem or raise the flag of Israel after an Israeli citizen wins a judo competition. Uruguay is selling marijuana through pharmacies.

American insurance companies are encouraging their policyholders to commit suicide rather than pursue expensive, life saving treatments. Regulations favouring specials interests and political donors are the source of greater inequality.

Economics & Work

Traffic controllers in Australia earn $130,000 per year after two days of training. UK delivery drivers for Amazon are being paid well below the minimum wage. Mobile phones show that technology trickles down from the rich to the middle class and then the poor. The poorest Baltimore residents are facing water bills requiring 20% of their income. Ten commandments for economists plus ten others for non-economists. Kansas stuffed up tax cuts, but North Carolina got it right. Carbon capture is becoming viable – Iceland shows how it can be done.

Miscellaneous

Venezuelans decorate a Christmas tree with worthless Bolivar notes. 37 crazy American university subjects. 100 things called racist in 2017. Miami has banned residents from growing vegetables in their front yard, but fruit trees are ok. Uber charges a rider $18,518.50 for a five mile trip in Toronto, before eventually refunding the charge.


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