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Economics

Farming subsidies — $1 million a minute — are destroying the world, says report

The Guardian reports: The public is providing more than $1m per minute in global farm subsidies, much of which is driving the climate crisis and destruction of wildlife, according to a new report. Just 1% of the $700bn (£560bn) a year given to farmers is used to benefit the environment, the analysis found. Much of the total instead promotes high-emission cattle production, forest destruction and pollution from the overuse of

The companies practicing ‘secret sustainability’

The Observer reports: There’s a factory in Asia that uses only a single litre of water to make a pair of jeans. That’s 346 litres less than Levi-Strauss estimated it took to make a pair of its jeans in 2015. Wouldn’t you love to buy your jeans from this amazingly innovative factory? Me too, but I don’t even know what it’s called. The manufacturer in question does not want to

Trump might like Brexit less after he sees what it does to the economy

The Washington Post reports: If Britain were to quit the E.U. without a formal withdrawal agreement — as Johnson has threatened — the biggest blows would fall on the United Kingdom and its European trading partners. U.K. output would shrink by more than 5 percent while unemployment and inflation would soar, Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, told Parliament earlier this week. Broader effects on business and

How Amazon’s next-day delivery network brought chaos, exploitation, and danger to communities across America

BuzzFeed reports: Amazon is the biggest retailer on the planet — with customers in 180 countries — and in its relentless bid to offer ever-faster delivery at ever-lower costs, it has built a national delivery system from the ground up. In under six years, Amazon has created a sprawling, decentralized network of thousands of vans operating in and around nearly every major metropolitan area in the country, dropping nearly 5

The man who got economists to take climate worst-case scenarios seriously

Bloomberg reports: What if climate change turns out to be worse than we think? That anxiety is now commonplace, but a decade ago it took an influential paper by a Harvard professor to convince the insular world of climate economists to focus more of their attention on worst-case scenarios. Martin Weitzman, who passed away this week at the age of 77, forever connected the notion of “fat tails” to the

The anatomy of the coming recession

Nouriel Roubini writes: There are three negative supply shocks that could trigger a global recession by 2020. All of them reflect political factors affecting international relations, two involve China, and the United States is at the center of each. Moreover, none of them is amenable to the traditional tools of countercyclical macroeconomic policy. The first potential shock stems from the Sino-American trade and currency war, which escalated earlier this month

The next recession will destroy Millennials

Annie Lowrey writes: The Millennials graduated into the worst jobs market in 80 years. That did not just mean a few years of high unemployment, or a couple years living in their parents’ basements. It meant a full decade of lost wages. The generation unlucky enough to enter the labor market in a recession suffers “significant” earnings losses that take years and years to rebound, studies show, something that hard

Trump’s command economy

David A. Graham writes: Fate sometimes has an acute sense of irony. This morning, the political donor and philanthropist David Koch died. Koch’s father was an early, prominent supporter of the limited-government, red-baiting John Birch Society. Koch ran for vice president as a Libertarian in 1980, but he and his brother Charles eventually shifted their focus to pushing the Republican Party in an aggressively small-government, low-regulation direction. They had remarkable

Group of top CEOs says maximizing shareholder profits no longer can be the primary goal of corporations

The Washington Post reports: The organization representing the nation’s most powerful chief executives is rewriting how it views the purpose of a corporation, updating its decades-old endorsement of the theory that shareholders’ interests should come above all else. The new statement, released Monday by the Business Roundtable, suggests balancing the needs of a company’s various constituencies and comes at a time of widening income inequality, rising expectations from the public

The coming economic crash — and how to stop it

Elizabeth Warren writes: I warned about an economic crash years before the 2008 crisis, but the people in power wouldn’t listen. Now I’m seeing serious warning signs in the economy again — and I’m calling on regulators and Congress to act before another crisis costs America’s families their homes, jobs, and savings. I’ve spent most of my career getting to the bottom of what’s happening to working families in America.

Ebola treatment breakthrough highlights Wall Street’s obsession with profit and indifference to saving lives

Barron’s reports: Monday brought a spot of good news in a bleak summer: Scientists testing Ebola drugs in the Democratic Republic of Congo found some that seemed to work. Wall Street shrugged. Scientists cut short a trial of four experimental Ebola drugs after two of them, including one developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (ticker: REGN), showed extremely promising results. Ninety percent of patients who took the drugs soon after infection survived.

U.S. economy ‘may be a lot sicker than people believe’

Politico reports: Wall Street hoisted another hurricane warning on the economy on Wednesday as fear continues to rise that a recession could arrive by next year, potentially crashing into President Donald Trump’s attempt to win a second term. This time, the warning came from the bond market where investors began to demand more interest on two-year Treasury debt than 10-year debt, an “inversion” of a measure known as the yield

BlackRock lost $90bn investing in fossil fuel companies, report finds

The Guardian reports: BlackRock, the world’s biggest investor, has lost an estimated $90bn over the last decade by ignoring the serious financial risk of investing in fossil fuel companies, according to economists. A report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has found that BlackRock has eroded the value of its $6.5tn funds by betting on oil companies that were falling in value and by missing out

How climate change could trigger the next global financial crisis

Robinson Meyer writes: A few years ago, Mark Carney, a former Goldman Sachs director who now leads the Bank of England, sounded a warning. Global warming, he said, could send the world economy spiraling into another 2008-like crisis. He called for central banks to act aggressively and immediately to reduce the risk of climate-related catastrophe, taking the warming planet as seriously as they would a cooling economy. Adam Tooze, a

The coming economic crash — and how to stop it

Elizabeth Warren writes: I warned about an economic crash years before the 2008 crisis, but the people in power wouldn’t listen. Now I’m seeing serious warning signs in the economy again — and I’m calling on regulators and Congress to act before another crisis costs America’s families their homes, jobs, and savings. I’ve spent most of my career getting to the bottom of what’s happening to working families in America.

Americans caught in poverty traps harbor unrealistic expectations

The New York Times reports: A widening income gap and sagging social mobility have left dents in the American dream. But the belief that anyone with enough gumption and grit can clamber to the top remains central to the nation’s self-image. And that could complicate Democratic efforts to frame the 2020 presidential election as a referendum on a broken economic system. Americans, who tend to link rewards to individual effort,