FIRE Economy | timiacono.com - Part 4

This looks pretty interesting – an upcoming piece by the team at Vice News about California’s ubiquitous pumpjacks, once the subject of a piece at the old blog nearly 10 years ago – Three Chevy Tahoes and a Wal-Mart Truck.

Reading that post and the comments brought back some memories – here’s comment #2:

The Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon do seem to be the vehicle of choice for house-rich Californians in their thirties – gots to have the thousand dollar custom wheels with the performance tires though.

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They probably got at a little chuckle in the Russia Today newsroom when preparing this piece about how officials at UC Davis (one of the most liberal institutions of higher learning in the land) spent upwards of $175,000 to lessen the internet presence of their infamous “pepper spray” incident that resulted from the Occupy UC Davis demonstration in 2011.

I imagine they already have special instructions in place about the possible use of pepper spray here in 2016 now that the University of California Student Association and some lawmakers are calling for the resignation or firing of UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi who, as of this morning, has rebuffed their demands.

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A Brief History of Credit Cards

From And/Orange comes this history of the credit card in the U.S. that goes a long way in explaining how our credit-enabled economy has evolved and what its future might hold now that we (collectively and in credit card terms) have maxed everything out.

Don’t know about you, but with the end of the Costco/Amex relationship, we’ve gotten lots and lots of credit card offers recently, with almost all of them offering generous introductory benefits that have added up to a startling amount of money.

We’ve taken advantage of nearly all of them, then stopped using the new card, but new offers keep coming in as we await the new Costco Visa card which is supposed to be quite generous in rewards (e.g., an impressive 4% back on gas purchases).

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Credit Crunch for Shale Drillers

Bloomberg reports on the long-awaited (yet still painfully slow) comeuppance for shale oil companies and the big U.S. banks who have lent to them. Of course, freakishly low interest rates that were too low for too long are in no way related to any of this.

This seems to be the new normal (that is, unless we get a huge rebound in oil prices):

Chesapeake Energy Corp., the deeply indebted shale producer, said that it can hang on to its $4 billion bank line as long as it posts just about everything it owns as collateral.

Outlooks, Education, and Income

From a recent item at Pew Research via this Wall Street Journal story today come the two related charts below that go a long way in explaining the rise of presidential candidate Donald Trump who, not long ago, proclaimed “I love the poorly educated”.

One would think that if you factor in the gargantuan student loan debt that now comes along with many of those college degrees and income gains shown above for the millennial set, those blue and gray curves would adjusted downward, probably by a lot.

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