The Curious Cat Investing, Economics and Personal Finance Carnival is published twice each month with links to new, related, interesting content online. Also see related books and articles.
- A Nation of Public Housing by Neal Peirce – “One government agency manages 80 percent of the housing stock — all called public housing. It checks your age and whether you’re married to decide whether and when you’re eligible for an apartment.” Racial quotas are used, unmarried people can’t apply until they turn 35. Any guess on what country this is? The same country is ranked as the easiest, or close to it, country run business in the world.
- China’s end game:the dark side of a great deleveraging by Dee Woo – “The dilemma is that business entities will need more and more credit to achieve the same economic result, therefore will be more and more leveraged, less and less able to service the debt, more and more prone to insolvency and bankruptcy. It will reach a turning point when the increasing number of insolvencies and bankruptcies initiate an accelerating downward spiral for underling assets prices and drive up the non-performing loan ratio for the banks. And then the over-stretched banking system will implode. A full blown economic crisis will come in full force. The chain of reaction is clearly set in the motion now.
The biggest problem for China is the state, central enterprises and crony capitalists wield too much power over national economy, have too much monopoly power over wealth creation and income distribution, and much of the GDP growth and vested interest groups’ economic progress are made on the expanse of average consumers stuck in deteriorating relative poverty.”
- Challenges faced by middle-class L.A. families by Meg Sullivan – “Managing the volume of possessions was such a crushing problem in many homes that it actually elevated levels of stress hormones for mothers. Only 25 percent of garages could be used to store cars because they were so packed with stuff.” (read the book: Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century)
- USA Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) by John Hunter – Benefits have a maximum of $2,346/month (in 2011). The average benefit payment now is $1,111. More than 8.7 million people are received disability benefits currently (partially disabilities are not eligible for SSDI.
- Chinese economy is slowing and is likely to slow a lot more – “After three decades of annual growth averaging 10%, China’s bullet-train economy is slowing markedly… This year growth in gross domestic product could slip to 8%—and it may get a lot worse from there…”
- U.S. sugar program pitting growers against soda and candy firms by Kim Geiger – “Makers of sodas, candy bars and other sweetened snacks are taking aim at a long-standing federal program that keeps sugar prices high by restricting imports.” [Yet another special interest favored for decades by politicians. One day we will learn to stop electing these people that sacrifice the interests of the country to favor those giving politicians cash. This is one of the smaller redirection of public goods to special interests but it is such a blatant abuse that has gone on for decades that it helps illustrate how corrupt our political system is. - John]
- 5 Signs of the Chinese Economic Apocalypse: From hog ratios to growing coal stockpiles, the Chinese economy is blinking red by Trefor Moss – “Chinese prosecutors have said that close to 19,000 officials have been caught in the last 12 years while trying to flee overseas with money earned illegally… China’s wealthy and politically powerful are often members of the same family, and if China really does go into recession, a lot of rich people may decide to cut and run.”
- When the Storms Pass, the U.S. Dollar Will Be Hung Out to Dry by Jeff Opdyke – “Currencies like the Norwegian krone and the Canadian dollar will continue to have long-term strength because of these fundamental trends. Hand-in-hand, currencies with direct exposure to growing markets, such as the Singapore dollar, which stands as the gateway to Southeast Asia, will also find continued strength after the storms have cleared.”
- Patent trolls cost economy $29 billion yearly – “An earlier study by the same two academics measured indirect costs of patent troll lawsuits, using public companies’ stock prices as a proxy for the damages. That study found those costs to be about $83 billion annually… The $29 billion number comes from measuring the more straightforward costs associated with fighting off patent troll suits…”