Mike Rowe on Jobs, Minimum Wages

31 May 2017

Mike Rowe, formerly of “Dirty Jobs,” talks jobs and minimum wages. This is good, solid, common sense.


China’s Credit Rating Downgraded by Moody’s

24 May 2017

2017/05/24 – Moody’s downgrades China’s credit rating – BBC News

Moody’s, one of the world’s big three ratings agencies, cut China by one notch to A1 from Aa3.


Moody’s said that the downgrade reflected expectations that China’s financial strength would “erode somewhat over the coming years, with the economy-wide debt continuing to rise as potential growth slows”.

The other two main credit rating agencies have so far left their evaluations unchanged.

Standard & Poor’s rating for China currently stands at AA- with a negative outlook, while Fitch’s rating is A+ with a stable outlook.


General – 2nd Quarter 2017 Economy

12 May 2017

2017/05/11 – U.S. Weekly Jobless Filings Fall; Producer Prices Rebound Strongly – NY Times

The labor market is close to full employment, with the unemployment rate at a near 10-year low of 4.4 percent.

The number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid tumbled 61,000 to 1.92 million in the week ended April 29, the lowest level since November 1988.


Water Passes Soda for the Most Consumed Drink

10 Mar 2017

Bottled water sales outpace soda for first time in U.S.CBS

Bottled water overtook soda as the No. 1 drink sold in the U.S. last year, according to one metric.

Americans drank an average of 39.3 gallons of bottled water in 2016 and 38.5 gallons of carbonated soft drinks, according to research and consulting firm Beverage Marketing Corp.


Of course, just because Americans are drinking more water doesn’t mean soda companies are suffering. The top two bottled water brands, Dasani and Aquafina, are owned by Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, respectively. The two companies captured 26 percent of bottled water revenue last year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Sounds like a good trend.


Private School Invests $15,000… Nets $24 million

6 Mar 2017

Silicon Valley high school makes $24million in the Snapchat IPO five years after a parent convinced it to invest $15,000 in seed moneyUK Daily Mail

A California high school has made millions of dollars from the initial public offering of shares in Snap Inc., the company behind the Snapchat photo messaging application.

The board of the Saint Francis high school in Mountain View agreed to invest $15,000 in seed money in Snap Inc. in 2012, when the company was just getting started.


The school says they sold two-thirds of their 2.1million Class A shares at $17 each, to raise $24 million. The remaining 700,000 shares that they held onto are now worth more than $17million, after the stock closed at $24.48 a share on Thursday.

This is a private Roman Catholic school that decided to do this. The results are extreme, but modest investments could be methods to lower tuition costs for some who may not have the money to attend private schools.


Coal Transport Increasing

6 Mar 2017

Coal on the rise: AARRailway Age

In reporting U.S. rail traffic volumes for the week ending Feb. 25, 2017 and the month of February 2017, the Association of American Railroads noted that coal rose 14% and 19.2%, respectively.


In February 2017, 11 of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with February 2016. These included: coal, up 19.2% or 57,589 carloads; crushed stone, gravel, and sand, up 13.1% or 10,091 carloads; and primary metal products, up 6.8% or 2,357 carloads. Commodities that saw declines in February 2017 from February 2016 included: petroleum and petroleum products, down 12.4% or 5,543 carloads; motor vehicles and parts, down 4.8% or 3,746; carloads and metallic ores, down 19.1% or 2,793 carloads.

It is good to look at the economy from all angles, not just the stock market. The coal industry took a sizable hit during the Obama years. Looks like they are starting to see some daylight.


McDonald’s Plans To Improve Its Burgers

2 Mar 2017

McDonald’s vows to win back patrons with better burgersUSA Today

McDonald’s executives unveiled plans Wednesday for better burgers, delivery services and more digital-friendly restaurants to return to growth after the loss of “hundreds of millions” of visits by customers who drifted away as the chain fell behind on quality, value and convenience.


In the U.S., the upgrades will be in place at roughly 2,500 of its eateries by the end of this year. Most of the nation’s 14,000 restaurants will be revamped by 2020, according to Chris Kempczinski, president of McDonald’s USA.

About time…