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jerryking : indices   11

A Recession Is Coming (Eventually). Here’s Where You’ll See It First. - The New York Times
By Ben Casselman
July 28, 2019

Another recession will come eventually. Fortunately, economic expansions, unlike coin-flip streaks, usually provide some hints about when they are nearing their end — if you know where to look. Below is a guide to some of the indicators that have historically done the best job of sounding the alarm.

Indicator 1: The Unemployment Rate
What to watch for: Rapid increases, even from a low level.
What it’s saying: All clear.

Indicator 2: The Yield Curve
What to watch for: Interest rates on 10-year Treasury bonds falling below those on three-month bonds. (It has already happened.)
What it’s saying: Storm warning.

Indicator 3: The ISM Manufacturing Index
What to watch for: The index falling below about 45 for an extended period.
What it's saying: Mostly cloudy.

Indicator 4: Consumer Sentiment
What to watch for: Declines of 15 percent or more over a year.
What it's saying: Partly cloudy.

Indicator 5: Choose Your Favorite

* Temporary staffing levels: Temp workers are, by definition, flexible — companies hire them when they need help quickly and get rid of them when demand dries up. That makes them a good measure of business sentiment.
* The quits rate: When workers are confident in the economy, they are more likely to quit voluntarily.
* Residential building permits: The housing market has frequently led the economy both into and out of recessions. That has made building permits — which are generally issued several weeks before construction begins — one of the best historical indicators of economic activity.
* Auto sales: After houses, cars are the most expensive thing most families buy.
consumer_confidence  economics  forecasting  indices  interim  lagging_indicators  leading_indicators  manufacturers  recessions  unemployment  warning_signs  yield_curve 
10 weeks ago by jerryking
‘Businesses Will Not Be Able to Hide’: Spy Satellites May Give Edge From Above
Jan. 24, 2019 | The New York Times | By Cade Metz.

In October, the Chinese province of Guangdong — the manufacturing center on the southern coast that drives 12 percent of the country’s economy — stopped publishing a monthly report on the health of its local factories.

For five consecutive months, this key economic index had shown a drop in factory production as the United States applied billions of dollars in tariffs on Chinese exports. Then, amid an increasingly bitter trade war between the United States and China, the government authorities in Beijing shut the index down.

A small start-up in San Francisco began rebuilding the index, lifting information from photos and infrared images of Guangdong’s factories captured by satellites orbiting overhead. The company, SpaceKnow, is now selling this information to hedge funds, banks and other market traders looking for an edge.

High-altitude surveillance was once the domain of global superpowers. Now, a growing number of start-ups are turning it into a business, aiming to sell insights gleaned from cameras and other sensors installed on small and inexpensive “cube satellites.”..... satellite analysis will ultimately lead to more efficient markets and a better understanding of the global economy.....as well...as a check on the world’s companies and governments....use satellite imagery to track everything from illegal mining and logging operations to large-scale home demolitions. .....All of this is being driven by a drop in the cost of building, launching and operating satellites. Today, a $3 million satellite that weighs less than 10 pounds can capture significantly sharper images than a $300 million, 900-pound satellite built in the late 1990s. That allows companies to put up dozens of devices, each of which can focus on a particular area of the globe or on a particular kind of data collection. As a result, more companies are sending more satellites into orbit, and these satellites are generating more data.

And recent advances in artificial intelligence allow machines to analyze this data with greater speed and accuracy. “The future is automation, with humans only looking at the very interesting stuff,” ......The start-ups buy their data from a growing number of satellite operators, and they build the automated systems that analyze the data, pinpointing objects like cars, buildings, mines and oil tankers in high-resolution photos and other images........What began with satellite cameras is rapidly expanding to infrared sensors that detect heat; “hyperspectral” sensors that identify minerals, vegetation and other materials; and radar scanners that can build three-dimensional images of the landscape below.....
artificial_intelligence  automation  competitive_advantage  indices  imagery  informational_advantages  infrared  insights  reconnaissance  satellites  sensors  slight_edge  surveillance  trade_wars 
january 2019 by jerryking
The GE-free Dow is the index our age deserves | Financial Times
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson 8 HOURS AGO

The avatar of American agglomeration is now slimming down to its aviation, healthcare and power businesses. Yet if you ask anyone who grew up around American kitchens or hardware stores what GE makes, they will probably mention fridges and lightbulbs. As its new chief, John Flannery, struggles to reverse the third steep slide in GE’s shares since the start of the century, one challenge he faces is that its brand is freighted with misconceptions. 
...The Dow tracks a mere 30 stocks, compared to the S&P’s 500; the points moves get increasingly meaningless as markets rise, and with no Facebook, Amazon, Netflix or Google it is missing most of the market-moving Faangs.
.......What earned GE its special place in the American imagination is that, in its conglomerate prime, it provided a similar guide to the US’s industrial evolution as it diversified from jet engines to television shows to finance. Even now, the company is as much a bet on healthcare.... as Walgreens,
........the Dow is as much a branding triumph as a GE fridge, and the story it tells best about the US economy is how it has come to be driven by brands........The market-movers of 1896 had solid, descriptive and quietly flag-waving names like Standard Rope & Twine, Pacific Mail Steamship and the North American Company. Today’s biggest businesses, like Apple, Alphabet and Amazon, are not defined by history, geography or even what they do. Instead, they stand as testaments to the rise of intangible assets at the expense of tangible goods — as does the survival of a well-marketed industrial average in a country where services are 80 per cent of GDP. 

The Dow no longer tells us much about American industry. But it still tells us plenty about America.
benchmarks  brands  conglomerates  DJIA  exits  FAANG  GE  indignities  intangibles  misconceptions  symbolism  indices  healthcare 
june 2018 by jerryking
Unnatural calm sparks visions of a 'Minsky Moment'
31 December/1 January 2017 | Financial Times | John Authers.

Argues that it is bad news that volatility on financial markets has dropped to an all-time low as measured on the CBOE's Vix index. Economist Hyman Minsky postulated that capitalist financial systems were inherently unstable, and that stability begat instability. As markets grow calmer and bankers more confident, lending steadily rises until it is out of control. The "Minsky Moment" occurs when investors realize that they have paid far too much for the credits that have bought, no buyers can be found, and the system collapses. Aka Wile E. Coyote running-off-a-cliff....The greatest dangers to us are not from things we perceive to be high-risk, because we generally treat them carefully. Trouble arises from that which we perceive to be low-risk.
instability  Vix  indices  volatility  economists  financial_system  risk-assessment  warning_signs  complacency  dangers  high-risk  low-risk  fear  bad_news 
january 2017 by jerryking
Start-Ups Are Mining Hyperlocal Information for Global Insights - NYTimes.com
November 10, 2013 | WSJ | By QUENTIN HARDY

By analyzing the photos of prices and the placement of everyday items like piles of tomatoes and bottles of shampoo and matching that to other data, Premise is building a real-time inflation index to sell to companies and Wall Street traders, who are hungry for insightful data.... Collecting data from all sorts of odd places and analyzing it much faster than was possible even a couple of years ago has become one of the hottest areas of the technology industry. The idea is simple: With all that processing power and a little creativity, researchers should be able to find novel patterns and relationships among different kinds of information.

For the last few years, insiders have been calling this sort of analysis Big Data. Now Big Data is evolving, becoming more “hyper” and including all sorts of sources. Start-ups like Premise and ClearStory Data, as well as larger companies like General Electric, are getting into the act....General Electric, for example, which has over 200 sensors in a single jet engine, has worked with Accenture to build a business analyzing aircraft performance the moment the jet lands. G.E. also has software that looks at data collected from 100 places on a turbine every second, and combines it with power demand, weather forecasts and labor costs to plot maintenance schedules.
start_ups  data  data_driven  data_mining  data_scientists  inflation  indices  massive_data_sets  hyperlocal  Premise  Accenture  GE  ClearStory  real-time  insights  Quentin_Hardy  pattern_recognition  photography  sensors  maintenance  industrial_Internet  small_data 
november 2013 by jerryking
Real estate agent’s school opinions spark firestorm in GTA
Sep. 08 2013 |- The Globe and Mail |by GREG McARTHUR.

Although it’s not unusual for real estate agents to post test scores on their websites, Ms. Kostyniuk, has gone two steps further, devising her own methodology for ranking schools and then offering her candid opinions, often on video. Her system, she says, is supposed to take into account socio-economic factors to make the rankings fairer, but instead she has sparked a firestorm on websites popular with educators. While she is applauded by the likes of the Fraser Institute for trying to measure school performance, lawyers with the Peel District School Board are discussing how they can persuade her to cease and desist publishing her ranking system. “I think we’re going to appeal to her sense of good taste and respect and ask her to not do this to our schools,” said the board’s director of communications, Brian Woodland....Her rankings rely primarily on the standardized tests administered by Ontario’s Education Quality and Accountability Office, but with a few twists. In an effort to identify underrated schools, she created what she calls the Teacher Difficulty Index.

While filming herself in promotional videos outside many of Mississauga’s schools, she says she encountered teachers and principals who revealed to her the four main factors that make a teacher’s job more difficult: lower household income levels, parental education, the number of single parent households in the neighbourhood and the number of ESL students. She purchased data about these factors from a polling company, and using a formula – she previously worked as a geomorphologist, her website says – came up with a list of schools that she believes are environments where it is more difficult to teach. From there she developed a “potency list” – schools that perform better than they should given the socio-economic factors in their neighbourhood.
real_estate  education  schools  performance  Mississauga  indices  underrated  data  ranked_list  standardized_testing  teachers  school_districts  rankings  data_driven  test-score_data  outperformance  creating_valuable_content 
september 2013 by jerryking
Why Innovation Is Still Capitalism’s Star - NYTimes.com
By ROBERT J. SHILLER
Published: August 17, 2013

Edmund S. Phelps, a professor of economics at Columbia University and a Nobel laureate, has written an interesting new book on the subject. It’s called “Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge and Change” (Princeton University Press), and it contains a complex new analysis of the importance of an entrepreneurial culture.

Professor Phelps discerns a troubling trend in many countries, however, even the United States. He is worried about corporatism, a political philosophy in which economic activity is controlled by large interest groups or the government. Once corporatism takes hold in a society, he says, people don’t adequately appreciate the contributions and the travails of individuals who create and innovate. An economy with a corporatist culture can copy and even outgrow others for a while, he says, but, in the end, it will always be left behind. Only an entrepreneurial culture can lead. ... In 1991, I started a business with Karl Case, an economics professor at Wellesley College, and Allan Weiss, a former student of mine at Yale. We called it Case Shiller Weiss, Inc., and it was devoted to an innovation we dreamed up. The idea was a new “repeat sale” home price index — which would track the changes in the value of the same houses over time.

At the time, this was an entirely new line of business. And, at first, that posed a problem: we were spectacularly unsuccessful in raising money.
Robert_Shiller  innovation  Colleges_&_Universities  Nobel_Prizes  capitalism  entrepreneurship  Obama  3-D  economists  books  corporatism  job_creation  crony_capitalism  indices 
august 2013 by jerryking
Climate Feedback: A new adaptation tool: climate insurance : Climate Feedback
22 Jul 2009 | 15:54 BST | Posted by Jeff Tollefson.

climate insurance is by no means a magic bullet. But clearly the tools of modern finance could certainly help make poor nations prepare for and respond to all manner of natural disasters big and small.

We explore some of these ideas in this week’s issue of Nature, taking a quick look at how the insurance debate is playing out in the ongoing United Nations climate talks. The upshot is that some kind of insurance mechanism is likely to make it into whatever climate deal is struck in Copenhagen and beyond.

One commonly cited option is index insurance, which is tied to things like rainfall that can be measured objectively. This cuts down on costs by eliminating the need for audits and investigations. In the case of something like crop insurance, moreover, it could put money in the hands of farmers immediately after the rains fail – and before the hunger sets in....Today these programs are being paid for largely by the farmers and nations buying the insurance, but industrialized nations would likely subsidize any insurance program deployed as part of an international climate agreement. The logic is that extreme weather variations – including droughts and heavy storms – are likely to increase in a warmer world, which means that both costs and premiums will rise as well.

A key challenge moving forward is how to scale up programs that benefit the world’s poorest farmers and communities. Dan Osgood, a researcher at Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society, points out the pilot programs that are under way today have generally been deployed in areas where information – regarding weather, crops and the like – is available. This means it will only get more difficult moving forward....Osgood says the insurance question could also increase pressure on scientists and insurance companies to tease out the long-term impacts of global warming at very local scales.
insurance  crop_insurance  climate_change  natural_calamities  data  farming  poverty  hyperlocal  indices  microtargeting  audits  pilot_programs 
april 2012 by jerryking

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