In response to Can the Electric Grid Handle Self-Driving Electric Trucks? I received point and counterpoint emails, plus a request for a debate.
The debate request is not with me. Rather, reader Chris asked for a debate between someone Chris Martensen interviewed on his Peak Prosperity site and EEUI, an Electrical Engineer in the Utility Industry, someone whose comments I posted previously.
My source needs to remain anonymous so perhaps the debate needs to be on paper. Perhaps not. I will see who is willing and who isn’t.
It’s easy to get student loans thanks to the aptly named “Parent Plus” program, a subprime loan trap that ensnares parents plus their college-age children. The program was enacted by Congress in the 1980s, but president Obama promoted it heavily.
The results speak for themselves: Nearly 40% of the loans are subprime. The default rate exceeds the rate for U.S. mortgages at the peak of the housing crisis.
Kids graduate from college with useless degrees, plus parents and kids are stuck with massive bills that cannot be paid back.
The markets appear giddy today over the election prospects of Emanuel Macron in France.
Equities are up along with bond yields. Gold is down. The day is still young though.
Macron won round one of the French election yesterday and will square off against Marine Le Pen in round two on May 7. He is widely expected to win round two, becoming the next president of France.
Emanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen will square off in round two of the French elections as most expected.
In response to some of my recent posts on self-driving and electric vehicles, several readers asked if the electric grid could handle the increase. Other readers flat out stated the electric capacity was insufficient.
What’s the real story?
An electrical engineer in the utility industry emailed his thoughts in a pair of emails yesterday.
French voters go to the voting booths tomorrow. No campaigning can take place today, nor can any election polling.
The final polls show a small bounce for Marine Le Pen. One of the polls has Le Pen back into a tie with Macron.
In the wake of the terrorist gun ambush on April 20 that killed one policeman and injured two others, one has to wonder if and how the attack might impact the elections.
Reader Bob wants to know if the Fed can keep various bubbles levitated forever. Here is his specific question followed by my response.
Unlike their counterparts at the ISM, Markit sees growth in both services and manufacturing weakening with U.S. private sector growth at a seven-month low in April.
Markit notes that a profit squeeze on businesses. Input prices are rising faster than final prices on goods and services.
Markit’s chief economist keeps his 1st quarter GDP estimate at 1.7% but estimates the 2nd quarter will get off to a rocky start at 1.1%.
Existing home sales beat expectations with a climb to 5.71 million units, seasonally adjusted annualized (SAAR).
Just days after Trump backed away from a trade war with China, the Trump administration launched a National-Security Probe on Steel Imports.
For good measure, Trump blasted Canada over its dairy product policy.
Paris Policeman Killed, ISIS Claims Responsibility, Fillon Calls For Election Suspension: Election Impact?
One police officer was killed and another seriously wounded in a Paris terrorist attack today. The attacker purposely targeted police. ISIS Claimed responsibility for the Champs-Elysees attack.
The index of leading economic indicators rose by 0.4% beating the Econoday Consensus estimate of 0.2%.
“Gains were broad-based in the month led by the ISM new orders index and including, as always, the interest rate spread where short-term rates are unusually low. The LEI has been very solid and continues to point ahead to rising economic strength.”
The Fed’s Beige Book, a summary of economic activity in 12 Fed regions, claims modest wage increases broadened, manufacturing expanded, and light vehicle sales strengthened.
Let’s investigate those claims in detail, emphasis mine, then do a reality check on those ideas.
Nearly the entire state of Tennessee has a single Obamacare provider. In sixteen counties, none of this year’s providers want to do business.
Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Alaska, and Wyoming are states where there is only a single provider for the entire state. Iowa is likely to be covered by a single provider next year. Most of North Carolina, Florida, Missouri, and Arizona are also in a single-provider situation.
Enrollment for 2018 starts in November. Will the problem be fixed by then? If not, What Happens if Places Have No Obamacare Insurers?
Finding driverless-friendly cities that allow car makers to test their technology has been one of the challenges facing the driverless industry.
Today, Portland stepped up to the plate. “The technology is coming,” says Mayor Ted Wheeler. “Either the technology will happen to us, or we are going to shape the playing field.”
UK prime minister Theresa May shocked the UK by calling for snap elections after stating just last month she would not do so.
In response, the British Pound soared.
The Labour Party is going to get smacked hard in the June election, and May will have free rein to do whatever she wants in the Brexit negotiations.
Esther George, president and chief executive officer of the Kansas City Fed says Continuing With Rate Rises Is ‘Necessary’.
She also claims weak economic data is “transient”.
Meanwhile, the market increasingly believes the economy is weakening and rate hikes are less likely.
Unless housing starts data is another one-time affair, and it could be given the volatile nature of housing starts, this recovery is nearly over just as sentiment is peaking.
Econoday notes a 6.8% decline in housing starts for March to 1.215 million units seasonally adjusted annualized (SAAR).
The reported dip is vs an upward revision in February from 1.288 million SAAR to 1.303 million SAAR. Thus, the effective dip vs the as-reported number last month is an oversized 5.7%
The Minsk ceasefire agreement completely collapsed in January 2015, with renewed heavy fighting across the conflict zone, including Donetsk International Airport and Debaltsovo. A new ceasefire, called Minsk II, was agreed to on 12 February 2015.
Minsk II largely held if you don’t count near-daily artillery fire and periodic small-unit actions that have killed many hundreds on each side. However, there are numerous signs another major outbreak might be at hand.