Posts tagged with basic facts
Incomes of the top .01%, 1915–2008 in France and United States
from the interactive The Top Incomes Database —
- you can select countries such as Argentina, China, Indonesia, Ireland
- and you can select upper quantiles like the lower half of the top percent; the .5%–.1%; top .1%; the top 10%–5%; and so on
- and you can get income controls, price level indices, number of tax units, number of adults — the things you need to divide by in order to make apples-to-apples comparisons
- $150 billion per year is spent on text messaging.
- Recorded music is a $17 billion market
- Yearly box office receipts are $32 billion
- Video games $7 billion
(And the SMS market was created completely by accident.)
An interesting story about industrial rail in the United States. About 20 mins. From The Economist.
- Europe has an impressive and growing network of high-speed passenger links
- America’s freight railways are one of the unsung transport successes of the past 30 years.
- Before deregulation America’s railways were going bust. … By 1980 a fifth of rail mileage was owned by bankrupt firms.
- Since 1981 productivity has risen by 172%, after years of stagnation. Adjusted for inflation, rates are down by 55%
- Coal is the biggest single cargo, accounting for 45% by volume and 23% by value.
- since 1990 the average horsepower of their fleet has risen by 72%
- [since 1990] the number of ton-miles per (American) gallon of fuel [rose] from 332 to 457—an improvement of 38%
- But the fastest-growing part of rail freight has been "intermodal" traffic: containers or truck trailers loaded on to flat railcars. The number of such shipments rose from 3m in 1980 to 12.3m in 2006, before the downturn caused a slight falling back.
- one freight train can carry as much as 280 lorries can
Since the onset of the Great Recession, 24 bonds that were rated, intended to finance essential services, and backed by tax revenues, have defaulted.
Among Moody’s rated municipal bonds, there have been only 3 school district defaults and two utility defaults since 1971.
Bond insurance was present in at least 5 of the 8 most significant defaults since 2009.
Breckinridge Capital Advisors, quoting Municipal Market Advisors, Default Trends, 5 June 2012.
A while ago I was naïvely wondering how you would compare financial risks in investing in sovereign bonds, municipal bonds, corporate bonds, versus equity risk in public stock markets.
Spurred by wondering why anyone would lend to the United States Treasury when the rates are so, so low. (That question came from reading op-eds about austerity, fiscal cliffs, and so on—where someone inevitably brings up that the US can borrow for free so it shouldn’t worry about its short-term deficit. Keyword “bond market vigilantes”) I mean, couldn’t you get much more money lending to pretty much anywhere else? Answer, found.
(although probably part of the answer is that US TSY, Bunds, and Gilts can soak up huge huge quantities, and there’s no “bank” where you can put a few hundred billion dollars.)
- Global oil consumption grew by 0.7% million barrels per day, or 0.7%, to reach 88 million b/d. This is a low growth number.
- Global energy consumption rose 3.5% in 2011l, OECD consumption dropping little-by-little the past few years balanced against developing economies consuming 5% more energy per year. China’s consumption grew 71%.