Monday
Aug012011

Why the decline in German beer consumption?

So people ask me that after reading the post below. All sorts of researchers are studying this phenomenon, and they're coming up with a laundry list of reasons, which I may or may not buy, but here is a thought from memory lane.

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Sunday
Jul312011

PROST! Germany lost the beer war, And China won.

Germany, country of the Reinheitsgebot (Beer Purity Law), and cradle of beer as we know it, where, at the age of fifteen, I regularly drank a few Helle too many at any pub I wanted to, well, that very country not only has failed to export its beer, but now, Germans have stopped drinking it themselves, apparently.

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Friday
Jul292011

The Landmine in the GDP Report

There is a landmine buried in today's 2Q GDP report, and Congress is about to step on it while engaging in its debt-ceiling pissing match.

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Thursday
Jul282011

We Should Give them a Calculator

The raw numbers are ugly. The federal budget deficit is nearly 40% of total spending; that is, for every $1,000 the government spends, it collects $600 in taxes and borrows $400. Doesn't anyone do any math in Washington?

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Wednesday
Jul272011

Not What You'd Expect from a Topless Beach in France

French beaches, best known for their topless female sunbathers, have been afflicted with a disgusting and deadly scourge: floods of green algae. 

The latest victims were eighteen young wild boars, whose cadavers were found on July 26 on a beach of the Bretagne. Ten cadavers were found nearby the prior two days.

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Tuesday
Jul262011

Your Dollar

...is falling off a cliff again, hitting ¥78 and €0.69. You can sit idly by and watch it get demolished, or you can do something about it.

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Monday
Jul252011

Our Chinese Bay Bridge

The high-speed train fiasco in China makes us worry about our San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge whose gigantic one-tower landmark suspension segment was fabricated, you guessed it, in China. In return for some paltry savings, if any, California gave up enormous economic opportunities.

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Sunday
Jul242011

Love Cherries

My twin eggs (posted July 15) aren't the only twins around here:

California cherries. Once again, I wonder why I haven't seen twin cherries before. I should go talk to the guys at the Diablo Canyon nuke facility. Maybe they're starting to look funny, too.

Sunday
Jul242011

A Modest Proposal

What galls me the most in this entire imbroglio of our debt ceiling is the hypocritical approach of our politicians: A Congress that authorizes every dollar that gets spent, gleefully accumulating a pile of debt so vast it's hard to wrap your brains around it; and administrations who have been eager to borrow and spend as directed by Congress.

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Friday
Jul222011

Explosive Food

We get some of our harder-to-find Japanese foods directly from Japan by mail, though we have some good Japanese stores in the Bay Area. And normally, we don't run into problems. Well, except once, when we were living in Belgium.

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Wednesday
Jul202011

Deadly Disconnect

The human brain is an amazing organ. The San Francisco Chronicle and our local radio stations reported that three young hikers were swept over Vernal Fall in Yosemite National Park yesterday afternoon.

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Tuesday
Jul192011

Schizophrenia in the Housing Market

Everyone and his dog reported the numbers on housing starts—up 14.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 629,000, the highest since January, plus or minus 10%. So that's good, right?

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Tuesday
Jul192011

Beyond Silly Metrics

Now that the hullabaloo around IBM's 2Q11 earnings report is receding into the background, it's time to have a gander at the only number on our corporate financial statements that is still a somewhat reliable indicator of actual earnings due stockholders. And it's not what you think.

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Sunday
Jul172011

Night of the Living Debt

The worldwide night of the living debt continues with Greece, Italy, and the US. And so I mention them, nasty as I am, in the same breath with Japan.

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Saturday
Jul162011

Summer in San Francisco

Time to bundle up. Summer has arrived in San Francisco. 53° F (I'm not kidding), and this is what it looks like:

The question I have is—and this might sound comical for my buddies in Tulsa who are getting roasted at 107° F—if I'll make it through the summer without turning on the heater.

Friday
Jul152011

The M&A Typhoon

Updated on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 6:39PM by Registered CommenterWolf Richter

Another day, another series of mergers and acquisitions. Among the most prominent today: Carl Icahn's offer to acquire Clorox Co. and BHP Billiton's takeover of Petrohawk Energy Corp. The frenzy is blowing across the country with considerable violence. And just like the last typhoon before the financial crisis, it will leave behind massive job destruction.

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Friday
Jul152011

Another twin egg!

I admit, the two smaller but complete yolks in one egg are beautiful, but it's bizarre: I can't remember ever having seen twin eggs in my life, and now, in the span of a year, I see my fourth one. But I only get them at Trader Joe's.

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Thursday
Jul142011

Debt-Ceiling Pissing Match Seen from a Safe Distance

While Democrats and Republicans, jointly and severally, engage in an all-out pissing match over the national debt ceiling and the budget deficit that even has the Chinese worried, let's take a moment and reflect from a safe distance on how we got here, and why nothing of significance is going to change.

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