My Two-for-Tuesday morning train reads:
• Why High Interest Rates and Energy Prices Are Stressing the Economy: Treasury rates and oil and gasoline prices have been increasing, putting the Fed in a difficult spot, our columnist says. (New York Times) see also How Prepared Are Consumers For a Recession? The amount of energy needed to refute bad news is an order of magnitude bigger than the amount needed to produce it. It’s much easier to take bad news at face value than good news. People are skeptical of good news these days. They only want to see potential downsides in the markets and economy. (Wealth of Common Sense)
• Bitcoin Is In a Slumber. What Could Jolt It Awake. Crypto fatigue has settled in as trading volume flatlines and investors move on to AI. What it means for Coinbase, Bitcoin, and the broader crypto economy. (Barron’s)
• Americans Are Still Spending Like There’s No Tomorrow: Concerts, trips and designer handbags are taking priority over saving for a home or rainy day. (Wall Street Journal) but see also The Least Bad Choice: The nuanced, counterintuitive truth is that the pandemic presented policymakers with a series of terrible options. To their credit, they made the least bad choice. Those choices are still resonating today, impacting stock markets, bonds, inflation, and politics. (The Big Picture)
• The Trial of Sam Bankman-Fried, Explained: White-collar defendants use three main defenses: “It wasn’t me, I didn’t mean it, and the people that say I did are lying.” FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried is likely to go for “I didn’t mean it,” experts say. (Wired)
• Why Don’t We Just Build New Cities? Yearning for a blank slate crosses the ideological spectrum—but sooner or later, new places will face the same old problems. (The Atlantic) see also The Mayor Who Prioritized Pedestrians Before It Was Cool: Spanish Mayor Miguel Fernández Lores started limiting the flow of cars in Pontevedra in 1999. The seaside city has been growing ever since. (Citylab)
• Can a map of the ocean floor be crowdsourced? Many maps of the ocean floor are decades old. The race is on to properly chart them by 2030 – and crowdsourcing could be part of the answer. (BBC)
• ‘Staggering’ green growth gives hope for 1.5C, says global energy chief IEA’s Fatih Birol says uptake of solar power and EVs is in line with net zero goal but rich countries must hasten their broader plans. (The Guardian) see also Ski Resorts Are Giving Up on Snow: With natural snow becoming scarcer and artificial powder woefully unsustainable, Europe’s mountain resorts are starting to look at life beyond downhill skiing. (Wired)
• Io Is a Volcanic Hellscape of Fire and Ice Let’s go explore it. In the 44 years since Voyager 1, Io has continued to amaze. Observations made by other spacecraft— Voyager 2, Galileo, Cassini, New Horizons, and currently, Juno—have revealed that Io is a dynamic hellscape of fire and ice. The surface temperature is a frigid 250 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, but Io’s volcanic eruptions produce extremely hot lavas that could be as high as 3,000 degrees (much hotter than we see today on Earth). (Slate)
• The Open Plot to Dismantle the Federal Government: “I can’t overstate my level of concern about the damage this would do.” (The Atlantic) see also The Media Is Giving Us 2016 Flashbacks: After four indictments, two impeachments, and one insurrection, Donald Trump shouldn’t be covered like a conventional candidate. And yet. (Vanity Fair)
• Dave Portnoy’s Sausage Fest: A rain-soaked afternoon eating pizza with the Stoolies. (Grub Street)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business with Gary Cohn, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council from 2017-2018; he was President and Chief Operating Officer of The Goldman Sachs Group from 2006-2016. Currently, he is Vice Chairman of IBM.
What powered the world in 2022?
Source: Visual Capitalist