Hear Ye! Since 1998.
4
May 19
Sat

Weekly Wrapup #2

Notes

Finance. (1) Unemployment is now at 3.6%, its lowest since 1969. And I didn’t know this was a statistic that people tracked, but the Asian population has an unemployment rate of 2.2%. GDP grew 3.2% in Q1. The Fed held interest rates steady. The Nasdaq closed at a record high.

+ So where’s all this wealth generation going? Not to wages, which only rose 3.2% despite the tight labor market. Rejoice if you’re an asset owner.

+ Meanwhile in China, red flags for the stockmarket (but that’s not the first time we’ve heard that in this cycle…)

+ To me, articles like this are a red flag: U.S. Expansion May Be Nowhere Near an End.

(2) You may have read recently that millennials are having less sex than previous generations. According to Quartz, one hypothesis is that it’s because the tail end of this generation is more risk averse because they don’t need to leave the house to entertain themselves. And relationships are risky. “Some commentators and economists speculate that millennials are more risk averse than previous generations. This is hard to generalize. But one thing sets millennials apart from previous generations is that they benefit from a higher risk-free return from not leaving the house.”

Real Estate. Here are 8 French chateaus that are cheaper than an average Sydney home (A$1m or US$700k).

+ But, look at what’s currently happening in one Sydney suburb… (HT: Kev)

Internet. A story about hiring a hitman on the dark web (Wired).

Deals. (1) From May 5 to May 11, Staples is selling Visa Gift Cards for no activation fee. Buy them with a Chase Ink card and get 5x points. A $200 card nets you $10 in points (or $15 if redeemed for travel).

(2) Until May 14, if you buy 2 $100 Visa Gift Cards (which will cost about $212 including activation fees), you’ll get $15 back. The Chase Freedom card is offering 5x points on grocery stores this quarter, so the net result is $200 in gift cards for $197 plus 1000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (which can be converted to $10 in cash or redeemed for travel). To get this offer you’ll need to add the offer to you Safeway account via the Safeway mobile app.

In other news… (1) Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy A-G that oversaw most of the Mueller investigation, had enough and resigned. (2) Japan’s Emperor Akihito abdicated from the throne and his country went on a 10-day Golden Week holiday. (3) Venezuela continues to be a basketcase. (4) Uber IPOs next week. (5) Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) died.

Getting Personal

I work from home a lot these days. That means a lot of conference calls. I hate fiddling around with tangled earphone cords and having them get in the way of the keyboard, and laptop speakers are too tinny, so my favorite device is the Jabra Speak 510 speakerphone. It connects to devices via bluetooth and USB – I just always have it plugged into my laptop. It’s got great volume, noise canceling, and a mute button.

My second favorite device are Airpods. They’re perfect when I need to walk around and not worry about cords getting in the way. Because I mainly use them for calls and not music, the open air design that lets ambient noise through is perfect – especially when I’m outside and need to be aware of my surroundings. I tried the Jabra Elite 65t earbuds, but they really weren’t comfortable and they blocked out too much outside noise.

Addendum

Hagoromo is now being sold by this Korean company

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