Archive for October, 2013

The Federal Reserve Owns Nearly Half of Long-Term Treasury Bonds

October 31, 2013

This table shows the years until maturing, time of maturity, total value, amount owned by the Federal Reserve vs. others, and the Fed % of total. The Federal Reserve owns 49.5% of bonds maturing in 10-15 years, which is a substantial amount and the length of bonds often purchased by low-risk investors.


Have We Passed Peak Wine?

October 30, 2013

The supply of wine has dropped below demand for the past three years, and the highest production year was 2004, and has declined ever since.  If this pattern continues, there will be a global wine shortage within the next few years.

–from The Atlantic

Economic Benefits of Driverless Cars

October 29, 2013

Using driverless cars on a massive scale would result in 4.2 million fewer car crashes a year, after they reach a 90% penetration rate. Although this is well into the future, the benefits of computer-driven systems is clear. Click through to see the assumptions underlying this data.

–from The Atlantic Cities

Americans Overestimate US Diversity

October 28, 2013


Americans estimate the percentage of minorities in the US at 49%, but it is closer to 37%. Non-white Americans are expected to be the majority in the early 2040’s. In addition, the openness to increasing diversity varies greatly by various groups, as illustrated in the diagram.

–from The Atlantic Cities

Israel is the World’s Hottest Real Estate Market

October 28, 2013

A number of countries including Israel, Norway, Switzerland, and Canada are experiencing very high and quickly increasing home prices. A number of investors have claimed these extreme high-cost markets to be bubbles.

–from The Atlantic Cities

US Regions Have Distinct Personalities

October 25, 2013

Using data from 1.5 million personality tests across the US, researchers found three distinct regional personalities across the five personality traits of the Myers-Briggs test.

–from The Atlantic Cities

Part Time Workers Decreasing Compared to Full Time

October 23, 2013



Part time work has not been increasing as a percentage of overall employment, which was the supposed end result of the recently operational healthcare legislation.

–from the Wall St. Journal

Minimum Wage Restaurant Work Costs Taxpayers $7 Billion a Year

October 18, 2013

More than 40% of food service workers get some form of government subsidy, mostly due to low wages and part-time work.


Small Mergers Make Big Money for Banks

October 17, 2013

Although everyone knows about the largest mergers, the smaller ones pay the banks higher fees, and make up more than 1/3 of merger proceeds.


Digital Storage as Stacks of Floppy Disks

October 16, 2013

A great depiction of how vastly computer storage has grown in the past thirty years. A modern 4TB hard drive, stored on 3.25″ floppy disks, would be more than five miles high. Note the height of the Empire State Building in the chart, which is slightly more than 2 Blu-Ray disks worth of data.