Great Elon Musk anecdote

I was listening to an interview with Elon Musk tonight, visionary behind Paypal, Tesla Motors and now SpaceX. He was going over his early career. In 1995 Musk approached various venture capitalists on Sand Hill Rd for his latest internet venture and was met with universal skepticism. In Musks words, nobody on Sand Hill had even heard of the internet. 

Think about that for a minute. Within 10 years of 1995 the internet would play an integral role in almost every US citizens life (and a good portion of the globe).  And the men and women who would be hailed as visionary investors reaping untold fortunes..were completely unaware of it. 

While we may not see another revolution like the internet in our lifetimes, you can never discount innovation. There's always the possibility that something is around the corner which would propel the economy forward in ways that we can't even imagine today.



I'd like to buy the world a coke..

Most people have no idea how the far reaching the financial markets can be. Case in point, a can of coke. As you may know many softdrinks are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is made from, you may imagine, corn. As a matter of fact as much as 36% of all corn not used for ethanol, goes towards the production of high fructose corn syrup.

And corn prices, like many other commodities, have been on a tear this year, partly due to fears of inflation. Traders often put money into commodities when they fear inflation. With the Federal Reserve printing more cash, more money has flowed into the commodity space. Odd to think a group of traders in New York and Chicago reacting to news in Washington could have such an impact what you pay at the grocery store for your favorite soft drink. Below is a graph of how corn is used.





Let's go twentysomethings!

Good piece on the roll twentysomethings play in a potential recovery. To be sure no one factor will prove a decisive factor in pulling us out of our current state, much less quickly. However I think this provides a good analysis of the impact of longterm demographics:

How Millenials leaving their parents basements could save the economy:


How long does it take to afford a beer

On September 22nd, Oktoberfest began in Munich, an annual Bavarian beer festival which confusingly begins at the end of September. Last year, over the course of the 16-day event, visitors glugged 7.5m litres of beer, sold at an average princely price of €9 ($12.50) a litre, which is what a typical large stein holds. Germans love beer and down around 100 litres per person a year. Away from the Oktoberfest beer is readily affordable. Analysts at UBS, a Swiss bank, have calculated that it takes a German earning the national median wage just under seven minutes of work to purchase half a litre of beer at a retail outlet. At the bottom of the pint glass, low wages and high taxes mean that boozers in India must toil for nearly an hour before they have earned enough to quench their thirst.





Check your fridge

I am afraid to say I am as guilty as they come for this tidbit of information. According to a new study Americans throw away 40% of all food they purchased, or $2,275 a year. This is 20 lbs of food a month, and up to $165 billion dollars wasted a year. 

The above figures are something to ponder as food prices continue to rise. 

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