Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sticker Shock: Libyan Intervention 600 million

ABC- Politics
 One week after an international military coalition intervened in Libya, the cost to U.S. taxpayers has reached at least $600 million, according figures provided by the Pentagon. 
  • U.S. ships and submarines have launched at least 191Tomahawk cruise missiles from their arsenals, costing $268.8 million.
  •  U.S. warplanes have dropped 455 precision guided bombs, costing tens of thousands of dollars each.  
  •  A downed Air Force F-15E fighter jet will cost more than $60 million to replace.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Editorial: China's New Labor Revolution: Impact on China's Broad Economy

The Asian Times is out with an op-ed piece describing the evolution of the Chinese labor force over the better part of the last two decades. Truth is Liberty, below, has provided a breakdown on key elements contributing to China's steam engine rapid growth in the face of no social safety nets, high domestic inflation and few labor protection laws. 

  • China has the largest labor force in the world
  • Unlike Western economies where wages have remained stubbornly flat, migrant worker wages have gradually risen over the past decade (roughly 14.1% increase)
  • China's working age population (aged from 15 to 64) has experienced steady growth over the past few decades- totaling 71% of China's population.
  • The working-age population will stop increasing in 2017, when it reaches a peak of about 999.6 million, and will reduce gradually from then on.
  • The demand for labor resulting from rapid economic growth was filled by the steady mobility of a rural surplus labor force. It is estimated that more than 200 million farmers have left the agriculture industry since the mid-1990s.
  • the abundant absorption by cities and non-agricultural industries, the number of rural surplus labor has been greatly decreased
  • the supply of young labor force under 30 years old is gradually tightening. The second national agricultural census data showed that nearly one quarter of the rural labor force went out for employment in 2006, of which 52.6% were young workers under 30 years of age.
  • China is still at the stage with the most abundant labor resources and the lowest dependency ratio. China has not yet entered the era of labor shortage.
  • With economic development, living standards of Chinese urban and rural residents have shown a substantial improvement and the cost of living a corresponding increase. Therefore, reservation wages of migrant workers have started to rise.

Conservative Jewish Columnist Admits Christians Treated Worse in Soviet Gulags

Dennis Prager- Townhall
Over time, the plight of the Soviet Jews awakened me to the plight of all Soviet dissidents, whether secular ones -- such as that great man, the physicist Andrei Sakharov -- or Christian.
The latter were particularly persecuted. Though my work was with Soviet Jewry, I had no trouble acknowledging that Soviet Christians often had it worse. Few Soviet Jews were killed or locked away in dungeon-like conditions by the Soviet authorities, but Soviet Christians were

Monday, April 18, 2011

Marc Faber CNBC 04/18/11: Full Interview

Marc Faber is an international investor known for his uncanny predictions of the stock market and futures markets around the world.

S&P Fires Warning Shot on US Fiscal Health

Standard & Poor’s cut its ratings outlook on the U.S. to negative from stable on Monday, lighting a fire under Washington’s deficit-reduction debate and sending stock markets sharply lower. The rating agency effectively gave Washington a two-year deadline to enact meaningful change, just days after House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and President Barack Obama each outlined their plans for slashing debt.

Finally some news to send a JOLT to the markets (As if World War, Japanese Environmental Holocaust, European debt default, US budget insanity wasn't bearish enough) , this morning the reaction in the markets took the form of giant dumping.