Understanding the Virus that Causes COVID-19, Animation
Bill Gates makes a prediction about when coronavirus cases will peak
Alberta’s Double-Dip Recession?
CANADIAN EMPLOYMENT RATES
On February 25th, The Economist published an article "Single Women are Losing Out in the Property Market" on Gender Gap Wealth with the lead that in 2015 women held just 30% of all global private wealth according to the Boston Consulting Group.
The chart presented here, one of many, is based on data from nine million housing transactions in the U.S. between 1991 and 2017 presented in January 2020 by Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham and Kelly Shue of the Yale School of Management in a PDF titled The Gender Gap In Housing Returns.
"Data on repeat sales reveal that women buy the same property for approximately 2% more and sell for 2% less."
THE GENDER GAP IN HOUSING RETURNS
PAUL GOLDSMITH-PINKHAM & KELLY SHUE
January 2020 Abstract
Housing wealth represents the dominant form of savings for American households.
Using detailed data on housing transactions across the United States since 1991, we find that single men earn 1.5 percentage points higher unlevered returns per year on housing relative to single women, with couples occupying the intermediate range. The gender gap grows significantly larger after adjusting for mortgage borrowing: men earn 7.9 percentage points higher levered returns per year relative to women.
Approximately 45% of the gap in housing returns can be explained by gender differences in the location and timing of transactions. The remaining gap arises primarily from gender differences in execution prices: data on repeat sales reveal that women buy the same property for approximately 2% more and sell for 2% less. Women experience worse execution prices because of differences in the choice of initial list price and negotiated discount relative to the list price.
Gender differences in upgrade and maintenance rates, and preferences for housing characteristics and listing agents appear to be less important factors. Overall, the gender gap in housing returns is economically large and can explain 30% of the gender gap in wealth accumulation at retirement.
In 2018, female employees aged 25 to 54 earned $4.13 (or 13.3%) less per hour, on average, than their male counterparts. In other words, these women earned $0.87 for every dollar earned by men.
The gender gap in hourly wages has narrowed by $1.04 (or 5.5 percentage points) since 1998, when it was $5.17 (or 18.8%).
The reduction in the gender wage gap between 1998 and 2018 was largely explained by changes in the distribution of men and women across occupations; women’s increased educational attainment; and the decline in the share of men in unionized employment.
The two largest factors explaining the remaining gender wage gap in 2018 were the distribution of women and men across industries, and women’s overrepresentation in part-time work. These were also the largest explanatory factors behind the gap in 1998.
Similar to other studies, nearly two-thirds of the gap in 2018 was unexplained. Possible explanations for this portion include gender differences in characteristics that were beyond the scope of this study, such as work experience, as well as unobservable factors, such as any gender-related biases.
BECAUSE: Older part time workers in Canada, 45 and older, both men and women want work. That trend accelerated for men after the equities crash of 2000 and for women after the 2008 housing crash. When balance sheets approach a negative state, additional income becomes a major household requirement and in 2019, household debt, both by loans and mortgages grew to record levels.
New Study Provides Clearer Look at Canada's Gender Pay Gap
Global News, January 14, 2020
"It's been well established Canadian women, on average, earn less money than their male counterparts. Now as Abigail Bimman reports, researchers say they've discovered just how soon the disparity begins, and how it quickly widens."
Charles Plant et al, have released their Narwhal list for 2020 of Canadian companies categorized by the amount of funding a firm has raised, divided by the number of years the company has existed and by the rate at which a company raises and consumes capital to support its growth. 60 made the list.
"Last year (2019), nine Narwhal companies raised rounds exceeding $131 million CAD ($100 million USD). Over the last three years, the financial velocity required to make the list and the average financial velocity of companies on the list has increased, meaning companies are moving faster in securing capital. The number of Narwhals on track to become ‘Unicorns’ has also grown from seven to 42." Charles Plant, the founder of the Narwhal Project, FEB 4, 2020.
Three years ago, we at the Impact Centre initiated the Narwhal Project to conduct research to discover the root causes of Canada’s challenges in creating a world-leading innovation economy. We thought it would be useful at this juncture to summarize our findings. This Report highlights some of the issues we have identified.
For fifty years, the federal and provincial governments have been spending billions to improve our innovation economy, but without performance improvements. The usual discussion is centered on Canadian businesses and their lacklustre performance on research and development (R&D) and intellectual property (IP) protection. In addition, our productivity has lagged relative to the US because of insufficient investments into productivity-enhancing technologies, along with the lack of available capital and talented people to grow technology firms.
But we believe that a critical challenge is our inability to scale companies to a world-class size. Larger companies boast several advantages. They have greater revenue per employee, pay better salaries, undertake more R&D, and take out more patents.
We lack large companies, particularly in the technology sector. We have only one Unicorn (with perhaps another one qualifying but not listed as such at the date of this publication) compared with over 150 in the US. Few tech companies in Canada grow large enough to go public. This means less R&D, fewer patents, and, ultimately, lower income per capita and productivity.
Perhaps the solution to our innovation challenge is not more R&D and more patents, but rather scaling and building of companies. But why are we challenged do this in the tech field? What we have found is that:
• Few Canadian companies are founded in large consumer markets capable of generating the desired scale.
• We invest less per company relative to the US.
• Canadian firms spend less on marketing and sales (M&S), activities that are critical to building the customer base.
• We have fewer qualified people in marketing functions.
The underinvestment and underspending result in lower growth rates for Canadian tech firms compared to their US counterparts. Fundamentally then, Canadian firms do not look as attractive as potential investments due to slower growth. Because of this, they do not attract large amounts of late-stage capital and are often sold before they can scale to worldclass size.
All of these factors converge to create serious barriers to growth of Canadian companies, thus necessitating smarter and more strategic thinking about how we will overcome these challenges.
Full Report Here
1) The widening spread between total household debt and household mortgages means we are borrowing even more to maintain lifestyle.
2) Foreign Direct Investment OUT higher than IN over the last 20 years means Canadian companies are investing outside of Canada to get a better return on Capital and Labour. For every $1 of investment coming in to Canada, $1.47 leaves (full year 2018 data).
3) The chronic negative Canadian Balance of Trade means that OUR debt obligations continue to provide more stimulus to offshore than onshore producers.
Top 3 Technology Trends for 2020 | YBF Ventures
Top 3 Technology Trends for 2020 by Startupbootcamp co-founder Ruud Hendriks. Ruud was speaking on the People Building Businesses podcast. JAN 22, 2020
While we wait for the January real estate data to come in next week, here is an update on the visualization of global temperature change over the last 2019 years.
"This reconstruction includes data from a wide variety of proxy records such as tree rings, cave deposits, corals, etc. The warming over the past 50 years is stark compared to the variations that have occurred naturally over the last 2000 years. It is not normal. The invention of the efficient steam engine in 1790 by James Watt kick-started the industrial revolution and our reliance on burning fossil fuels for energy." JAN 30, 2020 by Ed Hawkins (Climate Lab Book)
Abstract from Nature Geoscience, July 2019
Multidecadal surface temperature changes may be forced by natural as well as anthropogenic factors, or arise unforced from the climate system. Distinguishing these factors is essential for estimating sensitivity to multiple climatic forcings and the amplitude of the unforced variability. Here we present 2,000-year-long global mean temperature reconstructions using seven different statistical methods that draw from a global collection of temperature-sensitive palaeoclimate records. Our reconstructions display synchronous multidecadal temperature fluctuations that are coherent with one another and with fully forced millennial model simulations from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 across the Common Era. A substantial portion of pre-industrial (1300–1800 CE) variability at multidecadal timescales is attributed to volcanic aerosol forcing.
Reconstructions and simulations qualitatively agree on the amplitude of the unforced global mean multidecadal temperature variability, thereby increasing confidence in future projections of climate change on these timescales. The largest warming trends at timescales of 20 years and longer occur during the second half of the twentieth century, highlighting the unusual character of the warming in recent decades.
Our Changing Climate: learning from the past to inform future choices
The Royal Society Kavli Lecture given by Professor Ed Hawkins. May 2019
Today we see fear in the headlines. Fear in the Party of Trump (Bolton's book is leaked), fear in the contagion pipeline ("At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus [Coronavirus] is spreading between people...” the CDC says. [2700 confirmed case and 60 million Chinese residents in lockdown provinces] via CNN JAN 27th) and fear in the stock market indexes (1st chart left).
The second chart to the left shows the "un-growth" of Canadian Labour Productivity since the peak in the 1980's punctuated by two major global stock market selloffs (fear). In OCT 1987 "Black Monday", every major world market experienced a decline. Measured in USD, 8 declined by 20-29%, 3 by 30-39%, 3 by more than 40%.
In OCT 2007 through MAR 2009 (17 months) during the Global Financial SubPrime collapse, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 53%.
Chuck Schumer speaks following leak of Bolton book excerpt
While we wait for the release of the December real estate data, let's acknowledge the Canadian firefighters serving in Australia. Dozens of Canadians have been there during the holidays helping out and more are on their way by month's end.
Tracking Climate Extremes Around The World In 2019
NBC News NOW - Dec 24, 2019
The CBRE Group, Inc. trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CBRE.” is the world’s largest commercial real estate services (2018). Their recently released study "Scoring Canadian Tech Talent" provide insights into how the growth in demand for tech talent is impacting cities and real estate markets across Canada.
CBRE Report Snippets
Yes, the information revolution is producing new data consumption markets at the corporate level, but what about our social contract and our environmental needs? We need to direct capital and labour towards complex issues like environmental remediation, infrastructure, education, health, wellness, and electoral and taxation reform.
Tax reform should be taken on by the tech sector, because the political institutional approach towards taxation is built upon generations of carrot and stick incentives which end up benefiting one voting constituency over another.
If we are to take on the the greatest challenges to our well being, the Automated Payment Tax developed by Edgar L. Feige, Professor of Economics Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison would indeed kick start stubborn 20th century institutional thinking into a progressive 21st century that the new tech sector generation dreams of. How?
The APT (Automated Payment Tax) is a micro tax taken at every financial transaction where each side of the transaction gets debited a small amount of capital that is credited to the government in a revenue neutral algorithm. Professor Feige's team modeled the U.S. economy from late 1990's data and realized that it would take less than 2% of every financial transaction to produce a revenue neutral state where all the government's fiscal objectives were met.
The APT would eliminate the need to file tax or information returns. That in itself should provide enough incentive to read the 41 page PDF study by Feige.
The foundations of the APT tax proposal—a small, uniform tax on all economic transactions—involve simplification, base broadening, reductions in marginal tax rates, the elimination of tax and information returns and the automatic collection of tax revenues at the payment source. The APT approach would extend the tax base from income, consumption and wealth to all transactions.
Think about the desirability and feasibility of replacing the present system of personal and corporate income, sales, excise, capital gains, import and export duties, gift and estate taxes with a single comprehensive revenue neutral Automated Payment Transaction (APT) tax.
In its simplest form, the APT tax consists of a flat tax levied on all transactions. The tax is automatically assessed and collected when transactions are settled through the electronic technology of the banking/ payments system.
The APT tax introduces progressivity through the tax base since the volume of final payments includes exchanges of titles to property and is therefore more highly skewed than the conventional income or consumption tax base.
The wealthy carry out a disproportionate share of total transactions and therefore bear a disproportionate burden of the tax despite its flat rate structure.
The automated recording of all APT tax payments by firms and individuals creates a degree of transparency and perceived fairness that induces greater tax compliance. Also, the tax has lower administrative and compliance cost.
If we want to take on the challenges of the 21st century, ie: the urgent generational "moonshots" facing us, then tech sector - take on the challenge of tax reform.
Simon J. Thorpe agrees in his 12 page PDF:
A Flat Rate Financial Transaction Tax to replace all taxes?
What an excellent idea! Shame that more people didn't take notice - there are just 17 citations to his (Edgar Feige's) paper in Google Scholar. It's about time he got the recognition he deserved- and about time his forward thinking ideas got taken seriously.
Advantages of a Flat Rate FTT (Financial Transaction Tax) October 2010 by:
Simon J. Thorpe, CNRS Research Director (DRCE), CerCo (CNRS-UT3), TMBI (Univ. Toulouse), BrainChip Inc
- A Flat Rate FTT is fair.
- A Flat Rate FTT is cheap to implement.
- A Flat Rate FTT would be virtually impossible to avoid.
- Removing conventional taxes would make tax havens largely irrelevant.
- A Flat Rate FTT would provide a level playing field.
- A Flat Rate FTT taxes those actors in the economy who can pay.
- The abolition of taxes on profits would be a major incentive to the economy.
- Increased incentives to short production supply chains.
- Increased incentives for local exchanges.
Read the full argument.
"The global financial crime wave is no accident Financial crime is a feature of our global financial system not a bug." said pioneering economist Susan Strange. November 28, 2018 by Naomi Fowler
Financial Secrecy Index - 2018 Results
Canada ranks 21 out of 112 jurisdictions after Switzerland (1), the USA (2) and the Cayman Islands (3).
“Canada and the U.S. are the two most lax jurisdictions in the world when it comes to the rules for preventing the incorporation of anonymous shell companies. What’s more, corporate service providers operating in those two countries are less compliant than those operating in Ghana, Lithuania, or Barbados, and follow laxer rules than those in Malaysia or the Cayman Islands.”
"Chinese Yuan makes up a lower portion of global reserves than the British Pound and even the Swiss Franc, and is just ahead of Canada." Hat Tip to @anilvohra69 for the note and graphic in my Twitter feed.
US dollar credit to non-bank borrowers outside the United States grew by 4% year on year to reach $11.9 trillion at end-June 2019. This represents a slight acceleration relative to the 3% annual growth rate observed at end-2018. Bank of International Settlements October 2019
Foreign borrowers of USD denominated debt is accelerating. What gets borrowed in USD has to be repaid in USD and as the USD rises in value, so does the demand for USD.
I update my USD vs CAD Canadian Housing Price chart as well as my Canadian Household Debt chart every month. Our chronic negative Canadian Balance of Trade means that OUR debt obligations continue to provide more stimulus to offshore than onshore producers. A rising USD is not good for most Canadians.
INVESTOPEDIA KEY TAKEAWAYS, July 2019
> A dollar shortage occurs when a country spends more U.S. dollars on imports than it receives on exports.
> Since the USD is used to price many goods globally, and is used in many international trade transactions, a dollar shortage can limit a country's ability to grow or trade effectively.
> Most countries try to maintain a reserve of currencies, like U.S. dollars or other major currencies, which can be used to buy imported goods, manage the country's exchange rate, pay international debts, or make international transactions or investments.
Pierre Trudeau’s Washington Press Club speech
“Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.” Pierre Elliot Trudeau, the March 1969 speech to the Washington Press Club.
While we wait for the October real estate data to start coming out later this week, BNN yesterday reported on Warren Buffett's plan to invest in a new Alberta Wind Farm. "The Rattlesnake Ridge Wind Project" will be located southwest of Medicine Hat and produce enough energy to supply the equivalent of 79,000 homes. Apparently demand is bankable because an "unnamed large Canadian corporate customer has signed a long-term power purchase agreement for the majority of the Rattlesnake Ridge energy output..." The Government of Canada chart mashup shows Alberta to be the 3rd largest renewable energy supplier via wind energy in Canada, and BNN goes on to report that Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway Energy "...also owns AltaLink, the regulated transmission company which supplies electricity to more than 85 per cent of the Alberta population."
Warren Buffett's firm invests $200M in Alberta wind project
Bill Christensen, V.P. corporate development at BHE Canada, discusses an Alberta wind farm that the company has invested in. BNN Bloomberg OCT 29, 2019
MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY CHARTS AT Natural Resources Canada
AND SOME KEY DATA
- Wind and solar energy are the fastest growing sources of electricity in Canada.
- In 2017, Canada obtained 17.3% of its energy supply from renewable sources. For comparison, OECD countries, on average, got 10.2% of their energy supply from renewables sources, while the world average was 13.4%.
- In 2017, hydro accounted for 67.1% of Canada’s total renewable energy use, followed by solid biomass at 23.1%, wind at 5.3%, ethanol at 1.7%, municipal waste and landfill gas at 1.2%, solar at 0.6%.
- The installed capacity of wind power has grown from 444 megawatts in 2004 to 12,817 megawatts in 2018. The amount of annual new capacity peaked in 2014 with 1,891 megawatts. In 2018, 578 megawatts were added.
- In 2018, there were 246 wind farms in Canada with at least 1 megawatt of capacity. There are 17 wind farms with at least 150 megawatts. The largest wind farm is Lac Alfred with 300 megawatts.
Neil Young - Four Strong Winds (Live at Farm Aid 1993)
History, Charts & Curated Readings
"Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement; and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana Vol. I, Reason in Common Sense
Balance Of Trade
Rent Or Buy