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2021 In Twenty-One Numbers

2021 In Twenty-One Numbers

Peter C. Earle In 2021, we saw the unwinding of a number of policies and practices put in place in 2020. Also: the reversal of certain trends. Some states cast off lockdowns, compulsory masking, and other pandemic policies.  Others lifted and reapplied stringent measures time and time again. Even in the last weeks of the […]

Stuck In Neutral: Trucking And The Pandemic

Stuck In Neutral: Trucking And The Pandemic

by Peter C. Earle On October 25, 2021, about one month before the detection of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in South Africa, the Biden Administration released an announcement entitled “A Proclamation on Advancing the Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” More an adjustment of restrictions than a lifting of them, it specified that  […]

The Horrors Of A Noninflationary Thanksgiving

The Horrors Of A Noninflationary Thanksgiving

  Thanksgiving is one week away. There’s always much to be thankful for, but this particular holiday arrives against a backdrop of worry and complaints. Inflation is a dominant concern right now, with the Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI) showing prices broadly rising 6.2 percent on a year-over-year basis.  US CPI […]

To Fix The Shipping Crisis, Start By Repealing The Jones Act

To Fix The Shipping Crisis, Start By Repealing The Jones Act

by Peter C. Earle At 9am EDT on Friday, October 22, the informal commercial flotilla off the coast of California ports reached a new high: 79 container ships were, as of that time, waiting to dock and offload cargo. The total number of vessels offshore, including oil tankers and bulk transports has reached 169. Some […]

An Armor Conspired: The Global Shipping Freeze

An Armor Conspired: The Global Shipping Freeze

by Peter C. Earle Despite numerous personal shortcomings, Jim Morrison of The Doors regularly evinced considerable writing talents. In the poem-song Horse Latitudes, he describes the conditions under which stalled galleons would, drifting listlessly at certain latitudes, jettison cargo so as to make their craft more susceptible to the slightest winds. The lyrics begin as follows: When the […]

The Irony Of China’s Most Recent Bitcoin Ban

The Irony Of China’s Most Recent Bitcoin Ban

by Peter C. Earle Various aspects of cryptocurrency use have been banned in China numerous times over the better part of the last decade. The most stringent barriers yet, though, were announced on Friday, September 24th. In a series of statements, Chinese economic planners listed their edicts in stepwise fashion, including no financial supports or […]

Remembering The Truly Forgotten, Twenty Years Later

Remembering The Truly Forgotten, Twenty Years Later

Peter C. Earle    There’s a faded silver cup on my bookshelf. If you look closely at it, a faded imprint reads “eSpeed: We Are Markets.” I received it at a securities industry trade show in the summer of 2001 after a friendly conversation with a gentleman at a booth display. On September 11, 2001, […]

El Salvador’s Bitcoin Introduction Hits Early Snags

El Salvador’s Bitcoin Introduction Hits Early Snags

by Peter C. Earle El Salvador’s conversion into the first Bitcoin economy in the world has seen a rocky first 48 hours. Over the weekend a number of protests took place. On September 7th, the day of the actual switch from the US dollar to Bitcoin, the government-selected wallet’s network crashed. And although not necessarily signifying anything, […]

The Lumber Market Crash

The Lumber Market Crash

It was inevitable that lumber prices would eventually return to some state of normalcy. I wrote an article less than 50 days ago noting that futures and cash prices, despite having quadrupled in slightly over a year, had dropped 40% in June 2021. Pandemic measures were being lifted, the effect of stimulus payments were receding, and owing […]

How Palladium Became A Target Of Criminal Syndicates

How Palladium Became A Target Of Criminal Syndicates

Palladium is among the lesser known of the precious metals. Like gold and silver (and alongside platinum and rhodium), it is extremely scarce, with a number of highly specific industrial applications. An estimated 85% of mined palladium is used in pollution control applications, primarily catalytic converters, which transform toxic vehicle exhaust into water vapor and […]

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