It has been a HUGE week in terms of big news events. The Mueller investigation concluded, the yield curve inverted, and the Brexit deadline is today – yikes! You'll find articles on those weighty topics along with some interesting and fun articles to balance out the reading in this week's The Friday Buzz. As always, thank you for reading, and please share!
- The Mueller Investigation Concluded: After twenty-two months, the Special Counsel concluded the President's 2016 presidential campaign was not involved in Russian election meddling. That political fight is now over, it's sure to be replaced by other political fights though they won't have the same gravitas. I believe President Trump was spotted doing victory laps around the White House this week…
- Inverted Yield Curve: When the U.S. Treasury ten-year bond yield is lower than the U.S. Treasury three-month note, it is called an inverted yield curve. It occurred this week for the first time since 2007. Though not one hundred percent accurate, an inverted yield curve has often predicated a recession. Some economists feel that with so much monetary policy intervention in recent years, the yield curve is not as predictive since it may not be as market driven.
- Brexit Coming to a Head: Britain's departure from the EU deadline is today. As this is being written, all options are on the table – hard exit, soft exit (different terms), a deadline extension, or even a referendum vote to revoke Brexit. The uncertainty has been affecting UK businesses over the last couple of years and it's getting worse, but so far it has not spilled over into the global economy.
- Procrastination Hacks: According to researchers, people procrastinate because of negative emotions, not laziness or time management issues. The best ways to conquer procrastination is to recognize the emotion associated with avoiding a task, break the task into manageable chunks, and create hurdles to procrastinating activities.
- A Dove at the Fed? President Trump is considering nominating supply-side economist and former campaign manager Stephen Moore to the Federal board of governors. If nominated, he will have to be confirmed by the Senate, which is looking likely. If he joins the board, it is expected he will be very vocal about growth policies, especially regarding short-term interest rates (the inverted yield curve is probably driving him mad).
- Stone-Age Clean Energy Solution? One of the challenges of wind, solar, and other renewable energies is that the energy is not always available. How can you store excess energy when you have it, so you can use it later when you don't? Batteries are prohibitively expensive, so other solutions need to be found. Denmark is a world leader when it comes to renewables. They now have a test facility to examine if by heating up rocks, they can store excess renewable energy for many days. Let's hope this modern problem has new a stone-age solution.
- Americans are no Longer the Tallest in the World – Why? After possibly centuries of being the tallest people on earth, Americans are not even in the top ten now. The Dutch are the tallest, followed by many European countries. What happened? Researchers theorize that the Europeans passed Americans in height due to better nutrition, healthcare and lifestyle.
- What's Next for Robert Mueller? What will now happen to the man at the center of the most important U.S. legal case of the last twenty years? Most think he will keep a low profile, but there are other options for Robert Mueller if he should so choose to remain in the public eye.
- A Good Laugh: Natalie Loiseau, the Minister for European Affairs in France has named her cat "Brexit." She gave him that name because he meows every morning to be let out of the house, but when she opens the door, he is indecisive and never leaves! 😊