Here are 8 great things I read this week. 

Bull market context 

Eddy Elfenbein shows the S&P 500 rally next to earnings: 


Shane Parrish talks about how people get new ideas, citing Isaac Asimov:

Obviously, then, what is needed is not only people with a good background in a particular field, but also people capable of making a connection between item 1 and item 2 which might not ordinarily seem connected.


An economist from the Atlanta Fed makes a good point about monetary policy:

Monetary policy is an exercise in risk management. Here is the probability of being wrong: 100 percent. The question is what is the worst way to be wrong. In our view, the worst way to be wrong is to pull the trigger too quickly than to pull the trigger a little bit late.


This is huge

There are more adolescents today than ever before in human history. Whether they lift their nations to prosperity — or tear them to shreds — will depend, the United Nations warns in a new report, on how swiftly governments can respond to their demands for decent education, health care and jobs.

The report, released Tuesday by the United Nations Population Fund, estimates that 1.8 billion people worldwide are 10 to 24 years old.


Josh Brown makes a great point about the drop in oil prices:

Every year, the average American family spends between $4,000 and $5,000 on energy. A drop in energy prices helps nearly everyone, but it helps those at the bottom of the income scale a great deal more—which is good news. Those families who have benefited the least from the big increase in stock prices over the last few years have the most to gain, proportionately, from the drop in oil and gas prices.

According to the Survey of Consumer Finances, 47% of American families have no savings whatsoever and live paycheck to paycheck. This is up by almost 10% from a decade earlier. Unfortunately, energy costs have eaten up a larger and larger portion of the household budget for this group. A recent report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch said that households with an annual income below $50,000 spent an average of 21% of their earnings on energy costs, from home heating oil to filling their gas tanks. For these households, the proportion of their income going to energy is three times as high as it is for households with an income above $50,000. The analysts calculate that energy costs now account for double the percentage of these families' budgets than they did in 2001.

Oil boom

Here's where that savings is coming from:

"To put it another way, the US hasn't pumped out this much oil since before ALF was a hit TV show:"

Death and taxes ... but mostly death 

This is hilarious:

Seven of the 30 largest U.S. corporations paid more money to their chief executive officers last year than they paid in U.S. federal income taxes, according to a study released on Tuesday that was disputed by at least one of the companies.


Things money can and can't buy:

Have a great weekend. 

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