Here are 8 fascinating things I read this week.
Washington Post followed 100 students entering college. After six years:
Thirty out of 100 students graduated with a bachelor's degree within six years. Four of those students come from lower-income families, and 12 are from upper-class families.
There's apparently a correlation between bull markets and crime:
I find an instantaneous positive and convex relationship between daily stock returns and overall crime rates. I also find that market changes impact investors' (proxied by income) and non-investors' utility differently and attribute this as evidence in support of envy models such as Abel (1990) that individuals care about their own consumption and wealth relative to others. I find that a one standard deviation increase in daily market returns corresponds to a significant 22.8 bps increase in overall crime rates across the US, and exhibits a monotonically increasing relationship when examining the effect from high income to low income locations. The 22.8 bps daily increase in crime is also economically meaningful and corresponds to an additional annualized 36,551 crimes across the US with a corresponding estimated annualized loss of $2.67 billion.
Some amazing numbers about income:
The 400 highest earning Americans made a combined $106 billion in 2010, up more than 20 percent from 2009, according to the latest data from the Internal Revenue Service ... In fact, these top earners accounted for more than 16 percent of the total capital gains for all Americans in 2010, according to the report.
Where the money is
Payday lending is exploding:
There are more payday lenders in the U.S. than McDonald's or Starbucks, reflecting economic conditions in which fast money is even more important than fast food.
Payday lending, in which users pay a fee for what amounts to an advance on their paychecks, has blossomed over the past 20 years. There are now more than 20,000 across the country, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve, while McDonald's boasts 14,267 locations.
Based on returns and time, this bull market is still a baby:
Budweiser isn't what it used to be:
44% of 21- to 27-year-old drinkers today have never tried Budweiser, according to the brand's parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV ... Budweiser has a 7.6% share of the $100 billion U.S. beer market, down from 10% five years ago, and 14.4% a decade ago, according to Beer Marketer's Insights. The biggest Budweiser drinkers are between the ages of 28 and 34 and consumption among that age group will decline as they settle down.
OPEC is pushing down the price of oil. Here's one reason why:
In August, Opec's share of US crude oil imports dropped to 40 per cent – accounting for 2.9m b/d – the lowest since May 1985, according to Financial Times analysis of US Department of Energy data. At its 1976 peak it stood at about 88 per cent.
I love this memo from a teacher to his students:
Have a good weekend.
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