Look Up—Way Up!

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Architecture that oppresses the human spirit and curtails social freedom can look beautiful in pictures. Go figure! Hong Kong photographer Andy Yeung has created a series of images taken from the ground looking up—waaaay up! Yet, his photos document an architecture denying principles of human scale alive since the times of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.

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Financial Markets Peak

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S & P 500 – Five Year Performance (Bloomberg)

As we approach the Lunar New Year festivities in China all the major western indices are drawing the same picture: it looks like a mountain top. As events unfold China contagion is the only explanation for why the western markets should be trending downward as they anticipate a hard landing in China.

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China Ripples Again

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North Korean Video Still — Kim Jong-un watching ballistic missile test December 2015

On cue, one week ahead of expiry on China’s 6-month freeze on large share holders selling their stock, the markets crashed twice. Stocks in China fell in the first week of 2016 for a combined loss of 24% and have remained volatile through the rest of January. After the crash last August, when the markets steadied in response to government prohibitions on trading, the rest of us were left counting to six—January 2016 was the ‘next’ possible date for a market crisis in China. Continue reading “China Ripples Again”

2016: The Future is C-O-O-L

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Mt. Reinier, Washington. LNV 2015

Today 82% of man-made Green House Gases (GHGs) originate from CO2 released by burning oil, coal and natural gas. More than half of the ‘dirty fuels’ are used to power transportation and generate electricity. Although we have the technology to switch to clean and renewable fuels, we lack the  ideological, political and economic will to clean the mess of GHGs once and for all. Continue reading “2016: The Future is C-O-O-L”

Bernanke and Summers: Thing 1 & Thing 2

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Ben Bernanke and Larry Summers

As the prospect of ending Quantitative Easing dawns over the horizon, the need to frame a new global economic policy fills the screen. Leading the way is Larry Summers, former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. With a new federal party in power Canada may be moving there already. Continue reading “Bernanke and Summers: Thing 1 & Thing 2”