Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Old news experiment

Last year I found a temporary source of free high quality newspapers. They were a few weeks out of date but for me that was not a problem. Because they were old, they were free from sensationalism. You could skip the unfolding events. Thus they become a great source for long-term opinions and weird factoids. Unfortunately the source has since dried up.

This was the harvest from March 2011. Let's see if I picked anything prophetic then:

Long term trends
  • Food shortages are driving food prices up. Prices of wheat, corn, sugar and oils are up. Droughts and floods of biblical proportion. Are they caused by climate change? Did they cause the Middle East uprising? A first taste of the disruption, economic and political, that we'll face in a warming world. (Paul Krugman)
  • Financial disruption: PIGS states - Threat of Greece defaulting - 10 year government bonds: 12.8% Greece, 9.5% Ireland, 7.5% Portugal, 5.5% Spain, 3.3% Germany - Euro and EU instability - Shadow banking and systemic instability - Pimco selling US government bonds - Meredith Whitney predicting defaults in US municipal bonds.
  • Russia is drowning in it's oil wealth like a mouse that has fallen in a bowl of cream. The profits from natural resources make the economy and society lazy and sluggish. Taxes are lower and so the citizens are not stimulated to scrutinize the actions of government. (Gerald Hosp)
  • Marine le Pen is campaigning against Monsanto, against open European borders and against globalization.
  • It might look as if civilians are angrier and more ready to protest, but in Germany the protesting crowds have a stable signature. Few Christian Democrats and a lot of Greens. Most were highly educated and most were not protesting for the first time. The numbers of protesters look stable over a 15 year period. But the position of the media has changed, they give more coverage to protests and when they predict further protests, their predictions fuel a self-fulfilling prophecy. (Marie Katharina Wagner).

Ties of wealth: 
Bill Gross - Pimco - Mohamed El Erian - Pimco
Richard Oetker - Oetker - Andrea Enria - Bank of Italy.
  • Subway has grown bigger than McDonalds.
  • Youngest Mexican police chief has disappeared / fled from the town of Praxedis - Flickr is everywhere and has pictures.

What looks like an archaeological excavation is a reconnaissance photograph made by Tornado aircraft of  the German Luftwaffe in Afghanistan. (Adleraugen über Afghanistan, Stadtmuseum Schleswig) 

Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung - 9-10-11 March 2011
International Herald Tribune - 8 February 2011

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