.@foxjust reports that young American men who play video games played for an average of almost four hours a day in 2022.
Statistics released last month by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics from the annual American Time Use Survey show that the time young men spent “playing games” — the survey doesn’t differentiate between electronic and non-electronic games, but most researchers assume it’s chiefly the former — rose by nearly three-quarters of an hour from 2019 to 2022, more than it had increased over the previous 16 years. It does appear that, since the pandemic, most of the additional gaming time has come from work and sports/exercise/recreation. American men 65 and older spent an average of just more than five hours a day watching TV in 2022, up from just more than four in 2003. Related: Is Technology Changing The Value Of Leisure? and Are We Ready For The Approaching Loneliness Epidemic?
Mexican exports to the United States exceeded Chinese exports for the first time in two decades reports @Johnauthers
This is how the imports to the US from Mexico and China have moved over the last three decades. For both countries, trade agreements made a huge difference, with Mexico suffering grievously from lost share after China entered the World Trade Organization in 2001. Now, it appears to be benefiting from the retreat from China. These numbers are shown as 12-month moving averages to avoid the distortions that come with the Chinese lunar new year holiday. The last three months, on an un-smoothed basis, actually show Mexican imports exceeding those from China for the first time in 20 years. Related: Global Trade Is Shifting, Not Reversing and Globalization Isn’t Dead. But It’s Changing
Despite predictions of a ‘train wreck’ of copper supply shortfalls, prices have dropped around 10% since January. EVs and green mandates will boost long-term demand, but short-term financial market interest has been muted. #Copper @TheEconomist
Financial investors are snubbing copper. As interest rates rise, they prefer to hold cash-generating assets rather than commodities, which yield nothing. For much of this year,, “non-commercial” net positioning on copper-futures markets has been in the red, implying that more investors are betting prices will fall than recover. Yet today’s prices remain $2,500 a tonne above production costs at the marginal mine. This implies that the recent correction has taken froth out of the market, rather than pushed prices too low, suggesting they could stay subdued for a while. Supply may struggle to keep up. The average age of the world’s ten biggest mines is 64, which is forcing miners to dig deep for ores of ever lower quality, making each new tonne of refined copper costlier to produce. New mines are scarce. Assuming all certain and probable projects go ahead, McKinsey, a consultancy, forecasts that supply will hit 30m tonnes by 2031, 7m tonnes short of estimated demand. Related: Copper Mine Flashes Warning of ‘Huge Crisis’ for World Supply and Glencore Says This Time Is Different for Coming Copper Shortage
.@verdadcap Minje Kwun and Lila Alloula argue that there is little evidence to support the claim that the private equity industry as a whole engineers operational improvements.
For EBITDA margins, we notice that PE firms tend to target companies outperforming their industries: EBITDA margin is on average 0.5% above industry standard in the three years before the deal. In the year the transaction is completed, the metric drop sharply. We hypothesize that major LBO transactions are distracting to management and lead to suboptimal outcomes from a sales and margin perspective during the deal year. Once the deal has been completed, growth and margins recover, but do not on average return to pre-deal levels. EBITDA margin averages out to exactly the industry standard, 50bps lower than pre-acquisition. While PE firms are typically praised for their efficiency and cost-control, the graph on EBITDA margins shows a negligible difference in actual profitability. The supposed efficiency and cost-cutting isn’t showing up in the numbers. Instead, PE firms appear to be buying slightly higher-performing companies that then experience some mean reversion post-acquisition. Related: Private Equity Fundamentals
The new mean global air temperature record is more than half a degree warmer than the hottest temperature recorded in 1980.
On July 3rd the average global air temperature reached a new record. On July 4th the average global air temperature reached a new record. And on July 6th the average global air temperature reached a new record. The biggest influence on the Earth’s temperature, aside from global warming, is the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). This is the first El Niño in seven years. Previous highs have often occurred towards the end of a strong El Niño, when the warming pattern has heated the Earth. The recent switch to El Niño, therefore, is unlikely to be the cause of the latest record-breaking temperatures. Its effect should be in full swing next summer, when more records could be set. That would be the first time new records have been attained in two consecutive years. Related: Earth Keeps Breaking Temperature Records Due to Global Warming and Climate Shocks Are Making Parts of America Uninsurable. It Just Got Worse
The suicide rate for 5-14-year-old Chinese quadrupled between 2010-2021 @NikkeiAsia
During the 11-year period, the suicide rate among children aged 5 to 14 increased from about 0.2 to about 0.8 per 100,000 people, according to the study published June 23 in China CDC Weekly, the official journal of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The study also found that the suicide rate for 15- to 24-year-olds fell by 6.8% per year from 2010 to 2017, but then surged at an annual rate of 19.6% to 2021, the latest available data. Related: Youth Risk Behavior Survey and China Urges Jobless Graduates To ‘Roll Up Their Sleeves’ and Try Manual Work
While China’s overall unemployment rate is stable at 5.2% in May, but youth unemployment at nearly 21% is above now even higher than Italy. China’s civil service exam had twice as many applicants as in 2019.
.@BudgetHawks highlights that in the latest @USCBO forecast Federal interest expenses will exceed defense spending by 2027 and nondefense discretionary by 2029.
According to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) long-term baseline, federal spending as a percentage of GDP will grow to 29.1% over the next three decades. Driving a large part of that growth is spending on interest payments to service the national debt. Net interest payments hit a nominal dollar record of $475B Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 and will nearly triple by FY 2033 to $1.4T, growing to $2.7T in 2043 and $5.4T 2053. As a share of the economy, net interest will rise from 1.9% of GDP in FY 2022 to hit a record 3.2% by 2030 and more than double to 6.7% by 2053. By 2051, spending on interest will be the single largest line item in the federal budget, surpassing Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and all other mandatory and discretionary spending programs. Related: The 2023 Long-Term Budget Outlook and American Gothic
American crude oil production will hit a record in 2023, driven by production improvements that have lowered the cost of drilling and fracking by 36% since 2014, according to @jpmorgan estimates.
Production improvements since 2014 have pushed down the cost of drilling and fracking in the U.S. shale patch by 36%, according to J.P. Morgan, even as recovered oil volumes have increased. A major producer, EOG Resources, said it bored a well over 5 miles deep and nearly 3 miles long in South Texas early this year—a record length for the company. The increased efficiency means EOG can earn as much from oil priced at $42 a barrel today as it would have from oil trading at $86 nine years ago. People familiar with Saudi oil policy have said the government’s budget requires an estimated $81 a barrel. Brent crude is trading around $76 a barrel, down 13% from the start of the year. Related: Portfolio Nuclear and Energy and the Presidents
.@jburnmurdoch notes that immigrants in France significantly underperform native-born citizens; unemployment rates for recent immigrants are significantly higher than in the US.
In 2021, US unemployment was 5.5% for those born in the country, and 5.6% for those born overseas. Black and white employment rates are now neck and neck. In France, unemployment is 7% among those born in the country, but 12% for immigrants, rising past 17% among those who arrived in the last ten years. Comparisons with Britain, whose demographics and colonial history perhaps make for a fairer benchmark, are similarly damning. Related: From Strengh To Strengh and France Has Poor Income Mobility Compared To US, Study Shows