Sources: Coventry League; Bloomberg; Zero Hedge
Apparently, one would need more than 200x the amount of U.S. dollars and 6x the amount of gold to buy a ticket for Super Bowl XLVIII versus a ticket for Super Bowl I (1967).
Sources: Coventry League; Bloomberg; Zero Hedge
Large scale solar energy projects heated-up in 2013.
According to EcoWatch’s recent blog and Mercom Capital Group’s white paper titled 2013 Fourth Quarter and Annual Solar Funding and M&A Executive Summary, dollar amounts of projects financed increased from $8.7 billion in 2012 to $13.6 billion in 2013, representing a 56% increase year-over-year.
Below is a chart provided by Mercom Capital Group:
And, if you are wanting a little something to show your solar energy enthusiasm, below is a creative product offered by the T-shirt Guy (and, no, we are not getting paid in any way by sharing this link):
The food and beverage sector is one in which appeals to Coventry League and we like to share helpful information about healthy dietary choices.
In this instance, below is a basic infographic provided by the Cleveland Clinic concerning oils for cooking and adding flavor to dishes.
Important points for further independent research regarding oils might include smoke point, nutrients, and proportion of fatty acids. Regarding the latter, one could note the distinction among saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats. There are several detailed resources to reference, but one may find a brief overview in the book titled Natural Health, Natural Medicine by Dr. Andrew Weil available at IndieBound.org.
According to the book, the saturation terms refer to the chemistry of fatty acids – basically, whether all available carbon bonds in the molecular chain are occupied, or saturated, with hydrogen atoms.
Determining whether a fat is mostly saturated is simple. For example, coconut oil is mostly comprised of saturated fat. One indication of saturation is a harder texture and opaque appearance when cool (coconut oil actually hardens at room temperatures below 74 degrees Fahrenheit). In contrast, oils that comprise mostly monounsaturated fats such as extra virgin olive oil remain mostly transparent when chilled even in a refrigerator (olive oil becomes a bit thicker and cloudier, but noticeably different from coconut oil or, say, bacon fat when chilled).
The smoke point of oils is important because that’s the temperature in which the oil breaks down into carcinogenic compounds; also, when oils are heated, the points of unsaturation become unstable and vulnerable to attack by oxygen and can damage DNA and components of cells. Therefore, it is important to understand the types of oils one uses for cooking, particularly at high temperatures such as searing in a skillet. As the infographic depicts, canola oil is good for high temperature cooking. There are other oils - such as avocado oil - that meet the criteria of high smoke point and high composition of monounsaturated fats, but are not widely available and can be relatively expensive.
Coventry League embraces bicycling as a healthy, sustainable form of transportation, so reading about bicycles’ outselling new cars in practically every European country is encouraging. Small Business Labs wrote a blog today referencing the article at NPR titled In Almost Every European Country, Bikes Are Outselling New Cars.
Small Business Labs also provide some additional statistics and perspectives. For example, it mentioned that even in the U.S. bicycle outsold cars (18 million versus 14.3 million, respectively). Also, last October Coventry League highlighted the Top 20 Bicycle Friendly Cities globally (Portland was ranked #1 in the U.S. and Amsterdam in the Netherlands was the overall #1 city).
Below is a map with an estimate of regional growth rates in the U.S. You may find a hover-and-click image by referencing the article titled Americas Next Decade at the Forbes' website.
Source: Cleveland Scene Magazine
Baseball is a game of skills and probabilities. Baseball is also “six minutes of action crammed into two-and-one-half hours,” as Boston Globe’s Ray Fitzgerald describes it.
So, if you like geeky analysis, economics, or baseball, then you might like the article titled Baseball’s Fiscal Cliff by Pete Kotz of Cleveland Scene Magazine.*
* The story was reprinted with permission of Voice Media Group in this week's issue.
According to Thomson Reuters and the DealBook, edited by Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times, the pace of worldwide M&A during the first quarter of 2013 was relatively slow. The summary, highlighted below, reflects announced transactions and ranks them by value. Goldman Sachs is on top of Thomson’s League Tables in both number and value of announced deals in the quarter.
For those who want a free, interactive graphic regarding investment banking activity, then reference the Investment Banking Scorecard compiled by Dealogic and the Wall Street Journal.
And, lastly, for a comical perspective on League Tables, spend a few minutes to read The iBanker’s blog titled “Lies, Damned Lies and League Tables.” The art of presentation, however, is nothing new to bankers and the most discerning clients.
Amsterdam's popular mode of transportation
In today’s blog post titled “California Wakes Up To Another Record High Gas Price,” Zero Hedge writes that “gas stations across the country are seeing increasing price-sensitivity by drivers with lines at the 'cheapest' and empty lots at the priciest. It seems yet another weekend of hyper-inflating gas prices has pushed the until-now seemingly uncaring-at-the-margin gasoline-'user' to seek out rationally lowest prices.”
Nevertheless, if you are seeking consolation, then note that gas prices are much higher in Europe. In Amsterdam, for comparison, it costs roughly 1.90 euros per liter (that’s approximately $9.30 per gallon).
So, what are some of the best bike friendly cities? Well, Copenhagenize Consulting is glad you asked. Last year it created an index based on 13 criteria. The inaugural ranking assessed 80 major cities worldwide and ranked the top 20. Below is the top 20 list along with corresponding city data such as population, land area, and density compiled by Coventry League using Wikipedia (each city's page) and web research. You may download a PDF version for free.
An index of smaller cities might be forthcoming, which would likely include places like Boulder...and maybe even Pittsburgh and Cleveland, which is gaining attention for its brew pubs (Great Lakes Brewing, Happy Dog, Nano Brew), eco-consciousness (EcoWatch, Community Greenhouse Partners) and bicycle advocates (BikeCleveland).
And, if you want to research more about world cities, the website City Mayors has a lot of interesting data.
The Atlantic Magazine has a good article about how people spend their money and how this has changed over the last few decades. It's titled "Prices Are People: A Short History of Working and Spending Money" by Derek Thompson. The article is part of a month-long project on why things cost what they do, according to the 2012 Atlantic Money Report.
Below is just one of several quality charts from the article.
Truckin' - got my chips cashed in
Keep truckin - like the doodah man
Together - more or less in line
Just keep truckin on
-- Grateful Dead, Truckin’
There are many indices to use to gauge economic activity and Coventry League tends to gravitate to proprietary and idiosyncratic ones.
However, we incorporate established indices as well, including a trucking activity index as a leading indicator: Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index, or PCI.
Essentially, a unit of Ceridian manages payment cards that trucking companies and drivers use to, say, fill up their tanks with diesel. It measures diesel fuel purchases at 7,000 truck stops nationwide. The big picture of the index is a measure of the flow of goods to U.S. factories, retailers and consumers.
So, what’s the index suggesting? Near-term economic sluggishness at best.
Coventry League may or may not have its chips cashed in…
"Biographies: Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index." Economic Data | Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index. Web. 15 Sept. 2011. <http://www.ceridianindex.com/about-the-index/biographies/>.Biography of UCLA economics professor, Ed Leamer, who is chief economist for the Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index.
Durden (ZeroHedge), Tyler, and Lee Adler (Wall Street Examiner). "The Pulse of Commerce and The Chicken's Dilemma | ZeroHedge." ZeroHedge | On a Long Enough Timeline the Survival Rate for Everyone Drops to Zero. The Wall Street Examiner, 13 Sept. 2011. Web. 15 Sept. 2011. <http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/pulse-commerce-and-chickens-dilemma>.
Gross, Daniel. "The 18-Wheeler Recovery: What Trucking Statistics—yes, Trucking—can Tell Us about the Economy." Slate Magazine. 13 May 2010. Web. 15 Sept. 2011. <http://www.slate.com/id/2253823/>.
Maio, Pat. "Trucking Activity Boosted in California by Exports." North County Times - Californian. 13 Sept. 2011. Web. 15 Sept. 2011. <http://www.nctimes.com/business/article_2d91a1dc-10e4-5dca-80c9-06bb5e7fdb28.html>.