Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Great Depression in Eight Minutes. And the Evolution of a Sperm Whale in One Minute

None of us can forget the real estate and derivative market crash of 2008 and the ensuing Great Recession. The Author Rob remembers it vividly. Just as many remember where they were when President Kennedy was shot or the Twin Towers fell, the Author Rob remembers vividly the day that the commercial paper market locked up, rising by 200 basis points in minutes. The scene is seared into his brain. He was living in Albuquerque (the greatest town in America) and was day trading. CNBC was on in the living room and he was in the office. He came out of the office and the chart was on the TV screen. He sat down on the floor and sort of stopped breathing for a minute or so. And he knew things would not be the same again for a long time.

Many comparisons were made between the Great Recession and the Depression. When the Depression hit, there were few fiscal and monetary tools. And the ones that were used were disastrous. The National Recovery Act and its price controls. The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. 

And the Dust Bowl, which likely could have been prevented or greatly ameliorated by better plowing techniques, grass plantings on bare land, and fence rows to stop erosion. (But hey, it would not be America without an agriculture disaster every twenty years requiring a taxpayer bailout.)

Back in the late 2000s the Author Rob read  the definitive books on the Depression, “The Great Depression” by Robert S. McElvaine. A real good look into the guts of an event that is fading from human memory. But the Author Rob remembers the stories his grandparents and other ancestors or old timers recounted.

Here is a link to a eight-minute video that provides a brief description of the event with a special focus on the collapse of aggregate demand.

The video is one of many on the Marginal Revenue Online Educational Platform.


Cetaceans (whales, dolphins) descended from a large dog-like quadraped beginning 500 million years ago. The Pakiecetus began swimming in the ocean, and over millions of years of random genetic changes, a more successful animal emerged. Below is a link to a video compressing that evolution into one minute. Very fun.


One Stock on our watch list, AERI Pharmaceuticals, hit its break out price of $52. It gapped up from 42 to 53 based upon news of late trials success on a glaucoma drug.


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