[via FT blog]
A Map of Homeless Shelters vs. Cupcake Shops in Chicago
In addition to rising numbers of homeless people, homeless program funding is on the chopping block. According to The Atlantic Cities, homelessness programs are facing a 50 percent funding cut. In addition, according to the Chicago News Cooperative, youth homelessness over 10,000, a 16 percent increase from last year.Chinese economic collapse fears are in this season
Now China's housing bubble is deflating. Home prices reversed in October for the second consecutive month as cash-strapped developers became desperate to unload homes. An index of 35 major cities showed 29 had experienced a decline in sales from a year ago; sales plunged more than 50% in six of them, including Beijing.
The Chinese government says it's all part of the plan. After loosening the credit spigot during the financial crisis to keep the economy humming, it's now tightening lending and clamping down on speculators.
But critics said the damage has been done. Behind China's gleaming new high-rises, freeways and bullet trains, the bears see ghost towns, empty roads and superfluous rail lines. Public debt has exploded, raising fears of an overload that could weigh on China's economy.Iran interferes in Iraqi Kurdistan
Iran is looking for auxiliaries to its considerable and menacing influence over the Iraqi central government, perhaps out of mere desire for aggrandizement. But Tehran may also fear that Arab Shias in Baghdad will prove a troublesome partner in its anticipated alliance of Shia-ruled Middle East states, once the U.S. leaves. Iraq's Shias, a majority of the country’s population, do not accept the political model of the Iranian clerical state, or “vilayet-e faqih” (governance by religious jurists). Hostility between Iranian and Iraqi Arab Shias, as described by Nathaniel Rabkin writing for THE WEEKLY STANDARD in 2007, is reflected in religious literature produced by Iraq’s Shia religious authorities, or marjae. And of course the Iraq-Iran war of 1980-88 has not been forgotten.New Belgium and the rise of craft beer
Some craft brewers are stoic about the rise of these macrobrewed craft brands. “My outlook is, well, you’ve taught a lot of Americans that cloudy beer with spicy flavors is kind of cool,” says Garrett Oliver, brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery. “So who is that really good for? Is that good for MillerCoors? Maybe somewhat. Is it good for me? Absolutely.” Others are more concerned. Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Del., says, “They go into a Joe’s Bar and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got a craft beer. Instead of a keg of Dogfish Head at $140, we’ll sell you this quasi-craft beer for $90 and you can charge the same price per pint.’ They use these quasi-craft beers as pawns to clear the real craft beers off the chessboard.”Nearly 50% of young people in Greece and Spain are unemployed
This isn't quite the picture that explains the euro debt crisis in one graph, but it tells a story. The euro was created partly to let poorer countries borrow more cheaply and help net exporters like Germany sell to richer neighbors. This has given Germany an amazing trade advantage, allowing it to sell its stuff to richer neighbors without seeing its currency appreciate or its goods get more expensive for Greeks and Irish to buy. Look how nicely that's worked out for Germany!Bill Gates grant turning poop to productivity in Ghana
And Waste Enterprisers already has a small revenue stream from its third business: fish farms. The company is taking poorly performing waste stabilization ponds, and creating incentives to maintain them by making money off of the ponds through raising and selling catfish. By the time the water gets to the last pond, where the fish live, the water is treated enough to raise fish, Wade says.
But are people willing to eat fish that have been raised on human feces, even if the waste has been semi-treated? And when you get down to it, will consumers be receptive to any product made out of human feces?