Innovation in money and music (and agriculture)

In the third quarter this year, as prices fell, central banks made their largest purchases of gold for 40 years. The buying was led by the central banks of emerging countries such as Thailand, Mexico, and South Korea. The value of foreign currencies and government debt at the moment are volatile at best, so it …

Solar power nears “tipping point”

Falling subsidies by European governments (Italy, for example, is currently the world’s second largest solar market) has left production capacity of 30GW chasing demand for 18GW of panels this year. As a result, prices are falling. Installed cost is already $3/watt for some commercial buyers, and for residential is expected to reach around $4/watt next …

Drivers of change

Chris Luebkeman, Director of Global Innovation and Foresight at Arup, talks about some of the key drivers of change in our world: Key drivers of change that he mentions, to varying levels of detail, include: Congestion Genetic screening Sea level rise Affluence Ageing populations Single person households Connectivity Clickizens Trans-generational exchange Authenticity Accountability for externalities …

Daily snapshot

A eurozone recession “looks almost inevitable before the end of the year, even if the debt crisis does not intensify further”. A┬áTreasury select committee is calling for a “radical overhaul” of the accountability and governance of the Bank of England, through the establishment of a supervisory board that would reduce the power of the governor …

Snapshot of today

The US Federal Reserve has cut its growth forecast for 2012 from 3.5% to 2.7%, and is still predicting low inflation, but has not reduced interest rates. People who bet that market volatility would reduce after the eurozone agreement have been caught out by Greece’s announcement of a referendum. Now that the referendum has been …

The energy and economic fundamentals

Here is a series of fundamental points, and then a question: To pay off our existing debts we need the economy to grow Economists are expecting there will be a source of energy to power that growth But cheap oil has run out, oil is ‘peaking’ — supply may match but will no longer exceed …

Google continues to grow

Google’s shares rose six percent on third quarter results that showed net income up 26%. The number of paid clicks grew 28%, and the number of employees grew by almost 2,600 (9%) in the past three months. At an annualised rate of 36%, this fast growth in costs is worrying analysts. But revenues jumped 37%, …

Reliance to sign deal with Disney

Reliance Industries of India, the country’s largest private sector (petrochemicals to retail) group, is close to signing a deal to deliver Disney content to users of its 4G (wireless broadband) mobile phones. At present only 10m people in India have 3G mobile phones, and 4G is yet to be launched. One interesting comment from the …