The Wall Street Journal
Widening US trade gap dims growth views.
Federal Reserve officials growing wary of market complacency -- from the June 3, 2014 on-line edition / June 4, 2014 edition:
Federal Reserve officials are starting to wonder whether a tranquillity that has descended on financial markets is a sign that investors have become unafraid of the type of risk that could lead to bubbles and volatility.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, up a steady if unspectacular 1% since the beginning of the year, has consolidated big gains registered last year. The VIX, a measure of expected stock-market fluctuations based on options trading, has gone 74 straight weeks below its long-run average—a string of steadiness not seen since 2006 and 2007, before the financial crisis and recession.
Moreover, the extra return that bond investors demand on investment-grade corporate debt over low-risk Treasury bonds, at one percentage point, hasn't been this low since July 2007. The lower this "spread," the less risk-averse are bond investors.
The Fed's growing worry—which could influence future interest rate decisions—is that if investors start taking undue risk it could lead to economic turbulence down the road.Or maybe they're finally worried about the US debt at $17 trillion, headed toward $18 trillion.
As the U.S. oil-and-gas boom rolls into its second decade, a new idea is starting to resonate with regulators and communities: Certain places should simply be off-limits to drilling.
That is not how it has worked up until now. Over the past decade, oil and gas wells have been drilled for hydraulic fracturing in suburban subdivisions, airports, public parks and golf courses. As long as energy companies leased the mineral rights, they could drill almost anywhere.
Now this all-or-nothing approach is starting to weaken as the fracking juggernaut, which has created jobs and lowered the U.S. trade deficit, has left some communities feeling trampled.
North Dakota, which has rolled out the red carpet for rigs, is reconsidering whether it should issue drilling permits near some historical sites, parks and areas of particular beauty. The state last month said that any requests to drill near designated areas would result in additional scrutiny and require public comment. The new approach reflects "growing momentum from the public to make sure the state is protecting some of the most scenic and historic places," said Alison Ritter, a spokeswoman for the state's Department of Mineral Resources.I love the photo of the beautiful town on the prairie at the linked article.
Crude oil pipelines vs water pipelines:
The Mobile, AL, legal battle reflects growing conflict between some water systems and pipeline companies.
Environmental activists have long cited drinking-water concerns as a basis for opposing pipelines. But in the past few years, utilities have begun voicing similar worries too—in lawsuits and regulatory comments, with the media and on the Web.
Officials say they have been motivated by recent high-profile spills in Arkansas, Michigan and elsewhere, as well as by the race to build and upgrade pipelines to accommodate the U.S. oil-and-gas boom brought on by hydraulic fracturing. "It's about critical infrastructure coexisting," says Lisa Ragain, a risk consultant for water systems. "It's an awareness-building campaign…getting a sector that is very far removed from the provision of safe drinking water to understand what that entails."
*********************************Gender bias alleged at UCLA's Anderson Graduate School of Management, one of the nation's top-ranked business schools, is "inhospitable to women faculty," according to an interanl academic review. [Comment: what does not kill you, makes you stronger. -- Fred Nietzsche]
Mr Sterling to drop lawsuit; sell L.A. Clippers.
State income-tax credits, carpool access lanes, employer support, charging stations, etc., etc., has Atlanta leapfrogging Seattle as the #2 metropolitan market for electric cars in the US behind San Francisco.
Los Angeles Times
Route 66. In a few weeks, I will be taking a road trip with the two granddaughters from Dallas to Los Angeles, with a side trip to the Grand Canyon. We will taken as much of Route 66 as we can. I particularly look forward to Oatman, AZ. It's gonna be a scorcher.