John Abell has a good question for me: how could everything be selling off today? Aren’t the various different asset classes (stocks, bonds, gold) meant to be hedges against each other?
There are some of you, I know, who don’t subscribe to the Counterparties email newsletter, and read it instead on this blog. That’s OK, I don’t hold it against you. But we’ve moved the newsletter off this blog now: Counterparties now has its own blog, to complement the website. The blog features the newsletter, every day; the main Counterparties website is still updated continually over the course of the day.
There’s good news on the CitiBike front. The big problem I wrote about on June 5 — the way in which entire stations would regularly go dark, refusing to dispense or accept bicycles — seems to have been solved. This is true anecdotally: I haven’t encountered it in the past few days, and neither has anybody I know. And WNYC has now published empirical data showing the same thing. Here’s their pretty interactive chart of stations which have been inactive for more than 4 hours straight between 8am and 8pm:
Let me clear this up so that Donn Zaretsky can have no doubt. When I say that the Michigan attorney general is “absolutely right” that the art collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts cannot be sold to satisfy the city’s financial obligations, I mean that he’s right both legally and normatively.
If you want to wade through some unutterably depressing reading on this Monday morning, you should spend some time with the official Detroit Proposal for Creditors. It starts by noting that the city’s per capita income, averaged over its 684,799 residents, is just $15,261 per year. (That’s less than half the income of neighboring Livonia.) Auto insurance alone eats up a good $4,000 of that, for residents with a car.
I went to two conferences in the past couple of weeks: the Underbanked Financial Services Forum, in Miami, and the Clinton Global Initiative’s America conference, in Chicago. At the former, I was introduced to a company called Cognical, which pitched itself as a tool which will allow lenders to lend money to a much broader group of people than they currently accept.