In today’s recap, Marcello talks about an upcoming must-have permission from Europe for all American citizens planning to visit Europe in Spring 2025. A visa won’t be required, but you would need to apply for permission in advance. Elon Musk has offered $1 billion to Wikipedia to change its name to Dickipedia in the interest of accuracy. Israel has expanded its military ground activity in Gaza.
U.S. consumer spending increased more than expected in Sept. at a sharp 0.7%,vs 0.5% forecast, as households boosted purchases of motor vehicles & traveled, keeping spending on a higher growth path. Outlays grew a robust +4% in Q3, biggest increase since 2019. Heading into what economists expect will be a challenging Q4, it showed monthly underlying inflation picking up last month, but it was largely driven by housing costs. Spending seen cooling off in early 2024, as excess savings accumulated during the pandemic run out, most economists believe the Fed is done raising interest rates, though risks of a rate hike remain.
The Japanese still haven’t quite gotten over China surpassing their economy in gross domestic product (GDP) terms which happened 13 years ago. This week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) calculated that Germany’s nominal GDP is on track to surpass Japan’s this year. That would push Japan from No 3 to No 4 globally it speaks to the weakness of the Japanese economy & the collateral damage from a now backfiring 25-year-old weak yen policy.
United Auto Workers (UAW) union reaches a tentative labor deal with Ford, the 1st of Detroit’s Big 3 car manufacturers, to negotiate a settlement to strikes joined by 45K workers since mid-Sept. It provides a +25% wage hike over the 4-1/2-year contract, starting with an increase of +11%. The Ford deal, which may help create a template for settlements of parallel UAW strikes against General Motors & Chrysler parent Stellantis, will amount to total pay hikes of over +33%, when compounding & cost-of-living mechanisms are factored in.
Scientists have unearthed something remarkable at several ancient Roman archaeological & construction sites, revealing artifacts coated in a naturally formed substance with unique modern technological potential. Fragments of ancient Roman glass vessels, having shattered long ago offer much more than just beautiful colors Engineering professors have learned that the molecular structure of these tiny Roman glass shards become rearranged over 1000’s of years, resulting in the formation of what physicists call photonic crystals which can produce unique optical effects in the way they filter & reflect light.
Oil rose the most in 2 weeks after Israel’s military said it was expanding ground activity in Gaza Friday evening; energy giant BP’s electric vehicle charger unit is ordering $100M worth of Tesla’s ultra-fast chargers for roll-out in the U.S.; The interest rate on the most popular U.S. home loan last week jumped to the highest since September 2000.