Commodity futures investing: method to the madness
Just as there are popular indexes that measure the value of groups of stocks, such as the Dow Jones industrial average, there are indexes that do the same for commodity futures.
Spotlight: Texas wind energy: tax breaks, transmission lines key to growth
Texas became the nation's most prolific generator of wind power in the past decade, but the industry's future growth will depend on tax incentives to make it cost competitive and new transmission lines to get electricity to consumers.
Market expectations and corn prices: looking into future to explain present
Market expectations of future supply and demand are important in determining current prices for agricultural products such as corn, which are harvested annually and stored for later use. Prices can quickly move when beliefs change?due to new data, for example?even if events far in the future are involved.
Spotlight: upper East Texas in slump, region holds up better than U.S.
As the U.S. and Texas slipped into recession last year, a balanced economy lessened the impact on upper East Texas. In March, the region's year-over-year nonfarm employment was down 0.4 percent, compared with the state's decline of 0.8 percent and the nation's 3.5 percent. Unemployment rates in the region's principal metros are near or below the state's 6.7 percent average.
Understanding the risks inherent in shadow banking: a primer and practical lessons learned
Examinations of the 2007?09 financial crisis often use the term shadow banking. This paper explains the form and functioning of the shadow banking system, how it relates to systemic risk and the recent financial crisis, and what particular aspects should be highlighted to benefit policymakers as they implement new regulations designed to enhance financial market resiliency. The paper is divided into two parts: The first serves as a primer on shadow banking; the second provides a narrative of how the system froze during the financial crisis and pertinent lessons learned for the current reform ...
Noteworthy: Gulf oil spill: Costs of well disaster still piling up
British Petroleum's Macondo well blew out April 20 as the Deepwater Horizon platform sunk. By the time the well was capped on July 15, an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil had flowed into the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. government and BP are still assembling a definitive estimate of the flow; the final figure is likely to be a source of contention because it will be the basis for determining financial penalties.
Sizing up nanoelectronics: gauging the potential for new productivity wave
The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, in cooperation with the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), hosted a conference on nanoelectronics and the economy in Austin on Dec. 3, 2010. Economists and scientists explored how information technology has affected U.S. productivity and output growth and prospects for the future.
Noteworthy: natural gas: glitches point to inflated output data
Natural gas production and consumption data have been drifting apart. Production should equal consumption plus increases or decreases in storage, but sampling and estimation errors typically result in slight discrepancies. Seeing these gaps rise, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) implemented a new methodology with the release of February's production data that should ensure greater accuracy. Estimates for the prior 12 months were revised as well.
Noteworthy: energy: oil, gasoline price spikes unlikely in 2009
Noteworthy: commercial building: Texas shows signs of weakening
Texas commercial construction held up relatively well throughout 2008--in the broad view, at least.