As you can see, Russia and Ukraine combined account for one quarter of all trade.
The UN Food & Agriculture Organisation Food Price Index has risen by over 30% since the start of the year. And it can potentially get much worse. The biggest impacts are likely to be felt in developing nations, particularly Africa and parts of Asia. That, in turn, could mean the humanitarian crisis spreads from Ukraine to many other countries.
Quote of the month.
“You and I, and everyone else, and the smartest people that we know have no clue what’s going to happen over the next 10 years. That’s always been true and I think it always will be true.”
Morgan Housel is an exceptional financial and investment writer. Here is a link to a recent podcast with Tim Ferriss. You can also find a bunch more quotes, plus links to his latest book (The Psychology of Money) and a variety of other interesting stuff.
This month in (financial) history.
In March 2000, the writing was on the wall as investors begin rotating out of the Internet and into Old Economy stocks. On 15/16 March, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 8.35% in two days. For the first time ever, investors turned over more than 500 million shares just in the first hour of New York Stock Exchange trading.
“Things that used to take weeks to happen now happen in days,” marvels Bill Schneider, head trader at Warburg Dillon Read.
In March 1963, the final (original) episode of the Jetsons animated cartoon aired. The Jetsons were a futuristic family and the show was produced by Hanna-Barbera, creators of The Flintstones. Just 24 episodes were made. Unfortunately, the show was scheduled opposite Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color and Dennis the Menace and did not receive much attention, so was cancelled after one season. Re-runs were moved to Saturday mornings, where it was very successful for many years. The show was eventually rebooted in the 80’s. Production stopped again in 1989, as the majority of the core cast (George O’Hanlon, Mel Blanc and Daws Butler) sadly died in 1988 and 1989.
The coolest thing about the Jetsons was their flying car. Those of us who are old enough can probably remember the sound it made (go on – we dare you to make that sound!). Tesla founder Elon Musk has said publicly that they are working on a flying car. But Swedish company Jetson has beaten them to it. And if we were ever going to spend $92,000 on a car (we’re not) it would be this one.
More on the story of the modern day Jetson flying car is here.
You can watch the launch video here. Once you’ve seen it, you WILL want one.
And if you can’t remember what the original cartoon car sounded like, the Jetsons cartoon theme song is here.
In March 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt takes the U.S. off the gold standard, removing the yellow metal from coinage and circulation, even banning it as a collectible.
Vaguely interesting facts.
- The world’s deepest underwater mailbox is installed just off the shore of Susami, Japan.
- Adjusted for inflation, the highest-grossing movie of all time is Gone With the Wind, earning approximately $1.8 billion.
- According to a study, most dogs reach peak cuteness between six and eight weeks old. No word on who paid for this study.
- Louis Braille was just 12 years old when he began transforming a method of silent communication used by the French military into a language that allows blind people to read.
- There are approximately 200 feral cats roaming the grounds of Disneyland, where they help control the park’s rodent population. The staff provide them with extra food and medical care.
And finally…should you play Powerball?
You might be pleased to know that we are not gamblers at Affluence, and so our short answer to the above question is a resounding “no!”.
For a longer answer, you might be interested in this piece, from blogger Thomas the Think Engine, who takes a close look at the Powerball odds. Spoiler alert, the answer is still no. But if you’re vaguely interested in the maths, then it’s worth a read.