Something for the weekend.
(Bloomberg) — Hello from California, where an abundance of wildflowers can also terrify us. Yes, fear. Winter’s epic rainfall has turned the Golden State green, orange, and purple with “beautiful flowers” that come with a little-discussed dark side. Blooming grasses and shrubs tend to wither in the state’s arid summers, and when dry, they become sparks that can ignite in a number of ways, both harmless and nefarious. All it takes are our splendid Santa Ana and Diablo winds to spread the flames faster than people can run away.
Speaking of climate concerns, the energy leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations met in Sapporo, Japan, today to discuss tackling climate change but facing with some very inconvenient truths. Elsewhere in Japan, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was frightened after a smoke bomb was allegedly thrown at an event he attended.
Back in the US, Tax Day is fast approaching, and if you still haven’t filled out your 1040, you’ll probably be cracked. Here’s some serious news: Residents of Honolulu, New York, or San Francisco need a combined income of more than $300,000 to feel like they’re the breadwinner with a six-figure income after taxes and regulation. adjusted to the cost of living. In Houston, a person only needs about $125,000 in total income for the same purchasing power, according to an analysis by SmartAsset. At least rents are falling.
A full-blown financial crisis isn’t usually part of the daily news cycle, but as Bloomberg reporter Max Abelson writes, banking history is a kind of horror story that keeps repeating itself. Although JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon says they tend to happen every five to seven years, some experts say natural disasters aren’t always part of the system.
And then there is crypto trading. Now that Bitcoin is back above $30,000, should we celebrate or mourn its drop from last year’s highs? It’s very complicated. This story will give you an insight.
But enough doom and gloom! The S&P 500 is up 7.8% year-to-date. Sure, analysts expect terrible first-quarter earnings but many see that as a low point, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. Still worried? Listen to Ruffer Investment Manager Duncan MacInnes explain how to create a portfolio that delivers up to 7% return without much risk on this week’s Merryn Talks Money podcast. Enjoy the rest of your Saturday. We’ll be back tomorrow with a look ahead to next week.
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