News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Sept. 8, 2017

Linking ≠ endorsement. News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Sept. 8, 2017

Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) Plastic fibers pervasive in tap water worldwide, new study shows | DW Environment

2) Engineers 20 years ago warned of flooding risk

3) Economic Models That Reality Can No Longer Afford

4) BRICS Summit in China: A Missed Opportunity - YouTube

5) Our Hurricane Risk Models Are Dangerously Out-of-Date - MIT Technology Review

6) Finding fraud after Hurricane Harvey | PropertyCasualty360

7) The Fed - Understanding the Disconnect between Employment and Inflation with a Low Neutral Rate

8) How Local Housing Regulations Smother the US Economy - The New York Times

9) Irma, Jose, and Katia: Three hurricanes in one satellite image — Quartz

10) Where is Hurricane Irma? | Miami Herald

11) Harvey Responders Say the Arkema Plant Blaze Made Them Sick - Bloomberg

  1.    Plastic fibers pervasive in tap water worldwide, new study shows | DW Environment

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  2.    Engineers 20 years ago warned of flooding risk

    "Do nothing and accept risk of flooding," the report warned.

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  3.    Economic Models That Reality Can No Longer Afford

    I recommend this article.

    Other models have not enjoyed much support from policy makers, either because of the dominance of mainstream beliefs, or because policy makers with different viewpoints prefer to err with the herd rather than be right on their own.

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  4.    BRICS Summit in China: A Missed Opportunity - YouTube

    There's a great deal in this video that is not known to the general public in the US.

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  5.    Our Hurricane Risk Models Are Dangerously Out-of-Date - MIT Technology Review

    ... Harvey "represents the third '500-year' flood in the Houston area in the past three years," as the UC Davis researchers note.

    If you didn't believe Anthropogenic Global Warming is real, I hope you do now and will speak out that we need to take bold action to slow, stop, and reverse AGW, which means massive reductions in carbon-fuel use and/or massive carbon-sequestration projects. Frankly, sequestration tech is still in its infancy. Soil management would certainly help and is doable now.

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  6.    Finding fraud after Hurricane Harvey | PropertyCasualty360

    Be aware. This article is written from the insurance-company perspective.

    A public adjuster with a good track record may find more to legitimately claim than the adjuster's fee will total. The adjuster's knowledge, skills, and abilities may be exactly what is needed if the insured simply doesn't know how to go about submitting and handling a claim or doesn't have the time or energy or ...

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  7.    The Fed - Understanding the Disconnect between Employment and Inflation with a Low Neutral Rate

    ... recent low readings for inflation may be driven by depressed underlying inflation, which would imply a more persistent shortfall in inflation from our objective. In that case, it would be prudent to raise the federal funds rate more gradually.

    Wage pressure is coming from unions and governments shooting for the $15 minimum wage. Who's asking for a raise and threatening to leave if not given one? Even if given one, what's the propensity to spend right now in an inflationary way? Who's testing these considerations? Who's polling people accurately about it all? (hint, hint).

    Automation and offshoring still loom large too. The costs of transporting products is a factor. We're still in a labor-wage race to a global leveling. Will that even happen before full automation?

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  8.    How Local Housing Regulations Smother the U.S. Economy - The New York Times

    To be clear, we are not advocating unconstrained suburban sprawl like Houston's, with all its negative environmental consequences.

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  9.    Irma, Jose, and Katia: Three hurricanes in one satellite image — Quartz

    I'm glad to see the term "global warming" return. Climate change is valid terminology, but global warming caused by CO2 caused by carbon fuel is THE issue. Other factors are important, but carbon burning should be front and center. If something else happens, such as a massive volcano that radically dims the sunshine and its atmospheric-heating impact, then the focus will change accordingly but shouldn't be allowed to until some such event/change.

    The sooner we start the conversation, the more people will see global warming as having a direct impact on natural disasters. Only then can start the next one: how to actually do something about it.

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  10.    Where is Hurricane Irma? | Miami Herald News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Sept. 8, 2017

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  11.    Harvey Responders Say the Arkema Plant Blaze Made Them Sick - Bloomberg

    The France-based company, which has a number of production facilities in Texas, joined others in the chemical and oil and gas industry to fight an Obama-era rule prompted after an explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, killed 15 people in 2013.

    That rule, which was halted by EPA after President Donald Trump took office, would have required companies to disclose to first responders the risks of the chemicals on their plant site. The company wrote in comments to the EPA in 2016 that the requirements would "likely add significant new costs and burdens" and that requiring it to provide information to the community was itself a security risk.

    Pay now, or pay more later.

    Good risk-management would see the first-responders fully informed well in advance while security and other proper risk-reduction measures would be simultaneously stepped up by the company.

    The cost of doing business in that industry would be applied to all competitors as well. If the costs in dollars and to the environment, etc., are too great, then the industry processes shouldn't be allowed in the first place. That's the precautionary principle, with which I wholeheartedly agree.

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