June 29, 2022 | ± 4 minutes
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Table of Contents
Just the stupidest thing
I get that kids shouldn’t vape. Kids shouldn’t do a lot of things that are legal for adults to do, which is why there are legal age requirements for lots of things.
So outlawing Juul products because too many kids use them is asinine.
Also, I get that vaping isn’t great for your health, but it’s a heck of a lot safer than smoking.
Outlawing Juul products while cigarettes remain legal smacks of bureaucratic entrenchment at best and corruption at worst.
The folks at Juul aren’t saints — they definitely shouldn’t have included free samples in Happy Meals — but they paid those fines.
Anything that makes it easier to quit smoking should be made easier to get, not harder.
Are gold prices about to moon?
The G-7 is announced an import ban on Russian gold.
The United States has imposed unprecedented costs on Putin to deny him the revenue he needs to fund his war against Ukraine.— President Biden (@POTUS) June 26, 2022
Together, the G7 will announce that we will ban the import of Russian gold, a major export that rakes in tens of billions of dollars for Russia.
This is significant to Russia, because it produces 330.9 tonnes of the yellow stuff every year. At today’s rates, that’s worth around $19.4B. Even for a nation-state, that’s a lot of money.
That’s significant to the rest of the world, because Russia is the world’s second-leading producer of gold just behind China’s 332.0 tonnes per year.
A 10% drop in production this year is only around 0.01% of the total discovered supply, but it’s still reasonable to think we could see a supply shock that leads to a surge in the commodity’s value.
If you want to get ahead of that, you may want to check out Vaulted, which is an easy way to invest in gold.
Is a gas tax holiday coming to America?
It’s been a tough few months for the Biden administration as even Democrats are now blaming him for sky-high inflation. His approval ratings are at an all-time low.
There’s not much the administration can do about inflation in the short term, but there is one lever they can pull to try to boost approval ratings ahead of the 2022 mid-term elections in November – they can reduce the price of gas via a gas tax holiday.
It turns out the price of gas at the pump is directly correlated with presidential approval ratings for Biden.
It’s not obvious to me that there’s any causation here. You could probably also show a chart of the average daily temperature in Iowa against the Biden approval rating and come to the same conclusion.
Whether they’re actually related or not, if the holiday goes ahead, it’ll mean around $0.20 per gallon less than you’re paying now. For what it’s worth, prediction market Kashi only gives it a 16% chance of success.
2022 probably won’t be the hottest year on record
Speaking of Kashi, the markets there say there’s around a 13% chance 2022 will be the hottest year on record. Turns out that particular market isn’t very efficient / accurate.
While we can probably all agree it’s been really bloody hot this year, there’s very little chance 2022 will be the hottest year ever.
So while April and May this year were both in the top ten hottest months (for April and May) of all time, neither was the hottest.
And the rest of the year has some la nina stuff going on, which is likely to cool things down a bit.
If you don’t mind locking up your money for six months, there’s a potential 13.79% profit in it for you.
You think you’ve got it bad
Whenever my kids moan about how hard their lives are, I do the normal dad thing and talk about starving children in Ukraine or families getting bombed in Yemen.
Thanks to loyal reader Lance (shoutout to Lafayette, Louisiana, future crypto hub of the south), I’ve now got something else to talk about – Water Bears.
These things can live literally anywhere. Here’s the skinny:
They have been found everywhere in Earth’s biosphere, from mountaintops to the deep sea and mud volcanoes, and from tropical rainforests to the Antarctic. Tardigrades are among the most resilient animals known, with individual species able to survive extreme conditions — such as exposure to extreme temperatures, extreme pressures (both high and low), air deprivation, radiation, dehydration, and starvation — that would quickly kill most other known forms of life. Tardigrades have survived exposure to outer space.
Learn more if you’d like.