Weekly Indicators – From Bitcoin to Sun to Emotions – Indicator from Planet Money



Sylvis DOUGLIS, Online – NPR.

(The sound of an “electric song”, “rising to the fire”)

Very few bandits, host

This is an indicator of the planet’s money. For Stacey Vanke Smith, I am Sally Heritage.

Darian Woods, host

And I’m Darian Woods.

Herpes: And we have some good news. Who do we want to introduce our new reporter, Adrian?

(Music sound)

Adrian Ma, Bailey: What’s going on?

Woods: Welcome.

MA: (Sounding).

HERSHIPS: Welcome.

A: Hey. It is good to be here.

HERSHIPS: We’ve brought Adrian to our weekly indicators. Stay tuned for some sunny news, from …

MA: El Salvador officially adopted Bitcoin.

Woods – How to deal with consumer confidence and delta alternatives and vaccine release.

HERSHIPS: All of these exciting applicants after the break.

(Music sound)

Harships – So the Binden administration has released this big report on how the United States can significantly increase its solar energy by 2050 – up to 43%. That is 43% of the weekly index.

Woods: OK. That’s good.

Harships – Now we only get about 4% of our energy from the sun, so this, like, this is a big jump. And I wanted to know, how could that be? So I called Michelle Davis. She is a solar industry analyst at Wood Mackenzie.

Can you light us up? Those jokes get a lot? Sorry.

Michael Davis – No, it’s not really to be honest.

HERSHIPS: You guys, I promise. She has an answer.

Davis – When I think of the answer to that question – how do we get there? – I think of the current challenges facing the solar industry, which can be divided into two different categories. So the first is the supply chain restrictions that are currently affecting this industry.

Harships – So you don’t just need the sun when you make solar energy. The plague comes here. This was a huge decline in demand for all the commodities needed to make the equipment. And now the demand for the sun is very high. So says Michelle, so is the demand for these goods.

Davis – Things like aluminum, steel, glass, copper and then the price of polyclinics also rose last year. And that has started to get enough of the right tools for developer projects, so developers are increasing their prices today, which has not happened – since Wade McKenzie started tracking this information, since 2014.

Wood – That doesn’t look very good, Sally.

HERSHIPS: Yes. As you both know, most of the world you need to make solar panels comes from China. But there have been allegations that China uses forced labor, so the White House has banned the import of some of the materials needed to make the sun. This was done to stimulate domestic production. But Michel says we need a global and local supply chain to grow the sun faster. And for M to G – this is also a labor shortage, so I asked her if we had enough skilled workers.

Davis: Unfortunately, the answer is no.

MA – I mean, it seems like a great time to be in the solar business.

Herpes: Yes, it’s sunny, you might say. But at the same time, we still have all the licenses and studies you need to do to connect and upgrade power supplies, even though we have access to supplies and staff. And those can be very tiring, and can take a long time – up to years. So she says, that has to happen fast. But you guys, the news is still good for the sun.

Davis: Yes, it is possible to achieve these goals. It can be very challenging, and we need to overcome as many obstacles as possible.

HERSHIPS: Well, Adrian, it’s your first day. There is no pressure. What did you find?

A: Okay, so my weekly index is 550, just like 550 bitcoin. How many bitcoins did the El Salvador government buy this week?

Harships – Wait a minute, that doesn’t sound like a lot of bitcoin.

MA – Five Hundred and Fifty Bitcoin is actually $ 26 million. And here it is. The government has made headlines this week, not just buying some bitcoin. On Tuesday, El Salvador became the first country to accept cryptography as a legal tender.

Wood – so what does that really mean – a legal tender?

MA: So basically, the government has thrown its weight behind this digital encryption. And more than that, people can buy goods and services with him, even pay taxes on him.

Wood: Well, so in a few days, how did it go?

MA: Well, as you might expect, there are some technical flaws. But, you know, online people are withdrawing money from bitcoin ATMs and sharing videos of buying food at Pizza Hut and Starbucks. And they, they look like that funny thing.

HERSHIPS: So Adrian, how did we get here?

MA: So it was basically driven by President Bukeley, who is like a thousand-year-old technologist. But as a political leader, you can say he has some kind of power struggle. So the tendency to be dictatorial is to make things happen quickly. He announced this idea in June. And three months later, Bitcoin made its debut as a national currency. So in the Pro column, look, he says this will make the country’s economy more inclusive. Most people do not have bank accounts, and Bitcoin is accessible to anyone with a phone. And then people become a lot cheaper to send money, you know, instead of using it as a wire service.

Alongside this, Bitcoin is really dynamic. And in fact, on this first day in El Salvador as a national currency, Bitcoin fell 10%. That is why critics say it is like gambling with the economy. They worry that this could have a negative effect. And surveys show that many people in El Salvador do not trust Bitcoin. Conversely, people who, like, are bullies to cryptocurrency, are mentally ill. They see this as the first step in many countries. And they feel confident. And really, talking about trust, Daria, you have an indicator on that.

Wood: I do – Consumer confidence in America So you guys feel confident, guys? Trust is key.

HERSHIPS: Woo (ph), yes.

MA: Yes.

Wood: Yes? That seems a little uncertain. Let me hear that from you again.

MA: (Laughter).

Wood: Adrian, do you feel confident?

MA: Yes.

Wood – I almost believe you. Consumer confidence, I think, is the hallmark of this strange place we have now with the US economy. The Consumer Confidence Survey asks a lot of questions every day about the economy. And the general numbers are the kind they expect right now. This was a very bright prospect in the early summer in the United States. Summer vacation was coming. And consumer confidence in the economy was basically in the early stages of the epidemic. So the Consumer Confidence Index was beautiful 125. That’s a very good number.

Herpes – I feel when darkness comes (laughter).

Woods – Some hurricane clouds. And yes, we got an alarm, right? As a result, the vaccine was discontinued. Delta infections have infiltrated. Some schools are closed – not good for the economy. That number dropped from 125 in July to 114 in August.

HERSHIPS: Oh.

Woods – Yes, that’s just OK. But if this continues in the next few months, it will start to show that the economy is really deteriorating.

Herpes – Daria, are you telling us to worry?

MA – I think it tells us that most of us are worried.

Wood – There are almost two different stories here. When people are asked about work – is it hard to find a job? – 90% of people, no, it’s not hard to find a job right now. But if you are asked if it is difficult to get a job right now, only about three-quarters say it is not difficult, and it is declining.

A: Okay, so where is all this going?

Woods: So for the future half-empty version of the mirror, this could only be a delay. You know, if businesses stop hiring, yes, people just say it’s hard to get a job now. But the glass is also half full. These numbers can be a nuisance along the way. If the economy starts to look like the sun, vaccines will increase again – yesterday, President Biden said all businesses with more than 100 employees should be vaccinated or have weekly COVID checks, and millions of federal workers and contractors were required to do so. So the economy may start to expand again. This may be a bit of a flash in late summer. So this means we have to look closely at the next two months.

(Music sound)

HERSHIPS: This was three games – three pointers. Adrian, thank you very much. We look forward to your next exciting and exciting week’s markers.

MA: Thank you. I have a very strong mind to be here.

HERSHIPS: Everyone, have a great weekend.

Today’s episode was prepared by Julia Richie with the help of James Wilts. It was confirmed by Ketlin Nicholas. This show is produced by Kate Concannon and produced by NPR.

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