The Indicator from Planet Money - Boats And Bull Markets: Indicators Of The Week

On Indicators of the week, we discuss the Suez Canal blockage hindering global trade and the stock market recovery since last year's low point. Plus, listeners chime in with their indicators!

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and once they see in Cardiff sheer and today is Friday, but mainly because I finally get to end my losing streak in rock-paper-scissors against Stacey Vanek Smith Garcia. And if the last three matches in a row have anything to say about it? I don't know if we should tell our listeners why we play rock-paper-scissors is because you and I each chosen or indicator of the week. We don't tell each other what that indicator is before we take show and then we ever see each other with them and we play rock-paper-scissors for who gets to go first to Absolute.

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Okay, Stacy Rock Paper Scissors on 3. Here we go. 1-2-3

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Paper scissor cuts paper for and 4 for the streak on breast. Matically. This is not a coincidence. Right? So you get to go first at what is your indicator of the week. I think we have to spend a couple more minutes. I think about my rock paper scissors skills and like just a psychological game that I have been commanded. I'm sorry. I'm losing I'm losing the connection. It happens. Okay. My indicator of the week is 10% what's going on with 10% 10% and this will make sense. Very quickly is the amount of global trade that passes through the Suez Canal.

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Okay. I know we're headed with this. Yes. So this week has been full of these I have to say kind of comical images. I mean, I know it's not necessarily that was blown sideways in the canal and got stuck and all the ships that were backed up which I have to take our just reminds me of the seven years. I've lived in Los Angeles and spent lots of time trying to do three point turns on narrow roads backing up traffic, but the thing I blew my mind reading the stories was just how big of a deal this wasn't from the global trade 90% of goods are still transported by ship in the world. It's like almost all of our goods are transported by ship. So of course one ship gets stuck in the Suez Canal and it completely disrupts Global Drake and pushed up oil prices because like 10% of refined oil passes through the Suez Canal and I mean, it's just shocking how much this one ship disrupted trade around the whole world.

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Important part of the global economy obviously, so I am hoping that the ship does get unstuck as quickly as possible because that will make it possible for us to then be able to laugh about it instead of lamenting the fact that you know trade is being slow down cuz the longer it persists the less money if he comes but if it gets on so quickly then I think it's okay to have a chocolate cyst.

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chips are just

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so it is 1300 ft long which is of course. I look this up cuz you don't have to do this the size of for soccer fields containers and you know, most of the stuff that we get when we order things comes to us via the ship's excellent indicator. So 10% of global trade passing through the Suez Canal amazing paper taken away. This week marked a kind of strange and unexpected one year anniversary. So on March 23rd of last year that was the day that the stock market in the US hit rock bottom and in the year that followed so through earlier this week the US Stock Market went up 76% That's my indicator and it is the best year of us stock market returns in almost a century. I mean

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Going all the way back to roughly the 1930s. We have mentioned many times on this show that the vast majority of the u.s. Stock market is owned by a relatively small share of the population. That's pretty well-off. And what's interesting about the performance of the stock market is that is largely a byproduct of economic policies that kept the economy from collapsing and that we're not targeted at helping the well-off to actually think anomic policies that have been put in place since about a year ago have largely and successfully targeted helping people lower down the income distribution people who will have lost their jobs because of the pandemic and who really would have needed the help and I think it shows that the economy is not a zero-sum game that it's quite interconnect policies that end up bolstering overall economic growth and it also are targeted in this case at helping the people who really needed to help did not hurt people that didn't

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Necessarily need the help that we all kind of were in this together. And I think that's an interesting lesson in one we're going to be kind of teasing out in the years to come in and assessing its implications. Excellent. And by the way, I was saved the best for last ACR our listeners indicators of the week. They sent us

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This is Lori Benson in Lincoln, Nebraska. Every four years American Society of civil engineers without a report cards on the nation's infrastructure things, like roads Bridges Broadband 4 years ago. The grade was a D+. This year's grade is better at C- but you have to wonder if the country should lose its television Privileges and tell our great improved.

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I want to see book a possible indicator literal upgrade is needed. I love it. I think number for alaskans this week as sick as in the proposed $0.16 per gallon fuel tank which would double the existing text that back in 1970 and currently the lowest in the nation alaskans need need some love because there was Winters and it's very dark planet money. This is Lynn calling from Prague. My indicator of the week that I wanted to share with you is 861 billion US Dollars. This is the amount of total eCommerce sales in 2020 in the US, which is a 44% increase in 2019.

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Shout out to Prague. All right, and an e-commerce, of course staying on topic. I love these by the way. I've got a rock paper scissors strategy. So don't let Stacy listen to this in 2014. There was this big study on rock paper scissors strategy stick with that one losers 10 to switch and a switch in a predictable pattern is the pattern of the name of the game Rock then pay for them scissors plays and sure enough you started with rock, then you went to paper then he went to Sisters. My guess is Stacy is on to you and she's going to expect you to go rock. So I would recommend that you go scissors. Good luck. Hope your first this week.

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Badly, we played that excellent advice in front of Stacy.

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And after you bought another round of rock paper scissors in exactly the way you predicted. I love this guy. I want to see a copy to study immediately.

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And if you are listeners have more indicators of the week, you'd like to send us email them to indicator at npr.org this episode of the indicator was produced by Brittany Cronin. In fact check by samsa. I was edited by Julie Myers and the indicator is a production of NPR.
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