Talking Points: February 17, 2020

February 17, 2020

In the U.S., Valentine’s Day ranks 94th in the year for consumer spending at local restaurants, which is even below Cinco de Mayo. Unsurprisingly, Mother’s Day weekend is ranked both #1 and #2 as the top-grossing days of the year. Morning Brew, February 12, 2020

The Coronavirus is hammering a global freight industry that relies on China. Shipping rates for the massive ships that carry raw materials have dropped more than 90% since the peak of September 2019. Bloomberg, January 31, 2020

The Federal government owns 855 million square feet of developed real estate in the U.S., which costs about $8 billion annually to maintain. In 2018, there were 3,817 buildings that were defunct or underused out of a total of 57,840. The government is planning to sell $750 million worth of those properties. Yahoo Finance, January 29, 2020

“Young person worry: What if nothing I do matters? Old person worry: What if everything I do does?” Jenny Offill

Greece’s 10-year bond yield dropped below 1% for the first time ever, which is remarkable considering yields were nearly 45% during the financial crises. Yahoo Finance, February 12, 2020

There are 300,000 federal criminal offenses on the books in America of which many, like the illegality of carrying a rake from NY to NJ, are outdated. However, recently a woman was prosecuted for sheltering animals during a hurricane and prosecutors filed criminal charges against her for practicing veterinary medicine without a license. A bartender in Denver was jailed for infusing vodka when he mixed things like pickles and bacon and put them back in the bottle. Trib Live, February 7, 2020

Police in rural south-west Wales have used DNA profiling to solve the mystery of a missing cow. The case was described locally as a “moo-dunnit.” The Guardian, February 5, 2020

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