By Haddon Libby
Most news broadcasts in recent years have reduced their news content in search of higher ratings. While the news still covers a few key stories, there is really very little being reported for a world of more than 7 billion people.
Fear not, we here at CV Weekly are going to edumicate you on some recent stories that did not get much coverage.
Last week in Italy, one hundred chefs joined together to break a Guinness Book world record when they made a 1.15 mile long pizza. It took eleven hours and five specially made wood fired ovens to cook this monstrosity. In case you want to make this pizza yourself, you will need 44,000 pounds of flour and cheese, 3,500 pounds of tomatoes and about 53 gallons of olive oil.
In Venezuela, Coca-Cola was forced to stop making their trademark product because of a sugar shortage in the country. This follows on the heels of Empresa Polars’ inability to manufacture beer because of its inability to import barley. These shortages are due to Venezuela being near financial collapse due to the fall in oil prices and out of control government spending.
Here in the United States, Puerto Rico is facing its own financial collapse as it struggles with $72 billion in debt. To put this in perspective, the state has 1.2 million residents or $60,000 worth of debt per person – far more than they can afford to pay. Worth noting, 20% of this debt is held in mutual bond funds with Oppenheimer and Franklin Templeton having the largest holdings.
Stateside, five companies hold one-third of all cash held by US companies (excluding banks). More specifically, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Cisco and Oracle are sitting on $504 billion of cash. Don’t expect this money to be spent anytime soon as these monies are held offshore. If the companies were to bring the money back to the United States, they would have to pay an awful lot in taxes.
Have you ever wondered what the most expensive product is on Earth? No, it is not printer ink which goes for between $0.13 and $0.75 per ounce. It is antimatter which goes for $25 billion per gram (0.35 ounce). Californium, which is used to start nuclear reactors and treat cancer is next up at $25 million per gram.
Those rings that go around your six pack of beer often find their way into the ocean posing serious risks to wildlife. One Florida company, Saltwater Brewery, is looking to solve this problem by creating a biodegradable and edible ring to bind their cans of beer together. A partnership with Doritos might be the way to go.
Over in Louisiana, Walt Leger, D-New Orleans, brought a bill to the floor of the State Senate requiring that exotic dancers be at least 21 years of age. Kenneth Havard, R-Jackson, caused a stir when he proposed an amendment to the bill by adding seven years to the minimum age…and a weight limit on the dancers of 160 pounds. Nancy Landry, R-Lafayette, found Havard’s amendment “offensive” after which Havard withdrew his amendment and said that his effort was meant to be “a joke”.
Lastly, Canadian couple Dominic Husson and Louise Veronneau recently got married in front of 11,000 guests here in California. What made the wedding unique was that the guests were not humans but cats. They came to our great state to marry at The Cat House on the Kings just outside of Fresno. We here it was a purr-fectly beautiful wedding although a few guests got faklempt and hacked up a fur ball or two.
Haddon Libby is an Investment Advisor at Winslow Drake and can be reached at 213.596.8399 or HLibby@WinslowDrake.com.