Things I Learned This Week – February 18th, 2018

Article: ArcelorMittal Submits Bid For India’s Essar Steel, FT

Key Points:

  • The forced sale of Essar Steel seen as a test for India’s new bankruptcy rules.
  • Essar Steel has a production capacity of 10m tonnes per annum.
  • Essar Steel invested heavily in its main plant in Hazira in Western Gujarat, only to be hit by falling prices and gas supply issues.

Article: Oracle Leaps into the Costly Cloud Arms Race, WSJ

Key Points:

  • Oracle plans to build 12 new data center regions.
  • Oracle had $2.04 billion in capital spending in the 12-months ending on Nov 30th.
  • Gartner estimates that cloud services market should total about $411.4 billion by 2020.

Article: A Powerful Mix of Solar and Batteries is Beating Natural Gas, Bloomberg Businessweek

Key Points:

  • Solar combined with battery storage is giving natural gas a run for the money.
  • Florida’s utility NextEra just added battery storage to their solar farm.
  • First Solar has won a contract from Arizona’s biggest utility to supply power during peak hours of 3 PM to 8 PM.
  • California has called on PG&E to use batteries and other non-fossil fuel resources to meet peak demand.
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is set to decide on a proposed rule that would allow energy storage services to participate in wholesale markets.


Article: Demystifying Machine Learning: An Overview, Oracle Blog

Key Points:

  • Simple and easy to understand explanation for machine learning.
  • Explains the business situations where machine learning can be used.

Article: 4 Stock Picks for an Aging Bull Market, Barron’s

Key Points:

  • Financials would benefit from rising interest rates
  • Stocks never fully priced in low interest rates, because the spread between earnings yield of 5.7% (P/E ratio turned upside down) and 10-year treasury yield was 2.9%.
  • Over half-century the spread was less than 0.6%
  • So, there may be more to this bull run.
  • Alphabet (GOOGL), Lam Research (LRCX), Citigroup (C), and Cummins (CMI) look like good buys.

on-ck903_late_t_16u_20180216195115Article: Of Medals and Melting, The Economist

Key Points:

  • The Dutch haven’t seen an Hellmann Number above 100 since 1997.
  • Hellman number measures the severity of the winter.
  • Hellman number is an index which is the inverse of the sum of daily average temperatures below zero.
  • Since rivers are not freezing, it is upending their culture and endangering their dominance in skating.   20180217_euc758

Article: Bebe Delay, The Economist

Key Points:

  • The French seems to delaying having children despite great benefits from the French government.
  • If the birth rate recovers, French would surpass Germany as the most populous nation in Europe.
  • The gap between births and deaths – which demographers call the natural increase – fell to its lowest point since the 1950s.
  • 20180217_euc750






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