Microsoft’s market capitalization peaked on December 30, 1999, reaching an intraday high of $119.94 per share. With Microsoft having documented 5,160,024,593 outstanding shares the company would have had a market capitalization of $618.89 billion on December 30.
Apple’s most recent quarterly filing listed 937,406,000 outstanding shares as of July 13, 2012, and with the company’s stock price hitting $660.73 today, its market capitalization reached $619.37 billion.
Here come the caveats. If you adjust those 1999 dollars for today’s value Microsoft would be valued at $840+ billion.
Plus, there are several government-owned petroleum companies supposedly worth a whole lot more. The Saudi Arabian oil company, Saudi Aramco, is thought to be worth several trillion dollars and the Chinese company, PetroChina, IPO’ed at over a trillion dollars. But, since they’re not public and/or accountable governments those numbers are suspect.
Most people know the traditional banking model, if only from George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life.
In simplified form: A bank takes deposits from savers, and pays them a low interest rate. Then it lends that money out to borrowers at a higher interest rate. The bank’s profits come from the difference between the rates.
Charming…but far from the truth for the modern bank. An article from NPR’s Planet Money looked into JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in America, and found they do much more than that.
The two most important ‘extra’ activities are charging fees and the outright investing of their own money. Here is how it breaks down:
$48 billion – interest from loans
$35 billion – fees
$11.5 billion – trading
A little less than half of the bank’s revenue comes from non-traditional banking activities (fees, trading). Not so bad, especially with trading accounting for so little. Remember, one of the root causes of the financial crisis was all the big banks exploding their trading. When the market collapsed so did they, but were “too big to fail” and we had to bail them out.
Suffice it to say that banking with deposits and loans is very hard (George Bailey nearly went under), add in too much trading and banks become very unstable.
What if Mexico were to become a bigger economy than Brazil?
In recent years Brazil has outplayed Mexico, growing at 6% or more as Mexico bumped along in the slow lane. But lately that has changed. Last year Mexico grew by 4% and Brazil by 2.7%. This year Mexico is expected to get close to 4% again, whereas some economists reckon that Brazil’s rate could dip below 2%. A recent report by Nomura predicted that Mexico’s economy, currently half the size of Brazil’s, could end up the bigger of the two within the next decade. – The Economist
To get into some detail, in 2011 Mexico had a GDP of $1.15 trillion and Brazil with $2.48 trillion. It seems like a tall order for Mexico to more than double its economy.
But, if you look at certain sectors, like automobiles, Brazil is starting to face some growth problems. Originally, the country grew by exploiting is size, natural resources, and population. In order to keep up growth they will need to expand internationally with products and services.
Last year, Brazilians created 3.4 million cars and exported only 540,000. That is worth $372 million. Mexico, on the other hand, created 2.6 million cars and exported 2.1 million of them. That is worth $2 billion and reflects a growth of 40%. (The Economist)
Mexico may be more ideally situated for growth in the next few decades than Brazil is.
Fishermen were casting their lines into the urban waters of Washington, D.C., into a river notorious as one of the dirtiest in the nation. What’s more, according to a recent study, they represented a small fraction of the 17,000 or more residents of this metropolitan area who are consuming fish from a river that has all the markings of a Superfund site.
Sometimes you just can’t believe it, the article even says that a sewer line directly dumps a billion gallons of human waste every year.
A milestone for Twitter today, according to the Paris-based analyst group Semiocast. The social network has now passed the half-billion account mark — specifically 517 million accounts as of July 1, 2012, with 141.8 million of those users in the U.S., still about half as many users as Facebook has but positioning it as the second-biggest social networking site.
And just as most of Twitter’s users are coming from outside the U.S., so are the tweets: the top three cities in terms of tweets, it says, are Jakarta, Tokyo and London.
Two teams of astronomers have discovered the largest and farthest reservoir of water ever detected in the universe. The water, equivalent to 140 trillion times all the water in the world’s ocean, surrounds a huge, feeding black hole, called a quasar, more than 12 billion light-years away.
“The environment around this quasar is very unique in that it’s producing this huge mass of water,” said Matt Bradford, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “It’s another demonstration that water is pervasive throughout the universe, even at the very earliest times.”
A quasar is powered by an enormous black hole that steadily consumes a surrounding disk of gas and dust. As it eats, the quasar spews out huge amounts of energy. Both groups of astronomers studied a particular quasar called APM 08279+5255, which harbors a black hole 20 billion times more massive than the sun and produces as much energy as a thousand trillion suns.
Astronomers expected water vapor to be present even in the early, distant universe, but had not detected it this far away before. There’s water vapor in the Milky Way, although the total amount is 4,000 times less than in the quasar, because most of the Milky Way’s water is frozen in ice.
And, the instruments they used:
Bradford’s team made their observations starting in 2008, using an instrument called “Z-Spec” at the California Institute of Technology’s Submillimeter Observatory, a 33-foot (10-meter) telescope near the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Follow-up observations were made with the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-Wave Astronomy (CARMA), an array of radio dishes in the Inyo Mountains of Southern California.
The second group, led by Dariusz Lis, senior research associate in physics at Caltech and deputy director of the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory, used the Plateau de Bure Interferometer in the French Alps to find water.
From the Fresh Energy blog and a good reminder that most experts have trouble thinking exponentially.
In 2000, the International Energy Agency (IEA) published its World Energy Outlook, predicting that non-hydro renewable energy would comprise 3 percent of global energy by 2020. That benchmark was reached in 2008.
In 2000, IEA projected that there would be 30 gigawatts of wind power worldwide by 2010, but the estimate was off by a factor of 7. Wind power produced 200 gigawatts in 2010, an investment of approximately $400 billion.
In 1999, the U.S. Department of Energy estimated that total U.S. wind power capacity could reach 10 gigawatts by 2010. The country reached that amount in 2006 and quadrupled between 2006 and 2010.
In 2000, the European Wind Energy Association predicted Europe would have 50 gigawatts of wind by 2010 and boosted that estimate to 75 two years later. Actually, 84 gigawatts of wind power were feeding into the European electric grid by 2012.
In 2000, IEA estimated that China would have 2 gigwatts of wind power installed by 2010. China reached 45 gigawatts by the end of 2010. The IEA projected that China wind power in 2020 would be 3.7 gigawatts, but most projections now exceed 150 gigawatts, or 40 times more.
In 2000, total installed global photovoltaic solar capacity was 1.5 gigawatts, and most of it was off-the-grid, like solar on NASA satellites or on cabins in the mountains or woods.
In 2002, a top industry analyst predicted an additional 1 gigawatt annual market by 2010. The annual market in 2010 was 17 times that at 17 gigawatts.
In 1996, the World Bank estimated 0.5 gigwatts of solar photovoltaic in China by 2020, but China reached almost double that mark—900 megawatts by 2010.
The largest-ever experiment in space has reported the collection of some 18 billion “cosmic ray” events that may help unravel the Universe’s mysteries.
Run from a centre at Cern, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) aims to spot dark matter and exotic antimatter.
At the heart of the seven-tonne, $2bn machine is a giant, specially designed magnet which bends the paths of extraordinarily high-energy charged particles called cosmic rays onto a series of detectors, giving hints of what the particles are.
A series of ever-larger particle accelerators built here on Earth aim to drive particles to ever-higher energies, smashing them into one another to simulate the same processes that create them elsewhere in the cosmos.
But no Earth-bound experiment can match nature’s power as a particle accelerator – and Earth’s atmosphere absorbs incoming cosmic rays – so the AMS will catch some of these high-energy particles “from the source”, as a kind of complement to the likes of the Large Hadron Collider.
ClueBot NG, as the bot is known, resides on a computer from which it sallies forth into the vast encyclopaedia to detect and clean up vandalism almost as soon as it occurs.
It is one of several hundred bots patrolling Wikipedia at any given time. Its role in repairing the Supreme Court article illustrates how bots have quietly become an indispensable – if virtually invisible – part of the Wikipedia project.
“Wikipedia would be a shambles without bots,” a Wikipedia administrator known on the site as Hersfold writes in an email.
English Wikipedia alone surpassed four million articles this month. It contains an estimated 2.5 billion words, equivalent to millions of pages, and it is 50 times larger than the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
But the project is so vast, and its maintenance so labour-intensive that it defies the capability of its human administrators and editors to keep it in order.