Russians Broaden Their Diets


Russia’s food safety watchdog has approved the import of crocodile meat from the Philippines to replace the beef and pork banned under Moscow’s restrictions on foods from Western countries, a news report said.

After Russia banned Western food imports in response to sanctions against Moscow for its policies on Ukraine, Russian officials have also visited India to consider imports of buffalo meat after dismissing it for years over quality concerns.

The government’s official daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta recently published an article extolling the culinary qualities of meats that have otherwise remained exotic for the vast majority of the country’s population.

Russia to Import Crocodile Meat to Replace Sanctioned Pork, Beef

Mobile Is Different

ghana_farmer on cell phone

Mobile is different. It started, like PCs, as a toy for rich people, but in the last 20 years it has spread such that 85% of the earth’s population is under cellular coverage – more than mains electricity (80%) and close to the same as access to improved water (90%). 3G networks cover around 60% and will grow to 90% by 2019. Somewhere between 3.5bn and 4bn people now have a phone, depending on your assumptions (there are several billion more SIMs but much duplication). This continues to grow fast, pushing into some very low income groups: the average monthly spend in India is $3-4. In the last decade we’ve discovered that the value of a phone actually increases as income falls – in the developed markets they sit at the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, but for a poor farmer in rural Africa or an Indian fisherman they solve problems much further down the scale.

Benedict Evans

The Impact The U.S. Economy Has On Emerging Markets

With a nominal gross domestic product of nearly $17 trillion, the U.S. is easily the world’s largest economy. Naturally, a small change in U.S. GDP can have a lasting impact on the economies of less developed countries.

An analysis conducted by Credit Suisse shows the degree to which an increase in U.S. GDP causes GDP shifts in select emerging nations. For instance, a 1% increase in U.S. GDP leads to around a 1% increase in Russia’s GDP after one quarter and around a 3% increase after four quarters.

This suggests that Brazil, Mexico, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Turkey are all heavily reliant on a stable U.S. economy. Nations like China, India, Poland, and Indonesia, while still quite benefited by a healthy U.S., are less dependent.

US Impact

The Asian Financial Vulnerability Heat Map

Using various weighted financial ratios, Merrill Lynch has assigned a vulnerability rating to leading Asian economies in the below heat map. By these metrics, Singapore, India, and Malaysia score very poorly while Korea and Taiwan are seen as the safest nations.


The States Where The Most Homes Are Sold To International Buyers

The National Association of Realtors looks at the distribution of international home sales by state, and finds that Florida is the most popular landing spot by a wide margin.

A few observations are made as to why certain groups of people may prefer certain states:

  • Europeans are attracted to states with warmer climates such as Florida and Arizona. Florida is also a top destination among South Americans and Canadians.
  • Asian tend to migrate to the West Coast.
  • Naturally, buyers from Mexico favor states in close proximity such as Texas and Arizona.
  • Buyers from India are locating in urbanized areas and states that are home to IT companies such as California, New York, and North Carolina.


Where The Crops Are Grown That Actually Feed People

A large portion of crop production does not actually feed people. It indirectly feeds people by feeding animals and creating biofuels, but people aren’t consuming most crops grown in the U.S. and Europe.

This map assembled by @GlobalEcoGuy shows that crops used for human consumption as a share of total crop use is the highest in the Caribbean, Africa, India, and southeast Asia.


The 10 Year Shift In The Global Population Distribution Of The Poor

A recent OECD report on fragile nations includes the below graphical comparison of where the world’s poor will be in 2015 vs. 2005. The positive news is that overall the portion of the world that is poor is decreasing, most noticeably in India, Bangladesh, and China.

However, the poor population seems to still be rising in nations such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mexico.