March 31, 2017, 4:00 p.m.
By JD Beecher
Markets In Everything: Chinese Donkey Exchange Edition
You may not know this, but the worldwide demand for donkeys is putting a strain on supply. On a donkey exchange in China (yes, a donkey exchange), which was launched in December, prices for donkeys have surged quadrupled in the last decade to about 8,000 Yuan ($1,160). According to Bloomberg Businessweek, "In China, donkeys are not just beasts of burden, but an agricultural commodity." The article goes on to describe e'jiao, a "traditional treatment for anemia" that is made from boiled donkey skin. Demand is so strong that the African country of Niger has banned the export of donkeys to preserve the animal population there, according to the BBC, and other places have banned the export of their skins. The exchange, one of more than 1,000 trading venues in China, connects buyers and sellers of donkeys, assists in the price discovery process, and arranges shipping of the assets. Bloomberg Businessweek states that, "More than 370 million yuan's worth of donkeys have changed hands on the exchange since it opened…and it plans to start web- and app-based trading in April." Update: We, on the treasury desk, just tried e'jiao in energy bar form and the consensus is that it's not that bad!
Some Color: National Crayon Day Edition
Crayola, a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, planned to announce today, in a live broadcast in Times Square, that the company will be retiring one color from their 24-count crayon collection. According to NPR, "Instead, on Thursday, the colorful company announced that Dandelion – that bright yellow hue – is the crayon retiring to the Crayola Hall of Fame, calling the color 'an adventurous spirit' with 'a case of wanderlust.'" The color, introduced in 1990, is retiring young at 27 years old. Twitter apparently broke the news with a tweet from a user who posted a photo of Crayola's 120-count box of crayons with the tweet reading, "Bye-bye Dandelion. I never thought you were a weed. [sad-face emjoi] Hasn't @Target ever heard of a #SpoilerAlert!!! @Crayola #crayons." According to NPR, Crayola posted the retirement announcement on their website two hours after the tweet. Jackie Miller, spokesperson for Crayola stated that Target did not spoil the surprise but rather, "Dandelion was so excited to announce his retirement he snuck a few packages out of the factory and onto the shelves of a handful of his favorite retailers last night. One lucky fan came across the box and couldn't wait to share the news with the world, and neither could we!" According to the crayon box posted on twitter, there will be a contest to name a replacement color. Oh, by the way, today is apparently National Crayon Day.
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