The Bundesbank has recently released a report on the state of the German property market - click here for the report and here for the Economist's coverage of the story. The Bundesbank fears that property prices are 20% overvalued. Is this concern an example of the Bundesbank's inert conservatism or is its concern well placed? Given that the Great Crash of 2008 and the Eurozone crisis had their roots in overvalued property markets, the Bundesbank is probably correct to be concerned about this development. In addition, the ECB's low interest rates will make it relatively easy for borrowers to finance house purchases in Germany.
The Berkeley Earth Project , an independent study of global warming, has found that the earth has become a degree warmer over the past half century. However, the statistical uncertainty surrounding pre-1920 estimates makes it very hard to say much about long-term trends - click here for graph . This is one of my concerns with the global warming debate - we simply don't have trustworthy long-run data which looks at temperature changes over the last millennium (or two). My second concern with the global warming debate is that it is very hard to prove any sort of casual link between global warming and human activity. The scientists may be able to show correlation between global warming and our production of carbon dioxides etc., but correlation is not causation. My third concern with the debate is that those who are sceptical or agnostic are stereotyped as flat-earthers or intellectually-challenged crackpots. This only stifles debate and the progress of science itself.