#### Discover more from Economics Matters by Laurence Kotlikoff

**Welcome back to the Financial Ridder where the less you know the more you learn. Sorry for the hiatus in sending you Ridders. But now that I’ve cleared the decks, they’ll be arriving on a more regular basis.**

**What’s the vacancy rate of US commercial office buildings?**a. 5 percent

b. 8 percent

c. 12 percent

d. 17 percent

e. 22 percent

**And the answer is …**

**The answer is 17 percent. San Francisco’s vacancy rate is 22 percent. In the 4th quarter of 2019, the nationwide rate was 11 percent. For small and mid-sized banks, commercial real estate losses are a very big deal. Commercial real estate loans represent one third of their total outstanding loans. For large banks, the share is 13 percent. **

**What fraction of US workers are working remotely, either full or part time?**a. one fifth

b. one third

c. one half

d. two thirds

**And the answer is …**

**The answer is one half. **

**What is the Chinese youth unemployment rate?**a. 31 percent

b. 27 percent

c. 21 percent

d. 17 percent

e. 12 percent

**And the answer is … **

**The answer is 21 percent. This is up from 15 percent in June 2021. China’s exports are down 14 percent from a year ago. **

**What fraction of married couples 65 and older are divorcing each year?**a. 1 percent

b. 3 percent

c. 4 percent

d. 6 percent

**And the answer is … **

**The answer is 6 percent ****and rising!**** In 1970, it was less than 2 percent. At this rate, half those now married at 65 will be divorced in a dozen years! **

**As of last year, Country Carden was China’s largest real estate property developer. Is it about to go bankrupt?**a. Yes

b. No

c. Apparently

**And the answer is … **

**The answer is ****Apparently****. This is coming two years after Evergrande, another giant Chinese property developer, went belly up. Since December, Country Garden’s stock has lost almost two-thirds of its value. Real estate is not the only sector in trouble in China. As with most South East Asian countries, its export sector is contracting. Shipments from China are down 14 percent from a year ago. **

**Pre-Covid, there were roughly 150 flights daily from the U.S. to China. How many are there today?**a. 3

b. 5

c. 12

d. 53

e. 98

**And the answer is … **

**The answer is 12. **

**Ordos is China’s largest Ghost City? For how many people was it built?**a. 250,000

b. 500,000

c. 750,000

d. 1 million

e. 5 million

**And the answer is … **

**The answer is 1 million people. Built over a decade ago in northern China, near Mongolia, Ordos, today, is only 2 percent occupied!**

**How many different languages are spoken in Kenya?**a. 2

b. 5

c. 9

d. 21

e. 68

**And the answer is … **

**The answer is 68!**

## The Financial Riddler 8-28-23

"What fraction of married couples 65 and older are divorcing each year?

And the answer is …

The answer is 6 percent and rising! "

No, that's 0.6 percent. The rate is per thousand, not per hundred.

See Figure 1 of https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9434459/