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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.

74 percent of economists

Seventy-four percent of American business economists, as surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics, “appear sufficiently concerned about the risks of some of President Donald Trump’s economic policies that they expect a recession in the U.S. by the end of 2021.” Trump, for his part, said over the weekend that “I don’t think we’re having a recession. We’re doing tremendously well. Our consumers are rich. I gave a tremendous tax cut and they’re loaded up with money.” [Associated Press]

$2 billion contest

An “eclectic band of NASA skeptics” — including Newt Gingrich, a former publicist for Michael Jackson and an Air Force lieutenant general — are pitching President Trump a “reality show-style plan” to get humans back to the moon. It involves a $2 billion contest between billionaires such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos to see who can establish the first base on the lunar surface. Honestly, I would watch this show. [Politico]

7-figure donation

Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors star, following a conversation he had with a Howard University student about their mutual love of golf, is giving a seven-figure donation to the historically black university to sponsor the school’s first competitive golf team in decades. The new team is thought to be the first Division I golf team in Howard’s history. [The Washington Post]

181 CEOs

Nearly 200 CEOs belonging to the Business Roundtable — including the chiefs of J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Apple, Amazon, Boeing and GM — signed a statement Monday concerning “the purpose of a corporation.” The statement appears to shift away from the ultimate notion that shareholder value is the main objective. Rather, it says, that the companies commit to delivering value to customers, investing in employees, dealing fairly with suppliers and supporting communities in which they work. We shall see. [CNBC]

At least 5 states

Move over bamboo bags and statement sneakers. One of the hottest trends of 2019 is recalling governors. Of the 19 states (plus the District of Columbia) that allow such maneuvers, recall efforts are underway in at least five, my colleague Nathaniel Rakich writes. Moreover, 20 of the 45 state-level recall elections in American history have taken place in just the last decade. [FiveThirtyEight]

$30 … er, $13 million

Up for auction at RM Sotheby’s in California this past weekend was what is often known as the “first Porsche” — a Nazi-era “avant-garde coupe” built by Ferdinand Porsche years before the founding of his car company. The bidding was meant to begin at $13 million but — perhaps thanks to the auctioneer’s accent and/or an error on a screen — began at $30 million and increased in increments of $10 million. A final bid of “$70 million” was eventually adjudged to actually be $17 million, but in any case the car didn’t sell as it didn’t meet its reserve price. [The New York Times]

From ABC News:

SigDigs: Aug. 20, 2019

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Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied game theory and political competition.