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          Morgan Stanley brokers, bankers to get new tech-friendly offices      Cache   Translate Page      

Morgan Stanley is remodeling.

About 1.2 million square feet of office space will get an overhaul in the next 15 months to put technology experts closer to brokers, traders and bankers, the firm’s head of technology, Rob Rooney, said in an interview. After changes to wealth-management operations, trading floors, investment-banking offices and space tied to asset management will all get a remake.

“The workplace needed to be designed around a much more dynamic, millennial kind of workforce,” said Rooney, 51, who stepped into the technology role this year. “We’re trying to attract the next generation of the best and brightest.”

Demolition work in lower Manhattan has already created open floor plans that give more employees views of the Statue of Liberty and Hudson River, a perk previously reserved for senior executives cloistered in their wood-walled offices. Now, glass partitions and interactive whiteboards abound, and the dress code is decidedly more casual.

The first phase represents about 9,000 seats around the world, though the project may expand, Rooney said.

Morgan Stanley’s past technology investments helped make it the biggest stock-trading firm in the world, and Chief Executive Officer James Gorman has said it’s a major priority to replicate that success in bond markets. The bank, which also has a $2.4 trillion wealth-management division, is spending $4 billion annually on the effort, including the building of what it calls “Centers of Excellence” to focus on blockchain, automation and other technologies.

With 18 million transactions a day on the firm’s electronic-trading platform for equities, pushing the efficiency envelope “is kind of challenging the speed of light,” Rooney said. “If you’re an engineer, these are real problems you’re trying to solve.”

In wealth management, where a lot of the initial office changes will roll out, the bank built algorithms and is using machine learning to help more than 15,000 brokers make trade suggestions for clients and handle more routine tasks.

The overhaul is one of Wall Street’s biggest. WeWork Cos. last year began helping UBS Group AG update wealth-management offices in Weehawken, New Jersey. Also in 2017, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. unveiled the largest revamp of its trading hub since 2009, when about 500 asset managers were moved into an open floor plan.

Modernization isn’t optional for a firm like Morgan Stanley, said Ekene Ezulike, global head of corporate services. “The question is how quickly we do it, versus whether we should do it,” he said.

As little as 60% of Morgan Stanley’s work space is occupied at any given time, according to Ezulike, who said the changes will push that rate as high as 90% as options such as desk sharing let more people use fewer seats.

Despite the less stuffy dress code and other updates, Morgan Stanley shouldn’t be confused with a Silicon Valley startup, Rooney said.

“We’re not a technology firm, we’re a bank,” Rooney said. “We don’t sell technology, we sell advice.”

While there’s no kombucha on tap as there is at Goldman Sachs’s revamped San Francisco offices, there are common dining rooms, and the firm hired its first-ever community manager, Fiona Thomas. She helps plan office get-togethers and is overseeing a meditation event that was oversubscribed.

Morgan Stanley’s executives approved the project, called “Workplace Evolution,” in March and some spaces were fully revamped in months, with help from WeWork and the architectural firm Gensler. The first set of changes included offices in New York, Houston, Frankfurt, Chicago, Glasgow, Budapest, London, Mumbai and Bangalore.

The firm’s headquarters in Times Square—which is about 1.3 million square feet—will also see changes, Rooney said. The capital-markets division for the wealth-management unit will be revamped this year. The technology division and back-office functions tied to finance are also being renovated.

“Our traders need to be with our techies,” Rooney said. “You’ll see a very different trading floor in five years time than you see today.”


          Mental illness will cost the world R240-trillion by 2030      Cache   Translate Page      
The Life Esidimeni tragedy makes headlines again in a new global report.
          Petition to SEC for Rulemaking on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Disclosure      Cache   Translate Page      
Posted by Cynthia A. Williams (York University) and Jill E. Fisch (University of Pennsylvania), on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 Editor's Note: Cynthia A. Williams is the Osler Chair in Business Law at Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. Jill E. Fisch is the Saul A. Fox Distinguished Professor of Business Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. This post is based on a petition for a rulemaking on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosure authored by Professor Williams and Professor Fisch and signed by investors and associated organizations representing more than $5 trillion in assets under management. We respectfully submit this petition for rulemaking pursuant to Rule 192(a) of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Rule of Practice. Today, investors, including retail investors, are demanding and using a wide range of information designed to understand the long-term performance and risk management strategies of…
          Strong Q3 M&A Performance Boosts Goldman's Advisory Fees To Multi-Year High      Cache   Translate Page      
The third quarter was an overall lukewarm period for the global M&A advisory industry, as fears of an impending trade war resulted in the total volume of deals announced for the period falling from almost $1.3 trillion in the previous quarter to just $743 billion this time around.
          10 Tuesday AM Reads      Cache   Translate Page      

My Two-for-Tuesday morning train reads: • Checking in on Bond Market Losses (A Wealth of Common Sense) see also Bond Bears Can’t Get Their Story Straight (Bloomberg View) • Trillion-Dollar Deficit? Whatever, Says New Washington Consensus (Bloomberg) • Here’s what the spread of misinformation on Twitter looks like (Poynter) • The US is hastening its own decline in AI, says a top Chinese investor…

Read More

The post 10 Tuesday AM Reads appeared first on The Big Picture.


          With the CBAC, East Meets West in Search of Adoption and Innovation      Cache   Translate Page      
CBAC

The noise that surrounds economic relations between the United States and China is amping up exponentially. You can thank the latest trade wars for that, as fresh tensions boil over between the two nations who are currently trading new tariffs on imports, with no shortage of ill will underpinning the moves.

But the Chinese government’s ire is not just outward-facing. As a country where ICOs are currently not allowed, exchanges have had their bank accounts frozen, and internet and mobile access to cryptocurrency trading information has been banned, China is taking an equally hard line on a wide range of crypto-centric activities within its own borders. All this despite a stark dichotomy, wherein over 50 percent of the worldwide mining population resided within its borders in 2017, and cryptocurrency adoption is outpacing most other countries.

While trade war bullets may be flying thick and fast between these two mega-economies, the key to a better Chinese blockchain sector just may be unlocked by deploying cooperative forces in the United States, as seen by the recent launch of a New York City office for the China Blockchain Application Center (CBAC). The CBAC NY was founded with the hope of paving the way for rapid blockchain adoption in China, in part by picking up regulatory best practices from the United States, all while fostering blockchain and crypto collaboration between the two nations.

An early-stage, non-governmental organization (NGO) established in 2015, the CBAC collaborates with regulatory bodies to develop comprehensive regulations, encourage the application of blockchain technology in traditional industries, and connect Chinese practitioners with peers around the world. By helping to develop increased regulations, blockchain industry applications and international connections, members of the CBAC are hoping to elevate blockchain’s role in China’s $12 trillion economy.

Crypto Challenges in China

One of the speakers at a well-attended August launch party in NYC’s financial district was Stewie Zhu, founder and CEO of the distributed banking public blockchain Distributed Credit Chain (DCC), and a standing committee member of the CBAC. While ICO scams and other bad actors have significantly hindered progress in his home country, Zhu sees plenty of near-term potential for crypto and blockchain technology there.

“While China has prohibited the sale of new cryptocurrencies through ICOs since early last September, there is still a big appetite for the application of blockchain technology,” Zhu told Bitcoin Magazine. “In fact, a [recent] Chinese Supreme Court ruling has stated that blockchain technology can be used to authenticate evidence in legal contexts. The trading of cryptocurrencies is possible, but the government is trying to create financial stability to minimize any illegal activity. The Chinese government is eager to make considerable strides on the technology front, and while stringent, they are trying to ensure that cryptocurrency trading is done responsibly.

“There are challenges behind blockchain technology as it relates to banking,” Zhu continued, “because it requires a reconstruction of long-standing relationships in the current market, as well as time for citizens to understand the mechanisms behind using blockchain. Companies may need to make significant changes to their daily operations to incorporate blockchain, not to mention the time and resources needed for pre-application research.”

Zhu pointed out that it also takes time for private citizens to fully understand and trust cryptocurrency. Between price swings and security vulnerabilities, they may be leery of entering the market, he believes.

“Given the volatility in the crypto market and the negative news about problematic ICOs, individual customers can be cautious of tokens,” he said. “Security is also an issue. Blockchain technology is not perfect. We still need more R&D to develop ways to prevent potential threats such as the 51% attack, where an organization controlling the majority of network mining power can prevent transactions by others and allow its own coin to be spent twice (double spending). So long as these threats exist, many companies may not see blockchain as a practical tool.”

Part of a Bigger Picture

A successful push by the Chinese government to instill crypto confidence goes beyond better banking and protecting consumers, however.

“The Chinese government is trying to shift the economy from manufacturing-based to a more value-added, services-based, to move from being the factory of the world to being the service provider of the world, which is a natural economic evolution that you would expect from any country as they try to level-up,” Zennon Kapron observed in an interview with Bitcoin Magazine. Kapron is the founder of Kapronasia, a Singapore-based firm focused on providing insights into Asia's financial industry.

“China has always tried to stay ahead and it’s used technology as a way of leveraging that with things like AI, machine learning, and some of the camera/surveillance technology as a way for the country to differentiate itself. From an economic perspective, it’s a very challenging transition to make because you're trying to shift demands from import/export to domestic consumption, while you've got a banking system that's relatively new that has a lot of challenges internally. So the government wants to avoid risk to the financial system, as well as the economy as a whole, and largely a lot of the pushback that we've seen from the government on cryptocurrencies is because of that.”

While Kapron is guarded on the immediate impact of blockchain on banking within China, he sees a real near-future need for applying distributed ledger to other fields.

“If we look at health records and food provenance in China, in certain ways [blockchain] would allow China to become coordinated and move much quicker, so the government is very open to the idea of launching technology and seems to be very supportive of it. That support is coming from the idea that, first of all, there are challenges that can be solved and, second of all, if they establish a leading edge around blockchain that could be a competitive advantage for them going forward.”

For Zhu, however, the most tantalizing possibilities for blockchain, in China and elsewhere, lay firmly within the financial realm.

“Blockchain can provide a comprehensive solution to multiple problems in the current financial industry,” he stated. “First off, it provides a decentralized structure, which will break the data monopoly of big, traditional banks and allows individual customers to control their own information. Second, the information on the chain cannot be changed or tampered with, which helps to enhance data security, one of the most important aspects in credit and banking. Third, while enhancing data security, blockchain also helps improve transparency, because every action is recorded on a smart contract and is always trackable.

“In my opinion, the philosophy behind blockchain is security and sharing,” added Zhu. “This technology connects people around the world, allowing them to access reliable information in a more efficient manner.”

Zhu has applied this outlook to his twin goals of growing his company, DCC, while also improving the CBAC’s prospects. For the industry to succeed, he believes it needs to embrace the same cooperation that blockchain facilitates by design.

“Collaboration is very important for companies in the tech sector, especially in an emerging industry like blockchain,” he said. “By joining the CBAC, I’d like to create a connection between the Chinese government authorities, as well as unite projects from both geographies and accelerate development processes. We would like to help our peers and DCC connect with additional experts in the space so that we can grow together at a much faster rate.

“Any new industry, at its birth, will experience volatility before the period of stable, healthy growth. I’d like to work as an active member of the CBAC on the development of industrial regulations, so that the blockchain industry will become more organized, allowing individual companies to fully unleash their potential.”

Coming to America

With the launch of a New York City presence, the CBAC is looking to foster collaboration not just between companies but between countries. Despite the many stumbles of Wall Street and the SEC in their approaches to crypto, Zhu maintains that both entities represent a “gold standard” of regulation, and the CBAC NY is in place specifically to model their best practices.

“As many countries are exploring and experimenting regulations for the blockchain industry, the U.S. is at the forefront and is doing a good job of placing certain safeguards and protection for investors stepping into the ICO world,” he said. “For example, the SEC is taking steps to create regulatory standards with the ‘Howey Test’ which determines whether cryptocurrencies are securities and thus subject to federal securities laws. Also, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) has published a report that seeks to warn investors of the potential ‘risks associated with self-directed Individual Retirement Accounts (self-directed IRAs)’ in which ICOs and cryptocurrencies are highlighted.”

Backed by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Financial Work, the CBAC NY’s mission is to arrange meetings with U.S. regulators and lawyers to gain insight into how the U.S. is setting such standards. From there, the organization will work to push those standards to the top of regulatory authorities in China to help create change. Ultimately, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology develops policies for the blockchain industry.

Seizing Momentum

A range of attendees present at the CBAC NY launch, including blockchain projects, entrepreneurs, regulators, academics, investment firms and exchanges across China and the U.S., indicated the high stakes and hopes for the organization’s success.

“The promise of decentralization and the new platforms and applications currently in development is to lead towards a much more connected world that will make financial value transfer faster, easier, and cheaper,” David Namdar, co-head of trading for the crypto asset merchant bank Galaxy Digital, told Bitcoin Magazine. “As the regulatory landscape develops globally, the CBAC can be instrumental in helping China to regulate blockchain in a way that leads toward greater involvement in an improved global financial ecosystem.

“I have been spending more and more time in Asia this year as we’ve expanded Galaxy Digital to Hong Kong and Tokyo,” Namdar continues, “and have been blown away by the amount of activity and enthusiasm around cryptocurrencies and blockchain applications. In China, I believe there is a lot of momentum as more and more people become educated about the space and understand the technology and it’s potential. However, it continues to be an important challenge to promote innovation around actual uses while curbing speculation.”

While classifying the record of non-profit organizations in influencing Chinese government policy as “hit or miss,” Kapronasia’s Zennon Kapron sees how an improved blockchain ecosystem could translate into major gains for the country with the world’s largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity.

“Certainly, China has become an epicenter of blockchain development,” he stated, “and China moves at China speed: [For example] we did a study a couple of years ago and we looked at cash usage in China. You think about China being a very cash-driven society. 60 percent of all retail transactions in 2010 were done with cash, and we expect that to drop in half to 30 percent by 2020. That shift, considering the population and considering the amount of money that that represents is massive. China can move very quickly on something like this, and so when we look at blockchain development in general and then regulation around blockchain, China could very well be a leader in this space as we go forward.”

“In China, the blockchain industry is growing quickly,” Zhu affirmed. “According to CoinTelegraph, in 2017, the most patent filings for blockchain technology to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) came from China, so we anticipate further applications of blockchain in China in the form of innovation in technology and banking/Internet finance. As I mentioned earlier, China is already using blockchain in a legal context and this type of growth will only continue to increase.”

With its massive footprint, rich resources, deep talent and influencers like the CBAC at work, China looms as a tempting frontier for outside operators in search of the ultimate blockchain destination.

“One of our core missions is to help grow the entire industry globally through technological development, investment and sensible regulation,” says Namdar. “Groups like the CBAC play an important role in education and cross-collaboration efforts with wide-reaching global impact.”

Still, in the eyes of educated observers like Kapron, it’s too early to say definitively if China, crypto and blockchain technology are bound for a copacetic outcome.

“I think we've seen very positive output from them in terms of their opinion and the way they think it could go, but that could change rapidly if there is a risk to the financial system,” he said.

“We're at the very early days right now, and, for most investors or either funds or individuals overseas that are looking at investing in Chinese blockchain projects, it's critical to understand the ecosystem. There are potentially outsized returns in China from some of these platforms, but it still remains to be seen how successful they are and how much the government allows things to move forward.”


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.


          Chinese and US Investors Team Up to Create a Global Crypto Investment Fund      Cache   Translate Page      
Chinese and US Investors Team Up to Create a Global Crypto Investment Fund

The latest crypto investment fund on the block is Dragonfly Ventures, a $100 million traditional venture fund investing only in crypto assets, managed by partners Alexander Pack from Bain Capital Ventures and Bo Feng, founding partner of Ceyuan Ventures.

“We come at crypto as generalist venture capitalists who have been investing in internet technology for decades. With Dragonfly, we have decided to go all-in on crypto, because we believe that crypto is the most interesting tech trend today by far,” said Dragonfly managing partner and Bain Capital advisor Alexander Pack in an interview with Bitcoin Magazine.

“The ability to use technology to redefine fundamental social constructs like money, value, and how value is exchanged across borders, is a once in a century opportunity that could be bigger than the internet,” he added.

Pack has been investing in cryptocurrencies and blockchain businesses for more than four years at various venture capital firms in the U.S. and Asia but wanted to create a fund that was solely for cryptocurrency businesses.

He describes Dragonfly as “a fully unconstrained venture fund for the crypto asset class, investing globally and across all asset types. We even invest significantly in other cryptofunds, as well as make direct investments in tokens and startups.”

Dragonfly has already attracted technology founders and investors from across the U.S. and Asia, including Salil Deshpande (Bain Capital Ventures), Marc Andreessen and Chris Dixon (A16Z), Cyan Banister (Founders Fund) and Olaf Carlson-Wee (Polychain Capital).

A China-U.S. Fund

Headquartered in San Francisco and Beijing, Dragonfly Capital Partners have identified what they see as a new market opportunity in bridging the gap between East and West, investing in crypto businesses across both continents.

Managing partner Bo Feng is a founder of Ceyuan Ventures. In the ‘90s he launched the China business of Robertson Stephens, a high-tech investment bank, and is the largest investor in the exchange OKEx.

“I see a parallel between the Internet boom in the ‘90s and the current cryptocurrency market opportunity. The crypto revolution may be even bigger than the internet and more global,” says Feng.

According to Feng, Dragonfly takes an “ecosystem approach,” investing in fund managers around the world and connecting the top technologists from the West to investing in fund managers around the world, as well as connecting top technologists from the West with the largest crypto companies and user bases in Asia.

Asian investors include Bitmain, OKEx, Neil Shen (head of Sequoia China), Eric Xu (founder of Baidu), Bob Xiaoping Xu (founding partner of Zhenfund), Zhang Tao (chairman and founder of Meituan-Dianping), Bao Fan (founder and CEO of

China Renaissance Bank), Cai Wensheng (founder and chairman of Meitu), Justin Tang (founder and CEO of X Financial, eLong), JP Gan (Qiming Venture Partners), and Annie Xu (head and general manager of Alibaba U.S.).

“We have a unique opportunity to back and bring together the leading participants in the decentralized economy — from fund managers to token project leaders, from Beijing to San Francisco to Berlin,” said Feng.

Part of a Growing Investment Trend

Dragonfly is launching with a portfolio of 20 investments, including tech-driven crypto funds and asset managers, decentralized financial infrastructure such as the cryptocurrency Basis, and foundational protocols such as Spacemesh and Oasis Labs.

A recent report by blockchain research group Diar identified a new trend among investors. While traditional investment in crypto products has doubled and continues to grow, ICOs themselves have lost 70 percent in value.

The Diar report shows that almost $3.9 billion in investments was raised in the first three quarters of 2018, 280 percent of what was raised in 2017. The report also indicates an increase in the number of investment deals — almost twice the number recorded in the previous year.

“We invest in any market condition and actually are investing at a faster pace during this downturn than we anticipated, since in our opinion the quality of projects and founders has never been higher,” said Pack.

Traditional venture capital investments are leveraging the decline in ICOs as the cryptocurrency industry tries to find its bearings amid regulatory shifts and losses across crypto markets, notes the Diar report.

Pack told us that the investment strategy for Dragonfly is based on three principles.

“We have three theses that guide our investment philosophy: that the decentralized economy will take trillion dollar bites out of the centralized economy, that pick-and-shovel tech startups will emerge as bridges between the decentralized and centralized economies, and that crypto assets will one day be the most liquid and traded financial assets in the world,” said Pack.

“Today, large barriers prevent mainstream and institutional users from joining the decentralized economy. We are investing heavily in teams that are breaking down those barriers, such as institutional-grade trading infrastructure and general scaling solutions. We look forward to those launching and gaining traction in the next year,” added Pack.


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.


          Comment on “I’m Just Glad We Ruined Brett Kavanaugh’s Life”: Colbert Writer Tweets Out A Celebration Of The Politics Of Personal Destruction by Karen S      Cache   Translate Page      
David: There is no inherent nobiltiy in indigenous people, gender, race, or ethnicity. There are differences in culture and society, but human nature is the same everywhere. Tribes were not pacifists handing out flowers. Every tribe was different. They warred with each other over resources. Many kept slaves, especially sex slaves of female captives. Some tribes revered bravery in the face of pain. What they did to prisoners makes the worst Chainsaw Massacre movie look tame. Some kept scalps to prove their bravery. There were stories of cannibalism. Native Americans used technology and other assets they got from Europeans to wage war on each other. The horse came from the Conquistadors. Mounted tribes promptly overwhelmed those without the horse. Guns were used against each other once they got them from Europeans. The Apache rode their horses into the ground, ate them, and then just stole another one. The Nez Pearce were famous horsemen, by comparison. The Iriquois Nation terrorized surrounding tribes. Archeologists unearthed towers made up of hundreds of thousands of human bones, and they confirmed that Aztecs did indeed tear the beating hearts from the chest of their sacrifices, including many children. Wtihout the Conquistadors, the Aztecs would be stilll merrily terrorizing the entire region, slaughtering millions of people. Indigenous people were also not "First Nation." That was the Neanderthals, which were discovered to have existed in North America. They were wiped out in their contact with Cro Magnon. The Clovis Indians were Second Nation. They were displaced by immigrants from Asia, who are Third Nation indigenous people. Later colonizers were Fourth Nation. Those values will probably be reshuffled over and over again the more we learn about ancient migrations and displacement. The Fourth Nation people adopted the conquered Third Nation into their tribe, but many live separately in reservations. They are administered many socialis programs, are not allowed to own tribal land, and are treated like children by the government. Consequently, they live in abject poverty with terrible education. By contrast, the tribes who do not live under the Bureau of Indian Affairs, own land and have a high median income. That's without casino revenue. In addition, why does the government help the Sioux hold the Black Hills? They took it from the Cheyanne, who also took it from other tribes. The land changed hands multiple times that we know of. Why do the Sioux claim ownership? Native tribes did not believe in deeded land ownership that can be passed down in perpetuity. Tribes held land until and unless they lost it to a stronger tribe. The explanation for why the Sioux took the Black Hills from other tribes was that it was strong. The Fourth Nation is just a strong tribe that overpowered all others, and introduced them to the wheel. I do not condone any of the savegery that both sides did to each other. It was grievous. I also do not subscribe to the attitude that Native Americans were peace loving pacifists who cared for the land. They were fierce fighers, and if they needed to make a fire, they burned wood. Greenhouse gas producing wood burning. In fact, they would put land to the flame to create more open hunting ground. This was not a holier than thou war, but one of a fight for survival and resources. I believe that Reservations should be done away with, and the land divided up among members of the tribe to do with as each individual wishes. Just being allowed to own their land would be a huge step forward in improving thier circumstances. It is unacceptable that tribes STILL live in poverty in these failed Progressive plantations of Reservations. Immigrants come here with the equivalent of 50 cents in their pocketes, and live far better than the Res within a year. If Colombus had not arrived, then the Aztecs would have murdered millions more people. If there was no United States, there would have not been the key Ally that helped defeat Hitler. Without the US, all of Europe would be Nazis and the Jews might have been wiped out. Without the US, there would not be our trillions of dollars spent on global environmental, humanitarian, and military aid. We float the budget for the UN and various environmental initiatives. I also do not believe for one instant that if Spain had not colonized America, that the rest of the world would have ignored our enormous, resource rich continent and genteely starved to death in their overcrowded countries, where class was an insurmountable barrier. People didn't have the land to grow a head of cabbage for themselves. But people with superior mlitary might were going to leave open, unworked, fertile land to those who didn't have the wheel, or steel, and were still using bows and arrows? No way. No. Way. A superior tribe would have taken the land from the less advanced tribe, just as the Native Americans had been doing to each other for thousands of years. Perhaps even the Aztecs would have expanded, and we'd have our own mountains of bones.
          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          ISDA Negotiator      Cache   Translate Page      
NY-Manhattan, Work directly with internal and external counsel to negotiate different derivative documentations Client Details Large financial service company with multi trillion in assets Description Draft and negotiate trade agreements and derivative documentation - this includes ISDA Master Agreements, MRAs, Credit Support documents, etc. Liaise with internal and external members Provide general support to t
          NSE market indicators drop marginally by 0.08%      Cache   Translate Page      

The Market indices of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) dropped marginally on Tuesday by 0.08 per cent, reversing the previous day’s gain. The All-Share Index dipped by 27.26 points or 0.08 per cent to close at 32,417.70 compared with 32,444.96 achieved on Monday. Similarly, the market capitalisation, which opened at N11.844 trillion, shed 0.08 per […]

The post NSE market indicators drop marginally by 0.08% appeared first on Newsverge.


          Apple's Greediness Made it a Trillion Dollar Company      Cache   Translate Page      
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          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          Mental health crisis could cost the world $16 trillion by 2030      Cache   Translate Page      
LONDON, Oct 9- Mental health disorders are on the rise in every country in the world and could cost the global economy up to $16 trillion between 2010 and 2030 if a collective failure to respond is not addressed, according to an expert report on Tuesday. The " Lancet Commission" report by 28 global specialists in psychiatry, public health and neuroscience, as well as...
          UK must double mental health spending as global bill expected to top £12trillion by 2030, landmark report warns      Cache   Translate Page      
'We've seen a rise in mental illness in young people when we should be seeing a decrease'
          Vukmir rolls out Trump-like Lie campaign against Baldwin!      Cache   Translate Page      
After last nights Senate candidates debate between incumbent Tammy Baldwin and Trumpian challenger Leah Vukmir, it seems more obvious than ever that Vukmir is an untrustworthy State Senator as well. 

Thanks to PolitiFact, we're able to see "lying" Leah's record of false statements. She's breathtakingly nuts on every issue. Why would anyone vote for someone this deceptive?

Oral Chemo: When it came to voting against requiring insurance coverage for oral chemotherapy, Vukmir made this completely nonsensical statement:
Vukmir: "I was very concerned that the unintended consequence of that bill would be that the very people who wanted that care would be restricted from that care."
Baldwin's simple comeback:
"A vote is a vote, and Leah Vukmir voted with insurance companies to prevent oral chemo from being covered. I don't know how you can run away from the vote."
Universal Health Care: Remember, Vukmir's Trump Party still don't have an alternative plan to replace the ACA or protect pre-existing conditions, so the following statement from Vukmir is an empty outright lie, that laughably plays off the GOP's successful branding of the ACA as ObamaCare:
Vukmir said she would "fall in front of a truck" before she let people with pre-existing conditions go without insurance coverage. Vukmir charged that Baldwin's support for a "Medicare for all" universal health care plan would upend the entire health care system. "I'm going to call it 'BaldwinCare,'" Vukmir said. "Because under her plan, the Affordable Care Act goes away. Medicare goes away. Everything we know about insurance goes away."
"Everything we know about insurance goes away" is a BAD thing? Gotta let insurers make obscene profits from sick people, right Leah?

Baldwin instead is already on this...


This is a pattern for Vukmir on every one of the biggest issues in the election. Vukmir's only option now is to lie:
Tomah VA: Says Tammy Baldwin was the only member of the Wisconsin congressional delegation "to have a report outlining that a doctor was overprescribing opioids" at the Tomah VA, "later a veteran died" and Baldwin "covered it up." Mostly False.

Capitol protests: Says "I have been through the gauntlet, when we had riots in that Capitol." Pants on Fire.

Donor: On conservative mega-donor Richard Uihlein. Full Flop.

Trump: "I have always been there with" Donald Trump. False.

Immigration: Says Mark Pocan’s proposal to eliminate the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would "eliminate border enforcement." Pants on Fire.

Immigration: On separating families at the border. Half Flip.

Patriotism: Says Tammy Baldwin "opposed displaying the flag and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance or singing the National Anthem in our classrooms." Mostly False.

Terrorism: Says Tammy Baldwin is "more worried about the mastermind of 9/11" than supporting CIA director nominee Gina Haspel. Pants on Fire.

‘Buy America’: Says Sen. Tammy Baldwin "claims to support a 'Buy America' philosophy, but her actions speak louder than her empty words." False.

Attacks by others on Vukmir:

Open records: Club for Growth says Leah Vukmir "claimed the open records law didn't apply to her, got sued, lost and cost taxpayers $15,000 in legal fees." True.

'Leniency': Claim by Club for Growth says Leah Vukmir "wrote a letter seeking leniency for a fellow state legislator convicted of sexual assault." Mostly True.
Vukmir Sides with White Male Abusers: Vukmir even brought up the well documented State Supreme Court choking incident, saying it never really happened. Why even go there...?
Vukmir: "The state courts weren’t immune to these ridiculous and slanderous attacks. In 2011, during an election that was largely seen as a referendum on our reforms, extremely liberal state Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley accused Justice David Prosser of choking her. In the end, this was just another smear. No charges were filed, but sadly his legacy has been blemished."
Other Lies about Baldwin: Seriously conservative voters, are incrementally small tax cuts worth supporting candidates that aren't being honest with you? Note: Baldwin was even criticized for proposing a Department of Peace and Nonviolence...
Iran: Kevin Nicholson says the Iran deal "handed billions of dollars of cash on cargo planes, sent it to a state sponsor of terror, and Tammy Baldwin was one of the first U.S. senators to get on board and support that." Mostly False.

Peace: Kevin Nicholson: "Tammy Baldwin cosponsored legislation that wanted to establish the Department of Peace and Nonviolence." Mostly True.

Taxes: Freedom Partners: "Tammy Baldwin voted for $5 trillion in higher taxes." Half True.

Tomah VA: Americas PAC says Tammy Baldwin was told by a whistleblower about "overmedicated veterans," she made "deadly mistakes" and "three veterans died" at the Tomah VA hospital. False.

Defense funding: Restoration PAC says Tammy Baldwin "supported legislation allowing citizens to withhold funding for our troops." Mostly False.

Sex education: Restore American Freedom and Liberty says Tammy Baldwin "wants to require children starting at age 5 to learn about gay sex!" False.

          Bill Nygren Comments on Schwab      Cache   Translate Page      
Schwab (SCHW) is the largest discount brokerage firm in the United States with more than $3 trillion in client assets and 11 million active brokerage accounts. This size provides Schwab with meaningful scale advantages over its smaller competitors. Schwab management calls this its "no trade-offs" policy--i.e., investing to provide the best product at the lowest price, and these investments attract even more clients to Schwab's platform.
          1 trillion liters of water lost through leaks in Britain every year      Cache   Translate Page      

1 trillion liters of water lost through leaks in Britain every year

Europe

DF-Xinhua Report

Three billion liters of drinking water are leaked every day in Britain, a committee of Members of Parliament (MPs) said in a parliamentary report Tuesday.

   It adds up to more than a trillion liters of water being lost every year, the figures showed.

   The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has called for water meters in every home to be made compulsory as a way of saving water.

   In its report on the regulation of the water industry, the politicians said water shortages of the type experienced in the summer 2018 will become more frequent and drought resilience will require increasing the supply of water alongside reducing demand.

   The committee found that a shocking three billion liters of water are leaked every day and believes that water industry targets to reduce leakage by 15 percent by 2025 are not ambitious enough.

   Committee chair Neil Parish said: "Water leaks affect the environment, as the more is leaked, the more must be taken from our rivers and other natural sources. It also sends a poor message to the public about the value of water when people are being encouraged to save water. Water companies should be leading by example. We are calling for the amount of water lost through leaks to be halved by 2040, ten years earlier than a current target."

   The committee also heard there was strong evidence that water metering helps to reduce water use and detect when leaks are occurring. Currently, only water companies in designated water-stressed regions of Britain can make metering compulsory.

   Parish added: "We need to move beyond a regional approach to water metering, because there is a national need to conserve water."

   He said the committee has called on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to allow all water companies the power to implement compulsory metering.

   The report has recommended the government to amend regulations by the end of 2019 to allow all water companies to implement compulsory metering, using smart meters.

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          Annual price tag for nonfatal injuries in the U.S. tops $1.8 trillion      Cache   Translate Page      
Almost one in 10 people in the U.S. visited the hospital for nonfatal injuries in 2013; falls and being hit by objects were the most prevalent causes of injury.
          New Data Shows Federal Reserve Is Causing More Inequality      Cache   Translate Page      

Back in August, Bloomberg interviewed Karen Petrou about her research on quantitative easing and the Fed's policies since the 2008 financial crisis. What she has discovered has not been encouraging for people who aren't already high-income, and in recent research presented to the New York Fed, she concluded "Post-crisis monetary and regulatory policy had an unintended but nonetheless dramatic impact on the income and wealth divides.”

This assessment is based on her own work, but also on a 2018 report released by the Minneapolis Fed.1  The report showed that both income and wealth growth in the US have been much better for higher-income households in recent decades

Notably, when indexed to 1971 (the year Nixon ended the last link between gold and the dollar) we can see the disparity between the top wealth groups and other groups:

income_wealth.PNG
 

Petrou continues:

What did we learn [from the Minneapolis Fed report]? This new dataset shows clearly that U.S. wealth inequality is the worst it has been throughout the entire U.S. post-war period. We also know now that the U.S. middle class is even more “hollowed out” than we thought in terms of income, with any gains made by the lower-middle class sharply reversed after 2007.

Indeed, the report concludes: "...half of all American households have less wealth today in real terms than the median household had in 1970."

A closer look at income data also suggests that income growth has been especially anemic since 2007. Using data from the Census Bureau's 2017 report on income and poverty, we find that incomes for the 90th percentile are increasingly pulling away from both the median (50th percentile) income and from the 20th-percentile income.2

income_percentile.PNG
 

The household income for the 20th percentile increased 70 percent since 1971, while it has only increased 20 percent at the 20th percentile.

Of course, we might think, "we should be happy that the 20th-percentile income went up by 20 percent!" True enough, but as we can see by merely eyeballing the graph, most of that income growth at the lower income levels occurred before the year 2000. Incomes haven't moved much since then.

Indeed, since the year 2000, income increased 12 percent for the 90th percentile, but only 2.4 percent for the median household. It declined 3.7 percent at the 20th percentile

since2000.PNG
 

Moreover, Petrou notes,

the latest census data show that U.S. median household income in 2016 rose in part because more families have more wage-earners. Two low-wage jobs may seem like more employment, but they are reflecting the ever-greater struggle lower-income Americans have making ends meet.

Similarly, the overall wealth data offers little to get excited about. As noted here at mises.org last month, median wealth in the US is still well below the peak levels pre-2007.

wolff1_0.PNG
 

That's according to Edward Wolff's 2007 report. According to the Fed's 2017 survey on consumer finances, median wealth reached $97,300, which is still down from 2007's level of $139,700. Those in the 90th percentile experienced much more growth in wealth, with an increase from $1,054,000 in 2007 to $1,186,000 in 2016.3

wealth.PNG
 

What Role Does the Fed Have in All of This?

As the Federal Reserve has become more interventionist, more inflationary, and more prone to regulate the private sector, incomes have stagnated. For example, gaps in wealth an income have been growing since the 1980s, but they worsen significantly over the past decade as monetary policy became more and more inflationary and activist.

Petrou adds:

It’s common knowledge that income inequality in the U.S. has been getting increasingly worse since 1980. But what I’ve been pointing out in some of my blog posts is that it became hugely worse after the financial crisis. Were there underlying issues pre-2008? Absolutely. But we had more of a middle class even in 2006 than we do now. ... [I]f you look at the Minneapolis Fed data, as well as many other analyses, [growth in inequality] happens gradually prior to 2008. Then it actually flattens out in 2008 because rich people lost money in the crash, which narrowed the inequality gap. But starting in 2010, the gap widens dramatically.

The Fed became far more active in its interventions after 2008, leading to a variety of consequences:

The Fed did two things with huge inequality implications. First, with its massive quantitative easing, it sucked $4.5 trillion of assets out of the banking system. The idea was that it would empty out the bank balance sheets so that they would start to make loans. And that didn’t happen —initially the banks were too weak, and as they recovered, the rules created significant impediments. If you look at who is getting loans it is large corporations, not small businesses. Second, the Fed’s low-interest policy gave rise to yield-chasing. And what has the stock market done since 2010? Everybody who has money has seen their financial assets appreciate dramatically. Everybody who doesn’t have money, which is the bottom 90 percent, what is their principal source of wealth? Houses? House-price appreciation for expensive houses is way up since 2012. But overall, real U.S. house prices are down 10 percent.

On the regulatory side, the Fed made it more difficult for banks to cater to small businesses and other borrowers who are less well-known and higher risk. At the same time, the Fed has made it so that lenders don't have to worry about catering to a broad cross-section of borrowers precisely because the Fed's regulation and its too-big-to-fail doctrine lower the relative opportunity cost of ignoring borrowers at the lower end.

Meanwhile, ultra-low interest rate policy leads to yield-chasing which favors the already-wealthy at the expense of households of more ordinary means. Yield-chasing pulls money out of safer, more conservative investments — favored by people of modest means — and drives more investment toward riskier hard-to-access investment instruments.

Petrou describes some of the effects of yield-chasing:

As our research shows, QE exacerbates inequality because it takes safe assets out of the U.S. financial market, driving investors into equity markets and other financial assets not only to place their funds, but also in search of yields higher than those possible with ultra-low rates. The Fed hoped that soaking up $4.5 trillion in safe assets would stoke lending, and to a limited degree it did. However, new credit largely goes to large companies and other borrowers who have used it for purposes such as margin loans and stock buy-backs, not investment that would support strong employment growth. Growing household indebtedness in the U.S. is principally consumption or high-price housing driven and thus also a cause – not cure – of inequality.

And then there is the problem of asset-price inflation. This contributes to economic inequality in more than one way.

Asset price inflation is largely a result of inflationary monetary police in which newly created money continually enters the economy. This, in part, increases economic inequality through Cantillon effects.  As new money enters the economy, it benefits some people — usually high-income people — more than others. The new money does not enter the economy evenly and equally for everyone, but benefits certain politically-connected firms, institutions, and persons first. These people and organizations can then use the new money before prices in the economy adjust to reflect the new, larger money supply.

[RELATED: " How Money Production Can Worsen Income Inequality" by Jörg Guido Hülsmann.]

But there's more to asset-price inflation's role in inequality.

As Petrou notes above, "Everybody who has money has seen their financial assets appreciate dramatically." For those who already own sizable amounts of stocks, for instance, there won't be a problem. The same will be true of people who own real estate in fashionable and expensive markets.

Stocks — Not Housing — Are Favored by Post-2008 Inflationary Policy

And here's the rub: moderate- and low-income people tend to have much more of their wealth in residential real estate than in the stock market.

This can be seen in the Minneapolis Fed report which looks at how higher-income households have built wealth more in stock assets than in housing:

stock_wealth.PNG

Since 2007, wealth growth in housing has been negative while growth in stock-based wealth has remained positive:

asset_price_wealth.PNG

The overall effect here has been that higher-income investors, who have less of their wealth in homes — and more in stocks — have benefited more from the asset inflation of the past decade. The effect has been rising inequality.

So we might then ask ourselves: "why don't more moderate- and low-income people just buy more stocks?

Part is this is due to tax incentives, which reward putting money into housing rather than into stocks. Moreover, many people put money into homes rather than stocks because homes have the added perk of providing a place to live.

While it may be prudent — all else being equal — to buy less house while buying more in stocks, the Fed's ultra-low interest-rate policies make housing relatively more attractive as a place to park one's wealth.

And finally, investing in stocks remains something of a perk reserved to those with a surplus.  After all,  one can rarely elect to simply not spend money on housing. It's easy, though, to just not buy stocks. In most cases, money must be spent on housing in some form. And many elect to purchase housing, since, in many cases, houses are often perceived  — often with good reason — as a fairly safe and stable investment.

If we then add to this many deliberate efforts by both the Fed and the federal government to increase the homeownership rate, it's not hard to see why so many have ended up with a sizable portion of their wealth in housing.

While the central bank certainly can't be blamed for all the factors at play here, it nevertheless plays a significant role. Through a combination of inflationary monetary policy, regulation, and asset purchases, the Fed has made a sizable contribution to an economy that favors certain types of investments, certain institutions, and certain purchasing patterns.4 Fed policy now favors high-income earners and investors over low- or moderate- income earners and investors. The result has been a rapidly widening wealth an income gap over the past decade.

  • 1. "Income and Wealth Inequality in America, 1949-2016" by Moritz Kuhn. Institute Working Paper 9, June 2018.
  • 2. "Income and Poverty in the United States": 2017, Current Population Reports. Released September 2018. 
  • 3. "Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2013 to 2016: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances." Federal Reserve Bulletin. September 2017 Vol. 103, No. 3
  • 4. Inflationary policy became especially expansive after 1971 when Nixon closed the gold window. Indeed, it is likely not a coincidence that the Minneapolis Fed report shows that inequality (as expressed in income shares) was quite stable from 1950 to 1970. After 1971, inequality increasese  more rapidly. See page vi of appendix: https://www.minneapolisfed.org/institute/working-papers-institute/iwp9.pdf

          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          EU banking supervisors: No cause for alarm in Italian banks' liquidity levels - Reuters      Cache   Translate Page      

Citing a senior EU source, Reuters report that European banking supervisors have stepped up their monitoring of liquidity levels at Italian banks following the sharp increase witnessed in government bond yields.

"The checks involve both customer deposits and the interbank market that banks use to lend to each other without requesting collateral, the source said, adding that "no sign of alarm" had been detected," Reuters' Francesco Guarascio noted and added:

"Banks have not suffered any deposit flights either, based on the latest available data. Italian banks' deposits stood at 2.39 trillion euros in July from 2.41 trillion euros in June, when the new government was sworn in, and have been broadly stable in recent months."

 


          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          Mental health crisis could cost the world $16 trillion by 2030      Cache   Translate Page      
Mental health disorders are on the rise in every country in the world and could cost the global economy up to $16 trillion between 2010 and 2030 if a collective failure to respond is not addressed, according to an expert report on Tuesday.

           Mental health crisis could cost the world $16 trillion...       Cache   Translate Page      
By Kate KellandLONDON, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Mental health disorders are on the rise in every country in the world and could cost the global economy up to $16...
          The QE Party Is Drying Up—-Even At The Bank Of Japan      Cache   Translate Page      
As of September 30, total assets on the Bank of Japan’s elephantine balance sheet dropped by ¥5.4 trillion ($33 billion) from a month earlier, to ¥537 trillion ($4.87 trillion). It was the fourth month-over-month decline in a series that started in December. This chart shows the month-to-month changes of the balance sheet. Despite all the […]
          Last Week’s $1 Trillion Bond Wipeout Sparks Fear Of 1970s Carnage      Cache   Translate Page      
The value of the Bloomberg Barclays Multiverse Index, which captures investment-grade and high-yield securities around the world, slumped by $916 billion last week, the most since the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election victory in November 2016….. American high-grade obligations are down 2.53 percent in 2018 — a Bloomberg Barclays index tracking the debt has dropped […]
          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          UN Puts $2.4 Trillion Annual Price Tag On Mitigating Climate Change      Cache   Translate Page      
Climate scientists are not known for giving good news, and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that convened in South Korea was no exception: the scientists that compiled a special report on the climate situation on the planet slapped optimists in the face: the world needs to spend US$2.4 trillion every year until 2035 to slow down the effects of climate change. Perhaps shockingly, the panel noted that at the current warming rates, Earth’s atmosphere will in less than one hundred years be 3 degrees Celsius warmer than…
          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          Spiking bond yields have become a nightmare for stocks — and Bank of America has found the threshold where traders should dump equities altogether      Cache   Translate Page      

trader point screen chart

  • Spiking bond yields have put major pressure on stocks over the past few days as investors speculate on the negative effect higher interest rates will have on liquidity.
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch has run an analysis and pinpointed the threshold where 10-year Treasury yields should make traders reconsider their allocations to stocks.

There's no denying the sudden surge in bond yields has caught stock investors off-guard. One need not look further than the market action of the past week to realize that.

The rationale is simple: When yields rise, bonds become more appealing to investors. And that renewed interest often comes at the expense of stocks.

In this particular case, the shift lower in equities was a long time coming, with major indexes sitting near all-time highs. Stocks slipped sharply over a period of days, also driven lower by trade-war fears.

And while equities have appeared to stabilize for the time being, there's a prevailing sentiment that the recent sell-off was simply a dry run for when the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates further. After all, the closely-watched 10-year Treasury yield tends to climb when the Fed tightens.

In other words, this is probably going to happen again. So what are you going to do to prepare? When should you flee stocks entirely, to avoid the inevitable selling pressure?

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has run some analysis that should shed some light on the matter. At the center of the firm's research is the so-called equity risk premium, which is defined as the excess return investing in stocks provides over a risk-free rate.

In BAML's mind, when Treasury yields reach a certain level, stocks lose their luster relative to bonds, and it's time to reallocate. After some thorough number-crunching, the firm arrives at 5% as the line of demarcation.

The chart below shows this dynamic in action. As you can see, historical allocation to stocks has peaked when the 10-year yield is between 4.5% and 5%. Once it climbs above 5%, equity holdings drop.

Screen Shot 2018 10 09 at 10.39.27 AM

"5% is the level of the 10-yr at which our market-derived equity risk premium framework indicates that stocks trade at fair value to bonds, all else equal," Savita Subramanian, BAML's chief US equity and quant strategist, wrote in a client note.

With this in mind, it's important to remember that the 10-year is currently trading in the area between 3.2% and 3.25% — nowhere near the crucial threshold BAML has laid out.

The firm also mentions that, despite its wary outlook on what a higher 10-year yield will mean for stocks, the S&P 500 will climb another 5% from current levels over the next decade.

In the end, BAML says it's probably not most prudent to ditch stocks altogether at any point, even if the 10-year climbs toward the dreaded 5% level. If that happens, the firm thinks it's probably best to simply rotate out of equities towards bonds to a extent, while staying invested in both.

SEE ALSO: The world's biggest stock bear predicts 'immediate and severe consequences' for the record-setting market — and explains why $20 trillion will be wiped from stocks

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NOW WATCH: The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a $1,000 phone that's actually worth it


          Snap sinks to record low after analyst reportedly says it's 'quickly running out of money' (SNAP)      Cache   Translate Page      

Evan Spiegel

  • Snap is sliding on Tuesday after MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson reportedly slashed price target, saying the company is "quickly running out of money."
  • Last quarter the social-media company reported its first-ever decline in sequential daily active users and said its cash burn was up in the second quarter.
  • CEO Evan Spiegel recently sent out an internal memo admitting the company moved too fast in 2018 and laid out a path to profitability in 2019, but Nathanson is skeptical.
  • Watch Snap trade in real time here.

Snap shares were down more than 4% early Tuesday, hitting a record low of $7.15, after MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson slashed price target to $6.50 from $8, saying the social-media company is "quickly running out of money."

By the Nathanson's calculation, Snap needs a capital raise in the middle to end of 2019, as reported by StreetInsider.

Snap's second-quarter earnings, released on August 7, showed the company topped both the top and bottom lines, but that it suffered its first-ever decline in sequential daily active users. Additionally, the company's cash burn jumped to $234 million from $229 million in the same quarter of 2017. 

The decline in user trend "was primarily driven by a slightly lower frequency of use among our user base due to the disruption caused by our redesign," CEO Evan Spiegel said on a call with analysts after the earnings report.

In February, Snapchat released a controversial app redesign that triggered backlash from users — including celebrities like Kylie Jenner, who tweeted to her 24.5 million followers, "Sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore?The main complaint was the redesign separated celebrity Snapchat stories from those that came from your friends. Jenner's tweet wiped out more than $1 billion from Snap's market capitalization in a single day. 

Last Week, Spiegel sent out an internal memo running over 6,500 words long, admitting the company moved too fast in 2018 — specifically referring to the controversial Snapchat redesign — adding that Snap has "lost the core of what made Snapchat the fastest way to communicate." The internal memo outlined company-wide goals for 2019, including accelerating revenue growth and achieving full-year positive free cash flow and profitability.

Commenting on Spiegel's internal memo, Nathanson, according to StreetInsider, said he is "skeptical" and that he doesn't "have faith in Snap’s leadership to navigate these rapids."

Snap was down 51% this year through Monday.

Now read:

Snap

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NOW WATCH: Medical breakthroughs we will see in the next 50 years


          India to be the 11th wealthiest, says BCG      Cache   Translate Page      
Personal wealth may rise to $5 tn by 2022 India’s personal financial wealth, currently estimated to be about $3 trillion, is expected to grow to $5 trillion by 2022 making India the 11th wealthiest nation, according to a report from Read More ...
          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          Re: Why Is The Media Warning A Recession Is Expected “By The End Of 2020” That Will Be “Worse Than The Great Depression”?      Cache   Translate Page      

The Federal Reserve does not "screw" anybody at all. The down cycles are caused by EXCESSIVE CREDIT AND DEBT and this time around it is catastrophic with more than $70 trillion of outstanding debt in the US and the Federal Reserve can't and won't do anything about that matter as interest rates on the nearly $22 trillion of US Treasuries soar upwards.

The Federal Reserve only sets 3 insignificant interest rates and it always matches those to the yield on 3-Month US Treasuries as to the Federal Funds Rate (FFR) which is the interbank borrowing rate for liquidity purposes, the Federal Discount Rate which is the rate at which banks can borrow from the Federal Reserve directly which is the FFR plus 0.50%, and IOER which is the Interest on Excess Reserve of the banks inside the Federal Reserve which is matched to the FFR.


          Re: America Is Committing Suicide: Over The Past 12 Months, The U.S. National Debt Has Increased By 1.271 Trillion Dollars      Cache   Translate Page      

Who Bought $1.2 trillion in New US Treasuries over the past 12 Months? - Wolf Street

Russia, Japan, and the Fed dumped. So who bought?

China’s holdings of US Treasury bonds, notes, and bills, after rising in February and March, fell by $5.8 billion in April to $1.18 trillion. Thus, China’s holdings have remained within the same range since August 2017, despite threats of a trade war and rumors that it would dump US Treasuries. China remains the largest holder, a position it had lost during its era of peak capital-flight from October 2016 through March 2017.

Japan has been systematically reducing its Treasury holdings. In April, it disposed of another $12.3 billion, according to the Treasury Department’s TIC data released Friday afternoon. Over the past six months, it shed $63 billion. Since July 2016 it has slashed its holdings by $123 billion, the lowest since October 2011.

By the end of April – to stay within the time frame of the TIC data – the US gross national debt had reached $21.07 trillion. This was up by $1.22 trillion from a year earlier! So who bought this $1.22 trillion of new US Treasuries? Someone must have!

The gross national debt and its surge over the 12-month period are split in two ways:

Debt held “internally” by US government entities rose by $181 billion to $5.73 trillion.

Debt that is publicly traded soared by $1.05 trillion to $15.34 trillion.

This publicly traded debt of $15.34 trillion was held by these entities at the end of April:

15.6% or $2.39 trillion by the Fed as part of its QE

40.2% or $6.17 trillion by foreign entities (see above).

44.2% or $6.78 trillion by Americans, directly or indirectly.

And who bought $1.22 trillion in new debt over the past 12 months?

Not the Fed. Its Treasury holdings fell by $70 billion from the beginning of the QE-Unwind through April. Foreign holdings have only picked up $109 billion over the period. Leaves $1.01 trillion that someone else must have bought over those 12 months.

But who? Mostly American institutional and individual investors, directly and indirectly, through bond funds, pension funds, and other ways.

Yields (interest rates) have risen over the past 12 months, and these “risk free” Treasury yields are now competitive with the average S&P 500 dividend yield.


          Re: America Is Committing Suicide: Over The Past 12 Months, The U.S. National Debt Has Increased By 1.271 Trillion Dollars      Cache   Translate Page      

What laughably false and utterly stupid ignorance nonsense.

Nixon and the US did not go off the so-called gold standard in 1971 but rather that was discarded entirely in 1933 domestically as the end of a very brief 60 year failed experiment from 1873 until 1933 at which time any ownership of gold bullion in the USA was made illegal.

The only final vestige of the so-called gold standard left in 1971 was INTERNATIONAL exchangeability which was totally discarded in 1971 and was irrelevant.

China is are the most profligate PRINTERS OF MONEY IN THE WORLD and have printed more than $30 trillion of money over the past 10 years expanding their money supply from less than $3 trillion to more than $34 trillion and their economy and currency, the renminbi (RMB / yuan) is now collapsing as a direct result of that monetary stupidity.

All interest rates that matter and affect the US economy are ESTABLISHED BY THE US TREASURIES MARKETS and the Federal Reserve merely follows the yield (interest rate) on 3 month US Treasuries and sets the Federal Funds Rate to match accordingly and that has always been the case. The Federal Reserve has no power whatsoever to set any interest rates that affect the US economy.


          Tim Cook Hides Chekov's Gun Inside New MacBook Pro      Cache   Translate Page      
The ability to repair your own MacBook without getting explicit sign off from Apple’s central server is in danger. If the trillion-dollar behemoth that is Apple isn’t involved, you don’t get inside.
          Mental health crisis could cost the world $16 trillion by 2030      Cache   Translate Page      
Mental health disorders are on the rise in every country in the world and could cost the global economy up to $16 trillion between 2010 and 2030 if a collective failure to respond is not addressed, according to an expert report on Tuesday.

          Trillions Wasted On Scams,Waiting Is Over,The Pain Is About To Be Unleashed      Cache   Translate Page      

from X22Report:

The post Trillions Wasted On Scams,Waiting Is Over,The Pain Is About To Be Unleashed appeared first on SGT Report.


          Mental health crisis could cost the world $16 trillion by 2030      Cache   Translate Page      
Mental health disorders are on the rise in every country in the world and could cost the global economy up to $16 trillion between 2010 and 2030 if a collective failure to respond is not addressed, according to an expert report on Tuesday.

          USD/JPY – Japanese yen pauses from recent gains as current surplus slips      Cache   Translate Page      
USD/JPY is trading sideways on Tuesday, after posting losses in the past three sessions. In North American trade, the pair is trading at 113.15, down 0.07% on the day. On the release front, Japanese current account surplus dropped to JPY 1.43 trillion, shy of the estimate of JPY 1.52 trillion. Later in the day, Japan releases Core […]
          Climate Crisis Spurs UN Call for $2.4 Trillion Fossil Fuel Shift      Cache   Translate Page      
New report says coal’s share of electricity supply should be cut to 2% or less and renewables should supply 70 % to 85% of power generation.
          We Resist: Day 628      Cache   Translate Page      
a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures (plus the occasional non-Republican who obliges us to resist their nonsense, too, like we don't have enough to worry about) is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they unleash every single day.

So here is a daily thread for all of us to share all the things that are going on, thus crowdsourcing a daily compendium of the onslaught of conservative erosion of our rights and our very democracy.

Stay engaged. Stay vigilant. Resist.

* * *

Earlier today by me: The Lives of Women and Nikki Haley Has Resigned and Trump's War on Immigrants: The Latest. Also, ICYMI late yesterday: "This is going to be very contentious and no one really knows how it is all going to shake out."

Here are some more things in the news today...

[Content Note: Rape culture] Andy Towle at Towleroad: Trump Apologizes to Brett Kavanaugh for His 'Pain and Suffering', Declares Him 'Proven Innocent'. "Donald Trump apologized to alleged rapist Brett Kavanaugh before his ceremonial swearing in at the White House on Monday night... Said Trump: 'On behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure. Those who step forward to serve our country deserve a fair and dignified evaluation, not a campaign of personal and political destruction based on lies and deception. What happened to the Kavanaugh family violates every notion of fairness, decency, and due process. In our country, a man or a woman must always be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. And with that, I must state that you, sir, under historic scrutiny, were proven innocent.'"

Mick Krever and Devan Cole at CNN: Clinton Says Trump Remarks at Kavanaugh Swearing-In Undermine Supreme Court.
Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that [Donald] Trump staged a "political rally" at Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's ceremonial swearing-in that "further undermined the image and integrity of the court."

"What was done last night in the White House was a political rally. It further undermined the image and integrity of the court," Clinton, Trump's Democratic 2016 election opponent, told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview.

"And that troubles me greatly. It saddens me. Because our judicial system has been viewed as one of the main pillars of our constitutional government. So I don't know how people are going to react to it. I think, given our divides, it will pretty much fall predictably between those who are for and those who are against," Clinton said.

"But the President's been true to form," she continued. "He has insulted, attacked, demeaned women throughout the campaign — really for many years leading up to the campaign. And he's continued to do that inside the White House."
Thank Maude for her. I'm so grateful to her for saying that.

Especially when Republican men are out here saying shit like this:


And this: Justin Wise at the Hill: McConnell: GOP Senators Were 'Literally Under Assault' in Days Before Kavanaugh Vote. "'I couldn’t be prouder of the Senate Republican Conference. We were standing up for the presumption of innocence in this country …And secondly, we were literally under assault,' McConnell said at a press conference in Kentucky. 'These demonstrators, I'm sure some of them were well-meaning citizens. But many of them were obviously trying to get in our faces, to go to our homes. Basically almost attack us in the halls of the capitol. There was a full-scale effort to intimidate.'" FUCKKKKKKKKK YOUUUUUUUUUU.

Speaking of Mitch McConnell being FUCKING TERRIBLE... [CN: Video may autoplay at link] Paul Begala at CNN: McConnell Has Done Grave Damage to All Three Branches of Government. "Richard Nixon damaged the presidency, Newt Gingrich turned the House of Representatives into a mixed martial arts arena, and Roger Taney forever stained the Supreme Court with the Dred Scott decision. But it takes someone special, someone rare, someone spectacularly Machiavellian and malevolent, to screw up all three branches of government. Ladies and gentlemen: Mitch McConnell. The soft-spoken Kentuckian has, in just a few short years, done lasting damage to the presidency, the Senate, and the Supreme Court: the hat trick of democracy destruction."

* * *

Josh Israel at ThinkProgress: 'Balanced-Budget' Republicans Vote to Add a Half Trillion to the Deficit with New Tax Cut Bill. "As the nation watched the Senate Judiciary Committee meet to consider whether to rush through the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, the House Republican majority was quietly passing the Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act of 2018 — a bill to make the Trump tax cuts for the rich permanent. According to the GOP-controlled Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office, the bill would add another $545 billion to the federal budget deficit over the next decade. This would be on top of the trillions already added to the debt by the original tax bill and the omnibus budget signed by Trump earlier this year."

Paul A. Eisenstein at NBC News: Trump's Tariffs Have Already Cost Ford $1B; Now It's Planning Layoffs. "Ford will be making cuts to its 70,000-strong white-collar workforce in a move it calls a 'redesign' of its staff to be leaner, have fewer layers, and offer more decision-making power to employees, the company announced. ...Ford has already warned that [Donald] Trump's auto tariffs have impacted the company to the tune of $1 billion, and the president's trade policies threaten to play havoc with Ford's ongoing reorganization."

Noah Smith at the Guardian: America's First Robot Farm Replaces Humans with 'Incredibly Intelligent' Machines. "America's first autonomous robot farm launched last week, in the hopes that artificial intelligence (AI) can remake an industry facing a serious labor shortage and pressure to produce more crops. Claiming an ability to 'grow 30 times more produce than traditional farms' on the strength of AI software, year-round, soilless hydroponic processes, and moving plants as they grow to efficiently use space, the San Carlos, California-based company Iron Ox aims to address some of the agricultural industry's biggest challenges. Such challenges have also caught the attention of investors, who made more than $10bn in investments last year, representing a 29% increase from 2016."

* * *


Sounds legit. (Does not sound legit.)

* * *

Tim Johnson at McClatchy: Are Wireless Voting Machines Vulnerable? Florida, Other States Say They're Safe Enough. (Oh, that's exactly what you want to hear about voting machines. They're SAFE ENOUGH.) "Barely a month before midterm elections, voting integrity advocates and electronic voting experts want the federal government to issue an official warning to states that use voting machines with integrated cellular modems that the machines are vulnerable to hacks, potentially interfering with the ballot counting. Once seen as a useful tool to provide quick election results, voting machines with cellular modems are now subject to fierce debate over how easy it would be to break into them and change the results. Such machines are certified for use in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin."

Julia Carrie Wong and Olivia Solon at the Guardian: Google to Shut Down Google+ After Failing to Disclose User Data Breach.
This March, as Facebook was coming under global scrutiny over the harvesting of personal data for Cambridge Analytica, Google discovered a skeleton in its own closet: A bug in the API for Google+ had been allowing third-party app developers to access the data not just of users who had granted permission, but of their friends.

If that sounds familiar, it's because it's almost exactly the scenario that got Mark Zuckerberg dragged in front of the U.S. Congress. The parallel was not lost on Google, and the company chose not to disclose the data leak, the Wall Street Journal revealed Monday, in order to avoid the public relations headache and potential regulatory enforcement.

Disclosure will likely result "in us coming into the spotlight alongside or even instead of Facebook despite having stayed under the radar throughout the Cambridge Analytica scandal," Google policy and legal officials wrote in a memo obtained by the Journal. It "almost guarantees Sundar will testify before Congress," the memo said, referring to the company's CEO, Sundar Pichai. The disclosure would also invite "immediate regulatory interest."

Shortly after the story was published, Google announced that it will shut down consumer access to Google+ and improve privacy protections for third-party applications.
Welp.

Laura Geggel at LiveScience: Huge Iceberg Poised to Break Off Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier. "A newly discovered long and craggy rift is splintering across West Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier, satellite images show. The nearly 19-mile-long (30 kilometers) rift started in the middle of the ice shelf, where the ice shelf touches warmer ocean waters that are melting it from underneath, said Stef Lhermitte, an assistant professor in the Department of Geoscience and Remote Sensing at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. The rift only has about another 6 miles (10 km) to go before one or more icebergs calf, breaking off from the glacier, Lhermitte said."

Staff at the Weather Channel: Hurricane Michael Intensifies to Category 2; May Be Florida Panhandle's Strongest Landfall in 13 Years Wednesday. "Hurricane Michael has strengthened to Category 2 intensity, and is forecast to strike the Florida Panhandle at least as strong as a Category 3 with dangerous storm surge flooding, destructive winds, and flooding rainfall. Michael will also bring heavy rain and strong winds to other parts of the southeastern United States after it moves inland. 'Michael could develop into a potentially catastrophic event for the northeastern Gulf Coast,' the National Weather Service office in Tallahassee, Florida, wrote in its area forecast discussion Monday afternoon."

What have you been reading that we need to resist today?
          ISDA Negotiator      Cache   Translate Page      
NY-Manhattan, Work directly with internal and external counsel to negotiate different derivative documentations Client Details Large financial service company with multi trillion in assets Description Draft and negotiate trade agreements and derivative documentation - this includes ISDA Master Agreements, MRAs, Credit Support documents, etc. Liaise with internal and external members Provide general support to t
          Henderson on Romer and Nordhaus in WSJ, by David Henderson      Cache   Translate Page      

Robert P. Murphy, an economist at Texas Tech, used Mr. Nordhaus’s work to show that setting too high a carbon tax can be worse than setting no carbon tax at all. Using Mr. Nordhaus’s 2009 calibration, Mr. Murphy calculated the present value of damages caused by carbon dioxide and abatement costs at $22.6 trillion. Mr. Nordhaus’s optimal carbon tax would have reduced damages but increased abatement costs, decreasing the impact of emissions to a total of $19.5 trillion—a relatively minor net improvement of just over $3 trillion.

Meanwhile, the Nordhaus model shows that the cost of a policy to limit the temperature increase to only 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100 would have been $37.03 trillion—$16.4 trillion more than the cost of doing nothing after accounting for the damage done by carbon emissions. Thus, Mr. Nordhaus’s work doesn’t support the recent announcement by the International Panel on Climate Change about the urgent need to limit warming to 2.7 degrees. Indeed, Paul Krugman castigated Mr. Nordhaus in 2013 for his belief that the optimal temperature increase is 4.1 degrees.

These two paragraphs are from my “A Nobel Economics Prize for the Long Run,” Wall Street Journal, October 8 (electronic) and October 9 (print). The article is gated but I’ll be able to post the whole thing in 30 days.

I faced a tight space constraint and so I didn’t have room for this further thought on global warming:

One major variable that affects the estimate of the SCC [Social Cost of Carbon] is the discount rate used to weight the well-being of future generations affected by global warming. The lower the discount rate, the greater the weight on future generations’ well being and, therefore, the higher the optimal tax rate. Interestingly, though, although few of the major participants in the debate point this out, taxing ourselves now to help future generations transfers resources from the relatively poor (us) to the relatively rich (future generations.) Why? Go back to Romer. With positive growth rates, the vast majority of people 50 or more years from now will be substantially better off than the vast majority of people today.

Or this. I could state my version but cue Donald Boudreaux, who said it well:

Yet, undoubtedly because of space constraints, Mr. Henderson did not mention one of Prof. Nordhaus’s most remarkable and important findings, namely, that nearly all – about 98 percent – of the benefits of technological innovation are captured, not by the entrepreneurs and businesses who introduce them, but by the general public. In his 2004 paper “Schumpeterian Profits in the American Economy: Theory and Measurement,” Prof. Nordhaus wrote that “only a minuscule fraction of the social returns from technological advances over the 1948-2001 period was captured by producers, indicating that most of the benefits of technological change are passed on to consumers rather than captured by producers.”

Note that I haven’t quoted from the part on Romer, but I’m constrained by my contract with the Journal. For some of the highlights of Romer’s work see my post yesterday.

HT2 Bob Murphy for catching a small numerical error and reminding me of Krugman’s criticism of Nordhaus. Bob gave me a quick comment on a draft when I was under tight time pressure.

(0 COMMENTS)
          Trade realism, by Scott Sumner      Cache   Translate Page      

Academics like me are often accused of being out of touch with the real world, relying on unrealistic theories of an idealized world of free trade. So let’s imagine a discussion between me and a “trade realist” (TR).

TR: Let’s face it; a high wage country like the US can’t possible compete with low wage countries in Latin America and Asia. We need trade barriers.

Me: What exactly do you mean by “can’t compete”?

TR:  I mean we’ll end up with big trade deficits, and a loss of jobs.

Me: OK, so does this inability to compete apply to other high wage economies?

TR: I assume so.

Me: But the Eurozone is currently running a $465 billion current account (CA) surplus, seven times larger than China’s surplus, and they have high wages. Indeed the really big surpluses occur throughout northern Europe, where the wages are highest.

TR: Well the Europeans use clever tricks to favor their industries; the US tries to play fair. The bottom line is that the US has a $443 billion CA deficit, and it’s costing jobs.

Me: Yes, I forgot about those devious Nordics.  But the unemployment rate in the Eurozone is currently 8.2%, while the US has a 3.7% unemployment rate, despite huge CA deficits.

TR: Europe has lots of socialist policies; you can’t compare their unemployment rate to ours. In any case, you can’t deny that persistent CA deficits are a drain on our economy, a ticking debt bomb.

Me: Can you be more specific?

TR:  These current account deficits mean that we are borrowing money from the rest of the world to pay for imported goods.  This can’t go on forever.

Me:  Why not?

TR:  Because eventually the interest burden on that debt would become too large to handle.

Me:  So you are saying that huge current account surpluses result in a net indebtedness position, which leads to a net outflow of interest income?

TR:  That’s right.

Me:  But when I check the international accounts, I see our net international investment position has plunged to a balance of negative $7.7 trillion (as you say), but the net flow of investment income is a positive $221 billion/year (red line), and rising.

TR:  How is that possible?

Me:  Imagine you borrowed $15 trillion from your neighbor, at 2% interest, and simultaneously loaned him $7.5 trillion at 7% interest.  Then you’d receive $225 billion more in interest each year than you had to pay him for your much bigger loan.

TR:  But why would he do this?

Me:  Search me.  The point is that the US basically took $15 trillion in Treasury and corporate debt, and used it to buy roughly $7.7 trillion in goods and services from the rest of the world, and also $7.3 trillion in high earning assets.  Those high earning assets spin off more than enough investment income each year to service our much larger foreign debt.

TR:  This seems much too good to be true.

Me:  There is a potential risk here.  At some point in the future, foreigners my not be willing to lend us money at much lower rates than what we earn on our investments in their countries.  At that point, the net investment imbalance could become a big problem for the US.  Something very bad might happen.

TR:  I though so!  What is the specific bad thing that you are worried about?

Me:  If that day of reckoning ever came (and I won’t live to see it, so it’s hard to know for sure), then the US would have to sharply boost its exports of goods and services to the rest of the world, to service our debts.

TR:  More exports?  Umm, why would that be so bad?

Me:  It’s obvious; producing more exports requires labor, it means more jobs.

TR:  Having more jobs is bad?

Me:  Of course it’s bad!  Work is hard, that’s why they call it work.  Work is so undesirable that you have to pay people to work. Visiting Disney World or going to a movie is fun; people must pay money to do fun things.  Work is just the opposite; you must pay people to work. We’d have to work harder without getting to consume more.

TR:  But you said the US already has a very low unemployment rate, so is it really likely that it can go much lower?

Me:  Perhaps not, but in that case we’ll need to tighten our belt.  It won’t be so much that we are having to work hard (we already work harder that the Europeans), rather a share of our income will be “garnished” by consumers in East Asia and Northern Europe.  They will get to consume a part of our labor.  They’ll be paid for our hard work.

TR:  Is there any way to reduce the risk of this happening?

Me:  Let’s begin by stop running $1 trillion budget deficits, which just add fuel to the fire.  We’d have to slightly tighten our belts today, but it would impose less of a debt burden on future generations.  In addition, it will make the future tax system less oppressive.  Other Singapore-style, pro-saving tax reforms would also help.

PS.  I have another piece on trade over at MoneyIllusion.

(5 COMMENTS)
          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          'Balanced-budget' Republicans add a half trillion to deficit      Cache   Translate Page      
(Think Progress) — As the nation watched the Senate Judiciary Committee meet to consider whether to rush through the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, the House Republican majority was quietly passing the Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act of 2018 — a bill to make the Trump tax cuts for the rich permanent. According […]
          Mental health crisis could cost the world $16 trillion by 2030      Cache   Translate Page      
Mental health disorders are on the rise in every country in the world and could cost the global economy up to $16 trillion between 2010 and 2030 if a collective failure to respond is not addressed, according to an expert report on Tuesday. Reported by Reuters 3 hours ago.
          Mental health crisis could cost the world $16 trillion by 2030      Cache   Translate Page      
By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) – Mental health disorders are on the rise in every country in the world and could cost the global economy up to $16 trillion between 2010 and 2030 if a collective failure to respond is not addressed, according to an expert report on Tuesday. The “Lancet Commission” report by 28 […]
          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          Smart aliens might live within 33,000 light-years of Earth. A new study explains why we haven't found them yet.      Cache   Translate Page      

stars milky way galaxy person silhouette flashlight searching alien extraterrestrial life drake equation formula fermi paradox shutterstock_649309528

  • The universe has so many galaxies, stars, planets, and moons that many scientists believe intelligent aliens should exist within detectable range of Earth.
  • Still, human searches for extraterrestrial intelligence have yet to detect any alien signal or "technosignature."
  • A new study suggests this may be because we've searched just 0.00000000000000058% of a "cosmic haystack" in our hunt for an alien "needle."
  • There's no guarantee that exhaustive searches would ever find aliens, though.

The cosmos almost screams with the possibility of intelligent alien life.

Hundreds of billions of galaxies drift through the visible universe, each one harboring hundreds of billions of stars, and each of those stars in turn shelters roughly a handful of planets. Even if the trillion-or-so planets in every galaxy aren't habitable, countless water-rich moons orbiting these lifeless worlds might be.

And yet, in spite of these numbers, humans have yet to identify any signals from intelligent aliens. The prescient question that physicist Enrico Fermi posed in 1950 — "where is everybody?" — remains unanswered.

However, an upcoming study in The Astronomical Journal, which we learned about from MIT Technology Review, suggests humanity has barely sampled the skies, and thus has no grounds to be cynical.

According to the paper, all searches for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI, have examined barely a swimming pool's worth of water from a figurative ocean of signal space.

"We haven't really looked much," Shubham Kanodia, a graduate student in astronomy who co-wrote the study, said during a NASA "technosignatures" workshop in Houston, Texas on September 26.

The study suggests that somewhere in that ocean of space — right now, within the Milky Way galaxy — intelligent aliens might be saying, "hello, we are here."

But we'd have no way of knowing, at least not yet.

Defining a 'cosmic haystack' in the search for aliens

alien spacecraft extraterrestrial propulsion lasers illustration m weiss cfa

Over the past 60 years, multiple SETI projects have looked and continue to look for alien signals. Some scan large swaths of the sky for powerful signals, while others target individual star systems for weaker signals.

Yet aside from a few anomaly signals that never repeated (like the "Wow!" detection of 1977), these searches have turned up empty-handed.

Kanodia and his colleagues at Penn State University wanted to know how much of the figurative "cosmic haystack" SETI projects have covered, and to what extent they could improve the hunt for the alien "needle."

The group agrees with famous SETI astronomer Jill Tarter, who said in 2010 that it's silly to conclude intelligent aliens do not exist nearby just because we haven't yet found their beacons. Even if such signals exist and are aimed right at Earth, her thinking goes, we've scanned so little of the sky and may not be looking for the right type of signal, or for long enough, to find them.

"Suppose I tell you there's a cool thing happening in Houston right now," Kanodia said during his NASA talk. "I do not tell you where it is. I do not tell you when it is happening. I do not tell you what it is. Is it in a book store? Is it a music concert? I give you absolutely no priors. It would be a difficult thing to try and find it."

He added: "Houston, we have a problem. We do not know what we're looking for ... and we don't know where to start."

milky way galaxy sun solar system earth location nasa labeled 2In their study, Kanodia and his colleagues built a mathematical model of what they consider a reasonably sized cosmic haystack.

Their haystack is a sphere of space nearly 33,000 light-years in diameter, centered around Earth. This region captures the Milky Way's bustling core, as well as many giant globular clusters of stars above and below our home galaxy.

They also picked eight dimensions of a search for aliens — factors like signal transmission frequency, bandwidth, power, location, repetition, polarization, and modulation (i.e. complexity) — and defined reasonable limits for each one.

"This leads to a total 8D haystack volume of 6.4 × 10116 m5Hz2 s/W," the authors wrote.

That is 6.4 followed by 115 zeros — as MIT Technology review described it, "a space of truly gargantuan proportions."

How much of this haystack have we searched?

allen telescope array ata seti institute

Kanodia and his colleagues then examined the past 60 years' worth of SETI projects and reconciled them against their haystack.

The researchers determined that humanity's collective search for extraterrestrials adds up to about 0.00000000000000058% of the haystack's volume.

"This is about a bathtub of water in all of Earth's oceans," Kanodia said. "Or about a five-centimeter-by-five-centimeter patch of land on all of Earth's surface area."

Those numbers make humanity's search efforts seem feeble. But Kanodia views it as an opportunity — especially because modern telescopes are getting better at scanning more objects with greater sensitivity and speed. For example, he said, a 150-minute search this year by the Murchison Widefield Array covered a larger percentage of the haystack than any other SETI project in history.

"That's the purpose of this haystack ... to help better-inform future search strategies," Kanodia said.

He also noted that the team's calculations assume there is only one alien civilization within range of Earth, and not any more than that. But more than one may exist relatively close by.

"In the ocean analogy, we do not have to drain the entire ocean to find a fish," he said. "In the Houston analogy, if there were two cool things, you wouldn't have to look as hard."

Still, there's no guarantee that a figurative fish or needle or cool thing is out there at all.

Another group of scientists, this one at Oxford University, recently took a different approach to the question of aliens. Instead of focusing on the likelihood of finding "technosignatures" that could be detected, they examined the likelihood that intelligent alien life exists at all.

The Oxford researchers examined dozens of authoritative studies about variables in the Drake Equation. The team then analyzed the results and calculated a bleak 2-in-5 chance that humans may be entirely alone in the Milky Way galaxy.

There's also a more unsettling possibility: Perhaps aliens do exist nearby but don't want us to find them.

SEE ALSO: 27 of the most iconic, jaw-dropping photos of the Earth and the moon from space

SEE ALSO: An alien hunter explains why extraterrestrial visitors are unlikely — despite the US government's UFO evidence

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Stephen Hawking warned us about contacting aliens, but this astronomer says it's 'too late'


          Myanmar’s Ambitious 20-Year Plan to Attract Foreign Investment      Cache   Translate Page      

The plan aims to see Myanmar in the top 40 of the ease of doing business index and the GDP increasing to $203 trillion within 20 years.

The post Myanmar’s Ambitious 20-Year Plan to Attract Foreign Investment appeared first on The Irrawaddy.


          UN Calls For $2.4 Trillion A Year To Be Spent To Save Us From ‘Global Warming’      Cache   Translate Page      


          The DIY Central Bank      Cache   Translate Page      

Asserting the moral right to repudiate debt may be the only way of rebuilding democracy.

Members of Bank Job in Walthamstow, London. Credit: Peter Searle. All rights reserved.

Our future is mortgaged, calculated, and owned far in advance, and our democratic right to change it for the better is effectively minimized.” Andrew Ross, Creditocracy.

At the peak of the 2008 banking crisis the UK government had liabilities worth £1.5 trillion. In the emergency bailouts that were agreed at the time by the then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the British taxpayer bought £45 billion of shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland and almost £20 billion in Lloyds. It was, as commentators said, a nationalization project that would have put Lenin to shame.

However, while the public owned the lion’s share of these banks the ensuing stimulus packages and sell offs have not been carried out with the wellbeing of the population in mind nor the transformation of the banking system. Ten years of austerity - allegedly to balance the national books - have left the poorest even worse off than before.

Declining government spending in Britain has seen private debts balloon to over £1.6 trillion in 2018, most of which are mortgages. Between 2012 and 2017 unsecured credit increased by 19 per cent, student debt doubled to £100 billion, and Council Tax Arrears increased by 12 per cent. These data are symptoms of a creditor class gone wild.

But what if the crash had been used as an opportunity to reshape the financial system with fresh purpose, and to create space to re-imagine an economy that works for all of us and promotes economic justice? While it’s impossible to correct the debt crisis through local action alone, grassroots experiments can provide both inspiration and concrete assistance to those who are caught at the sharp end of the problem and who are often forced into traditional structures of shame which leave them feeling crushed and even suicidal.

This leap of imagination lies at the heart of ‘Bank Job,’ a team of artists and activists who took over the former Co-Op Bank on Hoe Street in Walthamstow, London, in early 2018, and replaced it with ‘HSCB’ – the ‘Hoe Street Central Bank.’ We were united by a desire to do something about the status quo and to rally against a system we felt had let us down. Our rebel bank is a place to come together and discover the collective power of art, sharing and community action to defy the alienating power that financial capital has in our lives.

In concrete terms we’ve opened our own bank and we’re printing our own art-based banknotes. In place of the Queen and other famous figures from British history, each denomination of our banknotes features the face of a local cause: the ‘Gary’ (after Gary Nash, the founder of local foodbank ‘Eat or Heat’); the ‘Saira’ (after Saira Mir who, together with her family, set up a kitchen for the homeless called “Pl84U-Al Suffa”); the ‘Steve’ (featuring Stephen Barnabis who set up ‘The Soul Project’ for young people after his nephew was fatally stabbed); and the ‘Tracey’ (the headmistress of local Barn Croft Primary School).

Our banknotes are printed on-site and sold at face value for Pounds Sterling, and we’ve raised just shy of £40,000 so far. The proceeds are split into two, with half going to buy up £1million worth of local payday debt (you can buy up people’s debts for as little as two pence in the pound), and half going to the four causes depicted on the notes. People who buy them are supporting those causes and purchasing artwork we produce. The notes are not exchangeable for other goods or services.

The team that’s gathered around the bank has their own stories of how debt has touched their lives. Alison, for example, had worked as a teacher in one of our local primary schools but was laid off due to the school’s debt from the UK Government’s ‘Private Finance Initiative’ or PFI - a way of creating ‘public private partnerships’ in which private firms are contracted to complete and manage public projects using loans  from bond markets or private investors. The firms then charge high rates of interest to the public trust that’s responsible for the assets the project creates.

“I’ve been a primary school teacher for 33 years” she told us, and “Last summer I was made redundant, quite a shock and surprise. The school I was at is a PFI school so it means that every year quite a large proportion of their budget has to go to the PFI company, and so five teachers like myself who were non-class based were made redundant.” Such debts have proved incredibly controversial because the interest rates are widely seen as immoral.

In Walthamstow our health trust, Barts, is the most indebted in the country in terms of PFI. To pay these debts the hospitals have to cut staff and are therefore overcrowded and dangerously under-resourced. An excellent report from the BBC shows that five of the biggest PFI companies are based in tax havens, despite earning more than £2 billion in profit.

Isabell is another member of Bank Job - a banknote printer who is also a recent graduate. “I’ve spent seven years of my life in education,” she says, and “Coming out of uni today, young people are just saddled with this huge debt burden. I’ve got credit cards, personal loans, overdrafts, I’ve got student loans.”

To run our bank we borrowed pieces of equipment and drew on the talent of our community in setting up what we needed to design and print the new currency. It became a sort of ‘DIY uprising’ in which the bank became a space of work and play, with economics talks laid on in the evenings for anyone who wanted to come and learn.  When an article about the bank came out in The Guardian and went viral people travelled from all over Britain and queued around the block to buy banknotes and talk about the impact of the debt crisis and what we can do to address it.

In October 2018 the bank is moving into a new phase - printing gilt-edged paper bonds as part of what we’re referring to as a ‘collectively owned and distributed explosion’ of the £1 million payday debt that we’ve bought so far through bank note sales. The bonds are being sold to finance the literal, cathartic explosion of this debt at the end of 2018 in order to push the message of the project into greater public view. Each bond grants the holder the bond itself as an artwork and a share in the explosion – called ‘Big Bang 2’ - in which a transit van filled with debt will be detonated. What remains will be transformed into commemorative coins to be distributed to bond holders.

In all these ways we feel we’ve made some useful progress, though there’s a long way to go. But how has the project changed people who have come into contact with it?

At one level the answer is clear: having even part of your debts written off through a simple act of citizen intervention feels good. But this isn’t a hack that can be used to fix the entire system; rather, it’s a stunt that draws people into the story of debt and teaches them about the secondary market, perhaps empowering them in the future to have a different conversation with creditors who chase them for debts that are in some sense imaginary.

At a deeper level, the project has given us hope that communities can be resilient and will fight together – that we owe it to one another to shape the sort of world which our children can inherit with confidence and pride. The feeling that we are not alone – or as the Strike Debt campaign puts it “not a loan;” that we can get together and create value that transcends the traditional debtor/creditor relationships that are ripping our communities apart; and that we oughtn’t to feel so ashamed of our debts because they reflect negatively on our characters – have all taken root.  

The project has also allowed us to imagine that the world we want is not just a vague or distant dream, but something that can be achieved in the here and now by getting together to take control of our immediate surroundings and rewrite the rules. If you can get hold of the money supply, you have infinite power. That is what this is really all about - taking back the power to choose the sorts of lives we feel are useful. As Andrew Ross argues in his excellent book Creditocracy:

“Loading debt onto the citizenry creates grievous harm to our democracies - when a government cannot or will not respond on behalf of a citizenry then taking relief for ourselves may be the most indispensible act of civil disobedience. Asserting the moral right to repudiate debt may be the only way of rebuilding democracy.”

 

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          Economist Trashes $122 Trillion Proposal To Limit Global Warming      Cache   Translate Page      
The United Nations’ call for governments and companies to shift trillions of dollars into “low-carbon energy” systems to limit future global warming is “not feasible,” according to an environmental economist. A new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report projects that between $1.6 trillion and $3.8 trillion in “energy system supply-side investments” are needed every…
          Why Apple Is Shaking in Its Boots      Cache   Translate Page      

I have always believed that Apple fears no one. Valued at over one trillion dollars, the maker of iPhones and iPads can do whatever it wants when marketing its products. It can count on the … Continue reading

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Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          THE TRADE DEFICIT ISN´T THE BOOGEYMAN / JOHN MAULDIN´S WEEKLY NEWSLETTER      Cache   Translate Page      

The Trade Deficit Isn’t the Boogeyman

By John Mauldin

TFTF Image


I have to confess something: I run a huge trade deficit. It’s not with China or Mexico, but with Amazon. I buy all sorts of goods from them and Jeff Bezos has yet to spend a penny with me. It’s just not fair.

Sound ridiculous? That’s exactly what it is. Totally absurd. I like Amazon. I’m happy with the items the company ships to me and (I presume) Amazon is happy to receive my money. We both win.

The same kind of relationship exists between the US and China, although with a few twists we’ll discuss below. That’s not to say China is a trade policy choirboy, but the trade deficit is not the key problem. Trying to “fix” it won’t accomplish what we want and could have serious side effects.

Trade deficits or surpluses aren’t bad. Nor are they good. They are a natural characteristic of post-barter economies that have achieved division of labor… a sign of success, in other words. For certain countries, there are times when trade deficits simply don’t make a difference. And then there are times when they can be devastating. It all depends on the current account surplus, a concept we will deal with below, and/or whether the country’s currency has reserve status. It’s not hard to understand, so let’s dive in.


Nothing to Fear

President Trump seems to think the country with a trade deficit automatically “loses” to the one with a surplus. I suspect that comes from how he ran his businesses and his understanding of debt, but the two don’t equate, and until he understands that we are going to be talking about silly concepts like trade wars and tariffs. I wish his advisors would educate him on this.

One thing readers seem to appreciate in my writings is that I try to make complex information simple. Today, I will try to make an already-simple thing even simpler.

First, simply using the word “deficit” in conjunction with trade sounds bad to the vast majority of people. We all know that a deficit in our personal finances, meaning we spend more than we make, is bad. And so we equate that kind of deficit with the concept of a trade deficit. It makes a great political theme and wonderful demagoguery. Trade deficits and populism have gone together for centuries.

What Is a Trade Deficit?

Let’s pause here and define our terms. A trade deficit occurs when Nation X purchases more goods and services (by value) from Nation Y than Y purchases from X. In this example, X has a trade deficit with Y and Y has an identical trade surplus with X.

And that works for every other country that we run a trade deficit with or trade surplus with. We buy their goods, they take our dollars.

That’s not bad. In fact, it’s arguably better for the US side because China (and everyone else) accepts our currency as payment, instead of demanding we obtain renminbi to pay the bill. The US can do that because we have the world’s reserve currency. It is what French finance minister (and later president) Valéry Giscard d'Estaing disparagingly called an “exorbitant privilege” in the 1960s when France demanded gold for its dollars. That led Nixon to close the gold window and ended the Bretton Woods system. It seemed dramatic but the dollar was still the world’s reserve currency. Everyone still wanted it.

D’Estaing and his boss de Gaulle were right: Being the world’s reserve currency IS an exorbitant privilege. One can argue of late that Japan has had similar privileges. Europe and the eurozone and even to some extent the UK have it, too, not to the extent of the US but for basically the same reasons. They also have offsetting current account surpluses, which means money is flowing back into their countries.

This goes back to David Ricardo’s “comparative advantage” doctrine he espoused in 1817. Like people, nations have both talent and weaknesses. Everyone is better off if we all do the things we do best. If China can produce something at a lower cost than we can produce it ourselves, then both countries win if we let them do it.

Admittedly, problems emerge when relative advantages change. Maybe your country is really good at producing a certain product that a new imported technology renders obsolete. That’s not good for the workers whose jobs disappear, even though consumers now have access to a better product at a lower price. But, that’s not a reason for tariffs or protective measures. It simply means the importing country needs to get those workers retrained and help them transition to different work.

Trading Math


Now we will review some simple mathematics. Almost every economist in the world accepts this basic Gross Domestic Product equation: Y = C + I + G + (X – M). This is where Y is GDP, C stands for consumption, I stands for investments, G stands for government expenditures and (X – M) stands for exports minus imports. This is called an accounting identity. In the same way that 2+2 = 4, an accounting identity is always and everywhere true.

If your goal is to reduce or eliminate the US trade deficit with China (or anyone else), are tariffs a good tool to do it? No, because tariffs don’t affect the underlying causes. Trade deficits exist not because the US imports too much, but because Americans consume too much and save too little.

Now, if you accept that the above equation is correct, with some rearranging of the symbols you can come to the equation in a different form. It is still an accounting identity, as Steve Hanke explains. (You may have to read this two or three times.)

In national income accounting, the following identity can be derived. It is the key to understanding the trade deficit.

(Imports - Exports) ≡ (Investment - Savings) + (Government Spending - Taxes)

Given this identity, which must hold, the trade deficit is equal to the excess of private sector investment minus savings, plus government spending minus tax revenue. So, the counterpart of the trade deficit is the sum of the private sector deficit and the government deficit (federal + state and local). The U.S. trade deficit, therefore, is just the mirror image of what is happening in the U.S. domestic economy. If expenditures in the U.S. exceed the incomes produced, which they do, the excess expenditures will be met by an excess of imports over exports (read: a trade deficit).

This is simply math. Since Americans collectively consume more than they produce or invest, the difference must come from somewhere besides thin air. (Borrowing the money doesn’t help because the borrowed money itself has to come from savings.) The only way to solve the equation is to import the excess consumption, i.e. run a trade deficit.

Furthermore, the trade deficit needs an equal and offsetting current account surplus. You as an individual have to get your money that you spent from somewhere. It works the same for countries. That means foreigners have to buy things in the US, like real estate or stocks, or US companies invest their money outside of the US and bring the profits back into the US. This makes the trade deficit equal the current account surplus.

If you don’t like this outcome, you can change it by some combination of reduced consumption and higher savings. Recessions have that effect, so they are good ways to reduce the trade deficit. The inverse correlation between unemployment and trade deficits is really pretty high. But I don’t think anybody would want a recession just to get rid of the trade deficit. (Please note sarcasm.)

Or, there are ways government could encourage lower consumption and higher savings, but they would mean a dramatic lifestyle change for many, if not most Americans. We would have to become more like Japan, for instance, where people tend to save more of their earnings and live more frugally.

Since, as we know, millions of Americans have little excess income to save and already lead pretty frugal lives, it’s hard to see any such change happening, at least anytime soon. So math says we will run a trade deficit with somebody. It doesn’t necessarily have to be China, but our economy is not suited to be a net exporter. We can buy our T-shirts from Vietnam or Pakistan instead of China, but it is still a trade deficit.

Why can’t we make T-shirts in the US? Because they will cost more, which means consumers will buy fewer, which means a smaller economy with fewer jobs. I know it is counterintuitive but that is just the reality of a world that Ricardo described.

But running a trade deficit, when you can get away with it, also has advantages. It’s the reason the US dollar is the world’s reserve currency. We ship enormous quantities of greenbacks overseas to pay for all the stuff we import. Our trade partners have to accept them (as opposed to some other currency) because the US is such a large customer. We carry the big stick.

Better yet, all those dollars eventually come back home because they are of limited use to the foreigners upon which we force them. Chinese investors use them to buy our Treasury bonds or other purchases. The money flows to other countries and companies and eventually back to the US. Their added demand lets our Treasury borrow at lower rates than it otherwise could. In effect, the trade deficit subsidizes our government debt (which is too high but that’s another subject).

So we see trade deficits aren’t necessarily bad, but that’s not all. Even if we wanted to get rid of the trade deficit, it’s not clear we could—at least without creating some serious side effects. Martin Wolf said it well in the Financial Times last week.

Serious economists, back to Adam Smith, would insist that seeking a surplus with every trading partner is not “winning.” It is absurd. This is not even intelligent mercantilism, which would focus on the overall balance. Yet, particularly with free capital flows, overall balance is a foolish goal and one that trade policy cannot achieve. It is incredible that such primitive ideas rule the most sophisticated country on earth.

Martin’s point is well taken. Whether a country’s balance of trade is helpful depends highly on the circumstances. They aren’t automatically good or bad. The US trade deficit is helpful, as I’ve described, but in Greece a few years ago it was disastrous. The internal trade deficit southern eurozone countries ran with Germany (and other highly productive European countries) let them run up massive government, personal, and corporate debt, which they couldn’t pay. Greece was just the first and Italy is lining up to be the next.

In a normal world, when Greece used the drachma, the currency valuation would have fallen and made Greek citizens demand fewer imports. What actually happened was all the debt became due, forcing massive austerity in a kind of shadow devaluation. It was simply brutal.

Germany’s corresponding trade surplus with other EU countries is not necessarily great, either. Notice that in the chart below, Germany is the world’s third-largest exporter. It could not do with a strong currency like the Swiss franc. It works only because it is in the eurozone with weaker economies. A Volkswagen or Mercedes-Benz valued in deutsche marks that cost 50% more wouldn’t compete very well on a global scale. Germany will learn that the hard way before this is all over.


Image: Visual Capitalist (Click to enlarge)


Creating Crisis

One oddity of all this is that the same people who want to reduce the trade deficit often worry about the dollar losing its reserve status. That may well happen anyway in some far-off distant future, but making the trade deficit smaller will only accelerate it.

The simple matter is that by agreeing to be the world’s reserve currency, and by essentially making the Federal Reserve the world’s central bank, we have agreed to supply dollars to the rest of the world so that they can trade with them. The US has done a remarkable job of running trade deficits and supplying those dollars. It is what my friend Paul McCulley calls being “responsibly irresponsible.” If we didn’t provide those dollars, the world would find another currency to trade in, and the US would lose the exorbitant privilege and its benefits.

We already see the early stages of this process. Between the relatively small tariffs that are already in effect and fear of more to come, the US dollar has been tearing higher against other currencies. (The Fed’s tightening policy has something to do with it, too.) This is just supply and demand. The supply of dollars outside the US is shrinking, making each one more valuable.

The consequences aren’t good for the US. For one, a stronger dollar makes US exports more expensive and encourages foreigners to seek alternatives to American goods. That’s the case even without the retaliatory tariffs foreign governments are placing on many US exports. Worse, the stronger dollar penalizes every US exporter, not just those unlucky enough to get hit by tariffs.

The other consequence is even scarier. Foreign governments and corporations, particularly those in emerging market countries, owe trillions in dollar-denominated debt. The rising dollar is making it more expensive to repay those debts. Governments and central banks are taking heroic measures to help but can only do so much. Eventually, some will default. Then we will have an old-fashioned currency crisis in a world far more interconnected and leveraged than it was in 1998.

Exactly how that will unfold, or when, is unclear. But there is the real possibility that it can happen. The genie is out of the bottle and swirling around, deciding where to strike. We’re going to get what we wished for and we are not going to like it.

The endgame, as I’ve written, will be The Great Reset where the debt of governments all over the world, plus all their unfunded government liabilities and promised pensions and healthcare, is going to be “resolved,” and unfortunately it will happen in the middle of a crisis.
 
Intensified Conflict

Last week’s deal to revise and rename NAFTA, while positive, is being wrongly spun as reduced trade tension. I don’t see it that way at all. The new agreement still needs legislative approval in all three countries which may not be forthcoming. Opposition forces are already springing into action, now that they have an actual text to attack.

But the bigger problem is that this clears the way for Trump to concentrate fire on China. If you recall, my Camp Kotok sources said the NAFTA revisions, once complete, would let Trump pivot to China and try to force Beijing into a deal before the midterm elections. That appears to be what is happening.

Gavekal’s Arthur Kroeber pointed out in a bulletin this week “the forces pawing the ground for a fight with China are far stronger, and the reins on them far weaker, than was the case in the NAFTA and trans-Atlantic scuffles.” He also points out that US businesses with China exposure are caught in the middle and not trying to fight the White House on this. Kroeber also highlighted this Axios report that the Trump administration is planning a major broadside against China in the next few weeks. That means the relief markets are presently feeling may not last long.

Speaking of Gavekal, I have to say their research has been one of my best resources for years for staying on top of all this. No one knows Asia like the Gavekal team. Each morning I get an e-mail or two or three with all their firm’s latest research on the world economy, China, currencies, central banks, interest rates, and more. It is astonishingly useful. I wish I could share it all with you, but it’s a very expensive service intended for institutions and family offices.

However, I do share some of Gavekal’s best analysis with Over My Shoulder members. Lately, they’ve sent so much great info I asked Louis if we could hold a special “Gavekal Week” and feature their material every day. He graciously agreed and we are doing it next week, Oct. 8-12.

For instance, on Monday Over My Shoulder members will get the Gavekal Dragonomics China Inc. Annual Report 2018. This amazing chartbook outlines key trends in China’s corporate sector. It digs into differences between state-owned enterprises and private listed companies, drilling down to the sector level to show different impacts of the trade war and other policies. It’s invaluable if you want to understand what is really happening in China.
 
Toronto and Frankfurt

Sometime in the next few weeks I have to go to Toronto for a day, where I hope to also meet former BIS chief economist Bill White and a few other friends for dinner. Then in early November I will go to Frankfurt for a conference. Shane and I also intend to get to Puerto Rico sometime over the next month or so. And there was my 69th birthday this last week.

A little personal humor from my life. I got an email from AT&T saying they were going to cancel my account. I had no idea which account. Since I don’t generally handle these things, I sent it on to the powers that be (Shane) and she determined it was my internet connection, which we just installed recently. There was some problem with the automatic billing.

We called AT&T and they wanted to know our password. I didn’t know it. So they gave me a clue. I swear to God, they asked who was my favorite childhood hero. I started guessing. Davy Crockett? The Lone Ranger? Roy Rogers? Tom Swift? I went through a long list and was told “no” to each one. In our catch-22 situation, we could not go online without knowing that particular password to change our other password. Shane finally guessed her numeric password and that was a winner.

My childhood hero? My mother’s maiden name, my best friend growing up, my favorite pet, and a host of the other usual questions would all be on the tip of my tongue, but not that one. Who makes this stuff up? My assistant Tammi, after she could get in the account, checked every other password question trying to figure out where they came up with that. We still have no clue.

And with that, I will hit the send button, hoping that the AT&T bureaucrats aren’t from the same mold as those running the international credit system. That would make me tremble. Have a great week!

Your still-wondering-who-my-favorite-childhood-hero-was-and-how-they-think-they-knew analyst,


John Mauldin
Chairman, Mauldin Economics

          COMPANIES ARE BUYING BACK STOCKS AS EXECUTIVES SELL AT RECORD CLIP / BARRON´S MAGAZINE      Cache   Translate Page      

Companies Are Buying Back Stock as Executives Sell at Record Clip

By Vito J. Racanelli

Companies Are Buying Back Stock as Executives Sell at Record Clip

It’s been a huge year for U.S. corporate stock buybacks. They’ve been a powerful support to the bull market, particularly since individual investors have generally not been putting money into equities. Indeed, retail investors have not returned to equities in significant numbers since the financial crisis.

U.S. public companies have announced $835 billion in stock buybacks so far this year, already more than the previous annual record of $810 billion in 2007, according to TrimTabs Investment Research.

Wasn’t 2007 just before the top of the previous bull market? Yes, and there’s talk the total could reach $1 trillion this year.

In light of the big jump in corporate stock repurchases, it is notable that executives at those companies are doing the exact opposite: dumping their shares at a record clip. Again, according to TrimTabs, corporate insiders sold $10.3 billion worth of stock in August. That’s the highest amount of selling in the month of August over the past 10 years, says David Santschi, director of liquidity research at TrimTabs. The previous high was $9.3 billion in August 2017.

“It’s picked up quite a lot in the summer,” he adds.

Meanwhile, in September, insiders bailed out of their own company shares to the tune of $7 billion, he says, topping the previous 10-year September high of $5.7 billion in 2012. TrimTab’s database includes all Form 4 Securities and Exchange Commission filings that officers, directors, and major holders must file.

So does this presage a market top? Not necessarily, Santschi says. It’s a dictum on Wall Street that insider buying is more meaningful than insider selling, particularly when it comes to an individual company. And, yes, this is compensation, so a certain amount of selling is to be expected.

That said, there are a couple of conclusions that come to mind. First, investors should note that managers appear to be saying one thing—that their companies’ stock is cheap enough to spend corporate capital on—but doing another, selling personal shares. In other words, there’s a little bit of cognitive dissonance. “Insiders are doing something differently with their own money than with shareholders’ money,” Santschi notes. It’s perhaps even more interesting to remember that many companies have borrowed to fund those big buybacks, thanks to artificially low interest rates.

Second, it behooves investors to follow the life cycle of corporate shares. Some market critics like to say that large corporations are cash-management machines for executives. In other words, companies buy back shares, put them into their treasury, and artificially boost earnings per share. Often, they aren’t all retired and a portion of them return to the pool of outstanding shares via executive stock compensation.

Whether insider sales on a broad level predict weaker aggregate stock returns has been debated for decades, notes Paul Shea, strategic economist at Miller Tabak, a market research and wealth-management firm. The best recent studies, however, show that insider sales do predict worse returns, and investors should thus be concerned by this development, he says.

To be clear, Shea adds, there is no evidence that even these elevated levels of insider sales suggest a significant upcoming drop in stock prices. Yet it’s one metric that, more often than not, is followed by abnormally lower returns in stocks at the broad-market level.

Investors should expect upcoming returns for about the next 12 months to be “several percentage points below” the S&P 500’s historic inflation-adjusted average annual return of 7.2%, he says. Other indicators, including the spread between dividends and three-month Treasurys, and current monetary policy, also suggest weaker than usual returns, Shea says.

These days companies are flush with cash and the economy is roaring, but it might be better to watch what insiders do than listen to what they say.
          MAKE AMERICA GERMANY AGAIN: THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY´S LEFT FLANK HAS IDEAS FOR FIXING THE COUNTRY / THE ECONOMIST      Cache   Translate Page      

Make America Germany Again

The Democratic Party’s left flank has ideas for fixing the country

Some of them have a Mitteleuropa flavour



TUCKER CARLSON, a Fox News host, and Bernie Sanders, a democratic-socialist senator, seldom agree. Yet on the matter of billionaires supposedly sponging off taxpayer largesse, they are completely simpatico. On September 5th Mr Sanders introduced a bill which would force large firms to pay taxes exactly equal to the amount of safety-net benefits consumed by their employees, including food stamps, housing vouchers and Medicaid. The target of Mr Sanders’s legislation, titled the “Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies” or “Stop BEZOS” Act, was clear. Attacking Jeff Bezos, the founder and boss of Amazon, is a uniquely bipartisan pastime. The left of the Democratic Party views him as a latter-day Ebenezer Scrooge. Trump-cheerleaders like Mr Carlson despise him for owning the meddlesome Washington Post. Mainstream economists took a dismal view of the pitch.

Congressional Democrats, especially those eyeing a presidential run in 2020, are awash with bold policy ideas. In addition to Mr Sanders’s pitch, Kamala Harris, a Democratic senator from California, has offered a proposal to give generous tax credits to citizens who spend more than 30% of their incomes on rent. Elizabeth Warren, a progressive senator from Massachusetts, would like to up-end corporate boards by requiring that employees pick 40% of the members.

Start with Mr Sanders’s proposal. The cost of safety-net programmes like food benefits, Medicaid coverage and rental subsidies could easily amount to thousands of dollars per employee. A pitch to charge firms that amount would be a de facto head tax, strongly discouraging employment. “It’s essentially a tax on hiring low-skill workers, but worse,” says Samuel Hammond of the Niskanen Centre, a think-tank. “Since eligibility largely varies with children and dependants, it’s actually a tax on firms for hiring low-skill parents.” Companies would have perverse incentives to filter out the applicants they thought likeliest to be on benefits. Because they would be barred by law from asking about welfare status directly, they would probably resort to pernicious stereotypes (such as not hiring a middle-aged black woman without a wedding ring). It would also encourage companies to minimise low-skilled labour as much as possible, hastening automation.

Bad, worse, wurst

Ro Khanna, a Democrat from Silicon Valley, introduced an identical bill in the House of Representatives. While he concedes that automation is a real worry, he dismisses the discrimination critique offered by liberal economists. Though discrimination is notoriously difficult to prove in court, high penalties would still encourage firms to behave, Mr Khanna insists. Besides, he says, the point of the bill is to encourage companies to forgo the headache by paying their employees a higher minimum wage. “If you raise to a liveable wage, like $15 an hour, then you’re exempt. But if you’re not going to provide a decent wage, and you’re making trillions of dollars, then you’re going to be on the hook for all the public benefits that you’re consuming,” Mr Khanna says.




The idea that benefits schemes for low-income workers are corporate welfare is mainstream on the far left. Yet it is also quite strange, since it implies that for those at the bottom of the earnings distribution, wages would rise if the safety-net were slashed. “Some people could draw a message from the bill that programmes like SNAP [food stamps] or Medicaid are bad…because they’re fundamentally corporate subsidies,” says Robert Greenstein of the Centre on Budget and Public Priorities, a left-leaning think-tank. The earned-income tax credit, which operates explicitly as a wage subsidy for working-class families through the tax system, has been helpful in alleviating poverty. Indeed, many—including Mr Sanders—would like to see it expanded.

Similar problems haunt Ms Harris’s daring plan to offer tax credits for those facing high rents. She would like the federal government to reimburse households for rent that is over 30% of household income. Housing affordability is certainly a growing issue, especially in America’s booming cities. But that is because of constrained supply. Fuelling demand with billions in government cash while housing supply is stuck means that prices will only rise. The winners would be landlords, who would pocket most of the vast expenditure.

Ms Harris’s proposal would encourage people to rent flats well beyond their means. Those making less than $25,000 would get 100% of their excess rent subsidised by the government. In San Francisco, the costliest city in America, this means that such a person would pay at most $625 a month, even for a flat costing $4,681 a month. Uncle Sam would kick in the rest. Because the policy abruptly shifts reimbursement rates around cut-off points, those making $75,000 in San Francisco could lose as much as $8,500 of tax credits by making an additional dollar. In cities with high rents, those making up to $125,000 a year, hardly a needy bunch, would qualify for subsidies.

Wunderbar

Of all the proposals, Ms Warren’s Accountable Capitalism Act is the least destructive. Some of its provisions—like requiring firms with more than $1bn in revenue to obtain a federal charter and barring executives from selling shares for five years—are relatively modest. Others, like requiring corporations to create a “general public benefit”, seem vague and unenforceable. The most eye-catching proposal, which is for employees to elect 50% of the representatives on corporate boards of directors, seems radical but has been commonplace in Germany since 1976. Although such a system might not work as well in America, where employees are less likely to remain loyal for years, it is hardly the stuff of revolution.

None of the proposals will become law anytime soon. But they do foreshadow the themes of the next Democratic presidential primary, at a time when the party seems to be in its wilderness-wandering stage. Populist policies, such as sticking it to Mr Bezos, subsidising rent and giving more power to workers, are in the ascendant.
          WHY THE EURO WON´T REPLACE THE DOLLAR / BARRON´S MAGAZINE      Cache   Translate Page      

Why the Euro Won’t Replace the Dollar

By Matthew C. Klein

Why the Euro Won’t Replace the Dollar
Photo: Joel Arbaje



Europe has a dream that the euro will overtake the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency. It’s an old dream, but it’s based on a misconception.

In his last State of the Union speech as president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker pledged “to strengthen the international role of the euro.” Yet the dollar’s preponderance in foreign reserves and in international trade comes from specific properties of the U.S. financial system that most European governments do not want to emulate. Global use of the euro is incompatible with the other priorities of European governments, particularly sovereign debt reduction.

European complaints about the dollar are not new. The seeds were planted shortly after the D-Day landings, when the Allies agreed at the Bretton Woods Conference to create a postwar monetary regime of fixed exchange rates centered on the dollar. This dollar-based payments system gave Europeans good reason to hold safe dollar-denominated assets they could use to settle debts or pay for imports in emergencies. Those reserve assets lubricated international trade, but they were also debts Americans owed to the rest of the world.

In the 1950s and 1960s, those debts funded growing financial outflows from the U.S. The U.S. had effectively become the world’s bank, exploiting its overvalued exchange rate to buy long-term risky assets abroad with funds raised from short-term “deposits” sold to foreigners. The French particularly resented what they saw as an “exorbitant privilege” that allowed Americans to buy European assets on the cheap. Europeans eventually responded by converting their dollars into gold bullion at the official U.S. fixed price of $35 an ounce.

The Nixon administration was unwilling to defend an arbitrary exchange rate by stifling American domestic spending or selling all the Treasury’s bullion. Instead, it officially broke the dollar’s link to gold  in 1971. The supposed privilege had actually been a burden: Foreigners accumulated reserves at the expense of Americans borrowing more and more from the rest of the world. By 1971, those debts had become unpayable—and rather than honor its obligations in gold, the U.S. government effectively defaulted.
This did not end foreign demand for U.S. financial assets—much to the annoyance of the architects of the euro. The “One Market, One Money” report, published in 1990 by the European Commission, complained that “permanent asymmetries regarding the burden of adjustment have persisted…because of the special international significance of the dollar.” They hoped their new single currency “could finally be a decisive building block for a more stable multi-polar monetary regime.”

The report’s authors failed to appreciate that the dollar’s “international significance” requires Americans to satisfy foreign demand for dollar-denominated fixed income by increasing their indebtedness. This was demonstrated most clearly in the 2000s. Many emerging markets were traumatized by the crises of the late 1990s and were determined to avoid a repeat. At the same time, oil exporters were enjoying a windfall thanks to soaring prices and wanted to save in preparation for the eventual reversal. The combined effect was a large increase in the demand for safe assets in hard currencies.

While the U.S. federal government consistently ran budget deficits, the growth in public debt was far too small to satisfy foreign savers. Financial innovations, most notably “private label” mortgage bonds and their derivatives, were therefore needed to bridge the gap between supply and demand. This turned out to be a disaster for both the mortgage borrowers and many of the end investors, but it was the only way to reconcile foreigners’ seemingly insatiable need to hold U.S. bonds with America’s relatively restrictive fiscal policy.

This unfortunate episode shows why the euro is unlikely to achieve equivalent status to the dollar: Beyond the likely unwillingness of the European private sector to go on a borrowing binge so soon after the financial crisis, there is already an acute shortage of safe euro-denominated assets available. Moreover, this shortage is being made worse by policy.

In 2007, the governments of the euro area had about €4.8 trillion ($5.6 trillion) in debt securities outstanding. Back then, all of that debt was considered equally “safe” by regulators, monetary policy makers, and—crucially—by investors.

The total face value of euro-area government bonds has since grown to nearly €8 trillion, but that number needs to be adjusted for credit risk, since the new European consensus is that countries unable to raise funds in the markets will have to default on their obligations. Less than €2 trillion of euro-area sovereign bond debt is issued by AAA-rated borrowers (Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands), and even adding in the relatively safe countries of Austria, Finland, and France only brings the total up to €4.1 trillion. Moreover, the European Central Bank has bought roughly €1.1 trillion of those bonds, shrinking the supply available for investors still further.

This shortage is being exacerbated by the obsessions of policy makers. A new joint proposal to reform the euro area’s budget rules from France’s Council of Economic Analysis and Germany’s Council of Economic Experts, for example, explicitly says that “a major aim of our proposed rule is to reduce public debt.” The German government has already been paying down its debt for several years, even though an anonymous former International Monetary Fund economist convincingly argues that German government debt “could reasonably—and quite sustainably—approach 240 percent of GDP,” given the country’s high level of domestic savings.

There is no inherent reason why the euro could not become a credible alternative to the dollar for international payments and reserves. All the Europeans would need to do is replace their national sovereign debts with a single government bond market explicitly backed by the ECB and unconstrained by any fiscal rules. Until they are prepared to do that, however, Juncker’s ambition will remain nothing more than a dream.
          Global stocks weighed down by China economy fears      Cache   Translate Page      

LONDON — Global stock markets fell Monday as investors responded to the weekend decision from the Chinese monetary authorities to reduce the amount of capital that banks are required to hold, a move that stoked concerns that the world's number 2 economy is struggling in the face of the tariff dispute with the U.S.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, Germany's DAX was down 0.9 percent at 12,000 while the CAC 40 in France fell 0.9 percent, too, to 5,310. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.6 percent lower at 7,272. U.S. stocks were poised to open lower too with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures down 0.3 percent. Trading on Wall Street is expected to be light as the federal government, bond markets and much of the country observe Columbus Day. However, light liquidity levels have the potential to accentuate moves one way or the other.

CHINA RATE CUT: Beijing injected money into its cooling economy by reducing the level of reserves banks are required to hold. Economists say that should free up some 1.2 trillion yuan ($175 billion) for lending. The central bank told banks to lend more to entrepreneurs. Chinese leaders are trying to shore up economic growth that began to cool after Beijing tightened lending controls last year to rein in a debt boom. A tariff fight with U.S. President Donald Trump has added to downward pressure on growth. After a weeklong holiday, the Shanghai Composite ended its first day back almost 4 percent lower.

ANALYST TAKE: This drives the idea that further retaliatory measures against U.S. trade tariffs will follow," said James Hughes, chief market analyst at AxiTrader.

US RATES: Also weighing on stocks is the growing expectation that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates even further than markets currently expect. The shift in expectations has come after further solid jobs data reduced the U.S. unemployment rate to a near 40-year low of 3.7 percent and comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell that the level of U.S. interest rates are a "long way" from holding back economic growth.

ASIA'S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 3.7 percent to 2,716.51 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng retreated 1.4 percent to 26,201.08. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 lost 1.4 percent to 6,100.30 and Seoul's Kospi was off 0.6 percent at 2,253.83. India's Sensex declined 0.3 percent to 34,267.77. Jakarta gained while New Zealand, Taiwan and Singapore retreated.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude tumbled $1.01 to $73.33 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price international oils, dropped $1.16 to $83.

CURRENCY: The euro dropped 0.4 percent to $1.1478 while the dollar declined 0.3 percent to 113.36 yen.

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People walk past a bank electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index at Hong Kong Stock Exchange Monday, Oct. 8, 2018. Asian stock markets declined Monday, after China injected extra money into its cooling economy. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

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A man walks past a bank electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index at Hong Kong Stock Exchange Monday, Oct. 8, 2018. Asian stock markets declined Monday, after China injected extra money into its cooling economy. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
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          Tuesday Evening Links      Cache   Translate Page      
[BloombergQ] Tech Snaps 3-Day Skid But Stocks Can't Hold Gains: Markets Wrap

[BloombergQ] Oil Climbs as Storm Ravages U.S. Gulf and Global Risks Abound

[Reuters] Italy's bond yields fall after Tria makes Draghi-style pledge

[CNBC] Trump says he doesn't like what the Fed is doing, central bank is going too fast in raising rates

[Reuters] Trump repeats threat of more tariffs if China retaliates on trade

[Reuters] Rising yields suggests 'conflicting factors' over U.S. growth: Fed's Kaplan

[CNBC] Mortgage rates jump past 5%, signaling more home price cuts ahead

[BloombergQ] Investors Yank Record Cash Out of Stock, Real Estate, and Muni ETFs

[Reuters] China slashes U.S. LPG imports amid trade war

[BloombergQ] Taiwan’s President Says China Poses Threat to International Order

[NYT] The Unknowable Fallout of China’s Trade War Nuclear Option

[BloombergSub] The Bond Market’s $1 Trillion Deficit Spiral Has No Political Fix

[FT] BoE warns EU that £41tn of derivatives at risk after Brexit
          ISDA Negotiator      Cache   Translate Page      
NY-Manhattan, Work directly with internal and external counsel to negotiate different derivative documentations Client Details Large financial service company with multi trillion in assets Description Draft and negotiate trade agreements and derivative documentation - this includes ISDA Master Agreements, MRAs, Credit Support documents, etc. Liaise with internal and external members Provide general support to t
          Andrew Ross Sorkin Says China May Stop Manipulating Its Currency to Retaliate Against Trump's Tariffs      Cache   Translate Page      

The story is that in a desperate move, since it doesn't have more imports to tax, China could dump $1 trillion in U.S. treasuries to screw the United States. No part of this makes any sense.

China bought up massive amounts of U.S. treasury bonds and other foreign assets to keep down the value of its currency against the dollar. This helped its competitive position, allowing it to continue to run a large trade surplus, a major anomaly for a fast-growing country. These purchases of treasury bonds were actually the "currency manipulation" that Trump constantly complained about during his campaign.

There is no doubt that a massive dumping of these bonds would create upheaval in financial markets, but the Fed would have little problem buying them up. Also, other central banks would rush to buy them as well, since they would not want to see the euro, pound, and yen suddenly jump by 20 percent against the dollar.

This would have the same impact on their relative competitiveness as if Trump imposed tariffs of 20 percent and also subsidized all U.S. exports by 20 percent. It would be very bizarre if China's big weapon in against Trump was to give him exactly what he had demanded for a year and a half prior to the election. (Currency seems to have disappeared from Trump's agenda since the election.)

China has very powerful weapons it can still use in the trade war. For example, it could shut U.S. firms out of its market. This would be a huge hit since its economy is already 25 percent larger than the U.S. economy on a purchasing power parity basis and 70 percent as large on an exchange rate basis. (Dumping a trillion dollars of treasury bonds would quickly close much of this gap.)

It could also mass produce items in clear violation of U.S. copyrights and patents. Imagine hundreds of millions of computers using Windows and other Microsoft software and Bill Gates not getting a penny. Imagine Pfizer not getting a penny for the drugs on which it holds patent rights.

These are huge weapons that China still has at its disposal. While NYT business columnists may lack the imagination to understand this fact, the leadership in China is probably not as ill-informed.


          Mental Health Crisis Could Cost World $16 Trillion by 2030      Cache   Translate Page      
Mental health disorders are on the rise in every country in the world and could cost the global economy up to $16 trillion between 2010 and 2030 if a collective failure to respond is not addressed, according to an expert report released Tuesday. The Lancet Commission report by 28 global specialists in psychiatry, public health and neuroscience, as well as mental health patients and advocacy groups, said the growing crisis could cause lasting harm to people, communities and economies worldwide. While some of the costs will be the direct costs of health care and medicines or other therapies, most are indirect — in the form of loss of productivity, and spending on social welfare, education and law and order, the report's co-lead author, Vikram Patel, said. The wide-ranging report did not give the breakdown of the potential $16 trillion economic impact it estimated by 2030. "The situation is extremely bleak," Patel, a professor at Harvard Medical School in the United States, told reporters. Lack of investment He said the burden of mental illness had risen "dramatically" worldwide in the past 25 years, partly because societies are aging and more children are surviving into adolescence, yet "no country is investing enough" to tackle the problem. "No other health condition in humankind has been neglected as much as mental health has," Patel said. The World Health Organization estimates that 300 million people worldwide have depression and 50 million have dementia. Schizophrenia is estimated to affect 23 million people, and bipolar disorder around 60 million. The Lancet report found that in many countries, people with common mental disorders such as depression, anxiety and schizophrenia routinely suffer gross human rights violations — including shackling, torture and imprisonment. Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the medical journal The Lancet, which commissioned the report, said it highlighted the "shameful and shocking treatment of people with mental ill health around the world." It called for a human rights-based approach to ensure that people with mental health conditions are not denied fundamental human rights, including access to employment, education and other core life experiences. It also recommended a wholesale shift to community-based care for mental health patients, with psychosocial treatments such as talking therapies being offered not just by medical professionals but also by community health workers, peers, teachers and the clergy. The report was published ahead of a first global ministerial mental health summit in London this week.
          Tokyo Olympics: Costs Hit Almost $25 Billion — May Go Higher      Cache   Translate Page      
The price tag keeps soaring for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics despite local organizers and the International Olympic Committee saying that spending is being cut.   A report just released by the national government's Board of Audit shows Japan is likely to spend $25 billion to prepare the games, and the final number could go even higher.   This is nearly a four-fold increase over Tokyo's winning bid in 2013, which the report said projected costs of 829 billion yen, or $7.3 billion at the current exchange rate of 113 yen to the dollar.   Tracking Tokyo costs is getting more difficult as work speeds up, deadlines near, and disputes arise about what are — and what are not — Olympic expenses. Complicated accounting also makes it difficult to figure out who pays for what, and who profits.   "It's the most amazing thing that the Olympic games are the only type of megaproject to always exceed their budget," Bent Flyvberg, an authority on Olympic budgeting, said in explaining his research: "The Oxford Olympics Study 2016."   Flyvberg said the study failed to "find even one" Olympics that came in on or below budget.   Tokyo is a case study.   In December, the Tokyo organizing committee said the Olympic budget was 1.35 trillion yen, or about $12 billion.   This consisted of equal contributions of 600 billion yen ($5.3 billion) from the organizing committee and the Tokyo metropolitan government, with another 150 billion yen ($1.3 billion) coming from the national government. But a month later, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said the city needed to chip in an added 810 billion yen ($7.2 billion) "for projects directly and indirectly related to the games." She said this included building barrier-free facilities for Paralympic athletes, training programs for volunteers, and advertising and tourism plans.   This raised the overall costs to 2.16 trillion yen, or about $19.1 billion.   The IOC and local organizers dispute these are Olympic expenses, describing them as "regular administrative costs" that fall "outside the overall games budget."   Flyvberg credited organizers of recent Olympics with trying to control costs, but tight Olympic deadlines make it difficult. Other large building projects can be pushed back a few months. Not the Olympics.   He also said it was inefficient for different cities to keep organizing the games.   "All you can do when problems begin — and problems always begin on projects of this size — is to throw more money at the project," Flyvberg said.   Another Tokyo cost increase popped up a few days ago.   A 178-page report by the Board of Audit said the national government's share of spending had increased to 801 billion yen ($7.1 billion) from the $1.3 billion estimated back in December.   This brings total spending to 2.81 trillion yen, or just under $25 billion, with suggestions it could reach 3 trillion when the games open in just under two years.   The report said "a large amount of spending was expected to continue after 2018 leading up to the event."   The report urged organizers, the Tokyo city government, central government, and local agencies to increase transparency. In a statement Tuesday to The Associated Press, local organizers again disputed what should be called Olympic costs.   Spokesman Masa Takaya said expenditures listed such as "inbound tourism, road constructions, subsidy for creating a hydrogen society, and even improving accuracy of weather forecasts with better satellites," should not be considered Olympic expenses.   The audit report also faulted Tokyo organizers for excluding other expenses from the budget. The report said these came to about 650 billion yen ($5.6 billion) and included things like: repairs to existing buildings; security costs; the cost of running doping facilities.   It said the organizing committee's December budget did "not reflect all the costs related to the operation of the event."   About 80 percent of the $25 billion will be taxpayer money. The rest — about $5.3 billion — comes from the privately funded operating budget. This budget receives $1.7 billion from the IOC with the rest coming from sponsors, merchandising and ticket sales.   Tokyo organizers say they have saved billions in the last several years by using existing venues, holding shorter test events and by making other cuts in construction.   IOC President Thomas Bach said Tuesday the Olympic body had no influence over what audits in Japan defined as games expenses. "We have to live there with the difference that an accountant may introduce something to the Olympic Games where we say this has nothing to do with the Olympic Games." Bach told a news conference at the Youth Olympics in Argentina.   The IOC has also tried to promote frugality, aware that hidden and soaring costs have driven away many possible Olympic bidders — particularly for the Winter Olympics.   Three bidders remain for the 2026 Winter Olympics: Calgary, Canada; Stockholm, Sweden; Milan-Cortina, Italy. Several others dropped out.   Organizers of the recent Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, reported a budget surplus of $55 million this week. Meanwhile, the provincial government is complaining about paying millions for upkeep on empty venues, with the national government unwilling to assume the costs.   There is talk of razing several empty venues.   "Even though people try to bring down costs, it's very difficult," Flyvberg said. "But there is some progress. But not nearly as much as for other types of megaprojects."   Flyvberg added that "for a city and nation to decide to stage the Olympic games is to decide to take on one of the most costly and financially most risky type of megaproject that exists, something that many cities and national have learned too their peril."
          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          Kaitlan Collins and Channing Dungey      Cache   Translate Page      
I believe Kaitlan Collins is tasting the bitterness of hypocrisy.


. hammered the President in 2016 over his access Hollywood tapes. Now, her old tweets have surfaced. This must be her version of locker room talk. Instead of saying, I said, I meant it, she claims it was ignorant comments and that she didn’t mean it. 🧐
 


Donald Trump is supposed to be an idiot.  What is Kaitlan Collins' excuse?  She has none.  She was in college and it was only a few years ago.  CNN really doesn't need her on the payroll.


"TV: Who's destroying ABC?" (Ava and C.I., THE THIRD ESTATE SUNDAY REVIEW):
The crash you hear is Channing tossing everything on her desk against the wall.


LAST MAN STANDING would be a great TGIF program because the kids on the show are so popular.  And it is a hit Friday night program. 


If that doesn’t bother Channing, certainly the fact that this hit show used to be on ABC until she cancelled it has to bother her.


That’s right, ABC had the biggest hit of Fridays until Channing cancelled it.  Now FOX has the program and now FOX has the highest rated program on Friday nights.  And Channing?


Take it away, Rona.

Rona Barrett, “I am breaking the news today that an idiot is running – and ruining – ABC. . . ”


Channing is an idiot.  ABC needs to fire her.  She's ruining the network.  Are they really going to wait until the end of the season to fire her?  She's destroying the ratings.  She needs to go.  She doesn't know a damn thing about programming.  I think I'm going to sell off my stock because I'm not in the mood to take a big loss while Disney and company humor her.


"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Tuesday, October 9, 2018.  The Iraq War continues, the US continues to occupy Iraq and the Iraqi people continue to suffer.  Useless idiots like Alyssa Milano pretend not to notice.  But we can make a difference with this month's March On The Pentagon.



I'm tired.

To the community and activists around the world, a 14 year old kid from was filmed being tortured, mutilated, and murdered. His last words were "I want to see my mother" Please raise awareness about this in order to pressure authorities to take action
 
 



Aren't you tired?

This is an important story.  Also an important story?  The attacks on Iraqi women which we've covered here repeatedly and made the topic of THIRD's "Editorial: If you are silent about the targeting of Iraqi women, you don't support women" yesterday.

That's a real story too.  As is this.


This is the Euphrates in & Unesco-listed Marshlands. Home to around 300,000 people, if they dry out people will have to leave. Under Saddam many fled to Tikrit etc. That's not possible with the security situation. So what next? We can't ignore this:
 
 
 



Look it, I'm real sorry that Alyssa Milano wasn't able to have a clitoral orgasm last week because Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court.  It must have been a real blow for her.  It must have been the worst thing that ever, ever happened in the whole wide world judging by her idiotic and incessant Tweeting.  And whining.

Let's not forget her whining or the whining of so many others.

As they naval gaze and pick the lint out of their own belly buttons, taking time to reflect on me-me-me-me-always-me.

How awful. How horrifying.  You do realize that nothing like this has ever, ever happened before.

Except maybe . . .

When John Roberts was confirmed to the bench.

Or when Samuel Alito was.

Or when Clarence Thomas was.

Or . . .

Oh, f**k, it happens over and over.

And guess what, Alyssa and you other useless bitches?  American women go on.  The real women.  The ones who do the real work.  Not the ones whining constantly.  (Including whining to the paid staff that actually works their Twitter feeds.)

Kavanaugh is not the end of the world.  Kavanaugh -- if he ends up as bad as so many believe he will be -- is not an aberration.  In the US, he is the historical norm.  And, over and over, we have addressed it and we have maintained our rights.  I think Alyssa and the other useless bitches are confusing their own desire to wallow in victimhood with living in HULU's HANDMAID'S TALE.  We don't live in that TV show (that bad TV show -- great novel, lousy TV).  We live in the United States of America and if the Alyssas would stop crawling, dust themselves off and stand the f**k up, they'd see millions of American women fighting real battles every day.

They might also be able to look beyond American shores and see that people in the world are suffering much more than we are and maybe we could recognize that?

The Iraqi people who suffer -- whether it's the women now being targeted or the LGBT community or those who have no where to flee to if their homeland cannot support them -- these people suffer because of the United States.

It is our government that promised (lied) freedom and delivered ongoing war.

And I know Alyssa has to spend a lot of time getting that hairy Italian mustache removed each month but it seems like even she could take a moment to grasp that the US government has not helped the Iraqi people and is not helping them.


Last month, at THE NATIONAL INTEREST, Bonnie Kristian observed:




The turmoil in Basra may be unsurprising given the living conditions locals face, but it should also be instructive. This is what regime change, fifteen years of intervention, occupation, and reconstruction in Iraq has wrought. This is what trillions of dollars borrowed and spent—and tens of thousands of American and Iraqi lives extinguished—have purchased.
The protests in Basra are just one moment of ongoing political turmoil in Iraq, with all the security risks and human suffering that entails. They are an indictment in microcosm of Washington’s failed reliance on military intervention and nation-building as a panacea to local political problems in distant lands that don’t threaten America’s security, prosperity, or way of life.
 

In Basra and Iraq more generally, Americans are presented with years of evidence that U.S. military intervention has failed to achieve strategically important, sustainable outcomes despite Washington’s best efforts. “Some might argue that trying harder, investing more billions, sending yet more equipment for perhaps another 15 years will produce more favorable results,” says military historian Ret. Col. Andrew Bacevich, but this is “a mug’s game.” There is nothing available to America in Iraq that might fairly be called a military victory, and repeating the mistakes of the past will not end differently the umpteenth time around.
The same thing over and over.  That's all the US government has to offer -- regardless of who heads it.  And the Iraqi people suffer.

And so many people try to raise awareness of it.  But we're up against little bitches who think that their bad plastic surgery and their advancing age that cost them roles is actually the greatest tragedy in the world.  This is what those of us who care about real issues have to compete with.

And before the Alyssa Lying Milanos start lying and saying, "You don't care about assault!"  Oh, but I do.  You're the one who doesn't, Alyssa.

I stood up for Illeana Douglas -- here, yes, but also in the real world.  I defended her.  I called out the hideous Leslie Moonves.  The Alyssa that pretends she invented MeToo never even managed to Tweet in defense of Ileana or, for that matter, against Leslie Moonves.  Because Leslie had power.  It's easy to go after Harvey Weinstein when he's bloodied and on the ropes, isn't it, Alyssa?  Not so easy to go after Leslie who, at the time, was in charge of CBS and could employ you.

The Alyssa Milanos are the worst people in the world.  She has numerous nannies to raise her children.  She has no career -- don't confuse the pity cameos her husband gets her with actual roles or a career.  She pays a person to Tweet for her.  She has nothing but free time and instead of using it effectively, she appears to just use it pondering more and more plastic surgery while fretting whether all of the entertainment industry knows her younger husband is cheating on her (we do know, Alyssa, we do).

Day after day, they pretend that they're doing something but they do nothing and apparently Professor Katherine Helmond, on the WHO'S THE BOSS CAMPUS,  wasn't able to teach her about I.F. Stone or the reality that all governments lie.  Alyssa blindly believes because she's a fool.  And maybe because Katherine's only real lesson is how to self-entertain -- I'll never forget the last time I saw her, 1999 in the lobby of a Marriott, plastered and hanging all over a young, 20-something male who looked uncomfortable and who ran for his life as soon as Katherine came over to say hello to me.

Poor Alyssa.  She got the life teacher she deserved.  And, goodness, does it show.

US has 800+ military bases & special ops deployed in 70% of nations. Pentagon is world's biggest polluter & exempt from int'l treaties. Time to build up real movement fighting empire. Join in DC Oct 20-21 to confront bipartisan war machine
 
 



What!  Abby Martin's not paralyzed like Alyssa!  Kavanaugh didn't bring her to her knees!  Oh my goodness.  And Abby's not the only woman who can stand up.  Here's some more.



Join us at the Pentagon on October 21st. Hear from YahNé Ndgo and others as we call for an end to the bipartisan war machine.
          CIA Democrats Call for Aggression Against Russia, Run Pro-War Campaigns in 2018 Congressional Races      Cache   Translate Page      

The 30 national-security candidates include six actual CIA, FBI or military intelligence agents, six State Department or other civilian national security officials, 11 combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, all but one an officer, and seven other military veterans, including pilots, naval officers and military prosecutors (JAGs).

The range of views expressed by these 30 candidates is quite limited. With only one exception, Jared Golden, running in the First District of Maine, the military-intelligence Democrats do not draw any negative conclusions from their experience in leading, planning or fighting in the wars of the past 25 years, including two wars against Iraq, the invasion of Afghanistan, and other military engagements in the Persian Gulf and North and East Africa.

Golden, who is also the only rank-and-file combat veteran—as opposed to an officer—and the only one who admits to having suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, criticizes congressional rubber-stamping of the wars of the past 20 years. “Over the past decade and a half, America has spent trillions on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and on other conflicts across the globe,” his campaign website declares. “War should be a last resort, and only undertaken when the security interests of America are clearly present, and the risks and costs can be appropriately justified to the American people.”

These sentiments hardly qualify as antiwar, but they sound positively radical compared to the materials posted on the websites of many of the other military-intelligence candidates. In some ways, Golden is the exception that proves the rule. What used to be the standard rhetoric of Democratic Party candidates when running against the administration of George W. Bush has been entirely scrapped in the course of the Obama administration, the first in American history to have been engaged in a major military conflict for every day of its eight years.

All the other national-security candidates accept as a basic premise that the United States must maintain its dominant world position. The most detailed foreign policy doctrine appears on the website of Amy McGrath, who is now favored to win her contest against incumbent Republican incumbent Andy Barr in the Sixth Congressional District of Kentucky.

McGrath follows closely the line of the Obama administration and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, supporting the Iran nuclear deal that Trump tore up, embracing Israel, warning of North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons, and declaring it “critical that the US work with our allies and partners in the region to counter China’s advances” in the South China Sea and elsewhere in Asia.

But Russia is clearly the main target of US national-security efforts, in her view. She writes, “Our Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has testified that Russia is the greatest threat to American security. Russia poses an existential threat to the United States due to its nuclear weapons and its behavior in the past several years has been disturbing. Russia’s aggression in Georgia, Crimea, Ukraine, and Syria has been alarming. It’s becoming more assertive in the Arctic, likely the most important geostrategic zone of competition in the coming decades. The US should consider providing defensive arms to Ukraine and exerting more pressure on Moscow using economic sanctions.”

She concludes by calling for an investigation modeled on the 9/11 Commission into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

Five other national-security candidates focus on specific warnings about the danger of Russia and China, thus aligning themselves with the new national security orientation set in the most recent Pentagon strategy document, which declares that the principal US national security challenge is no longer the “war on terror,” but the prospect of great power conflicts, above all with Russia and China.

Jessica Morse, a former State Department and AID official in Iraq, running in the Fourth District of California, blasts the Trump administration for “giving away global leadership to powers like China and Russia. Our security and our economy will both suffer if those countries are left to re-write the international rules.”

Former FBI agent Christopher Hunter, running in the 12th District of Florida, declares, “Russia is a clear and present danger to the United States. We emerged victorious over the Soviet Union in the Cold War. We must resolve anew to secure an uncompromising victory over Russia and its tyrannical regime.”

Elissa Slotkin, the former CIA agent and Pentagon official running in Michigan’s Eighth Congressional District, cites her 14 years of experience “working on some of our country’s most critical national security matters, including U.S.-Russia relations, the counter-ISIS campaign, and the U.S. relationship with NATO.” She argues that “the United States must make investments in its military, intelligence, and diplomatic power” in order to maintain “a unique and vital role in the world.”

Max Rose, a combat commander in Afghanistan now running in New York’s 11th Congressional District (Staten Island and Brooklyn), calls for “recognizing Russia as a hostile foreign power and holding the Kremlin accountable for its attempts to undermine the sovereignty and democratic values of other nations.” Rose is still in the military reserves, and took two weeks off from his campaign in August to participate in small-unit drills.

Joseph Kopser, running in the 21st District of Texas, is another anti-Russian firebrand, writing on his website, “As a retired Army Ranger, I know first hand the importance of standing strong with your allies. Given Russia’s march toward a totalitarian state showing aggression around the region, as well as their extensive cyber and information warfare campaign directed at the U.S., England, and others, our Article 5 [NATO] commitment to our European allies and partners is more important than ever.” He concludes, “Since the mid-twentieth century, the United States has been a principal world leader—a standard that should never be changed.”

Four national-security candidates add North Korea and Iran to China and Russia as specific targets of American military and diplomatic attack.
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/10/03/ciad-o03.html

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, October 10th, 2018.]
          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          Cyber Tests Showed 'Nearly All' New Pentagon Weapons Vulnerable To Attack, GAO Says       Cache   Translate Page      

Passwords that took seconds to guess, or were never changed from their factory settings. Cyber vulnerabilities that were known, but never fixed. Those are two common problems plaguing some of the Department of Defense's newest weapons systems, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The flaws are highlighted in a new GAO report, which found the Pentagon is "just beginning to grapple" with the scale of vulnerabilities in its weapons systems.

Drawing data from cybersecurity tests conducted on Department of Defense weapons systems from 2012 to 2017, the report says that by using "relatively simple tools and techniques, testers were able to take control of systems and largely operate undetected" because of basic security vulnerabilities.

The GAO says the problems were widespread: "DOD testers routinely found mission critical cyber vulnerabilities in nearly all weapon systems that were under development."

When weapons program officials were asked about the weaknesses, the GAO says, they "believed their systems were secure and discounted some test results as unrealistic."

The agency says the report stems from a request from the Senate Armed Services Committee, asking it to review the Pentagon's efforts to secure its weapons systems. The GAO did so by going over data from the Pentagon's own security tests of weapon systems that are under development. It also interviewed officials in charge of cybersecurity, analyzing how the systems are protected and how they respond to attacks.

The stakes are high. As the GAO notes, "DOD plans to spend about $1.66 trillion to develop its current portfolio of major weapon systems." That outlay also comes as the military has increased its use of computerized systems, automation and connectivity.

Despite the steadily growing importance of computers and networks, the GAO says, the Pentagon has only recently made it a priority to ensure the cybersecurity of its weapons systems. It's still determining how to achieve that goal — and at this point, the report states, "DOD does not know the full scale of its weapon system vulnerabilities."

Part of the reason for the ongoing uncertainty, the GAO says, is that the Defense Department's hacking and cyber tests have been "limited in scope and sophistication." While they posed as hackers, for instance, the testers did not have free rein to attack contractors' systems, nor did they have the time to spend months or years to focus on extracting data and gaining control over networks.

Still, the tests cited in the report found "widespread examples of weaknesses in each of the four security objectives that cybersecurity tests normally examine: protect, detect, respond, and recover."

From the GAO:

"One test report indicated that the test team was able to guess an administrator password in nine seconds. Multiple weapon systems used commercial or open source software, but did not change the default password when the software was installed, which allowed test teams to look up the password on the Internet and gain administrator privileges for that software. Multiple test teams reported using free, publicly available information or software downloaded from the Internet to avoid or defeat weapon system security controls."

In several instances, simply scanning the weapons' computer systems caused parts of them to shut down.

"One test had to be stopped due to safety concerns after the test team scanned the system," the GAO says. "This is a basic technique that most attackers would use and requires little knowledge or expertise."

When problems were identified, they were often left unresolved. The GAO cites a test report in which only one of 20 vulnerabilities that were previously found had been addressed. When asked why all of the problems had not been fixed, "program officials said they had identified a solution, but for some reason it had not been implemented. They attributed it to contractor error," the GAO says.

One issue facing the Pentagon, the GAO says, is the loss of key personnel who are lured by lucrative offers to work in the private sector after they've gained cybersecurity experience.

The most capable workers – experts who can find vulnerabilities and detect advanced threats – can earn "above $200,000 to $250,000 a year" in the private sector, the GAO reports, citing a Rand study from 2014. That kind of salary, the agency adds, "greatly exceeds DOD's pay scale."

In a recent hearing on the U.S. military's cyber readiness held by the Senate Armed Services Committee, officials acknowledged intense competition for engineers.

"The department does face some cyberworkforce challenges," said Essye B. Miller, the acting principal deputy and Department of Defense chief information officer. She added, "DOD has seen over 4,000 civilian cyber-related personnel losses across our enterprise each year that we seek to replace due to normal job turnover."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

          Apple’s Greediness Made it a Trillion Dollar Company      Cache   Translate Page      

TechCrunch writes that Apple’s greediness is the real reason it became a trillion dollar company. But Andrew disagrees.

read more



          UK public finances near the bottom of international league table - Financial Times      Cache   Translate Page      

Financial Times

UK public finances near the bottom of international league table
Financial Times
Britain is languishing close to the bottom of the international league table for the strength of its public finances, the IMF said on Wednesday, with only Portugal's long-term position deeper in the red. The new figures, which compare the assets ...
UK public finances are among weakest in the world, IMF saysThe Guardian
Government Debts Not as Daunting When Assets Are Mixed InWall Street Journal
Global debt is growing, IMF says, but so are values of public assetsReuters
The Straits Times -Financial Express
all 38 news articles »

          Bank and City urge EU to tackle Brexit derivatives uncertainty - Financial Times      Cache   Translate Page      

Financial Times

Bank and City urge EU to tackle Brexit derivatives uncertainty
Financial Times
The Bank of England and the financial services industry on Tuesday pressed the EU to urgently tackle legal uncertainty surrounding vast amounts of derivatives because of Brexit. Calling for “timely action” by EU authorities, the BoE's Financial Policy ...
EU financial sector at risk as derivative deal stallsTelegraph.co.uk
Bank urges EU to act on Brexit risk to derivative dealsThe Times
Bank of England in unusual warning about risky business debtBBC News
This is Money -The Independent -Sky News -The Australian Financial Review
all 194 news articles »

          Probiotics Gummies Market Future Outlook & Deep Study of Top Key Players - Nordic Naturals, Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Renew Life, The Natures Way, The Nature's Bounty Co., Rainbow Light, Smarty Pants Cafe, Jamieson Laboratories, OLLY PBC and Rexall Sundown      Cache   Translate Page      
Probiotics Gummies Market Future Outlook & Deep Study of Top Key Players - Nordic Naturals, Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Renew Life, The Natures Way, The Nature's Bounty Co., Rainbow Light, Smarty Pants Cafe, Jamieson Laboratories, OLLY PBC and Rexall Sundown In the humble human gut, there are hundreds of trillions of bacterial occupants, and they’re not just living there — they’re working for you. Gut flora makes up 70–80 percent of the human immune system. Adding good bacteria, called probiotics,

          ISDA Negotiator      Cache   Translate Page      
NY-Manhattan, Work directly with internal and external counsel to negotiate different derivative documentations Client Details Large financial service company with multi trillion in assets Description Draft and negotiate trade agreements and derivative documentation - this includes ISDA Master Agreements, MRAs, Credit Support documents, etc. Liaise with internal and external members Provide general support to t
          Earth's Ice Loss "Is a Nuclear Explosion of Geologic Change"      Cache   Translate Page      
Earth's Ice Loss "Is a Nuclear Explosion of Geologic Change": A study shows that 3 trillion tons of ice have disappeared into the oceans since 1992.
          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          Global debt is growing, IMF says, but so are values of public assets      Cache   Translate Page      

Global debt levels reached a record $182 trillion in 2017, having grown 50 percent in the previous decade, but the picture looks less grim when public assets are taken into account, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday.

The post Global debt is growing, IMF says, but so are values of public assets appeared first on The Himalayan Times.


          Abbreviated pundit roundup: Urgent action needed on climate change, Kavanaugh's lies and more      Cache   Translate Page      

We begin today’s roundup with editorials and op-eds on a new, alarming report warning us of the catastrophic effects of climate change. First up, The New York Times:

The United Nations scientific panel on climate change issued a terrifying new warning on Monday that continued emissions of greenhouse gases from power plants and vehicles will bring dire and irreversible changes by 2040, years earlier than previously forecast. The cost will be measured in trillions of dollars and in sweeping societal and environmental damage, including mass die-off of coral reefs and animal species, flooded coastlines, intensified droughts, food shortages, mass migrations and deeper poverty.

The worst impacts can be avoided only by a “far-reaching and unprecedented” transformation of the global energy system, including virtually eliminating the use of coal as a source of electricity, the panel warned.

Yet President Trump, who has questioned the accepted scientific consensus on climate change, continues to praise “clean beautiful coal” and has directed his Environmental Protection Agency to reverse major strides undertaken by the Obama administration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. This is unbelievably reckless. In addition to undermining the fight against climate change, the president's efforts to prop up the dirtiest of all fuels will also exact a significant toll on public health, on the hearts and lungs of ordinary Americans.

Here’s Eugene Robinson’s analysis of Donald Trump’s refusal to acknowledge climate change and how it imperils our lives:

Here is how to interpret the alarming new United Nations-sponsored report on global warming: We are living in a horror movie. The world needs statesmen to lead the way to safety. Instead, we have President Trump, who essentially says, “Hey, let’s all head to the dark, creepy basement where the chain saws and razor-sharp axes are kept. What could go wrong?”

The answer is almost everything, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).


          Africa:Mental Illness Will Cost the World U.S.$16 Trillion By 2030      Cache   Translate Page      
[Bhekisisa] The Life Esidimeni tragedy makes headlines again in a new global report.
          Maersk launches India supply chain tech accelerator       Cache   Translate Page      
“We recognize the immense potential of India’s technology and digital talent, and are looking to capitalize on these capabilities to help the logistics industry worldwide to reinvent itself,” Maersk Group CEO Søren Skou said. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com. Technology is becoming the dominant buzzword in India’s freight industry, as the $2 trillion...
          Trillions in US net worth vulnerable to recession: IMF      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON - A severe recession would slash US public wealth by about $5 trillion, causing vastly more damage to Washington's finances than just an increase in debt and deficits, the IMF warned Tuesday.
          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          10/10/2018: News: more on gulfnews.com      Cache   Translate Page      

Trillions of dirhams spent on yachts, cars This super yacht is yours for a cool Dh100m Abu Dhabi Ship Building enjoys growing success Revealed: The 5 richest people in the UAE
          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          Wealth Management - Private Bank - Banker - Vice President or Executive Director - Milwaukee, WI - JP Morgan Chase - Milwaukee, WI      Cache   Translate Page      
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Is a leading global financial services firm with assets of more than $2.4 trillion, over 240,000 employees and operations in over 60...
From JPMorgan Chase - Sun, 26 Aug 2018 11:45:23 GMT - View all Milwaukee, WI jobs
          Wealth Management - Private Bank - Client Advisor - Vice President - Milwaukee, WI - JP Morgan Chase - Milwaukee, WI      Cache   Translate Page      
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Is a leading global financial services firm with assets of more than $2.4 trillion, over 240,000 employees and operations in over 60...
From JPMorgan Chase - Sat, 07 Jul 2018 12:26:15 GMT - View all Milwaukee, WI jobs
          14 famous people who struggled with mental health - SBS      Cache   Translate Page      

SBS

14 famous people who struggled with mental health
SBS
"One of the things about mental illness is that it can be very isolating and by sharing stories you actually get to realise that you're not alone." By. Samuel Leighton-Dore. 10 Oct 2018 - 8:40 AM UPDATED 3 HOURS AGO ...
World Mental Health Day: 'How running has helped me'BBC News
UK must double mental health spending as global bill expected to top £12trillion by 2030, landmark report warnsThe Independent
World Mental Health Day: 'Every year, the number of young people who need help keeps rising'The Indian Express
Hindustan Times -Daily Star -The Australian
all 562 news articles »

          Trump Declares war on Christmas      Cache   Translate Page      
Trump Declares War on Christmas

The President is spending $1.5 trillion of our national wealth to get in an undiplomatic skirmish that is blowing up on the rest of us and ruining the holidays.

The post Trump Declares war on Christmas appeared first on EgbertoWillies.com.


          Republicans must cut spending now      Cache   Translate Page      

Republicans go to Washington elected on a few key promises to their voters. Chief among these is cutting taxes and shrinking the government. Voters still believe that Republicans are the party of small government, and understandably so. When constituents have the most contact with their elected officials, it is during campaigns, which Republicans run time and time again on truly limited government principles. They advocate for getting the government out of health care, for returning power to the people, and for adhering to the Constitution. It is when Republicans actually get to Washington that most of them thus fail to keep most of their promises by voting against these conservative principles.

But one campaign promise that Republicans did keep this Congress is cutting taxes. Inside of the legislation passed last December were significant simplifications of the tax code along with reductions in tax rates for both individuals and businesses. The tax bill has clearly encouraged investment and boosted economic growth, creating more prosperity for all Americans. However, the individual and passthrough business tax cuts will sunset, or expire, within the next decade.

The job of Republicans to cut taxes is not done, as the tax cuts last year should be made permanent and expanded upon. Moreover, the job of Republicans to cut spending has not even begun. In fact, it is going in the wrong direction, with spending growing out of control. The tax cuts have spurred economic growth, increased confidence in business and investment, and allowed people to keep and spend more of their money as they see fit. That is an accomplishment to be celebrated.

However, our nation holds more than $21 trillion in debt, which has continued its detrimental drag on all of the positive effects of tax cuts. As our national debt held by the public stands around 75 percent of gross domestic product and is projected to approach 100 percent in 2028 and 150 percent in 2048, it presents an ever increasing threat to our economic prosperity and our security. This debt crisis is a result of nothing but the profligate government spending of our elected officials.

The political will to cut spending and ensure that debt does not dampen the growth seen as a result of tax cuts is next to nonexistent. In 2010, Republicans rolled out the “Pledge to America” in which they reduce spending to 2008 levels, as part of their successful effort to win back the House. They actually got a victory to constrain spending when Congress passed the Budget Control Act. But it was not long after that when Republicans began to seek ways to diminish on this significant win.

Since then, Republicans have found excuse after excuse to vote for budgets that blow through the spending caps established under the 2011 law. Spending bills that appropriate funding are gleefully passed by Republican leaders as well as rank and file members of Congress. However, these budgets and spending bills do not encompass the full scope of federal spending. In fact, they only make up the discretionary portion of the budget, which totaled $1.2 trillion in fiscal 2017.

Mandatory spending is driven by entitlements, namely Social Security and Medicare. Spending on these two programs as a percentage of the total federal budget is expected to increase from 53 percent in 2018 to 67 percent in 2048. The significance of the atrocious spending bills that Congress passes each year will decrease as mandatory spending, which runs on autopilot outside of the appropriations process, continues to grow unchecked. It is incumbent on Republicans to take control of this issue, as they promise to their constituents in every campaign.

There is no excuse to shirk the responsibility of answering to constituents, yet that is what Republicans continue to do. While it is laudable that Republicans reformed the tax code, victories like this should be expected with control of Congress and the White House. They need to fulfill their campaign promises by reducing the size of the government and cutting spending, which starts and ends with reforming mandatory spending. Until Republicans do this, tax cuts are simply not enough. The right time to cut spending was years ago, but there is still time to do so now.

Author: 
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https://thehill.com/opinion/finance/410231-republicans-must-cut-spending-now
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          UK must double mental health spending as global bill expected to top £12trillion by 2030, landmark report warns - The Independent      Cache   Translate Page      

The Independent

UK must double mental health spending as global bill expected to top £12trillion by 2030, landmark report warns
The Independent
The UK must double its mental health spending to account for 10 per cent of the total health budget, according to a major new report. The Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development has warned that the economic cost of with ...
Mental Health Day 2018: 12 shocking statistics about mental health disorders in the UKDaily Star
14 famous people who struggled with mental healthSBS
World Mental Health Day: 'How running has helped me'BBC News

all 316 news articles »

          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          10/10/2018: FP INVESTING: Big Oil set to bury investors in cash      Cache   Translate Page      

Investors still haven’t forgiven oil companies for being ill-prepared for a crudeprice collapse four years ago. Perhaps more than a half-trillion dollars will change their minds. With oil above $80 a barrel (all figures US) as costs remain at an...
          Wealth Management - Private Bank - Banker - Vice President or Executive Director - Milwaukee, WI - JP Morgan Chase - Milwaukee, WI      Cache   Translate Page      
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Is a leading global financial services firm with assets of more than $2.4 trillion, over 240,000 employees and operations in over 60...
From JPMorgan Chase - Sun, 26 Aug 2018 11:45:23 GMT - View all Milwaukee, WI jobs
          Wealth Management - Private Bank - Client Advisor - Vice President - Milwaukee, WI - JP Morgan Chase - Milwaukee, WI      Cache   Translate Page      
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Is a leading global financial services firm with assets of more than $2.4 trillion, over 240,000 employees and operations in over 60...
From JPMorgan Chase - Sat, 07 Jul 2018 12:26:15 GMT - View all Milwaukee, WI jobs
          10/10/2018: AEC: IFC’s Komodo green bond raises $134m for climate investments      Cache   Translate Page      
INTERNATIONAL Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has issued its inaugural Indonesian rupiah Komodo green bond, attracting strong investor demand and raising 2 trillion rupiah (Bt4.43 billion, US$134million) to combat climate...
          Comment on New Army caliber? by Jim W      Cache   Translate Page      
It's not 6.8 SPC. 6.8 SPC is crap but at least it exists. This is some new thing made of polymer and unobtanium and telescopes that I'm guessing will show great promise at first and then be canceled because it's only 20 percent better (wild guess) than 5.56 and it will cost a trillion dollars to retire all the 5.56mm stuff.
          LABAI KARAIPAP      Cache   Translate Page      





LABAI KARIPAP
Kat umah najib Dan bini Ade bilion bilion rmnya....setakat 3.5juta je tu ...najib punya BILION BILION rm. 
on SUKA SAMA SUKA

in response to Belanja RM3.5 juta ciput kalau Brader boleh bantu Mahathir pertahankan supaya Najib tidak kembali berkuasa dan tambah hutang negara bertrillion ringgit lagi. Apa Lu, macam ini pun tak boleh menyifir., by Anonymous.
Nasrudin Abd Shukor
on 10/10/18
ni lebih kurang paksa rela kot.. malu tapi mahu..sakit tapi sedap..marah tapi sayang.. benci tapi rundu. bukan depan tapi belakang kah kah kah on PELIK
Publish | Delete | Spam
Anonymous
on 10/10/18
aku lagi suka cerita labai karipap.. kah kah kah on AWAS - DULU CAKAP LAIN
Anonymous
on 10/10/18

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          Yes, I believe Juanita Broaddrick      Cache   Translate Page      
YOU LYING HYPOCRITE My case was NEVER litigated!!That’s why I’m calling for an investigation now. IF I CAN GET 100k signatures, the WORLD will KNOW IT, Hillary. THEN where will you hide?



Sorry, Hillary, I believe Juanita Broaddrick.  Ava and C.I. have written many strong pieces about Juanita Broaddrick.  I found this one but can't find the one I'm looking for.  But they have written repeatedly about Juanita.

The piece I wanted to find was the first time they examined the issue.  Maybe it's a solo C.I. piece or maybe one that Ava and C.I. did for THE COMMON ILLS and I can't find it at THIRD for that reason.

But Juanita has been consistent in her remarks.  She has not changed her story.  Her story rings true.  I believe absolutely that she was raped.

She has my support.  In the piece I was looking for, Ava and C.I. spoke for a lot of us -- they were only trying to speak for themselves -- by noting the events of that time.

Juanita's interview was not aired until after the vote on impeachment.  NBC refused to air it.  Her rape had nothing to do with impeachment or Kenneth Starr.  She actually tried to stay out of all that mess. 

But the nation was exhausted.  All the women who had come forward, the blue dress, the impeachment, the vote to censure him in the Senate.  We just wanted to move on.

So Juanita coming at the end of that never got the fair hearing she should have.  We, as a country, just wanted to move on. 

I'm sorry because that was me.  It wasn't, "Juanita, I don't care about you!"  It was, "I've had it up to hear with all these details and all this discussion!" 

I'm glad she's told her story because it's allowed people like me who didn't hear it in real time to know what happened.  And I believe her.


Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

-
Tuesday, October 9, 2018.  The Iraq War continues, the US continues to occupy Iraq and the Iraqi people continue to suffer.  Useless idiots like Alyssa Milano pretend not to notice.  But we can make a difference with this month's March On The Pentagon.



I'm tired.

To the community and activists around the world, a 14 year old kid from was filmed being tortured, mutilated, and murdered. His last words were "I want to see my mother" Please raise awareness about this in order to pressure authorities to take action
 
 



Aren't you tired?

This is an important story.  Also an important story?  The attacks on Iraqi women which we've covered here repeatedly and made the topic of THIRD's "Editorial: If you are silent about the targeting of Iraqi women, you don't support women" yesterday.

That's a real story too.  As is this.


This is the Euphrates in & Unesco-listed Marshlands. Home to around 300,000 people, if they dry out people will have to leave. Under Saddam many fled to Tikrit etc. That's not possible with the security situation. So what next? We can't ignore this:
 
 
 



Look it, I'm real sorry that Alyssa Milano wasn't able to have a clitoral orgasm last week because Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court.  It must have been a real blow for her.  It must have been the worst thing that ever, ever happened in the whole wide world judging by her idiotic and incessant Tweeting.  And whining.

Let's not forget her whining or the whining of so many others.

As they naval gaze and pick the lint out of their own belly buttons, taking time to reflect on me-me-me-me-always-me.

How awful. How horrifying.  You do realize that nothing like this has ever, ever happened before.

Except maybe . . .

When John Roberts was confirmed to the bench.

Or when Samuel Alito was.

Or when Clarence Thomas was.

Or . . .

Oh, f**k, it happens over and over.

And guess what, Alyssa and you other useless bitches?  American women go on.  The real women.  The ones who do the real work.  Not the ones whining constantly.  (Including whining to the paid staff that actually works their Twitter feeds.)

Kavanaugh is not the end of the world.  Kavanaugh -- if he ends up as bad as so many believe he will be -- is not an aberration.  In the US, he is the historical norm.  And, over and over, we have addressed it and we have maintained our rights.  I think Alyssa and the other useless bitches are confusing their own desire to wallow in victimhood with living in HULU's HANDMAID'S TALE.  We don't live in that TV show (that bad TV show -- great novel, lousy TV).  We live in the United States of America and if the Alyssas would stop crawling, dust themselves off and stand the f**k up, they'd see millions of American women fighting real battles every day.

They might also be able to look beyond American shores and see that people in the world are suffering much more than we are and maybe we could recognize that?

The Iraqi people who suffer -- whether it's the women now being targeted or the LGBT community or those who have no where to flee to if their homeland cannot support them -- these people suffer because of the United States.

It is our government that promised (lied) freedom and delivered ongoing war.

And I know Alyssa has to spend a lot of time getting that hairy Italian mustache removed each month but it seems like even she could take a moment to grasp that the US government has not helped the Iraqi people and is not helping them.


Last month, at THE NATIONAL INTEREST, Bonnie Kristian observed:




The turmoil in Basra may be unsurprising given the living conditions locals face, but it should also be instructive. This is what regime change, fifteen years of intervention, occupation, and reconstruction in Iraq has wrought. This is what trillions of dollars borrowed and spent—and tens of thousands of American and Iraqi lives extinguished—have purchased.
The protests in Basra are just one moment of ongoing political turmoil in Iraq, with all the security risks and human suffering that entails. They are an indictment in microcosm of Washington’s failed reliance on military intervention and nation-building as a panacea to local political problems in distant lands that don’t threaten America’s security, prosperity, or way of life.
 

In Basra and Iraq more generally, Americans are presented with years of evidence that U.S. military intervention has failed to achieve strategically important, sustainable outcomes despite Washington’s best efforts. “Some might argue that trying harder, investing more billions, sending yet more equipment for perhaps another 15 years will produce more favorable results,” says military historian Ret. Col. Andrew Bacevich, but this is “a mug’s game.” There is nothing available to America in Iraq that might fairly be called a military victory, and repeating the mistakes of the past will not end differently the umpteenth time around.
The same thing over and over.  That's all the US government has to offer -- regardless of who heads it.  And the Iraqi people suffer.

And so many people try to raise awareness of it.  But we're up against little bitches who think that their bad plastic surgery and their advancing age that cost them roles is actually the greatest tragedy in the world.  This is what those of us who care about real issues have to compete with.

And before the Alyssa Lying Milanos start lying and saying, "You don't care about assault!"  Oh, but I do.  You're the one who doesn't, Alyssa.

I stood up for Illeana Douglas -- here, yes, but also in the real world.  I defended her.  I called out the hideous Leslie Moonves.  The Alyssa that pretends she invented MeToo never even managed to Tweet in defense of Ileana or, for that matter, against Leslie Moonves.  Because Leslie had power.  It's easy to go after Harvey Weinstein when he's bloodied and on the ropes, isn't it, Alyssa?  Not so easy to go after Leslie who, at the time, was in charge of CBS and could employ you.

The Alyssa Milanos are the worst people in the world.  She has numerous nannies to raise her children.  She has no career -- don't confuse the pity cameos her husband gets her with actual roles or a career.  She pays a person to Tweet for her.  She has nothing but free time and instead of using it effectively, she appears to just use it pondering more and more plastic surgery while fretting whether all of the entertainment industry knows her younger husband is cheating on her (we do know, Alyssa, we do).

Day after day, they pretend that they're doing something but they do nothing and apparently Professor Katherine Helmond, on the WHO'S THE BOSS CAMPUS,  wasn't able to teach her about I.F. Stone or the reality that all governments lie.  Alyssa blindly believes because she's a fool.  And maybe because Katherine's only real lesson is how to self-entertain -- I'll never forget the last time I saw her, 1999 in the lobby of a Marriott, plastered and hanging all over a young, 20-something male who looked uncomfortable and who ran for his life as soon as Katherine came over to say hello to me.

Poor Alyssa.  She got the life teacher she deserved.  And, goodness, does it show.

US has 800+ military bases & special ops deployed in 70% of nations. Pentagon is world's biggest polluter & exempt from int'l treaties. Time to build up real movement fighting empire. Join in DC Oct 20-21 to confront bipartisan war machine
 
 



What!  Abby Martin's not paralyzed like Alyssa!  Kavanaugh didn't bring her to her knees!  Oh my goodness.  And Abby's not the only woman who can stand up.  Here's some more.



Join us at the Pentagon on October 21st. Hear from YahNé Ndgo and others as we call for an end to the bipartisan war machine.
          Earth’s Ice Loss “Is a Nuclear Explosion of Geologic Change”      Cache   Translate Page      
Originally posted on The Extinction Chronicles:
A study shows that 3 trillion tons of ice have disappeared into the oceans since 1992.SUPREECHA SAMANSUKUMAL / SHUTTERSTOCK https://truthout.org/articles/earths-ice-loss-is-a-nuclear-explosion-of-geologic-change/ BY Dahr Jamail Truthout PUBLISHED October 9, 2018 PART OF THE TRUTHOUT SERIES Planet…
          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          North Korea could see billions of US dollars in housing investment in case of economic reforms      Cache   Translate Page      
North Korean housing construction investment is predicted to total 57 trillion won (US$50.4 billion) and an area of 84.3 million square meters between 2021 and 2030 – an amount that could rise a..
          UN Puts $2.4 Trillion Annual Price Tag On Mitigating Climate Change      Cache   Translate Page      
Climate scientists are not known for giving good news, and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that convened in South Korea was no exception: the scientists that compiled a special report on the climate situation on the planet slapped optimists in the face: the world needs to spend US$2.4 trillion every year until 2035 to slow down the effects of climate change. Perhaps shockingly, the panel noted that at the current warming rates, Earth’s atmosphere will in less than one hundred years be 3 degrees Celsius warmer than…
          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          Smart aliens might live within 33,000 light-years of Earth. A new study explains why we haven't found them yet.      Cache   Translate Page      

stars milky way galaxy person silhouette flashlight searching alien extraterrestrial life drake equation formula fermi paradox shutterstock_649309528

  • The universe has so many galaxies, stars, planets, and moons that many scientists believe intelligent aliens should exist within detectable range of Earth.
  • Still, human searches for extraterrestrial intelligence have yet to detect any alien signal or "technosignature."
  • A new study suggests this may be because we've searched just 0.00000000000000058% of a "cosmic haystack" in our hunt for an alien "needle."
  • There's no guarantee that exhaustive searches would ever find aliens, though.

The cosmos almost screams with the possibility of intelligent alien life.

Hundreds of billions of galaxies drift through the visible universe, each one harboring hundreds of billions of stars, and each of those stars in turn shelters roughly a handful of planets. Even if the trillion-or-so planets in every galaxy aren't habitable, countless water-rich moons orbiting these lifeless worlds might be.

And yet, in spite of these numbers, humans have yet to identify any signals from intelligent aliens. The prescient question that physicist Enrico Fermi posed in 1950 — "where is everybody?" — remains unanswered.

However, an upcoming study in The Astronomical Journal, which we learned about from MIT Technology Review, suggests humanity has barely sampled the skies, and thus has no grounds to be cynical.

According to the paper, all searches for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI, have examined barely a swimming pool's worth of water from a figurative ocean of signal space.

"We haven't really looked much," Shubham Kanodia, a graduate student in astronomy who co-wrote the study, said during a NASA "technosignatures" workshop in Houston, Texas on September 26.

The study suggests that somewhere in that ocean of space — right now, within the Milky Way galaxy — intelligent aliens might be saying, "hello, we are here."

But we'd have no way of knowing, at least not yet.

Defining a 'cosmic haystack' in the search for aliens

alien spacecraft extraterrestrial propulsion lasers illustration m weiss cfa

Over the past 60 years, multiple SETI projects have looked and continue to look for alien signals. Some scan large swaths of the sky for powerful signals, while others target individual star systems for weaker signals.

Yet aside from a few anomaly signals that never repeated (like the "Wow!" detection of 1977), these searches have turned up empty-handed.

Kanodia and his colleagues at Penn State University wanted to know how much of the figurative "cosmic haystack" SETI projects have covered, and to what extent they could improve the hunt for the alien "needle."

The group agrees with famous SETI astronomer Jill Tarter, who said in 2010 that it's silly to conclude intelligent aliens do not exist nearby just because we haven't yet found their beacons. Even if such signals exist and are aimed right at Earth, her thinking goes, we've scanned so little of the sky and may not be looking for the right type of signal, or for long enough, to find them.

"Suppose I tell you there's a cool thing happening in Houston right now," Kanodia said during his NASA talk. "I do not tell you where it is. I do not tell you when it is happening. I do not tell you what it is. Is it in a book store? Is it a music concert? I give you absolutely no priors. It would be a difficult thing to try and find it."

He added: "Houston, we have a problem. We do not know what we're looking for ... and we don't know where to start."

milky way galaxy sun solar system earth location nasa labeled 2In their study, Kanodia and his colleagues built a mathematical model of what they consider a reasonably sized cosmic haystack.

Their haystack is a sphere of space nearly 33,000 light-years in diameter, centered around Earth. This region captures the Milky Way's bustling core, as well as many giant globular clusters of stars above and below our home galaxy.

They also picked eight dimensions of a search for aliens — factors like signal transmission frequency, bandwidth, power, location, repetition, polarization, and modulation (i.e. complexity) — and defined reasonable limits for each one.

"This leads to a total 8D haystack volume of 6.4 × 10116 m5Hz2 s/W," the authors wrote.

That is 6.4 followed by 115 zeros — as MIT Technology review described it, "a space of truly gargantuan proportions."

How much of this haystack have we searched?

allen telescope array ata seti institute

Kanodia and his colleagues then examined the past 60 years' worth of SETI projects and reconciled them against their haystack.

The researchers determined that humanity's collective search for extraterrestrials adds up to about 0.00000000000000058% of the haystack's volume.

"This is about a bathtub of water in all of Earth's oceans," Kanodia said. "Or about a five-centimeter-by-five-centimeter patch of land on all of Earth's surface area."

Those numbers make humanity's search efforts seem feeble. But Kanodia views it as an opportunity — especially because modern telescopes are getting better at scanning more objects with greater sensitivity and speed. For example, he said, a 150-minute search this year by the Murchison Widefield Array covered a larger percentage of the haystack than any other SETI project in history.

"That's the purpose of this haystack ... to help better-inform future search strategies," Kanodia said.

He also noted that the team's calculations assume there is only one alien civilization within range of Earth, and not any more than that. But more than one may exist relatively close by.

"In the ocean analogy, we do not have to drain the entire ocean to find a fish," he said. "In the Houston analogy, if there were two cool things, you wouldn't have to look as hard."

Still, there's no guarantee that a figurative fish or needle or cool thing is out there at all.

Another group of scientists, this one at Oxford University, recently took a different approach to the question of aliens. Instead of focusing on the likelihood of finding "technosignatures" that could be detected, they examined the likelihood that intelligent alien life exists at all.

The Oxford researchers examined dozens of authoritative studies about variables in the Drake Equation. The team then analyzed the results and calculated a bleak 2-in-5 chance that humans may be entirely alone in the Milky Way galaxy.

There's also a more unsettling possibility: Perhaps aliens do exist nearby but don't want us to find them.

SEE ALSO: 27 of the most iconic, jaw-dropping photos of the Earth and the moon from space

SEE ALSO: An alien hunter explains why extraterrestrial visitors are unlikely — despite the US government's UFO evidence

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Stephen Hawking warned us about contacting aliens, but this astronomer says it's 'too late'


          10/10/2018: Front Page: EU financial sector at risk as derivative deal stalls      Cache   Translate Page      
THE EU is using £41 trillion of financial contracts as a Brexit bargaining tool, putting the EU’s financial sector at risk if a deal is not reached on the issue by Christmas. The Bank of England has warned in its latest assessment of financial...
          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
          Full Stack Developers / Software Engineers in Test      Cache   Translate Page      
NC-Raleigh, Our client is a Boston-based financial investment firm that serves over twenty million customers. They employ tens of thousands of individuals and manage trillions of dollars in assets. With almost a century of experience, this financial services company is an industry leader, both nationally and globally. Our client is known for being a great place to work, and they are looking for Full Stack Dev
          Full Stack Developers / Software Engineers in Test      Cache   Translate Page      
NH-Merrimack, Our client is a Boston-based financial investment firm that serves over twenty million customers. They employ tens of thousands of individuals and manage trillions of dollars in assets. With almost a century of experience, this financial services company is an industry leader, both nationally and globally. Our client is known for being a great place to work, and they are looking for Full Stack Dev
          Nigeria:How True Is Osinbajo's Claim That Govt Spent $4.7 Billion On Capital Projects      Cache   Translate Page      
[Premium Times] The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday said the federal government has spent N1.7 trillion on capital projects in two budget years.
          There's Only One Reason Why the US Deficit Is Increasing       Cache   Translate Page      
Republicans are bleeding our government dry

No…The federal budget deficit definitely is a not a spending problem.

In its just-released monthly budget review, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the federal deficit for fiscal 2018, which ended a week ago on Sept. 30, was $782 billion, a $116 billion increase over the $666 billion deficit recorded in 2017. CBO said that revenues grew by just $13 billion and so were essentially flat compared with what the government collected in 2017. Spending grew by $129 billion, a 3.2 percent increase over 2017.

It would be easy — but very very wrong — to conclude that the increased spending was the reason the budget deficit rose from 2017 to 2018. After all, revenues were about the same both years while spending was higher.

But this overly simple explanation only works if you compare revenues and outlays to what was actually collected and spent the previous year. The explanation is the exact opposite when the substantively correct comparison — to what was expected in 2018 if all tax and spending laws had remained the same — is used.

In June 2017, CBO issued its updated “Budget and Economic Outlook: 2017-2027″ report that showed federal revenues rising in 2018 under current law to $3.5 trillion (Take a look at Table 13). That means the tax bill reduced revenues this past year by about $200 billion compared with what they would have been had it not been enacted.

In that same report, outlays in 2018 were projected to be $16 billion less under current law than the amount CBO now says was actually spent last year.

In other words, the real reason the budget deficit grew from 2017 to 2018 was because revenues were substantially less than what they would have been without the tax bill. Had it not been enacted, the deficit would have dropped below $600 billion instead of rising to close to $800 billion

This is not the spin anti-federal spending activists will use. Indeed, as I’ve posted about previously, even before the tax bill and its projected $1.5 trillion revenue loss was adopted, so-called conservative interest groups such as the Heritage Foundation were pushing the narrative that higher spending was the only reason for the deficit and revenues had nothing to do with it.

The two CBO reports cited above decisively show that’s just not true.


          Mental health disorders around the world predicted to cost trillions      Cache   Translate Page      
Every country in the world is facing rising rates of mental illness, a report says.
           Mental health disorders will cost £12 TRILLION a year worldwide by 2030       Cache   Translate Page      
According to a report put together by Harvard scientists, conditions such as depression and anxiety are rising in every country on the planet. They add sustainable development needs good mental health.
          10/10/2018: FP INVESTING: Big Oil set to bury investors in cash      Cache   Translate Page      

Investors still haven’t forgiven oil companies for being ill-prepared for a crudeprice collapse four years ago. Perhaps more than a half-trillion dollars will change their minds. With oil above $80 a barrel (all figures US) as costs remain at an...
          Software Engineer in Test (SWET)      Cache   Translate Page      
NC-Durham, Our client is a Boston-based financial investment firm that serves over twenty million customers. They employ tens of thousands of individuals and manage trillions of dollars in assets. With almost a century of experience, this financial services company is an industry leader, both nationally and globally. Our client is known for being a great place to work, and they are looking for a Software Eng
          Mental health crisis could cost the world US$16 trillion by 2030      Cache   Translate Page      
LONDON: Mental health disorders are on the rise in every country in the world and could cost the global economy up to US$16 trillion between 2010 and 2030 if a collective failure to respond is not addressed, according to an expert report on Tuesday. The "Lancet Commission" report by 28 global ...
          (USA-NJ-Secaucus) Director, Labor Planning      Cache   Translate Page      
Director, Labor Planningat Rent the Runway(View all jobs) Secaucus, NJ About Rent the Runway Recently named #9 on CNBC’s Disruptor 50 list for 2018, Rent the Runway is transforming the $1.7 trillion global fashion industry by introducing clothing rental as a utility for women. We have pioneered the closet in the cloud and believe that every person globally will soon have a subscription to fashion. Since our launch in late 2009, we have raised $210M from top-tier investors and built one of the most beloved brands on Earth. We are proud to be both a profitable and high-growth business, with a loyal 8 million strong customer base who share the experience of renting as being empowering and smart. Our 1000+ employees have a revolutionary spirit that permeates our culture. We’ve built - proprietary technology, a one-of-a-kind reverse logistics operation, stores of the future, a viral brand, relationships with hundreds of fashion brands - and we are obsessed with continuing to game change our customer experience. We are also revolutionizing entrepreneurship itself - proving that diverse teams produce outsized impact. The Rent the Runway Foundation, which our two co-founders launched together in 2015, helps thousands of female entrepreneurs build and scale their own businesses with the mission of increasing the number of high growth women-led companies. Position Overview Rent the Runway is looking for a Director of Labor Planning with responsibilities for Operations Finance. The role will be responsible for building out and driving our labor planning strategy as we look to scale our business. This person will be a key part of driving the Supply Chain team’s results in labor management and should excel at building systems and processes quickly and nimbly for a fast-paced operations organization. Responsibilities: + Establish and lead weekly workforce planning and management processes + Develop daily, weekly, and monthly reporting & monitoring to provide feedback and support to operations management on labor performance + Develop labor optimization models by department in conjunction with Continuous Improvement and Analytics teams with the goal of developing optimal shift structures and full-time/part-time mix for our fulfillment centers + Create staffing strategy that maximizes productivity levels across the business cycle and can support continuous volume growth and geographic expansion + Report, analyze and plan hourly employee staffing, productivity and overtime levels across operational departments + Work with operations senior management in establishing targets and key metrics and driving results in labor management + Establish and monitor leading and lagging indicators related to labor productivity, management and performance + Key contributor with Operations Senior Management and Human Resources on the development and roll out of new technology, processes, and tools such as real-time monitoring, scheduling, and performance measurement data + Other duties as assigned – as RTR grows and evolves the role will have the potential to morph and change depending on organizational strategy and priorities; any potential candidates should be willing and able change with organizational needs + Using Rent the Runway’s operating and business intelligence platforms (e.g., Tableau, ADP, WMS, SQL, MS Excel) to analyze production, labor and financial data Qualifications: + Experience and/or interest in workforce management + Proven ability to evaluate logistics data and turn findings into actionable recommendations + Ability to roll up sleeves dig into the detail, develop and maintain models and reporting while thinking strategically and driving results + Collaborate with warehouse leadership when developing models, establishing benchmarks and driving results + Able to create long term plans and formulate roadmaps to execute on strategy and drive results + Detail orientated with strong organizational skills; with a focus on cross-functional teamwork, project management and follow-up + Able to present numerical data in a concise, logical and useful manner + Able to write for and work with a wide range of audiences, from executives to line staff + Enjoy operating in a fast-paced, dynamic environment under time constraints + Outstanding and proven written and verbal communication skills + 7-10 Years Experience + Masters Degree in a Quantitative focused concentration preferred
          Prominent Saudi critic's disappearance sends a stark reminder of the Kingdom’s brutal crackdown on dissent      Cache   Translate Page      

mohammed bin salman army

  • Journalist and prominent Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi has been missing for a full week since entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
  • Khashoggi's disappearance has become an international intrigue fueling speculation of a shadowy, political murder.
  • Saudi Arabia strongly denies Turkish allegations that a special hit team flew in to kill Khashoggi and remove the body.
  • But analysts and Saudi expats say Khashoggi was likely killed to send a message about the long arm of Saudi's violent new ruler.

It's been a full week since journalist and prominent Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The Saudi-insider-turned-outspoken-critic was last seen by his fiance, Hatice Cengiz, last Tuesday when he went into the consulate reportedly to obtain a legal document for his upcoming wedding.

11 hours later, she began to worry.

Khashoggi hasn't been seen since, and his disappearance has become an international intrigue fueling speculation of a shadowy, political murder.

It's unclear what happened to Khashoggi in the consulate. Turkish officials accused Saudi Arabia of killing Khashoggi, and by flying in a 15-person hit team to murder and dismember him and fly his body out in boxes.  Saudi officials vehemently denied that he was murdered and say he left the consulate, though no footage or witnesses ever saw him exit.

Jamal Khashoggi

While the details surrounding Khashoggi's disappearance begin to emerge, his story is a stark reminder of the Kingdom’s brutal crackdown on dissenters around the world. 

Since ascending to power in June 2017, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has promised to completely overhaul the Saudi economy and society with his Vision2030 plan to modernize the Kingdom. The country has made strides towards rights for Saudi women, invited culture, cinema and art back into its borders, and has pumped money into its Public Investment Fund, which it hopes will help cement its status as a major global trader. 

saudi women driving

But bold plans for modernization have often veiled the country's human rights abuses.

In November, Crown Prince Prince Mohammed detained more than 200 people, many of whom were members of the Royal Family as part of what it called an "anti-corruption campaign." Witnesses spoke of detainees being physically abused and coerced into forfeiting a reported $100 billion reportedly used to fund welfare programs and tackle the country's mounting debt.

The move was seen as a major power grab by the Crown Prince over those in the Kingdom that could potentially pose a threat to his throne.

The Crown Prince has also arrested several popular religious figures, many with large social media presence, in order to tightly control the Kingdom's religious messaging and demand loyalty from figures that have influence over the masses. 

Not even Saudi Arabia's borders have contained the Prince's consolidation of power.

In December, Saudi Arabia appeared to hold Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri against his will while visiting Saudi Arabia, forcing him to announce his resignation on TV in a reported ploy to stoke tensions with rival Iran and its proxy group Hezbollah, which holds political power in Lebanon. 

Saad Al Hariri Lebanon Interview

Several human rights activists, many who campaigned for the women's right to drive and some who were held without charge, were targeted in a flurry of arrests and were quickly branded as "traitors" of the Kingdom.

A comment urging the release of the activists from Canada prompted Saudi Arabia to cut almost all ties with Ottawa in a series of actions potentially designed to signal the Kingdom's weaponized response to international condemnation. 

In recent months, vocal critics of the government, including an Amnesty International staff member and a popular Youtube personality were targeted by Saudi agents who reportedly installed spyware on their devices to track their every move.

According to Omar Abdulaziz, a Saudi national who sought political refuge in Canada, the Saudi government arrested his family and friends and threatened dire consequences unless he silenced his political broadcasts against the Kingdom. 

"I'm worried. Bad things are happening now in Saudi Arabia and no one can predict how crazy they'll get," he told Business Insider in August. 

saudi omar abdulaziz

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor who at one point advised senior officials in the Saudi government had often spoken out against the Crown Prince's controversial policies and ardent consolidation of power.

In August, Khashoggi said he was "convinced" that the Saudi Arabian leadership was out to kill him. 

"It is part of their terrorism against their citizens," a friend of Khashoggi said in protest outside the Saudi embassy in Istanbul on Monday. 

Ghanem al-Dosary, a Saudi human rights activist living in London told the New York Times that Khashoggi's disappearance was aimed at reminding Saudi citizens of the Kingdom's tight grip.

“It’s a message, very clear, that our hands can reach you wherever you are.”

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A woodworker from Canada makes custom river guitars


          Mental health disorders will cost £12 TRILLION a year worldwide by 2030      Cache   Translate Page      
According to a report put together by Harvard scientists, conditions such as depression and anxiety are rising in every country on the planet. They add sustainable development needs good mental health.
          People: South Korea's NPS fills CIO vacancy after a year marked by staff exodus, UBS hires an Austrian Countess, Afore Sura alts boss exits with replacement named      Cache   Translate Page      
South Korea's NPS fills CIO vacancy after a year marked by staff exodus From PIonline.com: Ahn Hyo-Joon has reportedly been named chief investment officer of South Korea's 643 trillion won ($579 billion) National Pension Service. The appointment filled a vacancy that had stretched for well over ...
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          Boeing Completes Acquisition of Leading Aerospace Parts Distributor KLX Inc. to Enhance Growing Services Business      Cache   Translate Page      
Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced today that it has completed its acquisition of KLX Aerospace Solutions to enhance its growing services business and deliver greater value to its customers. The acquisition positions Boeing to compete and win in the $2.8 trillion, 10-year aerospace services market. KLX, a major global provider of aviation parts and services in the aerospace industry, provides a clear path for Boeing's services business to accelerate growth. Its capabilities include distribution and
          There's Only One Reason Why the US Deficit Is Increasing       Cache   Translate Page      
Republicans are bleeding our government dry

No…The federal budget deficit definitely is a not a spending problem.

In its just-released monthly budget review, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the federal deficit for fiscal 2018, which ended a week ago on Sept. 30, was $782 billion, a $116 billion increase over the $666 billion deficit recorded in 2017. CBO said that revenues grew by just $13 billion and so were essentially flat compared with what the government collected in 2017. Spending grew by $129 billion, a 3.2 percent increase over 2017.

It would be easy — but very very wrong — to conclude that the increased spending was the reason the budget deficit rose from 2017 to 2018. After all, revenues were about the same both years while spending was higher.

But this overly simple explanation only works if you compare revenues and outlays to what was actually collected and spent the previous year. The explanation is the exact opposite when the substantively correct comparison — to what was expected in 2018 if all tax and spending laws had remained the same — is used.

In June 2017, CBO issued its updated “Budget and Economic Outlook: 2017-2027″ report that showed federal revenues rising in 2018 under current law to $3.5 trillion (Take a look at Table 13). That means the tax bill reduced revenues this past year by about $200 billion compared with what they would have been had it not been enacted.

In that same report, outlays in 2018 were projected to be $16 billion less under current law than the amount CBO now says was actually spent last year.

In other words, the real reason the budget deficit grew from 2017 to 2018 was because revenues were substantially less than what they would have been without the tax bill. Had it not been enacted, the deficit would have dropped below $600 billion instead of rising to close to $800 billion

This is not the spin anti-federal spending activists will use. Indeed, as I’ve posted about previously, even before the tax bill and its projected $1.5 trillion revenue loss was adopted, so-called conservative interest groups such as the Heritage Foundation were pushing the narrative that higher spending was the only reason for the deficit and revenues had nothing to do with it.

The two CBO reports cited above decisively show that’s just not true.


          Eritrea, Ethiopia Peace Pact Won't Hurt Lapsset, Says CEO      Cache   Translate Page      
[Nation] Divergent views have been expressed concerning the impact of the Eritrea and Ethiopia peace agreement on the implementation and operationalisation of the Sh2.5 trillion Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Corridor project.
          UN: Losses from natural disasters surge over last 20 years      Cache   Translate Page      

The U.N. office for disaster risk reduction says worldwide reported economic losses from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, hurricanes and other climate-related disasters reached nearly $2.9 trillion over the last 20 years

The post UN: Losses from natural disasters surge over last 20 years appeared first on Federal News Network.


           Trillions of reasons why EU needs a deal: Bank of England warns of risk to European lenders        Cache   Translate Page      
When Brexit happens in March 2019, banks from the Continent will be barred by EU law from using British clearing houses such as the one operated by the London Stock Exchange.
          Global debt is growing, IMF says, but so are values of public assets      Cache   Translate Page      
Global debt levels reached a record $182 trillion (138 trillion pounds) in 2017, having grown 50 percent in the previous decade, but the picture looks less grim when public assets are taken into account, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday.

          Mental health crisis could cost the world $16 trillion by 2030      Cache   Translate Page      
Mental health disorders are on the rise in every country in the world and could cost the global economy up to $16 trillion between 2010 and 2030 if a collective failure to respond is not addressed, according to an expert report on Tuesday.

          WSJ Wealth Adviser Briefing: Active Manager Excels, New Market Bets Fade, Rich Retired Asians      Cache   Translate Page      
American Funds, the nation’s largest active manager with $1.8 trillion assets, takes in more money than has left; flood of new money in passively-managed funds slows, and the retirement communities rich Asians call home.
          UN: Losses from natural disasters surge over last 20 years      Cache   Translate Page      

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. office for disaster risk reduction says worldwide reported economic losses from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, hurricanes and other climate-related disasters have been nearly $2.9 trillion over the past 20 years. UNISDR, as the office is known, said assets are increasingly found in disaster-prone areas, contributing to a 251-percent increase in […]
          EU brinksmanship risks £70tn FINANCIAL MELTDOWN as they play 'political poker' over Brexit      Cache   Translate Page      


GAMBLING European Union officials are putting the bloc’s entire financial sector at risk by using £70 trillion of complex financial contracts as a Brexit bargaining tool.
          Atiku challenges Buhari to explain use of N13trn borrowed      Cache   Translate Page      

THE presidential flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to name where he spent the sum of N13 trillion his administration borrowed in three years compared to [...]

The post Atiku challenges Buhari to explain use of N13trn borrowed appeared first on Tribune.


          FG releases N460bn capital expenditure – Udoma      Cache   Translate Page      
The Federal Government says it has released N460 billion of the N2.1 trillion capital expenditure for 2018 budget implementation. Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma made this disclosure in Bali, Indonesia on Wednesday after meeting with a delegation of Afreximbank officials on the sidelines of the Annual Meetings of the InternationalRead More
          'Labour's plans would cost taxpayers £1trillion!' May delivers STUNNING response to Corbyn      Cache   Translate Page      


PRIME Minister Theresa May ripped into Jeremy Corbyn spelling out how a Labour Party Government would force the country to go “back to square one” during a passionate tirade in the House of Commons.
          Comment on London to Ban Cars in Center City, But New York’s Mayor Still Drives to the Gym by Joe R.      Cache   Translate Page      
There's no arguing climate change is real and man-made but I think years ago we should have instead focused on the things I said. That might have at least gotten some attention as the effects were clearly visible in the here and now. Later on, as climate science matured, it would have been reassurance we were doing the right thing. Unfortunately, the situation seems hopeless now. We're probably past the point of no return in terms of irreversible greenhouse effect. In a matter of millenia, perhaps sooner, the Earth will become another Venus, totally inhospitable to life. The only hope I'm seeing is widespread technology to capture CO2 from the atmospheres and oceans, combined with equally massive efforts to reflect sunlight back into space. One idea I've had is floating trillions of golf balls in the oceans. Other ideas include putting gigantic (i.e. miles wide) shades into space. The problem has gone way beyond what can be solved just by cutting carbon emissions.
          Wealth Management - Private Bank - Banker - Vice President or Executive Director - Milwaukee, WI - JP Morgan Chase - Milwaukee, WI      Cache   Translate Page      
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Is a leading global financial services firm with assets of more than $2.4 trillion, over 240,000 employees and operations in over 60...
From JPMorgan Chase - Sun, 26 Aug 2018 11:45:23 GMT - View all Milwaukee, WI jobs
          Wealth Management - Private Bank - Client Advisor - Vice President - Milwaukee, WI - JP Morgan Chase - Milwaukee, WI      Cache   Translate Page      
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Is a leading global financial services firm with assets of more than $2.4 trillion, over 240,000 employees and operations in over 60...
From JPMorgan Chase - Sat, 07 Jul 2018 12:26:15 GMT - View all Milwaukee, WI jobs
          KKR, IGIS Asset Management buy Gangnam real estate      Cache   Translate Page      
KKR and IGIS Asset Management have invested in a mixed-use real estate project under development in the Gangnam Business District in Seoul, South Korea. National Pension Service of Korea also invested. The deal is valued at 2.1 trillion South Korean wons ($1.9 billion). The sellers include a consortium led by Daor E&C. The property will consist of prime grade office space, amenity retail space and a five-star hotel.
          L'industrie du logiciel contribue à hauteur d'un trillion d'euros au PIB de l'UE et soutient 12,7 millions d'emplois dans l'UE      Cache   Translate Page      
L'impact des logiciels sur l'UE croît plus rapidement que l'ensemble de l'économie européenne...
Finance Cryptofinance Blockchain daily news

          Why the race to 5G is a bet on a multi-trillion dollar economic impact      Cache   Translate Page      
The U.S. won the race to 4G. Can it do the same with 5G?

          Losses from climate disasters surge to $2.9T over last 20 years, UN says      Cache   Translate Page      
THAILAND-WEATHER/

Reported economic losses from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, hurricanes and other climate-related disasters around the world have totalled nearly $2.9 trillion over the past two decades, the UN office for disaster risk reduction says.


          English Language Spelling Error Quiz for IBPS CLerk Prelims - 9/10/18      Cache   Translate Page      

IBPS Clerk Prelims is on its way and a lot of aspirants are heading towards new hopes with this upcoming opportunity. Thus, English Language can be an impetus for their success by helping them save crucial time and score good points in lesser time and effort. So, instead of boiling the ocean, try building up a strong vocabulary, an effective knowledge of grammar, and efficient comprehension skills so as to be on the ball to face this particular section. Here is a quiz on English Language being provided by Adda247 to let you practice the best of latest pattern English Questions for upcoming IBPS Clerk Exam.



Directions (1-15): In each of the following questions a grammatically correct and meaningful sentence is given and four words are BOLDENED in it. One of these four words may be misspelt. You have to identify the misspelt word and chose the appropriate option as your answer. If all the words are correctly spelt, then mark ‘All Correct’ as your answer. 

Q1. The exact cost of World War II in human lives is unknown, but casualties may have totalled over 60 million service personnal and civilians killed.
Personnal
Totalled
Casualties
Exact
All Correct

Solution:
Personnel

Q2. With the Japanese advant towards India, the pressure was mounting on Great Britain from China, the US and the UK to solve the issue of the future status of India before the end of the war.
future
mounting
pressure
advant
All Correct

Solution:
Advent

Q3. The right to move the Supreme Court under Article 32 for voilation of Fundamental Rights, must be based on a pleading that the petitioners’ personal rights to worship have been violated.
Petitioners
Voilation
Worship
Pleading
All Correct

Solution:
Violation

Q4. Global growth has plateaued at 3.7 per cent and there are clouds on the horizone as the growth has proved to be less balanced than hoped.
hoped
plateaued
horizone
proved
All Correct

Solution:
Horizon

Q5. Experts from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Sea World Gold Coast worked for almost two hours on Tuseday morning untangling a humpback whale calf from a fishing net.
Experts
Fisheries
Tuseday
Untangling
All Correct

Solution:
Tuesday

Q6. Someone walking on the beach had spoted the whale early Monday and alerted authorities.
alerted
spoted
beach
walking
All Correct

Solution:
Spotted

Q7. India’s personal financial wealth, currently estimated to be about $3 trillion, is expected to grow to $5 trillion by 2022 making India the 11th wealtheist nation, according to a report.
wealtheist
trillion
estimated
financial
All Correct

Solution:
Wealthiest

Q8. The residents of North America hold over 40% of global personal wealth, followed by those living in Western Europe, who hold arround 22% of it.
residents
followed
living
arround
All Correct

Solution:
Around

Q9. What is breiwing in their lab is a breakthrough technology not just for India, but the world.
breakthrough
technology
breiwing
their
All Correct

Solution:
Brewing

Q10. The European Union is all set to ban single-use plastics as the world is looking for sustainable alternatives to our plastic-obssessed packaging industry.
single
obssessed
sustainable
alternatives
All Correct

Solution:
Obsessed

Q11. Messages have been circullating on social media and WhatsApp urging policemen to boycott duty on October 10 in support of the arrested constable.
urging
boycott
circullating
messages
All Correct

Solution:
Circulating

Q12. Bangladesh’s President on Monday signed a digital security act into law despite protests by journalists and rights groups that it will severly curb media freedom.
President
digital
protests
severly
All Correct

Solution:
Severely

Q13. Forced on the back-foot for the better part of its innings, Delhi battlled hard to make it to the quarterfinals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy following a 44-run win over a fighting Chhattisgarh.
battlled
following
forced
better
All Correct

Solution:
Battled

Q14. Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Saturday disagreed with a suggestion by the apax Bar body to lift a 16-year-old ban on strikes by lawyers.
Justice
apax
All Correct
suggestion
disagreed

Solution:
Apex

Q15. After a year’s break from playing cricket — doing commentery in between — Irfan Pathan is back as a mentor-cum-player for Jammu & Kashmir.
commentery
break
mentor
playing
All Correct

Solution:
Commentary

               




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          IDG Ventures India re-brands to Chiratae Ventures      Cache   Translate Page      
Mr. Sethi said that as India becomes the third largest economy with over $10 trillion GDP in the coming years, the country presents “immense opportunities to investors.”
          French Hill and the other 'balanced budget' hypocrites      Cache   Translate Page      
Think Progress names Republicans in Congress, including 2nd District Rep. French Hill, who are talking about the need for a balanced budget as they vote for tax cuts that run up the national deficit. It writes:

As the nation watched the Senate Judiciary Committee meet to consider whether to rush through the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, the House Republican majority was quietly passing the Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act of 2018 — a bill to make the Trump tax cuts for the rich permanent. According to the GOP-controlled Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office, the bill would add another $545 billion to the federal budget deficit over the next decade. This would be on top of the trillions already added to the debt by the original tax bill and the omnibus budget signed by Trump earlier this year.
The votes are a stark contrast to those, such as French HIll, who spoke during his debate appearance with Democrat Clarke Tucker of the need for a constitutional amendment to force a balanced budget. Think Progress cites a long list of Republicans in Congress who say one thing and do another. For example:

Hill says he has “co-sponsored two versions of balanced budget amendments to the U.S. Constitution to bring our spending in line,” and that, “Our children and grandchildren depend on us to solve our debt problem and give them a brighter future.” He voted for both tax cut bills and the omnibus spending bill.

The truly bad news, notes American Bridge, a Democratic political group, is how French HIll would balance the budget if given a chance. It notes his debate remarks:

Hill, a former banking executive who is running for a third term, told the audience that Congress and President Donald Trump should “follow up on how to reform our spending, particularly for mandatory spending programs,” referring to Medicare,Medicaid and  Social Security.

Tucker, who has made protecting Medicare and Social Security a cornerstone of his platform, fired back, saying it would be wrong to balance the budget “on the backs of our seniors who have paid into Social Security and Medicare for their entire lives.”
It's a race with stark issues, American Bridge notes, and they were highlighted by Tucker in the debate on AETN. Hill would crippled the Affordable Care Act and its required insurance coverage for pre-existing illnesses; Tucker would not. Hill favors tax cuts that overwhelmingly flow to the wealthy. Tucker does not. Hill opposes an increase in Arkansas's minimum wage. Tucker supports it.
          Comment on The Tourist “Trump Slump” by Menzie Chinn      Cache   Translate Page      
<B>2slugbaits:</b> I agree in principle, but tourism expenditures (including exports of travel services) is something like $250 billion, while exports is something like $2.6 trillion -- so I'd guess 10% exports. So the question is whether the feedback effect is sufficiently large. One reason I'd say no is that for the US, we tend to think of the exchange rate as being driven by the financial account rather than the current account at the short to medium run - so driven by interest rates and Keynesian effects. But, it can all be (kind of) tested for in a cointegration framework, at least for weak exogeneity.
          Support the Retirement Freedom Act, H.R. 6703 and S. 3560      Cache   Translate Page      

On behalf of FreedomWorks activists nationwide, I urge you to contact your representative and senators ask them to support and co-sponsor the Retirement Freedom Act, H.R. 6703 and S. 3560, introduced by Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). The bill would decouple Social Security benefits from Medicare Part A enrollment, allowing individuals if they so choose to to opt out of Medicare Part A without losing access to their Social Security benefits.

Currently, the two programs are coupled by the Social Security Administration, meaning that if a senior can afford his or her own private health insurance and does not wish to accept Medicare Part A insurance, he or she is forced to lose access to Social Security benefits as well. As former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said of the concept when he first introduced the Retirement Freedom Act in 2011, “American seniors should have the freedom to make their own choice about health care without Uncle Sam threatening to take away their Social Security checks.”

At its core, the Retirement Freedom Act is about liberty and individual choice to expand Americans’ ability to make health care decisions for themselves free from government overreach. However, it is also a positive step toward reforming our broken entitlement system, which continues to drive our national debt further and further up, to the $21.5 trillion it sits at today. When Medicare began in 1965, mandatory spending at $49.1 billion made up just under 28 percent of the total $178.1 billion federal budget. In 2017, mandatory spending at $2.518 trillion consumed over double that percentage -- 63 percent of the $3.981 trillion federal budget.

This type of spending is unsustainable and is driven in large part by exorbitant spending on Medicare. By simply allowing individuals who do not want to receive benefits from Medicare Part A to opt out of it, our country can save billions of taxpayer dollars and begin to slow the growth of unchecked entitlement programs that have driven us so deeply into debt. According to analysis done when this legislation was first introduced, if only one percent of eligible seniors opt out of Medicare Part A under this change, we will see an immediate savings of $1.5 billion.

Enhancing health care freedom and saving taxpayer dollars while taking a much needed step toward Medicare solvency is a common sense measure for our elected officials to enact. For these reasons, I urge you to contact your representative and senators and ask them to support and co-sponsor the Retirement Freedom Act, H.R. 6703 and S. 3560.

Sincerely, Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks


          Report: US weapons systems are highly vulnerable to cyber attacks      Cache   Translate Page      

The Department of Defense will have to ramp up its cybersecurity efforts now that it's planning to spend $1.66 trillion to develop major weapons systems. According to a new report (PDF) by the Government Accountability Office, nearly all of Pentagon's weapons systems are vulnerable to cyberattacks. The DoD, the report reads, didn't make cybersecurity a priority, even though GAO has been warning it for decades about the risks it's taking by not making sure its systems are properly protected. That leaves the nation's weapons, such missiles and drones, susceptible to attacks meant to take over their controls.

Source: Reuters, NPR, GAO (PDF)


          French Hill and the other 'balanced budget' hypocrites      Cache   Translate Page      
Think Progress names Republicans in Congress, including 2nd District Rep. French Hill, who are talking about the need for a balanced budget as they vote for tax cuts that run up the national deficit. It writes:

As the nation watched the Senate Judiciary Committee meet to consider whether to rush through the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, the House Republican majority was quietly passing the Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act of 2018 — a bill to make the Trump tax cuts for the rich permanent. According to the GOP-controlled Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office, the bill would add another $545 billion to the federal budget deficit over the next decade. This would be on top of the trillions already added to the debt by the original tax bill and the omnibus budget signed by Trump earlier this year.
The votes are a stark contrast to those, such as French Hill, who spoke during his debate appearance with Democrat Clarke Tucker of the need for a constitutional amendment to force a balanced budget. Think Progress cites a long list of Republicans in Congress who say one thing and do another. For example:

Hill says he has “co-sponsored two versions of balanced budget amendments to the U.S. Constitution to bring our spending in line,” and that, “Our children and grandchildren depend on us to solve our debt problem and give them a brighter future.” He voted for both tax cut bills and the omnibus spending bill.

The truly bad news, notes American Bridge, a Democratic political group, is how French HIll would balance the budget if given a chance. It notes his debate remarks:

Hill, a former banking executive who is running for a third term, told the audience that Congress and President Donald Trump should “follow up on how to reform our spending, particularly for mandatory spending programs,” referring to Medicare,Medicaid and  Social Security.

Tucker, who has made protecting Medicare and Social Security a cornerstone of his platform, fired back, saying it would be wrong to balance the budget “on the backs of our seniors who have paid into Social Security and Medicare for their entire lives.”
It's a race with clear issues, American Bridge notes, and they were highlighted by Tucker in the debate on AETN. Hill would cripple the Affordable Care Act and its required insurance coverage for pre-existing illnesses; Tucker would not. Hill favors tax cuts that overwhelmingly flow to the wealthy. Tucker does not. Hill opposes an increase in Arkansas's minimum wage. Tucker supports it.
          QE Party Is Drying Up, Even at the Bank of Japan      Cache   Translate Page      

by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street: Despite repeated speeches to the contrary. As of September 30, total assets on the Bank of Japan’s elephantine balance sheet dropped by ¥5.4 trillion ($33 billion) from a month earlier, to ¥537 trillion ($4.87 trillion). It was the fourth month-over-month decline in a series that started in December. This chart shows […]

The post QE Party Is Drying Up, Even at the Bank of Japan appeared first on SGT Report.


          Cost of climate-linked disasters soars: UN      Cache   Translate Page      
The economic cost of climate-related disasters hit $2.25 trillion over the last two decades, an increase of more than 250 percent compared to the previous 20 years, the UN said. UNISDR counted the number of climate-related disasters between 1998-2017 at more than 6,600, with storms and floods the most common events.
          By: Corporal Hicks      Cache   Translate Page      
GDP isn't parity of purcasing capacity, it is the measure of economic output in Trillions of dollars.
          Trillions in US net worth vulnerable to recession: IMF      Cache   Translate Page      
The IMF, which in Indonesia this week is staging its annual meetings with the World Bank, cut its outlook for global GDP on Monday by two tenths to 3.7 percent through next year.
          World Investment Forum, Geneva, 22-26 October 2018 — Heads of State, Private Sector and International Leaders to Boost Investment in Sustainable Development      Cache   Translate Page      

UNCTAD GENEVA

ENLARGE

UNCTAD GENEVA

ENLARGE

Photos: Students from Chinese university during the visit to UNCTAD. Group photo in front of the Place des Nations, at the UN’s European Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. August 16, 2018. Images provided by & Copyright © UNCTAD.

Geneva, 9 October 2018 - More than 5,000 participants from 160 countries will meet in Geneva to thrash out major new investment-for-development initiatives at UNCTAD’s World Investment Forum 2018 in the Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland from 22-26 October.

The high-level conference comes amid mounting disquiet about declining investment flows and their impact on efforts to meet the ambition of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the international community three years ago.

“Global flows of foreign direct investment fell by 23% in 2017,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. “Cross-border investment in developed and transition economies dropped sharply, while growth was near zero in developing economies. With only a very modest recovery predicted for 2018, this negative trend is a long-term concern for policymakers worldwide, especially for developing countries.”

Private sector investment in developing countries, totaling $3.9 trillion a year, is needed to generate economic activity to meet the Sustainable Development Goals - the core of the 2030 Agenda -according to UNCTAD research. Current levels leave an investment gap of some $2.5 trillion.

Marking its 10th anniversary, the biennial World Investment Forum remains the premier venue to forge partnerships between investment and development stakeholders to close this gap.

A unique gathering of high-level players from the global investment-development community, the forum provides an opportunity to hold an open dialogue, brainstorm solution-oriented initiatives and foster global alliances to advance prosperity for all. This year’s event comprises some 60 functions, including three summits, five ministerial roundtables, private-sector led sessions and several awards ceremonies.

Besides giving participants a chance to spotlight priorities for attracting and channeling investment that will drive sustainable development, the forum sessions will also focus on transformative actions and innovative financing modes for growth, such as blockchain, sustainability bonds, and blended finance.

Speakers from business and special guests include more than 30 top executives of multinationals, among them Aviva, De Beers, Coca-Cola, ContourGlobal, Jumia, Lavazza, PwC, Siemens Financial Services, UBS, and the heads of stock exchanges including those in Bombay, Johannesburg, Luxembourg, Nasdaq Nordic, SIX and Shenzen, as well as the leaders of sovereign wealth and pension funds.

Fourteen heads of state and government have confirmed they will attend, including those from Armenia, Bangladesh, Botswana, Cambodia, the Central African Republic, Kenya, Lesotho, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Malawi, Mongolia, Montenegro, Namibia, Sierra Leone, and Switzerland.

More than fifty ministers from developed and developing countries and 21 heads of international organizations will join them.

In addition to United Nations entities, 50 other organizations will be at the event, including the Commonwealth, the International Labour Organization, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the International Olympic Committee, the International Organization of Securities Commissions, the International Telecommunication Union, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Economic Forum, the World Trade Organization and the World Bank Group.

These partnerships have generated exciting new content for this year’s participants, including an in-depth look at the relationship between sport and development, co-hosted with the International Olympic Committee and, on the annual United Nations Day, 24 October, a session on the role of investment in peace and security.

Five independent tracks will run in parallel with the main forum, with a special programme for parliamentarians, a multidisciplinary academic conference, an investment village, the 35th anniversary session of the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR), and the 2018 UNCTAD Youth Forum, taking youth entrepreneurship as its theme.

Previous World Investment Forums took place in Accra, Ghana (2008), Xiamen, China (2010), Doha, Qatar (2012), Geneva, Switzerland (2014) and Nairobi, Kenya (2016).

Source: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Geneva

|GlobalGiants.Com|


          E-commerce contributes to plastic pollution      Cache   Translate Page      
SCIENCE and technology have really improved our lifestyles. Everything is easily done right at your fingertips.

With the current digital world, online shopping sites are mushrooming and making business organisations switch over from the traditional method of selling goods.

Globally, online retail market total reached US$1.316 trillion in 2014. The forces behind e-commercialisation are complex and driven by both market and consumer demands.

In fact, most of the consumers nowadays would prefer to shop online. They can easily purchase items from the comfort of their own homes or work place, then wait for their parcel to be delivered.

Online shopping has indeed made our life easier and convenient. Some would rather claim that online shopping could literally reduce their carbon footprint as they would not have to drive to the shop and burn fuel to buy only one item.

But, how about the plastics that are used to wrap the parcel? According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, e-commerce packaging accounts for 30% of solid waste generated in the US.

Meanwhile, India's e-commerce packaging industry was worth US$32 billion in 2015 and is expected to grow rapidly to about US$73 billion by 2020.

On the other side, during China's Singles' Day online discount sales bonanza around 160,000 tonnes of packaging waste had been produced.

Packaging continues to play a pivotal role in both the brand and the consumer's e-commerce experience. There are many factors to consider when selecting packaging for an order, which are product protection, branding and safeguarding the product, including its freshness.

Presently, e-commerce packaging comes in multiple layers, which is made of plastic, paper, bubble wrap, air packets, tape and cardboard cartons. Even though these are recyclable items, one study carried out in India found that a large portion of these materials will end up clogging our drains and landfills.

There are no specific laws regulating e-commerce plastic packaging. Therefore, any laws that aim to regulate e-commerce packaging must address some critical issues such as standard of packaging, the method and materials used for e-commerce packaging, and must be based on environmental principles.

In conclusion, online shopping does make our life easier but we should review the catastrophe on the environment caused by our greediness for convenience.

Nur Imani binti Abdullah
Forum Air Malaysia
          Quick notes: Drone future, ShareChat...      Cache   Translate Page      
  • Rather than Rafale, think of drones: How far the jetfighters remain in action is anyone's guess. There are ground-to-air missiles with en route course correction. We can ignore them at our own peril. The drones raid in swarms. Stealth aircraft with swarms of drones are already in the offing. Pilotless aircraft and LASER canons are on the drawing boards.


  • Sorry Facebook: Indian politicians are flocking to an unlikely “no English” social network, ShareChat, a fast-growing, indigenous social network. Unlike most of the popular social networks in India, this Android-based platform supports 14 Indian languages. It, pointedly, does not support English.


  • Bengaluru set to go the Amsterdam way: Bicycle sharing system may take off soon.


  • Socialization of losses: "A 40-60% haircut, along with financial safeguards, can resolve as much as Rs 1 trillion of debt stuck in coal-based power projects."


  • Python convert: This year’s Nobel Prize in economics was awarded to a Python convert. Instead of using Mathematica, Romer used Python—the most popular language for data science and statistics.


  • Swami Sivananda explains about the importance of spirituality in the life of a woman:



  • The placebo effect: What they weren't told was that they would all get placebos, capsules containing nothing but ground rice. "Just because a placebo contains no active chemicals, does not mean the effects of taking it are not real. The average person thinks that placebo is something that's a lie or some fakery, something where the person has been tricked and it isn't real. But science has told us, particularly over the last two decades, that it is something that is very real, it's something that we can see played out in our physiology and neurochemistry."


  • China Makes A Big Play In Silicon Valley: The Chinese govt has been forming global partnerships with Western think tanks, recruiting key talent at networking events sponsored by the Chinese govt and working with U.S. universities."I'd say they're very systematic, very long term in their approach and very well-funded".. Instead of buying an existing U.S. business, these Chinese tech giants come to the U.S. and build new companies from the ground up, in what's known as "greenfield" investments. They hire away a lot of U.S. employees who might otherwise work for American businesses.


  • Tata Group history is also the history of Indian industry: “Even though he was at the helm of the Tata Group for 53 years, J.R.D never owned a personal plane. The house he stayed in was not his own; it was rented. He operated through empowering people.”


  • Churchill's "magnanimity": "As a matter of fact the grain he took away from Bengal was NOT NEEDED by the allied forces (and largely rotted) but he took it anyway to punish Bengal for having supported Gandhi. Millions died. It was a bumper crop year"




          A ticking time bomb in China has global markets looking really shaky right now      Cache   Translate Page      

China tug of warReuters/CHINA STRINGER NETWORK

  • Global markets are jittery in recent days as fears about growth in China take hold.
  • "The larger the stimulus used by China to offset the trade war impact, the bigger will its deficit likely be," Tao Wang, UBS's chief China economist, said in a report on Tuesday
  • Markets are also worried about the ongoing Italian debt crisis, and the rising price of oil.

Trouble is brewing in global markets. Look no further than China. 

China's current account balance is down significantly from last year's 1.3% and will likely turn into a small deficit in 2019. If so that would be the first time in 24 years.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

NOW WATCH: 7 outdoor adventures that are worth the hike

See Also:

SEE ALSO: Britain could be forced to increase government spending in a no-deal Brexit, IMF says


          Recruiter / Talent Acquisition      Cache   Translate Page      
OH-Columbus, job summary: CLIENT OVERVIEW: A leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. Randstad is partnering with this industry leader to help them find a Recruiter / Talent Acquisition Special in the fast growing market of Columbus, OH! The Recruiter will recruit high volume non-exempt and junior-level professional positions. They will evalu
          Top Physics Professor Nails the ‘Global Warming’ Myth      Cache   Translate Page      
In its latest hysterical bulletin, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has urged that we need to spend $2.4 trillion a year between now and 2035 to avoid the potentially catastrophic consequences of ‘climate change.’
          China defends CPEC as Pakistan reviews project      Cache   Translate Page      

Beijing: China on Tuesday sought to defend the CPEC after Pakistan decided to slash Chinese investments and review the multi-billion dollar project.

The new government in Pakistan under Prime Minister Imran Khan is reportedly concerned over the heavy Chinese loans under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which, it fears, could push the South Asian country into a debt trap.

Last week, Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid announced a cut in the cost of a railway project under the CPEC from $8.2 billion to $6.2 billion, saying Pakistan cannot afford huge loans.

Besides, Imran Khan had said that the CPEC was under review.

Responding to the developments, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the media was focusing on only one aspect of the story.

Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said China and Pakistan were equal partners in the CPEC and the terms and rule were fair to both the parties.

"You have only noted some aspects of the report. Recently, on the advancement of the CPEC, we have noted that there are different comments on the reports from the media," Lu said at a press briefing.

"...the new Pakistani Prime Minister has made it clear that he will support the advancement of the CPEC and the CPEC serves the economic and social development.

"The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also made it clear that the advancement of CPEC did not cause any burden to Pakistan and stated in the long term it will enhance Pakistan's capacity for development... We should view such kind of comments in a comprehensive way," Lu said.

"We hope you can see that CPEC as a very important project of the Belt and Road initiative. From the beginning, we have said that we follow the principle of extensive consultation and joint contribution.

"And also as for the choice for the projects and other aspects, China and Pakistan have conducted consultations on the basis of equality," the spokesperson said.

The CPEC is the chief component of China's ambitious Belt and Road project which envisages connecting Asia, Africa and Europe through a network of highways, seaports and lanes.

The estimated cost of the Belt and Road is about $1 trillion of which China has pledged some $60 billion for the CPEC.

Critics say Pakistan may not be able to pay back the debt and end up becoming its satellite colony.

India opposes the project as it passes through the disputed Kashmir held by Pakistan.



          What to Expect If Democrats Win the House      Cache   Translate Page      

Michael D. Tanner

There’s less than a month until the midterm elections, and, despite an uptick in Republican enthusiasm following the spectacle of the Kavanaugh nomination, it still seems likely that Democrats will capture control of at least one chamber of Congress. And as Election Day draws nearer, we can expect both parties to cast the stakes in increasingly apocalyptic terms. But what would a Democratic Congress actually mean for the future direction of the country?

First, despite the hopes or fears of both sides, we can forget about the big-ticket items on the Democratic left. We are not going to see single-payer health care, guaranteed jobs for everyone, or free college. While the loonier elements of the Democratic party have been campaigning on the idea of “Make Venezuela Great Again,” most of the party is united on little more than opposition to President Trump.

And, even if some of the more extreme Democratic proposals made it through the House, they would then have to face the Senate, which, as we all know, is where bills go to die. Republicans are still favorites to keep control of the Senate, however narrowly, and even if they don’t, the Democratic majority will be far short of the 60-seat threshold to break filibusters.

More big spending, pushback on deregulation, heavy investigation of administration officials, but no big-ticket items from the Left’s agenda.

Moreover, even if the Democrats were able to kidnap Mitch McConnell and replace him with an accommodating clone, President Trump would still have the veto. After all, this is a president who thrives on “fighting.” What better way for him to excite his base than to turn every Democratic proposal into a dramatic showdown?

One exception to this, unfortunately, is liable to be increased spending and bigger deficits. While it is difficult to imagine a more spendthrift Congress than this one (spending is up 7 percent over last year, for instance, and next year’s deficit will top $1 trillion), but history suggests that the combination of a Democratic Congress and Republican president tends toward even greater profligacy.

Of course, once they are in the opposition, House Republicans might suddenly rediscover their opposition to big spending (it’s surprising how that works), but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Certainly, President Trump has shown no inclination to curb excessive spending. And some Democratic initiatives, like a gigantic infrastructure boondoggle, may be particularly appealing to this president.

A Democratic Congress may be able to slow President Trump’s deregulatory efforts but won’t be able to stop them. That’s because, following the lead of his predecessors, he is accomplishing many of his goals through executive actions. Democrats will continue to learn that if you live by the pen and the phone, you die by the pen and the phone.

The one thing that a Democratic Congress can absolutely do is . . . make Donald Trump’s life miserable. Impeachment is not going to happen, but a Democratic House would have investigatory and subpoena power. Elijah Cummings would likely become chairman of the Oversight Committee, Adam Schiff would take over at Intelligence, and Jerry Nadler at Judiciary. Consider it a full-employment opportunity for White House lawyers. From Russian collusion to emoluments to the myriad scandals of the Trump cabinet, administration officials can expect to spend so much time testifying before Congress that they might as well move cots into the halls of the Capitol.

The one thing a Democratic victory will definitely not do, unfortunately, is bring an end to the tribalism and polarization that is bedeviling American politics. With some 400 or so Democrats running for Congress, and Trump being Trump, we can expect the name-calling and nastiness to continue pretty much unabated.

Of course, elections have consequences, as we are so frequently reminded. But the reality is that the Founding Fathers designed an American system of government that is resistant to radical change. Whether you are demanding change or fear it, those consequences are likely to be far more modest than the rhetoric suggests.

Michael Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and the author of Going for Broke: Deficits, Debt, and the Entitlement Crisis.
          IPCC Demands $122 Trillion to Fight the Global War on Weather      Cache   Translate Page      
Guest “just say no” by David Middleton This is why they demanded a $240/gal tax on gasoline… LIMITING GLOBAL WARMING COULD COST $122 TRILLION. THAT’S ‘NOT FEASIBLE,’ SAYS ONE ECONOMIST Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor 10/09/2018 The UN’s plan to limit global warming could cost $122 trillion just for new energy infrastructure. One environmental economist…
          Has the world gone mad? Mental health disorders on the rise in every country      Cache   Translate Page      
Mental health disorders are on the rise in every country in the world and could cost the global economy up to $16 trillion between 2010 and 2030 if a collective failure to respond is not addressed, according to an expert report on Tuesday. Reported by France 24 4 hours ago.
          Amazon's stock falls into correction territory      Cache   Translate Page      

Shares of Amazon.com Inc. dropped 3.2% in morning trade amid a broad selloff in the technology sector, to put them in danger of closing in correction territory for the first time since April. The stock has lost 11.2% since closing at a record $2,039.51 on Sept. 4. Many chart watchers believe a decline of at least 10% to up to 20% from a bull-market high defines a correction, while a decline of 20% or more is a bear market. A close at or below $1,835.55 would constitute a correction. On Monday, the stock hit an intraday low of $1,830.66 before bouncing to close above the correction threshold. In the previous correction, the stock had lost as much as 14.2% from its March 12, 2018 high of $1,598.39 to its April 2 closing low of $1,371.99; it climbed out of correction territory by the end of the month. Amazon is also in danger of ending the day with a market capitalization below $900 billion for the first time since Aug. 3. The market cap is currently $882.80 billion, below first-place Apple Inc.'s $1.07 trillion and above third-place Microsoft Corp.'s $833.92 billion. Amazon shares have still run up 54.8% year to date, while the Nasdaq Composite has gained 9.8% and the S&P 500 has tacked on 6.3%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


          Best analysis of Chris Hayes      Cache   Translate Page      
This is the best analysis/critique of Chris Hayes.

  Retweeted
chris hayes always tweets like he just woke up from a coma with amnesia and learned about america



Best. Analysis.  Ever.


Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


Tuesday, October 9, 2018.  The Iraq War continues, the US continues to occupy Iraq and the Iraqi people continue to suffer.  Useless idiots like Alyssa Milano pretend not to notice.  But we can make a difference with this month's March On The Pentagon.



I'm tired.

To the community and activists around the world, a 14 year old kid from was filmed being tortured, mutilated, and murdered. His last words were "I want to see my mother" Please raise awareness about this in order to pressure authorities to take action
 
 



Aren't you tired?

This is an important story.  Also an important story?  The attacks on Iraqi women which we've covered here repeatedly and made the topic of THIRD's "Editorial: If you are silent about the targeting of Iraqi women, you don't support women" yesterday.

That's a real story too.  As is this.


This is the Euphrates in & Unesco-listed Marshlands. Home to around 300,000 people, if they dry out people will have to leave. Under Saddam many fled to Tikrit etc. That's not possible with the security situation. So what next? We can't ignore this:
 
 
 



Look it, I'm real sorry that Alyssa Milano wasn't able to have a clitoral orgasm last week because Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court.  It must have been a real blow for her.  It must have been the worst thing that ever, ever happened in the whole wide world judging by her idiotic and incessant Tweeting.  And whining.

Let's not forget her whining or the whining of so many others.

As they naval gaze and pick the lint out of their own belly buttons, taking time to reflect on me-me-me-me-always-me.

How awful. How horrifying.  You do realize that nothing like this has ever, ever happened before.

Except maybe . . .

When John Roberts was confirmed to the bench.

Or when Samuel Alito was.

Or when Clarence Thomas was.

Or . . .

Oh, f**k, it happens over and over.

And guess what, Alyssa and you other useless bitches?  American women go on.  The real women.  The ones who do the real work.  Not the ones whining constantly.  (Including whining to the paid staff that actually works their Twitter feeds.)

Kavanaugh is not the end of the world.  Kavanaugh -- if he ends up as bad as so many believe he will be -- is not an aberration.  In the US, he is the historical norm.  And, over and over, we have addressed it and we have maintained our rights.  I think Alyssa and the other useless bitches are confusing their own desire to wallow in victimhood with living in HULU's HANDMAID'S TALE.  We don't live in that TV show (that bad TV show -- great novel, lousy TV).  We live in the United States of America and if the Alyssas would stop crawling, dust themselves off and stand the f**k up, they'd see millions of American women fighting real battles every day.

They might also be able to look beyond American shores and see that people in the world are suffering much more than we are and maybe we could recognize that?

The Iraqi people who suffer -- whether it's the women now being targeted or the LGBT community or those who have no where to flee to if their homeland cannot support them -- these people suffer because of the United States.

It is our government that promised (lied) freedom and delivered ongoing war.

And I know Alyssa has to spend a lot of time getting that hairy Italian mustache removed each month but it seems like even she could take a moment to grasp that the US government has not helped the Iraqi people and is not helping them.


Last month, at THE NATIONAL INTEREST, Bonnie Kristian observed:




The turmoil in Basra may be unsurprising given the living conditions locals face, but it should also be instructive. This is what regime change, fifteen years of intervention, occupation, and reconstruction in Iraq has wrought. This is what trillions of dollars borrowed and spent—and tens of thousands of American and Iraqi lives extinguished—have purchased.
The protests in Basra are just one moment of ongoing political turmoil in Iraq, with all the security risks and human suffering that entails. They are an indictment in microcosm of Washington’s failed reliance on military intervention and nation-building as a panacea to local political problems in distant lands that don’t threaten America’s security, prosperity, or way of life.
 

In Basra and Iraq more generally, Americans are presented with years of evidence that U.S. military intervention has failed to achieve strategically important, sustainable outcomes despite Washington’s best efforts. “Some might argue that trying harder, investing more billions, sending yet more equipment for perhaps another 15 years will produce more favorable results,” says military historian Ret. Col. Andrew Bacevich, but this is “a mug’s game.” There is nothing available to America in Iraq that might fairly be called a military victory, and repeating the mistakes of the past will not end differently the umpteenth time around.
The same thing over and over.  That's all the US government has to offer -- regardless of who heads it.  And the Iraqi people suffer.

And so many people try to raise awareness of it.  But we're up against little bitches who think that their bad plastic surgery and their advancing age that cost them roles is actually the greatest tragedy in the world.  This is what those of us who care about real issues have to compete with.

And before the Alyssa Lying Milanos start lying and saying, "You don't care about assault!"  Oh, but I do.  You're the one who doesn't, Alyssa.

I stood up for Illeana Douglas -- here, yes, but also in the real world.  I defended her.  I called out the hideous Leslie Moonves.  The Alyssa that pretends she invented MeToo never even managed to Tweet in defense of Ileana or, for that matter, against Leslie Moonves.  Because Leslie had power.  It's easy to go after Harvey Weinstein when he's bloodied and on the ropes, isn't it, Alyssa?  Not so easy to go after Leslie who, at the time, was in charge of CBS and could employ you.

The Alyssa Milanos are the worst people in the world.  She has numerous nannies to raise her children.  She has no career -- don't confuse the pity cameos her husband gets her with actual roles or a career.  She pays a person to Tweet for her.  She has nothing but free time and instead of using it effectively, she appears to just use it pondering more and more plastic surgery while fretting whether all of the entertainment industry knows her younger husband is cheating on her (we do know, Alyssa, we do).

Day after day, they pretend that they're doing something but they do nothing and apparently Professor Katherine Helmond, on the WHO'S THE BOSS CAMPUS,  wasn't able to teach her about I.F. Stone or the reality that all governments lie.  Alyssa blindly believes because she's a fool.  And maybe because Katherine's only real lesson is how to self-entertain -- I'll never forget the last time I saw her, 1999 in the lobby of a Marriott, plastered and hanging all over a young, 20-something male who looked uncomfortable and who ran for his life as soon as Katherine came over to say hello to me.

Poor Alyssa.  She got the life teacher she deserved.  And, goodness, does it show.

US has 800+ military bases & special ops deployed in 70% of nations. Pentagon is world's biggest polluter & exempt from int'l treaties. Time to build up real movement fighting empire. Join in DC Oct 20-21 to confront bipartisan war machine
 
 



What!  Abby Martin's not paralyzed like Alyssa!  Kavanaugh didn't bring her to her knees!  Oh my goodness.  And Abby's not the only woman who can stand up.  Here's some more.



Join us at the Pentagon on October 21st. Hear from YahNé Ndgo and others as we call for an end to the bipartisan war machine.
          Why the race to 5G is a bet on a multi-trillion dollar economic impact      Cache   Translate Page      
The next generation of wireless technology, 5G, could be a huge deal. The speed and the number of devices that can be connected could spawn new businesses we haven't even thought of yet. Last year chip maker Qualcomm and tech research firm IHS Technology put out a report that said 5G could enable $12 trillion in economic output across the world by 2035, and add some 22 million jobs. The report compared 5G to electricity. Compare that to 4G, which, just in the U.S., contributed about half a trillion dollars to the economy in 2016. And even a whiff  of that potential is why there's a race to get to 5G first between companies and even countries. Molly talks with Scott Tong, Marketplace reporter and former China correspondent. He says the U.S. won the race to 4G, and China doesn't want that to happen again. (10/10/18)
          Broadcom and CA sink after Sen. Rand Paul calls for a national security review of their merger (AVGO, CA)      Cache   Translate Page      

Rand Paul

  • Broadcom and CA shares slid Wednesday after Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) called for a federal national security review of their merger.
  • Broadcom announced an $18.9 billion deal to acquire CA in July. 
  • That deal came after President Donald Trump, in March, blocked Broadcom's attempted purchase of the chipmaker Qualcomm, citing national security concerns.
  • Broadcom, a semiconductor company which was previously based in Singapore, registered itself as a US corporation in April. CA is an American software company.
  • Watch Broadcom and CA trade in real time here.

Broadcom and CA shares are taking a hit Wednesday after Axios reported Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), during a Senate hearing on homeland security, called for a federal national security review of their merger. Broadcom's stock was down 3.4% and CA's was lower by 4%.

Broadcom, a semiconductor company which until April was based in Singapore, announced in July its intent to acquire the American software company CA for $18.9 billion in cash, in an effort to expand beyond processors.

Neither Broadcom nor CA asked for a review of their transaction by the Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS) in the US, but Paul, along with other leaders within the defense and energy communities, has been pushing for a CFIUS review anyway, Axios says, citing sources familiar with the matter.

"We will send you a letter advocating that CFIUS looks at this...," Paul said in a statement published by Axios.
He added that a combination of the two companies could cause national security concerns as CA's network systems are "deeply embedded in many of our critical infrastructure facilities and national security agencies."

This is not the first time that Broadcom has faced strong backlash from political leaders who have national security concerns. In March, President Donald Trump blocked Broadcom's attempted purchase of the chipmaker Qualcomm, saying "there is credible evidence" leading him to believe that Broadcom, a limited company organized under the laws of Singapore, through control of San Diego-based Qualcomm "might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States."

Trump's decision led Broadcom to register itself as a US corporation in April, but Paul doesn't favor Broadcom's new American identity and still demands a national-security review of any potential acquisitions it tries to make.

"Just because Broadcom has changed its domicile to [the U.S.] doesn't mean we shouldn't look at Broadcom," Paul said.

Broadcom was down 12% and CA was lower by 27%.

Now read:

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          L'industrie du logiciel contribue à hauteur d'un trillion d'euros au PIB de l'UE et soutient 12,7 millions d'emplois dans l'UE      Cache   Translate Page      
L'impact des logiciels sur l'UE croît plus rapidement que l'ensemble de l'économie européenne...
Finance Cryptofinance Blockchain daily news

          The case against despair on climate change      Cache   Translate Page      

Human society is on a path to self-immolation. But don't give in to despair.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is out with an interim report, and the predictions are terrifying. If current trends continue, average global atmospheric temperatures will increase by 1.5 degrees Celsius (or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) on a 10-year averaged basis by roughly 2040. What's more, the latest science has generally found that even 1.5 degrees is going to be worse than previously thought, with high risk of murderous heat waves, flooding, drought, and sea level rise that threatens tens of millions of people around the world — and as Gavin Schmidt writes, the sheer arithmetic of keeping warming that low is virtually impossible.

Many are reacting to this report with despondency. Climate science denier Donald Trump is president, after all, and he just got another anti-climate policy guy on the Supreme Court. It is pretty hard to imagine world politics shifting to become even slightly sensible on the biggest problem facing human civilization.

However, despair is not warranted. Saving humanity from our own mistakes is not impossible.

The Republican Party and its brand of ultra-conservatism is obviously an impediment, saturated as it is with foaming science deniers throughout the entire party leadership and bureaucratic apparatus that is in charge of the world's most powerful nation.

This style of loopy extreme right-wing politics has spread throughout much of the Anglosphere, especially where there are large fossil fuel interests. Canada, with its enormous tar sands export sector, has dragged its feet for years, and recent plans to institute a carbon tax have inspired a Trump-style right-wing backlash. Meanwhile, the right-wing coalition running Australia — which has been deeply infected by American-style conservatism — is even worse. The Liberal Party (conservative in an Australian context) has repealed the country's carbon tax, abandoned emissions targets, and refused to stop using coal. Emissions from there are rising strongly as a result.

However, it's bizarrely also true that under Trump, U.S. emissions have been falling moderately, and renewable investment has been chugging along, reaching a peak in the second quarter of 2018 not seen since the stimulus-driven highs of 2011. As this Rhodium Group report explains, this is largely in spite of Trump's pro-coal policy agenda, driven by pre-existing energy price trends and remaining fragments of Obama-era policy. Wind and especially solar have become so cheap that they are continuing to displace coal from the energy market — though by 2025, they are projected to start to displace legacy nuclear, which will be bad for emissions.

This is an important point: In favorable locations, renewable energy is now able to stand without subsidies. The technology is largely where it needs to be, and it's getting better all the time. Deployment will be a huge pain in the neck, to be sure, but that poses no insurmountable problem. As a corollary, it means that America itself is not the biggest immediate problem on climate. American conservatism is. The U.S. is not pulling its weight, but Australians and Canadians could also join the U.K. in making decent progress by mobilizing politically within their far superior constitutional structures.

The second-biggest political-ideological problem is neoliberalism. An under-noticed development of the past several years is the collapse of continental European forward progress on climate change. As part of elite-forced austerity, renewable investment all but halted in sunny, windy Mediterranean countries like Spain, Italy, and Greece. But even in Germany — which accounts for over a fifth of all EU emissions — renewable investment has fallen to almost nothing, and their emission progress has also stalled. No matter what they say about science, neoliberalism means recurrent financial crises, unemployment, austerity, and slow growth, and thus less space to spend heavily on climate projects.

It's worth noting that in some parts of the world, even right-wing parties aren't out to lunch on climate change. Most notably, the quasi-fascist Narendra Modi in India has called climate change the "greatest threat to the survival and human civilization as we know it," and pledged to install a massive 100 gigawatts of renewable power (roughly 10 percent of the whole U.S power supply) by 2022. So far efforts are not at scale with that goal, but renewables do account for a fifth of India's power capacity. Indeed, as queasy as it may be to consider, it's pretty easy to make a case for climate policy on conservative nationalist grounds. It means both protecting the homeland from devastating climate disasters (which are likely going to hit India worse than any other large country), and reducing dependence on foreign energy imports.

At any rate, this brings me to the biggest priority for climate policy: trying to ensure India — whoever is in charge — can leapfrog carbon-based energy and go straight to renewables as it develops.

The second-biggest priority is decarbonizing China, which now emits over twice as much carbon dioxide as the United States. The Communist Party leadership has piled tremendous investment into renewables over the last decade, but has run into efficiency problems, and has scaled back its subsidies somewhat. It has nearly two and a half times the installed renewable capacity of the United States, but only produces about 38 percent more actual electricity, probably due to cheap materials and poor siting.

What India (and the rest of the developing world) needs is help staying away from coal. What China needs is help getting the most out of its investment dollar. Both nations are committed to doing so — it is objectively in their best interest. But it is also in the world's best interests, as either nation could destroy humanity and itself with unchecked emissions. If Europe or the United States can escape from its political sandpit and resume their own necessary decarbonization efforts, either one could serve as a catalyst to get world climate policy back where it needs to be.

Make no mistake, humanity is still careening in the wrong direction. Limiting warming to even 2 degrees is probably out of the question, let alone 1.5 degrees (absent totally untried carbon capture technology). But there is no win-lose state on climate change. Every tenth of a degree means things get worse; but conversely every tenth of a degree prevented means untold disasters averted. It will always be wisest and moral to fight to the last breath.


          Three most common mistakes to avoid with digital transformation projects      Cache   Translate Page      

According to Forbes, organizations are expected to invest $1.3 trillion (USD) in digital transformation initiatives this year. However, research points to...

The post Three most common mistakes to avoid with digital transformation projects appeared first on Get Elastic Ecommerce Blog.


          Broadcom and CA sink after Sen. Rand Paul calls for a national security review of their merger (AVGO, CA)      Cache   Translate Page      

Rand Paul

  • Broadcom and CA shares slid Wednesday after Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) called for a federal national security review of their merger.
  • Broadcom announced an $18.9 billion deal to acquire CA in July. 
  • That deal came after President Donald Trump, in March, blocked Broadcom's attempted purchase of the chipmaker Qualcomm, citing national security concerns.
  • Broadcom, a semiconductor company which was previously based in Singapore, registered itself as a US corporation in April. CA is an American software company.
  • Watch Broadcom and CA trade in real time here.

Broadcom and CA shares are taking a hit Wednesday after Axios reported Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), during a Senate hearing on homeland security, called for a federal national security review of their merger. Broadcom's stock was down 3.4% and CA's was lower by 4%.

Broadcom, a semiconductor company which until April was based in Singapore, announced in July its intent to acquire the American software company CA for $18.9 billion in cash, in an effort to expand beyond processors.

Neither Broadcom nor CA asked for a review of their transaction by the Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS) in the US, but Paul, along with other leaders within the defense and energy communities, has been pushing for a CFIUS review anyway, Axios says, citing sources familiar with the matter.

"We will send you a letter advocating that CFIUS looks at this...," Paul said in a statement published by Axios.
He added that a combination of the two companies could cause national security concerns as CA's network systems are "deeply embedded in many of our critical infrastructure facilities and national security agencies."

This is not the first time that Broadcom has faced strong backlash from political leaders who have national security concerns. In March, President Donald Trump blocked Broadcom's attempted purchase of the chipmaker Qualcomm, saying "there is credible evidence" leading him to believe that Broadcom, a limited company organized under the laws of Singapore, through control of San Diego-based Qualcomm "might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States."

Trump's decision led Broadcom to register itself as a US corporation in April, but Paul doesn't favor Broadcom's new American identity and still demands a national-security review of any potential acquisitions it tries to make.

"Just because Broadcom has changed its domicile to [the U.S.] doesn't mean we shouldn't look at Broadcom," Paul said.

Broadcom was down 12% and CA was lower by 27%.

Now read:

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A company created one-piece swimsuit with a removable bottom to make going to the bathroom easier


          London forex traders to go on trial on U.S. price rigging charges      Cache   Translate Page      
Three former London-based traders are expected to go to trial on Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan on charges they conspired to rig prices in the roughly $5 trillion foreign exchange market.

          A ticking time bomb in China has global markets looking really shaky right now      Cache   Translate Page      

China tug of warReuters/CHINA STRINGER NETWORK

  • Global markets are jittery in recent days as fears about growth in China take hold.
  • "The larger the stimulus used by China to offset the trade war impact, the bigger will its deficit likely be," Tao Wang, UBS's chief China economist, said in a report on Tuesday
  • Markets are also worried about the ongoing Italian debt crisis, and the rising price of oil.

Trouble is brewing in global markets. Look no further than China. 

China's current account balance is down significantly from last year's 1.3% and will likely turn into a small deficit in 2019. If so that would be the first time in 24 years.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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SEE ALSO: Britain could be forced to increase government spending in a no-deal Brexit, IMF says


          London forex traders to go on trial on U.S. price rigging charges      Cache   Translate Page      
Three former London-based traders are expected to go to trial on Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan on charges they conspired to rig prices in the roughly $5 trillion foreign exchange market.

          Research: Cryptocurrency is dying      Cache   Translate Page      

Cryptocurrency exploded like a supernova as prices soared to nearly $20,000 in December 2017. But like a dying star, the crypto-market may now be facing an implosion. According to a new report from technology research group, Juniper Research, the cryptocurrency “industry is on the brink of an implosion.” The research highlights some key market metrics, all of which display cryptocurrencies as being on a downward spiral. “During Q1 2018, cryptocurrency transactions totaled just over $1.4 trillion, compared with less than $1.7 trillion for 2017 as a whole,” the report notes. “However, by Q2 2018, transaction values had plummeted by 75…

This story continues at The Next Web
          Donald Trump Defends Medicare From Evil Socialist Dems In Op-Ed He Writed All By Himself      Cache   Translate Page      


Donald Trump, the guy who wants to know "who drew" the UN's new climate report, wants America to believe he penned an entire opinion column on Medicare in USA Today. Sure, Donald, and then you got back to Bible study. In the pile of talking points tossed together by some unlucky White House staffer, the writer/s claiming to be Trump insist it's vital Republicans hold the House and Senate in the midterms. If they don't, terrible socialist Democrats will create a single-payer health plan that will eliminate Medicare by giving everyone healthcare, and wouldn't that be terrible?


The column is pretty much just one big lie after another, and we suppose we should give the writers aping Trump's speaking style this much credit: Like the actual guy, the op-ed has such a short attention span it can't even stay focused on its supposed topic, veering off into a rant about Democrats wanting open borders and being determined to turn the USA into Venezuela. Which is sort of sad, really -- you'd think that after two years they'd be able to find enough lies about healthcare alone for an entire piece.

Still, "Trump" manages some real whoppers, starting by dragging out a lie recycled from Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign, claiming that Obamacare resulted in $800 billion in cuts to Medicare, which of course it didn't -- reimbursement rates to providers were reformulated over 10 years, but benefits were actually expanded. Mind you, the Republican plan to slash Medicare to "pay for" last year's tax cuts never gets mentioned by the ghostwriters. Odd, that.

As for the "dangers" of Medicare for All, the op-ed is yet another example of the same old Republican bait and switch we always see in election years: Pretend during the campaign that you'll make healthcare wonderful, then try to eliminate care for tens of millions of people. And now that it's an election year, "Trump" even lies about his current attempts to undo Obamacare's protections for preexisting conditions:

As a candidate, I promised that we would protect coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions and create new health care insurance options that would lower premiums. I have kept that promise, and we are now seeing health insurance premiums coming down.

For fuckssake, "Trump's" own link in that first line goes to a WaPo fact check explaining he'd abandoned his promise to protect people! Guess the White House assumes -- probably correctly -- that Trump supporters are as bad at reality as Trump is. Needless to say, those wonderful new insurance options he plugs -- "association health plans" and short-term junk insurance -- also don't include protections for preexisting conditions, and even brought back annual and lifetime coverage caps. And of course, health insurance premiums outside those junk plans keep increasing due to uncertainty about what new fuckery Trump will throw at the market.

Then there's the bullshit about Medicare for All, which at this point is actually a constellation of proposals ranging from allowing people under 65 to buy in to Medicare to the full-on single payer plan being promoted by many Senate Dems. Trump frets about the price tag, of course, but lies about the Koch-funded study which found Medicare for All would actually cost trillions of dollars less than the current patchwork of healthcare systems we have. Needless to say, he insists that covering all Americans would result in "rationing" of healthcare, as if not being able to afford any care at all, bringing back exclusions for preexisting conditions, or rolling back Medicaid expansion aren't all rationing healthcare.

Eventually, after just plain lying about how expanding healthcare for all Americans would actually kill Gramma, "Trump" goes off into his familiar lie about Democrats and immigration, because that "open borders" line always gets applause at rallies, and yes of course all Dems love Venezuela and socialism, and worst of all maybe some people the nice old Fox viewers despise might not have to worry about their children dying of treatable asthma, so you better vote Republican, the end.

[USA Today / WaPo / AP / WaPo]

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          Losses from climate disasters surge over last 20 years, UN says      Cache   Translate Page      
Reported economic losses from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, as well as climate-related disasters such as floods and hurricanes have totalled nearly $2.9 trillion over the past two decades, the UN office for disaster risk reduction says.
          Sony president confirms PS4 successor in the pipeline      Cache   Translate Page      
The next-generation PlayStation game console from Sony is currently on the drawing board. Sony President Kenichiro Yoshida himself confirmed that the company is working on a successor for their PlayStation 4 during an interview with Financial Times. "At this point, what I can say is it's necessary to have a next-generation hardware," said Yoshida. The comment came about during a discussion on the rise of mobile gaming and the changing habits of gamers, particularly of PlayStation owners. The smartphone gaming market rose to $70 billion(around P3.8 trillion) in value globally. Thanks to this trend, speculations cropped up that Sony may develop a gaming tablet that could co...

Keep on reading: Sony president confirms PS4 successor in the pipeline
          BoE: EU must act to protect trillions in financial products      Cache   Translate Page      
The EU must act quickly to protect against threats to 41 trillion in derivatives, as well as insurance contracts and data tr -More

          Big Data / Cloud Developer, Spark, Python, AWS, Investments      Cache   Translate Page      
NH-Merrimack, Our client is a Boston-based financial investment firm that serves over twenty million customers. They employ tens of thousands of individuals and manage trillions of dollars in assets. With almost a century of experience, this financial services company is an industry leader, both nationally and globally. Our client is known for being a great place to work, and they are looking for a Big Data / C
          Hot X-ray glow from massive cluster of galaxies      Cache   Translate Page      
Astronomers using ESA's XMM-Newton space observatory have captured the X-ray glow (shown here in purple) emitted by the hot gas that pervades the galaxy cluster XLSSC006. Credit: ESA/XMM-Newton (X-rays); CFHT-LS (optical); XXL SurveyThe cluster is home to a few hundreds of galaxies, large amounts of diffuse, X-ray bright gas, and even larger amounts of dark matter, with a total mass equivalent to some 500 trillion solar masses....

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          Remarkable flares from the galactic centre      Cache   Translate Page      
Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, is 100 times closer to us than any other SMBH and therefore a prime candidate for studies of how matter radiates as it accretes onto black holes. SgrA* has been observed for decades and rapid fluctuations reported from X-ray to the near infrared wavelengths (intervening dust reduces optical light signals by a factor of over a trillion) and at...

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          London forex traders to go on trial on U.S. price rigging charges      Cache   Translate Page      
Three former London-based traders are expected to go to trial on Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan on charges they conspired to rig prices in the roughly $5 trillion foreign exchange market.

          Remote patient monitoring is set to surge in the next five years      Cache   Translate Page      

This story was delivered to Business Insider Intelligence "Digital Health Briefing" subscribers hours before appearing on Business Insider. To be the first to know, please click here.

Healthcare organizations that offer remote patient monitoring (RPM) programs have reaped early returns, highlighting the benefits of the RPM market, which is primed for rapid growth over the next five years — globally, the RPM market is set to climb by 12% annually from 2018 to just shy of $16 billion by 2023, per Research and Markets.

Cloud Computing vs. Edge Computing

RPM is mobile technology that's typically used to keep an eye on chronic illnesses, with the aim of helping consumers track their symptoms. Thirty-eight percent of healthcare organizations report that their RPM program reduced admissions, while 25% cited improved patient satisfaction and 25% reported cost reductions since implementing an RPM program, per a KLAS Research report that surveyed 25 healthcare organizations. While it’s a small sample, the results demonstrate the potential ROI of RPM.

RPM is gaining traction as an aging population and labor shortages pressure providers and payers to relocate treatment outside the hospital.

  • RPM can help curtail the healthcare demands of an aging, chronically ill US population. Already, 3 in 4 Americans aged 65 and older have multiple chronic diseases, and nearly 1 in 4 Americans will belong to this age demographic by 2040. Chronic illnesses accounted for 86% of the $2.7 trillion spent in annual health care costs in the US in 2014 alone. RPM tools that collect continuous patient data and enable patient-provider communication could help providers delivering personalized treatments — like medication adherence prompts — that improve outcomes and reduce unnecessary hospital visits.
  • And a looming staff shortage incentivizes providers to deliver more care remotely. By 2025, US providers will face a collective shortage of about 500,000home health aides, 100,000 nursing assistants, and 29,000 nurse practitioners. Business Insider Intelligence estimates that existing telehealth tools and solutions can serve anywhere between 42% and 45% of all outpatient medical care visits using virtual care and RPM, which could reduce the burden on hospital resources.

Moreover, advances in edge computing should overcome connectivity pitfalls and further spur RPM adoption.Currently, insufficient cellular infrastructure can diminish the consumer experience and quality of care prescribed by RPM. That’s because a robust cellular network is needed to effectively support features like real-time video streaming for virtual care and constant data feedback from RPM devices.

Edge computing is an emerging data processing model that uses sensors and connected devices to transmit data to a nearby computing device for processing, instead of sending it back to the cloud or a remote data center. This model has the potential to reduce data storage needs and improve transmission speeds, overcoming two barriers to widespread RPM adoption.

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           Comment on Black Brazil by Afrofem       Cache   Translate Page      
@ Alberto Monteiro <em>One trillion poor brazilians raised to the middle class...</em> One trillion, eh. There are currently seven <em>billion</em> plus humans on the earth. Where did Brazil hide a <em>trillion</em> citizens? Since you fabricated that wild statement, then perhaps your trashing of the Brazilian Workers Party (<em>Partido dos Trabalhadores</em>—PT) is also suspect. According to Global North media sources, the PT is horrible. According the the poorest and darkest Brazilians, the PT improved their lives a great deal. Hmm.
          Skyrocketing Deficit? So What, Says New Washington Consensus      Cache   Translate Page      
Bloomberg With its plaintive call for balanced budgets, the fiscal hawk once pervaded Washington. But it’s getting harder to spot one. That’s because of President Donald Trump, and the equal-and-opposite reaction he’s provoked on the U.S. left. Trump is proving as indifferent to fiscal orthodoxy as to any other kind. The spending measure he signed on Friday, along with the one approved in March and December’s tax bill, amount to the biggest stimulus outside recessions since the 1960s. They sailed through a House led by the supposedly hawkish Paul Ryan, who’s due to step down in January without much progress on his goal of reining in so-called entitlements like social security -- an illustration of how Republican deficit scolds are in retreat. On the Democratic side, the reaction that’s firing up the grassroots isn’t “How could you do that?’’ It’s: “Why can’t we do that?’’ Democrats opposed the tax bill, and party leaders have deplored Trump’s fiscal recklessness. But some Democrats are spinning it differently. There’s always room to boost spending at the Pentagon or finance tax cuts for the rich, goes their argument -- so why not for social programs? “Ever notice how the ‘how do you pay for it’ argument is selectively employed against working class benefits?’’ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a House candidate in New York, tweeted in July. In both parties, deficit spenders are gaining ground. That makes Year Two of the Trump administration look increasingly like end-times if you are, for example, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “The tax cuts really set off a spiral of irresponsible justifications for not caring about fiscal responsibility,’’ says Maya MacGuineas, president of the CRFB. The group gets funding from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a project of the late Wall Street billionaire, who advocated slashing social programs to balance the budget. Markets Shrug Deficits are supposed to trigger inflation and scare off bond investors. The latter don’t seem too alarmed. Ten-year Treasury yields have edged back above 3 percent, but by historical standards it remains very cheap for the U.S. government to borrow money. The deficit is outrunning forecasts by the Congressional Budget Office, which estimated in April that the gap would approach $1 trillion next year. It may not be far off that figure already, reaching $898 billion in the first 11 months of the current fiscal year -- driven by a 7 percent rise in spending. Full-year numbers are due Oct. 11. In the coming year, measures approved by the House this week will increase outlays in areas from soldiers’ pay to the National Institutes of Health. For the rest of Trump’s term, the U.S. is forecast to run bigger deficits than Japan, often cited by hawks as the ultimate fiscal basket-case (though it has little inflation and can borrow money practically for free). Republicans are touting their tax cuts in the campaign for Nov. 6 mid-term elections, despite internal polling that suggests the public isn’t especially keen. It’s a gamble that voters will favor a party trying to put money in their pockets -- regardless of the budget red ink that results. “Even voters who say they’re against deficits would also prefer lower taxes,’’ said Paul Van de Water, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and veteran of the Congressional Budget Office. ‘Immoral’ Debt In recent decades, Democrats have tried to balance the books when they’ve launched major initiatives -- partly because they’ve needed Republican votes to pass legislation. In non-crisis times, deficits have tended to narrow when Democrats have been in office. Party bosses are still in that camp. Hillary Clinton said a large national debt threatens “grave harm,’’ and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has called America’s debt level “immoral.’’ But the political calculus is shifting. Rising Democratic stars support expensive ideas like loan-free college, Medicare-for-all and a federa...
          Has the world gone mad? Mental health disorders on the rise globally      Cache   Translate Page      
Mental health disorders are on the rise in every country in the world and could cost the global economy up to $16 trillion between 2010 and 2030 if a collective failure to respond is not addressed, according to an expert report on Tuesday. The “Lancet Commission” report by 28 global specialists in psychiatry, public health […]
          US could lose trillions to recession: IMF      Cache   Translate Page      
A severe recession would slash US public wealth by about US$5 trillion, causing vastly more damage to Washington's finances than just an increase in debt and deficits, the IMF said in a report on Tuesday.
          Mental health costs could hamper economies by 2030      Cache   Translate Page      
Mental health disorders are on the rise in every nation and could cost the global economy up to US$16 trillion between 2010 and 2030 if a collective failure to respond is not addressed, according to an expert report on Tuesday.
          Student Loans and Applying for Financial Aid      Cache   Translate Page      

The year is 2018, and there are 44 million Americans currently in debt valued at over $1.5 trillion. Today, student loan debt is the second largest consumer loan debt category, coming behind mortgage debt and above credit cards and auto loans. To provide a bit of perspective, this means that the average loan debt of... Read More

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          Research: Cryptocurrency is dying      Cache   Translate Page      

Cryptocurrency exploded like a supernova as prices soared to nearly $20,000 in December 2017. But like a dying star, the crypto-market may now be facing an implosion. According to a new report from technology research group, Juniper Research, the cryptocurrency “industry is on the brink of an implosion.” The research highlights some key market metrics, all of which display cryptocurrencies as being on a downward spiral. “During Q1 2018, cryptocurrency transactions totaled just over $1.4 trillion, compared with less than $1.7 trillion for 2017 as a whole,” the report notes. “However, by Q2 2018, transaction values had plummeted by 75…

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          Comment on IPCC Demands $122 Trillion to Fight the Global War on Weather by Joel O'Bryan      Cache   Translate Page      
Scott Adam's Dilbert cartoon needs to be noted again. https://i.postimg.cc/L5pYhk1W/Screen_Shot_2018-10-10_at_10.46.36_AM.png
          Comment on Rep. Hank “Guam May Capsize” Johnson (D-GA): “Our climate is not for sale” by LogicalChemist      Cache   Translate Page      
Not unexpectedly, the IPCC and the UN cannot even do simple arithmetic. "The United Nations’ call for governments and companies to shift trillions of dollars into “low-carbon energy” systems". The only low-carbon energy source that can even come close to providing energy for a world industrial economy would be some for of nuclear reactor. The best choice would be a modular reactor designed to limit the possibility of divertin