Archive for 2017

Elon Musk’s Worst Nightmare – Russian AK-47 Maker Builds Fully-Automated “Killer Robot”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Joseph Jankowski via PlanetFreeWill.com,

The debate over the role robots will play in the future of warfare is one that is taking place right now as the development of automated lethal technology is truly beginning to take shape. Predator drone style combat machines are just the tip of the iceberg for what is to come down the line of lethal weaponry and some are worried that when robots are calling the shots, things could get a little out of hand.

Recently there has been some debate at the U.N. about “killer robots,” with prominent scientists, researchers, and Human rights organizations all warning that this type of technology – lethal tech. that divorces the need for human control – could cause a slew of unintended consequence to the detriment of humanity.

A study conducted the University of British Columbia shows that this type of terminator-like weaponry isn’t sitting well with the general public, as an overwhelming majority of people, regardless of country or culture, want a complete ban placed upon any further development of these autonomous systems of war.

Despite the warnings of risk and concern, this is not stopping arms manufacturers from taking warfare into the twilight zone and bringing the futuristic battlefield scenario where A.I. robots and human are fighting with each other, side by side, closer to everyday reality.

Kalashnikov, the maker of the iconic AK-47, is one of those manufacturers bringing lethal automation and robotics into the present-day as it is currently building a range of products based on neural networks,’ including a fully automated combat module’ that can identify and shoot at its targets.

Defense One is reporting:

The Kalashnikov “combat module” will consist of a gun connected to a console that constantly crunches image data “to identify targets and make decisions,” Ivanova told TASS. A Kalashnikov photo that ran with the TASS piece showed a turret-mounted weapon that appeared to fire rounds of 25mm or so.

Defense One points out that in 2012 then-Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter signed a directive forbidding the U.S. to allow any robot or machine to take lethal action without the supervision of a human operator.

Then in 2015,


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Feds Say Condo Involved In NYC’s Largest Foreclosure Tied To Nigerian Corruption Case

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

New York City real estate, particularly the luxury market, is a popular refugee for world’s corrupt, self-dealing public servants and the crooked businessmen who bribe them. China cracked down on wealthy citizens seeking to stash their wealth in international real estate by adding several deterrents to its capital controls earlier this year (Among them, Chinese investors moving money out of the country must now sign a pledge saying it won’t be used to buy real estate, or investment securities). Shortly after, the New York real-estate – literally half a world away – was rattled by a crush of stalled deals.  

So, it’s unsurprising that the mystery behind the largest residential foreclosure auction in NYC history would have this kind of sordid backstory. Last month, we met Kola Aluko, a Nigerian oil magnate and the purported owner of One57’s Apartment 79, a $50 million apartment that will be sold next week in what appears to be the largest foreclosure auction in New York City history.

And now the US government has added a new twist: In a lawsuit filed Friday in Houston by the Justice Department’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, the Feds are seeking to recover $144 million in assets, including proceeds from a luxury condominium on Manhattan’s Billionaires’ Row in New York, which prosecutors claim were spoils from bribes paid for Nigerian oil contracts, according to Bloomberg.

The targets of the suit were none other than Aluko and another Nigerian businessman, Olajide Omokore. However, judging by the government’s price tag, Aluko’s assets – including the One57 condo and Aluko’s $80 million yacht, 213-feet (65 meters) luxury yacht the Galactica Star – appear to be the focus of the suit. In the past, Aluko would frequently rent out his yacht to his friends. In 2015, Jay-Z and Beyonce rented it for the bargain-basement price of $900,000 per week to sail around the Mediterrainean.

The Justice Department alleges that two Nigerian businessmen made corrupt payments to a Nigerian official who oversaw the country’s state-owned oil company in exchange for contracts, according to


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Comment by The Nattering Naybob

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  1. The Nattering Naybob

    Anyone long oil over the long haul, might want to read this… A massive contraction in ED (eurodollars, petro dollars), budgets, spending, GDP and potential SWF investment followed by three years of painful adjustment.  

    Following the balance of payments (monetary flows) demonstrates that most exporters break-even budgets have managed to adjust, but there are still some major short falls. The 2013 chart we had seen and almost used here. One must observe the difference between the 2013 and 2016 charts carefully, then read between the lines and Out. 







Weekly Market Recap Jul 16, 2017

Courtesy of Blain.

Market bulls continue to make anyone even moderately cautious (hand raised) look a fool.  A technical breakout mid week on the indexes took the market out of a sleepy range that was looking a bit dangerous.    Monday and Tuesday were the normal sleepiness we’ve come to expect from this slow and steady grind up of 2017 but some fireworks Wednesday and Friday.   Earnings season began in earnest late in the week with major financial stocks reporting “meh” results but the market shook it off.  For the week the S&P 500 gained 1.4% and the NASDAQ 2.6%.

Janet Yellen had been SLIGHTLY hawkish the past few months but her Congressional testimony mid week was viewed as dovish and traders saw that as a reason to BUY BUY BUY.

Yellen said “the evolution of the economy will warrant gradual increases in the federal-funds rate over time to achieve and maintain maximum employment and stable prices.”  Yellen’s remarks come as other central bankers have been expressing a desire to taper easy-money policies that have been in place in the aftermath of the 2008-’09 financial crisis. A so-called more hawkish tilt by global central bankers also had led some to believe that the Fed might be encouraged to ramp up its pace of rate increases despite sluggish inflation.

“It seems like [Yellen’s] dialing back a little bit of the hawkish sentiment from last time,” said Karyn Cavanaugh, senior market strategist at Voya Financial. “She’s back to looking at inflation a little bit more. The market was a little worried but she’s back to the same dovish Yellen.”

That’s the central banker we’ve all come to know and love!

Economic news light and non essential so we will ignore it other than retail sales on Friday which was ignored by the market despite being weak.

Sales at retailers fizzled out in the late spring after getting the season off to a fast start, likely dampening U.S. economic growth in the second quarter.  Sales at retailers nationwide fell 0.2% last month to mark the second straight drop and match the biggest decline


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China Delivers “Surprisingly” Great Economic Data Across The Board, Yuan Yawns

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Following more dismal data from the US, hope for global growth remains in China and they did not disappoint. Despite slumping macro data, a major slowdown in real estate, and the nation's deleveraging efforts in the last three months, GDP beat, Retail Sales beat, Industrial Production surged, and even fixed asset investment was above expectations. The Yuan hasn't moved.

For the last three months, Chinese data has been disappointing, along with US, as the collapsing credit impulse leaks into reality…

But exports and consumer spending have been pillars for the economy over the second quarter, offsetting the curb on leverage, and tonight's data shows that none of that matters.. because the deleveraging economy beat across the board

  • China GDP BEAT 6.9% (exp +6.8%, prior +6.9%)
  • China Retail Sales BEAT 11.0% (exp +10.6%, prior +10.7%)
  • China Fixed Asset Investment BEAT 8.6% (exp +8.5%, prior +8.6%)
  • China Industrial Production BEAT 7.6% (exp +6.5%, prior +6.5%)

As the charts below show, more of the same well-managed data to show that all is well enough that hope remains…Strong growth again reflects an economy awash in credit, foretold in the latest new yuan loans (1.54 trillion yuan) and aggregate social financing (1.78 trillion yuan).

Enda Curran, Bloomberg's Chief Asia Economics Correspondent, notes that at first glance there's not a lot for the bears in these numbers given they appear strong across the board. The backdrop though continues to be one of cheap credit and mounting risks. That's an issue policy makers say they are aware of but for now, it seems like growth above all else is key.

Iris Pang, greater China economist at ING Bank in Hong Kong:

"Higher than expected GDP growth comes from strong industrial production. That said, the gap between FAI growth and industrial production growth tells the story that it is consumption and export driven growth."

Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics, said the strength seen in the data seems unlikely to last:

"The recent crackdown on financial risks has driven a slowdown in credit growth, which will weigh on the economy during the


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Breakouts Abound

Courtesy of Declan.

The week finished with some tasty looking breakouts in Large Cap and Tech Indices. Best of the action was given over to Large Caps with volume perhaps the most disappointing aspect of these breakouts.




The S&P closed the week out with a respectable breakout on a new ADX ‘buy’ trigger. This followed a MACD trigger ‘buy’ earlier in the week. Monday will be about defending 2,450 and staying above that mark at close of business. Long traders should play for a move to upper channel resistance.






The Dow Jones Industrial Average also enjoyed a similar breakout, although this index has been underperforming relative to Tech averages. As for the S&P it will be important for the index to hold breakout support which in this case is 21,500.





Tech was another set of indices to do well on Friday. The Nasdaq followed the resistance breakout with a new near term high style breakout. The early June bearish engulfing pattern remains dominant but each days worth of gains eats into this helped by net bullish technicals. Relative performance is also working in Tech’s favour.





The Nasdaq 100 is not to be left out. Very similar performance to the Nasdaq with a relative advantage against the Russell 2000 (Small Caps).





The Semiconductor Index has done well to recover from its June bearish engulfing pattern although I would like to see the relative performance ‘bull trap’ (against the Nasdaq 100) taken out before the bearish engulfing pattern is broken. Early week action will give an idea on this. Other technicals are all bullish.





While Large Caps and Tech enjoyed their day in the sun, Small Caps continued to build pressure against resistance. Small Caps look like the index to lead into the second half of the year but bulls will have to wait for now.





Next week will be about consolidating the breakouts and waiting for Small Caps to follow suit. Should the latter happen I would look for other breakouts to soften as money rotates out of these indices into Small Cap stocks.




You’ve now read my opinion, next read Douglas’ blog.




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If you are new to spread betting, here is a guide on position size based on eToro’s system.









Colombia Produces Record Cocaine Crop For 2nd Straight Year

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

We didn’t need any more data to definitively expose the many shortcomings of the US-led global prohibition on narcotics – but we got one today, courtesy of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

New figures show that cocaine production in Colombia reached an all-time high for the second straight year in 2016, as coca cultivation in the South American country surged 52 percent, spanning 146,000 hectares, compared with 96,000 in 2015. The 2016 crops produced an estimated 866 metric tons of cocaine, an increase of 35 percent compared to 2015. Meanwhile, cocaine use appears to be increasing in the two largest markets, North America and Europe.

While the UNODC said the survey results were “disappointing,” it noted that there were “some positives” in the report, including an increase of 49 per cent in seizures of cocaine – from 253 tons confiscated in 2015 to 378 tons in 2016. Of course, each seizure inevitably means some low-level trafficker – possibly working under the threat of violence – is being jailed, at an enormous cost to the public, while the seizure has little impact on the larger organization.

The rise in production comes as FARC, a communist insurgency that controlled patches of the Colombian countryside for more than 50 years, renounced drug trafficking under the terms of a peace agreement that was ratified by Colombia’s Congress in November. The group started disarming in March, but doubts remain: Can the group’s members will be able to work regular jobs. Meanwhile, FARC, which  once supported itself mainly through selling drugs and kidnapping wealthy individuals, is transforming into a political party.

In any event, one Colombian law enforcement official who spoke with the Guardian sounded optimistic about the country’s ability to work with FARC to reduce coca production.

“José Ángel Mendoza, the head of Colombia’s counter-narcotics police, said Colombia faced “a difficult historical moment”, but stressed that the figures reflected the state of the country on 31 December 2016.

Since then, the government has put in place an ambitious plan to eradicate 100,000 hectares of coca by the year’s end. Half of that amount is to be forcibly eradicated, and


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William Bernstein, “The More Comfortable You Are Buying , The Worse It’s Going To Be”

By Guest Post. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Guest: William (Bill) Bernstein. Bill is a financial theorist, a neurologist, and a financial adviser to high net worth individuals. Known for his website on asset allocation and portfolio theory, Efficient Frontier, Bill is also a co-principal in the money management firm Efficient Frontier Advisors. He has also authored several best-selling books on finance and history, and is often quoted in the national financial media.’

The Arizona Principle: One Step Closer to Real Money

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Date Recorded: 6/28/17

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Summary: In Episode 60, we welcome the great William (Bill) Bernstein.

Bill starts by giving us some background on how he evolved from medicine to finance. In short, faced with his own retirement, he knew he had to learn to invest. So he studied, which shaped own thoughts on the matter, which led to him writing investing books, which resulted in interest from the press and retail investors, which steered him into money management.

After this…
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Millennials Could Be Key To Illinois’ Housing Recovery… But They’re Fleeing The State

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Madelyn Harwood via IllinoisPolicy.org,

Illinois loses more millennial taxpayers and dependents to other states than any state except New York; this means Illinois’ distressed housing market is losing a big contingent of first-time homebuyers.

Illinois had the nation’s third-highest share of seriously underwater properties as of March 2017, according to a May 2017 report by RealtyTrac. Millennials could be the key to propping up home values: Robust homebuying forces property values up, and millennials were the largest group of homebuyers for each of the past four years, according to NBC News. Unfortunately, Illinois’ millennials are leaving instead of putting down roots.

A home is underwater when the homeowner owes more to the mortgage lender than the home is worth at current prices. If a home is seriously underwater, the homeowner owes at least 25 percent more on the mortgage than the current value of her home. Any money she’s invested in her home in the form of a down payment and mortgage payments is effectively lost if she goes to sell. She will not get any of that money back unless home values rise.

No homeowner wants her home to sink beneath the surface. However, an underwater or seriously underwater homeowner won’t really feel the pain unless she wants or needs to sell her property. Then she faces dim prospects:

  • She could be stuck in her home to avoid taking a loss while hoping the property value recovers.
  • She could absorb the loss and pay more money just to walk away.
  • She could default on her mortgage and allow the home to go into foreclosure.

None of these options is ideal.

Nearly eight years after the Great Recession’s end, 16.5 percent of Illinois’ home mortgages were still seriously underwater as of March 2017, according to RealtyTrac. Only Nevada’s 18.9 percent and Ohio’s 17.1 percent were worse. Nevada’s worst-in-the-nation ranking makes sense because the state was front and center in the national housing crisis: It was the fastest-growing state in the past quarter-century, according to SFGate, which caused a housing construction boom in the early 2000s. Then the housing bubble


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“Bargain” $2 Million Homes in Australia: “Super Saturday” Auction Results Posted

Courtesy of Mish.

Home supply in Australia is up with the number of bidders down. Supposedly this puts prices in the bargain range.

For example, you could buy any of the following beauties for $2 million or so, a ‘Bargain’ on Real Estate’s ‘Super Saturday’.

That auction took place yesterday. Today, the results are posted. First, let’s investigate some asking prices.


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Zero Hedge

Will The US Slap Sanctions On Nord Stream 2?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Nick Cunningham via OilPrice.com,

There is a growing push in the U.S. Congress to slap sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

The pipeline under construction would carry Russian natural gas to Germany, and has been a lightning rod of controversy both in Europe and across the Atlantic. Many governments and officials from Eastern Europe fear deeper dependence on Russia for gas supplies, a sentiment echoed by the U.S. government. Meanwhile, many in Western Europe are less concerned,...



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Phil's Favorites

US is already fighting a conflict with Iran - an economic war that is hurting the wrong people

 

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US is already fighting a conflict with Iran – an economic war that is hurting the wrong people

Courtesy of David Cortright, University of Notre Dame

Many are worried about the risk of war with Iran after the Trump administration leaked discussions of a troop deployment in response to claimed threats to U.S. warships in the region.

And in r...



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Insider Scoop

Jefferies Sees 60-Percent Upside In Aphria Shares, Says Buy The Dip

Courtesy of Benzinga.

After a red-hot start to 2019, Canadian cannabis producer Aphria Inc (NYSE: APHA) has run out of steam, tumbling more than 31 percent in the past three months.

Despite the recent weakness, one Wall Street analyst said Friday that the stock has 30-percent upside potential. 

The Analyst

Jefferies analyst ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

DAX (Germany) About To Send A Bearish Message To The S&P 500?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Is the DAX index from Germany about to send a bearish message to stocks in Europe and the States? Sure could!

This chart looks at the DAX over the past 9-years. It’s spent the majority of the past 8-years inside of rising channel (1), creating a series of higher lows and higher highs.

It looks to have created a “Double Top” as it was kissing the underside of the rising channel last year at (2).

After creating the potential double top, the DAX index has continued to create a series of lower highs, while experiencing a bearish divergence with the S...



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Chart School

Brexit Joke - Cant be serious all the time

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Alistair Williams comedian nails it, thank god for good humour! Prime Minister May the negotiator. Not!


Alistair Williams Comedian youtube

This is a classic! ha!







Fundamentals are important, and so is market timing, here at readtheticker.com we believe a combination of Gann Angles, ...

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Digital Currencies

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream - the battle is on to bring them under global control

 

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream – the battle is on to bring them under global control

The high seas are getting lower. dianemeise

Courtesy of Iwa Salami, University of East London

The 21st-century revolutionaries who have dominated cryptocurrencies are having to move over. Mainstream financial institutions are adopting these assets and the blockchain technology that enables them, in what ...



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Biotech

DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

A map of DNA with the double helix colored blue, the landmarks in green, and the start points for copying the molecule in red. David Gilbert/Kyle Klein, CC BY-ND

Courtesy of David M. Gilbert, Florida State University

...



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ValueWalk

More Examples Of "Typical Tesla "wise-guy scamminess"

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Stanphyl Capital’s letter to investors for the month of March 2019.

rawpixel / Pixabay

Friends and Fellow Investors:

For March 2019 the fund was up approximately 5.5% net of all fees and expenses. By way of comparison, the S&P 500 was up approximately 1.9% while the Russell 2000 was down approximately 2.1%. Year-to-date 2019 the fund is up approximately 12.8% while the S&P 500 is up approximately 13.6% and the ...



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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

Excerpt:

The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

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Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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