Archive for 2018

Dead Wrong: Visualizing How Perceived Causes Of Death Differ From Reality

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The saying goes that nothing in this world is certain except for death and taxes.

And rightfully so, the inevitability of death is a prominent fear for many humans around the world. After all, death is universal, mysterious, immutable, and sometimes sudden – and it can shake up life in ways that no other event can.

But, as Visual Capitalist's Jefff Desjardins asks is how we perceive death, along with its common portrayal in media, something that is accurate?

PERCEPTIONS VS. REALITY

Like anything that is shrouded in mystery, death has accumulated its fair share of myths and half-truths that get baked into our stories, perceptions, and societies.

Even further, high-profile and tragic events like terrorist attacks, murders, and suicides dominate many aspects of the news cycle. As a result, the causes of death that media outlets are the most fixated on couldn’t be further from actual causes of human death as shown through statistics.

The following animation, which comes from Aaron Penne, compares three data sets to show that our worries and media coverage have become quite disproportionate from the actual data. The animation looks at the following:

  • Which causes do we worry the most about? (Google Search data)
  • Which causes are talked about in the media? (NYT and Guardian headlines)
  • What are actual causes of death in the U.S.? (CDC data)

And as you’ll see, the data is quite different for each source.

We worry about cancer 10x more than we worry about heart disease, but in reality both diseases kill roughly the same amount of people. Meanwhile, the media is fixated on terrorism, homicides, and cancer, but heart disease – which kills more than all put together – receives almost no coverage.

MORE DATA ON DEATH

Actual causes of death are quite different from personal and media perceptions, but this data is not absolute either. After all, how someone may die depends greatly upon other factors like age.

Here are causes of human death in the U.S. graphed by age group:


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Bitnation, Liberland, And Other Micronations Are Gaining Independence Via Crypto, But Crypto Alone May Not Be Enough

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Simon Chandler via CoinTelegraph.com,

Ever since the "decentralised borderless voluntary nation” Bitnation was founded in July 2014, a slowly growing raft of startups and organisations have been attempting to seize cryptocurrencies as an opportunity to build entirely new nations from the ground up.

image courtesy of CoinTelegraph

Whether it be the landlocked Liberland or the seaborne Floating Island Project, they've taken cryptocurrencies and blockchains as the basis for a new way of organising how people live, interact and work. And even if they've approached the same fundamental task from varying angles, they all regard the decentralisation of crypto as a potential liberator from the top-down control of central governments, and from their inefficiencies and corruptions.

However, despite the evangelical fervour with which many of these projects have pursued their missions, almost all of them have encountered similar obstacles. Not only have the limitations of blockchain technology held them back, but they've also suffered from the unsurprising resistance of national governments, which are perhaps less-than keen on being usurped by crypto-states.

Funding, products and services

The Floating Island Project is the most recent would-be crypto-state to have garnered press attention. Initially announced in 2013 by the Seasteading Institute (itself launched in 2008 and boasting Peter Thiel as an early investor), it aims to found an indefinite number of floating cities in and around French Polynesia, with the target-year for the establishment of its first city being 2022.

In May, further details on the project were revealed, with the Seasteading Institute (SI) revealing that its inaugural island would accommodate 300 houses and be making use of its very own cryptocurrency, named Varyon (VAR).

Nicolas Germineau, the co-founder and MD at Blue Frontiers (a Seasteading Institute offshoot which oversees the token) told Cointelegraph:

"Varyon is a payment token which will initially generate revenues to fund the last steps of the pilot project and kickstart the ecosystem of Seasteads in French Polynesia. It will also be used widely afterwards as we build seasteads in


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Morgan Stanley Is Wrong: Goldman Warns China’s Credit Impulse Collapse Will “Drag On Growth” This Year

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Just over a month ago – in what seemed to be an effort to keep the dream of a global synchronous recovery narrative alive – Morgan Stanley attempted to show that the link between China's (declining) credit impulse and the global economy (which we are constantly told is ebullient) has now been severed and all is well in the world.

Their Chief Asia Economist Chetan Ahya began by confirming that "if you had been able to reliably pick the key global macro variable over 2012-16, China’s credit impulse would have been your choice" and explains why (this should be obvious to regular readers): 

The incredibly tight link between the credit impulse and China’s growth cycle, emerging markets (EMs) exports, global growth and commodity prices meant that it would have accurately predicted the direction of almost all other global macro variables that mattered, with about six months’ lead time.


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The Constitutional Crisis is Now

 

The Constitutional Crisis is Now

Courtesy of Robert Reich

I keep hearing that if Trump fires Mueller we’ll face a constitutional crisis.

Or if Mueller subpoenas Trump to testify and Trump defies the subpoena, it’s a constitutional crisis.

Or if Mueller comes up with substantial evidence that Trump is guilty of colluding with Russia or of obstructing justice but the House doesn’t move to impeach him, we’ll have a constitutional crisis.

I have news for you. We’re already in a constitutional crisis. For a year and a half the president of the United States has been carrying out a systemic attack on the institutions of our democracy.

A constitutional crisis does not occur suddenly like a coup that causes a system of government to collapse. It occurs gradually, as that system is slowly weakened.

The current crisis has been unfolding since the waning days of the 2016 campaign when Trump refused to say whether he’d be bound by the election results if Hillary won.

It continued through March 4, 2017 when Trump claimed, without evidence, that Obama had wiretapped his phones in the Trump Tower during the campaign.

It deepened in May 2017 when, by his own admission, Trump was thinking of “this Russia thing” when he decided to fire FBI Director James Comey, who had been leading the bureau’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, andthen admitted to Russian officials that firing Comey had relieved “great pressure” on him “because of Russia,” according to a document summarizing the meeting. 

A constitutional crisis becomes especially dangerous when a president of the United States tells the public it cannot trust the government of the United States.  

Over the last few weeks, Trump has done just this.

First he accuses the FBI of sending a spy to secretly infiltrate his 2016 campaign “for political purposes.” Then he “demands” that the FBI investigate the spying – resulting in the Justice Department sharing portions of the FBI investigation with Trump’s allies in Congress.

Trump blames the entire Mueller investigation on a conspiratorial “deep state” intent on removing him from office. He uses pardons to demonstrate to those


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Sherman: “Massive Disconnect” Between Growth And Inflation Suggests More Pain Ahead In Rates

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Since DoubleLine Capital's Jeffrey Gundlach called what appears to have been the top of a more than 30-year bull market in bonds back in the summer of 2016, the company has established itself as one of the most respected thought leaders in the world of fixed income. But while Gundlach is widely seen as the public face of the firm, his co-CIO Jeffrey Sherman has also found success running the firm's strategic commodity fund, where he has developed strategies that focus on baskets of commodities that tend to trade in backwardation and contango, allowing the fund to pick up carry as the firm rolls over its positions from month to month. But a few months back, the firm changed its view and now believes that, as long as the 30-year stays under 3.22%, chaos in both equity and bond markets will be contained – at least for the time being.

Sherman

In this week's interview on the Macrovoices podcast, Erik Townsend discusses with Sherman why he and Gundlach now see the long end as the new key factor across markets. As Sherman explains, they don't see 3.22% as a change in their view, but rather as a sign that the long end is corroborating moves seen in other areas of the curve, and that a breakout might soon arrive.

But, during this whole time, the 30-year has really double topped in yields or triple topped in yields – at 3.22 a couple of times. Now within about ten trading days ago or so, we did actually settle above 3.22. So all the phones were ringing. Everybody’s asking what does this mean? You know, it closed at 3.24 – is this the telltale sign? And from technical analysis you wait for confirmation. You wait for a couple of days. We’ve always said, like, is it 3.25? 3.30?

Give it a little bit of wiggle room because of the length of duration and how painful that price move is. So it did not confirm in the next – we went below it and we’ve been below it since. Now, I’d say the world has changed over the last 10 or so calendar days. We had the resurrection of risk once again,


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When Will Investors Care About The Dollar Shortage Crisis?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Adem Tumerkan via Palisade-Research.com,

Former Federal Reserve Chairman – Ben ‘Helicopter’ Bernanke – just threw cold water on the mainstream growth narrative. He said the economy by 2020 is going to go right over the cliff.

Although rarely – I do agree with Helicopter Ben about something. . .

President Trump’s $1.5 trillion in personal and corporate tax cuts – plus $300 billion in increased federal spending – was done at the “very wrong moment.”

The huge tax cuts and government spending requires a significant amount of new debt to be issued, all while the Fed’s tightening and unwinding their balance sheet via Quantitative Tightening (QT). 

This is going to cause an evaporation of dollar liquidity – making the markets extremely fragile.

Putting it simply – the soaring U.S. deficit requires an even greater amount dollars from foreigners to fund the U.S. Treasury. But if the Fed is shrinking their balance sheet, that means the bonds they’re selling to banks are sucking dollars out of the economy (the reverse of Quantitative Easing which was injecting dollars into the economy). This is creating a shortage of U.S. dollars – the world’s reserve currency – therefore affecting every global economy.

This illiquidity is going to cause the oil that greases the wheels of markets to dry up – fast.

So, with the dollar shortage making matters worse – we also have that there’s never been a time when the Fed began tightening and it didn’t lead to negative economic growth or a market crisis.

The historic evidence of the Fed’s rate hikes – and the inverting yield curve – right before a recession is irrefutable.

Take a look at over the last 40 years…

As the Fed continues their rate hikes and QT, the over-indebted system becomes illiquid and more fragile. Things will eventually crack.

The protégé of Austrian Economist Ludwig Von Mises – Murray Rothbard – once asked a series of questions that stumped many economists defending the Fed.

From his book America’s Great Depression, he called these ‘The Sudden Cluster of Errors’, which were…

1. Most businesses in the economy generate steady profits and can service their debts fine. Then suddenly, without warning, conditions change, and the bulk of businesses begin posting huge losses and can’t pay their creditors.

2. How did all these astute business men, MBA graduates, and ‘professional’ forecasters make such huge errors together. And – most importantly – why did it all suddenly happen at this particular


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That Viral G-7 Photo As Seen From ‘The Other Side’

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

While this morning's tirade by Trump's top advisors against Just Trudeau have done nothing to dispel the G6+1 image that yesterday's viral photo from Quebec suggested…

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office released the now-iconic picture that showed her leaning over a table to confront a pouting Trump, with President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Theresa May beside her.

…as with everything else in our new polarized normal, the photo did not tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

In fact, as Bloomberg reports, when viewed from 'alternative' angles, 'alternative' facts become possible – each released by various nations:

The White House released this photo showing Trump holding court in a more relaxed setting, arms crossed, with Trudeau, Bolton, and Abe laughing…

France's official release, unsurprisingly focused on Macron, with Trump barely visible…

And finally, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s take was released with a wider frame, making sure the host, absent from most other images, was also visible — standing next to Trump, no less.

Something he probably regrets now.

As Bloomberg so poetically concluded, the G-7’s true power it seems, lies in the angle of the beholder.





Trader Warns: The Market’s Still Not Convinced That Inflation Is The Real Worry

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Kevin Muir via The Macro Tourist blog,

I have been banging on the inflation drum for so long I feel that even Todd Rundgren would be sick of hearing from me. While a couple of years ago, the majority of pundits were not talking about inflation – most were focused on the Fed’s inability to create rising prices in anything except financial assets – recently the market has awoken to the risks that accompany a decade of bat-shit-crazy central bank monetary policies.

With the current popularization of warnings about the coming inflation, I don’t know if I can add any value rehashing the points filling financial airwaves. The market seems to have finally caught on.Inflation is coming. In fact, it’s already here. And it will get a lot worse.

Instead of writing yet another piece reiterating my beliefs about why inflation will be a problem in the coming decades, I have decided to explore how market inflation expectations have changed over the past couple of years.

At the start of 2016, the market was pricing in a 1% 5-year breakeven inflation rate. That meant inflation had to average less than 1% for the next five years for nominal bonds to outperform TIPS (Treasury Inflation Protected Securities). Stop and think about that for a moment. The Federal Reserve has an inflation target of 2%. Yet the market did not believe they could achieve an inflation rate of even half their target.

The three Ds (deflation, demographics, and debt) were on everyone’s lips. It made little sense to invest in inflation-protected securities when everyone knew there could be no inflation.

Well, guess what? That 1% 5-year breakeven rate has now risen to 2%.

Today the market is expecting the Federal Reserve to hit its 2% inflation target.

But the most interesting part of this higher repricing of inflation expectations? Instead of worrying about inflation getting away from the Fed, the market is more worried about a short-term spike in inflation than a sustained long-term rise.

To illustrate this, let’s look at the US 2-year and 30-year breakeven inflation rates.

The 2-year breakeven inflation rate has risen from 0% in September 2015 to almost 2% today. During this same period, the 30-year breakeven inflation rate has stayed steady at approximately 2%, finishing that same period about an eighth of a percent higher.

The
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US Fighter Jet Crashes Into Sea Near Japan; Pilots Ejected, Condition Unknown

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A US fighter jet has crashed off the Japanese island of Okinawa, according to Reuters, citing Japanese media.

The jet is believed to be an F-15. 

According to the Okinawa Defense Bureau, NHK reports (via Google Translate) an aircraft that seems to be an American military F 15 fighter crashed on the morning of 11th morning off the coast of Okinawa Prefecture.

At around 6:40 am on the 11th, an aircraft, which is seen as an F 15 fighter aircraft belonging to Kadena base for the US military, crashed on the sea about 80 kilometers off the coast of the south of Naha city.

Two pilots ejected from the fighter jet; at least one was later rescued, but the conditions of both aviators are unknown so far.

The Coast Guard Headquarters is heading for confirmation of the site by issuing aircraft and patrol boats.

The jet reportedly took off from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, pictured below…

The crash comes as Donald Trump is in Singapore for a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, sparking fears by many that some kind of false flag event may be instigated to disrupt the potentially historic event.

Developing…





Strong Finish To Week

Courtesy of Declan.

Markets feeling the pressure of Thursday”s selling recovered to maintain recent breakouts. For example, the Nasdaq 100 made it back to breakout support after briefly undercutting this level on Thursday. Technicals are all bullish and the index remains well placed for further gains.






The Dow Jones Industrial Average also benefitted by staying clear of its narrow rising channel.  The index looks set to shape a new right-hand-side base with 25,800 its next challenge.





The Russell 2000 is well above breakout support and approaching a level which is 10% above its 200-day MA (when it gets above 12% it will be in profit take territory). Technicals are all positive.





The Semiconductor Index was another index to make it back to breakout support, despite a ‘sell’ trigger in CCI.- it was the only index to show technical weakness.





The ratio relationship between Discretionary and Staples accelerated to new highs as markets feel out a new resistance area; so far, bulls have full control.





Likewise, supporters of Dow Theory will be pleased to see the channel breakout in the ratio between the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Dow hold on as it looks to reverse its 3.5-year decline.





For Monday, look for further consolidation of gains as markets adjust to last week’s breakouts. Bulls have an easier time as there is no obvious short-side setup. Holding on an existing long play is perhaps the most prudent course of action.




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




I trade a small account on eToro, and invest using Ameritrade. If you would like to join me on eToro, register through the banner link and search for “fallond”.




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









 
 
 

ValueWalk

#1 Performing Global Macro Hedge Fund Sees More Shorts Opportunities Ahead As China Bursts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Crescat Global Macro Fund update to investors on 1/19/2019

Crescat Global Macro Fund and Crescat Long/Short fund delivered strong returns for both December and full year 2018 in a difficult market. Based on ...



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Zero Hedge

Johns Hopkins, Bristol-Myers Face $1 Billion Suit For Infecting Guatemalan Hookers With Syphilis 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A federal judge in Maryland said Johns Hopkins University, pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Rockefeller Foundation must face a $1 billion lawsuit over their roles in a top-secret program in the 1940s ran by the US government that injected hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis, reported Reuters.

Several doctors from Hopkins an...



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Phil's Favorites

Divisive economics

 

Guest author David Brin — scientist, technology consultant, best-selling author and futurist — explores the records of Democrats and Republicans on the US economy in the following post. For David's latest posts, visit the CONTRARY BRIN blog. For his books and short stories, visit his web...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Stock declines did not break 9-year support, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

We often hear “Stocks take an escalator up and an elevator down!” No doubt stocks did experience a swift decline from the September highs to the Christmas eve lows. Looks like the “elevator” part of the phrase came true as 2018 was coming to an end.

The first part of the “stocks take an escalator up” seems to still be in play as well despite the swift decline of late.

Joe Friday Just The Facts Ma’am- All of these indices hit long-term rising support on Christmas Eve at each (1), where support held and rallies have followed.

If you find long-term perspectives helpf...



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Digital Currencies

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

 

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

Blockchain technologies can empower people by allowing them more control over their user data. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Ajay Kumar Shrestha, University of Saskatchewan

Blockchain has already proven its huge influence on the financial world with its first application in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It might not be long before its impact is felt everywhere.

Blockchain is a secure chain of digital records that exist on multiple computers simultaneously so no record can be erased or falsified. The...



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Insider Scoop

Cars.com Explores Strategic Alternatives, Analyst Sees Possible Sale Price Around $30 Per Share

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related 44 Biggest Movers From Yesterday 38 Stocks Moving In Wednesday's Mid-Day Session ...

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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 13, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

In last week’s recap we asked:  “Has the Fed solved all the market’s problems in 1 speech?”

Thus far the market says yes!  As Guns n Roses preached – all we need is a little “patience”.  Four up days followed by a nominal down day Friday had the market following it’s normal pattern the past nearly 30 years – jumping whenever the Federal Reserve hints (or essentially says outright) it is here for the markets.   And in case you missed it the prior Friday, Chairman Powell came back out Thursday to reiterate the news – so…so… so… patient!

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reinforced that message Thursday during a discussion at the Economic Club of Washington where he said that the central bank will be “fle...



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Members' Corner

Why Trump Can't Learn

 

Bill Eddy (lawyer, therapist, author) predicted Trump's chaotic presidency based on his high-conflict personality, which was evident years ago. This post, written in 2017, references a prescient article Bill wrote before Trump even became president, 5 Reasons Trump Can’t Learn. ~ Ilene 

Why Trump Can’t Learn

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore (...



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Biotech

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

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

 

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Bacteriophage viruses infecting bacterial cells , Bacterial viruses. from www.shutterstock.com

Courtesy of John Bergeron, McGill University

Today, the scientific community is aghast at the prospect of gene editing to create “designer” humans. Gene editing may be of greater consequence than climate change, or even the consequences of unleashing the energy of the atom.

...

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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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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"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

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.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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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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