Archive for 2018

Is This The Military Technology Used To Defeat The Gatwick Drone?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The mystery behind the 'drone incident' that paralyzed air traffic at Sussex's Gatwick airport for 36 hours this week – interrupting the holiday travel plans of some 140,000 people and cancelling more than 1,000 flights – is getting more bizarre by the day. After police revealed they had arrested two individuals – a middle-aged man and woman from Crawley – on Friday night – both suspects have reportedly been cleared of their involvement in the crime and released, according to the BBC.

Police are now continuing their search for the mysterious pilot who disrupted plane traffic by flying drones over the Gatwick runway, piloting them within feet of a control tower and even flashing lights at police who had gathered at the scene in what appeared to be a taunting. One detective who has been assigned to the case told reporters that police had recovered a damaged drone near the airport. Investigators will be working with "the forensic opportunities that the drone presents."

"Our inquiry continues at a pace to locate those responsible for the drone incursions, and we continue to actively follow lines of investigation," the detective said.

Gatwick is offering a 50,000 pound ($63,000) reward via the UK's Crimestoppers for any information that might lead to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for piloting the drones. The culprit will ultimately face up to 5 years in prison if found and convicted.

Meanwhile, the army and police have released few details about the techniques they used to resolve the drone issue. But after photographs of three unidentified devices spotted on the airport's roof surfaced in the media…

Two

Three

…some experts are beginning to develop theories about what the devices are and how they were used.

Many have suggested that the Israeli-developed "Drone Dome" was used to jam communications and down the drone, according to the BBC.

It is believed that the Israeli-developed Drone Dome system, which can jam communications between the drone and its operator, was used.

However, experts have said it does not enable the person responsible to be tracked


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Weekly Market Recap Dec 23, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

Another disaster week for the markets, and one of the worst this writer can remember since the financial crisis.  Indeed this was the worst one week performance for the S&P 500 since 2011 and NASDAQ since October 2008!  Not even a more “dovish” Fed could save it Wednesday; definitely a change of character.  All the charts continue to point to bad signs – that said in the near term the market is EXTREMELY oversold and vicious rallies can and do happen within downtrends but aside from the nimblest of traders it remains a time of caution.   Maybe Santa can bring some rallying this week.

The Fed announced its fourth interest-rate increase of the year, hiking the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to a range of 2.25% to 2.5%, and deepened those losses during a press conference where Chairman Powell explained the decision and accompanying forecasts.   The central bank now pencils in two rate hikes in 2019, not the three moves seen in September, and it still forecasts just one more hike for 2020.

Of particular concern was Powell’s discussion of the Fed’s quantitative tightening program, which is now removing $50 billion of federal government debt and mortgage bonds from the central bank’s balance sheet.  Powell reiterated in his news conference that balance-sheet reduction would remain on “autopilot,” suggesting that even if the U.S. economy deteriorates significantly, as many market participants are predicting will happen next year, financial conditions will nevertheless become tighter month-by-month.

“The immediate market reaction has been that the statement is less dovish than anticipated,” said Steven Blitz, chief U.S. economist at TS Lombard. “Perhaps people had unrealistic expectations about what the Fed would say.”

“I would characterize the Fed’s statement as dovish, but perhaps not as dovish as the market hoped,” said Peter Berezin senior vice president of global investment strategy at BCA research.

Economic news was not market moving so we’ll ignore it.

If you care about “bear market” definitions (which are a bit silly) –…
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Economic Data Scheduled For Monday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

  • The Chicago Fed National Activity Index for November is schedule for release at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • The Treasury is set to auction 3-and 6-month bills at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Treasury will auction 2-year notes at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Posted-In: Economic DataNews Economics Pre-Market Outlook Markets





The Exodus Continues: Tesla Gigafactory VP Leaves For Softbank-Backed Startup

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The revolving door of executives at Tesla simply knows no bounds.

Just days after it was reported that the company lost investor relations manager Aaron Chew, Tesla is now reportedly losing Jens Peter Clausen, one of their Gigafactory Vice Presidents who was heading up battery manufacturing.

This also rounds out, according to CNBC, over 40 executives that have left the company this year. That list includes Doug Field, once slated to possibly be the company's obvious choice for COO, and general counsel Todd Maron.

Clausen is moving to Zymergen, a synthetic biology company that has backing from Softbank. When interviewed by CNBC, the CEO of Zymergen stated that they were growing “at a pace that I’m not sure has been seen in life sciences”. Of Clausen, he said that he was sought out due to his experience “designing and improving largely automated manufacturing environments”.

At Tesla, Clausen was in charge of the rapid expansion of battery manufacturing at the company's Gigafactory outside of Reno, Nevada. Tesla manufactures batteries using an amalgam of both automated and manual manufacturing processes alongside of Panasonic, its main supplier and partner at the facility. Prior to joining Tesla in 2015, Clausen worked in manufacturing at Lego. His tenure at Tesla barely lasted over three years, which surprisingly probably puts him above the median executive tenure at the company.

Clausen had previously been reported to be on leave. Gigafactory workers had told CNBC during the summer that they weren’t sure whether or not he would be returning to the company. As part of promotions Tesla made on September 7, it announced Chris Lister as its new Gigafactory Vice President. Despite promoting somebody else to his position, the company stated then that "Clausen had no plans to leave".

Like many other things the company says, this may have not been the case.

His official start date at his new job is January 3, right around when the year to date clock for departures at Tesla will reset and the company will again get a chance to break what appeared to be a record year for its executive revolving door.





LA Doubled Homeless Budget, Doubled Homeless Crime

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Daniel Greenfield via Sultan Knish blog,

It wasn’t all that long ago that the nation watched transfixed in horror as fires tore apart California, destroying homes and claiming lives. In all the debates about global warming and forestry management, one singular cause of the fire was left unaddressed.

Global warming wasn’t starting the fires. People were.

Last December, the 422-acre Skirball Fire that forced the evacuation of 700 homes and took 10 days to put out was started by illegal cooking in a homeless encampment. The Leo Baeck Temple in Bel-Air, which celebrates "social justice", even sued Los Angeles (both city and county) over fire damage for ignoring multiple complaints about the homeless encampment and the fire hazard that it posed.

This November, the Los Angeles Zoo had to evacuate its animals over a fire in yet another homeless encampment. That fire not only endangered lives, but diverted resources from fighting the much more serious fires in Ventura County.

But instead of shutting down the encampments, Mayor Garcetti, who has done more to legalize and subsidize homelessness in Los Angeles than any of his predecessors, sent "outreach workers" from the expanding behemoth of the LA Homeless Services Agency to ask them to please move.

That worked about as well as expected.

Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer blasted Garcetti for condoning campfires and refusing to arrest "homeless firebugs" and "vagrants" because there weren’t enough "No Trespassing" signs. “It’s unclear to me how many signs Mayor Eric Garcetti thinks he would need to cover the Santa Monica Mountains behind Bel Air and the Getty Museum," he angrily wrote.

Brush fires are just one of the wages of the legalization and subsidization of the homeless. And while these fires are spectacular, they are not the most dangerous consequence.

Los Angeles had doubled its homeless budget to $450 million. Despite that its homeless population had only dropped to 39,826, a reduction of only 256 people. The only surprise in those statistics is that the population dropped at all. Homeless spending has the notorious effect of increasing homeless populations rather than diminishing them as vagrants swarm in…
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The Charts I’m Thinking About

 

The Charts I’m Thinking About

Courtesy of 

Can President Trump fire the Chairman of the Federal Reserve?

This is the question that we’ve been forced to ponder this weekend as news that Mr. Trump has been asking his advisors about it has been widely reported. The spin machine went into overdrive, putting Treasury Secretary Mnuchin out on Twitter to deny it and then newly installed White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was talking down the threat on the Sunday shows this morning.

As always, the more these people deny something, the more you absolutely can take it to the bank that it’s definitely true.

I was thinking about the dollar in the context of a mad President who has no idea (or interest) about the limitations of his power, nor even a cursory understanding of the importance of faith and confidence in our markets.

This past week, the US dollar made a three-month low against the Yen, which as you can see below, has happened during every stock market sell-off throughout 2018 (Jan-Feb, October, December). When investors around the globe get nervous, they reach for the Yen, the world’s preeminent risk-off currency…

Speaking of, if there’s one correlation you’ve been able to set your watch to this year, it’s the dollar vs emerging market stocks. They’re almost perfectly negatively correlated – a strong dollar makes it harder for EM countries that owe interest on US denominated debt to make payments (the oversimplified version is good enough).

Below, I’ve inverted the US dollar index (blue) and then compared it with the MSCI Emerging Markets Free Index (green) on a daily chart, with a 200-period correlation chart in the bottom pane. It’s almost perfect (click to embiggen).

And speaking of emerging markets, they’re now acting a lot better than the US indices. The simplest explanation is to say that international stocks including EM have been getting killed all year, and the recent plunge in the US averages is just a catch-down trade taking place into year-end.

But what if it’s something more than that? Below, two ways of looking…
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Ethereum Soars As Lubin Calls “The Cryptobottom”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Ethereum is up 30% from Friday's 'close' (and Bitcoin back above $4000) after Joseph Lubin, co-founder of the cryptocurrency, declared that he is "calling the cryptobottom of 2018" in a tweet.

After a strong week last week, all major cryptos are up again, with Ether leading the way…

Driving Ethereum up to one-month highs, erasing almost all the post-Bitcoin-Cash hard-fork losses…

And Bitcoin back above $4,000…

As CoinTelegraph reports, according to Lubin, the crypto market’s bottom “is marked by an epic amount of fear, uncertainty, and doubt,” specifically from industry media and social commentators, which he refers to as “our friends in the 4th and crypto-5th estates.”

image courtesy of CoinTelegraph

Continuing in a Twitter thread, the founder of Ethereum blockchain-focused software firm ConsenSys then evidently addressed his firms recently reported major layoffs:

“ConsenSys remains healthy and is engaging in a rebalancing of priorities and activities which started about nine months ago.”

He stated that Consensys continues investing in projects — in its role as a blockchain tech incubator and venture firm — and hiring for internal projects that “remain core to our forward looking-business.”

In the same thread, Lubin complained about “an epic amount of conjecture and preemptive paranoia” concerning “situations journalists and bloggers don't have real data for, actual insight into, or understanding of.”

Concluding, Lubin reiterated his optimism about the future of ConsenSys and Ethereum, stating:

“The sky is not falling. From my perspective the future looks very bright. [...] Peaking [sic] into 2019, if you could see the landscape through my eyes, you'd have to wear shades.”

Reports surfaced this week — citing sources familiar with the matter — that ConsenSys is spinning out startups it previously backed, some of them without financial support. The sources…
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2018 Summed Up In One Picture

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Presented with no comment (because we wouldn't want offend anyone)…

Source





How US demographics changed in 2018: 5 essential reads

 

How US demographics changed in 2018: 5 essential reads

File 20181119 76131 il1gbi.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

The U.S. is getting older, more suburban and less fertile. connel/shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Aviva Rutkin, The Conversation

Editor’s note: As we come to the end of the year, Conversation editors take a look back at the stories that – for them – exemplified 2018.

The end of the year is a classic time for reflection. But, in today’s turbulent news cycle, it can be hard to keep track of what happened last week, let alone what was going on way back on Jan. 1.

For a look back at 2018, I’d like to slow down and draw attention to a few stories that looked at the big picture. How is the U.S. changing, on a grand and gradual scale? How are Americans different than they were last year, or last decade, or last century?

These patterns may not yet be fully understood, but they hint at what the U.S. could become.

1. Americans aren’t living as long

This was the third year in a row with falling U.S. life expectancy.

“The U.S. is not bumping up against natural limits to life expectancy,” writes David Bishai, who studies health economics at Johns Hopkins University. “The extra American funerals were for American sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, neighbors and coworkers dying in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. Their death certificates list mostly overdoses from opioids and other substances, cirrhosis, suicide and homicide.”

2. Americans aren’t having as many kids

It’s a baby bust: This year, the national fertility rate fell by 2 percent, to just 1.76 children per women. That’s the lowest the rate has been in 30 years.

Demographers offered a number of explanations for the drop, including birth control use and the high cost of having children.

Caroline Sten Hartnett at the University of South Carolina isn’t too worried, explaining that the drop brings the U.S. closer to its peers: “This gap between the U.S. and other developed countries baffled demographers through the 1990s and early 2000s.”…
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The Future Of Artificial Intelligence In Oil & Gas

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Irina Slav via Oilprice.com,

After a slow start, the oil and gas industry seems to be eager to adopt all sorts of digital technology as they help companies keep costs lower while boosting efficiency. Artificial intelligence is being flaunted as the answer to all problems or, at least, a better answer to many problems than older approaches. And it is maturing.

First of all, it needs to be said that a lot of the people who talk about AI enthusiastically do not mean artificial intelligence literally, as in an autonomous system capable of making decisions on its own. What they most commonly mean is predictive and analytic algorithms, and the process that allows for the deployment in a huge variety of tasks in the upstream industry: machine learning.

While the hype is considerable, it’s not all without merit. The co-founder and chief executive of oiltech statup OilX, Florian Thaler, told Oilprice that “amidst the general hype, there is indeed an epochal shift: the current exponential growth in oil data from sensors and satellite is unprecedented and is not showing any signs of slowing down.”

But this data has to be clean and high-quality, Thaler explains. Once the quality and reliability of data collected are good enough, the data can be used to create a whole platform based on machine learning that effectively works as a digital oil analyst. And this is just one application of machine learning, often inaccurately referred to as AI.

Some believe 2019 is the year that will mark AI’s advance to practice from theory. One of these optimistic experts is Jan Ren, the chief executive of software developer Atomiton.

Ren told Forbes’ Mark Venables that:

“The biggest thing that will impact you as a company is that AI is going to go from theory to practice. So far it has been mostly theoretical, but people don't understand how to do it and what it can do. I think now people understand its potential and more projects are being fulfilled and implemented. The infrastructure industry will start to push AI from the how, the technical, to the what, which means AI will be recognized by


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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:

 

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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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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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