Posts Tagged ‘specialization’

Natural Selection, Finance and Extinction

Charles makes an interesting analogy between the banking system and a parasite whose aggressive feeding on its host will eventually lead to its extinction.  - Ilene 

Natural Selection, Finance and Extinction  

Courtesy of Charles Hugh Smith Of Two Minds 

Iguana, the great herbivorous sea lizard of the Galapagos Islands. Charles Darwin's study of the fauna of the islands contributed to his theory of evolution. Wood engraving c1890.

The current U.S. financial sector has been selected to reap enormous profits off a very narrow ecology of speculation, credit, risk and leverage. That parasitic specialization makes it highly vulnerable to extinction.

One of my projects is to integrate the insights offered by the processes of natural selection into the Survival+ critique and recommendations.

This line of inquiry has led me to ask: is the current financial system as robust and resilient as its many backers claim, or beneath the hype and propaganda, is it actually acutely vulnerable to collapse?

From the point of view of selection, we would start by considering the ecology the system has evolved in, and ask how specialized the system has become--in other words, how dependent is the financial system on narrow and potentially vulnerable sources of energy?

In nature, species which go extinct often do so when they have become increasingly specialized to exploit a narrow source of sustenance. Such species evolve that specialization in order to exploit the windfall offered by a food supply that has fewer (or even no) competitors.

This lack of competition offers the species rich rewards for specializing (long beaks maximized to fit certain flowers, etc.) even as they increase the species’ vulnerability to a breakdown or collapse in the limited source of food they have been selected to exploit.

The narrower the base of food and the greater the specialization, the more vulnerable the species will be to reductions in that food source. Thus a plant disease which wipes out the specific flowers will drive the bird with a highly specialized beak to extinction unless it can adapt quickly enough to another food source, or leave that ecology for one with a new source of similar flowers.

The U.S. financial system has already exploited the standard ecologies of capital and lending. How profitable is originating and holding plain-vanilla mortgages? Not very profitable at all, compared to the vast profits generated by securitizing mortgages and writing derivatives against those bundled and tranched loans.

The U.S. financial system in effect stumbled into a new ecology of profitable windfalls that no one else had ever seen or exploited:…
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Zero Hedge

Citigroup Shutters Retail Options Market-Making After Losing War Against HFTs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Anyone following market dynamics in recent months would have been left with the impression that whereas other securities may have had a rather somnolent third quarter, option market makers would be printing cash hand over fist, thanks mostly to the recent boom in retail call option buying, which as shown in the chart below, has seen nearly a doubling in option trading volumes in the past few months and hitting a record 18.4 million in August.

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Phil's Favorites

SPACs are still bulls***

 

SPACs are still bulls***

Courtesy of 

I almost slipped and bought into the SPAC Renaissance. Almost.

Draftkings looks legit. But Draftkings could have been a true IPO. The SPAC wrapper was beside the point. Chamath and Ackman will probably do something legit, those guys usually find a way to win. Maybe a few others. The rest are / will be garbage. My first impression was right.

Nikola’s stock has now fallen from near 100 down into the 20’s as the guy’s whole story has unraveled. Then the guy stepped down and ran away. None of this had to happen. But Nikola arrived on the markets as the quarry of a Special Purpose Acquisit...



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ValueWalk

FDA's New Moves Can't Allay Coronavirus Vaccine Fears

By JOHN F. BANZHAF. Originally published at ValueWalk.

FDA’s New Moves Can’t Allay Vaccine Fears; Weaker Standards and Political Pressures Worry Many Experts

Q2 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

FDA's New Standards On Coronavirus Vaccine

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 23, 2020) -  In an effort to repair its badly damaged reputation, and convince the public that they should take any vaccine it authorizes, the FDA is issuing new standards, but they probably will not convince either experts nor the public that it will be safe and effective, says public interest law professor ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Is Gold/US Dollar Ratio Sending Bearish Signal To Precious Metals?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Last month, I featured this Gold / US Dollar ratio chart in an article warning of the potential for a trend reversal.

While the broader bullish trend is still intact (higher lows since 2015), it could be time for Gold to take a breather.

Looking at today’s “updated” chart, we can see that the ratio formed a “doji star” candle last month with momentum running at peak levels (concerning). And this month we are seeing follow through to the downside (in the form of a red candle).

As well, this bearish reversal pa...



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Politics

'Colossal Backdoor Bailout': Outrage as Pentagon Funnels Hundreds of Millions Meant for Covid Supplies to Private Defense Contractors

 

'Colossal Backdoor Bailout': Outrage as Pentagon Funnels Hundreds of Millions Meant for Covid Supplies to Private Defense Contractors

"If you can't get a Covid test or find an N95, it’s because these contractors stole from the American people to make faster jets and fancy uniforms."

By Jake Johnson

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley hold an end of year press conference at the Pentagon on December 20, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Instead of adhering to congressional inten...



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Biotech/COVID-19

How and when will we know that a COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective?

 

How and when will we know that a COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective?

How much longer must society wait for a vaccine? ANDRZEJ WOJCICKI/Getty Images

By William Petri, University of Virginia

With COVID-19 vaccines currently in the final phase of study, you’ve probably been wondering how the FDA will decide if a vaccine is safe and effective.

Based on the status of the Phase 3 trials currently underway, it i...



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Chart School

Stocks are not done yet - Update

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

There are a few times in history when a third party said this US paper (stocks, funds or bonds) is worthless.

Here is two.

1) 1965 Nixon Shock - The French said to US we do not want your paper dollars please pay us in gold. This of course led to the US going off the gold standard.

2) 2007 Bear Stern Fund Collapse - Investors said their funds collateral was worth much less than stated. This of course was the beginning of the great america housing bust of 2008.


In both cases it was stated .."look the Emperor is naked!"... (The Empe...

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Digital Currencies

Cryptocurrencies Rarely Used To Launder Money, Fiat Preferred

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Shaurya Malwa via Decrypt.io,

Traditional channels continue to dominate the estimated $2 trillion global money laundering racket instead of cryptocurrencies, a report says.

In brief
  • Money laundering via cryptocurrencies is not a preferred tool for criminals, a report said...



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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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Promotions

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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

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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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