Joe Biden continued his string of public gaffes while campaigning in Iowa Tuesday, inaccurately claiming that Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. were assassinated in the 1970s.
Joe Biden continued his string of public gaffes while campaigning in Iowa Tuesday, inaccurately claiming that Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. were assassinated in the 1970s.
RSS Error: A feed could not be found at https://conservativetribune.com/feed/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.
AI Expert Warns We're Summoning Robot "Entities" Who'll Treat Us Like Ants
AI expert Geordie Rose says that tech developers are summoning “entities” into existence which will have the same indifference to humans as we have towards ants.
“They not gonna be like us, they’re gonna be aliens…they’re gonna be way smarter than every single person in this room in ways that we can’t even comprehend,” said Rose.
He then mentioned Elon Musk’s concerns about artificial intelligence taking over humanity, but cautioned that the word “demons” doesn’t even capture the true scope of what will happen.
The CEO of Kindred AI (worth $100 million) who currently sell the only quantum computers available, talks about how they're summoning entities that are indifferent, much like The Great Old One's in H.P Lovecraft's fiction novels Sounds like they're trying to bring Shayateen 🤷🏾♂️ pic.twitter.com/JBvgl1Ircv— Yunis (@Wayfaring_farer) September 15, 2019 https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
Rose then cited H.P Lovecraft’s concept of “cosmic indifference,” where the universe is occupied by entities who “don’t give a shit about you even in the slightest.”
“The same way that you don’t care about an ant is the same way they’re not gonna care about you,” said Rose.
He went on to say that “these things we’re summoning into the world right now... are more like the Lovecraftian The Great Old Ones, they’re entities that are not necessarily going to be aligned with what we want.”
Rose said that this massive transformation was happening in the background while people were distracted bickering about politics.
As we have exhaustively explained, the elite plans to fuse with AI to create the singularity while the masses will be left behind as a slave class or, according to some, exterminated completely.
* * *
My voice is being silenced by free speech-hating Silicon Valley behemoths who want me disappeared forever. It is CRUCIAL that you support me. Please sign up for the free newsletter here. Donate to me on SubscribeStar here. Support my sponsor – Turbo Force – a supercharged boost of clean energy without the comedown.Tyler Durden Tue, 09/17/2019 - 14:51
Divesting From Oil Companies Does 'Nothing' To Save The Climate, Bill Gates Says
Climate activists who have convinced pension funds to divest from energy stocks as a way of taking a stance on the climate can save their breath, because according to Microsoft founder Bill Gates, they're wasting their time.
Those who are trying to save the world from climate change would be better served by simply investing in companies that are researching disruptive non-carbon energy sources, Gates said (they might also want to consider $MSFT shares).
For example, investors might have better results if they choose to place their money in Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods - or other companies chasing similarly green business models.
Gates suspects that, for all of the money that has been drained out of the energy sector because of the divestment movement, nothing has been done to reduce emissions.
And the divestment movement hasn't been confined to a few fringe groups. In recent years, it has gained real traction; Now the Church of England, an array of pension funds and sovereign wealth funds, and an investment vehicle that manages the wealth of the Rockefeller family.
"Divestment, to date, probably has reduced about zero tonnes of emissions. It’s not like you’ve capital-starved [the] people making steel and gasoline," he said. "I don’t know the mechanism of action where divestment [keeps] emissions [from] going up every year. I’m just too damn numeric."
During an interview with the FT published Tuesday, Gates questioned the strategy's "theory of change," arguing that it's more effective to support companies trying to fight carbon emissions and disrupt established markets like food and fuel than trying to starve energy giants like ExxonMobil of capital.
"When I’m taking billions of dollars and creating breakthrough energy ventures and funding only companies who, if they’re successful, reduce greenhouse gases by 0.5%, then I actually do see a cause and effect type thing," he said.
Gates is making the media rounds ahead of the UN General Assembly meeting later this month. He and his wife, Melinda, with whom he started the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, released their organization's "Goalkeepers" report on Tuesday. The UN is hoping to fulfill these goals by 2030, the FT said. But Bill and Melinda Gates are trying to convince the world that not enough is being done, and that achieving their goals would be "unrealistic" on the current trajectory.
The Goalkeepers report says the response to climate change can't be limited to reining in emissions, and should instead focus on helping society cope with the changes to the climate that have already happened.
"We’re nowhere near improving fast enough to reach those goals," Gates said.
"It is a terrible injustice that the people who suffer the most are the poorest farmers in the world. They didn’t do anything to cause climate change, but because they rely on rain for their livelihoods, they are at the front lines of coping with it," Gates said.
Gates has also been grappling with some unwanted publicity this week, following reports that he made a $2 million donation to the MIT Media Lab on Jeffrey Epstein's behalf. Gates and his people have denied that the two men had any kind of "business or personal relationship."Tyler Durden Tue, 09/17/2019 - 14:24 Tags Environment
Could Ultra-Low Interest Rates Be Contractionary?
Although low interest rates have traditionally been viewed as positive for economic growth because they encourage businesses to invest in enhancing productivity, this may not be the case. Instead, extremely low rates may lead to slower growth by increasing market concentration and thus weakening firms' incentive to boost productivity.
The real (inflation-adjusted) yield on ten-year US treasuries is currently zero, and has been extremely low for most of the past eight years. Outside of the United States, meanwhile, 40% of investment-grade bonds have negative nominal yields. And most recently, the European Central Bank further reduced its deposit rate to -0.5% as part of a new package of economic stimulus measures for the eurozone.
Low interest rates have traditionally been viewed as positive for economic growth. But our recent research suggests that this may not be the case. Instead, extremely low interest rates may lead to slower growth by increasing market concentration. If this argument is correct, it implies that reducing interest rates further will not save the global economy from stagnation.
The traditional view holds that when long-term rates fall, the net present value of future cash flows increases, making it more attractive for firms to invest in productivity-enhancing technologies. Low interest rates therefore have an expansionary effect on the economy through stronger productivity growth.
But if low interest rates also have an opposite strategic effect, they reduce the incentive for firms to invest in boosting productivity. Moreover, as long-term real rates approach zero, this strategic contractionary effect dominates. So, in today’s low-interest-rate environment, a further decline in rates will most probably slow the economy by reducing productivity growth.
This strategic effect works through industry competition. Although lower interest rates encourage all firms in a sector to invest more, the incentive to do so is greater for market leaders than for followers. As a result, industries become more monopolistic over time as long-term rates fall.
Our research indicates that an industry leader and follower interact strategically in the sense that each carefully considers the other’s investment policy when deciding on its own. In particular, because industry leaders respond more strongly to a decline in the interest rate, followers become discouraged and stop investing as leaders get too far ahead. And because leaders then face no serious competitive threat, they too ultimately stop investing and become “lazy monopolists.”
Perhaps the best analogy is with two runners engaged in a perpetual race around a track. The runner who finishes each lap in the lead earns a prize. And it is the present discounted value of these potential prizes that encourages the runners to improve their position.
Now, suppose that sometime during the race, the interest rate used to discount future prizes falls. Both runners would then want to run faster because future prizes are worth more today. This is the traditional economic effect. But the incentive to run faster is greater for the runner in the lead, because she is closer to the prizes and hence more likely to get them.
The lead runner therefore increases her pace by more than the follower, who becomes discouraged because she is now less likely to catch up. If the discouragement effect is large enough, then the follower simply gives up. Once that happens, the leader also slows down, as she no longer faces a competitive threat. And our research suggests that this strategic discouragement effect will dominate as the interest rate used to discount the value of the prizes approaches zero.
In a real-world economy, the strategic effect is likely to be even stronger, because industry leaders and followers do not face the same interest rate in practice. Followers typically pay a spread over the interest rate paid by market leaders – and this spread tends to persist as interest rates fall. A cost-of-funding advantage like this for industry leaders would further strengthen the strategic contractionary impact of low interest rates.
This contractionary effect helps to explain a number of important global economic patterns.
First, the decline in interest rates that began in the early 1980s has been associated with growing market concentration, rising corporate profits, weaker business dynamism, and declining productivity growth. All are consistent with our model. Moreover, the timing of the aggregate trends also matches the model: the data show an increase in market concentration and profitability from the 1980s through 2000, followed by a slowdown in productivity growth starting in 2005.
Second, the model makes some unique empirical predictions that we test against the data. For example, a stock portfolio that is long on industry leaders and short on industry followers generates positive returns when interest rates fall. More important, this effect becomes even stronger when the rate is low to begin with. This, too, is consistent with what the model predicts.
The contractionary effect of ultra-low interest rates has important implications for the global economy. Our analysis suggests that with interest rates already extremely low, a further decline will have a negative economic impact via increased market concentration and lower productivity growth. So, far from saving the global economy, lower interest rates may cause it more pain.Tyler Durden Tue, 09/17/2019 - 14:07 Tags Business Finance
America's Biggest Banks Are Rehabilitating The Mortgage Bonds That Crashed The Economy In 2008
10 years after a blowup in the private-label MBS market nearly brought down the global banking system, the biggest, most systemically important banks (who were ultimately forced to accept a government bailout and a round of consolidation during the fallout) have apparently decided that enough time has passed, and that now would be a good time to revive it, as they close deals on billions in newly issued mortgage-backed bonds, WSJ reports.
After many of their investors got stuck holding - as Jeremy Irons' character in "Margin Call" so eloquently put it - "the biggest bucket of odorous excrement in the history of...capitalism," the private label MBS virtually disappeared in the wake of the crisis. Over the years, smaller banks that weren't burdened by all of the regulatory hangups of their SIFI peers have tried to revive the business, but to no avail.
But while private label MBS still only represents a tiny share of the overall market, issuance is picking up this year.
The timing is certainly interesting. Earlier this month, President Trump proposed privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (it's not too difficult to imagine some of these banks buying up chunks of the GSEs' business). And even if the government can't put together a plan to privatize the mortgage-origination giants, the White House will at least shrink them, creating more room in the market for private label.
With trillions of dollars of global bonds yielding less than zero, and the 10-year Treasury struggling to retake the 2% level, investors remain "starved" for yield. Since there's no implicit government guarantee on private label bonds, investors will likely demand a higher yield than the MBS being packaged by Fannie and Freddie.
Still, there some obvious risks remain. While experts maintain that the banking system is in much better shape today than it was during the run-up to the crisis, many of the mortgages that will be used to package into these securities will be made by non-banks, which are more lightly regulated, and often thinly capitalized. Citigroup recently bought a pool of 932 mortgages from a nonbank lender called Impac Mortgage Holdings and used them to back more than $350 million in bonds in a deal that closed last month.
This risks a return to the pre-crisis days, when banks would bid on mortgages, incentivizing lenders to relax their standards to meet growing demand.
As we noted a few months back, JPM recently revived another relic from the pre-crisis days: The synthetic CDO. And it's struggling to convince more clients to trade these products. The largest US bank by assets also recently did a private-label MBS deal recently with a bundle of mortgages that "didn't qualify" to be bought by Fannie and Freddie. Goldman has done three deals since March and Wells Fargo introduced its first post-crisis offerings last October.
With home prices already at such unaffordable levels, and with millennials putting off decisions like buying a home, we're curious: Where are these banks going to get all of these mortgages? Can they do it without seriously 'relaxing' lending standards?Tyler Durden Tue, 09/17/2019 - 13:45 Tags Business Finance
"Socrates, Yogi Berra, And Donald Rumsfeld Walk Into A Bar..."
With stocks at all-time highs, any significant correction will have a devasting effect on the 55% of boomers who have retirement savings; of the 10,000 boomers retiring daily 1,500 have at best two years of living expenses while 4,000 will be living solely off Social Security
University of Michigan data isolates a source of risk to the business outlook households perceive but can’t articulate which has spiked recently; “Background Risk” which cannot be avoided or diversified has become the second largest driver of recession odds
Even with spreads a third narrower since December, the junk bond market issued $13B of new paper last week, a two-year high; spreads for the lowest-rated junk bonds, ‘CCC,’ have only narrowed by 11% from the end of last year indicating that taking on risk has its limits
Heresay is all we get when it comes to Socrates. But we take what we can get because it’s so good. With that, according to Plato, Socrates coached hubristically inclined mortals as such:
“I only know that I don’t know anything.”
Some 1,600 years after his untimely death in 399 B.C., the philosopher Ibn Yami categorized this thinking. We’d like to focus today on Yami’s third level of actualization:
“One who doesn’t know, but knows that he doesn’t know... his limping mule will eventually get him home.”
Or if you prefer the over-cooked version of this adapted in the modern era by Donald Rumsfeld, the “known unknowns,” things we’re aware of, but can’t fathom, or in one word – risk.
In the canyons of Wall Street, traders are paid based on their knack for gauging real-time risk. Throughout America, mom and pop investors are rewarded based on their ability to anticipate the megacycles elongated by the Federal Reserve. There are millions of baby boomers who would have long since retired if they hadn’t been wiped out by the busts that followed booms in their adult lives. The exceptions are those who were willing to cash out early and got back in, a.k.a. the lucky few.
Today, countless members of this same cohort live in more home than they can afford to carry into retirement and don’t have the luxury of time to wait out their stock portfolio’s next body blow. As per fresh data out of the Insured Retirement Institute, of the 55% of boomers who have retirement savings, one-in-four have less than $100,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that those 65 and older spend $48,885 a year. Quick math dictates that 15% of the 10,000 boomers retiring daily have at best two years of living expenses while 40% will immediately be living solely off Social Security. With that as a backdrop, how would a 56% decline in the S&P, matching the last downturn, go over?
It’s no secret that acute overvaluation heightens the odds of a financial event, whether the trigger is a drone attack or a massive strike at a Big 3 automaker. The problem is neither of these contingencies were known knowns as of the close of trading Friday.
This somewhat Socratic exercise brings us to some micro data via the University of Michigan. Every month, those surveyed are asked about the source of bad news they’re hearing about changing business conditions. The categories include government/elections, unemployment, lower consumer demand, higher prices, tighter credit, energy crisis, stock market or trade/global economy. And then there is the unknown, the factor making things worse that households just can’t articulate even though they know it’s there. As you can see on the blue line above, the last two months have seen a spike in unidentifiable risk.
A parallel gauge backs this growing anxiety. According to J.P. Morgan, the largest contributor to the current 45% probability of recession striking within a year is Historical Average, at 17%. Add up the other economic components and you get to 33%. And then there’s “background risk,” which at 12% is the second largest driver of recession odds. As per Google, “Background risk is risk that cannot be avoided or diversified…(it) makes people less willing to take other independent risks.” QI’s Dr. Gates sagely asked, “Got trade war?”
We would add that high yield investors’ fear of the unknown is heightened despite its intangibility. To much fanfare, corporate bond issuance has been on fire. The party has extended to the junk bond market where companies sold $13 billion of bonds last week, a two-year high. The premiums investors pay over comparable maturity Treasuries have narrowed by nearly a third, to 365 basis points (bps) from 526 bps at the end of last year.
The same cannot be said of ‘CCC’ junk bonds, the last rung on the credit rating scale before an issuer defaults. Spreads have come in 11%, to 878 from 989 in December and averaged an elevated 821 bps over the past 12 months. We don’t deny that the trade has been “Risk On” but only up to a point.
As QI friend Peter Cecchini of Cantor Fitzgerald wrote recently, junk bond investors are buying “pure froth” as leverage pushes seven times EBITDA at a growing number of firms while that same EBITDA equates to less than 1.5 times annual interest expenses. We concur with Bloomberg’s choice of a closing quote from Cecchini’s:
“It’s unclear what the catalyst for a severe sell-off might be, but we don’t expect more spread compression.”
The outlook overall is clearly “unclear” for a growing number of investors, big and small. But just because you can’t identify the risk doesn’t mean it’s not there.Tyler Durden Tue, 09/17/2019 - 13:25 Tags Business Finance
Corey Lewandowski became the first impeachment witness in House Democrats' probe into Trump as Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler charged Trump with obstructing their probe
Antonino Loi, 65, and Tony Loi (pictured), 40, broke a door at Cagliari airport, Sardinia, as they raced towards the departing easyJet plane bound for London Stansted.
Dr Daniel Atkinson, clinical lead at the online consultation and prescription service treated.com, recommends choosing a neutral place, and giving as much information as possible.
A US official said today that investigators have concluded that an attack which hit a Saudi refinery and oil field at the weekend was launched from Iran and involved both drones and missiles.
In her maiden leadership speech she tore into 'entitled Etonian' Boris Johnson and '1970s socialist' Jeremy Corbyn over their positions on the UK's departure from the EU.
A member of the infamous Congressional "squad," Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), says she will [...]
As the 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidates battle it out for the nomination, politicos mus [...]
On Tuesday, the women of “The View” hammered New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly [...]
The Democrat primary race is heating up in California, with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Joe Biden [...]
Meanwhile, the only person in this mess who has never had to retract, dissemble, correct, alter, bac [...]
Tuesday on ABC’s “The View,” the co-authors of a new book about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaug [...]
The friend of Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford reportedly said the story of the alleged assau [...]
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter ar [...]
HAZELTON, N.D.—As the 2018 harvest approached, North Dakota farmer Mike Appert had a problem—too man [...]
Odell Beckham Jr., the Cleveland Browns wide receiver, reportedly wore a $2 million watch during war [...]
A Pennsylvania woman was arrested for allegedly driving intoxicated to pick up her boyfriend at a po [...]
Everywhere I look, it’s “back to school” this, “back to school” that. Between the grocery store, the [...]
SEOUL, South Korea— South Korea is culling thousands of pigs after confirming African swine fever at [...]