What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (Axel M.)
This time around, we are eight years into a bull market. As in those times, investors have all but given up betting against conventional wisdom. Much of that is because it has cost investors dearly to bet against the markets. In fact, it has been so costly to bet against the market that some advisors who have been cautious are no longer in business. And I’m not just talking about short sellers, but also many who have – in our view prudently – diversified beyond a traditional “60/40” stock/bond portfolio. We know of advisors who positioned their portfolios more aggressively not because they thought the markets were going higher, but because they were losing clients for underperforming the S&P 500.
Currently, there are only about 4,500 stores in Japan that accept bitcoin as payment. Besides cash payments, Suica, Rakuten’s Edy and other electronic payment methods have taken the lead instead. The addition of AirRegi shops and Bic Camera outlets will multiply the number of bitcoin-compatible stores to around 260,000, a scale nearing the 380,000 outlets that accept Suica and the 470,000 locations where Edy can be used.
The Center for Public Integrity decided to look into those government contractors, and see how many have documented wage violations. They found that between January 2015 and July 2016, 68 companies received government contracts totaling $18 billion had violated wage laws.
As noted last night, Journalist and author Mike Cernovich dropped an exclusive bombshell – naming Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice as the official responsible for the ‘unmasking’ of the incoming Trump team during ‘incidental’ surveillance. This was apparently discovered after the White House Counsel’s office reviewed Rice’s document log requests…
Trump has very harshly criticized Barack Obama in the past for doing nothing in Syria once Obama’s “red line” was crossed, and so for Trump to use the exact same phrase is very meaningful. And in his remarks about this new chemical attack, Trump once again pointed the finger at Obama for making “a blank threat”…
A time to pick the right fights, while resisting the urge to announce a big splashy deal.
Deepwater Will Soon Challenge Shale (Michael K.)
Still, innovation has its part to play when it comes to deepwater developments. Two engineering majors, Siemens and ABB, are working on a new type of offshore platform that is entirely built on the seafloor. These self-sufficient oil and gas extraction factories, as Siemens calls them, will have no crew and will not be subject to weather changes, which is expected to save a lot of money that would normally be paid out in wages and on maintenance, not to mention the savings on safety expenses. This would be on top of boosting well yields.
“Going forward, we’re predicting warmer and wetter springs, and drier, hotter summers,” Davis says. “The season fragments and we start to see an early-early season, so that March starts looking like a good target for planting in the future. In the past, March has been the bleeding edge; nobody in their right mind would have planted then. But we’ve already seen the trend for early planting. It’s going to keep trending in that direction for summer annuals.”
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