“What’s happening here in the real estate market is pretty remarkable,” said Marsh, who now works for a fraud protection firm after 25 years with the RCMP. He mentioned an “increase in value of property across the board” and “non-stop residential building.”
What does this suggest for precious metals investors? Mark Valek comments on that question: “Given this ongoing neutral signal we recently adopted a “Barbell strategy” for both scenarios: rising inflation and also rising deflation. On the deflation side, it was plain vanilla going long treasuries. On the inflation side, we were long gold miners and complimented this with some straddles on the SLV Silver ETF. The volatility on silver had been quite low before volatility spiked after the Fed Meeting – that was quite a successful position. We started to accumulate some of the miners – midMarch, before the Fed Meeting. Right now, we are tending towards rising inflation, but we are still positioned with this Barbell strategy. This has started to pay off since the end of March.”
When Hainan Development Bank collapsed in 1998, China’s central bank made sure no depositors incurred losses, by transferring their accounts at full value to the much larger Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. During a bank run last year at a rural lender in the eastern province of Jiangsu, the central bank delivered cash by the truckload and local politicians went on television to reassure people their savings were safe.
Freedom, Tesla-Style (jdargis)
Since its arrival on the scene, Tesla has offered its well-heeled customers a different type of freedom, one that is gaining more currency as awareness of climate change and the ill effects of fossil fuels rise. That is the freedom from gas stations, from gasoline and oil, from gas taxes, from emissions. Before Tesla, the prospect of moving from one place to another without emitting carbon dioxide meant donning the equivalent of a hair shirt—riding a bicycle, walking, going a few miles in all-electric mode in an unsexy hybrid. Tesla affords its owners the ability to zip from one place to another, sans emissions, in a cool sports car.
What is interesting is the willingness on behalf of Big Finance to lay out the cash for strapped companies. BIS finds that loose monetary policy since 2008 has contributed to the debt-fueled investment boom in oil and gas. Debt issuance in the oil and gas sector has increased by 15 percent per year since 2006, rising much faster than other sectors.
Almond Farmers Turning into Beekeepers (jdargis)
Caring for a couple of hives is a simple backyard hobby, but the only way to do it on the scale most almond growers need is to make it a full-time business. “It takes a bit of management and time and focus,” says Bob Curtis, associate director of agricultural affairs at the Almond Board of California. He notes that there’s more interest in becoming vertically integrated, especially in the form of almond growers getting into beekeeping, “but they should realize that it’s not a lighthearted business to get into.”
Developers can build their own machine learning “experiments” in Azure (one of which, demonstrated during the keynote, predicted the winner of the NCAA tournament finals based on data analysis) or plug in to one of the gallery APIs. Sirosh demonstrated a website built for Build, How-old.net, that uses photo facial recognition to estimate the ages of people in photos uploaded to the site. Sirosh did not mention whether it could recognize cows.
Millions of people in the region rely on Lake Mead for water and electricity generated at Hoover Dam. Unfortunately, as water levels fall, it gets more difficult for the dam’s turbines to produce electricity. Engineers at the dam are installing turbines that could extend the ability of the dam to produce power, even if the water levels fall to 950 feet, but that’s a worst case scenario.
Gold & Silver
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