According to the thinktank, economic growth would slow to 0.2% in the current quarter from 0.6% in the previous three months and stagnate for the rest of the year. Growth is forecast at 1% for all of next year but conditions could worsen, it said. Its report followed a series of dire business surveys including one showing the economy shrinking at its fastest pace since 2009.
It is not yet clear whether the theft was an inside job or whether hackers were able to gain access to the system externally.
It is also unknown whether the theft will force Bitfinex into bankruptcy. A similar loss of bitcoin from the then biggest exchange MtGox forced it into bankruptcy protection in 2014 and the arrest of its chief executive Mark Karpeles in Japan.
Clinton and Trump: The Big Political Con (Tiffany D.)
There are credible accusations that the Clinton Global Initiative, Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation, has been run to the benefit of the Clintons and their cronies and may have even influenced Hillary’s decision-making at the State Department. At the very least, based on personal observations when I worked in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, it is a colossal waste of resources.
But that’s par for the course for most U.S. mega charities. To me, it’s non-news, like Trump's repeated manipulation of bankruptcy laws, or Halliburton’s influence on U.S. foreign and energy policy under the George W. Bush administration.
Debunking That Trump/Putin Thing (jdargis)
Political A-listers and celebrities met in Philadelphia this week to rally behind Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention. But the event was nearly overshadowed by the release of hacked DNC emails and the ensuing claim that the Russians were trying to tilt the election in favor of Donald Trump. It was a story that fit nicely into an ongoing media narrative that Trump is all too cozy with Russian president Vladimir Putin–if not, in fact, working directly for him.
Every action has a reaction, and we are yet to see Brussels’ reaction to Brexit. It will either drive a transformation into a federalist structure, or intensify the centralization of the union, only to fuel nationalist sentiments across the continent, that are particularly strong after the recent terrorist attacks in France and Germany (as we discuss in our article on the rise of the Right in this issue). This is not limited to Europe, as voters everywhere are dissatisfied with their leaders. Governments will fall; we just don’t know which ones yet. Even as the U.S. elections draw closer in November, we do not know how the vote will turn out, and what direction either candidate will lead the U.S. in, both politically and economically.
“Her willingness to go deep into the weeds on policy is exceptional," Krueger, a Princeton economist and former Obama administration official who now advises Clinton, told me, "even among the group of exceptional presidents I’ve worked for.” Another senior Clinton adviser, speaking on background to discuss the campaign policy operation candidly, offered the ultimate wonk praise of the candidate: "If she hadn't been who she is," the adviser said, "she would have been one of us."
Power Couple (jdargis)
APIC’s donation to Right to Rise USA is not the only flow of money from Tang and Chen to the Bush family. When SingHaiyi was formed by Tang in 2013, Neil Bush was named nonexecutive chairman and was awarded a small percentage of shares in the company. In addition, SingHaiyi records show that Bush has received at least $717,000 since 2013 for serving on the company board. (Any directors’ fees Bush receives for his place on APIC’s board are not public.)
Powering The Internet Of Things (Josh O.)
What has delayed the introduction of the sensors that would make the IoT a reality? Three researchers at IBM Watson Research Center, Richard Haight, Wilfred Haensch and Daniel Friedman have suggested an answer. The problem, they believe, is that a proliferation of sensors requires electricity to operate. And this assumes a connection to local power sources. In other words, somebody has to attach wires to all of the sensors and make sure the "juice" is flowing. In a way this seems somewhat similar to the promise versus the reality of fiber to the home.
Oil's Second Chance (Tiffany D.)
The oil market is justifiably famous for its volatility, especially when rocketing out of its periodic bear-market cycles.
It happened in 1986 when oil jumped 70% in a month’s time. A vicious pullback retraced nearly the entire gain, only to have the commodity double in price over the following year.
It happened in 1994.
That a landmark of technical innovation sits atop toxic waste isn’t rare in Silicon Valley. There are twenty-three federal Superfund sites in Santa Clara County, which encompasses most of Silicon Valley, and these sites are connected to semiconductor and electronics manufacturing. There are dozens more groundwater and soil remediation sites monitored by the RWQCB, many of which—like 844 E. Charleston—are tech industry legacies. This history of the landscape usually meets with a flicker of recognition when explained—a reminder that the region earned the nickname “Silicon Valley” because of its role in manufacturing electronic hardware, before it became famous for the manipulation of electronics via software.
Other types of cancer are also likely to increase, due to the fact that the new rules, approved on Tuesday, will permit the dumping of more than two-dozen additional known carcinogens. Among them are benzene, dioxins, pulp manufacturing discharges, and toxic chemicals related to fracking.
Gold & Silver
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