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    Daily Digest 8/9 – Saudi Building Bust Traps Thousands in Desert Nightmare, Are Negative Rates Backfiring?

    by DailyDigest

    Tuesday, August 9, 2016, 2:26 PM


Hasta La Vista… Traders? The Future Of Artificial Intelligence In The Financial Industry (Alex B.)

Tammer Kamel over at Quandl recently wrote a great piece on the transience of alpha in markets. In it he covers innovations throughout the years that produced alpha for investors. He explains how none of these advantages persisted because of the “inevitability of diffusion”. Eventually others got access to the information or technology that produced the alpha and nullified it.

The pre-1930’s had robber baron-esque investors planting moles in the government left and right. This gave them a heads up on any large government purchases or sales coming down the pipeline.

Are Negative Rates Backfiring? Here’s Some Early Evidence (Michael S.)

Two years ago, the European Central Bank cut interest rates below zero to encourage people such as Heike Hofmann, who sells fruits and vegetables in this small city, to spend more.

Saudi Building Bust Traps Thousands in Desert Nightmare (HughK)

The conditions in which the workers from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the Philippines wait are fetid and cramped. They sleep eight to a tiny concrete room and share dirty toilets with feral cats. Temperatures soar to 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Farenheit) in the summer, and the electricity powering air conditioners often goes off. Some of the laborers are so destitute that they only own one set of clothes.

The Collapsing Consumer Could Hasten a Recession (Tiffany D.)

If the American consumer is as weak as the items below indicate, we could see a recession as early as the second half of this year, which means there is one thing that is certain — the Fed will not attempt to raise rates again this year.

Why It’s So Hard To Regulate Payday Lenders (jdargis)

Georgia’s experience, however, shows that even the most robust and well-considered regulations of the payday-loan business don’t always have the desired effects. In 2004, the state passed a law that effectively banned payday lending, by instituting an interest cap and setting stiff fines and criminal penalties for those who flout it. While the ban has had a positive impact—it has been estimated that state residents have saved more than three hundred and fifty million dollars thanks to its passage—it has not extinguished the industry. As happened centuries ago, short-term lenders simply adapted, promoting alternative financial products to sidestep regulation. The result was that Georgians who might once have taken out payday loans (disproportionately, single mothers and minorities) now tend to hold auto-title loans or installment loans instead.

Health files make for a juicy target for thieves (jdargis)

More than 100 million health care records were compromised in 2015 alone. Federal records show that almost all of those losses came from just three attacks on health insurance providers: Anthem Inc., Premera Blue Cross, and Excellus Health Plan Inc.

Russia Dismisses OPEC Rumors, But Is Ready To Talk (Tom K.)

On Monday, Qatar’s Minister of Energy and Industry and current OPEC President, Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, said in an official OPEC press release that an informal meeting of OPEC member countries was slated to take place on the sidelines of the 15th International Energy Forum in Algeria between September 26 and 28, 2016, but OPEC’s official statement abstains from referring to any talks on an oil price freeze.

FERC greenlights Apple’s petition to sell electric power (jdargis)

According to the FERC filing, Apple owns the 20 MW Ft. Churchill solar farm in Lyon County, Nevada, the 50 MW Bonnybrooke solar facility under construction in Pinal County, Arizona, and due online in the fourth quarter, as well as two behind-the-meter generating plants totaling 18 MW on its California campus. And Apple has a long-term firm power purchase agreement with First Solar for 130 MW from a solar farm under construction in California.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 8/8/16

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  • Tue, Aug 09, 2016 - 3:30pm



    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 30 2009

    Posts: 2923

    Chicago public schools’ budget is balanced without gimmicks

    Chicago Schools Budget Uses Pension Overhaul to Close Gap



    "The $5.4 billion operating budget for the fiscal year that began July 1 is more than $230 million smaller than last year’s spending plan, district officials said. The plan relies on the state providing the district with an additional $215 million for its pension bills, which lawmakers and Governor Bruce Rauner have agreed to shell out only if the state comes up with a plan to restructure its own retirement system.

    “The fiscal ’17 Chicago public schools’ budget is balanced without gimmicks or without operational borrowing,” Forrest Claypool, chief executive officer of the school system, told reporters on Monday. "Today marks the return to financial stability for the coming school year.”"

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  • Wed, Aug 10, 2016 - 5:03am



    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2221

    35k to reach 35k

    If you can spare, a good cause:

    A Powerful Statement to 35,000 Civil and Structural Engineers


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