Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 8/14 - Google Saves Location History Even When Off, Deciphering The New Caspian Agreement

Tuesday, August 14, 2018, 7:45 AM

Economy

Vanguard Warns of Worsening Odds for the Economy and Markets (tmn)

Vanguard, known for its caution, emphasizes that this is a general forecast. “We don’t make any actual predictions about where things are going next month or, in the markets, next year,” Greg Davis, the company’s chief investment officer, told me. “The stock market could rise a lot, short-term. We don’t know.”

Number of Dow Jones Shares Is Shrinking (sign-in required, Thomas R.)

If corporate buyback activity among U.S. mega-caps were the subject of a movie, the name of the film might be “The Incredible Shrinking Dow.”

US reaps more than $1.4 billion from steel and aluminum tariffs, report finds (Thomas R.)

Trump has suggested the tariffs – originally unveiled as a national security provision – could have the added benefit of reducing the federal deficit, which rose to $77 billion in July, wider than the July 2017 budget deficit of $43 billion. And the Treasury's borrowing to fund government operations is set to top $1 trillion this year for the first time ever.

Trump signs new defense policy bill that rebuilds military, boosts troop pay (Thomas R.)

“After years of devastating cuts, we’re now rebuilding our military like never before,” Mr. Trump said while signing the National Defense Authorization Act at Fort Drum, New York. “Every day our military was fighting for us, and now we’re fighting for you.”

The bill draws up policies to carry out the massive cash infusion lawmakers agreed to earlier this year for the military, ending years of budget “sequestration” caps under President Obama.

Ancient human ancestors went extinct because they were lazy (Paul D.)

According to the researchers, Homo erectus had a habit of cutting corners when it came to crafting tools and gathering life-sustaining supplies. The scientists call the species’ unfortunate habits “least-effort strategies” and theorize that the prehistoric humans fell short of adaptability as the climate of the Earth began to change.

Is Elon Musk Crazy, or Crazy Like a Fox? (Thomas R.)

It’s been a interesting week to say the least for electric car manufacturer Tesla, and behind it all are the words and actions of its eccentric-genius CEO Elon Musk. To say that Musk’s behavior has been non-conventional would be a dramatic understatement. His announcement via Twitter on Tuesday that he was considering taking Tesla private at $420/share and had “funding secured” sent the shares skyward from $350 to $380 - although since then speculation about whether and how a deal of that sort might happen and scant details from Musk or Tesla itself about his plan to finance the deal have caused the stock to pull back to $355/share.

Google keeps a history of your locations even when Location History is off (Thomas R.)

To be fair, this is explained, after a fashion, when you turn off location history (here): “This setting does not affect other location services on your device, like Google Location Services and Find My Device. Some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other Google services, like Search and Maps.”

Why you should beware of your smartphone—and the invisible blue light it emits (Thomas R.)

The reason is unclear, but researchers have associated exposure to blue light with a decrease in melatonin, the hormone that affects circadian rhythm — the 24-hour human body clock. When the circadian rhythm is off, so are blood sugar levels, which can lead to obesity and diabetes. Screen time is also associated with depression among adults.

People on Food Stamps Buy These Items the Most at the Grocery Store (tmn)

Finally, the researchers note the difference in spending on various items was often very small. At first glance, it looks like food stamp households spend far more money on lunch meat (No. 10 out of 100 ranked commodities) than on apples (No. 67). In reality, SNAP recipients spend about half a cent of every food dollar on apples and about 1½ cents of every dollar on lunch meat.

240 cubic miles of magma discovered underneath dormant California supervolcano (Sparky1)

The long-dormant supervolcano is currently a 20-mile-long caldera, or a crater that forms after an eruption forces the mouth of a volcano to collapse. According to an August report published in the scientific journal Geology, the semi-molten magma found could lead to possible eruptions.

Deciphering The New Caspian Agreement (Michael S.)

The Convention stipulates that relations between littoral states shall be based on principles of national sovereignty, territorial integrity, equality among members, non-use of threat of force (it was only 17 years ago that Azerbaijan and Iran almost started a full-blown naval war over contested fields) and non-intervention. The military-related clauses of the document can be considered a net diplomatic success for the Russian Federation as it prohibits the physical presence of any third-party armed forces, along with banning the provision of a member state’s territory to acts of aggression against any other littoral state. Since Russia is by far the most power nation in terms of both general military clout and military presence around the Caspian, this will placate Russian fears about any potential US (or other) encroachment in the area.

To protect a forest, a town agreed to leave it alone (tmn)

Despite today’s polarized political climate, this community of over 70,000 people applauded a governmental decision with no accusations, no blame, no name-calling. For over six weeks, the Forest Service closed large portions of the Coconino National Forest in northern Arizona because of extreme drought and wildfire threat. Yet even here in Flagstaff, located at the foot of those peaks, not one resident opposed the closure.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 8/13/18

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

2 Comments

DennisC's picture
DennisC
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 19 2011
Posts: 336
Stressed Out Living Near Humans

An underage bear allegedly attempted to buy a mickey and some snacks.  Hopefully to share with his den mother.

http://www.courant.com/community/bristol/hc-news-bristol-bear-crazy-bruc...

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 2016
Putin as a human being

Charles Hugh Smith sent a link to an article where a Western NGO leader, originally from Palo Alto California, who has lived in Russia for several decades, recounts her personal stories and those of people she knows and trusts personally, with Vladimir Putin.  The stories begin in the 1990s when he was a minor bureaucrat in the city where she was applying for a permit.  In a system where crony favoratism and bribes were standard procedure, he would not participate in this way.

She paints a picture of him as a pretty decent human being.

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin obviously has his faults and has made his share of mistakes. Yet, my experiences with him, as well as what I have heard over the years from people I trust –– including U.S. officials who have with him worked closely –– indicate that Putin is essentially a straightforward, reliable and exceptionally inventive man.

The Russian president is clearly a long-term thinker and planner and has proven to be an excellent analyst and strategist. He is a leader who can quietly work toward his goals under mounds of accusations and myths that have been steadily leveled at him since he became the Russian Federation’s second president.

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