Friday, October 26, 2018

Tech Worries Pressure Stocks

Is this the beginning? Have we reached the high of the markets? Aivars Lode

A slump in technology and internet stocks accelerated Friday, putting the S&P 500 in danger of joining the Nasdaq Composite in correction territory, as investors continued an October retreat from risky assets.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Managers see increased credit defaults in next 12 months, survey finds

More news on issues with Bonds, Credit Defaults and Retirement Funds not being able to fund. When do we reach the tipping point?   Aivars Lode

Credit portfolio managers forecast rising credit defaults in the next 12 months and are split as to whether credit spreads will widen or remain the same over the next three months, said a third-quarter survey from the International Association of Credit Portfolio Managers.
In the survey, 58% of credit portfolio managers forecast that average corporate credit default rates will go up during the next 12 months, while 34% said they will remain unchanged and 8% said defaults will go down.
When asked whether North American credit spreads will widen or tighten over the next three months, only 8% of respondents said they expected spreads to tighten, but the result was split otherwise, with 47% believing spreads will not change and 44% believe spreads with widen.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Debt Likely To Be ‘Ground Zero’ In Next Financial Crisis, Says Oaktree's Marks

Over-leveraged deals and PE returns that will not be there .... both likely to be Ground Zero as previously discussed. Aivars Lode

Now is the time to adopt a cautious investment strategy as the market cycle ages, though there aren’t signs of an impending U.S. recession, according to Oaktree Capital Group LLC’s Howard Marks.
The world’s largest economy is still doing “very well,” Marks, chairman and co-founder of one of the world’s largest alternative and distressed investment firms, told Bloomberg TV in Sydney on Monday. Despite a lack of bargains in many markets, strategies should focus on remaining invested and position defensively, without piling into cash, he said.

“Our economy is still doing very well,” said Marks. “In a few months it will become the longest recovery in history. I don’t believe there are signs of recession anytime soon."
Marks has warned his investors previously that debt is likely to be “ground zero” in the next financial crisis, with too much money on the hunt for too few deals. The leveraged loan market, which has overtaken high-yield bonds as the go-to-financing source for speculative grade companies, is a particular source of concern for both Marks and central bankers.
The billionaire investor said it’s impossible to predict how long the economic expansion and the bull run in U.S. stocks will last, though he believes the market is in the tail end of a cycle.
“Nothing is cheap in our markets and most things are between the high side of fair or the beginning of rich,” he said. However, there are no risks comparable in scale to those on the eve of the financial crisis, he said.
Right now, holding a defensive positioning, while not bailing out of investments completely, is the best approach, he suggested. “We are endeavoring to be fully invested, but we are doing it with caution,” Marks said. “We are not going to cash.”
Marks co-founded Los Angeles-based Oaktree in 1995. The firm had $122 billion in assets under management as of June 30.
This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Energy for the Future?

There is little public conversation about real energy solutions that will truly provide clean energy. Instead in the public discourse we are driving capital into inefficient power generation capabilities.....Aivars Lode

Harnessing the energy of the sun and stars to meet the Earth’s energy needs has been a scientific and engineering challenge for decades. A self-sustaining fusion burn has been achieved for brief periods under experimental conditions, but the amount of energy that went into creating it was greater than the amount of energy it generated.
What’s needed next, for fusion energy to supply a continuous stream of electricity, is energy gain. The National Ignition Facility intends to be the first fusion facility to demonstrate ignition and gain. NIF’s fusion targets are potentially capable of releasing 10 to 100 times more energy than the amount of laser energy required to initiate the fusion reaction.
The nuclear power plants in use around the world today use fission, or the splitting of heavy atoms such as uranium, to release energy for electricity. A fusion power plant, on the other hand, will generate energy by fusing atoms of deuterium and tritium, two isotopes of hydrogen—the lightest element. Deuterium is extracted from abundant seawater, and tritium is produced by the transmutation of lithium, a common element in the Earth’s crust and oceans.
When the hydrogen nuclei fuse under the intense temperatures and pressures in the NIF target capsule, a helium nucleus is formed and a small amount of mass lost in the reaction is converted to a large amount of energy according to Einstein’s famous formula E=mc2.
A fusion power plant would produce no greenhouse gas or other noxious emissions, operate continuously to meet demand, and would not require geological disposal of radioactive waste. A fusion power plant would also present no danger of a meltdown.

Because nuclear fusion offers the potential for virtually unlimited safe and environmentally benign energy, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has made fusion a key element in the nation’s long-term energy plans, with investments into magnetic fusion energy and with the ability to leverage the investments from the National Nuclear Security Administration’s defense programs that support NIF.
By the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Swiss government warns of fire sale to fund first pillar payouts

Is this a precurser for other funds as well?  Will this be the trigger to the next downturn?   Aivars Lode

Switzerland’s first-pillar pension fund could be forced to sell off millions in assets per month to finance pensions if no long-term funding solution is found, the country’s government has warned.
The Swiss first pillar fund AHV/AVS is expected to amass a CHF43bn (€37.2bn) deficit by 2030, in a ‘worst-case’ scenario assuming no return on investments.
To ensure all pension payouts are met by then, the fund needs CHF53bn, the government said in a press release about a consultation on first-pillar reforms.
“Successful measures to ensure the stability of the AHV/AVS fund are urgently necessary,” the government stated. “Without them the fund would have to sell of assets worth CHF100m per month to be able to meet the pension payments.”

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

How To Make A Mint: The Cryptography of Anonymous Electronic Cash

I am currently reading the book “The Pentagons Brain, An Uncensored History of DARPA" based upon the things that DARPA and ARPA created and how the developments came to light 20 years later. It is entirely possible that the US government created crypto currencies to pay for nefarious activities by the CIA in foreign countries. I have not been able to validate the following paper and I leave it up to you to make your own assessment. .....Aivars 


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Roundup formula is far more toxic than glyphosate in isolation

I have observed in Europe, where Roundup use is prohibited, that Americans who claim intolerance to gluten are able to eat the bread without any side effects. I wonder if this is actually poisoning of Americans by the farmers using Round Up as opposed to Gluten intolerance? On a personal trip to Italy the mayor of a city in Piedmonte told me that cancer rates were through the roof 20 years ago and they assumed a direct link with Roundup. They banned the use and went back to traditional methods of weed control such as ploughing the weeds back into the soil. Not surprisingly there is a study being promoted in Italy to study the cancerous effect of round up..... Aivars.

Story at-a-glance 

  • Government researchers warn the Roundup formula is far more toxic than glyphosate in isolation, due to synergistic interactions between various chemicals
  • Testing by the U.S. National Toxicology Program reveals glyphosate formulations such as Roundup “significantly altered” the viability of human cells by disrupting the functionality of cell membranes
  • The Ramazzini Institute in Italy is raising public funds to perform a comprehensive, independent, global glyphosate study. Stage 1 will investigate the chemical’s carcinogenicity and chronic toxicity potential

By Dr. Mercola
In recent years, concerns over the health effects of glyphosate — the active ingredient in Roundup and other weed killer formulations — has risen exponentially. Researchers have discovered it not only may be carcinogenic,1 but may also affect your body’s ability to produce fully functioning proteins, inhibit the shikimate pathway (found in gut bacteria) and interfere with the function of cytochrome P450 enzymes(required for activation of vitamin D and the creation of nitric oxide and cholesterol sulfate).