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23 января, 23:20

A Winning Formula For Success

In the business world, there's a standard metric that helps one determine if a project was a good financial investment. The metric is the "return on investment" or ROI. Business leaders can often be heard walking through the halls spouting sentiments like, "Hey Bob, what was the ROI on that last research project?" Positive ROI means you got more out of the project than you put into it. In other words, if a company spends $25,000 on a research study and the results of that study help them grow sales by $100,000, then that's a very positive return on investment. It's a simple equation that sums up the definition of success on a project. It's really the only metric that matters in the business world and it matters a lot. As it should. You can also apply the same ROI equation to your personal life. ROI is why you want your child to get good grades when you're paying for private school, why you don't want to sell your house in a down market and why when you were growing up, your mother always insisted that the milk that was past its expiration date was "perfectly fine to drink." People want to get the most out of their money. As they should. But maybe there's an additional metric that we don't talk about in the business world or in life nearly enough. Earl, a mentor of mine, told me about it yesterday and I'm in love with it. The equation is Return on Energy (ROE). It's great. Right? Money can be a key indicator of success, but as I've often written about before, more money often comes with more sacrifice, more headaches and more time away from your family. You can still make money while killing yourself to do so. Which I would argue (fiercely) is not the definition of success. Energy, on the other hand, is a very intriguing metric for success. Especially when you consider that money can come from a lot of different places, but your energy only comes from you. And there is, indeed, a limited supply of it. Maybe we'd be more fulfilled if we protected our energy as much as we protect our money. The next time you're considering doing something at work or at home (anything, really) ask yourself if that initiative, project or task is a good use of your energy. Here are some ways I make sure my energy is being maximized. My children. I lean towards activities with the kids that give me energy rather than take it away. For example, I love the high of finding treasures at thrift stores and now my daughter is addicted too. Given a three-hour chunk of time, I'll pick thrift store shopping with her over going to a trampoline park any day. The same is true of roller skating. I'm good at it and I love it. So, if the kids ask me to build a 1,000 piece puzzle with them, I say no, let's go roller skating instead. Roller skating fills me with joy, and therefore energy. Jumping on a trampoline for an hour with 162 kids around makes me want to vomit. Your children want to spend time with you. But that doesn't mean they get to determine how you spend that time. You pick. And when you do, pick the activity with the greatest ROE. My team at work. I always want to be surrounded by people that inspire me with their ideas, their work ethic and their desire to change the world. I've worked tirelessly to always ensure that the energy I put into hiring and training people does not get wasted, it gets amplified. My friends. I don't spend time with people who exhaust me. People who are often complaining and look at the world through a pessimistic lens are not good for me. I make a conscious effort to spend time with people who are optimistic, loving and kind. And a love of tequila is always an added bonus. With ROI, the question is whether you get more money out than you put in. With ROE, the question is whether you get more energy out than you put in. If the answer is no, or a negative ROE, you need to reconsider whether you should be doing that activity in the first place. We cut back on activities that deplete our bank accounts. Yet, we continuously sign up for activities that deplete our energy. What does the return on energy equation look like in your life? Use this equation to start to plot and plan your time differently. If volunteering at your kid's school, serving on a board of directors or spending time with a negative family member has a negative return on energy, then consider doing less of those things. Or quitting them altogether. There's no doubt that you're doing more than you should. This equation can point out where you can cut back. Your time and your energy are your two most precious resources. Use them wisely. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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23 января, 23:10

Sen. Tom Cotton Needs To Stow His Confirmation Complaints

The confirmation process for President Donald Trump’s various nominees has been a bit of a drawn-out mess, primarily because the incoming administration doesn’t fully grasp the magnitude of the task in front of it and that many of the president’s selections have not effectively stuck to the standard procedure of vetting by the Office of Government Ethics. But atop all of that, senators still have their basic advise and consent duties to perform, which everyone involved should have known from the outset. Certainly Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) should have understood the basics, seeing as he has a role to play in this grand pageant of agency bureaucracy. Nevertheless, something in the way this has played out with Trump’s pick to head the CIA has triggered the junior senator from Arkansas. And so, in the manner of all aggrieved people, he went on Twitter to broadcast his complaints. Democrats are obstructing the nomination of Mike Pompeo for no good reason. Statement: https://t.co/jg1dJqkjDs— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) January 21, 2017 Is this nomination being held up for “no good reason”? I’m sure your mileage will vary. As was reported at the end of last week, a trio of Democratic senators ― Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) ― have made it clear that they oppose “a rushed confirmation” of Mike Pompeo. Republicans are accusing Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) of breaking faith on a deal to have Pompeo in office by the end of Inauguration Day. There’s actually nothing to suggest that there will be a delay in Pompeo’s confirmation that lasts much beyond the early part of this week. Schumer has said, in fact, that “Pompeo would be confirmed Monday after Democrats had a chance to debate [his] nomination.” Nevertheless, an overheated Cotton was moved to state on Inauguration Day, “Hundreds of thousands of Americans are in Washington this weekend at a designated special national-security event, yet the Democrats are obstructing the nomination of Mike Pompeo as CIA Director for no good reason. For Senator Wyden’s sake, I hope the jihadists take the weekend off from trying to kill Americans.” I’m guessing that Cotton then spent the night keeping careful watch over the city. (Or maybe our national security apparatus is capable of handling things during a brief interregnum between directors.) At any rate, Cotton is a duly elected senator with a lifetime of legitimate experience that he is allowed to use to inform his view on Pompeo. He may not require further debate on the appointment and that’s fine. But one area in which he really lacks the standing to speak is that of confirmation delays, having ceded it long ago with a personal decision that will go down in the Beltway annals as one of the most unnecessarily petty moves of all time. Tom Cotton filibustered Cassandra Butts' nomination until she died of leukemia in order to cause President Obama personal pain. https://t.co/jg4fboZG6e— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) January 23, 2017 The whole dumb saga, which began in the late spring of 2014, was chronicled by The New York Times’ Frank Bruni two years later: At another point Senator Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, put a hold specifically on Butts and on nominees for the ambassadorships to Sweden and Norway. He had a legitimate gripe with the Obama administration over a Secret Service leak of private information about a fellow member of Congress, and he was trying to pressure Obama to take punitive action. But that issue was unrelated to Butts and the Bahamas. Cotton eventually released the two other holds, but not the one on Butts. She told me that she once went to see him about it, and he explained that he knew that she was a close friend of Obama’s — the two first encountered each other on a line for financial-aid forms at Harvard Law School, where they were classmates — and that blocking her was a way to inflict special pain on the president. Reached for comment, Cotton’s office “did not dispute Butts’ characterization of that meeting.” The whole matter became moot on May 25, 2016, when Butts died of leukemia, a disease she didn’t know she had at the time of her appointment. She spent the last two years of her life as a prop in an utterly needless dustup that had nothing more to it than petty and spiteful vindictiveness. So Cotton should really sit this one out ― which he can do with confidence that relief for his burden will come in an insignificant fraction of the time he waged this knock-down campaign of cruelty for “no good reason.” He can also do so with the assurance that no one who asked for further debate on Pompeo’s appointment did so with an eye toward “inflicting special pain” on him. That’s just a happy accident. Jason Linkins edits “Eat The Press” for The Huffington Post and co-hosts the HuffPost Politics podcast “So, That Happened.” Subscribe here, and listen to the latest episode below.   How will Trump’s first 100 days impact you? Sign up for our weekly newsletter and get breaking updates on Trump’s presidency by messaging us here.  -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

23 января, 22:36

'Supergirl' Star Melissa Benoist's Women's March Sign Was Out Of This World

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Melissa Benoist was a real-life superhero this weekend when she joined the thousands of women, men and children who headed to Washington, D.C., on Saturday for the Women’s March.  The “Supergirl” star opened up about the “incredible” day during an interview with The Huffington Post on Build Series Monday, saying, “I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.” “My favorite point was when we reached the White House, and everywhere you turned, whichever street you were looking down, it was just a sea of people. A sea of people with the best energy,” she continued. “The most positive place you could be. Everyone was supportive, everyone was loving each other. It was pretty amazing.”  Benoist’s protest sign was pretty amazing too, as she used her “Supergirl” status to send President Donald Trump a message. #womensmarchonwashington A photo posted by Melissa Benoist (@melissabenoist) on Jan 21, 2017 at 7:43am PST Benoist said that she tries to embrace her character Kara Danvers in her own life, pushing to be the best possible version of herself everyday.  “[Supergirl] and Superman are truth, justice, and the American way," the 28-year-old actress said. "She sets some really high standards to live up to and, playing the role, it has definitely infused itself into my life and helped me to be a stronger, braver person than I ever have been. It’s been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. Definitely the most difficult job, but really rewarding in that way. I love it. I love Supergirl.”  And so do we.  “Supergirl” Season 2 returns to The CW Mondays at 8 p.m. ET. Watch Melissa Benoist’s full Build Series interview below.   function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_2'),onPlayerReadyVidible); -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

23 января, 22:34

Pivotal Elections Loom Over Europe

Voters in France, Germany, and the Netherlands will vote this year in what is expected to be a critical test for establishment candidates and parties.

23 января, 22:25

The World Is Awash In Bullshit

Submitted by Sal Arnuk and Joe Saluzzi via Themis Trading blog, This is really the best paragraph I have read so far in 2017: The world is awash in bullshit. Politicians are unconstrained by facts. Science is conducted by press release. So-called higher education often rewards bullshit over analytic thought. Startup culture has elevated bullshit to high art. Advertisers wink conspiratorially and invite us to join them in seeing through all the bullshit, then take advantage of our lowered guard to bombard us with second-order bullshit. The majority of administrative activity, whether in private business or the public sphere, often seems to be little more than a sophisticated exercise in the combinatorial reassembly of bullshit. It’s from The Bull$hit Syllabus, which was created by University of Washington Professors Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West, who are trying to combat The Bull$hit. The syllabus includes questions and standards for data scientists to think about and use. They believe that with the advent of “Big Data” and tools to deal with it, the amount of BS in the world has really risen too much. It has become too easy for BS to be taken out of context, and to be spread and made to go “viral.”  Big Data has given us ginormous datasets to study and manipulate. While we might not be quick to draw conclusions from a smaller data set, we have become very comfortable putting credence to implications and patterns in big data sets. Bergstrom explains: Before big data became a primary research tool, testing a nonsensical hypothesis with a small dataset wouldn’t necessarily lead you anywhere. But with an enormous dataset, he says, there will always be some kind of pattern.   “It’s much easier for people to accidentally or deliberately dredge pattern out of all the data,” he says. “I think that’s a bit of a new risk.” He is also skeptical of machine learning algorithms. They often give very strong results, but the data they analyze and draw from is not questioned often enough: Can an algorithm really look at a person’s facial features and determine their preponderance for criminality? Yeah, maybe not. But that was the argument of a paper actually published just a few months ago (Automated Inference on Criminality Using Facial Images)   “If you look deeper, you find some spurious things driven mostly by how that person was dressed, if they’re frowning or not,” West says. “There’s manipulation of the way the results are reported.” Not to mention that human bias and existing structural inequalities can make algorithms just as flawed as the humans that make them. Feel free to read this article called Data Can Lie – A Guide to Calling Out Bull$hit., and feel free to look at the actual Bull$hit Syllabus linked to atop this note. While this topic may not specifically appear to be trading related, in my opinion it really is relevant. Algorithms are constantly tested, and in place in the markets. Development of machine -learning trading algos are on the rise. They all use Big Data. Your data. Collected by stock exchanges and sold. The guys who collect it and sell it want you to use the heck out of it, become addicted to it, and keep increasing the price of it. But maybe a lot of the Big Data is really bull$hit. And maybe all that data can cause more harm than good.

23 января, 21:00

Партнёры "Газпрома" отказались финансировать "Северный поток-2"

"Газпрому" придётся самостоятельно финансировать строительство газопроводной магистрали "Северный поток-2", поскольку партнёры из Европы отказались вкладывать деньги в проект.

23 января, 20:49

Good Riddance, Trans-Pacific Partnership!

Trump just signed an executive order beginning the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Good riddance. I've been fighting this for a long time. As I noted five years ago, when this thing was just beginning, the omens were never good, and Obama should have known better. After the failed promises of NAFTA, a job-destroying trade deficit that has grown despite a long series of free-trade agreements, and ever-more-aggressive foreign mercantilism, it was obvious that America needed a new trade strategy. This agreement (which may or may not continue without us) includes Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam to start. Eventually, its advocates hope, it will include every nation on the Pacific rim, including Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, Mexico, Russia, and China. Yes, you read that right. China. America was on track for a free-trade agreement with its most voracious mercantilist trade rival. Free trade with China. Of all the insane ideas one could possibly come up with... As I've explained before, international trade isn't just a natural harmony of economic interests, it's largely rivalry, and mercantilism is how the winners play to win. But we naively refuse to play that game. Instead, we have faith in "free" trade, we think free-trade agreements will save us, and we lose. When Obama couldn't sell this thing, his people resorted to bogus economic models to pretty it up. Hillary Clinton unconvincingly repudiated it, but her long history of supporting free-trade agreements was one of the major things that killed her with the voters. And if the purely trade aspects weren't bad enough, the TPP is also a profoundly anti-democratic agreement which signs away our right to govern our own economy. Despite being nominally a "trade" agreement, it contains provisions which interfere with areas well beyond the bounds of trade. To wit, it would (credit to Lori Wallach): Limit how U.S. federal and state officials could regulate foreign firms operating within U.S. boundaries, with requirements to provide them greater rights than domestic firms. Extend the incentives for U.S. firms to offshore investment and jobs to lower-wage countries. Establish a two-track legal system that gives foreign firms new rights to skirt U.S. courts and laws, directly sue the U.S. government before foreign tribunals and Demand compensation for financial, health, environmental, land use and other laws they claim undermine their TPP privileges. Allow foreign firms to demand compensation for the costs of complying with U.S. financial or environmental regulations that apply equally to domestic and foreign firms. Taken to its logical conclusion, this all ultimately amounts to the idea that the profitability of investments must be the supreme priority of state policy--overriding health, safety, human rights, labor law, fiscal policy, macroeconomic stability, industrial policy, national security, cultural autonomy, the environment, and everything else. While there is no justification for going to the opposite extreme and allowing governments to ride roughshod over legitimate property rights, these agreements thus rigidly mandate market-based, property-first solutions to questions where societies must strike a reasonable balance between public and private interests. So what's the alternative? That is, what would a "reasonable" trade agreement, the kind Obama promised us as a candidate, but Trump looks like he may actually implement, look like? It would probably embody the following principles (credit to the Coalition for a Prosperous America): Balanced Trade: Trade agreements must contribute to a national goal of achieving a manageable balance of trade over time. I.e. no more chronic500 billion-a-year deficits. National Trade, Economic and Security Strategy: Trade agreements must strive to optimize value added supply chains within the U.S.--from raw material to finished product--pursuant to a national trade and economic strategy that creates jobs, wealth and sustained growth. The agreements must also ensure national security by recapturing production necessary to rebuild America's defense industrial base. Reciprocity: Trade agreements must ensure that foreign country policies and practices as well as their tariff and non-tariff barriers provide fully reciprocal access for U.S. goods and services. The agreements must provide that no new barriers or subsidies outside the scope of the agreement nullify or impair the concessions bargained State Owned Commercial Enterprises: Trade agreements must encourage the transformation of state owned and state controlled commercial enterprises (SOEs) to private sector enterprises. In the interim, trade agreements must ensure that SOEs do not distort the free and fair flow of trade - throughout supply chains - and investment between the countries. Currency: Trade agreements must classify prolonged currency undervaluation as a per se violation of the agreement without the need to show injury or intent. Rules of origin: Trade agreements must include rules of origin to maximize benefits for U.S. based supply chains and minimize free ridership by third parties. Further, all products must be labeled or marked as to country(s) of origin as a condition of entry. Enforcement: Trade agreements must provide effective and timely enforcement mechanisms, including expedited adjudication and provisional remedies. Such provisional remedies must be permitted where the country deems that a clear breach has occurred which causes or threatens injury, and should be subject to review under the agreements' established dispute settlement mechanisms. Border Adjustable Taxes: Trade agreements must neutralize the subsidy and tariff impact of the border adjustment of foreign consumption taxes. Perishable and Cyclical Products: Trade agreements must include special safeguard mechanisms to address import surges in perishable and seasonal agricultural product markets, including livestock markets. Food and Product Safety and Quality: Trade agreements must ensure import compliance with existing U.S. food and product safety and quality standards and must not inhibit changes to or improvements in U.S. standards. The standards must be effectively enforced at U.S. ports. Domestic Procurement: Trade agreements must preserve the ability of federal, state and local governments to favor domestic producers in government, or government funded, procurement. Temporary vs. Permanent Agreements: Trade agreements must be sunsetted, subject to renegotiation and renewal. Renewal must not occur if the balance of benefits cannot be restored. Labor: Trade agreements must include enforceable labor provisions to ensure that lax labor standards and enforcement by contracting countries do not result in hidden subsidies to the detriment of U.S.-based workers and producers. Whether we're going to get all this from Trump, we don't know yet. But this is definitely the necessary beginning. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

23 января, 20:31

12 Beauty Treatments That Make Your Morning Routine Way Faster

Hoping to streamline your morning routine? These beauty treatments can help you feel a little more low-maintenance when you get ready each day.

23 января, 19:41

What is the White House Trying to Tell People with Disabilities?

The nation's last Republican President, George W. Bush, stated in his first month in office about people with disabilities, "Wherever any barrier stands between you and the full rights and dignity of citizenship, we must work to remove it, in the name of simple decency and simple justice." He was referring to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) signed into law by his father President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990, prohibiting discrimination and guaranteeing that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life. His comment was also a nod to former President Bill Clinton's expansion of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that applied the same high academic standards for all children, including those with disabilities, as well as the bipartisan Work Incentives Improvement Act that allows people with disabilities to maintain their Medicare or Medicaid coverage when they go to work. The disability rights movement made progress in previous Republican administrations, from the ADA to President George W. Bush's New Freedom Initiative to promote full participation of people with disabilities in all areas of society and his first appointment to the Office of Disability Rights. President Clinton's executive orders requiring the federal government to increase opportunities for employment of people with disabilities and to provide accommodations for doing so, were continued through both Republican and Democratic administrations. Our movement made even more progress under President Barack Obama, whose commitment to full enforcement of the ADA made it even more impactful. The Obama administration exceeded its five-year goal of hiring 100,000 people with disabilities into the federal government, and ended with 14.41 percent of the overall full-time federal workforce doing their job with a disability. President Obama also created the first office within FEMA dedicated to disabilities - so that if and when a disaster strikes we are prepared to help everyone - and created the first special advisor for international disabilities at the State Department. While issues facing people with disabilities were front and center at the Democratic convention, historically our issues have achieved bipartisan support in Republican administrations. Unfortunately, we know President Trump is already going after the Affordable Care Act, which is a massive threat to people with disabilities whose pre-existing conditions would have otherwise made access to full coverage nearly impossible. We worry his proposed Secretary of Education would ease federal enforcement of IDEA and allow states to inconsistently enforce its provisions for disabled children despite it being a federal law. But we still demand a seat at the table as these issues are addressed by Congress and the new administration. In developing and implementing new policies, I expect President Trump to listen to us so he can fully consider our long fight for progress. Therefore, I was dismayed when it was recently reported that the first move by our new President was to take down a page on the White House website that had information about federal policy regarding people with disabilities. I agree with the statement by the Washington Post, "What is interesting here is that the website team didn't find the time to make sure there were replacements for the disabilities information they were taking down before Inauguration Day." To me, this is a most troubling signal that perhaps people with disabilities will not have a seat at the table. Is that the message? -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

23 января, 19:01

UK warning over traditional toast, potato diet

A government health warning over the potential dangers of toast, roast potatoes and chips — all traditional staples of the British diet — had the country’s tabloids hitting out yesterday. The Food Standards

23 января, 18:49

Goldman Warns The Following Assets Are "Most Vulnerable To Substantial Repricing"

In an overnight note by Goldman's Ian Wright titled "Calm before the storm", which looks at pricing of risk during the current low-vol episode, the GS strategist writes that in the run up to the inauguration last Friday of the 45th President of the US, investors have remained keen to discuss all things at the intersection of President Trump and markets. And yet, despite the uncertainty, volatility has been very low, which is why Goldman tries to estimate which assets appear the most fragile in the event that volatility picks up. Goldman uses three frameworks (valuation, vol-adjusted move sizes, and return distribution tail widths) and its forward-looking overlay to assess which asset classes appear "most vulnerable to substantial repricing." This is what the bank found: "We do not see any asset classes as particularly “stable” at this point in time. In our view, at an asset class level, both credit and FX seem the most vulnerable by most metrics. In addition, at an individual asset level, German and UK rates and the S&P 500 appear most vulnerable." Some more details from Goldman: Valuation: In our view, the assets with the most stretched valuation have negative asymmetry, i.e. more downside than upside; but this does not mean they will reprice down, as valuation alone is seldom a catalyst for repricing. Exhibit 1 shows the percentile of current valuations across assets relative to their historical distributions since 2003. The S&P 500, European HY and non-US government bonds appear the most stretched by this metric, but few assets appear particularly “cheap”.   Bund yields will largely depend on the reflation picture in Europe, as well as what happens to US yields; both of these we expect will drive Bund yields higher. In addition, should the resilience of UK data continue, Gilts have the potential to reprice meaningfully (even our base case has Gilts at 1.90 at 2017YE). Regarding the S&P, given the uncertainty around tax policy, there is potential for repricing both up or down. We think potential for disappointment is high given optimism and bullish sentiment. It is hard to see other equity markets not responding negatively amid a significant sell-off in the S&P, but in the case of a gradual move down, we think other markets could likely bear it. Vol-adjusted move sizes: We measure the number of 3-standard deviation moves each asset has had, using recent realized volatility to measure standard deviations. Exhibit 2 plots the share of 3-standard deviation days that have happened in the past year in each asset class, as a fraction of the total across asset classes. FX and fixed income stand out as having had the most extreme moves recently. While this is based on backward-looking measures of volatility, we expect FX to remain volatile, both in function of monetary policy divergence and political risk. Distribution tails: For return distribution shapes we look at what assets have the largest return distribution tails. Exhibit 3 plots the width of the bottom and top deciles of each asset class’s past 3m realized return distribution, normalized by their 1y standard deviation. Based on that measure both FX and Credit stand out as most vulnerable. This is unsurprising given this is related to our previous metric, but also shows the downside tail has been much more substantial for credit than the upward tail, more so than for any other asset class. Bottom line: according to Goldman, if vol were to pick up, virtually every asset class, starting with US equities, European junk bonds, and especially FX, is a candidate for a sharp repricing lower.

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23 января, 18:00

EXCO Gets Notice for Non-Compliance of NYSE Listing Rules

EXCO Resources Inc. (XCO) recently received a notice from New York Stock Exchange for failing to comply with a continued listing rule under section 802.01C of the NYSE Listed Company Manual.

23 января, 17:35

Market Dysfunction: Another Remediable Weakness of the Home Loan Market

With a new administration in Washington, the time is ripe to reconsider some fundamental features of our housing finance system. In recent articles, I focused on three weaknesses of the system, and on how to fix them. The rigidity of the mortgage payment obligation makes the standard mortgage very difficult to manage. The proposed remedy is to replace the minimum payment obligation with a maximum loan balance that declines over time. This would result in faster payoffs and fewer defaults. The second weakness of the standard mortgage is that house purchasers incur a risk of equity decline from sources outside of their control. The proposed remedy is to adjust the loan balance for changes in a broad house price index, but with upward balance adjustments limited to prior declines. This would prevent episodes where large numbers of homes fell underwater. The third weakness is lack of an effective private secondary market. The proposed remedy is to create a new industry of private mortgage banks similar to those in Denmark, while retaining Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac until that new industry matures. This would prevent the drastic decline in activity that would follow a rapid phase-out of the agencies. The fourth weakness, discussed below, is a dysfunctional market structure in which borrowers often overpay, and may not get the type of mortgage that best meets their needs. The sources of dysfunction include the following: Mortgages Are Complicated: Loan officers understand them because that is their day-to-day business, but most borrowers see them only a few times during their lives. Borrowers May Have to Commit Before All the Information That Affects the Price Has Been Verified. Lenders can then use changes in price determinants as a screen that allows them to extract a higher price from the borrower. The most common abuse of this type involves property value, which usually requires an appraisal that takes days or weeks to complete. Borrowers Cannot Depend on Mortgage Price Quotes: Lenders reset their prices every day, and sometimes more frequently. Until the price is locked, the prices quoted to a borrower are supposed to be those the lender would charge if the borrower had been cleared to lock, called the "posted price", but whether it is or not the borrower never knows. Low-balling, the practice of quoting a price well below the posted price, pervades the home mortgage market because lenders being compared to other lenders usually have no other way to distinguish themselves. Low-ballers have many ways to explain the higher price borrowers inevitably face after they are committed. Borrowers Are Subject to Lock Abuse: Lock abuse is a lock price that is above the lender's posted price at that time. Probably the most pervasive lock abuse is ignoring a market price decrease that occurs between the last time a price was quoted to the borrower and the time the price is locked. In that case, borrowers receive the price of the earlier quote, which in most cases is the price they expected, rather than the lower posted price, which is the price they deserve. Note that the mandatory disclosures now administered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau prevent none of these abuses. The remedy for market dysfunction is the independent multi-lender web site that allows users to compare posted prices of multiple lenders, uniformly formatted, at one site. While there are no legal barriers to the creation of such facilities now, it is extremely difficult for such a site to distinguish itself from fake versions, and to counter the high-powered merchandising of lenders with name recognition. The need is for certification by a known trustworthy source that a site has the features necessary to provide borrowers with competitive prices and selection guidance. The features required for certification would include the following: Prices Posted Directly to Site: Three or more lenders provide posted prices to the site directly from each lender's internal pricing system, without the intermediation of loan officers. Complete Prices: Prices should cover all lender charges and all price-related features of adjustable rate mortgages. Live Prices: Whenever a participating lender posts new prices on its own site or for its loan officers, prices on the multi-lender site change as well. Fully-Adjusted Prices: The site should have the capacity to adjust prices from each lender for all the transaction characteristics that affect price, employing the adjustment rules specific to the lender. Anonymity: Borrowers should be able to shop prices on the site without revealing contact information to lenders until a lender has been selected. In ot her words, lender contact is initiated only by borrowers. Price Monitoring: Borrowers are able to monitor the posted prices of the lender they select until their price is locked. Lender Selection: Borrowers select the lender, not the site. Product Decision Support: Borrowers have access to guidance in making decisions about the type of mortgage, and the combination of upfront fees and interest rate that best meets their needs. The list is designed to be illustrative. It would have to be fleshed out by the certifying agency, which might be HUD or CFPB. The burden on the agency that does it would be very small, however, while the potential benefits are enormous. For more information on mortgages, or to shop for a mortgage in an unbiased environment, visit my website The Mortgage Professor -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

23 января, 17:30

Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: Volkswagen, Meritor, Tenneco and Magna International

Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: Volkswagen, Meritor, Tenneco and Magna International

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23 января, 17:13

Disaster Risk and Asset Returns: An International Perspective -- by Karen K. Lewis, Edith X. Liu

Recent studies have shown that disaster risk can generate asset return moments similar to those observed in the U.S. data. However, these studies have ignored the cross-country asset pricing implications of the disaster risk model. This paper shows that standard U.S.-based disaster risk model assumptions found in the literature lead to counterfactual international asset pricing implications. Given consumption pricing moments, disaster risk cannot explain the range of equity premia and government bill rates nor the high degree of equity return correlation found in the data. Moreover, the independence of disasters presumed in some studies generates counterfactually low cross-country correlations in equity markets. Alternatively, if disasters are all shared, the model generates correlations that are excessively high. We show that common and idiosyncratic components of disaster risk are needed to explain the pattern in consumption and equity co-movements.

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23 января, 17:13

The Labor of Division: Returns to Compulsory High School Math Coursework -- by Joshua Goodman

Despite great focus on and public investment in STEM education, little causal evidence connects quantitative coursework to students' economic outcomes. I show that state changes in minimum high school math requirements substantially increase black students' completed math coursework and their later earnings. The marginal student's return to an additional math course is 10 percent, roughly half the return to a year of high school, and is partly explained by a shift toward more cognitively skilled occupations. Whites' coursework and earnings are unaffected. Rigorous standards for quantitative coursework can close meaningful portions of racial gaps in economic outcomes.

23 января, 17:13

Causes and Consequences of Fragmented Care Delivery: Theory, Evidence, and Public Policy -- by Leila Agha, Brigham Frandsen, James B. Rebitzer

Fragmented health care occurs when care is spread out across a large number of poorly coordinated providers. We analyze care fragmentation, an important source of inefficiency in the US healthcare system, by combining an economic model of regional practice styles with an empirical study of Medicare enrollees who move across regions. Roughly sixty percent of cross-regional variation in care fragmentation is independent of patients' clinical needs or preferences for care. A one standard deviation increase in regional fragmentation is associated with a 10% increase in utilization. Our analysis also identifies conditions under which anti-fragmentation policies can improve efficiency.

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23 января, 17:13

Are Consumers Poorly-Informed about Fuel Economy? Evidence from Two Experiments -- by Hunt Allcott, Christopher Knittel

It has long been argued that people are poorly-informed about and inattentive to fuel economy when buying cars, and that this causes us to buy low-fuel economy vehicles despite our own best interest. We test this assertion by running two experiments providing fuel economy information to people shopping for new vehicles. We find zero statistical or economic effect of information on average fuel economy of vehicles purchased. In the context of a simple optimal policy model, the estimates suggest that imperfect information and inattention are not valid as significant justifications for fuel economy standards at current or planned levels.

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23 января, 17:13

Consequences of the Clean Water Act and the Demand for Water Quality -- by David A. Keiser, Joseph S. Shapiro

Since the 1972 U.S. Clean Water Act, government and industry have invested over $1 trillion to abate water pollution, or $100 per person-year. Over half of U.S. stream and river miles, however, still violate pollution standards. We use the most comprehensive set of files ever compiled on water pollution and its determinants, including 50 million pollution readings from 170,000 monitoring sites, to study water pollution's trends, causes, and welfare consequences. We have three main findings. First, water pollution concentrations have fallen substantially since 1972, though were declining at faster rates before then. Second, the Clean Water Act's grants to municipal wastewater treatment plants caused some of these declines. Third, the grants' estimated effects on housing values are generally smaller than the grants' costs.

23 июня 2014, 14:12

Standard & Poor.s: каковы основные риски для российской экономики

Невыплата долгов "Нафтогазом" не будет считаться дефолтом всей Украины. Тем не менее, страна может официально стать банкротом в ближайшие год - два. Такой прогноз озвучил Моритц Краемер - он возглавляет группу суверенных рейтингов Standard & Poor.s. Поможет ли Украине МВФ, что ждет российские госкомпании и как ответить на обвинения в политической ангажированности?