Macro Links Jan 16th – Hawaii False Alarm

Macro Links Jan 16th – Hawaii False Alarm

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HAWAII FALSE ALARM

Hawaii Panics After Alert About Incoming Missile Is Sent in Error – The New York Times

The alert appeared on cellphones warning people to “seek immediate shelter,” and said, “This is not a drill.” The authorities said it was a false alarm.

False Missile Warning in Hawaii Adds to Scrutiny of Emergency Alert System – The New York Times

An errant cellphone alert about an incoming ballistic missile set off a panic and prompted calls for major improvements to America’s approach to disaster notification.

Hawaii False Alarm Hints at Thin Line Between Mishap and Nuclear War – The New York Times

Security experts called it a frightening warning of how a technical error could trigger an unintended conflict with North Korea.

Hawaii missile alert: How one employee ‘pushed the wrong button’ and caused a wave of panic – The Washington Post

Details are emerging on how the mistake occurred — and what officials are doing to prevent it from happening again.

U.S. Reviews Emergency-Alert System After Hawaii Mishap – WSJ

A false warning over an incoming ballistic missile rattled Hawaii on Saturday, exposing what officials say are troubling shortcomings in the network.

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BITCOIN, CRYPTOCURRENCY, INITIAL COIN OFFERINGS

Uproar as South Korea Plans Cryptocurrency Crackdown – WSJ

Government attempts to tighten control over cryptocurrency trading are sparking a fierce public backlash in South Korea. A petition on the official website of the presidential office is set to reach 200,000 signatures.

China Escalates Crackdown on Cryptocurrency Trading – Bloomberg

China is escalating its clampdown on cryptocurrency trading, targeting online platforms and mobile apps that offer exchange-like services, according to people familiar with the matter.

Kraken Down: Draws Mt. Gox Worries as Ripple, Bitcoin Trading Pauses | Fortune

Bitcoin exchange Kraken has been down a day and a half. Ripple, Bitcoin, and Ethereum investors are speculating if it’s another Mt. Gox.

One of the Biggest Crypto Exchanges Goes Dark and Users Are Getting Nervous – Bloomberg

One of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges has been down for hours and its clients are starting to freak out.

Bitcoin investors struggle to cash out new fortunes

Bitcoin investors trying to channel their new fortunes into UK property are being turned away by mortgage lenders and brokers who fear breaching anti money-laundering regulations.

Indonesia central bank warns over cryptocurrencies

Indonesia’s central bank has issued a fresh warning about trading in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin because of the risk of losses to the public and even a potential threat to the stability of the financial system.

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FOREX, CARRY TRADES, EXCHANGE RATES

Euro Speculators Amass the Biggest Long Positioning Ever: Chart – Bloomberg

Hedge funds and other speculative investors have amassed the heaviest long positions on the euro ever, according to the latest CFTC data. The Group-of-10’s best currency in 2017 is getting fresh momentum from the prospect of a September end to European Central Bank stimulus and an upswing in growth.

18F16 - EURO POSITIONING

Euro hits three-year high as Europe leads global optimism

The euro shot to a three-year high on Monday as optimism around growth buoyed expectations of tighter monetary policy from European Central Bank, while the chance of a pro-European Union coalition in Germany also boosted confidence in the continent.

Dollar Gets the Cold Shoulder in Global Economic Boom – WSJ

The promise of accelerating economic growth overseas is propelling investor funds into the yen, euro and many emerging-market currencies, intensifying a yearlong siege on the U.S. dollar.

Bundesbank Says It’ll Add China’s Yuan to Currency Reserves – Bloomberg

Germany’s central bank has decided to include the Chinese yuan in its own reserves, in a further boost to the international status of the currency.

Chinese Yuan at Two-Year High Against Dollar – WSJ

The Chinese yuan hit its strongest level against the faltering U.S. dollar since October 2015, even as authorities in Beijing loosen controls meant to prop up the yuan.

Pound’s High Vulnerable to Fragile Brexit Sentiment – Bloomberg

The pound’s rally, spurred by hopes of a soft Brexit, may be vulnerable this week to heightened sensitivity to comments from European Union leaders on the prospects of such a deal.

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TAXATION, WEALTH HAVENS, INEQUALITY

Supreme Court to Consider Internet Sales Tax Collection – WSJ

The Supreme Court said it would consider whether states can broadly require online retailers to collect sales taxes even for states where they lack a physical presence—with a potential major impact on online commerce.

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RUSSIA PROBE

Bannon, Lewandowski to Testify in Russia Probe Behind Closed Doors – Bloomberg

Stephen Bannon and Corey Lewandowski are scheduled to testify in the coming week as the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of possible Russian interference in the 2016 election reaches a crescendo.

Moby Says CIA Agents Asked Him to Spread the Word About Trump and Russia | Pitchfork

“They said, like, ‘Look, you have more of a social media following than any of us do, can you please post some of these things just in a way that… sort of put it out there.’”

Experts link Shadow Brokers and Russia

There is increasing evidence linking Russia to the Shadow Brokers leaks, which is “one of the worst security debacles ever to befall American intelligence.”

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NORTH / SOUTH KOREA, IRAN, NUCLEAR WEAPONS

Military Quietly Prepares for a Last Resort: War With North Korea – The New York Times

It’s normal for American commanders to draw up combat plans. But recent exercises signal that the military wants to be ready for options on the Korean Peninsula.

U.S. Vows to Withdraw From Iran Nuclear Deal Without Major Changes – WSJ

The Trump administration vowed to pull out of the Iran nuclear accord without substantial changes, setting the clock ticking on tough talks with Washington’s European allies.

In Iran, Protester ‘Suicides’ Stir Anger and Calls for Accountability – The New York Times

A willingness by members of Iran’s mainstream society to dispute official versions of protester deaths suggest that the fallout may be just beginning.

Iran vows ‘serious response’ to new sanctions and rebuffs Trump’s demands on nuclear deal – The Washington Post

Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Saturday that it would not agree to any changes to the nuclear deal, as President Trump has demanded, and it vowed a “serious response” to new U.S. sanctions that it said crossed a red line.

Opaque Joint Ventures Help North Korea Evade Crackdown – WSJ

Global businesses faced a deadline last week to exit joint ventures operating in North Korea, but dozens of them are still there, providing the country with significant revenue and diluting the effects of financial sanctions against leader Kim Jong Un’s rogue regime.

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RATES, LIQUIDITY, SYSTEMIC RISK, BALANCE SHEETS

California’s Brown Raises Prospect of Pension Cuts in Downturn – Bloomberg

California Governor Jerry Brown said legal rulings may clear the way for making cuts to public pension benefits, which would go against long-standing assumptions and potentially provide financial relief to the state and its local governments.

How Much New Investor Cash Did BlackRock Attract in 2017? $1 Billion a Day – WSJ

The world’s largest asset manager reached a new milestone during 2017: the equivalent of $1 billion of new client cash every day.

Stiglitz Sees Risks in U.S. Politics as Spending Deadline Nears – Bloomberg

A U.S. government shutdown could spook investors and is the biggest threat to the stock-market rally, according to Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.

China Vows to Toughen Rules on $38 Trillion Banking Industry – Bloomberg

China’s banking regulator pledged to continue its crackdown on malpractice in the $38 trillion industry in 2018, vowing to tackle everything from poor corporate governance and violation of lending policies to cross-holdings of risky financial products.

HNA Group offers high interest payment as funding pressure builds

Acquisitive Chinese conglomerate HNA Group is offering unusually high interest payments for short-term financing, in the latest sign that the company faces a cash shortage.

Strong US inflation signals rate rise in March

US inflation strengthened at the end of last year, lifting expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise rates as soon as March as rapid growth and low unemployment promise to boost prices.

Carillion Collapses After U.K. Government Refuses Bailout – Bloomberg

Carillion Plc, a U.K. construction company with government contracts in everything from hospitals to the HS2 high-speed rail project, filed for compulsory liquidation after failing in a last-ditch effort to shore up finances and get a government bailout.

Nordic Bond Deals Soar as Nasdaq Reveals Record Debt Listings – Bloomberg

In Europe’s northern tip, corporate bond issuance is heating up. The volume of securities listed on Nasdaq’s Nordic bond platform climbed 10 percent to hit a record 74 billion euros ($90 billion) last year, according to the exchange. Bond managers say this year may well be better.

Sweden’s Worst Housing Slump Since 2008 Is Ripe for Sanity Check – Bloomberg

Sweden is in the worst housing-market downturn since the global financial crisis. But with bigger bank buffers and an economy that’s growing much faster than the rest of Europe, analysts, regulators and politicians all say everything will be just fine.

18F16 - STOCKHOLM SLUMP

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MACRO OP-EDS, INSIGHT, EVENTS AND TRENDS

Bitcoin is no longer the only game in crypto-currency town – Beyond bitcoin

A new crypto-currency is born almost daily, often through an “initial coin offering” (ICO), a form of online crowdfunding. CoinMarketCap, a website, lists about 1,400 digital coins or tokens, including PutinCoin, Sexcoin and InsaneCoin (worth $7m). Most are no more than curiosities, but by January 10th, around 40 had a market capitalisation of more than $1bn.

18F16 - TALES FROM THE CRYPTO

Everyone Is Getting Hilariously Rich and You’re Not – The New York Times

The wealth is intoxicating news, feverish because it seems so random. Investors trying to grok the landscape compare it to the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s, when valuations soared and it was hard to separate the Amazons and Googles from the Pets.coms and eToys.

How a Bitcoin System is Like and Unlike a Gold Standard – Foundation for Economic Education – Working for a free and prosperous world

Economists are interested in how a monetary system based on Bitcoin compares to a gold-standard monetary system. Both Bitcoin and gold are stateless and both provide a base money that is reliably limited in quantity. However, Bitcoin and the gold standard are obviously different in other ways.

Don’t Use a Blockchain Unless You Really Need One – CoinDesk

Despite some of the hype, blockchains are “incredibly inefficient,” Ravikant said. “It’s worth paying the cost when you need the decentralization, but it’s not when you don’t.”

50 Years Later, It Feels Familiar: How America Fractured in 1968 – The New York Times

It was a violent year. Liberals reeled, a war dragged on and protests raged. People got all their news from radio, TV and newspapers. But what if they’d had phones vibrating with modern news alerts?

The Three Stumbling Blocks to a Solar-Powered Nation – WSJ

Every hour, our sun bombards the Earth with enough light to satisfy humanity’s energy needs for an entire year. But at least three barriers stand between us and that sunny future.

Why is liberal California the poverty capital of America? – LA Times

California’s generous spending has not only failed to decrease poverty; it actually seems to have made it worse.

Price Manipulation in the Bitcoin Ecosystem – ScienceDirect

Suspicious trading activity likely caused the unprecedented spike in the USD-BTC exchange rate in late 2013, when the rate jumped from around $150 to more than $1,000 in two months.

Big Bets on A.I. Open a New Frontier for Chip Start-Ups, Too – The New York Times

Forty-five young companies are building processors just for artificial intelligence. At least five have raised more than $100 million from investors. The explosion is akin to the sudden proliferation of PC and hard-drive makers in the 1980s. While these are small companies, and not all will survive, they have the power to fuel a period of rapid technological change.

India has a hole where its middle class should be – India’s missing middle

The Indian middle class conjured up by the marketers and consultants scarcely exists. Firms peddling anything much beyond soap, matches and phone-credit are targeting a minuscule slice of the population. Worse, the chances of India developing a middle class to match the Middle Kingdom’s are being throttled by growing inequality.

The Mysterious Twitter User Attracting a Swarm of Japan Traders – Bloomberg

On a day when billions in profits and losses would be determined by split-second trades, the salaried professionals of Japan’s financial markets were glued to their news terminals. Another group was staring at the feed of an anonymous Twitter account.

Inside Uber’s $100,000 Payment to a Hacker, and the Fallout – The New York Times

How Uber grappled with a 2016 hack is under scrutiny and has cast a chill over how other companies deal with security threats. The hacking is now the subject of at least four lawsuits, with attorneys general in five states investigating whether Uber broke laws on data-breach notifications. In addition, the United States attorney for Northern California has begun a criminal investigation into the matter.

The irreversible rise of the investing machines

The machine will continue to change finance. It is the unique job of the humans to ensure that this translates to lower costs and better risk control.

The End of the Social News Era? Journalists Brace for Facebook’s Big Change – The New York Times

“Nobody knows exactly what impact it’ll have, but in a lot of ways, it looks like the end of the social news era,” Jacob Weisberg, the chairman and editor in chief of the Slate Group, said on Friday. “Everybody’s Facebook traffic has been declining all year, so they’ve been de-emphasizing news. But for them to make such a fundamental change in the platform — I don’t think people were really anticipating it.”

Facebook is done with quality journalism. Deal with it.

For Facebook, journalism has been a pain in the neck from day one. Now, bogged down with the insoluble problems of fake news and bad PR, it’s clear that Facebook will gradually pull the plug on news. Publishers should stop whining and move on.

Techmate: How AI rewrote the rules of chess

AlphaZero taught itself chess from scratch in just four hours, playing games against itself, learning and rejecting openings and endgames that humans have developed over the course of centuries. Starting with only the basic rules of chess, the system was free to make up its own strategy, unconstrained by anything that came before.

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CENTRAL BANKS & MONETARY POLICY

WSJ Survey: Most Economists Expect Next Fed Rate Rise in March – WSJ

Most economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected the Federal Reserve will raise short-term interest rates in March and again in June. Nearly 93% of business and academic economists surveyed this month predicted the Fed’s first rate increase of 2018 will come at its March 20-21 policy gathering.

Japan tapering is more conspiracy theory than fact

If there really is a taper, it is still too stealthy to detect.

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USA ECONOMY DATA, CITIES AND STATES

As Labor Pool Shrinks, Prison Time Is Less of a Hiring Hurdle – The New York Times

A shortage of candidates is providing opportunities to people long shunned by employers and is forcing recruiters to consider new approaches to hiring.

Economists Credit Trump as Tailwind for U.S. Growth, Hiring and Stocks – WSJ

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal say President Donald Trump has had generally positive effects on U.S. economic growth, hiring and the performance of the stock market during his first year in office.

U.S. Retail Sales End 2017 on Solid Footing – WSJ

Spending at U.S. retailers rose in December for the fourth consecutive month, capping the strongest year for sales growth since 2014.

Wal-Mart Plans to Cut More Than 1,000 Corporate Jobs – WSJ

A day after promising to give its store workers raises and bonuses, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is preparing to hand out pink slips at its headquarters.

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POSITIONING, INFLECTION, MARKET CALLS

The Stock Market Never Goes Down Anymore – Bloomberg

The New Year’s rally has pushed the S&P 500 Index to its best start since the administration of George W. Bush. Now it’s bumping against speed barriers that marked the upper limits of bull markets for decades.

18F16 - SPX RALLY

Is the Stock Market Too Quiet for Its Own Good? – The New York Times

A rare calm has settled over the stock market. Whether it turns out to be the one before the storm is a compelling question after a year of conditions so placid that investing has begun to look deceptively simple.

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DEALS, MERGERS, IPOs, LBOs, RESTRUCTURINGS

M&A in asset management sector climbs to 8-year high

Mergers and acquisitions among investment managers in 2017 reached levels not seen since the aftermath of the financial crisis, with the market under intense pressure to consolidate.

18F16 - GLOBAL INVESTMENT M&A VALUE

SoftBank Explores $18 Billion Listing of Telecoms Business – WSJ

SoftBank Group Corp. said Monday it may list shares of its profitable Japanese cellphone operator, a move that could raise nearly $20 billion and help SoftBank make big bets on technology companies.

Xiaomi appoints banks for planned $100bn IPO

Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone maker, has appointed Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to lead a flotation later this year, which could value the group as high as $100bn in the biggest tech IPO since Alibaba floated in New York in 2014.

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REAL ESTATE, HOUSING, REITS, COMMERCIAL

London Housing Woe Endures as Prices Drop to 2 1/2-Year Low – Bloomberg

The new year brought little cheer for London’s housing market with asking prices dropping to the lowest since August 2015.

That New York Condo Just Got a Lot More Expensive – WSJ

Apartment shoppers in Manhattan are taking a pause after a federal tax overhaul removed some key incentives for homeownership, brokers say. After four consecutive months of increases, the number of contracts signed in December declined both for new condo buildings and older co-ops and condos.

Will Anyone Rent This Apartment for $100,000 a Month? – Bloomberg

“It’s kind of an oasis,” Guerci says in a phone interview. “Like being in the country, except you’re in New York. It’s a very unique place.” The apartment, he notes, has three outdoor showers.

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HEDGE FUNDS, PRIVATE EQUITY, MONEY MGMT

A.I. Has Arrived in Investing. Humans Are Still Dominating. – The New York Times

A.I., including an ability to analyze data and actually learn from it, is considered useful in executing certain investing models, such as high-frequency trading, and in helping fund managers with tasks that rely on gathering and interpreting reams of information.

Hedge Funds Are Making Money From Exotic Bets – Bloomberg

Hedge funds returns have been battered by central bank monetary policies that have made it more difficult for them to outperform the market in everything from bonds to equity futures. That’s prompting some trend followers to move into less crowded markets such as over-the-counter securities, electricity and coal.

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ENERGY CRUDE OIL, OIL SANDS, SHALE

Iraq Joins U.A.E., Qatar in Call to Keep Oil Cuts – Bloomberg

Iraq joined the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman in calling for OPEC and allied producers to stick with their agreement to cut oil output until the end of the year, despite recent price gains.

Oil hovers below $70 highs, clouded by rise in U.S. output

Oil hovered near a three-year high of $70 a barrel on Monday on signs that production cuts by OPEC and Russia are tightening supplies, but analysts warned of “red flags” due to surging U.S. production.

Oil Market Conquers Its Fears Over Shale – WSJ

Oil prices have surged more than 50% since the summer—a sign investors are reassessing what was once the biggest risk in the market: U.S. shale.

Worries about US shale output wave as oil hits three-year high

“The higher the prices go, the harder shale producers pump,” Tamas Varga at London-based broker PVM, said. He added, an “overdue correction could be under way”.

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ENERGY RENEWABLES, NUCLEAR

Utility Jobs Lost as New Power Plants Need Fewer Workers – WSJ

As coal and nuclear power plants close due to competitive pressures, the number of people employed in making electricity for the U.S. is shrinking.

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COMMODITIES AGRICULTURE & SOFTS

Growing Appetites Fuel Record U.S. Meat Production – WSJ

America is producing more meat than ever. Farmers and meatpackers produced a record 99.7 billion pounds of red meat and poultry in 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. They are on track for an even bigger slaughter this year.

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POLLUTION, CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Death toll in Southern California mudslides rises to at least 20 – The Washington Post

Four people remain missing after last week’s flash floods, according to fire officials.

Mudslides Close Part of Highway 101 in California – The New York Times

The mudslides have killed at least 20 people and closed portions of a major north-south corridor.

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BREXIT, SCOXIT, LONDON, UK ECONOMY

U.K. Fraud Reports Hit 15-Year High as Evidence Work Delays Cops – Bloomberg

Fraud in the U.K. rose to 2.1 billion pounds ($2.9 billion), the most in 15 years, as the police commander in charge of fighting the crime said the amount of evidence was setting back investigations.

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DACA, TRAVEL BAN, IMMIGRATION, WALL

DACA Participants Can Again Apply for Renewal, Immigration Agency Says – The New York Times

The government complied with a judge’s order to resume accepting renewal requests from immigrants who were brought illegally to the United States as children.

Hopes for immigration deal fade as lawmakers trade barbs and Trump declares dreamer program ‘probably dead’ – The Washington Post

President Trump said Sunday that he is “not a racist” and denied that he had spoiled chances for an immigration overhaul in Congress by using a vulgarity to describe poor countries. Trump blamed Democrats for fouling chances for a deal and, in an extraordinary statement, called himself “the least racist person.”

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GEOPOLITICS, CRIME, TERRORISM

Lavrov berates US for ‘destabilizing’ world – CNN

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accused the United States of destabilizing the world, airing a list of grievances over US foreign policy.

RAF intercepts Russian bombers near UK ‘area of interest’ – BBC News

The RAF said two Russian Blackjack bombers were approaching a UK “area of interest” over the North Sea.

Stricken Iranian Oil Tanker Sinks in East China Sea After Blast – Bloomberg

The Iranian oil tanker Sanchi sank into the East China Sea on Sunday afternoon after a blast, causing a “serious” oil spill that covered 10 square kilometers (3.9 square miles), state television reported, citing China’s State Oceanic Administration.

Two Suicide Bombers Attack Baghdad – WSJ

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up in a square in central Baghdad, killing at least 26 people in the deadliest attack since Iraq claimed victory over Islamic State late last year.

Las Vegas gunman methodically sought to ‘thwart’ investigation of massacre, FBI says – The Washington Post

The court documents show the gunman’s careful preparations for the shooting and what would follow.

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PRIVACY, HACKING, CYBERWAR, SURVEILLANCE STATE

In China, facial recognition is sharp end of big data drive for total surveillance – The Washington Post

Facial recognition is the new hot tech topic in China. Banks, airports, hotels and even public toilets are all trying to verify people’s identities by analyzing their faces. But the police and security state have been the most enthusiastic about embracing this new technology.

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PROPAGANDA, CORRUPTION, AUTHORITARIANISM

Philippines Shuts Down News Site Critical of Duterte – WSJ

Rappler, a popular news website that has been critical of the government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, was shut down by the country’s securities regulator, a move the company called harassment.

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TRUMP WORLD

Trump Lawyer Arranged $130,000 Payment for Adult-Film Star’s Silence – WSJ

A lawyer for President Donald Trump arranged a $130,000 payment to a former adult-film star a month before the 2016 election as part of an agreement that precluded her from publicly discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump.

Porn star Alana Evans says she was invited to Trump’s hotel room in 2006 | US news | The Guardian

Alana Evans says Stormy Daniels requested Evans join her and Trump, while another actor Jessica Drake is reportedly subject to a non-disclosure agreement.

Porn Star: Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels Invited Me to Their Hotel Room

‘I ended up with Donald in his hotel room. Picture him chasing me around his hotel room in his tighty-whities,’ Stormy Daniels told fellow porn star Alana Evans.

Steve Bannon said Trump’s lawyer ‘took care’ of 100 women | Daily Mail Online

Steve Bannon suggested that Donald Trump’s lawyers paid off 100 women who had sexual encounters with the then-candidate during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump Escalates a Dispute With The Wall Street Journal Over a Quotation – The New York Times

The president said he did not say “I probably have a very good relationship” with the North Korean leader, claiming he said “I’d.” It was difficult to tell from audio clips whether the complaint had merit.

Trump is a racist ‘asteroid of awfulness,’ says senior British MP – POLITICO

“He is an asteroid of awfulness that has fallen on this world,” Thornberry said. “I think that he is a danger and I think that he is a racist.”

‘I’m Not a Racist,’ Trump Says in Denying Vulgar Comment – The New York Times

“I’m not a racist. I’m the least racist person you will ever interview, that I can tell you,” President Trump said in Florida.

White House struggles with muting function for 22 minutes on Iran conference call with reporters – CBS News

A telephone briefing on the status of Iran sanctions was delayed while the White House struggled with the “listen only” feature on the conference call, in a saga that was filled with expletives and confusion

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ELECTORAL POLITICS

New alarm among Republicans that Democrats could win big this year – The Washington Post

Retirements, recruitment challenges and Trump’s pattern of veering off message have caused growing concern that the GOP is facing a wave election.

‘The wave versus the map’: Democratic control of Senate moves from preposterous to possible – The Washington Post

Democrats have a narrow path to the majority in the Senate. The debate is over just how narrow, and whether the forces working against the GOP and President Trump are setting the stage for a wave election.

Chelsea Manning Files for Senate Run in Maryland – The New York Times

Ms. Manning, a former Army private convicted of disclosing classified information, would face Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, in the primary race.

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SILICON VALLEY, UNICORNS, STARTUPS, VC

CES Was Full of Useless Robots and Machines That Don’t Work

This year’s electronics expo promised a ‘better life’ and ‘better world.’ It instead offered a folding machine that can’t fold sweatshirts.

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CONSUMER TECH, SOCIAL MEDIA, E-COMMERCE, MOBILE

Mark Zuckerberg’s Change of Heart Just Cost Him $3.3 Billion – Bloomberg

Mark Zuckerberg’s latest Facebook post is proving expensive. The co-founder of the world’s largest social-media business saw his fortune fall $3.3 billion Friday after he posted plans to shift users’ news feeds toward content from family and friends at the expense of material from media outlets and businesses.

In Some Countries, Facebook’s Fiddling Has Magnified Fake News – The New York Times

Last fall, the online giant altered what people in six nations see. Established news sites said their web traffic declined, adding that more bogus stories were shared instead.

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RETAIL APPAREL, SPECIALTY, DINING, BIG BOX

Amazon’s Grocery Sales Increased After It Devoured Whole Foods – WSJ

Whole Foods’ brand items like bacon, coconut water and frozen blueberries helped Amazon gobble up more U.S. online grocery sales last year. Products carrying the natural foods chain’s brand helped push sales at Amazon’s online grocery-delivery service, AmazonFresh, up 35%.

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AUTOS, ELECTRIC, SELF-DRIVING

Adapt or Die Is Marchionne’s Stark Farewell Message to Carmakers – Bloomberg

Sergio Marchionne, one of the longest-serving CEOs in the automotive industry, has a blunt warning: Carmakers have less than a decade to reinvent themselves or risk being commoditized amid a seismic shift in how vehicles are powered, driven and purchased.

Detroit Auto Show May Be Celebrating an Era About to End – The New York Times

Three years of record sales mask signs that harder times lie ahead: bigger incentives, more fleet purchases and higher used-car values.

Hype Meets Reality as Electric Car Dreams Run Into Metal Crunch

For carmakers vying to fill their fleets with electric vehicles, a spike in Cobalt prices has been a rude awakening as to how much their success is riding on the scarce silvery-blue mineral found predominantly in one of the world’s most corrupt and underdeveloped countries.

Race to build a million-mile car becomes a reality

Durability and longevity will be essential for self-driving vehicles, because they will be part of transportation fleets that are in near-constant use. This shift will represent a massive disruption for carmakers, as the advent of autonomous fleets of electric vehicles has the potential to upend their traditional business models.

Ford plans $11 billion investment, 40 electrified vehicles by 2022

Ford Motor Co will significantly increase its planned investments in electric vehicles to $11 billion by 2022 and have 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles in its model lineup, Chairman Bill Ford said on Sunday at the Detroit auto show.

Fiat CEO Sees Room to Double Profit by 2022 – Bloomberg

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne, one of the longest-serving bosses in the auto industry, said the company can double profit within five years by exploiting the potential of the Jeep brand.

Self-driving cars raise fears over ‘weaponisation’

Autonomous vehicles are in danger of being turned into “weapons”, leading governments around the world to block cars operated by foreign companies, the head of Baidu’s self-driving car programme has warned.

VW brand car sales hit 6.23 million record in 2017

Volkswagen’s core autos division increased vehicle sales to a new record last year, as rising demand for VW brand models in the Americas and the key Chinese market offset a decline in western Europe.

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AIRLINES, SHIPPERS, RAIL, TRANSPORTS

Airbus Plays Chicken With Emirates Over A380 – Bloomberg

Airbus chief salesman John Leahy, who’s retiring this year, said that unless Emirates bought more A380 superjumbos, Airbus would have “no choice but to shut down the program”.

Airbus in talks on 70-80 million euro deal to end German probe: paper

Airbus is in talks with German prosecutors to end an investigation into the sale of Eurofighter jets to Austria in exchange for a settlement of between 70 million and 80 million euros ($85 million to $98 million), a German newspaper reported.

Airbus Pumps Out Record Number of Jets, Joins Boeing in Production Scramble – WSJ

Boeing and Airbus both built more jets last year than ever, but not enough to lessen their backlogs. The delivery frenzy has been a boon to both planemakers but it has strained manufacturing and supply lines around the world.

Plane Skids Off Runway in Turkey: ‘It’s a Miracle We Escaped’ – The New York Times

No one was injured, officials said, after the Pegasus Airlines flight “had a runway excursion incident” and its nose ended up feet from the Black Sea.

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AEROSPACE, MILITARY & DEFENSE

Lost in space? Questions mount over fate of secret satellite as SpaceX pushes ahead – The Washington Post

The classified mission is shrouded in secrecy, so speculation of a failure — and responsibility for it — lingers. For SpaceX, the stakes are especially high — not just because a valuable national security asset valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, or more, that it was hired to launch was possibly lost.

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ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, DRONES, FUTURE TECH

Alibaba and Microsoft AI beat humans in Stanford reading test

Alibaba on Monday said its artificial research outperformed mere mortals in a global reading comprehension test that seeks answers to such pressing questions as “what was Nikola Tesla’s ethnicity?” and “how big is the Amazon rainforest?”

Alibaba’s AI Outguns Humans in Reading Test – Bloomberg

Alibaba has developed an artificial intelligence model that scored better than humans in a Stanford University reading and comprehension test.

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SIR ARCHIVE
The Strategic Intelligence Report, containing the Intermarket View, Macro View, Tactical View and portfolio.
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MACRO LINKS ARCHIVE
A daily curated, clickable summary of news, data, insights and opinion across the market spectrum.
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ANALYSIS ARCHIVE
Analysis write-ups, concise and chart-driven, with updates on new setups and position adjustments.
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METHODOLOGY ARCHIVE
Ongoing tutorials and explanatory materials in respect to pyramiding, position sizing, portfolio management, and more.
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PSYCHOLOGY ARCHIVE
Ongoing research and insights into personal psychology, crowd psychology, sentiment, behavioral analysis and more.
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PRODUCTIVITY ARCHIVE
Ideas, insights and research into more efficient use of time, energy and mental focus for enhanced personal performance.
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METAPROCESS ARCHIVE
Our proprietary toolset for cultivating superhuman performance via behavior adjustments and mental modeling.
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THEORY + MODELS ARCHIVE
Ideas, concepts and areas of exploration to better understand markets, probability, human behavior, finance and more.
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SPECIAL REPORTS ARCHIVE
An evolving look into specific market areas — e.g. a country, currency, commodity, industry, company, technology or trend.
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PREMIUM REPORTS ARCHIVE
Unique and one-off collections of trading resources, interviews with top traders, deep dive topical investigations, and more.
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