In a recent spillover of internet-based long-form intellectual new media into the mainstream, Eric Weinstein appeared as a guest on Ted Cruz's podcast. Eric was well prepared. Cruz played the role of a charitable and engaged critic while avoiding direct confrontation. The conservation laid bare the intersection of the anti-corporate socialist left and anti-government libertarian right and the potential of these forces as a combined political interest. There was a strong sense of shared acknowledgement of the current crisis and they touched on all the culture war aspects. But I'm more interested in what Eric has pointed to now several times as the root cause of the systemic decline, and what seems to be the original trigger for the slow decay and building of tension that has ultimately led to the rise of darker elements on both the left and right that we see today: a Great Decoupling of productivity (GDP) and wage growth in the early 1970's. The significance of this time period has also been highlighted by Eric's boss, Peter Thiel. We are referred to https://wtfhappenedin1971.com/, where a collection of charts give the impression that a profound change in the foundations of the economy took place, effectively causing a divergence of all kinds of metrics related to equality, wealth creation, the complexity of regulation, and implicitly downstream effects like political polarization, incarceration rates, and age of marriage. The simple, seemingly persuasive answer is that the effective cancellation of the gold standard set us on a path towards borrowing ever larger sums to avert financial crises as they arise, and the return to a currency backed by something provably scarce, i.e. bitcoin, is a solution. I can't say I'm convinced it's that simple. And Eric doesn't mention currency specifically as the problem. So what I want to know is, was 1971 a real inflection point, the real root of inequality and dysfunction we see today? Was the removal of limits on the Fed's ability to print money a mistake? Or was there some other government action or change at that time that was the real cause? Do we need to let stock market crashes happen from time to time? A year ago, u/gwern posted a 1986 Atlantic article that described a lot of the problems in black America that are still around 4 decades later and offered more in the way of nuance and insight than most of the discourse we see today. What struck me on revisiting it was how the timing of the decline of Chicago aligns with the early 1970's trigger hypothesis:
In 1970 thirty-seven percent of the population of the area was below the poverty line; in 1980 the figure was 51 percent. In 1970 the unemployment rate was 9.5 percent; in 1980 it was 24.2 percent. In 1970 forty percent of the residents of the neighborhood lived in families with a female head; in 1980 the number had grown to 72 percent. In 1980 of the 54,000 residents 33,000 were on welfare. Experts agree that all of the numbers are even worse today.
My mental model for social issues is that they are mostly rooted in economics. If you have a society that generates wealth, you can pay teachers, doctors, and police well enough to attract competent candidates and the competition necessary to create real expertise. You can afford to build and maintain good infrastructure and spend time on figuring out how to best help the disadvantaged. You have the resources to advance technology and support the arts. You get all the positive feedback loops that come with this. When wealth generation becomes concentrated and restricted, public institutions start to struggle, people feel they have less opportunity, and social issues start to bubble up like the formation of outgroups of all kinds. A massive oversimplifation, I know, but a useful general framework to approaching issues that avoids (mis)placing blame on cultural degeneracy, "evil" corporations, or other common scapegoats that are largely symptoms of greater problems. Today, this mindset seems to align with the conservative right, but in the 1986 article it's the "liberal answer" to the problem of ghettos that I identify with:
In Chicago the harbinger of the change was the closing in the late fifties of the stockyards, which for half a century were the sine qua non of lower-class grunt work and a heavy employer of blacks. Chicago lost 200,000 jobs in the seventies; small shut-down redbrick factories that used to make products like boxes and ball bearings dot the city, especially the West Side. The lack of jobs, the argument continues, caused young men in the ghetto to adopt a drifting, inconstant life; to turn to crime; to engage in exaggeratedly macho behavior -- acting tough, not studying, bullying women for money -- as a way to get the sense of male strength that their fathers had derived from working and supporting families. As Murray believes that one simple step, ending all welfare programs, would heal the ghettos, the unemployment school believes that another simple step, jobs, would heal them. "When there's a demand for the participation of the black underclass in the labor force, most of the so-called problems people talk about will evaporate in a generation," says John McKnight. an urban-research professor at Northwestern University.
Indeed, Mr. McKnight. And up until this spring, it looked like the Trump presidency's aggressively pro-jobs and pro-American workers policy was showing promise of vindicating this view - the presence of BLM and racial tensions leading up to 2016 had all but subsided by 2018-2019. I wonder just how little backlash the George Floyd incident would have caused if the pandemic hadn't undone the economic progress of the past 3 years. Mind you, that "progress" was but a tiny step in the right direction in terms of improving wages and opportunities for the lowest earners. And for all the times the "audit the fed" meme hit the top of the_donald, it now seems impossible that the current administration has any capability or willingness to take the drastic steps needed to address the real root cause that apparently started 50 years ago. To do that, we may need an actual revolution.
Flurry of dealmaking Bayer (OTCPK:BAYRY) is paying as much as $4B for U.S. biotech firm Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, bolstering its pharmaceuticals division as it continues to reel from its acquisition of crops giant Monsanto (and cancer-related Roundup lawsuits). The latest deal, which includes upfront consideration of $2B and potential milestone payments of up to $2B, is a bet on cutting-edge gene therapy, which offers the potential to cure a wide range of often-rare diseases by editing errors in the body's instruction manual. Drugmakers including Novartis (NYSE:NVS), Roche Holding (OTCQX:RHHBY) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) have also made big bets on the industry, snapping up gene therapy makers. Dunkin' may sell and go private Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins chains owner Dunkin' Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN) confirmed preliminary talks to be acquired by Inspire Brands after the NYT reported on the negotiations. Inspire would take Dunkin' private at $106.5 per share, valuing the company at $8.8B, or a 20% premium over DNKN's closing price of $88.79 on Friday. While Dunkin' said "there is no certainty that any agreement will be reached," if successful, Inspire would add the new assets to the Buffalo Wild Wings, Arby's Sonic, and Jimmy John's chains that it already owns. DNKN +19% premarket. More M&A: Blackstone to buy Simply Self Storage for about $1.2B. New Canada oil giant Cenovus Energy (NYSE:CVE) has agreed to buy Husky Energy (OTCPK:HUSKF) in a C$3.8B ($2.9B) all-stock deal that will combine two of the largest players in Canada's struggling oil-sands industry. The combined company will have about 750K boe/d production, making it the third-largest Canadian oil and natural gas producer. it would also be the second-largest Canadian-based refiner and upgrader with total North American upgrading and refining capacity of ~660K boe/d. Coronavirus surge, elusive stimulus deal U.S. stock index futures are starting the week on the backfoot, falling nearly 1% overnight, as the nation reported a record of more than 83,000 new COVID infections on both Friday and Saturday. "We're not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas," White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told CNN's State of the Union program. Meadows and Nancy Pelosi also accused each other of "moving the goalposts" on stimulus legislation in back-to-back interviews, dimming chances a deal could be reached before Election Day. Vaccine trials The COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) produces a robust antibody and T-cell immune response in elderly people, the group at highest risk, FT reports. While details of the finding are expected to be published shortly in a clinical journal, sources cautioned that positive immunogenicity tests do not guarantee that the vaccine will ultimately prove safe and effective in older people. AstraZeneca resumed the U.S. trial of its experimental vaccine on Friday after a pause due to safety concerns, while Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) also restarted trials, saying the first batches of its shot could be available in January. Farm purchases under China trade deal "China has purchased approximately 71% of its farm purchases target for 2020," according to an interim report on agricultural trade from the U.S. Trade Representative. "They have purchased $23.6B in agricultural products so far this year, substantially more than the base year of 2017, and should end up being our best year ever in sales to China. It is worth noting that the Phase One Agreement did not go into effect until February 14, 2020, and March is the first full month of its effect... We already are on pace to have all-time high sales to China in beef, pork, corn, and soybeans." Go Deeper: Some are questioning the figures and the timeline. California blackouts PG&E (NYSE:PCG) is pre-emptively cutting power again in northern California, affecting 386,000 homes and businesses in 38 counties, or nearly 1M people. It's the fourth times this year the state’s largest utility had to shut off electricity due to high winds and extreme wildfire danger, which could spark blazes if live wires topple into dry brush. Utilities in Southern California, like Southern California Edison (NYSE:EIX), are also warning of potential blackouts. Potential election chaos As the threat of election-related unrest escalates in the U.S., Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) said it would implement emergency measures reserved for "at-risk" countries to bring down the online temperature. The social media giant plans to limit the "spread of viral content" and lower the bar for "suppressing potentially inflammatory posts" using internal tools previously deployed in Sri Lanka and Myanmar, WSJ reports. The tools would only be used in the event of election-related violence or other serious circumstances, though some employees are concerned it could slow down viral content and unintentionally hide legitimate political discussions. Go Deeper: Facebook will ban U.S. political ads indefinitely after November 3. Samsung chairman and icon dies A chapter has closed for the Samsung conglomerate following the death of Lee Kun-hee, who transformed the South Korean appliance maker into the world's biggest producer of smartphones, TVs and memory chips. He had been incapacitated for years following a 2014 stroke, leaving day-to-day operations to his son, Lee Jae-yong, who goes by Jay Y. in the West. While Lee spends about 95% of his time focused on Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF), the conglomerate's most valuable arm, he formally takes the reins with Samsung on the defensive and struggling to evolve within the tech industry. What else is happening... SAP (NYSE:SAP) tumbles 18% premarket after slashing revenue forecast. Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) steps away from bottling in Australia. Chinese policymakers discuss new five-year development plan. Airbnb (AIRB) approves private share split ahead of IPO. American (NASDAQ:AAL) plans PR events before 737 MAX (NYSE:BA) takes to the skies. AT&T (NYSE:T) job cuts at historical levels; CNN's Zucker may be on the block. Today's Markets In Asia, Japan -0.1%. Hong Kong +0.5%. China -0.8%. India -1.3%. In Europe, at midday, London -0.2%. Paris -0.6%. Frankfurt -2.1%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.9%. S&P -0.9%. Nasdaq -0.9%. Crude -2.5% to $38.85. Gold -0.2% at $1902.40. Bitcoin +0.6% to $13099. Ten-year Treasury Yield -3 bps to 0.81% Today's Economic Calendar 8:30 Chicago Fed National Activity Index 10:00 New Home Sales 10:30 Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey
https://preview.redd.it/vs9skcucdep51.jpg?width=960&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=ef2a99d9a6e5aa67bd68294cc0fff429bd9dde08 Institutional investors typically have strict requirements in terms of risk management and compliance with applicable securities laws and regulations. They usually allocate only a small part of their investment portfolio to new asset classes such as Bitcoin, primarily with the purpose of investment portfolio diversification. Currently, institutions can either buy Bitcoin directly or get indirect exposure through available Bitcoin investment products. Institutional investors typically have direct exposure to Bitcoin using cryptocurrency exchanges and OTC trading desks.
Institutional Exposure to Bitcoin
https://preview.redd.it/n790vo6fdep51.jpg?width=960&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=0f16172602bedf1446071516277f9dab9e48139a Many institutional investors still do not have exposure to Bitcoin because of the regulatory uncertainty, lack of reliable valuation models, and high market risks. At the same time, institutions are interested in allocating capital to Bitcoin because it’s not highly correlated with traditional asset classes and has generated outstanding historical return. Institutional investors typically do not have in-house expertise in the Bitcoin market and prefer to have indirect exposure to Bitcoin using currently available investment products, such as Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) and crypto hedge funds.
Institutional Demand for Bitcoin
https://preview.redd.it/5s4ry32idep51.png?width=673&format=png&auto=webp&s=9c8885104377d9ed4f79a12b0f67efe1f292e6a8 Genesis, one of the largest Bitcoin lender and OTC liquidity provider, has issued Q2 2020 report where crypto market trends are discussed. Based on this report, the institutional demand and participation in the crypto space is growing substantially. Here is Genesis’s statistics for Quarter 2 2020: $2.2B in crypto loans has been originated. For comparison, this is a 324% increase in loan originations from the same quarter last year. Genesis had $1.42B total active crypto loans as of June 2020. $5.25B of spot volume has been traded through their OTC desk. $400M derivatives volume traded since June 1, 2020.
Conservative Investors Allocate Capital to Bitcoin
University of Chicago’s Bitcoin & Blockchain Economic Limits Report Recap. by Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team. July 8, 2018. Home Bitcoin News Bitcoin Innovation. Facebook. Twitter. Telegram . ReddIt. Linkedin. Email. Although Bitcoin has the potential to replace traditional global financial systems, the inherent economy of cryptocurrencies might prevent them from becoming more important ... Launched originally in 2015 as the Chicago Bitcoin Center by globally renowned blockchain thought leader Matthew Roszak, the Chicago Blockchain Center is an educational resource, community facilitator and ecosystem hub for all things blockchain and cryptocurrency in Chicago. Through our Elevate, Collaborate, Educate mission, we believe in the untapped potential of this city to help nurture ... [ad_1] Although Bitcoin has the potential to replace traditional global financial systems, the inherent economy of cryptocurrencies might prevent them from becoming more important than it is now. A New Economic Analysis Could Spoil The Party Eric Budish, is a Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and has been one of many scholars … yAddress: Harald Uhlig, Kenneth C. Gri n Department of Economics, University of Chicago, 1126 East 59th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, U.S.A, email: [email protected] I have an ongoing consulting relationship with a Federal Reserve Bank, the Bundesbank and the ECB. We thank our discussants Aleksander Berentsen, Alex Cukierman, Pablo Kurlat, Aleh Tsivinski and Randy Wright. We thank Pierpaolo ... University of Illinois at Chicago professor Gib Bassett, head of the finance department, will teach about bitcoin in his Chicago Exchanges MBA course this month for the first time in a decade due to students’ demands… Read Full: Bitcoin Classes Are All the Rage for University Students in Chicago. Facebook. Twitter. Pinterest. WhatsApp. ReddIt. Tumblr. Telegram. Mix. Previous article India ...
Acing the Coding Interview by Thinking in Patterns
We discuss bitcoin, it's value, the impact of halving and more with Mark Yusko of Morgan Creek Capital Management. 1:13 What made you move to crypto? 6:27 You have compared Bitcoin to gold, and a ... Launch to the Future: Quantum Internet — Hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of Chicago - #QuantumBlueprint Watch live as the U.S. Dep... The first Chicago Bitcoin Cash Meetup was a smashing success with about 20 people joining the event and lots of people casually wandering in to learn about the power of peer-to-peer digital cash. Speaker: Jiaqi Liu, Lead Software Engineer, University of Chicago CONNECT DIGITAL 2020 FRIDAYS IN JUNE JUNE 5, 12, 19 ANYWHERE WWCode is taking its signa... Part 1 of 2. Austan Goolsbee, Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, advocates for the latke at the 61st annual Latke-Hamantash Debate on ...