the percentage of adults who are overweight or obese has swelled
from 29% in 1980 to 37% in 2013. Obesity is associated with
serious health problems, most importantly diabetes, and though the
solution to the problem seems easy—eat less—it is in fact
fiendishly hard to combat.
you’re more likely to be obese if
9/17: I think this is way out of whack. No way the market
should be this high. But I remember saying that in the late 90s- but
also stating that the market can- and will- do whatever it wants. So
just ride with it. However, there would already a process in place to
limit such losses when the market turned.
If you want to play the market and 'buy on the dip, the market always
come back, we are in this for the long haul, yada, yada, yada,- the
world has changed and the idea that the past is tbe best indicator of
the future is absolute folly.
comments on China from Washington Pos
t. Puts a lot of the
questions of finance into focus
Consider China’s recent performance. In 2015 and again in early 2016,
China suffered acute financial turbulence
. After averaging almost
10 percent growth
between 2006 and 2014 and turbocharging the
global economy, China suddenly emerged as the chief risk to the world.
In its headlong drive to invest in coal mines and steel plants, it
created a glut that was driving foreigners out of business. In its
faltering experiments with financial modernization, it allowed cracks
to appear in its currency controls: Well-to-do Chinese families were
rushing to buy anti-dictator insurance in the form of real estate
in Los Angeles or
London. The government’s war chest of foreign currency reserves shrunk
by about $1 trillion
as it desperately bought back yuan
to offset capital flight.
In the past 18 months, however, China has restored calm. Last year the
government ordered coal mines to cap production at 276 days
; steel output was also cut
, and producers the world over have
profited from recovering prices. Meanwhile, authorities have put a stop to capital flight
, using dictatorial
powers to crush purchases of anti-dictator insurance. The process has
not been pretty, but capital flight has ended and the yuan has
recovered. Any company connected to China’s global supply chains is
breathing more freely..
9/17: If you don't use it, you lose it
to do about summer learning loss. Research shows that, on
average, students can lose a month’s worth of school year learning
over summer vacation. David Quinn and Morgan Polikoff examine
the evidence and discuss interventions to prevent students from
As States Return To Health, Pension Funds In Bad Conditions
9/17: Fiduciary Rule Guide for Advisors
"The rule expands the 'investment advice fiduciary' definition under
[ERISA] of 1974. If this sweeping regulation (1,023 pages in length)
is not stopped outright, it will automatically elevate all financial
professionals who work with retirement plans or provide retirement
planning advice to the level of a fiduciary, bound legally and
ethically to meet the standards of that status. While the new rules
are likely to have at least some impact on all financial advisors,
it is expected that those who work on commission, such as brokers
and insurance agents, will be impacted the most."
There are no standards. Think they should be relatively conversant
with a personal financial calculator????? Dream on. If they do not
have one, run away.
9/17" Virgin Islands before and after Irma. Remarkable
pictures of utter devastation
I was without power for five days.No way you can compare that to what
these people are enduring
With everything gone now, what can they do??? I'd be lost since the
options are close to zero.
||Percentage of waste that is mismanaged
||Quantity of mismanaged plastic waste (MMT/year)
||Percentage of global mismanaged plastic waste
||Quantity of plastic
marine debris (MMT/year)
|MMT = million metric tons
Adapted from Jambeck et al. (2015)4
/14:Top 10 health
conditions costing employers the most
Arthritis, obesity and depression
are among the ailments having the biggest impact on rising plan
costs, according to research from the International Foundation of
Employee Benefits Plans.
READ MORE »
Firms pay no damages in about 60% of client claims that reach a
decision, according to FINRA statistics. Clients may spend years navigating a process
in which the odds
are against them. Advisors already face steep odds in intra-industry cases
, and the
rule will help claims against advisors and firms,
The process of getting to arbitration is set to wear you down and either
back away or accept a pittance before arbitration. As to the
arbitrations themselves, the plaintiffs attorney may get an award but is
willing to settle without an arbitration since they still get around 40%
to 60% of the award so what you are seeing above--take half of it.
Further as regards the attorneys- they are clueless to the fundamentals
of investing and without an expert witness (good luck with
that) it can be a game of craps. Think the arbitrators are trained
in the fundamentals of investing- get real. There are no classes is such
fundamentals. Think they know what a fiduciary is supposed to do.
And it get funnier..................
9/14: In America we can wear shorts
BIG IDEA: West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner’s son
was wounded by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan and
suffered traumatic brain injury.
When he finally made it home, the Republican asked his boy to
tell him about his toughest day in combat.
“He had been wounded. There was a girl who had a leg blown off.
They had to call in F-16s to secure their positions,” Warner
recalled in an interview. “I was expecting those kinds of war
stories out of him. But he said, ‘Dad, the hardest day for me,
without a doubt, was election day in Afghanistan.’ It was 110
degrees. Before they went out, they put tourniquets on each of
their arms and legs so, if they got hit, they could still turn the
tourniquets. They found five IEDs around the one polling
place that his platoon was assigned to defend.” But Afghans came out
to vote any way, even at great personal risk to themselves.
9/14: Such sweet talk
Pyongyang ups the rhetoric
9/14: Bank of
A North Korean state agency — improbably named the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee — has
threatened to use nuclear weapons to “sink” Japan and reduce the US
to “ashes and darkness” for supporting a UN Security Council
resolution and sanctions over its latest nuclear test.
9/14: Grief after loss
Grief is often a foreign feeling for most until they are
faced with it head on. When you lose a loved one, it can be hard to do
much of anything, but life must go on. From the heirloom furniture
passed through generations to old love notes, choices are thrust into
your lap whether you are ready or not. Decisions are immense or can be
something as simple as what to do about the food in your loved one’s
For some, settling an estate and sorting through the items left
behind brings closure. For others, it can make a difficult time even
worse. Here are five tips to honor your loved one and yourself during
this difficult time:
Take a moment
After the initial loss, grief is forefront to other emotions and life
feels chaotic. Advice comes from every direction whether you ask for
it or not. Many will tell you to hurry through the sorting and
delegating of items. Personally, I advise clients to take a moment,
and a deep breath before you make hasty decisions. This will prevent
future family arguments and possible regrets.
If finances and circumstances allow, give yourself a good 30 days
before jumping into any major decision-making in the dissolution of
your loved one’s legacy. Also, you need to use this time to move
through your grief and find healing. If you push it away or ignore it,
grief will manifest in disruptive and painful ways. This is your time
to process it in its freshest state.
Don’t do it alone
If your family works well together, use this time to revisit old
memories. Choose what physical talismans of those memories you wish to
If you find yourself explaining and justifying your choices to your
friends or family, they are not the right ones to assist you during
this time. Look for someone who is empathetic. Try to involve
individuals around you that allow you to make choices without
Ideal supporters at this time are organized and show up with an open
and clear mind.
Honor their memory.
Of the items you will keep or distribute to friends and family, there
is likely to be a surplus of belongings that can be useful to someone
not in the immediate family. Not every member of the family even wants
to take your loved one’s items. But who should get these items?
Focus on local organizations. Small non-profits and thrift
organizations can thrive from your donations. Make choices that feel
good and honor the wishes of your loved one. Think about organizations
that were important to them, and their beliefs. If they did not have a
connection with any organization, what charities are important to you?
Through selecting organizations that resonate with you or your loved
one, the entire process can be a healing one that benefits many.
Keep track of your decisions.
Six months to a year after you dissolve your loved one’s material
legacy, when the dust clears from the darkness, different individuals
might inquire about particular objects. How about dad’s golf clubs?
Mom’s crystal glasses? The family photos?
This is where your helpful, empathetic friend comes into play again.
Have them help you keep track of your decisions. You are then able to
look back and know what decisions you made. Knowing what went where
will be incredibly efficient in the long run. List each item and
assign it a number, then add the location the item came from and
who/where the item is going. This offers peace of mind, and prevents
Take care of yourself
This process is difficult, but you need to prioritize your needs,
too. Your basic needs such as hydration, nutrition, and rest are
essential during this period. You might not feel like doing much of
anything, but covering the basics will preserve your future well-being
and health. It is easy to be distracted by the emotions and the
intimidating amount of work that lies ahead.
Sickness is common in this period, as your body responds to the grief
and stress. Don’t neglect your health, job, friends, other family
members and the need to grieve. Taking care of yourself not only
honors you, but your loved one as well
9/14: Stagnant earnings- just terrible
“[E]ven though inflation is
currently somewhat below our longer-run objective, I judge that it
is still appropriate to continue to remove monetary policy
accommodation gradually. This judgment is supported by the fact
that financial conditions have eased, rather than tightened, even as
the Fed has raised its short-term interest rate target range by 75
basis points since last December. For example, equity prices have
risen, credit spreads have narrowed modestly, longer-term interest
rates have declined, and the dollar has weakened…,” says New York
Fed President William Dudley.
influence the demand for goods and services by households and
businesses… All else equal, an easing of financial conditions may
warrant a somewhat steeper policy rate path. Conversely, if
financial conditions were to tighten unduly, then this might
necessitate a shallower rate path to temper that tightening. To
be clear, this does not mean that the Fed should mechanically target
a particular set of financial conditions…Financial conditions are
just a means to an end-the achievement of the Fed's employment and
How the Finance Gurus Get Risk All Wrong
Diversify as broadly as you can-far more than the supposed experts
By Benoit Mandelbrot and Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Your money is at risk. No matter what you've put it in—stocks, bonds,
derivatives, hedge funds, houses, annuities, even mattresses —there's
always the chance that you could lose it or miss out on a bigger
opportunity somewhere else. Anyone who would tell you otherwise is
either a fool or a huckster. Then there are those who do warn of risk
but package it into a simple numerical measure that seems to put it
within manageable bounds. They're even more dangerous.
Your mutual fund's annual report, for example, may contain a measure
of risk (usually something called beta). It would indeed be useful to
know just how risky your fund is, but this number won't tell you. Nor
will any of the other quantities spewed out by the pseudoscience of
finance: standard deviation, the Sharpe ratio, variance, correlation,
alpha, value at risk, even the Black-Scholes option-pricing model.
The problem with all these measures is that they are built upon the
statistical device known as the bell curve. This means they disregard
big market moves: They focus on the grass and miss out on the
(gigantic) trees. Rare and unpredictably large deviations like the
collapse of Enron's stock price in 2001 or the spectacular rise of
Cisco's in the 1990s have a dramatic impact on long-term returns —but
"risk" and "variance" disregard them.
The professors who live by the bell curve adopted it for mathematical
convenience, not realism. It asserts that when you measure the world,
the numbers that result hover around the mediocre; big departures from
the mean are so rare that their effect is negligible. This focus on
averages works well with everyday physical variables such as height
and weight, but not when it comes to finance. One can disregard the
odds of a person's being miles tall or tons heavy, but similarly
excessive observations can never be ruled out in economic life. The
German mark's move from four per dollar to four trillion per dollar
after World War I should have taught economists to beware the bell
Today Google grabs much Internet traffic, and Microsoft represents
the bulk of PC software sales. Out of a million submitted manuscripts,
a handful account for the bulk of book sales. One percent of the U.S.
population earns close to 90 times what the bottom 20% does, and half
the capitalization of the stock market (close to 10,000 companies) is
in fewer than 100 corporations.
In other words, we live in a world of winner-take-all extreme
concentration. Similarly, a very small number of days accounts for the
bulk of stock market movements: Just ten trading days can represent
half the returns of a decade.
The economic world is driven primarily by random jumps. Yet the
common tools of finance were designed for random walks in which the
market always moves in baby steps. Despite increasing empirical
evidence that concentration and jumps better characterize market
reality, the reliance on the random walk, the bell-shaped curve, and
their spawn of alphas and betas is accelerating, widening a tragic gap
between reality and the standard tools of financial measurement.
It was in the third century of our era that the skeptical philosopher
and physician Sextus attacked blind reliance on dogmas; his stance
earned him the name Sextus Empiricus (Sextus the Empirical).
Depressingly, medicine took 13 centuries to follow his
recommendations, become empirical, and integrate surgeons'
observations of the human body. The same resistance to reality
characterizes finance. The inapplicability of the bell curve has long
been established, yet close to 100,000 MBA students a year in the U.S.
alone are taught to use it to understand financial markets. For those
who teach finance, a number seems better than no number—even if it's
To blow up an academic dogma, empirical observations do not suffice.
A better theory is needed, and one exists: the fractal theory of risk,
ruin, and return. In this approach, concentration and random jumps are
not belated fudges but the point of departure. The term "fractal" was
coined in the 1970s by one of the authors of this piece to describe
the many phenomena of nature in which small parts resemble the whole:
The veins in leaves look like branches; branches look like miniature
trees; rocks look like miniature mountains.
Similar patterns can be found in economic data, and the parts often
relate to the whole according to what's called a power law. Such a law
was first found to apply to the distribution of wealth: If there are
about one-fourth as many people with a net worth of more than $200
million as there are with a net worth of more than $100 million, then
there will also be about one-fourth as many with $2 billion as with $1
billion. This key property makes the computations easy; no computer is
needed to divide by four.
In market terms, a power-law distribution implies that the likelihood
of a daily or weekly drop exceeding 20% can be predicted from the
frequency of drops exceeding 10%, and that the same ratio applies to a
10% vs. a 5% drop. In bell-curve finance, the chance of big drops is
vanishingly small and is thus ignored. The 1987 stock market crash
was, according to such models, something that could happen only once
in several billion billion years. In power-law finance, big
drops—while certainly less likely than small ones—remain a real and
Another aspect of the real world tackled by fractal finance is that
markets keep the memory of past moves, particularly of volatile days,
and act according to such memory. Volatility breeds volatility; it
comes in clusters and lumps. This is not an impossibly difficult or
obscure framework for understanding markets. In fact, it accords
better with intuition and observed reality than the bell-curve finance
that still dominates the discourse of both academics and many market
Fractal finance, alas, has not yet earned a place in the MBA
curriculum. Until that happy day, what is a person with money at stake
to do? First, diversify as broadly as you can—far more than the
supposed experts tell you now. This isn't just a matter of avoiding
losses: Long-run market returns are dominated by a small number of
investments, hence the risk of missing them must be mitigated by
investing as broadly as possible. Passive indexing is far more
effective than active selection—but you need to go well beyond an
S&P 500 fund to do yourself much good. And wherever you put your
money, understand that conventional measures of risk severely
underestimate potential losses —and gains. For better or worse, your
exposure is larger than you think.
Benoit Mandelbrot is Sterling Professor of Mathematical Sciences at
Yale University and is the pioneer of fractal geometry. With Richard
L. Hudson, he wrote The (Mis)Behavior of Markets. Nassim Nicholas
Taleb, a veteran derivatives trader and Dean's Professor in the
Sciences of Uncertainty at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst,
is the author of Fooled by Randomness.
Trump is a liar.
Charles Blow op ed NY Times
To some this lying may seem small, just another defect among
many, but to me it is so much more. Honesty is the foundation of
character. The truth is the common base from which all else is built.
yet, this man feels completely unbound by it. He has no respect or
reverence for it. For him, honesty is an option, one that he feels no
compulsion to choose.
some this lying may seem small, just another defect among many, but to
me it is so much more. Honesty is the foundation of character. The
truth is the common base from which all else is built.
yet, this man feels completely unbound by it. He has no respect or
reverence for it. For him, honesty is an option, one that he feels no
compulsion to choose.
we are overwhelmed with false, or potentially false, statements, our
brains pretty quickly become so overworked that we stop trying to sift
through everything. It’s called cognitive load — our limited cognitive
resources are overburdened. It doesn’t matter how implausible the
statements are; throw out enough of them, and people will inevitably
absorb some. Eventually, without quite realizing it, our brains just
give up trying to figure out what is true.”
notion that Trump is damaging the sanctity and purity of truth, that
truth in the Trump era operates on a floating scale, that for the
Trump apologists truth has become a minor inconvenience, should have
us all objecting in earnest.
notion that Trump is damaging the sanctity and purity of truth, that
truth in the Trump era operates on a floating scale, that for the
Trump apologists truth has become a minor inconvenience, should have
us all objecting in earnest
for the full article. Well written
I taught ethics for several years, The bulk of human error was
"situational ethics" or "moral egoism> What is ok for you, your
spouse/family, community, business et al, then it is ok. Or that
someone else has been able to do something with nobody (authorities,
private organizations regulators) caring/bothering, then , 'why not'.
It is endemic in the planning business, so again, 'why not'. The
various rules per UPIA or the DOL will help deter the most flagrant
acts, but don't expect much. I never had to teach real life economics
and planning for licensing since because it was never tested.
Want an example to help you look? What did your adviser they do
via the inverted yield curve both in 2000 and 2006.
know what the implications? Read below a few paragraphs.If they are
clueless to even the words, I suggest you run away.
I am in the lane for Irma. Probably lose electric on Sunday for a few days
as selection mechanisms: The impact of risk aversion
March, Christoph ; Sahm, Marco
investigate how individual risk preferences affect the
likelihood of selecting the more able contestant within a
two-player Tullock contest. Our theoretical model yields two
main predictions: First, an increase in the risk aversion of a
player worsens her odds unless she already has a sufficiently
large advantage. Second, if the prize money is sufficiently
large, a less able but less risk averse contestant can achieve
an equal or even higher probability of winning than a more
able but more risk averse opponent. In a laboratory experiment
we confirm both, the non-monotonic impact and the compensating
effect of risk aversion on winning probabilities. Our results
suggest a novel explanation for the gender gap and the
optimality of limited monetary incentives in selection
I can barely catch a bass on Lake Rouseau and this thing hangs from a
9/9: Microcaps comprise 60% of stocks but only 3% of market value
Underestimate Long-Term Financial Needs
Despite being confident about their current financial situation,
a large portion of Americans significantly underestimate the
projected costs of living in retirement, according to a
recent survey by independent adviser Financial Engines. The
study found that 58% of respondents at least 65 years of age
and 76% of those between the ages of 55 and 64 believe the
average married couple retiring at age 65 would need between
$50,000 and $200,000 for health care. Financial Engines
estimates the actual figure is $266,000.
Read more >
for Retirement Not Feasible for Many Women
Saving for retirement is not economically feasible for 44% of
middle-income women, MassMutual found in a survey. By
comparison, this is the case for only 14% of men with annual
household incomes of between $35,000 and $150,000.
Thirty-nine percent of these women and 35% of these men say
they do not feel very or at all financially secure, and 47%
of women say they are not very or at all confident they will
be financially secure in retirement.
Read more >
Look at those eyes- pure evil
(So beautiful with fur, so ugly when sheared )
9/9: Should have been done a long time ago.
Betsy DeVos Says
She Will Rewrite Rules on Campus Sex Assault
SAUL and DANA GOLDSTEIN
education secretary said in a speech that the Obama administration had
gone too far and had forced colleges to deprive accused students of
9/9: Home prices
9/9: Retail Sales
9/8: Now this is a major hacker ability- shutting down major cities. Be
sure to read second paragraph. Enlightening
“Hackers gain direct access to
US power grid controls,” by Wired Magazine's Andy
firm Symantec is warning that a series of recent hacker attacks not
only compromised energy companies in the US and Europe but also
resulted in the intruders gaining hands-on access to power grid
operations — enough control that they could have induced blackouts
on American soil at will. … Never
before have hackers been shown to have that level of control of
American power company systems,
In February 2013, [Russian General Valery Gerasimov] laid out a new
theory of modern warfare — one that looks more like hacking an
enemy’s society than attacking it head-on.
Thanks to the internet and social media, the kinds of operations
Soviet psy-ops teams once could only fantasize about — upending the
domestic affairs of nations with information alone — are now
plausible. The Gerasimov Doctrine builds a framework for these new
tools, and declares that non-military tactics are not auxiliary to
the use of force but the preferred way to win. … That they are, in
fact, the actual
Debt serves as a regulator of economic growth and is the focus of
ill-advised fiscal and monetary policy. It is no coincidence that no
matter what economic topic we explore, debt is usually a central
theme. Illustrated in the chart below is the actual trajectory of
total U.S. debt outstanding (black) through March 2017 and a
calculated parabolic curve (red). The parabolic curve uses 1951 as a
starting point and a quarterly 1.82% compounding factor to create the
best statistical fit to the actual debt curve. If we start with the
$434 billion of debt outstanding on December 1951 and grow it by 1.82%
each quarter thereafter, the result is the gray line. If debt
outstanding continues to follow this parabolic curve, it will
exceed $60 trillion by the first quarter of 2020, or nine
quarters from now
Barring negative interest rates, debt service costs will be an
insurmountable burden by 2020. However, if the debt trajectory slows
as it did in 2008 that too will bring about painful consequences. In
other words, all roads lead to trouble.
9/8: Repeated ad nauseam, we have some major issues in the U.S. but it
pales quickly when we look globally.
for survival in Yemen
The country’s civil war has triggered one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises: two-thirds of the
population face food shortages and lack access to clean water; more
than 5,000 civilians have been killed in the hostilities; 7m are
on the brink of famine. Now a cholera epidemic is raging
across the country, with more than half a million infected. And the
conflict, a proxy war between two regional rivals Saudi Arabia and
Iran, shows little sign of ending
9/8: This only gets worse
hit America’s jobs market
Surging use of opioids in the US is impeding the jobs
market recovery, according to new research that links increased use
of painkillers with declines in the share of men participating in
the labour force.
EFM-And this is a fallacy about the government just giving people
instead of working for it. (The element of robots taking overa much of
everything is true.) The problem is that a large number of teen agAers
will use the money to buy more drugs to offset the pure boredom of
more from the Brookings Institute
In 2016, Princeton economist Alan Krueger made headlines with a
shocking finding that nearly half of prime age men (or men ages 25
to 54) who are not in the labor force take pain medication on a daily
basis. Two-thirds of those men—or about 2 million—take prescription
pain medication on a daily basis.
have all the workers gone? An inquiry into the decline of the U.S.
labor force participation rate
9/8:ational Council for Aging Care
1530 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22209
9/7: The Problem with Using a Funded Ratio to Track Progress
"The virtue of the funded ratio is that it takes an abstract account
balance and relates it directly to a goal or outcome, and can give
savers a sense of accomplishment as the percentage slowly and steadily
climbs towards 100%. The bad news, though, is that once account
balances grow large, the funded ratio itself can become highly
volatile as markets move up and down, and the discount rate used to
calculate the funded ratio can unwittingly turn into an indirect
absolute return benchmark that is difficult to keep up with."
I have a provisional patent that solves the problem.
Basically you can retain a higher return and your loss is nothing
more than 12% even in a recession.
Room for Improvement’ in Investors’ Financial IQ: AMG Funds
This is the standard statistical inane article put out by planning
firms/publication et al ad nauseam. Talks about diversification,
rebalancing, etc. and certainly about risk. Nice thoughts- but
universally wrong in that there is no way an adviser or client will know
risk by some number coming from a very expensive software program that
knows the color of your eyes and whether or not you liked your
grandfather, flowers and so on. Risk is how much you could lose in
a bad economic fallout (recession), whether or not you are willing to
lose that much and, if not, what you can do about it. This will be
dealt with as part the patent identified above.
9/7: Robots good, people bad
Cryan, the chief executive of Deutsche Bank has warned that a "big
number" of staff at the company will
be replaced by robots and other forms of technology.
Rather than predicting the timing of a
flood, these terms refer to the chance of it occurring at
A 500-year event has a
1 in 500 chance of occurring in a
A 100-year event has a
1 in 100 chance of occurring in a single year.
A 10-year event has a
1 in 10 chance of occurring in a single year.
EFM- and pay attention to this "
But changing landscapes — and a changing climate —
could alter the probability of flooding.
“We’re looking at historical data when really we
have something that is called non-stationarity,” Dr. Knight
said. “The world isn’t stationary anymore and the hydrology isn’t.
The landscape isn’t. So why are we still presuming the future
will look like the past?”
9/6: NASD returns through August
9/6: AAII Bullish and bearish
artificial intelligence- WWIII???
“Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for
all humankind,”Putin said, according to RT. “It comes with
colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to
predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the
ruler of the world.”
The rise of AI and the alleged risks it presents humanity has
previously been raised by Musk, who
in July told U.S. governors that they should get
proactive about AI regulation “before it’s too late.”
Proper artificial intelligence — not the kind currently used by large
tech companies and even dubious
initial coin offerings — would involve technology that
is “self-aware,” a computer that could not only outthink humans
but could also potentially start making moral judgments based on its
Researchers at Oxford University
predicted that AI has a higher risk of causing human extinction
than other threats to humanity, such as climate change and asteroids.
Microsoft Corp. Chris Bishop also subscribes to the Musk AI
viewpoint, claiming that humanity faces a future that includes a
“Terminator-style wasteland” caused by “ultra-intelligent machines.”
EFM- at some point, computers will win. Maybe by 2050 but certainly
What;s one thing it will do? Determine the severity of massive storms
(Harvey, Irma) and which are the best people to save. Maybe bomb a
country, potentially with nuclear weapons, since the computers of the
two countries simply cannot find a logical way out so devastation is
next. So even if millions die, there is a winner given the best chance
to build another civilization. As Lenin (or was it Stalin) said- a
single death is a tragedy; a million deaths a statistic.
are tormented by the opinions they have of things, rather than by
the things themselves
9/6:Gold gets no return and the bonds lose
Pump prices went up quickly when refineries stopped work. Now that
they are going to full output, I wonder how long the prices will
million full-time workers are now living paycheck to paycheck
St. Louis Federal Reserve: the personal saving rate in June 2017 was a
measly 3.8%. In effect, it means working Americans are putting away
just $3.80 for every $100 they earn. For the average American earning
$30,000 annually, that equates to just $1,140 a year in savings.
So, what are we doing with our money? Considering that the U.S.
economy is 70% based on consumption, we're probably buying things. In
fact, we're probably buying more stuff than we can reasonably afford.
The Federal Reserve recently released data showing that aggregate
credit card debt had hit an all-time high of $1.027 trillion,
eclipsing the previous high that was set before the Great Recession.
Add in well over a trillion in auto-loan and student-loan debt, and we
have a growing profile of debts that Americans are struggling to pay.
If we utilize full-time employment data from the Bureau of Labor
Statistics in 2016 (123.8 million full-time workers), it means
about 97 million of those full-time workers are living paycheck to
paycheck. That includes 23% who said they always lived paycheck to
paycheck, 17% who claimed they usually do, and 38% who noted that
they sometimes do.
Roughly 9% of workers making $100,000 or more annually was living
paycheck to paycheck, and 59% of these highest-income folks were
carrying around debt. In the middle-income to middle-upper-income
bracket of $50,000 to $99,999 in annual income, 28% were living
paycheck to paycheck, and 70% were in debt.
Just 19% of workers surveyed admitted to saving more than $501
monthly, while at the other end of the spectrum, 56% were saving less
than $100 a month, including 26% with no monthly savings whatsoever.
EFM- I obviously do not know when this all hits the fan, but I think
it could be worse than 2008
9/6: Houston pales next to this:
Nearly 125,000 mostly Rohingya refugees have entered Bangladesh
since a fresh upsurge of violence in Myanmar on August 25, the
United Nations said on Tuesday, as fears grow of a humanitarian
crisis in the overstretched camps.
Their arrival has raised fears of a fresh humanitarian disaster as
already crowded camps in Bangladesh -- home to around 400,000
Rohingya refugees before the latest crisis -- struggle to cope
with the influx.
Many are sleeping in the open air and are in dire need of food and
water after walking for days to reach safety, the UN's main
coordinator in Bangladesh said in a report.
9/6: Just when the undocumented are branded as 'enemies of the
state', they are going to be needed- lots of them
workers could be key to Texas recovery
“If they deport all of us, who will rebuild?” says Enríquez, 36,
waiting along with about two dozen other laborers seeking work. “We do
more for less.”
Mutual Fund Managers Paid For Investment Skill?
yield curve and poor financial planning
I have harped on this well before 2000. When the yield curve inverts,
it has been a 100% indicator of a recession. But were planners aware
of it? No- it wasn't not taught as part of the series 7 or CFP or ChFC
or PFS curriculum. Nothing in CFA material in the 90s. How did I find
it? I subscribed to several FED Reserve newsletter. And there it was
in plain view. Found other material as well. (Amazing that you can
find stuff with a little effort.) Posted a lot of it at my site. Did
it do any good? Nope. Never saw an article that expressly pointed out
the correlation. Pundits have simply turned a deaf ear or give some
bad press that data could not be confirmed. Rubbish- it was all after
But now comes 2006. Inverted yield curve. Posted at my site. Could not
guarantee it would happen- but it is generally around 12- 14 months
before recession starts. Doesn't say how bad, how long it will last-
just that it should happen. Did I see articles in major publications
in 2006? Not that I remember (though there must have been SOMETHING
SOMEWHERE.). Bernanke did note that there was such a
demand for US Treasuries that the yield went down. That was
The result were thousands upon thousands of
'investors' that lost up to a trillion. Retirees losing almost
everything...... Planning is not a profession if material like this
is not taught- even recognized.
. Click the link above and watch the short video. Very illuminating
and nails the necessity of watching the curve.
Dr. Komal Sri-Kumar, the
president of macroeconomic consulting firm Sri-Kumar Global
Strategies, says to keep an eye on the spread between the 2-year and
10-year Treasury yields, which has historically signaled a recession
when it narrows down to zero. Overall, he watches the bond market
for hints at a potential recession to come.
9/5: Can this be stopped? I don't think so
The First Count of Fentanyl Deaths in 2016: Up 540% in
first governmental account of nationwide drug deaths in 2016 shows
overdose deaths growing even faster than previously thought.
stabilizing effect of volatility in financial markets
Davide Valenti ; Giorgio Fazio ; Bernardo Spagnolo
financial markets, greater volatility is usually
considered synonym of greater risk and instability.
However, large market downturns and upturns are often
preceded by long periods where price returns exhibit
only small fluctuations. To investigate this surprising
feature, here we propose using the mean first hitting
time, i.e. the average time a stock return takes to
undergo for the first time a large negative or positive
variation, as an indicator of price stability, and
relate this to a standard measure of volatility. In an
empirical analysis of daily returns for $1071$ stocks
traded in the New York Stock Exchange, we find that this
measure of stability displays nonmonotonic behavior,
with a maximum, as a function of volatility. Also, we
show that the statistical properties of the empirical
data can be reproduced by a nonlinear Heston model. This
analysis implies that, contrary to conventional
wisdom, not only high, but also low volatility values
can be associated with higher instability in financial
9/5: Flooded cars
You really need to be careful
9/3: Disaster zones. Not looking good for U.S.
9/3: And more controversy Trump pushing to cancel trade deal with S.
Korea, which could stoke tensions as they face the N. Korea
is drawing resistance from senior White House officials including
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis,
and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn,
9/3" Bike Sharing
Ingenuous way to get around cities. Pick a bike that is located at
various areas in a city. Ride it for as long as you need it and then
lock it up. Started in China and is moving globally.
Could it work here? Debatable. Gangs would simply take them and sell
them in Mexico. Or simply beat them to death. Dump them in pools. Use
your imagination for Oakland.
But no sooner than I posted this but China is noting that the program is
not working as planned. The reason- people abusing the product and
If you had a bad day, it could
not be as bad as this or maybe this ...................
9/3: From Tony Steuer
Worked with him several years ago. Smart guy
Following are a few insurance tips that
- If you live in area affected by Hurricane
Harvey or otherwise need medications in an emergency, here’s How to Get
Your Prescriptions During an Emergency: A pharmacist's
advice on managing your meds if you're caught up in a
disaster like Hurricane Harvey.
- Homeowners insurance does not cover flood
damage from heavy rain. It’s estimated that nationwide, only about
12% of homeowners have flood insurance. So if you do not have
flood insurance, disaster assistance may be available through
grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). These
can help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs,
uninsured and underinsured personal property losses and medical,
dental and funeral expenses associated with the disaster. Apply
online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov
or call 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
seven days a week. FEMA’s Housing Assistance program is available,
regardless of income, to anyone who has suffered damages or losses
in disaster-declared counties. Aid for other losses such as
personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and
storage expenses is income-dependent. FEMA does not pay to return
a home to its pre-disaster condition. FEMA provides grants to
qualified homeowners to repair damage not covered by insurance,
but these grants may not pay for all the repairs. An SBA
disaster loan, on the other hand, generally provides the funds to
fully repair a home. To be considered for a grant for these types
of losses, the applicant must complete
an application for an SBA
- For those who have flood insurance, here’s What
Flood Insurance Does and Does Not Cover. And here’s What
Consumers Should Do to Get Fair Claims Payments in the Wake of
- The Texas Department of Insurance has
information, resources, guidance (for insurers, agents and
adjusters) along with key contacts on their website for Help
after Harvey. The three steps listed apply to any homeowner
related claim event: (1) call your insurance agent (or insurance
company), (2) protect your home from more damage (your obligation)
and (3) make a list of damage & take photos.
- Beware of scammers calling demanding immediate
payment of past due premiums on flood insurance policies, offering
assistance after receiving an insurance settlement or
impersonating a charity, here’s How
to Spot a Harvey Scam.
- United Policyholders is an insurance consumer
non-profit that has a Roadmap
to Recovery program and has a Hurricane
Harvey Insurance Help page with key tips, self-help
resources along with support resources.
- Certain insurance companies are extending
renewal payment grace periods for policy owners impacted by
Hurricane Harvey. Please check with your insurance companies
website as this may apply to all types of insurance.
- Here is the Hurricane
Harvey Loss Estimates Roundup as of 8/31/2017 broken down by
Economic losses and Insured losses.
- It is recommended that you take photos of your
possessions that are covered by insurance before a claim event.
Some insurance companies have their own App or you can download
Association of Insurance Commissioner’s (NAIC) App called myHome
Scr.APP.book to help guide you.
Washington, D.C. – U.S. house prices rose 1.6
percent in the second quarter of 2017 according to the
Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). House
prices rose 6.6 percent from the second quarter of
2016 to the second quarter of 2017. FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly
index for June was up 0.1 percent from May.
The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from
mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. FHFA
has produced a video of highlights for this quarter.
“U.S. house prices rose in nearly every state during the second
quarter,” said FHFA Senior Economist William Doerner. “New home sales
are climbing but, relative to the overall population, they still
remain low from a historical perspective. The tight inventory is a
major explanation for why house prices have been increasing every
quarter over the last six years.” [Link to report
Insurance Good article
About 1% of the highest-risk homes have received about 30% of funds from
the program. More than 30,000 homes across the U.S. are classified as “severe
repetitive loss” homes — properties that have been rebuilt with
government funds an average of five times.
EFM- they should not be insured when policies expire. These will
simply become 'dead zones'. It is illogical to build stuff that will
be lost in just a few years. We should not pay for a bad bet
8 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT FEDERAL WORK-STUDY
If you’re looking for another
way to help pay for college, Federal Work-Study may be a
great option for you. Work-study is a way for students to earn money
to pay for school through part-time on- (and sometimes off-) campus
jobs. The program gives students an opportunity to gain valuable
work experience while pursuing a college degree. However, not every
school participates in the Federal Work-Study Program. Schools that
do participate have a limited amount of funds they can award to
Seven Years of Declining, DC Fees Remain Flat
Defined contribution (DC) plan fees—including recordkeeping,
trust and custody fees—remained flat this year, NEPC found
in a survey. The median fee per participant is $59,
just a slight increase from $57 in 2016. This follows the
previous seven years when the fees declined. In 2006,
when NEPC first conducted this survey, the fees were $118.
could wind up being the most expensive natural disaster in American
history. It could cost the economy about $190B, according to
AccuWeather, which predicts it will total more than Katrina and Sandy
combined. "You had the greatest rainfall ever measured in the
continental U.S... damage to the supply chain across the country, jobs
lost and health problems."
EFM-I had started an article on the changes our civilization will endure
up to 2050 and more. One was the fact that climate forecasters
indicating we would see fewer storms but with greater ferocity. Then the
flood water of unimaginable rain occurs. Forecasters noted that this was
a 1 in 1000 odds of occurring. But that is under the 'old' standards.on
It will take years of rebuilding for only a certain number that have
money and/or flood insurance. The government is shutting down its flood
insurance policies- it has been underwater for a long time. Private
insurance will be willing to cover for an extravagant cost. Probably
kill most new sales and as such, would kill the reconstruction
before it begins. Why bother to build when you cannot pay the flood
insurance and even when nothing might happen for the next ten years,
potential buyers wouldn't bother taking over the massive risk.
I have noted that all of New Orleans will be inundated again before
2025. It would be foolish to spend billions after that for another
rebuilding and it may end up a dead zone.
Half of Employed Americans Have Workplace Group Life Insurance
from lack of interest... Employers are just not offering it
asked if they had auto, health or home insurance, 80 percent of
Americans say they have at least two of these. But over half of
employed Americans (55 percent) don’t have voluntary group life
insurance provided by their employer.
EFM- huge need that should be offered to the neediest (lower paid)
employees. But no matter the need, it's the bottom line for most small
businesses. An endless loop.
9/3" Huge debt- Experian finds total
student loan balances increased 149 percent since 2007
the last decade, student loan debt in the United States has
grown more than $833 billion to reach an all-time high of $1.4
different American strategy have averted, or at least
mitigated, the Syrian war’s terrible toll?
researchers considered six alternative strategies. To be as
rigorous as possible and avoid any biases, they used five
separate analytical models to evaluate each strategy. In
effect, then, this report consists of 30 studies.
When my father began our phone conversation with the
words, "Are you sitting down?" I knew the news to follow would not
be good; but I never in my wildest dreams imagined he would tell
me my 73-year-old mother was terminally ill with metastatic lung
cancer. I had not even begun to prepare myself for the day I would
lose either one of my parents. A lucky gene pool had caused me to
believe confidently that both would live well into their nineties.
No such luck.
Every day a daughter or son somewhere, or a sister or brother or
parent, gets the news that a cherished loved one has been
diagnosed with a terminal disease. The shock, accompanied by a
ferocious sense of foreboding and a powerful dose of premature
grieving, can be overwhelming and paralyzing. Yet we need not be
consumed by the depths of despair; and for the ones we love and
will lose, it is vital that we climb out of the depths as quickly
as possible so they won't fall in themselves.
Two days after getting my father's call, I suddenly had a moment
of clarity and an epiphany: my mother's life was going to end
sooner than we expected or wanted, but it hadn't ended yet. So I
committed myself to helping my mother live, and live joyfully,
until I found myself in the position of helping her die.
If you receive the dreaded call, what can you do?
How can you inject living into dying?
How can you let the sunshine break through the menacing cloud
First, reel yourself in from that place of anticipatory
grief to which the diagnosis catapulted you. No
one has died yet, so stop grieving a loss that hasn't occurred.
Rather than anticipating death, we can choose to embrace and enjoy
life. The story of my mother's life was still being written,
and so there was no need to allow our minds to fast-forward to the
story's ending. We were intent upon writing quite a few more
Realize that while there is nothing you can do to keep
your parent or loved one from dying, there is much you can do to
help him or her keep living. For us, tomorrow was a day
to look forward to because of the possibilities and happiness it
could bring, rather than a day to dread because it would bring us
one day closer to death. Make what time remains a period
filled with purpose and passion.
Stay in the moment. Don't focus on what
lies ahead. It is possible, and good, to crowd out thoughts about
dying by injecting acts of living. You can keep thoughts of what's
to come at bay by being intentional about savoring every aspect of
what you are experiencing while you are experiencing it. And
shouldn't every one of us do this every day anyway, whether we
know our days are numbered or not?
Don't expect miracles, but don't stop believing
in what is possible. While the disease will eventually render
certain things impossible, focus on all that is still possible.
Even though we were subconsciously or privately aware that we
might be celebrating certain holidays or milestones together for
the last time, we chose to look forward to what came
next. And rather than focusing on last times, we opted to
find things we could do or enjoy for the first time. For example:
a first mother-daughter side-by-side mani-pedi. Unforgettably
Don't stop planning. My mother and I did not use
a calendar to cross off, with relief, days that had been survived.
Rather, we used the calendar to record, with anticipation, plans
that were being made—appointments, outings, get-togethers,
trips—for next week, next month, and even next summer.
Have fun. Make fun. Be happy! It is OK to laugh
while hearts are breaking; in fact, it's critical. Laughter is
good medicine. So laugh—with abandon. Take pictures. Lots of them.
We filled two photo albums. Who would ever have imagined how much
my mother would do, where she would go, whom she would meet, and
how many people she would touch after her diagnosis? Who could
ever believe how happy she was that last year? The photos provide
evidence...and also many wonderful reminders of life, love, and
Help your parent or loved one retain things that matter
most to someone facing death: routines, relationships,
a sense of self, and, above all, a sense of dignity. Keeping a
calendar, carrying a pocketbook, getting dressed, getting together
with friends, shopping for holiday gifts, making the grocery
list—little routines like these inject a semblance of normalcy
into an existence that feels anything but normal or routine,
especially as disease takes its toll. And remember that we feel
good when we look good. My mother was never without lipstick or
earrings on the days I was with her; we kept our nails polished
and we shopped for new clothes for the coming season. Why not?!
Gently nudge, but don't push. There will be
days, and there will come a point, when certain things just aren't
possible or when your parent simply won't feel physically (or
mentally) up for what you think she might want to do and enjoy.
Although I was intent on helping her find joy in every day, I did
not want my mother to be afraid to say "I can't" or "I don't want
to." I didn't want her ever to feel as though she was
disappointing me or anyone in the family if she succumbed to her
fatigue or anything else she struggled to overcome.
Allow as much opportunity for your loved one to be doing
rather than always being done for or done to. A dying person needs
and deserves to be treated and valued as a human being, as a
person rather than a patient. The notion of being helpless and a
burden to loved ones is as demoralizing and demotivating as
anything can be. Whether folding some laundry or putting the tape
on Christmas presents that I was wrapping or opening the mail or
looking up a phone number or wheeling herself to the refrigerator
to pull out a yogurt for herself, it was important for my mother
to feel she was still "good for something" and still the lady of
the house—her house, even when it seemed overtaken by caregivers.
Welcome hospice as a companion and guide on the
journey of life as the journey comes to an end. Hospice staff and
volunteers are angels on earth. Thanks to them, when we reached
the final destination we all—my mother and those she was leaving
behind—experienced peace and gratitude we had not imagined
possible at such a sorrowful time in our lives.
My mother lived, fully and joyfully, for a year and one day from
A diagnosis of "terminal" cancer does not terminate living. In
reality, each of us has already received a terminal diagnosis; we
just don't know how close we are to the finish line. Without
denying the reality that someone we love is going to be leaving
the party sooner than we expected or want, it is possible to
suppress that reality and go about the business of enjoying the
party while it lasts. And it might last much longer than you
expect. Or it might not, but it can still be a lot of fun.
Just mention the word “incontinence” or “bladder
leakage” and watch people react. Most people are reluctant to
speak about it and many are afraid to even discuss it with their
doctor. Surprisingly, aging alone is not the only cause of bladder
leakage or incontinence, as it is commonly known. Actually, it can
occur in many age groups and affects men, women and, yes, even
caregivers. Incontinence can be an inconvenient and unsettling
condition for those who experience it on a regular basis. Many
believe their only option is wearing absorbent undergarments when,
in fact, there are now a wide variety of treatment options
According to JAMA (Journal of the American Medical
Association,) incontinence is defined as the involuntary loss
of urine severe enough to cause adverse social or hygienic
consequences. Statistics show that more than 13 million Americans
of all ages are currently affected by incontinence at an estimated
cost of over 16 billion dollars per year. More of this money is
spent on absorbent pads and undergarments than on treatments.
Twice as many women than men are affected by this problem during
their lifetime. Of all the issues and challenges that family
caregivers face, few are as troubling as incontinence. Changing
pads, clothing and bedding day and night can produce tremendous
fatigue and frustration for both the caregiver and care receiver.
In fact, caregivers report that one of the major factors leading
to placing a loved one in the nursing home is unmanageable
Urinary control problems are complex and involve three areas of
the brain plus the spinal cord, bladder and many muscles in the
body. It can range from occasional leakage to a complete loss of
bladder control; a temporary condition for some, a long-term
challenge for others. Incontinence can be divided into several
categories: Stress, urge, mixed, overflow, neurologic and
reflex/unconscious. Stress and urge incontinence are the most
common types. Stress incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine
with physical exertion such as sneezing, coughing or laughing.
Urge incontinence occurs with a strong, sudden need to urinate.
The bladder contracts prematurely and can be triggered by hearing
running water or by an anxious moment such as standing at a locked
door while trying to locate the key.
We now know that there are many other contributing factors that
can lead to incontinence. Examples are: poor body mechanics during
lifting, urinary tract infections, obesity, side effects from
medication (such as diuretics, sedatives and alcohol, pain
relievers, antihistamines, and cold medicines), nerve/muscle
damage, physical and emotional stress, medical conditions such as
diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple
sclerosis, loss of muscle control from prostate surgery or a
hysterectomy, repeated catheterizations and prolonged states of
immobility (especially among patients who are bedridden or have
One of the most important roles of a caregiver is to take the
lead in addressing the problem and advocate not only for their
loved one but also for themselves. Since incontinence is not an
inevitable part of aging, the inability to control urination
should always be brought to the attention of the physician.
Caregivers can help in ensuring their loved one is able to
communicate with the doctor and partake in a joint treatment plan
that benefits both parties. Urinary-control problems must be
assessed in the context of a complete medical history and physical
exam from a physician. This thorough medical evaluation can
identify the type of incontinence that one faces. A urologist or
gynecologist may also be consulted for diagnoses and treatment
options. A variety of treatment choices are now available to
manage bladder health; however, choosing the right treatment plan
is the key for both the caregiver and the care receiver.
NorthShore Care Supply
When high absorbency adult diapers are needed, especially for
overnight protection, visit NorthShore Care Supply.
The following effective approaches have been identified:
Medications (however, not all bladder leakage issues require
medication to correct)
Exercises (such as Kegel’s) to strengthen the pelvic muscles
around the bladder
Physical therapy including biofeedback and muscle stimulation
Behavior changes such as keeping a bladder diary and monitoring
diet and fluid intake.
Medical interventions (surgery, implants and catheterization)
Robert has been caring for his wife for four years following a
series of chronic health events. In the past year, his wife’s
incontinence has become of increasing concern to both of them.
Robert knows the problem is affecting more areas of their lives
including their social life and sleep patterns. He is also
concerned about skin infections and his ability to properly bathe
his wife. Robert has become weary and is finding it progressively
more difficult to manage his wife’s care. He consulted a physician
and together they were referred to a physical therapist for an
Across the country, physical therapists, as well as occupational
therapists and registered nurses, are now becoming specifically
trained in exercise therapy and continence re-training programs.
Once a cause for incontinence is determined, an individual program
is devised. Patients meet with therapists, learn how their bladder
works and what steps to take to retrain and manage their bladder
health. The program lasts from four to twelve weeks. By using
exercises supported by biofeedback methods (a therapy that uses
measuring devices or sensors to help you learn to identify and
control the bladder muscles), physical therapists and the like are
now able to help patients of all ages.
Re-training and strengthening pelvic floor muscles can help
patients improve their bladder control. Lifestyle changes such as
relaxation, decreased caffeine consumption, monitored diet and
fluid intake, knowledge of proper lifting techniques and daily
exercise can also positively impact bladder health. Therapists
report that even the smallest changes or adjustments in one’s
daily life can be very beneficial in treating incontinence. In
addition, catching the problem early and seeking a physical
therapy consultation are important steps toward treatment or
management of incontinence issues.
Physical therapists report that the most difficult issues to
conquer with patients are embarrassment, social isolation and the
loss of independence that can result from bladder control
problems. Patients often feel depressed and withdraw from social
connections and opportunities. They fear losing bladder control
and avoid spending time away from home. Hygienic considerations
such as body odor and skin irritations, as well as having easy
access to a bathroom, also impact one’s comfort level outside of
the home environment. It is also worth noting that the person with
incontinence may lose their ability to smell the odor of urine.
This is a sensitive point for caregivers to realize as they are
providing care and encouraging good personal hygiene.
Caregiving suggestions for oneself and the care receiver include:
Monitor fluid intake; focus on adequate water intake vs. juices,
carbonated drinks, caffeine and alcohol. Cut back on fluids in the
Exercise together and promote daily weight bearing (standing) to
maintain pelvic control muscles.
Use personal care absorbent products, bed and furniture pads and
Make sure an adequate supply of pads/sheets is available to avoid
additional strain and reduce laundering.
Wear loose or pull-on clothing for easier wear and removal.
Pack a car bag with absorbent underwear/pads, hand wipes, extra
clothing, and disposable bags.
Increase bathroom accessibility with a bedside commode and have a
plan for bathroom visits while away from home.
Void urine every two hours and try to maintain this routine
throughout the day.
Keep skin clean and dry to avoid skin breakdowns and irritations.
Maintain privacy and dignity during caregiving. Show patience and
offer support when accidents do occur.
Consider hiring help at home to ease the stress of daily
caregiving and to focus on your own needs for rest and renewal.
Physicians and other health care professionals are great
resources for information about incontinent care. Disease-specific
support groups are also excellent places to obtain useful
information and receive mutual understanding. Thanks to the
Internet, there are now opportunities for education and research
as well as numerous resources available to caregivers at the touch
of a button. Experts can answer questions and caregivers can find
support in online chat rooms.
Web sites to consider are:
Association for Continence
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and
Yes, incontinence is inconvenient, yet support and treatments are
readily available. Today, more than ever, society openly
recognizes this personal challenge and even the media addresses
the issue of “human plumbing” problems. It is a fact of life and
does not have to lead to feelings of shame and embarrassment.
Managing bladder health issues is possible and staying at home no
longer has to be the solution.
Baby it's Hot Outside
Average temperatures have risen in every US state since the early 1900s,
, declines in crop
the spread of tropical diseases
to be more common.
Earth is warming at a pace
unprecedented in 1,000 years.
The past three years were the
hottest on record, and in 2017, temperatures have already
reached their highest levels in history in some areas, from California to Vietnam. By
the 2050s, New York City could
see up to seven heat waves per year, with maximum
temperatures at or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit for about 60
days — twice what the city currently experiences
8/31: Read the last part. Bodes well for economy
numbers of containers have been flowing through US ports despite protectionist threats from
Mr Trump. Six of the nine largest ports — including Long Beach,
California and Savannah, Georgia — have broken monthly records for
traffic in the past year. (FT)
I think that is great
8/31:We have it bad- they have it worse
Floods hit South Asia
It's not only Texas that's been battered by torrential rain. More
than 1,000 people are believed to have been killed in severe
flooding that has swept South Asia. Mumbai, India's business hub, has
been brought to a halt and authorities are struggling to evacuate
people. Many are blaming the unusually heavy monsoon rains on
climate change. (Guardian)
8/31: But it will plummet in this quarter due to Houston
The rate of US growth picked up more steam than
initially thought in the second quarter, signalling
building momentum since the beginning of the year.
A second estimate showed gross domestic product
had climbed at an annualised rate of 3 per cent over the
period, according to the commerce department on Wednesday.
The preliminary reading had showed gross domestic product
climbing at an annualised rate of 2.6 per cent over the
period, from 1.2 per cent in the first quarter.
8/31:Trump’s apprenticeship initiative is a step toward greater
equality of opportunity
This is good
executive order to expand apprenticeship programs could help
streamline training programs for American workers and fill the
country’s record number of job vacancies..
or seizure disorder,
is a neurological condition that comes from
abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Epilepsy is a chronic
disorder that is typically diagnosed once there has been a history of
two or more seizures that were not provoked by a specific preceding
cause. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 3
million Americans have epilepsy. The incidence is highest in early
childhood and has recently begun to become more prevalent in the
There are some things you do not wash
(That face is so bad you could use it for Halloween)
8/30: Uncle Milty
- In 1967, Milton Friedman argued that low unemployment
spurred wage rises, wages rises in turn spurred inflation, and
inflation then spurred further wage rises.
- The inflation/wages trade-off typically took between two
and five years, Friedman said.
- But that explanation fails to explain current conditions:
low inflation, low unemployment, and nonexistent wage increases.
- The difference between then and now is that "gig
economy" companies like Uber and Deliveroo can turn their demand
for workers on and off in seconds, not years.
- That has produced the opposite of what Friedman predicted.
EFM- He wasn't exactly wrong. Time changes everything but NO ONE could
have ever predicted a crash like 2008 and the resulting chaos of
8/30: Mortality rates attributable to climate change by
county in the US.
Florida is all red. Guess I will have to move at some point. Ain't
catching any decent bass anyway
Several factors will contribute to the rising death toll, which were
previously documented by many other
reports on climate change
. A 2012 report by the
Climate Vulnerability Monitor
cited flooding, heat waves,
wildfires, and crop shortages as some of the primary issues. Other
problems expected to affect America's South include elevated energy use
(to cool homes and buildings during heat waves) and increasing costs
related to weather damage on the nation's coast.
Many Retirees With Dementia Lacking Help?”
Anek Belbase, Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher, and Sara Ellen King
The brief’s key
with dementia need help managing their money to prevent
mistakes, fraud, and abuse.
source of help is Social Security’s Representative Payee
Program, which allows a designated person to receive and manage
a retiree’s benefit check.
people over age 70 with dementia, only 9 percent have a payee.
the vast majority of those without a payee have other potential
sources of help, often a family member.
without any help are more likely to be isolated from family,
less educated, and non-white.
8/29: Adult Day Care
Caregivers who are just beginning their journey may feel
adult day care services are for later stages of their loved one’s
situation. The sooner caregivers locate and enroll their family member
in a program, the greater the benefit for all concerned. Finding the
appropriate day care can be challenging, but has grown much easier
More adult day care centers are popping up in different areas. You
may begin to notice more of them than you did previously, which
expands options for places to start.
THE FIRST HURDLE
Well meaning family and friends may have suggested day care, using a
variety of rationales that can sometimes border on invasive. If you
are the primary caregiver, take the suggestions into consideration,
while firmly stopping anything that makes you uncomfortable. But, take
the opportunity to tell everyone offering advice that when you are
ready to look for a site, you will appreciate their help.
The concerns you may have about quality of care and cost are valid.
The intangible concerns of whether it is the “right” decision may
require more thought and even some counseling through local support
groups. You must feel comfortable about your choice to utilize day
care to enhance your relationship with your loved one, and improve
their day-to-day experience.
Once you come to the decision that day care will enhance your loved
one’s experiences and offer you peace of mind, you can begin looking
for facilities to meet your needs.
WHERE TO LOOK
National organizations are especially helpful if your loved one
spends time with family out of your area. Begin by learning which
resources are state managed. Contact the local Area Agency on Aging and/or ADRC in the area
where your loved one lives.
The Alzheimer’s Association has a community resource finder on their site
with a zip code locator for the division serving your area, and
other service friendly carriers to help with your search. Their
section on adding caregiving skills can be utilized to help caregivers
manage their experience before and after the loved one has entered a
suitable day care environment. Since caregiver and loved one’s needs
change after daycare placement, evaluating caregiving skills
diminishes stress levels. Do navigate the entire site to find hidden
gems that will enhance your creativity in searching for options.
Your city and county guides online will connect you with day care
centers. Some facilities are privately owned and operated, and will be
found through phone directories or advertisements. Interview every
facility to your comfort level, remembering that you will eventually
need to make a decision.
Some facilities may be difficult to get into, and switching from one
to another isn’t an easy solution. Inquire about temporary admission,
which will free up space in the program for long-term care needs, and
allow you to test how that particular center meets everyone’s needs.
If you are able to set up more than one of these situations, it can
stave off the anxiety of finding a permanent program, or passing the
time of being on a waiting list for your first choice.
WHAT IS DAY CARE, REALLY?
Adult day care is a managed program that is designed for specific
individuals who cannot stay at home by themselves. Frail elderly
persons, individuals with memory loss, or seniors with other
challenges are candidates for day care.
Facilities are managed by state or local programs, including
non-profit organizations. Private day care may be a franchise, or run
by an individual who rents or owns a facility.
Clients are overseen during the hours they attend. Hours will vary,
but generally span regular business hours (9 a.m to 5 p.m) to
accommodate caregivers who work outside the home.
Meals, snacks and activities are part of the day care experience.
There may be trips to shopping centers (with caregiver permission),
restaurants or other off site expeditions. Each facility offers a
calendar of activities to orient loved one and family to the day care
structure. Most programs include arts and crafts, music, time for rest
and visiting with other clients.
Reputable day care programs focus on “caring.” Clients are offered a
place to enjoy the day with an emphasis on retaining self esteem. Day
care is not a “dumping ground”! Although loved ones (especially those
with dementia) may resist attending, staff members are skilled in
making clients feel comfortable. Loved ones will share stories about
their day, perhaps bringing home crafts made in “class.” Activities
will span the range of clients’ abilities.
Adult day care is an enhancement to the journey of caregiver and
loved one. Family members can enjoy a sense of security that their
loved one is attended to. Loved ones can develop a life outside the
home that is interesting, fun and safe. They do not have to worry, and
if they show concern or anxiety, staff will reassure them as needed.
As an arrangement to delay or eliminate placement in a long-term care
facility, day care is a preferred option by lay and professional
caregivers. The combination of activities, change of atmosphere and
competent personnel can deliver quality care. For some individuals,
day care offers a unique type of “therapy” that doesn’t require a
Caregivers will have an improved relationship with their loved one.
Stress reduction may be the apparent bonus, but the joy of seeing a
loved one interact with others can improve everyone’s overall outlook.
Even the “normal” aging process has its progressive side, but day care
can become a restorative force in a loved one’s journey.
Programs may offer caregivers options for counseling and support, and
information about other possibilities such as at home respite care.
Connecting with other caregivers serves as a reminder that many
individuals have chosen the path to work with their loved one by
delivering “hands on” care. Relationships outside of day care may be
formed over time, creating new friends and resources.
Feeling alone is an unwelcome side effect for caregiver and loved
one. Day care reaches out to both individuals, creating a solid
atmosphere of support. The miracle of connection with others can be
explored in a professional environment that yields many personal
Change is an expected part of our daily lives today.
Dealing with it so that YOU control IT rather than vice versa is an
important and positive force in controlling your life. Try a few of
- Accept what you cannot change. Take a tip from
AA. Change what you can, if it bothers you. But, if you cannot
change it, learn to live with it.
- Face up to your problems. Sort them out, and see
which ones are real and which are simply imagined. Deal with
them as they are, and not what you think they are.
- Deal with one problem at a time. Sort out your
priorities, and deal with them in the order of their importance
- Be flexible. Give in once and a while. If you
do, others will too.
- Don’t hold all of your worries inside yourself—talk it
out. Frequently we swallow our unhappiness (along
with candy, cake, ice cream, etc.) because we can’t let the
problems out. Talk to someone. A burden shared is much less of a
- Work off Stress. Physical outlets for stress
help your body to fight off many of the negative results of
- Get enough rest/relaxation/sleep. Give your body
a chance to recover from day to day. Lack of sleep and rest
will only make matters worse for you.
- Avoid “self medication.” A “spoonful of sugar”
may make the “medicine go down,” but it does your body no good.
Sugar, alcohol, nicotine, and ice cream may all feel good going
down, but they make matters worse— from the inside. They add to
your body’s physical stresses, thus making dealing with
external stresses much harder.
- “Take time to smell the roses.” Have some fun.
- Think about and do something for others. A little
altruism never hurt. It even makes people feel better about
- Be the “captain of your ship.” If you are
not happy with your life, think about what’s wrong or missing,
and then plan the necessary actions to change it to coincide
with your needs and desires for your life.
- Work on your relationships with those who share your life.
Don’t hold back your feelings. Share them with your family and
friends and co- corkers. It can help to decrease tensions.
I'm sure she will be a success
James Harvey .
The Mind in the Making The Relation of Intelligence to
Social Reform If some
magical transformation could be produced in men's ways of looking at
themselves and their fellows, no inconsiderable part of the evils
which now afflict society would vanish away or remedy themselves
automatically. If the majority of influential persons held the
opinions and occupied the point of view that a few rather
uninfluential people now do, there would, for instance, be no
likelihood of another great war; the whole problem of "labor and
capital" would be transformed and attenuated; national arrogance,
race animosity, political corruption, and inefficiency would all be
reduced below the danger point. As an old Stoic proverb has it,
men are tormented by the opinions they have of things, rather than by
the things themselves. This is eminently true of many of our worst
problems to-day. We have available knowledge and ingenuity and
material resources to make a far fairer world than that in which we
find ourselves, but various obstacles prevent our intelligently
availing ourselves of them. The object of this book is to
substantiate this proposition, to exhibit with entire frankness the
tremendous difficulties that stand in the way of such a beneficent
change of mind, and to point out as clearly as may be some of the
measures to be taken in order to overcome them..
When we contemplate the shocking derangement of human affairs which
now prevails in most civilized countries, including our own, even the
best minds are puzzled and uncertain in their attempts to grasp the
situation. The world seems to demand a moral and economic regeneration
which it is dangerous to postpone, but as yet impossible to imagine,
let alone direct. The preliminary intellectual regeneration which
would put our leaders in a position to determine and control the
course of affairs has not taken place. We have unprecedented
conditions to deal with and novel adjustments to make—there can be no
doubt of that. We also have a great stock of scientific knowledge
unknown to our grandfathers with which to operate. So novel are the
conditions, so copious the knowledge, that we must undertake the
arduous task of reconsidering a great part of the opinions about man
and his relations to his fellow-men which have been handed down to us
by previous generations who lived in far other conditions and
possessed far less information about the world and themselves. We
have, however, first to create an unprecedented attitude of mind to
cope with unprecedented conditions, and to utilize unprecedented
1921: Almost a century ago and we have not gotten that far at
all. I do not believe human kind will ever muster the effort to right
the wrongs he so clearly addresses. In my lifetime I noted that people
found it a lot easier to talk about their ethics than to live up to
them. It is absolutely true of the numbers of planners who say they
have always done the right thing for their clients.yet have next
to no hard data or work to substantiate their claim.
Yes, it is a mural on a building
Labor Market Impact of Undocumented Immigrants: Job Creation
vs. Job Competition"
CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6575
CHRISTOPH ALBERT, Universitat
Pompeu Fabra, Students
explores the labor market impact of both documented and undocumented
immigration in a model featuring search frictions and non-random
hiring that generates predictions consistent with novel patterns
documented in data. Due to their lower earnings, a rise in the share
of immigrant workers in the economy leads to the creation of
additional jobs, but also more job competition for natives. As
undocumented immigrants earn the lowest wages of all workers, their
job creation effect is large, whereas it is small and potentially
negative for documented immigrants. Model simulations show that the
job creation effect of undocumented immigration dominates the
competition effect, leading to gains in terms of both employment and
wages for natives, which does not hold in case of documented
immigration. Stricter immigration enforcement in form of a higher
deportation risk for undocumented immigrants mutes job creation and
raises the unemployment rate of all workers, having an even larger
detrimental effect if it targets employed immigrants because this
leads to a risk premium in their wages. I present empirical evidence
that gives support to the qualitative predictions of the model.
8/27: A household headed by an 80-year-old spends 43% less than
a household headed by a 50-year-old
. Older people suffer physical
limitations that make them less capable of spending money.
3D art is fascinating
8/27: The numbers just get worse and worse
Percent of Workers Do Not Participate in Their
percent of workers reduced their 401(k) contributions
and/or personal savings in the past year,
CareerBuilder found in a survey. Thirty-eight percent do
not participate in a 401(k) plan, individual retirement
account (IRA) or any other type of retirement plan. Twenty-six
percent did not set aside any savings during the last
year. One-quarter of workers said they were not able to
make ends meet each month in the past year, and 20% have
missed some payments.
Read more »
Good for her!!!!!!
Fed Chair Janet Yellen Rejects
Trump Effort to Scrap Dodd-Frank
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Friday defended the web of
regulations the Fed helped enact after the 2008 financial crisis, saying
it helped restore the banking system's health and disputing criticism
that the rules have hurt lending.
Yellen said the Fed is prepared to adjust the
regulations as needed to help financial institutions. But in a speech
to an annual conference of central bankers in Jackson Hole, she
implicitly rejected efforts by Republicans, including President Donald
Trump, to scrap the 2010 Dodd-Frank law as a threat to the economy.
GaryCohn said he considered quitting the White House over the
president's widely condemned response to violence at a white nationalist
rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Cohn said he ultimately chose not to
leave because of the duty he feels to his job.
The duty to the American people trumped (notice the pun) a personal
8/27:According to data from the Social Security Administration, a man
reaching age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 84.3. A
woman turning age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age
86.6. About one out of every four 65-year-olds today will live past age
90, and one out of 10 will live past age 95.
I do not see a way out of this comment and the one below that
Half of the jobs in America currently pay less than $18 an hour,
according to Labor Department data. That’s about $37,000 a year if
someone works full-time. Forty percent of jobs in the country pay less
than $15.50, according to the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.
There’s always debate about what constitutes a “good-paying job,” but
it’s notable that manufacturing jobs, which President Trump campaigned
on bringing back, pay over $20.50 an hour, on average.
Economists are stumped at how unemployment can be so low — 4.3 percent
nationally and a mere 2.8 percent in Millikan’s home county — and so
many CEOs complain they can’t get enough good workers, yet wages are
barely rising. Some blame robots and overseas outsourcing for keeping
wages low. Other says the labor market really isn’t as “tight” as it
appears, since many Americans in their prime working years have given up
looking for jobs.
Median household income, a good gauge of middle-class pay, peaked in
1999 under President Bill Clinton, according to census data. In the
nearly two decades since then, households have seen their modest gains
eaten away by inflation.
research found that the best paid workers — the top 5 percent — have
seen their pay jump 22 percent from 2000 to July 2017. The bottom half
haven’t even seen their pay rise 5 percent in that same period.
About half of America has $0 in the stock market
:Almost 8 out of 10 American workers say they live paycheck to
to make ends meet, according to a new survey from
CareerBuilder. That can force people to take on debt or otherwise
struggle when an unexpected bill arises. It also raises questions about
the stability of the broader economy given that consumer spending
accounts for more than two-thirds of activity.
"Living paycheck to paycheck is the new way of life for U.S.
workers," he said. "It's not just one salary range. It's pretty much
across the board, and it's trending in the wrong direction."
A year ago, about 75 percent of U.S. workers said they were living
from payday to payday, a number that has grown to 78 percent this
With the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting about 122 million
full-time workers, the poll suggests 95 million of those adults could be
living paycheck to paycheck. Through July, average hourly earnings
were up 2.5 percent, according to labor data -- that's still below the
3 percent to 4 percent gains seen before the recession.
. Almost one of 10 workers who earn more than six figures annually said
they are living paycheck to paycheck, according to CareerBuilder. That
may seem surprising, but families who live in regions with a high cost
of living may feel almost as strapped as lower-income households
About 40 percent of adults with a high school degree or less said they
are scrambling to keep afloat, or more than twice the number of
Americans with at least a college degree, according to the Federal
Reserve. CareerBuilder found that about half of workers who earn less
than $50,000 per year are always living paycheck-to-paycheck, compared
with 28 percent of those earning between $50,000 to $100,000.
About 18 percent of workers said they cut back on their 401k
contributions or personal savings in the last year, and more than
one-third don't put away money for retirement
only a third of workers stick to a budget
A woman scorned
ways to reduce slips, trips and falls in your business
LOTS of liability
8/25:il price fluctuations have small but long-lasting effects on core
Using a novel econometric approach, Cristina Conflitti of the Banca
d’Italia and Matteo Luciani of the Federal Reserve Board examine the
impact of oil price fluctuations on non-energy prices. They find that oil price changes have a small but
persistent effect on core inflation (inflation excluding energy
and food), contrary to the existing literature which finds no effect.
In particular, they estimate that the plunge in oil prices from
roughly $100 to $30 per barrel between July 2014 to February 2016
decreased core personal consumption expenditure price inflation, the
Fed’s favorite measure, by a quarter of a percentage point in 2015 and
a third of a percentage point in 2016. The downward pressure is likely
to persist until 2020,
EFM- Never thought I'd see oil this low. I remember the lines at gas
stations in the early 70's. (Yes I am old)
By the same token who would have thunk of the earthquakes in Oklahoma et
al due to shale oil drilling. I think tehre are going to be some major
problems with horizontal drilling etc as we pump more oil out.
When the world changes as it did ten years ago, policies,
especially monetary policy, need to be adjusted. Such an
adjustment, never easy,
requires unprejudiced, honest assessment of the new
realities with clear eyes, unencumbered by the defense of
previously held paradigms that have lost any explanatory power…
“There’s a massive amount of carbon that’s in the
ground, that’s built up slowly over thousands and thousands of years.
It’s been in a freezer, and that freezer is now turning into a
EFM- So we have thousands of tons of carbon that will turn on the
climate and make it worse. Then think about a number of disease that
have been frozen for centuries- that we don't even know about- that
will be turned to humans who may then die worldwide
... men seem blindly driven to
defend and perpetuate the conditions which produced the last
Robinson, James Harvey. The Mind in
the Making The Relation of Intelligence to Social Reform, 1921
Hunting a killer: the return of syphilis.
sexually transmitted infection, which can lead to blindness,
paralysis, dementia and even death, is spreading around the U.S.
another consequence of the heroin and methamphetamine
epidemics, as users trade sex for drugs. EFM- and Opiods
End of Life Issues
Advance directives: Legally accurate
name for Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney.
C P R (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation): Non-surgical
massage of a heart which has stopped to try to get the organ working
again. Procedure will almost always be started unless there is a D N R
(See Below) order.
Competent/competency: The ability of a person to
communicate with a physician and understand the implications and
consequences of medical procedures.
D N R (Do not resuscitate): An order on the
patient's medical chart advising health professionals that
extraordinary measures should not be used to attempt to save this
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care: An
advance directive by which a patint nominates another person to make
health care decisions if and when the patient becomes incompetent,
thus allowing a treating physician to obtain informed consent to a
medical procedure or withdrawal of treatment.
Health Care Proxy: A combination of the above two
documents and phrased differently. Likely to be encountered in the
states of Massachusetts and New York.
Heroic Measures: Medical procedures which are
pointless because the patient is certain to die regardless of these
Hospice: A formal program of palliative care for a
person in the last six months of life, providing pain management,
symptom control, and family support.
Informed consent: A patient giving permission to a
physician to carry out a medical procedure after the patient is made
fully aware of the benefits, risks, and any alternatives.
Living Will: Popular name for an advance directive
by which a person requests in writing a physician not to connect, or
to disconnect, life-supporting equipment if this procedure is merely
delaying an inevitable death. Legal in all U S states.
Negotiated death: A formal agreement between
family, physicians, hospital management, etc, that life support
systems to an incompetent person are better disconnected in the best
interest of the patient. All parties agree not to bring lawsuits.
Palliative care: Medical term for hospice. Measures
which do not attempt to treat the illness, but to relieve the pain and
other discomfort accompanying it.
This information was provided by Euthanasia Research and Guidance Organization
I just like the ingenuity
8/24: Most of this cost will occur in the last year's of life. But the
size of that cost will overwhelm most budgets.
Care Expenses in Retirement to Cost $275,000:
65-year old couple, retiring this year, will need $275,000
to cover anticipated health care expenses, estimates
Fidelity. This 2017 estimate is 6% greater than last year’s
figure of $260,000 and represents a 70% increase since
Fidelity’s initial retiree health care cost estimate in
2002. Expenses included in this estimate are monthly
expenses associated with Medicare premiums, Medicare
copayments and deductibles and prescription drug
out-of-pocket expenses. It assumes enrollment in Medicare
health coverage but does not include the added expenses of
nursing home or long-term care. Read more »
be aware of the gaps that still remain in our knowledge. Our
mainstream macroeconomic models still have little to say, for
the non-linear propagation of shocks, the distributional impacts
of policies, or how endogenous firm entry and exit can
economic performance. Policy actions undertaken in the last ten
years in monetary policy and in regulation and supervision
made the world more resilient. But we should continue preparing
for new challenges.”
a Choice, Public Sector Employees Choose DB Over DC:
sector employees given a choice of either a defined benefit
(DB) or a 401(k) plan overwhelmingly prefer the DB plan, the
National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) found in a
study of eight states that offer employees such a choice. In
those states in 2015, the take-up rate for DB plans was 80%
or higher in six states. The research also indicates that
employees directing their own investments in a DC plan
typically tend to earn lower returns than state pension
plans. NIRS attributes this to four factors: lower
expenses, professional management, an optimal investment
allocation used by the DB plan and the benefit of
longevity risk pooling.
Read more »
Managed Funds Beat Actively Managed Funds:
mid-year 2017 Active/Passive Barometer found that most
actively managed funds have failed to survive and beat
their benchmarks, especially for funds with longer
time horizons. The average dollar in passively managed
funds typically outperforms the average dollar invested in
actively managed funds, the research firm finds.
However, when compared to the trailing 12 months ended June
30, 2016, active funds’ success increased substantially in
10 of 12 categories in the year ended June 30, 2017. Forty-nine
percent of active U.S. stock funds beat their composite
passive benchmark in the 12-month period ended June 30,
2017, whereas only 26% had done so the year before.
Read more »
EFM- The real issue is the costs of the manager. These really
drop gross returns- the reason most fail the index over time.
intelligently trade derivatives it's like a license to steal, so you
can understand why they all want to do it... but what is the big
plus in having everyone gamble with everyone else? I lived in a
world with low gambling for decades when I was younger and I liked
it better. I think it was better for the country. It's like having
thousands of professional poker players. What damn good are they
doing for anybody?" - Charlie Munger
The problem with
derivatives trading is that it is very hard for bankers to control
themselves when they are easily making tons of money. They tend to
get carried away with excess and in the process get themselves into
serious trouble. If it is really bad, they can blow up the financial
system, tank the stock market, destroy the economy, and put millions
of people out of work.
Paul Wilmott, who holds a doctorate in applied mathematics
from Oxford University, the notional value of the world's
derivatives has reached $1.2 quadrillion (which is a humongous
number, equal to $1,200 trillion). This is approximately twenty
times as large as the world economy, which is approximately $60
trillion. The derivatives market is now 20% larger than in 2008, the
last time we had a financial crisis that involved derivatives. And
what is US bank exposure to this derivative risk? Consider this: JP
Morgan Chase has $2 trillion in total assets and total risk exposure
to derivatives of more than $52.9 trillion; Citibank has total
assets of $1.3 trillion and total risk exposure to derivatives of
more than $52 trillion; Bank of America has total assets of $1.6
trillion and total risk exposure to derivatives of $26.6 trillion;
Goldman Sachs has total assets of $143 billion (that's billion) and
total risk exposure to derivatives of $44.4 trillion (that's
If you are a
bank, here is the superfun part: that $1.2 quadrillion derivatives
market in mind-numbingly complex and completed unregulated, and the
banks' traders rule the roost. Anytime the US government even hints
that it will regulate derivatives trading, an army of bank lobbyists
swarms down on Washington, DC, and stops it by reminding our members
of Congress who really owns them (and it isn't you and me). But it
gets even better. Consider this: there is no one - that's right, no
one - in government, in academia, or in the banks themselves who has
a real grasp of all the dangers that lurk inside the largest
financial bubble the world has ever seen.
8/23: State fiscal condition
Home Sweet Home
Many people feel nervous at the thought of a power of
attorney. It can be intimidating to consider giving another person or
agent the authority to make financial decisions on your behalf.
There are valid reasons to consider a power of attorney if the need
arises. In layman’s terms, a power of attorney is a legal document
that allows someone (an individual or an entity) to conduct business
on your behalf. There is more than one type of power of attorney.
These include both financial and medical.
A medical power of attorney should contain specific information about
who can make medical-related decisions when someone becomes
incapacitated and cannot make these decisions for himself or herself.
Experts generally agree that financial powers of attorney should not
include medical information.
A financial power of attorney can be either durable or nondurable. It
is important to know the difference and when you may need one or the
other. Most people consider durable powers of attorney when there is a
chronic illness involved or a date in the future when it might be
foreseeable that illness can be disruptive to someone.
Financial Areas to Consider:
Regardless of the type of power of attorney chosen, there are broad
areas of consideration concerning finances. These include (but may not
be limited to) the following types of financial transactions:
Each state allows for fairly standard rights to be allowed through a
power of attorney, although you want to do specific research in your
state if there are unusual financial circumstances to consider.
Nondurable Power of Attorney:
A nondurable power of attorney is generally used for limited
transactions. For example, if someone needs to grant authority for a
single transaction, such as a stock trade, a nondurable power of
attorney would be most applicable. Another reason to use a nondurable
power of attorney would be if someone were traveling and unable to
conduct business from home. Some states refer to this type of power of
attorney as a special power of attorney.
Durable Power of Attorney:
A durable power of attorney is the one that often comes to mind.
These are the legal documents that can start immediately and allow
someone to act on your behalf until it is either revoked or upon your
death. For individuals who are facing a chronic, debilitating illness
or who may be preparing for a future incapacitation (such as a
possible nursing home commitment), a durable power of attorney could
fit these situations.
A durable power of attorney can be written so that it can be invoked
at a future point in time. For someone with a chronic or potentially
debilitating illness on the horizon, this type of instrument may be
best to use. Usually a physician or other recognized authority will
designate the time when an individual is no longer competent to manage
their own legal affairs. At that point in time, the power of attorney
will “spring” into place, allowing your agent to begin managing your
financial obligations. For this reason, sometimes you may see
references to a “springing” power of attorney.
Choosing Someone to Manage Your Affairs:
Deciding which type of power of attorney may be straightforward,
depending on the circumstances. Finding a trusted person to manage
your financial affairs may not be as easy. The “agent” can be a family
member or friend whom you trust to manage financial affairs with the
same due diligence as you would yourself.
It is generally a good idea to appoint more than one agent, even if
you specify that only one of them may act at any given time. For
example, a husband gives his wife power of attorney upon finding out
that he has Alzheimer’s disease. The wife subsequently becomes
incapacitated and is unable to care for her affairs, as well as that
of her husband’s. Having more than one agent appointed will allow the
husband’s power of attorney to stay in force without possible legal
proceedings over his affairs.
Preparation and Filing:
You can find standard durable and nondurable power of attorney forms
online at several different websites, or an attorney may give you a
standard one that includes powers that you can grant or strike,
depending on your individual circumstances. An attorney can prepare
one for you for a fee; however, it is not necessary for an attorney to
be involved unless you have special circumstances to consider.
A power of attorney is still valid, even if it is not on file at your
local county clerk’s office. It does need to be signed in the presence
of a notary public. It is especially important to keep originals safe,
as sometimes banks and other entities will want to make a copy of the
original when granting someone else access to your private financial
Can I Still Manage my Own Finances?
In most cases, the answer is yes. When a “springing” power of
attorney is in place, someone other than the agent will make the
decision to enforce the power of attorney. Until that point, you are
still able to control your own financial decisions. For other
situations, as long as you are comfortable making financial decisions,
there is no reason that someone else has to do it for you.
What if it Doesn’t Work Out?
A power of attorney can be revoked at any point in time. Usually they
are revoked when either the agent or the principal (the person who
needs financial affairs managed) decides that the arrangement isn’t
succeeding as planned. While it is not necessary to contact an
attorney to prepare a power of attorney, some experts suggest that
consulting an attorney may be wise when revoking one.
Compared to making the financial decisions, invoking a power of
attorney can be a relatively simple process. Before developing one,
make a list of financial obligations and decide how you would want
these handled in the event that you are unable to take care of them
yourself. Discuss your decisions with loved ones and develop a trust
relationship with someone that would be designated as agent. If
possible, find more than one agent to avoid delays and other legal
complications in the event that your first choice is unable or
unwilling to perform the necessary requirements. Decide if you need a
durable or nondurable power of attorney. Finally, develop the power of
attorney and have it signed. Keep the original in a safe place and
make certain your agent(s) knows where to locate it when it is needed.
Discussing issues related to handling financial information is best
done in advance when the stress of a chronic illness or debilitating
condition will aggravate a situation. Calm decisions made in advance
will allow others to make informed decisions when the power of
attorney is in force.
Parents, aging and money
When you were a kid, your parents probably talked to you about money,
perhaps about the value of a buck or how you might spend your allowance.
As time marches on, you may find the situation reversed—and that you
have to have the "money talk" with your parents. Adult children
sometimes feel concerned that they're invading their parents' privacy
when raising money issues. Parents, meanwhile, can feel threatened, or
worry about losing their independence. Still, it can be helpful to have
a dialogue with your parents about their finances as they get older.
"If you're lucky, your parents are happy if you offer to help," said
Amy Goyer, AARP's family and caregiving expert. "Or, you might get the
reaction that this is none of your business."
Not surprisingly, many adult children and their parents sidestep the
Recent studies confirm that parents avoid having conversations about
aging and money, assuming that their adult children either know or
will figure out what needs to happen. On the flip side, adult children
are also unlikely to start a conversation about financial topics with
their parents. But avoidance may lead to problems down the road.
Here are some tips to get these conversations started and to help
make "the money talk" a successful one:
Show your love. It's important to impart a clear
message that you have your parents' best interests in mind. Make sure
they understand that the goal of the discussion is not for you to
exert power, but rather to help and support them.
Choose your words carefully. You want to be as
non-confrontational as possible. AARP's Goyer recommends using "I
statements"—sentences that begin with the word "I" as opposed to
"You." For instance, instead of saying "You need to…" use phrases like
"I'm concerned you may need to," or "I want to support you," Goyer
advises. Validate your parents' feelings, Goyer added. Make sure you
express that you understand their concerns and their fears.
Talk about yourself. If relevant, use your own
experiences as a bridge to talking about your parents' needs. For
instance, mention that you're thinking about signing a power of
attorney or are considering purchasing long-term care insurance. You
can then ask your parents whether they have done the same.
Offer to help. Ask your parents if they need help
with small tasks that are not directly related to money. As they grow
more comfortable with accepting help, you can start offering your
assistance with managing their finances.
Ask the right questions. Those should include: Do
you have a financial
power of attorney in place? Have you compiled a list of all of
your accounts? Have you named beneficiaries for those accounts? Have
you given your financial firms information on a trusted
contact? Do you have life insurance? What financial firms and
professionals do you use and do you have an attorney, what is their
contact information? Where do you store your important documents, such
as insurance policies and account information?
Keep an eye out for scams. Once you have opened a
dialogue with your parents about money, you will be in a better
position to help them spot and avoid scams, or cut them off sooner. Be
careful, though. Lecturing your parents about their mistake when it
comes to a scam can play right into a scammer's hands, according
to AARP. Instead, help talk your parents through your reasoning
for why something might be a scam. And if they've been victimized,
encourage them to talk to the authorities to help protect others.
Consider professional guidance. Involving someone
outside the family with expertise in aging and financial matters can
be valuable, especially if parents simply don't want to open up to
you. Consider suggesting they meet with a professional who advises
older clients, such as an elder lawyer or a financial professional.
While you might not have control over what happens next, third-party
nudges could provide the push needed to get the conversation started
within the family
the 116 signees express their concern
over weapons that integrate autonomous technology and call for the
U.N. to establish protections that would prevent an escalation in
the development and use of these weapons. Autonomous weapons refer
to military devices that utilize artificial intelligence in
applications like determining targets to attack or avoid.
“The number of prominent companies and
individuals who have signed this letter reinforces our warning that
this is not a hypothetical scenario, but a very real, very pressing
concern which needs immediate action,” Gariepy said. “We should not
lose sight of the fact that, unlike other potential manifestations
of AI which still remain in the realm of science fiction, autonomous
weapons systems are on the cusp of development right now and have a
very real potential to cause significant harm to innocent people
along with global instability.”
Does Idiosyncratic Risk Increase with Market Risk"
CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6560
SÖHNKE M. BARTRAM, Warwick
Business School - Department of Finance
GREGORY W. BROWN, University of North Carolina (UNC)
at Chapel Hill - Finance Area
RENÉ M. STULZ, Ohio State University (OSU) -
Department of Finance, National Bureau of Economic Research
(NBER), European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
through 2015, idiosyncratic risk (IR) is high when market risk
(MR) is high. We show that the positive relation between IR and
MR is highly stable through time and is robust across exchanges,
firm size, liquidity, and market-to-book groupings. Though stock
liquidity affects the strength of the relation, it is strong for
the most liquid stocks. The relation has roots in fundamentals.
Higher market risk predicts greater idiosyncratic earnings
volatility as well as dispersion and errors in analysts’
earnings forecasts. Firm characteristics related to the ability
of firms to adjust to higher uncertainty help explain the
strength of the relation. We find evidence that the relation is
weaker for firms with more growth options, which is consistent
with the view that such options provide a hedge against
8/22: Sometimes it is amazing what is done out there.
Poop Reportedly Used In Skin Care Line By Luxury Beauty Brand
in a More Educated World"
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8135
S. AMER AHMED, World
MAURIZIO BUSSOLO, World Bank - Chief Economist Office
for Europe and Central Asia
MARCIO CRUZ, Federal University of Parana (UFPR)
- Departamento de Economia, World Bank
DELFIN S. GO, Development Prospects Group, The
ISRAEL OSORIO-RODARTE, World Bank
countries, younger and better-educated cohorts are entering the
workforce. This developing world-led education wave is altering
the skill composition of the global labor supply, and impacting
income distribution, at the national and global levels. This
paper analyzes how this education wave reshapes global
inequality over the long run using a general-equilibrium
macro-micro simulation framework that covers harmonized
household surveys representing almost 90 percent of the world
population. The findings under alternative assumptions suggest
that global income inequality will likely decrease by 2030. This
increasing educated labor force will contribute to the closing
of the gap in average incomes between developing and high income
countries. The forthcoming education wave would also minimize,
mainly for developing countries, potential further increases of
8/22: Medication Errors
Robots are coming::
A recent analysis by Cornerstone Capital Group suggests
that 7.5m retail jobs – the most common type of job in the country – are
at “high risk of computerization”, with the 3.5m cashiers likely
to be particularly hard hit.
McKinsey, suggests that a new
generation of high-tech grocery stores that automatically charge
customers for the goods they take – no check-out required – and use
robots for inventory and stocking could reduce the number of
labor hours needed by nearly two-thirds. It all translates into
millions of Americans’ jobs under threat.
“single action bias”: confronted with
a worrying situation, taking one or two positive steps often feels
enough. If you have already bought extra groceries and refuelled the
family car, surely putting up cumbersome storm shutters is unnecessary?
The weapon releases a current on the
order of 3 to 5 million amps --- that’s 1,200 volts released in a
ten millisecond timeframe, experts have said. That is enough to
accelerate a mass of approximately 45 pounds from zero to five
thousand miles per hour in one one-hundredth of a second,
If this becomes a combat ready within the next few years, it WILL
change how wars are fought by America. I assume Russia and China
are developing these as well but no articles I have read indicated
area for war ??
There is a lot of tension between India and China currently and
the threat of war is being bandied about. The article goes into some
detail as to what might happen but it ends with "Any conflict between
the two would be explosive and bloody, requiring a lot of manpower and
ending with a massive loss of life and little to show for it. The
geography and population density between the two countries makes both
of them unconquerable. "
Cost of dying
average out-of-pocket expenditures toward end of life
necessities is $11,618, according to the National
Bureau of Economic Research. On top of that, the
National Funeral Director’s Association cites the median
out-of-pocket funeral expenses — including viewing and
cremation costs — at $6,078.
Just like in life, the cost of dying varies depending on
the relative cost of living in each state. We calculated
the average funeral expenses and end of life medical
care in each state by multiplying the national averages
for those services by the cost of living index in each
state. We also considered the 2017 inheritance tax and
estate tax data for each state from the Tax Foundation.
heading for nice article
of cases are dealt with in this way. I get very angry.
am an honest person. I can show you four guys here who
rape a woman as easily as plucking the feathers off a bird, but
they never get arrested."
KHAN, an Indian constable, describing how
bribery had quashed a murder case.
- NY Times
extremely important area of care
to Recognize When You’re in Denial About Your Parents’ Health
Denial can be a tricky thing. On the one hand, it can give us time to
process stressful information—but if it spins out of control and goes
on for too long, it can be a potentially harmful barrier to coping.
When it comes to our parents’ health, we may not want to admit it when
it’s time to seek help. Indeed, it may be very painful to think about
a loved one in failing mental
or physical health. But the potential dangers of not
taking action far exceed the short-term pain that accompanies facing
the reality of the situation.
What is Denial and Why Does it Happen?
Denial can be mostly unconscious or have a deliberate component, but
either way, it involves a lack of acknowledgement of something going
on around you. You may be refusing to recognize a problem or stressful
situation, or minimizing its severity. Sometimes, the situation you’re
in denial about can be obvious to others—to a direct caregiver, for
instance, in the case of a parent’s health.
Understanding what denial is and why it occurs is an important first
step in recognizing whether we ourselves are experiencing it—and it
helps us realize that denial is a normal human reaction and not
something to beat ourselves up for: “Refusing to acknowledge that
something’s wrong is a way of coping with emotional conflict, stress,
painful thoughts, threatening information and anxiety,” says the Mayo
Clinic. Simply becoming aware of denial is an important move
forward, and an opportunity to change our own and our loved one’s
situation for the better.
Recognizing Signs of Denial in Yourself and Others
When family members can’t recognize that a loved one is ill and needs
more senior care than they can get at home, it can be a
frustrating experience for caregivers. But denial can be even more
pernicious when we are experiencing it ourselves. We may not even be
conscious of our inability to accept the situation. If that’s the
case, how can we alert ourselves to recognizing if there’s a problem?
There are some tell-tale
signs to watch out for if you’ve got a loved one whose health
may be worsening:
- Feeling stuck. “If you don’t seem to be making
much progress dealing with a stressful situation on your own,” says
the Mayo Clinic, you may be stuck in denial about the severity of
- Ignoring signs of a health problem. For example,
if your loved one has begun dropping things or tripping while
walking, these may be signs of an impaired nervous system, says Dr.
Carol Berman, Assistant clinical professor of psychiatry, NYU
Medical Center, in the Huffington Post. If you find yourself ignoring
symptoms, you may want to reevaluate the situation with a physician.
- Pretending nothing has changed. Your loved one
might not be able to do the things he or she used to do—drive a car,
or walk somewhere unaccompanied—particularly if dementia
is involved. It’s not reasonable—or safe—to expect them to do so.
- Rationalizing behavior. Do you try to explain it
away whenever your loved one does something unusual? Again, not
accepting that a parent’s health has changed could put them in
danger of accidents or injuries.
- Getting angrier than usual. “You are suppressing
your feelings when you’re in denial, so your anger and many other
feelings will be much more intense than usual,” says Dr. Berman.
Moving Past Denial: Coping Strategies for Families
If the situations described above have you nodding your head in
recognition—or if a trusted family member or friend has suggested you
might be in denial—then what’s the next step? The Mayo Clinic suggests
a number of strategies for getting your mind around the situation and
coming to terms with your own feelings:
- What are you afraid of? Denial often has its
roots in fear. Ask yourself honestly what scares you about the
situation, and allow yourself to express that fear and any other
emotions you may have—either in a private journal, with someone you
trust, or with a mental health professional.
- Take a closer look. Are you falling back on
irrational thoughts or beliefs about your loved one’s health? Again,
be honest with yourself. Think realistically about what will happen
if you don’t take action. Will there be negative consequences?
- Reach out for help. Open up to someone you trust,
attend a support group, or visit a counselor. Don’t forget to
involve loved ones when it’s time to have that tough
conversation. And if it’s time for your loved one to get help,
make an appointment with a health care provider.
Has denial been an obstacle for you in making sure your loved one
gets the senior care they need? What is your advice for readers in
the same situation? Let us know in the comments
Family Conflicts Over
Family dynamics are infinitely complex, but two underlying themes run
through most sibling disputes about their parent’s care: injustice and
When one sibling shoulders a disproportionate burden of Dad or Mom’s
care, that sense of unfairness can foster resentment. Often, by virtue
of distance, the siblings who live further away are “off the hook”
when it comes to caring for an aging parent, while the nearest
siblings are obliged to take on a caregiving role. When the caregiving
for help from other siblings, the other siblings often don’t
fully appreciate, or choose to ignore, how much help their parent
needs, and how much work one sibling is doing.
clash over a parent’s finances. With the average American
household’s net worth declining since 2007, siblings must divide an
even smaller inheritance, naturally increasing the likelihood of
conflict. In a perfect world, each of us is selfless and not motivated
by money, but we live in a far from perfect world where money is
indispensable, so it remains a problem within families.
Caregiving is stressful on its own, but when injustice and
inheritance are added to a situation, they can create animosity
between siblings. When family dynamics are already tense because one
sibling feels unjustly overburdened with a parent’s care, money can
compound the conflict.
A sibling who provides most of a parent’s care may feel entitled to a
greater share of an inheritance. Or, siblings who are more distant or
not involved may believe that the caregiving sibling is spending
too much money on a parent’s care. Sometimes, the children of aging
parents will even resist plans for professional care in order to
“protect” an inheritance.
Tips for Improving Communication with Your Siblings During a Family
There are no easy answers to settle
disputes between siblings who are butting heads over a parent’s
care, but maintaining communication is crucial. Consider using these
tips for improving communication with your siblings during a family
A Family Meeting
Ideally, siblings can correct issues before they become
irreconcilable. The key is good communication, and a tried and true
strategy to facilitate the exchange of ideas is the family meeting. At
a family meeting, there should be frank and open discussion about a
parent’s care needs. Each sibling’s role and obligations should be
established, and future plans should be made. But if the question of
where to hold a family meeting leads to a bitter argument in and of
itself, the friction may have gotten past the point when a family
meeting can help.
Advisors, Counsels and Mediators
Sometimes a neutral third-party can calm feuding siblings. A Place
for Mom Senior
Living Advisors, who work directly with families as they plan a
parent’s care, have defused many disputes between siblings over
lengthy conference calls. Family counselors can also help to bridge
the differences between siblings, assuming they still talk to one
another. If things have become really heated, a family mediator
specializing in senior care issues may be able to break through the
ill will and help build consensus and find middle-ground.
The High Road
Ultimately, the only person we can change is ourselves. No matter how
much we try to reason with a disagreeable sibling, we may not succeed.
While advocating for what’s best for our parent, it’s wise to let
go of anger or resentment towards a sibling who has been
unhelpful or hurtful, and to strive for the undeniable peace that
comes from acceptance and forgiveness; neither stifling our impulse to
call out an uncooperative brother or sister, nor allowing ourselves to
be consumed with anger.
Study tracks changes in how 20-somethings
invest their 401(k) plans
Investment Company Institute and Employee Benefit Research
Institute study compared how people in their 20s invested
within their 401(k) plans in 2015 with how 20-somethings
invested in 1996. While the majority of allocations have gone
into equities in both cases, the study showed investor
preference has shifted from equity funds and company stocks to
balanced funds, including target-date funds.
Most low-income individuals are willing to pay at most half the
cost of their health insurance
Using administrative data from Massachusetts’s health insurance
exchange, Amy Finkelstein of MIT and Nathaniel Hendren and Mark
Shepard from Harvard find that most low-income people
will not purchase health insurance without extremely large
subsidies. For example, they estimate that low-income people
are willing to pay at most half the cost of their health insurance
and that, even with a 90 percent subsidy, 20 percent of low-income
people would remain uninsured. The authors suggest that the
availability of uncompensated (free) healthcare likely reduces the
value of being insured for low-income people. They conclude that
modest enrollee premiums can be a major deterrent to universal
coverage among low-income individuals.
8/18: “amnesia bias”, a
tendency to focus on recent experience. We remember more distant
catastrophes but we do not feel them viscerally.
Increasing minimum wage decreases machine-replaceable jobs and
Analyzing data from the Current Population Survey between
1980-2015, Grace Lordan of the London School of Economics and
David Neumark of the University of California, Irvine, find evidence that low-skilled workers
whose jobs are easily automated, particularly older
workers in manufacturing, suffer when the minimum wage is
raised. The authors find that a $1 increase in the minimum
wage decreases the share of low-skilled workers whose jobs are
easy to automate by 0.43 percentage point. Such a minimum wage
increase also raises the unemployment rate for low-skilled
workers in easily automated jobs by 0.12 percentage point.
Global returns 10 years
8/17: This is so wrong-- 10-year-old Indian rape victim gives
birth after a court denies her request for an abortion
Hate and stupidity seem to be in lockstep. \\
preparedness tips for homeowners
Improve your readiness with these easy-to-follow tips for disaster
preparation in your home.
1. Create a family emergency plan
The midst of a disaster is no time to try and figure out how to
react. Make preparations ahead of time so that everyone in your
household knows what to do.
keys to preparing for tornadoes
Here are the keys to putting together an effective family emergency
- Know your risks. Depending on where you live,
certain disaster risks will be more prevalent than others. How you
should react will vary accordingly. Your preparedness plan should
include a process for evacuating your home in advance of
hurricanes, wildfires and other monitored risks, as well as what
you would do if you need to shelter in place, like when a tornado
is fast approaching.
- Secure your home. It can be hard to remember
everything your house needs to stay protected during a storm. Make
a list of all the areas you should inspect and secure before
evacuating or sheltering in place, including your roof, windows,
power and plumbing.
- Write it out. No matter what type of disasters
you need to prepare for, document your plan and provide a copy to
everyone in your household. Consider displaying your emergency
plan where everyone can easily see it so that preparedness is
always top of mind.
- Have a meeting spot. If you need to escape home
quickly or find each other in the midst of a chaotic situation,
make sure everyone knows where to go. Whether it's a friend or
family member's house or a local storm shelter, everyone in your
family should know where to meet if you get separated.
- Designate an outside contact. Have one person
or family member who lives outside of your immediate area
designated as the single point of contact in case you do get
separated from your own family. Following a disaster, it may be
easier to reach someone in an unaffected area. This person can
help coordinate contact among the members of your household.
- Practice. Having a plan is only as good as your
ability to use it. Conduct safety drills seasonally, especially if
you have children, so that everyone can swing into action when it
Often, the most dangerous phase of a disaster isn't immediately
when it hits — it's during the aftermath. (Photo: Shutterstock
2. Keep an emergency disaster kit
Often, the most dangerous phase of a disaster isn't immediately when
it hits — it's during the aftermath. Losing access to essential
supplies is a serious concern, so it's important that you're able to
get by during the hours or days before things return to normal. Keep
an emergency disaster kit stocked with all the necessities you'll
need to ensure the health, safety and comfort of your family.
weather safety risks & preparation
Emergency kit basics include:
- Drinking water and nonperishable foods.
- First aid supplies.
- Prescriptions and other essential medicines.
- Flashlights and batteries.
- Spare clothing, blankets, shoes and outerwear.
- Important documents like passports and insurance information.
- If you have animals, include pet food and supplies.
Take advantage of today's technology to improve your
preparedness. (Photo: Shutterstock)
3. Use technology to stay connected and aware
Technology makes it easier than ever to stay aware of weather risks,
coordinate with loved ones and stay safe in the event of an
emergency. Take advantage of today's tech to improve your
- Sign up to receive emergency alerts on your smartphone. That
way, you're less likely to be caught off-guard by approaching
- Stay connected to family members. Consider activating
location-sharing on family smartphones to help keep track of each
other during a disaster.
- Purchase a weather radio to keep in your emergency kit that can
receive official warnings and notices if mobile networks get
jammed. Remember: Opt for a battery- or solar-powered model or one
that can be charged with a hand crank to ensure you have access
information in the event of a power outage.
your customers prepared to weather the pitfalls of hurricane
While disasters aren't always predictable or preventable, there are
things you can do to minimize the potential harm to you, your family
and your home. Make sure your disaster preparedness checklist
includes how to plan for emergencies, which essentials to stock up
on, and how to use technology to stay plugged in throughout a
disaster. Keep these tips in mind, and you'll be well positioned to
keep your household safe, even if the unexpected should occur.
Pete Duncanson is director of
business process and branch operations for ServiceMaster Resto
am not so sure about 'timid' but the issue of getting screwed.
EFM- The fear of another 2000 and 2008 caused a lot of people to
avoid investing altogether. At least 1/3 have not recovered from
outpaced Las Vegas for the distinction of the city with the
most “underwater” homes, meaning those homes that are worth
less than their current mortgages.
and Disability Rights in the Health Care Setting
Have you or a relative been to a doctor’s office and
been refused help in filling out paper work? Have you received
paperwork from a health care provider that you or your loved one could
Do you know your rights as a consumer with a visual disability?
Patient’s rights cover such topics as access to care, patient dignity,
confidentiality, and consent to treatment. The Americans with Disabilities Act and the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protect your rights and guarantee
you equal access to health care services.
It is your responsibility to assert your rights under these laws. If
you don’t ask for an accommodation no one will be aware that you need
large print, Braille, or an electronic version of information.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in
employment, state and local government, public accommodations,
commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications.
ADA Title III: Public Accommodations
Title III covers businesses and nonprofit service providers that are
used by the public. These include hospitals, urgent care centers,
doctor’s offices, nursing homes and home health agencies.
Health care services must provide equal treatment in the way they
serve patients with disabilities. This means removing barriers in
Patients with visual disabilities have the right to have any written
materials either read to them or given to them in an alternate format
such as large print, Braille or on tape. This includes assistance with
filling out paper work, having hospital admission booklets, home
health agency information, doctor’s orders, and discharge plans
available in a format that is accessible to the patient.
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973
This law has similar protections for patients with disabilities. This
law applies to federal, state and local government and to any
non-profit organization or health care provider that receives federal
funds such as Medicare and Medicaid.
You should file your complaint as soon as possible. In some
instances, depending on the applicable law, you may have a limited
amount of time to file a complaint after the alleged incident of
file a complaint under these laws, make note of the date, time
and location of the discriminatory act, the name of the person
spoken to and his or her response upon requesting a reasonable
Department of Justice website for more information on a
person’s rights under these laws or call 1-800-514-0301.
Visit U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights for Section 504 complaints or call
Institution finds robots "are
densely in some places but are hardly found in others."
8/17: China and India are dangerously
close to military conflict
'8/16: Human trafficking
8/16: Global returns 2nd quarter
Worry Inflation Will Derail Their Retirement:
percent of Americans said they are “terrified” or “very
concerned” that inflation will impede their ability to
pay for health care, Allianz Life Insurance Company of
North America found in a survey. The same concerns were
expressed about paying for long-term care (45%), living
the lifestyle they would like to have in retirement
(40%), being able to pay for housing (33%), paying for
groceries (29%) and being able to afford to travel
(27%). Read more »
8/15: Oblivious Investor
and the Great Productivity Slowdown"
IMF Working Paper No. 17/129
ROMAIN DUVAL, International
Monetary Fund (IMF)
GEE HEE HONG, International Monetary Fund (IMF)
YANNICK TIMMER, Trinity College (Dublin), Deutsche
the role of financial frictions in explaining the sharp and
persistent productivity growthslowdown in advanced economies after
the 2008 global financial crisis. Using a rich
cross-country,firm-level data set and exploiting
quasi-experimental variation in firm-level exposure to the
crisis,we find that the combination of pre-existing firm-level
financial fragilities and tightening creditconditions made an
important contribution to the post-crisis productivity slowdown.
Specifically:(i) firms that entered the crisis with weaker
balance sheets experienced decline in total factor productivity
growth relative to their less vulnerable counterparts after the
crisis; (ii) this declinewas larger for firms located in
countries where credit conditions tightened more; (iii)
financially fragile firms cut back on intangible capital
investment compared to more resilient firms, which isone
plausible way through which financial frictions undermined
productivity. All of these effectsare highly persistent and
quantitatively large-possibly accounting on average for about a
third of the post-crisis slowdown in within-firm total factor
productivity growth. Furthermore, our results are not driven by
more vulnerable firms being less productive or having experienced
slowerproductivity growth before the crisis, or differing from
less vulnerable firms along other dimensions.
You'll never be as bad as a raccoon
riding an alligator
Loss of Work Income in Personal Injury Cases"
CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6570
LEIF DANZIGER, Ben-Gurion
University of the Negev - Department of Economics, IZA Institute
of Labor Economics
the appropriate lump-sum compensation for loss of work income in
personal injury cases? Since generally future work income is not
known with certainty, compensation for its loss must be based on
statistical considerations. Typically, courts have based awards on
mean or median work income, but apparently without meaningful
grounding in economics. We use economic theory to address this
issue. We find that the relation between the appropriate
compensation and the mean and median work income depends on the
uncertainties of work income and of consumption facilitated by the
lump-sum compensation awarded, as well as the degree of risk
aversion. Since the consumption uncertainty associated with
compensation generally exceeds that associated with work income,
we conclude that the lump-sum compensation should exceed mean and
therefore median work income.
ELIAKIM KATZ, Northern Illinois University -
Department of Economics
I gave up on them decades ago. Maybe it will get
Economy Grows Again, in Longest Streak in 11 Years
of US chicken feet proves a recipe for a perfect trade
they will stop North Korea for more chicken feet?
was actually in an update from the Financial Times. )
employment gains in recent months have brought
the jobless rate down to a historically-low 4.3%.
decline has not been accompanied by rising incomes or consumer prices,
generally associated with a sustainable economic boom.
Some Federal Reserve policymakers have found this trend puzzling
while many labor economists point to underlying weaknesses in the job
market, including high levels of underemployment and long-term
joblessness, as drags on income.
Stagnant wages amid rising profits have meant that the wage share in
US national income has fallen from 63% to 57% in the last 15 years
if Fed officials
tighten monetary policy at the first sign of wage increases, they
will never allow the imbalances that have built up, including deep
income disparities, to be torn down. Average
hourly earnings rose just 2.5% on a yearly basis in July,
nothing to write home about and certainly not enough to begin the
ground lost over the last decade and more.
investment, which is key to long-run economic growth, has also
been dismal during the now eight-year expansion.
"There is no precedent for the weakness of investment in the current
cycle. Nearly ten years later, real investment spending remains less
than 10% above its 2007 peak," Mason writes.
"This is slow even relative to the anemic pace of GDP growth, and
extremely low by historical standards. In the three previous
[economic] cycles lasting that long, real investment spending had
increased anywhere from 30% to 80%. Even shorter cycles saw
substantially greater investment growth."
agriculture towards 2050
The issue of no food will lead to a conflict 'like the world has never
seen' (If trump can use that, so can I)
I do not believe our civilization will make it to 2200
In 2016, a group of American and Japanese neuroscientists, led by
Hakwan Lau, reconditioned the brain
to remove traumatic fears. They used a so-called neurohacking
approach: They first identified threatening stimuli in the brain and
then offset their negative connotation by associating them with
pleasant stimuli, such as rewards. The promise of neurohacking is
that debilitating fears—such as arachnophobia or, more seriously,
post-traumatic stress disorder—could be reduced or even
eliminated. Neurohacking also offers a revolutionary path
forward for reducing cognitive biases, such as status quo bias or regret aversion,
which can be attributed to a natural fear of change.
Population Dynamics of Automatic Versus Controlled Processing: An
a 2017 study
examined 38 natural field experiments that were designed to reduce
energy consumption. Once the treatment ended, energy savings
persisted in only 35 to 55 percent of nudge campaigns. The
researchers concluded that “there is still much that we do not
understand about habit formation and ways to induce changes in
provides the strongest evidence to date that habit formation is a matter
of controlling the level of activity in a specific brain region called
the orbitofrontal cortex.
Until a behavioral change is associated with a tangible brain change
in such keys cortical areas, it’s unlikely to become a habit and thus
unlikely to persist over time. Years of neuroscience studies have
shown that only persistent behavior change leaves traces of habit
formation in our brain
neuroscience information increases the perceived quality of
psychological explanations. For example, including images of the brain
makes bad explanations sound more authoritative and
believable. This “neuroscience bias” may result from the common view that “the
brain is the best explanation for mental phenomena.”
How can we distinguish neuroscience from neurobabble? A good first
step is to heed the advice of
neuroscientist Molly Crockett: “If someone tries to sell you something
with a brain on it, don’t just take them at their word. Ask the tough
questions, ask to see the evidence, ask for the part of the story
that’s not being told. The answers shouldn’t be simple, because the
brain is not simple.” And beyond the threat of neurobabble, we must
also realize that although neuroscientific techniques like sleep
conditioning can be used for good—to help people reduce their
biases—they have more malicious applications too.
In developed economies, for
example, the unemployment rate is close to cyclical lows reached in
2007, the money supply is rising nicely and so are asset prices (too
nicely for some!). In many respects, therefore, the global economy
is starting to look a bit more “normal.”
During the precrisis
period, global headline inflation was boosted by rapid increases in
oil and commodity prices driven by rapid industrialization in
emerging economies, especially China. But core inflation rarely
approached 2% during this period (Display). This suggests
that many of the forces holding inflation down might be structural
in nature, like demographics or technology.
Cancer Conundrum: Too Many Drug Trials, Too Few Patients
problem is that many of the trials are uninteresting from a scientific
view, said Dr. Roy Herbst, the center’s chief of medical oncology. The
companies sponsoring these trials are not addressing new research
questions, he said; they are trying to get proprietary drugs approved.
the struggle to find patients for immunotherapy trials is challenging,
finding patients for another new type of cancer treatment can be next
I think the general consumer/patient does not know that something
may be available to help them
What has long been considered an indomitable haven — the American
dollar — may no longer be a sure thing. Since the beginning of the
year, the dollar has surrendered nearly 8 percent
against major currencies.
EFM- Well, where will investors go? Dollar is still the best global bet.
But if North Korea does...........................
Finances after 2008
Pay attention to everything
The financial crisis that began
in the US housing market had turned, by August 2007, into a full-blown
global credit crunch that plunged countries around the world into
recession. In the US, the economic downturn was the deepest since 1945
and the longest since the Great Depression.The US economy had made
back that lost ground by 2011, but knock-on sovereign debt crises in
the eurozone would delay many European economies’ recovery — and for
some, the ground has still not been made up. Unemployment in Greece
remains at 23 per cent, some 15 percentage points higher than in 2007
8/13" People who work out for about seven hours a week have a 40
percent lower risk of dying early compared with those who exercise
less than 30 minutes a week
8/13: Blacks and Hispanics and degrees
study from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis found that
while college-educated African Americans and Hispanics had more
assets than those without degrees, grads typically fared worse in
the face of financial turmoil.
College graduation and home ownership
rates among both of those minority groups have soared over the last
two decades, delivering more African American and Hispanic
families into the middle class. Yet a crippling economic
recession erased much of those gains for many families, who remain
mired in debt and struggling to reverse the devastation.
Having a degree in hand has opened up a
world of financial opportunities for African Americans and
Hispanics. The median income of African American and
Hispanic graduates in 2013 was at least twice as high, and the median
family wealth—retirement accounts and homes—was nearly four times
greater than people from those groups without degrees, according
to the report.
Despite the financial gains afforded by a
college degree, African American and Hispanic graduates suffer greater
losses of wealth than their less-educated counterparts.
Between 1992 and 2013, median wealth
declined by about 56 percent among college-educated African Americans
versus 3.8 percent among African-Americans without degrees, who may
have had less to lose. The findings are striking for Hispanics as
those with degrees during that time witnesses a 27 percent decline in
net worth, while those without degrees actually recorded a median 31
percent growth in wealth, according to the report.
High Yield bonds
After returning approximately 1.15% in July, high yield bonds are now
providing returns of approximately 5.41% in 2017, with CCC rated bonds
(7.89%) outperforming BB rated bonds (5.11%).1,2,3
to near a three-year low of 5.40% in late July, high yield bond yields
have since widened to 5.74% as commodity price volatility and an
increase in new-issue volume have taken some steam out of the recent
EFM- I have watched these for a long time and used them rarely. But it
may be worth more than a second chance since returns have been very good
8/13: Inflation and productivity
From a year earlier, core consumer prices rose 1.7%.9
report marked the latest sign of weakening inflation
pressures and rounded out a week of relatively lackluster U.S. economic
data. Earlier, the Labor Department said U.S. worker productivity
increased at an annual rate of 0.9% in the second quarter, up from a
0.1% growth rate in the first quarter of 2017.10
1.2%, year-over-year growth showed a modest pickup in worker
However, it remains subdued by historical
standards and shows few signs of breaking out of the slow
that has persisted over the past decade.11
EFM- I did not think that our economy would be strong enough for three
yield increases. It's a tossup- unless North Korea sullies the water.
If it is bad, look to a global destabilization and a potential
recession. Of course, maybe it might be Venezuela .that causes
8/13: Can you hear me now??
Communication for someone with a hearing impairment can be challenging,
but you can make a few simple adjustments to ensure the family
gathering is an inclusive and pleasant experience for everyone.
Position Yourself to Be Heard and Seen
It is important that you are in the best
position to be heard, as well as seen, by a person with hearing
loss. Face the person directly so that your face, especially your
mouth, is in plain sight. Do not obstruct your mouth with your
hands, or eat or drink, while trying to communicate.
If the person with hearing loss has a favorable ear, be sure to sit
on that side of them. When initiating conversation, be sure you
have their attention so that you are both focused on the conversation
and no words are lost or misunderstood. It is difficult for anyone to
jump into a conversation or respond to questions when they have not
heard what was spoken or asked of them.
Consider the lighting or other distractions as well, and avoid
interferences from obscuring the vision of the person with hearing
in a clear, concise manner without shouting and overemphasizing.
It is a common mistake for people to speak excessively slowly or
loudly to a person with hearing loss, which can lead to unnecessary
hurt feelings and embarrassment. In fact, exaggerated speech may even
make it more difficult for the person to hear what you are saying, as
words can sound distorted.
If the person is having trouble understanding what you are saying,
try rephrasing your words rather than repeating them. Sometimes saying
something in a different way can be less complicated and make it
easier for the him or her to understand you.
Consider the fact that we don’t just communicate with our words, we
also use facial expressions and gestures, so be sure to use these
visual cues when speaking with someone with hearing loss.
Reduce Background Noise
Background noise can be very distracting as well. The noise of the
television, radio or multiple conversations taking place around you
can obscure the words you are saying. Turn off background noise and
relocate to a quieter area to have the best possible conversation.
In addition to hearing loss, people with hearing impairments can also
to loud noises. Be mindful of this when considering background
Encourage Seniors to Wear Their Devices
Seniors have lots of legitimate reasons for not
wearing their hearing aids or other hearing devices. Often, the
cause comes down to simple discomfort. Help ensure that the senior is
wearing the hearing aid properly, the volume level is adequate and
that it fits properly. If they complain about any of these issues
you should get them in touch with their doctor or audiologist so that
modifications can be made, or their hearing can be checked to identify
any additional loss or problems.
Introduce the Concept of Perceptive Listening
What is perceptive listening? It’s using perception, context, visual
cues and pieces of the conversation the person has heard to
figure out what has been said. Encouraging the senior in your life to
use perceptive listening (which is a skill that, like any other,
should be practiced), will help them to regain some independence when
it comes to communicating with family, as well as with people outside
Show Patience and Understanding
Most importantly, when communicating with someone who is experiencing
hearing loss, be patient and understanding. Hearing loss can have a profound
effect on a person’s life and can cause frustration, social
withdrawal and depression. It is important to include people with
hearing loss in conversation, and make your best effort to accommodate
their needs. Doing this will ensure that family gatherings are a
fun-filled experience for everyone!
8/13 policy sample review
carriers are decreasing the conversion period and the number of
products to convert to.
passive and quantitative investors now account
for about 60 per cent of the US equity asset management industry, up
from under 30 per cent a decade ago. This is changing market
flows in potentially unpredictable ways that investors and regulators
do not entirely understand, and spawning some esoteric products. This
year, for example, investors have rushed into an obscure “Inverse Vix”
ETF that benefits from low volatility. This ETF is now the world’s
34th most actively traded equity security, exchanging hands more
often than the stock of Chevron or Pfizer, and has returned almost 100
per cent this year. It appears to have distorted measures of
volatility this year, creating an impression of calm
Newest Miracle Cure
interesting article from NYTimes. This cure may have legs to cover
many different types into full remission
8/13: And we are going to have a balanced budget WHEN????
The US Army is
reportedly $7 billion to $9 billion short of the money it needs to
start modernizing the force
is very low UK GDP
Economic growth in the UK appears to be losing a
little momentum, weighed down by a sluggish performance in the
services sector, according to estimates from the National Institute of
Economic and Social Research.The think-tank said on Thursday that
gross domestic product in the UK grew by 0.2 per cent in the three
months to July, after notching up 0.3 per cent of growth in the second
quarter. Niesr said the UK economy “continues to grow below its long
run trend of 0.6 per cent”.
expects GDP to expand by 1.7 per cent
EFM I know that the U.S. has an extremely low unemployment rate
but I will be interested to see a full year GDP. Of course, North
Korea is a wild card to anything. Actually, NK should never have
happened like this. Clinton, Bush and Obama let it spiral out of
An insurance agent stalking a client
Lucky to Be True - Fairness Views Under the Shadow of
CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6563
STEFANIA BORTOLOTTI, University
of Cologne - Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences,
University of Bologna - Department of Economics
IVAN SORAPERRA, Max Planck Society for the
Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Economics
MATTHIAS SUTTER, Max Planck Society for the
Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on
Collective Goods, University of Cologne - Department of Economics
CLAUDIA ZOLLER, University of Cologne
increase in inequality over the past decades has revived a lively
debate about what can be considered a fair distribution of income.
Public support for the extent of redistribution typically depends on
the perceived causes of income inequality, such as differences in
effort, luck, or opportunities. We study how fairness views and the
extent of redistribution are affected by a hitherto overlooked, but
relevant factor: immoral self-serving behavior that can lead to
increased inequality. We focus on situations in which the rich have
potentially acquired their fortunes by means of cheating. In an
experiment, we let third parties redistribute resources between two
stakeholders who could earn money either by choosing a safe amount
or by engaging in a risky, but potentially more profitable,
investment. In one treatment, the outcome of the risky investment is
determined by a random move, while in another treatment stakeholders
can cheat to obtain the more profitable outcome. Although third
parties cannot verify cheating, we find that the mere suspicion of
cheating changes fairness views of third parties considerably and
leads to a strong polarization. When cheating opportunities are
present, the share of subjects redistributing money from rich to
poor stakeholders triples and becomes as large as the fraction of
libertarians - i.e., participants who never redistribute. Without
cheating opportunities, libertarian fairness views dominate, while
egalitarian views are much less prevalent. These results indicate
that fairness views and attitudes towards redistribution change
significantly when people believe that income inequality is the
result of cheating by the rich.
8/11: Mental health and races
a study of correlations reveals about diversification
8/11: From one of my readers
I have been following your "Gripes" page for
several years. I think I came across it during an Internet search
about how fees impact investment results. During the time when you
still had a page with all sorts of links.
Let me just say that I have learned a lot,
and check your page regularly, notwithstanding your sometimes
off-color jokes (eyeroll). While I am far from being an expert, thanks
to your page and other sources, I believe that by now I have a decent
financial knowledge that helps me to actively plan ahead in accordance
with my risk tolerance.
Since I am currently in the throws of a
comprehensive pre-retirement financial review, including a rebalancing
of my investments, just today your link to the Vanguard index fund
comparison is very useful.
I have also referred several friends and
colleagues to your writings about how to care for loved ones with
Alzheimers, dementia etc.
So, thank you for compiling all this helpful
information and I hope you will continue to do so.
"It is easier to stay out than get
8/11: Womens pay state by state
world's 10 most volatile currencies
South Korean Won
8/10: REtirement in various countries
Must be throwing spit balls
Vanguard has a “one stop” offering for investors wishing to simplify
their exposure to the U.S. equity market, namely the Vanguard Total
Stock Market Index fund (VTSMX).
VTSMX purportedly attempts to represent the performance of U.S.
large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap stocks. But, it doesn’t. Rather, it
primarily replicates the performance of Vanguard 500 Index.
8/9. Employees dying earlier Bloomberg
In 2015, the American death rate—the age-adjusted share of Americans
dying—rose slightly for the first time since 1999.
And over the
last two years, at least 12 large companies, from Verizon to General
Motors, have said recent slips in mortality improvement have led them to
reduce their estimates for how much they could owe retirees by upward of
a combined $9.7 billion, according to a Bloomberg analysis of company
filings. “Revised assumptions indicating a shortened longevity,” for
instance, led Lockheed Martin to adjust its estimated retirement
obligations downward by a total of about $1.6 billion for 2015 and 2016,
it said in its most recent annual report.
As regards social security- The most recent data available “show
continued mortality reductions that are generally smaller than those
projected,” according to a July report from the program’s chief actuary.
Longevity gains fell short of what was projected in last year’s report,
leading to a slight improvement in the program’s financial outlook
Death rates for Americans over the age of 50 have improved, on
average, by 1 percent each year since 1950, according to an by the
Society of Actuaries, though there’s a lot of variation in any given
year. From 2000 to 2009, that long-term trend seemed to be
accelerating, with annual improvements of 1.5 to 2 percent—but then
those gains stalled. From 2010 to 2014, death rates were only
improving by about half a percent per year.
In 1970, a 65-year-old American could to live another 15.2 years on
average, until just past their 80th birthday. By 2010, a 65-year-old
could expect to live to 84.
But the increases have slowed down since then. Life expectancy at 65
rose by just about four months between 2010 and 2015—half the
improvement recorded between 2005 and 2010.
The broader trend isn’t unique to the U.S. A July from the Institute
and Faculty of Actuaries in the United Kingdom found that the U.S.,
Canada, and Britain have all experienced similarly slowing gains since
2011. That report suggested the combination of the recession and cuts
to social safety-net programs may have played a role. “These signs
should be taken as warnings that worsened health care, behaviour and
environment can reverse decades of success in health and longevity,”
A small difference in global temperatures can make a big difference in
the climate: The difference between a rise in global temperatures of 1.5
degrees Celsius and one of 2 degrees Celsius, for example, could mean
longer heat waves, more intense rainstorms and the faster disintegration
of coral reefs
the draft report finds it “extremely likely” that more than half of the
global mean temperature increase since 1951 can be linked to human
The average annual temperature in the United States will continue to
rise, the authors write, making recent record-setting years “relatively
common” in the near future. It projects increases of 5.0 to 7.5 degrees
Fahrenheit (2.8 to 4.8 degrees Celsius) by the late century, depending
on the level of future emissions.
It says the average annual rainfall across the
country has increased by about 4 percent since the beginning of the
20th century. Parts of the West, Southwest and Southeast are drying
up, while the Southern Plains and the Midwest are getting wetter.
“It is very likely that the accelerated rate of Arctic warming will have
a significant consequence for the United States due to accelerating land
and sea ice melting that is driving changes in the ocean including sea
level rise threatening our coastal communities,” the report says.
activity, the report goes on to say, is a primary culprit
Difference in 20 year allocations
At year-end 2015, 401(k) plan participants in their 20s held 80% of
their aggregate assets in equities, compared to 77% for their 1996
counterparts. In 1996, savers in their 20s allocated 55% of their
aggregate assets to equity funds, but the year-end 2015 data shows the
level dropping to 28% of assets invested in equity funds for that same
age group. In addition, the share of assets that 401(k) participants in
their 20s allocated to company stock fell from 17% in 1996 to 5% at
year-end 2015, the report shows.
Balanced Funds and TDFs
So what gives? “One factor influencing this trend is that today’s
younger investors are relying more on the automatic rebalancing
feature of target-date funds to keep their assets allocated in
an age-appropriate way as they progress through their careers,”
EFM- REbalancing in this market to bonds is a fool's game. Yields are
horrid and the FED is raising rates. So is all the education and
marketing of TDFs wrong??
YEP- not all obviously, but the risk scenario is way off base.
....these trends also are similar among all age groups in the
database. Overall for the period 1996 to 2015, allocations to company
stock decreased from 19% to 7%, allocations to equity funds decreased
from 53% to 43%, and balanced funds increased from 7% of assets to
Further noting the increasing popularity of TDFs, the EBRI/ICI 401(k)
database shows that investments in TDFs increased in 2015 to 20% of
assets, up from 5% at year-end 2006, and nearly half of the 401(k)
participants tracked in the database held these funds.
In addition, recently hired participants allocated a larger portion
of their balances to them. At year-end 2015, 60% of recently hired
participants held TDFs and accounted for more than one-third of their
country for old men:
(Look at all the statistics you want. Then check the bold print. If that
is true, there will be no retirement anywhere close to what they
The Blackstone Group conducted an internet-based survey in October of a
nationwide sample of 1,000 Americans age 52 to 70 with an annual
household income of between $30,000 and $100,000. The survey included
questions about middle-income boomers’ feelings at three points in time:
in 2006 (before the financial crisis), during the financial crisis and
Only 51% of respondents felt the economy had recovered somewhat from
the financial crisis, and 2% said it had fully recovered. The
remaining 47% did not believe the economy had recovered at all.
Two-thirds of boomers said they had not personally benefited from any
economic recovery since 2007. Of these, 52% reported that their savings
were lower today than before the financial crisis.
A Fraught Retirement
The CSR noted in a statement that before the crash, middle-income
boomers were already contending with a “new retirement” stemming
from changes to their retirement programs, as employers shifted
away from defined benefit plans such as pensions to defined
contribution plans, primarily 401(k) plans.
Today, middle-income boomers’ outlook for a secure retirement is
full of uncertainty, according to the survey.
Only 31% felt well prepared or very well prepared for retirement,
down from 41% before the financial crisis. Confidence that
retirement would be personally satisfying was also down, to 37%
from 44% before the crisis.
A recent report
showed that boomers had many goals still unmet for a comfortable
The CSR survey found that 57% of boomers felt confident in
meeting daily financial obligations, compared with 65% before the
Still, respondents’ confidence in their ability to make smart
investments decisions were near pre-crisis levels, 47% today
The survey found that middle-income boomers were adapting their
expectations to meet the realities of this new retirement.
Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they were worried about
another financial crisis in their lifetime.
More than eight in 10 reported taking actions to manage their
spending behavior since the start of the 2007 crisis, such as
reducing their discretionary expenses and recurring monthly
expenses or creating and maintaining a household budget.
Twenty-eight percent said they had built up an emergency fund,
and 17% were saving a larger percentage of their paycheck than
before the crisis.
A recent report examined how
prepared Americans are for retirement.
Three-quarters of boomers in the CSR study reported that they had
changed their investment behavior as a result of the financial
crisis, most often taking defensive measures: 28% were making more
conservative investment choices and 18% were regularly reviewing
and adjusting investments.
One in four said they no longer invested at all.
Just about all of middle-income boomers said they still planned
to retire, but retirement will look different that before the
crisis in terms of income, work and debt.
Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they expected to rely on
Social Security for their primary source of retirement income,
compared with 30% before the crisis, while 19% both before the
crisis and today cited an employer pension.
Before the crisis, about a third of middle-income boomers
expected to work full time or part time in retirement. Today,
nearly half said they expected to work at least part time.
Only 34% of boomers said they would retire free of debt, down
from 45% before the crisis.
Ten years ago, 23% expected to have savings to pass along to
heirs, while today only 16% said they would leave an inheritance.
8/8: Math ability men and women
you take prescriptions?? Do your parents?????
Fidelity’s analysis found of the 21% not deferring enough to get the
full match, roughly half are only one to two percentage points awa
8/7: This is about Venezuela but it reflects a consist4ency of fraud,
corruption et al in most of South America. I had tried to give Mexico a
break years ago but that blew up too. South America has vast lands,
people who will work and we keep ending up with this type of crap.
Mounting crisis in Venezuela. This week, after an election that
was widely denounced as fraudulent, the United States labeled
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro a dictator and issued new
sanctions against him. In a new video primer, watch Dany Bahar,
Samantha Gross, and Ted Piccone discuss the current situation, what
Maduro is likely to do next, and how the international community can
EFM- I have given up for SA in terms of investing. I don't know if it
will EVER get its act together. Find some place else to invest
8/7:This guy is brilliant. You don't always have to accept his
position but you sure better know about it.
Roubini : A Dim
Outlook for Trumponomics
NEW YORK – Now
that US President Donald Trump has been in office for six months, we
can more confidently assess the prospects for the US economy and
economic policymaking under his administration. And, like Trump’s
presidency more generally, paradoxes abound.
The main puzzle
is the disconnect between the performance of financial markets and
the real. While stock markets continue to reach new highs, the US
economy grew at an average rate of just 2% in the first half of
2017 – slower growth than under President Barack Obama – and
is not expected to perform much better for the rest of the year.
investors continue to hold out hope that Trump can push through
policies to stimulate growth and increase corporate profits.
Moreover, sluggish wage growth implies that inflation is not
reaching the US Federal Reserve’s target rate, which means
that the Fed will have to normalize interest rates more slowly than
interest rates and a weaker dollar are good news for US stock
markets, and Trump’s pro-business agenda is still good for
individual stocks in principle, even if the air has been let out of
the so-called Trump reflation trade. And there is now less reason to
worry that a massive fiscal-stimulus program will push up the dollar
and force the Fed to raise rates. In view of the Trump
administration’s political ineffectiveness, it is safe to assume
that if there is any stimulus at all, it will be smaller than
matters: Relevance and assessment of personality
characteristics shape human behaviour and influence a wide
range of life events and outcomes. They do so not only
through their direct effects on life outcomes, but also
through their indirect effects on other important personal
factors and intermediate life events, such as the
development of cognitive capacities, the attainment of
educational qualifications and the formation of a family. As
such, personality characteristics have a demonstrable
relevance for a wide range of policy issues and represent an
important, although often neglected, subject of policy
interest. This paper reviews the scientific literature
covering a wide range of personality characteristics,
discussing their conceptualisations and main features, their
relevance for important outcomes in life and work, and the
chief ways they are measured. It aims to provide a
comprehensive overview of various attributes of personality
from the perspective of their potential importance for the
Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), taking into account their
analytical potential and policy relevance. The paper also
outlines and evaluates the most important measurement
instruments for each personality characteristic, with a
focus on short self-report scales as the most appropriate
form for inclusion in large-scale international surveys.
Finally, it presents some considerations related to the
evaluation and promotion of personality characteristics and
introduces the substantive and measurement criteria that
could be used to select the personality attributes, and
related measurement scales, to include in large-scale
8/7: And just another mess you got me into Ollie.
By Nick Thornton
multiemployer program that insures collectively bargained defined
benefit pensions of about 10.5 million participants is "in serious
EFM This has been going on for years.
However see above a retirees are dying earlier
to Start the Conversation About Dementia-some good stuff
I have had a couple children who simply refused to recognize their
mother had dementia. Tough to work around denial. And since the mother
was incompetent, they really needed to try and get a release from her
when she might be competent (usually the morning, witnesses needed) or
try for a conservatorship.
8/7:Absolutely necessary.The return to a hospital is not only costly but
impacts the elderly's health severely
Under Trump, Hospitals Face Same Penalties Embraced by
"Amid all the turbulence over the future of the [ACA], one facet
continues unchanged: President Donald Trump's administration is penalizing
more than half the nation's hospitals for having too many patients
return within a month. Medicare is punishing 2,573 hospitals,
just two dozen short of what it did last year under former President
Barack Obama ... Starting in October, the federal government will cut
those hospitals' payments by as much as 3 percent for a year."
idea- gps and Alzheimers.
They review 10 GPS systems
A behavior that commonly affects those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s
disease and dementia, wandering can lead to death or serious injury.
Disorientation caused by the disease makes even familiar
surroundings seem unfamiliar to seniors, causing many people with
dementia to get into dangerous situations.
Fortunately, elderly GPS
tracking devices and technology have introduced a new way for
caregivers and families to
prevent the dangers of wandering in senior loved ones. R
8/3: Iraq's weather service warned on Thursday that temperatures will
increase next week in most parts of the country, with the highs expected
to reach 51 degrees Celsius, or about 124 degrees Fahrenheit
EFM- a few more degrees and it makes life unsustainable for humans
5 Worst States for Diabetes
According to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 12.6% of U.S. adults age 20 and
older have diabetes, and about one-quarter of the members
of that group are unaware they have the condition. The numbers are
much worse for older Americans. The American Diabetes Association
(ADA) estimates that almost 26% of those age 65 and older are
there are some steps all people with diabetes can take to can improve
their offers of coverage, including:
- Stop smoking. Being tobacco-free for at least a year
lets people with diabetes qualify for non-tobacco user ratings.
- Use diabetes technology. Certain insurance companies
may offer a healthy lifestyle credit if applicants use technologies
like insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems.
- Diet and exercise. Applicants with good overall
health as a result of healthy diet and regular exercise receive more
favorable coverage offers.
- Work on controlling your diabetes. If applicants
aren't seeing doctors at least annually, insurers might view that as
neglecting diabetes management. This could lead to a more expensive
coverage offer or postponement of an offer.
8/3:I'll drink to that
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center
for Health Statistics recently released its findings on alcohol use in
the United States.
The States With the Highest Reported Heavy Drinking Rates
1. Alaska: 8.6%
2. Wisconsin: 8.2%
3. Maine: 8.1%
4. Vermont: 7.7%
5. Montana: 7.7%
8/3:Greenspan: No Bubble in Stocks, but Look
Out When Bonds Pop
Equity bears hunting for excess in the stock market might be better
off worrying about bond prices, Alan Greenspan says.
EFM- The bond debacle has been on my plate for a couple years as
interest rates were supposed to rise precipitously. Taking a lot
longer but another rise by the FED could make the market tumble.
We’ve made almost no progress reducing chronic absenteeism. In
the latest blog post from Evidence Speaks, Brian Jacob and Kelly
Lovett find that despite local and state efforts over the last 20
years, chronic school absenteeism remains an ever-present issue in
U.S. schools. Jacob and Lovett outline the causes, consequences, and
possible solutions to the problem.
EFM- Those that do not get a high school diploma are relegated to low
income tedious work. And they will lose those to simple robots. Then
you have a bunch of kids with nothing to do but join gangs and
Blah, blah, blah
Researches at Facebook shut down an artificial intelligence (AI)
program after it created its own language.
The researchers’ encounter with the mysterious AI behavior is
similar to a
number of cases documented elsewhere
. In every case, the AI
diverged from its training in English to develop a new language.
The phrases in the new language make no sense to people, but contain
useful meaning when interpreted by AI bots.
Per Elon Musk- “AI is the rare case where I think we need to be
proactive in regulation instead of reactive,“Because I think by
the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it’ll be too late.”
EFM- Is it already too late??? Think of those high frequency stock
programs. The AI's of competitors have probably been doing it
142 Americans dying every day,’ ‘America is enduring a death
toll equal to September 11th every three weeks.’ A commission, led by
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, states that the goals of such a
declaration would be to ‘force Congress to focus on funding’ and to
‘awaken every American to this simple fact: if this scourge has not
found you or your family yet, without bold action by everyone, it soon
report also includes a number of recommendations to deal with the
ballooning opioid epidemic, such as expanding
capacity for drug treatment under Medicaid, increasing use of
medication-assisted treatments for opioid disorders, and mandating
that local law enforcement officers carry naloxone.
Local Pension Plan Funding Sputters in FY 2016”
Jean-Pierre Aubry, Caroline V. Crawford, and Alicia H. Munnell
brief’s key findings
- In 2016, the funded
ratio of state and local pensions declined under both old and
new accounting rules.
- This decline reflected
steady growth in liabilities and slow growth in assets due to
poor stock performance.
- More recently, the
revival of the stock market is helping plan assets recover, with
funded ratios expected to improve in 2017.
- But, looking further
ahead, funding ratios are projected to remain essentially flat
due largely to the current approach of calculating required
- Thus, to achieve more meaningful progress,
plans need to establish contribution levels that will actually
reduce unfunded liabilities.
A World Health Organization
study of 1,600 cities ranks the national capital Delhi as the most
polluted. Air pollution
was 40 times more than
permissible safety limits prescribed by the WHO and 15 times greater
than Indian standards.
8/1: Americans’ Personal Financial Satisfaction Hits 10-Year High
EFM- I do not see this same optimism. Russia and particularly North
Korea have put us in a box. The Russia mess may calm down but an
aggressive North Korea won't really be interested in a
negotiated settlement to nuclear arms unless the U.S.gives away
the store. No matter the settlement, NK will dislodge itself
soon after and create another larger problem. They have broken all their
promises before and I see no reason why it will not continue.
Gini-type measures of risk and variability
Things You Should Know About ALS- worth reading
It's what killed Sam Shepard. Roughly 35,000 Americans suffer from ALS.
That's just 1 or 2 people per 100,000,
If you are wondering about Stephen Hawking, he has the slow type ALS.
Shepard had the fast one
Brexit will push up costs for banks by as much as
4 per cent and their capital requirements will rise up to 30 per
cent, according to the most detailed assessment yet of what
Britain’s departure from the EU means for the sector.
findings by consultants Oliver Wyman will make grim reading for its
bank clients, many of which are struggling with low profitability.
They come a day after HSBC became the first lender to put a
price tag on Brexit, saying the immediate disruption would cost it
EFM I am still trying to figure out the ultimate impact of Brexit
but this is pretty bad
Then again we have Russia, North Korea as major danger points. At least
someone told Scaamucci to piss off. 10 days was too long.
Trump has some decent staff on hand. But Trump needs to be toned down.
If Kelly can calm him down- great. If not and Kelly resigns, kiss off
this presidency. .
Top-Rated 529 College Savings Plans:
Plan (Advisor-sold) plan. Their direct-sold affiliates also made the
the World Health Organization announced that more than 300 million people suffer from depression
and that it's the leading cause of disability worldwide
EFM= I knew that it impacted a huge number of people but not that it was
the leading cause of disability. For those in the financial planning
arena, if you recognize an inconsistency with you client, be careful.
They do not necessarily understand what is really going on. The agent
has to be careful in explaining everything in detail and taking copious
notes. Do not expect such clients are acting rationality.
in Hard Work and Altruism: Evidence from a Randomized Field
Sule Alan (University of
Essex) ; Seda Ertac (Koc
show that optimistic beliefs regarding the role of effort in
success, while leading to success, diminish the individual’s
sympathy toward the unsuccessful. We generate random
variation in the degree of optimism about the productivity
of effort via an effective educational intervention. We find
that treated children, holding significantly more optimistic
beliefs, are no less likely than control to give to unlucky
recipients, but significantly less likely to give to those
who failed at a real effort task despite an opportunity to
build skill. The results highlight possible unintended
social effects of effort-focused optimism and have
implications for political economy.
prosocial behavior, altruism, beliefs, fairness, field
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