for Asset Allocation- Increase Returns, Reduce Risk
is my latest article for Linkedin
LINK FIXED. TRY AGAIN- IT'S WORTH THE EFFORT)
calls- see how bad they are in your area code.
found through data analysis that the number of robocalls
increased 50 percent from February to July of 2018 and
remains the top consumer
complaint to the Federal Communications Commission.
Americans received 13
robocalls, on average, in September. And in one state,
services provide a “neighbor spoofing” function, which makes
automated calls appear to be coming from the recipient's area
is very easy,. “You can do that in a day.”
Do Not Call Registry
will stop legitimate callers but not the worst offenders
of elderly driving
a car is a symbol of independence and competence and is
closely tied to an individual’s identity. It also represents
freedom and control and allows older adults to gain easy
access to social connections, health care, shopping,
activities and even employment. At some point, however, it is
predictable that driving skills will deteriorate and
individuals will lose the ability to safely operate a vehicle.
Even though age alone does not determine when a person needs
to stop driving, the decision must be balanced with personal
and public safety. Driving beyond one’s ability brings an
increased safety risk or even life-threatening situations to
all members of society. Statistics show that older drivers are
more likely than others to receive traffic citations for
failing to yield, making improper left turns, and running red
lights or stop signs, which are all indications of a decrease
in driving skills. Understandably, dealing with impaired older
drivers is a delicate issue.
road to driving cessation is anything but smooth. Each year,
hundreds of thousands of older drivers across the country must
face the end of their driving years and become transportation
dependent. Unfortunately, finding other means of
transportation has not noticeably improved in recent years,
leading to a reluctance among older drivers to give up driving
privileges and of families to remove the car keys. The primary
issue facing older drivers is how to adapt to changes in
driving performance while maintaining necessary mobility.
Despite being a complicated issue, this process can be more
successful when there is a partnership between the physician,
older driver, family or caregiver.
headlines like these have ignited national media debates and
triggered the pressing need for more testing and evaluation of
elderly drivers, especially with the swell of the Baby Boomer
generation: “Family of four killed by an 80-year-old man
driving the wrong way on Highway 169. 86-year-old driver
killed 10 people when his vehicle plowed through a farmers’
market in southern California. 93-year-old man crashed his car
into a Wal-Mart store, sending six people to the hospital and
injuring a 1-year-old child.”
to the Hartford Insurance Corporation, statistics of older
drivers show that after age 75, there is a higher risk of
being involved in a collision for every mile driven. The rate
of risk is nearly equal to the risk of younger drivers ages 16
to 24. The rate of fatalities increases slightly after age 65
and significantly after age 75. Although older persons with
health issues can be satisfactory drivers, they have a higher
likelihood of injury or death in an accident.
an older adult’s sense of independence vs. driving risk equals
a very sensitive and emotionally charged topic. Older adults
may agree with the decline of their driving ability, yet feel
a sense of loss, blame others, attempt to minimize and
justify, and ultimately may feel depressed at the thought of
giving up driving privileges. Driving is an earned privilege
and in order to continue to drive safely, guidelines and
regulations must be in place to evaluate and support older
and Driving Cessation
disease and driving safety is of particular concern to
society. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of
dementia in later life and is a progressive and degenerative
brain disease. In the process of driving, different regions of
the brain cooperate to receive sensory information through
vision and hearing, and a series of decisions are made
instantly to successfully navigate. The progression of AD can
be unpredictable and affect judgment, reasoning, reaction time
and problem-solving. For those diagnosed with Alzheimer's
disease, it is not a matter of if retirement from driving will
be necessary, but when. Is it any wonder that driving safety
is compromised when changes are occurring in the brain? Where
dementia is concerned, driving retirement is an inevitable
endpoint for which active communication and planning among
drivers, family, and health professionals are essential.
statistics from the Alzheimer’s Association indicate that 5.3
million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and this
number is expected to rise to 11-16 million by the year 2050.
Many people in the very early stages of Alzheimer’s can
continue to drive; however, they are at an increased risk and
driving skills will predictably worsen over time. The
Alzheimer’s Association’s position on driving and dementia
supports a state licensing procedure that allows for added
reporting by key individuals coupled with a fair,
knowledgeable, medical review process.
the assessment of driving fitness in aging individuals, and
especially those with dementia, is not clear cut and remains
an emerging and evolving field today.
Role in Driving Cessation
most older drivers are safe, this population is more prone to
vehicle accidents due to decreased senses, chronic illness and
medication-related issues. The three primary functions that
are necessary for driving and need to be evaluated are:
vision, perception, and motor function. As the number of older
drivers rises, patients and their families will increasingly
turn to the physicians for guidance on safe driving. This
partnership seems to be a key to more effective
decision-making and the opinions of doctors vs. family are
often valued by older drivers. Physicians are in a forefront
position to address physical, sensory and cognitive changes in
their aging patients. They can also help patients maintain
mobility through proper counseling and referrals to driver
evaluation programs. This referral may avoid unnecessary
conflict when the doctor, family members or caregivers, and
older drivers have differing opinions. (It should be noted
that driver evaluation programs are usually not covered by
insurance and may require an out-of-pocket cost.)
all doctors agree that they are the best source for making
final decisions about driving. Physicians may not be able to
detect driving problems based on office visits and physical
examinations alone. Family members should work with doctors
and share observations about driving behavior and health
issues to help older adults limit their driving or stop
driving altogether. Ultimately, counseling for driving
retirement and identifying alternative methods of
transportation should be discussed early on in the care
process, prior to a crisis. Each state has an Area Agency on
Aging program that can be contacted for information, and
referrals can be made to a social worker or community agency
that provides transportation services.
do exist to help physicians assess older adults with memory
impairments, weigh the legal and ethical responsibilities,
broach the topic of driving retirement and move toward
workable plans. The Hartford Insurance Corporation, for
example, offers two free publications that make excellent
patient handouts: At
the Crossroads: A Guide to Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia and Driving
and We Need to Talk: Family Conversations with Older
resources reveal warning signs and offer practical tips, sound
advice, communication starters, and planning forms. Other
resources can be found through the Alzheimer's Association.
Physicians can also refer to the laws and reporting
requirements for unsafe drivers in their state and work
proactively with patients and their families or caregivers to
achieve driving retirement before serious problems occur.
Ultimately, assessing and counseling patients about their
fitness to drive should be part of the medical practice for
all patients as they age and face health changes.
Role in Driving Cessation
will you know when it is time to stop driving?” was a question
posed to older adults in a research study. Responses included
“When the stress level from my driving gets high enough, I’ll
probably throw my keys away” and “When you scare the living
daylights out of yourself, that’s when it’s time to stop.”
These responses are clues to a lack of insight and regard for
the social responsibility of holding a driver’s license and
the critical need for education, evaluation and planning.
one can no longer drive can lead to social isolation and a
loss of personal or spousal independence, self-sufficiency,
and even employment. In general, older drivers want to decide
for themselves when to quit, a decision that often stems from
the progression of medical conditions that affect vision,
physical abilities, perceptions and, consequently, driving
skills. There are many things that an older adult can do to be
a safe driver and to participate in his or her own driving
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that
regularly to increase strength and flexibility.
driving only to daytime, low traffic, short radius, clear
the safest route before driving and find well-lit streets,
intersections with left turn arrows, and easy parking.
the doctor or pharmacist to review medicines—both
prescription and over-the counter—to reduce side effects and
eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year. Wear
glasses and corrective lenses as required.
and consider alternative sources and costs for
transportation and volunteer to be a passenger
or Caregiver’s Role in Driving Cessation
it may seem cruel to take an older person's driving privilege
away; however, genuine concern for older drivers means much
more than simply crossing fingers in hopes that they will be
safe behind the wheel. Families need to be vigilant about
observing the driving behavior of older family members. One
key question to be answered that gives rise to driving
concerns is “Would you feel safe riding along with your older
parent driving or having your child ride along with your
parent?” If the answer is “no,” then the issue needs to be
addressed openly and in a spirit of love and support. Taking
an elder’s driving privileges away is not an easy decision and
may need to be done in gradual steps. Offering rides,
enlisting a volunteer driver program, experiencing public
transportation together, encouraging vehicle storage during
winter months, utilizing driver evaluation programs and other
creative options, short of removing the keys, can be possible
solutions during this time of transition.
safety should be discussed long before driving becomes a
problem. According to the Hartford Insurance survey, car
accidents, near misses, dents in the vehicle and health
changes all provide the chance to talk about driving skills.
Early, occasional and honest conversations establish a pattern
of open dialogue and can reinforce driving safety issues.
Appealing to the love of children or grandchildren can instill
the thought that their inability to drive safely could lead to
the loss of an innocent life. Family members or caregivers can
also form a united front with doctors and friends to help
older drivers make the best driving decisions. If evaluations
and suggestions have been made and no amount of rational
discussion has convinced the senior to cease driving, then an
anonymous report can be made to the Department of Motor
Vehicles in each state.
to the Alzheimer’s Association, strategies that may lead to
driving cessation when less drastic measures fail include:
meetings to discuss issues and concerns
or removing the car
down the keys
an “Expired” sticker over the driver’s license
the vehicle registration
the older driver from renewing his or her driver's license
with the driver’s doctor to write a prescription not to
drive, or to schedule a formal driving assessment
it is suggested that family members learn about the warning
signs of driving problems, assess independence vs. the public
safety, observe the older driver behind the wheel or ride
along, discuss concerns with a physician, and explore
alternative transportation options. Solutions There
are a multitude of solutions and recommendations that can be
made in support of older drivers. Public education and
awareness is at the forefront. An educational program that
includes both classroom and on the road instruction can
improve knowledge and enhance driving skills.
AAA Foundation provides several safe driving Web sites with
tools for seniors and their loved ones to assess the ability
to continue driving safely. These include AAAseniors.com
and seniordrivers.org. They also sponsor a series of
Senior Driver Expos around the country where seniors and their
loved ones can learn about senior driving and mobility
challenges and have a hands-on opportunity to sample AAA's
suite of research-based senior driver resources. Information
on the Expos is available at aaaseniors.com/seniordriverexpo.
offers an excellent driver safety program that addresses
defensive driving and age-related changes, and provides tools
to help judge driving fitness. Expanding this program or even
requiring participation seems to be a viable entry point for
tackling the challenges of driving with the aging population.
is an educational program that helps older adults check how
well their personal vehicles "fit" them and if the safety
features are compatible with their physical characteristics.
This includes height of the car seat, mirrors, head
restraints, seat belts, and proper access to the pedals.
CarFit events are scheduled throughout the country and a team
of trained technicians and/or health professionals work with
each participant to ensure their cars are properly adjusted
for their comfort and safety.
of driving policies to extend periods of safe driving is
another solution. Older drivers nearing the end of their safe
driving years could ‘retire’ from driving gradually, rather
than ‘give up’ the driver’s license. An older adult can
be encouraged to relinquish the driver’s license and be issued
a photo identification card at the local driver’s bureau.
Alzheimer’s Association proposes several driving assessment
and evaluation options. Among them are a vision screening by
an optometrist, cognitive performance testing (CPT) by an
occupational therapist, motor function screening by a physical
or occupational therapist, and a behind the wheel assessment
by a driver rehabilitation specialist. Poor performances on
these types of tests have been correlated with poor driving
outcomes in older adults, especially those with dementia.
Requiring a driving test after a certain age to include both a
written test and a road test may be an option considered by
each state. Finally, continued input and guidance will
be necessary from AARP, state licensing programs,
transportation planners, and policymakers to meet the needs of
our aging driving population.
is appropriate to regard driving as an earned privilege and
independent skill that is subject to change in later life. In
general, having an attitude of constant adjustment until an
older individual has to face the actual moment of driving
cessation seems to be a positive approach. Without recognizing
the magnitude of this transition, improving the quality of
life in old age will be compromised. Keeping our nation’s
roads safe while supporting older drivers is a notable goal to
set now and for the future.
10/18: Standards of Conduct for Investment Professionals: Overlapping Protections
for Broker-Dealer Retirement Customers
Regulation BI and Form CRS (Client Relationship Summary), at
least structurally, are adopted by the SEC as proposed; and
... ERISA regulation reverts as expected to its
pre-June 9, 2017 state.... there would be four bodies
of nationally applicable regulation broadly imposing
standards of conduct on [broker-dealers] in the retirement
space:  The federal securities law administered
by the SEC;  The rules of the Financial Industry
Regulatory Authority (FINRA);  The prohibited
transaction excise tax provision of the Internal Revenue
Code (IRC); and  The fiduciary standards and
prohibited transaction rules of ERISA enforced by the
10/18: Employees Decrease Retirement Savings and Financial Wellness Due to Health
of workers (47%) report having experienced an increase in
health care costs in the past year, about the same
percentage since 2015. Of those reporting cost increases,
24% state they have decreased their contributions to
retirement plans, and 41% have decreased their contributions
to other savings. Thirty percent have delayed retirement,
and 17% have taken a loan or withdrawal from a retirement
Myths about Millennials
Drive Toward Universal Health Coverage
health coverage is a social goal that enables everyone to
receive the quality health care they need, irrespective of
ability to pay, without suffering financial hardship in the
process. To move toward that goal, policy makers should
address three main considerations: the population to be
covered, the health services to be provided, and the
financing mechanism to be used. Successful cases show that
to achieve universal health coverage, a change of
perspective is essential, from seeing health care benefits
as a contingent good to considering them as an essential
public service. While expanding the demand for health care
is necessary, improving the quantity and quality of the
supply of health services is essential. Getting diverse
stakeholders to cooperate, making cost-efficient and
people-centered choices, and ensuring fiscal sustainability
are needed to expand health coverage for everyone who needs
than Schooling: Understanding Gender Differences in
the Labor Market When Measures of Skill are Available"
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8588
DILENI GUNEWARDENA, University
ELIZABETH M. KING, Brookings Institution
ALEXANDRIA VALERIO, World Bank
uses measures of cognitive and noncognitive skills in an
expanded definition of human capital to examine how
schooling and skills differ between men and women and how
those differences relate to gender gaps in earnings across
nine middle-income countries. The analysis finds that
post-secondary schooling and cognitive skills are more
important for women's earnings at the lower end and middle
of the earnings distribution, and that men and women have
positive returns to openness to new experiences and
risk-taking behavior and negative returns to hostile
attribution bias. Especially at the lower end of the
earnings distribution, women are disadvantaged not so much
by having lower human capital than men, but by
institutional factors such as wage structures that reward
women's human capital systematically less than men's.
Runs and Moral Hazard: A Review of Deposit Insurance"
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8589
DENIZ ANGINER, World
ASLI DEMIRGUC-KUNT, World Bank
is a widely adopted policy to promote financial stability in
the banking sector. Deposit insurance helps ensure
depositors' confidence in the financial system and prevents
contagious bank runs, but it also comes with an
unintended consequence of encouraging banks to take on
excessive risk. This paper reviews the economic costs
and benefits of deposit insurance and highlights the
importance of institutions and specific design features for
how well deposit insurance schemes work in practice.
Future of Work: Race With-Not Against-The Machine"
World Bank: Research & Policy Briefs Paper No. 129680
LAY LIAN CHUAH, World
Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)
NORMAN LOAYZA, World Bank - Research Department
ACHIM SCHMILLEN, Osteuropa-Institut (OEI), Government
of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for
Employment Research (IAB), University of Regensburg -
Department of Economics and Econometrics
revolution in digital and information technologies make us
obsolete? Will jobs be lost and never replaced? Will wages
drop to intolerable levels? History and economic
theory and evidence suggest that in the long term, such
fears are misplaced. However, in the short and medium term,
dislocation can be severe for certain types of work, places,
and populations. In the transition period, policies are
needed to facilitate labor market flexibility and
mobility, introduce and strengthen safety nets and social
protection, and improve education and training.
EFM-I do not believe the correct policies
will be written or followed. Humans will lose the race to
artificial intelligence. AI may lose it to environmental
decay. Winner is Mother Earth who will still be pissed that
she inherited a mess.
- Understanding how people spend as they age can help
financial advisors and their clients build better retirement
plans, craft more effective investment strategies and attain
more successful retirement outcomes.
- On average, spending is highest for households led by
45-year-olds; households led by older individuals spend
less. While this pattern holds for the majority of
households, spending patterns do vary.
- Research shows that most retirees fall into one of four
spending profiles: foodie, homebody,
globetrotter or health care spender.
- Financial advisors need to ask the right questions to
create accurate profiles of their clients and adjust their
retirement plans accordingly. Inquiring about housing,
desire to travel and concerns about health care expenses are
good places to start.
EFM- A formal budget needs to be done as the
first part of planning, When you figure out what you can do
with a reasonable budget, then you determine how much money
is available and determine the risk scenario after that.
Don't want to spend the time doing a budget? Take a hike! No
budget- then the plan is more highly suspect than ever.
of all mental illnesses begin by the age of 14 and
three-quarters by the mid-20s.
starts with an awareness of the signs
and symptoms of
today’s newsletter, we will take a quick look at some of the
critical figures and data in the energy markets this
We will then look at some of the key market movers early
this week before providing you with the latest analysis of
the top news events taking place in the global energy
complex over the past few days. We hope you enjoy.
- U.S. nuclear plant outages were relatively low throughout the
summer, but spiked last month. Nuclear plants tend to go
offline for maintenance, often during spring and winter
months and often to coincide with the refueling cycle, but
the 14.5 GW that went offline in September was larger and
earlier than usual.
- The temporary shutdown of a plant
related to Hurricane Florence magnified the
- The outages put more pressure on
natural gas to pick up the slack, and with natural gas
inventories already at their lowest levels since 2005
heading into winter, the nuclear outages helped tighten
the gas market and push up prices.
biggest problem with modernity may lie in the growing
separation of the ethical and the legal.
fiscal path is “unsustainable.”
says Bob the Squirrel? Nope- Jay Powell head to the FED
term, we’re not on a sustainable fiscal path, we haven’t been
for many years,” Powell said. With rising fiscal debt, some
economists have cautioned that the market could be susceptible
to a drop from future declines in demand. “There’s the
possibility of some supply side effects that we’ll see
emerge,” Powell acknowledged.
also said that we’ll have to wait and see whether new tariffs
drive inflation or simply increase price levels globally. It’s
too early to see the effects of trade policy changes in the
data, he said.
Powell concluded by reiterating his positive analysis of the
economy. “This is a good time to be working,” he said, “this
is the top of the cycle.”
10/16: Census 2017
Bureau data released Wednesday shows the median
household income increased in 2017 to $61,372 —
the third straight year of growth — while the
poverty rate dipped slightly to 12.3 percent,
relatively unchanged from 2016. But despite the
1.8 percent growth in the median household income
last year from 2016, it was not as impressive as
the growth seen in the previous two years.
new data also shows that the percentage of
Americans without health insurance coverage
remained at 8.8 percent, or about 28.5 million
people, which was relatively unchanged from
Insurance, and the Value of Life"
NBER Working Paper No. w25055
DANIEL BAUER, University
and apply a generalized framework for valuing health and
longevity improvements that departs from conventional
assumptions of full annuitization and deterministic mortality.
In contrast to conventional theory, we find a given
mortality improvement may be worth more, not less, to
patients facing shorter lives. Using real-world data, we
calculate that severe illness can increase the value of
statistical life by over $1 million. This result
reconciles an anomaly in the research on preferences for
life-extension. Moreover, our framework can value the
prevention of mortality and of illness. We calculate that
treating illness is up to an order of magnitude more valuable
to consumers than prevention, even when both extend life
equally. This asymmetry helps explain low observed investment
in preventive care. Finally, we show that retirement annuities
boost aggregate demand for life-extension. For instance,
Social Security adds $11.5 trillion (10.5 percent) to the
value of post-1940 longevity gains.
DARIUS LAKDAWALLA, University of Southern California
JULIAN REIF, University of Illinois at
The Impact of Life Events on Long-Term/Retirement Savings
NBER Working Paper No. w25056
NIKOLAI L. ROUSSANOV, University
of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School, National Bureau of
Economic Research (NBER)
distribution expenses are responsible for about a third of
the cost of active management in the mutual fund industry.
We develop and estimate a structural model of mutual fund
marketing with learning about unobserved skill and costly
investor search. Our estimates suggest that marketing is
nearly as important as performance and fees for determining
fund size. Eliminating marketing substantially improves
welfare, as capital shifts towards cheaper funds and
competition decreases fees. Average alpha increases as active
funds shrink, and capital allocation becomes more closely
aligned with manager skill net of fees. Declining investor
search costs over time imply a reduction in marketing expenses
and management fees as well as a shift towards passive
investing, as observed empirically.
HONGXUN RUAN, University of Pennsylvania - The
YANHAO WEI, University of Southern California -
Marshall School of Business
of the most dangerous places to live
Dangerous Places to Live
(ranked 68th overall). “I don't feel safe
and the economy is suffering a bad period," says an Italian
expat. "I would like to feel safer.”
Africa (67 overall). “Crime is rampant due
to the economic situation, so one has to take greater care
over personal security,” says a British
expat. “There is a political instability and
it has an impact on all aspects of life," says another
- Kenya (66
overall). “You can't just go
outside and go for a walk wherever or whenever you want,"
says a British expat. "You have to be more cautious.”
- Peru (65
overall). Malte Zeeck says,
“Almost one-third of expats in Peru (32%) rate their
personal safety negatively, whereas globally just nine
percent rate it negatively.”
- Turkey (64
overall). An Azerbaijani expat
says, “It is not safe to go out at dark time and difficult
to come back home after midnight, so that I usually have to
be back by 10 p.m. at the latest.”
- Argentina (63 overall).
A Brazilian expat points out the “huge inflation and huge
corruption. This country is getting worse every day. Every
day more expensive. Every day more insecure.”
- India (62 overall). A
Zambian expat says, “In India females in general are not
really safe. In some parts of India, it is not even safe for
ladies to walk or be alone.”
- Egypt (61 overall). Malte Zeeck
says, “Safety and politics play a significant role in the
country’s ranking. In fact, only 64 percent of the expat
feel safe in Egypt, which is 18 percent less than the global
Republic (60 overall). A U.S. expat
says, “There is a lack of security and the need for private
security at all times.”
- Colombia (59 overall). A
Georgian expat says, “There is insecurity. No personal
safety. Robberies are very common and I have to watch out
for my stuff all the time. Also, I am restricted to walking
outside to certain hours. You need to know the neighborhoods
- Philippines (58 overall).
A U.S. expat says, “The lack of security and the
unstable politics worry me.”
- Mexico (57 overall). A
German expat says, “There are real issues of insecurity due
to conflicts and government problems.” A U.S. expat
says, “I don't feel completely safe. I also feel as though I
stand out as a foreigner.”
- USA (56 overall). A
German expat says, “There is a higher degree of gun violence
and violence in general than in my home country.” Another
German expat says, “The undercurrent of violence and the
current administration are my main concerns.” A British
expat says, “I do not like the current political climate,
the lack of gun control and the prevalence of school
- Myanmar (55 overall). An
Australian expat says, “There are many issues that go
unresolved. The government is still very much corrupt,
disregarding the overall population’s safety and
- Indonesia (54 overall). A
Swedish expat says, “I don’t like the political development
in the country.”
which is among at least 20 Caribbean and Latin American
nations banning — or in discussions to ban — the
importation, manufacture and distribution of single-use
plastic bags, straws and Styrofoam.
world consumes each
year up to 5 trillion plastic bags made from a
petroleum-based product that takes 500 years to degrade.
A World Bank report
found that close to 420,000 tons of plastic waste
entered the Caribbean Sea in 2010, with that amount
expected to rise to 790,000 tons by 2025.
The climate is now a major talking point. But unless
followed up by citizens and politicians.................
put googly eyes on this statute. Great idea. Instead of
removing some 'offensive' statues, let's just add googly eyes
and save a lot of money. And have a heck of a laugh since it
is just plain funny
one-third of young Americans are now too overweight to
join up, a worrying statistic for military officials
already facing recruitment challenges.
is one of the top reasons why a stunning 71 percent of
Americans aged 17-24 do not meet the military's sign-up
the high percentage of American youth who are too overweight
to serve, recruiting challenges will continue unless measures
are taken to encourage a healthy lifestyle beginning at a
young age, (EFM- like that ain't gonna happen. What about
immigrants? Hardly any of those are fat. They are in
shape because they walked a long way to get to the border. )
factors such as prior drug use or a lack of academic
qualifications are also taking a toll.
billion people worldwide are believed to be overweight, and
more than one in 10 people are obese, fueling a global health
crisis that claims millions of lives every year.
the world's most populous countries, the United States leads
the way in terms of obesity among children and young adults,
at 13 percent.
cities where clients should fear a housing bubble the most
the third quarter of 2018, U.S. home prices hit their
lowest level of affordability since 2008. More than
three-quarters of the 440 counties analyzed in the survey
posted an affordability index below their historical
mortgage rates have pushed home prices to the least
affordable level we've seen in 10 years, both nationally
and at the local level,” . “Close to one-third of the U.S.
population now lives in counties where buying a
median-priced home requires at least $100,000 in annual
Boise City, Idaho
Santa Rosa, CA
Ft. Collins, CO
Dallas Ft. Worth, TX
San Jose, CA
San Francisco, CA
for 9 billion people? Not hardly
food system is a major driver of climate change, changes in
land use, depletion of freshwater resources, and pollution
of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems through excessive
nitrogen and phosphorus inputs. Here we show that between
2010 and 2050, as a result of expected changes in
population and income levels, the environmental effects of
the food system could increase by 50–90% in the absence of
technological changes and dedicated mitigation measures,
reaching levels that are beyond the planetary
boundaries that define a safe operating space for
humanity. We analyse several options for reducing the
environmental effects of the food system, including dietary
changes towards healthier, more plant-based diets,
improvements in technologies and management, and reductions
in food loss and waste. We find that no single measure is
enough to keep these effects within all planetary boundaries
simultaneously, and that a synergistic combination of
measures will be needed to sufficiently mitigate the
projected increase in environmental pressures.
read additional commentary below. Unfortunately, the world
will not make the changes needed- and the ones they do do
will be too late to make a significant difference.
analysed several options that could keep the food system
within environmental limits. They found:
- Climate change cannot be sufficiently mitigated without
dietary changes towards more plant-based diets. Adopting
more plant-based “flexitarian” diets globally could reduce
the greenhouse gas emissions of the food system by more than
half, and also reduce other environmental impacts, such as
those from fertilizer application and the use of cropland
and freshwater, by a tenth to a quarter.
- In addition to dietary changes, improving management
practices and technologies in agriculture is required to
limit pressures on agricultural land, freshwater extraction,
and fertilizer use. Increasing agricultural yields from
existing cropland, balancing application and recycling of
fertilizers, and improving water management, could, along
with other measures, reduce those impacts by around half.
- Finally, halving food loss and waste is needed for keeping
the food system within environmental limits. Halving food
loss and waste could, if globally achieved, reduce
environmental impacts by up to a sixth (16%).
of the solutions we analysed are being implemented in some
parts of the world, but it will need strong global
co-ordination and rapid upscale to make their effects felt,”
farming technologies and management practices will require
increasing investment in research and public infrastructure,
the right incentive schemes for farmers, including support
mechanisms to adopt best available practices, and better
regulation, for example of fertilizer use and water quality,”
says Line Gordon, executive director of the Stockholm
Resilience Centre and an author on the report.
de Clerck, director of science at EAT says, “Tackling food
loss and waste will require measures across the entire food
chain, from storage, and transport, over food packaging and
labelling to changes in legislation and business behaviour
that promote zero-waste supply chains.”
it comes to diets, comprehensive policy and business
approaches are essential to make dietary changes towards
healthy and more plant-based diets possible and attractive for
a large number of people. Important aspects include school and
workplace programmes, economic incentives and labelling, and
aligning national dietary guidelines with the current
scientific evidence on healthy eating and the environmental
impacts of our diet,
10/14: 401k loan defaults
A growing number of people are defaulting
on loans taken against their 401(k) retirement accounts,
with the loss amount nearly 3% of $7.8 trillion in 401(k)
report is not about whether the planet can withstand
another half-degree increase in temperature. It is about
understanding whether we can withstand it. Small
temperature changes can have far-reaching impacts on our
ability to survive on this planet."
MAP OF EVERY BUILDING IN AMERICA
you see fraud and do not say fraud, you are a fraud.”
(But if you call it, do not expect anyone to
the nineteen-seventies, the government of the
Philippines has promoted labor exportation as a strategy
for relieving poverty and alleviating the national debt. A
tenth of the population now works abroad, supporting
nearly half of the country’s households and leaving some
nine million Filipino children missing a parent.
lost an average of 35% according
essence of risk management lies in maximizing the areas
where we have some control over the outcome while minimizing
the areas where we have absolutely no control over the
change for the worse. This will happen before 2030. It
will kill a lot of animals (that obviously includes us
soils contain hundreds of billions of tons of carbon, in
the form of frozen and only partially decomposed plants.
As the region heats up, much of this carbon is likely to
be released into the atmosphere, where it will trap more
heat—another feedback loop. In the Arctic Ocean, vast
stores of methane lie buried under frozen sediments. If
these stores, too, are released, the resulting warming is
likely to be catastrophic. “The risk of an Arctic
seabed methane pulse is one of the greatest
immediate risks facing
the human race,”
EFM: Rising temperatures will kill
most life on earth. Just you wait.
Newborns today will have shortened lifetimes
due to the stress of a world in decay. The very wealthy will
have enclaves to live longer but those will be gone by
Power and Limitations of Monte Carlo Simulations
EFM- Estimates are all over the place. That
is normal. One has to do some homework to know what to use.
But in none of the articles have I ever seen the large
losses (2000 and 2008 for example) and which a current
standard Monte Carlo would use to be a folly. You can and
should reduce large losses to about 15%. And over a 30 year
period, there would be at least 3 recessions; more likely 4
recessions and possibly 5. I'd opt for just 4 and 5. The
economic and political world is in too much flux (and too
many weapons and too much cruelty). The 15% will essentially
eliminate the Sequence of Returns problem.
you make more or less than someone else.
to one theory, the so-called rational-updating model,
people assess their salaries in terms of opportunities.
If they discover that they are being paid less than their
co-workers, they will “update” their projections about future
earnings and conclude that their prospects of a raise are
good. Conversely, people who learn that they earn more than
their co-workers will be discouraged by that news. They’ll
update their expectations in the opposite direction.
to a rival theory, people respond to inequity not
rationally but emotionally. If they discover that
they’re being paid less than their colleagues, they won’t see
this as a signal to expect a raise but as evidence that they
are underappreciated. (The researchers refer to this as the
“relative income” model.) By this theory, people who learn
that their salaries are at the low end will be pissed. Those
who discover that they’re at the high end will be gratified.
EFM- I'd pick door number 2.
Casualty Insurance and Artificial Intelligence
processing an insurance claim is a long tedious process. With
the use of AI, we are seeing a speedier process. A homeowner
whose house has been damaged in a hurricane can fill in the
claim form online, or using a mobile app, upload pictures of
the damage, and submit the claim. The system can start the
claim process and forward it to a representative, or if it’s a
simple claim, assess the damage, process the claim, and pay or
deny the claim. This can be done without getting the producer
or a customer service representative involved.
are insurance experts who believe that the impact of AI on
producers in the insurance industry will be negligible but I
beg to differ. History shows (the Industrial Revolution and
the Internet) that when new technology is introduced in
society everything changes. With all of the smart devices
collecting and consuming data, and machines analyzing said
data and offering valid reasoning and options I don’t see
why they won’t be able to analyze a client’s needs offer
different insurance options based on those needs and sell
the client an insurance policy.
Monte Carlo simulation allows an analyst to
determine the size of the portfolio required at retirement to
support the desired retirement lifestyle and other
desired gifts and bequests.
She factors in a distribution of reinvestment
rates, inflation rates, asset
class returns, tax
rates and even possible life spans.
The result is a distribution of portfolio sizes with the
probabilities of supporting the client's desired spending
analyst next uses the Monte Carlo simulation to determine the expected
value and distribution of a portfolio
at the owner's retirement date. The simulation allows the
analyst to take a multi-period view, and factor in path
dependency; the portfolio value and asset
allocation at every period depends on
the returns and volatility in the preceding period. The
analyst uses various asset allocations with varying degrees of
risk, different correlations between assets and a
distribution of a large number of factors including the
savings in each period and the retirement date, to arrive at a
distribution of portfolios along with the probability of
arriving at the desired portfolio value at retirement. The
clients' different spending rates and life span can be
factored in to determine the probability the clients will run
out of funds (the probability of ruin or longevity
risk) before their deaths.
client's risk and return profile is the most important
factor influencing portfolio management decisions. The
client's required returns are a function of her retirement
and spending goals; her risk
determined by her ability and willingness to take risks.
More often than not the return and risk profile of clients
are not in sync with each other; for example, the level of
risk acceptable to them it may make it impossible or very
difficult to attain the desired return. Moreover, a minimum
amount may be needed before retirement to achieve her goals,
and the clients' lifestyle would not allow for the savings,
or she may be reluctant to change it.
Sounds just great but most times the simulation is based on
what has happened in the past. And it will include losses of
the 49%, 57% et al. Therefore the end result is that you
will have a lower amount you can take each year over your
lifetime. If, however, the recessionary losses are no more
than 15%- what the Process explains above- the extra return
will help annual payouts immeasurably.
are more likely to work (and to be working-age); they also
tend to hold different occupations and educational degrees
than natives. By the second generation (the native-born
children of immigrants), though, the economic outcomes
of immigrant communities exhibit striking convergence
toward those of native communities.
2017 immigrants made up nearly 14 percent of the
U.S. population, a sharp increase from historically
low rates of the 1960s and 1970s, but a level commonly
reached in the 19th century. Given native-born Americans’
relatively low birth rates, immigrants and their children
now provide essentially all the net prime-age population
growth in the United States.
basic facts suggest that immigrants are taking on a
larger role in the U.S. economy. This role is not
precisely the same as that of native-born Americans:
immigrants tend to work in different jobs with different
skill levels. However, despite the size of the
foreign-born population, immigrants tend to have
relatively small impacts on the wages of native-born
workers. At the same time, immigrants generally have
positive impacts on both government finances and the
innovation that leads to productivity growth.
1: The foreign-born share of the U.S. population has
returned to its late-19th-century level.
2: The rising foreign-born share is driven by both
immigration flows and low fertility of native-born
3: About three-quarters of the foreign-born population
are naturalized citizens or authorized residents.
4: 80 percent of immigrants today come from Asia or
Latin America, while in 1910 more than 80 percent of
immigrants came from Europe.
5: Immigrants are 4 times more likely than
children of native-born parents to have less than
a high school degree, but are almost twice as
likely to have a doctorate.
6: Immigrants are much more likely than
others to work in construction or service
occupations, but children of immigrants work in
roughly the same occupations as the children of
7: Prime-age foreign-born men work at a
higher rate than native-born men, but foreign-born
women work at a lower rate than native-born women.
8: Output in the economy is higher and grows
faster with more immigrants.
9: Most estimates show a small impact of
immigration on low-skilled native-born wages.
10: High-skilled immigration increases innovation.
11: Immigrants contribute positively to
government finances over the long run, and
high-skilled immigrants make especially large
12: Immigration in the United States does not
increase crime rates.
survey found that nearly two-thirds of more than 430 U.S.
firms in China say the duties Trump placed on billions of
dollars of Chinese imports this summer have hurt their
half of respondents — who work in retail, food and
manufacturing — say production costs have climbed, and 42
percent said they have noticed a decreased demand for their
6 percent, meanwhile, said they would consider moving
factories to U.S. soil.
Portfolio Theory- Investopedia
suggests that it is possible to construct an "efficient
frontier" of optimal portfolios, offering the maximum
return for a given level of risk. It
suggests that it is not enough to look at the expected risk
and return of one particular stock. By investing in more
than one stock, an investor can reap the benefits of
diversification, particularly a reduction in the riskiness
of the portfolio. MPT quantifies the benefits of
diversification, also known as not putting all of your eggs
in one basket.
10/12: #METOO India
of Indian women — many of them journalists — have taken to
Twitter to detail their experiences of sexual harassment and
violation at the hands of senior figures in the media and
entertainment industries and, in one case, a government
official. The repercussions in recent days have included
public apologies, resignations, and the sudden closure of a
prominent Bollywood production house after one of its
co-founders was accused
of sexual assault.
EFM- If this really takes off in India it
will change the entire social structure in the country. Have
not seen a similar comment regarding China. Can you imagine
what would happen there? I don't think the government could
quell all the complaints.
Guide to Taxes
10/12: Cough, sputter, spew
Environmental Protection Agency panel that advises the
agency’s leadership on the latest scientific information
about soot in the atmosphere will close next year.
10/12: Correction? Not yet.
the benchmark S&P 500 has fallen nearly 5%
over the past week, the damage is actually much more
widespread. Two-thirds of the stocks in the index are
actually down more than 10% from their recent highs, which
means they meet the traditional definition of a correction,
according to analysis from CNBC.
also found that, as of Wednesday's market close, 142 stocks
in the S&P 500 were in a bear market — meaning they'd
dropped 20% from recent peaks. That's 28% of the index.
You generally wait for the entire S&P to fall 10%.
textbook-specific video guides for undergraduate science
and math classes. We also created a library of thousands
of practice problems to help students really grasp
concepts they’re stuck on
My thoughts about the climate.
We will not do what is necessary to fix this
problem. By the time 2030 comes along, we should have lost
New Orleans, parts of New Jersey and downtown New York,
sections of Florida, a lot of the Carolina shores,
Miami....the list goes on. Think about this- we have had a
of talk on the necessity of fixing the U.S. roads, bridges,
infrastructures. We are we? Nowhere. This will not get done
by 2030 and the stop gap measures due to climate will reach
numbers that make our deficit look small. Mother earth- or
maybe AI- will take over by then and we can kiss our way of
life. One pandemic should occur by 2030 and a worse one
large number of papers for research purposes
I have a friend in my community who has been
beset with health issues- primarily due to diabetes. She had
both feet partially amputated but could still walk- though
tentatively. But depression got a hold and she spiraled
downward. She refused to take care of herself. But enough
was enough and I called the police to come so that they
could determine she be directly sent to a facility. We found
the body Monday. Probably died of a fast moving gangrene
What is also sad was that her 401k had her
ex as beneficiary. She detested him but it was not unusual
to put down 'somebody' to complete the form and then change
it later. And then they never do.
Insurance Settlement Guide
river in Iceland (surreal, isn't it)
economies of every state and DC
Here is the full list with comments
Insider combined six measures of labor-market and general
economic health for all the states and the District of
Columbia. They are the unemployment rate, job growth,
per-capita GDP, GDP growth, average weekly wages, and wage
growth. By putting all those on a common scale and combining
them, we came up with an overall score for each state's
today’s newsletter, we will take a quick look at some of the
critical figures and data in the energy markets this
We will then look at some of the key market movers early
this week before providing you with the latest analysis of
the top news events taking place in the global energy
complex over the past few days. We hope you enjoy.
of the Week
- The EIA’s chart above highlights the fact that the
precise path from a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico can
have a bigger impact on oil industry operations than the
strength of the hurricane.
- Hurricane Nate, a Category 1 storm,
passed through the Mississippi Canyon lease area in the
Gulf of Mexico last year, causing significant
- Meanwhile, Hurricane Harvey, a
devastating Category 4 storm that disrupted a lot of
refining operations onshore, had only a minor impact on
Gulf of Mexico production, because it passed by areas of
10/9: Mortgages in retirement
the oldest Boomer homeowners, who were age 65 to 69 in 2015,
slightly less than 50 percent were mortgage-free, down 10
percentage points compared with Silent Generation homeowners
of the same age in 2000,”
2017, the world emitted the most
greenhouse gases in
a single year in human history.
10/8: Stats 10 years after recession (some
findings of the report include:
People don’t understand what
caused the financial crisis, remain in the dark about
The crisis has had a lasting
impact on financial behavior
Those who invested and lost are
the most likely to feel recovered and optimistic
numbers on returns that will dull your senses.
EFM-I don't think that there is a person alive that could
grasp all these statistics. I certainly cannot- and state it
is an impossible task. The summary of the article is........
bottom line is that when developing your investment policy
statement, you must be sure that your portfolio doesn’t take
more risk than you have the ability, willingness and need to
And just what is that? I do not see any specific numbers or at
least a gauge for the funds you are using. See the article
must also be sure that you understand and accept the nature of
the risks you are going to have to live with over time. The
appropriate warning is that most battles are won in the
preparation stage, not on the battlefield."
yet there are no numerical calculators that provide a
potential risk of loss range in case of a recession- except
you don’t understand the nature of the risks, when they do
show up, you will be unable to keep your head while all about
you are losing theirs, and it’s far more likely your stomach
will take over. And I’ve yet to meet a stomach that makes good
decisions. The result will likely be that your well-developed
plan will end up in the trash heap of emotions. Forewarned is
EFM- understanding the risks you are
taking?? The industry has provided NOTHING. My Process
defines the loss, how to keep losses to about 12% no matter
how bad the recession is. And a defined date to get back in-
or read the article and tell me what it says and why.
10/7: More instability in the Mid East
Saudi Arabia critic Jamal Khashoggi was believed to have
been killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul
Is this a prelude to another war?????
10/7: More gas emissions and more plastic
sharp increase in greenhouse gas emissions from the
petrochemical industry — which includes plastic, fertilizer
and pharmaceutical companies — threatens to erode climate
benefits from reductions in other sectors,
we look at the years to come, the petrochemical sector is by
far the largest driver of global oil demand growth, much
higher than cars, much higher than trucks, aviation, and
are currently the largest industrial energy consumer and the
third-largest industrial emitter of greenhouse gas
emissions. The report found that direct greenhouse gas
emissions from petrochemicals would increase 20 percent by
2030 and 30 percent by 2050.
main driver of the petrochemical industry’s growing
climate footprint, according to the report, will be plastics.
Worldwide, roughly 300 million metric tons of plastic are
produced each year.
predicted increase in petrochemicals will also be driven by
an increase in fertilizer. As developing countries,
especially those with larger populations, increase their
wealth, they will quite likely increase the use of
fertilizer, much of which is produced from natural gas.
report estimates that by 2030, roughly seven percent of
increased demand in natural gas will come from petrochemical
EFM- The world will not come
close to stopping emissions by 2030. And by then, far to late
to do most anything so mother earth will provide more storms,
more heat, etc, etc. and bash humans mercilessly.
(the authors) ... years of working as a mathematician with
data and algorithms, I’ve come to believe that analyzing
how an algorithm works is the only way to objectively judge
whether it is trustworthy. Algorithms are a lot like
magical illusions. At first they appear to be nothing short of
wizardry, but as soon as you know how the trick is done, the
mystery evaporates. There’s often something laughably simple
(or reckless) hiding behind the facade.
no doubting the profound positive impact that algorithms have
had on our lives. The ones we’ve built to date boast a
bewilderingly impressive list of accomplishments. They can help
us diagnose breast cancer, catch serial killers and
avoid plane crashes. But in our hurry to automate, we seem
to have swapped one problem for another. Algorithms—useful
and impressive as they are—have already left us with a
tangle of complications.
reluctance to question the power of a machine has handed
junk algorithms the power to make life-changing decisions,
and unleashed a modern snake-oil salesman willing to trade
on myths and profit from gullibility.
inherent problems of algorithms are magnified when they are
paired with humans and our ready acceptance of artificial
maybe that’s precisely the point. Perhaps thinking of
algorithms as some kind of authority is where we went wrong.
when algorithms aren’t involved, -. Wherever you look, in
whatever sphere you examine, you’ll find some kind of bias if
you delve deep enough.
if we accepted that perfection doesn’t exist. Algorithms
will make mistakes. Algorithms will be unfair. In time, they
will improve. But admitting that algorithms, like humans,
have flaws should diminish our blind trust of their
authority and lead to fewer mistakes. In my view, the best
algorithms take their makers into account at every stage.
They recognize our tendency to overtrust machines. They
embrace their own uncertainty.
something’s done to shore up Social Security, monthly checks
could get cut 23% by 2034.
hospital insurance fund will be depleted in 2026, three
years earlier than it forecast a year ago. That means come
2026, unless changes are made, the program will only be able
to pay about 91% of costs.
year, there were 2.8 workers for every Social Security
recipient; in 2007 that ratio was 3.3.
61.5 million people receive retirement or disability
benefits from Social Security and 58.4 million receive
10/7: Some think China will capitulate to
the U.S. very soon on tariffs. I don't think so. It will
hurt China's trade but since they built all those islands in
the South China sea with nary an intervention by us, they
probably figure they are on a roll...............
full-blown trade war becomes our new base case scenario for
2019," a JPMorgan team wrote. "There is no clear sign of
mitigating confrontation between China and the US in the
View Of Risk Shows More Downside Today Than Upside
the article- it will take a couple of minutes
EFM- In the real world of investing,
it is wrong. But only if you have read my material on the
The stock market is really about risk-
nothing new there. But my point is if you want to be an
investor, you have to accept the daily/monthly swings that
can bounce value all over the place. BUT when the risk
breaks barriers, then you reduce risk- even down to zero-
because very few people can afford a 50% take down during a
recession. And a completely lost issue in almost all
articles and any Monte Carlo runs is that you cannot be
assured that a loss will be made up before you run out of
money. The additional risk of being a 'loser' is an emotion
that a family can handle emotionally. But that is rarely
mentioned in articles. It is true that the followups to a
recession have been strong. But that statistic- in this
economy coupled with political and national/international
stupidity- negates history.
that Disease X has a prevalence of 1 in 1,000 (meaning that
1 out of every 1,000 people will have it), and the test to
detect it has a false-positive rate of 5 percent (meaning 5
of every 100 subjects test positive for the ailment even
though they don’t really have it). If a patient’s test
result comes back positive, what are the chances that she
actually has the disease? In a 2014
researchers found that almost half of doctors surveyed
said patients who tested positive had a 95 percent chance
of having Disease X.
1,000 people, all with the same chance of having Disease X.
We already know that just one of them has the disease. But a
5 percent false-positive rate means that 50 of the remaining
999 would test positive for it nonetheless. That means 51
people would have positive results, but only one of those
would really have the illness. So if your test comes back
positive, your true chance of having the disease is actually
1 out of 51, or 2 percent — a heck of a lot lower than 95
(the author) published last year with several
colleagues, we reviewed the treatment of 177 patients who
were admitted to hospitals with a wide range of problems,
from broken bones to severe intestinal pain, to see how
necessary their tests were, as judged by the latest medical
guidelines. We found that nearly 90 percent of the
patients received at least one unnecessary test and that,
overall, nearly one-third of all the tests were
superfluous. When patients receive tests that aren’t
needed, there is a reasonable chance that doctors are using
the results to make choices about treatment; by definition,
these choices have a higher danger of being flawed.
from 2016, my colleagues and I interviewed more than 100
doctors to gauge their understanding of the risks and benefits
of 10 common medical tests or treatments. We found that nearly
80 percent of our subjects overestimated the benefits.
Strangely, the doctors themselves acknowledged this, with
two-thirds rating themselves as not confident in their
understanding of tests and probability. Eight out of 10 said
they rarely, if ever, talked to patients about the probability
of test results being accurate.
schools offer limited instruction on how to understand
test results, which means many doctors are not
equipped to do this well. Even when medical students have
short classroom instruction in test interpretation, it is rarely
taught in a clinic with actual patients.
should realize that doctors, even quite capable ones, may
not fully understand the statistical underpinning of the
tests they use. In essence, your doctor may have a blind
spot, an unconscious tendency to have too much trust in a
“When you don’t have a connection with people who don’t
have a lot, it becomes a lot easier to take away what
little they have"
the last decade and a half, the proportion of family
income from wages has dropped from nearly 70 percent to just
under 61 percent. It’s an extraordinary shift, driven
largely by the investment profits of the very wealthy. In
short, the people who possess tradable assets, especially
stocks, have enjoyed a recovery that Americans dependent on
savings or income from their weekly paycheck have yet to see.
Ten years after the financial crisis, getting ahead by going
to work every day seems quaint, akin to using the phone book
to find a number or renting a video at Blockbuster.
financial crisis didn’t just kill the dream of getting rich
from your day job. It also put an end to a fundamental belief
of the middle class: that owning a home was always a good
idea because prices moved in only one direction — up. The
bubble, while it lasted, gave millions in the middle class a
sense of validation of their financial acumen
EFM- the bold print is wrong. I worked for
the Irvine Company in Newport Beach, CA in 1970 and when the
interest rates went through the roof, the builders just
could not sell a house. Had to offer a bunch of free bonuses
and more. Most of these felt at that time that we would
never see a 10% mortgage ever again.
notorious. I have tried prudent planning long enough. From
now on I’ll be mad.”
prescribe antibiotics without need nearly half the time
half of all outpatient antibiotic prescriptions in the
United States are given to patients who have not been
diagnosed with an infection that should be treated with the
Northwestern study is among the first to carefully
describe prescribing behaviors in outpatient settings,
which are the source of roughly 80 percent of all
antibiotic prescriptions. The U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention in the past has
estimated that a third of
outpatient prescriptions are unnecessary.
10/7: A sad commentary: Between
2000 and 2010, an estimated 248,000 American children
were married, some as young as 12. Now states all over
the country are passing laws to make it harder.
harder? why not illegal. Nothing before age 18.
10/7: This is hard to believe
out of every 18 people in Georgia is on probation or parole.
EFM- then again, maybe it isn't so hard to
believe given today's society
Has anyone seen my Kid???
Jakarta, Shanghai, Houston and other global cities that
are already sinking will become increasingly vulnerable to
flooding as a result of global warming, an analysis released by Christian Aid says.
The ground beneath Shanghai, for instance, is being pressed
down by the sheer weight of the buildings above, while
London is slowly sinking due to geological reasons.
And of course New Orleans which was sinking anyway before
the Hurricane. It may be gone by 2030- at least all the
Borroughs will be abandoned.
President Mike Pence said the United States will not
back down from protecting itself against China's
Uh, those islands in the south China Sea tell a different
tale. Also, some think China will back down on the tariffs.
I don't think so and this could be a protracted tariff war
City-I had no idea it looked like this. But with 21
million people, it is the most populated city in the Western
10/5: Not recovering from recession
of workers and nearly half of employers surveyed said they
were still recovering from the Great Recession, and almost a
third of workers had borrowed or made early withdrawals from
retirement accounts by 2017
10/5: Russia and the Netherlands
The Netherlands has revealed
that it disrupted a cyber attack from Russian
intelligence agents on the international chemical weapons
watchdog and expelled four agents from the
EFM- And, of course, Putin knew nothing
about this. The agents simply went to the Netherlands to
take pictures of the fjords.
10/5: Subprime Crisis Lingers for
A decade after the financial
crisis, black and Hispanic homeownership rates have
reverted to lows not seen since the 1990s.
10/4: New York Times: recommends
this post on the Venture Valkyrie
blog: “This is so good and makes so much
sense. We talk about nutrition, exercise, smoking, alcohol
and even sleep when it comes to heart disease. But the
role of emotional trauma and difficult childhood
experiences are rarely discussed. Yet studies show they’re
a huge risk factor.”
10/4:US auto sales plunge as
interest rates rise
auto sales sharply declined in September as interest rates
for auto loans rose in tandem with the Federal Reserve's
rate increases. With the average price of a new vehicle also
increasing, "[b]uying conditions are far less amenable for
consumers than they were before,"
EFM- Houses will take a hit for the same
reason. And U.S. sellers will pass through the tariffs they
have to pay for Chinese goods.
10/4: Most Interesting health care costs
covered by private health insurance contributed nearly
$25 billion more in premiums in 2014 than was spent on
in the journal Health Affairs found
that Those in the country without legal status contributed
nearly $8 billion toward the surplus.
contrast, U.S.-born enrollees spent nearly $25 billion
more than they paid for in premiums.
2014, immigrants and their employers contributed $88.7 billion
in private insurance premiums, but spent only $64 billion for
care, according to the study’s findings. Of that group,
undocumented immigrants alone paid more than $17 billion to
private insurers but used only $9.4 billion.
consumers paid $616 billion in premiums and received nearly
$641 billion in insurers’ payments for care. They also
consistently outspent immigrants across all age groups. Among
enrollees 65 and older, the U.S.-born made a net contribution
of nearly $10,000 more toward their care than those born
overseas, according to the study.
researchers reported that, on average, individual immigrants
paid $1,123 more for premiums in 2014 than they received in
insurance-covered care. U.S. natives instead cost insurers
$163 on average.
Eight in 10 Workers Want to Work in Retirement
percent of workers want or expect to
work in retirement, said Lisa
Greenwald, executive vice president with
Greenwald & Associates, during a
webinar, but only 33% of retirees have
worked for pay since retiring. Twenty-one
percent of workers expect that working
in retirement will provide them with a
major source of income, but this is only
true for 9% of retirees, Greenwald
said. When workers were asked why they
would like to work in retirement, 94% said
they want to stay active and involved. Eighty-two
percent said they enjoy working, 90%
want money to buy extra things in
retirement, and 74% expect the income
will be necessary to make ends meet.
Read more >
the Shadow (Banking)"
CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13144
GUILLERMO ORDOÑEZ, University
of Pennsylvania - The Ronald O. Perelman Center for
Political Science and Economics (PCPSE), National Bureau of
Economic Research (NBER)
FACUNDO PIGUILLEM, Einaudi Institute for Economics and
economy has recently experienced a large increase in life
expectancy and in shadow banking activities. We argue that
these two phenomena are intimately related. Agents rely
on financial intermediaries to insure consumption during
their uncertain life spans after retirement. When they
expect to live longer, they rely more heavily on financial
intermediaries that are riskier but offer better insurance
terms - including shadow banks. We calibrate the model
to replicate the level of financial intermediation in 1980,
introduce the observed change in life expectancy and show
that the demographic transition is critical in accounting
for the boom in both shadow banking and credit that preceded
the recent U.S. financial crisis. We compare the U.S.
experience with a counterfactual without shadow banks and
show that they may have contributed around 0.6GDP to
output, four times larger than the estimated costs of the
Area Inflation Dynamics: Why so Low for so Long?"
IMF Working Paper No. 18/188
YASSER ABDIH, International
Monetary Fund (IMF)
LI LIN, International Monetary Fund (IMF)
ANNE-CHARLOTTE PARET, Banque de France
output gaps and tightening labor markets, inflation has
remained low in the euro area. Based on an augmented
Phillips Curve framework, we find that this
phenomenon-sometimes attributed to low global
inflation-has been primarily caused by a remarkable
persistence of inflation, keeping it low despite the
reduction in slack. This feature is shown to be
specific to the euro area (in comparison with the
United States). Monetary policy needs to stay
accommodative to help guide inflation back to target.
boisterous campaign rally Tuesday night, President Donald
Trump mocked Christine Blasey Ford
EFM- certain things he has done are fine but
overall he is a schmuck.
It's real. Santa
bottom 90% are still poorer than they were in 2007
to numbers put together by researchers
at the Federal Reserve,
the top 10 percent of working-age households were the only
ones who, adjusted for inflation, were richer on average in
2016 than they were in 2007. Everyone else, as you can see
above, was somewhere between 17 to 35 percent poorer than
they’d been almost a decade before.
why hasn’t the recovery, which has seen housing prices
rebound by 26 percent and stocks by 160 percent from their
post-crisis lows, reached less exclusive income groups, too?
Well, the question answers itself: Because they don’t own as
many houses or stocks as they used to. Part of that, of
course, is due to the fact that middle-class families were
more likely to have lost their homes during the crash —
that’s why their wealth fell further than anyone else’s in
the years immediately after — but not as much as you might
think. The bigger factor, the researchers found, is that
tighter lending standards have made it harder for people to
buy a home in the first place. Consider this: Between
2007 and 2016, homeownership fell 12 percentage points
among the middle class, 9 percentage points of which was
due to people who had never owned a home in the past never
buying one during that time. The housing crash, in other
words, turned more people into renters, so the housing
comeback hasn’t helped nearly as many people as had been
bottom 60 percent of households just never owned that many
to begin with, but they own even less today. Some of that
might be that the Great Recession has scared them off
investing, some of it that the not-so-great recovery
hasn’t left them with enough money to put into markets
even if they wanted to, but a big part of it, according to
the researchers, is simply that fewer people have access
to 401(k)s than before. They’re either out of work, or
can’t find a full-time job that offers those kind of
benefits. The result is that a lot of middle-class
households have missed out on what’s been one of the great
bull markets the past nine years.
Blueprint When Feeling Blue: How A Mental Health Diagnosis
Can Be Empowering
Transitions from Career Jobs to Bridge Jobs and
Retirement: A New Approach"
Michigan Retirement Research Center Research Paper No. 2018-380
Stanford University Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 18-39
JOHN AMERIKS, The
Vanguard Group, Inc.
JOSEPH BRIGGS, New York University (NYU) -
Department of Economics
ANDREW CAPLIN, New York University (NYU) -
Department of Economics, National Bureau of Economic
MINJOON LEE, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
- Department of Economics
MATTHEW D. SHAPIRO, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
- Department of Economics, National Bureau of Economic
CHRISTOPHER TONETTI, Stanford Graduate School of Business
provides new empirical evidence on late-life labor market
activities of American households from a new survey
implemented under the Vanguard Research Initiative. The
survey features following innovations: It measures
detailed job characteristics not only of a career job but
also of post-career bridge jobs; it examines reasons of
leaving a career job and whether households would have
changed their decisions under counterfactual situations;
it examines post-career job search behavior of households.
The research finds that, even though a direct transition
from a career job to full retirement is still the most
common pattern, a significant fraction of older
Americans reveal interest in working beyond the career
job. Within this sample of older Americans with positive
financial assets, 38% of had a post-career bridge job and
another 7% of them looked for a post-career employment
opportunity. Low health or bad business conditions
were the not the main reason for leaving the career job.
Yet, for the minority of those who did leave career jobs
owing to low health or bad economic conditions, had they
counterfactually had better health or economic conditions,
they likely would have decided to work longer. Those who
work longer on their career job or have a post-career bridge
job tend to work fewer hours, have a flexible schedule, and
receive lower hourly wages.
10/3: Gallup Pollident
Presidents with an approval rating
below 50% lose an average of 37 seats in the House
of Representatives in the mid-term elections. President
Trump’s approval rating is in the low 40s. Thus, he
could lose seats in the Senate too.
10/3: Gary Halbert
, our national debt, including “debt held by the public” and “intergovernmental
debt,” now totals $21.51
trillion (the chart below is a
little dated). With annual budget deficits of $1 trillion or
more, the national debt is on-track to balloon to $30-35
trillion over the next decade.
the record, I
don’t believe that will happen. At some
point, investors will decide that it’s just too risky to own
US Treasuries, and we’ll face another financial crisis
that could be much worse than 2008-2009
EFM- Worse than 2008??? Yep
10/3: A very important issue
Meta-Analysis of the Decline in the Labor Force
Michigan Retirement Research Center Research Paper No. 2018-381
ANANTH SESHADRI, University
of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics
explores the causes behind the recent decline in the Labor
Force Participation (LFP) rate. The analysis examines the
evolution of the LFP rate for different demographic groups to
gauge the effect of demographic changes. An integral part of
the project is an investigation of the flows of workers
into and out of the labor force to determine whether the LFP
rate has been declining because more workers are leaving or
because fewer workers are entering the labor market. The
project also studies the evolution of wages and finds that
the decline in the LFP rate is often accompanied by a
declining real wage, which is indicative of the relative
importance of demand versus supply factors.
10/3: Petersen International Underwriters
Why is is this here- information about disability insurance
and the bold print
Longevity and physical quality of life have
been steadily increasing around the world in the last
half-century as people have become more health and body
conscious, especially among developed nations. Recent trends
show that fewer people are using tobacco products in the
U.S. and more are exercising on a regular basis. Medical
sciences are ever evolving and improving. Prescription
medications are extremely prolific and able to address
health concerns like never before. Despite all of the
positive, American diets and fast-paced lifestyles continue
to create serious health concerns in this country.
Saturated fats, sugar and sodium-laden
cuisine have helped to make obesity an American epidemic
which in turn has given rise to record levels of persons
living with diabetes and heart disease.
We recognize that we are all fallible, as we
are all human. Your clients have health issues, like anyone
else, which may ultimately pose underwriting roadblocks when
they decide to take that thoughtful step and apply for
disability insurance. Traditional DI carriers tend to be
ultra conservative along all facets of their underwriting
processes. Our disability products and underwriting methods
are more flexible than most companies, allowing long-term
income protection offerings to those who would normally be
declined by the standard market due to adverse health
conditions, risky avocations, foreign residences or
Sub-standard health disability cases are a
large part of our regular, day-to-day business, and our
underwriting standards are the most liberal in the industry.
We can offer “own occupation” disability coverage to your
clients with cardiovascular issues, cancer history, even to
those with chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis and
HIV. Our policies offer a variety of benefit options
including long-term monthly benefits, lump sum benefits as
well as accelerated disability benefits.
Another attribute is that our underwriters
don’t subscribe to the Medical Information Bureau (MIB),
allowing your clients the freedom and peace of mind
knowing that their applications and medical files won’t be
shared by Petersen International with other insurance
companies and won’t affect any future insurance
applications to other carriers.
not expect this
May feel it is necessary to make more money
is a national health crisis, with one person taking their
own life every 12
it’s the second leading cause of death for adults ages 25-34
and the fourth leading cause of death for adults ages 35-54,
both age groups that comprise the majority of today’s
workforce. The correlation between work-related stress and
an individual’s mental health is undeniable. Research from
AFSP found that among adults who have been employed in the
past 12 months, more
than one in 10 have
missed work days because they were too anxious (14%) or too
depressed (16%) to go in.
clear that mental health has an impact on their absenteeism,
presenteeism and ultimately, productivity — subsequently
impacting a company’s bottom line and costing the U.S.
economy over $51 billion, according to Mental
today’s newsletter, we will take a quick look at some of the
critical figures and data in the energy markets this
We will then look at some of the key market movers early
this week before providing you with the latest analysis of
the top news events taking place in the global energy
complex over the past few days. We hope you enjoy.
- U.S. natural gas exports averaged 0.87 billion cubic feet per day
(Bcf/d) in the first half of 2018, more than double the
0.34 Bcf/d average in all of 2017.
- New export terminals have opened up a
greater flow of gas from American shores.
- For instance, Dominion’s
D) Cove Point LNG export terminal in
Maryland began operations in March 2018.
- Another four LNG export terminals are
under construction and will enter into service by the end
of next year.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke,
National Institutes of Health, defines foot drop as “the
inability to raise the front part of the foot due to weakness
or paralysis of the muscles that lift the foot.” Muscles in
the leg cannot raise the foot at the ankle, or the front part
of the foot, due to paralysis of muscles that lift the foot.
people who have foot drop scuff their toes along the ground;
they may also bend their knees to lift their foot higher than
usual to avoid the scuffing, which causes what is called a
“steppage” gait. When caused by pressure on the nerves that
control the muscles in the leg or by a knee injury, foot drop
can be temporary. However, damage to the nerves — and other
medical disorders — can cause this to be a permanent condition
affecting one or both feet.
injury: Compression of the nerve that
controls the muscles involved in lifting the foot, which can
happen at the knee or in the lower spine during hip or knee
replacement surgery. Additionally, diabetic neuropathy
(long-term nerve damage associated with diabetes) can also
cause foot drop.
or nerve disorders: Forms of muscular
dystrophy (an inherited disease that causes progressive
muscle weakness), polio or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease can
cause foot drop.
and spinal cord disorders: These include
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis (MS)
neighbor experienced foot drop as the result of a stroke
nearly one year ago. I hadn’t seen him in many months; he
didn’t want to discuss it. I saw the stroke had affected his
left side. While physical therapy helped him lift his leg, it
looked like his foot and ankle muscles hadn’t fully recovered.
that point away from the body when the foot is relaxed
indicated foot drop. Feet and legs may feel weak; the person
may have difficulty walking, or scuffs his or her toes, and
trips frequently over the affected foot. To overcome or
compensate, the person may lift the knees higher (step gait)
so there is less chance of stumbling over the toes. The person
may also slap his or her foot down with each step. In some
cases, there may be tingling or numbness on the top of the
foot, toes and ankle, caused by the particular way of walking,
or it can be linked to an underlying cause of foot drop.
drop is diagnosed during a physical exam. The doctor will ask
you to walk and will check leg muscles for weaknesses and may
check your shins and the tops of your feet and toes for
causes of foot drop determine its treatment. Supporting the
foot with light-weight leg braces and shoe inserts, called
ankle-foot orthotics, is a commonly-used treatment; exercise
therapy can strengthen muscles and maintain joint motion,
which helps improve gait.
peroneal nerve controls the muscles that lift the foot.
Activities that compress this nerve, such as crossing one’s
legs, prolonged kneeling or squatting, or wearing a leg cast,
exert pressure on this nerve and increase risk of foot drop.
stimulating the peroneal nerve during foot fall can be
appropriate for some people with foot drop. Surgery fusing the
foot and ankle joint, or that transfers tendons from stronger
leg muscles, is occasionally performed when there is permanent
loss of movement.
drop caused by trauma or nerve damage can show a partial or
complete recovery; if a symptom of progressive neurological
disorders, foot drop can continue as a lifelong occurrence and
will not shorten life expectancy. Treatment depends on the
underlying cause, which, if successfully treated, may improve
foot drop or cause it to disappear.
helpful treatments include an ankle and foot brace or a
splint, physical therapy and exercises that strengthen the leg
muscles and help maintain knee and ankle range of motion; heel
stiffness can be prevented by stretching exercise.
to increased risk of falling and tripping, caregivers are
reminded to take precautions at home: keep floors clear
of clutter; avoid using throw rugs which can slip; move all
electrical cords from walkways and halls; keep rooms and
stairways properly lighted; and place fluorescent tape on the
tops and bottoms of stairs.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
$20 to get in. Didn't even get to touch lava."
the park shuts off some of the waterfalls after mid summer.
This is probably due to dwindling Park Service budgets that
are spent on toilet paper. Please protest this fiscal
mismanagement by STAYING AWAY from Yosemite!
there are bears in Yosemite. They practice breaking into
cars. Do you want a bear to break into your car? STAY AWAY!”
Glacier National Park- “At
the time of our visit, half of the road was closed due to
snow! Well, there was no snow on the mountains and it being
late June, it could not possibly have snowed there! Was
there a UFO landing? Pretty fishy.”
Mountain National Park- "Way
overrated. First of all there's wildlife everywhere - who
wants to run into a moose on the trail? What if it eats you?
And the rangers are all way too friendly. It's like they're
completely oblivious to all the suffering in the world. Plus
there's not a single Starbucks on any of the trail heads.
Finally, too many snow capped mountains. I like to see the
horizon at all times. It calms me."
Japanese politician who was kicked out of an assembly
session last year after bringing
her 7-month-old baby to
the chambers was forced to leave again — this time, for
sucking on a cough drop during assembly.
EFM- idiocy knows no country boundaries
10/3: Are we going to see $100/barrel??
tops $85 a barrel as funds wager on Iran sanction Oil
prices climbed above $85 a barrel for the first time
in nearly four years as renewed worries about US sanctions
on Iran and optimism over global economic growth boosted
Brent crude, the international benchmark.
show that many preventable accidents occur in bathrooms. Falls
are the top culprit in this category. Wet floors and small
spaces are only some of the causes for concern in a bathroom
setting. Caregivers must recognize these obstacles before
assisting someone they love in the restroom. Ignoring them can
be a disaster for both caregiver and the one being cared for.
an answer to the bathroom-transfer dilemma, many devices and
maneuver methods are available to ensure a caregiver’s and
their loved one’s safety. It is also important for a caregiver
to recognize that nothing is more personal than assisting
another with intimate cares. Respect and concern for their
loved one’s emotional comfort are as important as their
can establish a large amount of control over bathroom safety
while in their own or a loved one’s home. There are two
categories a caregiver should consider as preventive safety
measures. The first is procedures and the second, products.
Many potential problems can be addressed simply by home
modification, approach tactics or the use of assistive
are some general procedural tips to aid in the completion of a
not pull on a person’s arms or under their shoulders.
a gait belt secured around their waist for assistance.
each step of the transfer, then give physical assistance and
verbal cues during the movement.
a loved one time to comprehend what’s expected and to follow
through on their own time.
the toilet or tub, there are guidelines caregivers can follow
for each care performed in the bathroom. Proper transfer
techniques can prevent more serious issues down the road, for
all parties involved. Many of those discussed are targeted
toward the senior population. However, the techniques could be
practiced on any age group.
a toilet, a raised seat or toilet safety frame is recommended
to complete the transfer as safely as possible. First, make
sure the person is in position, so both of the backs of their
legs touch the toilet. Have their arms reach back to grasp a
side grab bar, toilet or vanity for support. A caregiver
should next assist them to a seated position. A note on toilet
seats: If the person’s feet do not touch the floor when seated
on the toilet, it is too high, and will put them at a higher
risk for falls due to instability.
older homes have tubs with a shower attached, while others
have a single shower stall. Each can pose different safety
risks, especially after water has had its chance to saturate
the area! The most transfer-friendly option is of course, a
shower stall. If possible, a caregiver should consider
replacing an existing tub with a stall and a shower chair. If
not feasible, below are some tips for transfers in a tub.
the person so that the backs of their legs touch the bathtub
and are in line with the tub chair.
using a chair, have the person reach and grab the back of
the tub chair.
other hand then grabs the side of the tub, or an assistive
caregiver can slowly lower the person onto the side of the
the hand on the tub or other device, and place it on the
the legs up one at a time and swing them into the tub.
person should be positioned in the center of the chair or
to transfer out of tub.