"Economy" Posts
Fridges are the new rocket science

Fridges are the new rocket science

Fridges are the new rocket science… IBM’s target of a million-qubit requires the biggest and coolest fridge ever.

The article is also a good overview of where quantum computers are, and where they will be. Quantum computers will be exponentially better at some tasks, but not at all tasks. Excel will still run on your desktop; high-dimensional problems (investments! back-tests! optimizations!) would fit well in quantum computers. The next generation of software will separate tasks and send them to either/or, thanks to cloud-based quantum capacity.

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France declares second national lockdown

France declares second national lockdown

No benefit in being alarmist, and there are far too many people talking about COVID than needed. But the markets remain ‘truth midwives”, and today’s market fall is explained by these points:
– The resurgence covid resurgence is much larger this Fall than it was in Spring.
– Europe (not just France), needs to re-instore solid prophylactic measures. There are now curfews in large French cities.
– While Europe is in a second wave, whose roots probably come from frustration and the abnormal strength of this virus, the US is still in its first wave. The recent US resurgence is only the virus reaching states, which it had not yet infected. There’s probably worse to come in the US.

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Mind the Gap: Diversification and inequality

Mind the Gap: Diversification and inequality

Simple and interesting reading. Imagine we all started in life with the same wealth and randomly generated profits by trading with each other. The first winners benefit from diversification, and tend to increase their wealth.
=> A fair economy naturally converges towards an unequal society.
In other words, even with equal skills and no inheritance, some of us will become the 1%. By pure luck.

That would have been a touchy Thanksgiving topic…

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The state of crypto hedge funds

The state of crypto hedge funds

PwC released its annual Crypto Hedge Fund report; it contains many interesting statistics – fees, size, investor source, strategies, liquidity, performance…

The G7 adopts a global minimal tax rate for corporations

The end of corporate tax shenanigans? The global minimum tax

Corporate taxes have been decreasing for the last decades, the result of tax competition between countries, tax havens, as well as corporate tax shenanigans. The finance ministers of the G-7 have now agreed to a global minimum rate of 15%. This is big news, with important consequences.

MM Warburg & Co office in Hamburg

Cum/Ex: the first jail sentence is frightening German finance

The first jail sentence has been pronounced in the Cum/Ex tax fraud. The fine is a death knell for one of Germany’s oldest private banks. The judgment is causing frights in board rooms and trading floors.

Big Pump video explanation

Crypto-pumps: the widespread pump-and-dumps schemes in cryptocurrencies

Pump-and-dump are ubiquitous in crypto currencies. The schemes are well organized online groups, acting for the explicit purpose of manipulating currencies.
Organizers are front-running their groups and make great returns for themselves, so why would other participate? For hubris and gambling fever, say academics.
Regulators are absent, and the situation will deteriorate. This is the long-form review of this Far West of modern ages.

Wirecard - Financial Times

Wirecard, fintech fraud and supervisory blunder

The credit card processor was actually a purpose-built money laundering scheme.
Wirecard tricked its auditors, its board, external investigators. It retaliated against whistleblowers. With the support of its regulator.
That wouldn’t happen over here, but could it? Thoughts?

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - Viktor Mikhaylovich Vasnetsov- 1887

Volmageddon, miscalculation, new regulation?

On February 5th, 2018 (Volmageddon) the volatility reverse ETF XIV lost 96% of its value in the space of a few hours. Its iNAV was also miscalculated for an hour.
We have now discovered why: S&P Dow Jones was understaffed and did not release an ‘auto hold’ safety.
This human error contributes to current debate on the need to regulate index providers as investment advisors.

ChineseWoman-with-a-fan-Is China-A-Paper-Dragon

China isn’t a threat. America is the world’s only superpower

We have all heard that China is a growing economic & military threat to the US and the world order. But is it really?
Michael Beckley’s book ‘Unrivaled: Why America Will Remain the World’s Sole Superpower’ demonstrates it isn’t, says The Atlantic’s David Frum. Here is why.

Whistleblower takes the entire CFTC gold pot

The Libor manipulation whistleblower takes the entire CFTC pot

The risk manager who blew the whistle on Deutsche’s Libor manipulation is entitled to a $100m award.
That’s a problem. It would empty the coffer for the entire program, and block other actions.

Dogecoin Rap, or how social media can pump a crypto high.

Dogecoin Rap unwrap – social media push crypto to a new high price.

The Dogecoin Rap video is funny and right on cue, if you listen carefully. But crypto can only go up via social media advertising, experts say.

We have seen such exuberance in the past. But now the GameStop Redditors who bankrupted hedge funds say that Dogecoin is next.

It very much looks like a “pump”, as in “pump-and-dump”.

Robinhood side effects include headaches, suicide, anxiety, withdrawals and IPO.

Robinhood: side effects include headaches, suicide, addiction, anxiety, withdrawals. And IPO.

Robinhood has demonstrated and deleterious effects on day traders, including enormous tax losses, suicide, anxiety, addiction.

Meanwhile, the firm is the subject of major regulatory and legal procedures, whose outcomes are hidden or unknown.

The firm’s IPO looks very much like passing on the hot potato… again to unsuspecting and inexperienced traders.

Non-Fungible Tokens in Non-Fungible Markets

Non-Fungible Tokens are the new asset class of digital art, and the spearhead of ‘decentralized finance’. Can with reconcile innovation with good sense? NFTs with regulations?

This article reviews their nature, their legal & regulatory difficulties, pinpoints extreme examples, highlights their volatility and more importantly, asks how a digital economy could be constructed around these loosely regulated assets.

Driving a nail in the coffin

The last nail for binary options?

The SEC has hit yet another nail in the binary option coffin, and what a big nail that is. SpotOption was the industrial-size engine behind this global scam.
This article explains binary options, what their true risk really is, how some have weaponized it, the SEC’s actions, as well as shares comments from the investigative press.

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