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C'mon folks.

Deutsche Bank is on the verge of collapse.  Let me remind you that back at the time of the financial crisis in 2007/08 I wrote specifically about them, calling the firm repeatedly DoucheBank as they had an utterly ridiculous derivative exposure compared against their capital.  In fact they made US bank exposure in this regard look like the work of pikers.

Not only has nobody done a thing about that in our markets Germany, I remind you, urged them to expand their exposure -- and they have.  In addition total credit market debt has expanded by $57 trillion since 2007, a close to 40% increase!  GDP, on the other hand, has gone up nowhere near as much.  Indeed, global government debt has roughly doubled since 2008 -- to $59 trillion.

One of the largest increases has been in college student loans, which are up a staggering 130% since 2007 in the United States alone.

The problem is that economic expansion -- that is, the common output of the economy, has not matched debt expansion.  Not even close.  This is an unsustainable practice since without output expanding at a rate that exceeds expansion of debt you must eventually stop or the economy will contract even though debt is expanding, and once that begins to occur it is a black-hole event horizon from which you cannot escape until virtually everyone who is in debt has been liquidated and those who hold that debt will take monstrous losses -- in many cases 100% losses!

When Donald Trump said in the debate that we were in a huge bubble he was exactly correct -- we are.  We are in a bubble where market prices for stocks have risen dramatically, housing has gone up to a material (and unsustainable) degree, and the embedded but not measured in inflation statistical data cost of living (e.g. medical) has risen at a ridiculous rate as well.  Trump has repeatedly charged that policy from The Fed, which is largely responsible for this bubble, is political in nature; whether that's the case or it has simply resulted from Fed hubris (which Greenspan and Bernanke both displayed in abundance and only Greenspan has admitted to) is immaterial to the outcome.

This deterioration has been reflected in labor productivity, which has now gone negative.  But that's just one small place that we can measure; the other places are not measured but have far more impact.  Nonetheless, that the impact has managed to filter into unit labor productivity and costs is especially troubling.

Remember that bank leverage in the form of derivative exposure is what made the crash in 2008 happen.  Lehman, alone, blowing up was no big deal -- companies fail all the time and Lehman, in terms of size, employee count and economic impact was a literal non-event.

It was the threat of cross-default on derivatives that took down the markets and the economy, and we now have it happening again but nobody is talking about it.

If you think Germany can bail out Deutsche Bank you're delusional.  Their total derivative exposure grossly exceeds the entire net value of everything in Germany!  Not just the government's resources, all private resources as well!  In other words even if the government wanted to bail them out, even if they'd survive bailing them out politically they can't, even if they attempted to confiscate everything of value within the nation.

Beware.

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https://presidentialopenquestions.com/questions/3457/vote/

Right there folks.

Go ahead, click the link, upvote it.

Maybe it gets asked.  smiley

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It's time to put a stop to the charade that is a "moderator" at debates.

We need to change the format, in short.  This is what I recommend.

  • Install a device with a large button (red and visible on the top) of each podium.  These are connected to a small computer (as Raspberry Pi will do) with a large LED-style display for remaining time, one for each candidate that faces toward them (so they can see it.)

  • The candidates take a coin toss for who goes first.  After the first question the order alternates.

  • For each round the selected candidate presses their button; this turns on his or her mic for 30 seconds.  They have 30 seconds to direct a question to the other candidate of their choosing.  When the 30 seconds is up their mic is cut off.

  • The responding candidate presses their button.  This turns on their mic for 2 minutes, during which they have the only working microphone.  They may use their 2 minutes however they wish but when the 2 minutes has expired their mic is cut off.

  • The other candidate now may press their button and gets 2 minutes for a response as well to their own question and/or the asked candidate's answer.   Again, after 2 minutes click -- the mic is off.

  • Finally, the asked candidate gets 30 seconds for a rebuttal; again, they must press their button to enable the mic and after 30 seconds it's over.

There are no other microphones nor pool feeds other than the microphones that go through the box.  It is thus impossible (within reason) to talk over the other candidate since you can't be heard except locally in the room.  It is also impossible to go over time.

And finally, it puts a full and complete stop to any sort of bias from a so-called "moderator" since the candidates themselves choose the questions, either from those items they wish to talk about or those they wish to try to skewer their opponent with.  In either event the challenged candidate gets both more time and the opportunity to go both first and last with a rebuttal.

This would end the charade that is currently called "a debate" and restore something approaching an actual policy discussion between the candidates.  It can work for more than 2 as well (the "asker" doesn't get a rebuttal period) but becomes dicier with larger fields.

I'll write the code if someone wants to use it -- it would take me roughly an afternoon to code it up and another afternoon to put together the interface box for the podium switches (de-bounce and such.)

What say everyone?

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My daughter and I just got back from a week-long trip out to the Grand Canyon.  We spent the evenings in a tent and the days shooting pictures and hiking.

It was awesome, and I'm going back -- there's no possible way to really take it all in with any reasonably-short period of time.

But the trip, and the last couple of days, drew into sharp relief a few things that I've written on previously, but with a new focus and urgency.  So here we go, in no particular order:

  • So you want to talk about the "inerrancy" of some holy book eh?  Those of you who are into the whole "God thing" really need to step back and think -- if you're able to think, that is.  The Canyon puts it all in sharp relief for you within seconds of seeing it for the first time -- not in a picture, not in a movie, but for real up close and personal.  This is a geological formation that took hundreds of millions of years to form.  In front of you at first glance this is no longer abstract, it is proof that the tectonic plates collided, that this collision produced the various striations of the canyon and then the river cut the path deeper and deeper into it, and in fact does so today to the tune of a tiny fraction of a millimeter every year.  I've heard it is akin to about the thickness of a piece of paper annually, which sounds about right.  Those of you who think the earth is 5,000 years old or some nonsense like that are simply full of crap -- period.  There is hard proof that humans were living in that specific area 10,000 years ago, among other things, and that's just the human presence which has left hard proof behind.  The evidence is incontrovertible and "in your face" out there.

  • The vast majority of Americans today are flatly incapable of taking in a huge percentage of what this park offers due to their own personal lifestyle choices.  Smoke?  Overweight?  Out of shape?  Forget it, other than the rim walk -- and the neatest part of the canyon is in fact down.  On the way home and over the last day or so I have, of course, been "back in America" -- People of WalMart land.  That such a huge percentage of the population is simply unable to experience what we did up close and personal is saddening to an extreme degree -- especially if that inability is through elective choices.  10 or 20 years ago, in fact 30 years ago, I remind readers, I was incapable of the Kaibab South hike we took myself.  I changed that and for those who can (and that's most people irrespective of age) I ask this: Why aren't you?

  • Thy land is so vast and thy person is so small. I've had this moment before on the ocean in the form of "thy sea is so vast and thy boat is so small", but the thing about the sea is that it appears infinite -- and unchanging.  This place is different in a qualitative and quantitative way and is of an entirely different character.  If you haven't been, or even if you have but only on a "cursory" tour around the rim then the "ooohhh" and "aahhhh" factor might be there, but the real experience hasn't hit you.  Get below the rim a way down and all that changes immediately.  There's nothing "the same" from one foot to the next, vertically or otherwise.  Pictures don't do it justice; you have to be there.

  • The critters cheat death by the minute.  Why are you so damned scared?  At Skeleton Point there were two squirrels.  One was lean and looked like it wasn't going to do so well through the upcoming winter.  The other was a fatty who obviously had no problem remaining fed.  Both wanted what we had for a snack (neither got one) but here's the thing -- both were scrambling over precipices that were quite-literally "straight down to certain death" deals if you lost your footing.  How does this apply to you?  Simple: How many of us go through our day, week or year without a single risk, without pushing ourselves to do more, to step out, to spend time smelling the roses instead of tromping the hamster wheel?  How many of us take the road less-traveled -- or not traveled at all? How many think that Lexus or "Joneses" house, boat, or $200 pair of Air Jordans are the most important things in the world?  How many young people eat themselves to death and take on $100k worth of college debt for worthless degrees instead of choosing the old car, a job and the ability to decide to say "effitall" to chase whatever dream they may have?  One squirrel was obviously more successful than the other thus far in life but neither walked the easy road, despite one being able to do exactly that.  Think about it....

  • This place is different. I've hiked parts of the AT and been all over the woods in various parts of the country.  Nothing hits you the way this place does.  Nothing.  Yeah, the "hike of the bees" near Neels Gap is cool, and so are the ridge-walks that are a part of that area of the AT.  The Smokies are cool too, including Paul's Bunyon. Yes, all of those are neat and enjoyable, but this is transformative.

  • Mosquitoes? What are those?  Probably due to the lack of standing water there basically aren't any.  We used exactly zero bug spray and got bit never.  How nice....

  • Scared of big animals -- including up close -- or intend to do stupid things around them?  Don't go.  Seriously, we had elk in our camp passing single-digit feet away from our tent -- and us.  If you don't respect said animals and their inherent power and majesty you might regret that.... You're not the biggest thing out there, in short.

  • Please don't be a drunk jackass, particularly in a campground at night.  You know who you were.  I like to party like everyone else but not at night, in proximity to other people who have no interest in your revelry.  Seriously, there's something special about this place and you can be profane anywhere, never mind that some folks would like to sleep.

Finally, don't go here expecting to get your "every minute is an Internet moment."  It's definitely not.  While there are places you will have cell service (surprisingly enough) in the park you certainly can't count on it at all.  This I see as a feature rather than a bug, incidentally.  In town at the coffee shop, however, I had service.

I'll be doing more of this sort of thing, and less of everything else in the coming months and years.

"Effitallandyourcraptoo" as a life position got a lot more real this last week, and I'm going back for much more.

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Let me be clear: Obama is a terrorist sympathizer and so is Hillary Clinton.  I will explain.

We now know that the Orlando shooter was motivated by a strike on an ISIS commander:

In a newly released transcript of one of the calls with police made during his siege of the Pulse nightclub early on June 12, Omar Mateen said his massacre was retribution for the coalition strike that killed Abu Waheeb, a somewhat obscure executioner and propagandist with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“Yo, the airstrike that killed Abu Wahid [sic] a few weeks ago, that’s what triggered it, okay?” Mateen told a police negotiator in one of the multiple calls made while he was inside the nightclub.“They should have not bombed and killed Abu Wahid [sic].”

Now the facts.

Obama has denied that Islamic terrorism was responsible for the massacre.  He lied and he knew it.

And Hillary Clinton's State Department blocked an investigation into the mosque the killer attended because it "unfairly" singled out Muslims (Gee, you mean Muslims attend mosques, and nobody else does?)

Then the shooter's father, who is a supporter of hers, showed up at one of her campaign rallies.

Oh, by the way, where is the shooter's wife -- it does appear, does it not, that Obama's government, that is, HILLARY'S party, let her leave the country and of course she will never return to face the music as an apparent accomplice since there are reports in the media that she drove him to the club, heavily armed, to commit his massacre.

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