The Market Ticker
Commentary on The Capital Markets
2015-08-01 09:49 by Karl Denninger
in Administrative , 274 references

The Market Ticker is on hiatus the next couple of weeks; there will be content posted from time to time, but comments to articles will be delayed in approval.

It is time for both reflection and recreation.


And we thought the bad deal was just on the US side..... nope!

KA’ANAPALI, Hawaii—High-level efforts to complete a major Pacific trade agreement ended Friday without resolution amid deep differences over trade in dairy and other products.

U.S. and other officials had hoped to wrap up the final contours of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership this week. Officials in a statement said they made “significant progress” and would work further on a deal, without specifying a future meeting.

The sticking points are in dairy and automobiles.

Guess who was*****ed off about this?  Canada, which has tariffs on dairy imports.  Oh, and guess what -- the US wants to keep restrictions on dairy products too, but of course we want to drop other tariffs in other places.

Uh huh.

Free trade eh?

Well, not so much -- unless it involves China exporting things here, in which case it's just fine.  For the rest, not so much, which is the problem with these so-called "deals" -- they're not really "free trade" at all.

But more to the point is the fact that to the extent they are "free trade" they're really little more than enabling indentured servitude or worse among the "manufacturing" nations.  In essence, these deals are really about little more than finding ways to evade wage, working condition and environmental protection laws in developed nations -- most-particularly in the United States.

For this reason "lawmakers" who advocate for and pass these "deals" ought to be treated as having violated the rights of the citizens in the nation involved, indicted, tried and imprisoned.

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Sure it did...... 

It didn't go, for example, into all the shale plays that were nicely profitable with oil at $100, but are ruinously underwater with it at $50, right?

It didn't go over into China -- and those companies that sell into that market (e.g. CAT, etc) and their laughably-bogus economic numbers that China has always put out.  Incidentally, the margin clerk is on line 1 in relation to those buys you made with borrowed money.....

And it sure as hell didn't go over into Europe -- or here -- "chasing yield" (e.g. in places like Greece, Puerto Rico, etc) -- right?

I bring this up because market detonations aren't really about "recessions" per-se.  Rather, they're about outrageous leverage that is enabled by increasingly-unwise transactions that usually, in the end, turn to fraud to cover up the losses.

It is the inevitable cascade of forced selling that comes from this practice that results in the crash, but it is the refusal of the regulatory authorities to put a stop to the bogus crap in the first instance that sets up the necessary conditions for it to occur.

Just as it has been before it will be this time.

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I really dislike lazy journalists -- like this one.

By default, when signing into Windows with a Microsoft account, Windows syncs some of your settings and data with Microsoft servers, for example “web browser history, favorites, and websites you have open” as well as “saved app, website, mobile hotspot, and Wi-Fi network names and passwords”. Users can however deactivate this transfer to the Microsoft servers by changing their settings.

More problematic from a data protection perspective is however the fact that Windows generates a unique advertising ID for each user on a device. This advertising ID can be used by third parties, such as app developers and advertising networks for profiling purposes.

Let's demolish this one at a time, because I just got done upgrading two machines here.

First, you do not need to sign into a Microsoft Account to use Windows 10.  In fact I was not even asked when I did my upgrades, but then again I had not previously used Windows "Live" services (nor will I be in the future!)

If you want cross-device sharing of things like your favorites list then how can this be done without that data going to Microsoft's servers?  It can't -- but yes, if you do allow that free service to be provided to you then Microsoft will by default share that data for advertising purposes.

Once again, if you take the Express button during the setup you're going to turn on a lot of data uploading to Microsoft and you have to assume they will use it for advertising purposes.  This is the new model of Windows -- you're not buying the software, but nothing is "free"; Microsoft assumes most people will take "Express" and with it allow them to advertise.

But you don't have to.  When the  "Express" button comes up to the lower left of the screen is a clickable link that takes you through two full screens of clickable "switches" for data that can be sent (or not) off your machine.  Yes, IMHO most of those should be off, and yes, they all default on.  So don't do that.

If you already screwed up left click the Start button and select "Settings" then "Privacy."  Turn off the things you don't want on.  That doesn't erase what is already sent, but it does stop future transmissions.

Also, when device encryption is on, Windows automatically encrypts the drive Windows is installed on and generates a recovery key. The BitLocker recovery key for the user’s device is automatically backed up online in the Microsoft OneDrive account.

Again, false.  Bitlocker asks where the recovery key is to be stored.  Your can upload it to OneDrive, but while it's damn convenient it's also not very secure!  The other two options are to save it locally (E.g. to a thumb drive) or to print it (to a physical piece of paper.)

The recovery key is your only way back into that drive if the primary key is lost.

Incidentally, for those of you with a TPM in your computer (laptops, primarily) using a TPM only to secure Bitlocker isn't very secure.  While in theory TPM modules are secure they can be tricked into divulging the key.  The primary value in a TPM is that if someone simply removes your hard disk they're hosed as the TPM won't unlock the key if it detects that -- but if the machine is willing to "believe" you are the person with it (e.g. via your fingerprint, BIOS password or even simply turning it on!) the TPM will be happy to release the key and unlock the disk, at which point your data is available.

Far better is to use both TPM and a password; to enable this use "gpedit" (as an Adminstrator.)  You only need to do this if you have a TPM in your computer, and you must do it before enabling Bitlocker, as by default if there is no TPM you will be asked for a password when you set up encryption.  The options are here:

Then select "Operating System Drives" and set the appropriate options as shown below

Now when you set up Bitlocker you will be given the option of using a password along with your TPM.  That combination is extremely secure; you need both the undoctored TPM and the password.

Oh, and don't upload that recovery key to OneDrive.  No, no, no and no.

As for Cortana, all host-based speech recognition engines have this issue.  Siri anyone?  Google's (or for that matter BlackBerry's) "Assistant"?  Same deal; your voice is uploaded to their servers and analyzed and you give them permission to do that as an inherent part of the computing power they give you without charging you for it directly.  If you're uncomfortable with this then do what I do -- don't use those infernal things.  Cortana is trivially easy to turn off, incidentally.

Yes, Microsoft gives you the ability to shoot yourself in the head, along with giving them access to all sorts of data they can and will use to advertise to you.  But they don't appear to require it, and if you pay attention to what you're doing there does not appear to be more going on in Windows 10 in this regard than there was with other, previous Microsoft OS releases.

PS: I'm no particular fan of Microsoft, but if you're going to take a shot at them do it over something they have actually done or are doing!

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