Dear patient readers
Thanks for all your kind notes yesterday. Feeling a good bit better.
Surfing duck: Pet becomes local celebrity at Australian beach BBC (David L)
— Open Ocean Exploration (@RebeccaRHelm) January 29, 2021
28 Trillion Tonnes of Ice Have Melted Since 1994, on Track With Worst-Case Scenarios ScienceAlert (Kevin W)
How algorithms and data are used to influence you Vox (resilc)
Researchers use AI to help businesses understand Code of Federal Regs, other legal docs TechXplore (Dr. Kevin)
Mediterranean diet and the hallmarks of ageing European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
As WHO mission into Covid origin begins in China, bereaved son seeks answers NBC (furzy). I am such a moron. The reason for China’s resistance may be that that big official dinner in Wuhah as the disease was starting to get going, and was widely publicized/criticized outside China, may have been kept well under wraps. Any investigation is likely to expose earlier evidence of the disease; the question then becomes whether there were warnings or calls for follow-up that were ignored.
>CDC issue sweeping national mask mandate on ALL public transport including planes, ships, subways and buses that will take effect on TUESDAY Daily Mail
Several Mutations of the Coronavirus That Causes COVID-19 Detected in Oregon Wastewater Willamette Week (David L)
Vaccinated congressman tests positive for virus Associated Press
Beijing must recognise its own mistakes in US-China relations South China Morning Post
New Cold War
Putin signs last-minute extension to nuclear weapons treaty with US Guardian (Kevin W)
Imperial Collapse Watch
Will the US end military domination to save the planet? Responsible Statecraft (resilc)
Joe Biden’s dollar policy holds the key to a fairer global financial system South China Morning Post
Legal Pressure on Trump Increases With Judge’s Order in Fraud Inquiry New York Times (furzy). IMHO the valuation issue is noise. Any lender does his own due diligence and on real estate, should make his own proformas from the rent rolls. Unless Trump provided copies of tax returns for the relevant entities that weren’t the same as the ones filed, or fake rent contracts, it’s hard to see the problem. Plus as we’ve pointed out with PE, when you have more than one firm investing in the same company, it is not hard to see valuations that differ by 100% or more (as in one fund puts a value on it 2x or more higher than the other fund) and each can offer a very articulate defense of their valuation. But not treating forgiven debt as income? How could Trump’s accountants have signed his tax returns?
Proud Boys Charged With Conspiracy in Capitol Riot New York Times
Our Famously Free Press
The G.O.P. Is in a Doom Loop of Bizarro New York Times (Kevin W)
This is BIG. I just learned that Gavin Newsom is under HEAVY pressure from Nancy Pelosi and a contingent of others to appoint Adam Schiff as California’s next AG. And let me tell you, this would be a huge problem for criminal justice reform in the state.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) January 30, 2021
GameStop Stock Game Got Stomped Matt Levine. The important stuff is in the second half of the piece, where he discussed the extension of credit by exchanges even for non-levered trades, DTCC, and clearinghouse margin. The key point comes (yet again) in a comment at the Financial Times, that the trading restrictions almost certainly have nada to do with protecting anyone except Robinhood, since a long position creates new clearinghouse requirements:
It is now becoming clearer Robin Hood has a liquidity issue.
The central clearing facility for stock trade known as the DTCC – Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation has raised collateral requirements on GME from 1-3% to 100%. That’s the real reason clearing houses stopped accepting new orders on GME from brokers. The collateral requirements on several stocks has increased due to the extreme volatility. This is why Robin Hood and others have halted or stopped trading on these stocks only. Robin Hood had to increase its credit line at the banks and now allows small trades on GME for 1 or 5 shares basically they cant pay the collateral requirements for the DTCC…..they don’t care about whether you lose or make money. But the settlement risk is a problem, that’s why they limit trading. It’s a good case study that shows the industry could benefit from real time resilient settlement infrastructure
An FT story focused on this issue: GameStop curbs put clearing houses under the spotlight
Tesla Roadster Delayed To 2022 Electrek
Exclusive: U.S. oil industry seeks unusual alliance with Farm Belt to fight Biden electric vehicle agenda Reuters. Resilc: “Everybody seems to think there are zero issues with electric vehicles, it is a wonderfix.”
The U.S. Economy Excels at One Thing: Producing Massive Inequality CounterPunch (resilc)
This is the most powerful false equivalence I have ever encountered. pic.twitter.com/yDUsMyQc5A
— Zach Griffen (@runzach) January 29, 2021
Antidote du jour. Tracie H: “This sweet Chihuahua is an occasional assistant at a wonderful shop in Laguna Beach (CA) called the Laguna Exchange”:
And a bonus (David L). Soon, he’ll be counting cards:
And another bonus (Chuck L):
Some much needed joy to start your day with pic.twitter.com/RktGq459R9
— Louisa Compton (@louisa_compton) January 29, 2021
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.