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Cigarbutt

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  1. For those interested in this book, the Big Three had authored a previous collection of essays and had used the label of "firefighters". It looks like some suggested that they were fighting, to some extent, something that they had started (some even used the label arsonists). So, since controlling the message is so important, using the first responders' image in this day and age makes a lot of sense. Don't fight the Fed, they say.
  2. ^i can't comment on MSFT or NUAN specifically as investment targets but i'm familiar with some of their products (early adopter) and with the potential of the investment. NUAN is one of the leaders in the specialized voice recognition area. Because of the evolution towards electronic records, their dictation software has become an option. i've found that their products improve productivity but the improvement is somewhat marginal (not revolutionary) and many users, on a net basis, don't realize productivity enhancements. However, many users end up using the product and then switching cost
  3. ^ -Costs related to restrictive measures (from spontaneous at individual levels to mandated) have been very high. -"Best I can tell, policy choices matter much less than many people think"---) yes and the 'color' of the state/jurisdiction has limited impact. -Also, we can agree on the value of small and limited government. But to suggest that restrictive measures have no significant effect or even a negative effect on the burden of a contagious disease is very unusual and hard to reconcile with a logical process... Take a look, from a US relatively comparable neighbor
  4. ^ 1-Have NY, NJ and MA applied more restrictive measures vs the virus? Yes 2-Have NY, NJ and MA reported the highest covid-19 deaths per capita in the US? Yes There is a huge problem however with the cause and effect between 1- and 2-. The following is based on very concrete on-the-ground inputs as well as other sources that have aggregated the data over time. When New Jersey reported its first COVID-19-related death, a 69-year-old man from Bergen County, concurrently New York unveiled the most stringent measures seen in the US and deployed the National Guard, but most
  5. ^There was this 'case' a while back and one of the lawyers asked the two (opposing view) 'experts' how they could make sure that bias was not clouding their judgement. One of the two answered that this was not a problem because he did not have a bias problem. The other answered that bias was a significant issue and explained constructive ways to minimize the impact on reasoning. As a consumer of general information, which 'expert' do you rely on? ----- @Investor20 The Lancet article is interesting (thanks). The asthma inhaler (steroid-derived) story is relevant to this specific discu
  6. i think what we disagree about is the lack of motivation. A lot of the confusion is about semantics. The Fed does 'create' currency (but as a swap to an asset of different duration which is also recorded). As a coincident evolution or as a contributory effect, central banks' fixation on low interest rates have been linked to gradually lower real yields. It's still not clear what this means. https://ggc-mauldin-images.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/newsletters/Image_11_20210410_TFTF.png Your reserves management hypothesis may be partly or even mostly correct. Only a handful of p
  7. It seems this thread has been going on forever but here's some anecdotal information. We live in close suburbs to the Montreal area and our area has shown similar (although less marked) pricing trends in real estate versus some other parts of Canada (ie Toronto and Vancouver). Also, foreign capital is not a significant factor and zoning issues continue to have relatively limited impact. Our second-door neighbors recently put their house for sale (virtually) on a Thursday night at 20h. In the following minutes, there was an avalanche of interest with people being ready to pay variable
  8. The work mentioned by KJP involved healthcare workers (certain risk to generalize conclusions) but the percentages mentioned involved both symptomatic and asymptomatic disease and the study was done at a time when the B117 strain was dominant in general UK community transmission. At this point (that may change over time), there is no definitive and direct evidence answering your question. When studies are made in initial vaccine trials, design setup involves to focus on efficacy of vaccines for individuals. Testing for efficacy against community transmission or the formation of clusters
  9. ^i guess 'political' is the wrong word. If your conclusion is based on a belief or a set of ideological (and potentially dogmatic) ideas, it becomes very hard to 'argue' based on facts and sound analysis. Solid evidence is building, showing that the efficacy (from stage 3 trials) is materializing into efficiency in the real world (Israel and others). The evidence is also building vs a dramatic decrease incidence in developing the disease (viral load, symptoms etc) and so transmission significant decrease can be reasonably expected. In Israel (also seen in the US and locally in my ar
  10. i've been to Atlantic City a few times (not for a while though) and it never seemed like an ideal place to develop new grocery retail space. However, it's a food desert and there may be a long term opportunity there. Specifically, there may be a market for locals and the potential for SNAP use is high. They also plan to include a job training center (i assume it's a staffing agency) in their new building and, from an on-the-ground perspective in my area, there is potential there too.
  11. ^QE is simply an asset swap, a swap that doesn't square well with points 1), 2) and 3). There are no clear upper limits to QE as long as technical (financial plumbing) issues are adjusted (ie bank ratios etc) and unseen side effects remain unseen. Restraints at this level have to be intrinsic (the 1913 Federal Reserve Act is interesting in that regard). There are two 'monetary' cycles (the inner Fed to banks cycle and the real economy cycle) with an intersection in commercial banks and subsidiary dealers. The central banks are finding out that they have very little influence on the r
  12. It's not clear if this is a mainstream topic or even relevant (and available time for this area is kept under 1%) but this is getting really weird. No? There's this recent piece which some may find interesting (it contains some interesting bank data and suggests an unusual solution) and which reveals how 'disconnected' (IMO) monetary authorities have become. The author (who likely is very bright and has noble intentions) basically suggests (to 'solve' the SLR technical features related to our new monetary era) to the Treasury to issue extra debt (overfund) to 'others' and use the cas
  13. It is an odds game and you can make your own assessment. It's still interesting to see how people evaluate low probability events and how context matters. There is a lot of noise now (maybe some underlying signal) about the Astra-Zeneca vaccine and the related 'thrombosis' risk. If there is a causality risk, it is extremely low, much lower for example that the thrombosis risk that women get exposed to when starting to take the birth control pill. Many people are refusing the A-Z vaccine based on that specific risk. Do you know many women wondering about their thrombosis risk when taking t
  14. Isn't this statement reflecting the spirit of this (investment) Board in general? An interesting aspect (opinion based on interpretation of presently known facts) is that most people aged below 50 who are reasonably healthy and who get vaccinated basically are getting vaccinated for the benefit of others. It was something that Alexis De Tocqueville noticed when he visited early America (many people will tend to do the 'right' thing especially if they're not told directly to do so).
  15. From the link: "Berkshire Hathaway is offering a five-year bond at 17-20 basis points over mid-swaps, which at current market levels is equivalent to a coupon of about 0.2%. The deal also includes 10-year, 15-year and 20-year notes, with expected ratings from Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings higher than those given to Japanese sovereign debt." BRK has a better credit rating than the 3rd largest economy in the world.. In September 2019 when BRK issued yen-denominated debt, their 10-yr yield was at about 0.44% with the 10-yr JGB at -0.25%. Today, the JGB 10-yr
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