Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Trump is not divine

Garrison Keillor ponders quitting Christianity over Trump

So, Mr. Keillor, you can keep your ghosts and goblins

California fires secession shot across bow

Dear Colleagues:As indicated in the attached letter from UCOP, Governor Brown signed into law AB 1887 which prohibits state-funded travel to a state that has passed a law that (1) authorizes discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, or (2) voids or repeals existing state or local protections against such discrimination. The law expressly identifies the University of California as an entity covered by the law.As of the date of this notice, the States of Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee are on the prohibited travel list. The list of states may be updated on the Attorney General’s website found here: note that the law does not prohibit travel that is paid for or reimbursed using non-state funds.
Good work, Jerry. Let's see what those Yanks do now. 

Ned? Ned Ryrerson!

Couldn't make college, selling government insurance.

Fear of Trump Shock

Rogoff on the negative interest rates again:

There may not be enough time before the next deep recession to lay the groundwork for effective negative-interest-rate policy or to phase in a higher inflation target. But that is no excuse for not starting to look hard at these options, especially if the alternatives are likely to be far more problematic.
If we run out of time we get a midnight helicopter ride, as Nixon did.  In 1972 Nixon took us off gold and the Fed took huge monetary losses to gold bugs. It took 12 years for gold bugs to figure out investing, and prices were inflationary and distorted until then. 

What if we run out of time again?
Well, the banksters, senators and trumpsters keep meeting, and the money piles up until we get smoke, the unpricable risk is priceable.  If they negotiate too long then a deal goes away, the risk gets priced by new money technology.   At that point, the copter flies.

Ken wants the copter to fly in smaller amounts, more often.  He does not like doing this every 45 years, as that last step is a steep one. 

I want the copter to fly about every ten minutes, globally.  If the sandbox is ready before the final jam, then the sandboxers have a strong negotiating position. The sandbox, accepting to hold some debt relief, in exchange for a guarantee on the private key distribution, tamper proofing that makes the  singularity possiblre.

SmartTrade, cool name

Auto Trader: smartTrade Technologies, a provider of multi-asset electronic trading solutions, said it has been working with a number of institutions on MiFIR/MiFID II implementations.smartTrade provides a cross-asset single-dealer platform supporting both FX and Fixed income instruments, including derivatives. The platform allows users to visualize key regulatory information based on dynamic rules and can be integrated with upstream and downstream sources, such as a pricing engine, internal website or Approved Public Arrangement (APA) provider.
This is a great competitor to Redneck Systems, and it has connects to a 'pricing engine', another cool name. 

Interest payments on federal debt

The top chart is Fred, it days Congress pays 2.5% of GDP on interest payments.  CEPR says only 1%.

CEPR doesn't not count lending fro social security to Congress, and it does not count the round trip inyerest payments made to the Fed.

SS lending has tyo be counted as we are all retiring and SS does not seem like a general budget item.

The round payments to the Fed should be accounted for as they inhibit the Fed's ability to react.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Self trading with our cards

We can modify how our personal budgeting operates using the trading capability of our cards, as long as we set it up with one of the management apps.  Example, is transportation budgeting, paying for insurance, ectricity for the car, tires and the rest, who manages that?

You, you buy transportation trips from yourself.  In the morning, you tap your card on the auto, it has a price beacon.  Type in your destination at the dash.The price beacon reflects back an opening price. The price is compressed, you have debited and credits your accounts for the days travels.  Your card self traded.

The app you tapped, transportation, has an agreement with your card, the card will cover your transportation costs by deposits to 'cash', or just deposits, to cover the bills before they exceed variance.  If you exceed budget, prices might rise, warning you with a red on the card some morning.

We see the obvious layer separation
The app operates ay the smart contract layer, and it can be connected to something like gas buddy.  The possibilities afforded by the transportation contract are well defined.  But the contract has pricing points, like a road trip, certain  places to buy a room and fill up the car.
The app programs the card with a coin protocol, the card can balance the cost between hotel and gas and restaurant, try to maintin budget during the trip.  Its instructions come from the app, and gas buddy may be emphasizing low gas prices along the way, using your card.  This is why we will have the IoT.

It works because the sandbox can be honest, but probabilistic. The smart contracts can hedge all they want, and at any point in  the contract, mark to market, like a checkpoint.  Savings and efficiency abound everywhere with this model.

Pension Tsunami round up

Los Angeles is one of the top five nearly bankrupt cities.  The author see them spending faster than revenues, they will be at the debt markets.
LA WATCHDOG--In August of 2015, the City of Los Angeles announced what turned out to be a budget busting contract with the Coalition of City Unions that represents the City’s 20,000 civilian workers.  According to Mayor Eric Garcetti, this agreement “prioritizes service delivery and strengthens our long term fiscal health.” To the contrary, this back room deal contributed to the City’s never ending Structural Deficit (where personnel costs increase faster than revenues) and blew a gaping hole in the 2020 budget, turning a projected surplus of $68 million into $101 million deficit. 

Prison guards are expensive.  But California has been the dumping ground for the East coast for too long.
California under Governor Jerry Brown’s third and four terms continues to reduce its prison population, a welcome reversal of the steep population increase resulting from determinant sentencing legislation Brown signed in his first term. According to the governor’s proposed budget for FYE2018, the state prison population will have dropped an impressive 21 percent since FYE12, from 163,000 to 128,000 inmates.But compensation costs per inmate grew 31 percent over the same period:.

I did the number on pension costs, they were rising 4.6%/yr over the period, twice he growth rate. Jerry is dumping employees from the state payroll as fast as he can, trying to avoid employee costs.

If we take a dive, the state budget will skoot by, maybe. But county budgets have been on a school borrowing spree like no other, and student populations are not rising. Add that to the 4% rise in employees costs, a flat sales tax base and we have a problem.

So, let's not take a dive.

Jeff, your patent application is bogus

Amazon has filed a new patent designed to help autonomous vehicles identify the driving lanes best-suited for their individual needs.
The patent, approved on Tuesday, shows a "roadway management system" that is capable of telling self-driving cars which lanes to use on the roadway, based on things like the speed and destination of the vehicle, or time of the day and traffic flow.
Sorry, but routing car traffic over street lanes is common procedure. Even if the dufas patent office grants, you are still stuck with legacy systems that route traffic. 

Retail banking shrinks

We cannot afford ATM fees. Going to on-line banking. 
SAN FRANCISCO — Wells Fargo intends to shut hundreds of branches this year and next amid a quest to cut costs as it battles the fallout from a scandal linked to bogus bank accounts.
The bank is being forced into these actions, analysts said Tuesday, because it may need to slash expenses if a new compensation structure erodes sales at branches, or if regulatory and legal investigations force additional spending.
The changes in pay for employees and the investigations both are responses to the disclosure that bank employees opened up to 2 million fraudulent checking and credit accounts without the permission of employee.
“With Wells Fargo’s change in the compensation structure, they are likely expecting softer sales results as the company seeks to rebuild trust,” said Michael Yoshikami, founder of Walnut Creek-based Destination Wealth Management, an investment firm. “Lower sales goals will lead to lower corporate profits and Wells Fargo is taking appropriate action to right size the company based on this new culture.”