Tesla now fully able to self-drive safer than humans

While much of the world remains preoccupied with impotent central bank grandstanding, the US presidential train wreck and reams of counter-productive nonsense, Tesla has now not only made and released the best rated car in history, that can be fueled for free from the sun with zero carbon emissions and zero air pollution–but now all of its vehicles also have the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver.

If you think it’s not a huge leap forward to take humans and all of our many distractions and physical impairments out of the driving equation, then you’ve not been paying attention to the people around you in traffic.

While pundits banter about how to spur innovation, this is what it actually looks like.  It’s already transforming human behavior, the economy and the planet for the better, and few people are yet aware or acknowledging the milestone.  Worse, some low lights, who have personally never created anything, are still bashing the achievement and explaining why it can never be done! Humans sure can be stubbornly dim when they want to be.

For those who wish to see that the future of world changing automobiles is already here, this is the real time video.  Pass on the good news.

Eight surround cameras provide 360 degrees of visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range. Twelve updated ultrasonic sensors complement this vision, allowing for detection of both hard and soft objects at nearly twice the distance of the prior system. A forward-facing radar with enhanced processing provides additional data about the world on a redundant wavelength that is able to see through heavy rain, fog, dust and even the car ahead.

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Toronto school gets budget boost from the sun

Lower energy costs + reduced carbon emissions = smart on every level.  Most of all, seeing smart systems in action along with adults who care enough to lead change,  gives children much needed hope for a sustainable future.

This project at Kew Beach Public School in Toronto is a is a community-owned solar rooftop array.  Solar panels mounted on the roof of the school create a 225-panel, 72 kW installation that, in combination with the school’s existing solar installation, generate and inject in the local grid the equivalent to one third of the school’s annual electricity use. The electricity is sold back to the grid with a portion of the funds being used to support green initiatives and eco-activities within the school and community.

Time for all schools and government buildings and to get with the program.  The world needs good growth and jobs that increase productivity and bring lasting benefits.  This is a no-brainer.  Here is a direct video link.

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Central banks out of bullets fantasize about powers they don’t possess

Fed Chair Yellen and her colleagues are fantasizing about ‘running the economy hot’.  As if central banks at zero rates, had that kind of power.

The trouble is that a secular downturn in global demand–caused by debt hangover, years of malinvestment in non-productive assets, aging demographics and low yields–are thwarting hopes and dreams of inflation topping 2%+. This is not the good old days, when plain old cutting rates spurred more consumption. Today low yields are having the opposite effect–causing people to spend less and save more.

The bond sell off in the past month, has created another buying opportunity for the highest quality North American credits (ie., government issues 1-10 years). The same cannot be said for corporate debt, where credit risk is likely to spike as the economy and sales weaken further, and an increasing number of over-levered, unprepared companies struggle to stay in the black.  At least governments can increase taxes when times get tough, companies don’t have that option.

Here is a big picture look at the US 10 year Treasury yield since 2005.  With the falling trend since 2007 still in tact (purple line) the back up from all time lows since July is no break out.  If the 1.80-2.0 range proves resistance, the lower for longer thesis will be confirmed once more.  The Bank of Canada is struggling with monetary impotence as well, see: Poloz poised to mark down recovery, stand pat on rates.

10 year yield

Steven Major, global head of fixed income research at HSBC, and David Bloom, global head of FX strategy at HSBC, discuss their view of lower Treasury yields in 2017. Here is a direct video link.

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Must watch new documentary: 13th

Before arguing in favor of either leading Presidential candidate, thinking people should watch this new documentary available on Netflix from the director of Selma.  Both Trump and the Clintons appear in this story as status quo actors.  A flawed system needs fresh thinking, reform and ethical leadership, if America is to fulfill its promise and dreams.

The title of Ava DuVernay’s extraordinary and galvanizing documentary 13TH refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass criminalization and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by DuVernay with bracing lucidity. With a potent mixture of archival footage and testimony from a dazzling array of activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men, DuVernay creates a work of grand historical synthesis.  Here is a link to the trailer.

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Care about a viable climate and your health? cut the meat

Some 15% of planet-warming emissions come from the keeping and eating of cows, chickens, pigs and other animals – more than the emissions from the entire transport sector. Not only do livestock emit methane, but land clearing and fertilizers for animal feed release large quantities of carbon.

Today China has about 19% of the world’s population and consumes 28% of global meat including half of the pork. The average American and Australian consumes twice as much meat per person in comparison.

This year the Chinese government has outlined a plan to reduce its citizens’ meat consumption by 50%, in an effort to slow runaway global warming, obesity and diabetes. See: China’s plan to cut meat consumption by 50% cheered.

New dietary guidelines drawn up by China’s health ministry recommend that the nation’s 1.3 billion population should consume between 40g to 75g of meat per person each day. The measures, released once every 10 years, are designed to improve public health but could also provide a significant cut to greenhouse gas emissions.

According to a new report by WildAid, the predicted increase in China’s meat consumption would add an extra 233m tonnes of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere each year, as well as put increased strain on the country’s water supply, which is already blighted by polluted and denuded rivers and groundwater.

The report warns that unchecked Chinese meat consumption will also degrade its arable land and worsen the country’s problems with obesity and diabetes. An estimated 100 million Chinese people have diabetes, more than any other country.

Research released by the thinktank Chatham House in 2014 forecast that China alone is expected to eat 20m tonnes more of meat and dairy a year by 2020 and warned that “dietary change is essential” if global warming is to not exceed the 2C limit eventually imposed at the climate accord in Paris last year.

A separate report by scientists at the Oxford Martin School this year found that the widespread adoption of vegetarianism around the world could bring down greenhouse gas emissions by nearly two-thirds.

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That 70’s show haunting today’s equity markets

Good article courtesy of Lance Roberts this morning, in answer to the long-always propaganda suggesting that 2015 was the end of the secular bear that began in 2000 and we are now in the midst of a new secular bull market likely to continue for many more years.  See:  Past is prologue: new secular bull or repeat of the 70’s.

In the top panel Roberts shows the S&P 500 price action from 1963 to 1973 compared with 1997 to present in the bottom panel.


Those banking on a new secular breakout in 1972, were punished brutally for their error. What followed was a third massive decline of -45% for the broad market as shown here.


To wit:

The second breakout in 1972, like the previous, was the setup for the final market dive that reset valuation levels back to historic secular bear market lows. That crash also created the necessary extreme negative in investor psychology. The 1974 bear market low is known as a “black bear market” because investors were so brutally ravaged by the crash they did not return until nearly two decades later.

Asset valuations are more extreme and vulnerable today than at any of the 3 cyclical peaks during the 1966-82 secular bear market.  Structuring our portfolio to minimize losses in the next decline, and maintain liquidity and strength of mind to be one of the few able buyers from panicking sellers, should be the wise person’s raison d’être today.

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