SI
SI
discoversearch

We've detected that you're using an ad content blocking browser plug-in or feature. Ads provide a critical source of revenue to the continued operation of Silicon Investor.  We ask that you disable ad blocking while on Silicon Investor in the best interests of our community.  If you are not using an ad blocker but are still receiving this message, make sure your browser's tracking protection is set to the 'standard' level.

   PastimesTriffin's Market Diary


Previous 10 Next 10 
To: Triffin who wrote (545)7/21/2019 5:18:27 PM
From: Triffin
   of 565
 
BC: THORCON MSR WORTH THE WAIT
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..

ThorCon Advanced Nuclear Reactor --



Each ThorCon power plant is based on one or more hulls, each containing two 250 MWe power modules, a 500 MW super-critical turbogenerator, gas insulated switchgear (GIS), a decay heat pond, and auxiliaries.

It’s been 30 years since America built a really new nuclear power plant, but we haven’t been idle over this time. A slew of new designs have emerged and, thanks to advances in computing capabilities and the understanding that smaller is better, many of these are ready to be built economically.

This is important. Over the last several years, there has been a growing consensus among climate scientists that nuclear energy is critical for mitigating the worst effects of global warming. States are shifting from Renewable Energy Mandates to technology neutral Clean Energy Standards that include nuclear energy.

So it is good that the development of new nuclear technologies is speeding along faster than most people think. Many new nuclear start-up companies have emerged in the United States, China and Canada, especially those designing small modular reactors (SMRs).

Importantly, all are walk-away-safe, which means the reactor just won’t melt down or otherwise cause any of the nightmares people think about when imagining the worse for nuclear power. It just shuts down and cools off.

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories announced SMR technology as a research priority and Canada now has a roadmap for them, and has vowed to build an SMR demonstration plant on their site by 2026.

China is also moving fast on its Linglong One 100 MW SMRwith its first use to generate heat for a residential district, replacing coal-fired boilers.

While some SMR designs are based on the traditional light water reactor that uses slightly enriched uranium, others involve molten salt and other fuels such as thorium and thorium+uranium.

One such reactor is ThorCon, a fission reactor with a liquid molten salt fuel containing thorium+uranium. A full-scale 500 MW ThorCon prototype should be able to be built and operating within four years.

Molten salt reactors are not completely new. The United States successfully conducted a Molten Salt Reactor Experiment ( MSRE) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1950s.

Irradiation tests on a mixture of lithium and thorium fluoride salts are under way at the High Flux Reactor at Petten in the Netherlands. Terrestrial Energy is also developing an Integrated Molten Salt Reactor.

But the ThorCon takes a different tack on manufacturing. It would be completely manufactured in 150 to 500 ton blocks in a shipyard, assembled, then towed to the site, producing order of magnitude improvements in productivity, quality control, and build time.



ThorCon’s genesis is in super-large ship production, one of the few industries able to build large complicated technologies, like nuclear reactors, and more than one at a time.

ThorCon’s genesis is in ship production, one of the few industries up to snuff for building large complicated technologies. The Hellespont Fairfax, the largest double hull tanker ever built, is one of eight ships built by ThorCon’s predecessor company. She was built in less than 12 months and cost 89 million dollars in 2002.

ThorCon is designed to bring shipyard quality and productivity to fission power. But ThorCon’s structure is simpler and much more repetitive than a large ship. The fission island employs steel plate, sandwich walls filled with concrete or sand. This results in a strong, air-tight, ductile building, all simple flat plate. A properly implemented panel line will be able to produce these blocks using less than 2 man-hours per ton of steel.

Each ThorCon plant is based on one or more hulls, each containing two 250 MWe power modules, a 500 MW super-critical turbogenerator, gas insulated switchgear (GIS), a decay heat pond, and auxiliaries (see figure above). The fission island is at the forward end of the hull. Aft of the fission island is the Steam Generating Cell (SGC). Aft of the SGC is the turbine hall, which contains the turbogenerator, exciter, condensers, feedheaters, pumps, and condensate treatment.

A single large reactor yard can turn out twenty gigawatts of ThorCon power plants per year, providing clean, reliable, CO2-free electricity at 3¢/kWh - cheaper than coal.

Operation of molten salt reactors are inherently easy. Rather than attempt to build components that last 40 or more years in an extremely harsh environment with little maintenance, ThorCon is designed to have all key parts regularly replaced, with little interruption in power output.

Every four years the entire primary loop is changed out, returned to a centralized recycling facility, decontaminated, disassembled, inspected, and refurbished. Upgrades can be introduced without significantly disrupting power generation



ThorCon is divided into 250 MWe power modules or PMODs. Each module contains two replaceable reactors in sealed Cans. The Cans sit in silos.

Of course, this reactor, like most SMRs, is walk-away-safe. The public will not embrace anything else. Since ThorCon fuel is a liquid salt, if the reactor overheats for whatever reason, ThorCon will shut itself down, and passively handle the decay heat. No power, no machinery, no operator action is required. This is built into the reactor physics.

The operators, or even any bad actors, can do nothing to prevent safe shutdown and cooling. The spilled fuel merely flows to a drain tank where it is passively cooled. The troublesome fission products, including I-131, Sr-90 and Cs-137, are chemically bound to the salt. They will end up in the drain tank as well.

ThorCon combines a strongly negative temperature coefficient with a massive temperature safety margin between the operating temperature of 700°C and the fuelsalt’s boiling temperature (1430°C).

The plant is also an extremely strong structure. It cannot not be penetrated even by a Boeing jet in a perpendicular impact at 400 knots. The hull, which is a double barrier, is only one of at least three gas tight barriers between the fuel salt and the atmosphere. The Can silo is a gas tight structure; and the Can itself is a gas tight structure. All these must be breached to allow a release.

But even if they were, there is no internal dispersal mechanism. The ThorCon reactor operates at near-ambient pressure, about the same as a backyard garden hose. In the event of a primary loop rupture, there is little pressure energy and no phase change from liquid to gaseous. The spilled fuelsalt merely flows to the drain tank where it is passively cooled and hardens into solid salt.

ThorCon is a thorium converter. The initial fuel charge is largely thorium. During the eight year fuel cycle, a portion of the fertile thorium is converted to fissile U-233 which then becomes part of the fuel. Each ThorCon will require only about 5 kg of 19.7% enriched uranium and 9 kg of thorium per day, on average, to produce 4,000,000,000 kWh of non-intermittent, dispatchable, pollution-free, CO2-free electricity each year.

All the while generating only one cask of waste every four years. It’s easy to forget that a normal coal plant takes 10,000 tons of coal each day, or just under 15,000,000 tons in that same 4-year period.

ThorCon’s net consumption of uranium is less than half that of a traditional reactor, because of its higher thermal efficiency, removal of Xe-135, and U-233 production from thorium.

Since we need to triple nuclear power in the world within 20 years in order to have any hope of mitigating the worst effects of global warming, along with bringing up renewables as fast as possible, this is a nice way to go sailing into that future.

thorconpower.com

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)


To: Triffin who wrote (546)8/17/2019 5:58:37 PM
From: Triffin
   of 565
 
BC: TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
Fact Check: The Truth About Global Warming



A Socratic Guide To The Burning Question Of Our Time
Intro I

There's an old Jewish joke that goes something like this:

No matter what Shlomo did in bed, his wife could never achieve an orgasm. ?Since by Jewish law a wife is entitled to sexual pleasure, they decide to? consult their Rabbi.?? The Rabbi listens to their story, strokes his beard, and makes the? following suggestion: "Hire a strapping young man. While the two of you are? making love, have the young man wave a towel over you. That will get God's attention and he will provide an orgasm."

They go home and follow the Rabbi's advice. They hire a handsome young man ?and he waves a towel over them as they make love. It does not help and the? wife is still unsatisfied. Perplexed, they go back to the Rabbi.??

"Okay,' he says to the husband, "Try it reversed. Have the young man make ?love to your wife and you wave the towel over them."

Once again, they follow the Rabbi's advice. They go home and hire the same ?strapping young man.??

The young man gets into bed with the wife and the husband waves the towel.? The young man gets to work with great enthusiasm and soon she has an? enormous, room-shaking, ear-splitting, screaming orgasm.??

The husband smiles, looks at the young man and says to him triumphantly,? "See that, you schmuck? THAT'S how you wave a towel!"_________________________________________________________________________________

Intro II

Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world.

In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.
Michael Crichton, author of "Jurassic Park", "Andromeda Strain", "Westworld", and numerous other works of fiction and non-fiction. Crichton also held a medical degree from Harvard.
_________________________________________________________________________________

A Brief History of the Theory of Global Warming (aka Climate Change)

It all began back in the late 1700s when some rock stars - no, not that kind of rock star, geologists actually - were traipsing around Europe and noticed that some of the boulders in the valleys matched the rocks on distant peaks. The only plausible explanation for how those boulders traveled so far was that they must have been carried by ice. This idea was fleshed-out a few decades later by a scientist studying skeletons and frozen remains of large mammals in Siberia. Thus was born the idea of The Great Ice Age. But that opened up a whole new can-o-worms; if ice once covered the Earth, what melted the ice?

In 1824, around the same time these ideas were percolating, a scientist named Joseph Fourier figured out that Earth would be much colder without its atmosphere. Air was trapping heat from the sun and keeping us warm, he said. Fourier had discovered the greenhouse effect.

Building on Fourier's work, other scientists found that about 70% of the greenhouse effect was due to water vapor, 20% was due to carbon dioxide (CO2), and the final 10% was due to methane, ozone, and other gasses. A theory developed that maybe changes in the atmosphere had ended The Great Ice Age.

Water vapor was dismissed as a cause because excess water condenses and falls-out as precipitation. CO2, methane, and ozone do not cycle as quickly, so the theory of melting ice focused primarily on CO2, which while only .04% of the atmosphere, accounts for 20% of the warming effect.
Two things were going on at the same time as all this. One was the industrial revolution and the burning of coal in newly invented steam engines. The other was the observation that the existing glaciers were continuing to melt! Could they be related and tied back to changes in CO2?

Along came a Swedish scientist named Svante Arrhenius, who in 1898 calculated the hypothetical climate change that would result if atmospheric CO2 was cut in half. He calculated that the Earth would be glaciated...as it was during The Great Ice Age! He also calculated that if CO2 doubled, we'd have melting ice and ...global warming! So, the "modern" CO2 theory of global warming dates back to the calculations Arrhenius did 120 years ago in an attempt to explain the onset and demise of The Great Ice Age.

Meanwhile, we've been burning progressively more carbon fuels like coal, oil, and gas in the last 120 years. Finally, in 1960, an American scientist named David Keeling began measuring CO2 levels at an observatory in Hawaii. What he discovered was that CO2 was trending up at an alarming rate!

So with Keeling showing CO2 skyrocketing, Arrhenius' saying we are going to fry if CO2 rises, and glaciers continuing to melt, that eventually leads to Al Gore, Kyoto, Paris, The UN IPCC, and a scientific "consensus" saying global warming is an "existential threat". (Meaning, the end is nigh!)

In 2009, the U.S. government under Barack Obama officially declared that CO2 emissions endangered life on Earth. Whole generations now believe we are doomed. Some have even stopped having children thinking there is no future.

All from a gas that humans exhale, that plants inhale, that makes up only .04% of our atmosphere, and that formed the basis of a theory developed in the 1800s to try and explain the The Great Ice Age!

_________________________________________________________________________________

Pop Quiz:
So, what really ended The Great Ice Age?A. CO2B. Mr. MilankovitchSince this whole CO2 inquiry began as an attempt to explain The Great Ice Age, one of the first questions to ask is, was the premise right? Have we learned anything new since Fourier, Arrhenius, Keeling, et al? Do we now know what caused and ended The Great Ice Age?

You are probably certain it was CO2. After all, you've been told for years that CO2 drives climate. Since the 1800s and Arrhenius we've believed that changes in CO2 can have dramatic effects. We still believe CO2 is melting glaciers today. It's "settled science" after all.

Except, that's not what happened. It turns out, Mr. Milankovitch did it. (Yup, our climate has been hacked by the Russians! Actually, he was Serbian, just sounds Russian.) Milutin Milankovitch was a scientist who figured out in the 1920s that the Earth has a cyclical relationship to the sun. It tilts. It wobbles. It's orbit changes. Some cycles take 100,000 years to complete. Some take 41,000 years. Some take 23,000 years. The effect of all this is rather dramatic... ta da... climate change!

MILANKOVITCH CYCLES


Of course, Milankovitch was instantly dismissed as a kook. Even today as I'm typing this, his name is unrecognized by the spell-check gremlins in my computer. Fourier, Arrhenius, and Keeling, however, are spell-check VIPs.

Until 1998, Milankovitch got no respect. But then a funny thing happened down in Antarctica. Scientists drilled an ice core at a place called Vostok (more Russians!) that gave them a 420,000 year climate history, and voila, there were major ice ages and warmings every 100,000 years. There were also shorter cycles in between. Milankovitch could no longer be dismissed, except of course by spell-check.



Then in 2000 another Antarctic ice core was obtained at Dome C that goes back 800,000 years. Again it confirmed Milankovitch. The Great Ice Age now had a plausible explanation. The Earth's relationship to the sun caused major climate change - global coolings and global warmings - going back as far as we can see.
Dome C Temperature Estimates


If major climate change happens at least every 100,000 years, as Milankovitch theorized, and the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, then there have been 45,000 of those alone. The Great Ice Age was just the latest in a countless series of coolings and warmings!

Another name that should get mentioned at this point is Eddy, as in John A. Eddy. Eddy was one of the most recent astronomers to study the cyclical output of the sun. He published a groundbreaking study in 1976 and named the most recent solar minimums and maximums. While Milankovitch cycles play out over tens of thousands of years, solar cycles can be as short as 11 years. They are also closely correlated with...ta da...climate change!

Here are some of the solar minimums and maximums from recent Earth history that resulted in major global warmings and mini-ice ages:



You can see why glaciers are melting today by looking at the right side of the solar activity graph. We are also near a peak in the Milankovitch cycle. Something would be horribly wrong if glaciers were NOT melting today!

So between Milankovitch's orbital cycles and Eddy's solar cycles, these are the bases for ice ages and their demise. These are the bases for perpetual climate change. In addition, one-time events like volcanoes and asteroids can also produce dramatic and sudden climate swings.

So, CO2 did not cause either The Great Ice Age or any of the many tens of thousands of cyclical coolings and warmings that preceded it. It's the fluctuating sun and our wonky orbit that cause climate change.

(A newer ice core at Allan Hills, Antarctica claims to go back over 1.2 million years, and it also confirms Milankovitch.)
_________________________________________________________________________________

Pop quiz:
Still, within the Milankovitch and Eddy cycles, we know that:A. CO2 drives climate change B. Climate drives CO2 changeJust because Arrhenius et al were wrong about The Great Ice Age doesn't mean they are also wrong about what will happen if we add massive amounts of CO2 to our atmosphere. According to the CO2 theory of global warming, as CO2 increases, so will temperatures.
    That's why you are probably certain that CO2 still drives climate change. A consensus of scientists, academics, politicians, and celebrities have been telling you for years that higher CO2 concentrations will cause the Earth to get hotter. As we burn more and more fossil fuels, that releases more CO2 into the air. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, ergo the Earth gets hotter. It's simple.

    Except, that's not what happens. Along with temperature records going back 800,000 years, we also got CO2 records for the same time span.

    Here's the CO2 and temperature record from the Dome C ice core:

    Dome C Temperature and CO2 for 800,000 Years (Red = CO2, Blue = Temps)


    At first glance temperature and CO2 appear to be closely correlated. One might even conclude that Arrhenius was right and that CO2 caused the ice ages.

    But when zooming in on this graph, something interesting is revealed; CO2 trails temperature by 1200 years, + or - 700 years!

    Climate Change (blue) precedes CO2 Change by 1200, + or - 700 Years


    CO2 and the other atmospheric gasses behave somewhat like water vapor, except over a longer timeframe. We know that hotter air can retain water vapor in greater concentrations than colder air. There is also a water cycle that is constantly moving water from vapor, to precipitation, to ground, to sea, and then back to vapor. CO2 has a similar cycle, just not as quick.

    A number of datasets from ice and sediment cores confirm this finding. The hotter it gets on Earth, the more CO2 can be found in the atmosphere. Contrary to what you've been told, CO2 does not drive climate. Climate drives CO2! The alleged cause is actually an effect.

    _________________________________________________________________________________

    Pop Quiz:
    Still, pumping CO2 into the atmosphere is a new thing, and that's what makes this an existential threat!A. TrueB. False As everyone since Keeling knows, CO2 levels are in-fact rising. And who can forget Al Gore on the scissor lift in his movie showing CO2 going literally off the chart? And as everyone knows since Arrhenius, more CO2 makes Earth hotter, right?

    Except, that's not what's happening. Yes, we are in a warm period due to both Milankovitch and Eddy, and accordingly, CO2 is rising. That's to be expected. But the question remains: is this time different because we are burning fossil fuels? Can CO2 work both ways? Can it both be driven by temperature and also drive temperatures up?

    If greenhouse gasses both increase as temperatures go up, and then cause even more warming, why is the greenhouse effect not a runaway reaction? According to Arrhenius and modern global warming theory, the greenhouse effect should create a feedback loop. Why isn't that visible in the ice core data?

    The answer has to do with the light spectrum and each gasses' role in trapping radiation in the troposphere.



    At the affected upgoing wavelengths, which are the ones involved in global warming, CO2 is already absorbing 100% of the radiation it is capable of absorbing. Adding more CO2 into the atmosphere can not trap more than 100% of the affected radiation! This is why the greenhouse effect is not a runaway reaction or a feedback loop. It's a self-limiting reaction.

    In the 1800s, when Arrhenius was doing his calculations, the instruments for measuring the light spectrum this accurately did not exist. (Then again, neither did antibiotics, airplanes, Model T Fords, transistors...)

    Additionally, as CO2 increases, the CO2 cycle speeds up. Here's an example of how the biosphere absorbs CO2 at faster rates:



    So, adding more CO2 into the atmosphere will not effect climate, and any CO2 increases will just grow the biosphere.
    _________________________________________________________________________________

    Pop Quiz:
    Still, there is a scientific consensus that says CO2 is uniquely warming our planet, and no one can prove otherwise. A. TrueB. False
    Anyone who's taken a middle school science class knows the value of a control group. Luckily, scientists have the ability to track temperature and CO2 on some of the other bodies around Earth. Venus, Mars, and the Moon are particularly close to us and have yielded some interesting data. If global warming theory is right, temperatures on those bodies should be un-correlated to Earth temps because they are free from the effects of industrialization!

    Except, that's not what's happening. In an odd coincidence both Mars and the Moon are warming! (Of course, it's still man's fault!) Milankovitch is particularly relevant to the Moon, because as goes the Earth, so goes the Moon. Eddy is particularly relevant to Mars, because as goes the Sun, so goes Mars.

    But there's more.

    In our solar system, only Venus, Earth, and Mars have CO2 in their atmospheres. In another amazing coincidence, the concentrations of CO2 closely match their relative distances from the sun, which in turn determines their temperatures. Venus, closest to the sun and very hot, has about 2400 times the CO2 concentration Earth has. Mars, furthest from the sun and cold, has about 24 hundredths as much CO2 as Earth. Curious, no? So, it appears climate drives CO2 even on the other planets!

    _________________________________________________________________________________

    Pop Quiz:
    Still, we know that global warming is true because all the predictions have been right!A. TrueB. FalseReal science can accurately predict the future. If a cannon ball with a known mass, is fired from a cannon with a known amount of force, at a known trajectory, etc., science can predict exactly where it will land. That's how science works.

    If global warming science is real and quantifiable, scientists would be able to similarly predict the future of climate.

    Except that's not what has happened. In fact, every single dire prediction has been proven wrong. 100% wrong. Here's a brief summary of what the experts have predicted:

    Global famine by the year 2000 - Dr. Paul Ehrlich, Nobel Prize recipient, Professor Entire nations wiped out by 1999 - Noel Brown, U.N. Environmental DirectorIce caps will melt away and oceans will rise causing massive flooding by 2014 - Al Gore, VPOTUS, global warming evangelistEnd of snow in England by 2015 - Dr. David Viner, climate scientist at The University of East AngliaIncreased tornadoes and hurricanes - James Hanson, professor of climate at Columbia University & the high priest of global warming, and The U.N. IPCCNew Ice Age in Europe - Dr. Paul EhrlichSub-Saharan Africa drying up - U.N. and World BankMassive flooding in China and India - Asian Development Bank and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact ResearchPolar Bear extinction - National Geographic, The New York Times, Guardian, among many.Drastic Temperature Increases - James HansonThe Earth will be in a “True Planetary Emergency” by 2016 unless greenhouse gasses are reduced - Al Gore
    None of those predictions came true. Not one. And that is just a tiny sampling.
    And here are some of the bad predictions from just this past year!
    _________________________________________________________________________________

    Pop Quiz:
    Still, we are under an existential threat because the Earth is progressively getting:A: Hotter B: Colder
    You are probably certain that the Earth is getting hotter. The name global warming itself describes the danger. You are probably familiar with the apocryphal "hockey stick" graph featured in "An Inconvenient Truth":



    Except, that's not what's happening in the long run:




    The Earth is actually getting cooler!

    Five million years is not much when you consider the Earth is 4.5 billion years old. That would take 900 - five million year graphs! So, here's another graph estimating 65 million years of global climate change, still only a fraction of Earth's life. Again, it clearly shows Earth is cooling.



    The existential threat is that we will eventually freeze, not bake!

    _________________________________________________________________________________

    Pop quiz:
    Still, in the 200,000 year history of mankind:A. It has never been this hotB. It's been much hotter before
    No doubt you are sure it's never been this hot. It says so on the "hockey stick" graph. And just consider the melting glaciers!

    Yet, we know that 1100 years ago, when the Vikings first went to Iceland, there were no glaciers there. Today, glaciers cover much of Iceland. Similarly, Vikings settled on Greenland around the same time and successfully farmed there for 500 years. But they abandoned Greenland in the mid 15th century, presumably because it got too cold. Those two events are known as the Medieval Warm Period and The Little Ice Age. Curiously, you won't find either of those events on Al Gore's graph.

    Here's a graph that shows 10,000 years of climate change from ice cores on Greenland:



    And here's a map of glacial retreat in Glacier Bay, Alaska going back 2 1/2 centuries. As you can see, glaciers have been in retreat since long before your SUV!



    We have enough data to know that this warm period is nothing new. It's been hotter than this many times before, even in man's brief 200,000 year history.

    _________________________________________________________________________________

    You are still free to believe in the CO2 theory of global warming. Heck, you are free to believe in anything you want, including Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy! But any serious person who looks into global warming must reflect long and hard before blindly waving a towel for the consensus.

    ..
    ..

    Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)


    To: Triffin who wrote (547)8/28/2019 10:42:46 PM
    From: Triffin
       of 565
     
    BC: ROBOTS RULE
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..



    (Bloomberg) -- Market mayhem this month has re-ignited fears about how the $4 trillion U.S. ETF industry will react in a liquidity crunch. Europe may have an answer for averting disaster.

    The nightmare scenario: volatility prompts market-makers to withdraw when they’re needed most, blowing out transaction costs and freezing trading. It’s an outcome that’s been raised by the likes of Moody’s Investors Service Inc. and T. Rowe Price Group Inc. this year as late-cycle swings convulse markets.

    Some see a potential cure in a practice that’s commonplace from Italy to the U.K. but banned in America: ETF providers paying market-makers directly. The argument goes that conflict-of-interest concerns are misplaced -- and that traders under contract to keep transacting in passive instruments will do so come hell or high water.

    While U.S. regulators are keeping mum on the issue, it’ll likely be a hot topic at industry conferences heading into year-end, said GTS’s Reggie Browne, who supports a “modernization” of ETF market-making rules.

    “Particularly in times of stress and at the end of cycle, you never know what’s going to happen, and you want all participants to be active in the marketplace,’’ said the principal at the trading giant.

    Increasingly fragile investor sentiment this summer is sparking ever-more extreme swings, with August registering a blinding Treasury rally, stock reversals rarely seen in this multi-decade bear run and a historic sell-off in some emerging-market bonds. ETFs are particularly vulnerable to sudden shifts in sentiment since they’re bought and sold throughout the day.

    Paying market-makers directly would help ensure they remain committed to providing competitive quotes even if markets become roiled, some argue. Smaller products that are neglected by these traders under the current regime would stand to benefit the most, according to Louis Odette, a strategist at Citigroup Inc.

    That’s because under current rules market-makers, who help to keep an ETF’s price in line with its underlying value, are compensated by exchanges according to trading volumes, leaving smaller funds vulnerable to being shunned when it becomes uneconomical to support them.

    “If there’s market turmoil, the market-maker is more likely to step away if they don’t have a commercial obligation,” said Hector McNeil, co-founder of ETF platform HANetf in London and a 20-year industry veteran. “Market-making agreements create a very solid foundation and framework for issuers to demand a decent service level from the market-makers.”

    ‘Liquidity Issue’

    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Rule 5250 dates back to 1997 and prohibits traders from getting paid by public companies for buying and selling their stocks -- a rule created to prevent conflicts of interest that also applies to ETFs. The likes of Invesco Ltd. and Virtu Financial Inc. have argued that conflicts don’t exist in ETF trading because their values are based on where the underlying assets are trading, making them less vulnerable to manipulation.

    Post-crisis changes in global finance are adding urgency to the debate.

    Major banks like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. have stepped away from some types of ETF market-making because of increased regulation and scrutiny following the 2008 financial crisis. Technology-driven firms like Susquehanna International Group and Jane Street Group have taken their place, but some question whether they’ll hang around in times of stress.

    “These market-makers that are new, technology-enabled trading firms, they don’t have balance sheets the size of the banks, and therefore they can step away for some time when the return associated with the trade doesn’t justify the risk in taking it,” said Fadi Abdel Massih, an analyst at Moody’s. “That’s when the liquidity issue can arise.”

    Widespread Support

    Finra floated the prospect of allowing direct payments to market-makers in 2017, with nearly three-quarters of respondents to an industry consultation supporting it. A version of the idea was even implemented in 2013, but “there was limited demand from market-makers to participate,’’ said Citi’s Odette. “The incentives were probably not strong enough.’’

    A spokesman for Finra declined to comment.

    Vanguard Group and State Street Corp. have expressed concern that paying ETF market-makers will ultimately hit investors’ wallets by translating into higher fees. Alternative proposals include cutting the minimum amount of ETF shares needed to create or redeem a fund, an idea that could ease traders’ costs by reducing their inventory. Market-makers work with institutions known as authorized participants to meet demand for ETF shares.

    Of course, there are those who say everything is fine -- that the products have already proven their resilience in significant routs and that fears of a liquidity crisis are scaremongering. Eric Balchunas, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, points out that few known issues have arisen amid billions of trades.

    “The mechanism seems to be working well,” said Dimitris Melas of MSCI Inc. “I don’t see any reason why authorized participants, market-makers and the whole framework of creating and redeeming ETF shares or trading in ETF shares wouldn’t work going forward.”

    Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)


    To: Triffin who wrote (548)8/30/2019 7:47:09 PM
    From: Triffin
       of 565
     
    BC: A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ....
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    "Shoe less" Joe Jackson comes to Iowa ..
    What a story it will make ..


    Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)


    To: Triffin who wrote (549)9/17/2019 7:41:33 AM
    From: Triffin
       of 565
     
    BC: THE HIGH COST OF A LONG LIFE
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    Long-term care insurance is coverage that will pay for assisted living, nursing home care or home health care in the event you are unable to care for yourself because of a chronic condition or disability.

    Long-term health insurance can be a smart purchase when you consider that 70% of those turning age 65 today will need some type of long-term care, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    However, not everyone can buy long-term care insurance. For some, the price becomes cost-prohibitive if they wait too long to make a purchase. For instance, according to the industry group American Association of Long-Term Care Insurance, a 65-year-old couple can purchase a policy for $4,800 per year that will give them base benefits of $180,000 plus 3% inflation growth. The price for that same plan more than doubles to $8,700 per year if the couple waits until age 75 to buy. And others may have health conditions that make them ineligible for coverage at any price.

    Factors Pushing Insurance Rates Higher

    Some policyholders have run into trouble in recent years as premiums spiked on plans sold in the 1990s and early 2000s. Long-term care insurance experts say the rate hikes seen on older policies were the result of faulty assumptions about the number of claims that would be made and how many policies would lapse. What's more, some insurers did little to no underwriting in the early years, making it possible for virtually anyone to buy coverage regardless of the probability of them filing expensive claims in the future.

    It's a different story for policies sold today. Long-term care insurers have made significant changes in how they issue and price their plans. "They've fixed their pricing. They've fixed their underwriting," says Noel Evans, a long-term care insurance specialist in the District of Columbia. Now that companies have decades of claims data to base their underwriting, premiums should become less volatile in the future.

    Still, if you find yourself priced out of the market or ineligible for health reasons, there are other options to pay for long-term care, ranging from reverse mortgages to Medicaid.

    [Read: Alternatives to Long-Term Care Insurance]

    10 Alternate Ways to Pay for Long-Term Care

    Don't count on Medicare to pay for nursing home, assisted living or ongoing home health care. Medicare benefits for that type of care are typically only available after a hospitalization or injury and for a limited duration. While Medicare isn't an option, here are 10 alternatives that are:

    -- Group Long-Term Care Insurance

    -- Short-Term Care Insurance

    -- Life/Long-Term Care Insurance

    -- Health Savings Accounts

    -- Long-Term Care Annuities

    -- Life Plan Communities

    -- Veterans Benefits

    -- Home Equity

    -- Pensions or Social Security

    -- Medicaid

    Group Long-Term Care Insurance

    If you're not eligible for an individual long-term care insurance policy, you may be able to get group coverage as a voluntary benefit at work. "These policies are very affordable to employees," Evans says. Plus, some employers may help cover the cost of premiums.

    Group policies also may operate under a simplified underwriting process, making them more accessible. Group long-term care insurance benefits aren't widespread yet, so employees may have to inquire with their human resources office about the possibility of adding this benefit.

    Short-Term Care Insurance

    Also known as recovery care, these plans are similar to long-term care insurance policies, but benefits are typically capped at one year. Not only are they less expensive, but they may also be available to older seniors or those who aren't otherwise eligible for long-term coverage.

    Life/Long-Term Care Insurance

    Life insurance policies that include long-term care riders are exploding in popularity right now, says Michael Gerstman, CEO of the Dallas-headquartered retirement planning firm Gerstman Financial Group, LLC. These riders often let people dip into up to half of their death benefit early in order to pay long-term care expenses. Some companies may charge for a rider within a plan's premium while others take a fee from the death benefit should the rider be utilized.

    Vantis Life uses the latter option, company CEO Ray Caucci says. Policyholders with a chronic illness accelerated benefit rider don't have to pay upfront, but their beneficiaries will receive a reduced death benefit that reflects both the accelerated benefits as well as a fee for the rider. "It's a trade-off," Caucci acknowledges. However, it's one people may be willing to make since it gives them money for long-term care without locking them into a dedicated long-term care policy they may never use.

    Given the popularity of using life insurance for long-term care, companies have rolled out a variety of riders and hybrid policy options. "There are a lot of different levers in a plan that can adjust the price," says Megan Birchmeier, an agent with New York Life Insurance Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She recommends people take a holistic look at their future needs, including their family history, the facility they'd like to use and the death benefit they would like to leave for loved ones.

    [Read: What You Need to Know About Long-Term Care Insurance.]

    Health Savings Accounts

    For those who have an eligible high-deductible health insurance plan, a health savings account offers a way to put money aside tax-free for medical costs, such as long-term care. They are sometimes called health IRAs, and those who have long-term care insurance can pay their premiums with money from an HSA.

    Long-Term Care Annuities

    Long-term care annuities are a frequently overlooked option for covering home health, assisted living and nursing home care costs. These annuities are available even to those in poor health, but expect to make a hefty upfront payment, particularly if you want benefits to start immediately. Tax rules surrounding annuities can be complex and they can impact eligibility for Medicaid so consult with an experienced advisor before purchasing one.

    Life Plan Communities

    Previously known as continuing care communities, these arrangements have residents initially living independently. As needed, they may transition to assisted living, memory care or a nursing home operated by the community. In addition to monthly payments, Life Plan Communities require a significant upfront payment that could translate to hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, in exchange for the higher upfront cost, members are guaranteed access to care even if they should no longer be able to pay for it.

    Veterans Benefits

    The Department of Veterans Affairs provides those with a service-related disability access to long-term care services. Family caregivers may also be eligible for compensation through the agency's Aid and Attendance program.

    To be eligible, veterans need to have a service-related disability, but Vietnam-era veterans who don't have an obvious service-related disability may still qualify if they were exposed to Agent Orange and developed a health condition later in life. Since program rules are complex, contact the Department of Veterans Affairs for assistance in understanding the eligibility criteria and navigating the application process.

    Home Equity

    Retirees without significant investments may still own a valuable asset: their house. Tapping into home equity through a line of credit, taking out a reverse mortgage or selling a house outright are some of the ways people can use their property to pay for long-term care.

    Be aware that reverse mortgages typically require the sale of a home after a person's death, so families may want to use that option as a last resort. "I'm really against reverse mortgages for almost anything unless someone is really desperate," Gerstman says.

    Pensions or Social Security

    Depending on the size of your monthly payments and the amount of care you need, paying for services monthly out of a pension or Social Security benefit may be an option.

    Medicaid

    When all other options have been exhausted and a person's income and assets have been depleted, the government will step in to pay for care. Medicaid won't pay for assisted living, but it will cover nursing home care and many states also pay for home health care services for eligible people. However, states are required by the federal government to recover the cost of long-term care from estates whenever possible. That means, for example, if a parent's home is sold after his or her death, the proceeds could go to the state instead of heirs.

    Relying on Medicaid is not an ideal way to pay for long-term care. Not only do people have to spend down almost all their assets, but it also limits where you can receive long-term care, Evans notes. Depending on your area, relatively few facilities may accept Medicaid patients.

    [Read: What's the Difference Between Types of Long-Term Care Facilities?]

    It's better to weigh your other options and plan in advance what is the best approach for your family. "It's not something anyone wants to do," Birchmeier says. However, it's better than the alternative of needing care and not having any way to pay for it. The earlier you start saving, the more secure you'll be later in life.

    Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)


    To: Triffin who wrote (550)10/12/2019 6:05:07 PM
    From: Triffin
       of 565
     
    BC: A SUPERNOVA OF COCKSURE STUPIDITY
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    The first time I read about global warming many years ago, my job experience made me instantly throw the BS flag. Warmists do not know, and in fact cannot know, what they claim to know about global temperatures.

    My industrial facility has a requirement to compute — very accurately — the enthalpy of a tank of water containing about a half million gallons. This tank has leaks into it from other sources, and leaks out of it to other places. Some of the incoming leaks are steam, and some are cold water. Sometimes water is pumped into it, and sometimes water is recirculated within it. We have about 20 temperature sensors in the tank, scattered throughout at every depth, and these sensors are recalibrated every year, and water level instruments similarly recalibrated so that we know very accurately the total mass of water.

    And yet, getting exact and consistent measurements of the heat content of this tank is maddeningly difficult.

    And the AGW alarmists think they’ve got this down for the whole planet?

    Anybody whose professional experience includes accurate energy measurements of large objects will immediately recognize the whole AGW movement as a supernova of cocksure stupidity.

    If it were a matter of calculating uncertainty numbers for a static situation, that would not be hard. But when variables are changing, as I described in my response to Hugh, it’s fair to say nobody really knows how to figure that. Masses with different heat content are being added and removed continuously. Temperature sensors don’t react instantaneously. Flow is not uniformly mixed. Consider, for example, if you’ve ever gone swimming in a deep lake and experienced passing through 12-inch thick “veins” of icy cold water in an otherwise warm lake. How would you model that to compute a bulk average temperature so that the enthalpy of the mass is accurate to some arbitrary value? How many sensors would you need to know that your total enthalpy is accurate enough? And more importantly, how would you validate the numbers you’re getting? What’s the control for that?

    So, once again, given the challenges involved in getting to a rigorous answer for our water tank, the AGW alarmists’ claim that we have sufficient data to compute a heath balance for the entire earth is just not credible.

    The answer is that we have a regulatory limit of 95 deg. F, and we can be arbitrarily close to that limit before having to take undesirable actions to reduce it. If we exceed the limit, warrior droids from the Regulatory Empire will do Seriously Bad Things to us.

    Under most circumstances, normal environmental controls for the building keep the water temperature with plenty of margin to the limit. On those occasions when it is getting close, it’s usually because a steam turbine has been operating under test, quenching the exhaust into the pool. So you have steam heat entering the pool, but also a very considerable amount of pump heat being added. In this transient situation, with a lot of stirring and mixing and hot mass addition and bulk mass removal, and with certain sensors more affected than others by the steam source, computing a meaningful bulk average temperature gets dicey. It starts to reach a point where a skeptical observer would challenge it by saying that the system is too dynamic and the measurements are not accurate enough.

    I think that’s exactly the situation that prevails when trying to compute a bulk average temperature for the earth. Mr. Watts has shown that a lot of weather stations are affected by heat islands, for example. Ocean temperature buoys are FAR too widely scattered and never get calibrated. The system is highly dynamic. Water is being added to the oceans from volcanoes and icy stuff falling from space, even as water is supposedly being dragged into the mantle by subduction. There’s no way we have enough data about energy entering the biosphere versus energy leaving it to perform a reliably meaningful heat balance.

    The point I was making is that this strains technology in a small tank where all the gozintas and gozoutas are known and measurable. When I’m told that somebody has a precise measurement for the whole planet that’s accurate to 1 deg. C (using instruments that seldom or never get a cal check), speaking as a professional engineer with some background in heat and temperature measurement, I just flat-out do not believe it.

    Regarding the measuring of ocean temperature and heat content.

    Excerpts from Testimony to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation:
    Raymond W. Schmitt, lobbying for funding for Argo
    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    July 18, 2000
    whoi.edu

    “In contrast to the 1,200 records of US land temperature used to examine climate trends in the report, ???? ???????? ???????? ?????????? ?????????? ???????? ???????????????? ???????? ?? ???????????????????? ???????? ???????????? ???? ?????? ???? ?????? ?????????? ????????????????! For these few sites with rather short records, an observation once a month is often the best we have. This observation system is woefully inadequate”

    “An abundance of evidence indicates that the key to long-term prediction is in the workings of the ocean, which has 99.9% of the heat capacity of Earth’s fluids. It is the heart of the climate “beast”, the atmosphere its rapidly waving tail, with only 0.1% of the heat capacity. Let us get to the heart of the matter, with an unprecedented new look at the ocean. We have the technical capabilities.”

    “It will take a factor of 10^8 improvement in 2 horizontal dimensions (100 km to 1 mm, the salt dissipation scale), a factor of 10^6 in the vertical dimension (~10 levels to 10^7) and ~10^5 in time (fraction of a day to fraction of a second); an overall need for an increase in computational power of ~10^27. With an order of magnitude increase in computer speed every 6 years, ???? ???????? ???????? 162 ?????????? ???? ?????? ???????????????? ???????????????????? ???? ???????????????? ???????????? ???? ?????? ??????????.”

    To underscore the first excerpt, here’s an animation, courtesy of Bob Tisdale, that shows the coverage of ocean temp sampling from 1955.

    bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com

    ????????????????????: ???? ?????????????? 140 ?????????? ???? ???? ???? ?????? ???????? ???????????? ?????????????????? ?????????? ???? ?????????? ?????????????? ???????????? ???????? ?????? ?????????? ?????? ??????????. ?????? ???????????????????? ???????? ???????? ?????????? ?????? ?????????????? ???? ?????????????? ?????????? ????????????????.

    Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)


    To: Triffin who wrote (551)10/16/2019 6:21:33 PM
    From: Triffin
       of 565
     
    BC: THE GOOD SALESMAN
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    A good salesman, in the business of providing a complex product or service, will tell you that his first step in any deal is to see if there is a deal to be had. He will assess the potential customer to learn if there is a need and if the prospect knows there is a need for the product or service. Assessing needs and motivations is a big part of determining if the salesman should commit his time to the deal. Finally, he tries to assess the prospect’s willingness to actually commit to a potential deal.

    The purpose of evaluating a prospect before engaging in the sales process is to avoid wasting time with tire kickers and people who simply lack the means to do a deal. The salesman is really selling time, when you analyze it. He has so many hours to work on and close deals. Every hour wasted on some guy, who has no money or is really not interested, is time that could be spent on a real opportunity. Talk to any good salesman and you learn that they are really good at managing their sales time.

    Politics is a lot like sales. A candidate has so much time to ask voters for their support, so the campaign has to be as efficient as possible. In politics, the game is to motivate the natural supporters of the candidate and demoralize the supporters of the other candidate, in order to sway the stupid and uninformed. The stupid and uninformed, often called “swing voters” in America, will go where they think everyone else is going and they judge that on enthusiasm. They bet the strong horse in the race.

    The way this has to work in a democracy is the successful candidate has to be seen by the opposition as someone with whom they can strike a deal. In other words, the supporters of the opponent have to look at the other side as people with whom some compromise can be reached. That’s why in America, the candidates are strident in their primary races, but become conciliatory in the general election. They want the other side to know they are going to sit down and strike a fair bargain.

    Accepting the results of the election is a vital part of any popular form of rule. In fact, it is the most important element. If the losing side thinks the winning side will use its power to crush them, then they will revolt against the system that makes them vulnerable. That also means the winning side will be motivated to crush the losing side, because they will assume the losers not only will revolt, but try to crush them as soon as they win the next election. Politics becomes a blood sport.

    This desire to make a deal is why Progressives have run wild in American politics, especially over the last few decades. Their opponents in every election are white civic nationalist types, who are always willing to accept the results of the election and work with the other side on a good deal. Progressives, in contrast, use this willingness to do a deal to ram their agenda through when they win. When they lose, they use the same intransigence to bottle up any effort of the winners to push through their agenda.

    If you want to understand why Buckley conservatism is headed to the dustbin of history, this is the place to start. They were always so ready and eager to do a deal; they never could walk away from a bad deal. They would win an election and then cut a deal with the Left that was a complete sellout. The joke among dissidents in the Bush years was that the greatest thing that could happen to you is to find yourself across the table negotiating a deal with a Republican. It was like hitting the lottery.

    Now, the reason the Left wins even when they lose is not because they are shrewd or even that the Right is dumb. It’s that they reject that central premise of popular government, where the losers accept the results of an election and the winners reach a fair bargain with the losers. For the Left, what is theirs they keep. What is yours they seek. This is the central cause of the ratchet effect in American politics. One side exploits the rules, while the other abides by the rules.

    The question that has been on the minds of dissidents for a long time is when will people wake up to this reality? When will those civic nationalists and good government types realize that they can never bargain in good faith with the other side, because the other side never bargains in good faith? Unless and until the good citizen accepts the cynicism of the Left, not necessarily embrace it, but just accept it, elections will always be heads the Left wins, tails the Right loses.

    Conventional critics of conservatism and the Republican Party work from the premise that a more jaded approach will work. Not only will it result in better bargaining, it will put the Left on notice that they will not get to play by their own rules. Put another way, if the Right gets as good at politics as the Left, then the system will work and elections will once again have meaning. There has always been a battered wife syndrome with conventional conservatives, who blame themselves for the failure of democracy.

    This line of thinking always assumes that the non-Progressives, to use a better term, will continue to support the orderly democratic process, but be more aware of the way the Left does politics. You can have the civic nationalist dream of orderly democracy, but with a clear-eyed view of the Left. The results of an election, in terms of the resulting policy, will then reflect the voting. It’s the same system, except the Republicans are not treacherous sellouts and morons.

    Putting aside the probability that this is an impossibility, that the “opposition” is really just a creation of the Left, why would anyone want this? This sort of politics, which is what Buckley conservatives now talk about in response to their decline, is like volunteering to live in a viper den. A deal where one side cannot be trusted to abide by the terms is not a deal at all. It is why contract law does not exist in low trust countries, like in the Arab world. Why make a deal that no one will respect?

    In the context of American politics, what happens when most white people figure out that the other side will never cut a deal with them? There will always be suckers, who never give up hope, but what happens when the majority of whites realize they can never make a deal with their opponents? How long before this realization leads to the conclusion that they can never live in the same country as their opponents, because their opponents hate them and want them dead?

    Most likely, the typical white person looks at the madness engulfing the political class and thinks the fever is bound to break soon. Maybe Trump winning in 2020 or the Democrats nominating a shrill crank like Warren will break the spell. Older folks talk about how the 1960’s eventually burned itself out. Lots of normal white people think something similar will happen this time. What if it doesn’t or what if whites simply get tired of waiting for their opponents to snap out of their rage?

    The good salesman, who realizes the prospect is not an opportunity, finds an expeditious way to exit the process. He’s no longer willing to commit time to the deal, because there can never be a deal. There is no deal. This is where dissidents often insert their favorite collapse fantasy, mixed with their favorite revenge fantasy, but no one really knows how this would work. If a large portion of white people are no longer willing to play the Left’s game, will the Left just let them walk away?

    =====

    Hat Tip to Zman Blog

    Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)


    To: Triffin who wrote (552)10/23/2019 10:09:45 PM
    From: Triffin
       of 565
     
    BC: QUIT TAKING LEFT TURNS
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    This is a wonderful piece by Michael Gartner, editor of newspapers large and small and president of NBC News. In 1997, he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. It is well worth reading, and a few good chuckles are guaranteed. Here goes...

    My father never drove a car. Well, that's not quite right. I should say I never saw him drive a car. He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet. "In those days," he told me when he was in his 90's, "to drive a car you had to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every which way, and I decided you could walk through life and enjoy it or drive through life and miss it."

    At which point my mother, a sometimes salty Irishwoman, chimed in: "Oh, bull----!" she said. "He hit a horse."

    "Well," my father said, "there was that, too."

    So my brother and I grew up in a household without a car. The neighbors all had cars -- the Kollingses next door had a green 1941 Dodge, the VanLaninghams across the street a gray 1936 Plymouth, the Hopsons two doors down a black 1941 Ford -- but we had none.

    My father, a newspaperman in Des Moines , would take the streetcar to work and, often as not, walk the 3 miles home. If he took the streetcar home, my mother and brother and I would walk the three blocks to the streetcar stop, meet him and walk home together.

    My brother, David, was born in 1935, and I was born in 1938, and sometimes, at dinner, we'd ask how come all the neighbors had cars but we had none. "No one in the family drives," my mother would explain, and that was that..

    But, sometimes, my father would say, "But as soon as one of you boys turns 16, we'll get one." It was as if he wasn't sure which one of us would turn 16 first.

    But, sure enough , my brother turned 16 before I did, so in
    1951 my parents bought a used 1950 Chevrolet from a friend who ran the parts department at a Chevy dealership downtown.

    It was a four-door, white model, stick shift, fender skirts, loaded with everything, and, since my parents didn't drive, it more or less became my brother's car.

    Having a car but not being able to drive didn't bother my father, but it didn't make sense to my mother.

    So in 1952, when she was 43 years old, she asked a friend to teach her to drive. She learned in a nearby cemetery, the place where I learned to drive the following year and where, a generation later, I took my two sons to practice driving. The cemetery probably was my father's idea. "Who can your mother hurt in the cemetery?" I remember him saying more than once.

    For the next 45 years or so, until she was 90, my mother was the driver in the family.. Neither she nor my father had any sense of direction, but he loaded up on maps -- though they seldom left the city limits -- and appointed himself navigator. It seemed to work.

    Still, they both continued to walk a lot. My mother was a devout Catholic, and my father an equally devout agnostic, an arrangement that didn't seem to bother either of them through their 75 years of marriage.

    (Yes, 75 years, and they were deeply in love the entire time.)

    He retired when he was 70, and nearly every morning for the next 20 years or so, he would walk with her the mile to St. Augustin's Church. She would walk down and sit in the front pew, and he would wait in the back until he saw which of the parish's two priests was on duty that morning. If it was the pastor, my father then would go out and take a 2-mile walk, meeting my mother at the end of the service and walking her home.

    If it was the assistant pastor, he'd take just a 1-mile walk and then head back to the church. He called the priests "Father Fast" and "Father Slow."

    After he retired, my father almost always accompanied my mother whenever she drove anywhere, even if he had no reason to go along. If she were going to the beauty parlor, he'd sit in the car and read, or go take a stroll or, if it was summer, have her keep the engine running so he could listen to the Cubs game on the radio. In the evening, then, when I'd stop by, he'd explain: "The Cubs lost again. The millionaire on second base made a bad throw to the millionaire on first base, so the multimillionaire on third base scored."

    If she were going to the grocery store, he would go along to carry the bags out -- and to make sure she loaded up on ice cream. As I said, he was always the navigator, and once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he said to me, "Do you want to know the secret of a long life?"

    "I guess so," I said, knowing it probably would be something bizarre.

    "No left turns," he said.

    "What?" I asked.

    "No left turns," he repeated. "Several years ago, your mother and I read an article that said most accidents that old people are in happen when they turn left in front of oncoming traffic.

    As you get older, your eyesight worsens, and you can lose your depth perception, it said. So your mother and I decided never again to make a left turn.."

    "What?" I said again.

    "No left turns," he said. "Think about it. Three rights are the same as a left, and that's a lot safer. So we always make three rights."

    "You're kidding!" I said, and I turned to my mother for support. "No," she said, "your father is right. We make three rights. It works." But then she added: "Except when your father loses count."

    I was driving at the time, and I almost drove off the road as I started laughing.

    "Loses count?" I asked.

    "Yes," my father admitted, "that sometimes happens. But it's not a problem. You just make seven rights, and you're okay again."

    I couldn't resist. "Do you ever go for 11?" I asked.

    "No," he said " If we miss it at seven, we just come home and call it a bad day. Besides, nothing in life is so important it can't be put off another day or another week." My mother was never in an accident, but one evening she handed me her car keys and said she had decided to quit driving. That was in 1999, when she was 90.

    She lived four more years, until 2003. My father died the next year, at 102.

    They both died in the bungalow they had moved into in 1937 and bought a few years later for $3,000. (Sixty years later, my brother and I paid $8,000 to have a shower put in the tiny bathroom -- the house had never had one. My father would have died then and there if he knew the shower cost nearly three times what he paid for the house.)

    He continued to walk daily -- he had me get him a treadmill when he was 101 because he was afraid he'd fall on the icy sidewalks but wanted to keep exercising -- and he was of sound mind and sound body until the moment he died.

    One September afternoon in 2004, he and my son went with me when I had to give a talk in a neighboring town, and it was clear to all three of us that he was wearing out, though we had the usual wide-ranging conversation about politics and newspapers and things in the news.

    A few weeks earlier, he had told my son, "You know, Mike, the first hundred years are a lot easier than the second hundred." At one point in our drive that Saturday, he said, "You know, I'm probably not going to live much longer."

    "You're probably right," I said.

    "Why would you say that?" He countered, somewhat irritated.

    "Because you're 102 years old," I said..

    "Yes," he said, "you're right." He stayed in bed all the next day.

    That night, I suggested to my son and daughter that we sit up with him through the night.

    He appreciated it, he said, though at one point, apparently seeing us look gloomy, he said: "I would like to make an announcement. No one in this room is dead yet"

    An hour or so later, he spoke his last words:

    "I want you to know," he said, clearly and lucidly, "that I am in no pain. I am very comfortable. And I have had as happy a life as anyone on this earth could ever have.."

    A short time later, he died.

    I miss him a lot, and I think about him a lot. I've wondered now and then how it was that my family and I were so lucky that he lived so long.

    I can't figure out if it was because he walked through life, Or because he quit taking left turns. "

    Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the one's who don't.. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it and if it changes your life, let it.

    Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would most likely be worth it." ENJOY LIFE NOW - IT HAS AN EXPIRATION DATE!



    Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)


    To: Triffin who wrote (553)10/24/2019 12:04:19 AM
    From: Triffin
       of 565
     
    BC: FRACTALS IN TIME
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..







    Lucky, Loyal, Blessed

    Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)


    To: Triffin who wrote (554)10/29/2019 9:00:14 AM
    From: Triffin
       of 565
     
    BC: ACTIVE MANAGER'S PLAYBOOK
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    1. Look for the proverbial self-reinforcing fly wheel: Greene identifies companies that promise satisfying returns over the long haul, so he can buy and hold. “Once I find them, I just want to own them. I don’t try to trade in and out,” he says. The fund has an extremely low annual turnover rate of 7%.

    To find long-term winners, Greene hunts for companies with a self-reinforcing fly wheel. This is a kind of perpetual motion machine that builds on itself, increasing revenue and profit margins over time. “The more success they have, the more success it creates,” is how he sums it up. This is an especially important quality for companies in the internet space, where growing big enough to survive is key.

    Here, Greene points to Booking Holdings BKNG, +0.05% , once known as Priceline. The company has spent a lot of time running exhaustive A-B tests of web page features to “optimize every pixel” to convert more shoppers into buyers. This improved its quality score at Alphabet so that its rankings went up, making ads more affordable and more effective. This brought in more customers, which attracted more inventory. That made customers happier so they bought more, boosting Google rankings, and so on. The result was a 10-bagger for the fund from a stock that once seemed easy to write off.

    Netflix NFLX, -0.13% is particularly attractive in the stock’s current pullback, Greene says. Subscriber growth increases content budget, and more content draws more subscribers. The key here is that the amount Netflix spends on content is growing more slowly than the subscriber base. This means it squeezes ever more profit out of the content, over time. Netflix also has an edge over competitors because it’s applying this formula globally.

    About Amazon.com AMZN, -0.06%, Greene notes that third party sellers, Amazon Prime, and algorithmic product suggestions all reinforce each other by making the site more convenient, which attracts more customers.

    In software, various offerings on product platforms set up self-reinforcing sales growth at holdings of his fund, including ServiceNow NOW, +1.44% , Atlassian TEAM, +3.96% , Coupa COUP, +0.42% Workday WDAY, -0.84% and Salesforce.com CRM, -0.51% .

    2. Look for what the market gets wrong, then bet the other way: This is the heart of investing. Yet a surprising number of people like companies on the basis of what they do, ignoring how much of this is known by the market — which limits upside. It’s always preferable to understand consensus and then figure out if it’s wrong.

    Cable companies Comcast CMCSA, -0.09% , Charter Communications CHTR, +1.06% , and SBA Communications SBAC, -0.67% offer a good example. They all have fairly healthy stock price charts. But their stocks would be higher if investors weren’t so worried about cord cutting. Greene says he isn’t concerned, because even if customers ditch cable, they’ll still need broadband. And since cable companies have limited geographic overlap, he adds, they each have near-monopolies, which reduces the risk of defections.

    3. Don’t get shaken out of good positions: It’s easy to get spooked by stock pullbacks. The key to navigating through is understanding whether a business model is still sound. “That is half the battle. It’s not just identifying them. It’s not getting scared off the horse,” Greene says.

    Facebook FB, +0.95% , Alphabet GOOGL, -0.63% and Amazon.com are good examples. All of them currently are caught up in a regulatory and political firestorm. Greene thinks investors are taking the risks of government intervention too seriously. What’s his reasoning? On privacy and security, these companies are on the same side as regulators because their data on users is proprietary business intelligence they need to protect, Greene says. “There will be mishaps, but the companies are on the same page as the regulators. So I don’t see this as a big area of tension,” he adds.

    Moreover, it will be tough for antitrust regulators to show that consumers are being abused. There’s no monopoly price-gouging since Facebook and Alphabet products are all or mostly free. Amazon has a strong case that it drives consumer prices down. The companies aren’t taking advantage of their powers to force consumers to use some features in exchange for others. “These companies have gotten to the scale they have because they have been focused on the consumer first,” Greene says. “It is going to be challenging for the government to build an effective antitrust case.”

    On election campaign influence, Greene says he thinks it’s tough to make the case that Facebook content has a political bias. Says Greene: “They want to be neutral. It just makes business sense.”

    As a business, Facebook continues to post solid usage growth thanks to popular features like “stories,” Greene points out. And there are plenty of services to monetize, including messaging, private social networks, WhatsApp, and payment systems. “There is a lot in the pipeline,” Greene says. “I have high degree of confidence the company can continue to grow healthily.”

    Greene also thinks it would be a mistake to sell Alibaba BABA, -0.72% because of U.S.-China trade war fears. Alibaba does most of its business in China, with fundamentals Greene describes as “fantastic.” The company’s online marketplace business is strong, he adds, and there’s potential with cloud computing, its Ant Financial unit, and offering logistics and business support to other retailers.

    4. Put money in the path of mega-trends: This is another rule that’s too obvious to mention. But given Greene’s record, it’s interesting to consider how he applies it: the fund holds large stakes in cell-tower companies Crown Castle International CCI, -1.13% and American Tower AMT, +0.07% . “I own them because wireless broadband is growing dramatically,” Greene says. “It grows 30% year-in, year-out, because there are more games, higher fidelity video, and people spending more time on their phones.”

    5. Make big bets: Taking large positions is a common practice among fund managers who outperform. Greene is no exception. Amazon.com, the fund’s top holding, was recently a 13.5% position. The next five each make up 5%-7% of the portfolio. The top 20 stocks represent 80% of the fund’s assets. “We like to find companies that can compound over a long time. And when we find them, we want to own a lot of them,” Greene says.

    =====

    PRMTX

    Hat Tip to Market Watch

    Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)
    Previous 10 Next 10