Life’s dramatic and unexpected change keeps us vital and longing to see what will happen next. To experience, to travel, to be a loose-fitting component to a tightly fitted place. Anywhere one can be a loose component and absorb the unique experiences of societies and cultures where we will never fit. I am not finished. It is easy to give up sometimes, especially when one feels tired, and abandoned, and, like many, the best is behind me. What is the point of continuing? Like The Point, the point is to go on. One is never finished. The realm of the Gods will come fast enough.
Frederick Nietzsche declared, “what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” Perhaps. Reality is different and far more nuanced. What doesn’t kill you is likely to be painful, life-changing, and unrecoverable. Suddenly, an ability to live what was believed to be a normal life and an ability to move freely throughout the world has suddenly, unexpectedly, and drastically been limited or even fundamentally eliminated. A harsh life awaits many of us, and we are anything but stronger or better – we simply endure and try to make the best of it.
In Native Hawaiian, Kaiko’o means “swirling waters” which is a fair description of life itself, and mine. The double meaning is intended. A beautiful Point that inspires harmony and solitude, but also synchronicity of calmness and beauty. It is also a place to contemplate “the point.” The swirling waters of life are there somewhere, but, looking at the present, if I seize it accurately as V.S. Naipaul admonishes, it is unclear what it can foretell, if anything. But life’s dramatic and unexpected change keeps us vital and longing to see what will happen next. To experience, to travel, to be a loose-fitting component to a tightly fitted place. China, Britain, or anywhere where one can be a loose component and absorb the unique experiences of societies and cultures where we will never fit. A magnificent blur in the distance, the sun is setting at Kaiko’o. While the sunset beckons, I am not finished. It is easy to give up sometimes, especially when one feels tired, abandoned, and, like many, the best is behind me. What is the point of continuing? Like The Point, the point is to go on. One is never finished. The realm of the Gods will come fast enough.
China will strengthen its position via Russia. Now the United States has to assert itself as a global leader not only in the allocation of financial resources and trade but, in dealing with a nuclear-armed tyrant and a totalitarian regime on a global stage.
A big uncompromising response now is the most likely strategy to settle these dramatic issues – and if it leads to regime change in Russia, that helps everyone, especially the Russians. The US and the EU need to grow up and start acting like global leaders.
The breadth of the economic and market impact will depend on what types of sanctions are applied by the West. It’s likely such measures would further target a combination of Russian banks, investment, and trade (such as through barring Russia from the cross-border SWIFT network), and potentially, energy. In response, Putin could also retaliate through the energy sector, as well as through cyberattacks on the United States and Europe. The situation is fluid to say the least. I approach these things thinking like a chess player. What is my opponents to best move? What is my best move, or least worst move, in response? And so on… the whole board not only includes Ukraine, but also Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as China and Taiwan. If the West is unwilling to do anything meaningful except give passionate speeches, that is definitely a cue for China to be more aggressive.
The Archegos implosion teaches the same lessons that apparently need to be taught over and over again.
1. High leverage eventually brings margin calls.
2. Margin calls equal disaster.
3. Margin calls come when too much leverage is attached to securities linked to market volatility.
4. All securities are linked to market volatility.
There is no such thing as uncorrelated assets anymore. Investment strategies founded on the belief that the securities held are somehow immune from previously “uncorrelated” volatility are anachronistic. Combine these investments with substantial leverage intended to enhance returns, and this strategy ends in disaster.
If it’s zero eventually, great quarterly performance is meaningless.
It’s risk-adjusted return, idiot.
Is It Really Different This Time? Well, sort of – and that makes all the difference. Interest rates are at zero, and worldwide markets assume that will change little for some time to come. Global coordinated monetary and fiscal policy are spiraling interest rates to this flattened level with little prospect of upward movement. The combination of monetary, fiscal, and interest-rate policy coordinated in this manner is unprecedented and is being pushed to its limits. A subliminal fear may be permeating the markets, generating extreme movements, causing both substantial profits and losses from massive capital flows magnifying price movements within compressed time frames. How do we explain this, and more importantly, how do we predict and profit from it? Bitcoin Explains Everything – Read That Twice If You Need To
Our political system is binary, and both sides are more extreme than reasonable. There seems little patience for the “reasonable middle” where ideas can be nuanced, refined, and complexity of public policy understood. Instead, our leaders are superficial and guide policy with slogans, not thought. People like AOC and Sanders are caricatures, influential yet ignorant and superficial, forming policies while clueless about what it takes to realistically solve even their most critical issues.
They have great ideas on how to distribute wealth but no ideas on how wealth is actually created. Their perspective is to take existing wealth and distribute it to others instead of developing an engine to help more people create wealth. An example of this kind of dysfunctional policy can be found in resource rich African nations. Instead of building industries using the abundant natural resources present as inputs generating real businesses, those resources are simply gathered and distributed – either to efficient businesses in other countries or among governmental cronies to their Swiss bank accounts. Either way, this attitude is disastrous for an economy ultimately. Wealth is created, and policies should free up the ability to create wealth within appropriate legal restrictions.
Medical Intelligence is a new discipline, converging human and artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence will not replace human intelligence, especially in medicine. Diagnosis and treatment will remain a human endeavor. But AI will be an indispensable tool helping human intelligence effectively deliver better quality healthcare.