Daily Digest 7/1 – 80% Of Stock Market Now On Autopilot, Prepping For The Pork-Pocalypse

Economy

80% of the stock market is now on autopilot (Adam)

While algorithmic models have gained popularity on Wall Street, low-cost passive vehicles keep raking in assets from Main Street. Passive funds have attracted $39 billion of inflows so far this year, whereas active funds lost a whopping $90 billion in 2019, according to J.P. Morgan.

Central bank plans to create digital currencies receive backing (Adam)

Central bankers, including Mr Carstens, have been dismissive of the first wave of cryptocurrencies, viewing the likes of bitcoin and ethereum as speculative instruments that cannot be described as money due to the volatility of their value against the most widely used state currencies, such as the US dollar and the euro.

Do the Republicans Even Believe in Democracy Anymore? (newsbuoy)

We have been brought up to believe that American political parties are the same — that they are similar creatures with similar traits and similar ways of behaving. Political science spent decades teaching us this. The idea that one party has become so radically different from the other, despite mountains of evidence, is a tough sell.

Government outlaws multi-currency system, reintroduces Zim dollar (Sparky1)

“Accordingly, the Zimbabwe dollar, with effect from 24th June, 2019, but subject to subsection 3, be the sole legal tender in Zimbabwe in all transactions,” Statutory Instrument 142 says.

The new Zimbabwe dollar will have same boundaries, extent in space, time, or meaning as the RTGS dollars, which entails all bond notes and approved forms of electronic money in Zimbabwe.

Perence Shiri bans buying and selling of maize in Zimbabwe (Sparky1)

The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Retired Air Marshall Perence Shiri has enacted Statutory Instrument 145 of 2019 (Grain Marketing Control of Sale of Maize Regulations, 2019) which bans the buying and selling of maize among unauthorized persons in Zimbabwe.

The SI says, “No person or statutory body or company or entity shall buy or otherwise acquire any maize from any farmer or producer otherwise than through the Grain Marketing Board.”

The Coming Cash For Not-Clunkers (thc0655)

Given the choice between a $45,000 electric crossover SUV and a non-electric crossover of the same general size (and with more range and without needing to be hooked to a “fast” charger for 30-45 minutes to recover a partial charge) that can be bought for $20,000 less, which do you suppose most people will choose?

If they are allowed the choice.

Russia plans to tow a nuclear power station to the Arctic. Critics dub it a ‘floating Chernobyl’ (thc0655)

Russia’s civilian nuclear industry also faced public questions following the Chernobyl catastrophe, which shaped concerns about “the peaceful atom” for decades to follow. Construction of dozens of nuclear plants stopped, affecting not only massive Chernobyl-scale projects but also slowing down the use of low-power reactors like the one in what would become the floating station (The Chernobyl plant produced up to 4,000 megawatts. Lomonosov has two reactors producing 35 megawatts each).

Piles of poop, litter on trails, trampled wildflowers. In the social-media era, Washington’s public lands are being destroyed. What can be done? (thc0655)

“I’ve heard people say people who do these things are just ‘hiking their own hike.’ That doesn’t mean you do what you damn well please. Trails are on public property and come with rules and regulations. Roads are public property, too, and we share them with a lot of people. I can’t just drive my own drive. … That mentality astounds me. Trails are being inundated with a lot of new, clueless people right now, and we need a massive public-education campaign.”

On a tiny, isolated island, USDA scientists race to prep for the pork-pocalypse (edelinski)

The pigs arrived a week or so before the vets descended on Plum Island for FADD School—the two-week course that mints new Foreign Animal Disease Diagnosticians. There’s a delicate balance to inoculating animals with a fatal virus for educational purposes: You can’t inject them too early, or they’ll die before the students have a chance to observe their symptoms (and, later, to perform a necropsy—the animal version of an autopsy). You also can’t inject them too late, or they’ll stay perfectly healthy for the duration of the visit, only to drop dead soon after. The ASF-afflicted pigs will be observed each day as the virus progresses, then euthanized and examined more closely.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: June 2019

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