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  • 14.11.2019 | US Federal Reserves monetary policy is a BLACK HOLE that will swallow up everyone RTs Keiser Rep




    Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway now has a massive cash pile of $128 billion after the company reported a 14 percent jump in profit. This is essentially "dead cash" because it is not invested into the economy, says Max Keiser. The Keiser Report digs into the issue where the US Federal Reserve is “printing so much money so fast” that some don’t even know how to spend it. “This is the endgame of this wealth inequality,” says Stacy Herbert. She explains that at the bottom there is a black hole, with “people running faster and faster just to stay in place and the debt keeps on catching up with them.” Meanwhile, on the other side of the balance sheet, “they are earning so much money that they can’t possibly spend it.” Berkshire Hathaway can’t spend its money and is just sitting there doing nothing, she points out. “Warren Buffett is bored,” adds Max Keiser, adding that the businessman and others in similar positions are doing nothing but waiting for everyone else to go bankrupt.   © Pixabay.com   https://quantsalus.com/contacts/...

    Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway now has a massive cash pile of $128 billion after the company reported a 14 percent jump in profit. This is essentially "dead cash" because it is not invested into the economy, says Max Keiser.

    The Keiser Report digs into the issue where the US Federal Reserve is “printing so much money so fast” that some don’t even know how to spend it.

    “This is the endgame of this wealth inequality,” says Stacy Herbert.

    She explains that at the bottom there is a black hole, with “people running faster and faster just to stay in place and the debt keeps on catching up with them.”

    Meanwhile, on the other side of the balance sheet, “they are earning so much money that they can’t possibly spend it.” Berkshire Hathaway can’t spend its money and is just sitting there doing nothing, she points out.

    “Warren Buffett is bored,” adds Max Keiser, adding that the businessman and others in similar positions are doing nothing but waiting for everyone else to go bankrupt.

     

    © Pixabay.com

     

    https://quantsalus.com/contacts/


    13.11.2019 | Cryptocurrencies, accessible assets for everyone!




    Nicash emerged in late 2018, gathering some of the best developers in the global technology market. The project came after several months of planning and development to make everything run in a synchronized and functional way, in order to revolutionize what we already know about crypto actives and try to demystify and simplify the world of cryptocurrencies, making it accessible to all audiences. Developed with ERC20 Etherium technology and script algorithm in hybrid form or POS, Nicash was designed to be used as a digital payment method, released in the market as a definitive solution to investors and merchants. The use of cryptocurrencies has become increasingly popular in the environment we live in. They are present in markets, stores, wholesale and retails, making people open their eyes to technology and see it as an opportunity.    

    Nicash emerged in late 2018, gathering some of the best developers in the global technology market.

    The project came after several months of planning and development to make everything run in a synchronized and functional way, in order to revolutionize what we already know about crypto actives and try to demystify and simplify the world of cryptocurrencies, making it accessible to all audiences.

    Developed with ERC20 Etherium technology and script algorithm in hybrid form or POS, Nicash was designed to be used as a digital payment method, released in the market as a definitive solution to investors and merchants.

    The use of cryptocurrencies has become increasingly popular in the environment we live in. They are present in markets, stores, wholesale and retails, making people open their eyes to technology and see it as an opportunity.

     

     

    06.11.2019 | 'World has gone mad with so much free money billionaire investor Ray Dalio




    Economic inequality had become a “national emergency,” according to Ray Dalio, an American billionaire and the founder of the world's largest hedge fund Bridgewater. He talked about the paradox of free money in the global economy. In a post published on LinkedIn and titled “The World Has Gone Mad and the System Is Broken,” Dalio writes that there is a number of economic indicators (including low or negative interest rates) that have led to what he considers an unsustainable and broken system. “Because the 'trickle-down' process of having money at the top trickle down to workers and others by improving their earnings and creditworthiness is not working, the system of making capitalism work well for most people is broken,” Dalio said. My below piece “The World Has Gone Mad and the System is Broken” explains some of the crazy things that are happening, why they are happening and why I believe that they are unsustainable. I’d be interested in knowing what you think about them. https://t.co/daUdsw0XLy — Ray Dalio (@RayDalio) November 5, 2019 He blamed the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy for artificially inflating stocks beyond their fundamental value. “[Investors] have an enormous amount of money to invest that has been, and continues to be, pushed on them by central banks that are buying financial assets in their futile attempts to push economic activity and inflation up.” People who lack money or creditworthiness are essentially unable to access capital, he said, noting that this contributes to the rising wealth, opportunity and political gaps. “This set of circumstances is unsustainable and certainly can no longer be pushed as it has been pushed since 2008. That is why I believe that the world is approaching a big paradigm shift.”   © Pixabay.com   https://quantsalus.com/about/...

    Economic inequality had become a “national emergency,” according to Ray Dalio, an American billionaire and the founder of the world's largest hedge fund Bridgewater. He talked about the paradox of free money in the global economy.

    In a post published on LinkedIn and titled “The World Has Gone Mad and the System Is Broken,” Dalio writes that there is a number of economic indicators (including low or negative interest rates) that have led to what he considers an unsustainable and broken system.

    “Because the 'trickle-down' process of having money at the top trickle down to workers and others by improving their earnings and creditworthiness is not working, the system of making capitalism work well for most people is broken,” Dalio said.

    He blamed the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy for artificially inflating stocks beyond their fundamental value.

    “[Investors] have an enormous amount of money to invest that has been, and continues to be, pushed on them by central banks that are buying financial assets in their futile attempts to push economic activity and inflation up.”

    People who lack money or creditworthiness are essentially unable to access capital, he said, noting that this contributes to the rising wealth, opportunity and political gaps.

    “This set of circumstances is unsustainable and certainly can no longer be pushed as it has been pushed since 2008. That is why I believe that the world is approaching a big paradigm shift.”

     

    © Pixabay.com

     

    https://quantsalus.com/about/


    04.11.2019 | What broke the bond between oil and gold?




    For decades, two of the world’s most-watched commodities, oil and gold, have typically moved in tandem. But lately, gold has been on steroids while oil prices have decidedly been on Quaaludes. The big question for traders is whether this is just a separation or an all-out divorce. Higher oil prices tend to drive consumer prices higher because they increase the cost of making and transporting goods. On the other hand, holding gold is a favorite way of protecting against inflation. Geopolitical crises or supply disruptions such as the September Saudi Aramco drone attacks also support higher oil prices. High oil prices tend to coincide with periods of high inflation and lower economic growth, while gold is a popular hedge against inflation, thus the positive correlation. In other words, higher gold prices have in the past meant higher oil prices, although one doesn’t directly cause the other. However, this relationship appears to have broken lately with gold rallying 23 percent over the past 12 months, while oil prices have merely been treading water. Even the massive attacks on Saudi oil facilities failed to move this needle for more than a day or so. In other words, a major 5-percent supply disruption, the biggest ever in history, didn’t help.  So why is the market so fickle? For the most part, it’s no longer got blinders on about geopolitical upsets. There’s an ongoing oil glut and lackluster demand that is clearly entrenched now, so the market isn’t biting when it hears talk of potential supply risks. Oil is, for the first time in a long time, not hostage to that much sentiment. It’s been hijacked by pure fundamentals.  Gold, on the other hand, is a fully sentimental bet. Gold-oil ratio Crude oil and gold prices have in the past largely moved in tandem with occasional disconnects. The divergence this time around is getting uncomfortably big and suggests something has to give: either gold prices fall or oil prices climb significantly to catch up to gold. Over the past 25 years, the gold-to-oil ratio has averaged 15.8. What this means is that one troy ounce of gold could buy you 15.8 barrels of US WTI crude oil. This ratio has been fairly consistent with occasional divergences. The lowest gold-oil ratio over the past 25 years was 6.2 in 2005 when oil prices soared on a demand-driven bull run while gold prices remained low. The highest was 47.6 in 2016 when oil was mired in a serious slump while gold prices remained steady. The ratio has averaged 24 since the beginning of this  year, breaking through 25 in July. With an ounce of gold currently at $1,514.30 and a barrel of WTI crude at $54.24, the ratio is sitting at a multi-year high of 27.9 - or nearly 80 percent above the historical average. Resetting the ratio So what really gives? Will the gold-oil ratio reset back to its traditional levels? Unfortunately, the oil prognosis is not very good. The remarkable surge in US oil production over the past six years has created a large global supplier that is less susceptible to geopolitical tensions compared to the traditional oil superpowers. Growing exports by the United States is dampening some of the traditional volatility in crude oil prices and capping a good chunk of the market’s price upside. Currently, the strength of shale supply and growing concerns about low demand growth are weighing more heavily on the market than geopolitics. It’s doubtful whether the risk environment will reassert itself as the key driver of oil prices any time soon as it has been for gold. The outlook is far brighter for gold. We appear headed towards monetary debasement and possibly QE. Gold prices climbed in September when the European Central Bank (ECB) kicked off round 1 of its QE money stimulus. Although the Fed might not grant Trump his wish for further cuts - at least not this year - it has already commenced a program that it expected to gobble up $60 billion of Treasury bills every month (the Fed insists it’s simply expanding its balance sheet and not engaging in quantitative easing). This is likely to keep interest rates low, which is positive for gold. The World Gold Council is also quite bullish on gold in its report and encourages investors to allocate more of their portfolios to gold: ‘‘...lower expected bond returns favor additional gold exposure in well-diversified portfolios. As bond yields fall, diversifiers with higher potential returns, like hedge funds, real estate and private equity, carry heavier weights in optimized portfolios. Our analysis also suggests that the historically higher volatility that accompanies these alternative investments, versus other assets such as stocks and bonds, warrants increasing allocations of gold to serve as a ballast in the event of a stock market pullback.” It, therefore, appears that the higher gold-oil divergence is the new norm - at least in the foreseeable future. That means that if you’ve been trading on the oil-gold tandem, you’re likely losing.   © Reuters / David Gray   https://quantsalus.com/rules/...

    For decades, two of the world’s most-watched commodities, oil and gold, have typically moved in tandem. But lately, gold has been on steroids while oil prices have decidedly been on Quaaludes.

    The big question for traders is whether this is just a separation or an all-out divorce.

    Higher oil prices tend to drive consumer prices higher because they increase the cost of making and transporting goods.

    On the other hand, holding gold is a favorite way of protecting against inflation.

    Geopolitical crises or supply disruptions such as the September Saudi Aramco drone attacks also support higher oil prices. High oil prices tend to coincide with periods of high inflation and lower economic growth, while gold is a popular hedge against inflation, thus the positive correlation.

    In other words, higher gold prices have in the past meant higher oil prices, although one doesn’t directly cause the other.

    However, this relationship appears to have broken lately with gold rallying 23 percent over the past 12 months, while oil prices have merely been treading water.

    Even the massive attacks on Saudi oil facilities failed to move this needle for more than a day or so. In other words, a major 5-percent supply disruption, the biggest ever in history, didn’t help. 

    So why is the market so fickle? For the most part, it’s no longer got blinders on about geopolitical upsets. There’s an ongoing oil glut and lackluster demand that is clearly entrenched now, so the market isn’t biting when it hears talk of potential supply risks.

    Oil is, for the first time in a long time, not hostage to that much sentiment. It’s been hijacked by pure fundamentals. 

    Gold, on the other hand, is a fully sentimental bet.

    Gold-oil ratio

    Crude oil and gold prices have in the past largely moved in tandem with occasional disconnects.

    The divergence this time around is getting uncomfortably big and suggests something has to give: either gold prices fall or oil prices climb significantly to catch up to gold.

    Over the past 25 years, the gold-to-oil ratio has averaged 15.8. What this means is that one troy ounce of gold could buy you 15.8 barrels of US WTI crude oil.

    This ratio has been fairly consistent with occasional divergences. The lowest gold-oil ratio over the past 25 years was 6.2 in 2005 when oil prices soared on a demand-driven bull run while gold prices remained low. The highest was 47.6 in 2016 when oil was mired in a serious slump while gold prices remained steady.

    The ratio has averaged 24 since the beginning of this  year, breaking through 25 in July. With an ounce of gold currently at $1,514.30 and a barrel of WTI crude at $54.24, the ratio is sitting at a multi-year high of 27.9 - or nearly 80 percent above the historical average.

    Resetting the ratio

    So what really gives? Will the gold-oil ratio reset back to its traditional levels?

    Unfortunately, the oil prognosis is not very good.

    The remarkable surge in US oil production over the past six years has created a large global supplier that is less susceptible to geopolitical tensions compared to the traditional oil superpowers. Growing exports by the United States is dampening some of the traditional volatility in crude oil prices and capping a good chunk of the market’s price upside.

    Currently, the strength of shale supply and growing concerns about low demand growth are weighing more heavily on the market than geopolitics. It’s doubtful whether the risk environment will reassert itself as the key driver of oil prices any time soon as it has been for gold.

    The outlook is far brighter for gold.

    We appear headed towards monetary debasement and possibly QE.

    Gold prices climbed in September when the European Central Bank (ECB) kicked off round 1 of its QE money stimulus. Although the Fed might not grant Trump his wish for further cuts - at least not this year - it has already commenced a program that it expected to gobble up $60 billion of Treasury bills every month (the Fed insists it’s simply expanding its balance sheet and not engaging in quantitative easing). This is likely to keep interest rates low, which is positive for gold.

    The World Gold Council is also quite bullish on gold in its report and encourages investors to allocate more of their portfolios to gold:

    ‘‘...lower expected bond returns favor additional gold exposure in well-diversified portfolios. As bond yields fall, diversifiers with higher potential returns, like hedge funds, real estate and private equity, carry heavier weights in optimized portfolios. Our analysis also suggests that the historically higher volatility that accompanies these alternative investments, versus other assets such as stocks and bonds, warrants increasing allocations of gold to serve as a ballast in the event of a stock market pullback.”

    It, therefore, appears that the higher gold-oil divergence is the new norm - at least in the foreseeable future.

    That means that if you’ve been trading on the oil-gold tandem, you’re likely losing.

     

    © Reuters / David Gray

     

    https://quantsalus.com/rules/


    04.11.2019 | 'System deadlock': Joker artistically diagnoses modern world's ills Zizek




    Seen as a potential validation for violent glory seekers, the 'Joker' movie turns out to be not an incitement for violence but a judgement on the modern political system's flaws, philosopher Slavoj Zizek says. The much acclaimed Todd Phillips movie starring Joaquin Phoenix has received its fair share of criticism from almost everyone, from the woke community to the US Army, who all believed it could prompt some "evil" people to commit acts of violence. Yet, the film's critics have apparently overlooked the underlying message of the movie, Zizek, the senior researcher at the Institute for Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana, told RT, adding that it is not about some mentally-challenged person, but about the "hopelessness" of our "best ever" political order itself, which many still simply refuse to accept. Daily life has become a horror movie We should congratulate Hollywood and the viewers on two things: that such a film that, let's face it, gives a very dark image of highly developed capitalism, a nightmarish image which led some critics to designate it a 'social horror film', came out. Usually, we have social films, which depict social problems, and then we have horror films. To bring these two genres together, it is only possible when many phenomena in our ordinary social life become phenomena which belong to horror films. It is even more interesting to see how reactions to the film provide a whole specter of political cohesions in the US. On the one hand, conservatives were afraid that this film would incite violence. It was an absurd claim. No violence was triggered by this film. On the contrary, the film depicts violence and awakens you to the danger of violence. As it is always the case, some politically correct people feared that the film used racist clichés and celebrates violence. It is also unfair. One of the most interesting positions was that of Michael Moore, a leftist documentarist, who celebrated the film as an honest depiction of reality of those poor, excluded and not covered by healthcare in the US. His idea is that the film explains how figures like Joker can arise. It is a critical portrayal of reality in the US, which can give birth to people like Joker. I agree with him but I would also like to go a bit further. 'Deadlock of nihilism' I think what is important is that the figure of Joker in the end, when he identifies with his mask, is a figure of extreme nihilism, self-destructive violence and a crazy laughter at others' despair. There is not positive political project. The way we should read 'Joker' is that it very wisely abstains from providing a positive image. A leftist critique of 'Joker' could have been: "Yes, it is a good portrayal of reality in the poor slums of the US but where is the positive force? Where are democratic socialists, where are ordinary people organizing themselves?" In this case, it would have been a totally different and a pretty boring film. The logic of this film is that it leaves it to the spectators to do this. The movie shows sad social reality and a deadlock of the nihilist reaction. In the end, Joker is not free. He is only free in a sense of arriving at a point of total nihilism. It is up to us to decide what we should do. I designated the figure of Joker in a kind of Kazimir Malevich, the Russian avangardist, position when he did this famous painting of the Black Square. It is a kind of minimal protest – a reduction to nothing. Joker simply mocks every authority. It is destructive but lacks a positive project. We have to go through this path of despair. It is not enough to play the game of those in power. That is the message of 'Joker'. The fact that they could be charitable like Bruce Wayne's father in this latest movie is just a part of the game. You have to get rid of all these liberal stupidities that obfuscate the despair of the situation. Yet, it is not the final step but a zero level of clearing the table to open up the space for something new. This is how I read the film. It is not a final decadent vision. We have to go through this hell. Now, it is up to us to go further. Social alarm clock The danger of explaining just the backstory is to give a kind of a rational explanation that we should understand the figure of Joker. But Joker does not need this. Joker is a creative person in some sense. The crucial moment in the film for his subjective change is when he says: "I used to think my life was a tragedy. But now I realize, it's a comedy." Comedy means for me that at that point he accepts himself in all his despair as a comical figure and gets rid of the last constraints of the old world. That is what he does for us. He is not a figure to imitate. It is wrong to think that what we see towards the end of the film – Joker celebrated by others – is the beginning of some new emancipatory movement. No, it is an ultimate deadlock of the existing system; a society bent on its self-destruction. The elegance of the film is that it leaves the next step of building a positive alternative to it to us. It is a dark nihilist image meant to awaken us. Are we ready to face reality? The leftists who are disturbed by 'Joker' are 'Fukuyama leftists'; those who think that the liberal democratic order is the best possible order and we should just make it more tolerant. In this sense, everyone is a socialist today. Bill Gates says he is for socialism, Mark Zuckerberg says he is for socialism. The lesson of 'Joker' is that a more radical change is needed; that this is not enough. And that is what all those democratic leftists are not aware of. This dissatisfaction that grows up today is a serious one. The system cannot deal with it with gradual reforms, more tolerance or better healthcare. These are signs of the need for more radical change. The true problem is whether we are ready to really experience the hopelessness of our situation. As Joker himself said at a certain moment in the film: "I laugh because I have nothing to lose, I am nobody." There is also a clever name game here. Joker's real family name is Fleck. In German, fleck is a stain, a meaningless stain. It is like anamorphosis. We need to take a different look to see a new perspective. I do not trust all those leftist critics who are afraid of its potential. As Moore put it very nicely, you are afraid of violence here, not of real violence in our daily life. To be shocked by violence depicted in the film is just an escape from real violence.   A billboard advertising the film "Joker" is pictured in Los Angeles. © Reuters / Mario Anzuoni   https://quantsalus.com/faq/ ...

    Seen as a potential validation for violent glory seekers, the 'Joker' movie turns out to be not an incitement for violence but a judgement on the modern political system's flaws, philosopher Slavoj Zizek says.

    The much acclaimed Todd Phillips movie starring Joaquin Phoenix has received its fair share of criticism from almost everyone, from the woke community to the US Army, who all believed it could prompt some "evil" people to commit acts of violence.

    Yet, the film's critics have apparently overlooked the underlying message of the movie, Zizek, the senior researcher at the Institute for Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana, told RT, adding that it is not about some mentally-challenged person, but about the "hopelessness" of our "best ever" political order itself, which many still simply refuse to accept.

    Daily life has become a horror movie

    We should congratulate Hollywood and the viewers on two things: that such a film that, let's face it, gives a very dark image of highly developed capitalism, a nightmarish image which led some critics to designate it a 'social horror film', came out. Usually, we have social films, which depict social problems, and then we have horror films. To bring these two genres together, it is only possible when many phenomena in our ordinary social life become phenomena which belong to horror films.

    It is even more interesting to see how reactions to the film provide a whole specter of political cohesions in the US. On the one hand, conservatives were afraid that this film would incite violence. It was an absurd claim. No violence was triggered by this film. On the contrary, the film depicts violence and awakens you to the danger of violence.

    As it is always the case, some politically correct people feared that the film used racist clichés and celebrates violence. It is also unfair. One of the most interesting positions was that of Michael Moore, a leftist documentarist, who celebrated the film as an honest depiction of reality of those poor, excluded and not covered by healthcare in the US.

    His idea is that the film explains how figures like Joker can arise. It is a critical portrayal of reality in the US, which can give birth to people like Joker. I agree with him but I would also like to go a bit further.

    'Deadlock of nihilism'

    I think what is important is that the figure of Joker in the end, when he identifies with his mask, is a figure of extreme nihilism, self-destructive violence and a crazy laughter at others' despair. There is not positive political project.

    The way we should read 'Joker' is that it very wisely abstains from providing a positive image. A leftist critique of 'Joker' could have been: "Yes, it is a good portrayal of reality in the poor slums of the US but where is the positive force? Where are democratic socialists, where are ordinary people organizing themselves?" In this case, it would have been a totally different and a pretty boring film.

    The logic of this film is that it leaves it to the spectators to do this. The movie shows sad social reality and a deadlock of the nihilist reaction. In the end, Joker is not free. He is only free in a sense of arriving at a point of total nihilism.

    It is up to us to decide what we should do.

    I designated the figure of Joker in a kind of Kazimir Malevich, the Russian avangardist, position when he did this famous painting of the Black Square. It is a kind of minimal protest – a reduction to nothing. Joker simply mocks every authority. It is destructive but lacks a positive project. We have to go through this path of despair.

    It is not enough to play the game of those in power. That is the message of 'Joker'. The fact that they could be charitable like Bruce Wayne's father in this latest movie is just a part of the game. You have to get rid of all these liberal stupidities that obfuscate the despair of the situation.

    Yet, it is not the final step but a zero level of clearing the table to open up the space for something new. This is how I read the film. It is not a final decadent vision. We have to go through this hell. Now, it is up to us to go further.

    Social alarm clock

    The danger of explaining just the backstory is to give a kind of a rational explanation that we should understand the figure of Joker. But Joker does not need this. Joker is a creative person in some sense. The crucial moment in the film for his subjective change is when he says: "I used to think my life was a tragedy. But now I realize, it's a comedy."

    Comedy means for me that at that point he accepts himself in all his despair as a comical figure and gets rid of the last constraints of the old world. That is what he does for us. He is not a figure to imitate. It is wrong to think that what we see towards the end of the film – Joker celebrated by others – is the beginning of some new emancipatory movement. No, it is an ultimate deadlock of the existing system; a society bent on its self-destruction.

    The elegance of the film is that it leaves the next step of building a positive alternative to it to us. It is a dark nihilist image meant to awaken us.

    Are we ready to face reality?

    The leftists who are disturbed by 'Joker' are 'Fukuyama leftists'; those who think that the liberal democratic order is the best possible order and we should just make it more tolerant. In this sense, everyone is a socialist today. Bill Gates says he is for socialism, Mark Zuckerberg says he is for socialism.

    The lesson of 'Joker' is that a more radical change is needed; that this is not enough. And that is what all those democratic leftists are not aware of. This dissatisfaction that grows up today is a serious one. The system cannot deal with it with gradual reforms, more tolerance or better healthcare.

    These are signs of the need for more radical change.

    The true problem is whether we are ready to really experience the hopelessness of our situation. As Joker himself said at a certain moment in the film: "I laugh because I have nothing to lose, I am nobody."

    There is also a clever name game here. Joker's real family name is Fleck. In German, fleck is a stain, a meaningless stain. It is like anamorphosis. We need to take a different look to see a new perspective.

    I do not trust all those leftist critics who are afraid of its potential. As Moore put it very nicely, you are afraid of violence here, not of real violence in our daily life. To be shocked by violence depicted in the film is just an escape from real violence.

     

    A billboard advertising the film "Joker" is pictured in Los Angeles. © Reuters / Mario Anzuoni

     

    https://quantsalus.com/faq/



    03.11.2019 | REALLY want to help Mother Nature? Don't drive electric cars, ignore paper bags & forget ab




    Eco-consciousness has become a winning marketing strategy, but products sold as eco-friendly often aren't. From solar panels to paper straws, many of our supposed environmental saviors are making the problem worse. The fight against climate change is poised to make a lot of people very, very rich. The world is expected to invest some $90 trillion in new infrastructure to stave off climate doom over the next ten to 15 years, according to a report from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, and manufacturers of consumer products want a piece of the action, with study after study revealing customers will pay more for “sustainable” and earth-friendly products. A third of consumers buy based on a brand’s environmental impact, according to Unilever, with a fifth explicitly favoring green messaging. Not all products sold as sustainable, however, actually are. In fact, some are worse for the environment than the products they've replaced. But there is a reluctance to tear away from the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with doing good for the planet, even when the virtue one is signaling is wholly imaginary. Kill the bees or kill the trees? Organic farming – growing food without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers – isn't the planet-saver it's promoted as, according to a study published last month in Nature Communications. Farming certain crops organically, including beans, potatoes, and oats, creates more emissions over the entire course of the farm-to-table cycle than farming them conventionally, researchers at Cranfield University found. Trying to get all of Britain eating organic would create an environmental catastrophe, they believe. Because organic farming yields a smaller harvest per acre than conventional farming, it requires more land to raise the same amount of crops. The report reveals that if just England and Wales were to switch to 100 percent organic farming, five times as much land would have to be cleared for agriculture overseas, with shipping jacking carbon costs into the stratosphere. There would be some benefits – soil and water health would improve dramatically without the chemical runoff from conventional farming – but lowering emissions would be impossible without a major shift in diet. This places farmers in the uncomfortable position of having to choose between protecting biodiversity – popular neonicotinoid pesticides have been implicated in the mass death of bees, which are critical to maintaining adequate food supply via pollination – and lowering emissions. A one-size-fits-all approach is unlikely to work. While organic farming represents just 1.4 percent of total world farmland, the industry has mushroomed over the past decade, worth $97 billion annually as of 2017. The dark side of solar, and other electric fables Nor is organic food the only “green” product less environmentally sound than its marketing suggests. Renewable energy, hailed as the answer to the world's petrochemical dependency, is not the cure-all it is depicted as. Solar power, for example, creates no carbon emissions once the solar panels are up and running, but their manufacture is a toxic mess. Produced with the carcinogenic, mutagenic heavy metal cadmium and requiring billions of liters of water to manufacture and cool, solar cells have their own dark side seldom examined in discussions of the impending shift to renewable energy.  Electric cars have become a symbol of environmental progress, with companies that produce them receiving government subsidies in many countries. But more energy is consumed in the production of an electric car than a gas-powered vehicle, and a 2011 study found the carbon footprints of both vehicles to be about the same. Electric cars may not produce emissions while driving, but they're only as green as the electricity used to charge them. Worse, the batteries they use are loaded with toxic metals like lithium, copper, and cobalt. Mining these substances devastates the environment, and improper disposal of used batteries can cause them to leak back into nature. Biomass and biofuels certainly sound environmentally friendly – how can you go wrong with “bio” in the name – but it actually generates more carbon emissions than fossil fuels to create the same amount of energy. Substances burnable under the aegis of “biomass” can include anything from timber waste to garbage, meaning it can burn clean or litter the atmosphere with pollutants. And even burning ‘clean’ wood means cutting down trees – hardly environmentally friendly. If it comes in a bag, it's not real Even the choice of paper bags instead of plastic is not as environmentally sound as most people think. With the knee jerk association of plastic = evil, people overlook that paper bags generate more air and water pollution than plastic and actually require more energy to recycle. They take up more space in landfills and require more fuel to ship. Plastic bags are not necessarily better – the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is testament to the damage they can cause – but consumers who believe they're saving the earth by requesting paper bags at the supermarket (and municipalities who think banning plastic is the answer) are sadly misguided. Plastic is in everything, even in supposedly ‘green’ products, according to Philipp Sapozhnikov of the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology. “Plastic is cheap to manufacture. Its microparticles are in cosmetics, in detergent, in exfoliant scrub, even in the ‘environmentally friendly’ one, too,” he told RT. A proposed EU ban on microplastics in cosmetics earlier this year sent cosmetic brands scurrying to oppose it, hinting that the billions it would cost the industry would be passed on to consumers.  So why are companies rushing to brand things as green that are anything but, and why are consumers letting them get away with it? Included in the (usually hefty) price tag is the sense that the buyer is somehow “making a difference.” The buyer comes away with an inflated sense of their own virtue without having to lift a finger, feeling like part of the solution to a previously insurmountable problem. “We all have this tendency, if you’re facing a big complicated issue like climate change or saving the rainforest, if you do one thing, like turn out the lights when you leave a room or recycle, it makes you feel like you’re off the hook,” Andrew Revkin, founder of Columbia University’s Initiative on Communication and Sustainability told RT. “I think there’s a big tendency in human nature just to pull back from really big issues, because…they require systems change. We’re not going to solve the climate crisis by turning out the lights” - or by buying green. “Brands are allowing people to pat themselves on the back without them personally having to sacrifice anything,” Will Fowler, creative director for Headspace, told the Guardian in 2017, describing the bull market in corporate virtue-signaling. And this is the essence of green consumerism – reassuring people used to a high-consumption standard of living that they need not change their lifestyle in order to reduce their carbon footprint. In reality, consuming less is always better than consuming a “green” product. But there’s no way for companies to monetize non-consumption, and no way to grow a nation’s economy through not spending money. For all the ink wasted in touting “compassionate capitalism,” unrestrained economic growth is not compatible with reducing humanity’s environmental impact. No country can buy its way to zero emissions (though that won’t stop governments from trying with constructs like carbon offsets and cap-and-trade that reek of magical thinking). It's human nature to want to save the planet, and the corporations driving the green consumer craze are merely taking advantage of this instinct. But the only thing green about their products is the money spent to purchase them.   © Global Look / Jens Büttner   https://quantsalus.com/news/...

    Eco-consciousness has become a winning marketing strategy, but products sold as eco-friendly often aren't. From solar panels to paper straws, many of our supposed environmental saviors are making the problem worse.

    The fight against climate change is poised to make a lot of people very, very rich. The world is expected to invest some $90 trillion in new infrastructure to stave off climate doom over the next ten to 15 years, according to a report from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, and manufacturers of consumer products want a piece of the action, with study after study revealing customers will pay more for “sustainable” and earth-friendly products. A third of consumers buy based on a brand’s environmental impact, according to Unilever, with a fifth explicitly favoring green messaging.

    Not all products sold as sustainable, however, actually are. In fact, some are worse for the environment than the products they've replaced. But there is a reluctance to tear away from the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with doing good for the planet, even when the virtue one is signaling is wholly imaginary.

    Kill the bees or kill the trees?

    Organic farming – growing food without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers – isn't the planet-saver it's promoted as, according to a study published last month in Nature Communications. Farming certain crops organically, including beans, potatoes, and oats, creates more emissions over the entire course of the farm-to-table cycle than farming them conventionally, researchers at Cranfield University found. Trying to get all of Britain eating organic would create an environmental catastrophe, they believe.

    Because organic farming yields a smaller harvest per acre than conventional farming, it requires more land to raise the same amount of crops. The report reveals that if just England and Wales were to switch to 100 percent organic farming, five times as much land would have to be cleared for agriculture overseas, with shipping jacking carbon costs into the stratosphere. There would be some benefits – soil and water health would improve dramatically without the chemical runoff from conventional farming – but lowering emissions would be impossible without a major shift in diet.

    This places farmers in the uncomfortable position of having to choose between protecting biodiversity – popular neonicotinoid pesticides have been implicated in the mass death of bees, which are critical to maintaining adequate food supply via pollination – and lowering emissions. A one-size-fits-all approach is unlikely to work. While organic farming represents just 1.4 percent of total world farmland, the industry has mushroomed over the past decade, worth $97 billion annually as of 2017.

    The dark side of solar, and other electric fables

    Nor is organic food the only “green” product less environmentally sound than its marketing suggests. Renewable energy, hailed as the answer to the world's petrochemical dependency, is not the cure-all it is depicted as. Solar power, for example, creates no carbon emissions once the solar panels are up and running, but their manufacture is a toxic mess. Produced with the carcinogenic, mutagenic heavy metal cadmium and requiring billions of liters of water to manufacture and cool, solar cells have their own dark side seldom examined in discussions of the impending shift to renewable energy. 

    Electric cars have become a symbol of environmental progress, with companies that produce them receiving government subsidies in many countries. But more energy is consumed in the production of an electric car than a gas-powered vehicle, and a 2011 study found the carbon footprints of both vehicles to be about the same. Electric cars may not produce emissions while driving, but they're only as green as the electricity used to charge them. Worse, the batteries they use are loaded with toxic metals like lithium, copper, and cobalt. Mining these substances devastates the environment, and improper disposal of used batteries can cause them to leak back into nature.

    Biomass and biofuels certainly sound environmentally friendly – how can you go wrong with “bio” in the name – but it actually generates more carbon emissions than fossil fuels to create the same amount of energy. Substances burnable under the aegis of “biomass” can include anything from timber waste to garbage, meaning it can burn clean or litter the atmosphere with pollutants. And even burning ‘clean’ wood means cutting down trees – hardly environmentally friendly.

    If it comes in a bag, it's not real

    Even the choice of paper bags instead of plastic is not as environmentally sound as most people think. With the knee jerk association of plastic = evil, people overlook that paper bags generate more air and water pollution than plastic and actually require more energy to recycle. They take up more space in landfills and require more fuel to ship. Plastic bags are not necessarily better – the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is testament to the damage they can cause – but consumers who believe they're saving the earth by requesting paper bags at the supermarket (and municipalities who think banning plastic is the answer) are sadly misguided.

    Plastic is in everything, even in supposedly ‘green’ products, according to Philipp Sapozhnikov of the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology.

    Plastic is cheap to manufacture. Its microparticles are in cosmetics, in detergent, in exfoliant scrub, even in the ‘environmentally friendly’ one, too,” he told RT. A proposed EU ban on microplastics in cosmetics earlier this year sent cosmetic brands scurrying to oppose it, hinting that the billions it would cost the industry would be passed on to consumers. 

    So why are companies rushing to brand things as green that are anything but, and why are consumers letting them get away with it? Included in the (usually hefty) price tag is the sense that the buyer is somehow “making a difference.” The buyer comes away with an inflated sense of their own virtue without having to lift a finger, feeling like part of the solution to a previously insurmountable problem.

    We all have this tendency, if you’re facing a big complicated issue like climate change or saving the rainforest, if you do one thing, like turn out the lights when you leave a room or recycle, it makes you feel like you’re off the hook,” Andrew Revkin, founder of Columbia University’s Initiative on Communication and Sustainability told RT. “I think there’s a big tendency in human nature just to pull back from really big issues, because…they require systems change. We’re not going to solve the climate crisis by turning out the lights” - or by buying green.

    Brands are allowing people to pat themselves on the back without them personally having to sacrifice anything,” Will Fowler, creative director for Headspace, told the Guardian in 2017, describing the bull market in corporate virtue-signaling. And this is the essence of green consumerism – reassuring people used to a high-consumption standard of living that they need not change their lifestyle in order to reduce their carbon footprint.

    In reality, consuming less is always better than consuming a “green” product. But there’s no way for companies to monetize non-consumption, and no way to grow a nation’s economy through not spending money. For all the ink wasted in touting “compassionate capitalism,” unrestrained economic growth is not compatible with reducing humanity’s environmental impact. No country can buy its way to zero emissions (though that won’t stop governments from trying with constructs like carbon offsets and cap-and-trade that reek of magical thinking).

    It's human nature to want to save the planet, and the corporations driving the green consumer craze are merely taking advantage of this instinct. But the only thing green about their products is the money spent to purchase them.

     

    © Global Look / Jens Büttner

     

    https://quantsalus.com/news/


    01.11.2019 | Economic uncertainty leaves oil markets paralyzed




    The Federal Reserve cut interest rates again as the trade war continues to rage on, but what does all of this mean for the price of oil? It was the third interest rate cut this year, which marked an about-face after successive increases over the previous few years. The central bank was forced into monetary easing after the global economy showed signs of slowing down, made worse by the US-China trade war. However, despite the browbeating from President Trump, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that the latest cut of 25 basis points might be the end of the line, unless things deteriorate further. “The current stance of [interest-rate] policy is likely to remain appropriate” if the economy continues on its current growth rate, Powell said. The result was something of a mixed bag for both stocks and for crude oil. The cut was widely expected for some time, so there was little suspense in the announcement. Reading between the lines, the wording and tone from Powell suggests that it will take much more upheaval to convince the central bank to make any additional cuts. The rate reduction also comes at a time when the data on the economy is becoming more mixed, which is arguably slightly better than the more obviously negative trajectory the economy had seemed to be on only recently. US GDP growth slowed in the third quarter to just 1.9 percent, down substantially from 2.9 percent a year earlier, but also a better result than some had feared. Many sectors of the US economy are in decent shape, although the deep contraction in business investment and manufacturing activity is raising some causes for concern. Some actually pointed to the contraction in activity in the oil and gas industry as one obvious source of trouble. But a recent round of corporate earnings reports were better than expected, even though profits have contracted compared to a year ago. Some economists are breathing a sigh of relief, saying that the results greatly diminish the odds of a recession. Still, there are plenty of pitfalls ahead. Consumer spending has been strong, but has also begun to slow, expanding at a 2.9 percent rate in the third quarter, down from 4.6 percent in the second. “We’re still in an expanding economy, but one that is expanding at a slower clip,” Gregory Daco, chief US economist at Oxford Economics, told the Wall Street Journal. And with manufacturing actually contracting, there is still plenty of risk to the broader economy. “The danger is that businesses begin to pull back not only on capital spending but also on payrolls, which would take much of the steam out of growth in consumer spending,” Richard Moody, chief economist at Regions Financial Corp., wrote in a note. The big question in the near-term – stop me if you’ve heard this before – is what happens with the US-China trade deal. The Trump administration is raising expectations regarding the “partial” trade deal announced in early October. Trump tweeted on Thursday that the deal would be completed soon, and that he and Xi Jingping would personally sign the agreement. However, Bloomberg reported that Chinese officials are “casting doubts about reaching a comprehensive long-term trade deal with the US,” even though they are inching closer to the “phase one” part of the deal. Chinese officials said privately that they “won’t budget on the thorniest issues,” Bloomberg reported. They are concerned about Trump’s erratic nature and that he might back out of any deal that is signed. That does not necessarily prevent the first phase from moving forward, which could include China purchasing American farm goods in exchange for a delay in tariffs. But it’s not clear that such a modest agreement really moves the needle on global growth, which has been hindered by trade protections. Tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of trade would presumably remain even if “phase one” goes forward. “There was a lot of complacency building in around trade over the last several weeks and China is reasserting a posture saying we’re not anywhere close to done,” Michael Purves, CEO of Tallbacken Capital Advisors LLC, told Bloomberg on Wednesday. That’s why the market is off today and Treasuries are rallying. Oil prices slid mid-week, and fell again on Thursday on news that OPEC increased production in October, which actually shouldn’t be a surprise because of the return of the Abqaiq facility after the outage in September. Still, even oil analysts say that the trade deal is one of the most important near-term variables to watch. “We have to keep an eye on the trade deal,” Ashley Petersen, oil market analyst at Stratas Advisors in New York, told Bloomberg. “This is going to be a problem from the rest of the year so there’s going to be more inter-week volatility to come.”   © pexels.com   https://quantsalus.com/contacts/...

    The Federal Reserve cut interest rates again as the trade war continues to rage on, but what does all of this mean for the price of oil?

    It was the third interest rate cut this year, which marked an about-face after successive increases over the previous few years. The central bank was forced into monetary easing after the global economy showed signs of slowing down, made worse by the US-China trade war.

    However, despite the browbeating from President Trump, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that the latest cut of 25 basis points might be the end of the line, unless things deteriorate further. “The current stance of [interest-rate] policy is likely to remain appropriate” if the economy continues on its current growth rate, Powell said.

    The result was something of a mixed bag for both stocks and for crude oil. The cut was widely expected for some time, so there was little suspense in the announcement. Reading between the lines, the wording and tone from Powell suggests that it will take much more upheaval to convince the central bank to make any additional cuts.

    The rate reduction also comes at a time when the data on the economy is becoming more mixed, which is arguably slightly better than the more obviously negative trajectory the economy had seemed to be on only recently. US GDP growth slowed in the third quarter to just 1.9 percent, down substantially from 2.9 percent a year earlier, but also a better result than some had feared.

    Many sectors of the US economy are in decent shape, although the deep contraction in business investment and manufacturing activity is raising some causes for concern. Some actually pointed to the contraction in activity in the oil and gas industry as one obvious source of trouble.

    But a recent round of corporate earnings reports were better than expected, even though profits have contracted compared to a year ago. Some economists are breathing a sigh of relief, saying that the results greatly diminish the odds of a recession.

    Still, there are plenty of pitfalls ahead. Consumer spending has been strong, but has also begun to slow, expanding at a 2.9 percent rate in the third quarter, down from 4.6 percent in the second. “We’re still in an expanding economy, but one that is expanding at a slower clip,” Gregory Daco, chief US economist at Oxford Economics, told the Wall Street Journal.

    And with manufacturing actually contracting, there is still plenty of risk to the broader economy. “The danger is that businesses begin to pull back not only on capital spending but also on payrolls, which would take much of the steam out of growth in consumer spending,” Richard Moody, chief economist at Regions Financial Corp., wrote in a note.

    The big question in the near-term – stop me if you’ve heard this before – is what happens with the US-China trade deal. The Trump administration is raising expectations regarding the “partial” trade deal announced in early October. Trump tweeted on Thursday that the deal would be completed soon, and that he and Xi Jingping would personally sign the agreement.

    However, Bloomberg reported that Chinese officials are “casting doubts about reaching a comprehensive long-term trade deal with the US,” even though they are inching closer to the “phase one” part of the deal. Chinese officials said privately that they “won’t budget on the thorniest issues,” Bloomberg reported. They are concerned about Trump’s erratic nature and that he might back out of any deal that is signed.

    That does not necessarily prevent the first phase from moving forward, which could include China purchasing American farm goods in exchange for a delay in tariffs. But it’s not clear that such a modest agreement really moves the needle on global growth, which has been hindered by trade protections. Tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of trade would presumably remain even if “phase one” goes forward.

    “There was a lot of complacency building in around trade over the last several weeks and China is reasserting a posture saying we’re not anywhere close to done,” Michael Purves, CEO of Tallbacken Capital Advisors LLC, told Bloomberg on Wednesday. That’s why the market is off today and Treasuries are rallying.

    Oil prices slid mid-week, and fell again on Thursday on news that OPEC increased production in October, which actually shouldn’t be a surprise because of the return of the Abqaiq facility after the outage in September.

    Still, even oil analysts say that the trade deal is one of the most important near-term variables to watch. “We have to keep an eye on the trade deal,” Ashley Petersen, oil market analyst at Stratas Advisors in New York, told Bloomberg. “This is going to be a problem from the rest of the year so there’s going to be more inter-week volatility to come.”

     

    © pexels.com

     

    https://quantsalus.com/contacts/


    30.10.2019 | Game Over... US stock bubble has already popped, Peter Schiff tells Boom Bust




    The Federal Reserve plans to inject $60 billion per month into the US economy which is showing signs of slowdown. It is reported to be preparing a rate cut next week but still claims that nothing is wrong with the system. “Just ignore what they say and look at what they do,” Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital tells Boom Bust. “They are trying desperately to keep the air from coming out of this bubble but it’s not going to work,” he said, explaining that “The bubble has already popped.” According to Schiff, “the only question is how fast is that air going to come out and when the market is going to figure out that the game is over, understand what the Fed has been doing, and the true nature of this bubble economy…” Schiff notes that the rate cut is a “desperate attempt to keep the air from coming out of the bubble, to maintain false consumer confidence.” Consumers are confident the economy is a disaster, he says, adding that they don’t have any money, they have lousy jobs, no savings, and are loaded down with debt. “But, as long as they keep on borrowing money to buy stuff that they can’t afford with money they don’t have, for some reason they remain optimistic…” The Fed plays into this, Schiff says.   US first lady Melania Trump © Reuters / Kevin Lamarque https://quantsalus.com/ ...

    The Federal Reserve plans to inject $60 billion per month into the US economy which is showing signs of slowdown. It is reported to be preparing a rate cut next week but still claims that nothing is wrong with the system.

    “Just ignore what they say and look at what they do,” Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital tells Boom Bust. “They are trying desperately to keep the air from coming out of this bubble but it’s not going to work,” he said, explaining that “The bubble has already popped.”

    According to Schiff, “the only question is how fast is that air going to come out and when the market is going to figure out that the game is over, understand what the Fed has been doing, and the true nature of this bubble economy…”

    Schiff notes that the rate cut is a “desperate attempt to keep the air from coming out of the bubble, to maintain false consumer confidence.”

    Consumers are confident the economy is a disaster, he says, adding that they don’t have any money, they have lousy jobs, no savings, and are loaded down with debt.

    “But, as long as they keep on borrowing money to buy stuff that they can’t afford with money they don’t have, for some reason they remain optimistic…” The Fed plays into this, Schiff says.

     


    22.10.2019 | Half the world's banks are too weak to survive downturn - McKinsey




    © Reuters / Chris Helgren A new survey from consultancy McKinsey & Co has found that a majority of banks globally may not be economically viable because their returns on equity aren’t keeping pace with costs. The study looked at 1,000 banks in developed and emerging countries and found that just over a third had made a return on capital of just 1.6 percent over the past three years. This compares to returns of just over 17 percent for top banks over the same period. "Nearly 35 percent of banks globally are both sub-scale and suffer from operating in unfavorable markets", as well as having flawed business models, said McKinsey. It added that "to survive a downturn, merging with similar banks may be the only option, if a full reinvention is not feasible." According to the report, banks are not as well-prepared for a downturn as they were when the global financial crisis erupted in 2007 in terms of profitability. "While the jury is still out on whether the current market uncertainty will result in an imminent recession or a prolonged period of slow growth, the fact is that growth has slowed," McKinsey said. "This is likely the last pit stop in this cycle for banks to rapidly reinvent business models and scale up via acquisitions,” the consulting firm said, adding: "The time for bold and critical moves is now."   https://quantsalus.com/about/ ...


    21.10.2019 | Just 12 Cryptocurrencies Maintain a Market Valuation of Over $1bn




    Despite some of the cryptocurrency markets showing signs of recovery, there are other trends well worth keeping an eye on. Over the past few months, it became apparent the US$1bn market cap club member size has declined significantly. Just 12 coins manage to reach this threshold, even though two of them risk falling out if a minor bearish trend were to materialize. Tron and Cardano are on the Bubble Whereas the cryptocurrency market cap list had dozens of currencies above $1bn in valuation in 2017, things look very different today. That is only to be expected, as the year 2018 and most of 2019 has not yielded too much excitement in the price department. Bitcoin has managed to claw back up to over $7,500, but the other markets are not necessarily showing too much action in recent weeks.  As a result, there are now just over 12 cryptocurrencies, tokens, and assets that have a market cap of over $1bn. That list includes the obvious top currencies, although both Tron and Cardano are on the verge of dropping below this threshold again. For speculators and investors, that may be something to worry about, although it won’t make that much difference in terms of value per individual coin. Maintaining a healthy market cap level is always preferable, but in this volatile industry, that is much easier said than done. Monero and LEO Want to Move up As is usually the case when two currencies are on the verge of dropping below this threshold, there are always projects which are close to surpassing the $1bn level as well. In the case of LEO and Monero, there is still a ways to go, albeit the gap to reaching this threshold is not all that big. Both projects need $150,000 and $23m respectively to make this cut.  As such, the coming weeks and months may prove to be very interesting for the communities of these four projects combined. While it is not exactly an achievement to surpass this milestone in terms of market valuation, it has become somewhat of a “target’ for any cryptocurrency, tokens, or asset which wants to “hang” with the big guns. No other currencies come close to hitting the $1bn mark at this time, although that situation can always change when people least expect it.  Where Did X, Y, and Z go? Some noteworthy coins have lost all feeling with the top 12 in recent months. That list includes IOTA, Dash, Ethereum Classic, NEO, and NEM, to name just a few. All of these currencies have had their market cap reduced to $750m or even as low as $369m. Not the turn of events people had expected following the crazy price action in 2017. Those traders still waiting for an altcoin season may need to bide their time for a while longer. It seems unlikely any market outside of the top 15 will see sustainable crazy gains again in the near future.   Image(s): Shutterstock.com   https://quantsalus.com/about/...

    Despite some of the cryptocurrency markets showing signs of recovery, there are other trends well worth keeping an eye on. Over the past few months, it became apparent the US$1bn market cap club member size has declined significantly. Just 12 coins manage to reach this threshold, even though two of them risk falling out if a minor bearish trend were to materialize.

    Tron and Cardano are on the Bubble

    Whereas the cryptocurrency market cap list had dozens of currencies above $1bn in valuation in 2017, things look very different today. That is only to be expected, as the year 2018 and most of 2019 has not yielded too much excitement in the price department. Bitcoin has managed to claw back up to over $7,500, but the other markets are not necessarily showing too much action in recent weeks. 

    As a result, there are now just over 12 cryptocurrencies, tokens, and assets that have a market cap of over $1bn. That list includes the obvious top currencies, although both Tron and Cardano are on the verge of dropping below this threshold again. For speculators and investors, that may be something to worry about, although it won’t make that much difference in terms of value per individual coin. Maintaining a healthy market cap level is always preferable, but in this volatile industry, that is much easier said than done.

    Monero and LEO Want to Move up

    As is usually the case when two currencies are on the verge of dropping below this threshold, there are always projects which are close to surpassing the $1bn level as well. In the case of LEO and Monero, there is still a ways to go, albeit the gap to reaching this threshold is not all that big. Both projects need $150,000 and $23m respectively to make this cut. 

    As such, the coming weeks and months may prove to be very interesting for the communities of these four projects combined. While it is not exactly an achievement to surpass this milestone in terms of market valuation, it has become somewhat of a “target’ for any cryptocurrency, tokens, or asset which wants to “hang” with the big guns. No other currencies come close to hitting the $1bn mark at this time, although that situation can always change when people least expect it. 

    Where Did X, Y, and Z go?

    Some noteworthy coins have lost all feeling with the top 12 in recent months. That list includes IOTA, Dash, Ethereum Classic, NEO, and NEM, to name just a few. All of these currencies have had their market cap reduced to $750m or even as low as $369m. Not the turn of events people had expected following the crazy price action in 2017. Those traders still waiting for an altcoin season may need to bide their time for a while longer. It seems unlikely any market outside of the top 15 will see sustainable crazy gains again in the near future.

     

    Image(s): Shutterstock.com

     

    https://quantsalus.com/about/


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