Sometimes the condition occurs completely by chance when you’re born, like my case. — Sarah Valenzuela, SELF, "My Congenital Disorder Confuses a Lot of Trainers, So I Have to Be My Own Fitness Expert," 9 Nov. 2018 So Ruby used massive amounts of data from Ancestry.com to investigate the role of genes in the lifespans of more than 400,000 people born in the 1800s and early 20th century. — Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Genetics play less of a role in lifespan than we thought," 8 Nov. 2018 Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib, born in Detroit to Palestinian parents, and Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar, who arrived in the United States from Somalia at 14, won their House races, becoming the first Muslim women elected to Congress. — Mary Jordan, The Seattle Times, "Record number of women appear headed for Congress," 6 Nov. 2018 But companies born in democracies sometimes display their values, as when social networks cite the First Amendment in drafting their policies around content moderation. — Casey Newton, The Verge, "The Google walkout offers a playbook for successful corporate protests," 2 Nov. 2018 If someone were born in northern Greece or Anatolia, the strontium signal would be different from that of Iron Gates natives. — Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018 The new royal baby, whose name has yet to be made public, is the seventh grandchild for Princess Caroline (the third born in 2018), and the great-grandson of Grace Kelly. — Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Princess Grace's Granddaughter Charlotte Casiraghi Gives Birth to a Baby Boy," 24 Oct. 2018 When you're born into the royal family, things are naturally...different. — Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Will Meghan Markle And Prince Harry’s Baby Be Born At Home? Plus, Other Bizarre Royal Birthing Rules," 15 Oct. 2018 Here are some quick facts to know about the key term: 1) Heteronormativity starts SUPER young A lot of people are victims of heteronormativity before they're even born because of the strange cultural phenomenon of gender reveal parties. — Megan Lasher, Seventeen, "Everything You Need To Know About 'Heteronormativity'," 4 Oct. 2018

Same thing with the hiring of Bolton, a bellicose fire-brand who never met a war he did not want to enjoin, even though (or because) he himself never served in combat. He replaces a combat veteran, McMaster, who was expected to restrain Trump. Will Trump, who also never served in combat, might just want to start a quick little war some place to shore up his low approval ratings? This, too, worries Wall Street, which likes military preparedness a lot more than the uncertainties of actual war.

In my opinion, flyover America voted Republican because the “deplorables” want to defend Trump. They want to defend him for two reasons. One is that he spoke to their economic plight caused by the US corporations exporting their jobs, leaving the American workforce and middle class hard-strapped. The other is that the adoption of Identity Politics by the Democratic Party has made the Democrats the party that hates white people—especially white heterosexual males who are defined as the victimizer of minorities, homosexuals, and women. Read More
They've promised full pensions to their workers. But they aren't putting aside enough money — or generating high enough returns — to fulfill those future obligations. Soon, they'll have to cannibalize current workers' pension contributions to pay retirees. Young and middle-aged government employees will likely never receive the retirement benefits they're counting on.
In the biggest move, the gauntlet has been cast by the Chinese as they challenge the U.S. petrodollar, with the formal announcement of a March 26th start for gold-backed-yuan oil futures trading.  Asian secret society sources say the Year of the Dog, which is just starting, usually brings volatility (in this case presumably in the financial markets) before things settle down into a new normal as the year progresses. Read More

“What a difference a day makes”! Well we didn’t get the sun and the flowers like in Dinah Washington’s song but more like storm and showers. For the ones who don’t remember Dinah, Amy Winehouse made a more recent version of the song. Last week I warned investors again, in the strongest tone possible, of the risks in markets. So what triggered it? Was it the Fed’s interest rise? Or was it the trade war with China? Or maybe it was Kavanaugh?
Markets over the last few days have plunged, with U.S. stocks posting their worst two-day stretch in eight months. The three major indexes — the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite — all fell more than 5 percent between Wednesday and Thursday. Asia markets followed suit on Thursday, with mainland China markets tumbling more than 5 percent, and Japan's Nikkei index falling almost 4 percent.
The $3 trillion that Vanguard has invested in index funds might indicate stability as, according to Vanguard, the best way to invest is to invest in index funds. But such a statement isn’t true at all. The positive performance Vanguard’s index funds have achieved in the last 35 years, which is now the main factor in attracting new funds, is just a result of many factors that has lead the S&P 500 to grow 23 times since 1980.
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The primary reason why stock prices have been soaring in recent months is because corporations have been buying back their own stock at an unprecedented pace.  In fact, the pace of stock buybacks is nearly double what it was at this time last year.  According to Goldman Sachs, S&P 500 companies spent 384 billion dollars buying back stock during the first half of 2018.  That is an absolutely astounding number.  And in many cases, corporations are going deep into debt in order to do this.  Of course this is going to push up stock prices, but corporate America will not be able to inflate this bubble indefinitely.  At some point a credit crunch will come, and the pace of stock buybacks will fall precipitously. Read More
Thank you for visiting the homepage of this five-part series on the individuals and ideas shaping my worldview. I have gained a lot of knowledge from these truly great minds, and the purpose of this series is to share what I have learned with you, my readers. I’m confident that the writings that follow will help you better understand the trends shaping the future of financial markets, and our economy.

One of the major indicators that a bear market may be on the way is the yield curve. While the yield curve is currently flattening out, and not inverting, by sitting at around 0.2%, it is right on the edge. When the yield curve is flat, that means that the 2-year spread and the 10-year spread for bonds (in the case of the U.S. Treasury yield curve) are around the same -- basically, that the long-term interest rates aren't much better than the short-term interest rates (which they ideally should be). Given that interest should be higher for lending the government money over a long time (giving up the opportunity to do other things with your money like invest in stocks), an inverted yield curve is a sign of danger and a possible bear market. 
As with many other industries, the reality of supply and demand impacts every aspect of the financial market. It is predicted that in 2018 the United States Treasury will have net new issue of $1.3 trillion in treasury bonds and the national debt will continue to rise. This new influx of debt will need to be purchased by the market, but the Federal Reserve is reducing the amount that it’s purchasing – their bond holdings will decrease by 10% over the next year. International buyers will become an even more important cog in the wheel, and David comprehensively explores the global supply and demand structure on this episode of Money For the Rest of Us. You also don’t want to miss his bear market investment suggestions, so be sure to listen.
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