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The first two parts of this series presented the economic tidal wave that is approaching us and explained how and why we have never been less prepared economically or socially for such a cataclysm. Part III detailed how the economic […] The post The Puppet Masters – When The Tidal Wave Hits, Part IV appeared first on ValueWalk.

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The election of President Trump has added uncertainty to the already speculative market that is low-income housing development. Over the past 30 years, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program has created millions of units of affordable housing across the country, though still not enough to meet demand. Trump has yet to make good on his campaign pledge to cut corporate tax rates, but even the prospect of corporate tax cuts is affecting the market for low-income credits. “They’ll be 96 units here, all of them financed with the low-income housing tax credit program,” said Bill Whitman, a partner with Somerset Development, which owns Portner Flats, a new-construction apartment building in Washington, D.C. In a city where the cost of rent is rising exponentially, this project will be reserved for families making below AIM or the “area median income.” Compare that with another construction site across the street. “The average rents in that building are expected to be $5.38 a square foot,” Whitman said. "Whereas the rents for the affordable units in this project will be $1.75 a square foot.” “The low-income housing tax credit program is critical, it’s essential,” says Bill Whitman of Somerset Development. Adam Allington/Marketplace In other words, these apartments will be rented more than three times below market rate. This is possible because the credits awarded to investors allow a dollar-for-dollar credit against their federal taxes in exchange for funding affordable housing. Without the credits, Whitman said regular people could never afford to live here. “The low-income housing tax credit program is critical, it’s essential,” he emphasized, “it’s the ‘but for’ in projects like this. Without it, this doesn’t happen.” However, if corporate tax rates are cut from 35 percent down to 20 percent or 15 percent, as Trump wants to do, you also cut the demand for a credit. "We've already seen the prospect of tax reform have a meaningful impact on the price that investors are willing to pay,” said Paul Weissman, director of affordable housing lending for the Hunt Mortgage Group.   Weissman said investors are already valuing the credits 15 percent to 20 percent lower. If you factor in rising interest rates, which makes lending even more costly, the overall impact is potentially much greater. “Because you have projects that are no longer viable that before were viable," Weissman said. Some 100,000 new units of affordable housing come into the market nationally each year. Unfortunately, it’s nowhere near enough, said David Godschalk of Telesis. "The challenge is that this is coming at a time when demand for affordable housing, particularly demand for housing for very low-income families, is growing." Telesis is a developer specializing in affordable housing projects in urban areas. Since the Great Recession, Godschalk said rents have risen much faster than incomes, creating a supply shortage of around 4 million units. Units in Portner Flats, and affordable housing project, will rent for $1.75 a square foot, while the rents at across the street are expected to be $5.38 a square foot, Whitman says.  Adam Allington/Marketplace "As an example, if we build a hundred thousand units of tax credit housing every year, even if we were to double that, we could build at that pace for the next 20 years and still not fill the current gap," he said. If tax credit values tank, that means projects would need to find some kind of gap financing. Another solution would be to simply sell more credits. “If we put more credit into the marketplace, more of those projects could be built,” said Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington. Together with Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch from Utah, the two have drafted a legislative solution called the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, which aims to expand funding for affordable credits by 50 percent or perhaps less. “Maybe if we’re out there on the Senate floor and somebody said, ‘Oh, how about 30,’ and we could get it done, we might end up at a different point,” Cantwell said.  “I definitely think you can justify the demand for this.” Cantwell said the act would create or preserve around 1.3 million affordable homes over 10 years and build another 400,000 than is possible under the current program.

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``The first problem? Deficits... Even with the tax on imports and exemption on exports that is believed to raise nearly $1 trillion in rate cuts, more will be needed. What else is left if a revenue-neutral budget is to be met? A likely target then becomes tax breaks.''

Read more: Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed

``One experiment has been taking place in the Berkshires -- a region in the U.S. state of Massachusetts -- that has its own currency called Berkshares. On this week's Odd Lots podcast, we speak with Alice Maggio, the executive director of the currency, about how a regional currency works, what it accomplishes, and what they've learned from it.''

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Tinder Online, which was launched on Tuesday, is a web-optimized version of the Tinder dating app, allowing users to access Tinder from their desktop. A user will be required to sign in through Facebook, but features such as Tinder Boost […] The post Tinder Online: Tinder’s New Desktop App To Help You Find Love appeared first on ValueWalk.

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4th Madoff Ponzi Scheme Victim Kills Self A hedge fund executive leaped to his death from the luxury Sofitel hotel in New York City Monday afternoon, authorities said. In doing so, Charles Murphy, 55, became the fourth person to commit […] The post 4th Madoff Ponzi Scheme Victim Kills Self appeared first on ValueWalk.

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Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s are trying to clean up their reputation, nixing the "babes and burgers" campaign beloved by former CEO Andy Puzder. Gone is the image of a company that caters to the whims of the red-blooded American male. Gone are the ads featuring women in skimpy bikinis that were favored by Puzder. Now the focus is on what CKE Restaurants, the parent company, says matters most: food. To make sure that consumers are aware of this shift, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s rolled out a new campaign featuring Carl Hardee Sr. — a fictional character meant to show that there is a new boss in town who will get the company back on track. “We are pioneers of the great American burger, the great American made-from-scratch biscuit and whatever great American thing we think of next. And that’s a promise,” Hardee Sr. says in the three-minute ad released this morning.  The campaign comes a week after Puzder resigned from his post as the chief executive of CKE. His resignation was effective immediately. He was replaced by Jason Marker, who was president of KFC U.S. It has been a tumultuous year for Puzder. After being hand-picked by President Trump to run the Department of Labor, Puzder came under scrutiny for opposing higher minimum wage, Carl Jr.’s labor law violations, hiring an undocumented housekeeper and, yes, the racy Carl’s Jr. ads featuring women in bikinis. Before Congress members got their chance to grill Puzder, he withdrew his nomination. RELATED: Carl's Jr. and the Department of Labor Andrew Puzder withdraws his labor secretary nomination Why a burger at Carl's Jr. may be the same at Hardee's If the current campaign tagline is “food, no boobs,” then the one for Puzder’s reign during the last decade and a half has been something along the lines of “babes and burgers.” (Actually, the new tagline is “Pioneers of the great American burger” but who is going to remember that over “food, no boobs?”) “If you’ve seen our ads, you know that we target young, hungry guys,” Puzder previously said of the old ads. In 2015, he defended the ads, saying they were American and that Carl’s Jr.’s red-blooded male brand was reflective of his own personality. “I like our ads,” he told Entrepreneur. “I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it's very American,” he said. “I used to hear, ‘Brands take on the personality of the CEO.’ And I rarely thought that was true, but I think this one, in this case, it kind of did take on my personality.” The new ad campaign was created by ad agency 72andSunny. “It was time to evolve,” Jason Norcross, executive creative director and partner at 72andSunny, told AdWeek. The new, more mature campaign is going to have fewer distractions and focus more on the products, such as the biscuits and the meat. “Some of the product attributes got lost because people were too busy ogling girls,” Norcross said.  

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The following is from The Philosopher in Drobny’s classic The Invisible Hands (emphasis mine): Some people can trade markets using only numbers, prices on a screen but this approach does not work for me. The numbers have to mean something […] The post Markets As A Range Of Reasonable Opinions appeared first on ValueWalk.

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There are lots of companies out there promising to revolutionize transportation and mobility. Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft suggest that car ownership itself is absurd, and their fleets of human-driven or self-driving cars will get you anywhere you want to go. Car companies like Ford and GM are working on autonomous cars and even investing in fleets of vehicles that can be shared among occasional users. The Hyperloop promises ultra-high-speed travel through a tube on a magnetically levitating train. And then there are the flying vehicles: Moller's SkyCar is one example, and Uber is reportedly already testing vertical-takeoff-and-landing passenger drones like one introduced at CES in 2016. For every technology in development, there's a corresponding question about safety, regulations, the talent needed to build the tech and how long it'll be before the transportation revolution is actually here. But recently I got to thinking: What if the flaw in thinking about the transportation revolution lies in thinking that we need transportation? I think the biggest competition to Uber, Lyft, Ford, GM, Hyperloop, Moller and passenger drone makers isn't each other. It's virtual and augmented reality. Why go to work in a self-driving car or a flying passenger drone when I could "go" there virtually, collaborate with my co-workers, chat and play games as a virtual avatar and save every second of my commute time for laundry, shopping, sleeping or hanging out with my family?  Let me lay out my thinking here. These thoughts on transportation vs. virtual interaction occurred to me the other day during a commute from my house in Oakland, California, to San Francisco. The trip downtown is about 11 miles. Or, as I like to call it, the Longest 11 Miles. San Francisco Bay Area traffic congestion is second only to Los Angeles in terms of hours lost in traffic (it's tied with Washington, D.C.). And the Bay Bridge is the region's single-most congested artery. The city's subway system, Bay Area Rapid Transit, is crumbling and unreliable — my hour-plus commute the other day occurred because BART had to stop service between Oakland and San Francisco at rush hour because a power line fell on the track. It's true there wasn't redundancy built into the system. Bond money will help fund some solutions. https://t.co/ujAArnxKB2 — SFBART (@SFBART) March 27, 2017 That may sound extraordinary, but delays are a pretty standard part of a BART commute. So yes, self-driving cars could ease the congestion, a Hyperloop could make tunneling under the San Francisco Bay faster, and even if the whole thing fell apart, a flying vehicle could still get me where I need to go. But I'd still have to go there, and all of them rely on either fixing or altering the seriously problematic infrastructure of urban spaces. Or there's the alternative future, where I instead wander into my home office in my pajamas, coffee in hand, don my virtual reality headset, customize my avatar and head in to my virtual office, where I meet and chat with my other co-workers and we get down to work. No seat belts or magnetic trains required, and the only infrastructure I have to alter is my home office and maybe my internet connection. It's already happening in small doses; the San Francisco creative firm Ideo designed and prototyped a virtual reality storytelling experience entirely in virtual reality. Some workers are already experimenting with collaborating in virtual reality — this Medium post does an excellent job of detailing the results of a small-scale study at one office. And companies that are experimenting with virtual collaboration say it'll have huge benefits over video calling even in the short term, as our digital avatars can make better eye contact and even interact with virtual objects in digital space. The same is true for augmented reality technology like the Microsoft HoloLens; you may not have to be fully immersed in a digital space, but every member of a remote call can be looking at or interacting with the same thing. It could be a whiteboard, a digital prototype, a patient on a surgical bed or even a game. It might sound silly at first blush, but does it really sound sillier than a flying passenger drone? Collaboration in virtual reality is definitely on the road map for the technology, and people are curious. All we really need is more realistic immersion and 3-D avatar technology, both of which are already in the works. In a recent survey, 77 percent of millennials said they'd be interested in using virtual or augmented reality programs at work. And while virtual and augmented tech is still pretty nascent, so are passenger drones and even autonomous cars — and VR or AR are going to be quicker and cheaper to adopt. So in my mind, the technology race is on. Who's going to do a better job of getting me to work? Uber or Oculus? Lyft or Microsoft? If I had to bet, I'd say virtual reality gets there first and takes more cars off the road faster than autonomous driving tech. Sure, I'll still have to go places eventually. But as I prepare for yet another battle with the Longest 11 Miles, I'm definitely looking forward to my future virtual workspace.

Read more: Marketplace All Stories

For the past couple months, the market has been pretty clear, and SPX has captured all my targets both to the upside and to the downside.  As of right now, though, the crystal ball has gotten at least a little bit murky.  Let me explain why:First off, it's entirely possible that the decline is a perfect ABC, to wrap up the anticipated red 4.  The thing holding me back from calling the bottom with more conviction is the b-wave "look" of the 2322 low in SPX (and other markets).  On the flip side of the coin, the thing holding me back from saying
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Real-Time Risk: What Investors Should Know About FinTech, High-Frequency Trading, and Flash Crashes (Wiley, 2017) by Irene Aldridge and Steve Krawciw is in large measure an advertisement for AbleMarkets, of which the authors are, respectively, president and CEO. That said, […] The post Real-Time Risk: What Investors Should Know About FinTech, High-Frequency Trading, and Flash Crashes appeared first on ValueWalk.

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Not too surprisingly, VPN providers say they're seeing an interest spike in the wake of lawmakers' full frontal assault on consumer broadband privacy protections. The attack on the rules comes as the broadband industry is suffering from an overall decline in competition, something of notable concern to privacy advocates. Some VPN providers were quick to use the debate as a marketing opportunity, with VPN provider Private Internet Access taking out a front page ad in the New York Times shaming

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The British government has fired the starting gun on Brexit. After more than four decades of membership of the European Union, the British government has officially notified its European partners that the U.K. is leaving the bloc. Two years of wrangling will now begin as Britain negotiates the terms of its departure and the shape of its new trading relationship with the 27 remaining member states. That relationship will certainly be less beneficial for British companies after Brexit. “We want a fair deal for the United Kingdom, but that deal must necessarily be inferior to membership" said Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. Losing full and unfettered access to the world’s biggest free trade zone wouldn’t be easy for any business, but for the U.K.’s most successful exporting industry — financial services — it could prove traumatic. Sixty percent of the services sold abroad by London’s financial center — the “City,” as it’s known — are sold to the rest of the European Union. That business earns the United Kingdom more than $30 billion a year and underpins an industry that employs more than 2 million people and pays more tax than any other sector. “I think financial services will suffer the most from the type of hard Brexit the U.K. government seems intent on,”said Mujtaba Rahman, managing director for Europe at Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy. “In the worst-case scenario, you’re talking about a very significant adjustment, economic pain.” Rahman agreed that could entail “massive job losses and perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars worth of business lost.” The big investment banks based in London are clearly fearful they may lose access to mainland Europe after Brexit. Goldman Sachs is shifting hundreds of staff from London to a continental financial center as a contingency plan; Morgan Stanley could move up to a 1,000 jobs; and Bank of America has been eyeing Dublin as a new base. Officials from Paris and Frankfurt, Germany, have been busy in recent months trying to persuade other London-based financial institutions to relocate some of their operations to their respective centers.   But Gary Campkin of TheCityUK, a lobby group for the British finance industry, is unworried: “We see no reason why London cannot continue to be not only the world’s leading financial center, along with New York, but also Europe’s financial center,” Campkin told Marketplace, adding that European companies need unfettered access to London’s huge pools of  international capital. Others are even more dismissive of any potential threat from Brexit. “It won’t affect us at all,” said John Battersby of the online peer-to-peer lending firm RateSetter. The firm set up in the City just after the financial crisis and has clocked up more than $2 billion worth of business. “We don’t think that we will be held back by EU laws or trade agreements following Brexit," he said. "Our business is all about taking advantage of opportunities. It’s about drive, determination and entrepreneurial spirit.” 

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This article was republished from a post on the Invest Before the Street blog Financial accounting. Who needs it? Accounting existing for two basic reasons: To track how much money companies make To track what they own (assets)/ what they […] The post Financial Accounting 101: An Overly Simplified, Five Minute Crash Course for Investors appeared first on ValueWalk.

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It’s time for a little refresher on something called Moore's Law: More than half a century ago, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore predicted that, essentially, processor power would increase exponentially over time. Yes, it's more complicated than that. But for decades, the general principle has pretty much held true, leading to faster and cheaper computing power that enables supercomputers in our pockets, self-driving cars, smart refrigerators and more. But there's a popular belief these days that chip makers just won't be able to keep up with Moore's Law anymore. For more on Moore, Marketplace’s Molly Wood spoke with Stacy Smith, the executive vice president leading manufacturing, operations and sales for Intel. Below is an edited transcript of their conversation. Molly Wood: So you are in San Francisco, as I understand it, talking about, of all things, Moore's Law. I have heard rumors that Moore's Law may have been killed off, but you say not so fast. Stacy Smith: The rumors of Moore's Law's death stretch back 25 years. And what happens is the smart technologists figure out ways to continue to advance it and solve problems that, you know, they had supposed were insurmountable. And the beauty of that force is that it lets us bring down costs and bring more capable products to the marketplace year in, year out. Wood: And what has, for those who have not followed this story arc, what has Moore's Law playing out over time meant for Intel's business in particular as you keep building computer chips? Smith: Yeah, it's huge, it is. It's the economic law that really drives our business. And in fact it's ... huge for the industry and the economy at large. Specifically for us, what it means is that every generation we can bring out new capabilities that enable people to have new usage models like immersive virtual reality or to solve the big problems of the world by putting, you know, supercomputers to work on mapping the genome — those kinds of things. And we can do it at a lower cost and more capability. Wood: At what point does physics start to get in the way? I know that you've already had to cross what seemed like impassable barriers to keep making transistors smaller and more powerful. How long can it go on? Smith: Yeah, it's a great question. I was in the factories back in 1990, so 25 years ago, and that was the point at which the line that we were trying to scribe on a wafer for was more narrow than the wavelength of light. And we used something called lithography to do that, so it was actually, think of it as almost a photo process. And that was seen as an insurmountable technology barrier — there's just no way the industry could progress past the wavelength of light. And it wasn't even a speed bump. The reality is that the smart men and women that work in these factories and technology development, they find ways to use X-rays, they find ways to bend light by putting it through water. And they continue to solve these problems. Wood: What does this mean for the actual physical creation of these transistors? Like, are we talking about the tiniest robots building the tiniest chips? Smith: We have highly automated factories. I wouldn't say it's robots building chips. You know, each factory that we build has thousands of people. The work that they do is very different than what they used to do. It's moved from, you know, physically touching the wafer to being engineers to make sure that the equipment that's manufacturing the products is doing that with a high level of precision. I think the big impact of Moore's Law though is just that basic model of being able to double the capability every year or bring the cost down every year, or every two years, excuse me, is the fundamental driver.... I shared some — if I can digress — I shared some fun data that we had pulled up that said if other industries progressed at the same kind of doubling of capabilities every two years that Moore's Law had, and if you apply the same metric to something like gas mileage, it says you could drive to the sun from the earth on a single gallon of gas. You could drive that distance with a single gallon of gas. It's just a phenomenal driver of our business and the economy. Wood: It seems like every day we have some new vision [of the future], whether it's, you know, virtual reality, completely immersive virtual reality, self-driving cars, missions to Mars. How much of that actually depends on you being successful in extending the life of Moore's Law? Smith: Yeah. All of it. You know, if we stopped being able to advance the capabilities of computers, we would stop advancing our capability to solve some of these problems. I mean, it's as simple as that. Wood: Stacy Smith from Intel, thank you so much.  

Read more: Marketplace All Stories

25% to 30% of China GDP is connected to final demand from the property and construction sectors, so any slowdown in these two sectors is likely to have a pronounced impact on the country’s wider economy, that’s according to a […] The post Moody’s Warns Of Trouble In China As 30% Of GDP Now Linked To Property appeared first on ValueWalk.

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One popular approach to investing based on Benjamin Graham’s methods is to use the so-called “Graham Number.”  There are some important differences between the Graham Number and the Graham Formula, but using the Graham Number is definitely useful even if […] The post Best Stocks Below Their Graham Number – March 2017 appeared first on ValueWalk.

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In reaction to President Trump's roll-back of a number of President Obama's environmental protection and climate change regulations, Leftist documentary-maker Michael Moore lost it... Trump has signed orders killing all of Obama's climate change regulations. The EPA is prohibited henceforth from focusing on climate change. — Michael Moore (@MMFlint) March 28, 2017 But he was not done... as he sees the most dire outcome from this terrifying regulatory roll-back... Historians in

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Moments ago, the UK Prime Minister's office posted the 6-page letter that was delivered by the UK to the EU, triggering Article 50 and officially starting the 2 year Brexit process. The Prime Minister has triggered Article 50 and started the process of leaving the EU. Read the letter: https://t.co/4CfCle4BP1 pic.twitter.com/Gf4DIudIMH — UK Prime Minister (@Number10gov) March 29, 2017   In the letter, Theresa May proposes “bold and ambitious” Free Trade Agreement between the United

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