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[] Americans Reject Joe Biden's Radical AFFH Housing Rule in a New Poll 8/4/2020 8:53:56 PM
[] 'Reimagining L.A. County' proposal would redistribute $880 million from law enforcement and court system to social programs 8/4/2020 8:53:56 PM
[topics:places/usa] Isaias kills at least four people as Tropical Storm pounds United States 8/4/2020 8:53:55 PM
[Politics] McConnell Signals He's Open to Extending Jobless Benefit to Help Break Virus Aid Logjam As talks over the contours of the next coronavirus relief package grind on in Washington, House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is signaling his openness to a to jobless aid extension that the GOP has long resisted.Negotiators on Capitol Hill reported little progress on... 8/4/2020 8:53:55 PM
[Volokh Conspiracy] [Eugene Volokh] Filing Motion to Unseal in Cincinnati Police Officer's Libel Case WKRC in Cincinnati (James Pilcher) reported several days ago: A veteran Cincinnati police officer sued several citizens in early July, accusing them of defamation in a closely watched case that could be the beginning of a trend of police officers going after critics in court. Several citizens accused the officer of possibly being associated with… 8/4/2020 8:53:55 PM
[Markets] Florida Man Arrested After Buying New Porsche, Rolexes, With Fake Checks Printed On His Home Computer Florida Man Arrested After Buying New Porsche, Rolexes, With Fake Checks Printed On His Home Computer Tyler Durden Tue, 08/04/2020 - 21:45

A Florida man has been arrested for grand theft after purchasing a brand new Porsche - and then several Rolex watches - using checks he printed on his home computer. 

Perhaps trying to take a page out of the Fed's book, 42 year old Casey William Kelley has found out the hard way that you can't print your way to prosperity. According to the Palm Beach Post, he used a nearly $140,000 bogus check at a local car dealership and was taken into custody one day later after trying to buy several Rolex watches with additional checks.  

He was arrested for grand theft of a motor vehicle and uttering a false bank note.

Photo: Walton County Sheriff's Office

After the dealership sold Casey the car, they tried to cash the check. When it bounced, they immediately reached out to police to report the vehicle as stolen. 

The jeweler kept the watches and the check until the money cleared - which it never did. The checks came back fake but, by then, Kelley had already been arrested by authorities.

After his arrest, he admitted he had printed the checks at home. 

We wonder if Neel Kashkari could learning something from this analogue: apparently you can't just create wealth from a printing press. Who would have guessed?

8/4/2020 8:53:55 PM
[] Here's testimony from Sen. Ted Cruz's hearing on Antifa from Andy Ngo and Ken Cuccinelli 8/4/2020 8:24:25 PM
[] MSNBC reporter's blast: "We are a cancer and there is no cure" 8/4/2020 8:24:25 PM
[Entertainment] Who's the Boss Revival in the Works With Tony Danza and Alyssa Milano Who's the Boss, Tony Danza, Alyssa MilanoA fan-favorite television show is returning! A Who's The Boss sequel is in works at Sony Pictures Television, E! News has learned. Best of all? Alyssa Milano and Tony Danza are...
8/4/2020 8:24:25 PM
[Politics] WATCH: Ted Cruz CRUSHES Democrats covering up RIOTING as ‘Peaceful’ protest, shows DEVASTATING video In his hearing today on “The Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble: Protecting Speech by Stopping Anarchist Violence”, TEXAS Senator Ted Cruz ended the Democrats in his opening remarks. It was . . . 8/4/2020 8:24:25 PM
[Politics] WATCH: Ted Cruz CRUSHES Democrats covering up RIOTING as ‘Peaceful’ protest, shows DEVASTATING video In his hearing today on “The Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble: Protecting Speech by Stopping Anarchist Violence”, TEXAS Senator Ted Cruz ended the Democrats in his opening remarks. It was . . . 8/4/2020 8:24:25 PM
[Politics] 'The Swamp' Director to Newsmax TV: Doc Highlights Systemic Corruption in US Politics Morgan Pehme, co-director of HBO's "The Swamp," says the documentary highlights the systemic corruption in politics, including how House members have to pay for their committee seats.... 8/4/2020 8:24:25 PM
[Markets] How The Race For A COVID-19 Vaccine Could Go Horribly Wrong For The Market How The Race For A COVID-19 Vaccine Could Go Horribly Wrong For The Market Tyler Durden Tue, 08/04/2020 - 21:05

The research departments at Wall Street investment banks have every incentive to provide clients with a stream of worrisome (but not too worrisome) reports about the future trajectory of the global coronavirus outbreak. After all, too much unpleasant fearmongering, and they might instead go somewhere else, where another broker can tell them exactly what they want to hear. A lot of people are like that

Which is why a research note published by Goldman's top economist Jan Hatzius, who made his bones with a set of bearish calls just before the financial crisis, is so interesting. With public officials in the US, UK, China, Russia and elsewhere promising that a workable vaccine is just around the corner - Dr. Fauci has reassured Congress on multiple occasions that an FDA-approved vaccine by the end of the year is a realistic timeline - the market appears to be pricing in the best-case scenario. Stocks greet every new headline - even headlines that are simple rehashes of previously released early clinical trial data - with a modest rally.

At the very beginning of Hatzius's note, he points out that his 'base case' calls for a COVID-19 vaccine to be widely available throughout the US and Europe by the end of Q22021, or the end of Q32021, at the very latest. There are more than a hundred vaccine candidates in the making, but all the major candidates are targeting the same protein. This means that once a vaccine succeeds, there should be at least a modest surplus - though, to be sure, governments are striking deals for future vaccine supplies left and right.

This base case, in turn, supports Goldman Sachs' 'house view' for "above-consensus" global growth in 2021 (after all, so much of economics is influenced by perception).

But since most of the vaccine candidates are focused on the same approaches and are working off the same assumptions - that is, everything we currently know, or think we know, about SARS-CoV-2 - there is, of course, a risk that some unforeseen obstacle could disrupt this timeline.

And if that happens, things could go south in a hurry.

Or as Hatzius puts it: "the risks around this vaccine baseline...are clearly skewed...toward the downside..."

First, Hatzius starts off the note with a helpful summary of where most of what are seen as the biggest and most credible vaccine projects are at.

Then, Hatzius explains Goldman's research on vaccine approvals. The firm found that the race to discover a vaccine for HIV was perhaps the best comparable example. Since in the beginning, many competitors were working on similar projects. Typically, the more parties are working on vaccine candidates, the more quickly a vaccine is approved by the FDA. But HIV was one interesting example where this wasn't the case. Note: this isn't the only time we've brought up HIV in our writings on COVID-19. 

Since all the big vaccine projects are focusing on one of only a handful of approaches - for example, AstraZeneca/Oxford and Moderna are both focusing on vaccines that rely on messenger RNA (known as mRNA). Others are focusing on antibodies culled from the blood of survivors. Because the number of approaches is so small, the outcomes for these trials are likely highly correlated...

As the left panel of Exhibit 3 shows, a large number of industry sponsored vaccine attempts typically goes hand in hand with many approvals. This historical relationship would suggest an eventual approval of 43 vaccines. Furthermore, six candidates are already in Phase III. The historic approval odds of a given Phase III vaccine targeting the median disease is 79%. However, the history of trials and the fact that all major vaccines currently target the same spike protein also suggest that vaccine approvals are likely correlated, with either many succeeding or all failing, as for HIV.

We tentatively expect FDA approval of at least one vaccine this fall. First, six developers running late-stage trials following solid Phase II results are planning to seek approval in 2020Q4. Second, regulators have ramped up the transparency, flexibility, and speed. The FDA, for instance, has released specific safety and effectiveness standards, works directly with developers, analyzes interim results, and can provide Emergency Use Authorization as soon as studies have demonstrated safety and effectiveness. However, conflicting expert views on the odds of 2020 approval highlight the risk to our baseline timeline (Exhibit 4).

Increasing the risk of an outcome like what we see in the chart below for HIV.

Once a vaccine is discovered, Goldman expects the US, Europe and China will all experience a pronounced economic boost (though Goldman expects the boost to the US to be bigger, since the virus is more widespread).

By that logic, if a vaccine isn't forthcoming in the next year or two, the US is likely also the furthest along the path to herd immunity, if such immunity is even possible for COVID-19. Some studies appear to show some decay in antibody levels, though it's impossible to draw any solid conclusions at this point. Virologists insist that infection definitely confers some level of immunity.

On the other hand, it's also possible that another treatment will lessen the need for vaccines by proving to be a reliable and effective treatment for the disease. Dr. Anthony Fauci is now touting a new class of drugs called manufactured antibodies, as Reuters explained on Tuesday.

These "manufactured" antibodies are grown in bioreactor vats, and essentially replace the antibodies that your body naturally manufactures to fend off infections.

As the world awaits a COVID-19 vaccine, the next big advance in battling the pandemic could come from a class of biotech therapies widely used against cancer and other disorders - antibodies designed specifically to attack this new virus.

Development of monoclonal antibodies to target the virus has been endorsed by leading scientists. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious diseases expert, called them "almost a sure bet" against COVID-19.

When a virus gets past the body's initial defenses, a more specific response kicks in, triggering production of cells that target the invader.

These include antibodies that recognize and lock onto a virus, preventing the infection from spreading.

Monoclonal antibodies - grown in bioreactor vats - are copies of these naturally-occurring proteins.

Scientists are still working out the exact role of neutralizing antibodies in recovery from COVID-19, but drugmakers are confident that the right antibodies or a combination can alter the course of the disease that has claimed more than 675,000 lives globally.

"Antibodies can block infectivity. That is a fact," Regeneron Pharmaceuticals executive Christos Kyratsous told Reuters.

A timely vaccine will help drive a recovery and limit "scarring effects" on the economy, Hatzius said.

Since the race to find a workable vaccine is so intense, many are worried that a rushed job could produce a vaccine that's ineffective, or worse, harmful. Even if at least one vaccine is approved before the end of the year as Goldman expects (though it admitted it's still relatively uncertain on this) it's possible that we could later find its effectiveness limited. Studies have shown COVID-19 antibodies start to decline after a few months. It's likely that one's antibody count doesn't have much bearing on the body's ability to fend off infection, since the body can always produce more. But it's also possible that this could be a sign of fading immunity to the disease.

"An early approval does not imply full effectiveness or long-run protection," Goldman writes.

And even once a vaccine is approved, there's precedent for the FDA withdrawing its approval - however unlikely that might seem right now.

An early approval does not imply full effectiveness or long-run protection. On effectiveness, the FDA only requires the vaccine to show a difference of 50% between events, such as infection, in the vaccine versus control arms of the study. The effectiveness for the elderly also remains uncertain, with weaker antibody responses to the CanSino vaccine and no elderly testing for most other vaccine trials so far.4 On the length of protection, little reinfection so far and the potential of T-cells to provide long-lasting immunity are encouraging while a recent Nature study found that antibody levels started to decline after 2-3 months.

However, as noted by a recent NY Times Op-Ed by leading Yale immunologists, a waning antibody count does not necessarily indicate waning immunity because memory B cells can produce additional antibodies and lead to long-term immunity. Finally, approval could be overturned subsequently as happened with the yellow fever and rotavirus vaccines that were pulled from the market after rare severe side effects.

Thanks to all the government deals with big pharma, if most of the leading vaccines succeed and achieve their production and purchase targets, the US and the UK will probably have a big surplus, while the EU and Japan - which are currently reportedly in talks with producers - also should have large supplies.

Despite China's promise to dole out vaccines to the developing world, the lack of their own pipeline makes the outlook for the EM universe less certain.

Now, for an equally important question: is the market under-pricing the risk of some delay in the process of finding a vaccine? As Hatzius explained, the 'diversity' of vaccine projects doesn't confer as much security as some might be inclined to expect.

8/4/2020 8:24:25 PM
[6739f442-6b72-5a05-acd7-bbc132d0d6c9] Chris Tomlin on working with country stars Brett Young, Thomas Rhett and more: 'Never done anything like this' Chris Tomlin, Grammy-winning Christian musician, had some help from a bevvy of superstars on his latest project. 8/4/2020 8:24:25 PM
[World] Shot Through the Heart: Jon Bon Jovi Compares the Music Monopolies to Big Tech, Steps Up for Songwriters 8/4/2020 7:56:35 PM
[] On second thought: It's okay to vote by mail in Florida, says Trump 8/4/2020 7:56:35 PM
[Politics] UN Experts: North Korea Flouts Sanctions on Nukes, Missiles U.N. experts say North Korea is flouting U.N. sanctions by expanding its nuclear arsenal and ballistic missile program and by exporting coal and illegally importing refined petroleum products in excess of its annual quota. The experts said in key sections of a report... 8/4/2020 7:56:34 PM
[Uncategorized] Trump Launches Cancel Culture Ad: “I’m Afraid To Say This Out Loud” Seeking the "hidden vote" of centrists and conservatives who self-censor rather than be subjected to liberal retribution. 8/4/2020 7:56:34 PM
[Entertainment] Clare Crawley and The Bachelorette's Stellar History With First Impression Roses Clare Crawley, The BacheloretteThere are many lessons to be learned from the Bachelor franchise, but perhaps one of the biggest is that its female stars are pretty good at making quick decisions. In the past decade...
8/4/2020 7:56:34 PM
[Markets] Your Phone Is Spying On You: Companies Are Generating Secret "Surveillance Scores" Based On That Data Your Phone Is Spying On You: Companies Are Generating Secret "Surveillance Scores" Based On That Data Tyler Durden Tue, 08/04/2020 - 20:45

Authored by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog,

Nothing that you do on your phone is private.  In this day and age, most of us have become extremely dependent on our phones, and most Americans never even realize that these extremely sophisticated little devices are gathering mountains of information on each one of us. 

Your phone knows what you look like, it knows the sound of your voice, it knows where you have been, it knows where you have shopped, it knows your Internet searches and it knows what you like to do in your free time.  In fact, your phone literally knows thousands of things about you, and all of that information is bought and sold every single day without you knowing. 

And as you will see below, there are lots of companies out there that use information collected from our phones to create secret “surveillance scores” that are used for a whole host of alarming purposes.

It is really important to understand that your phone is a surveillance device.  The reason why the advertisements on your phone seem so perfectly tailored for you is because of all the information that your phone has gathered on you previously.

To this day, many people are still amazed when they see an ad pop up for something that they were just talking with a friend about, but that doesn’t happen by accident.  The following comes from Fox News

Perhaps you’ve been talking to a friend about an island vacation, when suddenly deals for the Maldives or Hawaii pop up on your Facebook feed. Or you are talking to your co-worker about yard renovations when advertisements for lawnmowers litter your Twitter, or maybe you were talking about why you stopped drinking and a random sponsored article about the growing trend of “elective sobriety” is suddenly in front of your eyes.

Industry experts insist that our phones are not actively “eavesdropping” on us, but they do admit that our phones are “actually spying on us” in other ways…

“It’s easy to feel like our phone is spying on us. It is actually spying on us, but it is not eavesdropping,” Alex Hamerstone, Government, Risk and Compliance practice lead at information technology security firm, TrustedSec, told Fox News via email. “The reason why we see ads pop up that seem to be correlated to the exact thing we were just talking about is because technology and marketing companies gather extensive amounts of personal and behavioral data on us, but it’s not from eavesdropping — it’s from surfing the web, shopping, posting on social media, and other things people do online.”

Most Americans have come to accept targeted ads as a part of life, but what most people don’t realize is that the information our phones gather is being used for far more intrusive purposes.

“Surveillance scores” are being created, and these “surveillance scores” seem quite similar to the “social credit scores” that China has been compiling since 2014.

In China, if you do good things like paying your taxes or taking a parent to the doctor, your social credit score will go up.

But there are also lots of things that will cause your social credit score to go down…

It aims to punish for transgressions that can include membership in or support for the Falun Gong or Tibetan Buddhism, failure to pay debts, excessive video gaming, criticizing the government, late payments, failing to sweep the sidewalk in front of your store or house, smoking or playing loud music on trains, jaywalking, and other actions deemed illegal or unacceptable by the Chinese government.

And if your social credit score gets too low, the consequences can be quite dramatic

Punishments can be harsh, including bans on leaving the country, using public transportation, checking into hotels, hiring for high-visibility jobs, or acceptance of children to private schools. It can also result in slower internet connections and social stigmatization in the form of registration on a public blacklist.

Here in the United States, private companies are doing something very similar.  Information collected from our phones is being used to create secret “surveillance scores”, and selling those scores has become very big business.  The following comes from the Houston Chronicle

Operating in the shadows of the online marketplace, specialized tech companies you’ve likely never heard of are tapping vast troves of our personal data to generate secret “surveillance scores” – digital mug shots of millions of Americans – that supposedly predict our future behavior. The firms sell their scoring services to major businesses across the U.S. economy.

And just like China’s system, high scores come with rewards and low scores come with punishments.

For example, your scores can determine whether or not someone will rent a property to you, whether or not you will be hired for a job, and even how long you will have to wait for customer service

CoreLogic and TransUnion say that scores they peddle to landlords can predict whether a potential tenant will pay the rent on time, be able to “absorb rent increases,” or break a lease. Large employers use HireVue, a firm that generates an “employability” score about candidates by analyzing “tens of thousands of factors,” including a person’s facial expressions and voice intonations. Other employers use Cornerstone’s score, which considers where a job prospect lives and which web browser they use to judge how successful they will be at a job.

Brand-name retailers purchase “risk scores” from Retail Equation to help make judgments about whether consumers commit fraud when they return goods for refunds. Players in the gig economy use outside firms such as Sift to score consumers’ “overall trustworthiness.” Wireless customers predicted to be less profitable are sometimes forced to endure longer customer service hold times.

To me, all of this is extremely creepy.

Eventually, it may get to a point where you are basically a societal outcast if you are not willing to conform to a particular set of politically-correct standards, values and behaviors.

You may not get thrown in jail the moment you do something “unacceptable”, but your phone will be watching you every step of the way.

Each mistake that you make will be recorded by your phone, and that information will be stored and used against you for the rest of your life.

I know that all of this sounds very strange, but without a doubt we are living in very strange times.

My advice would be to only use your phone when necessary, but of course the vast majority of the population will never listen to such advice.

Most of us have become highly addicted to these marvelous little devices, and in the process we are helping the elite construct a system of surveillance and control that is unlike anything ever seen before in all of human history.

8/4/2020 7:56:34 PM
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