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Fidelity Is Mining Bitcoin, CEO Abigail Johnson Admits

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In what bitcoin geeks undoubtedly interpreted as a sign of bitcoin’s renewed relevance now that its price is at all-time highs, Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson told CoinDesk’s Consensus conference that her company is now in the business of mining bitcoin.

Per the FT:

“Ms Johnson noted that Fidelity has also set up a bank of computers built by 21 Inc that can crunch complex algorithms to be rewarded with bitcoin.


My…computer has mined over 200,000 satoshis,” she said, using the name for the smallest unit of bitcoin.

Her remarks coincide with an astounding rally in virtual currencies like bitcoin. As DoubleLine’s Jeffrey Gundlach noted on Tuesday, bitcoin is up 100% in under two months, implying that the turmoil in Chinese markets was driving more locals into bitcoin.

One coin was trading at $2,275 Tuesday according to Coinbase, the latest in a series of all-time highs as global uncertainty rises...

Johnson also added that Fidelity now allows employee to pay for lunch with bitcoin at the cafeteria in its Boston headquarters. She noted that fewer than 100 employees have paid with bitcoin, demonstrating an unnatural-sounding mastery of industry slang.

“I guess we have a lot of hodlers,” she said, using the slang for bitcoin users who avoid selling the currency when it jumps in value.

And Fidelity's CEO also revealed information about her company's partners on its journey, naming blockchain startup Axoni, investment firm Boost VC and university initiatives based out of MIT, University College London and Cornell. To date, Johnson explained that Fidelity Labs, its internal R&D division has also set up experiments for bitcoin micropayments and even run bitcoin and ethereum mining operations in the spirit of learning more about the technology. Further, she revealed that Fidelity will be taking some conservative steps to expose Fidelity's customers more to the industry, announcing that customers will soon be able to see Coinbase holdings on Already, she said, this feature is available to employees who own digital currencies available through the startup's services.

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2 days ago
200000 Satoshi = USD $4.7676926000
New Hampshire
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Interesting Cut and Paste From the Mayo Clinic

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Does the following description remind anyone of a current small-handed
US politician?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder


By Mayo Clinic Staff

(November 2014)


If you have narcissistic personality
disorder, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often
monopolize conversations. You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as
inferior. You may feel a sense of entitlement — and when you don't receive
special treatment, you may become impatient or angry. You may insist on having
"the best" of everything — for instance, the best car, athletic club
or medical care.

At the same time, you have trouble
handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have secret
feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation. To feel better,
you may react with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to
make yourself appear superior. Or you may feel depressed and moody because you
fall short of perfection.

Many experts use the criteria in the
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the
American Psychiatric Association, to diagnose mental conditions. This manual is
also used by insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.

DSM-5 criteria for narcissistic
personality disorder include these features:

  • Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Expecting to be recognized as superior even without
    achievements that warrant it
  • Exaggerating your achievements and talents
  • Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power,
    brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
  • Believing that you are superior and can only be
    understood by or associate with equally special people
  • Requiring constant admiration
  • Having a sense of entitlement
  • Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance
    with your expectations
  • Taking advantage of others to get what you want
  • Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the
    needs and feelings of others
  • Being envious of others and believing others envy you
  • Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

Although some features of narcissistic
personality disorder may seem like having confidence, it's not the same.
Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence into
thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a pedestal and value
yourself more than you value others.

Risk Factors

Narcissistic personality disorder is
rare. During childhood and teen years, children may show traits of narcissism,
but this may simply be typical of their age and doesn't mean they'll go on to
develop narcissistic personality disorder.

Narcissistic personality disorder
affects more males than females, and it often begins in the teens or early

Although the cause of narcissistic
personality disorder isn't known, some researchers think that in biologically
vulnerable children, parenting styles that overemphasize the child's
specialness and criticize fears and failures may be partially responsible. The
child may hide low self-esteem by developing a superficial sense of perfection
and behavior that shows a need for constant admiration.”


They're playing your song, Donny Boo Boo!


Article 4, 25th's time.



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27 days ago
New Hampshire
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Trump is not 'slipping away' from populism, he was never there to begin with

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A growing chorus of pundits are painting a picture of Donald Trump moving away from “populism” toward a more “traditional” Republican approach. Peter Baker takes a swat at this idea in Tuesday’s New York Times

As he nears 100 days in the White House, Mr. Trump has demonstrated that while he won office on a populist message, he has not consistently governed that way. He rails against elites, including politicians, judges, environmentalists, Hollywood stars and the news media. But he has stocked his administration with billionaires and lobbyists while turning over his economic program to a Wall Street banker. He may be at war with the Washington establishment, but he has drifted away from some of the anti-establishment ideas that animated his campaign.

But though populism provided a neat—and extremely affirmative—label, there was never much resemblance between what Trump was proposing and that of historically populist figures like Huey Long or William Jennings Bryan. Yes, Trump captured a large following in rural areas and successfully attacked the concept of an “elite” of academics and environmentalists, but that’s not a populist position. That’s a Republican position, one that’s been built up over decades of talk radio, Fox News, and Tea Party rallies. Despite some fist-waving at corporations that move out of the nation—rhetoric that has led to exactly no action—Trump’s message was strongly pro-corporate, fiercely anti-government, and heavily racist. Completely Republican.

Trump’s speeches found their villains in government regulation, immigrant workers and weak leaders. His proposed solutions were white privilege, government destruction, and the intrinsic genius of businessmen. That’s not populism. It’s conservatism salted with white nationalism.

Traditional populists did insist on cutting taxes and fees, but mostly those that directly affected and disadvantaged the poor, like reducing the cost of public education, poll taxes, and high tolls for the use of infrastructure. Those positions are anathema to Trump. Traditional populists also brought government healthcare and jobs programs. 

Traditional populism was squarely focused on income disparity and the threat money and power held for democracy. Trump’s position was always in support of a moneyed elite, of the idea that wealth signals worth. There’s a reason why so many were quick to draw lines between what Trump was offering—an regressive oligarchy that celebrated white privilege—and fascist movements. They have much more in common than anything that in the past was called populist.

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38 days ago
conservatism salted with white nationalism
New Hampshire
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Why the 101 model doesn't work for labor markets

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A lot of people have trouble wrapping their heads around the idea that the basic "Econ 101" model - the undifferentiated, single-market supply-and-demand model - doesn't work for labor markets. To some people involved in debates over labor policy, the theory is almost axiomatic - the labor market must be describable in terms of a "labor supply curve" and a "labor demand curve". If you tell them it can't, it just sort of breaks their brain. How could there not be a labor demand curve? How could there not be a relationship between the price of something and how much of it people want to buy?

Answer: If you can't observe it, you might as well treat it as if it doesn't exist.

People forget this, but demand curves aren't actually directly observable. They're hypotheticals - "If the price were X, how much would you buy?" You can give people a survey, but the only way to really know how much people would buy is to actually move the price to X. And the only way to do that is to shift the supply curve. But how do you know what the supply curve is? The only way is to shift the demand curve!

This is called an identification problem. Unless you can observe something that's clearly a shock to only one of the curves but not the other, you can't know what the curves look like. (Paul Romer explains this in section 4.1 of his essay "The Trouble With Macroeconomics".)

And with labor markets, it's very hard to find a shock that only affects one of the "curves". The reason is because almost everything in the economy gets produced with labor. If you find a whole bunch of new workers, they're also a whole bunch of new customers, and the stuff they buy requires more workers to produce. If you raise the minimum wage, the increased income to those with jobs will also boost labor demand indirectly (somehow, activist and businessman Nick Hanauer figured this out when a whole lot of econ-trained think-tankers missed it!).

Labor is a crucial input in so many markets that it really needs to be dealt with in general equilibrium - in other words, by analyzing all markets at once - rather than by treating it as a single market in isolation. That makes the basic Econ 101 partial-equilibrium model pretty useless for analyzing labor.

"But," you may say, "can't we make some weaker assumptions that are pretty reasonable?" Sure. It makes sense that since it takes some time for new businesses to be created, a surge of unskilled immigration should represent a bigger shock to labor supply than to labor demand in the very short run. And it makes sense that a minimum wage hike wouldn't raise labor demand enough to compensate for the wedge created by the price floor.

With these weaker assumptions, you can get a general sense of the supply and demand curves. Problem: The results then contradict each other. Empirical results on sudden unskilled immigration surges indicate a very high elasticity of labor demand, while empirical results on minimum wage hikes indicate a very low elasticity of labor demand. Those can't both be true at the same time.

So if you accept these plausible, weak identifying assumptions, it still doesn't make sense to think about labor markets as described by an S curve and a D curve.

Of course, you could come up with some weird, stinky, implausible identifying assumptions that could reconcile these empirical facts (and the various other things we know about labor markets). With baroque enough assumptions, you can always salvage any theory, as Romer points out (and as Lakatos pointed out). But at some point it just starts to seem silly.

In fact, there are a number of other reasons why the Econ 101 theory isn't a good fit for labor markets:

1. Supply-and-demand graphs are for one single commodity; labor is highly heterogeneous.

2. Supply-and-demand graphs are static models; because of labor laws and implicit contracts, labor markets involve lots of forward-looking behavior.

3. Supply-and-demand graphs are frictionless; labor markets obviously involve large search frictions, for a number of reasons.

If Econ 101 supply-and-demand models worked for every market, the vast majority of the modern economics profession would be totally useless. Claiming that the econ 101 model must be a good model basically says that most of econ is barking up the wrong tree, and that it's just all in Marshall. Fortunately, economists tend to be a smart, scientifically-minded bunch, and so they realize that general equilibrium effects, heterogeneity, forward-looking behavior, search frictions, etc. exist, and often are essential to understanding markets.

The Econ 101 supply-and-demand model is just not a good description for the labor market. The theoretical construct known as "the labor demand curve" is ontologically suspect, i.e. it is a poor modeling choice. If we adopt some sort of positivist or empiricist philosophy - "if I can't observe it, it might as well not exist" - then we might as well say that "the labor demand curve" doesn't exist. It's not an actual thing.
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42 days ago
...As James Kwak pointed out in his recent, and very readable, "Economism"
New Hampshire
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Teds and clerics

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Chris Steele-Perkins, Italy. Rome. Feburary 2009. Vatican. The Clericus Cup. Matches played at Oratorio St Pietro. Goal keeper for Redemptoris Mater.

The Clericus Cup is a Vatican-backed football tournament that takes place every year in Rome. Most players are seminarians studying to be Roman Catholic priests. A few are ordained priests. The first cup took place in 2007. Two years later, photographer Chris Steele-Perkins flew to the Italian capital and documented the tournament. The fans of each team were so enthusiastic that complaints were lodged by residents near the grounds about the noise being made by Africa supporters playing loud Reggae, American supporters shouting “Come on you Knackers, kick some caboose,” Italian supporters using megaphones and Mexican supporters banging drums.

I discovered the photo series (and the existence of the competition) last week while i was visiting the exhibition L’Italia di Magnum. Da Henri Cartier-Bresson a Paolo Pellegrin at CAMERA in Turin. I wouldn’t normally associate catholic priests with kicking a ball around a surface of grass. As for Steel-Perkins, i associated his name with one of my favourite photos series ever made (maybe that’s just my admiration for the fashion style that’s speaking here): The Teds. Because the sporty priests surprised me (they have the most abominable trophy ever created) and the teddy boys and girls charm me no end, i’m going to just copy/paste below a few images from both series before continuing on my merry day.

Chris Steele-Perkins, Southend Promenade, England, Great Britain. 1976. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos

Chris Steele-Perkins, Italy. Rome. The Clericus Cup. Matches played at Oratorio St Pietro. Seminario Gallico players warm up

Chris Steele-Perkins, Italy. Rome. Feburary 2009. Vatican. Seminary students (trainee priests) at the North American College, who field one of the competing teams, the North American Martyrs, members of the team practice before mass. Putting balls away.

Chris Steele-Perkins, Italy. Rome. Feburary 2009. Vatican. Seminary students (trainee priests) at the North American College, who field one of the competing teams, the North American Martyrs, members of the team practice before mass. John Solmon

Italy. Rome. May 2009. Vatican. The Clericus Cup. Matches played at St Paolo College. Finals and play off for 3rd place. Finalsts Redemptoris Mater supporters sing before the game.

Chris Steele-Perkins, Italy. Rome. Feburary 2009. Vatican. The Clericus Cup. Matches played at Oratorio St Pietro. A priest gives half time talk to team Almo Pio-Capranica.

Chris Steele-Perkins, Italy. Rome. May 2009. Vatican. The Clericus Cup. Matches played at St Paolo College. Finals and play off for 3rd place. Before the game Redemptoris Mater captain in yellow, accepts present from North American Martyrs captain of a Madona, Redemptoris Mater beat North American Martyrs 1-0

Chris Steele-Perkins, Italy. Rome. Feburary 2009. Vatican. The Clericus Cup. Matches played at Oratorio St Pietro. team Guanelliani Internazionale celebrate a goal, but lost on penalties to Guanelliani Internazionale.

Chris Steele-Perkins, Italy. Rome. May 2009. Vatican. The Clericus Cup. Matches played at St Paolo College. Finals and Redemptoris Mater beat North American Martyrs 1-0. Celebrating in front of fans at the end of the game they toss their coach, Father Simone Bionde in the air.

Italy. Rome. Feburary 2009. Vatican. The Clericus Cup. Matches played at Oratorio St Pietro. Sedes Sapientiae in orange top, beat Redemptoris Mater in a penalty shootout and celebrate after.

Chris Steele-Perkins, Italy. Rome. May 2009. Vatican. The Clericus Cup. Matches played at St Paolo College. the odd looking Cup, looks like a Pokemon. © Chris Steele-Perkins/Magnum Photos

Chris Steele-Perkins, Italy. Rome. Vatican. The Clericus Cup. Matches played at St Paolo College. Redemptoris Mater beat North American Martyrs 1-0 in the final. They celebrate with the Clericus Cup

And now for the super snazzy crowd:

Chris Steele-Perkins, Adam and Eve pub in Hackney. London, England, Great Britain. 1976. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos

Chris Steele-Perkins, ‘Sunglasses’ Ron Staples, self-acclaimed King of the Teds. London, England, Great Britain. 1975. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos

Chris Steele-Perkins, Teds. London, England, GB. 1976. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos

Chris Steele-Perkins, Red Deer. Croydon, England, Great Britain. 1976. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos

L’Italia di Magnum. Da Henri Cartier-Bresson a Paolo Pellegrin is at CAMERA in Turin until 21st May 2017.

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42 days ago
New Hampshire
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You Know The London Real Estate Market Is Out Of Control When...

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For just $1000 per month, you too can live in Chiswick High Street, London - in a studio flat with a shower in the kitchen...

As The Standard reports, the flat has been “refurbished to a high standard” according to an advert on Gumtree, and has a price tag of £850 per month (around $1050 per month).

 The ad describes it as having its “own shower” and an “open plan kitchen" – however it fails to mention that the shower is situated right next to the kitchen work surfaces.

Pictures of the flat, located in Chiswick High Road, reveal the unusual quirk – showing the kitchen sink with a shower on one side and a stove on the other.

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51 days ago
wonders if the shower has an in-sink-erator installed.
New Hampshire
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