Neglected Open Questions in the Economics of Artificial Intelligence

That is my essay in the new NBER volume The Economics of Artificial Intelligence: An Agenda, edited by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb.  Here is one excerpt from my piece: These distribution effects [from more powerful AI] may be less egalitarian if hardware rather than software is the constraint for the next generation […]

Colorado Hits $1 Billion In Marijuana State Revenue

Colorado has passed another major marijuana milestone, surpassing $1 billion in state revenue since it legalized the drug in 2014. Source: Up to May of this year, Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes that the state has seen more than $6 billion in total marijuana sales since the industry was given the green light. You will find […]

Why The S-400 Is A More Formidable Threat To US Arms Industry Than You Think

Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation, Generally, when discussing air-defense systems here, we are referring to Russian devices that have become famous in recent years, in particular the S-300 (and its variants) and the S-400. Their deployment in Syria has slowed down the ability of such advanced air forces as those of […]

India to impose retaliatory tariffs on 28 U.S. goods from Sunday

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India will impose higher retaliatory tariffs on 28 U.S. products including almonds, apples and walnuts from Sunday, following Washington’s withdrawal of key trade privileges for New Delhi. FILE PHOTO: A man holds the flags of India and the U.S. while people take part in the 35th India Day Parade in New […]

Goldman: Here's Why The Fed Is About To Shock The Market

As discussed earlier, and as both Bank of America and JPM explained, the biggest risk for the market next week is if the Fed not only doesn’t cut – the market assigns a very low probability to such a “pre-emptive” move – but fails to signal an aggressive dovish reversal in the form of a […]

Guest Contribution: “Remembering Martin Feldstein”

Today, we present a guest post written by Jeffrey Frankel, Harpel Professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and formerly a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.  Remembering Martin Feldstein June 13, 2019 — Here in Cambridge, we are reeling from the passing of Martin Feldstein on Tuesday.  He was tremendously influential both […]

Credit Card Debt Spikes In Hawaii As Economy Falters  

Total credit card debt among American consumers jumped 29% since 2015, reaching a whopping $807 billion in 1Q19, according to the latest Experian data. In the past year, as the economy cycles down, overall credit card debt rose 6%. More than 60% of Americans used credit cards for basic purchases in 1Q19. That’s an 11% […]

Williams: How To Create Conflict

Authored by Walter Williams, op-ed via, We are living in a time of increasing domestic tension. Some of it stems from the presidency of Donald Trump. Another part of it is various advocacy groups on both sides of the political spectrum demanding one cause or another. But nearly totally ignored is how growing government […]

JPMorgan: “Significant Risk” Is Coming Next Week… And Nobody Is Prepared

With arguably the most important two weeks of the year looming, on Friday Bank of America’s Chief Investment Officer, Michael Harnett, laid out a 2-by-2 matrix summarizing the four possible scenarios that could result from the Fed’s announcement next week, and the G-20 meeting on June 28-29, where there is a chance (if minuscule) that […]

The “Polar Silk Road” Could Be A Gamechanger For Natural Gas

Authored by Haley Zaremba via, It’s been well over a year since the then-United States Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis accused Russia and China of being “revisionist powers” each working its way toward making a power grab on the world stage and announced that the U.S. would be shifting its international relations focus away […]

Target says registers back online, blames outage on technology issue

(Reuters) – Target Corp on Saturday said its payment registers were back online after a systems outage stopped customers in the United States from paying for in-store purchases. The outage was caused by an “internal technology issue” that lasted for about two hours and was not a data breach or security-related issue, Target said in […]

India Raises Tariffs, Escalating Trade Fight With Trump

MUMBAI, India — India announced late Saturday that it would raise tariffs on 28 categories of imports from the United States, the latest escalation in what has been a slow-motion trade fight between the two countries. The increased tariffs, on $1.4 billion of goods, went into effect Sunday morning in India and cover almonds, walnuts, […]

The new Ben Horowitz management book

What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Own Business Culture.  It is the best book on business culture in recent memory, here is one bit: When Tom Coughlin coached the New York Giants, from 2004 to 2015, the media went crazy over a shocking rule he set: “If you are on […]

Three Things I Think I Think – Soccer Edition

“Woohoo, the Three Things we’ve all been waiting for – the soccer edition.” – Said no one ever.  1) Women’s Soccer and equal pay. The US Women’s National Team has been involved in a longstanding lawsuit against US Soccer over equal pay. Basically, the men’s team makes a lot more on average than the women […]

Is Facebook's “Libra” The Dollar's Killer App?

Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via The American Institute for Economic Research, Facebook changed the way we communicate, interact, and gather information. You don’t have to love all the results. But the reality of the shift in our lives is undeniable. Will Facebook’s new initiative to create a cryptocurrency do the same for money and payment […]

Pentagon Readies “Contingency Plans” For Potential Escalation Against Iran

Amid fears that the US is running headlong into yet another sure to be disastrous war in the Middle East, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters Friday that the Pentagon is prepping “contingency plans” should things quickly escalate militarily. “When you look at the situation… 15 percent of the world’s oil flows through the Strait […]

Read Any Good Books Lately? Start with This List

Featured image from Pixabay on Pexels Harry Truman was once quoted as saying, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” Making uninterrupted book reading a part of each day can replenish a busy leader’s ideas, build fresh approaches to problem solving, and allow for much-needed down time. Grow Rich by Reading a […]

India to impose retaliatory tariff on 28 U.S. goods from Sunday: government statement

FILE PHOTO: A man holds the flags of India and the U.S. while people take part in the 35th India Day Parade in New York August 16, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India will impose higher tariffs on 28 U.S. products including almonds, apples and walnuts, a government notificatihere;jsessionid=05BB93EF9871E631DCA5475F5330BC4E said. The new […]

Take Five: The Fed and the rest

(Reuters) – 1/THE FIRST CUT… FILE PHOTO: The Federal Reserve Board building on Constitution Avenue is pictured in Washington, U.S., March 27, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid With President Donald Trump’s trade policies heightening fears of a U.S. recession, expectations of a Fed rate cut have dramatically increased in the past month. Money market pricing became even […]

Fed Chair Powell's Plan To Pickle The Economy

Authored by EconomicPrism’s MN Gordon, annotated by Acting-Man’s Pater Tenebrarum, A Loose Relationship The Dow Jones Industrial Average made another concerted run at the elusive 27,000 milestone over the last several weeks.  But, as of this writing, the index has stalled out short of this psychosomatic barrier.  By our estimation, this is for the best. Since early […]

“[L]et’s have Bretton Woods again.” Arthur Laffer 1982

And maybe other folks, up for the Fed? Well, Judy Shelton says gold might be the way to go… That’s from an interview Erik Brynjolffson, Tod Loofbourrow and I conducted back in 1982 for the Harvard International Review. So, if Obama’s November 2008 election could’ve caused the Great Recession that started in December 2007 (and […]

Doug Casey: The Deep State Is The Source Of All Our Economic Problems

Via, Doug Casey says we’re well into what he calls the Greater Depression. America is headed for trouble… and it’s critical to know exactly what’s going on. That’s why today’s essay is so important. In it, Doug explains the source behind every negative thing that’s happening right now… and what’s really going on behind the […]

In “Stunning Reversal”, Hong Kong Indefinitely Suspends Extradition Bill

In what appears to be a “stunning” and “unprecedented” victory for the leaders of Hong Kong’s massive protest movement (and a similarly unexpected capitulation from the city’s leaders), City Executive Carrie Lam announced on Saturday that her government would suspend the hated extradition bill “indefinitely,” leaving it unclear whether the legislation would ever be brought […]

Four Insane Data Privacy Scandals, Just This Month

Authored by Simon Black via, For this weekend’s roll-up of bizarre and disturbing stories from around the world, we found ourselves zeroing-in on some ridiculous data privacy violations. Soccer app spies on fans The Spanish soccer (sigh, OK– football) league, known by fans around the world simply as La Liga, knew that most pubs across […]

MIB: Jonathan Stein, founder and CEO of Betterment

This week, we speak with Jonathan Stein, founder and CEO of Betterment, an online automated firm with $16.4 billion dollars under management. At Harvard, he studied under Martin Feldstein, chief economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan. There he noticed the distinction be academic theory of economics and how different investor behavior was in the real […]

Chernobyl model this

Now, in a strange turn more than three decades after the meltdown, the exclusion area around Chernobyl is gaining a following as a tourism destination, apparently propelled by the popularity of a TV mini-series about the blast that was broadcast in the United States and Britain last month. The mini-series, HBO’s “Chernobyl,” fictionalizes the events […]

Army Expects Delivery Of Directed Energy, Hypersonic Weapons In Early 2020s

The Army expects to procure its Multi-Mission High Energy Laser (MMHEL) by 2022 and a hypersonic weapon prototype by 2023, said Lt. Gen L. Neil Thurgood, director of hypersonics, directed energy, space, and rapid acquisition, reported Army News Service. The MMHEL is a 50-kilowatt laser through a precision pointing, high-velocity target tracking beam control system. […]

NATO faces big bill if it does not pick AWACS successor soon: officials

PARIS (Reuters) – NATO faces significant costs if it does not act soon to choose a successor for its ageing fleet of 14 Boeing E-3A Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) surveillance aircraft, often called the alliance’s “eyes in the sky”, senior officials said. FILE PHOTO: A NATO AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems) aircraft […]

How Iran Was Swindled Out Of $3.2 Trillion

Authored by Simon Watkins via, Underlying the one-year anniversary in mid-August of the signing of the ‘Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea’ is one of the greatest oil industry swindles in recent years. When representatives of the five Caspian littoral states meet on the 11th and 12th of August, Iran intends to […]

CFM erases jet engine output delay, cautious on rate increases

FILE PHOTO: Gael Meheust, President and CEO of CFM poses in front of LEAP-1A engine of an Airbus A321neo, during the 52nd Paris Air Show at Le Bourget airport near Paris, France June 21, 2017. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol PARIS (Reuters) – CFM International has caught up with delays in deliveries of its LEAP jet engine after […]

How The Ultra-Rich Never Die

Want to hear a tip for joining the ranks of the ultra-wealthy of the world? Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash Want to hear a tip for joining the ranks of the ultra-wealthy of the world? To joining those, though some have been gone now for many years now, whose wealth is still supporting and […]

How Data Can Help You Win in the Winner-Take-All Economy

This article is adapted from the book “How to Win in a Winner-Take-All World,” to be published June 18 by St. Martin’s Press. On the day I met Brett Ostrum, in a conference room in Redmond, Wash., he was wearing a black leather jacket and a neat goatee, and his laptop was covered with stickers […]

Saturday links: misestimating happiness

Registration for the first of its kind Wealth/Stack Conference on September 8-10th, 2019 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort in Arizona is now open! Use this link to get an exclusive discount so you can find out how advisors are bridging the gap between technology, investment management and practice management. Quote of the Day “You can’t […]

Longform links: nudged to death

Saturdays are all about longform links on Abnormal Returns. You can check out last week’s linkfest including a look at two trends American men are dealing with. Finance Food Music Book excerpts Longreads

Some plan sponsors may need a nudge about HSA rollovers

The lineup of ways workers can save for retirement has expanded in recent years, with health savings accounts now looked upon as retirement savings vehicles along with 401(k) plans. But a recent survey suggests companies aren’t doing a good job when it comes to helping employees roll over their HSA savings when they start a […]

Links 6/15/19

Trump says his UK visit was the most fun Queen had in 25 years NY Post. Indeed. Darwin’s Finches Are In Danger Because a Parasite Is Changing Their Mating Song Vice (see the website of the Galapagos Conservation Trust for background and context: DARWIN’S FINCHES) A deadly deer disease is spreading. Could it strike people, […]

Food Security: Largest Animal Epidemic in History Is Due to Industrial Farming

Jerri-Lynn here. This Real News Network interview with Rob Wallace of the Agroecology and Rural Economics Research Corps discusses what’s caused the current outbreak of African swine flu – the largest animal epidemic in history –  which is currently rampaging throughout China and other parts of Asia. Pork prices have shot up 40% globally. This […]

Why proposed changes to Hong Kong's extradition law fueled protests

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has delayed indefinitely a proposed law that would allow extraditions to mainland China, in a dramatic retreat after widespread anger over the bill sparked the biggest street protests in three decades. Protesters hold signs following a day of violence over a proposed extradition bill, outside the […]