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  1. kalenjin shared this story from TED Talks Daily (SD video).

    What's the harm in buying a knock-off purse or a fake designer watch? According to counterfeit investigator Alastair Gray, fakes like these fund terrorism and organized crime. Learn more about the trillion-dollar underground economy of counterfeiting -- from the criminal organizations that run it to the child labor they use to produce its goods -- as well as measures you can take to help stop it. "Let's shine a light on the dark forces of counterfeiting that are hiding in plain sight," Gray says.

    Download video: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~5/qWY5IlJ8Y1Y/AlastairGray_2017S.mp4
  2. kalenjin shared this story from Krebs on Security.

    Not long ago, phishing attacks were fairly easy for the average Internet user to spot: Full of grammatical and spelling errors, and linking to phony bank or email logins at unencrypted (http:// vs. https://) Web pages. Increasingly, however, phishers are upping their game, polishing their copy and hosting scam pages over https:// connections — complete with the green lock icon in the browser address bar to make the fake sites appear more legitimate.

    A brand new (and live) PayPal phishing page that uses SSL (https://) to appear more legitimate.

    According to stats released this week by anti-phishing firm PhishLabs, nearly 25 percent of all phishing sites in the third quarter of this year were hosted on HTTPS domains — almost double the percentage seen in the previous quarter.

    “A year ago, less than three percent of phish were hosted on websites using SSL certificates,” wrote Crane Hassold, the company’s threat intelligence manager. “Two years ago, this figure was less than one percent.”

    A currently live Facebook phishing page that uses https.

    As shown in the examples above (which KrebsOnSecurity found in just a few minutes of searching via phish site reporting service Phishtank.com), the most successful phishing sites tend to include not only their own SSL certificates but also a portion of the phished domain in the fake address.

    Why are phishers more aggressively adopting HTTPS Web sites? Traditionally, many phishing pages are hosted on hacked, legitimate Web sites, in which case the attackers can leverage both the site’s good reputation and its SSL certificate.

    Yet this, too, is changing, says PhishLabs’ Hassold.

    “An analysis of Q3 HTTPS phishing attacks against PayPal and Apple, the two primary targets of these attacks, indicates that nearly three-quarters of HTTPS phishing sites targeting them were hosted on maliciously-registered domains rather than compromised websites, which is substantially higher than the overall global rate,” he wrote. “Based on data from 2016, slightly less than half of all phishing sites were hosted on domains registered by a threat actor.”

    Hassold posits that more phishers are moving to HTTPS because it helps increase the likelihood that users will trust that the site is legitimate. After all, your average Internet user has been taught for years to simply “look for the lock icon” in the browser address bar as assurance that a site is safe.

    Perhaps this once was useful advice, but if so its reliability has waned over the years. In November, PhishLabs conducted a poll to see how many people actually knew the meaning of the green padlock that is associated with HTTPS websites.

    “More than 80% of the respondents believed the green lock indicated that a website was either legitimate and/or safe, neither of which is true,” he wrote.

    What the green lock icon indicates is that the communication between your browser and the Web site in question is encrypted; it does little to ensure that you really are communicating with the site you believe you are visiting.

    At a higher level, another reason phishers are more broadly adopting HTTPS is because more sites in general are using encryption: According to Let’s Encrypt, 65% of web pages loaded by Firefox in November used HTTPS, compared to 45% at the end of 2016.

    Also, phishers no longer need to cough up a nominal fee each time they wish to obtain a new SSL certificate. Indeed, Let’s Encrypt now gives them away for free.

    The major Web browser makers all work diligently to index and block known phishing sites, but you can’t count on the browser to save you:

    So what can you do to make sure you’re not the next phishing victim?

    Don’t take the bait: Most phishing attacks try to convince you that you need to act quickly to avoid some kind of loss, cost or pain, usually by clicking a link and “verifying” your account information, user name, password, etc. at a fake site. Emails that emphasize urgency should be always considered extremely suspect, and under no circumstances should you do anything suggested in the email.

    Phishers count on spooking people into acting rashly because they know their scam sites have a finite lifetime; they may be shuttered at any moment. The best approach is to bookmark the sites that store your sensitive information; that way, if you receive an urgent communication that you’re unsure about, you can visit the site in question manually and log in that way. In general, it’s a bad idea to click on links in email.

    Links Lie: You’re a sucker if you take links at face value. For example, this might look like a link to Bank of America, but I assure you it is not. To get an idea of where a link goes, hover over it with your mouse and then look in the bottom left corner of the browser window.

    Yet, even this information often tells only part of the story, and some links can be trickier to decipher. For instance, many banks like to send links that include ridiculously long URLs which stretch far beyond the browser’s ability to show the entire thing when you hover over the link.

    The most important part of a link is the “root” domain. To find that, look for the first slash (/) after the “http://” part, and then work backwards through the link until you reach the second dot; the part immediately to the right is the real domain to which that link will take you.

    “From” Fields can be forged: Just because the message says in the “From:” field that it was sent by your bank doesn’t mean that it’s true. This information can be and frequently is forged.

    If you want to discover who (or what) sent a message, you’ll need to examine the email’s “headers,” important data included in all email.  The headers contain a lot of information that can be overwhelming for the untrained eye, so they are often hidden by your email client or service provider, each of which may have different methods for letting users view or enable headers.

    Describing succinctly how to read email headers with an eye toward thwarting spammers would require a separate tutorial, so I will link to a decent one already written at About.com. Just know that taking the time to learn how to read headers is a useful skill that is well worth the effort.

    Keep in mind that phishing can take many forms: Why steal one set of login credentials for a single brand when you can steal them all? Increasingly, attackers are opting for approaches that allow them to install a password-snarfing Trojan that steals all of the sensitive data on victim PCs.

    So be careful about clicking links, and don’t open attachments in emails you weren’t expecting, even if they appear to come from someone you know. Send a note back to the sender to verify the contents and that they really meant to send it. This step can be a pain, but I’m a stickler for it; I’ve been known to lecture people who send me press releases and other items as unrequested attachments.

    If you didn’t go looking for it, don’t install it: Password stealing malware doesn’t only come via email; quite often, it is distributed as a Facebook video that claims you need a special “codec” to view the embedded content. There are tons of variations of this scam. The point to remember is: If it wasn’t your idea to install something from the get-go, don’t do it.

    Lay traps: When you’ve mastered the basics above, consider setting traps for phishers, scammers and unscrupulous marketers. Some email providers — most notably Gmail — make this especially easy.

    When you sign up at a site that requires an email address, think of a word or phrase that represents that site for you, and then add that with a “+” sign just to the left of the “@” sign in your email address. For example, if I were signing up at example.com, I might give my email address as krebsonsecurity+example@gmail.com. Then, I simply go back to Gmail and create a folder called “Example,” along with a new filter that sends any email addressed to that variation of my address to the Example folder.

    That way, if anyone other than the company I gave this custom address to starts spamming or phishing it, that may be a clue that example.com shared my address with others (or that it got hacked!). I should note two caveats here. First, although this functionality is part of the email standard, not all email providers will recognize address variations like these. Also, many commercial Web sites freak out if they see anything other than numerals or letters, and may not permit the inclusion of a “+” sign in the email address field.

  3. kalenjin shared this story from Alpha Architect.

    Momentum is the tendency for assets that have performed well (poorly) in the recent past to continue to perform well (poorly) in the future, at least for a short period of time. Initial research on momentum was published by Narasimhan Jegadeesh and Sheridan Titman, authors of the 1993 study, “Returns to Buying Winners and Selling Losers: Implications for Stock Market Efficiency.”

    The type of momentum studied by Jegadeesh and Titman is called cross-sectional momentum (applied example and explanation here). It is the type of momentum used in asset pricing models. Cross-sectional momentum measures relative performance, comparing the return of an asset relative to the returns of other assets within the same asset class. Thus, in a given asset class, a cross-sectional momentum strategy might buy the 30 percent of assets with the best relative performance and short sell the 30 percent of assets with the worst relative performance. Even if all the assets had risen in value, a cross-sectional momentum strategy would still short the assets with the lowest returns.

    The other type of momentum is called time-series momentum (covered recently here). Time-series momentum is also referred to as trend-following because it measures the trend of an asset with respect to its own performance. Thus, unlike cross-sectional momentum, time-series momentum is defined by absolute performance. It buys assets that have been rising in value and short sells assets that have been falling in value. In contrast to cross-sectional momentum, if all assets rise in value, then none of them would be shorted.

    The research on both types of momentum has shown that their premia have been persistent across long periods of time, pervasive across geography and asset classes (stocks, bonds, commodities, and currencies), robust to various definitions (formation periods) and implementable (as it survives transaction costs).

    Can Momentum Be Used to Time Anomalies? (i.e., “Factor Timing”)

    Doron Avramov, Si Cheng, Amnon Schreiber and Koby Shemer contribute to the literature on cross-sectional momentum with their study “Scaling Up Market Anomalies,” which appears in the Fall 2017 issue of the Journal of Investing. (Working paper version available here.) Given that the traditional momentum strategy exploits the persistence in stock prices, they examined whether the same persistence exists in 15 well-documented anomalies: failure probability, O-Score, net stock issuance, composite equity issuance, total accruals, net operating assets, momentum, gross profitability, asset growth, return on assets, abnormal capital investment, standardized unexpected earnings, analyst dispersion, idiosyncratic volatility and book-to-market ratio. The three-factor alpha estimates for the 15 strategies are highlighted in the table below:

    The results are hypothetical results and are NOT an indicator of future results and do NOT represent returns that any investor actually attained. Indexes are unmanaged, do not reflect management or trading fees, and one cannot invest directly in an index. Additional information regarding the construction of these results is available upon request.

    The stocks in each anomaly are sorted into deciles, based on their cross-sectional momentum. Based on the returns of the prior month, the strategy the authors examined goes long the stocks in the top decile for each anomaly (the best performers) and short the stocks in the bottom decile (the worst performers), creating 30 portfolios. They then compared the returns of this strategy to a naïve (1/N) strategy that invests equally in all 15 anomalies. As tests of robustness, they also examined portfolios based on the top (bottom) three and four deciles. Their data sample covers U.S. stocks over the period from 1976 through 2013. They also split the sample into pre-, and a post-2000 period, to see if returns diminish over time.

    The following is a summary of their findings:

    • The momentum strategy considerably outperforms the naive benchmark of equal-weighted investments in each anomaly.
    • Thirteen of the 15 long-short strategies produce significantly positive Fama-French three-factor risk-adjusted returns over the entire sample period. Only one produced a negative alpha (-0.04 percent per month), and it was not statistically significant. The average Fama-French three-factor adjusted return for the combined strategy is a highly significant 0.80 percent per month (t-stat of 10.5).
    • The strategy conditioned on past one-month return yields a monthly alpha ranging between 1.27 percent and 1.47 percent, indicating a significant 59 percent to 84 percent increase compared with the naive strategy.

    The table below highlights the results:

    The results are hypothetical results and are NOT an indicator of future results and do NOT represent returns that any investor actually attained. Indexes are unmanaged, do not reflect management or trading fees, and one cannot invest directly in an index. Additional information regarding the construction of these results is available upon request.

    • The proposed momentum-trading strategy remains profitable during the post-2000 period, generating a monthly alpha ranging between 0.77 percent and 0.91 percent.
    • There is a strong cross-sectional variation in the Value at Risk (the maximum potential loss in the value of the portfolio over one month with a 5 percent probability) of the 15 strategies ranging from 3.7 percent to 13 percent, suggesting that betting on a single anomaly-based trading strategy could result in significant loss with non-trivial probability. However, due to low correlation of returns of the anomalies, the combined strategy considerably mitigates the Value at Risk to just 2.83.
    • Among the 15 anomaly-based trading strategies, 10 (12) strategies produce a significant risk-adjusted return in the long leg (short leg). The results indicate that the short leg of the combined strategy yields a significant risk-adjusted return of -0.50 percent per month, with the long position also generating a significant monthly risk-adjusted return of 0.30 percent per month. This finding is consistent with prior research that has found that the short positions are more profitable than the long positions, likely due to short-sale constraints.
    • Nine of the 15 anomalies produce significantly positive Fama-French three-factor adjusted returns in the post-2000 period, compared with 13 profitable anomalies prior to 2000. However, the combined strategy remains highly profitable, generating a significant monthly alpha of 0.81 percent in the pre-2000 period and 0.62 percent in the post-2000 period.
    • As momentum has been shown to perform best in periods of high investor sentiment, the authors also examined the momentum in anomalies conditional on high-versus-low investor sentiment and found that the monthly risk-adjusted return ranges between 1.42 percent and 1.73 percent in high-sentiment periods, compared with 1.09 percent to 1.18 percent in periods when investor sentiment is low.

    Conclusion

    Avramov, Cheng, Schreiber, and Shemer noted:

    The combined strategy displays significantly positive risk-adjusted return also in the post-2000 period even when almost half of the individual anomaly payoffs are insignificant. Moreover, it is evident that the combined strategy mitigates the noise and risk in the individual strategies, and considerably limits the downside risk measured by Value at Risk in both sub-periods.

    Their results provide evidence of the pervasiveness and persistence of the cross-sectional momentum premium.


    • The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Alpha Architect, its affiliates or its employees. Our full disclosures are available here. Definitions of common statistics used in our analysis are available here (towards the bottom).
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    • This site provides NO information on our value ETFs or our momentum ETFs. Please refer to this site.

    The post "Momentum and Market Anomalies" appeared first on Alpha Architect.

  4. kalenjin shared this story from Visual Capitalist.

    How Currency Fluctuations Impact Canadian Investors

    How Currency Fluctuations Impact Canadian Investors

    For many Canadians, currency movements are an everyday part of life.

    When the Canadian dollar is strong, it means that going south of the border is cheaper. Whether it’s a vacation in Hawaii or a shopping spree in New York City, a strong Canadian dollar can buy more in terms of U.S. dollars.

    Likewise, a weak Canadian dollar can buy fewer U.S. dollars – meaning that travel, shopping, and other expenses in U.S. dollars are more expensive.

    The Same Effect

    The impact of currency fluctuations isn’t limited only to foreign purchases.

    In fact, as today’s infographic from Fidelity Investments Canada shows, these same fluctuations can also affect the performance of your portfolio.

    Why is that the case?

    Many Canadian portfolios have exposure to American-listed companies such as Apple, Wells Fargo, Tesla, or Johnson & Johnson. As a result, fluctuations in the USD/CAD rate can have a profound impact on how these investments perform in Canadian dollars.

    How Does This Work?

    Here’s an example of the impact of currency in action:

    • A Canadian investor puts $100 CAD into a fund that buys U.S. stocks
    • At the time of investment, $1 CAD buys $0.80 USD
    • After exchange, $80 USD is invested in the U.S. market
    • The U.S. market goes up 10% in one year, and is now worth $88 USD
    • However, over the year, the exchange rate changed to $1 CAD per $0.85 USD
    • Converted back to Canadian dollars, at the new rate, the $88 USD is now worth $103.52 CAD, which is just a 3.5% gain in domestic Canadian currency

    In the above case, a strengthening Canadian dollar ends up dampening the returns coming from the U.S. market.

    In contrast, if the exchange rate went the other direction – meaning Canadian dollar was weakening – any returns would actually amplify.

    Long-Term Planning

    If currency fluctuations can have a substantial impact on investments, what does this mean for portfolio construction and assessing risk?

    There are two main schools of thought on this:

    Hedged: Some funds use a hedging strategy to try and cancel out any currency fluctuations. Ideally, the end result of this would be representative performance of the U.S. market.

    Unhedged: This strategy does not try to anticipate currency fluctuations, since the long-term effects of currency movements tend to even out over time.

    According to Fidelity Investments Canada, over the 20-year period of November 28, 1997 to November 30, 2017, the impact of currency fluctuations on the S&P 500 had a difference in annualized returns of 0.5%.

    In other words, U.S. dollars invested in the S&P 500 had a 7.2% return, while Canadian dollars invested in the same stocks had a 6.7% return after adjusting for exchange rates.

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    The post How Currency Fluctuations Impact Canadian Investors appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

  5. kalenjin shared this story from Macro Man.





    Here it is folks, the 1st annual Team Macro Man Top Trade Ideas for 2018.

    I love the diversity in the ideas here. Nobody jumped on the short 10y UST bandwagon with Goldman and Apollo….and nobody joined the quant folks at JP Morgan in suggesting trades that are a great conversation starters with the ladies at the Columbia University physics department holiday party.

    In fact, the ideas are so diverse it is tough to pick out any common themes, but that shouldn’t be too surprising when the most dominant theme of 2017 was probably “low vol”. Another dominant global theme this year has been “synchronized global growth,” which is now leading many strategists to predict widespread monetary tightening in 2018.

    The “morning in Europe” and, I’ll add myself, the potential “morning in Japan” themes could be big game changers in 2018. Wages and inflation haven’t picked up much, but if they do, there is more to go for asset markets, FX and rates in both regions. Lastly in the US, despite what I have written here about inflation and curve-flatness, I have a tough time envisioning a increased pace of tightening by the Fed that would cause a significant strengthening of USD, which points to more of the same next year--risk on, flattening, low vol. Equity markets may have gotten a bit ahead of themselves with the tax reform rally, but that will be a distant memory by next December.

    This type of “forecasting” begs to be shown up in short order because we simply don’t have a crystal ball that tells us what surprises the world will throw at us in the next twelve months. But what we really want to get at here is not so much the trades but the themes--what will be the game-changers? What is the market not expecting? Keep that in mind before opening the bomb bay doors in the comment section.

    With that, take it away TMM!

    TMM #1: Short JPY vs. g10 basket

    Long term solution for Japanese debt given growth outlook (it will go up but 10% real ain't likely) is to run inflation hot. Near term global growth picking up and hence global neutral rates going up. Locally growth picking up. BOJ will not move short rates. They might let the curve go. Rates differentials, inflation, deficit and lack of other solutions means they likely let the currency go.

    TMM #2: Buy IBov/EWZ vol
    I like Ibov (and EWZ) for 2018 but think the vol, is very low in historical terms, specially for a election year.

    TMM #3: Receive 2y China Rates
    There’s no doubt the deleveraging effort is sincere, and no doubt that the debt burden will go up if they force corporates and SOE’s to refinance at higher rates. If the government want a lower debt burden, they need to pull rates down and clamp down on lending. By phasing out guaranteed wealth management products, they drive savers into the arms of government bonds. Buy 2y CGB’s if onshore – rec 2y NDIRS if not. Enter Target 2.75% 2y yields. Stop at 4.50%.

    TMM #4: Long GE, ATM covered writes (with roll-up)
    In the eventuality it rallies...much. Dividend IS covered and jumping on any premium should be better than best Utility trade.



    TMM #5: Short all manner of Aussie coal/housing retailwith ratio spreads or credit spreads. Not looking for BIG payoff, but "safe" payoff.

    TMM #6: Short EUR better late than never. ;)

    TMM #7: Buy Uranium (URA) Two dominant suppliers co-ordinating major supply cuts to help balance the market, with the Cameco CEO of literally saying “we can actually buy uranium cheaper than we can produce it.” The industry which has been battered since the 2011 peak (URA was down 80-90% at its bottom) and the cuts were timed just before the 2018-2020 bulge in the long-term utility contract rolls. Chance for a huge sentiment change with investors, especially if the hereto disciplined utilities that have (rightly) been waiting to renew contracts worry about the market being under-supplied and race each other to renew their contracts. (see 2006-07 for the last time that happened).

    TMM #8: Buy Greece (GREK) or Greek Banks (ALBKY/etc)Everyone's been burned and the French solved the IMF/German impasse - “The Eurogroup formally agreed to a longer-term French plan to link the scale of Greek bond repayments to the country’s economic growth…”. This means a bunch of catalysts - banks passing stress tests, exiting the bailout, issuing debt in the public markets, maybe even an Syriza loss in an election - for a country (GDP fell by more than US great depression) and market that's looked at as dead.

    TMM #9: Buy Argentina Equities
    Team Macri, baby! If Macri is Reagan, and Sturzenegger is Volker, where are Argentinean equity prices going? What about Real Estate and Private Equity?

    TMM #10: Short TSLA


    TMM #11: Short S&P
    “A Brisk Trip back to 1854” (quick, to the point...I like it. --ed)

    TMM #12: buy XOP unloved, under-owned, misunderstood, pegged to WTI at a perceived ceiling of $50 (which looks more like the floor now), grossly undervalued at current underlying commodity price level.

    Cuts, cuts, cuts... Biggest beneficiary of upcoming tax cuts for two reasons: direct - 15% haircut off of its current corp tax, indirect - more disposable income in consumers' pockets will translate into longer miles driven and therefore higher demand for gasoline. OPEC output cuts extension is going to drive hungry oil customers around the world towards US producers. Asia is putting huge orders in for US shale and Gulf of Mexico oil.

    TMM #13: Short Gold/short USD/JPY spread trade


    TMM #14: Buy EURCHFIt's the only macro trade I've stayed long (via options) for over 4 months now, so it's got that going for it. Thesis is "Morning in Europe" and global growth draws out Swiss capital, pension funds start lifting hedges, etc..

    TMM #15: Sell MXN, buy a basket of high yield EMFX: ARS, BRL, RUB Political risk, NAFTA risk, energy prices and high real rates conspire to further subdue investment, consumption and growth in Mexico, while positive local dynamics, strong macro trends and flat-to-higher oil prices support the high-yielders.

    TMM #16: long USDTWD (or SGD)Betting on slower global growth, particularly in China

    TMM #17: Long USD/CADIn USD-CAD For expiry One year
    Buy 1.2600 USD Calls
    Sell 1.3400 USD Calls
    Approx cost 244 CAD points
    both in equal amounts.

    TMM #18: Long AUDNZDA way to express re-flation trade. Terms of trade between the two countries express a commodities skew towards metals & energy - In addition, for the kiwi leg, they basically have a socialist leader who thinks their current low unemployment is still too high and wants a weaker NZD

    TMM #19: Buy/pay 5s10s breakeven steepener Equilibrium breakeven spread even in the recent low inflation rate environment has been ~50bps, you can pick up a steepener these days with less than 10bps downside before the breakeven spread becomes inverted for ~40bps upside as a way to capture risks of duration sell-off in the long end

    TMM #20: Short US High Yield If rates go higher, you win, if Vol goes higher you win, if growth slows down you win. Of course you lose if 2018 is a repeat of 2017 but the carry is a small price to pay. Though it is possible that spreads tighten more and the rate movement does not offset all of the gain.


    Shawn
    TeamMacroMan2@gmail.com


  6. kalenjin shared this story from Visual Capitalist.

    Animation: Visualizing the ICO Explosion

    In our chart highlighting Bitcoin’s epic journey to $10,000, we also noted that 2017 was a landmark year for the Initial Coin Offering (ICO), a method used to raise initial funds for development and marketing of new cryptocurrencies or tokens.

    ICOs have become so popular that well over 90% of total funds raised through this mechanism came from this year alone.

    While it’s hard to put this sudden ICO explosion in context, we think today’s animation does the phenomenon sufficient justice. Coming from Max Galka at Elementus.io, today’s animation shows a timeline of ICOs and funds raised since early 2014.

    In an added dimension, each ICO is also classified based on geographic region. The colorful fireworks that happen throughout 2017 help to make it clear that we are indeed living in the year of the ICO.

    Year of the ICO

    Despite bans in China and South Korea, there is no shortage of fervor for new cryptocurrencies or tokens.

    ICOs by month

    In their short history, there have been three ICOs that raised over $200 million – and six more that surpassed the $100 million mark.

    Here is a breakdown of the nine biggest ICOs so far. Note that eight of them took place in 2017:

    NameLocationICO ProceedsICO Year
    FilecoinNorth America$257 million2017
    TezosEurope$236 million2017
    EOSNorth America$200 million2017
    ParagonNorth America$183 million2017
    The DAOStateless/Unknown$168 million2016
    BancorMiddle East$153 million2017
    PolkadotEurope$121 million2017
    QASHAsia$112 million2017
    StatusEurope$109 million2017

    It’s worth mentioning that with the price for bitcoins and ether both rising fast, that these ICOs have actually raised even more capital than initially shown. That’s because the dollar amounts above are based on the value of bitcoins and ether at the time of the raise.

    With billions in capital going into new projects, investors and speculators are anxiously waiting to see which coin or token will be the next Ethereum to take the market by storm.

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    The post Animation: Visualizing the ICO Explosion appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

  7. kalenjin shared this story from Visual Capitalist.

    View the full resolution version of this infographic.
    Visualizing the Race for Clean Energy

    The Race for Clean Energy

    To see the full resolution version of this infographic that has higher legibility, click here.

    Last year, on a global basis, more net power generating capacity was added through renewable sources than via all other power sources combined.

    Which countries are leading this charge, and what power sources are being adopted the fastest?

    Today’s infographic comes to us Raconteur, and it breaks down various metrics around energy investment. The graphic looks at absolute and per capita power consumption by countries, as well as dollars being invested into each particular type of green energy.

    Country Comparisons

    The two countries that lead the pack in absolute terms are China and the United States. In 2016, China consumed the equivalent of 349.2 million tonnes of oil in renewable energy, while the U.S. was at 143 million tonnes.

    However, these numbers are very skewed by the large populations of these countries. In percentage terms, China only gets 11.4% of its primary energy from renewables, while the U.S. gets 6.3% of its mix from sources like solar and wind.

    On a per capita basis, major economies leading the world include countries like Norway, Canada, Sweden, Brazil, and Austria – all of these countries get about 30% or more of their primary energy from renewables. That said, it is also worth noting that hydropower makes up a large degree of the energy mixes for many of these places.

    Clean Investments

    2016 was a landmark year for clean energy, with net power capacity additions for renewables topping the list:

    Power TypeNet Global Capacity Added (2016)
    Renewable (excl. large hydro)138 GW
    Coal54 GW
    Gas37 GW
    Large hydro15 GW
    Nuclear10 GW
    Other flexible capacity5 GW

    Importantly, more green power is being added at lower costs. Below, you can see that the level of investment is actually falling, as utilities get more “bang for the buck” on new capacity added.

    Here is the overall investment for each renewable category in 2016:

    Renewable sourceGlobal New Investment (Billions)Change
    Solar$113.7-34%
    Wind$112.5-9%
    Large hydro$23.2-48%
    Biomass & waste-to-energy$6.80%
    Small hydro$3.50%
    Geothermal$2.7-37%
    Biofuels$2.217%
    Marine$0.2-7%

    In 2016, investment in clean energy fell by 18% – however, 138 GW of new power capacity came online from renewable sources (excl. large hydro), which is 11 GW more than in the previous year.

    If costs continue to fall, it will mean more accessible clean energy for any country that wants it – and cost efficiency will also make the race to add capacity via renewables much more meaningful and sustainable in the long term.

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    The post Visualizing the Race for Clean Energy appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

  8. kalenjin shared this story from naked capitalism.

    A new paper by Jeff Hooke and Ken Yook of John Hopkins argues that "smoothed," as in phony, private equity valuations are misleading.
  9. kalenjin shared this story from TED Talks Daily (SD video).

    Educator and entrepreneur Sebastian Thrun wants us to use AI to free humanity of repetitive work and unleash our creativity. In an inspiring, informative conversation with TED Curator Chris Anderson, Thrun discusses the progress of deep learning, why we shouldn't fear runaway AI and how society will be better off if dull, tedious work is done with the help of machines. "Only one percent of interesting things have been invented yet," Thrun says. "I believe all of us are insanely creative... [AI] will empower us to turn creativity into action."

    Download video: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~5/xMpN-4wbICI/SebastianThrunandChrisAnderson_2017U.mp4
  10. kalenjin shared this story from Quartz.

    North Korea has one of the most closed economies in the world, but items from bibles to K-pop videos find a way across its borders anyway. These are some of the most commonly smuggled items in the isolated country.