David Fuller and Eoin Treacy's Comment of the Day
Category - General

    For years, we've been told fat clogs our arteries. Now, scientists say that's all wrong.

    This article by Katherine Ellen Foley for Quartz may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    In an article published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (an affiliate of BMJ) on April 25, researchers from the UK and California reviewed all the existing studies about cholesterol and heart disease. Based on all the published literature, “the conceptual model of dietary saturated fat clogging a pipe is just plain wrong,” they write.

    Cholesterol isn’t totally blameless in the world of heart disease. They do form little bubbles inside arteries “like pimples,” write the researchers, and often cause heart attacks when they burst.
    But coronary artery disease is just that—a disease. It’s a result of constant inflammation. In all the studies they could find, lowering fat levels in diets failed to reduce heart attacks, strokes, or other kinds of heart disease. Although cholesterol from fats is bad, it’s been overly vilified.

    What does work to prevent heart disease, though, is exercise. Walking 22 minutes a day (about 150 minutes per week) can help reduce heart disease, with a balanced diet that contains a combination of fruits, veggies, and fats from both plants and animals.

    These two papers aren’t saying that high-fat diets are good for you, but fats—including the saturated ones—may not be as bad as was once thought. The reality is our perception of fats has probably been skewed by the results that have been reported, both in journals and the media.


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    Leveraging Platform Synergies to Break Adoption Barriers

    Thanks to a subscriber for this heavyweight report from Deutsche Bank focusing on payments. Here is a section:

    Although initial mobile payment developments were geared toward driving adoption and acceptance, focus has shifted to improving monetization. We believe Pay with Venmo remains a significant opportunity and conservatively estimate potential contribution to revenue growth in FY20 of ~3.5pts and given the higher transaction margins driven by cheaper funding sources (ACH, Balance), estimate potential EPS contribution of $0.28 in FY20. In addition, working capital loans to merchants and/or installment plans provided by PayPal, Square, and Alipay leveraging Big data offer high margin revenue opportunities. Providers are also emphasizing efforts on channels where adoption is easier as well as use cases which offer differentiated value propositions. Accordingly, we believe in-app and inbrowser will dominate mobile payments while in-store mobile payments will be predominantly focused on differentiated value propositions such as omni-channel support, order ahead, and offer/coupon redemption. 

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    Arizona trial thrusts autonomous Waymo cars into everyday life

    This article by Scott Collie from Atlas may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section: 

    Waymo will be purchasing an additional 500 Chrysler Pacifica minivans to support the 100 already doing the rounds.

    The push to slot self-driving cars into the everyday reality of average Arizona families represents another significant step in autonomous driving development. Waymo has covered more than 3 million miles since its inception in 2009, and the benefits of that experience are beginning to show.

    According to reports submitted to the Californian DMV earlier this year, Waymo cars covered 635,868 miles (1,023,330 km) last year, and human drivers only needed to intervene 124 times. That's a huge improvement over 2015, where self-driving systems disengaged 341 times in just 424,331 mi (682,895 km) of testing.

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    The Biggest Stock Markets Have Not Had Such Diverse Performances Since 2008

    Here is the opening of this interesting article from Bloomberg:

    The Chinese and U.S. stock markets are going in opposite directions.

    An intensifying crackdown against leverage in Asia’s biggest economy has rocked the hither-to unflappable Shanghai Composite Index over the past week, sending it to a three-month low last session. In the U.S., the largest equity market is embracing a risk rally spurred by the French election, with the S&P 500 Index continuing to build on reflation-trade gains ignited by Donald Trump’s November victory.

    The divergence means the two markets are the least in tune since August 2008 -- just before the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. unleashed chaos on the global financial system.

    Chinese officials have mainly kept mainland stocks on a tight rein after routs in mid-2015 and the start of 2016 reverberated through world financial markets. Until Monday’s 1.4 percent slump, the Shanghai Composite Index hadn’t fallen more than 1 percent for 86 trading days.

    As Beijing’s focus on reducing risk in the financial system shifted from money-market tightening and reducing leverage to containing speculation and irregular trading, the two markets starting moving in opposite directions in the past month.

    The latest step by officials is targeted at entrusted investments -- read more about the deleveraging efforts here.

    In one sense, it’s a sign that investors overseas aren’t as worried about Chinese market ructions as they were in previous years -- perhaps partly thanks to underlying strength in China’s economy. Given how mainland stocks have become increasingly linked to global markets, however, the divergence may prove to be a short-term phenomenon, according to Daniel So, a strategist at CMB International Securities Ltd. in Hong Kong.

    “The Chinese government is squeezing speculation out of the market and while investors adjust, it will inevitably lag behind other parts of the world," So said.

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    Email of the day on eating insects

    Hello I keep seeing documentaries explaining that in the future in order to feed everyone more people will be eating insects, I hope they are wrong, but if it is true are there any ways to invest in this theme?

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