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

    White House Weighs Limits on U.S. Portfolio Flows Into China

    This article by Jenny Leonard and Shawn Donnan for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    The arguments for action inside the Trump team vary from simply enforcing U.S. transparency laws and creating a level of reciprocity, to raising national-security concerns with some of the Chinese companies that American pension funds are exposed to, according to people familiar with the conversations.

    Some of those companies are firms that the U.S. government has identified as bad actors or has imposed sanctions against. The argument continues that Americans would unlikely want to invest in those companies if they had the choice.

    The market capitalization of the 156 Chinese companies, including at least 11 state-owned firms, listed on the three-largest U.S. exchanges — the NASDAQ, New York Stock Exchange and NYSE American — stood at a collective $1.2 trillion as of late February, according to a report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

    China earlier this month removed a $300 billion cap on overseas purchases of Chinese stocks and bonds meaning global funds no longer need to apply to purchase quotas to buy the assets. The move is designed to lure more foreign capital into Chinese markets.

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    13.5 tons of gold found in Chinese Ex Mayor's Basement

    This article from crimerussia.com may be of interest to subscribers.

    Police of the PRC searched the house of Zhang Qi, 57, the former mayor of Danzhou and found a large amount of cash, as well as 13.5 tons of gold in ingots in a secret basement of his home, reported local media.

    In addition to the mayor’s post, the official held others, such as the Secretary of the Communist Party. According to unofficial reports, in addition to the gold, cash worth 268 billion yuan was discovered.

    Luxurious real estate with a total area of ​​several thousand square meters, which the former city manager had been hiding for a long time, became the cherry on the cake for the Chinese Anti-Corruption Committee.

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    Chinese Tech Companies Turn to Financial Services

    This article by Stella Yigan Xie for the Wall Street Journal may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    Hao Jianyu, 26, who works at Google in Beijing and owns a Xiaomi phone, says he holds credit cards from China’s four biggest banks but prefers taking out loans from Xiaomi Finance to fund his daily spending. He says daily interest on what he borrows is 0.065%, an annualized rate of 23.4%. That’s higher than the interest rate on his credit cards, Mr. Hao says, but he has been able to increase his credit limit much faster with Xiaomi. The more often he uses Xiaomi’s short-term loans and repays on time, the bigger his credit line, which now exceeds the limits on his credit cards. He says his credit limit from Xiaomi has increased to 60,000 yuan from a few thousand yuan over two years.

    In a stock-exchange filing last year before Xiaomi went public, the Beijing-headquartered company said its finance business had a “highly advanced and customized credit assessment and risk management approach” that was built on its big database of users. The company said its proprietary risk-assessment model is used to preapprove individuals for certain amounts of credit. Xiaomi said in reporting its results for the second quarter of this year that revenue from its fintech business grew 63% from a year earlier to 792 million yuan ($112 million) in the three months through June.

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    The Navy Says Those UFO Videos Are Real

    This article by Kyle Mizokami for popular Mechanics may be of interest. Here is a section:

    That terminology is important. "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena" provides "the basic descriptor for the sightings/observations of unauthorized/unidentified aircraft/objects that have been observed entering/operating in the airspace of various military-controlled training ranges," Gradisher told The Black Vault.

    In other words, the Pentagon says the aerial objects in the videos are simply unidentified, and for now, unexplained. The Navy is pointedly not saying the objects are flying saucers or otherwise controlled by aliens.

    Earlier this year, the Department of Defense told The Black Vault that the videos were unclassified, but never cleared for public release, and that there had been no review process within the Pentagon for releasing them.

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    Peloton Deepens IPO Slump in 3rd-Worst Unicorn Debut Since '08

    This article by Crystal Tse and Hailey Waller for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    Peloton Interactive Inc. fell as much as 9.5% Thursday after raising $1.16 billion in its U.S. initial public offering, becoming the latest unprofitable startup to fail to win over investors in its trading debut.

    Peloton’s shares opened at $27 and were down 7.2% to $26.90 at 12:38 p.m. in New York trading, giving the company a value $7.5 billion. The fitness startup sold 40 million shares for $29 each on Wednesday, after marketing them for $26 to $29.

    It marks the third-worst trading debut in 10 years in the U.S. for companies that have raised at least $1 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The IPO also comes as investors have been rattled by the sudden disintegration of WeWork’s plan to go public in September.

    Peloton Chief Executive Officer John Foley said in an interview with Bloomberg Television that he had “some disappointment” about the reception but was confident in his company’s prospects.

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    Machine Learning's "Amazing" Ability to Predict Chaos

    This article from quantamagazine.com may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    “This is really very good,” Holger Kantz, a chaos theorist at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden, Germany, said of the eight-Lyapunov-time prediction. “The machine-learning technique is almost as good as knowing the truth, so to say.”

    The algorithm knows nothing about the Kuramoto-Sivashinsky equation itself; it only sees data recorded about the evolving solution to the equation. This makes the machine-learning approach powerful; in many cases, the equations describing a chaotic system aren’t known, crippling dynamicists’ efforts to model and predict them. Ott and company’s results suggest you don’t need the equations — only data. “This paper suggests that one day we might be able perhaps to predict weather by machine-learning algorithms and not by sophisticated models of the atmosphere,” Kantz said.

    Besides weather forecasting, experts say the machine-learning technique could help with monitoring cardiac arrhythmias for signs of impending heart attacks and monitoring neuronal firing patterns in the brain for signs of neuron spikes. More speculatively, it might also help with predicting rogue waves, which endanger ships, and possibly even earthquakes.

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