The Mount St. Vincent retirement home in Seattle is home to over 400 residents. It’s also home to a preschool. The results of this innovative project, dubbed the Intergenerational Learning Center, are extraordinary. Elders and young children share time, space, projects, meals and conversations. By doing so, the children learn about the normal aging process, reduce their fear of older adults, and share their love and attention.
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Photo credit: Lisbon Council. Used under Creative Commons.
Since the Jasmine revolution of January 14, 2011 that sparked the Arab Spring, Tunisian social and political life has changed considerably. After 23 years of the brutal and corrupt regime of General Ben Ali, the people of Tunisia started to experience the basic preconditions of a democratic state for the first time. Among them are freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and political pluralism, including competitive elections.
Two years since his last interview with us, investor Jim Rogers returns and notes that the risks he warned of last time have only gotten worse. In this week's podcast, Jim shares his rational for predicting:
- increased wealth confiscation by the central planners
- a pending major financial market collapse
- gold's return as the preferred safe haven investment
- more oil price weakness, followed by a trend reversal
- Russia's rebound
- a China bubble reckoning
- agriculture's long-term value
- Debt, War and Empire By Other Means
- ‘World’s Poorest President’ Explains Why We Should Kick Rich People Out Of Politics
- The Hunt for the Financial Industry's Most-Wanted Hacker
- Most Millennials Want to Own Homes
- For many in Greece, the economic crisis takes a major toll: their homes
- The Humans Who Dream Of Companies That Won't Need Us
- The People v. the Coal Baron
- Sixth mass extinction is here: US study
There are large signs of stress now present in the credit markets. You might not know it from today's multi-generationally low interest rates, but other key measures such as liquidity and volatility are flashing worrying signs.
- Liquidity is drying up
- Volatility is returning
- HFT has dramatically increased crash risk
- The key takeaways for investors
Financial assets are worth what someone will pay for them. A corollary of this is that you’d much rather be trying to buy or sell in markets that are deep and liquid. Thin markets provide bad prices at best, and no bids or offers at worst.
Low trading volumes are worrisome because they are usually accompanied by higher volatility. And those two can easily become dance partners that whirl each other ever faster.
There are numerous warning signs coming from all asset markets, but especially from the bond markets.Low Liquidity
The issue of low liquidity really jumped out at me roughly a year ago with the news that the utterly broken Japanese government bond (JGB) market had gone an entire 36 hours without a single trade(!!).
Japan bond market liquidity dries up as BoJ holding crosses ¥200tn
Arp 15, 2015
The Bank of Japan’s massive purchases of government debt hit a milestone this week, sucking liquidity out of the market to such an extent that the benchmark 10-year bond went untraded for more than a day, the first time in 13 years.
The current 10-year cash bonds saw its first trade of the week yesterday afternoon, having gone untraded for more than a day and a half.
Trade volume in the benchmark cash bonds so far this month dropped to less than one trillion yen, down about 70% from the same period last year.
Thus comes the law of unintended consequences. The main reason for buying JGB’s by the Bank of Japan (BoJ) was to inject a lot of liquidity into ‘the system’ in hopes that the Japanese economy would take off.
While that may have happened to some (slight) extent what also happened was that ...