Daily Archives: June 17, 2016

The World Economy Looks a Bit Like It’s the 1930s

By Enda Curran – Just like in the 1930s, growth is being constrained by companies unwilling to spend, falling inflation expectations and governments backing away from fiscal stimulus.

The trigger for the current malaise was the financial crisis that left a hangover of debt and deleveraging amid tighter banking regulations that are exacerbating deflationary pressures.

It’s similar to the kind of shock that preceded the 1930s slump, according to an analysis by Morgan Stanley economists led by Hong Kong-based Chetan Ahya.

Like then, the end result could be a prolonged weak period and subdued inflation expectations, with a risk that those price expectations are un-anchored. The danger is that central banks move too quickly to raise interest rates or governments cut back on spending, triggering an even deeper slowdown. more> http://goo.gl/Btakjd


There Is No Such Thing as Private Data

By Kaveh Waddell – Admissions committees quickly got wise to the tricks. In an effort to take an unvarnished look at applicants’ private lives, admissions officers, college-sports coaches, and hiring managers started to demand to be let into candidates’ social media accounts.

Some colleges required that applicants add recruiters as Facebook friends so that they can access protected content, and a police department in North Carolina included a space on a paper job application for the candidate’s Facebook username and password.

Last year, Facebook was awarded a patent for a system that would scan the credit scores of a user’s friends in order to help a bank decide whether to award a loan to that person. The product never got off the ground, but it raised questions about trusting an algorithm that sniffs its way through a person’s social network to come up with a risk rating.

Most recently, a British startup has stirred the pot with a product called Tenant Assured. The service is aimed at landlords who want to check up on potential tenants before leasing out an apartment, and it works by connecting to applicants’ social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. more> http://goo.gl/Tx16DY


7 Reasons to Skip the I in IoT

By Jacob Beningo – Does it really make sense for EVERY product to connect to the internet?

Connecting to the Internet has the potential to add unwarranted complexity to an embedded system. The need for security and updates will be never-ending.

Does the targeted user really need this device to be connected to the Internet? Many development teams are connecting coffee pots, toasters, and every other device imaginable to the Internet but is there any real value add to doing so?

ust because a product type is becoming market trendy doesn’t mean the end user truly needs that functionality. A simple example is the smart thermometer.

There is a big rush to connect everything to the Internet and with the buzz and hype many companies are jumping on the bandwagon of an unproven market. Before risking the farm, companies and teams need to take a hard look at their product and client needs and ask the question,

Does my device really need to be connected to the Internet to meet my clients needs?

more> http://goo.gl/FhixCY

China Sends Bubbles to North America

By Noah Smith – This time the People’s Bank of China has been selling foreign assets — it’s China’s citizens and companies that are sending their money overseas.

This probably indicates that rocky times are ahead for the Chinese economy. People have some reason for wanting to get their money out — either they’re worried about losing their investments in a China crash, or they’re betting on the depreciation of the yuan.

It’s possible to think of the world as containing a large pool of mobile speculative capital that sloshes around from country to country, chasing the next big thing.

It’s also possible to imagine that when those capital inflows raise asset prices enough in a certain market, extrapolative expectations take over — domestic and foreign investors alike conclude that the new rising price trend is a stable feature of the world, and they keep betting it will continue, pushing prices up until they inevitably get divorced from fundamentals and crash.

Canada is already in bubbly territory. Another bubble in the developed world might make the U.S. look good for a little while, but ultimately it wouldn’t end any better than the last two. more> http://goo.gl/fPkkic