Obama’s Two-Part Scalia Strategy: Shame and Credible Nominee | Bloomberg Politics


Obama wrote on SCOTUSblog that the court decision is one “to which I devote considerable time, deep reflection, careful deliberation, and serious consultation with legal experts, members of both political parties, and people across the political spectrum.”

The goal, according to Democrats and liberal advocates allied with the White House, is to ratchet up pressure in particular on Grassley and Senate Republicans who are vulnerable in elections this November.

That may fracture Senate Republicans and raise the political costs of obstructing a nominee for Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican who seeks to maintain control of the chamber after November’s elections.

Source: Obama’s Two-Part Scalia Strategy: Shame and Credible Nominee – Bloomberg Politics

Death Valley Bursts to Life With Rare “Super Bloom” | Smithsonian


Under normal circumstances, Death Valley is a hard place for anything to live. The valley is one of the hottest places on the surface of the Earth and only gets a rough average of two inches of rain annually, Tatiana Schlossberg writes for The New York Times.

Source: Death Valley Bursts to Life With Rare “Super Bloom” | Smart News | Smithsonian

Is Myers-Briggs up to the job? | FT.com


.. while proponents argue that Myers-Briggs is an indispensable tool for modern businesses, critics say it is imperfect, outdated and, sometimes, dangerously misleading.

Source: Is Myers-Briggs up to the job? – FT.com

Rhythm and booze: the battle to recruit young drinkers | FT.com


Mirroring the alignment between the drinks and music industries, alcohol levels in songs have gone up. A study of UK top 10 hits by Liverpool John Moores University in 2013 found that the proportion mentioning drink or drunkenness increased from almost six per cent in 1981 to eight per cent in 2001, then jumped to 18.5 per cent in 2011.

A separate study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health logged nearly a quarter of US chart hits between 2009 and 2011 as mentioning alcohol. Almost seven per cent of them cited specific brands.

Source: Rhythm and booze: the battle to recruit young drinkers – FT.com

Hyper-convergence blends with virtual machines and rugged computers for network-centric warfare


A hyper-converged system enables users to manage integrated technologies as one system through a common tool set. Hyper-converged systems can expand by adding nodes to the base unit.

This design approach is becoming common today in the corporate data center, but the addition of rugged embedded computing, rugged data routers, rugged data storage systems, and similar technologies is beginning to bring power networked and virtual computing to the battlefield.

Source: Hyper-convergence blends with virtual machines and rugged computers for network-centric warfare

Rugged computers look to the data center | Military & Aerospace Electronics


Rugged computers for aerospace and defense applications have come a long way from the days of heavy boxes that could be dropped off the backs of trucks, run over in the mud, and then put back into operation as if nothing bad had ever happened.

Make no mistake: tough, rugged designs are just as important now as they’ve ever been – the military still demands drop-in-the-mud computers – yet today’s rugged computers increasingly are taking lessons from sophisticated server computing, with fast interconnects, virtual-machine technology, and open-systems modular architectures rolled into tough mobile machines that would be just as at home in the back of a Humvee as they would in the data center.

“The major keyword is SWaP-C (small size, weight, power, and cost) optimization,” says Herve Garchette, business development manager at Creative Electronic Systems (CES) in Geneva, Switzerland. “SWaP-C means more and more complex systems integration of high-performance computing, systems on chips, and optical interfaces.”

Source: Rugged computers look to the data center – Military & Aerospace Electronics

What would Brexit mean for the City of London? | FT.com


Since financial services represent up to a tenth of the UK’s gross domestic product, the outcome is of vital importance to the country as a whole.

Rivals and competitors are hungry to take business from the City. Prominent among them are New York, long vying with London to be the world’s leading financial center; Frankfurt and Dublin, with eyes for European business; and Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo, which have made big advances on western financial centers.

Some financial professionals worry that Brexit would weaken not just the City but the EU financial sector as a whole. No other European financial center comes close to London.

Source: What would Brexit mean for the City of London? – FT.com

Not dead, just resting | The Economist


Many funds that close have no choice but to throw in the towel.

A tough macroeconomic environment, pressure to cut fees, increasing cost of regulatory compliance, and some very bad bets on distressed debt and energy assets, have all made it harder to run a hedge fund today than in the good old days of the 1990s.

With investors becoming increasingly risk-averse, knee-jerk redemptions have become more common. For a small fund, if just one investor pulls out that can be the end of the business: 75% of the funds that closed in 2015 managed less than $100m.

Source: Not dead, just resting | The Economist

China’s Credit Conundrum | Bloomberg View


In January alone, banks made a record $385 billion worth of new loans, more than 70 percent higher than the year before. Debt now tops 230 percent of GDP and could reach as high as 300 percent of GDP if current trends continue.

Nomura estimates that 40 percent of bank loans to companies go to state-owned enterprises, although they account for barely 10 percent of China’s output.

The money is being used to prop up companies that probably shouldn’t survive: One Chinese securities firm suggests 45 percent of new debt is being used to pay interest on old debt, like using a new credit card to pay off an old one.

Source: China’s Credit Conundrum – Bloomberg View

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From Too Big to Fail to Just Too Big | Bloomberg Gadfly


Silly media and politicians!

Too big to fail is totes a 2008 problem that’s long since been fixed, just ask any financial-industry lobbyist!

The thing is, the lobbyists may very well be right about that. It’s hard to know for sure without a time machine. Is even a watered-down version of the TLAC (“total loss absorbing capacity”) plan enough to prevent a bank failure from becoming a systemic problem in our lifetimes? Perhaps.

Then again, maybe not.

Source: From Too Big to Fail to Just Too Big – Bloomberg Gadfly

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