‘The Big Short’ deserves an Oscar for telling the truth

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WASHINGTON, February 9, 2016 Having managed, rather belatedly, to head for the local cinema to see Paramount’s late 2015 sneak hit, “The Big Short,” this critic feels compelled to observe that if there’s any justice in La-La Land, this quietly amazing film would win the upcoming Academy Award for Best Picture. Alas, it looks like

‘The Big Short’ deserves an Oscar for telling the truth

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WASHINGTON, February 9, 2016 Having managed, rather belatedly, to head for the local cinema to see Paramount’s late 2015 sneak hit, “The Big Short,” this critic feels compelled to observe that if there’s any justice in La-La Land, this quietly amazing film would win the upcoming Academy Award for Best Picture. Alas, it looks like

San Bernardino Officials Could Have Cracked iPhone

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The work-issued iPhone of San Bernardino gunman Syed Rizwan Farook, which is at the center of a dispute between Apple and the FBI, could have easily been unlocked with mobile device management (MDM) software. Not only were San Bernardino officials aware of the software, they were paying for it, according to a Sunday report from the

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Powered by Max Banner Ads Stock Market 2016: These Three Things Suggest Bigger Losses Ahead Stock Market 2016 The stock market has three major factors working against it here in early 2016. Corporate revenue and earnings are contracting, the smart money is ditching stocks, and technical analysis has turned outright bearish on stocks-this could all lead

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Powered by Max Banner Ads Fannie Mae at risk of needing a bailout Fannie Mae ( OTCQB:FNMA) is at risk of needing a government bailout that could shake up confidence in the housing finance market, FT reports. Because the government does not let Fannie Mae retain profits, its capital buffer (which has dwindled from $30B before

Canadians cut back on spending as prices rise

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Retail sales in December fell the most since 2008 in real terms while prices for goods saw a price spike in January as economists say signs are emerging that higher prices are biting into Canadian real incomes. Statistics Canada said Friday that retail sales were down 2.2 per cent in January, a much larger drop than

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The chief executive of Uber has admitted that the company is losing more than $1 billion per year in China due to local competition, Canadian tech site Betakit reported. The ride-sharing app launched in China in 2014 but faces stiff competition from Didi Kuaidi, the countrys largest taxi app. Uber is currently available in more than

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Social inequality in Korea is higher than in countries that experienced systemic changes or economic crises, a researcher said. Kim Tae-wan, a fellow at the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, said so in his paper titled “Analysis of the causes of social exclusion,” at an academic symposium at Seoul National University Thursday. “Social exclusion”

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The UK has been threatening to leave the European Union for some time, but with Britain preparing for a referendum on EU membership next year, a British exit from the EU, or Brexit, is becoming a real possibility. Prime Minister David Cameron has warned his European counterparts that the UK could leave if it fails to

Won plunges despite intervention

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South Korea’s financial authorities pledged Friday to take every measure to prevent the won from fluctuating further against the dollar and other major currencies. “The won-dollar exchange rate has been fluctuating too widely recently,” the central bank said in a rare statement. “The Bank of Korea and the government are concerned about further rises in volatility.

Firefox Voices Support For Apple, Launches Advocacy Campaign For Encryption

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Mozilla and Firefox Executive Director Mark Surman have come out in support of Tim Cooks and Apples resistance to complying with the recent legal order to unlock an iPhone recovered during the FBI investigation surrounding the San Bernardino shooting in December 2015. We stand with @Apple on strong #encryption. We should not set a dangerous precedent:

Apple’s fight with the FBI could have reverberations worldwide

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It’s a battle that on its face appears to pit one of the biggest tech companies in the U.S. against the country’s most powerful law enforcement agency. But the outcome of Apple’s standoff with the federal government over encryption could reverberate across the world, giving authoritarian governments reason to expand surveillance and challenging the U.S. tech

Big banks shattered by 2008 economic crisis

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Last four decades have witnessed the fastest growth of the global financial market. The finance industry all over the world has gone through rapid expansion during this period. Worldwide monetary network, connectivity, service/product diversity and investment structure have been established. Globalisation and the slogan of turning the world into a global village have expedited this process.

Big banks see the need to shrink but face a path full of obstacles

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Powered by Max Banner Ads Big banks see the need to shrink but face a path full of obstacles When the U.S. Federal Reserve’s newest policymaker Neel Kashkari dropped a bombshell with a call to break up big banks on Tuesday, it was met with a predictably indignant response from their lobbyists. One described his

A Babel of opinions lead markets down as Feb. options expire

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WASHINGTON, February 19, 2016 Thursday’s “wilting violet” market action has extended into Friday, where anemic and worried trading has put a negative cast on the widely followed major averages, although the NASDAQ has been trying to stay in the green. Barely. Currently, the Dow Jones Industrials (DJI) are off a little over 78 points to

Donald Trump Calls For Apple Boycott

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Donald Trump called for a boycott of Apple Friday after the company refused to decrypt an iPhone for the FBI. The Republican front-runner said that Apple should be boycotted until it complies with the California court order asking the company to decrypt the phone of Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the San Bernardino shooters who killed

Bank Bailout Architect Echoes Liberals on Reining in Too Big to Fail

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Bank Bailout Architect Echoes Liberals on Reining in Too Big to Fail Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren usually get the most attention in the ongoing debate over reining-in Wall Street, but this week the two liberal firebrands shared the spotlight with an unexpected ally former Bush administration official and Goldman Sachs alumnus Neel Kashkari. Kashkari,

Election 2016 is more than Sanders, Clinton, Trump, Rubio, or Cruz

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Election 2016 There was a time in America when there was an American dream. To the vast majority of Americans that American dream is dead. Yes, for the top .1% life is heavenly. For the top 1% life is the American dream. For the top 10 percent life seems like the American dream. For the top

Apple-FBI faceoff is a timely chance to balance security, privacy

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The following editorial appeared in The Sacramento Bee on Thursday, Feb. 18: If Apple must help the government unlock the phone of one of the San Bernardino killers, the “back door” will undermine the privacy of iPhone users around the globe. If the FBI can’t see what’s on Syed Farook’s phone, any other terrorists involved

How To Protect Your PC From Prying Eyes

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Apple made headlines this week when it fought back against a court order to bypass an iPhone’s encryption. What many may not realize, however, is that Microsoft also offers encryption tools for Windows 10 PCs. These tools can keep personal files safe from prying eyes by requiring a password before revealing contents of files stored on

Running Linux? You’ll want to patch your system right now

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Anyone running Linux-based systems or software needs to prepare for some serious patching. An error in a widely-used Linux library puts hundreds or thousands of devices and programs at risk, researchers from Google disclosed this week. The flaw was discovered independently by teams at Google and Red Hat, who have jointly developed a patch. Red Hat’s

Meet ‘Locky’, The New Ransomware Virus That’s Spreading Like Wildfire

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A new Cryptolocker-type ransomware called Locky has been spreading like wildfire to users around the globe, say security researchers at PhishMe. The Locky virus, which encrypts users files and demands bitcoin payments to decrypt them, was first sent to nearly half a million victims on February 16. The attack came in the form of a Word

The question no one is asking about Central Banks

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From The Daily Bell Central banks face credibility test The retreat from unconventional monetary policy was always going to be tricky. While economists are almost equally divided on whether Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen will raise U.S. interest rates this week, the bond market suggests policy makers will wait. October’s Fed minutes will be scrutinised

Hungary Central Bank stockpiles guns, bullets citing terror risk

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Hungary’s central bank, already facing criticism for a spending spree ranging from real estate to fine art, is now beefing up its security force, citing Europe’s migrant crisis and potential bomb threats among the reasons. The National Bank of Hungary bought 200,000 rounds of live ammunition and 112 handguns for its security company, according to documents

Apple Has Learned The Lessons Of Eisenhower In Their Fight Against The FBI

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Apple and the FBI have captured the public’s attention by battling over unlocking the San Bernardino shooter’s phone, but this is about more than one terrorist attack. This is a power struggle over the future of digital communication. Encryption seems opaque and impossibly complex, and that’s the point. Even though it has only recently entered the

New stock market crash inevitable

Every production phase or society or other human invention goes through a so-called transformation process. Transitions are social transformation processes that cover at least one generation. In this article I will use one such transition to demonstrate the position of our present civilization and and that a new stock market crash is inevitable.

When we consider the characteristics of the phases of a social transformation we may find ourselves at the end of what might be called the third industrial revolution. Transitions are social transformation processes that cover at least one generation (= 25 years). A transition has the following characteristics:

  • it involves a structural change of civilization or a complex subsystem of our civilization
  • it shows technological, economical, ecological, socio cultural and institutional changes at different levels that influence and enhance each other
  • it is the result of slow changes (changes in supplies) and fast dynamics (flows)

A transition process is not fixed from the start because during the transition processes will adapt to the new situation. A transition is not dogmatic.

Four transition phases

When we consider the characteristics of the phases of a social transformation we may find ourselves at the end of what might be called the third industrial revolution.

The S curve of a transition


Figure: Four phases in a transition best visualized by means of an S curve:
Pre-development, Take off, Acceleration, Stabilization.


In general, transitions can be seen to go through the S curve and we can distinguish four phases (see fig. 1):

  1. a pre-development phase of a dynamic balance in which the status does not visibly change
  2. a take-off phase in which the process of change starts because of changes in the system
  3. an acceleration phase in which visible structural changes take place through an accumulation of socio cultural, economical, ecological and institutional changes influencing each other; in this phase we see collective learning processes, diffusion and processes of embedding
  4. a stabilization phase in which the speed of sociological change slows down and a new dynamic balance is achieved through learning

A product life cycle also goes through an S curve. In that case there is a fifth phase:

  1. the degeneration phase in which cost rises because of over capacity and the producer will finally withdraw from the market.

When we look back into the past we see three transitions, also called industrial revolutions, taking place with far-reaching effect:

1. The first industrial revolution
(1780 until circa 1850); the steam engine

2. The second industrial revolution (1870 until circa 1930); electricity, oil and the
car

3. The third industrial revolution (1950 until ….); computer and microprocessor

The emergence of a stock market boom

In the development and take-off phases of the industrial revolution many new companies emerged. All these companies went through more or less the same cycle simultaneously. During the second industrial revolution these new companies emerged in the steel, oil, automotive and electrical industries, and during the third industrial revolution the new companies emerged in the hardware, software, consulting and communications industries. During the acceleration phase of a new industrial revolution many of these businesses tend to be in the acceleration phase of their life cycle, more or less in parallel.


Figure: Typical course of market development: Introduction, Growth

By Wim Grommen

Wim Grommen was teacher in mathematics and physics for eight years at secondary schools. The last twenty years he trained programmers in Oracle-software. He worked almost five years as a trainer for Oracle and the last 20 years as a trainer for Transfer Solutions in the Netherlands. The last years he studied transitions, social transformation processes, the S-curve and transitions in relation to market indices. Articles about these topics have been published in various magazines in The Netherlands and Belgium. His paper “The present crisis, a pattern: current problems associated with the end of the third industrial revolution”? was accepted for an International Symposium in Valencia: The Economic Crisis: Time for a paradigm shift, Towards a systems approach.

EU leaders prepare for tough talks over deal to stave off Brexit

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Brussels (dpa) – EU leaders were bracing themselves Thursday for a long night of negotiations with Britain over a reform package aimed at convincing the country to remain a member of the bloc. “This is a make or break summit,” EU President Donald Tusk said ahead of the two-day talks in Brussels. “We are in the

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Collapse Of The Roman Empire The Money Project is an ongoing collaboration between Visual Capitalist and Texas Precious Metals that seeks to use intuitive visualizations to explore the origins, nature, and use of money. At its peak, the Roman Empire held up to 130 million people over a span of 1.5 million square miles. Rome had

Russian State Banker Exits As Crisis Bites

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MOSCOW The head of Russia’s government-owned State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs stepped down Thursday amid fractious negotiations over a giant bailout for the troubled lender that could require $20 billion of government funds over four years. The departure of Vladimir Dmitriev who has been the head of bank, also known as

China doom-sayings are based on separating facts and rhetoric

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A photo illustration shows a $100 banknote placed above Chinese 100 yuan banknotes in Beijing in this May 10, 2013 file photo. [Photo/Agencies] For three decades now many of the world’s most insightful observers have predicted imminent demise to China’s system. But these same three decades have also seen China confound expectations. China’s economy turned in

Social media giants throw weight behind Apple

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Facebook and Twitter are siding with Apple in its fight against a court order demanding the company help investigators break into an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino attackers. A US magistrate ordered the firm to produce software that would give investigators access to the phone. Apple has until Tuesday to challenge the order,

The global story behind Venezuela’s 6,000 percent gas hike

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Already dealing with triple-digit inflation, Venezuelans have just been hit with about a 6,000 percent hike in gasoline prices and a 37 percent currency devaluation. Venezuelans will still pay next to nothing for gas, but the move highlights just how badly the country has been hit by a collapse in global oil prices. President Nicolas Maduro

How to address cloud security threats with technology

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Cloud services constitute a broad category, including models such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (Saas). If it isnt clear already, a lot of jargon and acronyms are involved with cloud services as well. Regardless, it is safe to say that most businesses and individuals are

Democracy’s soft spot for corruption

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The day our Prime Minister was lambasting NAB for harassing public officials and rich men without proof, and threatening to clip its wings if it did not mend its ways, a 55-year old woman died in the pursuit of her National Identity Card on the doorstep of NADRA in Gujranwala. According to her son-in-law who was

High risk of bankruptcy for one-third of oil firms this year: Full Deloitte Report

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In a report heard around the world, Deloitte recently reported that there was a high risk of bankruptcy for one third of all oil firms this year The news was reported by Reuters (and which was subsequently cited by many outlets) raised even gloomier prospects regarding the future of the oil industry . The paper notes