At U-M, Sexual Violence Includes ‘Discounting Feelings,’ ‘Withholding Sex’

ViolenceThe redefinition of the word
violence continues among revelations that discounting
a sexual partner’s feelings and withholding sex constitutes sexual
violence at the University of Michigan. The relevant info can be
found
at the university’s “Stop Abuse” webpage:

Examples of sexual violence include: discounting the partner’s
feelings regarding sex; criticizing the partner sexually; touching
the partner sexually in inappropriate and uncomfortable ways;
withholding sex and affection; always demanding sex; forcing
partner to strip as a form of humiliation (maybe in front of
children), to witness sexual acts, to participate in uncomfortable
sex or sex after an episode of violence, to have sex with other
people; and using objects and/or weapons to hurt during sex or
threats to back up demands for sex.

Criticizing someone sexually and withholding sex are unkind
things to do, but they aren’t violent acts in and of themselves.
Indeed, a university spokesperson could only defend the definitions
as appropriate within “a larger context,” according to Derek
Draplin of The College Fix:

The definitions of behaviors of violence … describe most
accurately what occurs in an abusive relationship,” [U-M
spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald] said in an email. “Those behaviors
not in the context of violence are not abusive.  A reader of
this site would recognize that it’s described as one behavior in
the context of a pattern of behaviors to maintain power and control
over an intimate partner.”

But, as Draplin writes, universities make these slips all the
time—treating disfavored behavior and physically painful behavior
as one and the same. He cites an interview with the sexual violence
support coordinator at Brock University in Canada in which the
administrator claims
“anything that makes someone feel unsafe” counts as violence.

Institutions of higher learning should be more precise with
their definitions. Being insufficiently attentive to other people’s
feelings is not an act of violence.

For related coverage, see
“Ohio State: Students Must Agree on Why They Are Having
Sex.”

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At U-M, Sexual Violence Includes 'Discounting Feelings,' 'Withholding Sex'

ViolenceThe redefinition of the word
violence continues among revelations that discounting
a sexual partner’s feelings and withholding sex constitutes sexual
violence at the University of Michigan. The relevant info can be
found
at the university’s “Stop Abuse” webpage:

Examples of sexual violence include: discounting the partner’s
feelings regarding sex; criticizing the partner sexually; touching
the partner sexually in inappropriate and uncomfortable ways;
withholding sex and affection; always demanding sex; forcing
partner to strip as a form of humiliation (maybe in front of
children), to witness sexual acts, to participate in uncomfortable
sex or sex after an episode of violence, to have sex with other
people; and using objects and/or weapons to hurt during sex or
threats to back up demands for sex.

Criticizing someone sexually and withholding sex are unkind
things to do, but they aren’t violent acts in and of themselves.
Indeed, a university spokesperson could only defend the definitions
as appropriate within “a larger context,” according to Derek
Draplin of The College Fix:

The definitions of behaviors of violence … describe most
accurately what occurs in an abusive relationship,” [U-M
spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald] said in an email. “Those behaviors
not in the context of violence are not abusive.  A reader of
this site would recognize that it’s described as one behavior in
the context of a pattern of behaviors to maintain power and control
over an intimate partner.”

But, as Draplin writes, universities make these slips all the
time—treating disfavored behavior and physically painful behavior
as one and the same. He cites an interview with the sexual violence
support coordinator at Brock University in Canada in which the
administrator claims
“anything that makes someone feel unsafe” counts as violence.

Institutions of higher learning should be more precise with
their definitions. Being insufficiently attentive to other people’s
feelings is not an act of violence.

For related coverage, see
“Ohio State: Students Must Agree on Why They Are Having
Sex.”

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Health Law Produces Hospital Savings, But Startup Costs Run Far Higher

The Department of Health and Human Services
issued a press
release
yesterday noting that uncompensated care costs—expenses
related to treating uninsured individuals, mostly in hospital
emergency rooms—for hospitals are expected to drop about $5.7
billion this year as a result of expanded health coverage under the
law. The bulk of the reduction, about 74 percent, is expected to
occur in states that chose to Obamacare’s option to expand
Medicaid. 

That’s not nothing, but those supposed savings come at a
significant cost. According to a Bloomberg Government report
released Wednesday, the startup costs associated with the law and
an associated health technology program are much higher than
projected by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) or talked about
publicly. The startup tab for Obamacare and a related program to
spur electronic health records is over $73 billion so far,
according to the report, an amount “substantially greater than what
the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) initially estimated health
reform would cost by this point,” the report
notes. A little more than $2 billion went to fund the creation of
the federal health exchange. 

Most of the spending accounted for in the Bloomberg Government
report is not related to health insurance subsidies under the law.
But the money that goes to fund expanded coverage, both for exhange
based private plans and Medicaid, is expected to grow substantially
over the next several years. Earlier this year, the CBO projected
that the federal government would spend about $47 billion on
private insurance subsidies, and about $41 billion on Medicaid
coverage under the law, next year. That’s how much it costs to fund
the coverage that HHS is saying is responsible for the $5.7 billion
drop in uncompensated care spending. Now, obviously there are a
variety of other components of the law, including various taxes and
hoped-for Medicare cuts intended to offset the spending on
coverage. But the isolated comparison suggests that expanding
coverage is not a very effective way to reduce uncompensated care
spending. If all we’d wanted was to plug that hole, we could have
done so for a lot less. 

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“Bales Of Cash On The Sidelines”: The Average Billionaire Has A Record $600 Million In Cash

While the saying “cash on the sidelines” is patently wrong as all cash represents is a form of risk, asset and/or liquidity preference (and yes, for every buyer of stock there is a seller: repeat as many times as necessary until it clicks), we are confident the fact that the world’s record number of billionaires, 2,325 in 2014 up from 2,170 a year ago, holding a record $7,291 trillion in assets or a little under half of the US GDP and more than the market cap of the companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, have a record $600 million in cash on average, up from $540 million the year before.

According to Wealth-X:

Billionaires also tend to have high cash balances. The apparent safety of cash, reinforced by the painful psychological experience of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis and the subsequent troubles within the European Monetary Union, likely reinforces the tendency to favor this cautious allocation strategy.

And:

billionaires hold 19% of their wealth in cash…. This amounts to US$600 million per individual – a sum that is higher than the GDP of Dominica and twenty times the threshold of US$30 million required to be considered an UHNW individual. This liquidity is vital as it enables them to invest in new business ventures that fall outside their current business holdings. Since last year, billionaires’ liquidity has increased by US$60 million per individual, on average. This increased liquidity signals that many billionaires are keeping  their money on the sidelines and waiting for the optimal moment to make further investments.

That, or perhaps it simply signals that the world’s billionaires are confident the market has topped and have taken a substantial amount of profits. Because while the mean billionaire net worth rose by just $4.4 to $3.1 billion, the average billionaire liquidity rose by a far greater 11% from $540 to $600.

What is most surprising, however, is that while the bulk of their net worth, or 46.9%, is invested in private holdings, typically the assets they themselves have created, with a little under 29% in public equities, the allocationto cash is about 4 times greater than that to real estate which amounted to a paltry 5.1% of billionaire net worth.

Those curious about the distribution, there are currently 571 billionaires in the United States, up from 515 in the year before, even as eight of the top 20 now are in Asia.

Most billionaires do not reach the US$1 billion threshold until their late forties: 93% of the world’s billionaires are older than 45 years.

The majority, ot 56% of billionaires, are self-made, while 20% are where they are thanks to a trust fund:

 

When it comes to extrapolation, billionaires too are prone to the Birinyi effect: the number of super rich is expected to rise from 2325 in 2014 to 3,873 by 2020.

For their sake, let’s hope the guillotines don’t roll out before that date. Something tells us the French aristocracy was all about straight-line extrapolation of their own wealth during the dinner parties of late-1788 Paris.




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1n2WCn5 Tyler Durden

"Bales Of Cash On The Sidelines": The Average Billionaire Has A Record $600 Million In Cash

While the saying “cash on the sidelines” is patently wrong as all cash represents is a form of risk, asset and/or liquidity preference (and yes, for every buyer of stock there is a seller: repeat as many times as necessary until it clicks), we are confident the fact that the world’s record number of billionaires, 2,325 in 2014 up from 2,170 a year ago, holding a record $7,291 trillion in assets or a little under half of the US GDP and more than the market cap of the companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, have a record $600 million in cash on average, up from $540 million the year before.

According to Wealth-X:

Billionaires also tend to have high cash balances. The apparent safety of cash, reinforced by the painful psychological experience of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis and the subsequent troubles within the European Monetary Union, likely reinforces the tendency to favor this cautious allocation strategy.

And:

billionaires hold 19% of their wealth in cash…. This amounts to US$600 million per individual – a sum that is higher than the GDP of Dominica and twenty times the threshold of US$30 million required to be considered an UHNW individual. This liquidity is vital as it enables them to invest in new business ventures that fall outside their current business holdings. Since last year, billionaires’ liquidity has increased by US$60 million per individual, on average. This increased liquidity signals that many billionaires are keeping  their money on the sidelines and waiting for the optimal moment to make further investments.

That, or perhaps it simply signals that the world’s billionaires are confident the market has topped and have taken a substantial amount of profits. Because while the mean billionaire net worth rose by just $4.4 to $3.1 billion, the average billionaire liquidity rose by a far greater 11% from $540 to $600.

What is most surprising, however, is that while the bulk of their net worth, or 46.9%, is invested in private holdings, typically the assets they themselves have created, with a little under 29% in public equities, the allocationto cash is about 4 times greater than that to real estate which amounted to a paltry 5.1% of billionaire net worth.

Those curious about the distribution, there are currently 571 billionaires in the United States, up from 515 in the year before, even as eight of the top 20 now are in Asia.

Most billionaires do not reach the US$1 billion threshold until their late forties: 93% of the world’s billionaires are older than 45 years.

The majority, ot 56% of billionaires, are self-made, while 20% are where they are thanks to a trust fund:

 

When it comes to extrapolation, billionaires too are prone to the Birinyi effect: the number of super rich is expected to rise from 2325 in 2014 to 3,873 by 2020.

For their sake, let’s hope the guillotines don’t roll out before that date. Something tells us the French aristocracy was all about straight-line extrapolation of their own wealth during the dinner parties of late-1788 Paris.




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Sheldon Richman Asks Whether the U.S. Will Send Ground Troops to Fight ISIS

airstrikes in IraqWith the United
States dropping bombs on yet another Muslim country, we might
benefit from a close look at President Obama’s anti–Islamic State
strategy, writes Sheldon Richman. Obama keeps saying that this is
not just an American fight and that ground troops will not be
necessary. Yet he also insists that ISIS threatens Americans in the
United States. That naturally raises this question: what if the
local ground troops that Obama counts on—the Iraqi and Kurdish
armies and the alleged moderate Syrian rebels—aren’t up to the
job?

View this article.

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Why Blackrock (And Every Other Bondholder) Is Freaking Out (In 1 Simple Chart)

Just last week, we explained why Blackrock – the largest asset manager in the world – is gravely concerned about the 'broken' corporate bond market. Simply put, thanks to The Fed's continued presence in the Treasury market has left the corporate bond market a liquidity-starved ticking time-bomb if faith in the stability of defaults ever falters (with firm balance sheets at record high leverage) and "selling" begins. As the following chart from Deutsche Bank highlights, the current level of liquid assets as a proportion of total HY assets is about as low as it has been tracking data back around 25 years.

 

In other words, the massive (and likely levered) positions The Fed has forced the world to take on by its repression face a dramatic liquidity risk cost if they are ever to 'realize' any gains from the Fed's handouts (by actually selling).

That's what every bond manager 'knows'…

*  *  *

As Blackrock concluded,

To BlackRock, the dangers of price gaps and scant liquidity have been masked in a benign, low interest-rate environment, and need to be addressed before market stress returns.

 

 

The risk posed by investors trying to dump bonds after the Federal Reserve raises interest rates is “percolating right under” the noses of regulators, he said.

*  *  *

And so here we are…

1. Corporate Bond Managers "KNOW" they can't sell as much as they want/need to (due to the illiquidty), so..

2. They Hedge.. first through CDS (HY CDX small sample and does not cover risk of the lowest crappiest names that many firms have bid up as the search for yield accelerated),

2a. or HYG/JNK (but that includes rate risk so the hedge is liquid but less accurate), so…

3. They Hedge… through stocks (beta-adjusted hedges – akin to capital structure arbitrage – can help more idiosyncratic risk control in the HY portfolio), and

4. They Hedge… through volatility (credit spreads and equity volatility are explicitly linked via the firm's asset – or business – uncertainty).

 

 

That's why small caps have suffered more as credit fell (as more directly linked to the weaker balance sheets).

How this ends… the hedges start to fail (i.e. MTM differences between portfolio delta and hedge delta grow large), someone else decides to "sell" and throw in the towel and prices gap down in HY… and the avalanche begins…

That's what Blackrock fears.

*  *  *

Bonus Chart 1: Forget "best balance sheets ever", Leverage has never been higher…

 

Bonus Chart 2: The Fed is leaving the building and it's time to realize this 'spread'…




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Obamacare Website Costs Top $2 Billion, Almost Triple Government Estimates

What's the opposite of government efficiency? In a double-take-instigating headline, the federal government’s Obamacare enrollment system has cost about $2.1 billion so far, according to a Bloomberg Government analysis of contracts related to the project. BGOV’s analysis shows that costs for both healthcare.gov and the broader reform effort are far greater than anything publicly discussed. However, that pales into insignificance when considering health reform has cost American taxpayers $73 billion in the last four years… and counting.

 

As Bloomberg reports,

Spending for healthcare.gov and related programs, including at the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies, exceeds cost estimates provided by the Obama administration, the analysis found. The government’s most recent estimate, limited to spending on computer systems by the agency that runs the site, through February, is $834 million.

“The way in which Obamacare has been rolled out has been very messy,” with spending scattered across dozens of contracts, many of them predating the law and amended afterward, said Peter Gosselin, a senior health-care analyst at BGov and lead author of study. “One of the reasons it has been implemented in the way it has been, financially, is precisely to deny opponents of the law a clear target.”

 

 

The construction of healthcare.gov involved 60 companies, supervised by employees of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services instead of a lead contractor, according to the inspector general at the Health and Human Services Department.

 

“Round one, the crisis was in the front-end of the system,” Gosselin said. “Round two, it’s going to be in the back office.”

Nearly five years after passage, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and a companion electronic health records (EHR) program have run a startup tab of more than $73 billion…

 

BGOV’s analysis shows that costs for both healthcare.gov and the broader reform effort are far greater than anything publicly discussed. They’re also substantially greater than what the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) initially estimated health reform would cost by this point, although not what the agency’s more recent piecemeal estimates suggest.

 

Source: Bloomberg BGOV




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“Eric Holder’s Legacy: Duplicity, Incompetence, Obliviousness”

Attorney
General Eric Holder is resigning,
reportedly as soon as his
successor is named and confirmed. It can’t happen soon enough,

I argue at Time
.

Despite some positive actions — refusing to enforce
the Defense of Marriage Act
, a federal law that is plainly
discriminatory, and calling for long-overdue sentencing reform, for
instance – Holder’s tenure has been marked by a disturbing mix of
duplicity, incompetence, and obliviousness.

Which is another way of saying that he was a thoroughly typical
attorney general, a cabinet position that has long been held by
individuals whose first loyalty is to the president that appointed
them rather than to the Constitution they swear to defend….

Arguably more disturbing was Holder’s central role in signing
off on the secret
monitoring
 of Fox News’ James Rosen and other journalists
and his staunch defense of National Security Agency surveillance
programs (even when federal
oversight boards
 decreed them unconstitutional and
ineffective). It took a 13-hour filibuster by Sen. Rand Paul
(R-Ky.) to get Holder to
acknowledge in plain language
 that there were in fact
limits to the president’s
secret kill list
 (the existence of which is itself deeply
disturbing).

That Holder has moderated on some of these issues — just a
couple of weeks ago, Holder voiced
support for NSA reforms
 that would “provide the public
greater confidence in our programs and the checks and balances in
the system” — only drives home just how situational his ethics and
actions always have been as attorney general.


Read the whole thing.

Holder was up to his eyeballs in various scandals (such as Fast
and Furious) and he was always willing to play coy and stupid when
the moment served. In his defense, the position of attorney general
is to be the president’s bag man, to carry out and then defend all
the horrible things an administration can do.

But will anyone miss him more than we miss Alberto Gonzales or
John Ashcroft or Janet Reno? Obviously not, unless his successor is
even worse. Which is always possible.

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