All posts by Francisco Marques Pereira

P.O. Cristiano Ronaldo ALL – Maurizio Sarri ZERO


I admit it is not easy to coach the best player that ever existed, which is what Cristiano Ronaldo is.
Simply the best ever!
But Mr Maurizio Sarri should have remembered that Mr Cristiano Ronaldo is the World’s Number One person in terms of recognition.
And who is Mr Sarri…?
No one.
Cristiano Ronaldo proved he is above the law in Italy.
He could have been banned for two years for leaving the stadium early.
But Mr Cristiano Ronaldo demonstrated again last night he is SIMPLY THE BEST with his hat trick against Lithuania., in which Portugal butchered Lithuania by 6 0.
Cristiano Ronaldo walked out in triumph and at the same time showed what Mr Sarri is:

No one.
And a foul after the ridiculous explanations Mr Sarri gave to retract himself, I’am sure on orders.
I am sure Mr Sarri will be replaced rather sooner than later.
And he will join the No One’s Club.
Mr Cristiano Ronaldo will be remembered for ever.
I am Portuguese, and a proud one.
But i am absolutely sure i can speak for all of us.
Mr Sarri has to go, come what may.
Nothing short of that!

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira

(BBG) Hong Kong Expects First Annual Recession Since Global Financial Crisis


  •  City sees economy contracting 1.3% amid local social incidents
  •  Consumer price inflation estimated higher on China pork supply
People gather during a protest in the Central district of Hong Kong on Nov. 12.
People gather during a protest in the Central district of Hong Kong on Nov. 12. Photographer: Justin Chin/Bloomberg

Explore what’s moving the global economy in the new season of the Stephanomics podcast. Subscribe via Apple PodcastSpotify or Pocket Cast.

Hong Kong revised down its estimate for economic growth this year as political unrest grips the city, with the government now forecasting the first annual contraction since the global financial crisis a decade ago.You’re browsing incognito.Subscribe to conti

(EUobserver) Germany: EU banking union deal possible in December

(EUobserver) German finance minister Olaf Scholz said at a press conference in Berlin that the idea of a banking union is moving forward and that an agreement might be possible in December, Bloomberg reports. “The time of the new presidency and the new commission of the European Union is the time to get all the necessary agreements and to start with the work on that question,” Scholz said.

(CNBC) Europe is not headed for a ‘digital war’ with the US, Dutch minister says


  • Europe is concerned that some U.S. tech companies may not be taking the proper steps needed to protect the personal information of its citizens, Raymond Knops, minister of the interior and kingdom relations in the Netherlands, said.
  • But that does not mean Europe and the United States are headed for a “digital war”, he said.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week urged Europe to take control of its data from U.S. tech giants.

WATCH NOWVIDEO02:05Governments have to ‘speed up,’ regulate new tech: Dutch minister

Europe is concerned that some U.S. tech companies may not be taking the proper steps needed to protect the personal information of its citizens, a Dutch politician said on Wednesday.

But that does not mean Europe and the United States are headed for a “digital war” over the ownership of consumer data, Raymond Knops, minister of the interior and kingdom relations in the Netherlands, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Knops, the state secretary, took over the ministerial role from Kajsa Ollongren in November.

“What you can see is that Europe is self-confident about how we deal with our data and the data of our citizens,” Knops said. Last year, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation went into law, giving individuals sweeping new powers in controlling their data, including the right to demand companies tell them how that information is used.

“What we want is to protect this data of civilians, not be used too easily by private companies. Especially, when there was no consent from these people to deal with this data,” Knops added.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week urged Europe to take control of its data from U.S. tech giants. She said the European Union should claim “digital sovereignty” by building its own technology products to manage data and reduce dependency on the likes of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, the Financial Times reported.

Lawmakers in Europe are likely to keep big American tech firms under close scrutiny, according to experts.

When asked about the possibility of digital protectionism, Knops pointed out that Europe, as a continent, is “very much depending on international trade.”

“The last thing we would do is to isolate ourselves,” he said, re-emphasizing the focus lawmakers there have on protecting user data. “What we’ve seen in the last decade is that a lot of companies were not very careful with dealing with data of civilians.”

GP: Facebook EU Parliament protest 180522

Global activists of Avaaz, set up cardboard cutouts of Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, on which is written ‘Fix Fakebook’, in front of the European Union headquarters in Brussels, on May 22, 2018.John Thys | AFP | Getty Images

Knops also explained that governments need to speed up their pace in keeping up with new technologies that are being developed in order to better regulate them. “Not to stop developments, but just to put it in the right direction.” He was addressing the trend of private companies, like Facebook, trying to launch new digital currencies and payments systems.

He explained that it’s not just the European Union that’s working to develop a set of principles and guidelines for companies and governments that deal with new tech like artificial intelligence — other countries are also exploring such options, Knops said.

In the event that U.S. tech firms fail to adhere to established principles and guidelines, Knops said there could be a potential consequence: “It’s not the intention but when you set a set of principles, and guidelines about transparency and respecting privacy, and companies don’t comply with that, the ultimate consequence could be that you say, ‘You’re not welcomed.’”

(ZH) World’s Ultra-Rich Preparing For Market Crash, UBS Warns

(ZH) A synchronized global slowdown, with no end in sight, has spooked some of the wealthiest investors around the world, according to a new survey from UBS Wealth Management, seen by Bloomberg. UBS polled wealthy investors, who are preparing for a significant stock market correction by the end of next year. 

In the survey of more than 3,400 high net wealth respondents, 25% said they’ve sold risk assets, such as equities, commodities, and high-yield bonds, and have transitioned into cash. The synchronized global slowdown, coupled with a US-China trade war, were some of the greatest concerns of respondents. 

“The rapidly changing geopolitical environment is the biggest concern for investors around the world,” said Paula Polito, client strategy officer at UBS GWM, in a statement. “They see global interconnectivity and reverberations of change impacting their portfolios more than traditional business fundamentals, a marked change from the past.”

China Undergoing an L-Shaped Recovery, Says UBS Asset Management’s Briscoe

About 80% of the respondents expect volatility to increase through 2020, and 55% believe a market plunge could occur before Q4 2020.

Worse, 60% of respondents expected to raise cash levels in the coming quarters (i.e., sell stocks).

Most respondents said the added caution is due to a possible blowoff top in global equity markets. About 70% of respondents are optimistic through 2030.

“The challenge is that they seem to want to respond” to short-term uncertainty “by really shortening their time horizons and shifting to assets like cash that are safe,” said Michael Crook, a managing director on the investment strategy team. Though with many of these people investing on a time horizon across decades and for future generations, that “seems like a mismatch.”

And while most respondents said they’re preparing for market turbulence in the short term, many should rethink their US outlook for the next decade. Teddy Vallee, CIO of Pervalle Global, shows that the “US is dead money for the next 10 yrs.” 

Teddy Vallee@TeddyVallee

US is dead money for next 10 yrs. $SPX

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6073:24 PM – Oct 28, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy260 people are talking about this

Vallee suggests that today’s parabolic up moves in stocks could actually be blowoff tops, similar to what was seen in Nikkei 225 in late 1989/90. 

(Forbes) 10 Best Country Hotels in Portugal


In the dining room at Areias do SeixoAREIAS DO SEIXO

Lisbon and Porto have obvious charms. But now, as Portugal is having its moment in the spotlight, need to go beyond the cities. The country is dotted with rustic farmhouses-turned-very comfortable retreats. These are places to slow way down, appreciate rugged nature and rigorously simple design, and feel at home. (And thank you to Lounge Luxury Travel for bringing me into the wonderland.)

A bedroom at Areias do SeixoAREIAS DO SEIXO

Areias do Seixo

This romantic farmhouse retreat about an hour north of Lisbon welcomes guests into a “magical familiar setting.” Vintage bicycles serve as lobby art. The dining room is all mismatched chairs, plants above the service area and wildflowers on the tables. Much of the food is plucked or snipped from the permaculture gardens and greenhouse right outside. The owners wanted to create a sustainable retreat of “originality, sublime comfort and an inerrable sense of style that seamlessly blends in with the land, the sea and the shore” (a ten-minute walk away). Each of the 14 rooms has a confidently out-there design—and many have deep soaking tubs with wood-burning fireplaces in front of them.

Craveiral FarmhouseMARTIN KAUFMANN

Today In: Lifestyle


Simplicity, nature, silence and wide-open spaces. These are the new luxuries. At Craveiral they combine to create feelings of connection—to nature, to loved ones, to new  friends—and belonging. Close to the beach at Zambujeira do Mar, Craveiral is not lavish. The owner largely left the rugged landscape as it was, building paths and orienting rooms around gnarled trees instead of taking them down. The 38 rooms are simple—unvarnished woods, soft textures and lots of cork—though some also have quietly luxurious Hästens mattresses. Bonus points for the partnership with one of Lisbon’s top pizzerias, which supports local nonprofits.

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A terrace at Herdade Ribeira de BorbaHERDADE RIBEIRA BORBA

Herdade Ribeira de Borba

At the eastern edge of the Alta Alentejo near Vila Viçosa, this sweet and simple estate lies along an ancient millenary route used by the Romans—vestiges of a bridge from that era remain. Now it’s a place of quiet, solitude and communion with nature. The estate is based on permaculture principles, with vegetable beds and orchards merging with a unique forest, all crisscrossed with walking trails. Accommodations range from compact but comfortable bedrooms to full houses to glamping domes in the countryside.


Da Licença

For a high-design hotel, Da Licença feels tremendously hospitable. The owners traded Paris’s art, fashion and design worlds for a simpler life as gentlemen hoteliers. But they didn’t give up their eye for aesthetics. The eight-bedroom hotel is built atop the remains of buildings that have stood here since the 1840s, at the highest point on roughly 300 gorgeous acres near Estremoz. The property has some 13,000 olive trees and lovely views in every direction. There is a sense of magnificence and calm.

The pool at Companhia das CulturasVASCO CÉLIO / STILLS

Companhia das Culturas

At this rustic retreat in the eastern Algarve, the ultimate luxury is…nothing. No noise, no distractions, nothing in the way. Calm. Simplicity. Tranquility. Life at its most elemental. Luxury here is also history. The farmhouse has been in the owners’ family for five generations. There are public lounge and a private apartment in rooms that were once used as olive presses. The co-owner who is the creative mind behind everything has lived in France, England, Senegal and Brazil; is an anthropologist by training; and curates objects and aesthetics from various cultures in her hotel. Her eco-tourism work was born out of a desire not to let history slip away.

At bedroom at Luz HousesSENSORIAL

Luz Houses

This boutique hotel just outside the pilgrimage city of Fátima aims to be a “soul experience.” It consists of a “village” of houses that reinterpret the traditional architecture of the region in the 19th and 20th centuries. Everything is rough-hewn, with walls made of irregular stones that were collected in the region and attached with a mortar made of red sand. The spa occupies a natural cave whose high energy amplifies the effects of aromatherapy and herbal medicine using local flora. The onsite grocery store is curated with the country’s best heritage products.

A bedroom at Casa ModestaJOÃO MASCARENHAS

Casa Modesta

Rural yet refined, the 1940s farmhouse, parts of which are still occupied by the family, is now a Wallpaper-worthy hotel just outside the bohemian Algarve town of Olhão. It has nine guest rooms with private patios that have views over the Ria Formosa Natural Park and two common rooms. One of those is among the coziest places in Portugal, with a wood-burning oven that’s used to warm the space and bake each day’s bread.

A central space at Pensão AgricolaPENSÃO AGRICOLA

Pensão Agrícola

In the southeastern corner of the Algarve, Pensão Agrícola is a luxe take on a blessedly simple guesthouse on a farm, surrounded by orange, almond and arbutus trees. The small farmhouse was built in 1920 and was a working farm until 1970. Stylish architectural firm Atelier Rua turned it into a charming accommodation that’s well suited to 2019.

Evening at Herdade da MartinhaHERDADE DA MARTINHA

Herdade da Matinha

I stumbled across this charmer during a slackpacking trip along the Rota Vicentina organized by We Love Small Hotels. The decoration is eclectic, a reflection of the owner’s world travels. There are currently ten horses of Puro Sangue Lusitano, Cruzado Portugês and Halflinger breeds on the property, and they are treated like family. Guests can tap into that for trail rides or mindful grooming exercises. If horses aren’t your thing, many walking trails are nearby. The kitchen is so much the heart of the operation that guests can help the chefs prepare dinner.

Quinta de LemosQUINTA DE LEMOS

Quinta de Lemos

Like many of my favorite places, Quinta de Lemos began with an improbable dream. It shouldn’t have worked, but it became a love letter. The winery, fine-dining restaurant and small hotel sprung from the imagination of Celso de Lemos. When he bought the land in the Vale do Dão, he already had decades of hard work and success under his belt. His companies, Abyss and Habidecor, are known worldwide for top-quality, impossibly plush towels and rugs, and his eponymous bed linens have a glamorous purity and seductive texture to them. Those linens are on the beds of this micro-hotel, and I would happily return just to sleep between them.

(DN) Mais de 45 mil judeus pediram nacionalidade portuguesa

(DN) Milhares de descendentes de judeus expulsos de Portugal pela Inquisição nos séculos XV e XVI estão a resgatar séculos de história e a recuperar a perdida nacionalidade portuguesa roubada aos seus antepassados.


Éuma espécie de ciclo da história a fechar-se e um ajuste de contas com raízes profundas que sobreviveram. 45 209 descendentes de judeus sefarditas expulsos pela Inquisição há cinco séculos pediram a nacionalidade portuguesa, desde que, a 1 de março de 2015, entrou em vigor a lei que lhes dá esse direito de retorno.

(BBG) China Is Sabotaging Itself in Taiwan

(BBG) The logic of politics in the Xi Jinping era makes a softer line untenable, even if it’s having the opposite of the desired effect.

Waving not drowning.
Waving not drowning. Photographer: Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty Images

China has a lot at stake in getting its favored candidate across the line in Taiwan’s presidential election in January, so it’s strange that Beijing is doing so much to sabotage Han Kuo-yu’s chances. Without a change in its approach, the Communist Party risks making the already difficult task of winning over the self-governing island next to impossible without force.

Over the past year, Beijing has single-handedly revived the electoral prospects of its political adversary, incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party. At the turn of the year, Tsai’s approval rating was a miserable 24%. Now polls show her with more than 53% support versus about 31% for Han, whose Kuomintang is the natural ally of Beijing. That nationalist party retains deep ties to the mainland as the former government of China until it lost a civil war to the communists and fled to Taiwan in 1949.You’re browsing incognito.Subscribe to continue reading in incognito mode.Subscribe

(BBC) Google set to offer banking current accounts


Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Image captionGoogle is expanding its financial offerings

Google has become the latest big tech firm to move into banking by offering current accounts.

The firm said it plans to partner with banks and credit unions in the US to offer the “smart checking” accounts.

It said the service, to be launched via Google Pay, will allow users to add Google’s analytic tools to traditional banking products.

The move follows offerings of credit cards, payment systems and loans by FacebookUberApple and Amazon.

While the products and arrangements differ, the tech giants entering the world of banking share an underlying motive: making themselves indispensable, says Gerard du Toit, a partner at the Bain & Co consulting firm.

“They’re all competing for consumer attention and for their ecosystem and platform to win,” he says.

In this photo illustration, the Facebook Pay application home page is displayed on the screen of an iPhone on November 13, 2019 in Paris, France.
Image captionFacebook has said its payment tool is a natural outgrowth of its broader aim of connecting people

Amazon’s credit card and business loans are aimed at boosting its e-commerce business, while Uber Money is providing credit cards, debit accounts and money tracking tools to serve the company’s taxi operations.

Facebook has said its Facebook Pay service will complement its messaging tools.

And both Google and Apple, which has teamed up with Goldman Sachs’ new consumer arm, Marcus, on a credit card as part of its Apple Pay and Wallet service, want to to make iPhones and Androids essential.

Wading into financial services will also provide Google and Facebook information for their advertising business, helping to track what ads lead to purchases, Mr du Toit said.

The moves into banking are likely to add to the debates over the tech giants, which are already facing probes related to competition, data protection and privacy.

Some officials have also expressed worry about gaps in financial oversight as growing activity occurs outside of traditional banking. And in recent days, New York announced it would investigate Apple, after accusations that its credit card relied on “sexist” algorithms.

Mr du Toit said regulatory concerns represent the “fly in the soup” for tech firms.

“They will have to be very careful,” he said.


In many cases, the tech firms are working with traditional banks – a sign they are aware of the potential issues, he said.

Google said its US partners, which reportedly include Citigroup, would start to offer the accounts by 2020.

“We believe our partners’ regulatory and financial know-how is a great complement to our experience in building helpful tools and technology for our users,” it said in a statement.

Alipay and wechat QR codes for online payment are displayed at a meat stall at a market in Nantong in China's eastern Jiangsu province on September 10, 2018.
Image captionChinese tech giants have had success with financial services

Lagging China

Amazon has offered small business loans since 2011 and launched its credit card with JP Morgan Chase in 2017.

But in some ways, the flurry of announcements by companies this year, is a sign that the US is late to the party.

In China and some other countries, the tech firms moved quickly into banking, motivated by the need to fill the gaps left by traditional finance industry that created hurdles for their businesses, whether they were e-commerce firms or food delivery companies.

In the US, however, the need was less pressing, thanks in part to the ubiquity of credit cards and other “good enough solutions”, Mr du Toit said.

Big tech payment services provided by the likes of Alibaba’s Ant Financial and Tencent’s WeChat account for roughly 16% of China’s GDP, compared to less than 1% in the US, according to the Bank for International Settlements, an organisation backed by 60 of the world’s central banks.

Tech companies “are now increasingly getting into it because they do believe they can offer a materially better solution to customers,” he said.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg

Last month, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg evoked the threat of Chinese competition while defending his firm’s interest in developing a cryptocurrency before Congress last month.

“I view the financial infrastructure in the US as outdated,” he said.

‘Darwinian experiment’

As the tech companies start to make use of their massive reach, close customer relationships and giant data sets, banks “have woken up” to the threat, leading to collaborations and other uneasy “frenemy” arrangements, Mr du Toit said.

With tech firms moving beyond credit cards, regional banks will get left behind, while smaller financial technology firms are forced out or acquired, Mr du Toit said.

“I sometimes describe this as a giant Darwinian experiment of different couplings of the banks and the big techs,” he says. “There will be some mutations that succeed and others that fail.”

While Google’s earlier efforts to build up Google Pay failed to gain much traction in the US, the firm has developed significant payment business in India, where a Bain & Co survey found that more than half of respondents had used the platform in the last 12 months.

“I would not count them out,” Mr du Toit said.

(BBG) Lifestyle Farming Is the Latest Addictive Hobby for Banker Types



Mangalitsa hogs.

During the week, Chris Andersen runs his Manhattan investment banking firm, G.C. Andersen Partners LLC, from behind a desk that’s a replica of one owned by Lorenzo de’ Medici. On the weekends, he heads to his farm in New Jersey, where he shovels out corn cobs and bruised watermelons to feed his herd of Mangalitsa hogs, an especially tasty breed of pig from Hungary.

Andersen, 81, calls himself the Colonel Sanders of the Mangalitsa. He started his farm more than a decade ago on a lark. It’s since turned into a passion, one that’s produced 4,000 pigs across seven farms in three states. He employs three full-time farmers and has even built a facility in Pennsylvania to produce charcuterie that he sells under the American Mangalitsa brand.

Unlike investment banking, the farms are unprofitable. Andersen estimates he’s spent in the low seven figures each year for the last 10 years on them and is now at about break-even before capital expenditures. “Being a farmer is a lot more complicated than most people realize,” he says.

Although he may be doing it in a more expensive fashion than most, Andersen is part of a growing “lifestyle farming” trend. It’s a hobby that wealthy Americans have been devoting nights and weekends to over the past few decades, says Rhonda Skaggs, an emeritus professor of agriculture economics at New Mexico State University. These individuals subsidize their hobby with other work, often in a nearby city. While a few thousand farms generate the lion’s share of U.S. food production, there are millions of small ones in the country. According to the Department of Agriculture, 41% of farms in the U.S. are modest affairs whose operators have a primary occupation other than farming.

Houston-based tractor maker Mahindra North America sees lifestyle farming as the fastest-growing of all its markets. Ryan Pearcy, a senior product manager at the company, says it forecasts the segment will expand by about 10% a year for the next decade. There are a few obvious causes for the increase, starting with the wave of still-active baby boomers who are entering retirement. Also, in general, more Americans are interested in growing their own food.

relates to Lifestyle Farming Is the Latest Addictive Hobby for Banker Types
Andersen at his farm in Brandville, N.J.Photographer: Christina Holmes for Bloomberg Businessweek

“Many people would like to live in the countryside, have some horses or own a few acres, have the lifestyle, even though their primary occupation is something else,” says Eric Hansotia, chief operating officer of Agco Corp., one of the world’s biggest agriculture machinery companies.

As a hobby it can be quite expensive, but many of those on Wall Street have the means to be more extravagant with their projects, and owning farms and elaborate country houses is a tradition for the wealthy. In the U.S., there are also tax benefits to owning land that has an agricultural use—a commonly exploited loophole.

Christopher Dixon, a retired securities analyst at UBS AG, has been keeping livestock out on pasture for more than a decade. But in recent years he’s taken up a project that seeks to reinvent small-scale farming. He put together a group of investors and purchased Stone Acres Farm, a 63-acre property in Stonington, Conn., that dates to 1765. It offers a Community Supported Agriculture program, operates a space for events and dinners, and is open to visitors. Dixon calls the project an experiment “to see if we can come up with a way to sustain these farms in New England.”

Jon McConaughy was a Wall Street stalwart for two decades, most recently as a managing director at Credit Suisse Group AG, before a hobby farm he started in 2004 morphed into a second profession. Double Brook Farm LLC in Hopewell, N.J., came into being when he felt a pull to get back to the land.

Originally, he and his wife started the farm to feed themselves and their two children. Double Brook has since become a far larger operation, which includes animal and vegetable farms on hundreds of acres, a butcher shop, a bakery, a retail market, two restaurants, and a slaughterhouse. It’s a closed-loop, sustainable food system that McConaughy hopes can be a model for future farming. “Deep down in all our genes, there’s some desire to be able to look at what you’ve done at the end of the day and touch it and measure it,” he says—not really a quality of a finance job.

relates to Lifestyle Farming Is the Latest Addictive Hobby for Banker Types
At Andersen’s farm, the hogs roam comfortably.Photographer: Christina Holmes for Bloomberg Businessweek

Most lifestyle farmers, however, aren’t farming for profits, even if their operations are producing revenue, says Scott Martinez, marketing manager for Stotz Equipment, a John Deere dealer based in Phoenix. “It may be part of it, and they may like the extra income, but that’s not why they’re doing it.”

Instead, it’s how they unplug. There’s something calming about mowing pastures, moving around bales of hay, or taking care of animals. Lee Montgomery spends his days building foundations for shopping malls and houses in Southern California. But when he’s done for the day, all he wants to do is farm his vineyard. He says he’s the type that can’t keep still, so he planted 8 acres of grapes—6,000 plants—which translates into a lot of walking for him.

“Farming is very relaxing, like meditation and yoga. It’s peaceful, fulfilling, and it’s a good thing to fade into,” Montgomery says, noting that he’s hoping the hobby will turn profitable by the time he retires. “It’s for people that don’t want to sit around and watch TV or have too much energy. I do my job, then go home and work in the vineyard.”

41% of U.S. farms are small operations run by people who have another job

For Andersen, the pig farmer, the draw was more elemental. Formerly head of investment banking at Drexel Burnham Lambert, he’s known for creating the first high-yield bond fund. But in 2007 he had his first taste of jamón ibérico de bellota in Spain and fell in love. The cured pork comes from a black pig that roams the oak forests of central and southwestern Spain and Portugal, feeding on a diet of acorns, olives, and chestnuts, among other things. The resulting ham is prized for its smooth marbling and melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Andersen wanted to bring some of the hogs home, but there were U.S. government restrictions on imports. “You can buy everything in New York,” he says. “You can buy guns, drugs—but not Spanish hams.” So he found another curly-haired breed that’s a close cousin—the Hungarian Mangalitsa, first bred in the 19th century and reserved for Habsburg royalty. He calls the hogs “avocados with four legs” because their meat is predominantly unsaturated fat.

When he raised his first pigs in 2008, he imported chestnut flour from France to feed them. One of the farms next to his raised goats, so he also fed them raw goat’s milk. Those didn’t end up tasting like jamón ibérico. Since then, he’s found a better combo—which he’s keeping a secret.

Americans can now import jamón ibérico from Spain, but the live pigs still can’t be brought here. “I got into it to raise a better-quality animal and ultimately aim toward creating some of the better hams,” Andersen says. “It’s the most exciting and interesting thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.”

P.O. (BBG) Unprecedented Hong Kong Chaos Raises Fears About What’s Next


People around the World have finally came to the conclusion that HK’s hand over to mainland China was flawed one and a terrible mistake made by all parties involved.

Hong Kong, as we knew it,is no more.

It’s gone forever.

Whether we like it, or not.

And regardless if Beijing likes it, or not.

Any possible solution would be a face loosing one for Beijing, which is not acceptable at all in the Far East.

I don’t know what the eventual outcome might be.

But one thing i think i know, is that the situation in HK will became much much worse before it quiets down.

And i am afraid that a terrible tragedy might occur.

I am sorry not to have better news.

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira


  • Public schools suspended, events canceled as violence worsens
  •  Chinese state media steps up rhetoric, warns of intervention

Hong Kong has seen many violent days since the unrest began in June, but the disruption this week has taken things to a new level — and fears are growing as to what may come next.

Protesters paralyzed the city on Wednesday for a third straight day, disrupting subway lines and blocking roads. Tear gas emanated through the Central financial district, while police also battled university students far from the city center. The government ordered schools from kindergarten to college to shut on Thursday, the first time it’s done so during the unrest.You’re browsing incognito.Subscribe to c

(ZH) Feds Launch Investigation Into Google’s Secretive “Project Nightingale”

(ZH) Big Tech can’t seem to go one month without becoming involved in some new data privacy scandal, but this time, Google parent Alphabet has outdone itself.

Yesterday, WSJ broke a story about a deal between Alphabet and Ascension Health System, a Catholic non-profit that operates hospitals and nursing homes in 21 states and Washington DC. Ascension has more than 2,600 facilities, but its data – including critical patient data – is presently spread across 40 data centers in more than a dozen states.

But thanks to a deal between the two organizations that spawned Google’s “Project Nightingale”, all of that data are being moved into Google’s cloud, and Google engineers are working on a system that they say could revolutionize how doctors use patient health data to make diagnoses.

The only problem, is some regulators have expressed concerns that the patient data aren’t being properly protected, or that Google might illegally use the data to hone its ad micro-targeting. The sensitive health data of millions of Americans would be quite a score.

And there’s reason to be suspicious: Without notifying patients or doctors, Ascension recently started sharing personally identifiable information on millions of patients with Google. The data include: patients’ names and dates of birth; lab tests; doctor diagnoses; medication and hospitalization history; and some billing claims and other clinical records.

Now, the Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services is investigating the arrangement to see if “this mass collection of individuals’ medical records to ensure that HIPAA protections were fully implemented.”

For those who are unfamiliar with the term, HIPAA protections are the same rights that prevent doctors from giving out patients’ information without their authorization.

Some Ascension patients who spoke with WSJ said they were suspicious of Google’s motives, since, according to its agreement with Ascension, Google is responsible for building the infrastructure, then Ascension will pay Google to manage the data after the project is completed.

Patients are worried that Google might find another payout somewhere else by using their data to court advertisers.

“Google is not doing this out of the goodness of their heart,” said Tim Wiesner, a 63-year-old retired nurse and Ascension patient in Wichita, Kan. He said he was disappointed not to have been notified of the data sharing directly by his doctor. “It just seems deceitful. I’m sure they are going to make money off our information.”

One academic agreed with the patients, adding that “the optics are bad.”

“The optics are bad. The legal argument is tenuous. Ethically, this is a bad strategy. They need to tell people what they are doing,” said Ellen Wright Clayton, a professor of biomedical ethics at Vanderbilt University. She said the Alphabet Inc. unit risks running afoul of the rules if it uses the health data to perform independent research outside the direct scope of patient care.

Some lawmakers have expressed reservations about ‘Nightingale’, and have asked Google to suspend the project.

“The optics are bad. The legal argument is tenuous. Ethically, this is a bad strategy. They need to tell people what they are doing,” said Ellen Wright Clayton, a professor of biomedical ethics at Vanderbilt University. She said the Alphabet Inc. unit risks running afoul of the rules if it uses the health data to perform independent research outside the direct scope of patient care.

Google employees working on the project might have access to the sensitive information. It’s not clear what the company is doing to try and prevent this. Google stands to reap tens of millions in profits by repeating this work for other health-care giants. It should be able to figure out a way to satisfy those who are concerned about illegal sharing of data.

(Reuters) Lithium producers hit by first big downturn of electric vehicle era

(Reuters) LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The burgeoning lithium industry, which produces the powerhouse metal used to make electric vehicle (EV) batteries, has entered its first major downturn, an unwelcome bruising for investors eager to help combat climate change.FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows the brine pools of SQM lithium mine on the Atacama salt flat in the Atacama desert of northern Chile, January 10, 2013. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado/File Photo

Albemarle Corp (ALB.N), Tianqi Lithium Corp (002466.SZ) and others have been producing more lithium than automakers need. Global supply exceeds demand by about 5 percent, according to Canaccord data.

That comes as electric vehicle sales in China – the world’s largest EV market – fell nearly a third in September amid sliding government subsidies, the third consecutive monthly decline, according to Jefferies.

A global average of prices is down more than 50 percent since the start of 2018, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, a metals pricing provider that is hosting an EV supply chain conference this week in Los Angeles.

“Current market conditions are challenging,” Luke Kissam, Albemarle’s chief executive officer, said last week.

Despite the weak data, analysts and executives expect a rosy future when they look out 10 years.

Benchmark’s Simon Moores called the lithium oversupply an “air pocket that detracts from the building wall of demand,” and noted much of the excess white metal on the market is for so-called technical grade, or the kind that goes into smaller consumer electronics such as stopwatches.

Battery-grade lithium is used primarily in EV batteries, and many automakers have high purity standards. Much of the lithium industry’s capacity to produce high-quality, battery-grade lithium is locked up until 2024, Moores said.

Weather and social unrest are just two of the myriad issues that have hampered the industry, fueling worries there may not be enough of the white metal to sate automakers in the years ahead.

“The future supply of battery-quality chemicals is very much in doubt,” said Joe Lowry, an independent industry analyst, who wondered how the industry can hope to produce at least 800,000 metric tons by 2025, more than double current capacity.

The popularity of future models from Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE), Tesla and others will ultimately require massive lithium investments in the billions of dollars, said Chris Berry, an independent metals analyst.

But for now, lithium companies have reacted to the price drop by scaling back spending, a response to nervous investors pushing the industry to focus more on profitability.

“This delaying of investment will likely act as a powerful precursor for a pricing cycle in the early 2020s,” said Ernie Ortiz, president of Lithium Royalty Corp, an affiliate of Waratah Capital Advisors, which buys lithium royalty rights.

(JN) Portugal paga mais para emitir dívida a 10 anos

(JN) O IGCP colocou 970 milhões de euros em obrigações a 10 anos e desta vez os juros não foram os mais baixos de sempre. A taxa agravou-se ligeiramente e a procura foi reduzida.

Portugal paga mais para emitir dívida a 10 anos   

Portugal colocou hoje 970 milhões de euros em obrigações do Tesouro a 10 anos (maturidade em 15 de junho de 2019), suportando um custo de 0,333%, que está acima da taxa de juro de 0,264% da emissão anterior.

Este agravamento ligeiro está em linha com o comportamento dos juros de Portugal no mercado secundário, que têm aliviado de mínimos nas últimas semanas.

O IGCP, agência que gere a dívida pública portuguesa, pretendia emitir entre 750 milhões e mil milhões de euros, tendo colocado um montante que ficou muito próximo do limite máximo. A procura foi fraca (1,58 mil milhões de euros), superando apenas em 1,63 vezes a oferta. Um rácio inferior ao registado na última emissão de setembro (2,11 vezes).

Os juros mais elevados e a procura mais reduzida refletem um menor apetite dos investidores por dívida soberana europeia, numa altura em que é maior a procura por ativos de maior risco. Nas últimas semanas os juros da dívida portuguesa (e de outros soberanos da Europa) têm subido face aos mínimos registados em agosto.

No mercado secundário a taxa de juro dos títulos a 10 anos está esta quarta-feira em 0,342%, o que compara com o mínimo abaixo de 0,1% fixado há três meses.

Os custos de financiamento de Portugal nas emissões a 10 anos fixaram mínimos históricos em todos os leilões realizados este ano. Apesar do agravamento ligeiro da emissão de hoje, a taxa de 0,333% é a segunda mais baixa de sempre e representa menos de um terço do custo de financiamento que Portugal suportou na emissão realizada em maio (1,059%).

“Esta subida acaba por refletir um movimento que assistimos em toda a dívida soberana europeia, a título de exemplo os 10 anos alemães vieram dos -0.564% para os -0.288%. As políticas acomodatícias dos bancos centrais, bem como o abrandamento económico mundial, continuam a suportar as taxas de juro em mínimos históricos”, refere de Filipe Silva, do Banco Carregosa, estimando que a “tendência que não deve mudar muito nos próximos meses”.

“No início do ano para o mesmo prazo estávamos a pagar 1,568% e agora pagamos 0,333%. É esta poupança que tem permitido ter margem de manobra para reembolsar antecipadamente alguns dos empréstimos concedidos pelo Fundo Europeu de Estabilização Financeira”, acrescenta Filipe Silva.

No que diz respeito à procura, apesar de ter sido reduzida, não foi a mais baixa do ano. Em julho atingiu apenas 1,188 milhões de euros, o que ficou 1,58 vezes acima da oferta.  

Com a emissão de 970 milhões de euros, o IGCP eleva para cerca de 13,5 mil milhões de euros o montante colocado no mercado em dívida de longo prazo, o que se situa abaixo dos 15,4 mil milhões de euros em obrigações do Tesouro para 2019. 

P.O. Hong Kong as we knew it is no more

Hong Kong as we knew it is no more.
Whether Beijing likes it or not.
A gigantic capital flght has been going on and the creativity and free spirit is no longer there.
The PRC will own the land, but not much else.
As a major international hub HK is finished.
The atrocities of the last two days only confirm my view.
What a disgusting sight and what a tragedy.
I call your attention to these two videos, which are not suited for minors.