NC weather: Tornado Warning for Cumberland, Harnet
NC weather: Tornado Warning for Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Moore counties - WTVD-TV
Severe thunderstorms will erupt on Monday morning. The main threat will be damaging straight-line winds with gusts over 60 mph.
RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Severe weather is moving through central North Carolina on Monday morning.CURRENT WEATHER ADVISORIES
- Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Edgecombe, Halifax, Nash, Wilson counties until 9:45 a.m.
- Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Johnston, Sampson, Wayne counties until 9 a.m.
- Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Franklin, Granville, Vance, Warren counties until 8:45 a.m.
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Why Biden’s Polling Lead vs. Trump Isn’t as Solid as It Looks - The New York Times
Consider two important measurement differences: battleground states versus other states, and registered voters versus likely voters.
One reason for Mr. Bidens strength in Arizona and Florida might be older voters, who represent an above-average share of white voters in the two states. On average, Mr. Biden leads among voters over age 65 by a margin of 53 percent to 44 percent nationwide, including a lead in every live-interview national poll reporting a result for the group. It is a substantial improvement over Mrs. Clintons six-point deficit among the group in pre-election polls in 2016. Mr. Bidens early strength among older voters is not easy to explain. It cannot be fully accounted for by the changing composition of each age group, although the ascent of the baby boomers into the oldest age cohort may be part of the reason, along with the gradual departure of the more conservative Silent Generation from the electorate altogether. Mr. Trump seems to have made gains among voters 45 to 65, or perhaps even younger, canceling out his losses among older voters over all. Mr. Bidens relative strength among older voters may also help counteract his expected weakness among likely voters, relative to registered voters, when pollsters apply likely-voter screens later in the cycle. In polling, Republicans usually fare about two points better among likely voters than registered voters, who tend to be relatively young and diverse. This cycle, the coronavirus pandemic raises additional questions about the eventual turnout, particularly if it leads to widespread voting by mail. But no matter the method, Democrats typically find themselves at a turnout disadvantage, and it is doubtful that Mr. Biden will maintain the whole of his current polling advantage among likely voters. Even when Democrats benefited from a surge in turnout in well-educated suburbs during the 2018 midterm elections, Republicans fared better among likely voters than among registered voters. Together, Mr. Trumps relative advantage of one to two points among likely voters compared with registered voters and his relative advantage of three and even four points in the tipping-point states means that the typical national poll of registered voters is probably around four or five points worse for Mr. Trump than his standing among likely voters in the most pivotal states. Mr. Bidens already narrow polling lead in states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania or Arizona might be vanishingly small after a likely voter screen. Of course, no one knows what American life will look like by the time of the election. Perhaps the country will still be in lockdown, saddled by 30 percent unemployment, and convinced that the presidents slow response cost lives and damaged the economy. Or maybe the country will be swept by euphoria as lockdowns are lifted a month or two ahead of the election and a liberated population sends its children to school, visits friends, goes to the park and enjoys double-digit G.D.P. growth in the third quarter. The pandemic also could change how the election is administered, potentially yielding a novel turnout thats impossible to predict at this stage. It undoubtedly has the potential to reshape the views of the electorate, even if it hasnt done so yet.
How A Goat Farmer Built A Doomsday Machine That Just Booked A 4,144% Return - Forbes
Mark Spitznagel’s $4.3 billion Universal Investments has waited 12 years for a perfect catastrophe.
Mark Spitznagels $4.3 billion Universal Investments has waited 12 years for a perfect catastrophe. Its early April and from his farm perched atop a hill on the edge of Lake Michigan, hedge fund investor Mark Spitznagel is dodging the coronavirus in a setting reminiscent of a Winslow Homer paintingand relishing one of Wall Streets greatest investing coups. Spitznagels Idyll Farms in Michigans Upper Peninsula will soon be home to 40 newborn alpine goats that will graze on 200 acres of rolling pasture, fattening up to produce cheese that will be flavored with herbs and honey. We are as vertically-integrated as we can possibly be, says Spitznagel of the naturally replenishing abode. When hes not herding goats, Spitznagel, 49, plays in the wildest corners of financial markets, where hes an expert in trades that carry deceptive risks. Spitznagels $4.3 billion (assets) firm Universa Investments and his team of about a dozen PhDs, mathematicians and trading experts earn their money by making trades that nearly always lose small sumsbut very rarely generate astronomical payouts. Universa buys short-term options contracts that protect against a spike in volatility, or a plunge in markets, which are highly convex" and out-of-the money." In plain English that means it would take a sudden, major crash for the trades to pay off. Every trading day, investors around the world make a little easy money by selling Spitznagel options. Until one daymaybe only every five or ten yearsa black swan appears, terrorists ram jets into skyscrapers or a global pandemic freezes the global economy. Then the tables turn hard and Spitznagel makes an enormous amount of money, more than enough to make up for all those many days of small losses. And those caught feeding on Spitznagels bait find themselves trapped in a trade that carries almost unfathomable losses. Sometimes theyre wiped out entirely. Spitznagel's Idyll Farms in Northport, Michigan was a two-time winner at the 2018 World Cheese Championship Contest, taking home hardware for its fennel pollen flavor in the soft goat's milk cheese category. Courtesy of Mark Spitznagel Take March, a month in which the S&P 500 Index cratered nearly 30% at its lows, shedding trillions in market value. Spitznagel had bought putsor the right to sell the index at a specified pricewell below the prevailing market price, and the firm had its best month ever. Universas flagship Black Swan Protection Protocol fund earned its near two dozen institutional investors a staggering 3,612% in March, putting its 2020 gains at 4,144%. From his remote farm, on April 7, Spitznagel fires off an update to his investors that is soon read worldwide. These returns likely surpass any other investment that you can think of over the period you have been invested with us, he crowed. Kudos to you for such a sound tactical allocation to Universa. Spitznagel has built a career feasting on traders greedprioritizing quick gains over prudent risk taking. To earn these easy gains, traders readily assume tail risks or huge but extremely remote potential losses. Eventually, someone gets caught. When a financial panic, or an unexpected event like the coronavirus surfaces, Spitznagels firm converts from what once looked like charity into a financial powerhouse thats fully stocked with valuable hedges. Then Spitznagel caters to traders' new immediate demand, which is fear. We exploit properties in markets that take years and years, and even decades, to show themselves, he says. At the pivotal moment of crisis, his trades, which cost almost nothing to put on during good times, can be sold at almost infinite prices. "Liquidity is really about the price for immediacy and we are capturing that on both sides of our trade, Spitznagel philosophizes. A year after Detroit's bankruptcy in 2013, Spitznagel brought 18 goats to graze in empty lots of the city as part of a campaign to promote urban farming. City officials promptly sent Spitznagel's goats packing. Courtesy of Mark Spitznagel In the case of March, Forbes estimates that Spitznagels protection trades cost under $100 million to put on and yielded at least $3 billion for Universas clients, which could be plowed into cratering markets, or stored under a mattress. The fine print of Universas public filings shows it protects portfolios worth $4.3 billion, but on any given day its actual capital at work is as little as 2%-or-3% of that figure. It's why no new trillionaires were minted in March. Universas 4,144% payout cost its investors over 1% annually due to Universas hefty 2 and 20 hedge fund fees, per Forbes analysis of public filings. After the March payday, its flagship Black Swan fund has compounded investors capital at 76% annually since the firm was created in 2008. Its a good result, but if you were going to make the same calculation as of Dec. 31 2019, the long-term compounded return would only be marginally better than that of the S&P 500 over the same time period. Moreover, the "forces of good" in the market, like the Federal Reserve Bank, are now trying to foil Spitznagels bread-and-butter trade. Raised in Northport, Michigan where his father was a protestant minister, Spitznagels big break came as a 16-year old when he visited the Chicago Board of Trade to meet a family friend named Everett Klipp, who ran a futures trading firm. He was mesmerized by the unmistakable, intricate communication and synchronism of markets and began to obsess over grain prices and crop reports as a clerk for Klipp during summers away from school. Klipp forged in the impressionable Spitznagel the virtues of booking small losses. I used to come to Everett with stacks of research on corn crops. Hed laugh at me and say it was all crap, Spitznagel remembers, All that matters is youve got to take your small losses. Watching a steady stream of traders get wiped out by margin callslike in the final scene of the 1980s classic film Trading Placesonly reinforced the point. At 22, after graduating from Michigans Kalamazoo College in 1993, Spitznagel bought a seat at the CBOT and traded treasury bond futures and euro-dollar futures. The chaotic, unruly venue was the frontlines of open outcry capitalism and a delight to the libertarian leaning Spitznagel. To this day, he works in an office with his pit trading outfit, a bloodstained aqua-blue jacket and an Adam Smith necktie, framed on the wall. The heroes of Spitznagel's libertarian "Dao" are Ludwig von Mises, Henry Ford, Robinson Crusoe and Ronald Reagan. The villains? John Maynard Keynes and every Fed chair since Paul Volcker. The Dao of Capital A big test came in 1994, when the Federal Reserve unexpectedly raised interest rates, causing treasury markets to plunge, wiping out many traders. What it did to guys that were kind of my trading heroes was definitely foundational for me, Spitznagel recalls. He survived because of Klipps teachings. Look like a jerk, feel like a jerk, says Spitznagel of his comfort with small losses, Look like an ass, feel like an ass. He then moved to the trading arm of a Japanese bank just in time to witness the 1997 Asian financial crisis, which caused the Nobel laureate backed hedge fund, Long Term Capital Management, to lose $4.6 billion and collapse. This convinced Spitznagel to hone an investing style that would profit from panics. In 1999, Spitznagel matriculated to NYUs Courant Institute for mathematical sciences, studying under Black Swan theorist Nassim Taleb. That year, they launched a hedge fund called Empirica, which aimed to profit from fat tail financial panics. The fund was disbanded in 2005, and after a two-year stint at Morgan Stanley, Spitznagel created Universa months before the 2008 financial crisis. Universa returned 115% in 2008 and Spitznagel used proceeds from his coup to buy a Bel-Air mansion from singer Jennifer Lopez a block from the home of his hero Ronald Reagan. Five years later, Spitznagel published The Dao of Capital, a dense 368-page libertarian economic treatise that lambasted central banks for the crisis. Unlike most bears who try to time bubbles, Spitznagels playbook is different. No matter the circumstance, hes always giving away free pennies to the market in order to maintain an arsenal of bearish bets that could be worth thousands of times their cost if markets go haywire. Despite his grouchy demeanorWhen people think that markets are cheap right now, they are just kidding themselves. I mean absolutely kidding themselves!Spitznagels mathematical view of the world is in some ways similar to capitalisms ultimate optimist, Warren Buffett. His selling of immediate gratification for a massive payday far down the road, after all, is engineered to conjure cash and profit, in crashes. In an inverse way, this is not unlike how Buffett accumulates cash from small insurance premiums over long periods, building dry powder, that he then uses to pounce on bargain buys. Spitznagel calls his trading mousetrap a thing-a-ma-jigger" harpoon, based on the Dr. Seuss classic McElligots Pool, whereas Buffett is famous for aiming his Elephant Guns when deals abound. Hes also a proselytizer of compound returns: The big losses are essentially ALL that matter to your rate of compounding, says Spitznagel. Will his spectacular pandemic trade turn him into a best-selling author? Spitznagel's new book will be published in January 2021. Wiley Besides 2008, Universas doomsday machine kicked in during the 2011 crisis created by the downgrade of the U.S. governments debt, and the August 2015 crash of the Chinese market. Likewise during the downturn of late 2017 and early 2018, Universa took advantage of the so-called volmageddons or surging volatility that caused the market drop. Now comes the mother of all black swans, the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, which has seen stock markets plummet globally in a matter of weeks. As the majority owner of Universa, Forbes estimates Spitznagels net worth is now $250 million, and more than a few in the media and on Wall Street have taken notice. Will Spitznagels lucrative moat get arbitraged away? "It should, he says, But do I lose any sleep over it? Not a minute... Theres such a herd mentality in finance. Spitznagel is also unconcerned about the Feds save-the-market-and-economy at all costs approach, given that it has already pumped $6 trillion of dollars into a host of different securities markets. Says Spitznagel with the cocky assuredness of poker pro,There is a limit to sovereign debt and there is a limit to central bank balance sheets... When I thank the central bankers of the world for my business, Im not kidding.