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Category Archives: Financial System

As fake news flourishes UK’s fact-checkers are turning to automation to compete

Wired – Speed is everything in a post-truth world of alternative facts, online propaganda and political lies. Full Fact, the UK’s fact-checkers, are increasingly relying on technology to tackle counter-narratives: “..Since its inception in 2010, Full Fact has been parsing claims from British politicians and media, cross-referencing them with reliable data and labelling them as inaccurate or correct. Claims are picked from sources including TV programmes such as Question Time or Newsnight, newspapers, electoral materials, and PMQs, which Full Fact probes before posting results in real time on Twitter….Claims will be broken down to essentials: facts, numbers, contextual information – which in turn will be dissected and compared with data from the Government, institutions such as the Office for National Statistics, or research organisations such as the Institute for Fiscal Studies. In some cases, Full Fact will ask the opinion of independent experts. If the facts cannot be found anywhere, one of the fact-checkers will phone the person who made the claim and ask where they got the information. The eventual outcome will be an online article providing “the whole picture” about the claim, often with the aid of graphs and always linking to the original sources. At the top of the page, there will be a banner juxtaposing the original statement with Full Fact’s conclusion.

Full Fact only checks declarations about the economy, Europe, health, crime, education, immigration and law, focusing on national politics and limiting itself to claims that can be verified with publicly available information: O’Leary, for example, will not touch the Cambridge Analytica scandal, until after an inquiry. “We take the view that if a member of the public had to check this information, could they? If they can, we’ll fact-check that,” he says. Are Full Fact researchers just full-time citizens?, I ask. A half-smile flickers on O’Leary’s lips. “Full-time citizens with a lot of skills.”..”

The Bloomberg 50

The Bloomberg 50: “What does Black Panther director Ryan Coogler have in common with Ben van Beurden, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell? Or Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with Michael Gelband, co-founder and CEO of ExodusPoint Capital Management? A place on the second annual Bloomberg 50, our look at the people in business, entertainment, finance,… Continue Reading

CBO’s Long-Term Social Security Projections

CBO’s Long-Term Social Security Projections: Changes Since 2017 and Comparisons With the Social Security Trustees’ Projections – December 3, 2018: “This report explains the changes to CBO’s long-term Social Security projections since last year and compares CBO’s projections with those of the Social Security Trustees. The projected 75-year actuarial balance, a commonly used measure of… Continue Reading

Letting Algorithms Replace Human Appraisers

UK Daily Mail: Proposed new regulations would allow homes to be bought and sold through electronic valuations rather than human appraisers Home appraisals could be done electronically without the need for a licensed human regulator, according to new proposals   Regulators say the vast majority of homes could be appraised using electronic algorithms which could make house buying… Continue Reading

Social Security Administration offers dozens of publications in multiple formats

The 149 publications are listed in reverse chronological order [newest first] and each is available in PDF, Audio and up to 14 different languages. Current titles include the following: Understanding The Extra Help With Your Medicare Prescription Drug Plan 05-10508, ICN 470112, December 2018. An overview of the Extra Help available to cover the costs… Continue Reading

Take Your Required Minimum Distribution – Consumer Reports

You need to receive your RMD by December 31 or you could pay a penalty – “Fidelity Investments recently reported that about half of its clients who were older than 70½—and required to take an annual distribution from their retirement account—had not yet done so for 2018. They should do so soon. Not taking all… Continue Reading

General Motors, Sears and Toys R Us: Layoffs across America highlight our shredding financial safety net

NBC News – Millions of Americans are in danger of entering their final decades unable to afford ballooning medical bills and cost-of-living expenses. “Today’s aging workforce faces an uncertain future. The announcement this week that General Motors will lay off 15 percent of its salaried workforce and shutter multiple plants in North America was a… Continue Reading

America’s monopoly problem, in one chart

America’s Concentration Crisis – An Open Markets Institute Report – “Monopoly power is all around us: as consumers, business owners, employees, entrepreneurs, and citizens. When we purchase everything from washing machines to groceries, website domains to medical supplies, and even when we select a coffin for a recently deceased loved one, we are constrained by… Continue Reading

Book Review – The unmaking of the steady job

The Nation – Ad Hoc Nation – The unmaking of the steady job. Reviewed – Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary, By Louis Hyman “…Today’s temps, permalancers, subcontractors, and underemployed do have an advantage that their predecessors didn’t: The effects of the gig economy permeate society more thoroughly and… Continue Reading

Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II

Axios: Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II: Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United StatesThe National Climate Assessment (NCA) assesses the science of climate change and variability and its impacts across the United States, now and throughout this century. The Black Friday climate report, formally known as the National Climate Assessment, follows a landmark U.N. science… Continue Reading

More companies are chipping their workers like pets

Engadget – “The trend of blundering into the void of adopting new tech, damn the consequences, full speed ahead, continues this week. The Telegraph tells us about “a number of UK legal and financial firms” are in talks with a chip company to implant their employees with RFID microchips for security purposes. Ah, security purposes,… Continue Reading

New on LLRX – Blockchain Challenges

Via LLRX – Blockchain Challenges – V. Mary Abraham shares her notes from the new Blockchain in Government conference, part of the KMWorld 2018 Conference, that was held November 7-8, 2018 in Washington, D.C. The program speaker was Marcus Ralphs, CEO, ByzGen Ltd. who shared his real-world challenges, both technical and organizational, as well as… Continue Reading