Shervin Pishevar says volatility indexes are MBS and CDS-style scams

The 2008 financial crisis was one of the worst in the history of the United States. The reasons behind it are numerous, and there is still vigorous debate about the role that various policies, financial vehicles, institutions and people played in bringing about the worst financial catastrophe since the Great Depression.

However, everyone who has studied the 2008 debacle almost universally agrees that certain financial instruments and the extremely loose regulations surrounding them were chief culprits. So-called mortgage-backed securities and credit default swaps were key components in the economic bomb that ultimately exploded, nearly bringing down the entire financial edifice of the United States with it.

Shervin Pishevar, one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, recently unleashed a flurry of tweets on his account, which is followed by nearly 100,000 people. One of the more provocative ideas that Shervin Pishevar put forth was that some of the same dynamics that led to the 2008 crash are now being repeated, and for much the same reasons. Shervin Pishevar believes that volatility indexes and the funds that are centered around them are essentially scams, fueled by the same base motivations that led to the rise of collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps.

Pishevar says that the real reason behind the huge popularity of volatility indexes, prior to their momentous crash last February, was the simple fact that many fund managers want to create volatility because that is what they are incentivized to do. Pishevar points out that the way that many fund managers are compensated is equivalent to a classical principal-agent scam. The manager wants to create as much volatility as possible because he is able to participate in the upside without personally assuming any of the downside risk. That means that the more frequently the fund registers huge wins, the more the manager will actually be paid over the long term.

Shervin Pishevar strongly warns that all investors should read and understand a fund’s prospectus before investing. In particular, they need to carefully read and, if need be, go over with a professional the compensation structure of the fund, making sure that the management is not incentivized to run very costly scams with the investors’ money.

https://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/speaker-directory/shervin-pishevar

The Johnson Amendment Stays, Says End Citizens United

The United States’ Founding Fathers founded the nation on a principle that separated the church from political affairs under the legislation Johnson Amendment. At the moment, the powers of the Johnson Amendment law are at risk of being stripped away owing to conservative Congress members efforts. The Johnson Amendment outlaws tax-exempts NGOs such as churches from actively taking part in campaigns for political candidates. Recently, End Citizens United (ECU) held a press release where they urged the Congress not to allow the annulment of the Johnson Amendment.

Ever since President Trump was elected to office, he has made it his top priority to terminate the Johnson Act. Even though not many Americans are aware of the implication if this revocation, the wealthiest individuals in the country are excited and could not wait for the nullification to take effect. If the Johnson Amendment annulment takes effect, individuals could donate indiscriminately to religious organizations as such institutions can, in turn, use those funds to do whatever they pleased including backing political candidates campaigns.

This is the reason why Ends Citizens United is at the center of this battle as they want the law to remain so that it is easier to regulate the influence of NGOs in politics. According to Tiffany Muller, the President if End Citizens United, the Republican House tax’s initiative seeks to end the Johnson Amendment so that they can use the church as a secret campaign tool. This will, in turn, have a negative impact on democracy of the nation as a whole. For instance, in 2015, Americans gave out nearly $119 billion to religious institutions. Approximately $6.5 billion was used to fund the most expensive election in history in 2016. So what this means is that should the Johnson Amendment be thrown out, a more substantial chunk of the $119 billion will find its way to campaigns for conservative candidates thereby creating an unfair advantage for them when compared to their Democratic counterparts.

The Republicans are becoming sneaky in trying to eliminate the Johnson Act by attaching it to others laws so that it can be passed without much oversight. End Citizens United is handling the issue by bringing awareness to the public so that they can understand what is at stake and thereby influence the decision not to annul the law. Moreover, even the churches do not support the abolition of the law, and over 100 churches have joined ECU in the battle to maintain this critical bill. Citizens are encouraged to participate in the fight too to win their nation back.

About End Citizens United

End Citizens United is a grassroots Political Action Committee (PAC) that was established on March 1, 2015, to reverse the Supreme Courts’ decision that allowed PACs such as Citizens United to have unlimited and unspecified funds into politics. The PAC has a very robust social media presence where it makes several tweets and Facebook posts in a day to educate Americans on their democratic rights. R Michael Bennet of Colorado. Additionally, ends Citizens United have endorsed Randy Bryce to go against Paul Ryan in the coming midterm election cycle to be held in 2018. The PAC has confidence that Bryce will accomplish the unthinkable despite Mr. Paul’s firm hold on the state’s 1st Congressional District. Learn more on https://www.fec.gov/data/committee/C00573261/

 

“Success Kid” Lives Up to His Name – Helps to Save Dad’s Life

Internet sensation “Success Kid”, also known as now 8-year-old Sam Griner who obtained viral fame in 2007 with a picture of a recent victory against a sandcastle. after smashing it with his hands, has once again managed to gain massive popularity, but this time it was for getting his dad a kidney.

Griner’s father has been in the midst of a very serious health crisis and the family turned to their social media family in their time of need. They raised a total of $80,000 to help pay for a kidney transplant for “Success Kid’s” dad.

A family friend named Dan Newlin set up a GoFundme page and met their goal within the first week. Complete strangers even offered to donate their own kidney to help the struggling family.

This story is an example of how powerful social media is, and how many kind and compassionate people are in the world. When these two forces come together it can transform lives and therefore, the world.

Griner and his family are eternally grateful for all the support the have received from fans all over the world, and thank them for saving their beloved father’s life.