Tony Stark would be proud
Recently, fusion reactors have come back into popular culture as a solution to our energy problem, most prominently in the Iron Man movies as the power unit for Tony Stark’s heart and building. However, the real Stark Industries, Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, has been diligently working on the problem since 2014.
Recently, the company filed a patent entitled “Encapsulating Magnetic Fields for Plasma Confinement” (US20180047462A1) that could potentially revolutionize power generation in a unique way. Their applications for fusion include powering a city off an 18-wheeler chassis and powering aircraft and carriers for the Navy.
Fusion is the holy grail of power. It’s what powers our sun. It could shift the balance towards renewables in a way that nuclear fission never could. The late great Stephen Hawking said it best:
“I would like nuclear fusion to become a practical power source. It would provide an inexhaustible supply of energy, without pollution or global warming.”
Whether Lockheed can make a viable product and deliver it will be up to the engineers in California. However, with an invention track record that includes the first jet fighter, the U-2 reconnaissance plane, the first stealth aircraft F-117 Nighthawk, the SR-71 blackbird and a handful of others, it’s only a matter of time before they realized the sci-fi future.
LIBOR- WTH is it and why you’ll hear about it over the next few weeks
Bankers love acronyms, traders love them even more. There is nothing better than an international acronym that affects millions of people and trillions of dollars. LIBOR stands for the London InterBank Offered Rate and it is famous for all the wrong reasons. During and after the financial crisis the LIBOR rate and another key metric, OIS, diverged greatly.
The public at large and the financial community specifically found out that the group of banks that set LIBOR were arbitrarily setting the rate based on collusion and fear. This led to a huge uproar, investigations, lawsuits and firings. Fast forward a decade later and a vast majority of the system is still in place.
The New York Fed estimates that there are $200 trillion in derivatives and other securities that are still pegged to LIBOR. Moving away from LIBOR is another story. Many institutions, including the New York Fed, have proposed other pegs but they have yet to find public appeal and/or use in the markets. Like all incumbents, LIBOR will be tough to unseat but if another market reaction occurs like the one in 2008 LIBOR could go the way of bucket shops and stock market corners.
Its been a little over a month since Warren Buffett decided to again tell the world how smart he was at investing. It’s an incredible record, one that has made many families millionaires. He loves competitive advantages and high barriers to entry (moats), high cash flows and essential businesses.
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services is the second largest real estate brokerage in the United States. The BNSF runs half of the railroad traffic west of Memphis. Other companies include GEICO, Duracell, Benjamin Moore Paints and Pilot J. His holding company has a footprint in nearly every industry and yet HQ only has 25 people.
Mr Buffett is sitting on $116 Billion in cash and T-Bills on the balance sheet and he’s looking to go whale hunting. The annual meeting is May 5th and is webcast live on Yahoo.
[Book Recommendation] Good Omens
Dark, hilarious and being adapted by Amazon into a TV show, what more do you want?
A devil and an angel have grown accustomed to the nice trappings of modern day life on Earth. However, Hell is planning an attack on heaven and everyone is getting ready.
And…someone lost the antichrist.
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