What Went Wrong? The Financial Professionals

Big Think sat down with hedge fund managers Peter Thiel and Marc Lasry this week to talk about the role of financial professionals in the economic crisis. They both had interesting things to say about hedge funds, especially as they relate to leverage and regulation. Peter Thiel believes there is a misplaced focus on regulating hedge funds when the real problem lies with hidden leverage. Marc Lasry explains his belief that hedge funds should have no oversight.

Thiel also touches upon the situation in Dubai articulately, pointing out that it could be the start of a greater phenomenon where we stop giving money to the “bad guys.”

And while Lasry thinks we’re all to blame for the economy in peril, Thiel ventures to say, when asked why so many people failed to recognize an $8 trillion housing bubble, that Baby Boomers could be the dumbest generation yet.

Will we emerge from this downturn with more innovation than we had going into it? Thiel isn’t so sure. He believes that our focus on financial innovation is misguided, and that we should be directing our efforts toward technological innovation. The reason we’re not? “Policy makers are living in the dark ages.”

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
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How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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Scientists just voted to change the definition of a kilogram

The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.

Greg L via Wikipedia
Surprising Science
  • The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
  • Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
  • Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
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