Bonds Yields Jump Again Wiping Out the May Treasury Rally




Yield on the 10-year treasury is 4.59 percent on May 29, right where it started the month. A quarter-point rally on hopes of rate cuts vanished today.

Yields are still lower than the 2024 intraday peak of 4.74 percent, but they are nearly 70 basis points higher than the start of the year as rate cut after rate cut hopes keep getting priced out.

Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari says he wants to see “many more months” of positive inflation numbers before interest rates start to come down — and refused to rule out a rate hike if needed.

Author(s): Mike Shedlock

Publication Date: 29 May 2024

Publication Site: Mish Talk

Should researchers use AI to write papers? Group aims for community-driven standards



When and how should text-generating artificial intelligence (AI) programs such as ChatGPT help write research papers? In the coming months, 4000 researchers from a variety of disciplines and countries will weigh in on guidelines that could be adopted widely across academic publishing, which has been grappling with chatbots and other AI issues for the past year and a half. The group behind the effort wants to replace the piecemeal landscape of current guidelines with a single set of standards that represents a consensus of the research community.

Known as CANGARU, the initiative is a partnership between researchers and publishers including Elsevier, Springer Nature, Wiley; representatives from journals eLife, Cell, and The BMJ; as well as industry body the Committee on Publication Ethics. The group hopes to release a final set of guidelines by August, which will be updated every year because of the “fast evolving nature of this technology,” says Giovanni Cacciamani, a urologist at the University of Southern California who leads CANGARU. The guidelines will include a list of ways authors should not use the large language models (LLMs) that power chatbots and how they should disclose other uses.

Since generative AI tools such as ChatGPT became public in late 2022, publishers and researchers have debated these issues. Some say the tools can help draft manuscripts if used responsibly—by authors who do not have English as their first language, for example. Others fear scientific fraudsters will use them to publish convincing but fake work quickly. LLMs’ propensity to make things up, combined with their relative fluency in writing and an overburdened peer-review system, “poses a grave threat to scientific research and publishing,” says Tanya De Villiers-Botha, a philosopher at Stellenbosch University.

Author(s): HOLLY ELSE

Publication Date: 16 Apr 2024

Publication Site: Science

doi: 10.1126/science.z9gp5zo

Work Longer, Die Sooner! America’s Dire Need to Expand Social Security and Medicare



Are we all really living longer? Let’s first point out that Princeton economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton, noted for their research in health and economics, recently showed that many Americans are not, in fact, enjoying extended lives. As they stated in their own New York Times op-ed, those without college degrees are “scarred by death and a staggeringly shorter life span.” According to their investigation, the expected lifespan for this group has been falling since 2010. By 2021, people without college degrees were expected to live to about 75, nearly 8.5 years shorter than their college-educated counterparts.

Overall life expectancy in America dropped in 2020 and 2021, with increases in mortality across the leading causes of death and among all ages, not just due to COVID-19. In August 2022, data confirmed that Americans are dying younger across all demographics. Again, the U.S. is an outlier. It was one of two developed countries where life expectancy did not bounce back in the second year of the pandemic.

So the argument that everyone is living longer greatly stretches the truth—unless, of course, you happen to be rich: A Harvard study revealed that the wealthiest Americans enjoy a life expectancy over a decade longer than their poorest counterparts.

Could the idea that working into our seventies and beyond boosts our health and well-being hold true? Obviously, for those in physically demanding roles, such as construction or mining, prolonged work is likely to lead to a higher risk of injury, accidents, and wearing down health-wise. But what about everybody else? What if you have a desk job? Wouldn’t it be great to get out there, do something meaningful, and interact with people, too?

Perhaps it’s easy for people like Steuerle and Kramon to imagine older people working in secure, dignified positions that might offer health benefits into old age – after all, those are the types of positions they know best.

But the reality is different. Economist Teresa Ghilarducci, a professor at the New School for Social Research, focuses on the economic security of older workers and flaws in U.S. retirement systems in her new book, Work, Retire, Repeat: The Uncertainty of Retirement in the New Economy. She calls those praising the health perks of working longer “oddballs” – those fortunate folks in cushy positions who have a lot of autonomy and purpose. Like lawmakers or tenured professors, for example.

Author(s): Lynn Parramore

Publication Date: 8 May 2024

Publication Site: Institute for New Economic Thinking

Closing the Racial Wealth Gap in Retirement Readiness




One factor undermining older Americans’ ability to prepare financially for retirement is the debt burden they carry. Increasingly, adults are carrying debt into retirement, according to Mingli Zhong, research associate, and Jennifer Andre, data scientist at the Urban Institute.

Their presentation on “Racial Differences in Debt Delinquencies and Implications for Retirement Preparedness” tracked some 4.8 million adults age 50+ who had credit bureau records. They found that the median debt amount for older households with debt was about three times higher in 2016 ($55,300) than in 1989 ($18,900 in real 2016 dollars).

The authors also reported racial disparities in debt levels. Compared to an older adult in a majority-white community, a typical older adult in a community of color is more likely to have any type of delinquent debt, carry a higher balance of total delinquent debt, and have a higher balance of medical debt in collections. The older adult living in a majority-white area has a higher balance of delinquent student loan debt and delinquent credit card debt, they also found.

Author(s): Olivia S. Mitchell, Sylvain Catherine

Publication Date: 6 June 2023

Publication Site: Knowledge at Wharton

Dangers firefighters face include higher cancer risks



Compared to the general public, firefighters have a 9% higher rate of certain cancers, likely due to their exposure to high levels of carcinogens released into the air as buildings burn. The incidence of multiple myeloma — the first cancer Perez developed — is about 50% higher in firefighters than in the general population.


Dr. C. Ola Landgren has been researching links between occupational exposures and multiple myeloma for a number of years — particularly in first responders such as firefighters. At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and the National Cancer Institute, Landgren began to recognize patterns.

In New York, for example, Landgren had three myeloma patients who lived on the same block on Staten Island. Their houses had been covered by dust after the World Trade Center towers fell in 2001.

“Myeloma has a precursor condition known as MGUS, which is more common in the population, allowing us to identify risks earlier,” Landgren said. “We’ve actually observed higher rates of MGUS in first responders compared to the general population.”

MGUS — which stands for monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance — has also been linked to pesticide use among farmers and exposure to Agent Orange among veterans of the Vietnam War. Levels also were higher in firefighters, police officers and construction workers who were on-site immediately after the 9/11 attacks.

Author(s): Lori Saxena, HealthDay News

Publication Date:

Publication Site:

The Hartford Sees High Mortality for the Next Few Years



Chris Swift, the chief executive officer of Hartford Financial, on Friday confirmed what government statistics seem to be showing: The U.S. death rate continues to be noticeably higher than it was before early 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic came to light.

Swift talked about the effects of the higher U.S. mortality rate on the company’s group life insurance business Friday during a conference call with securities analysts.

He noted that mortality was much lower in the first quarter than in the first quarter of 2023, but that it was still somewhat higher than the pre-pandemic average.

“The trends are downward,” Swift said. “But we believe that we’re still operating in an endemic state of mortality, which means it’s going to be higher than normal, and we think that will continue for at least the next the next couple of years. We’ve been pricing our product with that view.”

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 26 April 2024

Publication Site: Think Advisor

Observational studies of COVID vaccine efficacy are riddled with bias/ Not counting cases 14 days after dose 2 is a problem




In the experiment, he says, what if we compare the control arm of the Pfizer study against an imaginary vaccine arm. And for the thought experiment assume the vaccine is useless. As the table above shows, both groups have identical numbers of covid cases— just what you would expect from a useless vaccine. A straight forward analysis shows no benefit (second to last row)

But in the ‘fictional vaccine observational study’ cases are excluded for 36 days. When this is done the useless vaccine, looks like it reduces infections by 48%!!

Doshi makes a very good point in his paper that the solution is to subtract the 36 day infection rate from the observational control arm. Sadly most investigations don’t do that.

This is one of several biases Doshi discusses, and it plagues the vaccine literature.

Author(s): Vinay Prasad

Publication Date: 14 May 2024

Publication Site: Vinay Prasad’s Observations and Thoughts, substack