On day one of Fixed Income School, you learn that bond prices mean-revert. While a stock or a house’s price can continue to increase as the company or land becomes more valuable, yields can only go so low. Nobody will pay to lend someone else money, or at least, they won’t pay much to do that. Bond prices can only climb so high before they fall. While some evidence shows that yields trended downward slightly as the world became less risky, they still tended to revert to a mean greater than zero.
It’s easy to blame Silicon Valley Bank for being blissfully ignorant of such details. They purchased long-term bonds and mortgage-backed securities when the Fed was doing QE on steroids! Did they expect that to last forever? Well, maybe that was a reasonable assumption, based on the last 15 years, but I digress.
Many of these smaller banks, particularly Silicon Valley, are in trouble because they were particularly exposed to rate risk since their depositors’ profit model relied on low rates. So, when rates increased, they needed their money—precisely when their asset values would also plummet. It’s terrible risk management. But, to be fair, even the Fed (the FED!) did not anticipate a significant rate rise. Stress tests didn’t even consider such a scenario, even as rates were already climbing. Why would we expect bankers in California to be smarter than all-knowing bank regulators?
According to the New York Times, Central Bankers still expect rates to fall back to 2.5%. Why? Because of inequality and an aging population. But how does that work, and what’s the mechanism behind it? No good answer, or not one that squares with data before 1985, but we can hope. Sometimes we just want something to be true and for it to be true for politically convenient reasons.
In August , Birny Birnbaum, the executive director of the Center for Economic Justice, asked the [NAIC] Market Regulation committee to train analysts to detect “dark patterns” and to define dark patterns as an unfair and deceptive trade practice.
The term “dark patterns” refers to techniques an online service can use to get consumers to do things they would otherwise not do, according to draft August meeting notes included in the committee’s fall national meeting packet.
Dark pattern techniques include nagging; efforts to keep users from understanding and comparing prices; obscuring important information; and the “roach motel” strategy, which makes signing up for an online service much easier than canceling it.
JAMA Health Forum. 2023;4(3):e230010. doi:10.1001/jamahealthforum.2023.0010
Question Do postacute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 increase risks of 1-year adverse outcomes?
Findings In this case-control study of 13 435 US adults with post–COVID-19 condition (PCC) and 26 870 matched adults without COVID-19, the adults with PCC experienced increased risks for a number of cardiovascular outcomes, such as ischemic stroke. During the 12-month follow-up period, 2.8% of the individuals with PCC vs 1.2% of the individuals without COVID-19 died, implying an excess death rate of 16.4 per 1000 individuals.
Meaning Individuals with PCC may be at increased risk for adverse outcomes in the year following initial infection.
Author(s): Andrea DeVries, PhD1; Sonali Shambhu, BDS, MPH1; Sue Sloop, PhD1; et al
A giant health insurer says health plan enrollees who suffered from long COVID-19 symptoms were more than twice as likely as other enrollees to die during a 12-month follow-up period.
Andrea DeVries, a researcher at Elevance Health, and three colleagues found that, during the year studied, 2.8% of the 13,435 enrollees classified as having “post-COVID-19 condition” died, according to a study published in the JAMA Health Forum, which is affiliated with the Journal of the American Medical Association.
That compares with a death rate of just 1.2% for similar enrollees without COVID-19 during the same period.
Elevance Health is the company formerly known as Anthem. The company provides or administers major medical coverage for about 48 million people.
The DeVries looked at claim records for 249,013 Elevance plan enrollees ages and older who were diagnosed with COVID-19 from April 1, 2020, through July 31, 2020 — before regulators had adopted a long COVID diagnosis code.
The team began by identifying enrollees with COVID-19 who had been enrolled in an Elevance plan for at least five months before being diagnosed with COVID-19 and who had survived for at least two months after the diagnosis date.
Because of the lack of a long COVID-19 diagnosis code, the team used claims for other conditions, such as loss of the sense of smell, brain fog, anxiety and heart rate problems, to come up with a list of enrollees with long COVID.
OpenAI inside Excel? How can you use an API key to connect to an AI model from Excel? This video shows you how. You can download the files from the GitHub link above. Wouldn’t it be great to have a search box in Excel you can use to ask any question? Like to create dummy data, create a formula or ask about the cast of the The Sopranos. And then artificial intelligence provides the information directly in Excel – without any copy and pasting! In this video you’ll learn how to setup an API connection from Microsoft Excel to Open AI’s ChatGPT (GPT-3) by using Office Scripts. As a bonus I’ll show you how you can parse the result if the answer from GPT-3 is in more than 1 line. This makes it easier to use the information in Excel.
Already under fire for high pay despite big investment losses, the pension system for Ohio’s retired teachers lost between $27 million and $40 million when Silicon Valley Bank failed last weekend. That appears to be by far the biggest investment by a public pension system in the United States.
The losses follow a nearly $10 million loss last year when cryptocurrency platform FTX failed, according to the Ohio Retired Teachers Association, a group that represents pension system members.
The exact losses aren’t immediately known because Anthony Randazzo, executive director of pension watchdog Equable, said they were $39.3 million in a tweet. But pension system spokesman Dan Minnich said in an email, “As of last Wednesday, STRS Ohio held shares of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) worth $27.2 million.”
From his front-row seat, [Barney Frank] blames Signature’s failure on a panic that began with last year’s cryptocurrency collapse — his bank was one of few that served the industry — compounded by a run triggered by the failure of tech-focused Silicon Valley Bank late last week. Frank disputes that a bipartisan regulatory rollback signed into law by former President Donald Trump in 2018 had anything to do with it, even if it was driven by a desire to ease regulation of mid-size and regional banks like his own.
“I don’t think that had any impact,” Frank said in an interview. “They hadn’t stopped examining banks.”
But Warren, a fellow Massachusetts Democrat who designed landmark consumer safeguards that ended up in Frank’s 2010 banking law, is placing the blame firmly on the Trump-era changes that relaxed oversight of some banks and says Signature is a prime example of the fallout. Warren argues that, had Congress and the Federal Reserve not rolled back stricter oversight, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature would have been better able to withstand financial shocks.
Former Rep. Barney Frank co-sponsored the law that tightened banking regulations after the financial crisis, but since leaving office he has been working the other side of the street—as a board member of Signature Bank, which regulators shut down Sunday.
The 2010 Dodd-Frank legislation set tougher regulatory safeguards on banks with more than $50 billion in assets. After leaving office and joining Signature’s board, Mr. Franks, a Massachusetts Democrat, publicly advocated for easing those new standards for smaller banks.
After the bill was signed, New York-based Signature more than doubled in size to $110 billion in assets, and $88.6 billion in deposits as of the end of 2022. The stricter requirements, had they been in place, might have prompted bank executives and their overseers to move more quickly to place the lender on sounder financial footing, some industry observers say.
Mr. Frank, who has earned more than $2.4 million in compensation from Signature Bank since 2015, rejected the idea that the regulatory change abetted Signature’s collapse.
“Nobody has shown me any evidence of systemic or other kinds of fraud that would have been prevented” without the 2018 rollback, Mr. Frank said.