It feels like we are back in the period preceding the global financial crisis. The housing market in the Netherlands was declared ‘overheated’ this week. On an annual basis, house prices jumped 10 percent. In some of the major cities in the Netherlands, prices rose more than 15% during the last twelve months. In Amsterdam, Leyden and Delft, the number of houses sold has dropped this month, because of a lack of supply, the extreme price hikes and a shortage of new houses. Will 2018 be the same as 2008 as far as the stock markets are concerned?
US stocks finished lower Thursday, as a first of a batch of third-quarter corporate results from the banking sector slightly disappointed investors. The Dow closed 0.14% lower, the S&P 500 dropped 0.17% and the NASDAQ lost 0.18%. Volatility moved up, but only mildly. The VIX closed 1% higher. UVXY ETFs did not profit. They closed 1% lower. XIV ETNs moved 0.75% up.
Danny Daredevil recorded a small loss. His RSS dropped to just below 20%. Adventurous Anny is still holding cash. Her RSS remained at 9%. Solid Suzy and Lazy Larry made another gain. Their RSS is moving closer to 60%.
None of our models gave a trading signal at the end of yesterday’s session.
RSS = Return Since Start | YTD = Year-To-Date | QTD = Quarter-To-Date | AAR = Average Annual Return
René’s Reflections @ Friday: Overruled
As far as I remember, I have never been overruled by a machine while interacting with the physical world. So far, I’ve always been fully autonomous, and when (algorithms in) machines would disagree with my actions, all they would do was to inform me politely by displaying or voicing an alert of some kind. And then leave it up to me what to do with it. They would certainly not interfere with my autonomy.
Until last week. As I pulled my car into an empty parking spot, something happened right before I brought it to a halt. The car — quite suddenly and unexpectedly — braked by itself. The reason? The parking lot was bordered by a low shrub vegetation. Nothing to worry about, we would say. But the car couldn’t see the difference between a shrub, a brick wall, or, heaven forbid, a pedestrian. So it slammed full on the brakes, just before I could do it in a more gentle way.
Now this is a function that I could switch off, as long as it has no real concept of the physical world it is dealing with. But soon enough, ‘intelligent’ machines will come to our assistance, ‘helping us’ in more and more diverse ways than we can imagine right now. Will we still be autonomous enough by that time, to be able to switch them off as we please?
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