Topley’s Top Ten – August 12th, 2019

1.Bond Volatility Grid.

2.Will 30 Year Treasury Bond Yield Break to New Lows?  30 Year Bonds Return 8.4% in 10 Days.

40 year chart 30 year bond yield

3.U.S. 10 Year Highest Sharpe Ratio in 20 Years.

4.China 2nd Qt. GDP Slowest Growth in 27 Years.

The U.S. can claim a kind of victory because the latest trade data show that China is faring far worse from the trade slowdown. China’s second-quarter GDP grew at its slowest rate in at least 27 years. Chinese exports to the U.S. fell by $5.6 billion in June, versus a $1.8 billion drop for U.S. exports to China. (Mexico just surpassed China as the top trading partner with the U.S.)

Stock Picks for Investors to Play the Trade War’s Scary Next Phase By Avi Salzman

5.Kospi South Korean Composite-Many Investors View As Measure of Global Trade

Breaks to new 3 year lows…50day thru 200day to downside.

6.Difference in Sector Weightings U.S. Vs. Non-U.S.

International outlook: Think all the best stocks are in the U.S.? Think again.

7.Lithium Prices 1/3 Off Highs.

Historically, Lithium reached an all time high of 157.11 in February of 2011 and a record low of 62.79 in February of 2016.

Lithium ETF-40+ Off Highs.

Big projections of growth dominated research reports on electric vehicles.

8.GCC Increasing Debt Offerings…GCC Countries–Saudi ArabiaKuwait, the United Arab EmiratesQatarBahrain, and Oman.

Gulf Cooperation Council
The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica
Alternative Titles: GCC, Gulf States

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries—Saudi ArabiaKuwait, the United Arab EmiratesQatarBahrain, and Oman. The GCC was established in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in May 1981. The purpose of the GCC is to achieve unity among its members based on their common objectives and their similar political and cultural identities, which are rooted in Arab and Islamic cultures. Presidency of the council rotates annually.

Arguably the most important article of the GCC charter is Article 4, which states that the alliance was formed to strengthen relations among its member countries and to promote cooperation among the countries’ citizens. The GCC also has a defense planning council that coordinates military cooperation between member countries. The highest decision-making entity of the GCC is the Supreme Council, which meets on an annual basis and consists of GCC heads of state. Decisions of the Supreme Council are adopted by unanimous approval. The Ministerial Council, made up of foreign ministers or other government officials, meets every three months to implement the decisions of the Supreme Council and to propose new policy. The administrative arm of the alliance is the office of the Secretariat-General, which monitors policy implementation and arranges meetings.


In the past, sovereigns from the Gulf Co-operation Council (UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman) rarely needed to issue debt. However, the fall in oil prices and the need to fund their budget deficits has prompted these issuers to borrow in the international bond markets. The scale of this trend is clear as outlined in Figure 1: a quarter of all USD-denominated emerging market sovereign debt was issued by the GCC last year. Up until 2014, Bahrain used to be the sole GCC issuer of international debt.

9.The Coast Guard’s newest cutter busted 2,100 pounds of cocaine before it even got to home port for the first time

Christopher Woody
Aug. 9, 2019, 12:16 PM

US Coast Guard cutter Midgett crew members seized more than 2,100 pounds of cocaine from a low-profile go-fast vessel interdicted in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean, July 26, 2019. US Coast Guard

  • Navy destroyer Michael Murphy and Coast Guard cutter Midgett teamed up to bust 2,100 pounds of cocaine in the eastern Pacific Ocean in July.
  • The Coast Guard has been hauling in record amounts of cocaine, and this was likely the first of many such busts for the Midgett.

In July, yet-to-be-commissioned Coast Guard cutter Midgett passed through the Panama Canal and started a roughly 5,000-mile trip to Honolulu.

The Coast Guard accepted the Midgett in April, and it didn’t leave the Mississippi shipyard where it was built until June 11. But the newest national-security cutter was ready as it transited the eastern Pacific, and with good reason — the ship helped intercept more than 2,100 pounds of cocaine before it even made it to its home port.

On July 25, a MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter from the US Navy destroyer Michael Murphy spotted a low-profile go-fast boat — a kind of vessel often called a “ narco sub.”

Some 80% of the cocaine smuggled to North America comes through the eastern Pacific, often in narco subs — sometimes true submarines or semi-submersibles, but usually low-profile vessels, of which the service has seen a recent resurgence.

As the helicopter approached, a hatch on top of the go-fast boat opened, and, the Navy said, three passengers began tossing objects in the water. The destroyer’s interceptor boat, guided by the helicopter, picked up the objects and pulled alongside, telling the suspects to remain in sight.

10.A Healthy Heart Keeps the Brain Sharp

New research shows a wholesome lifestyle can prevent cognitive decline

Credit: Cavan Images/Getty Images

eRevealing just how connected the heart and mind are, a new study finds poor health at age 50 — on measures like physical activity, diet, and blood pressure — is linked to more than double the risk of dementia decades later. The result builds on other research showing that healthy living as early as age 18 affects brainpower later in life.

Dementia is a general term referring to impaired thinking, memory, and decision-making. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type. There is no known cure.

“It is now widely accepted that dementia involves changes in the brain over the course of 15 to 20 years,” explains Archana Singh-Manoux of the University of Paris-Saclay in France, who conducted the new research with colleague Séverine Sabia. “Therefore, it is important to assess risk factors before the beginning of the disease process.”

The study, published August 7 in the journal BMJ, examined existing data on 7,899 British women and men who were 35 to 55 at the start of the 25-year study. Each person was given a cardiovascular health rating at the outset — poor, intermediate, or optimal — based on seven measures linked to heart health: smoking, diet, physical activity, body mass index, blood sugar, blood cholesterol, and blood pressure. Dementia cases were determined based on subsequent medical records and death registers. In all, 347 cases of dementia were recorded. The rate of dementia was more than double among those with poor initial heart health scores compared to those with optimal scores.

The implications from this study and many others are that the healthier the vascular system is in midlife, the lower the risk of subsequent dementia.

“The thrust of much of the research in dementia is on curative solutions,” Singh-Manoux says in an email. “The failure of all drug trials so far makes it important to consider prevention. For prevention to be effective we need to accept the long course of dementia.”

“The implications from this study and many others are that the healthier the vascular system is in midlife, the lower the risk of subsequent dementia,” Carol Brayne of the University of Cambridge and Fiona Matthews of the University of Newcastle write in an accompanying BMJ editorial.

Other research suggests the earlier that one adopts a healthy lifestyle, the better it is for the brain.

Scientists looked at data on 3,381 U.S. residents who were between 18 to 30 at the start of a long-term research project. 25 years later, the subjects took tests measuring memory, thinking speed, and mental flexibility. Those who started with higher than recommended levels of blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol scored significantly lower on the cognitive tests in their forties and fifties, the researchers reported in Circulation in 2014.

“It’s amazing that as a young adult, mildly elevated cardiovascular risks seem to matter for your brain health later in life,” said study team member Kristine Yaffe, a neuropsychiatrist and professor at the University of California-San Francisco. “We’re not talking about old age issues, but lifelong issues.”

Several other studies have linked specific health issues to dementia.

A 2017 study in JAMA Neurology, involving 15,744 people in the United States over 25 years, found high blood pressure (defined as 140/90 or higher the time) linked to a 39% higher risk of dementia later on, while even slightly elevated blood pressure (120/80 or higher) was linked to a 31% higher risk of dementia.

In another study, researchers reviewed data on more than 1 million people across 38 years to find a 16% to 33% difference in dementia risk among those who were overweight versus normal weight, and an additional similar percentage increase among the obese.

Early-onset dementia, before the age of 65, is linked to chronic heavy drinking (4 or more daily drinks for men, three for women) in 57% of cases, researchers revealed last year in Lancet Public Health. “Alcohol-induced brain damage and dementia are preventable,” says study team member Jürgen Rehm.

Some 50 million people around the world have dementia, according to the World Health Organization, and each year 10 million more are afflicted. By 2050, the percentage of the elderly is projected to double, and dementia is expected to be one of several factors that strain society and its care systems.

“While age is the strongest known risk factor for cognitive decline, dementia is not a natural or inevitable consequence of aging,” WHO states in an overview of the problem.

What can you do? Studies suggest a plant-based diet rich in fruits and vegetables is best for the body and mind. Experts recommend avoiding white flour, white rice, added sugar, and highly processed foods. WHO advises limiting alcohol consumption and not smoking.

Physical activity, even just walking, has been shown to be good for the brain. In one study earlier this year, people who were not exercising were split into two groups: One did moderate aerobic exercise four times a week; the other did just stretching. After six months, they all took a test, and those who’d exercised tested as if they were several years younger cognitively. Also, the outer layers of the brains of the exercise group thickened, a sign of improved brain function.

As with other research, the new study does not prove that poor heart health causes dementia, but it shows that avoiding the known risks early in life helps stave off dementia later in life.


Your life, sourced by science. A new Medium publication about health and wellness.

Robert Roy Britt


Explainer of things, former editor-in-chief of Live Science and Space .com, author of the science thriller “5 Days to Landfall.”

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