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Ongoing Discussion Of Apple And Sovereign Debt Crisis - 8/29/2016 Edition

|Includes: Apple Inc. (AAPL), MSFT

Apple:

The Million Dollar Dissident: NSO Group's iPhone Zero-Days used against a UAE Human Rights Defender

CitizenLab

It's amazing the depths organizations go to access data. The story behind iOS version 9.3.5 is incredible and right out of a modern-day spy movie. This is in the face of strong encryption. I am not a fan of lowering standards for encryption or security. Clearly, the worst offenders are democratic countries selling this kind of software to those countries that oppress others. I urge you all to update to iOS version 9.3.5, which fixes this zero-day exploit.

The iBrain is Here And It's Already Inside Your Phone

BackChannel

What a powerful article on machine learning at Apple. Here's a quote from Wikipedia on the essence of machine learning: "In 1959, Arthur Samuel defined machine learning as a "Field of study that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed"."

Recently, Tim Cook passed five years as CEO of Apple. A lot of hand-wringing and analysis ensued. One thing we can not deny is that Apple has become a lot more open on its efforts to engage the public. Apple was accused of being behind industry leaders Microsoft, Google, and Amazon in applying artificial intelligence. The scope of Apple's efforts were hidden and unknown. We now see Apple fighting back to correct industry mis-truths.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Collects $36 Million in Stock Sale

Fortune

More than half of the shares Tim received were set aside to cover taxes. Tim is still highly invested in Apple, with $140 million of shares owned. I don't mind him cashing in on his restricted shares. What bothers me is the timing of the sale just before the new iPhone and Apple Watch are unveiled in two weeks.

Sovereign Debt Crisis:

Are Central Bankers Coming to a Bitter End?

Armstrong Economics

It certainly seems Central Banks have painted themselves into a corner. History is not on their side. Socialism will meet an ugly death.

US Debt: Who is Really Selling & Who is Buying?

Armstrong Economics

A good summary of why central banks are buying and selling US Debt. The strength of the US Dollar over the coming years is key to the Sovereign Debt Crisis.

Investments:

I have sold some Apple shares and sold some of my synthetic Apple options to lock in a profit. I wish to repurchase some of my Apple shares over the coming two weeks before the new iPhone unveiling. I have used the proceeds to purchase synthetic Microsoft options at the 60 strike expiring in January.

The reason why is simple. The Socrates computer is positive on Microsoft on a monthly and quarterly time frame. The yearly pattern for last year was Phase Transition Unfolding and for this year Phase Transition in Motion. A phase transition has the potential for gains in a short period of time. It makes it hard not to speculate. Microsoft just reached all time highs.

Long AAPL shares, long AAPL synthetic option equivalents, long MSFT synthetic option equivalents, and long cash. My hope is to make money on MSFT and purchase AAPL again at a lower price.

Disclosure: I am/we are long AAPL, MSFT.

Additional disclosure: See above for more detailed disclosure.