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Daily Archives: April 13, 2023

More and more Americans are gaming the deposit-insurance system

The Economist: “Imagine you are the dealer at a vast card table. There are 3,000 players, each of whom is holding a different number of cards. Some have thousands; others a handful. Each will hold onto some cards and return the rest to you. Your job is to reshuffle the deck and deal it again such that each player has the same number of cards they held before, but none of the same ones they handed over. At any point a player might recall a specific card it once held. It is a nightmarish task for a poor human shuffler, but a trivial one for the whizzy algorithms that govern the business of managing “reciprocal deposits”, in which a bank places deposits with another and receives the same value back, via a few mostly unknown technology firms. These quiet giants of financial plumbing reallocate enormous amounts of deposits. Around $1trn-worth are reshuffled through the platforms, of which about a fifth are swapped in reciprocal arrangements. This is a sizeable slice of the $18trn in total deposits parked with American financial institutions at the end of last year. Deposit-swapping means banks can offer their customers more insurance. After the failure in March of Silicon Valley Bank, where some 93% of deposits were uninsured, this has become a priority for customers and institutions. The cap on insurance—a regulatory guarantee that money will be repaid in the event of a bank failure—is $250,000 per account holder. Wealthy individuals and businesses often hold more than that. Around 45% of deposits in the American banking system were uninsured at the end of last year. Those seeking more protection would once have had to plod from bank to bank themselves. If an institution wanted to offer greater deposit insurance by placing deposits elsewhere it would have had to forgo using the deposit as funding. But in 2002 the idea for reciprocal deposits was invented by Eugene Ludwig, who previously ran the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a regulator. The firm he and his co-founders set up, IntraFi, allows banks to sign up to place deposits around the system such that they are all insured, while also remitting back to the bank the same value of deposits from other places…”

How ChatGPT and Generative AI Systems will Revolutionize Legal Services and the Legal Profession

Macey-Dare, Rupert, How ChatGPT and Generative AI Systems will Revolutionize Legal Services and the Legal Profession (February 22, 2023). Available at SSRN: or  – “In this paper, ChatGPT, is asked to provide c.150+ paragraphs of detailed prediction and insight into the following overlapping questions, concerning the potential impact of ChatGPT and successor generative… Continue Reading

Were you caught up in the latest data breach? Here’s how to tell

ZDNet: “Wondering if your information was posted online from a data breach? Here’s how to check if your accounts are at risk and what to do next…IBM estimates that the average cost of a data breach in 2022 for companies was $4.35 million, with 83% of organizations experiencing one or more security incidents. However, talk of… Continue Reading

Deep RL at Scale: Sorting Waste in Office Buildings with a Fleet of Mobile Manipulators

arXiv preprint paper; YouTube video; Blogpost: Thursday, April 13, 2023. Posted by Sergey Levine, Research Scientist, and Alexander Herzog, Staff Research Software Engineer, Google Research, Brain Team. “Reinforcement learning (RL) can enable robots to learn complex behaviors through trial-and-error interaction, getting better and better over time. Several of our prior works explored how RL can… Continue Reading

How AI is helping historians better understand our past

MIT Technology Review: “The historians of tomorrow are using computer science to analyze how people lived centuries ago…Five hundred years later, the production of information is a different beast entirely: terabytes of images, video, and text in torrents of digital data that circulate almost instantly and have to be analyzed nearly as quickly, allowing—and requiring—the… Continue Reading

Libraries are under attack and so are library workers

Fast Company: “Libraries are increasingly being targeted by local and state legislators and protestors trying to ban books and block LGBTQ content. How is that affecting the people who work in them? Scratch nearly any kind of story—political, social, economic, cultural, and so on—and you’ll find a labor story. No matter what’s happening, whether it’s… Continue Reading

How Long to Keep Every Important Financial Document

Lifehacker – Avoid identity theft and legal nightmares through proper document retention and destruction. Properly storing, saving, and disposing of financial documents isn’t just a good way to cut down on clutter and save yourself from potentially nightmarish paper-chases when The Man calls. It also makes it harder for anyone to steal your identity. How… Continue Reading

Billionaire Harlan Crow Bought Property From Clarence Thomas. The Justice Didn’t Disclose the Deal.

ProPublica – “The transaction is the first known instance of money flowing from Crow to the Supreme Court justice. The sale netted the GOP megadonor two vacant lots and the house where Thomas’ mother was living. The purchase put Crow in an unusual position: He now owned the house where the justice’s elderly mother was… Continue Reading

Primer – Artificial Intelligence, Human Rights, Democracy, and the Rule of Law

The Alan Turing Institute and the Council of Europe: Primer – Artificial Intelligence, Human Rights, Democracy, and the Rule of Law: “…It is a remarkable fact that rapid advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and data-driven technologies over the last two decades have placed contemporary society at a pivot-point in deciding what shape the future of… Continue Reading

U.S. appeals court preserves limited access to abortion pill

Reuters: “The abortion pill mifepristone will remain available in the United States for now but with significant restrictions, including a requirement for in-person doctor visits to obtain the drug, a federal appeals court ruled late on Wednesday. The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals put on hold part of last Friday’s order by… Continue Reading