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February 15, 2013
Danger of death!
How you are unlikely to die
ON FEBRUARY 15th DA14, an asteroid 45 metres across, will sail past the Earth at 7.8km a second (4.9 miles a second). At just 27,700km away, it is well within the range of communication satellites. It will be the closest encounter on record with an asteroid this big. In 1908 an asteroid estimated to be around 100 metres in diameter destroyed 2,000 km² of forest in Siberia. Thankfully, such events are rare. NASA has identified 9,600 "near-Earth objects" since 1995, but just 861 with a diameter of 1km or more. The greatest threat to Earth is the 140-metre wide AG5; but it has just a 1-in-625 chance of hitting Earth, and not until February 5th 2040. More prosaic things are far more dangerous. According to data from America's National Safety Council, 27 people died in 2008 in America from contact with dogs (a one in 11m chance of death). The chart below compares the odds of dying in any given year from choking, cycling, being struck by lightning or stung by a bee.
Spookydude Evil George Soros Said to Make $1 Billion Since November on Yen Bet
George Soros made almost $1 billion since November from bets that the yen would tumble, according to a person close to the billionaire’s $24 billion family office.
The Japanese wager helped the firm return about 10 percent last year and 5 percent so far this year, said the person, who asked not to be named because the firm is private. The yen has weakened 17 percent versus the dollar since about the start of the fourth quarter, the worst performance over a similar period since 1985.
George Soros, founder of Soros Fund Management LLC, at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 25, 2013. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire investor George Soros talks about the European sovereign-debt crisis, inflation risk and his Open Society Foundations. He speaks with Francine Lacqua at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. (Source: Bloomberg)
Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire investor George Soros talks about Europe's sovereign-debt crisis, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's policy measures and the potential impact of austerity on the region's economies. He speaks with Bloomberg Television's Erik Schatzker on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. (Source: Bloomberg)
The yen slumped and Japanese stocks rallied as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pressed the Bank of Japan to introduce additional stimulus measures. BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa and two deputies will step down next month, allowing Abe to pick leaders to implement his plan for expanded monetary easing.
Scott Bessent, chief investment officer at New York-based Soros Fund Management LLC, also has 10 percent of the firm’s internally managed portfolio betting on rising shares in Japan, said the person. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index has jumped about 28 percent since the end of September.
Bessent worked for Soros in 1992 when Soros and his chief strategist Stan Druckenmiller made a $10 billion bet that the Bank of England would be forced to devalue the pound. That wager netted $1 billion. At the time Soros’s Quantum fund was $3.3 billion.
Bessent left the firm in 2000, and returned to be CIO in 2011.