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Archive for 2010

Upcoming Weekly Calendar

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

A look at the key economic events in the relatively quiet week ahead from the perspective (and benchmarks) of Goldman Sachs.


Week Ahead

European developments As mentioned, the better than expected 2Q Eurozone GDP numbers on Friday failed to lift EUR/$, which ended the week 4% lower. As highlighted in Friday’s Daily, we do see near term risks for the EUR--one of the reasons we incorporated downside risks to our EUR/$ forecast (1.22 in 3-months), to reflect the potential for rising political tension again. We are again seeing some noise on this front in recent days with the EUR being weighed upon with news headlines such as possible Spanish deviation from fiscal austerity measures. It is interesting also to note that sovereign CDS spreads in the European periphery have also started to creep back up. This is something that we will be paying close attention to in coming weeks and months.

US manufacturing data This week’s Empire, Philly Fed, industrial production and advanced GLI reading are important as usual in gauging the pace of slowing industrial momentum in the US. Consensus expects a slight improvement in both the Empire and Philly Fed readings. We do not forecast the Empire survey, but on the more representative Philly Fed (which is also a component of our GLI), we are expecting a decline.

TICs We get the June TIC s release which will allow us to gauge the latest US Q2 BBoP picture. The US trade deficit has been widening out, especially stark in last week’s June release, which widened out to almost $50bn from $42bn. We’ll see what the upcoming TICs release shows but overall, the underlying flows picture is likely to remain USD negative still.

Central Banks We’ll see some central bank news in the form of the RBA and BOE minutes as well as meetings in Turkey and Mexico. We expect the RBA minutes to make it clearer that the Board is in no rush to move rates higher (even if a subtle tightening bias remains). Our Australian economists continue to expect rates on hold till November. For the BOE MPC minutes, we are not expecting much incremental information, coming right after the last Inflation Report. For the meetings in Turkey and Mexico, we are expecting rates to be left unchanged, in-line with consensus.

Monday 16th

Japan 2Q GDP We expect 2Q GDP data…
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Ratigan On Geithner: A Corrupt, Captured Wall Street Scoundrel

Ratigan On Geithner: A Corrupt, Captured Wall Street Scoundrel (Video Beatdown)

Courtesy of The Daily Bail

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Video:  Dylan Ratigan torches Treasury Secretary Tim — Aired Aug. 3, 2010

Watch at least the first 2:45.

Previously:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Video:  One man battles Bank of America and wins — Dylan Ratigan Show


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Jon Stewart: Boehner Is Profoundly Retarded, Deficit Monster Is Going To Eat Our Babies

Jon Stewart: Boehner Is Profoundly Retarded, Deficit Monster Is Going To Eat Our Babies (Must See)

Courtesy of The Daily Bail 

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Deductible Me
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 

  • "Republicans don’t realize that extending the Bush tax cuts will strengthen the deficit monster that’s going to eat our babies."
  • Jon Stewart didn’t really know what to say last night about Republicans who complain about the deficit but advocate for renewing the Bush tax cuts. So he turned to House Minority Leader "and retired Syracuse mascot" John Boehner (R-OH) for a solution to the country’s economic woes. Boehner has said that "the only way we’re going to get our economy going again and solve our budget problems is to get the economy moving."
  • "The only way to get our economy going, is to get it moving?" Stewart asked. "That is either the most profound or most retarded statement I’ve ever heard. You know what, actually it’s the most profoundly retarded statement I’ve ever heard."

Mission f’ing accomplished.  Seriously.  And for the record, I could care less about the Bush tax cuts and whether or not they’re extended.  The top rate has alternated between 36% and 39% for 2 decades, and I honestly don’t think it will make much difference if it shifts back to 39%.  Shoot me.  I believe that tax cuts generally encourage growth, but austerity is finally coming to our shores, and I prefer not to fight something I’ve been begging for.

Back to the mission. Debt and deficit awareness.  That’s all it’s about.  It’s why I launched the Bail. I saw the train coming and knew there had to be a site to chronicle, curate, aggregate.  And frankly, after worrying about unfunded entitlements for most of my adult life, I…
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A Couple Of Pointers For TheStreet.com On Blogging Etiquette

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Our religulous readers at theStreet.com decided to take a stab at Zero Hedge over the weekend due to our discovery, first among all media, that the Hindenburg Omen had struck this past Thursday. We take this opportunity to teach theStreet a few of the key rules of blogging etiquette.

1. A website run by Jim Cramer describes Zero Hedge narrative as if “writing in a vein that seems made for professional boxing or WWE pay-per-view event hype, describes the Hindenburg Omen as “Easily the most feared technical pattern in all of chartism (for the bullishly inclined). Those who know what it is, tend to have an atavistic reaction to its mere mention.“  Seriously? Jim Cramer’s website accusing someone of hype? That’s some serious “crossing the streams” voodoo. We have nothing to say here – South Park’s Eric Cartman did the best job of describing Mr. Cramer’s own style previously.

2. Oddly enough, The Street had no such qualms about the description of the Hindenburg Omen by David Buik at BGC Partners. As the Telegraph highlighted out, Buik “drew attention to the Hindenburg Omen, which he described somewhat theatrically as “easily the most feared technical pattern in all of chartism”.” Hmm – this seems oddly identical to our own language, which the Street decided to ridicule. While we may or may not seek copyright arbitration vis-a-vis the nice folks at BGC, it seems somewhat obtuse of theStreet’s staff to take offense by our characterization of the H.O., but not an idential one presented by one “of the world’s leading interdealer brokers.” Why the bias?

3. It is accepted etiquette to link up to the source, especially when that source breaks the news. Benzinga and most other sources did so. Does theStreet.com think traditional web rules do not apply to it? Or perhaps, theStreet believes that no rules apply to it? To wit, and as a case study of hyperlinking for the sole benefit of theStreet, we present this example of how that whole procees works, from a previous Zero Hedge post. Note the hyperlink to thestreet’s form 12B-25:

Jim Cramer’s TheStreet Is Being Investigated By The SEC

Seek and ye shall find. Never has this been more


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Swing trading virtual portfolio – week of August 16th, 2010

This post is for live trades and daily comments. PLease click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here

 

Optrader 

Swing trading virtual portfolio

 

One trade virtual portfolio





Let BABs Die

Courtesy of Bruce Krasting

The Sunday talk show economic topic was what to do with the Bush tax cuts that expire at the end of this year. I thought I heard a unanimous voice from the likes of Zandi, Corzine, Tyson and (surprisingly/importantly) Senator Corker (R.Tenn.) that Congress should act quickly to agree to do nothing on those tax increases for at least another year. Look for that terrible choice to be made sometime in the next month.
There is another government program that is headed for the sunset New Year’s Eve. The Build America Bond (“BAB”) subsidy program was one of those “emergency” measures taken back in 09. The program was part of the ARRA stimulus legislation. This deal has Wall Street “deep thinking” all over it. I think it is a legacy idea from Hank Paulson. Geithner probably took some notes at a meeting in 08 and a year later it was law.

 

One of the many risks to the economy back then was whether the municipalities across the country would be able to access the capital markets to fund big ticket projects like schools, water treatment and other infrastructure investments. BABs addressed the problem by allowing the municipalities to fund in the taxable market. The audience for taxable bonds is very big. BABs opened the door for muni’s to issue taxable debt. However, when issuing taxable debt those same borrowers faced a much higher cost than if they had issued tax-exempt securities. Muni’s trade about 20% richer (historical) to taxable because of the tax break. To offset this cost and to encourage local governments to borrow and spend Uncle Sam has agreed to rebate the borrower for 35% of the interest expense.
I expect that the BABs legislation will be rolled into the Bush tax roll-over and they will both be extended for at least another twelve months. Shame on us. BABs should die because:
-This was an emergency measure. It was deliberately keep on a short time frame. This stopgap measure is no longer needed economically. But more importantly we need to get off the federal life support and see how the patient is breathing.
-Tax-exempt muni yields have collapsed. Even California bonds have been a big winner. Their


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South Korea’s Pensions to Boost Equity Stake

Courtesy of Leo Kolivakis

Via Pension Pulse.

Jung Jae-yoon reports in the JoongAng Daily, Pension funds seen increasing equity stake:

Analysts say they expect the nation’s public pension funds, which now hold more than 300 trillion won ($252.73 billion) in assets, to be increasing their equity holdings soon.

A new survey showed that 330 trillion won in total is held by the nation’s main pension funds, including the National Pension Fund, the Retirement Pension Fund, the Korea Teachers Pension Fund, the Government Employees Pension Fund and the Military Pension Fund, the Financial Supervisory Service said yesterday.

The data is based on the amount held at the end of June, except for the Military Pension Fund, the latest figures for which were at the end of 2009.

Nearly 98 percent of the pension funds, or 326 trillion won, is invested in various financial instruments, with bonds taking the biggest portion, followed by equities and alternative investments such as real estate.

In the case of the National Pension Fund, which is the biggest by far with 294.95 trillion won in assets, 75.7 percent of its financial investments are in bonds, with 19.1 percent in various forms of equities and 5 percent in alternative investments.

Analysts say that the public pension funds are likely to increase their exposure to equities in an effort to get bigger returns on their investments than that offered by bonds.

Pension funds still lack the clout in influencing the stock market in the same way as foreign investors. At the end of June, foreigners held 301.07 trillion won worth in equities and 67.82 trillion won in bonds.

But market analysts believe there is a possibility that pension funds could become a key power in the local stock market to challenge that of foreigners.

“Domestic national pension funds will have little choice but to expand their portion of equity investments in the future since they can’t generate high returns through bonds when interest are so low. The pension funds hold a smaller portion of equity investments compared to those in advanced countries,” said Oh Sung-jin, research head at Hyundai Securities.

The National Pension Fund is the fourth largest in the world.

You’ll remember South Korea’s National pension Service recorded an overall return of minus 0.75% in 2008, its first loss ever, with its investment in stocks yielding…
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The Trade Deficit Nightmare

The Trade Deficit Nightmare

Courtesy of Michael Snyder of Economic Collapse 

When they hear the word deficit, most Americans immediately think of the U.S. government budget deficit which is rapidly spiralling out of control.  But that is not the only deficit which is ripping the U.S. economy to shreds.  In fact, many economists commonly speak of the "twin deficits" that are destroying the U.S. financial system.  So what is the "other deficit" that they are referring to?  It is the trade deficit.  Every single month, we buy much more stuff from the rest of the world than they buy from us.  That means that every single month there is a massive outflow of wealth from the United States.  Every single day, America becomes just a little bit poorer as Americans continue to run out and fill up their shopping carts with cheap plastic crap from China and dozens of other emerging economies. 

Not that trade is a bad thing.  Trade can actually be a very good thing.  But the gigantic trade imbalances that the United States has been running for years are absolutely bleeding us dry.  Unfortunately, our politicians have just stood idly by as each month we continue to transfer massive amounts of wealth out of the United States.

The U.S. Commerce Department recently announced that the U.S. trade deficit increased by 18.8 percent in June to $49.9 billion.  Most analysts had expected the figure to be somewhere around 41 to 43 billion dollars.

In the month of June, imports rose to approximately $200 billion while exports fell to about $150 billion.

So can we afford to have a net outflow of 50 billion dollars each and every month?

Of course not.

We had so much wealth as a nation that we could afford to do this for a while,…
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America’s Biggest Jobs Program — the U.S. Military

America’s Biggest Jobs Program — the U.S. Military

Courtesy of Robert Reich

United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket is set for the inaugural launch of a USAF X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on April 22, 2010. Deemed as a mini-space shuttle, the totally automated X-37B contains the most advanced technologies in navigation, power and thermal protection. At nearly 30 feet tall, weighing 11,000 pounds, this first reusable unmanned spacecraft will spend an undisclosed period in orbit so that the USAF may test and validate its systems. The spaceplane will then return to earth and land at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.. UPI/Joe Marino-Bill Cantrell Photo via Newscom

America’s biggest — and only major — jobs program is the U.S. military.

Over 1,400,000 Americans are now on active duty; another 833,000 are in the reserves, many full time. Another 1,600,000 Americans work in companies that supply the military with everything from weapons to utensils. (I’m not even including all the foreign contractors employing non-US citizens.)

If we didn’t have this giant military jobs program, the U.S. unemployment rate would be over 11.5 percent today instead of 9.5 percent.

And without our military jobs program personal incomes would be dropping faster. The Commerce Department reported Monday the only major metro areas where both net earnings and personal incomes rose last year were San Antonio, Texas, Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. — because all three have high concentrations of military and federal jobs.

This isn’t an argument for more military spending. Just the opposite. Having a giant undercover military jobs program is an insane way to keep Americans employed. It creates jobs we don’t need but we keep anyway because there’s no honest alternative. We don’t have an overt jobs program based on what’s really needed.

For example, when Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Monday his plan to cut spending on military contractors by more than a quarter over three years, congressional leaders balked. Military contractors are major sources of jobs back in members’ states and districts. California’s Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, demanded that the move “not weaken the nation’s defense.” That’s congress-speak for “over my dead body.”

Gates simultaneously announced closing the Joint Force Command in Norfolk, Virginia, that employs 6,324 people and relies on 3,300 private contractors. This prompted Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to warn that the closure “would be a step backward.” Translated: “No chance in hell.”

Gates can’t even end useless weapons programs. That’s because they’re covert jobs programs that employ thousands.

He wants to stop production of the C-17 cargo jet he says is no longer needed. But it keeps 4,000 people working at Boeing’s Long Beach assembly plant and 30,000 others at Boeing suppliers strategically located in 40 states. So despite Gates’s protests the Senate has approved ten new orders.

That’s still not enough to keep all those C-17 workers…
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Mass Delusion – American Style

Mass Delusion – American Style

Courtesy of Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” – Charles Mackay - Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds

 

The American public thinks they are rugged individualists, who come to conclusions based upon sound reason and a rational thought process. The truth is that the vast majority of Americans act like a herd of cattle or a horde of lemmings. Throughout history there have been many instances of mass delusion. They include the South Sea Company bubble, Mississippi Company bubble, Dutch Tulip bubble, and Salem witch trials. It appears that mass delusion has replaced baseball as the national past-time in America. In the space of the last 15 years the American public have fallen for the three whopper delusions:

  1. Buy stocks for the long run
  2. Homes are always a great investment
  3. Globalization will benefit all Americans

Bill Bonner and Lila Rajiva ponder why people have always acted in a herd like manner in their outstanding book Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets: Surviving the Public Spectacle in Finance and Politics:

“Of course, we doubt if many public prescriptions are really intended to solve problems. People certainly believe they are when they propose them. But, like so much of what goes on in a public spectacle, its favorite slogans, too, are delusional – more in the nature of placebos than propositions. People repeat them like Hail Marys because it makes them feel better. Most of our beliefs about the economy – and everything else – are of this nature. They are forms of self medication, superstitious lip service we pay to the powers of the dark, like touching wood….or throwing salt over your shoulder. “Stocks for the long run,” “Globalization is good.” We repeat slogans to ourselves, because everyone else does. It is not so much bad luck we want to avoid as being on our own. Why it is that losing your life savings should be less painful if you have lost it in the company of one million other losers, we don’t know. But mankind is first of all a herd animal and fears nothing more than not being part of the herd.”

Stocks for the


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Zero Hedge

United States Of Newspeak - Obama Spins Executive Orders As "Presidential Memoranda" To Avoid Scrutiny

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

If there’s one thing we have learned about Barack Obama, it’s that he is a master of deception and absolutely loves to lie to the public. He seems to enjoy conning the plebs to such a degree, I think he actually receives blasts of dopamine every time he does it. The bigger the lie, the better the rush.

The latest example relates to his issuance of executive orders, or lack thereof, something that Obama Inc...



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Phil's Favorites

Competitive Theories: "Deflation Warning" vs. "Inflation is Nearly Everywhere"

Courtesy of Mish.

Theory #1: Break-Even Rates Provide "Deflation Warning"

Bloomberg is sounding a Deflation Warning as 2-Year Break-Even Rates Go Negative.

Break-even rates are the difference between treasuries and the same-duration Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS). The break-even rate turned negative yesterday for the first time since 2009.

In theory, break-even rates reflect investors’ expectations for inflation over the life of the securities.

When break-even rates are negative, it's an indication investors expect price deflation for the duration, in this case for two years.

From Bloomberg ...
The drop in the break-even rate followed a Labor Depart...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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Chart School

Relief Bounce in Markets

Courtesy of Declan.

Those who took advantage of markets at Fib levels were rewarded.  However, this looked more a 'dead cat' style bounce than a genuine bottom forming low.  This can of course change, and one thing I will want to see is narrow action near today's high. Volume was a little light, but with Christmas fast approaching I would expect this trend to continue.

The S&P inched above 2,009, but I would like to see any subsequent weakness hold the 38.2% Fib level at 1,989.


The Nasdaq offered itself more as a support bounce, with a picture perfect play off its 38.2% Fib level. Unlike the S&P, volume did climb in confirmed accumulation. The next upside c...

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Digital Currencies

Chart o' the Day: Don't "Invest" in Stupid Sh*t

Joshua commented on the QZ article I posted a couple days ago and perfectly summarized the take-home message into an Investing Lesson. 

Chart o’ the Day: Don’t “Invest” in Stupid Sh*t

Courtesy of 

The chart above comes from Matt Phillips at Quartz and is a good reminder of why you shouldn’t invest in s...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of December 15th, 2014

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Energy sector rains on bulls' parade, but skies may clear soon

Reminder: Sabrient is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Courtesy of Scott Martindale of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Stocks have needed a reason to take a breather and pull back in this long-standing ultra-bullish climate, with strong economic data and seasonality providing impressive tailwinds -- and plummeting oil prices certainly have given it to them. But this minor pullback was fully expected and indeed desirable for market health. The future remains bright for the U.S. economy and corporate profits despite the collapse in oil, and now the overbought technical condition has been relieved. While most sectors are gathering fundamental support and our sector rotation model remains bullish, the Energy sector looks fundamentally weak and continues to ran...



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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

Here's this week's Stock World Weekly.

Click here and sign in with your user name and password. 

 

...

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Option Review

SPX Call Spread Eyes Fresh Record Highs By Year End

Stocks got off to a rocky start on the first trading day in December, with the S&P 500 Index slipping just below 2050 on Monday. Based on one large bullish SPX options trade executed on Wednesday, however, such price action is not likely to break the trend of strong gains observed in the benchmark index since mid-October. It looks like one options market participant purchased 25,000 of the 31Dec’14 2105/2115 call spreads at a net premium of $2.70 each. The trade cost $6.75mm to put on, and represents the maximum potential loss on the position should the 2105 calls expire worthless at the end of December. The call spread could reap profits of as much as $7.30 per spread, or $18.25mm, in the event that the SPX ends the year above 2115. The index would need to rally 2.0% over the current level...



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Market Shadows

Official Moves in the Market Shadows' Virtual Portfolio

By Ilene 

I officially bought 250 shares of EZCH at $18.76 and sold 300 shares of IGT at $17.09 in Market Shadows' Virtual Portfolio yesterday (Fri. 11-21).

Click here for Thursday's post where I was thinking about buying EZCH. After further reading, I decided to add it to the virtual portfolio and to sell IGT and several other stocks, which we'll be saying goodbye to next week.

Notes

1. th...



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Pharmboy

Biotechs & Bubbles

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely.  From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.

First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices.  Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment.  Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer.  For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...



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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at jennifersurovy@yahoo.com with any questions.

Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

Thank you for you time!




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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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