Archive for February, 2011

China Forced To Deny It Will Experience HYPERinflation In 2011, As Russia Unexpectedly Hikes Interest Rates

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

And now for this evening’s stunner, via Dow Jones. “There won’t be hyperinflation in China this year, the state-run China Securities Journal reported Tuesday, citing Yao Jingyuan, the chief economist of the National Bureau of Statistics. The abundant stocks of grains and main agricultural products in China are key factors in stabilizing consumer prices, the newspaper quoted Yao as saying. China’s consumer price index rose 4.9% in January from a year earlier, picking up from December’s 4.6%.” So putting aside what official denial means about the validity of a story, not to mention this utterly bizzare and completely out of left field statement, China’s best and only reason why it won’t have hyperinflation is that it has “abundant stocks of grains and agricultural products.”… We can, at best, hope that this has to be some early version of an April Fool’s joke, or else things are truly far worse than anyone expected.

Also, just where does China put the threshold cut off on “hyper” – 10%? 20%? 50%? Is it at least safe to say that China may well experience mega, turbo, or nitrous inflation (and we generously put all three terms to the left of “hyper” on the X-axis)?

In the meantime, Russia, which will soon come out with comparable warnings, unexpectedly hiked interest rates by 0.25% to 8.00%:rest

The Russian Central Bank unexpectedly raised its key interest rate by 0.25 percent to 8 percent for the first time since the economic crisis over two years ago.

The Bank of Russia said in a statement that the rate hike, effective from Monday, was needed due to the high inflationary pressure and the expected rise of capital inflow into Russia as the world oil prices surge on the unrest in the Middle East.

“There are grounds for capital inflows into Russia due to higher oil prices,” the central bank said in a statement accompanying the decision.

By tightening its monetary policy, Russia is sending a strong signal that it views rising prices as a greater threat than slow economic growth.

Since the start of 2011, according to the Rosstat data, customer inflation in Russia reached 9.7 percent in a yearly term, mostly due to rising food prices. Earlier, in December 2010, central bank Chairman Sergey Ignatiev said monetary policy makers next year will focus on


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China Forced To Deny It Will Experience HYPERinflation In 2011

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

And now for this evening’s stunner, via Dow Jones. “There won’t be hyperinflation in China this year, the state-run China Securities Journal reported Tuesday, citing Yao Jingyuan, the chief economist of the National Bureau of Statistics. The abundant stocks of grains and main agricultural products in China are key factors in stabilizing consumer prices, the newspaper quoted Yao as saying. China’s consumer price index rose 4.9% in January from a year earlier, picking up from December’s 4.6%.” So putting aside what official denial means about the validity of a story, not to mention this utterly bizzare and completely out of left field statement, China’s best and only reason why it won’t have hyperinflation is that it has “abundant stocks of grains and agricultural products.”… We can, at best, hope that this has to be some early version of an April Fool’s joke, or else things are truly far worse than anyone expected.

Also, just where does China put the threshold cut off on “hyper” – 10%? 20%? 50%? Is it at least safe to say that China may well experience mega, turbo, or nitrous inflation (and we generously put all three terms to the left of “hyper” on the X-axis)?

In the meantime, Russia, which will soon come out with comparable warnings, unexpectedly hiked interest rates by 0.25% to 8.00%:rest

The Russian Central Bank unexpectedly raised its key interest rate by 0.25 percent to 8 percent for the first time since the economic crisis over two years ago.

The Bank of Russia said in a statement that the rate hike, effective from Monday, was needed due to the high inflationary pressure and the expected rise of capital inflow into Russia as the world oil prices surge on the unrest in the Middle East.

“There are grounds for capital inflows into Russia due to higher oil prices,” the central bank said in a statement accompanying the decision.

By tightening its monetary policy, Russia is sending a strong signal that it views rising prices as a greater threat than slow economic growth.

Since the start of 2011, according to the Rosstat data, customer inflation in Russia reached 9.7 percent in a yearly term, mostly due to rising food prices. Earlier, in December 2010, central bank Chairman Sergey Ignatiev said monetary policy makers next year will focus on


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American Monster: Excerpts from The Madoff Tapes

Here’s an excerpt from The Madoff Tapes, and Jesse at his best, calling out the fraud and greed characterizing our power structure and offering little hope for the future. – Ilene 

 Pic credit: MTTS (Via Jr. Deputy Accountant)

Courtesy of Jesse’s Cafe Americain 

“It’s unbelievable. Goldman … no one has any criminal convictions—the whole new regulatory reform is a joke. The whole government is a Ponzi scheme.”

Here are some brief excerpts from a story in New York Magazine called The Madoff Tapes. The story runs to nine pages, so consider this just a taste and read the whole thing when you have the time. I thought Steve Fishman did a terrific job of letting Bernie talk and of presenting his thoughts in a orderly manner without a lot of interpretation and editorial intrusion. He has real talent as an interviewer, and seems a natural reporter. 

But while you read this bear in mind that you are seeing reality interpreted through the eyes of Madoff, a master manipulator and pathological liar, an individual perhaps in deep denial, but the question is, to whom. 

His psychiatrist in prison tells him he is not a sociopath because he has remorse. I think his major remorse is that he was caught. The article implies that he is a narcissist. I think he is all of the above, and much, much, more.   

Always full of self-pity and the quick deflections of a classic con man, he seems to blame his corruption on the failure of his father’s business, and a personal vow never to let it happen to him, a resolve that became an obsessive compulsion.   Besides, everyone was doing it.  He just did more of it, more quickly and with an automated efficiency that turned into raw fraud when the easy gains evaporated.   It is a microcosm of the US financial sector today.

Sometime in the future someone is going to do a thorough analysis on what was common in the background of these fellows who were drawn to Wall Street in the 1980′s and beyond, and what made them the way they are. But we can discover what set them free to do their worst, and that was the undermining of regulation,…
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Oxen Group Nightly – Feb. 28 – Stock Market Recap





US Military Counter-Libya Preparation Update: USS Enterprise Now Back In Mediterranean

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Earlier today, we reported that the US military is in the process of repositioning its forces in the area around Libya “to be able to provide flexibility and options.” And while we have yet to get an updated US naval map for this week (the last one can be found here), it appears that the USS Enterprise which was previously on its way to the Straits of Hormuz has made a 180 and has now backtracked completely through the Red Sea and is now once again north of the Suez, where it has joined the big deck amphibious warfare ship Kearsarge. This means that the USS Vinson is again left alone to protect the highly combustible gulf region, which now includes both Bahrain and Oman, in addition to Yemen and of course Iran and Saudi, on revolutionary watch. It may be time to send Abraham Lincoln, which in turn is patrolling the South China Sea, back to the Persian Gulf as the possibility of a flashpoint escalation there is far greater than around Indonesia (which however would leave all of Korea and China unguarded). Keep an eye out on CVN 74 and 76 – Stennis and Reagan. If those two start making a move west, then next steps can be extrapolated quite easily.

AFP has more:

“We’re studying all options to ensure that Colonel Gaddafi understands that he has to go. I know that people have mentioned military solutions, and these solutions are being examined by the French government,” Fillon said in an interview with RTL radio.

One option on the table was using NATO air power to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to stop Gaddafi from using air strikes against his own people. However, such a step would require UN approval, experts said.

 For any military intervention featuring air power, US commanders could turn to the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier, which is currently in the Red Sea, as well as the amphibious ship the USS Kearsarge, which has a fleet of helicopters and about 2000 Marines on board.

As of Monday, the nuclear-powered USS Enterprise had moved to the north of the Red Sea, near the Suez Canal, according to the US Navy’s website.

As recently as last week, the carrier was in the Gulf of Aden, when it was part of


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…To The Shores Of Tripoli

Courtesy of Jack H Barnes

The Empire is stirring. You may not notice it initially and you may not care yet: in time you will. The US is the only military in the world that can invade a prepared and defensive nation – not only expecting to win; but to dominate the event.  Pax Americana is coming to an end.

Outside of an attack on Hawaii like Japan used in 1941; the US picks its wars.  The only functioning Empire in the known universe, America has the capacity to unilaterally act with overwhelming force.

It normally takes years for a situation to reach a critical boiling point where the US will intervene.  The GW I & II era took 6-9 months of obvious preparation time before occurring.  Kosovo was an aerial war with no real ‘boots on the ground’ until the outcome was in the waning stages.

Afghanistan started out as a special ops cowboy war; it has now slowly grown into the largest armed conflict on the planet currently. The Iraqi war is winding down with combat troop levels dropping to historic low levels since 2003.

Normally, the U.S. is slow to act; however when the Empire does act, under most circumstances it is prepared to handle two individual wars at the same time. The Iraqi war is winding down currently, giving the US the capacity to act unilaterally again.  The US has a military budget that is larger than the rest of the world combined.  This gives it the capacity to act in its own best interest on demand.

World War I & World War II are both prime examples of the US arriving into an ongoing conflict with overwhelming muscle.  The above will provide you with the context of what is next to come.

When an Empire decides to attack another nation, there are a set of dances that both sides normally undertake: it’s akin to a ritual courting, in reverse.  The outcome of this public ritual dance is war, not a peaceful diplomatic outcome.    With the benefit of hindsight, these signs are unmistakable.  The US and England have always had a unique international relationship and is one prime example.

While the US is the current Empire, the US was originally part of the last Great Empire.  Those old relationship bonds run deep and true.  While the media loves to try to highlight the gap…
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Wake Me, Shake Me

Courtesy of James Howard Kunstler   

     A quickening of events pulses through lands where for so long time stood still, and the oil – what’s left of it – lies locked for the moment beneath hot sands – woe upon all ye soccer moms! – while Colonel Gadhafi ponders the Mussolini option – that is, to be hoisted up a lamp-post on a high-C piano wire until his head bursts like a rotten pomegranate. Then the good folk of Libya can fight amongst themselves for the swag, loot, and ka-chingling oil revenues he left behind. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton scowls on the sidelines knowing how bad it would look if US marines actually hit the shores of Tripoli (and perhaps how fruitless it might turn out to be). And Italian grandmothers across the Mediterranean wonder why there’s no gas to fire up the orecchiette con cime di rapa. 

       The fluxes of springtime run cruelly across the sands of Araby, clear into Persia where the ayatollahs’ vizeers toy with uranium centrifuges and thirty million young people wonder how long they will allow bearded ignoramuses to tell them how to pull their pants on in the morning. Along about now, I wouldn’t feel secure standing next to somebody lighting a cigarette in that part of the world. 

      Pretty soon we’re going to find out just how fragile things are in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, there at the heart of things oily. Last week, King Abdullah wobbled out of his intensive care unit to spread a little surplus cash around the surging population, but let’s remember that their share of the oil "welfare" has been going down steadily in recent years – a simple matter of numbers really. Putting aside even the common folk, a thousand princes from dozens of different tribes pace restively in the background awaiting the struggle that must follow King Abdullah’s overdue transmigration to the farther shore. All along the western coast of the Persian Gulf and down toward the Horn of Africa, dark forces stir. Fuses sputter in Kingdoms from Bahrain to the Yemen.

     Also last week, Wikileaks released papers signifying that Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves were quite a bit less than they had claimed. It was basically an old story, one that the late Matthew Simmons had published in 2005 just from poring over reams of production data from…
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Is PIMCO The Fed’s “Agent Provocateur” In Scuttling Billions In Legal Putback Claims Against JP Morgan And Bank Of America?

Come back to this after reading:  What I don’t understand is how, Blackrock, for example, holding "an estimated USD 3.4bn of BofA equity," could make a settlement with BofA that is considered binding to any other party. – Ilene 

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Perhaps it is time for JP Morgan to revise its estimate for putback liability claims. As a reminder back in October, it was none other than JP Morgan which said: "We estimate putback risk to be approximately $23-$35bn for agency mortgages, $40-80bn in non-agency and roughly $20-30bn for second liens and HELOCs. However, there are a number of reasons why these estimates are on the high end, including losses already taken and loss reserves established."

Well, there appear to be a number of reasons of why these estimates may have been on the very low end as well, the first one being that the bank itself just announced "it faces up to $4.5 billion in legal losses, in excess of its established litigation reserves, should its worst-case legal scenario occur." And if JP Morgan is seeing billion more in putback exposure, then what should Bank of Countrywide Lynch say, which just reported that the amount of debt which is being put against the firm for fraud of various types has just doubled from $46 billion to $84 billion. Luckily, according to a DebtWire report, PIMCO and BlackRock are actively doing the Fed’s bidding in attempting to form a splinter group within the putback litigants and to settle with BofA for a nominal charge. Will the Fed be once again successful at subverting justice?

From the WSJ:

The SEC has requested the additional disclosures on what banks could potentially face on legal losses on top of what they have set aside. The banks all face a rash of lawsuits regarding the financial crisis and collapse of the housing market, particularly from investors who purchased mortgage-backed securities that later tumbled in value.

The bank already accounts for what it considers a reasonable estimate of losses in a litigation reserve, a number it doesn’t make public. The $4.5 billion figure would be a worst-case scenario on top of that number. It said the additional losses could be zero, though it could also go higher as the bank can’t yet make estimates on the more than 10,000 legal proceedings it faces.

To those…
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CNBC On The Case For $130 Silver

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Nothing new for regulars here. Yet the fact that CNBC, following Cramer’s endorsement of gold, is now apparently pushing silver on retail is very troubling: can’t the fast money crew just stick with pitching Netflix or some other widowmaker to their demographic. That said, since per Nielsen, said demo did not even register in recent surveys, we are not all that concerned. That said, the people still demand Doug Kass to appear with an immediate rebuttal how he is all in short silver, just to neutralize the suddenly disconcerting feng shui.





A Look At The Lawsuit Against Michael Lewis, In Which We Find That Brad Pitt Has Bought The Movie Right To “The Big Short”

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Earlier today, some hilarious news hit the tape after it was made public that disgraced CDO trader Wing Chau has decided to go nuclear and sue Michael Lewis and Steve Eisman due to their all too honest representation of the Harding Advisory asset manager, in Lewis’ book “The Big Short” (not spared from the lawsuit was even book publisher W.W. Norton). “Michael Lewis was sued by Wing Chau, president and principal of Harding Advisory LLC, who accused the writer of defaming him in his 2010 book. The book “depicts Mr. Chau as someone who ignored his professional responsibilities, made misrepresentations to investors, charged money for work that was not performed, had no stake in the CDOs he managed, was incompetent or reckless in carrying out his responsibilities, and violated his fiduciary duties by putting the interests of ‘Wall Street bond trading desks’ above those of his investors.” It appears that Chau missed at least one additional defendant: Jody Shenn of Bloomberg, who in 2010 wrote a scathing article titled “How Wing Chau Helped Neo Default in Merrill CDOs Under SEC View” which provided just as damning and just as accurate a portrait of the (allegedly) pathologically greedy manager who presided at the “center of an epidemic of conflicts of interest.” And while we present the key highlights from Shenn’s piece which is a must read for anyone interested in what will surely be a recurring drama in the coming months (the Michael Lewis op-ed repartees will be worth the price of admission alone), what appears to have forced Chau to take this career ending step (sorry Wing, no more AUM for you) is that he is about to hit the silver screen. In the full lawsuit we read that “Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B Entertainment Inc., has bought the movie rights and is working with Paramount Pictures Corporation to produce [The Big Short] film.” Well isn’t that special…

Here are some of the choicest quotes by Jody Shenn from his May 2010 article:

In early 2007, with subprime-mortgage defaults soaring, Wing F. Chau teamed with Merrill Lynch & Co. to create a $300 million pool of assets that shared a name with the main character in The Matrix movies who discovers reality isn’t what it seems.

Neo CDO Ltd. was a complex construction. More than


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News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

European Stocks Little Changed With Industry Rotation on Hold (Bloomberg)

European stocks were little changed, as a recent rotation out of so-called defensive sectors and into shares seen benefiting from economic growth eased. Utilities and real estate companies climbed with banks, while miners trimmed recent lofty gains.

Yuan Rises for a Second Day as Fixing Signals Government Support (Bloomberg)

China’s yuan rose for a second day after an unexpectedly strong central bank fixing spurred specul...



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Zero Hedge

Frontrunning: December 6

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

  • Trump heads back out on road for 'thank you' tour (AP)
  • For Europe’s Unity, 2017 Will Be a Year of Reckoning (WSJ)
  • Oil dips as OPEC, Russian output rises ahead of production cut (Reuters)
  • The Pessimist's Guide to 2017 (...


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ValueWalk

The Beauty of Old (Investment) Ideas

By David Merkel. Originally published at ValueWalk.

One of the great draws in reading investment writing is the lure of “hot tips.”  Everyone wants an investment idea that they can put a lot of money into that will reward buyers (or shorts) with a quick and large score.  Thus most publications try to lure you in with articles like these, whether they will work or not.

Photo source: Tumisu, Pixabay

We live in an era where market players scour as much fresh data as possible to make money, because there is validity to the idea that only fresh, previously unknown information can produce excess returns.  ...



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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

Dow Sets Record as Bank Stocks Rally, Investors Shrug Off Italy (Bloomberg)

U.S. stocks climbed and the Dow Jones Industrial Average set a record as a rally in financial and technology shares reversed a dip in early trading after Italian voters rejected a constitutional referendum.

Japan's Labor Shortage Is Worst in the Leas...



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Promotions

Phil's Stock World's Las Vegas Conference!

 

Come join us for the Phil's Stock World's Conference in Las Vegas!

Date:  Sunday, Feb 12, 2017 and Monday Feb 13, 2017.            

Beginning Time:  8:00 am Sunday morning

Location: Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas

Notes

Caesar's has tentatively offered us rooms for $189 on Saturday night and $129 for Sunday night. However, we have to sign the contract ASAP. We need at least 10 people to pay me via Paypal or we may lose the best rate for the rooms. (Once we are guaranteed ten attendees, I will put up instructions to call the hotel for individual rooms.)

The more people who sign up,...



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Members' Corner

Once In A Lifetime?

Courtesy of Nattering Naybob.

Summary
Discussion, critique and analysis of the potential impacts on equity, bond, commodity, capital and asset markets regarding the following:
  • Dec 4th Italian Constitutional Referendum
  • Referendum Result; Market Reaction
  • Political Reaction; Opposition Party Reaction
Last Time Out
Since the end of World War II, 71 years have passed during which, the "perfect" balance has resulted in 63 different Italian governments, or more often than most change shoes.  Instead of being a real second legislative check, that balance is seemingly a weapon of mass distraction and instrument of political vetoes whi...

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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of December 5th, 2016

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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Kimble Charting Solutions

Inflation indicator testing multi-year breakout cluster!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Some tools are used to measure inflation or lack of. Some look at the price of Crude Oil, Doc Copper or the Commodities Index (CRB) to determine if inflation or deflation is in play. Since 2011, most commodities have created a series of lower highs and lower lows and for many, it has been easier to make the case of deflation than inflation, is in play.

Below looks at another tool, that is often used to determine if inflation or deflation is in play. This tool we are referring too is the TIPS/TLT ratio-

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Dec 4, 2016

Courtesy of Blain.

The week that was…

The market needed a pause after the frenetic post election rally, and it finally arrived this week.  The pullback was mild as bulls would like.  This week’s “fear of the week” was Italy’s political referendum which happened today… and was rejected.

Italian voters were asked in a referendum to approve changes to the country’s constitution, which have been called the most sweeping since the end of World War II. The proposed reforms would cut the Senate’s size by two-thirds and reduce powers held by the country’s 20 regional governments. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi believes the changes will aid efficiency in parliament.

The reforms could also “make it easier to implement important legislation (such as measure...



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Digital Currencies

Largest US Bitcoin Exchange Is "Extremely Concerned" With IRS Crackdown Targeting Its Users

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Last Thursday we reported that in a startling development seeking to breach the privacy veil of users of America's largest bitcoin exchange, the IRS filed court papers seeking a judicial order to serve a so-called “John Doe” summons on the San Francisco-based Bitcoin platform Coinbase.

The government’s request is part of a bitcoin tax-evasion probe, and se...



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Mapping The Market

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

Via Jean-Luc

Good article on investing success:

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

By Morgan Housel

There is a reason no Berkshire Hathaway investor chides Buffett when the company has a bad quarter. It’s because Buffett has so thoroughly convinced his investors that it’s pointless to try to navigate around 90-day intervals. He’s done that by writing incredibly lucid letters to investors for the last 50 years, communicating in easy-to-understand language at annual meetings, and speaking on TV in ways that someone with no investing experience can grasp.

Yes, Buffett runs an amazing investment company. But he also runs an amazing investor company. One of the most underappreciated part of his s...



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Biotech

Epizyme - A Waiting Game

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

Epizyme was founded in 2007, and trying to create drugs to treat patient's cancer by focusing on genetically-linked differences between normal and cancer cells. Cancer areas of focus include leukemia, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer.  One of the Epizme cofounders, H. Robert Horvitz, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2002 for "discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death."

Before discussing the drug targets of Epizyme, understanding epigenetics is crucial to comprehend the company's goals.  

Genetic components are the DNA sequences that are 'inherited.'  Some of these genes are stronger than others in their expression (e.g., eye color).  Yet, some genes turn on or off due to external factors (environmental), and it is und...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan 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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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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