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Archive for 2011

TLT testing key short-term support.

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

TLT has rallied off of support and broke above its falling wedge at (1), with a test of its new rising channel support line taking place at (2).

Game Plan…Remail long TLT after a purchase at (1).  Will “harvest” the TLT position on a break of support at (2) by 1%.





60 Minutes Overtime | Mortgage Mess: Who Really Owns Your Mortgage?

Courtesy of 4closureFraud

Mortgage mess: Who really owns your mortgage?

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Do you know who really owns your mortgage? As Scott Pelley reports on “60 Minutes” this week, that question has become a nightmare for many homeowners since the invention of mortgage-backed securities. Yes, those were the exotic investments that sparked the financial collapse in this country. And the’re still causing problems.

As it turns out, Wall Street cut corners when it bundled homeowners’ mortgages into securities that were traded from investor to investor. Now that banks are foreclosing on people, they’re finding that the legal documents behind many mortgages are missing. So, what do the banks do? As Pelley explains in this video, some companies appear to be resorting to forgery and phony paperwork in what looks like a nationwide epidemic.

Even if you’re not at risk of foreclosure, there could be legal ramifications for a homeowner if the chain of title has been lost. Watch the “60 Minutes” report and listen to Pelley’s discussion with “60 Minutes Overtime” editor Ann Silvio about the findings of his reporting team.

Watch Scott Pelley’s report.

Have you contacted your mortgage servicing company to find out whether your mortgage has been bundled and sold? Did you get a clear answer and a copy of your mortgage paperwork to back it up?

www.4closureFraud.org





Did The Economy Stop Blowing Jobs?

Courtesy of MoneyMcbags

The big news in the market on Friday was the release of the (No) Labor Department’s NFP Jobs Report (more commonly known as the Labor Force Participation Rate Report, or fiction) which showed the ponzeconomy™ added 216k jobs in March which was enough for the administration to pat themselves on their well insured backs and head to their local church to celebrate.  So break open the Dom, dish out the beluga, and try not to look the 13.5MM unemployed people in the eyes (or the additional ~10MM U6 fucking unemployed people), because at this rate the ponzeconomy™ will be back to full employment just around the time Bernie Madoff gets out of prison or when former Bush economic adviser Glenn Hubbard‘s sex change is finally complete (he was a woman at one point right?  Or is he just trying to crack this list?).

 

Money McBags would like to break down the jobs report with brilliant insight, unheard of prescience, and tons of boobs (as he did last month), but the story is exactly the fucking same.  No really, Money McBags could simply cut and paste this month’s numbers into last month’s column, rinse, repeat, and be done so he can spend his time building out his library and celebrating India’s victory in the Cricket World Cup, but he knows his readers have spent their hard earned dignity clicking over to the award winning When Genius Prevailed and demand new material, so Money McBags will do his best to polish this turd.

 

1.  It’s the math, stupid.  Just taking a step back and looking at the numbers in aggregate helps you realize the spin being put on them is more absurd than Don Quixote (though thankfully shorter) or a she-male who is in to chicks.  It doesn’t take Daniel Bernoulli, Grigori Perelman, or Patricia Heaton to see that the unemployment rate going from 9.77% to 8.83% since November while an aggregate ~725k jobs were added to the ponzeconomy™ makes less sense than supply side economics (or any economics for that matter).

 

There were 15MM unemployed people in November, which is now down to 13.5MM, but as we just saw, only ~725k jobs were added, so um, something smells fishier than Cy Waits schlong.  Shit, remember that in January a headline 50k jobs…
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Sola Dosis Facit Venenum?

Courtesy of Leo Kolivakis

Via Pension Pulse.

When I was studying at McGill University, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in life so I majored in economics, minored in mathematics and took a bunch of health science courses as electives just in case I wanted to follow my father, brother and friends into medicine. That meant a full year of organic chemistry, biochemistry and physiology. For my intellectual stimulation, I audited Charles (Chuck) Taylor’s courses in political philosophy. He’s the greatest professor I ever had, a true genius.

My friends thought I was nuts, a masochist who was biting off more than he can chew. They were right but I didn’t care. I never obtained the perfect grades needed to apply to medical school because rogue memorization of biochemical pathways just bored me to death. So I went on to finish my Master’s in Economics as I was more comfortable with macroeconomics (even though the stuff they teach students in university isn’t what I call hands-on economic and financial analysis; it’s way too theoretical, almost entirely based on mathematical theorems).

I ended up getting an “A” in my Master’s thesis criticizing the literature on growth empirics (see my comment on Galton’s Fallacy and the Myth of Decoupling). I was proud of that accomplishment because at that time (1997) I got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) at the age of 26 and had to take some time off from writing my thesis. I went through a tough period where I withdrew from my family and friends and spent all my time at the McGill medical school scouring over all the articles on MS I could find. I wanted to know everything: the good, the bad and the downright ugly.

This lasted for a couple of months but at one point I got sick and tired of reading articles on MS and decided to get on living my life. I did, however, learn a lot about MS and diet which led me to Ashton Embry’s wonderful site, Direct-MS.org. It’s there that I learned about nutritional strategies and the importance of vitamin D3 supplementation. Ashton and I have kept in touch ever since.

I don’t follow or endorse any MS diet but I do believe in eating properly and high dose vitamin D, which is something I referred to a few times in my blog.…
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Forget David Sokol, Is The SEC About To Tell Charlie Munger To “Suck It In”?

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

On March 31st, David Sokol appeared on CNBC Squawk Box (to the most distraught Becky Quick we have ever seen) in an attempt to explain why his purchase of of Lubrizol Corp, prior to Berkshire Hathaway’s purchase of the Company, was perfectly acceptable. In attempting to provide evidence of this“perfectly acceptable” practice David Sokol said a curious thing (17 minutes 15 seconds in):

I don’t believe I did anything wrong. Charlie Munger owned 3% of BYD before he asked me to go look at it.

Because we all know if everyone is doing it, then it isn’t illegal or unethical. Especially if everyone is a member of the Berkshire inner circle. But if the SEC as is now widely reported, is about to make a public spectacle out of David Sokol (if not actually press civil charges because, well, the SEC doesn’t actually pursue large scale securities fraud), shouldn’t they be looking at ole’ Charlie “Suck It In” Munger?

The Prestory

In September of 2008 MidAmerican Energy (a company controlled by Berkshire), bought 225 million shares of BYD (10%) at a cost of $230 million. On February 27, 2010, according to the WSJ, Buffet valued this stake at $1.99B. Since that time the stock has fallen about 60% and we would roughly value MidAmerica’s stake at $852M. A nice 370% gain since the initial purchase. Which means that Munger’s 3% is now worth about $280m. This 3% stake in BYD makes up about a little less than 30% of Munger’s $1 Billion total net worth . A not inconsequential sum, and significantly more valuable that the $13m stake Sokol had in Lubrizol.

Charlie Munger dispatched then loyal Berkshire lieutenant David Sokol to do the due diligence on BYD. But make no mistake, the purchase of MidAmerica’s stake in BYD was initiated by, and subsequently endorsed by, if not executed by, one Charlie Munger.

From Fortune:

Buffett, who is 78, was intrigued by Munger’s description of the entrepreneur behind BYD, a man named Wang Chuan-Fu, whom he had met through a mutual friend. “This guy,” Munger tells Fortune, “is a combination of Thomas Edison and Jack Welch – something like Edison in solving technical problems, and something like Welch in getting done what he needs to


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PURPLE RAIN? Fukushima Fallout Reaches the US

Courtesy of MIKE WHITNEY

Originally published at CounterPunch

Three of the six nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have partially melted down and plutonium is seeping into the soil outside. Plutonium is less volatile than other radioactive elements like iodine or cesium, but it’s also more deadly.  According to Business Week, "When plutonium decays, it emits what is known as an alpha particle, a relatively big particle that carries a lot of energy. When an alpha particle hits body tissue, it can damage the DNA of a cell and lead to a cancer-causing mutation." If plutonium leaches into groundwater or pristine aquifers, the threat to public health and the environment will be extreme.

This is an excerpt from an article in the Guardian:
The radioactive core in a reactor at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant appears to have melted through the bottom of its containment vessel and on to a concrete floor, experts say, raising fears of a major release of radiation at the site. The warning follows an analysis by a leading US expert of radiation levels at the plant….

Richard Lahey, who was head of safety research for boiling-water reactors at General Electric when the company installed the units at Fukushima, told the Guardian workers at the site appeared to have "lost the race" to save the reactor…" ("Japan may have lost race to save nuclear reactor", The Guardian)
It also appears that underground tunnels at the facility have been flooded with radioactive water that contains high-concentrations of caesium-137. A considerable amount of the water has made its way to the sea where samples show the levels of contamination steadily rising. This is from the Wall Street Journal:
Levels of radiation in the ocean next to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have surged to record highs, the government said Wednesday, as operators try to deal with large amounts of radioactive water—the unwanted byproduct of operations to cool the reactors.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said water taken Tuesday afternoon from the monitoring location for the troubled reactors Nos. 1 to 4 had 3,355 times the permitted concentration of iodine-131. That is the highest yet recorded at the sampling location, which is 330 meters south of the reactors’ discharge outlet." ("Seawater Radiation Level Soars Near Plant", Wall Street Journal)
All fishing


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Thanks To 60 Minutes’ Report On Fraudclosure, US GDP Is About To “Soar” By $50 Billion

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Several days ago, courtesy of an analysis by JPM’s Michael Feroli, we quantified that the implied “rents” benefit to the US economy arising from squatters not paying mortgages is about $50 billion per year, or just about 0.4% of GDP. Today, thanks to 60 Minutes, this number is about to soar, because if anyone didn’t know before that paying mortgages is for suckers, now virtually every single mortgage borrower, and there are about 48 million of them, will think long and hard before mailing out the next mortgage payment. And if not all, then certainly the 11.1 million underwater mortgages will be one step closer to throwing in the towel on feeding the mortgage monster. Considering that 4.6 million mortgages are currently delinquent for 30 days or more, look for this number to at least double as everyone who is underwater says no mas to a losing game. Which of course is precisely what the banks want: consider that the “rents” benefit is about to double to $100 billion per year, all of which will accrue to the banking system first, then one can see why a $20 billion settlement deal is not a bad investment for the bank to generate a 2.5x ROI in a few short months.

Full 60 Minutes clip on Fraudclosure:





Sawdust, Shredded Newspaper, Diaper Chemicals Fail to Plug Leak at Japan Nuke Plant

Surprise! (Seriously) "Sawdust, Shredded Newspaper, Diaper Chemicals Fail to Plug Leak at Japan Nuke Plant"

Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan (R) speaks to an employee of the Tokyo Electric Power Co.(TEPCO) clad in a protective suit as he visits J-village, about 20km (12 miles) from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, at Naraha town in Fukushima prefecture, April 2, 2011. (REUTERS/Prime Minister’s Office of Japan/Handout)

Absorbent yet to soak up radioactive water at Fukushima plant

Workers tried Sunday to block the leakage of highly radioactive water into the sea from the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant by injecting polymeric water absorbent that can soak up 50 times its volume, but the water flow remains unaffected, the government’s nuclear safety agency said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano, meanwhile, told a press conference that it could take several months before radiation stops leaking from the plant, suggesting a lengthy battle ahead to resolve the crisis triggered by the devastating March 11 quake and tsunami.

Engineers put 8 kilograms of the polymeric water absorbent together with 60 kilograms of sawdust and three bags of shredded newspaper into pipes leading to a pit connected to the No. 2 reactor building where a 20-centimeter crack has been found to be leaking radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, the agency said.

Read more here: Sawdust, Shredded Newspaper, Diaper Chemicals Fail to Plug Leak at Japan Nuke Plant | Common Dreams.





Goldman Capitulates (Again): Downgrades Q1 GDP To 2.5%, Sees Outlook For H2 As “Messy”

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

No QE3? Really? Oh yes, Zero Hedge 1, Goldman Sachs (who can possibly forget Goldman’s shark jumping “New US Golden Age” report from December after all it took was one bad NFP print for Goldman to launch QE2 back in August?) 0 (here and here)

Just out from Jan Hatzius

1. With the first quarter now behind us, we have downgraded our Q1 GDP estimate to 2.5% from 3.5%. By itself, that’s not a big deal. Most indicators other than those that happen to go into the GDP bean count—in particular, virtually all business surveys and labor market indicators—continue to look solid and are probably a more accurate guide to the economy’s true strength. We believe that first-quarter GDP was held down by temporary factors, including poor weather and perhaps a bad draw from noisy data. Because temporary factors must eventually reverse by definition, this could mean a very strong quarterly GDP reading in Q2 (we are at 4%).

2. But the risks to our second-half GDP forecast of 4% also remain on the downside, and that’s more meaningful. We don’t see anything dramatic at this point, just a few weaker signals here and there. Gasoline prices are making new highs again, fiscal policy is starting to tighten a bit more aggressively, and a couple of indicators—specifically ISM new orders and consumer expectations—have softened a bit. So H2 is on downgrade watch.

3. The inflation news is also a thorn in our side. We still think the pass-through from commodity prices into core inflation will be very limited, and there is still a large amount of slack even after the 1-percentage-point drop in the unemployment rate over the past four months. But the core inflation data has clearly been a little firmer than we thought, with rent and owners’ equivalent rent leading the way. At some level, this sounds a bit odd because it’s hard to believe that the battered housing sector is a genuine source of upside inflation risk. Nevertheless, the risks to our forecast that core inflation will stay at 1% are on the upside.

4. Some Fed officials have reacted to the firmer inflation numbers by slightly hedging their earlier calls for continued accommodation, emphasizing that significant second-round effects and higher inflation expectations would not be tolerated, and implying that monetary policy may…
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Goldman’s History Of Borrowing From The Fed

Courtesy of The Daily Bail

Bloomberg reporter Bob Ivry discusses the release of the Federal Reserve’s discount-window lending records and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s borrowing history.





 
 
 

Phil's Favorites

Hoisington Investment Management Quarterly Review and Outlook

Outside the Box: Hoisington Investment Management Quarterly Review and Outlook, First Quarter 2014

By John Mauldin

In today’s Outside the Box, Lacy Hunt and Van Hoisington of Hoisington Investment have the temerity to point out that since the Great Recession officially ended in 2009, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has been consistently overoptimistic in its projections of US growth. They simply expected QE to be more stimulative than it has been, to the tune of about 6% over the past four years – a total of about $1 trillion that never materialized.

Given that dismal track record, our authors ask why we should believe the Fed’s prediction of 2.9% real GDP growth for 2014 and 3.4% for 2015 – particularly with QE being tapered into nonexistence. ...



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Zero Hedge

James Clapper Begins Propaganda Tour After Students Identify Edward Snowden As "Personal Hero"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Kevin Gosztola over at Firedoglake does some excellent work, and his latest story about the recent activities of perjuring Director of National Intelligence for the U.S., James Clapper, is no exception. To provide a little context, the Washington Post ...



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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

Dead-Cat Bounce Over for the Housing Market?

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

I have been saying this for a while: You can't have a housing recovery unless actual home buyers are involved.

We are very far away from seeing the housing market reach its 2005 highs ... and as time passes, it becomes clearer that this generation may never see them again.

How can I say that?

What we have seen in the housing market since then, but mostly since 2012, in my opinion, is nothing more than a dead-cat bounce scenario -- an increase in prices after a massive decline. The chart below shows how far off we are from the housing prices of 2005.


Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

One of the key indicators I follow in ...



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Insider Scoop

GM Said It Has Shipped Thousands of Replacement Ignition Switches

Courtesy of Benzinga.

General Motors on Wednesday said it has shipped "thousands" of kits needed to repair the defective ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths.

Partner content partner content url:  http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2014/04/23/gm-said-it-has-shipped-thousands-replacement-ignition-switches/?cmpid=prn_benz

The following article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

...

http://www.insidercow.com/ more from Insider

Market Shadows

Soy Numero Uno

Soy Numero Uno

By Paul Price of Market Shadows

Bunge Limited (BG) is the world’s largest processor of soybeans. It is also a major producer of vegetable oils, fertilizer, sugar and bioenergy.

When commodities got hot in 2007-08, Bunge’s EPS shot up and the stock followed, rising 185% in 19 months.

The Great Recession took its toll on operations, dropping EPS to a low of $2.22 in 2009.  Since then profits have recovered.  They ranged from $4.62 - $5.90 in the latest three years. 2014 appears poised for a large increase. Consensus views from multiple sources see BG earning $7.04 - $7.10 this year and then $7.83 - $7.94 in 2015.

...



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Option Review

Casino Stocks LVS, WYNN On The Run Ahead of Earnings

Shares in Las Vegas Sands Corp. (Ticker: LVS) are up sharply today, gaining as much as 5.7% to touch $80.12 and the highest level since April 4th, mirroring gains in shares of resort casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd. (Ticker: WYNN). The move in Wynn shares appears, at least in part, to follow a big increase in target price from analysts at CLSA who upped their target on the ‘buy’ rated stock to $350 from $250 a share. CLSA also has a ‘buy’ rating on Las Vegas Sands with a $100 price target according to a note from reporter, Janet Freund, on Bloomberg. Both companies are scheduled to report first-quarter earnings after the closing bell on Thursday.

...

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Sabrient

What the Market Wants: Market Poised to Head Higher: 3 Stocks to Consider

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

Courtesy of David Brown, Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Yesterday, the market continued its winning ways for the fifth consecutive day.  The S&P 500 closed within 1% of its all-time high, and the DJI was even closer to its all-time high.  Healthcare, Energy and Technology led the sectors while Financials, Telecom, and Utilities finished slightly in the red.  All three sectors in the red are typically flight-to-safety stocks, so despite lower than average volume, the market appears poised to make new highs.

Mid-cap Growth led the style/caps last week, up 2.87%, and Small-cap Growth trailed, up 2.22%. This week will bring well over 100 S&P 500 stocks reporting their March quarter earn...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - Week of April 21st, 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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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 PSW user name and password, or sign up for a free trial.

...

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Digital Currencies

Facebook Takes Life Seriously and Moves To Create Its Own Virtual Currency, Increases UltraCoin Valuation Significantly

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Reggie Middleton.

The Financial Times reports:

[Facebook] The social network is only weeks away from obtaining regulatory approval in Ireland for a service that would allow its users to store money on Facebook and use it to pay and exchange money with others, according to several people involved in the process. 

The authorisation from Ireland’s central bank to become an “e-money” institution would allow ...



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Promotions

See Live Demo Of This Google-Like Trade Algorithm

I just wanted to be sure you saw this.  There’s a ‘live’ training webinar this Thursday, March 27th at Noon or 9:00 pm ET.

If GOOGLE, the NSA, and Steve Jobs all got together in a room with the task of building a tremendously accurate trading algorithm… it wouldn’t just be any ordinary system… it’d be the greatest trading algorithm in the world.

Well, I hate to break it to you though… they never got around to building it, but my friends at Market Tamer did.

Follow this link to register for their training webinar where they’ll demonstrate the tested and proven Algorithm powered by the same technological principles that have made GOOGLE the #1 search engine on the planet!

And get this…had you done nothing b...



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Pharmboy

Here We Go Again - Pharma & Biotechs 2014

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

Ladies and Gentlemen, hobos and tramps,
Cross-eyed mosquitoes, and Bow-legged ants,
I come before you, To stand behind you,
To tell you something, I know nothing about.

And so the circus begins in Union Square, San Francisco for this weeks JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.  Will the momentum from 2013, which carried the S&P Spider Biotech ETF to all time highs, carry on in 2014?  The Biotech ETF beat the S&P by better than 3 points.

As I noted in my previous post, Biotechs Galore - IPOs and More, biotechs were rushing to IPOs so that venture capitalists could unwind their holdings (funds are usually 5-7 years), as well as take advantage of the opportune moment...



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