Archive for 2011

EURO SCRaMBLe 2011

Courtesy of williambanzai7

EURO SCRAMBLE





Poorly-Timed SPR Oil Release Could Cost U.S. Taxpayers $1.5 Billion

Courtesy of Dian of EconMatters

World crude oil market has been rocked by the surprise announcement of the International Energy Agency (IEA) to release 60 million barrels of oil from member countries’ strategic petroleum reserves (SPR). The US led the effort by chipping in 50% of the planned release, while Japan, Germany, France, Spain and Italy are providing most of the rest.

Questionable Timing

This kind of coordinated sale from the IEA has only occurred twice before on a supply emergency basis – 1991 Persian Gulf War, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. This time around, the “supply emergency” cited was the disruption stemming from the conflict in Libya, which started about four months ago.

So just based on face value, the timing seems questionable, and we have not even got into the philosophical debate as to whether SPR should be used as a market price equilibrium tool, which was briefly discussed in my previous article, but will not be the focus of this discussion.  

What Supply Emergency?

Unlike the two previous releases by the IEA, currently there’s no similar crude supply shortage situation. Libya and Yemen are the two biggest concerns that the unrest could destabilize larger oil-producing countries in the region. However, these two nations produce less than 4% of the world’s oil needs, and Saudi Arabia and others have boosted output to make up for much of the shortfall.

In the U.S., crude inventory remains high at 363.8 million barrels as of June 17, above the average range, and there’s no dire shortage in products either (See Chart Below).
 

Outside of the U.S., stocks are building as well. From Oil Daily dated June 21:

“OECD commercial inventories for crude and products rose again in May, which came on the heels of an almost 1 million b/d jump in April….At 2.656 billion barrels, OECD inventories provide a solid cushion…”

If there such a “tight” European crude market caused by Libyan disruption as many, including the IEA, cited, then there should not be such a build in inventories in OECD.

Other Possible Incentives

Others believe the move by the IEA and the U.S. is to

  • Curb high consumer gasoline prices
  • Send a message to market speculators
  • Counter the failed production increase at OPEC meeting in Vienna on June 8
  • Act as stimulus amid


continue reading





What If Greece Says No?

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

With Greece set to dominate the news flow once again in the upcoming week, the question on everyone’s mind is what would happen “if Greece says no”, preferrably with some more nuance than just “the end of the world.” So for everyone inquiring, here is SocGen’s Michala Marcusen with a full timeline of the “what if” scenario.

From Societe Generale

The Greek Parliament is due to vote on the Medium-Term Fiscal Strategy (MTFS) on June 28 and the associated implementation law on June 30. If all goes well, the Eurogroup will then meet on July 3 to finalise a new 3-year program for Greece. If the Greek Parliament votes No (a scenario to which we attach a 30% probability), the much need next €12bn tranche of the EU/IMF would be blocked and Greece would be left grappling for funding in a political vacuum pending a likely general election. In such a scenario, the EU would have to take aggressive action to stem contagion; and this could include reactivating  the ECB’s SMP. Even in a best case solution, the euro area debt crisis seems likely to run from one issue to the next with the over-arching solution of a new credible fiscal policy infrastructure coming into place only very slowly.

If all goes well …

A yes vote in the Greek Parliament to the MTFS will no doubt bring a sign of relief, and the immediate focus will shift to the Eurogroup meeting on July 3.

What shape will the new program take? We expect the Eurogroup to define a 3-year package effectively removing the need for Greece to access bond markets before 2015. While there is no final number as of yet, a package of €85-120bn seems likely split between new EU/IMF loans worth €40-70bn, Greek privatisation receipts of around €25bn and private creditor participation of €20-30bn.

How will private creditors participate? At last week’s Eurogroup meeting a subtle change to ESM seniority, making loans to Greece, Portugal and Ireland exempt from the rule (pending approval by national parliaments) brought a small first concession to private creditors. However, press reports suggest that private creditors (and this mainly concerns banks, who hold the bulk of the shorter dated Greek paper) want more enhancements before agreeing to some form of maturity extension. An additional concern is not to trigger a credit event in the process, which…
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A Look At Events In The Week Ahead: All About Greece Part 2

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

From Goldman Sachs

Week in Review

Markets remained glued to events in Greece last week starting with the Eurogroup finance minster meeting at the beginning of the week, the vote of confidence in the Greek Government, which they won, to the Eurogroup summit at the end of the week, which approved the Greek Medium-Term Fiscal Strategy. The latter will be subject to a parliamentary vote in the coming week. Despite all the too-ing and fro-ing over Greece, the Euro really hasn’t done that much. It remained essentially range-bound, as did most other currencies, including the Dollar. Cyclical assets broadly matched this pattern. The US Wavefront Growth basket has climbed off its lows, but bond yields generally declined last week.

Week Ahead

Greece will remain the main focus of attention. As it stands at the moment, the Greek Parliament will begin to debate the medium-term fiscal plan and the implementation laws on Monday. Voting on the legislation will occur on Wednesday for the Medium-Term Fiscal Strategy and Thursday for the implementation law. After the government won a vote of confidence, the assumption is that the required legislation will pass through parliament. However, reports that several PASOK members will potentially vote against the measures will likely add to the uncertainty ahead of the outcome of the parliamentary vote.

On the assumption that Greece passes the required legislation, on July 3, the Eurogroup will authorise the disbursement of the fifth tranche of the current package, and on July 11, will unveil the new funding package for Greece. Again on the assumption that Greece passes the required legislation, the macro data will become front and center on Friday, given it is the first day of the month we will get the release of PMIs globally. We already have a flavour of business sentiment given the downside surprises delivered by the Empire survey, Philly Fed, and the HSBC China Flash PMI, as well as the Euroland Flash PMIs. As usual, we will release the final reading of the GLI for June after the US ISM, which is expected to soften further.

Monday 27 June

US Core PCE (May): We expect a rise of 0.24% mom against consensus expectations of a 0.2% rise, which is equivalent to the last reading.

Tuesday 28 June

US Consumer Confidence (Jun): We expect a slight decline to 59.0 fro 60.8;…
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The SPX 500 – Sleibhins Opinion

Courtesy of Benzinga

In the attached chart [ SPX 500 Monthly ] we can see that the Price action, since March 2009, has been confined to an ascending channel. At this time the upper boundary is at 1515± and the lower boundary is at 1250 ±. It is believed that the Index is headed for 1250 ± . The chart shows one internal rising trend line that is defined by a series of increasing high points . The Index reversed off this trend line as is presently under going a correction that will probably involve a test of the lower boundary before there will be a reversal even though the indicator [ modified Idiot ] is still indicating a BUY. On such a reversal the internal trend line will be the initial target. This prediction is confirmed in various analytical methods. The limiting to one chart is a bit of a nuisance but I will give an URL where those interested can obtain additional information on indicators and some of the methods used in this report. The Indicator the Idiot, on most time periods, is still indicating a SELL which indicates that there is still more downside before the correction is completed. On the shorter [ < 1 day ] time periods the Canary 6 is indicating that a reversal is on the menu. The daily Bi BB’s chart shows that the Price reversed off the MBB [ 1289.59 ] and has now closed [ 1268.45 ] on the LBB (20,1) [ 1268.45 ]. A break below this level will set the LBB (20,2) [ 1247.31 ] as a target. The calculated PVP Monthly support levels are S1 [ 1314.47 ] , S2 [ 1283.75 ], intermediate point [ 1254.36 ] and S3 [ 1244.97 ] . With the Index having dropped through levels S1 and S2 the immediate downside target is 1254.36. In the coming week of June 27th, the calculated weekly support levels are 1254.36- 1240.90 and 1205.16 . The Daily values for June 27th are 1262.48 – 1256.52 – 1239.83 and 1223.14. The Weekly Planet Price levels are 1320.76 – 1289.31 – 1276.59 – 1260 and 1243.90. Again the support values fall in the same “ball park”. Assuming that this down…
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Roundup: Birth Defects Caused By World’s Top-Selling Weedkiller, Scientists Say

By Lucia Graves, Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — The chemical at the heart of the planet’s most widely used herbicide — Roundup weedkiller, used in farms and gardens across the U.S. — is coming under more intense scrutiny following the release of a new report calling for a heightened regulatory response around its use.

Critics have argued for decades that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and other herbicides used around the globe, poses a serious threat to public health. Industry regulators, however, appear to have consistently overlooked their concerns.

A comprehensive review of existing data released this month by Earth Open Source, an organization that uses open-source collaboration to advance sustainable food production, suggests that industry regulators in Europe have known for years that glyphosate, originally introduced by American agricultural biotechnology giant Monsanto in 1976, causes birth defects in the embryos of laboratory animals.

Founded in 2009, Earth Open Source is a non-profit organisation incorporated in the U.K. but international in scope. Its three directors, specializing in business, technology and genetic engineering, work pro-bono along with a handful of young volunteers. Partnering with half a dozen international scientists and researchers, the group drew its conclusions in part from studies conducted in a number of locations, including Argentina, Brazil, France and the United States.

Earth Open Source’s study is only the latest report to question the safety of glyphosate, which is the top-ranked herbicide used in the United States. Exact figures are hard to come by because the U.S. Department of Agriculture stopped updating its pesticide use database in 2008. The EPA estimates that the agricultural market used 180 to 185 million pounds of glyphosate between 2006 and 2007, while the non-agricultural market used 8 to 11 million pounds between 2005 and 2007, according to its Pesticide Industry Sales & Usage Report for 2006-2007 published in February, 2011.

More here: Roundup: Birth Defects Caused By World’s Top-Selling Weedkiller, Scientists Say.





Poorly-Timed SPR Oil Release Could Cost U.S. Taxpayers $1.5 Billion

Courtesy of EconMatters

By EconMatters

World crude oil market has been rocked by the surprise announcement of the International Energy Agency (IEA) to release 60 million barrels of oil from member countries’ strategic petroleum reserves (SPR). The US led the effort by chipping in 50% of the planned release, while Japan, Germany, France, Spain and Italy are providing most of the rest.

Questionable Timing

This kind of coordinated sale from the IEA has only occurred twice before on a supply emergency basis – 1991 Persian Gulf War, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. This time around, the “supply emergency” cited was the disruption stemming from the conflict in Libya, which started about four months ago.

So just based on face value, the timing seems questionable, and we have not even got into the philosophical debate as to whether SPR should be used as a market price equilibrium tool, which was briefly discussed in my previous article, but will not be the focus of this discussion.  

What Supply Emergency?

Unlike the two previous releases by the IEA, currently there’s no similar crude supply shortage situation. Libya and Yemen are the two biggest concerns that the unrest could destabilize larger oil-producing countries in the region. However, these two nations produce less than 4% of the world’s oil needs, and Saudi Arabia and others have boosted output to make up for much of the shortfall.

In the U.S., crude inventory remains high at 363.8 million barrels as of June 17, above the average range, and there’s no dire shortage in products either (See Chart Below).

Outside of the U.S., stocks are building as well. From Oil Daily dated June 21:

“OECD commercial inventories for crude and products rose again in May, which came on the heels of an almost 1 million b/d jump in April….At 2.656 billion barrels, OECD inventories provide a solid cushion…”

If there such a “tight” European crude market caused by Libyan disruption as many, including the IEA, cited, then there should not be such a build in inventories in OECD.

Other Possible Incentives

Others believe the move by the IEA and the U.S. is to

  • Curb high consumer gasoline prices
  • Send a message to market speculators
  • Counter the failed production increase at OPEC meeting in Vienna on


continue reading





Lawsuit Contesting Greek Bailout To Be Heard By German Constitutional Court Imminently

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

While it is not exactly clear what has caused the substantial sell off in the EURUSD over the past several hours, even with the explicit support of China of all insolvent European states, the news that the German constitutional court in Karlsruhe is about to commence hearing a lawsuit contesting the legality of the Greek bailout is certainly not helping the euro. As Athens News reports, “the suit was filed last July by a group of five Eurosceptics led by economist Joachim Starbatty. According to the plaintiffs, the financial help package for Greece runs contrary to article 125 of the EU Treaty – the so-called no-bailout clause – which does not allow the EU or a member state to undertake the responsibility of covering the debts of another member state.” Explaining his lawsuit to Athens News, Starbatty said that “The German constitutional court will discuss the break of the no-bailout clause, the inflationary bias of purchasing government bonds by the European Central Bank, the danger of uncontrollable financial obligations and the rights of national parliaments of both debtor and creditor countries.” And if there is one thing Germans are never happy to hear about, it is “inflationary bias” of any one thing.

So far the suit had been delayed, however the fact that the hearing is coming just in time for the passage of the second Greek bailout is likely about to ruffle a few feathers. As Anotnis Karampatzos, a law lecturer at the University of Athens says, “Whatever the outcome of this dispute might be, one thing is sure: the verdict of the constitutional court will affect the political scene in Germany as well as in Europe. This is not only because of the great importance of the case itself, but also because of the status of this court, whose decisions are always treated as landmarks in European jurisprudence.”

From Athens News:

Since it was approved in the German parliament, the law for ratification of the aid packages falls under the jurisdiction of the constitutional court, Germany’s highest court, based in Karlsruhe. The court has not provided any information about the duration of the hearing nor the verdict date.

Some believe this is just more hot air, as there is no way that the law could possibly stand in the way of organized…
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Greece Deputy PM Warns Of Tanks In The Streets, Mass Suicides, If Second Bailout Voted Down By Greek Parliament

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

With just days left until the crucial vote on passing the Greek mid-term austerity package, the assured destruction rhetoric used by the Greek status quo has hit fever pitch. Just to make sure the message is not lost on the broader population that Europe’s banks will not admit defeat in a vote that could end the kleptocratic cartel’s hegemony for ever, Greece’s Deputy Prime Minister Theodoros Pangalos has blasted suggestions that it would be better for his country to abandon the euro and return to the drachma as an “immense stupidity”. He didn’t stop there. For dramatic impact, the Greek vice PM also said that the country would devolve into complete anarchy, with tanks roaming the streets, a population on the verge of civil war, with mass suicides, just for dramatic impact, should bankers not get their way. More or less in line with the Hank Paulson script that is regurgitated every few years when the Ponzi system is on the verge of imploding yet again.

From AFP:

“Those who say this are extremely stupid. While they may be analysts, university professors or economists, saying that is an immense stupidity,” Pangalos told daily Spanish newspaper El Mundo in an interview published Sunday.

Debt-wracked Greece has been told by European peers that it cannot hope to continue receiving aid from a 110-billion-euro rescue package agreed with the EU and the IMF last year without biting budget reforms and privatisations.

The Greek parliament will vote on an austerity package this week but some economists have argued that Athens needs to restructure its debt and leave the euro to become economically competitive again.

Returning to the drachma would mean that on the following day banks would be surrounded by terrified people trying to withdraw their money, the army would have to protect them with tanks because there would not be enough police,” said Pangalos.

There would be riots everywhere, shops would be empty, some people would throw themselves out the window … And it would also be a disaster for the entire European economy.”

And since we continue to live in bizarro world, the inverse truth is that this is likely a far more accurate description of reality should the mid-term package be voted through in just a few day, although with the country on a general
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Floodwaters Surge At Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant After Floodwall Fails

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

We hadn’t previously discussed the situation at the Fort Calhoun, Nebraska nuclear power plant, as there was still a possibility that it was containable, and the deterioration had been largely blown out of proportion. Alas now that the Missouri River flood waters have penetrated the last ditch water-filled wall, and have since surrounded the  containment buildings and other vital areas of a Nebraska nuclear plant, it may be time to get a little more concerned. As Reuters reports, “The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said the breach in the 2,000-foot (600 meters) inflatable berm around the Fort Calhoun station occurred around 1:25 a.m. local time. More than 2 feet (60 cm) of water rushed in around containment buildings and electrical transformers at the 478-megawatt facility located 20 miles (30 km) north of Omaha.” Naturally, the severity of the situation is being downplayed by the NRC, very much the way Tepco and Japanese authorities pretended the Fukushima situation was under control, until it was uncovered that there had been plant meltdown within hours of the tsunami: “Reactor shutdown cooling and spent-fuel pool cooling were unaffected, the NRC said. The plant, operated by the Omaha Public Power District, has been off line since April for refueling.” That’s one version of the story. A far better one would be calling up the Octogenarian of Omaha and upon getting voicemail, inquiring in what part of the world he is currently residing until the Fort Calhoun situation is actually fixed. To everyone else, we would merely suggest they copycat Buffet, especially after seeing the picture of the plant below (taken June 16, which means the situation now is far worse), which makes the flooding at Fukushima look tame by comparison.

More from Reuters:

Crews activated emergency diesel generators after the breach, but restored normal electrical power by Sunday afternoon, the NRC said.

Buildings at the Fort Calhoun plant are watertight, the agency said. It noted that the cause of the berm breach is under investigation.

NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko and other officials planned to visit the site on Monday.

Jaczko will also visit the Cooper Nuclear Station near Brownville, Nebraska, another facility that has been watched closely with Missouri River waters rising from heavy rains and snow melt.

And some more from the Omaha World Herald:


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Zero Hedge

This Is The Nightmare Scenario For The GOP: A $2 Trillion Funding "Hole"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

When one strips away the partisan rhetoric and posturing, the practical impact of Friday's GOP failure to repeal Obamacare has a specific monetary impact: approximately $1 trillion.

Since the ObamaCare repeal bill would have eliminated most of the 2010 health law’s taxes, this would have lowered by a similar amount the revenue baseline for tax reform. Essentially, with the ObamaCare taxes gone, it would have been easier to pay for lowering tax rates. Now, if Republicans want to eliminate the ObamaCare taxes as part of tax reform and ensure the bill does not add to the defici...



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Phil's Favorites

Gibberish Is the White House's New Normal

 

Gibberish Is the White House’s New Normal

Courtesy of 

This post first appeared on BillMoyers.com.

Once upon a time, there were presidents for whom English seemed their native language. Barack Obama most recently. He deliberated. At a press conference or in an interview — just about whenever he wasn’t speaking from a text — his pauses were as common as other people’s “uh’s.” He was not pausing because his vocabulary was impoverished. He was pausing to put words into sequence. He was putting phrases together with care, word by word, trying out words before uttering them, checking to feel out what they would sound like once uttered. It was important to him because he did not want to be mis...



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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

Treasury Bears on Reflation Train Face Peaking Price Pressures (Bloomberg)

Investors need to contend with the waning impact of energy base effects on inflation and a terminal rate that lacks momentum before they can aspire to push interest rates higher.

One of Wall Street's most steadfast bulls is worried about stocks (Business Insider)

In a note sent to clients on Friday, Lee said several factors that had supported his views on the market, including attractive valuations and central-bank support, had turned neutral or possibly ne...



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ValueWalk

Warren Buffett Quotes: Learn To Build Wealth

By Sure Dividend. Originally published at ValueWalk.

This article contains 107 Warren Buffett quotes to teach you to build wealth and become a better investor.

]]> Get The Full Warren Buffett Series in PDF

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Warren Buffett is arguably the greatest investor of all time.

He has amassed a net worth of over $60 billion from his investing skill.

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Members' Corner

More Natterings

Courtesy of The Nattering Naybob

[Click on the titles for the full articles.]

A Quick $20 Trick?

Summary

Discussion, critique and analysis of the potential impacts on equity, bond, commodity, capital and asset markets regarding the following:

  • Last time out, Sinbad The Sailor, QuickLogic.
  • GlobalFoundries, Jha, Smartron and cricket.
  • Quick money, fungible, demographics, QUIK focus.

Last Time Out

Monetary policy is just one form of policy that effects capital,...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Fund flows of this size could mark a top, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

A year ago flows into ETFs were extremely low, actually the lowest in years, as many stock market indices were testing rising support off the 2009 lows. The crowd wasn’t adding money to ETFs as lows were taking place. In hindsight, this was a mistake by the majority. Below I look at ETF flows over the past few years with an inset chart of the S&P 500.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

Nearly three months into this year, fund flows have surpassed mone...



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Chart School

Indecision Strikes

Courtesy of Declan.

It was no real surprise to see indices slow down in their recovery. Across the board doji mark a balance between buyers and sellers. The one index which bucked the trend a little was the Russell 2000. It staged a modest recovery which brought it back to former support turned resistance. However, technicals remain firmly bearish, and will stay this way even if there are additional gains.

The S&P closed on light volume with a doji below resistance. The narrow intraday trading range offers a low risk opportunity with a break and ...

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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of March 20th, 2017

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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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin Tumbles Below Gold As China Tightens Regulations

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Having rebounded rapidly from the ETF-decision disappointment, Bitcoin suffered another major setback overnight as Chinese regulators are circulating new guidelines that, if enacted, would require exchanges to verify the identity of clients and adhere to banking regulations.

A New York startup called Chainalysis estimated that roughly $2 billion of bitcoin moved out of China in 2016.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, the move to regulate bitcoin exchanges brings assurance that Chinese authorities will tolerate some level of trading, after months of uncertainty. A draft of the guidelines also indicates th...



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Mapping The Market

Congress begins rolling back Obama's broadband privacy rules

Courtesy of Jean Luc

I am trying to remember who on this board said that people wanted to Trump because they want their freedom back. Well….

Congress begins rolling back Obama's broadband privacy rules

By Daniel Cooper, Endgadget

ISPs will soon be able to sell your most private data without your consent.

As expected, Republicans in Congress have begun the process of rolling back the FCC's broadband privacy rules which prevent excessive surveillance. Arizona Republican Jeff Flake introduced a resolution to scrub the rules, using Congress' powers to invalidate recently-approved federal regulations. Reuters reports that the move has broad support, with 34 other names throwing their weight behind the res...



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Promotions

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Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

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Biotech

The Medicines Company: Insider Buying

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

I'm seeing huge insider buying in the biotech company The Medicines Company (MDCO). The price has already moved up around 7%, but these buys are significant, in the millions of dollars range. ~ Ilene

 

 

 

Insider transaction table and buying vs. selling graphic above from insidercow.com.

Chart below from Yahoo.com

...

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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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FeedTheBull - Top Stock market and Finance Sites



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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