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Archive for 2011

Everything You Wanted To Know About EFSF (But Should Be Afraid To Ask)

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

With the weekend full of on-again-off-again comments from various European, Asian, and US politicians and central bankers with regard the chances of various incarnations of the EFSF solving all of our ills (or not), Nomura’s Fixed Income Research team has what we feel is one of the most definitive analyses of the various options. We have discussed the self-exciting strange attractor nature of the endgame that will be a leveraged EFSF many times recently. The Nomura team, however, does a great job of breaking down various scenarios, such as Structural Weaknesses of EFSF 2.0, Proposals for an EFSF 3.0 (and their variants), Leverage-based options, and EFSF 2.0 as TARP and how these will result in one of three final outcomes: fiscal union, monetization, or major restructurings risking the end of the euro, as everyone searches for a steady state solution to the ‘problem’ of the eurozone.

While the most elegant solutions have no official sanction, we think the necessary political resolve is yet to be forthcoming, and the technical issues are challenging if not insurmountable for many of the legal workarounds, resulting in the need for yet another round of parliamentary approvals. Consequently, we see a significant risk that the market, looking for large headlines and enhanced flexibility, will be disappointed at least in the short run.

The search for a steady state solution

In analyzing the eurozone debt crisis, the key challenge is to assess the likely path towards a steady state solution, defined as the market no longer being concerned about future default risks on government debt – at least over a time-frame that is meaningful to immediate asset allocation decisions. We have highlighted three broad alternative steady state solutions:

1. Full fiscal union and the issuance of Eurobonds with a joint and several liability structure or at least unconditional credit risk transfers to stronger countries for a extensive period of time (for sustainability to be reestablished).

2. Aggressive policy reflation, whereby the ECB significantly expands its balance sheet and its SMP program. (Given the requirement of EU governments to recapitalize the ECB, this option ultimately begins to blend into option 1.

3. Default and debt restructuring in selected non-core countries and possible end of the euro area.

Option 1 is not under consideration at this juncture since all forms


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Secular Bull and Bear Markets

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Was the March 2009 low the end of a secular bear market and the beginning of a secular bull? Without crystal ball, we simply don’t know.

One thing we can do is examine the past to broaden our understanding of the range of possibilities. An obvious feature of this inflation-adjusted is the pattern of long-term alternations between up-and down-trends. Market historians call these “secular” bull and bear markets from the Latin word saeculum “long period of time” (in contrast to aeternus “eternal” — the type of bull market we fantasize about).

 

Click to View
Click for a larger image

 

If we study the data underlying the chart, we can extract a number of interesting facts about these secular patterns:

 

 

The annualized rate of growth from 1871 through the end of August is 1.93%. If that seems incredibly low, remember that the chart shows “real” price growth, excluding inflation and dividends. If we factor in the dividend yield, we get an annualized return of 6.58%. Yes, dividends make a difference. Unfortunately that has been less true during the past three decades than in earlier times. When we let Excel draw a regression through the data, the slope is an even lower annualized rate of 1.71% (see the regression section below for further explanation).

If we added in the value lost from inflation, the “nominal” annualized return comes to 8.80% — the number commonly reported in the popular press. But for an accurate view of the purchasing power of the dollar, we’ll stick to “real” numbers.

Since that first trough in 1877 to the March 2009 low:

  • Secular bull gains totaled 2075% for an average of 415%.
  • Secular bear losses totaled -329% for an average of -65%.
  • Secular bull years total 80 versus 52 for the bears, a 60:40 ratio.

This last bullet probably comes as a surprise to many people. The finance industry and media have conditioned us to view every dip as a buying opportunity. If we realize that bear markets have accounted for about 40% of the past 122 years, we can better…
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Bernanke Getting Cold Feet On European Bank Bail Out?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Two weeks after Bernanke agreed to invest unlimited taxpayer funds in the form of global FX swap lines to prevent a worldwide dollar funding squeeze arising from the Europen financial collapse, the Chairman appears to be getting cold feet. BusinessWeek reports: “The Federal Reserve Bank of New York may ask foreign lenders for more detailed daily reports on liquidity as the U.S. steps up monitoring of risks from Europe’s sovereign debt crisis, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. Regulators held informal talks with some of the largest European lenders about producing a “fourth-generation daily liquidity” or 4G report, according to the people, who asked for anonymity because communications with central bankers are confidential. The reports may cover potential liabilities such as foreign-exchange swaps and credit-default swaps, said one person. The U.S. has already increased the number of examiners embedded in these banks, the person said.” In other words, not only after Bernanke’s pledge to fund as much money as is needed to prevent bank defaults around the world, is he actually going to have enough information to determine if there is any danger of this money not getting repaid. Well, better late than never. But at least we can permanently set aside any latent questions over whether European banks have liquidity problems. When even the Fed no longer believes you, you have far bigger problems than just liquidity (except for Dexia: liquidity there may well be the largest problem, but at least it won’t be for long).

From Business Week:

Concern is growing that European lenders may falter as Greece teeters on the brink of default. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has warned that failure to bolster European backstops would threaten “cascading default, bank runs and catastrophic risk” for the global economy.

 

“The Fed is trying to understand what the pressure points are in terms of liquidity and potential risks that are imposed by foreign banks to domestic institutions in our financial system,” said Kevin Petrasic, an attorney at the Washington- based law firm of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLC. “There is a little bit more sense of urgency as a result of what’s going on in Europe.”

 

“The report requires rapid


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Koch Brothers Flout Law Getting Richer With Secret Iran Sales

Intro by Zeke Miller at Business Insider

 

Koch Brothers Flout Law Getting Richer With Secret Iran Sales

By Asjylyn Loder and David Evans  

In May 2008, a unit of Koch Industries Inc., one of the world’s largest privately held companies, sent Ludmila Egorova-Farines, its newly hired compliance officer and ethics manager, to investigate the management of a subsidiary in Arles in southern France. In less than a week, she discovered that the company had paid bribes to win contracts.

“I uncovered the practices within a few days,” Egorova- Farines says. “They were not hidden at all.”

She immediately notified her supervisors in the U.S. A week later, Wichita, Kansas-based Koch Industries dispatched an investigative team to look into her findings, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its November issue.

By September of that year, the researchers had found evidence of improper payments to secure contracts in six countries dating back to 2002, authorized by the business director of the company’s Koch-Glitsch affiliate in France.

“Those activities constitute violations of criminal law,” Koch Industries wrote in a Dec. 8, 2008, letter giving details of its findings. The letter was made public in a civil court ruling in France in September 2010; the document has never before been reported by the media.

Egorova-Farines wasn’t rewarded for bringing the illicit payments to the company’s attention. Her superiors removed her from the inquiry in August 2008 and fired her in June 2009, calling her incompetent, even after Koch’s investigators substantiated her findings. She sued Koch-Glitsch in France for wrongful termination.

Obsessed with Secrecy

Koch-Glitsch is part of a global empire run by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, who have taken a small oil company they inherited from their father, Fred, after his death in 1967, and built it into a chemical, textile, trading and refining conglomerate spanning more than 50 countries.

Koch Industries is obsessed with secrecy, to the point that it discloses only an approximation of its annual revenue — $100 billion a year — and says nothing about its profits.

The most visible part of Koch Industries is its consumer brands, including Lycra fiber and Stainmaster carpet. Georgia- Pacific LLC, which Koch owns, makes Dixie cups, Brawny paper towels and Quilted Northern bath tissue.

Charles, 75, and David,


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From A Lexington, KY Gas Station Bathroom

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Presented without comment.





Weekly Market Commentary: Weekly Consolidation Break

Courtesy of Declan Fallon

The troubles on the daily timeframe extend into the weekly. The consolidation (‘bear flag’) breaks on the weekly charts have handed impetus back to the bears and created a whole new source of overhead supply to consume any emerging demand. For many of these ‘bear flags’ the most likely outcome is a measured move lower.

Leading down are Small Caps. Friday saw a clear break of the consolidation. The Russell 2000 looks destined to test 593 support. For bulls to have a shot there needs to be a smooth rally-and-break of 760 – anything less will only lead to indecision.

The Nasdaq, like the Russell 2000, is looking for a measured move lower. The immediate target is 2,160 with last ditch support down at 2,100. The weekly chart shows a new ‘sell’ trigger in on-balance-volume.

The Dow was another index to crack. It had already generated a ‘sell’ trigger in its on-balance-volume although stochastics have not confirmed an oversold condition.

The S&P was the only index to perhaps hang on to consolidation support. Like the Dow it has a ‘sell’ trigger in on-balance-volume, but stochastics are no longer oversold.

As for next week. if bulls can prevent the consolidation breakdowns from expanding it will be a job well done. European fundamentals will play a heavy role in next weeks action; Greece hogging 99.9% of news is an all-too obvious “victim” but it’s hard to see where the good news is going to come from. Bulls have their work cut out.

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Dr. Declan Fallon is the Senior Market Technician and Community Director for Zignals.com. I offer a range of stock trading strategies for global markets which can be Previewed for Free with delayed trade signals. You can also view the top-10


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Dexia Nationalization Imminent?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Back on Friday, when we closed out the Dexia long sub CDS trade, we said “We expect a partial or complete nationalization to be announced imminently, which in addition to all other side effects, would lead in a Bear Stearnsing of all accrued profit.” Sure enough, here is the Sunday Times on the very topic… And while a nationalization of Dexia, which now appears a matter of hours if not days, will be bad for anyone still long the bank’s CDS (it should trade down to pari with Belgium tomorrow, just as Bear CDS trades in line with JPM), it is pretty horrifying for SovX and Eurocore CDS in general, now that a bank which holds assets amounting to 180% of Belgium’s GDP, is about to be nationalized by the very same country. Anyone who is still not long Belgium CDS, this is probably your last chance to get on that particular train. Of course, if one is waiting patiently in line at a Dexia ATM machine, one is forgiven.

Source: Sunday Times.






Meltdown – The Conclusion: “After The Fall”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Previously, we brought you parts one, two and three of the Canadian must see documentary “Meltdown.” In this final episode “After the Fall”, we hear about the sheikh who says the crash never happened; a Wall Street king charged with fraud; a congresswoman who wants to jail the bankers; and the world leaders who want a re-think of capitalism. As one world leader handles the crisis through denial, other leaders try to re-think capitalism. Even though the causes of the 2008 meltdown are now clear, there is no magic formula to stop it from happening again. The world has to start planning for the next crisis, even as we recognise that this one is not over yet.

Courtesy of Al Jazeera





Hokey Pokey Plan

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by ilene.

(Taken from the Week Ahead Section of Stock World Weekly)

America for Sale The Fed announced its upcoming schedule for “Operation Twist.” The Fed plans to buy approximately $44 billion long-term treasuries funded by its sale of approximately $44 billion short-term bonds in October. While this program was named after the dance craze of the early 60’s, a more appropriate name might be “Operation Hokey Pokey,” since it is a simple program of exchanging short bonds for long bonds, or in other words “you put your short bonds in, you pull your long bonds out, you put your short bonds in and you shake them all about.” 

One of the purported beneficiaries of the Fed’s policy is the housing market because “Operation Twist” is expected to push interest rates down for home mortgages, which will (hopefully) put more money in homeowners’ pockets, and ultimately the economy at large. 

The housing market can use the help. A recent survey of economists, analysts and real estate professionals concluded that the “housing market remains shaky and is unlikely to deliver significant growth in prices over the next five years.” On the other hand, many question the wisdom of the Fed’s intervention. Robert Shiller, cofounder of MacroMarkets, opined “markets and government institutions are visibly struggling to respond consistently to an unprecedented rash of crises and conflicts. These struggles diminish confidence, which compounds the underlying economic stresses and lowers expectations.” (Five more years of housing problems, with some stability in local markets)

Paul Craig Roberts questioned the potential efficacy of the Fed’s Hokey Pokey program. In Saving the Rich, Losing the Economy, he wrote, “The Federal Reserve announced that the bank would purchase $400 billion of long-term Treasury bonds over the next nine months in an effort to drive long-term US interest rates even further below the rate of inflation, thus maximizing the negative rate of return on the purchase of long-term Treasury bonds. The Federal Reserve officials say that this will lower mortgage rates by a few basis points and renew the housing market.

“The officials say that QE 3, unlike its predecessors, will not result in the Federal Reserve printing more dollars in order to monetize US debt. Instead, the central bank will raise money for the bond purchases by selling holdings of short-term debt. Apparently,
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Zero Hedge

Grant Williams: The Consequences Of Economic Peace

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The following chart-heavy presentation from Grant Williams is among his best as he wends his way methodically from the 19th century to the present day (and into the future) examining "The Consequences of the Economic Peace." From Keynes to Kondratieff and from Napoleon to Nixon, Williams looks at the ramifications of several decades of easy credit and attempts to draw parallels with a time in history when the world looked remarkably similar to how it does now (as he notes "that last time didn’t end so well, I’m afraid.") The real day of reckoning (Williams notes rather ominously), when the unconscionable level of debt that has been built up during the fiat money era...



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Phil's Favorites

Merkel Will Blink First, Not Putin

Courtesy of Mish.

The cold war took another twist last week when a Senior German Politician Endorsed Russian Takeover of Crimea.
Former state premier Matthias Platzeck, chairman of the German-Russian Forum business lobby and erstwhile Social Democrat (SPD) chief, is the first high-ranking German to say the West should endorse the annexation as a way to help resolve the Ukraine crisis.

Platzeck, 60, told the Passauer Neue Presse newspaper: "A wise man changes his mind - a fool never will... The annexation of Crimea must be retroactively arranged under international law so that it's acceptable for everyone."

Platzeck, Brandenburg's popular state premier from 2002 to 2013, struck a nerve in eastern Germany where there is far less support for sa...



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Chart School

S&P 500 Snapshot: Dithering Near the Record High on Mixed Signals

Courtesy of Doug Short.

The S&P 500 traded in a bit of a confused fashion during the morning, oscillating between its 0.23% and -0.23% intraday peak and trough in the first two hours of trading. The Second Estimate of Q3 GDP beat forecasts with its upward revision from 3.5% to 3.9%. But Consumer Confidence unexpectedly dropped, probably not a welcome signal as we approach the holiday shopping season. The index then dithered through the day in a narrow range, the only drama being whether it would log its 47th record close of 2014. It did not, ending the day with a fractional -0.12% decline. But perhaps tomorrow's close will give us a rationale for an extra helping o...



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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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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Holiday fever takes hold of stock investors, but a pullback is needed

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

With warmer weather arriving to melt the early snowfall across much of the country, investors seem to be catching a severe case of holiday fever and positioning themselves for the seasonally bullish time of the year. And to give an added boost, both Europe and Asia provided more fuel for the bull’s fire last week with stimulus announcements, particularly China’s interest rate cut. Yes, all systems are go for U.S. equities as there really is no other game in town. But nothing goes up in a straight line, not even during the holidays, so a near-term market pullback would be a healthy way to prevent a steeper correction in January.

In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based Sector...



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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin Mining

Bitcoin Mining

Courtesy of Global Economic Intersection

By Rod Garratt and Rosa Hayes - Liberty Street Economics, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

In June 2014, the mining pool Ghash.IO briefly controlled more than half of all mining power in the Bitcoin network, awakening fears that it might attempt to manipulate the blockchain, the public record of all Bitcoin transactions. Alarming headlines splattered the blogosphere. But should members of the Bitcoin community be worried?

Miners are members of the Bitcoin community who engage in a proce...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of November 25th, 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 the Happy Thanksgiving Edition of Stock World Weekly!

Click on this link and sign in with your PSW user name and password. 

Picture via Pixabay.

...

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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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Option Review

Yamana Gold call options sink

Yamana Gold call options sink

By Andrew Wilkinson at Interactive Brokers

A four-year low for the spot price of gold has had a devastating impact on Yamana Gold (Ticker: AUY), with shares in the name down at the lowest price in six years. Some option traders were especially keen to sell premium and appear to see few signs of a lasting rebound within the next five months. The price of gold suffered again Wednesday as the dollar strengthened and stock prices advanced. The post price of gold fell to $1145 adding further pain to share prices of gold miners. Shares in Yamana Gold tumbled to $3.62 and the lowest price since 2008 as call option sellers used the April expiration contract to write premium at the $5.00 strike. That strike is now 38% above the price of the stock. Premium writers took in around 16-cents per contract o...



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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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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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