Archive for 2011

The Wall Street Occupiers and the Democratic Party

Courtesy of Robert Reich   

Occupy Wall Street

Image: Julia La Roche for Business Insider

Will the Wall Street Occupiers morph into a movement that has as much impact on the Democratic Party as the Tea Party has had on the GOP? Maybe. But there are reasons for doubting it.

Tea Partiers have been a mixed blessing for the GOP establishment – a source of new ground troops and energy but also a pain in the assets with regard to attracting independent voters. As Rick Perry and Mitt Romney square off, that pain will become more evident.

So far the Wall Street Occupiers have helped the Democratic Party. Their inchoate demand that the rich pay their fair share is tailor-made for the Democrats’ new plan for a 5.6 percent tax on millionaires, as well as the President’s push to end the Bush tax cut for people with incomes over $250,000 and to limit deductions at the top.

And the Occupiers give the President a potential campaign theme. “These days, a lot of folks who are doing the right thing aren’t rewarded and a lot of folks who aren’t doing the right thing are rewarded,” he said at his news conference this week, predicting that the frustration fueling the Occupiers will “express itself politically in 2012 and beyond until people feel like once again we’re getting back to some old-fashioned American values.”

But if Occupy Wall Street coalesces into something like a real movement, the Democratic Party may have more difficulty digesting it than the GOP has had with the Tea Party.

After all, a big share of both parties’ campaign funds comes from the Street and corporate board rooms. The Street and corporate America also have hordes of public-relations flacks and armies of lobbyists to do their bidding – not to mention the unfathomably deep pockets of the Koch Brothers and Dick Armey’s and Karl Rove’s SuperPACs. Even if the Occupiers have access to some union money, it’s hardly a match.

Yet the real difficulty lies deeper. A little history is helpful here.

In the early decades of the twentieth century, the Democratic Party had no trouble embracing economic populism. It charged the large industrial concentrations of the era – the trusts – with stifling the economy and poisoning…
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Dexia Not Isolated Problem; Qatar No White Knight Savior; How Long will the EFSF Last?

Courtesy of Mish

The rumor mill is running this weekend, however Belgium and France still have not come to an agreement on exactly how to split the Dexia problem. The latest rumor is the Mideast country of Qatar is interested in buying Dexia.

It’s certainly possible Qatar invests in some small piece of Dexia. However, neither Qatar nor China, nor any other country is going to save the insolvent European banking system.

Dexia is a symptom of a much larger problem. Moreover, on top of Belgium-France Dexia bickering, Germany and France are still bickering about how to use the EFSF.

It takes all 17 Eurozone nations all to agree on major changes, yet countries are still bickering over relatively minor issues.

Complex Problem Leads to Complex Bickering

Let’s start this roundup with a look at Dexia Board Meets as France, Belgium Tussle Over Troubled Assets

Dexia SA (DEXB)’s board meets today to study options to dismantle the French-Belgian bank that has brought Europe’s sovereign debt crisis to the heart of the region’s financial system.

While France and Belgium have rushed to protect their local units, hurdles to an agreement remain as they wrestle over responsibility for assets hit by the crisis that has caused the bank’s short-term funding to evaporate. Dexia’s troubled assets are being folded into a “bad bank” and could amount to as much as 190 billion euros ($254 billion).

Dexia’s balance sheet, with total assets of about 518 billion euros at the end of June, is about the size of the entire banking system in Greece and larger than the combined assets of financial institutions bailed out in Ireland in the last 2 1/2 years.

The board meeting, scheduled to start at 3 p.m. in Brussels, will be the third in less than a month, after those on Sept. 27 and Oct. 3. Among sticking points for Belgium and France may be which assets to put in the bad bank and what share of the lender’s borrowings each government should guarantee.

“The situation is more complex than one where you have one bank, one country, one regulator,” said Cor Kluis, an Utrecht, Netherlands-based analyst at Rabobank International with a “reduce” recommendation on Dexia. “The process will probably take longer than expected and I don’t know if they’ll be able to reach a solution this weekend.”

Dexia said on Oct. 6 that an investor is interested in

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When False Premises Become Economic Policy

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by testosteronepit.

By Wolf Richter

“A shame that we can’t see Japan because of the marine layer,” I said, and we both laughed because it was so silly. We were looking west from the top of the cliffs across the Pacific, and what we saw was a gray layer of fog just above the waves some distance offshore. That day we were lucky; often, the marine layer invades the Bay Area’s coastal strip, including much of San Francisco.

The premise that it would be possible to see Japan from the Pacific Coast if it weren’t for the marine layer is just as false as the premise that a healthy economy can result from running up huge deficits and printing money to monetize them. Yet, that’s the line propagated by the status-quo media and its economists. Sunday, the New York Times did it again.

“Evidence shows that quantitative easing boosts the economy, and there is no reason to believe that it feeds directly into inflation without supporting growth,” it quoted Martin Weale. He sits on the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, which voted on Thursday to restart the printing presses in a massive way.

The Fed has been following the same strategy, but its numbers are much bigger. It printed trillions of dollars and handed them over to its cronies. Monetization of debt and forcing interest rates to near zero has completely insulated the US Government from the budgetary discipline that credit markets can otherwise impose—and Congress went hog-wild, running up deficits that are near 10% of GDP. As a consequence, US gross national debt has shot up to 100% of GDP.

OK, the Fed and Congress bailed out Wall Street and enabled large corporations to borrow money essentially for free (among other benefits). But has that improved the real economy?

Unemployment is at catastrophic levels. U-6, the broadest measure of unemployment and underemployment has edged up to 16.5% (BLS report).

Inflation is heating up. CPI is up 3.8% from a year ago. While commodities have come down some, red-hot inflation from China has worked its way through the supply chains.

Real wages dropped 1.8% from a year ago, continuing a 12-year trend. From the wage peak in 1999, they have dropped 8-9%, depending on the formula (the Census Bureau reported a decline of
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Are Michael Vick and Other Celebrities Involved with a Pump and Dump?

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Alibaba Group (ALBCF) is apparently holding discussions with Temasek Holdings about providing funding to buy back the 40 percent stake of the Chinese business-to-business e-commerce company owned by Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO), according to sources.

The deal could be part of a larger bid for Yahoo with participation by Silver Lake and Russia’s Digital Sky Technologies.

Read the full article here.

Alibaba Seeks Funding from Singapore’s Temasek to Buy Stake From Yahoo -Bloomberg

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Alibaba Group (ALBCF) is apparently holding discussions with Temasek Holdings about providing funding to buy back the 40 percent stake of the Chinese business-to-business e-commerce company owned by Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO), according to sources.

The deal could be part of a larger bid for Yahoo with participation by Silver Lake and Russia’s Digital Sky Technologies.

Read the full article here.

Once Again, Because It Will Never Get Old, Here Are The Safest European Banks According To The Second Euro Stress Test

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The futures are soaring on the latest round of promises from Europe that all shall be well, and after all why would anyone ever doubt anything coming out of Europe. Why, here are the safest Europan banks according to the second Euro stress test completed just 3 short months ago. But this time really is different…

Source: Zero Hedge

European Mission Accomplished: Everyone Is Now Thoroughly Baffled With Bullshit

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Some time ago we suggested that in lieu of actual practicable solutions (and a promise to recapitalize several trillion worth of insolvent banks absent some magic money printing tree or gold coin defecating unicorn, is so stupid only the market ramping vacuum tube algos can believe, if only for a few hours), the only thing left for Europe’s leaders is to baffle absolutely everyone with relentless bullshit. Judging by the following Bloomberg news screencapture, they have now succeeded.

Presented without further snark.

h/t Charlie

How To Hide Your Gold: A Bloomberg Primer

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

A world insolvency crisis, a Thermidorian reaction in Egypt, a hard landing in China, the first non-PIIGS nationalized bank… The world is on fire yet despite all of the above (or rather due to) what is the topic of one of the most commented articles on Bloomberg over the past week? Why how to hide one’s gold. Bloomberg’s Ben Steverman writes: “If you’re looking for a safe place to put your investments, Chad Venzke has a suggestion: Dig a hole in the
ground four feet deep, pack gold and silver in a piece of plastic PVC pipe, seal it, and bury it. Venzke is hardly the only investor who wants his precious metals nearby at all times. A pound of gold worth about $24,000 can easily fit in a pocket; how to protect it is a decision that carries expensive consequences. Do-it-yourself investors who don’t trust banks must find creative storage options, whether burying gold in the yard, submerging it in a koi pond, stashing it behind air-conditioning ducts, or placing it under carpets.” Indeed, as Venezuela is about to reclaim possession of its tons of gold from UK vaults, even as the Dutch central bank proudly admit to hiding its own gold in precisely the same venues that are no longer good enough even for Chavez, the topic of where one should hide their physical is rapidly becoming a very incendiary. One thing is certain: among the hard core “physical” community, the idea of storing it in the same banking system that would be insolvent once the fiat status quo collapses, is verboten anathema. So what are the options?

Bloomberg continues.

[T]here are growing piles of precious metals in, under, or near American homes. From mid-2010 to mid-2011, U.S. investors bought up more than 100 tonnes of physical gold coins and bars, up from 15.2 tonnes in 2007, according to the World Gold Council. (A tonne, or metric ton, is 1,000 kilograms.) Worldwide bar and coin demand rose 37 percent during the mid-2010 to mid-2011 period, according to the Council, even as demand from exchange-traded funds backed by physical gold, and similar products, fell 84 percent.


The notion of keeping one’s gold in a safety deposit box—inside the banks many gold aficionados find

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Key Market Events In The Coming Week: More Promises, Headlines And Rumors; And A Very Critical Vote In Slovakia

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Despite a violent round trip during the week, most assets finished last Friday (October 7) at levels that were quite close to those seen at the end of the previous week. In fact, the DXY managed to change less than 0.1% from one Friday’s close to the next. Positioning indicators suggest speculative exposure remains virtually unchanged as well, and still stretched long USD. Outside G10 currencies, some very strong rallies have been recorded in EM space, with Latam currencies leading the pack.

During the week, the BOE surprised with more QE than expected, whereas the ECB delivered the strict minimum relative to market expectations – no rate cut, but a dovish assessment of the economic outlook, which opens the door for rate cuts before the end of the year. This came together with two new LTRO operations and a smallish covered bond purchase program. Markets were initially disappointed by the ECB action but the knee-jerk sell-off in risky assets and the Euro quickly reversed.

Last week’s macro data was generally close to low expectations or slightly better. Most of all, the payrolls and the non-manufacturing ISM in the US suggested that economic momentum has now clearly stabilised at low levels.

Key this week will be the final missing EFSF votes, in particular Slovakia. The latest headlines over the weekend suggest the governing coalition has still not found a compromise and will meet on Monday again. The votes of 22 MPs for the SaS party in the 150-member Slovakian government are now the main stumbling block to bringing the effective EFSF lending capacity to EUR440bn and to increase the EFSF’s flexibility. The parliamentary EFSF vote is scheduled for Tuesday. On Monday, the second-to-last vote on the EFSF will be held in Malta.

Still linked to the Eurozone crisis, President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel agreed over the weekend on the need for bank recapitalisations and the need to find a “durable” solution for Greece. There has also been talk about a “vision” for the Eurozone and a promise for a plan by the November 3 G20 summit. Markets will likely focus on any additional details regarding the bank recapitalisation plan. Of course, Greek issues will remain important as well, in particular after Troika officials have been quoted in the media as criticizing the Greek Government’s determination to
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Occupy Wall Street and Occupy the Fed: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by George Washington.

Occupy Wall Street and Occupy the Fed Are Two Sides of the Same Coin

The Occupy Wall Street protests are obviously targeting Wall Street, i.e. the giant banks.

The Occupy the Fed protests – led by Alex Jones, the Oathkeepers and other conservatives – are targeting the Federal Reserve. *

While some are trying to weaken these two movements through a divide-and-conquer strategy, the truth is that they are two sides of the same coin.

Specifically, the corrupt, giant banks would never have gotten so big and powerful on their own. In a free market, the leaner banks with sounder business models would be growing, while the giants who made reckless speculative gambles would have gone bust. See this, this and this.

It is the Federal Reserve, Treasury and Congress who have repeatedly bailed out the big banks, ensured they make money at taxpayer expense, exempted them from standard accounting and the criminal and fraud laws which govern the little guy, and encouraged them – through “moral hazard” – of becoming even more reckless.

Indeed, the government made them big in the first place. As I noted in 2009:

As MIT economics professor and former IMF chief economist Simon Johnson points out today, the official White House position is that:

(1) The government created the mega-giants, and they are not the product of free market competition


(3) Giant banks are good for the economy

And given that the 12 Federal Reserve banks are private – see this and this – the giant banks have a huge amount of influence on what the Fed does. Indeed, the money-center banks in New York control the New York Fed, the most powerful Fed bank. Indeed, Jamie Dimon – the head of JP Morgan Chase – is a Director of the New York Fed.

Any attempt by the left to say that the free market is all bad and the government is all good is naive and counter-productive.

And any attempt by the right to say that we should leave the giant banks alone because that’s the free market are wrong.

The Federal Reserve and the giant banks are part of a single malignant, symbiotic relationship.…
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Zero Hedge

Ex-Goldman Compliance Worker Sued By SEC For Insider Trading

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

We already know that when it comes to obtaining "asymmetric info", no bar is too low for Goldman, the company, which stooped so low as to use current and former NY Fed employees who leaked regulator data, a transgression which would normally lead to years behind bars for most mortals but for Goldman merely resulted in another slap-on-the-wrist fine. Now we also find that the same is true for Goldman's employees.

Bloomberg reports that a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. employee "hired to help it monitor computer systems for illicit activity" used the company’s own i...

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Phil's Favorites

Black and Blue Friday Coming Up

Courtesy of Mish.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Black and Blue Friday will follow, putting U.S. Consumers and Stores in Face Off Over Discounts.
A Reuters/Ipsos survey found more people planned to cut holiday spending than increase in every category surveyed: clothing, jewelry, electronics, food and toys, and that 46 percent felt they could wait longer in the season to buy because of faster shipping.

Appliances, entertainment items, infant products and hardware showed narrowing discounts, MarketTrak reported, while promotions for apparel, toys and electronics were getting bigger.

Kurt Jetta, head of retail industry researcher TABS Group, found the discounts underwhelming....

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

Barclays bets on stock boom as world money growth soars (The Telegraph)

Barclays has advised clients to jump into world stock markets with both feet, citing the fastest growth in the global money supply in over thirty years and an accelerating recovery in China .

Ian Scott, the bank’s global equity strategist, said the sheer force of liquidity will overwhelm the first interest rate rises by the US Federal Reserve, expected to kick off next month.

The reason Pfizer doesn't have to care what politicians say about its $160 billion merger&nbs...

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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

2-0 Bulls

Courtesy of Declan.

A second day for bulls to shine despite modest end-of-day gains. Some indices did better than others. The Russell 2000 was the key performer. It finished with a MACD trigger 'buy' and looks ready to outperform the Nasdaq 100.  This is an important development for bulls looking for more from other indices. A move to challenge - then break - its 200-day MA, would convert August-November action into a healthy basing action.

The Nasdaq registered higher volume accumulation as a brief sojourn below the 20-day MA was reversed. It's nicely set up for a push to new swing highs.


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Kimble Charting Solutions

S&P 500 – Dangerous for bull case, if prices turn weak here!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.


The S&P 500 remains inside of a rising channel that has been in place since 2010. The 5-year trend is up.

The 5-month trend is a different story, at this time.

Over the past 5-months, the S&P 500 has created a series of “falling weekly closing highs,” which is represented by line (1) above.

The S&P is testing this falling resistance line at (2) above.

If weakness takes place at (2) above, at falling resistance, it would be concerning price action for the bullish case!


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Sector Detector: Bulls wrest back control of market direction, despite global adversity

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Some weeks when I write this article there is little new to talk about from the prior week. It’s always the Fed, global QE, China growth, election chatter, oil prices, etc. And then there are times like this in which there is so much happening that I don’t know where to start. Of course, the biggest market-moving news came the weekend before last when Paris was put face-to-face with the depths of human depravity and savagery. And yet the stock market responded with its best week of the year. As a result, the key issues dominating the front page and election chatter have moved from the economy and jobs to national security and a real war (rather than police ...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of November 23rd, 2015

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's Computing Network is More Powerful than 525 Googles and 10,000 Banks!

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Reggie Middleton.

I've decided to build our startup - Veritaseum, a peer-to-peer financial services platform, directly on top of the Bitcoin Blockchain. Many queried why I would voluntarily give up a lucrative advisory and consulting business to chase virtual coins in cyberspace. That's exactly why I decided to do it. That level of misunderstanding of what is essentially the second coming of the Internet gave me a fundamental advantage over those who had deeper connections, more capital and more firepower. I was the first mover advantage holder.

You see, Bitcoin is not about coins, currency or price pops. It is a massive computing net...

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PSW is more than just stock talk!


We know you love coming here for our Stocks & Options education, strategy and trade ideas, and for Phil's daily commentary which you can't live without, but there's more! features the most important and most interesting news items from around the web, all day, every day!

News: If you missed it, you can probably find it in our Market News section. We sift through piles of news so you don't have to.   

If you are looking for non-mainstream, provocatively-narrated news and opinion pieces which promise to make you think -- we feature Zero Hedge, ...

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Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli


Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli

Courtesy of Value Walk

1) The shares of one of my largest short positions (~3%), Exact Sciences, crashed by more than 46% yesterday. Below is the article I published this morning on SeekingAlpha, explaining why I think it’s still a great short and thus shorted more yesterday. Here’s a summary:

  • The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Draft Recommendation issued yesterday is devastating for Exact Sciences’ only product, Cologuard.
  • I think this is the beginning of the end for the company.
  • My price target for the stock a year from now is $3, so I shorted more yes...

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Baxter's Spinoff

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

Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).

The Baxalta Spinoff

By Ilene with Trevor of Lowenthal Capital Partners and Paul Price

In its recent filing with the SEC, Baxter provides:

“This information statement is being ...

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Mapping The Market

An update on oil proxies

Courtesy of Jean-Luc Saillard

Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself. 


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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 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.

Thank you for you time!

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