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   www.testosteronepit.com

“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

DOJ Reverses Obama-Era Decision To Phase Out Private Prisons

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Another day, another reversal of a legacy Obama policy.

Moments ago, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed an Obama-era memo to phase out the use of private prisons, signalling his support for federal use of such facilities and advising that the Bureau of Prisons will "return to its previous approach to the use of private prisons."

Sessions issued a new memo Thursday replacing one issued last August by Sally Yates, the deputy attorney general at the time, in which he said the Obama decision "impaired" the ability to meet the needs of the correctional system.

That Yates memo told t...



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ValueWalk

Are factors even real? Or just data-mining?

By Alpha Architect. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Our epic piece on factors from a few weeks ago is still ringing in our own ears: Are factors even real? Or just data-mining?

The conclusion: who knows. We need more data.

And more data we can find. To include a recent master’s thesis on nordic country equities, which looks at Size, value, momentum, profitability and investment in a stock market that hasn’t been data-dredged as heavy as the US.

Here is the paper.

Here is the abstract:

This thesis is concerned with uncovering whether return pattern effects from some of the mo...



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Phil's Favorites

Angela Merkel Cheers as Germany's Budget Surplus Hits Record Right: Let's Pretend

Courtesy of Mish.

Thanks to negative interest rates at the ECB, record low unemployment, and a desire to maintain a balanced budget, Germany’s Budget Surplus Hit a Record High since reunification in 1991.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is singing a happy tune, but the austerity message will not play well with most of the Eurozone.

Germany’s statistical office on Thursday reported the country was in the black by €23.7bn last year, with local, state and central government coffers benefiting from record-low unemployment and ultra-cheap debt finance stemming from the European Central Bank’s mass purchases of sovereign bonds.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government, which has vowed to maintain a balanced budget a...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Gold & Silver; Knocking on breakout door again!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Silver and Gold have continued to head lower since highs reached back in 2011. Is the 6-year bear market nearing an end?

Below looks at the Silver/Gold ratio over the past decade. To be long and strong Silver and Gold, the preference would be for this ratio to be heading higher.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

The ratio has formed a clean falling channel (series of lower highs and lower lows) inside of (1). Three different times it knocked on the underside of falling...



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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

Oil Sands Batter Major Explorers' Reserves as Rout Sinks Value (Bloomberg)

Oil-sands investments in Western Canada that gobbled tens of billions of dollars over the past decade are proving an Achilles heel for some of the world’s biggest energy producers.

A definitive breakdown of the gloomy state of Wall Street (Business Insider)

Don't be fooled by the strong rebound in Wall Street trading revenues at the end of 2016: Investment banks still had a lousy year.

...



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Chart School

Market Pause

Courtesy of Declan.

Nothing really to add to yesterday. Markets took minor hits, but there was little intraday spread. The biggest spread was in the Russell 2000 which was underperforming heading into today's session. It reversed most of yesterday's gains, but it has some way to go before it begins challenging the breakout


The New Lows and Highs is in a secular bullish pattern, and it will take continued pressure in spike lows to generate a sustained sell off - none of which is happening here.

...

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Digital Currencies

It's Time To Beat Up On Credit Suisse and Their Woefully Misinformed Bitcoin Advice

Courtesy of Reggie Middleton at Zero Hedge

Credit Suisse has been posting cryptocurrency advisories over the last few weeks. They are quite one-sided, although couched in the appearance of objectivity. To explain why it's couched in the appearance of objectivity, and not actually objective, let me give you some background. 

The Obama administration enacted a law known as the Fiduciary Rule, as per Investopedia

The Department of Labor’s definition of a fiduciary demands that advisors act in the best interests of their clients, and to put their clients' interests above their own. It leaves no room for advisors to conce...



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Members' Corner

Lumber Liquidators Leukemia?

Courtesy of The Nattering Naybob

Phil – LL –   "I can see the ad campaign now: "Our lumber hardly kills you!" 

We Nattered... Today Feb 23, 2016 down -19.5% premarket from $14.21 to $11.27.   

Somebody forgot to convert feet to meters. The CDC said it made an ERROR in the Feb 10th report and had used an incorrect value to calculate ceiling height, which meant its estimates of the airborne concentration of cancer-causing formaldehyde were about three times lower than they should have been. 

Considering myeloid leukemia, some cancers and formaldehyde are linked at the hip, wonder if overexposure had anything to do with the CEO's leukemia?  

LL subsequently went to $19.67 on Sept 30th and has since cooled down to $15....



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of February 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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Mapping The Market

NSA May Be Withholding Intel from President Trump

By Jean Luc

These GOP guys were so worried about Hillary's email server and now we find out that we had something close to a Russian mole in the White House. In the meantime, Trump keeps on using his unsecured phone, had high level conversation in his resort in front of dinner guests! It's getting so bad that rumors are now circulating that the NSA is not sharing information with the WH:

NSA May Be Withholding Intel from President Trump

By 

….Our spies have had enough of these shady Russian connections—and they are starting to push back….In light of this, and out of worries about the White House’s ability to keep secrets, some of our spy agencies have begun withholding intelligence fro...



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Promotions

Phil's Stock World's Las Vegas Conference!

Learn option strategies and how to be the house and not the gambler. That's especially apropos since we'll be in Vegas....

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

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

Beginning Time:  9:30 to 10:00 am Sunday morning

Location: Caesars Palace in Las Vegas

Notes

Caesars has offered us rooms for $189 on Saturday night and $129 for Sunday night but rooms are limited at that price.

So, if you are planning on being in Vegas (Highly Recommended!), please sign up as soon as possible by sending...



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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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