United Welfare States of America: In 2011 Nearly Half The Population Received Some Form Of Government Benefit
by Zero Hedge - January 22nd, 2012 11:02 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
While politicians may debate whether or not America is the most “generous” (with other generations’ money of course) socialist welfare state in the history of mankind, the undoctored numbers make the affirmative case quite clear and without any chance for confusion. The single most disturbing statistic: in 2011 nearly half of the population lived in a household that receives some form of government benefit, which in turn accounted for 65% of total federal spending, or $2.5 trillion, and amount to 15% of GDP. And yet some people out there still think these people, long since indoctrinated to do little but mooch off the welfare state (which will continue subsidizing its existence so long as debt rates are so low that the government can issue trillions each year without fears of consequences) will halt their iTunes purchases, will voluntarily stop subsisting on the government’s teat, or will rebel against a government which is their only source of income? Why? Especially since something tells us that there will be a peculiar overlap between this 50% and the 50% of Americans that pay zero taxes.
Of course, this chart should be observed in conjunction with the “What is this?” chart we presented two days ago from Morgan Stanley which pretty much explains everything about the US “economy”
From John Lohman
by stjeanluc - January 22nd, 2012 10:09 pm
Here is the virtual portfolio weekend update. Basically a recap of the positions and some notes about the trades. As usual, I’ll post the previous week’s P&L for comparison. Not the greatest of week in general!
Only transaction last week as we bought back the AA Feb 9 puts on Tuesday for close to a 70% profit. The idea is to sell another set of put as soon as we get a chance.
Previous week P&L – $400.00
We lost some ground this week, but we’ll keep on selling premium!
We also lost some ground in this virtual portfolio, but we have sold plenty of premium for the coming week. A little correction would go a long way to help! On Wednesday we sold the FAS Feb 72 puts (already good for 50%), on Thursday we added the Jan4 78 calls and on Friday we had to roll the Jan 78 puts to the Jan 80 puts. We were hoping for these ones to expire worthless on Friday, but a late stick killed that hope.
Previous week P&L – $4372.00
Not the best of week either here… As with the other portfolios we were a tad bearish with more calls sold. On Wednesday we sold the TNA Feb 47 puts (already up 40%) and on Thursday we rolled the TNA Jan 46 calls to the Jan4 49 calls.
Previous week P&L – $2046.00
As with the FAS Money portfolio, plenty of premium sold to get us back on track.
FAS Strangle Experiment
One bad move on Friday almost wiped out the entire week’s profit. There might be 2 lessons learned from that:
1) Every Friday will be different – the week before, patience was rewarded, this week, a late stick punished it.
2) Better to take the profits when we can.
I also tried to time the entries better and it did help earlier this week but I still need to work on that.
Previous week P&L – $10,190.00
We start the week with over $1 of premium sold. All we need is a move to the downside to make up the loss.
25KP Virtual Portfolio
I’ll let Phil comment any of the trades. Here is a recap of the positions.
The SQQQ Jan calls expired worthless on Friday.
Apple 50k Virtual Portfolio
by Zero Hedge - January 22nd, 2012 9:48 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
After months of increasingly aggressive shareholder activism, the long-standing co-CEOs (Balisillie and Lazaridis) of the struggling Blackberry maker have resigned as the former COO takes over as CEO and former-exchange executive takes over as chairperson.
- RESEARCH IN MOTION CO-CEOS/CHAIRMEN QUIT POSTS – BBG
- RIM NAMES BARBARA STYMIEST INDEPENDENT BOARD CHAIRMAN – BBG
- RESEARCH IN MOTION NAMES THORSTEN HEINS PRESIDENT, CEO – BBG
Research In Motion has clearly morphed into Activism-in-Motion as the Globe and Mail reports: “The catalyst for change appears to have been the entry of a new personality: reserved but revered investor Prem Watsa, the CEO of Fairfax Financial. Mr. Watsa, who has been called Canada’s Warren Buffett.” While chatter appears to be that change-is-good, G&M go on to note, “Critics of the company’s performance may not be immediately impressed by
a management shakeup that involves so little fresh blood.” as the Playbook fiasco is fresh in many people’s minds but perhaps new CEO’s Heins view that “We are not at a point where we try to define a strategy, that’s done” will not hearten those looking for real change.
Research in Motion leaders Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis are stepping down as executives and co-chairmen of the board of directors in the the biggest shake-up in the 27-year history of the Waterloo, Ont.-based startup turned global giant. The sudden move follows a year of decline in which RIM lost three-quarters of its market value, botched the launch of its PlayBook tablet and watched rivals eat into its market share for smartphones.
The new chief executive of RIM will be Thorsten Heins – a man they recruited five years ago who came to be a trusted advisor and their hand-picked successor. Calls for radical change at the company have been mounting in recent months. Its BlackBerry device blazed the trail for smartphones and has 75 million active subscribers around the world, but RIM has struggled of late with dwindling market share and fierce competition from Apple Inc.’s iPhone and an array of devices running Google Inc.’s Android operating system.
The catalyst for change appears to have been the entry of a new personality:
by Insider Scoop - January 22nd, 2012 9:47 pm
Courtesy of Benzinga.
by ilene - January 22nd, 2012 9:41 pm
Courtesy of The Automatic Earth
Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums Just watch me June 9 1902
Fron album of prisoners brought before the North Shields Police Court in England between 1902 and 1916.
Time has stopped before us
The sky cannot ignore us
No one can separate us
For we are all that is left
The echo bounces off me
The shadow lost beside me
There's no more need to pretend
Cause now I can begin again."
Smashing Pumpkins, The Beginning is the End is the Beginning
Ashvin Pandurangi: The latest revolution of the Euro Crisis Cycle has brought us back to talks of restructuring Greek sovereign debt through "Private Sector Involvement" (PSI), which are somehow taking place in a Universe where debt restructuring is not allowed to be confused with "debt default" or "bankruptcy". On Friday January 20, the IIF (representing some of Greece’s creditors) and the Greek government announced that they had finally reached an "agreement" on the basic structure of the restructuring (or the basic restructuring of the structure?).
Here’s the live blog update from The Guardian on Friday, which really stood out to me:
A framework of the deal — the basic structure of the bond swap that the Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos wants to present at Monday's eurogroup meeting — has been accepted by both sides, "put in place" and I understand committed to paper.
But it would also seem that other aspects of the agreement – be them legal, technical or matters of substance — remain unresolved and will be discussed at negotiations that resume at 7:30pm local time [6.30 GMT] and look set to continue over the weekend.
If Greece's massive €360 bn debt load is to be made manageable much will depend "on the inter-related role of all the interests at stake" insiders say. Even if a decisive agreement is reached, the proposal will have to be put to technocrats — given the complexity of the deal — and they could very likely change it again.
"The outline won't be the end of the beginning but the beginning of the end," said another source again requesting blanket anonymity because of the delicacy of the talks.
Australia Roundup: Oceanfront Homes for 65% Off; Chain Sales and Contingent Offers; Retailers Brace for More Job Cuts; Cusp of a White-Collar Recession
by ilene - January 22nd, 2012 9:31 pm
Australia Roundup: Oceanfront Homes for 65% Off; Chain Sales and Contingent Offers; Retailers Brace for More Job Cuts; Cusp of a White-Collar Recess
Courtesy of Mish
Reader "Brisbane Bear" from down under sent potpourri of links on the dwindling prospects for the Australian economy.
Oceanfront Homes for 65% Off
In apples, rot starts at the periphery and spreads to the core. In real estate, rot starts in condos and vacation homes, then slowly encompasses city after city.
Please consider Investors snap up coastal property bargains in Queensland.
While prices soar in some coastal towns close to mining centres, astute buyers are managing to secure ocean- front homes in traditional tourist locations for $500,000 or more off peak prices as vendors cave after years of trying to sell.
One buyer scored an oceanfront unit in a marina development at Cardwell, halfway between Cairns and Townsville, for $157,000 – almost $300,000 less than it sold for in 2006. The unit had been on the market for three years.
A penthouse with ocean views in the same development sold for $570,000 less than its 2007 sales price.
RP Data senior analyst Cameron Kusher said buyers of the most affordable seaside holiday homes needed to be prepared for a long commute. But he said coastal market values had fallen across Queensland, meaning bargains could even be found in popular locations.
Chain Sales and Contingent Offers
When all else fails, buyers accept any offer they can get including contingent sales as noted by The Age in Risky ride on the vendor-go-round.
SELLING a home is stressful at the best of times. Failing to sell at auction in the midst of a property downturn can be its own kind of nightmare.
But imagine if it turned out that the only way to sell your home depended on the buyer having to sell theirs first.
It is a scenario Gavin and Verity Carson never considered when their Abbotsford terrace house went to auction and was passed in.
After later negotiations with a bidder broke down, they were left at a loss about what to do next. Looming was the threat of a lengthy wait in the private sale market, already flooded with thousands of unsold homes.
"All the people that had been interested were no longer interested – we had to really start the campaign
by Zero Hedge - January 22nd, 2012 8:45 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
As the name implies. What is funny is how only after the advent of the Federal Reserve in 1913 did Financial crises expose increasingly more of world GDP to a crisis state. But at least the Fed and ECB tell us all they do is enforce price stabeeletee. Could they be lying!? We thought it was all the gold standard’s fault for causing unprecedented economic volatility… Guess not. From History Shots: “The giant wave in the top section of the graphic depicts the percentage of world GDP by region in crisis during the 200 year period. It includes the four major financial crisis types (sovereign default, banking, currency, and inflation) along with stock market crashes. The bottom section provides a detailed chart of all sovereign defaults by country, region and year. It shows the repeating nature of sovereign default, a central theme of Reinhart and Rogoff’s book.”
Full chronology after the jump.
by Zero Hedge - January 22nd, 2012 8:18 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
By way of Goldman Sachs
The week past was one of improving sentiment for risky assets. The positive stream of data surprises out of the US continued with a sharp drop in initial jobless claims. The less positive Philly Fed print did not shake markets to a substantial extent. Optimism in Eurozone extended as well with the newsflow over the Greek PSI. Up until Friday (January 20) it appeared increasingly likely that an agreement could be imminent. However, on Saturday talks came once again to a stalemate due to ongoing disagreement over the level of sustainable coupons for the new Greek bonds.
This implies that the PSI deal will not be ready for approval during the European finance ministers meeting, starting on Monday. The market will look for any signal on the pace of discussions over the ESM pre-funding details and the fiscal compact. Flash PMIs in the Eurozone and the IFO will also be key to watch given market fears over the activity impact of tight fiscal policy linked to the Eurozone fiscal crisis.
Attention will likely shift to the US this week. Q4 GDP will likely exceed 3% mostly due to one-off drivers and less so due a genuine pick-up in final demand in our view. The FOMC statement and press conference are unlikely to lead to a change in US monetary policy. However, we will be focusing on the publication of the FOMC participants’ views of appropriate policy (specifically the path for the federal funds rate and guidance for the size of the balance sheet going forward). In addition, President Obama will give his State of the Union speech Tuesday night.
Monday 23rd January:
Ecofin Meeting: The Greek PSI, the ESM pre-funding schedule will be among other issues in the agenda.
Also Interesting: Euro-zone Consumer Confidence (Jan), Israel Monetary Policy Meeting (no change).
Tuesday 24th January:
Turkey Monetary Policy Meeting: We do not expect a change in the base rate but it will be interesting to assess the current CBRT thoughts on ongoing policy initiatives.
Hungary Monetary Policy Meeting: In response to currency risks, NBH is widely expected to raise interest rates by 50bp to 7.50%.
Euro-zone Flash Composite PMI (Jan): Consensus expects a print of 48.5, up from 48.3 in December.
by Chart School - January 22nd, 2012 6:51 pm
Courtesy of Declan Fallon
Day Trading – Proprietary Equity Trader
Stock/Options Trader: Trade Firm Capital ($0-240K)
Commodities Trader Assistant
Bilingual Japanese US Equity Sales & Equity Trader ($0-90K)
Sr Trader – Proprietary
Quant Trader Researchers
Muni Oddlot Trader
Trader Support Analyst ($20-21 / hr)
Trade Support Sr. Analyst – Global Credit – 11044168
C# Programmers – 4 openings – NYC
Brokerage Service Rep
Trader Support for a Firm Trading in Global Markets
Commodity Trading Sales Representative
Sr. Trade Support ($80-110K)
Trade Support Engineer ($35-45/hr)
Credit & Portfolio Risk Mgr – 11048756
Citi Retail Service – VP, Credit & Portfolio Risk Mgr (NCL Fore)
Other Trading Jobs of Interest can be found here.
by Chart School - January 22nd, 2012 6:32 pm
Courtesy of Declan Fallon
The Percentage of Nasdaq Stocks above the 50-day MA is one such market breadth indicator at resistance. With 72% of stocks above this intermediate trend average it suggests the Nasdaq is only in the early phase of its rally (a couple of weeks ago the percentage of Nasdaq Stocks above 50%, was just above 50%).
Nasdaq Bullish Percents are above the 50% mark
And the Summation Index is above zero
These breadth indicators suggest there should be enough for the Nasdaq to break declining resistance (already breached for Small and Large Cap indices) and push on to new highs.
The Russell 2000 has made it to neckline resistance and it’s next big area of supply
The S&P managed resistance breaks in the parent index and supporting market breadth indices ($NYSI shown)
While resistance might stall things in the Nasdaq for a week or two, it should eventually follow the leads of the Russell 2000 and S&P. Bulls maintain their edge and should be able to hold on by the end of the coming week.
Dr. Declan Fallon is the Senior Market Technician and Community Director for Zignals.com.