Author Archive for ilene

There is Only One Way Out For Greece

Courtesy of Martin Armstrong via ArmstrongEconomics

Brussels has been dead wrong. The stupid idea that the euro will bring stability and peace, as it was sold from the outset, has migrated to European domination as if this were “Game of Thrones.” Those in power have misread history, almost at every possible level. The assumption that the D-marks’ strength was a good thing that would transfer to the euro has failed because they failed to comprehend the backdrop to the D-mark.

LongBranchNJ-DepressionScrip

Germany moved opposite of the USA toward extreme austerity and conservative economics because of its experience with hyperinflation. The USA moved toward stimulation because of the austerity policies that created the Great Depression, which led to a shortage of money, and many cities had to issue their own currency just to function. The federal government thought, like Brussels today, that they had to up the confidence in the bond market and that called for raising taxes and cutting spending at the expense of the people. The same thinking process has played out numerous times throughout history. Our problem is that no one ever asks: Hey, did someone try this before? Did it work? This is why history repeats – we do ZERO research when it comes to economics. It is all hype and self-interest.

1000 drachma

Greece should immediately begin to print drachma. By no means has the introduction of a new currency been a walk in the park. There is always a learning curve, as in the case of East Germany’s adoption of the Deutsche mark, the Czech-Slovak divorce of 1993, and the creation of the euro itself. However, the bulk of transactions today are electronic, meaning we are dealing with an accounting issue more than anything. The euro existed electronically BEFORE it became printed money. Greece should do the same right now.

ExecutiveOrder-Gold-Confiscation

The difference concerning East Germany and others was the fact that there was no history. This is more akin to the 1933 devaluation of the dollar by FDR whereby an executive order reneged on promises to pay prior debt in gold. This would be similar. The new drachma should be issued at two-per euro, only because the people will think the drachma should be worth less than a euro based on pride. If the new drachma is issued at par, the speculators…
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Email from Greek Voter With “No Dreams and Nothing to Lose”; Greek ‘No’ Vote Demographics

Courtesy of Mish.

Every age group but 65 and older voted “No” in the referendum as the following Greek “No” Vote Demographics shows.

click on chart for sharper image

The following email was to a reader of mine. The email comments on the state of affairs in Greece as well as my proposed Way Forward.

“No Dreams and Nothing to Lose”

Nothing to Lose writes …

I don’t give a **** for politicians, I just care about my country.

I am a 30 year unemployed person with a bank account that has less than $10,000 left. What do I have to lose?

I don’t have dreams for my life anymore. And I haven’t even begun to live. For 5 years we suffered, and we are no better off.

Before the IMF came, Greek debt was around 118% of GDP. After two bailouts, debt is now close to 175% of GDP.

Is that progress?

The official unemployment rate is close to 30%, imagine how much the unofficial might really be….



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Welcome to Blackswansville

Courtesy of James Howard Kunstler

While the folks clogging the US tattoo parlors may not have noticed, things are beginning to look a little World War one-ish out there. Except the current blossoming world conflict is being fought not with massed troops and tanks but with interest rates and repayment schedules. Germany now dawdles in reply to the gauntlet slammed down Sunday in the Greek referendum (hell) “no” vote. Germany’s immediate strategy, it appears, is to apply some good old fashioned Teutonic todesfurcht — let the Greeks simmer in their own juices for a few days while depositors suck the dwindling cash reserves from the banks and the grocery store shelves empty out. Then what?

Nobody knows. And anything can happen.

One thing we ought to know: both sides in the current skirmish are fighting reality. The Germans foolishly insist that the Greek’s meet their debt obligations. The German’s are just pissing into the wind on that one, a hazardous business for a nation of beer drinkers. The Greeks insist on living the 20th century deluxe industrial age lifestyle, complete with 24/7 electricity, cheap groceries, cushy office jobs, early retirement, and plenty of walking-around money. They’ll be lucky if they land back in the 1800s, comfort-wise.

The Greeks may not recognize this, but they are in the vanguard of a movement that is wrenching the techno-industrial nations back to much older, more local, and simpler living arrangements. The Euro, by contrast, represents the trend that is over: centralization and bigness. The big questions are whether the latter still has enough mojo left to drag out the transition process, and for how long, and how painfully.

World affairs suffer from the disease of terminal excessive complexity. To make matters worse, much of the late-phase complexity operates in the service of accounting fraud of one kind or another. The world’s banking system is mired in the unreality of so many unmeetable obligations, cooked books, three-card-monte swap gimmicks, interest rate euchres, secret arbitrages, market manipulation monkeyshines, and countless other cons, swindles, and hornswoggles that all the auditors ever born could not produce a coherent record of what has been wreaked in the life of this universe (or several parallel universes). Remember Long Term Capital Management? That’s what the world has become.…
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The Fed’s Window For Hiking Rates Continues To Close

Courtesy of Lance Roberts via STA Wealth Management


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Chart o’ the Day: Why the Market Feels Worse Than It Is

Courtesy of The Reformed Broker, Joshua Brown

My pal Ari Wald (Oppenheimer Asset Management) has an interesting take on the “feel” of the market versus the objective reality.

While Wald maintains an overall bullish bent, he notes that identifying winners and losers has been more important this year given the trendless nature of the S&P 500. High dispersion and flat indices make for a frustrated investor class, despite our proximity to the all-time highs:

If the alternative is a bearish view, we believe a bullish S&P 500 outlook remains warranted. However, reality is probably somewhere in the middle as stock-level trends vary considerably. At last week’s low, the S&P 500 was down 3.6% from its all-time high of 2134, but the market environment feels worse than this is because the dispersion of performance has widened sharply. For instance, the spread between the best (Health Care, +24%) and worst (Energy, -24%) performing S&P 500 sectors over the last 52 weeks is the widest since February 2010. This is a reason we continue to place greater emphasis on our sector and stock calls than our market one.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 2.23.33 PM

 

Josh here – If you’re a devoted stockpicker, now is finally your time to shine after five years. Try not to f*** it up.

Source:

Inflection Points
Oppenheimer Asset Management – July 6th 2015





Can Greece Print Euros? No, Not Really; Parallel Currencies Now in Use

Courtesy of Mish.

There’s theory and there’s practice. There’s also practical matters even if theory and practice are in alignment.

People keep emailing me stories that Greece can and will print euros, so it will never run out of money. Such stories have been running for years actually.

Let’s take a peek at a few of them, and why they are all false from a practical point of view.

June 15, 2012: What if Greece Just Printed the Euros It Needs?

Writer Valentin Petkantchin asked “Why would an extreme leftist such as Tsipras bother switching to drachmas – with the disastrous consequences for the Greek population and his own political future – when Greece already has the capacities to simply print euros?

His twofold view was twice wrong.

  1. On one hand, Greece can create euros in a few “clicks” under the cover of the opaque Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) program. Greece is already estimated to have created up to 96 billion euros to help its banks using the ELA.
  2. On the other hand, the Greek central bank is able to turn on the printing press  the old-fashioned way. Greece has the physical means to create any amount of euros it wants.

We have already seen what can and has happened to the ELA.

I will get to the practical side of “Greece has the physical means to create any amount of euros it wants” in just a moment.

July 5, 2015: ZeroHedge wrote Greece Contemplates Nuclear Options: May Print Euros, Launch Parallel Currency, Nationalize Banks.

Says ZeroHedge: “While Greece and the ECB may be on the verge of a terminal fall out, Greece still has something of great value: a Euro printing press.

July 5, 2015: Breitbart writes Greece will Never Run out of Money–It Will just Print More….



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It Begins: ECB “Adjusts” Greek ELA Haircuts; Full “Depositor Bail-In” Sensitivity Analysis

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Earlier today we reported that as Bloomberg correctly leaked, the ECB would keep its ELA frozen for Greek banks at its ?89 billion ceiling level last increased two weeks ago. However we did not know what the ECB would do with Greek ELA haircuts, assuming that the ECB would not dare risk contagion and the collapse of the Greek banking system by triggering a waterfall solvency rush in Greek banks if and when it boosts ELA haircuts. Turns out we were wrong, and as the ECB just announced "the Governing Council decided today to adjust the haircuts on collateral accepted by the Bank of Greece for ELA."

Full Press Release:

ELA to Greek banks maintained

  • Emergency liquidity assistance maintained at 26 June 2015 level
  • Haircuts on collateral for ELA adjusted
  • Governing Council closely monitoring situation in financial markets

The Governing Council of the European Central Bank decided today to maintain the provision of emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) to Greek banks at the level decided on 26 June 2015 after discussing a proposal from the Bank of Greece.

ELA can only be provided against sufficient collateral.

The financial situation of the Hellenic Republic has an impact on Greek banks since the collateral they use in ELA relies to a significant extent on government-linked assets.

In this context, the Governing Council decided today to adjust the haircuts on collateral accepted by the Bank of Greece for ELA.

The Governing Council is closely monitoring the situation in financial markets and the potential implications for the monetary policy stance and for the balance of risks to price stability in the euro area. The Governing Council is determined to use all the instruments available within its mandate.

What does this mean? Since it is almost certain that the haircut is being increased (as decreasing the ELA haircut makes no sense since Greek banks still have about €20 billion in ELA collateral buffer and instead the ECB would have simply raised the total ELA amount), it means that the ECB just took its first practove step toward launching a Greek bank bail in. [ZH: it has since been confirmed that haircuts are being raised].
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Greece: The Slow Motion, Multi-Year Train Wreck

 

Greece: The Slow Motion, Multi-Year Train Wreck

Courtesy of Wade of Investing Caffeine

Train Wreck

 

Watching Greece fall apart over the last five years has been like watching a slow motion train wreck. To many, this small country of 11 million people that borders the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Ionian Seas is known more for its Greek culture (including Zeus, Parthenon, Olympics) and its food (calamari, gyros, and Ouzo) than it is known for financial bailouts. Nevertheless, ever since the financial crisis of 2008-2009, observers have repeatedly predicted the debt-laden country will default on its €323 billion mountain of obligations (see chart below – approximately $350 billion in dollars) and subsequently exit the 19-member eurozone currency membership (a.k.a.,”Grexit”).

 

Source: MoneyMorning.com and CNN

Source: MoneyMorning.com and CNN

Now that Greece has failed to repay less than 1% of its full €240 billion bailout obligation – the €1.5 billion payment due to the IMF (International Monetary Fund) by June 30th – the default train is coming closer to falling off the tracks. Whether Greece will ultimately crash itself out of the eurozone will be dependent on the outcome of this week’s surprise Greek referendum (general vote by citizens) mandated by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Greece’s left-wing Syriza party. By voting “No” on further bailout austerity measures recommended by the European Union Commission, including deeper tax increases and pension cuts, the Greek people would effectively be choosing a Grexit over additional painful tax increases and deeper pension cuts.

Ouch!

And who can blame the Greeks for being a little grouchy? You might not be too happy either if you witnessed your country experience an economic decline of greater than 25% (see Greece Gross Domestic Product chart below); 25% overall unemployment (and 50% youth unemployment); government worker cuts of greater than 20%; and stifling taxes to boot. Sure, Greeks should still shoulder much of the blame. After all, they are the ones who piled on $100s of billions of debt and overspent on the pensions of a bloated public workforce, and ran unsustainable fiscal deficits.

 

Source: TradingEconomics.com

Source: TradingEconomics.com

For any casual history observers, the current Greek financial…
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Krugman Essentially Correct on Greece; Chance of Escape

Courtesy of Mish.

It's quite rare for me to agree with economist Paul Krugman on much of anything, or him with me.

Today, I think Krugman is essentially correct with his New York Times Op-Ed on Ending Greece’s Bleeding.

Europe dodged a bullet on Sunday. Confounding many predictions, Greek voters strongly supported their government’s rejection of creditor demands. And even the most ardent supporters of European union should be breathing a sigh of relief.

Of course, that’s not the way the creditors would have you see it. Their story, echoed by many in the business press, is that the failure of their attempt to bully Greece into acquiescence was a triumph of irrationality and irresponsibility over sound technocratic advice.

But the campaign of bullying — the attempt to terrify Greeks by cutting off bank financing and threatening general chaos, all with the almost open goal of pushing the current leftist government out of office — was a shameful moment in a Europe that claims to believe in democratic principles. It would have set a terrible precedent if that campaign had succeeded, even if the creditors were making sense.

What’s more, they weren’t. The truth is that Europe’s self-styled technocrats are like medieval doctors who insisted on bleeding their patients — and when their treatment made the patients sicker, demanded even more bleeding. A “yes” vote in Greece would have condemned the country to years more of suffering under policies that haven’t worked and in fact, given the arithmetic, can’t work:

Debate Over Austerity

I can accept the above paragraphs completely. I disagree with what comes after the colon.

Immediately after the colon Krugman writes "Austerity probably shrinks the economy faster than it reduces debt, so that all the suffering serves no purpose."

My disagreement is over austerity. I do not label tax hikes in the middle of an economic depression 'austerity'; I label them 'stupidity'. And Greece did not do enough to reduce its bloated public sector.

What Greece most needs is reform of all sorts. There was virtually no reform in Greece on work rules, pensions, ease in starting a company or firing workers. Guaranteed pensions in Greece are higher than in Germany.

Chance of Escape

Krugman quickly gets back on track with his statement "The landslide victory of the 'no' side offers at least a chance for an escape from this trap."…

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Global Banks Tank: What Part of Financial Stability Doesn’t Germany Understand?

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Greeks Filled the Streets of Athens During the Weekend Leading to Sunday's Referendum

Greeks Filled the Streets of Athens During the Weekend Leading to Sunday’s Referendum

The fallout from yesterday’s Greek referendum is now spilling over into the share prices of global banking stocks in morning trading, with some down as much as 7 to 5 percent, raising the specter that if Germany doesn’t soon focus on the bigger financial stability picture, it could create more bailouts in short order.

The rumored close vote by the Greek people in a referendum yesterday turned into a landslide 61 percent vote against the tough austerity measures being offered by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund in exchange for continued loans to the struggling country.

News reports since the vote indicate that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Wolfgang Schäuble, the German Finance Minister, have no plans to quickly cave in to Greek demands for a more generous deal than the one offered prior to the referendum. Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s Finance Minister, resigned this morning in hopes of allowing friendlier negotiations to proceed. The outspoken Varoufakis has called the Sunday vote an historic moment in time “when a small European nation rose up against debt-bondage.” Schäuble is in no mood to hear phrases coming out of Greece like “debt bondage.”

Merkel is scheduled to meet today with French President Francois Hollande, followed by a full conference among Eurozone leaders tomorrow.

Italian bank stocks were leading decliners with Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena declining more than 7 percent at one point this morning with Banca Popolare di Milano losing as much as 5 percent in morning trading. Even Germany’s Deutsche Bank was off by as much as 2.65 percent.

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Zero Hedge

All The Latest Greek Headlines

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Today's "final" Eurogroup meeting is yet another "last" chance for Greece to stay in the Euro according to Greek headlines. The meeeting begins in minutes, at 12:30pm CET/7:30am Eastern so expect the usual torrent of "Greek deal" headlines which send the S&P surging followed by prompt denials which the S&P algo soundly ignore. By now the game is quite familiar to everyone.

Here are some of the soundbites as the Euro finmins are unloaded:

  • Schaeuble Says He’s Waiting ‘With Excitement’ For Greece’s Offer, asked if Greece can keep Euro says, must ask Greek government.
  • Germany's Gabriel says el...


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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

The amount of money Americans say they spend in a day has gone basically nowhere in the last two years (Business Insider)

Gallup just released the results of a poll asking Americans how much money they spent in a day on discretionary items, excluding major home purchases and regular bills. Respondents are asked how much they spent "yesterday," or the day before they were contacted by the pollster.

Chinese Stocks Open Down Ha...



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Chart School

RTT browsing latest..

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Please review a collection of WWW browsing results.Date Found: Friday, 05 June 2015, 03:53:56 PM

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing. Comment: FAIR QUESTION: is the Fed simply rising rates just so it badly crashes the economy and has the cover to launch QE4, the same way Russian sanctions crippled Germany's economy and led to the ECB's very first episode of bond monetization?

Date Found: Friday, 05 June 2015, 08:54:03 PM

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing. Comment: Zerohedge : This is the simplest way to describe Keynesianism: A slow steady rise up, with quick steps down towards where you came from.

Date Found: Saturday, 06 June 2015, 02:12:32 AM...

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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Bulls prepare for a new buying opportunity, courtesy of Greece

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Of course, all eyes have been on Greece in an ongoing saga that, although critical to the Greeks, is mostly just an annoying distraction for global investors -- partly because it has been going on for so many years, with the proverbial can of inevitability continually being kicked down the road, and partly because there can be no winners in this intractable situation. Predictably, the electorate chose to follow the advice of the communists that they elected and reject the rigid bailout offer, calling the bluff of the IMF, ECB, and Eurozone and betting they will do whatever it takes to avoid losing one of its members. These are uncharted waters, and with the resultant s...



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Phil's Favorites

There is Only One Way Out For Greece

Courtesy of Martin Armstrong via ArmstrongEconomics

Brussels has been dead wrong. The stupid idea that the euro will bring stability and peace, as it was sold from the outset, has migrated to European domination as if this were “Game of Thrones.” Those in power have misread history, almost at every possible level. The assumption that the D-marks’ strength was a good thing that would transfer to the euro has failed because they failed to comprehend the backdrop to the D-mark.

Germany moved opposite of the USA toward extreme austerity and conservative economics because of its experience with hyperinflation. The USA moved toward stimulation because of the austerity policies that created the Great Depression, which led to a sh...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Leading indicator breakdowns, more important than Greece?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Has Greece been a good economic indicator over the past few years? Most would say NOT!

Could Crude & Copper be sending a more important global message than what happens in Greece?

A year ago a long-term pennant pattern in play with Crude Oil. Once it started heading south a year ago, it fell hard. Crude Oil’s rally took it 23% retracement level and its 200MA line of late at (1) below. See what is happening now!

CLICK ON CHART ENLARGE

Crude is breaking below this multi-week pennant pattern after failing to climb above Fibonacci resistance and its 200ma...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of July 6th, 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 Surges After Initial Forecasts Show "No" Vote Ahead

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

If the early bitcoin markets are an indication of what will happen once New Zealand opens for illiquid FX trade, it will be a risk off kinda day.

And that doesn't even take into account the pandemonium that will be unleashed in China in a few hours after the PBOC just went all-in to halt the crashing stock market. What if it fails to get a green close before tomorrow's US open?

Source: ...



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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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Pharmboy

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. 

Since...



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Promotions

Watch the Phil Davis Special on Money Talk on BNN TV!

Kim Parlee interviews Phil on Money Talk. Be sure to watch the replays if you missed the show live on Wednesday night (it was recorded on Monday). As usual, Phil provides an excellent program packed with macro analysis, important lessons and trading ideas. ~ Ilene

 

The replay is now available on BNN's website. For the three part series, click on the links below. 

Part 1 is here (discussing the macro outlook for the markets) Part 2 is here. (discussing our main trading strategies) Part 3 is here. (reviewing our pick of th...

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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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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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About Ilene:

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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