Author Archive for ilene

Dynamic Scoring is More Voodoo Economics (Video)

Courtesy of EconMatters

We discuss the $20 Trillion National Debt, the $5 Trillion Central Bank Balance Sheet and the 105 Percent Debt to GDP Ratio in the context of the environment that Donald Trump is going to inherent as President in this video. No more experimental policies, we know what works, cut government spending, keep tax revenue constant, and start paying down the National Debt.

Every American needs to know these 3 charts backward and forward because you are the one who has to pay for this government spending and debt obligations over your lifetime. It is time that our government goes on a spending diet, no more military jets that we don`t really need, let alone can actually afford. There are no magic, fantasyland budgetary solutions and Dynamic Scoring and Laffer Curve nonsense to justify an agenda is unacceptable with a $20 Trillion National Debt staring us in the face this year.

It is time to break it down to solid finance basics, spend less, keep revenue increasing slightly to account for the entitlements hitting the budget with babyboomers` entitlements obligations starting in 2018, build a budget surplus each year, and start paying down the National Debt with some Fucking Financial Discipline.

Sell Netflix, Buy Blockbuster


Sell Netflix, Buy Blockbuster

Courtesy of 

“The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones.” ~ Keynes

There’s nothing wrong with ideas, new or old, but the problem is that once we come public with them, it becomes incredibly difficult to change our mind. To admit that what we once believed is no longer valid can be viewed from the outside (and often times from the inside) as a sign of weakness, rather than a sign of growth. I want to look at a few real world examples of this.

Skip Bayless predicted in the preseason that Dallas would beat Seattle in the NFC championship game. Unfortunately for Seattle, they lost Earl Thomas to injury, who is one of the best safeties in the league. Looking at the tweet below, it’s clear that Skip thinks it’s macho to remain ignorant or unflappable even when the evidence changes.

After Aaron Rodgers delivered one of the best performances he doubled down on his stupidity, tweeting “Congratulations to Dak Prescott for again outplaying Aaron Rodgers, again holding off Romo and again performing like a clutch MVP.” It’s true that Dak played better than any Cowboys fan could have hoped for, but come on man. This is embarrassing.

I’ll give Skip a pass, only because his job is to be outrageous. I mean, he might believe his own bullshit, I don’t know. But he gets paid to be controversial. Financial analysts on the other hand, are not entertainers, they get paid to analyze companies.

Consider Michael Prachter and Netflix. Prachter’s negative views, which continue to this day, go all the way back to the beginnings. Here is an article from 2005, when he recommended to sell Netflix and buy Blockbuster. “Pachter initiated coverage of Netflix after they lowered their pricing on 9-28-04 with a sell. Subsequently he has reiterated this sale five times and presently has a 12 month price target on the stock of $3 per share. The stock closed today at $11.20.”  You would think that after twelve years of being wrong, and watching a stock gain 4600%, that you would wave the white flag and move on, right?…
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NYT on Snowden: Right in 2014, Right Today

Courtesy of Mish.

I do not often agree with the New York Times editorial board. But when it comes to Edward Snowden, the editorial board took a correct position in 2014 and again today.

JAN. 1, 2014: Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower.

Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight. He may have committed a crime to do so, but he has done his country a great service. It is time for the United States to offer Mr. Snowden a plea bargain or some form of clemency that would allow him to return home, face at least substantially reduced punishment in light of his role as a whistle-blower, and have the hope of a life advocating for greater privacy and far stronger oversight of the runaway intelligence community.

JAN. 18, 2017: President Obama’s Last Chance to Show Mercy

President Obama did the right thing in granting clemency to Chelsea Manning, who was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking huge amounts of classified information about American diplomatic and military activities in 2010. Ms. Manning, who has served nearly seven years, is to be released on May 17.

Of course, it was Mr. Obama’s overly aggressive Justice Department that sought, and in 2013 won, that absurdly long sentence in the first place. The average sentence for those convicted of leaking classified material is one to three years.

No similar mercy, so far, for Edward Snowden, the former intelligence contractor who leaked top-secret information about vast government surveillance programs and now lives as a fugitive in Russia. A White House official said the documents Mr. Snowden revealed were “far more serious and far more dangerous” than Ms. Manning’s. But like Ms. Manning, Mr. Snowden acted in the spirit of a whistle-blower. His disclosures led to significant debate and reforms. He should be offered at least a plea agreement that would allow him to return home.

At Least a Plea Bargain

@Snowden I would offer Snowden full clemency, give him a medal for bravery, then make Petraeus, McCain salute him.

— Mike Mish Shedlock (@MishGEA) January 19, 2017

That describes how I best feel, but a plea bargain with no more than a one year sentence that counts time in exile would suffice.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Original article here.

Ideological Civil War in Davos: Dutch Premier Labels “Political Union a Dangerous Romantic Fantasy, Gone, Buried”

Courtesy of Mish.

European solidarity erupted in a full scale Ideological Civil War in Davos today as Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte called the EU’s dreams a “dangerous romantic fantasy”.


“The whole idea of an ever-closer Europe has gone, it’s buried,” said Dutch premier Mark Rutte, dismissing calls for full political union as a dangerous romantic fantasy.

“The fastest way to dismantle the EU is to continue talking about a step-by-step move towards some sort of superstate,” he said at the World Economic Forum.

His comments went to the heart of a fierce battle under way for control over the EU project, and provoked an impassioned counter-attack from Martin Schulz, the European Parliament’s president.

Mr Schulz called it profoundly misguided to give up the dream of political union and retreat to the nation state. “If it’s Angela Merkel, or Mark Rutte, or whoever else, they must have the courage to say that we need ever-closer union more than ever in the 21st century, and without it the EU has no future,” he said.

“We have some members sitting inside the European Parliament trying to destroy the EU from within. They are drawing EU salaries, and one of them is running for the presidency of France,” he said.

Professor Hans-Werner Muller from Princeton University said the EU was unlikely to disintegrate in any formal sense but there was a real risk that it will instead dissolve from within. “We will still have the Treaties, but they will not be observed,” he said.

He accused Hungary and Poland of acting like rogue states inside the EU, abusing the rule of the law with a “brutality” not seen in democratic Europe since the Second World War. “For them it is even better than Brexit. They get all the money, but they don’t obey the rules. If the EU does not do anything about it, trust is going to break down,” he said.

Italy’s finance minister Carlo Pier Padoan has repeatedly blamed the EU authorities for pushing Italy into a banking crisis that could easily have been avoided. “The problem with Europe, is Europe,” he told Davos earlier this week.

Emma Marcegaglia, head of the pan-EU federation BusinessEurope, told the Telegraph that it sticks in the craw to hear some countries talk about EU rules. Germany has been running a

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Drunken Alex Jones Goes On Air, Discusses Dinosaurs, Makes Fool of Himself

Courtesy of Mish

“Info Wars” host Alex Jones went on the air, incoherent, totally drunk, and burping. His site was among those deemed to provide “fake news”, a generally accurate assessment. The following video is painful to watch.

It does not help your cause to look this way. Why would his team put this out?

[Original article here]

Investment Bank Analysts Are Clueless and Incompetent (Video)

Courtesy of EconMatters

We discuss why Investment Bank Analysts should never be listened to regarding any stock recommendations from the buy or sell side perspective, they join the long list of incompetency that is anybody still working at an I-Bank these days. The XOM Stock Downgrade is just a little late, about a month behind the market!

Multi-Family Housing Starts Jump 57%, Single-Family Starts Decline 4%: What’s Going On?

Courtesy of Mish.

For the fourth consecutive month, housing stats provided a wild ride. For December, starts rose 11.3%, but that was thanks to a 57% jump in multi-family.

Mortgage News Daily reports Construction Starts Bounce Back, Permits Remain Constrained.

Housing starts continued their see-saw pattern in December, rising 11.3 percent from November when they had fallen significantly after a sensational October. The increase this time, however, was due solely to a surge in multi-family construction. Meanwhile, housing permits turned in another lackluster performance.

The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that residential housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,226,000 in December, up from a revised rate of 1,102,000 in November. The November estimate was originally reported at a rate of 1,090,000. The December estimate put housing starts up 5.7 percent from the level in December 2015.

Single-family housing starts were at a rate of 795,000, a decline of 4.0 percent from the November figure of 828,000 and 3.9 percent higher than a year earlier. There was an increase of 53.9 percent in unit starts in buildings with five or more units, to an annual rate of 417,000 compared to 271,000 in November. Multi-family starts are running 10.3 percent ahead of the December 2015 level.

Starts vs. Permits


Although it takes a permit to do a start, potential long delays between the two makes speculation over permits risky.

I discount permits in favor of starts as the latter takes a commitment from an owner while the former reflects builder optimism.

Single Family Starts


The above chart puts a much-needed perspective on mainstream media and realtor cheerleading.

Continue reading here…

Mario Draghi is Mistaken – European Debt is Unsustainable (Video)

Courtesy of EconMatters

We discuss the European Debt Sustainability issue in this video, and why we believe the European Union breaks up within 5 years. The main tools governments have been incorporating is Relative Currency Devaluation along with Relative Money Printing, all of which are hard to pull off with a Standardized Centralized Approach which is the European Union. We believe all European Banks are Insolvent Right Now, They Just Don`t Know It!

When you factor in what these banks hold on their balance sheets, versus what the correct Mark to Market prices for these assets will be over the next five years; there isn`t enough money to bail these banks out in the European Union. Major haircuts are coming for European Assets, and in Fact lots of Assets across the developed Financial Landscape.

When Markets are in Bubbles, they usually are there through artificial means, just like the credit bubble of 2007, things looking real good should scare the hell out of investors. Ask yourself why things are looking so good? And at what costs to financial stability? In fact six months before the entire Global Financial Market crash in the second half of 2007, markets were at all-time highs, and everything looked rosy. Financial Markets couldn`t have been more mispriced, and wrong about correctly pricing in the appropriate risk. I can tell you that nothing that is going on right now is "Sustainable"!

Obama’s Perpetual Farewell Tour

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Hopeless -- Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (Book Jacket photo)The man who was compared to a Messiah when he won the presidential election in 2008 has been on an excruciatingly long goodbye tour. First there was his farewell speech to the United Nations in September. Next came his farewell tour across Europe in November – the Messiah’s last foreign trip. Then there was his farewell speech in the U.S. Yesterday, there was a tortuously vacuous farewell press conference, which toward the end, had the feeling that actors from central casting had replaced real journalists in the press room in order to memorialize the greatness of this President.

Whenever I think about this President, I think of Bruce Dixon, the Managing Editor of the Black Agenda Report in 2008 during Obama’s first presidential campaign. The Black Agenda Report writes for black Americans. Dixon wrote the following in February 2008:

“Whether it is truly possible to hold elected officials accountable in a political system where big money, big media, big corporations and the very rich call all the  shots is uncertain.  But we have tried and will keep trying.  So will others.  The stakes are too high not to…

“The 2008 Obama presidential run may be the most slickly orchestrated marketing machine in memory. That’s not a good thing. Marketing is not even distantly related to democracy or civic empowerment. Marketing is about creating emotional, even irrational bonds between your product and your target audience. From its Bloody Sunday 2007 proclamation that Obama was the second coming of Joshua to its nationally televised kickoff at Abe Lincoln’s tomb to the tens of millions of dollars in breathless free media coverage lavished on it by the establishment media, the campaign’s deft manipulation of hopeful themes and emotionally potent symbols has led many to impute their own cherished views to Obama, whether he endorses them or not.”

We were also not among the converted as a result of spending months conducting a forensic examination of Obama’s campaign accounts. In May of 2008, we wrote the following:

“The Wall Street plan for the Obama-bubble presidency is that of the cleanup crew for the housing bubble: sweep all the corruption and losses, would-be indictments, perp walks and prosecutions under the rug and get on with an unprecedented…
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McCain’s Hypocrisy Has No Bounds

Courtesy of Mish.

TechDirt writer Mike Masnick is so disgusted with fake-patriot politicians that he stopped writing about tech dirt and instead wrote about human dirt: Senator John McCain.

Masnick took McCain’s statement “President Obama’s commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence is a grave mistake that I fear will encourage further acts of espionage and undermine military discipline.” and ripped to shreds.

Almost Every Word Of John McCain’s Response To Chelsea Manning’s Sentence Commutation Is Flat Out Wrong says Mike Masnick.

What follows is Masnick’s entire article because every point he makes is an important one.

From the Hypocrites-in-Congress Dept

It’s hardly a surprise that a bunch of people who have been fed a load of bullshit about what Chelsea Manning did years ago are now quite angry over President Obama’s decision to commute Manning’s sentence. But I don’t think any are quite as painstakingly wrong as Senator John McCain. Someone should call up the Guinness World Record folks, because the wrong-per-sentence ratio of McCain’s angry statement might just set a new world record. Let’s dig in.

President Obama’s commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence is a grave mistake that I fear will encourage further acts of espionage and undermine military discipline.

Wait. Really? Manning has been in prison for seven years, with a significant portion of that being held in solitary confinement, sometimes being made to strip naked before being able to sleep. This was called “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of article 16 of the convention against torture” by the United Nations. You would think, of all people, Senator John McCain, who similarly was held in solitary confinement and tortured for extended periods while being held captive for 5 and a half years in Vietnam, would recognize that “only” 7 years of such treatment wouldn’t exactly encourage more of Manning’s behavior.

To put it more directly: who, in their right mind, is going to leak a bunch of documents thinking “oh, perhaps after going through literal torture, character assassination and basically hell on earth, it’ll be okay, because maybe some other President will commute my insane 35 year sentence to just 7 years? No

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Zero Hedge

"Deploraball" Protests Turn Bloody As Trump Supporter Assaulted With Flagpole

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Reports have been rolling in all evening of vicious mobs of violent protesters around Washington DC attacking Donald Trump supporters in town for the inauguration, including people on their way to and from tonight's pre-Inauguration "Deploraball" celebration, held at the National Press Club building. Over 1000 guests were invited to the event organized by Mike @Cernovich and the pro-Trump MAGA3X organization.

As Fox News ...

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Financial Markets and Economy

Saudi Arabia could see more instability if oil doesn't get back up to $60 (Business Insider)

With the OPEC production deal holding, at least for the moment, questions have now arisen over how prospects look for the cartel’s biggest producer. It’s been a strange few years for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as its endured budget deficits for the first time in its modern history, stagnation in oil prices and rising competition from other OPEC members and the American shale boom.

Euro zone yields spike as Yellen comments add to pressure on ECB (Reuters)

Euro zone bond yields rose sharply on T...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

Saudi Arabia could see more instability if oil doesn't get back up to $60 (Business Insider)

With the OPEC production deal holding, at least for the moment, questions have now arisen over how prospects look for the cartel’s biggest producer. It’s been a strange few years for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as its endured budget deficits for the first time in its modern history, stagnation in oil prices and rising competition from other OPEC members and the American shale boom.

Euro zone yields spike as Yellen comments add to pressure on ECB (Reuters)

Euro zone bond yields rose sharply on T...

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Nuggets of Wisdom: Warren Buffett on Investing, Leverage and Market Bubbles

By VWArticles. Originally published at ValueWalk.

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Chart via Larry Cunningham

The post Nuggets of Wisdom: Warren Buffett on Investing, Leverage and Market Bubbles appeared first on ValueWalk.

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Chart School

Small Cap Losses Accelerate

Courtesy of Declan.

Small Caps again took the brunt of the selling as Shorts took advantage of yesterday's small rally back to former support (turned resistance) to enter positions. With the 'bull trap' in full effect, the next target down for the index is 1,308. Of supporting technicals, only Stochastics [39,1] is left to break its bullish alignment,

The S&P took a modest loss, but not enough to break it out of its consolidation. Volume was also lighter. With the Russell 2000 on the way down, it's suggesting the S&P will follow suit....

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Will it be different this time for stocks and bonds?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

My mentor Sir John Templeton (founder of the Templeton Funds) used to share that the four most dangerous words in investing are; “It’s Different This Time!” 

Below looks at long term charts on the S&P 500 and the yield on the 10-year note (inverted to look like bond prices).



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Members' Corner

NFL 2016 Playoffs Championship Sunday

Courtesy of Nattering Naybob.

Following up on our Divisional Playoff projections, all match up stats in Yards Per Attempt, provided by Pro Football Reference.  All times Eastern.

From our Wildcard Weekend projections...
As they are both hotter than a squirrel putting suntan oil on his nuts, keep your eyes on these dark horses...In the NFC, watch the GB Sausage Packers, the potential of facing Mr. Rodgers and his O-line has the DAL Pokes (aka Jerry's Kids) defensive coordinator sweatin like a priest at a preschool.In the AFC, watch the Three Ri...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of January 16th, 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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Digital Currencies

China's Bitcoin Exchanges Suspend Margin Trading

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

China's bitcoin traders who use the most popular bitcoin exchange not only in China, but also the entire world, BTCChina, were met with an unexpected warning on Friday:

Starting from January 12th, 2017, BTCChina has suspended margin loan service. If you have any questions, please contact Customer Service:

BTCChina, which commands over 37% of global bitcoin trading...

... wasn't alone.


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Mapping The Market

If we try it enough, it will work.

Via Jean-Luc

Brownback wants Trump to emulate what he did in Kansas because it worked so well:

Sam Brownback Calls on Donald Trump to Mimic His Kansas Tax Plan


Sam Brownback, the Kansas governor whose tax cuts brought him political turmoil, recurring budget holes and sparse evidence of economic success, has a message for President-elect Donald Trump: Do what I did.

In 2013, Mr. Brownback set out to create a lean, business-friendly government in his state that other Republicans could replicate. He now faces a $350 million deficit when the Kansas legislature convenes in January and projections of a larger one in 2018. The state’s economy is flat and his party is fractured...


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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

Chart below from


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Phil's Stock World's Las Vegas Conference!


Come 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:  8:00 am Sunday morning

Location: Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas


Caesar's has tentatively offered us rooms for $189 on Saturday night and $129 for Sunday night. However, we have to sign the contract ASAP. We need at least 10 people to pay me via Paypal or we may lose the best rate for the rooms. (Once we are guaranteed ten attendees, I will put up instructions to call the hotel for individual rooms.)

The more people who sign up,...

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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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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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