Author Archive for ilene

Press Secretary Spicer Resigns Following Vehement Disagreement With Trump

Courtesy of Mish.

If nothing else, Trump provides entertainment value for comedians and bloggers.

This morning, we learned press secretary Sean Spicer Resigns as White House Press Secretary following a huge dispute with Trump over communications.

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, resigned on Friday after denouncing chaos in the West Wing and telling President Trump he vehemently disagreed with the appointment of the New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director.

After offering Mr. Scaramucci the communications job Friday morning, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Spicer to stay on as press secretary. But Mr. Spicer told Mr. Trump that he believed the appointment of Mr. Scaramucci was a major mistake and said he was resigning, according to a person with direct knowledge of the exchange.

In one of his first official acts, Mr. Scaramucci, who founded the global investment firm SkyBridge Capital and is a Fox News contributor, joined Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Mr. Spicer’s chief deputy, in the White House briefing room and announced that she would succeed Mr. Spicer as press secretary.

Mr. Spicer’s rumored departure has been one of the longest-running internal sagas in an administration brimming with dissension and intrigue. A former Republican National Committee spokesman and strategist, Mr. Spicer was a frequent target of the president’s ire — and correctives — during the first few months of the administration.

He was also weary of the daily dressings-down and instituted the highly contentious practice of holding off-air briefings, less so to snub reporters than to avoid Mr. Trump’s critiques of his performance, according to one of Mr. Spicer’s friends.

Saturday Night Live

Saturday night live frequently mocks both Spicer and Trump. In one episode, Melissa McCarthy Plays an Angst-Ridden Sean Spicer.

“Sean Spicer Returns”

Mike “Mish” Shedlock


Original article here.





When Something is Obvious

 

When Something is Obvious

Courtesy of 

One of the best descriptions of how intelligent investors behave comes from The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, which was written by John Maynard Keynes. In 1936, he said:

“Professional investment may be likened to those newspaper competitions in which the competitors have to pick out the six prettiest faces from a hundred photographs, the prize being awarded to the competitor whose choice most nearly corresponds to the average preferences of the competitors as a whole; so that each competitor has to pick, not those faces which he himself finds prettiest, but those which he thinks likeliest to catch the fancy of the other competitor, all of whom are looking at the problem from the same point of view. It is not a case of choosing those which, to the best of one’s judgment, are really the prettiest. We have reached the third degree where we devote our intelligences to anticipating what average opinion expects the average opinion to be. And there are some, I believe, who pracitse the fourth, fifth and higher degrees.”

Keynes was likely the inspiration behind what Howard Marks refers to as first and second-level thinking. “First-level thinking says, ‘It’s a good company; let’s buy the stock.’ Second-level thinking says, ‘It’s a good company, but everyone thinks it’s a great company, and it’s not. So the stock’s overrated and overpriced; let’s sell.’

Along the same lines, Michael Mauboussin says, “Fundamentals are how fast the horse runs and expectations are the odds.” Okay. I’m done quoting people a lot smarter than me. Here’s how I think about this. I agree that many investors pay too much attention to how something has performed and too little attention to what the expectations are. But expectations for what? For earnings? For a new product or service? And whose expectations? And where can I find these expectations? And how often do they change? You can see how easy it is to get carried away and forget why we were drawn to it in the first place.

Let’s use Apple as an example.  Am I buying Apple because it’s the best company in the world? Yes. Does everybody know it’s…
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Congress Plays Catch-Up With Self-Driving Cars: Millions of Jobs Will Vanish, What Jobs New Jobs Will Surface?

Courtesy of Mish.

As the push for self-driving cars nears fruition, Congress has a bit of work to do.

A national solution is the key, not a hodge-podge of state regulations with states saying and doing a number of different things.

A House bill dubbed the Highly Automated Vehicle Testing and Deployment Act of 2017, is now in the works. It will give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration broad oversight of the self-driving car industry.

The New York Times reports As Self-Driving Cars Near, Washington Plays Catch-Up

On Wednesday, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee voted to advance a bill that would speed up the development of self-driving cars and establish a federal framework for their regulation. The bill, known as the Highly Automated Vehicle Testing and Deployment Act of 2017, is the first major federal effort to regulate autonomous vehicles, and would give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration broad oversight of the self-driving car industry. A full committee vote on the measure is expected next week, and the bill could go before the entire House this fall.

The Senate is also playing catch-up. Last month, a bipartisan group of senators announced that it was working toward its own version of an autonomous vehicle bill, which would prioritize “safety, fixing outdated rules, and clarifying the role of federal and state governments” in regulating self-driving cars.

Self-driving cars have been praised by members of both parties, who see the technology as a way to spur job creation while preventing many of the roughly 40,000 motor vehicle deaths that occur on American roads each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 94 percent of traffic deaths involve human error, including distracted driving and driving while intoxicated.

Self-driving cars would obviate those problems, even if they would introduce new fears. (One well-publicized accident, a fatal 2016 crash involving a Tesla that was set to “autopilot” mode by its owner, sparked worries among regulators, who later concluded that Tesla’s driver-assistance system was not to blame for the accident.)

“These vehicles are going to be developed, and I want to make sure we’re developing them in this country, not China, India or the European Union,” said Ms. Dingell, a former auto lobbyist and General Motors executive whose district includes the headquarters of Ford Motor


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German Citizen Arrested in Turkey on Absurd Charges: Merkel, EU Essentially Look the Other Way

Courtesy of Mish.

As noted by the Guardian and other sources, German human rights consultant Peter Steudtner was detained at a human rights workshop on Monday with five others including Amnesty International’s country director, Idil Eser, for allegedly aiding a terror group.

In response, Germany issued a meaningless statement urging “caution” to which the Turkish foreign ministry hit back, accusing Germany of “blackmail and threats” and “direct interference in the Turkish judiciary”.

Eurointelligence is spot on with its analysis of the situation.

The situation in Turkey is very dangerous, especially now after the imprisonment of the German human rights activist Peter Steudtner on trumped-up charges of aiding terrorists.

Sigmar Gabriel, the German foreign minister, yesterday called Merkel to seek a coalition agreement to warn German travelers to be careful when traveling to Turkey. This is not an official travel warning, which would have significant consequences. It would, for example, have allowed people to cancel existing travel bookings for the summer holiday without penalty. It would have allowed travel insurance providers to exclude Turkey from the list of insured countries. It would have had severe implications for German investment in Turkey. This policy of issuing a de facto but not de jure travel warning is a rather weak response

To distant observers it must sound shocking to learn that the EU’s relations with Turkey have been almost business-as-usual. Merkel and the EU seem willing to do anything to ensure that the refugee deal with Turkey won’t collapse. The response to Turkey’s persistent human right abuses shows us how weak Germany, and the EU in general, have become after accepting the morally questionable refugee deal with President Erdogan in 2016. The EU has abandoned any pretence of having an interest in human rights, and regards the introduction of the death penalty as the only red line in EU-Turkey relations. The EU thus remains committed to maintaining the façade of a political process that could eventually lead to Turkish EU membership. We would presume that the Turkish leader regards the feeble response from Berlin and Brussels as encouragement to continue to wield the leverage he has over the EU.

The EU has abandoned any pretense of having an interest in human rights, and regards the introduction of the death penalty as the only red line in EU-Turkey relations. The EU thus remains committed to maintaining the façade of a


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Scott Galloway: You Can Innovate Without Being An A**hole

 

Scott Galloway: You Can Innovate Without Being An A**hole

Courtesy of 

Good stuff this week from the Professor.* The line about Marissa Mayer being the Chris Christie of Technology was crazy!

*Language warning.





History Repeats: The Continuing Threat To Freedom And Democracy

Courtesy of Jesse's Cafe Americain

Lately it has been popular in some circles to talk about the US being a 'late stage democracy' that has 'never been more ripe for tyranny.'

Sometimes they like to drag in Plato to give their thought pieces a gleam of higher learning and a supposed grounding in history.

But their pieces fall into that trap, that very sort of temporal vanity and self-centered preoccupation to despair that Newman notes so well in saying that "every century is like every other, and to those who live in it seems worse than all times before it."

Would you be surprised to hear that less than one hundred years ago there was an actual plot, bankrolled by some of the most powerful and famous figures of the American one percent, to use military force to depose a sitting American President and instead install a fascist in the White House who would be more compliant with their greed and lust for power?

The model for this takeover would have been similar to Benito Mussolini's infamous 'march on Rome.'

Would you be further surprised to know that some of these unrepentant financial figures then went on to help bankroll Hitler, and continued doing business with his atrocious regime even as their most vile business partners actively fought the US, their own country, in the war?

How well does this fit the efficient markets and rational actor models that so much of economic theory, and certain factions in modern political ideology, seems to rely?  If only we can get rid of government, and then people will be free to spread their natural goodness and take wing like angels. Let us free the pathological and sociopaths from external constraints, and their better natures will surely rise to the occasion. And if not, we can surely explain it to them with our economic learning.

It never ceases to amaze how many economic and social models of human behavior are based, not in history, but rather on simplistically convenient constructs and myths that serve the status quo and the power of Big Money.

A better model perhaps is to think that freedom and truth are always under threat by those who value neither more than their


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“Dirty, Difficult, And Dangerous”: Why Millennials Won’t Work In Oil

Courtesy of Tsvetana Paraskova, OilPrice.com

Like many industries today, the oil industry is trying to sell its many job opportunities to the fastest growing portion of the global workforce: Millennials. But unlike any other industry, oil and gas is facing more challenges in persuading the environmentally-conscious Millennials that oil is “cool”.  

During the Super Bowl earlier this year, the American Petroleum Institute (API) launched an ad geared toward Millennials, who now make up the largest generation in the U.S. labor force.   

“This ain’t your daddy’s oil”, the ad says, in what API described as “a modern look at how oil is integrated into products consumers use now and in the future supported by bold visuals.”  

Despite its pitch to speak the Millennials’ language and reach out to the elusive generation, the ad sparked anger with many consumers and viewers.

Millennials continue to have the most negative opinion toward the oil industry compared to all other industries, and they don’t see a career in oil and gas as their top choice of a workplace. The oil industry’s talent scouting and recruiting methods of the past are failing to reach Millennials, who want their work to have a positive impact on society, various studies and polls have found—a rather big ask for the oil industry.

This failure to reach the group that makes up the largest portion of today’s workforce—which now surpasses Generation X—points to a huge problem for the oil sector, as Baby Boomers move into retirement in droves.

Not only are Millennials snubbing oil and gas because of its negative image, they also seek different job perks than previous generations sought, and in this regard, the oil industry will need to do more as it becomes increasingly obvious that Millennials want different things than what oil executives think they want. 

A total of 14 percent of Millennials say they would not want to work in the oil and gas industry because of its negative image—the highest percentage of any industry, McKinsey said in September 2016.

Young people see the industry as dirty, difficult, and dangerous, according to an EY survey published last month.


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Why Wage Growth Will Remain Elusive

Courtesy of Lance Roberts, Real Investment Advice

Just recently, Bloomberg ran a fascinating article discussing a new study from the McKinsey Institute.

“American manufacturing could be poised to rebound as technological disruption shakes up global production chains, but that will offer little relief to displaced factory workers, according to new research by the McKinsey Global Institute.

Now, McKinsey sees conditions changing in a way that could favor U.S. producers: automation is weakening the case for labor arbitrage as wages rise in emerging market economies and developing market residents are coalescing into a new consumer class, among other factors.

While the U.S. could seize on those manufacturing growth opportunities, especially if the government and companies invest to make production more competitive, there are catches. Importantly, production might bounce back without bringing a lot of jobs in tow.

‘Even if we rebuild factories here and you build plants here, they’re just not going to employ thousands of people — that just doesn’t happen,’ said report co-author and McKinsey Global Institute Director James Manyika. ‘Find a factory anywhere in the world built in the last 5 years — not many people work there.’”

McKinsey is absolutely correct. While the President recently started a discussion on “Buy American,” most of the root belief in the efficacy of tax cuts, tax reform, and nationalism is rooted in the history of “Reagan-omics.”

The thing most overlooked by the majority of economists, politicians, and commentators, is the stark difference in the underlying economic and monetary fundamentals which provided the massive tailwind Reagan’s policies that simply don’t exist currently. As my partner, Michael Lebowitz, illustrated previously:

“Many investors are suddenly comparing Trump’s economic policy proposals to those of Ronald Reagan. For those that deem that bullish, we remind you that the economic environment and potential growth of 1982 was vastly different than it is today.  Consider the following table:’”

The issue of working harder, and earning less, continues to plague the economic minds driving both monetary and fiscal policy. Since the turn of the century, there has been a steady erosion of the growth rate in compensation as advancements in technology has limited the ability for workers to demand higher wages.


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Secular Disinflationary Trend Hits New Highs: Deflation on Deck? What’s That Mean for Gold?

Courtesy of Mish

Wage and CPI inflation, even core inflation, has surprised to the downside four consecutive months. If a recession hits, and that is just a matter of time, outright price deflation is likely.

Via email, Albert Edwards of Societe Generale discusses the subject in Global Strategy Weekly.

US core CPI and wage inflation have surprised on the downside for four successive months. Usually only two data points are sufficient for most of us to be able to draw a trend, but four data points surely provide clear evidence of the decisive re-emergence of a deflationary trend. At the very least this recent data is grounds for a dismissal of the argument that ‘end of cycle’ inflationary pressures might make a brief appearance before the long-term deflationary secular trend reasserts itself in the next downturn.

If inflationary pressures are indeed ebbing in the US economy, this begs the question that if the third-longest cycle in US history cannot produce a cyclical uplift in wages and prices, what on earth will happen in the next recession! Investors might give some thought to the fact that we are now just one recession away from Japanese-style outright deflation!

The US is not alone, however. The ever topical Gerard Minack shows in the chart above that although the number of OECD countries in absolute deflation at the core CPI level has receded, those undershooting a typical core CPI target of 2% are at an all-time high. This is quite amazing given where we are in the global economic cycle.

What’s That Mean for Gold?

Contrary to popular belief, gold is not an inflation hedge. We had inflation every step of the way from 1980 to 2000 with gold falling from $850 to $250 along the way.

To be more precise, we had disinflation, a falling, but positive rate of inflation as measured by the CPI. Those are conditions in which gold tends to perform miserably.

Gold tends to do well in deflation, stagflation, and times of credit stress. More importantly, gold does well when confidence in central banks is on the wane.

On June 24, I gave a presentation to the Venture Alliance group. Here are a few slides on gold from my presentation.

Continue reading here…





Cracks Appear in Philadelphia Fed Regional Manufacturing Report

Courtesy of Mish.

Actual industrial output has been far weaker than the regional Fed manufacturing reports and the ISM report for at least a year.

Yesterday we heard from the Empire State region. Today the spotlight is on the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey where new orders plunged.

Econoday notes “cracks” in the survey.

There finally may be cracks appearing in Philly Fed which has, since the election, been signaling break-out strength for the Mid-Atlantic manufacturing sector. The general conditions index looks solid at 19.5, still very strong though down from 27.6 in June and the least robust result since November. But details — which in this report are not reflected in the headline index — are the flattest since late last year.

New orders, at only 2.1, are down more than 20 points in the month for the worst reading since August last year. Unfilled orders show better strength at 7.2 but are still the weakest since December. Employment, at 10.9, is also the softest since December as are selling prices, at 9.0. Shipments, still strong at 12.2, are at the lowest rate of month-to-month growth since September last year with the workweek, still positive at 3.8, the lowest since November.

This report has been a puzzle all along, signaling post-election strength that was not matched at all by the national factory sector where growth has been no better than moderate. Though indications in today’s data still point to growth, they definitely are pointing to slowing which could either signal that this report is falling into line with actual national growth or, possibly, that national growth may be pivoting lower. In any case, this report is based on a small volunteer sample from only one area of the country.

Survey Results vs 6-Month Lookahead Expectation

New orders, inventories, and the average workweek are all showing relative weakness. But check out the six-month look ahead component.

Only 4.3% of firms expect more hiring while 39.4% expect more new orders and 25.8% expect to build inventories.

Look Ahead Expectations


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ValueWalk

Learn Warren Buffett's Simple Psychological Trick To Being Persuasive

By VW Staff. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Warren Buffett is one of the most famous investors alive. Here’s one psychological trick he uses to get others focused on his intended message.

]]> Get The Full Warren Buffett Series in PDF

Get the entire 10-part series on Warren Buffett in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues.

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Punch Card Investing Lessons from Charlie Munger The Munger Se...

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Phil's Favorites

Press Secretary Spicer Resigns Following Vehement Disagreement With Trump

Courtesy of Mish.

If nothing else, Trump provides entertainment value for comedians and bloggers.

This morning, we learned press secretary Sean Spicer Resigns as White House Press Secretary following a huge dispute with Trump over communications.

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, resigned on Friday after denouncing chaos in the West Wing and telling President Trump he vehemently disagreed with the appointment of the New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as c...



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Zero Hedge

"The Swarm Effect": Every Trader Today Has Just Two Choices

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Few have dedicated as much time and effort into explaining the behavioral aspects of trading in a time of central planning (or "metastability") as Deutsche Bank's whimsical derivatives-philosopher, Aleksandar Kocic.

Three weeks after becoming the first Wall Street strategist to quantify (and qualify) the concept of market "compla...



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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin (BTC/USD) Nears All-Time High on Spike Above Daily Chart Downchannel Resistance

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Bitcoin (BTC/USD) crushed shorts yesterday, smashing above the daily chart's downchannel resistance and soaring towards the all-time high around 3000. With yesterday's massive rally, the negative weekly MACD crossover has been proved a false signal.  Odds are quite good that a sustainable longer term BTC/USD bottom was found last week, especially with ETH/USD also strongly rebounding this past week.  Some consolidation can be expected today with daily RSI and Stochastics tiring, although with daily MACD just having positive...



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Insider Scoop

Bank Of America Says Expectations For Groupon Are Still Too High

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related GRPN Benzinga's Option Alert Recap From July 18 Watch These 7 Huge Call Purchases In Monday Trade ...

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Chart School

Small Caps Breakout

Courtesy of Declan.

It has taken a few days for Small Caps to make their move but today was the day the Russell 2000 joined other indices in mounting a breakout. It was a clean breakout supported by positive technical strength - putting to bed the June 'bull trap'. Watch for the second round of stop-whips with an intraday move (and recovery) below 1,430.


Other indices added to their breakouts. The S&P gapped and pushed on, backed by higher volume accumulation. Watch for a tag of upper channel resistance.

...

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Members' Corner

Why we need to act on climate change now

 

Why we need to act on climate change now

Interview with Jan Dash PhD, by Ilene Carrie, Editor at Phil’s Stock World

Jan Dash PhD is a physicist, an expert at quantitative finance and risk management, and a consultant at Bloomberg LP. In his thought-provoking book, Quantitative Finance and Risk Management, A Physicist's Approach, Jan devotes a chapter to climate change and its long-term systemic risk. In this article, Ilene interviews Jan regarding his thoughts on climate change and the way it can affect our futu...



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OpTrader

swing trading portfolio - week of July 17th, 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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Biotech

Immunotherapy: Training the body to fight cancer

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

 

Immunotherapy: Training the body to fight cancer

Courtesy of Balveen KaurThe Ohio State University and Pravin KaumayaThe Ohio State University

An oral squamous cancer cell (white) being attacked by two T cells (red), part of a natural immune response. ...



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Mapping The Market

The App Economy Will Be Worth $6 Trillion in Five Years

Courtesy of Jean-Luc

This would be excellent news for AAPL and GOOG to a lesser extent although not inconsequential:

The App Economy Will Be Worth $6 Trillion in Five Years 

In five years, the app economy will be worth $6.3 trillion, up from $1.3 trillion last year, according to a report released today by app measurement company App Annie. What explains the growth? More people are spending more time and -- crucially -- more money in apps. While on average people aren't downloading many more apps, App Annie expects global app usership to nearly double to 6.3 billion people in the next five years while the time spent in apps will more than double. And, it expects the...



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Promotions

NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!

 

We have a great guest at today's webinar!

Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

Join our webinar, free, it's open to all. 

Just click here at 1 pm est and join in!

[For more information on NewsWare, click here. For a list of prices: NewsWar...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...



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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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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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