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“Three Lost Decades” – How The American Middle Class Is 20% Poorer Now Vs. 1984

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Like so many other things in popular American culture, this quaint notion of a “middle class” in the U.S. is at this point nothing more than a myth; a rapidly fading fantasy from a bygone era. As myself and many others have noted for quite some time, the decimation of the middle class began long ago. It really got started in the early 1970?s after Nixon defaulted on the gold standard and financialization began to take over the American economy. Median real wages haven’t increased since that time and the rest is history.

Although the evolutionary process toward oligarchy began long ago, its finishing touches have been applied in recent years. This has been easily achieved by the Federal Reserve and U.S. government’s response to the financial crisis, which was and continues to be characterized by an intentional funneling of all the nation’s wealth into the hands of their patrons; the 0.01%. As the chart below demonstrates clearly (and as I highlighted in the post: Where Does the Real Problem Reside? Two Charts Showing the 0.01% vs. the 1%), it is the tiny oligarch class that is reaping all of the benefits.

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 10.38.07 AM

The was further demonstrated in full color recently in a report by Oxfam International, which showed that 85 people have as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion on earth. There is nothing moral, decent or “free market” about such an outcome. It can only happen in a world characterized by militarism, exploitation, cronyism and fraud. We are living in a global feudalism.

In case you needed any more proof of our current predicament, the Washington Post notes that:

Nostalgia is just about the only thing the middle class can still afford. That’s because median wealth is about 20 percent lower today, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than it was in 1984.

 

Yes, that’s three lost decades.

 

Now, as you might expect, the middle class has been hit particularly hard by the Great Recession and the not-so-great recovery. It’s all about stocks and houses. The middle class doesn’t have much of the former, but it does have a lot of the latter. And that’s bad news, because, even though the crash decimated both, real estate hasn’t come back nearly as much as equities have. So the


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BeYoND THe IRoN DoMe…

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by williambanzai7.

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Russia And India Begin Negotations To Use National Currencies In Settlements, Bypassing Dollar

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Over the past 6 months, there has been much talk about the strategic proximity between Russia and China, made even more proximal following the “holy grail” gas deal announced in May which would not have happened on such an accelerated time frame had it not been for US escalation in Ukraine.

And yet little has been said about that other just as crucial for the “new BRIC-centric world order” relationship, that between Russia and India. That is about to change when yesterday the Russian central bank announced that having been increasingly shunned by the west, Russia discussed cooperation with Reserve Bank of India Executive Director Shrikant Padmanabhan. The punchline: India agreed to create a task group to work out a mechanism for using national currencies in settlements. And so another major bilateral arrangement is set up that completely bypasses the dollar.

From the Russian Central Bank:

First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation KV Yudaeva and Executive Director of the Reserve Bank of India G. Padmanabhan at the twentieth meeting of the Subgroup on banking and financial issues of the Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission on trade-economic, scientific-technical and cultural cooperation discussed the current state and prospects of cooperation between banks.

 

The meeting was attended by representatives of central banks, ministries and agencies, credit organizations in Russia and India.

 

During the meeting dealt with the problems faced by the branches and subsidiaries of banks in the two countries and ways of addressing these problems.

 

As a priority area discussed the use of national currencies in mutual settlements. Given the urgency of the issue and the interest of commercial structures of the two countries, the meeting decided to establish a working group to develop a mechanism for the use of national currencies in mutual settlements. It will consist of representatives of banks and, if necessary, the ministries and departments of the two countries to coordinate its activities will be central banks of Russia and India.

What is curious is that now that China has sided firmly with Russia when it comes to geopolitical strategy (not least when it comes to recent development surrounding the downing of flight MH-17, recall “China Blasts “One-Sided Western Rush To Judge
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Create Your Own Argentine Default Swap For As Little As $5 & Watch It Outperform the Big Boys!

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Reggie Middleton.

Bloomberg reports on Argentina today: 

The nation missed a deadline yesterday to pay $539 million in interest after two full days of negotiations in New York failed to produce an accord with creditors from its last default in 2001. A U.S. judge ruled that the payment couldn’t be made unless those investors, a group of hedge funds led by Elliott Management Corp., got the $1.5 billion they claimed.

Argentina has about $29 billion of bonds sold in international markets and denominated in foreign currencies with so-called cross-default provisions. Under their terms, Argentina would have to pay back the entire balance — plus unpaid interest — if at least 25 percent of holders demand that their money be returned. The potential liabilities are equal to the country’s foreign reserves, which are already hovering close to an eight-year low.

Argentine bonds spiked 12% yesterday in anticipation of a deal. No deal materialized!

The price of Argentina’s $4.3 billion of bonds due in December 2033 soared yesterday by 11.8 percent to 95.57 cents on the dollar, the highest level since 2010. The bonds were quoted at 95.89 cents today, according to prices on Bloomberg at 11:08 a.m. in London. 

The Argentine peso will have to be devalued if the country is forced to make good on the debts. That throws gasoline on the already hot inflaton coals…

… The economy, already headed for its first annual contraction since 2002 amid 40 percent inflation, will suffer in a default scenario as Argentines scrambling for dollars cause the peso to weaken and activity to slump, according to Hernan Yellati, the head of research at Banctrust & Co.
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Is JPMorgan About To Bailout Argentina?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Update: According to Ambito the deal is a no go as Italian bondholders (and likely all others) claim that a private deal with a buyer of holdout bonds would also trigger the RUFO clause, thus making the deal meaningless and forcing Argentina to payout billions more. From Ambito:

Italian bondholders say a private agreement also would trigger the clause RUFO

 

The representative of a group of debt holders Argentina Italy, Tulio Zembo said that any agreement between private RUFO also would trigger the clause.

 

“I do not understand the idea of banks because that would trigger the RUFO” Economy Minister said yesterday. Please do not help us because it makes the situation worse,” said Zembo in dialogue with Radio La Red

 

“All that is settlement discussion will have to olvidárselo until January 2015, because you can not argue,” he said.

 

For the representative of Italian bondholders “the drama of a default is when the debtor is kneeling and can not pay, that would be a problem, here’s a serious problem but should concentrate all legal guns to go,” he said by way of conclusion.

* * *

With Argentine politicians explaining that “Argentina is not in default” and ISDA set to decide if last night’s default is an ‘official’ trigger event for CDS, it appears Kirchner, Kicillof, and their (k)omrades may have found an angel. The initial ‘bailout’ plan, by which Argentine banks bought the holdouts defaulted debt (then promptly acquiesced to Argentina’s old debt-swap agreement), failed last night; but, as WSJ reports, JPMorgan is in discussions to buy the defaulted bonds of Argentina’s holdout creditors. While this would not impact the default decision (that is history), it would speed up the exit from default rapidly. Of course, JPM is not doing this out of love for Argentina, we suspect they are on the hook for a few billion CDS and need some cheapest-to-deliver bonds to help them through the settlement process.

 

It appears most have taken profits or unwound positions in CDS over the last few years but there remains around $20 billion notional outstanding in Argentina CDS

 

CDS has surged…on expectations of a trigger being called by ISDA


As WSJ reports,
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All Major US Equity Indices Are Now Down Since MH17 Crashed

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Who says geopolitics doesn’t matter in today’s efficient markets?

 

 

and now everything red for July…





Why the ECB Cannot and Will Not Be Able to Create Growth in Europe

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Phoenix Capital Research.

The ECB has just about everything it can at the crisis over there.

 

But inflation continues to fall.

 

Indeed, a mere one month after the European Central Bank or ECB announced NEGATIVE interest rates, or NIRP, (meaning you have to pay to deposit your money in a bank) the EU’s inflation readings fell again to 0.4%.

 

This has Mario Draghi in a panic. As President of the ECB, he wants to force banks to lend so that inflation will rise. The reason for this is because Draghi believes inflation is the same thing as growth.

 

Deflation, to a Keynesian like Draghi, is an unspeakable evil that must be destroyed via currency depreciation and low interest rates. Deflation must never be allowed to happen, no matter what/

 

Why are the ECB and EU so concerned about deflation? After all, doesn’t deflation make everything cheaper for EU citizens?

 

The reason the ECB is so panicked is because Europe as a whole is up to its eyeballs in debt. Debt deflation means that this debt loan is becoming more difficult to service.

 

Consider that, taken as a whole, European banks are leveraged at 26 to 1.

 

In simple terms, this means they have just €1 in capital for every €26 in assets. Bear in mind, that most of those “assets” are in fact loans made to EU corporations, consumers and other EU banks.

 

When you are leveraged at these levels, you only need the assets you invest in to fall 4% before you’ve wiped out all of your underlying capital (€26 * 0.04 = €1.04).

 

At that point you are total insolvent.

 

As one can imagine, with most of Europe’s economy in the toilet, many of the assets owned by EU banks have fallen in value by over 4%. Fortunately the ECB doesn’t require them to accurately mark these assets at realistic values.

 

Today, Europe is not much better off than it was at the depth of the crisis in 2012. Using make believe accounting standards and buying your own bonds to push yields down doesn’t really solve anything.

 

Indeed, if you’re totally insolvent it doesn’t matter where interest rates are. At some point you’ve reached debt saturation: the point at which additional debt,…
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Muppet Slaughter: Goldman Removes Adidas From Its “Conviction Buy” List Minutes After Its Biggest Drop In History

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

As reported earlier, following some horrifying guidance German sportswear titan Adidas tumbled by the most ever, blaming not the weather, or the World Cup, but Russia (leading some to wonder just who will be shouldering all those “costs” Obama refers to during every teleprompted appearance).

What we didn’t mention is that today’s record massacre of Adidas longs happened minutes before Goldman decided, after the fact to remove the company from its “Conviction Buy” list (but still kept the stock that has lost 18% in the past year at a Buy).

To wit: “We remove adidas from the Conviction List following the company reducing FY14 net income guidance (to €650mn from €830mn), resulting in 33%/40%/46% cuts to our FY14-16 earnings estimates. Our new 12-month price target is €77.5. Since being added to the Conviction List on October 18, 2013, the shares are -16.1% vs. FTSE World Europe index +6.7%. We also remove the stock from the Directors of Research Focus List.

What can one possibly add here to the following well-known image which says it all.





Propaganda Full Frontal: A Little High Level Intervention And This Is What Happens

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

While one can attribute the most recent AP tweeting faux pas to a missed English grammar lesson, when in the aftermath of the MH-17 crash, this:

… became this:

 

there is no grammatical justification for why two days ago, AP did it again, when a “harshly” worded tweet by the AP:

… became this, just four hours later.

One wonders how high the propaganda flag pole the objecting parties had to run, make that sprint, to get this “revised wording” blasted out, and just how many AP pink slips will appear in next week’s not seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims print?





Chicago PMI Collapses To 13-Month Lows, Biggest Miss On Record

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

We warned last month that under the covers Chicago PMI looked a lot weaker than the headlines and this morning’s collapse confirms that. Against expectations of a small rise to 63.0, Chicago PMI plunged from 62.6 to 52.6 (13-month lows) for the biggest miss on record. According to the release itself, “A monthly fall of this magnitude has not been seen since October 2008 .” The was an 8 standard-deviation miss from analyst expectations (Joe Lavorgna was on the high side at 63.0). New orders, inventory, production, order backlogs, and prices paid all dropped (but employment rose?). This is the biggest 2-month drop since Lehman (and 2nd biggest since 1980). We await the seasonal adjustment “correction” as MNI get the call from Yellen.

 

 

This is the biggest 2-month drop since Lehman (and 2nd biggest since 1980).

The breakdown:

  • Forecast range 60 – 65 from 47 economists surveyed
  • Prices Paid fell compared to last month
  • New Orders fell compared to last month
  • Employment rose compared to last month
  • Inventory fell compared to last month
  • Supplier Deliveries rose compared to last month
  • Production fell compared to last month
  • Order Backlogs fell compared to last month

Of course, very quick damage control was needed and sure enough:

In spite of the sharp decline this month, feedback from purchasing managers was that they saw the  downturn as a lull rather than the start of a new  downward trend. This was especially so given the recent strong performance and the fact that Employment managed to increase further in July.

Cognitive dissonance much? Because at the same time:

Nonetheless, following a strong Q2, this was clearly a poor start to Q3 and as such tempers some of the increased optimism in recent months. Production’s large decline in July left the indicator barely in expansionary territory and at a two year low, although this followed a very strong run with output above 70 in June. New Orders, the most heavily weighted component of the barometer, saw its biggest monthly set back since November 2013. Order Backlogs, which have expanded in every month since last October, fell into contraction in July.

Also, kiss the inventory-driven GDP expansion goodbye:


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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!

 
 

Zero Hedge

"Three Lost Decades" - How The American Middle Class Is 20% Poorer Now Vs. 1984

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Like so many other things in popular American culture, this quaint notion of a “middle class” in the U.S. is at this point nothing more than a myth; a rapidly fading fantasy from a bygone era. As myself and many others have noted for quite some time, the decimation of the middle class began long ago. It really got started in the early 1970?s after Nixon defaulted on the gold standard and financialization began to take over the American economy. Median real wages haven...



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Chart School

August 1914: When Global Stock Markets Closed

Courtesy of Doug Short.

This week marks the hundredth anniversary of the beginning of World War I. On June 28, 1914, Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo. This event led to a month of failed diplomatic maneuvering between Austria-Hungary, Germany, France, Russia, and Britain which ended with the onset of the Great War, as it was originally called.

Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28, causing Germany and Russia to mobilize their armies on July 30. When Russia offered to negotiate rather than demobilize their army, Germany declared war on Russia on August 1. Germany declared war on France on August 3, and when Germany attacked Belgium on August 4, England declared war on Germany. Europe was at war, and millions would die in the battles that followed.

The impact on global stock markets was immediate: the closure of every major Europe...



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Phil's Favorites

Bad Behavior: From A to Z ... and Back Again

Bad Behavior: From A to Z ... and Back Again

Courtesy of Tim Richards at the PsyFi Blog

Talking Shop

A common reaction to pointing out to investors (or indeed, anyone) that they're as biased as a Fox reporter at a convention of transgender liberal pacifists is for them to respond, not unreasonably, by asking what they should do about it (that's the investors, not the reporters). It turns out that it's a lot easier to say what's wrong than to actually do anything about it.

The A to Z of Behavioral Bias is an attempt to address that issue, but it does rather show that there's no such t...



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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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Option Review

Kellogg Call Options Active Ahead Of Earnings

Shares in packaged foods producer Kellogg Co. (Ticker: K) are in positive territory on Monday afternoon, trading up by roughly 0.20% at $65.48 as of 2:20 p.m. ET. Options volume on the stock is well above average levels today, with around 12,500 contracts traded on the name versus an average daily reading of around 1,700 contracts. Most of the volume is concentrated in September expiry calls, perhaps ahead of the company’s second-quarter earnings report set for release ahead of the opening bell on Thursday. Time and sales data suggests traders are snapping up calls at the Sep 67.5, 70.0 and 72.5 strikes. Volume is heaviest in the Sep 72.5 strike calls, with around 4,600 contracts traded against sizable open interest of approximately 11,800 contracts. It looks like traders paid an average premium of $0.37 per contrac...



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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Bold bulls dare meek bears to take another crack

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Once again, stocks have shown some inkling of weakness. But every other time for almost three years running, the bears have failed to pile on and get a real correction in gear. Will this time be different? Bulls are almost daring them to try it, putting forth their best Dirty Harry impression: “Go ahead, make my day.” Despite weak or neutral charts and moderately bullish (at best) sector rankings, the trend is definitely on the side of the bulls, not to mention the bears’ neurotic skittishness about emerging into the sunlight.

In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings of the ten U.S. business sectors, and then offer up some actionable trading ideas, incl...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of July 28th, 2014

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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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW in the comments below each post. 

Our weekly newsletter Stock World Weekly is ready for your enjoyment.

Read about the week ahead, trade ideas from Phil, and more. Please click here and sign in with your PSW user name and password. Or take a free trial.

We appreciate your feedback--please let us know what you think in the comment section below.  

...

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Digital Currencies

BitLicense Part 1 - Can Poorly Thought Out Regulation Drive the US Economy Back into the Dark Ages?

Courtesy of Reggie Middleton.

An Op-Ed piece penned by Veritaseum Chief Contracts Officer, Matt Bogosian

This past weekend (despite American Airlines' best efforts), Reggie and I made it to the Second Annual North American Bitcoin Conference in Chicago. While there were some very creative (and very ambitious) ideas on how to try to realize the disruptive Bitcoin protocol, one of the predominant topics of discussion was New York Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky's proposed Bitcoin regulations (the BitLicense proposal) - percieved by many participants at the event as an apparent ...



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Market Shadows

Danger: Falling Prices

Danger: Falling Prices

By Dr. Paul Price of Market Shadows

 

We tried holding up stock prices but couldn’t get the job done. Market Shadows’ Virtual Value Portfolio dipped by 2% during the week but still holds on to a market-beating 8.45% gain YTD. There was no escaping the downdraft after a major Portuguese bank failed. Of all the triggers for a large selloff, I’d guess the Portuguese bank failure was pretty far down most people's list of "things to worry about." 

All three major indices gave up some ground with the Nasdaq composite taking the hardest hi...



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Pharmboy

Biotechs & Bubbles

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

Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely.  From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.

First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices.  Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment.  Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer.  For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...



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Promotions

See Live Demo Of This Google-Like Trade Algorithm

I just wanted to be sure you saw this.  There’s a ‘live’ training webinar this Thursday, March 27th at Noon or 9:00 pm ET.

If GOOGLE, the NSA, and Steve Jobs all got together in a room with the task of building a tremendously accurate trading algorithm… it wouldn’t just be any ordinary system… it’d be the greatest trading algorithm in the world.

Well, I hate to break it to you though… they never got around to building it, but my friends at Market Tamer did.

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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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