Author Archive for Zero Hedge

These Six States Just Raised Their Gasoline Tax

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

With the Fed slowly losing the war of attrition with Saudi Arabia, leading to the recent fade in the dead cat bounce of oil prices witnessed earlier today when oil dropped to the lowest level in 10 weeks, some states have decided that since the shale crisis will continue indefinitely and that gas prices will remain “lower for longer”, there is no point in letting yet another crisis go to waste and have decided to promptly take advantage of what may have been a brief boon to consumers by minimizing the “oil crash” windfall and imposing additional gas taxes.

According to the Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), starting today, six states will increase their gas taxes to help pay for transportation projects.

Beginning July 1, drivers in Idaho, Georgia, Maryland, Rhode Island, Nebraska and Vermont will be charged more at the pump as a result of laws taking effect at the start states’ new fiscal year.

There is some good news: a seventh state, California, is decreasing its gas tax by 6 cents, according to the group.

Then again, after putting the California gas price in context with the rest of the US even after the recent gas price drop…

… the “good news” for California is hardly all that good.

Now back to the bad news for residents in the six states named above, soon spreading to residents of many more states which are sure to take advantage of these low, low gas prices and layer “just a little extra” tax on them.

From The Hill:

ITEP Research Director Carl Davis said Monday in a blog post that the states are increasing their gas taxes by a range of 0.35 cents to 7 cents per gallon in an effort to replace federal transportation funding that has largely dried up in recent years.

“While some drivers may view this as an unwelcome development during the busy summer travel season, the reality is that most of these ‘increases’ are simply playing catch-up with inflation after years (or even decades) without an update to the gas tax rate,” Davis wrote.

“Moreover, these increases will fund infrastructure improvements that directly benefit drivers and other travelers — an especially important step at

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#AskPOTUS: Your Chance To Ask The President Anything

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Back in 2013 and then 2014, first JPM followed by the NYPD decided to take directly to the Tweeting public and bring up their flailing PR quotient. The result for both JPM and the NYPD was nothing short of a disaster.  Now, it is the president who has decided to interact directly with the tweeting audience as part of #AskPOTUS.

Will this latest attempt at populist pandering also end up in total disaster after the trolls take over? The answer: almost certainly, and for a courtside seat to this slow motion trainwreck here are the questions as they come in.

Domestic Auto Sales Tumble, Miss For 6th Of Last 7 Months (Don’t Tell Phil LeBeau)

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Judging by the smiling Phil LeBeau who earlier opined of an 8.9% plunge in For F-Series sales that “I don’t know if I’d Call that a slowdown,” you would think the US Auto industry was killing it. Apart from the fact that all but the most luxurious brands missed expectations, we sum up the month of June’s results by nothing the credit-spewed spike in May is now over and domestic car sales are continuing to trend lower. This is the biggest MoM drop since Sept 2014. As Ward’s notes, they have now missed expectations for 6 of th elast 7 months…

Auto Sales SAAR dropped from 17.71mm to 17.11mm – the biggest percentage drop MoM since Sept 2014.

Charts: Bloomberg

The Greek Bluff May Be Working: ECB Does Not “Haircut” ELA Collateral

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Following our post yesterday, in which we calculated the levels of ELA haircuts that would result in corresponding deposit haircuts, we – and the rest of the world – were patiently waiting to see if the ECB would commence using its nuclear option, first with a small increase in haircuts, then as we got closer to Sunday, with larger ones.

Even Goldman this morning wrote that “we see a sharp increase in haircuts as unlikely.” but as we showed, even a modest increase, for example from 50% to 65%, would promptly impair Greek deposits and require deposit haircuts.

Of course, the far bigger question in any ECB haircut decision was whether the central bank would tip its hand that it is indeed a political entity, and perhaps tip the scales either way in Sunday’s referendum.

Moments ago we got the answer, when the ECB not only kept the ELA frozen as expected, thus requiring the continuation of the Greek capital controls, but decided against a collateral haircut.


In other words, so far Varoufakis’ thesis remains intact, and the ECB has refused to push the “nuclear option” launch button.

Recall what the finmin said last April:

… the real battleground will be the banks. As they did with Cyprus, where they threatened the government with an immediate suspension of the island nation’s ELA, so too in the case of Greece they will threaten to pull the plug on the Greek banks. Two points need to be made here. First, the Greek banks no longer hold any Greek government debt, which means that their collateral with the European System of Central Banks cannot be downgraded legally. Secondly, Frankfurt will have to think twice before it issues the threat of bending its own rules to close down Greek banks – since doing this would threaten to engulf the whole of the Periphery’s banking system into another cascading panic.

So far he has been proven correct, which may mean that his final bluff will ultimately pay off, namely that “Berlin will prefer to accommodate the Greek government and to look with a great deal more ‘kindness’ the ‘request’ for a…
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Losing Money Is “Inevitable” This Year, SocGen Warns Citing Economic “Elephant”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The entire financial world has been fixated on two things since last Friday, Greece and, to a lesser extent, China’s collapsing equity bubble. 

Admittedly, it’s been almost impossible to turn away from the slow motion trainwreck-turned high-speed, head-on collision that is the Greek tragicomedy.

On Sunday, the world woke up to the fact that a Greek default has very real consequences. As surreal images began to circulate on social media showing ATM lines, empty grocery store shelves, and long queues at gas stations, it became apparent that Greece does in fact matter, and once capital controls were announced, the flight to safety was on and global stock markets proceeded to plunge.

This was precisely what the PBoC did not need after moving to support its flagging stock market by cutting both the benchmark lending rate and the RRR rate on Saturday (the first time the two policy rates have been cut on the same day since 2008).

Fast forward to Wednesday and capital markets are still transfixed with Greece and China, and while we’ll be the first to say that both Grexit and the collapse of China’s margin-fueled equity bubble pose very real threats to global financial markets, Soc Gen is out warning investors not to lose track of the ‘real’ problems that threaten to undermine economic growth and keep a lid on gains going forward. Here’s more:

The situation in Greece, whilst serious and concerning, is distracting us from far bigger and mounting problems elsewhere. The China A-shares market for example has seen around US$2trn wiped off its market capitalisation in a matter of weeks, and whilst the climb was equally dramatic, the excessive use of leverage always means the ride down is more painful.

MSCI World profits are also declining at around 5% per annum and consensus 2015 exfinancial EPS growth is currently forecast to be flat; and while US pro-forma profits are now down 5% from their peak, GAAP profits are down a remarkable 20%! The slowing global economy is the elephant in the room.

There is also plenty of the evidence that insiders are rushing for the exits. According to Bloomberg, buyout firms conducted more stock offerings in Q2 than in any previous quarter and during Q2 over US220bn of IPOs were announced, way

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Airlines Stocks Plunge After DoJ Probes Collusion On High Prices

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Low oil prices must be good for airlines profits, right – especially if they keep ticket prices artificially high…


Airline stocks are plunging on this news…

As AP reports,

A document obtained by The Associated Press shows the Justice Department is investigating whether airlines are colluding to grow at a slower pace as part of an effort to keep airfares high.

The government has requested information from airlines as part of the antitrust investigation.

Justice Department spokeswoman Emily Pierce confirmed Wednesday that the department was investigating potential “unlawful co-ordination” among some airlines. She declined to comment further, including about which airlines are being investigated

As a result of a series of mergers starting in 2008, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines now control more than 80 per cent of the seats in US skies. They have eliminated unprofitable flights, filled a higher percentage of seats on planes and worked to slow growth in order to command higher airfares.

American Airlines drops 1.8%; Delta drops 1.9%; United Continental falls 2.2%; LUV erases gain; JBLU falls as much as 3.4%

And now we look forward to the next headline:


Yeah, right.

Eurogroup’s Dijsselbloem Says “No Grounds For Further Talks”, Will “Wait For Outcome Of Referendum”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Update: Here is the statement:

And the highlights from Bloomberg:


The first of today’s two key catalysts following Tsipras’ defiant speech has concluded: the Eurogroup teleconference chaired by Jeroen Dijsselbloem. And, as he tweeted moments ago, he will post his remarks momentarily.

What will he announce? Probably not much, if the FT’s Peter Spiegel is right:

As much was confirmed by others:


Watch the Eurogroup’s summary remarks at the following site, assuming it can be un “503″-ed.

And now everyone focuses on the ECB’s much more important decisions: will Mario haircut (or even pull) the ELA or not.

Ex-Im Bank Bites The Dust Today – Good Riddance To A Crony Capitalist Heist

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Authored by Doug Bandow, originally posted at,

The Export-Import Bank died last night when its charter expired. After 81 years, what is commonly known as Boeing’s Bank is headed toward Washington’s trash bin.

When Congress returns it could revive Ex-Im, which primarily subsidizes big business exports. But a proper burial for what Barack Obama once called “corporate welfare” would save Americans money, reduce economic injustice, and promote economic growth.

The Bank was established in 1934 to promote trade with the Soviet Union, ExIm now is one of a score of federal agencies tasked with encouraging exports. The agency exists to borrow at government rates to provide credit at less than market rates for select exporters, mostly corporate behemoths.

ExIm claims to be friendly to small business, but cherchez the money: it goes to Big Business. According to Veronique de Rugy of the Mercatus Center, between 2007 and 2013 the Bank subsidized $66.7 billion in sales by Boeing. ExIm also underwrote $8.3 billion for General Electric, $5.2 billion for Bechtel, $4.9 billion for Caterpillar and its subsidiary Solar Turbine, $3.2 billion for CBI Americas, $3.0 for Exxon Mobil, $2.1 billion for Applied Materials, $2.0 billion for Westinghouse, and $1.4 billion for Noble Drilling. During that period Boeing enjoyed 35 percent, GE 4.4 percent, and Bechtel 2.7 percent of the Bank’s largesse.

In 2012, noted Timothy Carney of the Washington Examiner, the aircraft maker accounted for 83 percent of all loan guarantees. The following year just five firms collected 93 percent of the loan guarantees. Also in 2013 the top ten ExIm beneficiaries accounted for two-thirds of the Bank’s total activities: Boeing, General Electric, Bechtel, Applied Materials, Caterpillar, Space Systems/Loral, Komatsu America, Case New Holland, Ford, and Sikorsky Aircraft. Other frequent beneficiaries include Dow Chemical, John Deere, and Lockheed Martin.

A worker helps to assembles a helicopter at the AgustaWestland’s aircraft manufacturing facility Monday, June 22, 2015, in Philadelphia.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Giants of the financial world, such as Citibank and JP Morgan Chase, also do well by the Bank. Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute thought he was arguing in favor of ExIm when he observed: “Private lenders often don’t like the risk profile of countries seeking export assistance”

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Crude Crashes To $56 Handle – 10-Week Lows

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Following today’s record production and renewed inventory build, it appears the $57 to $62 range of the last 3 months is about to be tested … especially as Kerry et al. assure the world an Iran deal is “very very close” and they are working “very very hard.” WTI (Aug) is now trading with a $56 handle – its weakest since mid-April

Charts: Bloomberg

Greek FinMin Lays Out 6 Reasons To Vote “No” In The Referendum

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Did your country recently become the first developed nation in history to default to the IMF? 

Are you worried your deposits will soon play a starring role in the blockbuster sequel to the Cyprus bail-in?

Or, finally, are you confused as to how you should vote in an unprecedented referendum which many say is effectively a decision between democratic rule and debt servitude?

Well, have no fear because Greek FinMin Yanis Varoufakis is here to help with 6 reasons why you should just say “no” to the troika…

  1. Negotiations have stalled because Greece’s creditors (a) refused to reduce our un-payable public debt and (b) insisted that it should be repaid ‘parametrically’ by the weakest members of our society, their children and their grandchildren.
  2. The IMF, the United States’ government, many other governments around the globe, and most independent economists believe — along with us — that the debt must be restructured.
  3. The Eurogroup had previously (November 2012) conceded that the debt ought to be restructured but is refusing to commit to a debt restructure
  4. Since the announcement of the referendum, official Europe has sent signals that they are ready to discuss debt restructuring. These signals show that official Europe too would vote NO on its own ‘final’ offer.
  5. Greece will stay in the euro.  Deposits in Greece’s banks are safe.  Creditors have chosen the strategy of blackmail based on bank closures. The current impasse is due to this choice by the creditors and not by the Greek government discontinuing the negotiations or any Greek thoughts of Grexit and devaluation. Greece’s place in the Eurozone and in the European Union is non-negotiable.
  6. The future demands a proud Greece within the Eurozone and at the heart of Europe. This future demands that Greeks say a big NO on Sunday, that we stay in the Euro Area, and that, with the power vested upon us by that NO, we renegotiate Greece’s public debt as well as the distribution of burdens between the haves and the have nots.


*  *  *

Vote accordingly.


Zero Hedge

A Short History: The Neocon "Clean Break" Grand Design & The "Regime Change" Disasters It Has Fostered

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Dan Sanchez via,

To understand today’s crises in Iraq, Syria, Iran, and elsewhere, one must grasp their shared Lebanese connection. This assertion may seem odd. After all, what is the big deal about Lebanon? That little country hasn’t had top headlines since Israel deigned to bomb and invade it in 2006. Yet, to a large extent, the roots of the bloody tangle now enmeshing the Middle East lie in Lebanon: or to be more precise, in the Lebanon policy of Israel.

Rewind to the era before the War on Terror. ...

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Phil's Favorites

Baffled by Clear Picture; Sirens of Blackmail; Merkel's Alleged Revenge Will Backfire

Courtesy of Mish.

Sirens of Blackmail

Having already explained twice what is going on with Tsipris' ever changing statements, I find it amusing that eurozone nannycrats cannot figure things out.

A few snips from the Financial Times article Tsipras Urges Greeks to Defy Creditor' "Blackmail" will explain what I mean. Greece’s prime minister accused Europe’s leaders of attempting to “blackmail” Greek voters, just hours after apparently holding out an olive branch to the country’s creditors by accepting most of the terms of the economic reform plan they had tabled last weekend.

Eurozone officials said they were baffled by the mixed messages coming from Greece, which this week missed a €1.5bn payment to the I...

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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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Kimble Charting Solutions

Shanghai index creates historic reversal pattern like 2007

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.


Much of the attention around the world seems to be revolving around a small country called Greece. What about the most populated country in the world (China), any key messages coming from there of late?

Well another Month, Quarter and Half a year are in the books. With this in mind I wanted to look at Monthly action of the hottest stock market in the world, the Shanghai Index. Above looks at the Shanghai index over the past 25-years. The 100%+ rally over the past year has pushed the Shanghai index up to its 23% Fibonacci ratio and a long-term resistance line, that has been in play for 25-years at (1) above.

As the Shanghai index was hitting this...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and  Economy

Ukraine Halts Russian Gas Purchases After Price Talks Fail (Zero Hedge)

It has been a bad day for deals and deadlines all around: first Greece is about to enter July without a bailout program and in default to the IMF with the ECB about to yank its ELA support or at least cut ELA haircuts; also the US failed to reach a nuclear deal with Iran in a can-kicking negotiation that has become so farcical there is no point in even covering it; and now moments ago a third June 30 "deal" failed to reach an acceptable conclusion when Russia and Ukraine were unable to reach an agreement on gas prices at talks in Vienna on Tuesday. As a result, Ukraine is suspending its purchase of Russian gas.


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Insider Scoop

Level 3 Acquires DDoS Mitigation Company Black Lotus, No Terms

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related LVLT Benzinga's Top Initiations Goldman Sachs Initiates Level 3 Communications With Buy The Time To Hedge Is Now! June 2015 Update (Seeking Alpha)

Global telecommunications provider Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NYSE: LVLT), announced it acquired privately held Black Lotus, a provider of ... more from Insider

Chart School

No Update

Courtesy of Declan. running very slow, so no update today. ...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of June 29th., 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

BitGold Now Available in US! Why BitGold?

Courtesy of Mish.

BitGold USA

Effective today, BitGold Announces Platform Launch in the United States.

BitGold, a platform for savings and payments in gold, is pleased to announce the launch of the BitGold platform for residents of the US and US territories. As of today, US residents can sign up on the BitGold platform and buy, sell, or redeem gold using BitGold’s Aurum payment and settlement technology. US residents will also have access to the BitGold mobile app and a prepaid card when these features launch over the coming weeks. Send and receive gold payment features are not initially available in the US.

About BitGold


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Sector Detector: Bulls under the gun to muster troops, while bears lie in wait

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Two weeks ago, bulls seemed ready to push stocks higher as long-standing support reliably kicked in. But with just one full week to go before the Independence Day holiday week arrives, we will see if bulls can muster some reinforcements and make another run at the May highs. Small caps and NASDAQ are already there, but it is questionable whether those segments can drag along the broader market. To be sure, there is plenty of potential fuel floating around in the form of a friendly Fed and abundant global liquidity seeking the safety and strength of US stocks and bonds. While the technical picture has glimmers of strength, summer bears lie in wait.

In this weekly ...

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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. 


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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 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.

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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