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Author Archive for Zero Hedge

America Ranks Below Israel In World Happiness Index

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Despite aerial bombardment, growing tensions with every neighbor, and the almost ubiquitous daily car-bombs, Israelis are "happier" than Americans according to Bloomberg's world happiness index. Happiness, it appears, is most abundant a long way from the equator with Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, and Canada all topping the list; whereas the unhappiest nations are all in Saharan or sub-Saharan Africa (apart from war-torn Syria and Afghanistan).

The U.S. is the 15th happiest country of the 158 covered by the survey, which obtained its data primarily from the Gallup World Poll. That puts the U.S. just behind Mexico (14) but ahead of Brazil (16), Britain (21), Japan (46), Russia (64), China (84), and Iran (110).

Greece suffered the biggest decrease, followed by Egypt, Italy, and Saudi Arabia. As for those at the bottom, their unhappiness probably has a lot more to do with poverty and violence.

According to the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, which was launched by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in 2012, social cohesiveness is hugely important to a society's happiness. Iceland's high level of trust helped it stay happy despite a serious financial crisis, while Spain, Italy, and Greece tumbled in the happiness rankings in part because they lacked the cohesiveness to pull through their financial troubles, say the authors.

Source: Bloomberg





OBaMa’S LaP DoGS…

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by williambanzai7.





“Let’s Take Them On!”: Libor E-mails Of Christian Bittar Revealed

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Back in 2012 we introduced readers to Christian Bittar, a former prop trader at Deutsche Bank who profited handsomely by betting on the direction of rates he conspired with others to manipulate (recall that when it comes to betting on the direction of rates, it’s much easier to make winning trades when you collude with colleagues to fix the benchmark). Readers may also recall that via a bit of digging which began with the LinkedIn profile of someone else named Christian Bittar, we were soon tossed down the Lieborgate rabbit hole only to find that on the other end was the secretive world of Swiss hedge funds and private banks. 

We later detailed how Deutsche Bank went about ridding itself of Bittar who was once one of the firm’s most well-paid traders and concluded with the following six point assessment:

  1. Deutsche tells an internal prop trader to invest billions in the Libor market,but tells him: “do everything legally and by the book or else.”
  2. Bittar colludes with virtually everyone else under the sun to generate billions in profits;
  3. Bittar makes tens if not hundreds of millions of bonuses for himself;
  4. Finally, DB no longer can hide the deception and claws back a portion of Bittar’s bonuses, while washing its hands of the full affair;
  5. Scapegoat punished, life goes on.
  6. He went to work for Bluecrest Capital Management LLP, Europe’s third- biggest hedge fund with $30 billion under management.

Fast forward a few years and Deutsche Bank has just been saddled with a $2.5 billion fine for its contribution to the worldwide manipulation of benchmark rates and thanks to the now-public e-mails used by the Justice Department to make its case, we know exactly what Christian said on the way to influencing the fixings. Here’s Bloomberg

Identified only as Trader Three by the U.S. Department of Justice, he was Deutsche Bank’s most profitable derivatives trader, earning a bonus of almost 90 million pounds ($136 million) in 2008 alone. He was responsible for the majority of the requests for skewed Euribor submissions, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said Thursday.

That trader is Christian Bittar, according to two people with knowledge of the situation, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly…

Trader Three worked in


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Why Nav Sarao Had To Be Destroyed: He Found A Way To Beat The HFTs At Their Own Game

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Now that the confusion and the initial smoke following the stunning CFTC/DOJ/FBI allegation that the entire Flash Crash was the result of just one high latency UK trader’s actions has cleared, several critical things have emerged.

First: Nav Sarao not a typical massively funded, connected and lobby-protected High Frequency Trader, such as Citadel or Virtu, using countless algos across numerous fragmented markets to frontrun size order blocks, but an old-school “point and click” prop trader. This is how he described his trading style in a response to the UK regulator:

I am an old school point and click prop trader. To this day I am still using the mouse to trade. That is how I trade, that is how I always have traded, admittedly very very fast because I have always been good with reflexes and doing things quick. My trading is for the most part very short term and for very small profits, a large proportion of my profits are 1 price movements, which in the eminiSP’s case would be a quarter of a tick. I have also take longer term positions In the past and my biggest day was actually made for the most part whilst I was sleeping! 

I am a trader who changes his mind very very quickly, one second I am prepared to buy the limit of 2,000, the next second I may change my mind and get out. This is what is unique about my trading I trade very large but change my mind in a second. This is why MF Global had to speed up their systems for me, yes they have other hedge funds etc trading 2,000 lots, but they didn’t have anyone buying 2,000 and getting out seconds later and then going short a thousand ! All this traded volume was something that MF Global’s system was not prepared for and I remember at the start their system was too slow for me. And all this is done with the my hand and a mouse.

What makes me change my mind? Well it could be anything, a move in one of the other markets that I look at, a chart set up that I suddenly remember from my 11 years of trading, or simply the WAY I was filled made me doubt my


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In An Unrigged World: Here’s How A Record S&P Close Was Manufactured

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Judging by the action today, all that mattered today was 2117.39 – that is the S&P 500′s previous closing record high from March 2nd. One glimpse at the charts below and the VIX-slamming is evident (especially at the close) as each time it came close to losing the record high, a miraculous deep-pocketd volatility-seller stepped in

Look at the open in VIX too!

Unrigged… and unspoofed

Welcome to the new normal.





Nasdaq Soars To Record Highs On Dismal Data & Vapid Volume

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Humor required…

Despite a quiet week for macro data, what there was a disaster (from PMIs to housing to durable goods)… US Macro at new 6 year lows…

Which can mean only one thing… This week was the best for most major stock indices since Bullard's mid-October "QE4" hint rescue…

On the day, early weakness was immediately BTFD and data just helped… with Nasdaq and S&P hitting new highs…

Trannies and Small Caps red today (but look how narrow today's range was in Dow and S&P)

Decoupling started yesterday morning…

Volume was a total disaster!!

The Nasdaq won on the day – but went nowhere from the gap open… in fact – as the following chart shows, every major index closed below its opening level…

AMZN up 15% today! AMZN!!! the biggest single day move since April 2012

Bonds were bid again today (as rate-locks from the giant AT&T bond issue) stopped weighing on Treasuries. However, yields closed higher and steeper on the week…

The USDollar dropped 0.45% on the week (down 5 of the last 6 weeks) - Swissy did a big roundtrip after dumping midweek on SNB comments.

Despite Dollar weakness, all commodities ended the week lower (even crude) with a big dumpfest this morning dragging everything down. Note Copper's miraculous recovery post RRR-Cut…

Crude oil prices were rangebound and algo-driven once again…

Charts: Bloomberg





Nasdaq Traders (Summarized In 17 Seconds)

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Warning, some high school students were injured in the making of this Nasdaq Trader analogy…





Entire Treasury Department Competes For Same Goldman Sachs Job Opening

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

<satire>

Saying the company has received hundreds of résumés since posting the job opening to its website earlier this week, Goldman Sachs human resources manager David Browning reported Thursday that a high-level position with the investment bank had attracted applications from every official in the United States Treasury Department.

“Within just minutes of listing the open position on our jobs page, the flood of applications from treasury.gov email addresses started rolling in, and it hasn’t slowed down since,” said Browning, adding that most of the Treasury regulators who applied for the job highlighted their previous experience working closely with Wall Street financial firms and included a letter of recommendation from former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

“All these applicants must realize what tough competition they’re up against, but at the same time, I remember how it was back when I was just another government official who was ready to make the move to the private sector.  We’ll definitely keep the information of those candidates who don’t get the job on file for future openings.”

Browning added that the new hire was needed to take over the responsibilities of a former Goldman Sachs executive who had recently left for a high-ranking position in the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Source: The Onion





An Austrian Province Just Requested A State Bailout

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

One month ago we wrote about the ripple effects of the “mini-Greece going off in the heartland of Europe“, referring of course to the Viennese black swan, the bailed-in implosion of the Austrian Heta bad bank which nobody had anticipated because the numbers were so thoroughly cooked, nobody had even the faintest clue just how bad the truth was. We said that “while the acute pain came and went for Heta bondholders who have seen a nearly 50% loss in just a few short months, the bigger and far more diffuse pain is only just starting…. The first casualty: the beautifully picturesque southern Austrian province of Carinthia.”

As it was revealed in late March, the issues for Carinthia, the home province of doubly defunct lender Hypo Alpe Adria, is that the Heta bonds were guaranteed by the state of Carinthia which is now liable for the bail-in.

The problem is that Carinthia guarantee was equivalent to €10.2 billion, or nearly five times the state’s 2014 operating revenue.  As the Telegraph summarized it “what the Austrian government is doing is cutting loose an entire region, rather in the way the federal authorities in the US allowed Detroit to go bust a number of years ago. It’s a mini-Greece going off in the heartlands of Europe.”

Carinthia’s budgeted revenue in 2015 is just €2.36 billion, and as such the southern province of 556,000 would be unable to honor the guarantees if they came due now or in a year’s time.

Carinthia was then promptly downgraded by Moody’s from A2 to Baa2 with the rating agency stating that “the downgrade reflects an increased susceptibility to event risks, including litigation from Heta’s bondholders and further actions by the FMA, and greater than anticipated shortfalls of Heta’s assets. All these factors could lead to a crystallization of a significant portion of Carinthia’s guaranteed debt. This amount could exceed Carinthia’s liquidity resources, likely lead to increased financial leverage and could require some form of extraordinary central government support.”

We summarized this unexpected outcome as follows: “We now have a waterfall bailout chain whereby the state guaranteeing the debt of the insolvent entity that guaranteed yet another insolvent entity, will itself need to be bailed out by the sovereign, Austria! Or perhaps not: Finance Minister…
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11-Year-Old Boy Removed From Mother For Defending Her Need For Medicinal Cannabis

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Yesterday Shona Banda, the Kansas medical marijuana activist whose home was searched after her 11-year-old son challenged anti-pot propaganda at school, failed to regain custody of the boy, who is now under the control of Child Protective Services (CPS). “I am not giving up,” Banda said after yesterday’s family court hearing. “I will get him, and I am not going to stop until I do.”

– From the Reason article: Police Say Kidnapping Medical Marijuana Activist’s 11-Year-Old Son Is for ‘the Child’s Well-Being’

Taking a child away from its parents is one of the most serious and emotionally traumatizing things you can do. Anyone tasked with such extraordinary power should take the responsibility extremely seriously. Unfortunately, that’s not how Child Protective Services (CPS) in Kansas sees things.

This is the story of an 11-year-old boy who bravely defended his mom’s used of cannabis oil during a anti-drug program at his school. His mother suffers from Crohn’s disease and uses cannabis oil to treat her symptoms. If she lived here in Colorado, or any of the other 23 states enlightened enough to permit adults to use a plant for medical purposes, her son (who obviously loves his mom enough to defend her in class) would still be with her.

This is just the latest example of bureaucrats who think they know best doing untold damage for no good reason. They are the ones who should be charged with abuse and neglect. Absolutely horrifying. From Reason:

Yesterday Shona Banda, the Kansas medical marijuana activist whose home was searched after her 11-year-old son challenged anti-pot propaganda at school, failed to regain custody of the boy, who is now under the control of Child Protective Services (CPS). “I am not giving up,” Banda said after yesterday’s family court hearing. “I will get him, and I am not going to stop until I do.”

The Garden City Police Department, which conducted the search of Banda’s home, insists that the state-sanctioned kidnapping is in the boy’s best interest. “The most important thing here is the child’s well-being,” said Capt. Randy Ralston. “That is why it is a priority for us, just because of the danger to the child.” 

Yes, snatching away a young child from his mother because she uses a plant to treat a disease is clearly in the boy’s best interest. What a monumental moron this guy…
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Zero Hedge

Germany Prepares For "Plan B", Says Greece Would "Need Not Only A Third Bailout, But Fourth, Fifth Or Even More"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

It has been a very disturbing 24 hours for Greece.

It all started during yesterday's surprisingly short, just one hour long Eurozone finmin meeting in Riga, where Yanis Varoufakis not only got the most "hostile" reception yet being called "a time-waster, gambler, and amateur", but for the first time one minister openly said that maybe it was time governments prepared for the plan B of a Greek default. This happened after Jeroen Dijs...



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Chart School

Price waves that signal market direction

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Question: Do price waves answer the Continuation or Reversal question?More from RTT TvAnswer: Yes when you understand Wyckoff logic, more so if you understand Richard Wyckoff law off 'Effort vs Results' and how it supports the Richard Wyckoff law of 'Supply and Demand'.

AMZN price chart with waves colored (the daily price waves are the same formula as PnF wave/bar calculation below, allows sync of price action).

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.

Auto PnF chart from our Swing Pop out charts.

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.

NOTE: readtheticker.com does allow users to load ...

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Phil's Favorites

News You Can Use, 4-24-15 P.M.

At $50, This Fake Apple Watch Offers Features the Real One Lacks (Bloomberg)

In Shenzhen's famous Huaqiangbei electronics shopping district, you won't need to stand in any lines or make an appointment for these smartwatches.

At 299 yuan—that's less than $50—you can pick up a smartwatch that looks quite similar to Apple's own creation, complete with replica Digital Crown and touch screen. Like the Cupertino original that went on sale today for seven times the price, the generic offering spotted in this bustling Chinese city features an activity tracker, chat apps, Web browser, and Bluetooth connectivity. A brief demo unveiled shortcomings in the browser with only the text loading on screen.

...



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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

King Dollar slipping below support, say Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

King Dollar has been on a role since last summer, up over 20% in less than a year. When looking back on the US$, the rally has been rare and nearly historic. Majority of the rally took place inside the steep rising channel above. Over the past month the US$ might have put in a double top. Over the past few days, the US$ has slipped a little below rising support at red arrow above.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

As you can see from the table abo...



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Digital Currencies

Why Bitcoin's male domination will be its downfall

Here's an interesting argument by Felix Salmon, although I think he is taking two correct observations and mistakenly attributing a cause-and-effect relationship to them: Bitcoin is going nowhere because women are not involved.

More likely, in my opinion, women are not involved in bitcoin because bitcoin is going nowhere (and they know it). Or maybe, simply, bitcoin is going nowhere and women are not involved. 

Why Bitcoin's male domination will be its downfall 

By Felix Salmon

Nathaniel Popper’s new book, Digital Gold, is as close as you can get to being the definitive account of the history of Bitcoin. As its subtitle proclaims, the book tells the story of the “misfits” (the first generation of hacker-l...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of April 20th, 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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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Earnings and GDP temporarily take investor spotlight off the Fed

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

As we get into the heart of earnings season and anticipate the GDP report for Q1, the investor spotlight has been taken off the Federal Reserve and timing of its first interest rate hike, at least temporarily. Even though Q1 economic growth will undoubtedly look weak, the future remains bright for the U.S economy – even though many multinationals will struggle with top-line growth due to the strong dollar – and any near-term selloff resulting from weak economic or earnings news should be bought yet again in expectation of better results for the balance of the year. High sector correlations remain a concern, reflectin...



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Promotions

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

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

 

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

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

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Market Shadows

Kimble Charts: South Korea's EWY

Kimble Charts: South Korea's EWY

By Ilene 

Chris Kimble likes the iShares MSCI South Korea Capped (EWY), but only if it breaks out of a pennant pattern. This South Korean equities ETF has underperformed the S&P 500 by 60% since 2011.

You're probably familiar with its largest holding, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, and at least several other represented companies such as Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp.

...



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Mapping The Market

S&P 500 Leverage and Hedges Options - Part 2

Courtesy of Jean-Luc Saillard.

In my last post (Part 1 of this article), I looked at alternative ETFs that could be used as hedges against the corrections that we have seen during that long 2 year bull run. Looking at the results, it seems that for short (less than a month) corrections, a VIX ETF like VXX could actually be a viable candidate to hedge or speculate on the way down. Another alternative ETF was TMF, a long Treasuries ETF which banks on the fact that when markets go down, money tends to pack into treasuries viewed as safe instruments. In some cases, TMF even outperformed the usual hedging instruments like leveraged ETFs. There could of course be other factors at play since some of 2014 corrections were related to geopolitical events which are certain...

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Pharmboy

2015 - Biotech Fever

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

PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs!   The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down!  The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months.  What could go wrong?

Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.

Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies.  A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...



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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at jennifersurovy@yahoo.com with any questions.

Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

Thank you for you time!




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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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