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Ukraine Is “Pressing” Obama For $3 Billion In Financial Aid

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

It would appear Gazprom has once again come knocking for payment – or else. As Bloomberg reports, Ukraine is pressing the Obama administration to provide political support, as much as $3b in financial aid and “non-lethal weapons,” with the goal of some progress by the end of February, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko says. Of course, given Europe’s agreement to further sanction Russia (asEU agrees more “punitive” steps are now possible) President Obama will be happy to lend Ukraine more American taxpayer money (despite the market’s perception that Ukraine’s default probability is over 80% – six year highs).

What Ukraine wants…

Top priorities are political and financial aid, then military support Prystaiko says during meeting with Bloomberg editors and reporters in Washington

Ukraine seeking U.S. assistance for weapons radar, armored vehicles, access to surveillance drones

“We are ready to buy,” says Prystaiko; also asking France, Germany, U.K. for military support

“We would like to have these radars to be able to tell us” when attack is coming

*  *  *

  • *EU TO PREPARE FURTHER ECONOMIC MEASURES ON RUSSIA: LINKEVICIUS
  • *EU TO ADD NAMES TO RUSSIA-LINKED BLACKLIST BY FEB. 9
  • *EU DECISION ON RUSSIA SANCTIONS WAS UNANIMOUS, MOGHERINI SAYS
  • *EU AGREES MORE ‘PUNITIVE’ STEPS POSSIBLE ON RUSSIA: MOGHERINI
  • *EU FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF MOGHERINI COMMENTS IN BRUSSELS




Weekly Treasury Issuance Concludes With Weaker 7 Year Auction

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

After the delayed 5 Year auction took place 90 minutes ago, and priced strongly well through the When Issued, it was the turn of the last for this week auction of $29 billion in  7 Year paper, which just concluded and, somewhat surprisingly, was the worst of all auctions this week: not only did it tail modestly, pricing at 1.59%, a 0.4 bps tail wider than the 1.586% WI, but the Bid To Cover also was just modestly anove last month’s 2.388, at 2.499, below the TTM average of 2.56. To be sure, a key factor for this superficial weakness was that the high yield of 1.59% was the lowest since May of 2013, as a result all those who have booked major profits in last month’s auction pricing at 2.13 likely had far less of an incentive to get involved here.

The internals were also in line, with Directs taking down 14.9%, Indirects at 56%, above the 50% TTM, and Dealers left holding 29.04% of the auction, slightly less than the 35% average, which also is to be expected in a world in which banks can no longer turn around the flip the paper to the Fed if need be.

And with that this week’s treasury issuance calendar is now complete.





Gold & Silver Extend Losses – Biggest Drop Since 2013

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Because nothing says dump gold and silver like an aggressively escalating currency war…

Once again the US-Europe crossover period is the witching hours for Precious Metals…

But as soon as Europe closed,. gold and USDJPY decoupled dramatically as the pair-trade-that-nobody-talks-about rolls on…

As it seems losses escalated after the European close… and as Oil flushed below $44

Margin calls? Or maybe the status-quo just cannot stand the outperformance…

Charts: Bloomberg





This Is Why The ECB’s QE Will Work, According To The ECB

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Earlier, we laid out a very reasonable explanation by none other than Europe’s largest insurer AXA why the ECB’s QE will fail. The ECB did not like ththis, so it decided to reply. This is how the ECB just “crushed” AXA’s logic.

  • COEURE SAYS QE WILL WORK BECAUSE IT IS BIG

And scene.

What else is there to add?





Alexis Tsipras Most Outrageous Outburst Yet?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Speaking in May 2014 (ahead of Ukraine’s elections) new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made very clear why he is now against Germany’s push for further sanctions against Russia.

Via VoR,

[The SYRIZA] party believes that the new government in Ukraine came to power as a result of a coup, and call it a junta.

h/t @Erula1

“We should not accept or recognize the government of neo-Nazis in Ukraine,” the Athens News Agency quotes Tsipras who believes that the Ukrainian people should decide their future themselves.

Speaking about different peoples’ movements for self-determination, Tsipras said that the European left respected the right to self-determination, but nationalism and clashes could not lead to positive results.

“We in the EU should not give preference to changing borders, but must respect the position of the peoples, who have decided to create a Federation within the state,” said the SYRIZA leader.

Tsipras added,

the EU must change in order to survive; the EU lacks democracy, and citizens do not believe that their vote can change policy.

*  *  *





Greece should Ice the Troika!

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Bruno de Landevoisin.

The StealthFlation Blog

 

 

Open Letter to the New Finance Minister of Greece Yanis Varoufakis

 

Dear Yanis,


As an ardent admirer, with the utmost respect for what you have put forward and accomplished to date, I humbly offer my thoughts for your consideration.


In my measured estimation, requesting substantive forbearance from the TROIKA on a purely rational and fair minded basis, as you have suggested, in the anticipation of a desirable outcome, is likely a proposition which will disappoint.  There obviously exist significant and powerful vested financial interests adamantly opposed to you on the other side of the table, not to mention the even more considerable, and now intensifying, European periphery precedent concerns which are clearly raising the ante. 


Your adversaries’ obtuse position continues to remain implacable for the most determined of self-seeking reasons, and the collateral damage that is Greece, obviously matters far less to them then the well defined and established course that they have set for themselves. Remember, they have not done the right thing previously, they don’t do the right thing presently, and thus, will likely not do the right thing in the future given the opportunity. Don’t kid yourself, these adversaries are just that, and lethal opponents.


Considering they were able to stomach the desolation Greece has so desperately endured throughout this period, there should be little to no expectation that they will now suddenly magnanimously change their stripes, simply because it’s been determined by newly elected, more reasoned and humane men, that it’s the right and sound thing to do.    


Having accepted that reality, almost certainly, zero sum game theory shall be called for.  Therefore, in my view, it would be critical that
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Marissa Mayer’s (Value) Added: Yahoo Is Now Worth A Negative $1 Billion

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Just out from Citigroup:

Yahoo! shares are down meaningfully during the last two trading days due to the decline in BABA shares, even though Yahoo! announced this week the best-case scenario for its shareholders in the form of a tax-free spin-off of its entire equity position in BABA (see our note here). The trading has created an unusual dislocation, in our opinion. Assuming 1) that the BABA stake trades at a 10% discount to BABA as a SpinCo (and, therefore, is worth $33/YHOO share at current BABA levels), and 2) that its 35% equity stake in Yahoo! Japan is valued using a 44% discount to the current market value (i.e., a 38% tax rate plus a 10% liquidity value), then the core Yahoo! business is currently valued at nearly a negative enterprise value of $1bn.

This for a business that generates >$500mn in free cash flow per year and has had stable revenues and margins. Considered another way, if we assume fair value of core Y! is 4x EBITDA and continue to fully discount the YJ stake, we believe BABA would have to drop below ~$74/sh in order for there to be further downside in YHOO shares from here, all else equal. And, we believe BABA shares would need to fall to $63/share for YHOO shares to suffer a 10% or greater decline under this scenario.

Clearly it is time for even more value added by Yahoo’s ridiculously overhyped CEO to do what she does best:





Europe’s Largest Insurance Company Explains Why The ECB’s QE Has Already Failed Using “Widget Makers”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

According to a recent ranking, French AXA is the largest insurance company in Europe ranked by Assets, and one of the top ten global financial services firms by revenues. Whether or not it is, is irrelevant. What matters is what Nick Hayes, U.K. head of fixed income active management, at AXA Investment Managers said in interview earlier today, in which he explained, quice succinctly, why Q€ will be a total failure.

As quoted by Bloomberg, he said that “AXA Investment Managers doesn’t plan on selling much of its assets to ECB under QE, given its investment mandates for specific holdings and a lack of opportunities to put cash received to work.”

“People say, ‘Sell government bonds and lend money to widget manufacturers.’ It doesn’t really work like that.” Hayes says, adding that “Low yields don’t necessarily mean more lending to the real economy; time and confidence are key elements and last 6 years have shown QE can’t control those.”

Hayes went on: “AXA IM might lighten up on some holdings “at the margin,” such as peripheral or core govt bonds. It has already pared an overweight position in peripheral govt bonds in recent month.”The reason being that “yield levels don’t justify the position as much as before, as bonds are nearly fully valued, even as economics are still improving.”

His conclusion: “It’s difficult to see a huge amount of money being made out of the peripherals trade from here on.” Or, as many are discovering, a huge amount of money is now being lost on peripherals, starting with Greece and soon all the other ones, and mean reversion finally kicks in with a vengeance.

In short: it hasn’t even started and QE is already a complete failure.

And now, back to the Danish central bank threatening with castration anyone who dares to save money inside the mattress.





The Fed That Never Sees It Coming

Courtesy of Pam Martens.

Alan Greenspan, Former Fed Chairman, Testifying to the House Oversight Committee on How He Got It Wrong, October 23, 2008

Alan Greenspan, Former Fed Chairman, Testifying to the House Oversight Committee on How He Got It Wrong, October 23, 2008

There is growing unease in stock and bond markets around the world that the current Chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, has retrieved former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan’s blinders out of the mothballs in some musty old closet at the Fed, thus setting the U.S. economy up for more epic convulsions.

Yesterday, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released its policy statement and rattled markets here and abroad overnight. The statement contained a number of economic absurdities. The first sentence argued that “economic activity has been expanding at a solid pace” while a few sentences later we are told “inflation has declined further below the Committee’s longer-run objective.” A solid expansion simply does not correlate with declining inflation in the U.S. and mushrooming deflation among our trading partners.

Later in the statement the Fed tells us that inflation will be heading back toward the goal of 2 percent once “the transitory effects of lower energy prices and other factors dissipate.” There is no evidentiary basis offered to support the idea that the historic collapse in oil prices will be “transitory.” The “other factors” remain vague because to enumerate the other factors – slack demand around the globe creating a monster surplus of supply – would destroy the argument that the oil price collapse will be transitory. (And remember, it’s not just energy prices that are swooning, it’s a broad range of industrial commodities which the Fed conveniently fails to mention.)

Bond markets around the world, including the U.S. Treasury market, think Yellen is full of it. Shortly after the FOMC statement was released, the 30-year Treasury hit an historic record low yield of 2.295 percent. The yield on our longest dated Treasury bond reflects two elements: the long-range outlook for inflation and a perceived safe-haven to weather a looming economic upheaval.

Yesterday, the yield on the 30-year Treasury also represented one more thing: a no confidence vote that the U.S. Fed knows how to read the global tea leaves.



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Alexis Tsipras’ Open Letter To Germany: What You Were Never Told About Greece

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Authored by Alexis Tsipras via Syriza.net,

Most of you, dear [German] readers, will have formed a preconception of what this article is about before you actually read it. I am imploring you not to succumb to such preconceptions. Prejudice was never a good guide, especially during periods when an economic crisis reinforces stereotypes and breeds biggotry, nationalism, even violence.

In 2010, the Greek state ceased to be able to service its debt. Unfortunately, European officials decided to pretend that this problem could be overcome by means of the largest loan in history on condition of fiscal austerity that would, with mathematical precision, shrink the national income from which both new and old loans must be paid. An insolvency problem was thus dealt with as if it were a case of illiquidity.

In other words, Europe adopted the tactics of the least reputable bankers who refuse to acknowledge bad loans, preferring to grant new ones to the insolvent entity so as to pretend that the original loan is performing while extending the bankruptcy into the future. Nothing more than common sense was required to see that the application of the ‘extend and pretend’ tactic would lead my country to a tragic state. That instead of Greece’s stabilization, Europe was creating the circumstances for a self-reinforcing crisis that undermines the foundations of Europe itself.

My party, and I personally, disagreed fiercely with the May 2010 loan agreement not because you, the citizens of Germany, did not give us enough money but because you gave us much, much more than you should have and our government accepted far, far more than it had a right to. Money that would, in any case, neither help the people of Greece (as it was being thrown into the black hole of an unsustainable debt) nor prevent the ballooning of Greek government debt, at great expense to the Greek and German taxpayer.

Indeed, even before a full year had gone by, from 2011 onwards, our predictions were confirmed. The combination of gigantic new loans and stringent government spending cuts that depressed incomes not only failed to rein the debt in but, also, punished the weakest of citizens turning people who had hitherto been living a measured, modest life into paupers and beggars, denying them above all else their dignity. The collapse of…
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Zero Hedge

Ukraine Is "Pressing" Obama For $3 Billion In Financial Aid

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

It would appear Gazprom has once again come knocking for payment - or else. As Bloomberg reports, Ukraine is pressing the Obama administration to provide political support, as much as $3b in financial aid and “non-lethal weapons,” with the goal of some progress by the end of February, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko says. Of course, given Europe's agreement to further sanction Russia (asEU agrees more "punitive" steps are now possible) President Obama will be happy to lend Ukraine more American taxpayer money (despite the market's perception that Ukraine's default probability is over 80% - six year highs).

...



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Phil's Favorites

The Fed That Never Sees It Coming

Courtesy of Pam Martens.

Alan Greenspan, Former Fed Chairman, Testifying to the House Oversight Committee on How He Got It Wrong, October 23, 2008

There is growing unease in stock and bond markets around the world that the current Chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, has retrieved former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan’s blinders out of the mothballs in some musty old closet at the Fed, thus setting the U.S. economy up for more epic convulsions.

Yesterday, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released its policy statement and rattled markets here and abroad overnight. The statement contained a number of economic absurdities. The first sentence argued that “econ...



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Chart School

Accentuate the Positive: The Psychological Inflation of Quarterly GDP

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Pop Quiz! You just received your quarterly statement from the company that manages your 401(k). Which result would you prefer?

     A) Your portfolio is up 1.22% for the quarter.
     B) Your portfolio is up 4.97%* for the quarter.

Well, that's certainly a no-brainer question. You'd definitely choose option B.

However, buried in the fine print of the document for option B is the footnote for that little asterisk:

     *Compounded Annual Percent Change

So this was a trick quiz question! The two answers are identical. To two decimal places, the quarter-over-quarter gain of 1.22% becomes 4.97% if we state it as the compounded annual percent change....



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Market Shadows

What Would You Do?

What Would You Do?

Courtesy of Paul Price

Suppose you had the technical ability and raw materials to print up counterfeit dollars, euros or yen that were identical to the real things. Assume you could spend them as fast as you could create them with no fear of any repercussions.

Would you prudently print up only as much fresh currency as you needed for your current lifestyle? Would you create just a bit more than that to help relatives or those in need?

It is most likely you’d have your printing press running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Becoming the richest person in the world would confer great power upon you.

You could rationalize this action because you plan to use the money for good purposes. Imagine the warm feeling you’d get by giving every person in America one million do...



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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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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of January 26th, 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: With the Fed fading into shadows, investors look overseas for new catalysts

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

By Scott Martindale

Last week, the S&P 500 put an end to its streak of weekly losses, despite giving back some gains on Friday. Thursday provided the big catalyst, with the ECB’s announcement of its bold new monetary stimulus plan. Investors were cheered and soothed for the moment. And U.S. fundamentals still look strong. But with Greece trying to turn back time, with volatility elevated (and likely to continue as such), and with the technical situation still dicey, the near term outlook is still worrisome.

In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart...



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Digital Currencies

Jitters After Bitcoin Exchange Suspends Services

So as I was saying yesterday (Bitcoin: The Biggest Clown Show In History?), Bitcoin has several obstacles on the path to potential success as an alternative currency. But I forgot to mention hacking and theft at Bitcoin exchanges and other technical problems. This is related to the lack of government backing and the fact that the value of Bitcoins is based entirely on confidence.  

Jitters After Bitcoin Exchange Suspends Services 

By 



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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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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

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

Here's this week's Stock World Weekly.

Click here and sign in with your user name and password. 

 

...

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Option Review

SPX Call Spread Eyes Fresh Record Highs By Year End

Stocks got off to a rocky start on the first trading day in December, with the S&P 500 Index slipping just below 2050 on Monday. Based on one large bullish SPX options trade executed on Wednesday, however, such price action is not likely to break the trend of strong gains observed in the benchmark index since mid-October. It looks like one options market participant purchased 25,000 of the 31Dec’14 2105/2115 call spreads at a net premium of $2.70 each. The trade cost $6.75mm to put on, and represents the maximum potential loss on the position should the 2105 calls expire worthless at the end of December. The call spread could reap profits of as much as $7.30 per spread, or $18.25mm, in the event that the SPX ends the year above 2115. The index would need to rally 2.0% over the current level...



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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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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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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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