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Attack on Mariupol Begins; 7,000-8,000 Ukrainian Forces Nearly Encircled in Northern Cauldron; US Sends Army Trainers

Courtesy of Mish.

Yesterday, DNR (Donetsk People’s Republic) president Alexander Zakharchenko issued this statement on a ceasefire:

There will no longer be any attempts to speak about a ceasefire from our side. We will now see how Kiev reacts. Kiev doesn’t currently understand that we can advance in three directions simultaneously“.

Jacob Dreizin, a US citizen who speaks Russian and reads Ukrainian provides a DNR perspective that he has seen.

Jacob writes …

Background for Zakharchenko’s “no more ceasefires” statement stems from rebel disappointment back in August when Moscow forced the rebels to the negotiating table in Minsk, Belarus. The rebels gave up some territory around Mariupol at a time when Ukraine army was retreating, and in complete disarray.

This could have been a great opportunity for Kiev to come to its senses and accept a political solution.

However, the Ukraine side openly and repeated stated that the so-called ceasefire was just a tactical move prior to building up the forces and going back on the offensive. Then Kiev announced a 4th wave build-up of 50,000-100,000 troops.

In that context, Zakharchenko is telling the world that the Ukrainians blew their second chance, and there will be no more opportunities because all Kiev has done is move to strengthen its forces. Zakharchenko’s patience has run out especially considering nonstop bombardment of rebel-held cities.

Enough is enough.

Attack on Mariupol Begins

Today Zakharchenko announced the battle for Mariupol is underway. Also, to the North the Debaltsevo cauldron is closing and 7,000 to 8,000 Ukrainian forces will be trapped (encircled).

Here are some images and text regarding the attack on Mariupol from Colonel Cassad.



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Attack on Mariupol Begins; 7,000-8,000 Ukrainian Forces Nearly Circled in Northern Cauldron; US Sends Army Trainers

Courtesy of Mish.

Yesterday, DNR (Donetsk People’s Republic) president Alexander Zakharchenko issued this statement on a ceasefire:

There will no longer be any attempts to speak about a ceasefire from our side. We will now see how Kiev reacts. Kiev doesn’t currently understand that we can advance in three directions simultaneously“.

Jacob Dreizin, a US citizen who reads Russian and speaks Ukrainian provides a DNR perspective that he has seen.

Jacob writes …

Background for Zakharchenko’s “no more ceasefires” statement stems from rebel disappointment back in August when Moscow forced the rebels to the negotiating table in Minsk, Belarus. The rebels gave up some territory around Mariupol at a time when Ukraine army was retreating, and in complete disarray.

This could have been a great opportunity for “Kiev to come to its senses and accept a political solution.

However, the Ukraine side openly an repeated stated that the so-called ceasefire was just a tactical move prior to building up the forces and going back on the offensive. Then Kiev announced a 4th wave build-up of 5000-100,000 troops.

In that context, Zakharchenko is telling the world that the Ukrainians blew their second chance, and there will be no more opportunities because all Kiev has done is move to strengthen its forces. Zakharchenko’s patience has run out especially considering nonstop bombardment of rebel-held cities.

Enough is enough.

Attack on Mariupol Begins

Today Zakharchenko announced the battle for Mariupol is underway. Also, to the North the Debaltsevo cauldron is closing and 7,000 to 8,000 Ukrainian forces will be trapped (circled).

Here are some images and text regarding the attack on Mariupol from Colonel Cassad.



Continue Here





America’s Frightening “Policing For Profit” Nightmare

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Roger Pilon via The National Interest,

In a move to check certain abuses inherent in the nation’s asset forfeiture law, Attorney General Eric Holder announced last Friday that the Justice Department would limit its practice of “adopting” state and local law-enforcement seizures of property for subsequent forfeiture to the government. Under the practice, to circumvent state laws that limit forfeitures or direct forfeited proceeds to the state’s general treasury, state or local officials who seize property suspected of being “involved” in crime ask the Justice Department to adopt the seizure, after which the proceeds, once forfeited pursuant to federal law, are then split between the two agencies, with 20 percent usually kept by Justice and 80 percent returned to the local police department that initiated the seizure.

If that sounds like “policing for profit,” that’s because it is. And the abuses engendered by this law’s perverse incentives are stunning. In Volusia County, Florida, police stop motorists going south on I-95 and seize amounts of cash in excess of $100 on suspicion that it’s money to buy drugs. New York City police make DUI arrests and then seize drivers’ cars. District of Columbia police seized a grandmother’s home after her grandson comes from next door and makes a call from the home to consummate a drug deal. Officials seized a home used for prostitution and the previous owner, who took back a second mortgage when he sold the home, loses the mortgage. In each case, the property is seized for forfeiture to the government not because the owner has been found guilty of a crime—charges are rarely even brought—but because it’s said to “facilitate” a crime. And if the owner does try to get his property back, the cost of litigation, to say nothing of the threat of a criminal prosecution, often puts an end to that.

So bizarre is this area of our law—when lawyers first stumble on a forfeiture case they’re often heard to say “This can’t be right”—that a little background is necessary to understand how it ever came to be. American asset-forfeiture law has two branches. One, criminal asset forfeiture, is usually fairly straightforward, whether it concerns contraband, which as such may be seized and forfeited to the government, or ill-gotten gain, instrumentalities or statutorily determined…
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FiRST We TaKe MaNHaTTaN…

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by williambanzai7.


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The Kleptocrat torture’s proceeding
The Euro debt zombies are bleeding
The core holds the whip
That’s guiding this trip
To chaos this system is leading

The Limerick King

 

 

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Friday Humor: Hitler Realizes He Was Short Swiss Francs

Silly story of the Swiss National Bank's betrayal and the fall in the Eur/Chf, as told by Hitler, who was long the Euro and short the Swiss franc.  

Friday Saturday Humor: Hitler Realizes He Was Short Swiss Francs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

"…I wish to remain alone with the account manager, the risk manager, the fundamental analyst, and the technical analyst… we were using only 20x leverage and you tell me it's all gone!!"

"I will never trust a central banker again in my life"

Click image for link to YouTube clip (no embed)

 





De-Dollarization Complete: Iran Abandons US Dollar In Foreign Trade

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Since last May (and likely long before) when the topic of "de-dollarization" was first uttered in official circles (and not just tin-foil-hat-wearing blogs), the rest of the world (un-isolated as they are) has been warming to the idea that perhaps – just perhaps – it is time to de-dollarize (more or less depending on the despotic region in question). From currency swap agreements to bi-lateral trade agreements to selling US Treasuries and greatly rotating USD reserves into gold, the world's nations (small and large) appear less and less comfortable holdings dollars in this tempestuous world. Among the supporters of that first "de-dollarization" meeting were China and Iran and while the former continues to work down its exposure, the latter – Iran, according to Tasnim news agency, has almost entirely eliminated USDollars from its reserves and is no longer using dollars in foreign trade.

Nothing lasts forever…

As Bloomberg reports, Iran is no longer using US Dollars in foreign trade

“In trade exchanges with foreign countries, Iran uses other currencies including Chinese yuan, euro, Turkish lira, Russian ruble and South Korean Won,” Gholamali Kamyab, deputy head of the Central Bank of Iran, tells Tasnim news agency.

Iran to “soon” sign bilateral currency swap agreements with some countries, Kamyab says, without naming countries

As a reminder, The Central Bank of Iran said back in June 2014 it had “almost rid” U.S. dollar from forex reserves, replacing it with U.A.E. dirham… it appears to have completed that transition.

*  *  *

De-dollarization complete… and all this as the US tries to broker anti-nuclear accords and delays sanctions…

*  *  *

As we detailed previously, this move should not be a great surprise to any foreign nation.

America’s global economic dominance has been declining since 1998, well before the Global Financial Crisis. A large part of this decline has actually had little to do with the actions of the US but rather with the unraveling of a century’s long economic anomaly. China has begun to return to the position in the global economy it occupied for millenia before the industrial revolution. Just as the dollar emerged to global reserve currency status as its economic might grew, so the chart below suggests the increasing push for de-dollarization across the 'rest of the isolated world' may be a smart
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Draghi Is “Bouncing Economic Rubble With Trillion-Dollar Debt Missiles”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Jeffrey Snider via Alhambra Investment Partners,

The Keynesian revival that is currently underway in the backrooms and hallways of assorted world governments is being somewhat replicated in Europe this week. It is all predicated on the position that all previous forms of “stimulus” from the fiscal side were not the right size, composition or color for that matter and thus the lack of recovery can be attributed to the impurity of the Keynesian solutions. That is further augmented in especially the Krugman view of “austerity” which has supposedly undercut all the good deeds done by central banks.

Thursday’s press conference with Mario Draghi announcing the QE program ran dangerously into interfering with that Krugman view, while also keeping within the spirit of the “purity” argument. Toward the end of the question and answer session, the ECB’s chief was asked about hyperinflation, as if this latest balance sheet expansion might nudge Europe closer to Weimar.

The second question, I think the best way to answer to this is, have we seen lots of inflation since QE programmes started? Have we seen that? And now it’s been quite a few years since they started. Our experience since we have these press conferences goes back to a little more than three years. In these three years we’ve lowered interest rates I don’t know how many times, four or five times, six times maybe. And each time someone was saying this is going to be terribly expansionary, there will be inflation. Some people voted against lower interest rates way back at the end of November 2013. We did OMT. We did the LTROs. We did TLTROs. And somehow this runaway inflation hasn’t come yet.

While you might give him credit for his weasel word of “runaway” in the last sentence I quoted, the entire thought is very, very close to an admission not just that “runaway” inflation never came but nothing else did either. Maybe it was a slip, but it’s not like the ECB’s governing council is not aware of the scorecard, especially as Europe has already seen its first negative inflation rate since 2009.

ABOOK Jan 2015 ECBQE Inflation

But the setup is the same as the Keynesians are using, taking a page out of the justifications Communists have been disingenuously suggesting
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Near-Term FX Views and More

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Marc To Market.

The US dollar extended its gains against all the major currencies and most emerging market currencies over the past week.  The ECB’s asset purchase program was a key driver, but the euro, though it fell a little more than 5.5 cents from the mid-week high to Friday’s low, was not the weakest of the majors.  That distinction goes to the dollar bloc. 

The New Zealand dollar lost 4%., encouraged by a soft inflation report.   Next week central bank meeting will likely drive home the point that the tightening cycle is over.  We suspect the next move will be a cut.  The Australian dollar shed 3.6%.  Expectations for a rate cut as early as next month are growing.  The Canadian dollar lost 3.4%, spurred by the Bank of Canada’s surprise 25 bp rate cut.

Given the price action and the long anticipation of the ECB’s asset purchase program, we had thought there was a reasonable risk of a sell the rumor buy the fact type of activity.  This did not materialize.  Instead, the ECB’s decision accelerated the existing trends:  European stocks and bonds moved sharply higher, and the euro tumbled.   The euro fell to $1.1115 before a modest short covering bounce lifted it back to almost $1.13 before the weekend, which is around where the lower Bollinger Band is found.   

With the Greek election likely to be inconclusive in the early part of the week and the Italian presidential election process just beginning, political uncertainty is set to intensify.  At the same time, while the FOMC statement is unlikely to change substantively, other economic data, including Employment Cost Index and Q4 GDP will likely show the continuing strength of the world’s largest economy. Our fundamental analysis continues to point to a strong dollar and a weaker euro.

However, the technical indicators are still urging caution.  The RSI and MACDs are stretched.  The Stochastics did not confirm the move to new lows.  A euro bounce toward $1.14-$1.1450 will likely be seen as a new selling opportunity.   On the downside, the $1.10 area offers psychological support, but the low from 2003 near $1.0750 is the next important technical level. 

The Japanese yen was the strongest of the majors against the dollar and was a little softer than flat.  Despite repeated tries, the dollar…
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Pro-Separatist Rebels Launch Offensive On Ukraine City Of Mariupol, Where At Least 21 Die After Intense Shelling

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Several days after a massive firefight for the Donetsk airport left the structure terminally ruined, and the Ukraine army, which until that moment had held on to its last remaining outpost in the east Ukraine city, promptly abandoned the premises, and two days after at least seven civilians died in a bus which was shelled in the same city by what the separatists claim were the Ukraine forces, the pro-Russian separatists yesterday announced they had launched “a new multipronged offensive against Ukrainian government troops.”

As AP reported yesterday, the main separatist leader in the rebellious Donetsk region vowed to push Ukrainian soldiers out of the area and said insurgents would not take part in any more cease-fire talks. Another rebel went even further, saying they would not abide by a peace deal signed in September. Separatist leader Alexander Zakharchenko said rebel fighters went on the offensive to gain more territory and forestall a Ukrainian attack. He declared they would push government troops to the border of the Donetsk region and possibly beyond.

Which, according to the latest news, is precisely what they have done. As AP followed up, indiscriminate rocket fire slammed into a market, schools and homes Saturday in the eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, killing at least 21 people, authorities said. Ukraine’s top rebel leader announced that an offensive had begun on the strategically important port.

The latest photos from Mariupol confirm the attack:

As a reminder, Mariupol is a critical town, and the last remaining major Ukraine outpost on the Azov Sea, between Russia and the Crimea which Russia took control over last spring. 

The Russian RIA Novosti news agency cited eastern Ukrainian rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko as saying an offensive has begun on Mariupol. He spoke Saturday as he laid a wreath at the site where at least eight civilians died when a bus stop was shelled in Donetsk, the largest rebel-held city in eastern Ukraine.

AP adds that tebel forces have positions within 10 kilometers (six miles) from Mariupol’s eastern outskirts.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement there were three separate strikes from Grad multiple rocket launchers on Mariupol and surrounding areas.

“The area that came under attack was massive,” Mariupol mayor Yuriy Khotlubei said in a


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A Bunch Of Criminals

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

By Raul Ilargi Meijer of The Automatic Earth

Bunch Of Criminals!

I was going to start out saying Thursday was the saddest day in Europe in 50 years, or something like that, because of the insane and completely nonsensical largesse the ECB permits itself to launch, aimed at once again saving a banking system, but which will not only not help the European people, it will make things even much worse than they already are.

I’ve said many times that the EU in its present form should be dismantled tomorrow morning (even though it’s not the same tomorrow morning anymore), and if Draghi’s $1.1 million x million ‘stimulus’ should make anything clear, it’s that the dismantling gets more urgent by the day.

But calling it the saddest day in Europe in 50 years would show far too little respect for the people who died in former Yugoslavia, and in eastern Ukraine. It’s still a very sad day, though. And I was already thinking about that even before I read Theopi Skarlatos’ article for the BBC; that really made me want to cry.

When you read about female doctors(!) feeling forced to prostitute themselves to feed their children, about the number of miscarriages doubling, and about the overall sense of helplessness and destitution among the Greek population, especially the young, who see no way of even starting to build a family, then I can only say: Brussels is a bunch of criminals. And Draghi’s QE announcement is a criminal act. It’s a good thing the bond-buying doesn’t start until March, and that it’s on a monthly basis: that means it can still be stopped.

I’ll get back to Skarlatos’ story in a minute. First the insanity of the ECB QE itself. The problem with Europe’s economy, what drives it into high unemployment and deflation, is that people are not spending. If QE would really be aimed at reviving the economy, or at battling deflation, it would need to assume that people will start borrowing on a massive scale just because Draghi buys bonds – and soon perhaps even stocks – from bankers. There simply is no logic in that. The stated goals, pro-growth and anti-deflation, are not true. It’s a sleight of hand.

In order to achieve the stated goals, money would have to…
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Zero Hedge

The US-Saudi Relationship (Summed Up In 1 Cartoon)

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

With President Obama shunning Bibi and cutting short his India trip (along with Michelle) to meet new Saudi Arabian King Salman (dementia and all), we thought this cartoon summed up the relationship between America and its oil-exporting ally...

h/t ForexLive

...

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Phil's Favorites

US Special Forces in Mariupol?

Courtesy of Mish.

The rebel attack on Mariupol, Ukraine is underway as noted earlier today in Attack on Mariupol Begins; 7,000-8,000 Ukrainian Forces Nearly Encircled in Northern Cauldron; US Sends Army Trainers.

Disinformation regarding the attack is running rampant, even bordering on the outright ridiculous.

For example, a reader sent me a link to Ukraine@War, a UK website that made these claims regarding Mariupol:

  1. "This is done by RUSSIAN rocket launchers, with RUSSIAN rockets, by soldiers speaking RUSSIAN, running RUSSIAN flags on their vehicles and with RUSSIAN emblems on their sleeves..."
  2. Russian Major-General Vyaznikov is relocating his HQ...



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Chart School

World Markets Update: The Surge Accelerates

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Seven of eight indexes on my world market watch list posted weekly gains, with the three European indexes topping the list, thanks to the ECB's QE. France's CAC 40 was up 5.96%, Germany's DAX rose 4.74% and the UK's FTSE 100 gained 4.31%. But the list of big winners extended beyond Europe. The three Asia-Pacific Indexes posted gains ranging from 3.10% to 4.11%. The S&P 500 was the poorest performer of the weekly winners, but its 1.60% gain snapped a three-week losing streak. China's Shanghai Composite posted the only weekly loss, down a modest -0.73%.

Here is a overlay of the eight for a sense of their comparative performance so far in 2015.

Here is a table of the 2015 data performance, sorted from high to low, along with the interim highs for the eight indexes. Seven of the eight indexes in the green at this ea...



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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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Sabrient

Sector Detector: New Year kicks off with new fears to keep investors on edge

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

As widely expected, the New Year has begun with plenty of volatility on high trading volume, as investors fear more than just a mild correction to start out the year. Despite the strong fundamentals here in the U.S., there are plenty of dangers around the rest of the world, and many fear that our cozy comfort at home simply cannot remain insulated for much longer.

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, including a sector rotation strategy using ETFs and an enhanced version using top-ranked stocks from the top-ranked sectors.

Market overview:

I...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of January 19th, 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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Market Shadows

Are You Trading or Gambling?

ARE YOU TRADING OR GAMBLING?

An interview with John Ehlers of Stock Spotter and Mesa Software

By Ilene

Ilene: John, in our last discussion about trading systems in general and yours in particular (Can trading be reduced to cycles, stresses and vibrations?) you mentioned Monte Carlo simulations and their use in measuring performance. Can you explain more about how you measure the performance of a trading system?

John: Let's start with comparing trading with gambling. The two have several things in common.  In both ...



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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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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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