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Is This The Real Reason Putin & Xi Dislike The West?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

When it comes to salary levels among world leaders, there is tremendous variation across the globe. Nobody earns as much as Singapore’s prime minister, though. U.S. President Barack Obama earns $400,000 every year, quite a distance short of Lee Hsien Loong but still very high by international standards, while Angela Merkel follows with $234,400. Russian President Vladmir Putin’s annual salary amounts to $136,000. That’s still substantially more than Xi Jinping, China’s leader, who earns just $22,000 every year.

So is this why Xi and Putin are pissed?

And of course, no one likes The Singaporean…

Source: Statista





Steve Keen: The Deliberate Blindness Of Our Central Planners

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Adam Taggart via PeakProsperity.com,

The models we use for decision making determine the outcomes we experience. So, if our models are faulty or flawed, we make bad decisions and suffer bad outcomes.

Professor, author and deflationist Steve Keen joins us this week to discuss the broken models our central planners are using to chart the future of the world economy.

How broken are they? Well for starters, the models major central banks like the Federal Reserve use don’t take into account outstanding debt, or absolute levels of money supply. It’s why they were completely blindsided by the 2008 crash, and will be similarly gob-smacked when the next financial crisis manifests.

And within this week’s podcast is a hidden treat. Steve’s character exposition on Greek Financial Minister Yanis Varoufakis. Steve has known Varoufakis personally for over 25 years, and is able to offer a window into his constitution, how his mind thinks, and what he’s currently going through in his battle with the Troika for Greece’s future.

Click the play button below to listen to Chris’ interview with Steve Keen (46m:13s)





Summing Up The Total Chaos That Reigns In Greek “Negotiations”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Forget Pyrrhic victories, the more Greek tongues that wag, the clearer it becomes that no one appears to have a clue what is going on. The contradictory tone from various Syriza members has allowed the opposition to sit quietly by (with the odd jab from Samaras) and watch the collapse unfold. The more threats and promises Tsipras makes, the more cornered he becomes as cash outflows accelerate and cash demands loom. It appears all over bar the printing as both sides are now just posturing for who bears the blame for the ultimat exit, as one wit noted, "once you remove walking away from a deal as an option, you are no longer negotiating."

As The Guardian reports, Greek PM Tsipras made a lot more promises…

A defiant Alexis Tsipras has vowed to win an honourable compromise from Greece’s lenders, after negotiations over economic reforms dragged on without a deal.

Greece’s PM told parliament tonight that: “It is true that we are seeking an honest compromise with our lenders but don’t expect an unconditional agreement from us,”

Tsipras vowed to stop ‘the bleeding’ in Greece, and repeatedly argued that the country needs a new debt restructuring deal. Greece has a simple choice, he argued, between surrendering, or changing the policies that have caused such economic misery.

He pledged to end the ‘pillaging’ of the middle classes, and revealed that a new clampdown on unpaid taxes had already delivered 100 million euros.

Tsipras also ruled out raising sales taxes on food and medicine, or shaking up the labour market, as these “red line” measures could plunge Greece back into recession.

But all around him are contradictions (and we are talking some exemplary contradictions in the last few days…)

"The only way for Greece to end its crisis is through confrontation, if not conflict, with a Germanized Europe," – Greek Energy Minister 

Or…

"We seek an honest compromise with our partners" – Greek PM Tsipras

And This,,,

"Privatizations won't happen" – Greek Energy Minister

Or..

"the sale of Piraeus Port will be completed soon" – Greek Deputy PM

And finally…

"Greece won’t abandon its anti-austerity philosophy in return for aid " – Greek International Affairs minister

and…

"Tsipras imagined he'd get money without terms but ended up getting terms without money"


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The “Billionaire Hubs” – A Look At The Housing Habits Of The World’s Ultra Richest People

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

When it comes to our current pre-war, pre-revolutionary world (in Paul Tudor Jones’ words) there are two social classes which are jockeying for the post positioning when it all comes crashing down: the Ultra High Net Worth, i.e., the 0.01%, those 211,275 individuals (and their families) who have a net worth over $30 million and who collectively control $30 trillion in wealth, and everyone else, with the countdown to extinction for the global middle class now getting louder by the day, leaving a world of a handful of uber-wealthy oligarchs and billions of, well, others.

And nowhere is this distinction more vivid than when looking at their residential real estate holdings. But while the real estate of the 99.99% is boring (and increasingly in the form of rentals), when it comes to the dwellings of the 0.01% things get exciting, and are the topic of the latest joint report between Wealth-X and Sotheby’s, which while not revealing anything groundbreaking has plenty of pretty charts.

… and “fast facts” such as the following key findings (see if you can spot in the data below how, as we first hinted in 2012, the US and NYC specifically, became the new “Swiss bank account”):

  • The world’s ultra high net worth (UHNW, or those with net worth of $30 million or more) population totals 211,275 (up 6% from last year), control $29.7 trillion in wealth (up 7% from 2013) and these individuals each own, on average, 2.7 properties.
  • US$2.9 trillion of the world’s UHNW wealth is held in owner-occupied residential real estate assets.
  • 79% of the world’s UHNW individuals own two or more properties and just over half of them own three or more residences.
    • Secondary residences are 45% more valuable & twice as large
  • UHNW individuals are increasing the number of properties they hold outside their home countries with the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland being the three favorite locations.
  • Over 7% of the world’s UHNW population have made their wealth through the real estate industry, up from 5% in 2013.
  • The UHNW Residential Real Estate Index shows a 8% increase in the value of UHNW-owned residences globally in the past year.
  • The United States is the most popular country for foreign UHNW individuals looking to buy secondary residences.
  • New York


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How Money Creation Threatens Hyperinflation

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Patrick Barron via Mises Canada,

In order to understand the relationship between money creation and the price level, we first need to get some definitions straight.

To Austrians the terms inflation and deflation refer to money and not prices. There is no doubt that money has experienced unprecedented inflation. In February of 2010 base money was $2.1 trillion. Four years later it was $3.8 trillion. In the same time frame, M1 has increased from $1.7 trillion to $2.9 trillion. M2 has gone from $8.5 trillion to $11.7 trillion. Excess reserves have doubled from $1.2 trillion to $2.4 trillion. (Please keep in mind that prior to 2008 excess reserves seldom were more than a few BILLION dollars, which is effectively zero and represented mostly the aggregate of excess reserve cash in thousands of community bank vaults.)

To Austrians changes to the price level, what the public incorrectly calls inflation and deflation, are the result of changes to the aggregate demand for consumers’ goods and the aggregate supply of consumers’ goods. Think of a simple ratio with the numerator representing demand and the denominator representing supply. Notice that an increase in supply will cause the price level to fall. Aren’t we all happy with this? I am. Or a decrease in demand will cause the price level to fall. There can be many causes of a decrease in demand–a fall in the money supply due to bank failures, a change in subjective time preference to save more, or a rational desire to hold more cash during times of uncertainty. None of these are bad for the economy per se. Whatever the cause, the antidote to a fall in demand is falling prices. The relationship between supply and demand must be re-established.

The point I am trying to make is that it is fruitless to attempt to prop up prices with more money creation, as the unprecedented increase in all categories of money in recent years has shown. In fact, excess reserves represent the potential for a massive increase in the money supply. The ratio of mandatory reserves to M1 is around 3%. The ratio of mandatory reserves to M2 is around 1%. Just do the math to find out the mathematical potential increase in the money supply should the banks eventually be able to…
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Wages & Lowflation (Or Why Rick Santelli Is Right)

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

As Goldman notes, the driver behind the recent modest rise in real weekly earnings: lowflation – is the wrong recipe for wage growth

Confirming what Rick Santelli said Friday…

“deflation is the boogeyman… and the only thing that can save the middle class is lower prices”





The American Dream Part 4 – The “Deep State” Is Now In Charge

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Bill Bonner via Acting-Man blog,

The Most Important Change

But when he is disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.

– Plato on tyrants, The Republic

This is the last in our series on how America’s money, economy and government have changed since the collapse of the Bretton Woods agreement and the end of gold-backed money (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 here).

Today, we keep the focus on government… and what it has become. The period is hardly coincidental: On August 15, 1971, President Nixon hammered the last nail in the coffin of honest money.

It was not the only reason for the profound changes that followed. There was also the opening up of Communist China to capitalism, the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of the Internet, to name just a few. But the new credit-based money system was the least obvious change… and probably the most important.

platon

Ancient Greek philosopher Plato

Caution: “Deep State” at Work

The credit-based dollar brought about a new economy. It changed the way people thought and the way their government operated. Now, deep pools of money determine which candidates are presented to voters.

And there is a new branch of government: the “Deep State.” It is not mentioned in the Constitution. And it operates above and beyond the visible process of democratic government.

Americans voted for Barack Obama in 2008 because they wanted a change from the Bush-era policies. But nothing changed. Why? Because the fix was in…

Candidate Obama was a critic of the war in Iraq; he promised to bring the Pentagon under control. But under President Obama, “security” spending in the US rose to its highest level since World War II. President Eisenhower warned us about this. He called it the “military-industrial” complex. This was the “Deep State” at work.

There are always some people in a society who are more ready than others to bully, steal and make jackasses of themselves. As 18th-century political philosopher William Godwin observed, if a government has any legitimate purpose at all it is…
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JP Morgan Has A “Problem” With Emerging Markets

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Over the weekend, we highlighted a new study by the Center for Global Development which identified the emerging markets that are most vulnerable to an “external shock” whether in the form of a Fed “liftoff” or a geopolitical shakeup such as a wholesale Russian invasion of Ukraine. With EM multiples, spreads, and currencies trading at a discount to their DM peers, some investors may be tempted to look for a relative value play in the face of increasingly overbought DM equities and fixed income.

Despite what look to be “cheap” valuations, JPM calls the EM contrarian approach “tactically challenging” thanks to leverage, a difficult environment for economic growth and Janet Yellen:

EM equities are trading at much lower multiples than DM ones, its external bonds still offer high yield spreads over DM equivalents, and most of its currencies are some 20-30% undervalued versus the dollar. We meet few managers who claim to be OW EM. But there is no free lunch in EM as its fundamentals look daunting. We have found contrarian, value based strategies tactically challenging and usually prefer to see the start of some improvement in fundamentals and price momentum before diving in…

What are the current challenges to EM? In a nutshell, increased leverage and foreign borrowing, structural weakening of growth, and the coming end of easy Fed money. Each of these is a problem, in our view. In combination, they could be a serious problem. There will surely be episodic rebounds and outperformance in EM assets, but until at least one, if not two of these threats turn around, we will find it hard to expect medium-term outperformance of the full EM asset class..

EM growth has decelerated markedly… 

To elaborate, EM growth has been slowing steadily and dramatically since the financial crisis, rebounding initially at 8% in 2010, but has likely fallen to below 4% this year. Productivity growth has come down globally, but more in EM than in DM, with EM labor productivity growth down to almost zero this past year, versus an average of 3-4% before the crisis…

…while both the public and private sectors have taken on more debt…

Unlike the delevering that has spread across DM households, government and banks in the aftermath of the financial crisis, emerging economies reacted


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Small Caps pressuring ‘Bull Trap’

Courtesy of Declan.

The Dow had the best of the action, with higher volume buying to close the day out. The index closed above the 20-day and 50-day MAs. The next challenge is to push above 18,100; which is the ‘bull trap’ and the recent spike push to 18,205.


The S&P didn’t quite enjoy the same relative gain as the Dow, and today’s volume was lighter than yesterday. However, it did manage a close above 20-day and 50-day MA.

The Nasdaq also pushed higher volume accumulation. It’s probably still a few days from challenging the ‘bull trap’.

The Russell 2000 also stepped up to the plate and is in the process of challenging ‘bull trap’ supply.

The best outcome for the coming days will be for the Russell 2000 to break 1,268. This will help Large Caps follow higher. Otherwise, things might get scrappy.

You’ve now read my opinion, next read Douglas’ and Jani’s.





The Fed’s Startling Student Debt Numbers That Every Young Person Should See

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Simon Black via Sovereign Man blog,

What I’m about to tell you is not my own opinion or even analysis. It’s original data that comes from the United States Federal Reserve and national credit bureaus.

  1. 40 million Americans are now in debt because of their university education, and on average borrowers have four loans with a total balance of $29,000.
  2. According to the Fed, “Student loans have the highest delinquency rate of any form of household credit, having surpassed credit cards in 2012.”
  3. Since 2010, student debt has been the second largest category of personal debt, just after a home mortgage.
  4. The delinquency rate for student loans is now hovering near an all-time high since they started collecting data 12 years ago.
  5. Only 37% of total students loan balances are currently in repayment and not delinquent.

The rest—nearly 2 out of 3—are either behind on payments, in all-out default, or have entered some sort of deferral program to delay making payments, with a small percentage still in school.

It’s pretty obvious that this is a giant, unsustainable bubble (more on this below). But even more important are the personal implications.

University graduates now matriculate with tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt.

Debt is another form of servitude. Like medieval serfs, debt keeps people tied to jobs they dislike in places they don’t want to be working for bosses they hate doing things that make them feel unfulfilled.

Debt makes it very difficult to walk away and start fresh.

In fact, ‘starting fresh’ is almost legally impossible when it comes to student debt. Even in US bankruptcy court, student debt cannot be discharged in almost all cases.

It is an albatross that hangs over you for a decade or more if you do make the payments, and it follows you around for the rest of your life if you do not.

(I’m not suggesting anyone default on what they owed—simply pointing out that nearly every other form of debt can be discharged EXCEPT for student debt.)

This kind of debt has a huge impact on people’s lives.

Again, according to the Federal Reserve, “[G]rowing student debt has contributed to the recent decline in the homeownership rate and to the sharp increase in parental co-residence among millennials.”

So the Fed’s own…
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Chart School

RTT browsing latest..

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Please review a collection of WWW browsing results.Date Found: Saturday, 14 February 2015, 02:19:38 AM

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing. Comment: Robert Shiller who got the dot-com and housing bubbles right says bonds are next and that’s your gold price spike. www.cnbc.com/...

Date Found: Saturday, 14 February 2015, 02:53:52 AM

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing. Comment: Bill Fleckenstein: Still Not Time to Short the Market - Wait for QE4 - Bill comments that we could easily see another 15-20% correction in the market but that the Fed will either hint at or, more likely, launch Q...



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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Defensive sectors lead hesitant market, but traders honor long-standing bullish support

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Last week, the major indexes fell back below round-number thresholds that had taken a lot of effort to eclipse. There has been an ongoing ebb-and-flow of capital between risk-on and risk-off, including high sector correlations, which is far from ideal. But at the end of it all, the S&P 500 found itself right back on top of long-standing support and poised for a bounce, and Monday’s action proved yet again that bulls are determined to defend their long-standing uptrend line.

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 enh...



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Phil's Favorites

Historical Perspective on CPI Deflations: How Damaging are They?

Courtesy of Mish.

Yet another central bank has announced a warning about the perils of deflation. Please consider China Central Bank Calls for Vigilance on Deflation.
China's central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan warned on Sunday that the country needs to be vigilant for signs of deflation and said policymakers were closely watching slowing global economic growth and declining commodity prices.

Zhou's comments are likely to add to concerns that China is in danger of slipping into deflation and underline increasing nervousness among policymakers as the economy continues to lose momentum...



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Zero Hedge

Asian Markets Mixed: China Jump, Crude Dump, Japan Slump

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The exuberance of illiterate Chinese citizens knows no bounds as Shanghai Composite surges once again to record-er highs (now up over 15% in March alone) with some modest give back off the highs of the day. Japanese stocks on the other hand have folded like a cheap lawn-chair, giving up all their US session gains and down over 200 points from the US cash close. A similar pattern is seen in crude oil which has retraced most of the idiotic NYMEX close ramp.

China Jump... (but giving some back intraday...)

...

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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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Digital Currencies

Federal Agents Investigating Bitcoin Money Laundering Stole Over $1 Million In Bitcoin

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

This is one of those sad times when The Onion realizes it has badly, and permanently, missed its IPO window.

Just released from the Department of Justice

Former Federal Agents Charged With Bitcoin Money Laundering and Wire Fraud

Agents Were Part of Baltimore’s Silk Road Task Force

Two former federal agents have been charged with wire fraud, money laundering and related offenses for stealing digital currency during their investigation of the Silk Road, an underground black market that al...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of March 30th, 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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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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Option Review

Cypress Semi Draws Bullish Option Plays

Bullish trades abound in Cypress Semiconductor options today, most notably a massive bull call spread initiated in the July expiry contracts. One strategist appears to have purchased 30,000 of the Jul 16.0 strike calls at a premium of $0.89 each and sold the same number of Jul 19.0 strike calls at a premium of $0.22 apiece. Net premium paid to put on the spread amounts to $0.67 per contract, thus establishing a breakeven share price of $16.67 on the trade. Cypress shares reached a 52-week high of $16.25 back on Friday, March 13th, and would need to rally 4.6% over the current level to exceed the breakeven point of $16.25. The spread generates maximum potential profits of $2.33 per contract in the event that CY shares surge more than 20% in the next four months to reach $19.00 by July expiration. Shar...



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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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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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