NEW YORK – The problems with China’s economic-growth pattern have become well known in recent years, with the Chinese stock-market’s recent free-fall bringing them into sharper focus. But discussions of the Chinese economy’s imbalances and vulnerabilities tend to neglect some of the more positive elements of its structural evolution, particularly the government’s track record of prompt corrective intervention, and the substantial state balance sheet that can be deployed, if necessary.
In this regard, however, the stock-market bubble that developed in the first half of the year should be viewed as an exception. Not only did Chinese regulators enable the bubble’s growth by allowing retail investors – many of them newcomers to the market – to engage in margin trading (using borrowed money); the policy response to the market correction that began in late June has also been highly problematic.
ATHENS – The point of restructuring debt is to reduce the volume of new loans needed to salvage an insolvent entity. Creditors offer debt relief to get more value back and to extend as little new finance to the insolvent entity as possible.
Remarkably, Greece’s creditors seem unable to appreciate this sound financial principle. Where Greek debt is concerned, a clear pattern has emerged over the past five years. It remains unbroken to this day.
In 2010, Europe and the International Monetary Fund extended loans to the insolvent Greek state equal to 44% of the country’s GDP. The very mention of debt restructuring was considered inadmissible and a cause for ridiculing those of us who dared suggest its inevitability.
California is launching a website that lets residents tattle on water wasters, from neighbors with leaky sprinklers to waiters who serve water without asking.
California has multiple restrictions on water use, including banning washing cars with hoses that don’t shut off and restricting lawn-watering within two days of rainfall. But enforcement varies widely across the parched state.
Residents can send details and photos of water waste at www.savewater.ca.gov. Complaints are then sent to local government agencies based on the address of the offense.
Tipsters wary of being outed as the neighborhood snitch can remain anonymous. The site went online Thursday as the latest conservation initiative.
A wildfire that has been raging in northern California since last Wednesday jumped 20,000 acres overnight, and has now charred 47,000 acres and is threatening 6,300 homes. Fire officials say the massive blaze, called the Rocky Fire, in the Lower Lake area north of San Francisco is only 5% contained. Already it has destroyed 24 homes and 26 outbuildings.
Is there a (meaningful) correlation between the rise of people working past retirement age and the paltry amount of income they’re able to earn on their lower-risk savings accounts?
People over the age of 65 are a growing portion of the labor force participation rate and they’re increasingly unwilling (or unable) to stop working. This is, in part, an unintended consequence of the Fed’s ZIRP policy over the last 7 years.
It’s also partially a health story – there is a large and growing body of scientific research that suggests working is healthier than a sedentary lifestyle as we grow older. Keeping the mind sharp and remaining in a position where others are counting on you can have a salutary effect on your mental and physical health.
Additionally, we’re living longer and the costs of retirement living and healthcare are only headed in one direction. It makes perfect sense that those who are able to earn income and stave off drawing down their savings for a few extra years would want to do so.
In CLSA’s new Greed & Fear note, Christopher Wood pairs the ideas of lower interest income and higher rates of labor participation among the older demo:
[Note: the scales for participation among Americans over 65 years (left) vs. the total labor participation rate (right) are different in the figure below.]
While the total labour participation rate has fallen from a peak of 67.3% in 2000 to 62.6% in June, the labour participation rate for Americans aged 65 or above has risen from 12.5% to 18.8% over the same period (see Figure 12).
As for older people, GREED & fear’s view is simple. Many elderly people who can afford to retire do not want to. While in many instances those who do want to retire cannot afford to. The Japanese style collapse in interest income in America since the implementation of zero rates is clearly one issue here. Thus, interest income accounted for only 8.3% of total personal income in May, down from 11.5% in 2007 (see Figure 13). While in absolute terms, total personal interest income has declined by 9% since peaking in September 2007.
DPC Heart of Chinatown, San Francisco, after earthquake and fire 1906
Nicole Foss: Our consistent theme here at the Automatic Earth since its inception has been that we are facing a very powerful deflationary depression, following on from the bursting of an epic financial bubble. What we have witnessed in our three decades of expansion and inflation is nothing short of a monetary supernova, and that period has been the just culmination of a much larger upward trend going back many decades at least. We have lived through a credit hyper-expansion for the record books, with an unprecedented generation of excess claims to underlying real wealth. In doing so we have created the largest financial departure from reality in human history.
Bubbles are not new – humanity has experienced them periodically going all the way back to antiquity – but the novel aspect of this one, apart from its scale, is its occurrence at a point when we have reached or are reaching so many limits on a global scale. The retrenchment we are about to experience as this bubble bursts is also set to be unprecedented, given that the scale of a bust is predictably proportionate to the scale of the excesses during the boom that precedes it. We have built an incredibly complex economic system, but despite its robust appearance it is over-extended, brittle and fragile after decades of fuelling its continued expansion by feeding on its own substance.
The Automatic Earth, December 2011: The lessons of the past are sadly never learned. Each time the optimism is highly contagious. In the larger episodes, it crescendos into euphoria, leading societies into a period of collective madness where risk is embraced and caution is thrown to the wind. Sky-high valuations are readily rationalized – it’s different here, it’s different this time.
We come to believe that just this once there might be a free lunch, that we can have something for nothing. We throw ourselves into ponzi finance, chasing the mirage of speculative gains, often through highly questionable and outright fraudulent practices. Enron, Lehman Brothers, and recently MF Global, are but a few egregious examples of what has become an endemic phenomenon.
Dan is the CEO of Seattle-based credit card payments processing firm Gravity Payments, and three months ago, he did a funny thing.
After talking with a friend who confessed to having difficulties making student loan payments and rent each month on an annual salary of $40,000, Dan decided to set a $70,000 per year pay floor at Gravity.
Dan was not, The New York Times says, looking to insert himself into "the current political clamor over low wages or the growing gap between rich and poor." All he wanted to do was improve the lives of the 120 or so people who worked for him and after reviewing some literature on the subject, he decided that $70,000 was the level at which workers start to experience "an enormous difference in [their] emotional well-being."
Predictably, the initial response to the new policy was quite positive. Here’s The Times:
Talk show hosts lined up to interview Mr. Price. Job seekers by the thousands sent in résumés. He was called a "thought leader." Harvard business professors flew out to conduct a case study. Third graders wrote him thank-you notes. Single women wanted to date him.
But even as Dan adjusted to life as a rebel hero and basked in his newfound popularity among third graders and single women, he quickly learned that whether he liked it or not, he had waded waist deep into the minimum wage debate and he would soon discover a few very hard lessons about the unintended consequences of hiking the pay floor.
First, some employees felt it wasn’t fair to indiscriminately give everyone a raise. That is, some felt Gravity should at least pay lip service to the notion that there's a connection between higher pay and performance and because the new pay plan didn't seem to acknowledge that link, the company lost some workers.
Two of Mr. Price’s most valued employees quit, spurred in part by their view that it was unfair to double the pay of some new hires while the longest-serving staff members got small or no raises. Some friends and associates
To put it simply, Joseph T. Deters, a law-and-order Republican from Hamilton County, Ohio, is not a prosecutor who's known for sending cops to jail.
When he announced Wednesday that he had obtained a grand jury indictment for murder against a police officer in the shooting of an unarmed black motorist, Deters, 58, became an instant celebrity.
His expressions of disgust and dismay at the traffic stop that left a motorist with a fatal gunshot wound to the head spread rapidly across social media.
“I've reviewed probably 100 police shootings. This was bad from the start, and you know, he's going to have to answer for it — that's the bottom line,” he said in an interview Thursday, referring to the officer involved. “I think it was a murder… I think we'll win this case.”
“This is the most asinine act I've ever seen a police officer make,” the blue-eyed, silver-haired prosecutor told reporters, before showing Tensing's body-camera video of the shooting. “Totally unwarranted. It's an absolute tragedy in the year 2015 that anyone would behave in this manner.”
Across the country, many activists who have taken on the issue of police violence against African Americans seemed to be caught off guard.
“I have sincerely never seen a white prosecutor in my entire life as outraged as [prosecutor] Deters is right now about this unjustified police murder,” Shaun King, a prominent social-media activist who monitors police shootings, wrote Wednesday on Twitter.
A top police union official said he was also surprised.
“Some of the remarks he made were way out of line,” said Jay McDonald, president of the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, which has 25,000 members and will provide Tensing's legal defense.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s ace technician Stephen Suttmeier is out with his big monthly chart book this weekend and he leads off with a pair worthy of our attention.
The number of S&P 500 52-week lows that have piled up here at the midpoint of 2015 is not a good thing. The market has been able to shrug off lots of internal breadth problems over the last few years, but this could be a big enough problem to do permanent damage to the advance. The major average has now been stalling for over half a year while the constituent stocks have been dropping to new year-lows one by one.
The tally now stands at 42 and counting. It’s not easy to make a meaningful new high in the index when 10% of the companies included are dropping precipitously.
Suttmeier notes later on that a lot of the weakness is concentrated in energy, materials and industrials – which is understandable given the commodities / emerging markets picture this days. On the side of the bulls is the fact that financials are building in strength relative to the overall S&P 500.
The 2011 comparison is an interesting one…
Chart 1: Expansion in 52-week lows is big breadth concern for the S&P 500 The expansion in the number of S&P 500 stocks hitting new 52-week lows as the S&P 500 has traded within its range from late February is a warning from market breadth and suggests that 2120-2135 resistance should hold. Key support for the S&P 500 remains 2040, but diminishing breadth is a risk for this support.
Chart 2: This increase in new 52-week lows is similar to summer 2011 The mid 2015 build-up of new 52-week lows within the S&P 500 is similar to the mid-2011 increase in new 52-week lows. The 2011 build-up in new 52-week lows preceded a breakdown from a top in the S&P 500 and a peak to trough decline of 19.4% on a daily closing basis (21.6% on an intra-day basis) into October 2011. Difference is that over 40 stocks in the S&P 500 have hit new 52-week lows now vs. under 20 prior to the August 2011 S&P 500 breakdown, meaning that the setup might be more bearish
The Federal Reserve provided limited forward guidance in today's statement (July 29). It said that it "anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the Fed funds rate when it has seen some further improvement in the labor market…"
This is the key. There will be two more employment reports that will be released before the September FOMC meeting. Given that weekly initial jobless claims have fallen to new lows, momentum in the labor market remains intact. The Fed acknowledged that the underutilization of labor has diminished.
Stable prices is the other Fed mandate. The FOMC statement suggests that officials are prepared for continued near-term softness in price pressures. It identifies the earlier declines in energy prices and the decrease in non-energy prices, which is partly a function of a strong dollar. The Fed has regarded these factors as transitory. The Fed expects the that inflation will gradually move toward the 2% target over the medium term. In the past Yellen has said that she needs to be only "reasonably confident" that inflation will do so, not that she needs to see actual evidence that it is happening. In the Fed's worldview, the reduction of slack in the labor market will boost core measures of inflation over time.
The Fed's overall economic assessment points to moderate consumption and improvement in the housing market. Weakness is still seen in business fixed investment, which could be seen as the spillover from the energy sector. Net exports "stayed soft". This is partly a function of a strong dollar, but it is also a reflection of weaker demand. Note too that the sales by majority-owned foreign affiliates of US companies surpass US exports by more than four-times.
The dollar initially weakened as there was not explicit mention of a September hike. Nevertheless, the details suggest there is no reason to rule it out. The September and December Fed funds futures were little changed.
Dave DeWalt is one of the greatest experts in the cybersecurity industry, who had led McAfee up to the moment the company was acquisitioned by Intel Corp.
The United States, Russia and China are all taking part in “a superpower struggle,” which is likely to include the recent breach of U.S. federal personnel records in which Chinese hackers were blamed, according to the executive. Even though the Chinese government dismissed the accusations that it was Chinese hackers, Washington still believes it was them.
DeWalt also mentioned cyberwar groups in Syria, Iran and North Korea, which he calls “totalitarian states that won’t tolerate that action without some linkage” to the government.
As for North Korean hackers, they are believed to have carried out a large-scale 2014 cyber-attack against Sony Pictures over the movie that depicted the assassination of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un. The cyber-attack included a leak of a great number of ‘uncomfortable’ information and emails.
DeWalk believes that the majority of cyber attacks are initiated by groups affiliated with a government entity.
“There’s a grand chess game being played out in cyber,” he said.
Russian hackers target the Pentagon
Just two weeks ago, The Daily Beast obtained an email notification that the Defense Department sent a warning that “at least five” DOD computer users were targeted in a cyber attack.
Hackers that were linked to Russia and had been earlier involved in cyber attacks to penetrate into the White House and State Department networks, have now shifted their focus to the Pentagon, according to The Daily Beast.
“And this time the hackers are using more sophisticated technologies that make them exceptionally hard to detect and that allow them to cover their tracks,” the author of the article, Shane Harris, noted.
Today a man was fined €300 for calling a police officer "mate" in the presence of others. The actual word in Spanish that resulted in the fine was "colega".
Reader Bran who sent me the story commented, "colega is something like 'mate' in English. Colega is not spoken with a spit of sarcasm like mate is sometimes, at worst it is questioning, overly familiar, or as a light joke."
In 1968, Paul Ehrlich released his ground-breaking book The Population Bomb, which awoke the national consciousness to the collision-course world population growth is on with our planet's finite resources. His work was reinforced several years later by the ...
NEW YORK – The problems with China’s economic-growth pattern have become well known in recent years, with the Chinese stock-market’s recent free-fall bringing them into sharper focus. But discussions of the Chinese economy’s imbalances and vulnerabilities tend to neglect some of the more positive elements of its structural evolution, particularly the government’s track record of prompt corrective intervention,...
readtheticker.com is primarily a Richard Wyckoff logic site, however through our research into Wyckoff logic the three indicators below make us very lazy in applying Richard Wyckoff logic.Why? Because if these indicators look handsome together then it most likely the Wyckoff logic is working very well.
These three indicators are NOT a trading system, but they do help with finding excellent well support accumulated stocks that show Mr Market is supporting them. Of course when indicators look ugly they will show stocks in a breakdown, thus less support by Mr Market.
If the large market plays are accumulating the stock then they will control the range of BID and ASK and not let th...
This chart looks at the Thompson/Reuters Commodity Index on a monthly basis for the past 50 years
The index took off in the early 1970’s and rallied over 200% in a little over a decade at (1). Then it created a potential double top. What followed at (2)? An unwinding of the rally that lasted nearly 20-years, taking it to the bottom of its rising channel.
In the early 2000’s, the index took off again, gaining over 250% in a decades time at (3) and the rallied looks to have ended in 2011, as it was hitting the top of this long-term rising channel.
Since hitting the top of the channel the index has been pretty soft,...
As oil prices tanked, hedge-fund managers and other large speculators increased bullish bets on Treasury securities to the most in two years, even as the Federal Reserve moves closer to raising interest rates.
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.
Corporate earnings reports have been mixed at best, interspersed with the occasional spectacular report -- primarily from mega-caps like Google (GOOGL), Facebook (FB), or Amazon (AMZN). Some of the bul...
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Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).
Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself.
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...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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