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Archive for the ‘Phil’s Favorites’ Category

Stunning Drone Clip Reveals Massive Size Of Hong Kong Protest

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Ferguson was for amateurs.

For those curious why the Hong Kong protests over the weekend have sent shivers across the world's capital markets, pushed the Hang Seng 2% lower, and impacted both European and US futures, not to mention leading to worries that China may get involved any second and result in another Tiananmen square event, the following clip from HK's Apple Daily, taken by a drone, shows just how massive the demonstrations, which according to some estimates involved just shy of 100,000 people, taking place in Hong Kong are.

As Mashable adds, "far from a small protest by a limited number of outspoken citizens, the video shows just how large the movement to preserve Hong Kong's democratic elections has become. Currently, the protests have grown so large that parts of Hong Kong's business district have been brought to a standstill, prompting the temporary closure of 17 local banks.

In addition to the drone footage, Apple Daily has also posted a live video stream of the protests, allowing the world to watch as events develop in real time."





Carmen Segarra: Wall Street’s Spy Vs Spy

Pam Martens writes about the Segarra Tapes released last week. These tapes show how the regulation of Wall Street is a complete failure, a farce, with only punishment waiting for those who speak out as Carmen Segarra did.

William D. Cohan noted that the Segarra Tapes didn't reveal much we didn't already know. Sadly, this is true. Carmen Segarra provided solid evidence to what we probably suspected anyway (Why the Fed Will Always Wimp Out on Goldman). However, solid evidence may mean something still. 

In spite of our jaded attitude that corruption at the "regulating authority" New York Fed is well-known, and won't be fixed, EVER (because that's how powerful the bankers and regulators are!), perhaps there is hope. The tapes contain clear-cut, understandable proof of conflicts, regulatory capture and self-dealing.

With some luck, the tapes could prompt a little public fury, further investigations (by entities other than the NY Fed…), greater oversight and some real reforms to our Wall Street managed banking system. As a start, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown are calling for Senate Banking hearings on the conflicted dealings of the New York Fed.   

Carmen Segarra: Wall Street's Spy Vs Spy

Courtesy of Pam Martens

If you missed our coverage in 2012 of the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center where Wall Street sleuths from those serially charged firms like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan dunk donuts alongside New York’s finest in a $150 million spy center, keeping tabs on the comings and goings of their own Wall Street employees as well as innocent pedestrians, then you may not fully appreciate why Carmen Segarra has been celebrated all weekend for her temerity in taping her boss and colleagues at the New York Fed, as well as employees inside the cloistered bowels of Goldman Sachs.

While Wall Street was spying on everyone else in lower Manhattan in a high tech center funded by the taxpayer, Segarra strolled over to a Spy Store, plunked down a modest sum and walked out with a tiny tape recorder. She then proceeded to capture the essence of the


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Elephant in the Room Minsky Moment

Courtesy of Mish.

The "elephant in the room" is debt. Try as they might, central bankers have not been able to spur credit, hiring, or much business expansion because of the elephant. Things are even worse in Europe.

Via email, this is a guest post from Steen Jakobsen, chief economist of Saxo bank.

Debt – The Elephant in the Room

Interest on debt grows without rain’ – Yiddish proverb

This proverb explains most of what goes on in policy circles these days. We are now watching Extend-and-Pretend, Episode VI: Promises for improvement amid ever growing debt levels.

Short put, we’re still working with the same dog-eared script we were introduced to all of five years ago, when markets had stabilized in the wake of the financial crisis: maintain sufficiently low interest rates to service the debt burden. Pretend to have credible plan, but never address the structural problem and simply buy more time. But while we were able to get away with this theme for an awfully long time, the dynamic is now changing as the risk of low inflation (and even deflation) is a brick wall for the extend-and-pretend meme. Yes, interest does grow without rain, and the cost of maintaining and servicing debt grows especially fast in a deflationary regime.

Mads Koefoed, Saxo Bank’s macro economist projects US growth at around 2.0% for all of 2014. That will be the sixth year with US growth near 2.0% – so despite lower unemployment, despite a record high S&P500, the economy has a hard time escaping that 2.0% level. Any talk of higher interest rates is hard to take seriously when US growth is going nowhere and world growth is considerable weaker than expected in January or as recently as July, for that matter. It seems everyone has forgotten that even the US is a part of the global economy.

The fourth quarter is always the most politically interesting time of year. Countries need to get their new budgets in order. The EU, IMF and World Bank will need to pretend they agree or accept the weaker data, which has to mean bigger deficits. It’s a tiresome exercise to watch denial-in-action as EU governments and other policymakers try to


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“Do we need to fire Pimco?”

“Do we need to fire Pimco?”

bw coverCourtesy of 

This weekend, thousands of institutional investors, financial advisors and wealth managers are faced with one of the most uncomfortable questions imaginable:

Do we need to fire Pimco? 

Pimco’s flagship fund, Total Return, can be found in allocations everywhere. From pensions to endowments, from 401(k) sponsors to retirement plans, in the accounts of private investors and insurance companies, wirehouse FAs, bank branch brokers, RIAs – Total Return is ubiquitous. It’s got one of the only mutual fund ticker symbols that brokers call out as though it were a stock, as in “Why don’t you just buy the guy some P-Tax”, a shorthand for PTTAX, the call letters of the fund’s A class shares. As the second largest bond fund on earth and largest active one, it’s also extraordinarily widely held, and this is why the news of Bill Gross leaving the firm (or being pushed out) is such a huge story for the industry.

How did Pimco Total Return get so entrenched in the first place?

Our story begins, as it often will, with an amazing track record of outperformance. Put simply, whatever Pimco was doing, for a long time, was working. A potent mixture of market-beating returns, marketing savvy, intellectual leadership for the industry and outsized personality fostered a devotion to the firm and its best-known product. The cult of personality surrounding Bill Gross is unlike anything we’ve seen in this industry since the heydays of Peter Lynch and Bill Miller. The bond fund and its manager have been sold to clients with impunity for two decades. Pimco Total Return has become the IBM of mutual funds, in that “No one ever gets fired” for recommending it.

This reliance on Pimco on the part of asset allocators worked very well for years, and, as a result, it became a standard inclusion into portfolios around the world. The regular investor letters and commentaries from Mr. Gross kept professionals up to date with their designated manager’s ongoing take on the markets and the economy. The ubiquity of Mr. Gross in the media was reassuring for the retail investor and more casual shareholders who were invested through a retirement account somewhere.


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Eric Cartman’s Startup: The 4 Point Plan

Eric Cartman’s Startup: The 4 Point Plan

Courtesy of 

This week’s season premier of South Park was note perfect – weaving together a narrative involving ISIS, the Washington Redskins, Kickstarter and the excesses of a venture-backed economy where funding is the endpoint rather than the start of a business, Matt and Trey absolutely crush it once again.

Below, Eric Cartman lays out his 4 point plan for his fellow entrepreneurs, who seek to kickstart a company that will allow them to do absolutely nothing, in style.

cartman

The full episode is can be seen at the link below!

Go Fund Yourself  (South Park Studios)





Why the Fed Will Always Wimp Out on Goldman

William D. Cohan notes that the Segarra Tapes didn't reveal much we didn't already know. Sadly, this is true. Carmen Segarra provided proof to what we probably suspected anyway, but she didn't likely surprise anyone. ~ Ilene 

Why the Fed Will Always Wimp Out on Goldman 

By William D. Cohan, POLITICO Magazine

Excerpt:

The sudden appearance of Segarra’s tape recordings in the news this week was reminiscent of the way that the NFL was embarrassed by the videotape that showed Rice, the now-suspended Baltimore Ravens running back, knocking out his girlfriend in an elevator – all of which suggested the NFL knew about the abuse but gave Rice kid-gloves treatment, as it does in many cases of abuse. The truth is, although both incidents do reveal something about the way the powerful and famous get away with more stuff than the rest of us, there’s no real comparison. The Segarra Tapes actually reveal little or nothing that was not already known, assuming you have a shred of understanding how the Federal Reserve banks actually work. Nor is William Dudley, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, about to get pilloried in public like NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Sorry, folks, but this is simply the way the New York Fed was designed to behave. The system of 12 Federal Reserve banks, established about 100 years ago by an act of Congress following secret meetings presided over by J.P. Morgan himself at an island off the coast of Georgia, has always existed for the benefit of the commercial and investment banks that created the system, that own the banks and that control their boards of directors. To think that these banks exist for any other reason than to serve their Wall Street masters is complete folly. It has never been so and it will never be so – as long as the current system remains intact – despite what Segarra captured her bosses talking about on tape, without their knowledge.

Full article: Why the Fed Will Always Wimp Out on Goldman – William D. Cohan – POLITICO Magazine.

William D. Cohan is the author of Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World (2011).

Picture by William Banzai 7. 
 





Ebola vs. Us

Ebola vs. Us

By Ilene 

Ebola is spreading too quickly for Ebola-vaccine makers to conduct typical studies of safety and efficacy on experimental vaccines. Instead, vaccines will be tested for basic safety, but then deployed with protocols devised now in order to test for efficacy essentially on the field. Testing has to be expedited because the situation in West Africa gets worse every day while there are no approved vaccines or other treatments.

The chart below is from a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine showing estimates of the virus's trajectory projecting out to November 1, 2014. If current trends continue, the number of confirmed and probable cases will reach 20,000 by November (Business Insider).

Almost half of the 20,000 cases of Ebola will be in Liberia, a country whose medical care infrastructure was destroyed by fourteen years of civil war. During the war, 90% of health care workers fled and 80% of health care facilities were shut down. Andy Sechler M.D., associate medical director at Last Mile Health and physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital, describes health care in Liberia:

…At the time of the peace accord in 2003, there were just 50 doctors serving a population of 4 million, leading to some of the worst maternal and child health statistics in the world; 1 in 8 women there die from childbirth complications.

Over the last decade Liberia’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has made laudable strides with available resources, but only so much can be expected in 10 years for a nation emerging from civil conflict and requiring (to this day) the presence of U.N. peacekeepers. It still ranks 175th out of 187 on the world development index, with neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone coming in at 179th and 183rd, respectively.

What should be done? Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, during a meeting with international partners, said it best: “Many people are coming to help us deal with Ebola, and that is fine. But they will disappear. The real issue is our health care system.” (Hell hath no fury like an Ebola virus out of control)

In addition to the inadequate health care systems of poor countries such as Liberia, the failure…
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The US Has No Banking Regulation, And It Doesn’t Want Any

Courtesy of The Automatic Earth.


Marjory Collins Traffic jam on road from the Bethlehem Fairfield shipyard to Baltimore April 1943

It is, let’s say, exceedingly peculiar to begin with that a government – in this case the American one, but that’s just one example -, in name of its people tasks a private institution with regulating not just any sector of its economy, but the richest and most politically powerful sector in the nation. Which also happens to be at least one of the major forces behind its latest, and ongoing, economical crisis.

That there is a very transparent, plain for everyone to see, over-sized revolving door between the regulator and the corporations in the sector only makes the government’s choice for the Fed as regulator even more peculiar. Or, as it turns out, more logical. But it is still preposterous: regulating the financial sector is a mere illusion kept alive through lip service. Put differently: the American government doesn’t regulate the banks. They effectively regulate themselves. Which inevitably means there is no regulation.

The newly found attention for ProPublica writer Jake Bernstein’s series of articles, which date back almost one whole year, about the experiences of former Fed regulator Carmen Segarra, and the audio files she collected while trying to do her job, leaves no question about this.

What’s going on is abundantly clear, because it is so simple. The intention of the New York Fed as an organization is not to properly regulate, but only to generate an appearance – or illusion – of proper regulation. That is to say, Goldman will accept regulation only up to the point where it would cut into either the company’s profits or its political wherewithal.

What the ‘Segarra Files’ point out is that the New York Fed plays the game exactly the way Goldman wants it played. Ergo: there is no actual regulation taking place, and Goldman will comply only with those requests from the New York Fed that it feels like complying with.

In the articles, the term ‘regulatory capture’ pops up, which means – individual – regulators are ‘co-opted’ by the banks they – are supposed to – regulate. But the capture runs much larger and wider. It’s not about individuals, it’s a watertight and foolproof system wide capture.

The government picks a – private…
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Does Surging Demand For Gold & Silver Coins Signal a Bottom?

Courtesy of John Rubino.

Reports of individuals snapping up near-record numbers of gold and silver coins are coming in from around the world:

U.S. Mint American Eagle gold coin sales set to rise sharply in Sept

(Reuters) – The U.S. Mint has sold nearly 50,000 ounces of American Eagle gold coins so far in September, almost double its total in August, as a sharp pullback in gold prices and geopolitical tensions boosted interest for physical products from retail investors.

With only six business days left until the end of September, sales of American Eagle bullion gold coins made for investors were 46,000 ounces, up 84 percent from August sales of 25,000 ounces, the latest U.S. Mint data showed on Monday.

Record highs in U.S. equities also prompted some retail investors to buy precious metal products to diversify their portfolios, said David Beahm, vice president at New Orleans coin dealer Blanchard & Co.

German Bullion Dealers Report Major Increase in Sales

(Gold Reporter) Bullion dealers from all regions report that gold sales in the German bullion trade market surge since last week. Suppressed prices for gold and silver are obviously considered buying rates by German investors. The German precious metals trade reports a surge in sales.

“For about a week we record considerably increased turnover again, which is now on previous year’s level, so it doubled compared to the recent months.”, Rene Lehman from the internet dealer Münzland in Dresden told Goldreporter.

“We can confirm that customer demand has considerably increased in the recent days.“, said Dominik Kochmann, CEO of ESG Edelmetalle in Rheinstetten.

Daniel Marburger, Director of Coininvest GmbH in Frankfurt/Main also stated that “In the past seven working days we have seen an extreme surge in demand.”

Christian Brenner, Chief Executive of Philoro Edelmetalle GmbH: “Already in August we noticed an increase on orders compared to the previous months, but September… September beats it all. From a German viewpoint it’s the strongest month of 2014.”

Perth Mint Gold and Silver Bullion Sales Surge in August

(Coin News) Australian sales of bullion gold and silver surged in August after falling to a three-month low in July, new figures from the Perth Mint of Australia show.

August sales of Perth Mint gold coins and gold bars at 36,369 ounces rallied 44.9% from July and jumped 19.5% from the same time last year. Gold sales were the highest since June. Sales of


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Reflections on Catalonia, Crimea, Iraq, California, Nation Building

Courtesy of Mish.

Catalonia Independence Vote to Proceed on Schedule 

Arthur Mas, president of Catalonia declared today that the vote for independence of that region will go as scheduled on November 9. Spain contends the vote is illegal and vows to stop it.

El Economista reports Arthur Mas Calls for Vote on Independence of Catalonia.

President of Catalonia, Artur Mas nationalist, officially called for a vote on the independence of this rich region of Spain for the November 9, challenging the Spanish government began the process to prevent it.

In a ceremony at the gallery Gothic Palace of the Generalitat, the seat of regional government in Barcelona, ​​Artur Mas, supported by his executive and representatives of other nationalist parties, signed the decree of convocation of this non-binding referendum.

“This is the way democracies are expressed and political projects are born. Voting it is the responsibility of the Democrats do not circumvent it,” then said in a brief speech.

“Catalonia wants to talk, want to be heard, want to vote,” he said Mas, who continues to ask Madrid to allow the query as London did in Scotland, where the “no” won Sept. 18 in a referendum with broad participation.

The proposal flew like a lead balloon in Madrid. Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy Initiated a Process to Suspend the Referendum.

Reflections on Catalonia, Crimea, California

There is a lot of puffery in Spain given the resolution is nonbinding, unlike the vote for Scottish independence.

In the US, if California wanted to cede from the union and form its own country, look on the bright side: California independence would be a huge upside for the rest of us.

Such a referendum, if allowed to stand, would take a lot of socialist votes out of the US House of Representatives. That would be a good thing. Unfortunately, there will never be support in California to cede from the union.

Crimea Votes Overwhelming to Join Russia



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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!

 
 

Chart School

Exclusive Today! Richard Bernstein Live on Playing the Bond Market

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Members of APViewpoint can attend today's upcoming live webinar/Q&A session with Richard Bernstein. Not a member of this free, secure, online advisor-only community from Advisor Perspectives? Sign up today!

Beyond Smart Beta: Global Opportunities in Equities and Bonds

Tuesday, September 30, 2014
4:15pm EST

Smart beta is a hot topic among advisors these days, but smarter beta management is far more important, according to Richard Bernstein Advisors CEO and former Merrill Lynch Chief Investment Strategist Rich Bernstein. In this webinar, he'll present his views of the global equity and fixed income markets, and offer insights into the importance of beta managem...



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Phil's Favorites

Schoolgirls Aged 14-16 Leave France, UK, Germany for Syria to Join ISIS Jihad

Courtesy of Mish.

As many as 63 seriously misguided teenaged girls from France, 40 from Germany, and 50 in the UK have left their countries to join ISIS in Syria.

The Guardian has a fascinating report on Schoolgirl jihadis: the female Islamists leaving home to join Isis fighters. Hundreds of young women and girls are leaving their homes in western countries to join Islamic fighters in the Middle East, causing increasing concern among counter-terrorism investigators.

Girls as young as 14 or 15 are travelling mainly to Syria to marry jihadis, bear their children and join communities of fighters, with a small number taking up arms. Many are recruited via social media.

Women and girls appear to make up about...



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Option Review

VIX Call Spreads Trade

The CBOE Vix Index topped 17.0 and the highest level since early-August on Monday morning amid declines in U.S. equities to start the trading week. The volatility index is off its earlier highs to trade 5.0% higher on the session at 15.65 as of 11:30 am ET. Options volume on the VIX is hovering near 360,000 contracts, or just more than 50% of the average daily reading of around 660,000 contracts. Calls are far more active than put options, as evidenced by the call/put ratio up above 4.2 in morning trading, perhaps as some traders position for volatility to stick around.

Large call spreads traded on the VIX today caught our attention as one big optio...



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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: Stocks fight off predictable weakness, but expect more downside

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Yes, the market showed significant weakness last week for the first time in quite a while. In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average moved triple digits each day. But it was all quite predictable, as I suggested in last week's article, and certainly nothing to worry about. Now the market appears to be poised for a modest technical rebound, and longer term, U.S. equities should be in good shape for a year-end rally. However, I still believe more downside is in order before any new highs are challenged. Moreover, market breadth is important for a sustained bull run, so the challenge for investors will be to put together broader bullish conviction, including the small caps.

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



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 29th, 2014

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

Ebola vs. Us

Ebola vs. Us

By Ilene 

Ebola is spreading too quickly for Ebola-vaccine makers to conduct typical studies of safety and efficacy on experimental vaccines. Instead, vaccines will be tested for basic safety, but then deployed with protocols devised now in order to test for efficacy essentially on the field. Testing has to be expedited because the situation in West Africa gets worse every day while there are no approved vaccines or other treatments.

The chart below is from a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine showing estimates of the virus's trajectory projecting out to November 1, 2014. If current trends continue...



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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.

The latest issue of Stock World Weekly is now available. Please sign in with your PSW user name and password. Or simply take a free trial to try out our weekly newsletter. 

...

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Promotions

Last Chance! See The 'Google-Like' Trading Algorithm 'Live' TODAY

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Digital Currencies

Making Sense of Bitcoin

Making Sense of Bitcoin

By James Black at International Man

Despite the various opinions on Bitcoin, there is no question as to its ultimate value: its ability to bypass government restrictions, including economic embargoes and capital controls, to transmit quasi-anonymous money to anyone anywhere.

Opinions differ as to what constitutes "money."

The English word "money" derives from the Latin word "moneta," which means to "mint." Historically, "money" was minted in the form of precious metals, most notably gold and silver. Minted metal was considered "money" because it possessed luster, was scarce, and had perceive...



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Pharmboy

Biotechs & Bubbles

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

Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely.  From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.

First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices.  Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment.  Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer.  For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...



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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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