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Posts Tagged ‘Crime’

Insider Trading Is Legal For Members Of Congress – And They Refuse To Pass A Law That Would Change That

Insider Trading Is Legal For Members Of Congress – And They Refuse To Pass A Law That Would Change That

Courtesy of Michael Snyder at The American Dream

Is insider trading wrong?  Most Americans would say that it is.  In fact, some very wealthy and very prominent Americans (including Martha Stewart) have gone to prison for it.  It just is not right for those with inside information that is not generally available to the public to make huge profits in the stock market by making key trades based on that information. 

But there is one group, members of the U.S. Congress, that can do all the insider trading they want and get away with it.  That is because insider trading is perfectly legal for members of Congress.  Yes, you read that correctly.  So how would that work?  Well, for example, a member of Congress may know that a law that is about to be proposed would have a very positive effect on a particular company and could buy up a ton of stock in that company a few days before that law is introduced.  Isn’t that wrong?  Of course.  Is there any law against it?  Not at all. 

You would think that some of the more ethical members of Congress would want to close this glaring loophole, but it just isn’t happening.  Legislation has been introduced from time to time that would end this practice, but it has gotten very, very little support.  The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about this issue which described the current situation this way….

"A few lawmakers proposed a bill that would prevent members and employees of Congress from trading securities based on nonpublic information they obtain. The legislation has languished since 2006."

But even though insider trading is legal for members of…
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The Art of Spinning: How to Identify Possible White Collar Criminals or at Least Unethical and Deceitful People Who You Should Avoid

Sam wrote this timeless piece a few years ago but searched it out specially for us. For non-criminal types, this article is pretty depressing, but if you feel entangled in one of these criminal-non-criminal, or unethical-ethical person, relationships, it behooves you to know how the game is played. If you are an aspiring white collar criminal, this essay can be used as a how-to manual. – Ilene 

The Art of Spinning: How to Identify Possible White Collar Criminals or at Least Unethical and Deceitful People Who You Should Avoid

sam antar Courtesy of Sam Antar 

White collar crime is a crime of persuasion and deceit. Since the white collar criminal uses persuasion and deceit to commit their crimes, it follows that such felons are artful liars.

People often ask me what characteristics I look for in other people that alert me to possible criminal activity or at least unethical and deceitful people.

Not all questionable conduct is illegal. A person can be unethical or deceitful (however they are defined) without committing any illegal acts as defined under the law.

However, most criminals use tools like spinning (see below) in the conduct of their crimes.

The Art of Spinning:

  • Sell people hope. My cousin ‘Crazy Eddie’ Antar taught me that “people live on hope” and their hopes and dreams must be fed through our spin and lies. In any situation, if possible, accentuate the positive.
  • Make excuses as long as you can. Try to have your excuses based on at least one truthful fact even if the fact is unrelated to your actions and argument.
  • When you cannot dispute the underlying facts, accept them as true but rationalize your actions. You are allowed to make mistakes as long as you have no wrongful intent. Being stupid is not a crime.
  • Always say in words you “take responsibility” but try to indirectly shift the blame on other people and factors. You need to portray yourself as a “stand up” guy or gal.
  • When you cannot defend your actions or arguments attack the messenger to detract attention from your questionable actions.
  • Always show your kindness by doing people favors. You will require the gratitude of such people to come to your aid and defend you.
  • Build up your stature, integrity, and credibility by publicizing the good deeds you have done in areas unrelated to the subject of scrutiny.
  • Build a


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The Serpent Swallows Its Own Tail

The Serpent Swallows Its Own Tail

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

Goldman Sachs and the SEC settled the great big fraud charge at a dollar amount of $550 million just now.  The regulators get to claim victory while the Eloi get to continue their frolic atop the fluffy clouds of privilege and untouchability.  Nobody admits wrongdoing, rightdoing or frankly, admits anything at all for that matter.

The image that comes to mind when I think of this battle is that of a serpent swallowing its own tail, like the mythological Ouroboros of the ancient Egyptians.

Let’s do a quick civics course for those who’ve lost track…

There are three branches of government in the United States – Wall Street, Hollywood and the Military.  Every once in a while, their courtesans in Congress feel the need to "tax" these firms for either actual dollars or for reasons of reputation and appearances.

So in this era, with trillions of dollars in wealth demolished and incinerated, the big case was finally brought to serve as a symbol that "someone on Wall Street was gonna pay."  Two government appendages, Goldman and the Commission, faced off in conference rooms and before the cameras on Capitol Hill.  After months of wrangling, they came to an agreement that allows shareholders and regulators alike to carry on business as usual and hold their heads up high.

Just as I predicted would happen, word for word.

Remember kids, crime never pays, but institutional influence and deep pockets can absolve you of anything. 


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US Ceding Parts of Arizona to Criminal Activity, As It Has Been Doing in the Financial Markets

US Ceding Parts of Arizona to Criminal Activity, As It Has Been Doing in the Financial Markets

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

This situation is an analogue to the US economy, where increasingly larger portions of the financial markets in the US are being ceded to white collar fraud and manipulation by the gangs of New York. The problem is not with law enforcement per se, but that the basic functions of government are being overwhelmed by inept and corrupt lawmakers and regulators, the powerful rule of special interests, and a general lack of concern and disdain for the needs of the ordinary citizens. These are the root cause of the failures of government in the US.

This is not a problem of Republicans versus the Democrats. It is the age old problem of the avarice of an oligarchy of the self-proclaimed elites against the rights of the private individual, and the common people.

"From whence shall we expect the approach of danger? Shall some trans-Atlantic military giant step the earth and crush us at a blow? Never. All the armies of Europe and Asia…could not by force take a drink from the Ohio River or make a track on the Blue Ridge in the trial of a thousand years. No, if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we will live forever or die by suicide."

Abraham Lincoln

"In a press conference ignored by the American national media, the sheriff described how his deputies were outmanned and outgunned by the cartel smugglers who increasingly operate using military tactics and weapons. The result, said Sheriff Babeu, was that a wide corridor of Arizona from the border North to the outskirts of Phoenix is effectively controlled by the cartels. "We do not have control of this area," the sheriff said.

At the same time as the sheriff’s ignored press conference, the national media did cover assurances from the Obama Administration that crime was down at the border; that the border had never been safer. This ludicrous propaganda was based on selected crime stats from San Diego, Phoenix, Austin and San Antonio. The new reign of terror on the border in Arizona was airbrushed out of the picture.

Here’s the real picture Obama does not want you to see. Warning signs were posted this past month by the federal government 80 miles…
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Crossing a Dangerous Threshold

Crossing a Dangerous Threshold

Courtesy of Michael Panzner at Financial Armageddon 

BeatDeadHorse

(Image: Source.)

Although it might seem like I’m beating a dead horse with my frequent updates on the troubles south of our border — see "No Glossing Over This Story," "As Bad As Ever," "Not So Sweet Lies," "Deteriorating Fast," "Failed State in Our Own Backyard" and "Morphing Into an Economic Problem" -- the reality is that things seem to be getting worse with each passing day. In fact, based on the following Human Events commentary by Roger Hedgecock, "Mexican Drug Cartels Control Parts of Arizona," some would say that events have crossed a dangerous threshold.

The United States is ceding parts of Arizona to the Mexican drug cartels. So says Pinal County (Ariz.) Sheriff Paul Babeu.

In a press conference ignored by the American national media, the sheriff described how his deputies were outmanned and outgunned by the cartel smugglers who increasingly operate using military tactics and weapons. The result, said Sheriff Babeu, was that a wide corridor of Arizona from the border North to the outskirts of Phoenix is effectively controlled by the cartels. "We do not have control of this area," the sheriff said.

At the same time as the sheriff’s ignored press conference, the national media did cover assurances from the Obama Administration that crime was down at the border; that the border had never been safer. This ludicrous propaganda was based on selected crime stats from San Diego, Phoenix, Austin and San Antonio. The new reign of terror on the border in Arizona was airbrushed out of the picture.

Here’s the real picture Obama does not want you to see. Warning signs were posted this past month by the federal government 80 miles North of the border on the South side of I-8 between Casa Grande and Gila Bend urging U.S. citizens not to camp or hike in the "Active Drug and Human Smuggling Area" because "Visitors May Encounter Armed Criminals." Here is a picture of one of those signs:

Border

Think about it. A part of America is off limits to U.S. citizens because it is now controlled by an army of foreigners.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife staffers report that the 3,500 acre Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in this area is closed to U.S. citizens as well and is


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Global Peace Index: World Less Peaceful in 2010 Report, Violence Impacting Global Economy $7 Trillion Annually

Global Peace Index: World Less Peaceful in 2010 Report, Violence Impacting Global Economy $7 Trillion Annually

LONDON, June 8, 2010/PRNewswire/ -- 

The Past is Behind Us, The Future is Ahead/Let us all strive to make the future better and brighter than the past ever was. 1918. Color poster by Gerrit A. Beneker. Issued by Dept. of Labor. (U.S. Government Publications) Exact Date Shot Unknown NARA FILE #: 287-L.1.9:P26 WAR & CONFLICT BOOK #: 719

- New Zealand Tops Rankings for Second Consecutive Year 

- Drop in Peace Due Largely to 5% Increase in Homicides, More Violent Demonstrations and Fear of Crime 

- 4-Year Trends Show Middle East and Africa With Most Gains in Peacefulness 

- South Asia Sees Sharpest Fall in Peace 

- Military Spending as a % of GDP Reaches its Lowest Point in 4 Years 

The world became less peaceful for the second consecutive year, according to the fourth annual Global Peace Index (GPI) published today. As the global economy continues to falter, this year’s data shows an intensification of conflicts and growing instability linked to the downturn that began in 2008, with several countries seeing sharp increases in homicides, violent demonstrations and fear of crime. 

To view the Multimedia News Release, please click: http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/prne/iep/42434   

The increase in violence is depriving the global economy of assets when they are needed most. A 25 percent reduction in global violence would free up $1.8 trillion USD annually[1] – enough to pay off Greece’s debt, fund the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and meet the EU’s 20-20-20 climate and energy targets. 

The only study to quantify global peacefulness, the GPI is produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). This year it has expanded to rank 149 independent states. Composed of 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators, it combines internal and external factors ranging from military expenditure to relations with neighbouring countries and levels of violent crime. 

"The research carried out by the IEP based on 4 years of GPI data provides a quantifiable demonstration that improving peace can transform the global economy and unleash the wealth needed to tackle debt, fund economic expansion and create a more sustainable environment," said Steve Killelea, founder of the GPI. 

Top-ranked New Zealand was one of only three countries in the top ten to improve in peacefulness in the 2010 Index. Iceland moved into the #2 spot as the country’s economy stabilised after falling to #4 in last year’s ranking, the improvement demonstrating the resilience of peaceful nations. 

Commenting on the results, Prof. Jeff Sachs[2], Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University said: "The GPI continues its pioneering work in drawing the world’s attention to the massive resources we…
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Taibbi: Will Goldman Sachs Prove Greed Is God?

Taibbi: Will Goldman Sachs Prove Greed Is God?

Gordon GeckoCourtesy of John Lounsbury

Matt Taibbi has a feature article in The Guardian which parodies the Gordon Gecko "Greed is good" statement from the film "Wall Street". He carries the subject forward to develop a picture of Ayn Rand Objectivism taking over the world.

This is an article that will make some readers scream in disgust at the position Matt espouses and others scream in disgust at the Randian world he rants against. He concludes the article:

This debate is going to be crystallised in the Goldman case. Much of America is going to reflexively insist that Goldman’s only crime was being smarter and better at making money than IKB and ABN-Amro, and that the intrusive, meddling government (in the American narrative, always the bad guy!) should get off Goldman’s Armani-clad back. Another side is going to argue that Goldman winning this case would be a rebuke to the whole idea of civilisation – which, after all, is really just a collective decision by all of us not to screw each other over even when we can. It’s an important moment in the history of modern global capitalism: whether or not to move forward into a world of greed without limits.

Taibbi’s conclusion is similar to my repeated belief that it is important for the SEC vs. Goldman Sachs case to go to trial so the convoluted financial processes involved can be presented and reviewed by both plaintiff and defendant. The nature of the machinations must be understood by the masses and the limits of current law must be defined in order to have a rational debate. We need a complete expose so we can make logical decisions about where the financial system should go from here.

ayn randAbsent the trial or some other process of discovery we risk being doomed to divide into three camps:

  1. The Randians’ anything goes credo.
  2. Those who want to regulate everything to death.
  3. The vast majority who abandon hope of ever understanding enough to have an opinion.

We need a citizenry that understands what has happened to a sufficient extent to support some rational middle ground between the law of the jungle and all animals in zoo cages. 

Photo: Via Dangerous Minds 

 


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Confirmed: US Officials Say Terrorists Who May Have US Passports Are Plotting Another Attack Against US

Confirmed: US Officials Say Terrorists Who May Have US Passports Are Plotting Another Attack Against US

Courtesy of John Carney at Clusterstock/The Business Insider

gulf aden yemen middleeast saudiCredible intelligence has emerged that the branch of Al Qaeda Yemen is plotting another attack against the United States and U.S. interests abroad.

A senior U.S. counterterrorism official confirmed the terror plot to a number of news outlets, including the Daily News and Fox News.

The intelligence doesn’t provides specifics about time, place or method of attack. But officials are taking the threat seriously. The Yemeni group is said to have been emboldened by the Christmas Day attack.

"Our concerns have intensified," the official told The News.

Frighteningly, Fox reports that some of the suspected terrorists may have US passports.

From Fox:

Al Qaeda in Yemen and the Al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia, known as Al Shabaab — translated as Mujahadeen Youth — are described as having "shared interests and shared goals."

U.S. counterterrorism officials say clear connections now can be traced between the two terrorist groups and they are not ruling out the possibility that they are working together to attack U.S. interests.

U.S. officials also remain concerned about two dozen Somali Americans who disappeared into the Al Shabaab training camps in Somalia in the last 18 months. Their American passports would allow them to reenter the United States.

 


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Goldman, Sears, Others Named In Insider Trading Subpoenas

Goldman, Sears, Others Named In Insider Trading Subpoenas (GS, SHLD)

Courtesy of Clusterstock, by Lawrence Delevingne

 

 


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New Insider Trading Arrests At Schottenfeld Group, Incremental Capital, And Ropes & Gray

New Insider Trading Arrests At Schottenfeld Group, Incremental Capital, And Ropes & Gray

Courtesy of Joe Weisenthal at Clusterstock

rajrajaratnam5.jpghere’s the complaint.

This new insider trading bust is not limited to Galleon, though one of the new 7 to be arrested did apparently work there.

According to CNBC, which first got the complaint, there have been arrests at hedge fund Incremental Capital, the Schottenfeld Group, and the law firm Ropes & Gray.

In addition to the 7 arrested, there are, it seems, an additional 7 who have been charged, but not aprehended.

Update: Bloomberg has the full list of names here:

Craig Drimal, who according to court documents worked at Manhattan-based Galleon, wasn’t an employee of the firm. Also arrested were Zvi Goffer, Arthur Cutillo, Jason Goldfarb, Emanuel Goffer, David Plate and Michael Kimelman. Charges against the men include conspiracy and fraud, according to documents filed in New York federal court. Names of the other seven defendants weren’t immediately available.

insider tradingStay tuned…

See Also:

New Insider Trading Arrests Will Be Announced At Noon Press Conference

FBI Arrests Seven More In Insider Trading Bust

AMAZING: Goldman Avoided Galleon, Just Like It Avoided Madoff (GS)

 


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Zero Hedge

The Fed's Farcical Forecast Fiasco

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The chart below, which summarizes 5 years of Fed "forward guidance" on that most critical of variables - the Fed Funds rate - proves two things:

i) there is nothing worse in this world than being a Fed Funds, or Eurodollar, trader, considering 5 years of forecasts have been systematically destroyed by a Fed which has failed time and time and time again to stimulate the economy enough to push it away from ZIRP (and why any hope for the first rate hike in mid-2015 are idiotic), and

ii) when it comes to central planning, the economists that now openly control the bond and stock market and increasingly more of global capital flows, have absolutely no idea what tomorrow brings perversely, since it i...



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Phil's Favorites

China Manufacturing Output and New Orders Contract Once Again

Courtesy of Mish.

Chinese manufacturing remains in contraction for 2014. Output and new orders were down for the 4th consecutive month, but at a slightly reduced pace according to the HSBC Flash China Manufacturing PMI.



Commenting on the Flash China Manufacturing PMI survey, Hongbin Qu, Chief Economist, China & Co - Head of Asian Economic Research at HSBC said:

“The HSBC Flash China Manufacturing PMI stabilised at 48.3 in April, up from 48.0 in March. Domestic demand showed mild improvement and deflationary pressures eased, but downside risks to growth are still evident...



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Chart School

STTG Market Recap April 22, 2014

Courtesy of Blain.

We continue in this "V shaped" move off last week's touch of the 200 day moving average on the NASDAQ.  The S&P 500 gained 0.41% and the NASDAQ 0.97%.  The indexes are nearing overbought near term so a day or two of rest would serve the bulls well to try to attempt a new leg higher.  In economic news existing home sales hit 4.59 million in March, versus a 4.55 million estimate.

In terms of the indexes the S&P 500 stalled at the trend line that connected the lows of summer 2013; some congestion lies ahead at year highs.

The NASDAQ has come back from deeply oversold conditions as this index is heavy with biotech and momentum stocks.  The dotted blue line is the previous high; since early March we have not seen the NASDAQ make...



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Market Shadows

Soy Numero Uno

Soy Numero Uno

By Paul Price of Market Shadows

Bunge Limited (BG) is the world’s largest processor of soybeans. It is also a major producer of vegetable oils, fertilizer, sugar and bioenergy.

When commodities got hot in 2007-08, Bunge’s EPS shot up and the stock followed, rising 185% in 19 months.

The Great Recession took its toll on operations, dropping EPS to a low of $2.22 in 2009.  Since then profits have recovered.  They ranged from $4.62 - $5.90 in the latest three years. 2014 appears poised for a large increase. Consensus views from multiple sources see BG earning $7.04 - $7.10 this year and then $7.83 - $7.94 in 2015.

...



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Option Review

Casino Stocks LVS, WYNN On The Run Ahead of Earnings

Shares in Las Vegas Sands Corp. (Ticker: LVS) are up sharply today, gaining as much as 5.7% to touch $80.12 and the highest level since April 4th, mirroring gains in shares of resort casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd. (Ticker: WYNN). The move in Wynn shares appears, at least in part, to follow a big increase in target price from analysts at CLSA who upped their target on the ‘buy’ rated stock to $350 from $250 a share. CLSA also has a ‘buy’ rating on Las Vegas Sands with a $100 price target according to a note from reporter, Janet Freund, on Bloomberg. Both companies are scheduled to report first-quarter earnings after the closing bell on Thursday.

...

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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

What the Market Wants: Market Poised to Head Higher: 3 Stocks to Consider

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

Courtesy of David Brown, Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Yesterday, the market continued its winning ways for the fifth consecutive day.  The S&P 500 closed within 1% of its all-time high, and the DJI was even closer to its all-time high.  Healthcare, Energy and Technology led the sectors while Financials, Telecom, and Utilities finished slightly in the red.  All three sectors in the red are typically flight-to-safety stocks, so despite lower than average volume, the market appears poised to make new highs.

Mid-cap Growth led the style/caps last week, up 2.87%, and Small-cap Growth trailed, up 2.22%. This week will bring well over 100 S&P 500 stocks reporting their March quarter earn...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - Week of April 21st, 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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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 PSW user name and password, or sign up for a free trial.

...

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Digital Currencies

Facebook Takes Life Seriously and Moves To Create Its Own Virtual Currency, Increases UltraCoin Valuation Significantly

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Reggie Middleton.

The Financial Times reports:

[Facebook] The social network is only weeks away from obtaining regulatory approval in Ireland for a service that would allow its users to store money on Facebook and use it to pay and exchange money with others, according to several people involved in the process. 

The authorisation from Ireland’s central bank to become an “e-money” institution would allow ...



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Promotions

See Live Demo Of This Google-Like Trade Algorithm

I just wanted to be sure you saw this.  There’s a ‘live’ training webinar this Thursday, March 27th at Noon or 9:00 pm ET.

If GOOGLE, the NSA, and Steve Jobs all got together in a room with the task of building a tremendously accurate trading algorithm… it wouldn’t just be any ordinary system… it’d be the greatest trading algorithm in the world.

Well, I hate to break it to you though… they never got around to building it, but my friends at Market Tamer did.

Follow this link to register for their training webinar where they’ll demonstrate the tested and proven Algorithm powered by the same technological principles that have made GOOGLE the #1 search engine on the planet!

And get this…had you done nothing b...



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Pharmboy

Here We Go Again - Pharma & Biotechs 2014

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

Ladies and Gentlemen, hobos and tramps,
Cross-eyed mosquitoes, and Bow-legged ants,
I come before you, To stand behind you,
To tell you something, I know nothing about.

And so the circus begins in Union Square, San Francisco for this weeks JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.  Will the momentum from 2013, which carried the S&P Spider Biotech ETF to all time highs, carry on in 2014?  The Biotech ETF beat the S&P by better than 3 points.

As I noted in my previous post, Biotechs Galore - IPOs and More, biotechs were rushing to IPOs so that venture capitalists could unwind their holdings (funds are usually 5-7 years), as well as take advantage of the opportune moment...



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