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

Fake News And War Party Lies

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

“I have in my possession a secret map, made in Germany by Hitler’s government — by the planners of the New World Order,” FDR told the nation in his Navy Day radio address of Oct. 27, 1941.

“It is a map of South America as Hitler proposes to reorganize it. The geographical experts of Berlin, however, have ruthlessly obliterated all the existing boundary lines … bringing the whole continent under their domination,” said Roosevelt. “This map ...



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Axel Weber, Former Bundesbank Head Warns of Coming Rate Hikes by ECB

Courtesy of Mish.

Axel Weber, former head of Germany’s central bank says the ECB is going to halt QE soon and hike rates by September.

Weber warns Markets Unprepared for Central Bank Shifts.

Investors are dangerously unprepared for a sharp rise in eurozone bond yields when US interest rates march higher and European quantitative easing ends, Axel Weber, chairman of UBS and the former head of the Bundesbank, has warned.

The jump in US rates could spark big jolts in the markets as the long spell of aggressive monetary easing across the globe has left many investors off-guard over a swi...



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ValueWalk

Will FED initiate a (mini)crisis?

By Independent Trader. Originally published at ValueWalk.

On paper, central banks are responsible for two things. They decide about the supply of currency and set interest rates. If the economy is healthy the velocity of money circulation grows higher creating inflation. Raising interest rates help to cool off the overheating economy. On the other hand, if the economy is heading for a recession central banks lower interest rates to make available to society credit cheaper and stimulate spending. This helps the economy get up from its knees. This is the theory.

Historically we see that central banks kept interest rates very low not to prevent economies from apathy but to create ...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Dec 4, 2016

Courtesy of Blain.

The week that was…

The market needed a pause after the frenetic post election rally, and it finally arrived this week.  The pullback was mild as bulls would like.  This week’s “fear of the week” was Italy’s political referendum which happened today… and was rejected.

Italian voters were asked in a referendum to approve changes to the country’s constitution, which have been called the most sweeping since the end of World War II. The proposed reforms would cut the Senate’s size by two-thirds and reduce powers held by the country’s 20 regional governments. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi believes the changes will aid efficiency in parliament.

The reforms could also “make it easier to implement important legislation (such as measure...



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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

Renzi Resigns Following Crushing Referendum Defeat: Beppe Grillo, Marine le Pen, Matteo Salvina Tweets (MishTalk)

Italian prime minster Matteo Renzi went down in flames in a crushing defeat of a referendum he sponsored.

Sergio Mattarella, Italy’s president, has a choice. President is largely a symbolic position but what happens next is up to Mattarella.

The president may ask Renzi to hang on in a caretaker role, there could be snap elections, there could be a fourth technocrat government. Renzi was the third consecutive appointed technocrat prime minister.

...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Stock/Bond Ratio back at 2007 highs, different results this time?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the S&P 500/Govt Bond (TLT) Ratio over the past 12-years

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

The S&P 500/TLT ratio is now back at 2007 levels. Double Top or Breakout Time.

Do find this interesting at this time, bullish sentiment on $TLT now stand around the 10% level, which happens to be the same level it was in mid 2007!

Different this time???  Always fun friends!!!

...

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Members' Corner

ItalExit? A Catch 22?

Courtesy of Nattering Naybob.

Over at Philstockworld... High Finance for Real People - Fun and Profits... 

Pharm - There is an Italian Referendum on staying in the EU in 2 weeks. Wonder how that will work out?

The referendum has nothing to do with leaving the EU, that's what the MSM wants everyone to think. The ubiquitous "they" are trying to confuse and scare the Italians with a line of BS.

StJL - Probably not well Pharm! Although the procedure to get out of Europe would be a lot more complicated for Italy because they are also using the Euro. At this point, probably nothing more than leverag...

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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of November 28th, 2016

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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Digital Currencies

Largest US Bitcoin Exchange Is "Extremely Concerned" With IRS Crackdown Targeting Its Users

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Last Thursday we reported that in a startling development seeking to breach the privacy veil of users of America's largest bitcoin exchange, the IRS filed court papers seeking a judicial order to serve a so-called “John Doe” summons on the San Francisco-based Bitcoin platform Coinbase.

The government’s request is part of a bitcoin tax-evasion probe, and se...



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Mapping The Market

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

Via Jean-Luc

Good article on investing success:

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

By Morgan Housel

There is a reason no Berkshire Hathaway investor chides Buffett when the company has a bad quarter. It’s because Buffett has so thoroughly convinced his investors that it’s pointless to try to navigate around 90-day intervals. He’s done that by writing incredibly lucid letters to investors for the last 50 years, communicating in easy-to-understand language at annual meetings, and speaking on TV in ways that someone with no investing experience can grasp.

Yes, Buffett runs an amazing investment company. But he also runs an amazing investor company. One of the most underappreciated part of his s...



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Biotech

Epizyme - A Waiting Game

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

Epizyme was founded in 2007, and trying to create drugs to treat patient's cancer by focusing on genetically-linked differences between normal and cancer cells. Cancer areas of focus include leukemia, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer.  One of the Epizme cofounders, H. Robert Horvitz, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2002 for "discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death."

Before discussing the drug targets of Epizyme, understanding epigenetics is crucial to comprehend the company's goals.  

Genetic components are the DNA sequences that are 'inherited.'  Some of these genes are stronger than others in their expression (e.g., eye color).  Yet, some genes turn on or off due to external factors (environmental), and it is und...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan 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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We know you love coming here for our Stocks & Options education, strategy and trade ideas, and for Phil's daily commentary which you can't live without, but there's more!

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News: If you missed it, you can probably find it in our Market News section. We sift through piles of news so you don't have to.   

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