Posts Tagged ‘crisis’

The Death of Everything

The Death of Everything

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

A bit dramatic?  I’m only taking the new National Pastime of Handwringing to its logical conclusion.  You other journalists and bloggers would have gotten to this headline/sentiment eventually, admit it.  That’s exactly where you were going.

I’m going to treat you all to something the late George Carlin once explained to us to help keep the "environmental crisis" in perspective.

The world isn’t going away, capitalism isn’t going away, America isn’t going away.  You know what is going away?  You are, and soon.  50, 60 years or so.  Act accordingly.  Here’s George:

"The Planet is Fine"

We’re so self-important. So self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. "Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails." And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. What? Are these f***ing people kidding me? Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven’t learned how to care for one another, we’re gonna save the f***ing planet?

I’m getting tired of that s***. Tired of that s***. I’m tired of f***ing Earth Day, I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for their Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a s*** about the planet. They don’t care about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future, they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.

Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The PEOPLE are f***ed. Difference. Difference. The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. Been here four and a half billion years. Did you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years. We’ve been here, what, a hundred thousand? Maybe two hundred thousand? And we’ve only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over two hundred years. Two hundred years versus four and a half billion. And we have the CONCEIT to think that somehow we’re a…
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Crisis in Spain and Greece: Plan A and Plan B

Crisis in Spain and Greece: Plan A and Plan B

Courtesy of Mish 

Greek restaurant

Credit default swaps and rising interest rates suggest Greece is in serious trouble in spite of the ECB’s futile attempts to downplay the situation. Please consider Greek Bonds Show Waning Faith It Can Avoid Bailout

Greece is losing the confidence of bondholders that it will reduce the largest budget deficit in the European Union amid increased speculation that the country won’t be able to meet its debt obligations.

The nation’s government bonds are the world’s worst performers in January, losing 6 percent in local currency terms and extending their decline over the past three months to more than 11 percent, Bloomberg/EFFAS indexes show. Credit-default swaps tied to Greece trade at about the same levels as Dubai when it got a $10 billion bailout from Abu Dhabi in December. Greek 10-year bonds rebounded today after EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said the country won’t default.

Investor concern that Greece can’t tackle its budget deficit is hurting the debt of national utility companies and banks, said Philip Gisdakis, head of credit strategy at UniCredit SpA in Munich.

“If you fear a Greek crisis then you should not only avoid government bonds but corporates as well,” Gisdakis said. “And if you fear Greece, you should also fear Portugal and Spain.”
EU policy makers have no “plan B” to help Greece, Almunia said today.

“There is no bailout problem,” the bloc’s top economic official said in an interview with Bloomberg Television at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. “Greece will not default. In the euro area, default does not exist.”

What’s Plan A?

Pardon me for asking but precisely what is "Plan A" if interest rates in Greece soar out of control?

Can there be a "Plan C" even if there is no "Plan B"? Are there any plans at all?

While pondering those questions, please consider Deteriorating Greece Situation Could Force EU’s Hand

European Union officials insist there won’t be a bailout for Greece, but if the country’s borrowing costs continue to climb, the bloc will have to do something to stave off default.

Such a bailout would be unprecedented for a euro-zone country, but would nonetheless be feasible. When Greece’s borrowing costs soared last spring, the German finance minister


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Geithner: No ‘Second Wave’ To Crisis

Geithner: No ‘Second Wave’ To Crisis

Courtesy of Mish

USA, Hawaii, Oahu, surf at North Shore

One sure way we know a second wave to the crisis is likely coming is the preemptive denial of it by those who never saw it coming. Please consider Geithner: There Will Be No ‘Second Wave’ Crisis.

"We are not going to have a second wave of financial crisis," Geithner said in an interview with National Public Radio. "We cannot afford to let the country live again with a risk that we are going to have another series of events like we had last year. That is not something that is acceptable."

Geithner, interviewed on NPR’s "All Things Considered" program, rejected the idea that a serious new crisis could be triggered by lingering problems with commercial real estate loans or with a sudden weakening in the value of the dollar.

"We will do what is necessary to prevent that and that is completely within our capacity to prevent," he said.

However, in a separate interview he conceded that it would take several months before the economy yields positive job growth. Job losses have been easing in recent weeks but the economy still saw 480,000 new claims for unemployment benefits last week. That number is expected to shrink just a bit this week.

Geithner on NPR

Inquiring minds might be interested in the complete NPR interview. Please consider Geithner Voices Confidence About Economic Rebound.

Here is the Transcript of the interview with Michelle Norris. Some snips follow …

NORRIS: You know that businesses are spending again. The administration has been asking the banks to try to free up more money for small business in particular. And I want you to help me understand something because on one hand the administration is telling the bankers that they need to take fewer risks, that they need to deleverage, that they need to have higher capital reserve. And at the same time you’re also telling them that they need to lend more money. Those two things don’t seem to square.

Sec. GEITHNER: It is very important that we work with Congress to pass legislation that can put in place financial reforms that can prevent the next crisis. So it’s pretty important in the future we build a more stable financial system. We constrain risk taking in the future. But


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FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH

Jim believes the worst is yet to come and paints a very frightening picture, like nothing most of us have ever seen. – Ilene

FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH 

Courtesy of Jim Quinn at The Burning Platform

 
There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
 
                               Buffalo Springfield – For What It’s Worth 
 

Stephen Stills wrote the song For What It’s Worth in 1967. It was composed three years into the Second Turning, the Consciousness Revolution. The song has come to symbolize the turbulence, mistrust, rage, paranoia, anti-war spirit, and the anti-establishment mood of the 1960’s. An Awakening era has many parallels to a Crisis era at the outset. A traumatic event or events triggers the mood alteration in the country which sets the next twenty years in motion. In 1929 the stock market crash triggered a 17 year Crisis. In 1963, the assassination of John F. Kennedy triggered a 20 year Awakening. In 2005, the housing collapse has triggered the next American Crisis which we are living through today.

 
 
 
“All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.” 
                                                                                            George Orwell
 
We are currently at the same stage of this Crisis as we were in the Awakening when Stephen Stills wrote this deeply poignant song. An Awakening begins in an uproar of fury, passion, anger, and civil disobedience. The fury subsides during an Awakening as the passion flames out. The last Awakening period reached a crescendo in 1974 with the resignation of Richard Nixon and the country lapsed into disillusionment and lethargy as the 1970’s petered out. A Crisis begins similarly with a trigger that causes pain and suffering, but instead of fury subsiding, the Crisis intensifies, violence erupts, war breaks out and danger becomes extreme. The current Crisis is about to detonate upon the unwary twittering Americans while they are mesmerized watching Dancing with the Stars and Housewives of New Jersey on their 52 inch HDTVs in surround


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Is David Tice the John the Baptist of Wall Street?

Is David Tice the John the Baptist of Wall Street?

John-the-Baptist

Courtesy of Damien Hoffman at Wall St. Cheat Sheet

John the Baptist is responsible for the Apocalyptic stories in our cultural consciousness. He envisioned a world in which a total hell would descend on earth more wild than Marylin Manson’s most drug induced hallucinations. Similarly, as Liz Claman correctly notes in the following video, David Tice sees the world from a different prism: a completely hellish one.

David manages a bearish fund. So, like anyone who knows how the Wall St. machine works, he makes the rounds to talk his book. However, like all evangelists before him, David’s repetition has not done much in the way of changing reality.

Permabulls and permabears share the same common flaw: they take one extreme view and carry it to its logical (although improbable) conclusion. As a result, they fail to account for the ever-changing nature of societies and the complexity of the unknown.

Humor yourself and decide whether David is a consistent investment adviser — his fund’s performance (Nasdaq: BEARX) is not — or one step away from the loony bin:
 

 

Click here to watch the video.

Note: Wall St. Cheat Sheet is offering a FREE 14-day, no risk trial of the Premium Newsletter - just click here.   

 


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The Treasury Department Endorses Lying to the Public

The Treasury Department Endorses Lying to the Public

Courtesy of Damien Hoffman of Wall St. Cheat Sheet

If you or anyone you know still believes the government (or the media) tell us only the truth, please pass them this direct admission that lying is a primary strategic device for so-called “authority figures”:

[T]he Treasury Department said that any review of [patently misleading and false] announcements last year “must be considered in light of the unprecedented circumstances in which they were made.

Translation: when our elected representatives and their appointed officials believe we need to be manipulated, they rationalize their lies based on whether they think we need them at the time.

I am not naive. I firmly believe we have a problem with ignorance and sheeple in our country. However, the only way to fix the problem is to distribute more accurate information — not the opposite. Further, for those of us who work hard to stay educated, we expect to be treated like adults!

In this specific case, the Treasury Department’s lies (via Hank Paulson) encouraged people to hold their investments. Therefore, if you listened to Paulson et al, you literally lost your hard earned money and life savings. Last time I checked, citizens should not expect to get fiscally hosed by their Treasury Secretary.

To be fair, this is not only a Wall Street and Washington problem. Seemingly, most public discourse these days centers around complete lies, myths, and other rhetorical strategies aiming to put insular interests ahead of what’s best for the nation. It’s time to demand at least our public stewards accurately explain the true state of affairs so we can make informed decisions.

Note: Wall St. Cheat Sheet is offering a FREE 14-day, no risk trial of our Premium Newsletter - just click here.  

 


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Is Nouriel Roubini a False Prophet?

Damien Hoffman makes a case against Nouriel Roubini’s status as all-knowing prophet of doom.

Is Nouriel Roubini a False Prophet?

Courtesy of Damien Hoffman at Wall St. Cheat Sheet

Nouriel Roubini and His Acolytes

Nouriel Roubini and His Acolytes

Psychics and prophets have been in business since that other oldest profession. Like the more commonly referred to oldest profession, the secret to success for psychics and prophets is to turn many tricks.

As a lawyer by training, I have been rigorously conditioned to see the logical techniques employed in everything I hear and read the same way Neo from The Matrix sees the 1’s and 0’s underlying superficial reality. So, I am concerned when I watch self-proclaimed psychics and prophets use the equivalent of logical black magic to seduce their prey.

Wall Street has a laundry list of such charlatans. They tend to capture the spotlight during the heat of emotional peaks in the markets because emotion and reason tend to maintain an inverse relationship. During times of crisis we need something, sometimes anything, to reduce our pain and restore order to an uncomfortable new chaos.

During the height of the most recent economic crisis, the media offered the center-stage spotlight to NYU Economics Professor Nouriel Roubini to comfort us with his soma. At the peak of the crash, Roubini was as ubiquitous as Coca-Cola and cellphones. He was the go-to guy because his PR team branded him as “The Prophet of Doom.” A perfect fit when you need someone to call at an overwhelmingly bullish place like Wall Street.

Roubini is clearly an intelligent fellow who has produced some interesting works. However, just as clearly, he is not a prophet or anything close. More accurately, Roubini has disingenuously promoted himself as nailing the crisis, when truthfully he was wrong until other hard working analysts fixed his broken crystal ball.

Like any lawyer preparing to argue in front of the Supreme Court (of public opinion, in this case), I made sure to do my homework and collect my evidence boxes of smoking guns. Rather than bore you with a full recount, I have pulled the most important comments from each source and linked to the original material for your due diligence pleasure. So, without further ado, I respectfully address the court:

As we can see, in March 2005 Roubini started by predicting a crisis


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Fed’s Proposed Framework for Addressing “Systemic Risk” Misses the Moving Target

Fed’s Proposed Framework for Addressing "Systemic Risk" Misses the Moving Target

Courtesy of Mish

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is proposing a three-tiered system for regulating systemically important financial institutions (SIFI)

  • Tier one would include high-risk institutions, such as large, interstate banks and multi-state insurance companies.
  • Tier two would include moderately complex financial institutions, such as larger regional banks.
  • Tier three would include non-complex financial institutions, such as community banks.

Each would receive varying degrees of oversight and regulation. In the accompanying video, the author claims: "Really bad drawings…real simple explanations".

Drawing Board : How To Address SIFI

SIFI Framework

  • Size: As a starting point for a size-based definition, a financial firm would be considered systemically important if it accounts for at least 10 percent of the activities or assets of a principal financial sector or financial market or 5 percent of total financial market activities or assets.
  • Contagion: A financial institution would be considered systemically important if its failure could result in the collapse or freezing up of one or more important financial markets.
  • Correlation: Correlation, as a source of systemic importance, is also known as the “too many to fail” problem.
  • Concentration: Concentration has two important aspects: the size of the firm’s activities relative to the contestability of the market. That is, concentration is less likely to make a financial institution systemically important if, other things being equal, the activities of a distressed institution can easily be assumed by a new entrant into the market or by the expansion of an incumbent firm’s activities. Hence, it is logical to adjust concentration thresholds to account for contestability.
  • Conditions/Context: [Pertains to the fragility of the markets at the time, for example ...] New York Fed’s reluctance to allow the failure of Long-Term Capital Management resulted largely from the fragility of financial markets at that time—due to the Southeast Asian currency crises and the Russian default.10 This might explain, in part, why LTCM was treated as systemically important and Amaranth (which was more than twice as big) was not. Another example would be intervention to prevent the bankruptcy of Bear Stearns by merging it (with assistance) into JPMorgan Chase in early 2008, whereas Drexel Burnham Lambert was allowed to enter bankruptcy in early 1990. Firms that might be made systemically important by conditions/context are probably the most difficult


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Hunky Dory

Another excellent article in the James Kunstler series chronicling our sinkage into a delusional abyss.

Hunky Dory

     Whenever the herd mentality lines up along a compass point leading to "permanent prosperity," or a yellow brick road lined with green shoots, or something like that, I tend to see the edge of a cliff up ahead. We are now completely in the grips of the deadly diminishing returns of information technology.  The more information comes to us about How Things Are, especially from TV, the more confused or wrong the conventional view gets it.
      A broad consensus has formed in the news media and among government mouthpieces and even some "bearish" investors on the street that "the worst is behind us" in this tortured economy.  This view is completely crazy.  It will only lead to massive disappointment a few weeks or months from now, and that disappointment might easily transmute to political trouble.  One even might call the situation tragic, except a closer look at the sordid spectacle of what American culture has become — a non-stop circus of the seven deadly sins — suggests that we deserve to be punished by history.
     The reason behind this mass delusion is not hard to find: it’s based on wishing, especially the wish to retain all the comforts, conveniences, luxuries, and leisure that had become normal in American life.  These are now ebbing away in big gobs for most of the population — while a tiny fraction of the well-connected pile on ever larger heaps of swag, enjoying ever more privilege. Those in the broad bottom 95 percent were content as long as there was a chance that they, too, could become members of the top 5 percent — by dint of car-dealing, or house-building, or mortgage-selling, or some other venture enabled by easy credit and a smile.  Those days and those ways are now gone.  The bottom 95 percent are now left with de-laminating houses they can’t make payments on, no prospects for gainful work, re-po men hiding in the bushes to snatch the PT Cruiser, cut-off cable service, Kraft mac-and-cheese (if they’re lucky), and Larry Summers telling them their troubles are over. (If I were Larry, I’d start thinking about a move to some place like the Canary Islands.)
     Too many disastrous things are…
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ValueWalk

Bill Nygren: GE clearly 'a swing and a miss'

By Akhlaqahmed9941. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Bill Nygren: GE clearly ‘a swing and a miss’ [feedly] ]]> Get The Timeless Reading eBook in PDF

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Value investor Bill Nygren increases stake in General Electric from CNBC.

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Phil's Favorites

Amazon Unveils 20 City Finalists For HQ2, Expects To Create 50,000 Jobs In Winning City

 

Amazon Unveils 20 City Finalists For HQ2, Expects To Create 50,000 Jobs In Winning City

Courtesy of Zero Hedge 

On Thursday morning, Amazon announced that it had reviewed 238 proposals from across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to host HQ2, the company’s second headquarters in North America, and has has chosen the following 20 metropolitan areas to move to the next phase of the process (in alphabetical order):

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Chica...


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Zero Hedge

Amazon Unveils 20 City Finalists For HQ2, Expects To Create 50,000 Jobs In Winning City

 

Amazon Unveils 20 City Finalists For HQ2, Expects To Create 50,000 Jobs In Winning City

Courtesy of Zero Hedge 

On Thursday morning, Amazon announced that it had reviewed 238 proposals from across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to host HQ2, the company’s second headquarters in North America, and has has chosen the following 20 metropolitan areas to move to the next phase of the process (in alphabetical order):

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Chica...


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Digital Currencies

How a Criminal Defense Attorney Thinks About Crypto Currency

 

How a Criminal Defense Attorney Thinks About Crypto Currency

Courtesy of 

You are all in for a very special treat today. On the heels of last week’s guest post, in which the Unassuming Banker looked at crypto from a traditional IB’s view, I’ve got a new guest post from a friend of mine who is about to give you a perspective on the nascent asset class you’ve not read before. 

...



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Insider Scoop

AlarmCom Is A Rare Home Automation, IoT Play, Jefferies Says In Upgrade

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related ALRM The Market In 5 Minutes: Jobless Claims Fall, Walmart Upgrade, Cryptocurrencies 38 Biggest Movers From Yesterday ...

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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 14, 2017

Courtesy of Blain.

After 3 days of mild “rest” – and the first down day of the year (!!) for the S&P 500, bulls came back with bells on Thursday and Friday, driving indexes to record highs yet again.  This is starting to get “parabolic”… some shades of the type of things we saw in 1999.  (See the S&P 500 and NASDAQ charts below)  The S&P 500 gained 1.6% and the NASDAQ 1.7% for the week.

“This reminds me of January 2000,” said Kent Engelke, chief economic strategist, at Capitol Securities Management, which manages $4 billion in assets, referring to the nearly unceasing climb to records for stocks and the unease it can inspire.  “It’s scary, the unrelenting advance,” he added.

“The move isn’t about fundamentals...



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Biotech

How Alzheimer's disease spreads throughout the brain - new study

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

 

How Alzheimer's disease spreads throughout the brain – new study

Courtesy of Thomas E CopeUniversity of Cambridge

Harmful tau protein spreads through networks. Author provided

Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating brain illness that affects an estimated 47m people worldwide. It is the most common cause of dementia in the Western world. Despite this, there are currently no treatments that are effective in curing Alzheimer’s disease or preventing its relentless progressio...



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Mapping The Market

Trump Admin Bans CDC From Using Words Like 'Science-Based,' 'Diversity'

By Jean-Luc

These are the policies of a theocracy, not a modern democracy:

Trump Admin Bans CDC From Using Words Like ‘Science-Based,’ ‘Diversity’

The Trump administration has prohibited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from using words like “science-based,” “diversity,” and “transgender” in their official documents for next year’s budget, according to the Washington Post.

Senior CDC budget leader Alison Kelly met with the agency’s policy analysts on Thursday to announce ...



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Members' Corner

An Interview with David Brin

Our guest David Brin is an astrophysicist, technology consultant, and best-selling author who speaks, writes, and advises on a range of topics including national defense, creativity, and space exploration. He is also a well-known and influential futurist (one of four “World's Best Futurists,” according to The Urban Developer), and it is his ideas on the future, specifically the future of civilization, that I hope to learn about here.   

Ilene: David, you base many of your predictions of the future on a theory of historica...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!

 

We have a great guest at today's webinar!

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...



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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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