Posts Tagged ‘government services’

TLP: Sometimes, the Lowest Bidder is Low For a Reason

TLP: Sometimes, the Lowest Bidder is Low For a Reason

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant 

private prisons

Privatization of government services has it place. Trash pickup? Sure. IT? Makes sense. State prisons? Eh, maybe not so much.

FORTUNE:

Early this month, three convicted murderers escaped from a prison in Kingman, a small town along Route 66 in northwest Arizona. According to reports, the inmates had broken free from the facility by using a pair of wire cutters. They’d escaped from a medium-security facility operated by Utah-based Management & Training Corp, a private corrections company.

The incident set off a political furor, not over the fact that the three violent criminals were being held in a medium-security prison, but over the security of the facility itself, and, ultimately, over Arizona’s widespread use of private correctional facilities.

Arizona’s attorney general, Terry Goddard, a Democrat running for governor against incumbent Republican Janice Brewer, took the opportunity to indict the state’s infatuation with privatization.

"I believe a big part of our problem is that the very violent inmates, like the three that escaped, ended up getting reclassified [as a lower risk] quickly and sent to private prisons that were just not up to the job," Goddard told a local TV news station.

In recent years, the trend toward privatization, both among state governments and at the federal level has been part of an attempt to address serious budget troubles and crisis-level prison overcrowding by outsourcing more and more corrections operations to private companies.

The move has translated into big business for industry leaders like Corrections Corporation of America (CXW), The Geo Group (GEO) and Cornell Companies, Inc. (CRN) (just last week, The Geo Group and Cornell finalized a merger valued at $730 million).

According to research firm IBISWorld USA, private corrections is a $22.7 billion industry with an annual growth rate in the last half-decade of 4.7%. While growth slowed from 2009 to 2010, projections for the industry remain largely optimistic.

"The prison population continues to grow regardless of what the economic conditions are," says George Van Horn, senior analyst at IBISWorld.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the number of federal inmates housed in private facilities jumped nearly 14% between 2000 and 2007, and nearly 6% between 2007 and 2008.

Of course, there are ways government can deal with this problem. Make an…
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Emergency Press Conference on Newark Budget Gap; Massive Service Cuts; No Toilet Paper for City Offices; Newark is Bankrupt

Emergency Press Conference on Newark Budget Gap; Massive Service Cuts; No Toilet Paper for City Offices; Newark is Bankrupt

Courtesy of Mish

Newark Mayor Cory Booker and the city council are fighting over ways to balance a $70 million budget hole. Literally everything is under discussion except the one thing that needs to be done: declare bankruptcy.

Please play this video. It is pretty enlightening.

CNN Money reports Newark mayor: No toilet paper for city offices

In a desperate attempt to fill a $70 million budget hole, Newark’s mayor is taking a chainsaw to the town’s budget — even going so far as to cut toilet paper from the 2010 budget.

"Every single contract that does not go to the core function of our city in providing safe streets, providing fire protection, or other things to keep our city afloat will now be cut," Booker said during an emergency press conference Wednesday.

The reductions include not buying toilet paper for city offices, cutting the work week to four days for non-uniformed city workers, which is equivalent to a 20% pay cut, scrapping city holiday decorations, and closing city pools. These extreme measures, most of which will take effect beginning in August, are expected to save the city between $10 million and $15 million.

The city came to this impasse after the city council deferred a vote to create a Municipal Utilities Authority, a key component of Booker’s method of balancing the budget. Because Newark could issue bonds on the Authority, it would have cash inflow to cover the immediate deficit. Without that infusion, the mayor said they can’t make ends meet.

Municipal Utilities Authority Idea is Sheer Madness

I applaud the decision by the council to reject Mayor Booker’s Municipal Utilities Authority.

It is time for cities and states to address issues now, not raise taxes and not float more bonds that cannot and will not be paid back unless sugar daddy Congress steps in with taxpayer sponsored guarantees.

The Blame Game

As you might expect, finger-pointing is now running rampant. Please consider Newark council slams Mayor Booker for ‘savage’ proposed budget cuts.

Donald Payne Jr., Newark’s council president, and four of his colleagues today put up a united front to counter Mayor Cory Booker’s roll out of "savage" budget cuts, accusing him of political gamesmanship for trying to thrust responsibility on the


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Financial Markets and Economy

Sterling basks in glow of May's Brexit speech; stocks slip (Reuters)

The British pound consolidated gains on Wednesday after posting its biggest rise in nearly two decades in the previous session, while Asian stocks are set to drift lower following a weak Wall Street.

Trump’s Options for Weakening Dollar Extend Far Beyond Tweeting (Bloomberg)

Donald Trump may have a point: the dollar is indeed strong. Judging from the Federal Reserve’s own trade-weighted dollar index, the U.S. currency is now around 7 percent above its four-decade average.

...



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ValueWalk

Blue Tower Asset Management Up 33 Percent In 2016 On EZXORP And Sberbank Longs

By VW Staff. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Blue Tower Asset Management commentary for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2016. But first check out our exclusive interview with the PM on some of the hedge fund’s favorite small caps.

Also see Livermore Partners up 85% in 2016 (also profiled here)

2016 Hedge Fund Letters

The Blue Tower Global Value strategy returned 4.98% gross of fees in Q4 2016 (4.66% net) and for the year of 2016 returned 34.83% gross of fees (33.36% net). 2016 has been an excellent year for the firm’s str...



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Zero Hedge

US F-16 Photographed In Mock Dogfight With Russian Su-27 Above Area 51

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A curious sight was observed in the skies above Area 51 in Nevada, on November 8, the day Donald Trump was elected President, by vacationing air traffic controller Phil Drake. According to Drake, the photographs below all taken by him, show a Russian-built Su-27P fighter jet taking on a US Air Force F-16 engaged in a mock dogfight training mission.

...



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Chart School

Russell 2000 Breaks Lower

Courtesy of Declan.

In the end, it was Theresa May and not Trump which saw the Russell 2000 cut through support and confirm the earlier 'bull trap'.  This change coincided with a 'sell' trigger in +DI/-DI. Only stochastics are hanging on to its 'buy' signal.


The S&P experienced heavier volume distribution, but there wasn't a big percentage loss, nor was there a break from the consolidation range

...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

Dollar Falls With U.S. Yields as Brexit Concern Spurs Safety Bid (Bloomberg)

The dollar fell as Treasury yields declined following a long weekend with investors seeking safety amid concern the U.K. is heading for a so-called hard Brexit.

European Stocks Fall as Investors Brace for May’s Brexit Speech (Bloomberg)

European stocks fell on Tuesday, losing ground for a second day, as investors awaited U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech in which she is set to detail her plan for Brexit....



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Kimble Charting Solutions

King Dollar potentially topping out here!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

The US Dollar has been moving higher for nearly a decade, as the trend is up. Could the trend be changing? Could King Dollar loose strength here? If King Dollar would turn lower, what opportunities will present themselves?

Below looks at a chart of the US Dollar over the past 30-years, on a “Monthly Hi/Lo/Closing” basis-

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

The US Dollar finds itself in an uptrend and testing the underside of dual resistance at (1). With the trend being up, if King ...



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Members' Corner

Same Time Last Year?

Courtesy of Nattering Naybob.

In January 2016, as the Chinese stock market was taking a dip along with the SP500, Fed officials made some choice comments. One year later we review..

"To me, it is not as surprising than maybe to some commentators that we're seeing a weaker data in terms of manufacturing. This seems to be part of a process that's been going on in the last couple of years. We have been seeing pretty good data out of China on consumer spending in some of the other areas, so I'm not as concerned about that." – Jan 4, 2016 - SF Fed President John Williams
...

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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of January 16th, 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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Digital Currencies

China's Bitcoin Exchanges Suspend Margin Trading

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

China's bitcoin traders who use the most popular bitcoin exchange not only in China, but also the entire world, BTCChina, were met with an unexpected warning on Friday:

Starting from January 12th, 2017, BTCChina has suspended margin loan service. If you have any questions, please contact Customer Service: support@btcc.com.

BTCChina, which commands over 37% of global bitcoin trading...

... wasn't alone.

Fo...



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Mapping The Market

If we try it enough, it will work.

Via Jean-Luc

Brownback wants Trump to emulate what he did in Kansas because it worked so well:

Sam Brownback Calls on Donald Trump to Mimic His Kansas Tax Plan

By RICHARD RUBIN and  WILL CONNORS

Sam Brownback, the Kansas governor whose tax cuts brought him political turmoil, recurring budget holes and sparse evidence of economic success, has a message for President-elect Donald Trump: Do what I did.

In 2013, Mr. Brownback set out to create a lean, business-friendly government in his state that other Republicans could replicate. He now faces a $350 million deficit when the Kansas legislature convenes in January and projections of a larger one in 2018. The state’s economy is flat and his party is fractured...

...

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Biotech

The Medicines Company: Insider Buying

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

I'm seeing huge insider buying in the biotech company The Medicines Company (MDCO). The price has already moved up around 7%, but these buys are significant, in the millions of dollars range. ~ Ilene

 

 

 

Insider transaction table and buying vs. selling graphic above from insidercow.com.

Chart below from Yahoo.com

...

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Promotions

Phil's Stock World's Las Vegas Conference!

 

Come join us for the Phil's Stock World's Conference in Las Vegas!

Date:  Sunday, Feb 12, 2017 and Monday Feb 13, 2017.            

Beginning Time:  8:00 am Sunday morning

Location: Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas

Notes

Caesar's has tentatively offered us rooms for $189 on Saturday night and $129 for Sunday night. However, we have to sign the contract ASAP. We need at least 10 people to pay me via Paypal or we may lose the best rate for the rooms. (Once we are guaranteed ten attendees, I will put up instructions to call the hotel for individual rooms.)

The more people who sign up,...



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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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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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