Posts Tagged ‘Iceland’

Moody’s Puts Iceland’s Baa3 Rating On Outlook Negative, Next Stop – Junk, As Island Nation Continues Giving Banks the Finger

Moody’s Puts Iceland’s Baa3 Rating On Outlook Negative, Next Stop – Junk, As Island Nation Continues Giving Banks the Finger

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Iceland, Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon

Just because the unpronounceable volcano did not do quite enough damage, and both Hekla and Katla are taking their sweet time, the Iceland Supreme Court recently ruled on the illegality of foreign FX-linked loans, and "Icesave" is still DOA, here is Moody’s with a stern warning for the country to change its anti-Keynesian ways promptly or else. "Today’s rating action was triggered by the recent Supreme Court ruling on the illegality of foreign-exchange-linked loans and government’s continuing difficulties in achieving a resolution to its "Icesave" dispute with the UK and Dutch governments. Specifically, the Supreme Court ruling has the potential to cause substantial bank losses on foreign currency-denominated loans to domestic borrowers and may therefore require additional government support to the banking system. Moreover, a failure to resolve the "Icesave" dispute could lead the Nordic countries and the IMF to withhold future disbursements to the Icelandic government." Zero Hedge is certainly rooting for the tiny island country, even if it is triple hook rated, as it continues to give the middle finger to all the developed world kleptocrats.

From Moody’s

Moody’s Investors Service has today changed to negative from stable the rating outlook for Iceland’s Baa3 local and foreign currency government bond ratings.

Today’s rating action was triggered by the recent Supreme Court ruling on the illegality of foreign-exchange-linked loans and government’s continuing difficulties in achieving a resolution to its "Icesave" dispute with the UK and Dutch governments. Specifically, the Supreme Court ruling has the potential to cause substantial bank losses on foreign currency-denominated loans to domestic borrowers and may therefore require additional government support to the banking system. Moreover, a failure to resolve the "Icesave" dispute could lead the Nordic countries and the IMF to withhold future disbursements to the Icelandic government.

These two sources of macroeconomic uncertainty are indicative of the generally asymmetric risks facing Iceland and explains the rationale for the negative outlook on its ratings.

Moody’s has today also changed the outlook on Iceland’s country ceiling for foreign-currency bonds of Baa2 from stable to negative. The outlook on the foreign-currency deposit ceiling of Baa3 has also been changed to negative from stable.

RATIONALE FOR NEGATIVE SOVEREIGN OUTLOOK

"The magnitude of the banking system losses that will result…
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The Trashing of Iceland By Private Banks, and Its Efforts at an Economic Renaissance

The Trashing of Iceland By Private Banks, and Its Efforts at an Economic Renaissance

Iceland, Jokulsarlon Lagoon with icebergs

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

Iceland represents an interesting situation. Most people are not very familiar with it. With only 300,000 inhabitants, Iceland certainly fits the description of a ‘microcosm.’ The story of the privatization of the Icelandic banks, and the ensuing orgy of credit expansion and fraud, is well worth some attention.

Banks that are private sometimes should be allowed to fail. One might consider saving the depositors, especially if it is a fraud, and certainly if the accounts are explicitly insured, but the creditors and investors should be wiped out, utterly and completely. This is the only way to wring moral hazard out of the system. This of course should be accompanied by vigorous and aggressive investigations for fraud, and prosecutions if the evidence indicates for indictment. I would follow those perpetrators to the ends of the earth, seeking their extradition, to insure that justice was done. These people are little better than traitors to their country and their people.

We tend to treat these sorts of banking frauds far too lightly. They are like poison to the system, because they not only involve the theft of funds, but the destruction of the confidence and integrity which permits the social system to function.

Their reform movement and new approaches to banking in Iceland are hopeful signs. They should not even think about joining the EU, or taking any loans for their banks.

They might also consider relieving the Social Democrats of power, because it sounds as if they are not interested in serving the people. The only question I would have is, "Why are they still in office, and not out on the street looking for employment?"

Iceland Jails Bankers and Sues Accounting Firms - AFP

The IceSave Dispute - Wikipedia

UK Slowly Strangled Iceland Says Ex-Central Banker - Bloomberg

h/t to Anonymous

While not mentioned in the video, the implications of the recent Icelandic Supreme Court’s decision on the illegality of loans indexed to foreign currency baskets may be significant.

Under the provisions of the IMF Articles of Agreement, courts of other member states, including the US, UK and the Netherlands, are presumably/arguably barred from reaching a different conclusion. See, Article VIII, Section 2(b):

(b) Exchange contracts which involve the currency of any member and which are contrary to the


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Icelandic Blackmail Discussion With Max Keiser and Birgitta Jonsdottir, a Member of the Icelandic Parliament

Icelandic Blackmail Discussion With Max Keiser and Birgitta Jonsdottir, a Member of the Icelandic Parliament

Courtesy of Mish 

Inquiring minds are watching a pair of interviews with Max Keiser and Birgitta Jonsdottir, a member of the Icelandic Parliament.

Part One


Part Two

In Iceland Rejects IceSave; Does No Mean No? I said …

Notice how Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir calls the will of 93% of Icelandic citizens "obsolete". The reality is she will soon be obsolete and voted out of office. Such arrogance is not tolerated anywhere.

I would suggest that overriding the will of 93% of the population is under-interpreting the message. But hey, to politicians everywhere, no does not mean no, it means whatever the politician wants it to mean.

What’s highly dangerous is the attitude that the wishes of 93% of the people is irrelevant.

Icelandic citizens have overwhelmingly spoken. They do not care for the bailouts. They also rightfully believe the Icesave proposal was blackmail, as without it inclusion in the EU would be delayed.

Thus, it’s good to see some hardball from someone in the Icelandic parliament. Hopefully Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir will be rewarded for her arrogance and removed in the next election.

The citizens of Iceland think "no means no", so does Birgitta Jonsdottir, and so do I. Best wishes to Iceland.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock 


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Monday Market Movement

Asia exploded out of the gate today! 

The Hang Seng is up 2% at 21,196, gaining 408 points on the day along with a 2% gain on the Nikkei (216 points), taking them over the 10,500 mark to 10,585 as they play catch-up to the Dow, which topped out at 10,566 last week.  The BSE keeps going higher, adding 0.6% for the day, back over 17,000 at 17,108 and the Shanghia added 0.7%, finishing the day at 3,053

The Hang Seng's incredible morning gap up and 100-point follow-through, though impressive, is only a "good start" to getting that index back on the road to recovery as they had topped out at 23,000 in November and flirted with 22,500 in early January so we'll need some sustained conviction before we get all bullish on China but, for today, we can just say "WOW" – it's amazing how much a market can move when it's closed!  

We're closed as well but our pre-markets are looking strong although Europe is kind of flat-lining.  They are all upset because the 300,000 people who live in Iceland took a vote and decided they didn't have $5.3Bn to bail out failed Icebank, which kind of leaves the EU investors, who deposited money into an internet savings account that promised 8% returns, in a bit of a lurch becuase (surprisingly, I'm sure) it turns out the bank took a lot of risks to get those returns and (even more surprisingly) THEY BLEW IT!   Even more surprisingly to European investors, 93% of the voters said: "No thank you, we will not agree to pay $17,666 per person (about $58,000 per family) to make foreign investors whole."

What I find most funny about this is that the UK and the Netherlands had the nerve to ask Icelanders to repay this money.  $5.3Bn is 1/2 of Iceland's GDP – that would be like countries who lost money in the Lehman collapse asking US taxpayers to kick in $6.5Tn to make them whole.  What do you think our vote would be?  Sure we are numb to our own debt level but are we that numb?  Possibly so as we seem to be happily buying oil at $80 a barrel again – sending $321Bn American dollars out of the country in exchange for…
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Eleven Principles of Financial Reform

Eleven Principles of Financial Reform

Courtesy of Jesse’s Americain Cafe (intro), and Vox

Barney Frank Discusses Health Care Reform At Town Hall Meeting

Personally I doubt that the US is capable of self-reform at this time. I think the corruption of the system runs that deeply and is embedded in the national consciousness as a reflexive set of slogans (the big lies) that substitute for empirical thought and effective policy formation. The examples of ‘thinkspeak’ are almost endless, but the irony is that the inmates of the asylum can no longer recognize them as such. 

The major media is owned by a few corporations, and the Congress listens to its large contributors and ignores the public except at election time, when it inundates them with expensive media campaigns, political spin, and propaganda. And then it is back to business as usual

What will it take? It took the Japanese about twenty years of economic privation to finally get rid of the LDP political party that had ruled the country since the Second World War. It may take ten years of stagflation and economic hardship for the American people to wake up and put an end to the crony capitalism that has captured its two party political system. A good start would be to continue to eject incumbents from both parties, and to start electing viable third party candidates. But that will take more a more thoughtful venue than is currently the norm.

Vox
Eleven Lessons From Iceland
Thorvaldur Gylfason
13 February 2010

…What can be done to reduce the likelihood of a repeat performance – in Iceland and elsewhere? Here are eleven main lessons from the Iceland story, lessons that are likely to be relevant in other, less extreme cases as well.

Lesson 1. We need effective legal protection against predatory lending just as we have long had laws against quack doctors. The problem is asymmetric information. Doctors and bankers typically know more about complicated medical procedures and complex financial instruments than their patients and clients. The asymmetry creates a need for legal protection through judicious licensing and other means against financial (as well as medical) malpractice to protect the weak against the strong.

Lesson 2. We should not allow rating agencies to be paid by the banks they have been set up to assess. The present arrangement creates an obvious and fundamental conflict of interest and needs to be revised. Likewise, banks should not be allowed to hire employees of regulatory agencies,…
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Iceland downgraded to junk as it heeds 70% of the electorate on Icesave debt

Iceland downgraded to junk as it heeds 70% of the electorate on Icesave debt

Courtesy of Edward Harrison at Credit Writedowns

Iceland, Jokulsarlon Lagoon with icebergs

The latest piece of big news in the sovereign debt crisis comes, remarkably, from Iceland. The country collapsed into depression after its experiment as an open economy with a large banking sector went pear shaped.

After a debt-fuelled boom and a huge influx of hot money due to high interest rates, its currency and banks collapsed under a fleeing of foreign money and huge losses. The government nationalized the bank’s debt only to find the banks were too big to bail. The Icelanders rioted on the streets, a sovereign crisis ensued, and the government was toppled.

Iceland was rescued and it seemed all was well. They was even talk of fast-tracking Iceland into the EU. Then, suddenly, the population balked at the prospect of bailing out the banks. Now, the sovereign debt crisis is on again. At issue is Icesave, an Icelandic bank that operated in the UK and the Netherlands whose bust caused great hardship amongst British and Dutch savers who were attracted by high interest rates.

See the video below on why Fitch is now downgrading the country’s debt status to junk despite the lack of immediate liquidity concerns.

I think this is big news and have a number of sources on this story below. Watch the Dutch and British stories for signs of European tensions as this is where the affected Icesave savers reside. The FT headline says it all. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s commentary is the most comprehensive and balanced in my view. The Norwegian headline, on the other hand, is “Iceland not on the verge of collapse” in huge typeface. The fault lines are definitely opening in Europe. I will discuss this later on the latest story on Greece and the likelihood of EU help.

Sources

Reykjavik warned of political isolation – FT

Iceland can refuse debt servitude – FT

Iceland faces crisis after Icesave rejection – Reuters

Iceland leader vetoes bank repayments bill – BBC News

Iceland’s president blocks £2.3bn Icesave deal to compensate the UK – Telegraph

Angry Iceland defies the world – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Icelanders to vote on whether to repay UK over bank bailout – Guardian

Poll: Should
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Iceland’s President Effectively Tells UK “Go To Hell” – Hooray For Iceland

More on Iceland, courtesy of Mish.  

Iceland’s President Effectively Tells UK "Go To Hell" – Hooray For Iceland

Iceland, Jokulsarlon Lagoon with icebergs

Congratulations to Iceland for figuring out that it is better to suffer a credit rating downgrade than to torture its citizens for a decade or longer. Please consider Iceland president vetoes collapsed Icesave Bank’s bill to UK.

Iceland was plunged back into crisis after its president refused to sign a bill promising to repay more than €3.8bn (£3.4bn) to Britain and the Netherlands after the collapse of the country’s Icesave bank in 2008.

The escalating row threatens to further destablise the Icelandic economy, which went into meltdown after the failure of its three big banks, cutting off further aid from the International Monetary Fund and jeopardising efforts to join the European Union. The credit rating agency Fitch immediately downgraded Iceland, describing the latest political row as a "significant setback".

The British and Dutch governments had compensated savers who lost money when Icesave’s parent Landsbanki filed for bankruptcy. But both have since put pressure on Reykjavik to repay the money.

Opinion polls suggest that Icelanders will overwhelmingly vote against the passage of the bill. A petition urging Grimsson not to sign the bill attracted 62,000 signatures, around one-fifth of the population. Critics say the bill would burden each citizen with a debt of €12,000 including interest.

In a televised address, Grimsson said: "It is the cornerstone of the constitutional structure of the Republic of Iceland that the people are the supreme judge of the validity of the law. It is…the responsibility of the president to ensure that the nation exercises this right." He said the referendum would take place as soon as possible.

Almost 300,000 British savers had deposits with Icesave, attracted by market beating interest rates. Their accounts were frozen in October 2008, sparking a diplomatic row between Britain and Iceland, which had only recently begun to thaw. Britain outraged ordinary Icelanders at the time by invoking anti-terrorist legislation to freeze the UK assets of Landsbanki.

Repayment Blocked

The Times Online Reports Iceland blocks repayment of £2.3bn to Britain

Today Iceland’s President, Olafur Grimsson, vetoed a bill that would have enforced the repayment of the money by 2024.

Under Iceland’s constitution there must now be a referendum on the issue.

But the repayment is deeply unpopular


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Testy Tuesday Morning

Wow – what a lot of work to get back to last Tuesday's high! 

As usual, the vast majority of gains came in pre-market trading and the rest came in light-volume, early morning trading while the rest of the day was dominated by every buyer finding a willing seller for 75% of the day's volume.  We saw what happened on Thursday when someone big wants to sell and there are no buyers so we'll see how long the bull's luck (manufactured or otherwise) will hold out as we begin to get economic data along with some early earnings reports.

The Ag sector popped 2% yesterday ahead of tonight's earings from MOS with MON checking in tomorrow morning so we'll see how wise those last-minute bets were in short order.  SONC also has earnings tonight and we like those guys long-term.  SONC makes a decent buy/write candidate as you can buy the stock for $10.29 and sell June $10 puts and calls for $2.25 for a net entry of $8.04 with a very nice 24% profit if called away at $10 and an average entry of $9.02 (a 12% discount) if more stock is put to you below $10 in June. 

FDO and WOR also report tomorrow morning.  FDO will be interesting but a weak dollar probably hurt them last quarter.  Tomorrow night we hear from BBBY, BLUD, OHB and Sonic competitor RT, who seem a bit pricey at $7.50.  Thursday we get our first real builder, LEN along with STZ and TXI.  After the bell on Thursday we hear from APOL, CRI and SCHN with GBX and PSMT on Friday.  AA officially kicks of earnings season next Monday with GAP, INFY, KBH, BGG, SCHW, SHFL, INTC and JPM highlighting the reporters. 

We have plenty of data this week including Factory Orders and Pending Home Sales at 10 am along with December Auto Sales throughout the day (did you get a new car for Christmas?).  Tomorrow is jobs day, with the ADP Report and Challenger Job Cuts ahead of the bell followed by ISM Services (yesterday's ISM was a nice beat) and, of course, Crude Inventories at 10:30 which are unlikely to sustain $82 oil (USO Jan $40 puts for .80 are a good way to play this)We talked about the other stuff yesterday so I won't repeat it – suffice to say
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Sovereign Debt Defaults

Here’s two posts (article plus update) by The Shocked Investor on Sovereign Debt Defaults.

Concerns Escalate On Sovereign Debt Defaults: Who Is Next?

A week ago we posted the list of countries [below] at risk of default or with very poor credit ratings. It turns out that concerns are seriously growing worldwide about sovereign debt.

The Financial Times reports today that following the disasters in Greece and Dubai indeed sovereign debt risk is emerging as a serious concern for senior bankers, risk consultants and auditors: "Bankers at some large institutions are discussing whether they need to make provisions for sovereign risks in the same way they now set aside reserves to cover losses from corporate or emerging market risks".

This all has to do not only with the seemingly isolated financial disasters (Greece, Dubai, although one can add Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Japan, the U.K, and even the U.S, and several others – are these really isolated?), but with the loose monetary policy employed by some countries. Moody’s has warned that debt could be sold off in 2010 if central banks do not implement successful exit strategies from these loose monetary policies.

"Control Risks, a risk consultancy, has seen a big increase in mandates from insurance companies and other financial institutions seeking to understand the part politics plays in sovereign default risk".

A survey showed lower risks for eurozone countries given the likelihood of support by other member states, however, countries such as Kazakhstan, Ukraine, the Seychelles and Eritrea – are vulnerable to downgrades and default.

So we have money printing pushing markets up, and debts and disasters in the making. This is why I like straddes so much. Anything can happen.

Sovereign Debt Update: Europe At Great Risk

Here is a great follow-up on our article on sovereign debt risk. The Wall Street Journal has a map of the risks in Europe:

[Chart: Euro Zone Grapples With Debt Crisis, WSJ]

Says the WSJ article: "After two years of crashing banking systems and economic recession, the euro zone enters 2010 with a full-blown debt crisis. The European Commission warns that public finances in half of the 16 euro-zone nations are at high risk of becoming unsustainable".

"Half of the 16 euro-zone countries are deemed to be at


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ValueWalk

Warren Buffett - How to Calculate Intrinsic Value

By The Acquirer's Multiple. Originally published at ValueWalk.

One of our favorite investors here at The Acquirer’s Multiple is Warren Buffett.

Lat week I provided and excerpt from Buffett’s ‘Owner’s Manual’ – In June 1996, Berkshire’s Chairman, Warren E. Buffett, issued a booklet entitled “An Owner’s Manual” to Berkshire’s Class A and Class B shareholders. The purpose of the manual was to explain Berkshire’s broad economic principles of operation.

]]> Get The Full Warren Buffett Series in PDF

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Zero Hedge

Fukushima Aborts Latest Robot Mission Inside Reactor; Radiation At "Unimaginable" Levels

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Two years after sacrificing one robot, TEPCO officials have aborted their latest robot mission inside the Fukushima reactor after the 'scorpion' became unresponsive as it investigated the previously discovered hole where the core is believed to have melted.

...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

Managers at a $1 trillion asset manager say investors are dangerously underplaying 3 things (Business Insider)

2016 was not a great year for forecasting. 

The UK's decision to leave the European Union, and President Donald Trump's win despite what the polls showed, humbled many people who were sure that the opposite outcomes would happen.

China Suspends All Coal Imports From North Korea (NY Times)

...



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Digital Currencies

How to Use, Trade, Store and Invest in Bitcoin Digital Assets - Step by Step, Part 1

By Reggie Middleton

(Originally published on Zero Hedge)

I will teach novices and experts alike how to fit Bitcoin into an investment portfolio safely and with the optimum risk-adjusted potential - along with step-by-step guides, instructions and tutorials.

This first part of the series starts with the basics, obtaining and managing your bitcoin.

What is Bitcoin?

First off, we need to know what Bitcoin is since most media pundits and even experienced financial types truly do not know. Bitcoin (capital "B") is a protocol driven network (very similar to that other popular protocol-based network, the Internet). This network is a blank tapestry upon which smart and creative actors can paint a cornucopia of applications (just like applicat...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Fear Indicator; Hitting highest levels in history, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Markets have been on a steady rise and the same can be said for Inverse Fear ETF (XIV). Below looks at Inverse Fear ETF (XIV) since the lows in 2011.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

What a difference a year can make! One year ago this week, XIV was testing rising channel support, as relative momentum was hitting levels last seen at the 2011 lows.

...



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Members' Corner

Save Your Relationship?

Courtesy of Nattering Naybob.

Once again it's "in the Toilet Thursday" or "Thursday's in the Loo".

Our last episode How to Poop At Work? answered the question, what to do when your at a big fancy pants meeting, when out of nowhere, you need to download a brown load?

This week's installment, Save Your Relationship, demonstrates that people will do just about anything to save their relationshits...

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Mapping The Market

NSA May Be Withholding Intel from President Trump

By Jean Luc

These GOP guys were so worried about Hillary's email server and now we find out that we had something close to a Russian mole in the White House. In the meantime, Trump keeps on using his unsecured phone, had high level conversation in his resort in front of dinner guests! It's getting so bad that rumors are now circulating that the NSA is not sharing information with the WH:

NSA May Be Withholding Intel from President Trump

By 

….Our spies have had enough of these shady Russian connections—and they are starting to push back….In light of this, and out of worries about the White House’s ability to keep secrets, some of our spy agencies have begun withholding intelligence fro...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of February 13th, 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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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Feb 12, 2017

Courtesy of Blain.

The week that was…

The quite long in the tooth rally continues as we had 3 days of minor loses to begin the week; ending with 2 days of moderate gains.  We are in a bit of a quiet zone as most S&P 500 companies have now reported earnings, the Federal Reserve is not a “worry” for about a month and a half, and the major economic news of the month hit the prior week.  So the gnashing of teeth (or not) about government policy seems to be the main driver right now- late in the week it was announced some major new tax initiatives would be coming down the pike soon which the market liked.

President Donald Trump said Thursday that an announcement concerning taxes is on tap for the coming weeks, which his press secretary later said would involve an outline of a comprehensive tax plan. “...



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Promotions

Phil's Stock World's Las Vegas Conference!

Learn option strategies and how to be the house and not the gambler. That's especially apropos since we'll be in Vegas....

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:  9:30 to 10:00 am Sunday morning

Location: Caesars Palace in Las Vegas

Notes

Caesars has offered us rooms for $189 on Saturday night and $129 for Sunday night but rooms are limited at that price.

So, if you are planning on being in Vegas (Highly Recommended!), please sign up as soon as possible by sending...



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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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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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About Phil:

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