Posts Tagged ‘Jim Grant’

Jim Grant on the New Federal Reserve Governor Nominees; Economic Groupthink

(Video’s back in working order.)

Jim Grant on the New Federal Reserve Governor Nominees; Economic Groupthink


Organizations, whether it be a club or a profession or a department, too often over time develop a sort of intellectual inertia, a bureaucratic mindset that tends to perpetuate and validate a certain view of the world amongst its members, particularly if they share other elements in background and world view.

This works to its advantage when they are right, and when the scope of the tasks which they must address are limited to largely operational concerns, without significant risk in the classic sense of the term.

But when the situation becomes different, the environment changes, this organizational mindset not only stifles innovation and adaptation, it can literally reach out and strangle it, well beyond its members, using the entrenched power of its tenure. We see this tendency clearly in organizations that have enjoyed long periods of organizational growth under the leadership of strong personalities, such as the FBI under Hoover, and the Federal Reserve under Greenspan.

We can see this same tendency on a micro level in our daily life on chatboards, in clubs, in our company departments, in civic organizations. It is a tribalistic instinct, that urges the adoption of a consensus view, often influenced and promoted by articulate and single minded individuals, which then musters and focuses the energy and vitality of the group in the execution of its mission.

When it is right, it brings success. But when it goes wrong, when it feeds on itself, becomes defensive and inwardly focused, when perpetuation of the group view overtakes all other considerations, when tribal loyalty and sameness is valued over results, it leads to a cult like behaviour, inbred thinking, that may be inimical to the best intentions of the group, and the sort of behavioural anomalies which we have seen in the tragedies of Watergate, the latter stage Hoover FBI, and even Jonestown.

Economics is in the grips of such a period in its development. One of the primary causes of this problem has been the rise of a few well funded think tanks, universities, and of course the Federal Reserve, that have become powerful influencers, and guardians, dogmatisers of the status quo. The petty sniping among the schools notwithstanding, the current debate of stimulus versus austerity serves to show how anemic, how self…
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Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Oh the ironies!  The man who believes the U.S. has a Greek problem also believes the Fed has no idea what it’s doing….At least he gets part of the argument right.  Unfortunately, the “brightest” and most respected minds in this country have just about no clue how things work in the real world.  Is it any surprise that the economy is a total mess when everyone listens to these “experts”?

Source: Bloomberg TV 

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Jim Grant is Confident QE 2.0 Is Just Around the Corner

Jim Grant Is Confident QE 2.0 Is Just Around The Corner

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Jim Grant, one of the most respected voices in the financial industry, joins Zero Hedge and others, who see that the only choice the Federal Reserve has now that the temporary and shallow reprieve from the clutches of the deflationary depression is over, is to print more money in the form of another iteration of QE. Whether this will be another $2.5 trillion, like last time, which was the price of an 18 month delay of the inevitable, or a $5 trillion concerted global effort, as Ambrose Evans-Pritchard believes, is irrelevant: the only option the central printers, pardon, bankers, have left is to flood the market with yet more worthless paper (keep an eye out on the doubling in the price of gold the second QE2 is publicly announced, which will also double as the obituary for all fiat paper).

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Grant says that the first order of business tomorrow when the Fed’s new additions officially join their new groupthink perpetuating employer will be "to try once more to print enough dollars to make something happen in the U.S. economy.” The ever-sarcastic Grant manages to completely skewer Janet Yellen, Steve Diamond and Sarah Bloom Raskin, to ridicule the Fed’s 100% track record of not only focusing on the wrong thing time after time, but getting the response consistently wrong with 100% precision, and also manages to makes fun of the Fed’s credentialed WSJ lackeys, who courtesy of the Fed’s "editorial" control over the reporting process, get a direct line into leakable Fed strategy.

Grant’s thoughts on new Fed additions:

"I think the first order of business will be to try once more to print enough dollars to make something happen in the U.S. economy.”

On San Francisco Fed President Janet Yellen:

“Janet Yellen has had 36 opportunities to vote on monetary policy at the Federal Open Market Committee and she has voted ‘Aye, yes’ 36 times. 36 for 36 times. Now, has the Fed been right 36 consecutive times? No. I think that Janet Yellen is a well credentialed, consensus-hugging economist straight out of the Fed HR department. She is ideal from the point of view of the Fed bureaucracy. She will make not one ripple.”

On MIT economist Steve Diamond and Maryland
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Jim Grant Takes On David Rosenberg And The Bond Bulls, Warns The Fed Chairman: “Watch Your Back Ben Bernanke, Cycles Turn”

Jim Grant Takes On David Rosenberg And The Bond Bulls, Warns The Fed Chairman: "Watch Your Back Ben Bernanke, Cycles Turn"

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

In one of the most erudite, intelligent, and insightful conversations on the Bond bull/bear debate, David Rosenberg and Jim Grant go all out at each other, trading blows in this "Great Debate" which is a must see by all. As we pointed out yesterday, Grant is very bearish on bonds, and in a self-made prospectus has decided to downgrade the US, since the rating agencies, which have long been thoroughly incompetent, corrupt and afraid to disturb the status quo, will not do so until it is too late. Jim’s point is simple: you can’t resolve massive debt with more debt, and says Treasuries, which he calls "certificates of confiscation" are a surefire way to lose one’s money. He points to the record supply of US Treasuries, makes fun of the SEC (who doesn’t), and in a stunning move, cautions the Fed Chairman, whose ongoing dollar debasement, was once considered treason by the US. His conclusion: "watch your back, Ben Bernanke. Cycles turn" could not have come at a more opportune time. As a contrarian, Rosenberg discusses the McKinsey report looking at sovereign debt, and the Reinhart and Rogoff studies on debt default and highlights that there is a major disconnect between theoretical applications of sovereign default models and practice: in essence the US is still deleveraging as private debt is decreasing and public debt is surging but to a slower degree. In essence, David claims, the second largest monthly debt issuance in March of $333 billion is merely a side effect of ongoing deleveraging, which is a leading and/or coincident indicator of deflation: an environment in which the long bond thrives (Japan is a good reference point).

Agree or disagree, the fact that two of the smartest economists in the world can present very persuasive cases for either side indicates precisely the conundrum we are in, and is precisely why the Fed will pretend it is operating in the shadow of a so-called Goldilocks economy, even as it prints record trillions of new debt until one or the other is proven wrong. If, as many expect, Grant ends up being correct, than Bernanke will have gambled and lost the future of the United States.

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Reflections on “The Last Bear Standing”

Reflections on "The Last Bear Standing"

bearCourtesy of Mish

Bill Bonner is one of my favorite columnists. On Friday he was discussing The Last Bear.

As they say on Wall Street, a rally ends when the last bear gives up. An old friend had been a source of inspiration for tech bears for many years. He suddenly saw the light and gave up in 1999. Shares he had formerly scorned – often dotcoms with no revenue and no business plans – were suddenly added to his own portfolio. This also heralded a big change – the end of the tech bubble. Tech stocks collapsed. Most disappeared. Then, Stephen Roach became vaguely bullish in 2007, after a long period of doubt and misgivings.

Now it is Jim Grant who has changed his mind. A generation of investors has gotten used to Grant’s ‘doom is nigh’ warnings. Now, he says, it’s a boom that is nigh.

What is remarkable about the Grant conversion is that his vision gives off so little heat and light. His WSJ article shillyshallies around; rehearses the history of previous recessions and comes to rest in front of a flickering match: “The deeper the slump, the zippier the recovery.”

But facts are survivors. They will tell whatever tale their interrogators want to hear. As for opinions, after six months of a stock market rally, the once half empty glass has become half full. We predicted it ourselves. But we’ll let Robert Prechter say, ‘I told you so.’ Even before the rally began, Prechter foretold its story:

“Regardless of extent, it should generate feelings of optimism. At its peak, the President’s popularity will be higher, the government will be taking credit for successfully bailing out the economy, the fed will appear to have saved the banking system and investors will be convinced that the bear market is behind us.”

As to Mr. Obama’s popularity, Prechter was wrong. But 4 out of 5 ain’t bad.

turning bullishWhat will happen next, we don’t know. But if we turn bullish on this economy and urge you to buy stocks, it will surely be time to sell them.

Enjoy your weekend,

Bill Bonner
The Daily Reckoning

From Deflation to Inflation

With the above in mind I note with interest Martin Weiss, a prominent deflationist has changed his stance. Please consider From Deflation to Inflation.

Step by step,

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Rosie Debunks Jim Grant Rosyness

In case you missed it, David Rosenberg offered thoughts about James Grant’s seemingly odd switch from his generally bearish positioning to cautiously bullish over the weekend. Here’s what David has to say, courtesy of Tyler at Zero Hedge.

Rosie Debunks Jim Grant Rosyness

Much has been made of Jim Grant’s piece in the WSJ over the weekend in which he implicitly professes his conversion from a bear to a bull. Some have already voiced their argument for why Grant, usually a very in depth analyst of historical and prevailing themes, may have otherwise cut some corners in his explanation of the ongoing seemingly unstoppable 6 month long market move. In his Breakfast with Dave, Rosenberg shares his two cents on why Jim’s evaluation is not quite up to snuff. One hopes that Grant’s Interest Rate Observer subscriptions do not suffer as a result of what could become a bear war (or alternatively, that a subscription "issue" was not one that caused the rather dramatic shift in perception).


The Weekend Journal ran with an article by James Grant, which admittedly took us by surprise (he is a true giant in the industry, as an aside) — From Bear to Bull and in the article, he relies mostly on the thought process from two economic think-tanks — Michael Darda from MKM Partners and the folks over at the Economic Cycle Research Institute.

We highly recommend this article for everyone to read to understand the other side of the debate. But we have some major problems with the points being made.

1. Mr. Grant starts off by saying that “as if they really knew, leading economists predict that recovery from our Great Recession will be plodding, gray and jobless.” Well, frankly, it doesn’t really matter what “leading economists” are saying because Mr. Market has already moved to the bullish side of the debate having expanded valuation metrics to a point that is consistent with 4% real GDP growth and a doubling in earnings, to $83 EPS, which even the consensus does not expect to see until we are into 2012. We are more than fully priced as it is for mid-cycle earnings.

2. Nowhere in Mr. Grant’s synopsis do the words “deleveraging” or “credit contraction” show up. Yet, this is the cornerstone of the bearish viewpoint. Attitudes

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You’re All Wrong, There’s No V-Shaped Recovery Coming

Joe, like me, is having a hard time embracing the V-shaped recovery belief. He makes a good point about economics not being either physics or history, and if we’ve seen anything over the last few years, it’s perhaps how wildly the operative economic principles of the day have failed. – Ilene

You’re All Wrong, There’s No V-Shaped Recovery Coming

Courtesy of Joe Weisenthal at Clusterstock

farm depression farming agriculture heartland crops midwestWell, well. It’s suddenly become very hip to believe in a V-shaped recovery, and to slam the pessimists for not knowing their history. As Jim Grant argued yesterday in the Wall Street Journal, the severity of the slump predicts the severity of the recovery — it’s just like physics!

But economics isn’t physics. And don’t worry about not knowing your history, because economics isn’t history either.

Here’s why we’re not in for a v-shaped recovery.

First, the pax economica that preceded the current slump was artificial. Large swaths of the economy had stopped doing anything productive, while the rest of the economy was buoyed by rising home values that allowed for spending on a level that was disconnected from what people were actually bringing in via income. Of course, you know this part of the story, but the key is that this is meaningfully different than the situation heading into previous economic slumps.

The other reason why we’re not in for a "V" is that the economy, even without the credit-collapse, is still in the midst of violent changes in the economy. New technology and new business models are uprooting old businesses (whether it’s media, manufacturing, or commercial real estate), throwing labor and capital into disarray. Ultimately the transition will be good, but in the meantime, displaced workers will face an unusual amount of lag in finding new work, if only because the industries that were they yesterday have gone and disappeared, requiring extensive levels of retraining.

There are other aspects too, such as the size of government and demographics that look increasingly unfavorable.

Curiously, Jim Grant’s admonition to remember history only mentions past slumps in the US. We don’t see the word "Japan" mentioned once in the whole article? But unless the laws of economics are different there than they are here, then we can certainly point to examples of bad busts that weren’t followed by a quick snap back.…
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Jim Grant: Ringing the Bell at the Top?

Jim Grant: Ringing the Bell at the Top?

ringing the bell, Jim GrantCourtesy of Michael Panzner at Financial Armageddon

In the following Wall Street Journal commentary, "From Bear to Bull," a long-time critic of the excesses and wayward policies that brought this country to its knees suggests the outlook for the economy is brighter than many people, especially the pessimists, believe:

James Grant argues the latest gloomy forecasts ignore an important lesson of history: The deeper the slump, the zippier the recovery.

As if they really knew, leading economists predict that recovery from our Great Recession will be plodding, gray and jobless. But they don’t know, and can’t. The future is unfathomable.

Not famously a glass half-full kind of fellow, I am about to propose that the recovery will be a bit of a barn burner. Not that I can really know, either, the future being what it is. However, though I can’t predict, I can guess. No, not "guess." Let us say infer.

The very best investors don’t even try to forecast the future. Rather, they seize such opportunities as the present affords them. Henry Singleton, chief executive officer of Teledyne Inc. from the 1960s through the 1980s, was one of these enlightened opportunists. The best plan, he believed, was no plan. Better to approach an uncertain world with an open mind. "I know a lot of people have very strong and definite plans that they’ve worked out on all kinds of things," Singleton once remarked at a Teledyne annual meeting, "but we’re subject to a tremendous number of outside influences and the vast majority of them cannot be predicted. So my idea is to stay flexible." Then how many influences, outside and inside, must bear on the U.S. economy?

Though we can’t see into the future, we can observe how people are preparing to meet it. Depleted inventories, bloated jobless rolls and rock-bottom interest rates suggest that people are preparing for to meet it from the inside of a bomb shelter.

The Great Recession destroyed confidence as much as it did jobs and wealth. Here was a slump out of central casting. From the peak, inflation-adjusted gross domestic product has fallen by 3.9%. The meek and mild downturns of 1990-91 and 2001 (each, coincidentally, just eight months long, hardly worth the bother), brought losses to the real GDP of just 1.4% and 0.3%, respectively. The

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Phil's Favorites

Manufacturing ISM Contracts; Lowest Reading Since June 2009; Glimmers of Hope Extinguished

Courtesy of Mish.

After flirting with contraction for three months, the Manufacturing ISM fell into negative territory with a 48.6 reading, below the lowest Econoday estimate of 49.7. The Econoday Consensus guess was 50.5, an improvement over the October reading of 50.1
After skirting right at the breakeven 50 line since September, ISM's manufacturing index broke below in November to 48.6 which is more than 1 point below Econoday's low-end estimate for the lowest reading since June 2009. The decline includes a significant dip for new orders which are down 4.0 points to 48.9 and the lowest reading since August 2012. At 43.0, backlog orders are in a six-month streak of contraction. With orders down, ISM's sample cut back ...

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Insider Scoop

Stifel Downgrades Rexx As Its Financial Risk Doesn't Warrant A Hold

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related REXX Morning Market Gainers Benzinga's Top #PreMarket Gainers
  • Rex Energy Corporation (NASDAQ: REXX) shares have lost 73 percent year-to-date, and are currently trading close to the lower end of their 52-week range of $1.36 - $8.21.
  • Stifel’s Michael S. Scialla downgraded the rating on the company from Hold to Sell, while establishing a price target of $0.75.
  • The company does not seem to have sufficient funds to cover interest expenses in 2016, Scialla... more from Insider

Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

IMF Approves Reserve-Currency Status for China's Yuan (Bloomberg)

The IMF will add the yuan to its basket of reserve currencies, an international stamp of approval of the progress China has made integrating into a global economic system dominated for decades by the U.S., Europe and Japan.

The most creative thing central banks have done since the financial crisis has had 'unspectacular' results (Bloomberg)

The most creative thing done by central banks since the financial crisis is taking benchmark ...

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Zero Hedge

Seeking A Savior

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Jeff Thomas via,

It’s an unfortunate truth that, when people are worried about the future, they often put their faith in politicians to somehow make everything better.

Politicians, of course, are famous for promising panaceas for whatever is troubling voters, and they even invent new troubles to worry about, presenting themselves as the only ones who can solve these woes.

Not surprising then, that, over time, any nation may slowly deteriorate into a population of nebbishes who turn to their government to do their thinking for them and take responsibility for their futures.


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Chart School

Semiconductor Index Breaks 200-day MA

Courtesy of Declan.

Today offered a heavier than expected volume day post-holiday. The majority of this action was to the downside, but the Semiconductor Index bucked the trend.  The latter index was able to push above its 200-day MA as it posted a relative advantage against the Nasdaq 100. While the Nasdaq and Nasdaq 100 suffered losses today, both will be helped by strength in the Semiconductor Index.  All technicals for the Semiconductor Index are in the green, with a return of the MACD to a 'buy' trigger (above the bullish zero line - a bullish development).

The Nasdaq suffered a minor loss. It wasn't able to challenge the recent high, but it's close enough ...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

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

Click here for the full report.

To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Crude Oil Market As Oversold As 1999 Lows

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Crude Oil is quite simply the most important commodity on the planet. But volatility with Crude Oil prices emerges every time there is conflict in oil producing nations or an economic slowdown.

And this has led to some pretty big swings in Crude Oil prices over the past several years.

But the latest swing lower is nearing a moment of truth. In fact, this decline may be the most important swing lower of the 2000’s.

Why?  Because oil prices are currently testing a key price support level comprised of the 2004 breakout level (above the 1990 highs) and the 2009 price lows – see red circles and line. In fact, this price support area also marks the 23.6 Fibonacci support level (from the 1999 lows to 2008 highs).  AND crude oil is as oversold as it was back at the 1999 price lows!

But that’s no...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of November 30th, 2015

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

The Bitcoin Universe Explained

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As evidenced by the Greek, Chinese, and now Argentine 'jumps', the world remains increasingly aware of the inevitable worth of fiat currencies and fears the desperate acts of governments as the react to that reality (and is looking for alternatives).

This infographic explains the wide ranges of the Bitcoin universe, accompanied with quotes from some of its best-known business leaders.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist ...

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Sector Detector: Bulls wrest back control of market direction, despite global adversity

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Some weeks when I write this article there is little new to talk about from the prior week. It’s always the Fed, global QE, China growth, election chatter, oil prices, etc. And then there are times like this in which there is so much happening that I don’t know where to start. Of course, the biggest market-moving news came the weekend before last when Paris was put face-to-face with the depths of human depravity and savagery. And yet the stock market responded with its best week of the year. As a result, the key issues dominating the front page and election chatter have moved from the economy and jobs to national security and a real war (rather than police ...

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PSW is more than just stock talk!


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! features the most important and most interesting news items from around the web, all day, every day!

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.   

If you are looking for non-mainstream, provocatively-narrated news and opinion pieces which promise to make you think -- we feature Zero Hedge, ...

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Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli


Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli

Courtesy of Value Walk

1) The shares of one of my largest short positions (~3%), Exact Sciences, crashed by more than 46% yesterday. Below is the article I published this morning on SeekingAlpha, explaining why I think it’s still a great short and thus shorted more yesterday. Here’s a summary:

  • The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Draft Recommendation issued yesterday is devastating for Exact Sciences’ only product, Cologuard.
  • I think this is the beginning of the end for the company.
  • My price target for the stock a year from now is $3, so I shorted more yes...

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Baxter's Spinoff

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

Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).

The Baxalta Spinoff

By Ilene with Trevor of Lowenthal Capital Partners and Paul Price

In its recent filing with the SEC, Baxter provides:

“This information statement is being ...

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Mapping The Market

An update on oil proxies

Courtesy of Jean-Luc Saillard

Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself. 


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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at with any questions.

Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

Thank you for you time!

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