Posts Tagged ‘Lobbying’

Will We Hold It Wednesday – $100 Oil Edition

Wheeeeeeee!  Down goes oil!

That's $5,000 per contract in your pocket if you followed our lead on Wednesday, the 16th, when  my comment right in the morning post (which you can have delivered to you pre-market, every day by clicking here) was:

In yesterday's post, I reminded you we were shorting oil at $104 and we caught a $500 per contract move back to $103.50 but then (also live in the Webcast), we decided to wait for $105ish to re-short today (/CL Futures).  This morning, I posted early (6:22) to our Members that we had our shorting opportunity at $104.95 and already (8:06) we're back to $104.65 and that's good for $300 per contract after a hard morning's work – plenty of money for breakfast! 

We're still expecting a much bigger drop, probably not until after the weekend though, as Ukraine tensions are keeping oil high.  Rather than play the volatile Futures over the weekend, we have SCO and USO plays set up for our Members to take advantage of the potential correction.  Today though, we can still have fun with the Futures (stop at $104.75 at the moment) into inventories at 10:30.   

USO WEEKLYAs you can see from the Futures chart above, we hit it right on the nose and caught a fantastic drop right away but, of course, we've stuck to our guns on those short positions and, just yesterday, in our Live Weekly Webinar, we discussed the merits of leaving our SCO position on the table to take advantage of a further fall in crude.  

If not for the continuing nonsense in the Ukraine, oil would be much lower at the moment as we print record US inventory storage today (10:30 is the official report) without near-record supply and nowhere near record demand.   

In fact, if the crooks at the US energy cartel weren't EXPORTING 1.7 MILLION BARRELS PER DAY out of the country to create an artificial shortage, we'd be piling on an additional 12M barrels a week or 618M barrels this year alone.  In other words, the criminal organizations (allegedly) that control the energy trading in America are sending the equivalent of the entire Strategic Petroleum Reserve out of the country each year
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30 Statistics That Prove The Elite Are Getting Richer, The Poor Are Getting Poorer And The Middle Class Is Being Destroyed

30 Statistics That Prove The Elite Are Getting Richer, The Poor Are Getting Poorer And The Middle Class Is Being Destroyed

Courtesy of Michael Snyder at Economic Collapse 

Not everyone has been doing badly during the economic turmoil of the last few years.  In fact, there are some Americans that are doing really, really well.  While the vast majority of us struggle, there is one small segment of society that is seemingly doing better than ever.  This was reflected in a recent article on CNBC in which it was noted that companies that cater to average Americans are doing rather poorly right now while companies that market luxury goods and services are generally performing exceptionally well.  So why aren’t all American consumers jumping on the spending bandwagon? 

Well, it seems that there are a large number of Americans who either can’t spend a lot of money right now or who are very hesitant to.  A stunningly high number of Americans are still unemployed, and for many other Americans, there is a very real fear that hard economic times will return soon.  On the other hand, there is a significant percentage of Americans who are blowing money on luxury goods and services as if the economy has fully turned around and it is time to let the good times roll.  So exactly what in the world is going on here?

Well, in 2010 life is very, very different depending on whether you are a "have" or a "have not".  The recent article on CNBC referenced above described it this way….

Consumer spending in the U.S. has turned into a tale of two cities in 2010, with an entire segment of consumers splurging confidently on the finer things in life, while another segment, concerned about unemployment and with little or no discretionary income, spends only on bare necessities.
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Wall Street’s Big Win

Excellent article. I recommend reading the whole thing… Matt tells the story behind the sabotage of real financial reform as reflected in the final bill. – Ilene 

Wall Street’s Big Win

Finance reform won’t stop the high-risk gambling that wrecked the economy – and Republicans aren’t the only ones to blame

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone 

Excerpts:

But Dodd-Frank was neither an FDR-style, paradigm-shifting reform, nor a historic assault on free enterprise. What it was, ultimately, was a cop-out, a Band-Aid on a severed artery. If it marks the end of anything at all, it represents the end of the best opportunity we had to do something real about the criminal hijacking of America’s financial-services industry. During the yearlong legislative battle that forged this bill, Congress took a long, hard look at the shape of the modern American economy – and then decided that it didn’t have the stones to wipe out our country’s one dependably thriving profit center: theft.

[...]

All of this is great, but taken together, these reforms fail to address even a tenth of the real problem. Worse: They fail to even define what the real problem is. Over a long year of feverish lobbying and brutally intense backroom negotiations, a group of D.C. insiders fought over a single question: Just how much of the truth about the financial crisis should we share with the public? Do we admit that control over the economy in the past decade was ceded to a small group of rapacious criminals who to this day are engaged in a mind-­numbing campaign of theft on a global scale? Or do we pretend that, minus a few bumps in the road that have mostly been smoothed out, the clean-hands capitalism of Adam Smith still rules the day in America? In other words, do people need to know the real version, in all its majestic whorebotchery, or can we get away with some bullshit cover story? 

In passing Dodd-Frank, they went with the cover story.

[...]

Both of these takes were engineered to avoid an uncomfortable political truth: The huge profits that Wall Street earned in the past decade were driven in large part by a single, far-reaching scheme, one in which bankers, home lenders and other players exploited loopholes in the system to magically transform subprime home borrowers into AAA investments, sell them off to unsuspecting pension funds and foreign trade unions…
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Our Chatty Cathy Congress

Our Chatty Cathy Congress

chatty cathyBy Karen Tumulty, courtesy of TIME

Those of us former little girls of a certain age can remember a doll that we all had to have. She was called Chatty Cathy, and if you pulled a string in her neck, she would say things like "Please brush my hair" and "Let’s have a party!"

It turns out that Chatty Cathy and the United States House of Representatives have a lot in common. Except in Congress’ case, it is the biotechnology industry that has been pulling the string.

In today’s New York Times, Robert Pear has a story that tells us how it happened that more than a dozen lawmakers made virtually the same statement in the official record of the House health care debate. (It’s worth knowing that these are not necessarily speeches they gave on the floor itself, but rather, what gets printed in the Congressional Record when they ask permission to "revise and extend" their remarks. So no one actually hears them say it, but it does go into the official history of the event, and it does put them firmly on record. It also tells the lobbyists’ paymasters that they are getting good return on their investment.)

In this case, the statement in question had actually been written by the biotechnolgy industry--which, as Michael Scherer and I wrote a few weeks back, has been a big winner in the health reform debate, rolling over even such powerful figures as Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman to get its way. Pear (a reporter whose digging skills are legendary among those of us who have been around Washington a while) tells us:

Genentech, a subsidiary of the Swiss drug giant Roche, estimates that 42 House members picked up some of its talking points — 22 Republicans and 20 Democrats, an unusual bipartisan coup for lobbyists.

In an interview, Representative Bill Pascrell Jr., Democrat of New Jersey, said: “I regret that the language was the same. I did not know it was.” He said he got his statement from his staff and “did not know where they got the information from.”

Members of Congress submit statements for publication in the Congressional Record all the time, often with a decorous request to “revise and extend my remarks.” It is unusual for so


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A Warning To America From The East

A Warning To America From The East

JapanCourtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes the following:

Democrat leader Yukio Hatoyama, who won a landslide victory over the weekend, has pledged that there would be no increase in debt to fund his $180bn boost for child allowances and social policy by 2013, but his advisors are already back-tracking as they examine the dire tax figures.

While Japan pulled out of recession in the second quarter, it has barely begun to make up for the 11.7pc contraction of its economy over the preceding year. Industrial production was still down 23pc in July. Exports were down 39pc to the US.

Uh huh.  These are great promises, but Japan’s tax receipts are down 27% over the last year.   This sounds oddly familiar…. our government’s tax receipts are down huge as well, as are the tax receipts of the states.

Michael Taylor from Lombard Street Research said Japan made a strategic error during its Lost Decade by waiting too long to pull the monetary levers. "They failed to boost money supply the way the Fed and the Bank of England are trying to do through quantitative easing. Their fiscal packages led to a massive deterioration in public finances."

Oh nonsense.

Japan tried to avoid the truth.  They tried to sweep the bad debt under the rug instead of forcing it out of the system.  They attempted to apply the Keynesian "fix" that seems to be the tonic to all that ails the economy – spend spend spend and loosen loosen loosen monetary policy.

Did it work?  No. 

Nor will it work here, because just like in Japan the lies have not been flushed from the system and those who have hidden boluses of garbage have not been forced to admit to and clear them.

"IMF studies show that as public debt rises above 60pc of GDP fiscal stimulus loses it effect. People anticipate the consequences: higher taxes, and eventually higher interest rates. The bond vigilantes will always get you in the end," he said.

Hmmm…. Public debt in the US is about $11 trillion, GDP 14ish, so where does that leave us?…
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How To Buy Friends And Alienate People

Courtesy of Simon Johnson, The Baseline Scenario

How To Buy Friends And Alienate People

banks alienating peopleThe banking industry is exceeding all expectations.  The biggest players are raking in profits and planning much higher compensation so far this year, on the back of increased market share (wouldn’t you like two of your major competitors to go out of business?).  And banks in general are managing to project widely a completely negative attitude towards all attempts to protect consumers.

This is a dangerous combination for the industry, yet it is not being handled well.  Just look at the current strategy of the American Bankers’ Association.

Edward L. Yingling is justifiably proud of his organization’s postion as one of the country’s most powerful lobbies

His testimony to Congress on the potential new Consumer Financial Protection Agency plainly shows where his group stands.  The most revealing quote, highlighted in the ABA’s own press release, reads:

“It is now widely understood that the current economic situation originated primarily in the largely unregulated non-bank sector,” he said. “Banks watched as mortgage brokers and others made loans to consumers that a good banker just would not make and they now face the prospect of another burdensome layer of regulation aimed primarily at their less-regulated or unregulated competitors. It is simply unfair to inflict another burden on these banks that had nothing to do with the problems that were created.”

The premise here is false.  If major banks had really not been involved in the mortgage fiasco, we would not have had to roughly double our national debt-to-GDP in order to save the US and world economy.

Within the banking community, and presumably within the ABA’s membership, there is serious tension.  The small banks feel – overall with some justification – that the essence of the recent problem was not about them.  But they can’t bring themselves to suggest publicly that the economic and political power of the largest banks should be curtailed.

Small banks have always had clout in the American political system, particularly when they work through the Senate.  But we have not always had our current kind of crisis.  The executives of these banks lived comfortably in the 1950s and 1960s; their kind of banking was boring, stable, and nicely remunerated.

It is the changing nature and power of the largest financial institutions – banks of various kinds – that has damaged our
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Eight Step Program to Improve Fed’s Image

Courtesy of Mish

Eight Step Program to Improve Fed’s Image

Straight out of the Twilight Zone Fed Intends to Hire Lobbyist in Campaign to Buttress Its Image.

The Federal Reserve intends to hire a veteran lobbyist as it seeks to counter skepticism in Congress about the central bank’s growing power over the U.S. financial system, people familiar with the matter said.

Linda Robertson currently handles government, community and public affairs at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and headed the Washington lobbying office of Enron Corp., the energy trading company that collapsed in 2002 after an accounting scandal. She was also an adviser to all three of the Clinton administration’s Treasury secretaries.

“Some members of Congress think there are votes in attacking the Fed” after it “unnecessarily and unwisely entangled monetary policy with fiscal policy,” said former St. Louis Fed President William Poole. “The Fed is going to have a tricky time of unwinding what has been done” and will need to “keep in touch with members of Congress more thoroughly,” said Poole, now senior fellow with the Cato Institute in Washington.

“People have been asking whether the Fed is capable of getting its job done right,” said Lynn Turner, a former chief accountant at the Securities and Exchange Commission. “Hiring a former lobbyist from Enron will surely make one wonder.”

In addition, the central bank has been become a target to some members of Congress who’ve posted online videos of their interrogations of Fed officials during public hearings.

One YouTube clip, of Florida Democratic Representative Alan Grayson’s grilling of Inspector General Elizabeth Coleman, has garnered almost 500,000 views in about a month.

Twilight Zone Lobbying

The fact that the Fed’s image needed restoring is bad enough, but hiring an Enron lobbyist and expecting it to improve one’s image is straight out of the Twilight Zone.

And what’s with those CBS 60 Minutes escapades with Bernanke? It is sickening to see 60 Minutes presenting Fed propaganda as news. If 60 minutes wants news, here is news:

Is Anyone Minding the Store at the Federal Reserve?

If 60 Minutes wants more news it should report on HR1207.

Ron Paul: Audit the Fed, Then End It! 5/18/09

Support HR1207!

Please contact your legislative representatives today!

Here’s how: Speak Out – Audit the Fed, Then End It!

8


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Zero Hedge

Trump Meets Pope - Nothing Crazy Happens

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

President Trump and The Pope came face to face after the mainstream media had promoted this clash of the titans as likely to end in fireworks as the two world 'leaders' sparred over border walls, socialism, immigration, global terror, and whatever else the media thinks will divide the world most effectively.

Sadly for the media, nothing crazy happened...

Honor of a lifetime to meet His Holiness Pope Francis. I leave the Vatican more determined than ever to pursue PEACE in our world. pic.twitter.com/JzJDy7pllI

— Donald J. Trump (...



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ValueWalk

Manchester Bombing Could Expand Use of GPS Ankle Trackers

By JOHN F. BANZHAF. Originally published at ValueWalk.

In the wake of the Manchester bombing, Britain and other European countries may want to follow Germany’s lead to begin using GPS ankle tracking device as the only cost-effective means to keep track of the thousands of persons on watch lists or otherwise suspected of potential terrorist activities, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

The Evening Standard reported that Salman Abedi, the Manchester bomber “was known to security services” but was not under surveillance or otherwise being investigated because “they did not believe he posed an immediate threat,” and keeping track of the thousands of persons under suspicion at any time to prevent another Manchester bombing style attack is prohibitively expensive.

...



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Phil's Favorites

Predictions - A Fool's Errand

 

Predictions – A Fool’s Errand

Courtesy of Wade Slome, Investing Caffeine

Making bold predictions is a fool’s errand. I think Yogi Berra summed it up best when he spoke about the challenges of making predictions:

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

While making predictions might seem like a pleasurable endeavor, the reality is nobody has been able to consistently predict the future (remember the 2012 Mayan Doomsday?), besides perhaps palm readers and ...



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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

Trump budget to increase growth by boosting investment, labor force: Mnuchin (Reuters)

The Trump administration believes its budget plan will boost economic growth by fostering capital investment and creating jobs for workers who gave up their job hunts during tough times, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday.

With Earnings Season Over, the Insecurity Can Begin for S&P 500 Bulls (Bloomberg)

The issue is earnings season, which for the past four years has occasioned an astonishing amount of the upside in the American...



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Members' Corner

Robert Sapolsky: The biology of our best and worst selves

Interesting discussion of what affects our behavior. 

Description: "How can humans be so compassionate and altruistic — and also so brutal and violent? To understand why we do what we do, neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky looks at extreme context, examining actions on timescales from seconds to millions of years before they occurred. In this fascinating talk, he shares his cutting edge research into the biology that drives our worst and best behaviors."

Robert Sapolsky: The biology of our best and worst selves

Filmed April 2017 at TED 2017

 

p.s. Roger (on Facebook) saw this talk and recommends the book ...



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Chart School

Gains Push Into Breakdown Gap

Courtesy of Declan.

While today's gains were modest they were significant in generating clean pushes inside last week's breakdown gaps. This brings indices back to challenge 'bull traps'

The S&P experienced lighter volume trading as On-Balance-Volume moved to a 'buy' trigger. Today's action opens up for a challenge of 2,405, although shorts may see this as opportunity to go aggressive with a tight stop once markets makes all-time highs.


The Nasdaq is also approaching its 'bull trap'. On-Balance-Volume holds to its ac...

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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of May 22nd, 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

Bitcoin Soars Above $2000 For First Time Ever

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Bitcoin is now up over 100% in 2017, amid global political uncertainty and increased interest in Asia, suddenly spiking above $2000 this afternoon for the first time ever...

That is a year-over-year gain of more than 350%. The move comes, as CoinDesk notes, amid a broader boost in the cryptocurrency market, which broke the $60bn barrier today. The increase has taken place amid strong surges from Ripple's XRP, which seeks to lower costs in enterprise cross-border payments, and ethereum's ether token, a cryptographic asse...



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Biotech

Beyond just promise, CRISPR is delivering in the lab today

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

Beyond just promise, CRISPR is delivering in the lab today

Courtesy of Ian HaydonUniversity of Washington

Precision editing DNA allows for some amazing applications. Ian Haydon, CC BY-ND

There’s a revolution happening in biology, and its name is CRISPR.

CRISPR (pronounced “crisper”) is a powerful technique for editing DNA. It has received an enormous amount of attention in the scientific and popular press, largely based on the promise of what this powerful gene e...



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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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Mapping The Market

Bombing - Right or Wrong?

Courtesy of Jean-Luc

I am telling you Angel – makes no sense… BTW:

Republicans Love Bombing, But Only When a Republican Does It

By Kevin Drum, Mother Jones

A few days ago I noted that Republican views of the economy changed dramatically when Donald Trump was elected, but Democratic views stayed pretty stable. Apparently Republicans view the economy through a partisan lens but Democrats don't.

Are there other examples of this? Yes indeed. Jeff Stein points to polling data about air strikes against Syria:

Democr...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

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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:

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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