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Posts Tagged ‘purchasing power’

Ron Paul Comments On QE2, Says Fed Will Self Destruct, Shocked That Krugman Has “Any Credibility Whatsoever”

Ron Paul Comments On QE2, Says Fed Will Self Destruct, Shocked That Krugman Has "Any Credibility Whatsoever"

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Pic credit: William Banzai7

There were few surprises in today’s commentary by Ron Paul on QE2: the only man in Congress (with Grayson now gone) who is sufficiently intelligent to realize that the primary culprit behind the US economy’s boom-bust cycle is the Federal Reserve, continues to press for the termination of Ben Bernanke’s public "service" which has resulted in a collapse in American purchasing power in the 100 years since the first Jekyll Island meeting. Yet Paul takes a ‘John Lennon’ approach to the problem, believing that active intervention may not even be needed, as the Fed ends up cannibalizing itself: "I think the Fed will self-destruct. People will desert the dollar. I think the Chinese are hinting that already. They are not wanting our dollars as much as raw materials. This is a deeply flawed monetary system. Here we have a small group of people who can create $600 billion with the stroke of a pen… I don’t know where people are coming from to think that this can work. What really astounds me me is how tolerant the people are, the people in Congress and the financial market, where did this authority come from? Now somebody outside of the government can spend trillions of dollars and not think anything about it. It doesn’t work, it’s a failure. And next year it will be more. Bernanke is very clear on what he is going to do - he is going to create money until he gets economic growth and there is no evidence to show that just creating money causes economic growth." All logical and expected. Which is why nobody will endorse the Paul stance, it as it means an end to the trillion dollar wealth transfer system from the middle class to the kleptocracy.

Yet the funniest thing is Ron Paul’s commentary on that irrelevant, and now completely discredited Fed puppet, Paul Krugman,

Krugman is the exactly the opposite of a free market economist. I would think by now he would have been totally discredited and it’s tragic – i pray every night that his views will just disappear because what he wants to do is more of the bad stuff…He is leading the intellectual charge for the


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$8 per Gallon Gasoline Is Already Here (for some of us)

$8 per Gallon Gasoline Is Already Here (for some of us) & Two Charts: the Dow and Dow/Oil   

Courtesy of Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds 

$8 per Gallon Gasoline Is Already Here (for some of us) 

I recently wrote about the possibility of $9/gallon gasoline in the U.S. $8/gallon gasoline is already a reality for some global consumers. 

Price Of Gas Rises For First Time In Six Months

Correspondent Bram S. from The Netherlands recently submitted this insightful response to Adaptation, Habituation, Consumption and $9/Gallon Gasoline.

Bram observes that gasoline is already $8/gallon (when converted from liters priced in euros) in The Netherlands, yet auto owners still spend hours every day commuting to work.

And this is a small nation with an extensive (if expensive) pubic transit system.

To the degree that every dollar/euro/quatloo spent on petrol/diesel is a dollar/euro/quatloo which is not available to be saved or spent on other goods/services, it is in effect a tax (notwithstanding the high taxes already tacked onto petrol/diesel in most of the EU nations).

Why would people continue to drive despite massive financial disincentives to do so? Could the high cost of housing be a factor, as Bram suggests? Or is personal transport so addictive that we are like the lab rats who famously starved themselves to death by continually pressing the button which released more cocaine for their "enjoyment"?

That experiment may be apocryphal, and I mention it only to suggest that there are clearly powerful emotional attractors involved in our decisions to own and drive autos. That is, it is not only a financial decision. But could the economy/society be modified structurally to bring work and home closer together, or to at least ease the financial and social decisions to move the two into close proximity?

Here is Bram’s informative commentary:

I read your story about fuel prices today. Here in the Netherlands the fuel prices are skyhigh, but everyone is still driving his metal cubicle and waiting patiently in traffic jams. Talking about the rise of hidden taxes. In 1993 it was 46.1% tax. Now in 2010 it is 72% on gasoline.

Gasoline Excise Tax (Netherlands) 
(If you are using the Google Chrome browser, just click the "translate" button in the top banner to read the entry in English)

The price per liter gasoline today is EUR 1.579 of which EUR 1.14 is tax….. In dollars per gallon: 7.95. Almost your estimation but no


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The Chinese Disconnect?

The Chinese Disconnect?

Courtesy of Leo Kolivakis at Pension Pulse
 


A follow-up to my last comment on the death-defying dollar. In his NYT op-ed column, Paul Krugman writes about The Chinese Disconnect and notes the following:

Many economists, myself included, believe that China’s asset-buying spree helped inflate the housing bubble, setting the stage for the global financial crisis. But China’s insistence on keeping the yuan/dollar rate fixed, even when the dollar declines, may be doing even more harm now.

Although there has been a lot of doomsaying about the falling dollar, that decline is actually both natural and desirable. America needs a weaker dollar to help reduce its trade deficit, and it’s getting that weaker dollar as nervous investors, who flocked into the presumed safety of U.S. debt at the peak of the crisis, have started putting their money to work elsewhere.

But China has been keeping its currency pegged to the dollar — which means that a country with a huge trade surplus and a rapidly recovering economy, a country whose currency should be rising in value, is in effect engineering a large devaluation instead.

And that’s a particularly bad thing to do at a time when the world economy remains deeply depressed due to inadequate overall demand. By pursuing a weak-currency policy, China is siphoning some of that inadequate demand away from other nations, which is hurting growth almost everywhere. The biggest victims, by the way, are probably workers in other poor countries. In normal times, I’d be among the first to reject claims that China is stealing other peoples’ jobs, but right now it’s the simple truth.

So what are we going to do?

U.S. officials have been extremely cautious about confronting the China problem, to such an extent that last week the Treasury Department, while expressing “concerns,” certified in a required report to Congress that China is not — repeat not — manipulating its currency. They’re kidding, right?

The thing is, right now this caution makes little sense. Suppose the Chinese were to do what Wall Street and Washington seem to fear and start selling some of their dollar hoard. Under current conditions, this would actually help the U.S. economy by making our exports more competitive.

In fact, some countries, most notably Switzerland, have been trying to support their economies by selling


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Stocks, Inflation, Speculation, Desperation

Is a flight from cash contributing to an over-inflation in stock prices? – Ilene

Stocks, Inflation, Speculation, Desperation

Dancing bears

Courtesy of Charles Hugh Smith Of Two Minds

Frequent contributor Harun I. submitted a chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average from 1897 to the present. This is of course priced in nominal (not adjusted for inflation) dollars. Curious about what the chart would look like adjusted for inflation, I asked Harun if he could conjure up such a chart, and he kindly produced an inflation-adjusted Dow.

Now before we look at the charts, we should note the many ways both the Dow and the rate of inflation have been massaged (or manipulated); weak stocks are pulled from the Dow 30 and replaced with stronger companies, and inflation has generally been under-reported by tricks such as overweighting "owner’s equivalent rent" (some 40% of of the CPI calculation) and other suspect methods of calculation.

Be that as it may, the charts paint an unambiguous picture of a tremendous loss of purchasing power in the stock market as reflected by the Dow 30. We start with the nominal Dow, with a 200-month simple moving average line. 

Dow chart
Click on chart for a larger version in a new browser window.

Next up, the Dow adjusted for inflation.

dow, inflation adjusted
Click on chart for a larger version in a new browser window.

Notice how the inflation-adjusted price actually touched the 1966 high.

Even though stocks traded sideways during the 1967-1982 Bear market, adjusted for inflation the Dow lost a tremendous amount of purchasing power.

The recent nominal high in 2007 is revealed as no more than a double top when adjusted for inflation.

Next, the Dow -gold ratio (the Dow priced in gold).

dow, gold chart
Click on chart for a larger version in a new browser window.

Priced in gold, the Dow returned to 1987 levels of valuation.

These charts make me wonder if the rampant speculation we see in every layer of the economy isn’t just a reflection of (normal) human greed but a reflection of a desperation to catch up/not fall behind. In other words, investing "for the long run" hasn’t increased purchasing power as much as nominal prices suggest. Perhaps people sense they’re falling behind in actual purchasing value of their money and assets, and as wages have actually dropped for…
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The Shell Game – How the Federal Reserve is Monetizing Debt

Fascinating!  H/t to Zero Hedge for finding this excellent article by Chris Martenson. (See also Tyler Durden’s "Is The Fed Enabling Foreign Central Banks To Swap Out Their Agency Debt Into Treasuries?")  And welcome to Chris Martenson of ChrisMartenson.com!

The Shell Game – How the Federal Reserve is Monetizing Debt 

Courtesy of Chris Martenson

Executive Summary

  • The Federal Reserve and the federal government are attempting to "plug the gap" caused by a slowdown of private credit/debt creation.
  • Non-US demand for the dollar must remain high, or the dollar will fall.
  • Demand for US assets is in negative territory for 2009
  • The TIC report and Federal Reserve Custody Account are reviewed and compared
  • The Federal Reserve has effectively been monetizing US government debt by cleverly enabling foreign central banks to swap their Agency debt for Treasury debt.
  • The shell game that the Fed is currently playing obscures the fact that money is being printed out of thin air and used to buy US government debt.

The Federal Reserve is monetizing US Treasury debt and is doing so openly, both through its $300 billion commitment to buy Treasuries and by engaging in a sleight of hand maneuver that would make a street hustler from Brooklyn blush. 

This report will wade through some technical details in order to illuminate a complicated issue, but you should take the time to learn about this because it is essential to understanding what the future may hold. 

One of the most important questions of the day concerns how the dollar will fare in the coming months and years. If you are working for a wage, it is essential to know whether you should save or spend that money.  If you have assets to protect, where you place those monies is vitally important and could make the difference between a relatively pleasant future and a difficult one.  If you have any interest at all in where interest rates are headed, you’ll want to understand this story.

There are three major tripwires strung across our landscape, any of which could rather suddenly change the game, if triggered.  One is a sudden rush into material goods and commodities, that might occur if (or when) the truly wealthy ever catch on that paper wealth is a doomed concept.  A second would occur if (or when) the largest


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The Annihiliation Of The Dollar’s Purchasing Power

Wow!  This chart really makes the point. – Ilene

The Annihiliation Of The Dollar’s Purchasing Power

Courtesy of Tyler Durden at ZH
 
This is the chart they don’t want you to see: the purchasing power of the dollar over the past 76 years has declined by 94%. And based on current monetary and fiscal policy, we have at least another 94% to go. The only question is whether this will be achieved in 76 months this time.

Hat tip Teddy


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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 jennifersurovy@yahoo.com 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.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

Thank you for you time!

 
 

Zero Hedge

"Why I Will Not Submit To Medical Martial Law"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Brandon Smith of Alt-Market.com,

One of the most dangerous philosophical contentions even amongst liberty movement activists is the conundrum of government force and prevention during times of imminent pandemic. All of us at one time or another have had this debate. If a legitimate viral threat existed and threatened to infect and kill millions of Americans, is it then acceptable for the government to step in, remove civil liberties, enforce quarantines, and stop people from spreading the disease? After all, during a viral event, the decisions of each in...



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Phil's Favorites

The Death of the Blue Chip

The Death of the Blue Chip

Courtesy of 

My title above is only half-kidding. Because everytime Wall Street pronounces “The Death Of” anything, that’s pretty much when it starts working again. But there is an important point being made in a new article at the Wall Street Journal about the current state of some of our biggest stalwart stocks and their underlying businesses, a point I made two days ago here

Here’s the Journal:

A third of the companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average have posted shrinking or flat revenue over the past 12 m...



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Chart School

S&P 500 Snapshot: Back in Rally Mode

Courtesy of Doug Short.

After a one-day pause, the S&P 500 returned to rally mode. The index opened at its 0.20% intraday low, vaulted upward and then drifted to its 1.81% mid-afternoon high. It closed ninety minutes later with a trimmed gain of 1.23%. The popular financial press touted strong pre-market earnings (most notably from Caterpillar and 3M) as the rally trigger and blamed the afternoon fade on renewed Ebola worries (a doctor being tested in NY).

Looking ahead ... will Amazon's post-close earnings disappointment trigger a market struggle at tomorrow's open? Stay tuned!

The yield on the 10-year Note closed at 2.29%, up 4 bps from yesterday's close. The weekly average for the 30-year fixed mortgage was announced today at 3.92%, the lowest rate since early June of last year.

Here is a 15-minute chart of the past five sessions.

...

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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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Option Review

LUV Options Active Ahead Of Earnings

There is lots of action in Southwest Airlines Co. November expiry call options today ahead of the air carrier’s third-quarter earnings report prior to the opening bell on Thursday. Among the large block trades initiated throughout the trading session, there appears to be at least one options market participant establishing a call spread in far out of the money options. It looks like the trader purchased a 4,000-lot Nov 37/39 call spread at a net premium of $0.40 apiece. The trade makes money if shares in Southwest rally 9.0% over the current price of $34.32 to exceed the effective breakeven point at $37.40, with maximum potential profits of $1.60 per contract available in the event that shares jump more than 13% to $39.00 by expiration. In September, the stock tou...



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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Sharp selloff in stocks sets up long-awaiting buying opportunity

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Last week brought even more stock market weakness and volatility as the selloff became self-perpetuating, with nobody mid-day on Wednesday wanting to be the last guy left holding equities. Hedge funds and other weak holders exacerbated the situation. But the extreme volatility and panic selling finally led some bulls (along with many corporate insiders) to summon a little backbone and buy into weakness, and the market finished the week on a high note, with continued momentum likely into the first part of this week.

Despite concerns about global economic growth and a persistent lack of inflation, especially given all the global quantitative easing, fundamentals for U.S. stocks still look good, and I believe this overdue correction ultimately will shape up to be a great buying opportunity -- i.e., th...



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Digital Currencies

Goodbye War On Drugs, Hello Libertarian Utopia. Dominic Frisby's Bitcoin: The Future of Money?

Courtesy of John Rubino.

Now that bitcoin has subsided from speculative bubble to functioning currency (see the price chart below), it’s safe for non-speculators to explore the whole “cryptocurrency” thing. So…is bitcoin or one of its growing list of competitors a useful addition to the average person’s array of bank accounts and credit cards — or is it a replacement for most of those things? And how does one make this transition?

With his usual excellent timing, London-based financial writer/actor/stand-up comic Dominic Frisby has just released Bitcoin: The Future of Money? in which he explains all this in terms most readers will have no tr...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of October 20th, 2014

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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Market Shadows

Falling Energy Prices: Sober Look takes a Sober Look

Falling Energy Prices: Sober Look takes a Sober Look

What do falling energy prices mean for the US consumer? Sober Look writes a brief yet thorough overview of the consequences of the correction in the price of crude oil. There are good aspects, particularly for the consumer, bad aspects, and out-right ugly possibilities. For more on this subject, read James Hamilton's How will Saudi Arabia respond to lower oil prices?  In previous eras, Saudi Arabia would tighten the supply to help increase prices, but in this "game of chicken," the rules m...



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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

Here's this week's Stock World Weekly. Just sign in with your PSW user name and password. (Or take a free trial.)

#457319216 / gettyimages.com

 

...

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Pharmboy

Biotechs & Bubbles

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

Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely.  From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.

First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices.  Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment.  Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer.  For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...



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