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Posts Tagged ‘quantitative easing’

Market Mayhem – 12 Fed Speeches in 5 Days Causes Chaos

Get ready for a wild week. 

FOMC minutes are released on Wednesday at 2pm and there are a record 12 Fed speeches in the days that surround them.  Expect the market to gyrate wildly with each tweetable quote and it all kicks off this afternoon with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, followed by KC's Hawkish Esther George at 8:30.  

Tuesday we have Kocherlakota (hawk) and Dudley (dove), Wednesday is Evans (dove) and the minutes.  Thursday we have Bullard (hawk), Tarullo (dove), Lacker (uber hawk) and Williams (dove) ahead of the realease of the Fed's shocking balance sheet and a look at the ever-expanding US Money Supply.

Friday ends with a bang as we hear from Plosser (uber hawk), George again, Fisher (uber hawk) and then Lacker again – so the hawks very much have the last word into the weekend.  It's not much of a data week (next week is a doozy, though) and, to summarize it's hawk, hawk, dove, dove, hawk, dove, HAWK, dove, HAWK, hawkHAWK, HAWK - do you think, perhaps, the Fed is trying to tell us something?

The next Fed meeting is October 28th and we'll hear their decision on the 29th.  If they don't begin to tighten at this meeting, there is no way they'll do it right before Christmas at their last meeting on the 16th.  It seems to me, they are going to be setting expectations for some hawkish action this week and the reaction will give them time to contemplate it going into the next meeting. 

Embedded image permalinkWhat's keeping us from getting too hawkish (bearish) is this chart from Macrobond, which points out that, the last 3 times 10-year rates have been this low, the Fed has begun major rounds of EASING, not tightening policies.  QE increases the money supply and that forces note rates up to compensate and Jack Lew is the guy who has to borrow the money at those rates – so you can see how this week will all tie together once the dust settles

As a hedge, for our Member Portfolios, we're favoring SQQQ (now $36.55) and DXD (now…
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Free Money Thursday – More Bad News is Good News for the Bulls

gdpEurope is not growing.

Italy, Romania and Cyprus are in Recession (2 consecutive negative quarters) and Belgium dropped 75%, Czech 100% (to zero), Germany down 130%, Latvia down 85%, Hungary down 30%, Poland down 45%…  These are NOT GOOD numbers!  

Yesterday we got a -1.7% reading on Japan, down over 200% from last quarter's +1.5%.  Our own GDP grew at just 1% from last Q, which itself was down 0.5% from the quarter before it but, fortunately, last year's Q2 was so terrible that, by comparison to that – we improved by 2.4% – and that somehow made people happy.  

The euro zone's three largest economies, which account for two-thirds of the region's €9.6T ($12.8T) GDP, all did not post any growth. German GDP shrank 0.2% from the first quarter and Italy's output fell at a similar pace. The French economy, the bloc's second largest behind Germany, stagnated for a second straight quarter.  How, exactly, does this translate into a bullish signal for the markets?  

The answer is: It doesn't.  The bullishness is nothing more than anticipation of MORE FREE MONEY over longer periods of time and that is, indeed good for our Corporate Citizens and the top 1% Human Citizens lucky enough to own them (we own lots in our Long-Term Portfolios!) as they are able to refinance debt at record lows and buy back their own stock with free money and buy whole other companies with free money – all supplied their friendly Central Banksters as well as the suckers who put their hard-earned cash into banks and bonds at 1% interest.  

That's right, the yeild on the German 10-Year Bund has dropped to 1% today.  Auntie Angela will hold $1M of your money for 10 years and give you back $1,100,000 when she's done – isn't that FANTASTIC!  It sure is for those of us who get to borrow that money – not so much for people trying to save.  

The solution is, of course, to put your money into stocks – which is exactly what is happening now and that is why the global markets are flying – even when
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How the US Government Manipulates Inflation Data

The PCE bothered me yesterday.

The Government told us that the PCE core price index for December was 0% – no inflation at all.  I found that to be incredible – as in not credible at all and then Tuscadog asked me how long the Bernank could keep justifying his rampant money printing with fake government data, to which I responded: "I had many derogatory things to say about that but I was literally so sickened by that BS that I couldn’t bring myself to comment on it so I just left it alone but it’s a very sad joke that our government can tell us that there was no inflation in December while the whole planet is falling apart, isn’t it?"  

Fortunately, there was a helpful article in the WSJ by Brett Arends that pointed out that the way the government justifies their low inflation figures is through "substitution and hedonics," a topic expert Government BS detector, Barry Ritholtz had touched on as well.  As Barry says:

Hedonics asks the question: "How much of a product’s price increase is a function of "inflation," and how much is quality improvement?" Thus, the entire late 1990′s concept of Hedonics is premised upon a flawed assumption: that quality is static.  Hedonics is a variation of the old trick of comparing the present with the past, instead of the present. Measuring quality improvements is a distraction from the real measure of inflation: the purchasing power of a dollar.

 Hedonics opens the door to producing magical results: a lower inflation rate with generally rising prices, a higher growth rate although the economy may be weaker, and a higher productivity number, although productivity would have been declining without the hedonic imputations.

What BS, right?  Well, when I get mad, I do research and when my research uncovers something – I make an electronic puppet show

Forward this to your friends and Congresspeople – lets try to get our government to get real!  


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Bernanke Bears on Bank of America (BAC) and NFLX!

They are at it again!

Those fabulous Bernanke Bears have a great discussion about the merits of BAC, listening to WikiLeaks and investing in NFLX.  I am exploring the technology to have all of my posts read by bears as everything seems so much nicer when explained by a cartoon bear, don’t you think?  

 


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UNDERSTANDING THE MECHANICS OF A QE TRANSACTION

UNDERSTANDING THE MECHANICS OF A QE TRANSACTION

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Hypodermic needle

Some people want you to believe that the Fed just injected the economy and stock market full of money that will now result in an economic boom and much higher prices in most assets.  That’s simply not true.  Here’s the actual mechanics behind QE.

Before we begin, it’s important that investors understand exactly what “cash” is.  “Cash” is simply a very liquid liability of the U.S. government.   You can call it “cash”, Federal Reserve notes, whatever.  But it is a liability of the U.S. government.  Just like a 13 week treasury bill.  What is the major distinction between “cash” and bills?  Just the duration and amount of interest the two pay.  Think of one like a checking account and the other like a savings account.

This is a crucial point that I think a lot of us are having trouble wrapping our heads around. In school we are taught that “cash” is its own unique asset class. But that’s not really true. “Cash” as it sits in your bank account is really just a very very liquid government liability. What is the difference between your checking and savings account? Do you classify them both as “cash”? Do you consider your savings accounts a slightly less liquid interest bearing form of the same thing a checking account is?

What is a treasury note account? It is a savings account with the government. So now you have to ask yourself why you think cash is so much different than a treasury note?  What is the difference between your ETrade cash earning 0.1% and that t note earning 0.2%? NOTHING except the interest rate and the duration.  You can’t use your 13 week bill to pay your taxes tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a slightly less liquid form of the exact same thing that we all refer to as “cash”.  They are both govt liabilities and assets of yours.…
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QEII Announced, Fed Set to Buy $600 Billion in Bonds, Reinvest $250 Billion More; Fed Micromanaged Economy to Oblivion; No Miracles Coming

QEII Announced, Fed Set to Buy $600 Billion in Bonds, Reinvest $250 Billion More; Fed Micromanaged Economy to Oblivion; No Miracles Coming

Courtesy of Mish 

HaraAs expected, the Fed announced a "modest" $600 billion second round of Quantitative Easing. Estimates rated as high as $2 trillion.

Please consider the Fed’s Statement Regarding Purchases of Treasury Securities

On November 3, 2010, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decided to expand the Federal Reserve’s holdings of securities in the System Open Market Account (SOMA) to promote a stronger pace of economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at levels consistent with its mandate. In particular, the FOMC directed the Open Market Trading Desk (the Desk) at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to purchase an additional $600 billion of longer-term Treasury securities by the end of the second quarter of 2011.

The FOMC also directed the Desk to continue to reinvest principal payments from agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities into longer-term Treasury securities. Based on current estimates, the Desk expects to reinvest $250 to $300 billion over the same period, though the realized amount of reinvestment will depend on the evolution of actual principal payments.

Taken together, the Desk anticipates conducting $850 to $900 billion of purchases of longer-term Treasury securities through the end of the second quarter. This would result in an average purchase pace of roughly $110 billion per month, representing about $75 billion per month associated with additional purchases and roughly $35 billion per month associated with reinvestment purchases.

QEII Duration

The Fed is going to be stuck with this garbage on its balance sheet for a long time as the following table shows.

That table explains the Fed’s exit plan: None.

DSThe Fed will hold 29% of the garbage it buys for at least 7 years. The Fed may hold all of it to duration. Don’t worry, the Fed does not have to mark-to-market any of these holdings, regardless of what happens to interest rates.

Doubts Persist

MarketWatch reports Fed to buy $600 billion in bonds

The Federal Reserve pledged on Wednesday to start a controversial new billion bond-buying spree to rescue the economy from its current doldrums.

The Fed said it would buy up to $600 billion in long-term Treasurys until the end of June 2011, about $75 billion this month, in a strategy called quantitative


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The Calm Before The Storm

Note: Michael wrote this prior to the elections. – Ilene

The Calm Before The Storm

Courtesy of Michael Snyder at Economic Collapse 

An eerie calm has descended upon world financial markets as they await perhaps the two most important financial events of the year this week.  On Tuesday, investors will be eagerly awaiting the results of one of the most anticipated midterm elections in U.S. history.  On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve is expected to end months of speculation by formally announcing the details of a new round of quantitative easing.  If either the election or the meeting of the Federal Reserve open market committee delivers a highly unexpected result, it could have a dramatic impact on world financial markets.  In fact, many are looking at this week as a potential turning point for the U.S. economy. The decisions that are made or not made this week could set us down a road from which the U.S. economy may never recover.

At this point, it looks like the Republicans will take control of the U.S. House of Representatives and will pick up a number of U.S. Senate seats as well.

There are many in the financial world who already consider Barack Obama to be the most "anti-business" president in U.S. history, so a defeat for the Democrats on Tuesday would be greatly welcomed by many on Wall Street.  Barack Obama’s decline in popularity since he was elected has been absolutely stunning.  According to Gallup, Barack Obama had an average approval rating of just 44.7% during the seventh quarter of his presidency, which was a brand new low.  In fact, Obama’s average approval rating has fallen during every single quarter since he took office.  Things have gotten so bad for Obama that one new poll has found that 47% of Democrats now think that Barack Obama should be challenged for the 2012 Democratic presidential nomination. 

However, if the Democrats were able to do surprisingly well on Tuesday, it would not only shock the political pundits, but it would also likely put world financial markets in a very bad mood. 

If the Republicans do very well on Tuesday, it will likely mean that there will be no more extensions for those receiving long-term unemployment…
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The Ultimate Insiders’ Take on QE2 and Basel 3--Treasury Encouraged to Issue Debt to Match Fed Purchases

The Ultimate Insiders’ Take on QE2 and Basel 3--Treasury Encouraged to Issue Debt to Match Fed Purchases

Courtesy of EB

This morning, Treasury released the minutes of the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee (TBAC). Why these are important, I’ve written previously:

Each quarter, representatives from the banking elite primary dealers meet with top Treasury officials to advise an optimal debt issuance strategy. The Minutes of these Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee meetings and formal Report to the Treasury are a window into their perceptions and insider knowledge, yet they seldom receive notice--even outside the mainstream financial news outlets.

The most recent minutes do not disappoint and are filled with insight on what we can expect from QE2 and the new Basel 3 bank regulations. The highlights:

  • QE2 is expected to be $130 billion per month, or $1,560 over the next year
  • QE2 will last at least six months and up to two years
  • The total amount of QE2 will be data dependent
  • Treasury is encouraged to increase coupon issuance (especially in the 30 year maturity) to address "liquidity" shortfalls as a result of Fed purchases
  • The Treasury yield curve is expected to flatten in the 5-10 year sector, with the yield on the 30 increasing with inflation concerns and US Dollar debasement
  • Implications for the mortage market are that mortgage spreads relative to Treasurys may initially widen, but will ultimately narrow. However, as the 30 year yield is expected to climb, so should mortgage rates (as if the housing market needed another blow)
  • A comparison of the scope of QE2 to "the entire combined expected net issuance of Treasuries, Agencies, Agency MBS and Investment Grade Corporates" leads us to speculate the Fed may end up purchasing these very instruments
  • The Fed’s QE2 "exit strategy" may involve simply selling its holdings in small, predictable increments (no mention of term deposits, IOER or other Fed tools)
  • As a result of QE2, investors will be edged out of the 2-10 year range and into very short term (T-Bills) and long term (T-Bonds), and into riskier assets in general
  • Basel 3 is being implemented at a record pace (beware of unintended consequences)
  • Basel 3 will lead to increased lending costs, causing lending to move outside of the regulated banking system into the non-bank financial system
  • Basel 3 will force banks to buy sovereigns


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Paul Farrell On The One Thing Buffett, Gross, Grantham, Faber, And Stiglitz All Agree On: “Bernanke Plan A Disaster”

Paul Farrell On The One Thing Buffett, Gross, Grantham, Faber, And Stiglitz All Agree On: "Bernanke Plan A Disaster"

Courtesy of Zero Hedge 

Bomb with Lit Fuse

By now it is more than obvious except to a few economists (yes, we realize this is a NC-17 term) that QE2 will be an absolute and unmitigated disaster, which will likely kill the dollar, send risk assets vertical (at least as a knee jerk reaction), and result in a surge in inflation even as deflation on leveraged purchases continues to ravage Bernanke’s feudal fiefdom. So all the rational, and very much powerless, observers can do is sit back and be amused as the kleptogarchy with each passing day brings this country to final economic and social ruin. Oddly enough, as Paul Farrell highlights, the list of objectors has grown from just fringe blogs (which have been on Bernanke’s case for almost two years), to such names as Buffett, Gross, Grantham, Faber and Stiglitz. And that the opinion of all these respected (for the most part) investors is broadly ignored demonstrates just how unwavering is the iron grip on America’s by its economist overlords. Which brings us back to the amusement part. Here are Farrell’s always witty views on the object which very soon 99% of American society will demand be put into exile: the genocidal Ph.D. holders of the Marriner Eccles building.

From Paul Farrell’s latest: Sell bonds now, Fed’s QE2 is doomed to fail.

Warning, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s foolish gamble to stimulate the economy will backfire, triggering a new double-dip recession. Bernanke is “medding” too much in the economy, say Marc Faber, Bill Gross, Jeremy Grantham, Joseph Stiglitz and others. 

The Fed is making the same kind of mistakes Japan made that resulted in its 20-year recession. The Washington Post says Larry Mayer, a former Fed governor, estimates that to work it would take QE2 bond purchases of “more than $5 trillion …10 times what analysts are expecting.”

Bernanke’s plan is designed to fail. And, unfortunately, that will make life far more dangerous for American investors, consumers, taxpayers and voters.

“I’m ultrabearish on everything, but I believe you’ll be better off owning shares than government bonds,” said Hong Kong economist Marc Faber at a recent forum in Seoul. He sees a repeat of dot-com-bubble insanity today. Faber publishes the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report.

And Warren Buffett agrees,


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Thank GDP It’s Friday – Finally Some Facts

Is bad news going to be good news?

Last quarter, after several adjustments, it has been decided that our GDP grew at a 1.7% rate.  The general consensus is that this quarter we should be up around 2% but the whisper number is a big miss, down to 1.3%.  Slower GDP growth will be GOOD for the stock market as it gives Ben and Tim the excuse they need to crank up the printing presses for some real Zimbabwe-style inflation.

It’s easy to pay off $15Tn in fixed rate 2-year to 30-year notes when your country is cranking out $1Tn bank notes, right?  Can this really be the path our nation is following?  The markets are certainly betting on it but we have been betting against it with longs on UUP at $22.50 (still there) and a short play on the QID weekly $13 calls at .46 yesterday along with other bearish trade ideas we’ve entered ahead of the GDP as well as the elections and next week’s Fed meeting.  

Why can’t we just give up and go with the flow?  Well, first of all, you can read my last few weeks of posts or you can read our last few Newsletters so I won’t rehash the great global macros here but I will make the point that (and this may shock you) we are not alone in the World and the things we do, or try to do in our economy, affect the economies of other nations.  Perhaps when the US was 40% of Global GDP, we could have gotten away with it but now we are 20% and falling fast yet we still attempt to run our foreign and economic policies as if we are large and in charge.  

This is not the way the rest of the World sees us anymore.  To the rest of the World we are unrealistic children with dangerous spending habits who happen to owe them A LOT of money.  We borrowed $15Tn and our "plan" is to pay them back with hyperinflated dollars that are already discounted 33% from where we began cranking up the borrowing in 2002 (to pay for wars and tax cuts).  

Already, other nations are refusing to lend us more money so we have begun to engage in what Bill Gross, the world’s biggest bond
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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

Don't Show The "Deflation Isn't Going To Happen" ECB Germany's Declining October Prices

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Remember when this past weekend, as part of its stress test "worst case" scenario, in all its wisdom the ECB decided not to stress test a deflationary outcome in Europe's immediate future...

Despite the market clearly screaming "deflation, deflation, deflation"...

... because as ECB...



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Phil's Favorites

Outside the Box: The Colder War

Outside the Box: The Colder War

By John Mauldin

The story of energy is the story of human expansion. From the days when we roamed the African savanna, we tamed first fire and then other forms of energy, using them as tools to control our environment and improve our lives. The control of energy has always been at the heart of the human story.

This week our Outside the Box essay is from my friend Marin Katusa, who has written a fascinating book about a part of that story, a subplot of intrigue and conspiracy. Under Putin, Russia has aspired to dominate the energy markets. Called The Colder War, Marin’s book is a well-written tale of the rise of Putin and his desire to change the way the world’s energy markets are controlled.

I sat down a few months ago with an advance copy, not sure...



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Chart School

S&P 500 Snapshot: A Fed-Triggered "Tempest in a Teapot"

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Another FOMC day and another (yawn) Fed-triggered "tempest in a teapot". The S&P 500 opened higher and hit its 0.32% intraday high about 30 minutes later. The index then traded lower and spiked down at the 2PM release of the FOMC statement, which contained no surprises. Bloomberg's explanation was spot-on: Market Reaction Shows Hopes of Dovish Fed Go Unfulfilled. Predictably enough, CNBC takes a more dramatic spin: Surprisingly hawkish Fed sends markets reeling.

Reeling? Hmm. The 500's intraday low was -0.81% ... not my definition of "reeling." The index closed wit...



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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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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Bullish conviction returns, but market likely to consolidate its V-bottom

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Bulls showed renewed backbone last week and drew a line in the sand for the bears, buying with gusto into weakness as I suggested they would. After all, this was the buying opportunity they had been waiting for. As if on cue, the start of the World Series launched the rapid market reversal and recovery. However, there is little chance that the rally will go straight up. Volatility is back, and I would look for prices to consolidate at this level before making an attempt to go higher. I still question whether the S&P 500 will ultimately achieve a new high before year end.

In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings of the ten U.S. business sectors, and then o...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of October 27th, 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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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 the latest Stock World Weekly. Enjoy!

(As usual, use your PSW user name and password to sign in. You may also take a free trial.) 

 

#455292918 / gettyimages.com

 

...

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Market Shadows

Bill Ackman's Big Pharma Trade Is Making Wall Street A Super Awkward Place

 

#452525522 / gettyimages.com

Intro by Ilene

If you're following Valeant's proposed takeover (or merger) of Allergan and the lawsuit by Allergan against Valeant and notorious hedge fund manager William Ackman, for insider trading this is a must-read article. 

Linette Lopez describes the roles played by key Wall Street hedge fund owners--Jim Chanos, John Paulson, and Mason Morfit, a major shareholder in Valeant. Linette goes through the con...



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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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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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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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