Sam wrote this timeless piece a few years ago but searched it out specially for us. For non-criminal types, this article is pretty depressing, but if you feel entangled in one of these criminal-non-criminal, or unethical-ethical person, relationships, it behooves you to know how the game is played. If you are an aspiring white collar criminal, this essay can be used as a how-to manual. – Ilene
White collar crime is a crime of persuasion and deceit. Since the white collar criminal uses persuasion and deceit to commit their crimes, it follows that such felons are artful liars.
People often ask me what characteristics I look for in other people that alert me to possible criminal activity or at least unethical and deceitful people.
Not all questionable conduct is illegal. A person can be unethical or deceitful (however they are defined) without committing any illegal acts as defined under the law.
However, most criminals use tools like spinning (see below) in the conduct of their crimes.
The Art of Spinning:
Sell people hope. My cousin ‘Crazy Eddie’ Antar taught me that “people live on hope” and their hopes and dreams must be fed through our spin and lies. In any situation, if possible, accentuate the positive.
Make excuses as long as you can. Try to have your excuses based on at least one truthful fact even if the fact is unrelated to your actions and argument.
When you cannot dispute the underlying facts, accept them as true but rationalize your actions. You are allowed to make mistakes as long as you have no wrongful intent. Being stupid is not a crime.
Always say in words you “take responsibility” but try to indirectly shift the blame on other people and factors. You need to portray yourself as a “stand up” guy or gal.
When you cannot defend your actions or arguments attack the messenger to detract attention from your questionable actions.
Always show your kindness by doing people favors. You will require the gratitude of such people to come to your aid and defend you.
Build up your stature, integrity, and credibility by publicizing the good deeds you have done in areas unrelated to the subject of scrutiny.
While BP has taken some heat over its spill in the Gulf, it is remarkable how limited the anger actually is. Many defenders of the company have made the obvious point: It was an accident. BP did not intend to have a massive spill that killed 11 people, devastated the Gulf ecosystem and threatens the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of workers.
Of course this is true, but it is also true that a drunk driver who runs into a school bus did not intend to be involved in a fatal collision. As a society, we have no problem holding the drunk driver responsible for a predictable outcome of their recklessness. Driving while drunk dramatically increases the risk of an accident. This is why it is punished severely. A person who is responsible for a fatal accident while driving drunk can expect to face many years in jail. Even someone who drives drunk without being in an accident often faces jail time because of the risk they imposed on others.
This raises the question as to why the public seems to accept that the top officials at BP, who cut corners and made risky gambles in their drilling plans, should be able to “get my life back,” as BP CEO Tony Hayward put it. The people who lost their livelihood as a result of BP’s spill will not get their lives back, even if BP does pay compensation. Certainly the 11 workers killed in the original explosion will not get their lives back. Why should the people responsible for this carnage be able to resume their lives of luxury?
There are two separate questions. The first is a narrow legal issue concerning the extent to which Hayward and other high-level executives can be held criminally liable for the accident. It may be the case that the laws are written so that even if companies commit gross negligence that results in enormous harm, including multiple deaths, top officials are not criminally liable. This is a question about the status of current law.
The second question is a moral and economic one about what the laws should look like. From either standpoint, it is very difficult to see why we would want to say that reckless behavior that would be punished with long prison sentences if done by…
Antimony was measured at 93 parts per million in the hamster’s fur and at 106 parts per million in its nose. Both readings exceed the allowable level of 60 parts per million, said O’Rourke, an associate professor of environmental science at the University of California, Berkeley.
And this is the story…. why?
Let’s play this one straight up the middle, ok?
A pet is a living thing. It breathes, it eats, it sleeps and it craps. You take care of it – thus, the term "pet" – because in the environment you keep it (whether in a house, in a cage, in an aquarium, etc) if you don’t, it dies.
"Zhu Zhu" things are not pets. They are mechanical. They are collections of synthetic and mineral non-living things. They run on batteries, not food. They crap nothing. And, unless you step on them or they break, they do not "die".
Caring for a pet is one of the things that children used to do. It is one of the means by which parents taught children that not all that glitters is gold, not all that you play with comes without cost. Indeed, pets come with a very real cost, not only monetarily to purchase them (in some cases) but in their upkeep and care, often including vet visits, vaccinations and the like. Due to the fact that they are living organisms you must provide them with sustenance and remove or manage their waste. These things become obligations when one takes on a pet. Further, when irritated some pets can cause some degree of harm. Hamsters, when provoked, do bite.
Who among us flushed "fishie" when he passed? Buried a cat or dog – or hamster? Took the dog for a walk (so it could relieve itself), cleaned a catbox, changed a fish tank filter (those are NASTY!) or cleaned the cage of a hamster, gerbil or parakeet?
What is wrong with us in this country? How can we equate those lessons of growing up with buying a cheap plastic piece of trash from China?
When assets reach prior highs, its time to pay attention from a Risk On & Risk Off basis.
The chart on the left is Silver, going back to the mid 1970’s. As you can see it reached $50 in the early 1980’s and then quickly reversed, losing over 90% of its value in the next 14-years. Then it embarked on a rally, starting in the early 1990’s. This rally took Silver back to the $50 level in 2011, which ended up being a “Double Top” nearly 30-years later. After hitting the $50 level again, buyers disappeared and sellers stepped forward....
Yesterday's desperate scramble by Deutsche Bank to comfort markets about its liquidity position worked, for about three hours. And then, the bank which really should just keep its mouth shut, did the opposite and reminded an already panicked market just how "serious" things are, in the parlance of Jean-Claude Junkcer, when in an internal memo, the CEO assured his workers that:
DEUTSCHE BANK CEO: CAP STRENGTH, RISK POSITIONS ’ROCK SOLID’
It was another bloody week in the stock market (S&P 500 index dropped -3.1%), and any half-glass full data was interpreted as half-empty. The week was epitomized by a Citigroup report entitled “World Economy Trapped in a Death Spiral.” A sluggish monthly jobs report on Friday, which registered a less than anticipated addition of 151,000 jobs, painted a we...
Greg Ip had a piece in the Wall Street Journal yesterday discussing the debt burden in the USA and how low interest rates have “moved back” the “hands on the doomsday debt clock”. The article touches on the important topic of entitlement spending and whether it’s sustainable, but does so in a manner that misleads readers about why this might be a problem.
For instance, Ip says that “higher federal borrowing puts upward pressure on interest rates”. This is classic “crowding out”,...
Tech averages had the weakest start, Powerful gap downs had set things off, but buyers were able to make a comeback into the close. However, morning gaps remain. Volume climbed to register as distribution, which for the Nasdaq was the second day of distribution in a row.
The Nasdaq 100 is on the fiftth day of selling in a row. The August swing low wasn't fully tested. Bulls will be looking for a bullish 'morning star' where today's candlestick 'hammer' is followed by an opening gap, then a rally for the rest of the day. Should this emerge, then a move to test 4,300 is next. If there is a weak open, then any chance for a bullish 'hammer' based on today's action is signifi...
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Throughout the past 30 days of wild volatility, here’s what I didn’t do.
Panic. Worry. Sell.
In fact, the best I did was add to a couple of positions yesterday. The world was already in an uncertain state for the past 3+ years. It’s just that with the market rising, we pushed the issue to the back of our mind and ignored it.
A number of systemic, structural forces are intersecting in 2016. One is the rise of non-state, non-central-bank-issued crypto-currencies.
We all know money is created and distributed by governments and central banks. The reason is simple: control the money and you control everything.
The invention of the blockchain and crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin have opened the door to non-state, non-central-bank currencies--money that is global and independent of any state or central bank, or indeed, any bank, as crypto-currencies are structurally peer-to-peer, meaning they don't require a bank to function: people can exchange crypto-currencies to pay for goods and services without a bank acting as a clearinghouse for all these transactions.
Last year, the S&P 500 large caps closed 2015 essentially flat on a total return basis, while the NASDAQ 100 showed a little better performance at +8.3% and the Russell 2000 small caps fell -5.9%. Overall, stocks disappointed even in the face of modest expectations, especially the small caps as market leadership was mostly limited to a handful of large and mega-cap darlings.
Notably, the full year chart for the S&P 500 looks very much like 2011. It got off to a good start, drifted sideways for...
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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).
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.
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 email@example.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.
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