Archive for October, 2010

Drinks With the President.

Courtesy of madhedgefundtrader

President Barrack Obama certainly arrives at a party like a rock star. Three silver GM Suburbans flanking an armored black Cadillac limo screech to a halt with lights flashing, and all of the roads in the immediate vicinity closed to traffic. A dozen sunglass bedecked Secret Service agents leap out, immediately scanning the perimeter. The president bounds out and briskly walks to the plush Atherton home, where he enters through the kitchen of former EBay executive and California state controller, Steve Wesley.

For a mere $30,400 donation to the Democratic National Committee, I received a sweaty handshake and an assembly line photo with the once South Chicago community organizer. A Koch brother I am not. The event came on the heels of the President’s 45 minute private audience with the Golden State’s own version of royalty, Apple’s (AAPL) Steve Jobs.

It was all part of a broad swing through the Western states to rally the faithful, and to top off the DNC’s coffers, which has raised a record $50 million in California this year. Perhaps Obama just wants to be among friends. While his national job approval rating languishes at 47%, it is 55% here, and an eye popping 72% among Democrats.

With a short two weeks until the election, the online betting site, Intrade (click here for their site at http://www.intrade.com/ ), is giving an 95% probability that the Republicans will win control of the house. But to me, this is all starting to take on the flavor of a consensus trade that I love to fade. The Democratic Party has become the BP of American politics. Expectations of its imminent demise may be greatly exaggerated, but not for the reasons you expect.

Since the 2008 election, some 4 million “millennials”, “generation Y’s”, or “echo boomers” have gained the right to vote. Have you spoken to your kids lately? The only issues they care about, the environment, global warming, gay rights, and ending the war, are overwhelmingly Democratic ones.

Another 2 million immigrants have also joined the rolls. Thanks to the racist rants by many Tea Party candidates – last week Nevada Senate candidate Sharon Angell said she thought many Mexicans looked like Asians—I would be surprised if any of these voted conservative.

Sure, only 30% of these groups vote at all. But when election results swing on…
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Stock World Weekly

Hello Everyone and Happy Halloween! This weeks’ newsletter is available here.  Feedback much appreciated. 

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Bank of England Head Mervyn King Proposes Eliminating Fractional Reserve Banking

Courtesy of George Washington

Washington’s Blog

Mervyn King – the governor of the Bank of England – has proposed abolishing fractional reserve banking.

As the BBC noted last week:

Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England, has tonight made a big intervention into the debate on banking reform. In a speech at Buttonwood, New York, he [listed] much more radical proposals.

 

1. Forcing the riskiest banks to hold capital “several times the magnitude” of requirements at present.
2. The Volcker rule-style enforced breakup of banks into speculative and non-speculative arms.
3. The “Kotlikoff proposal”, which forces banks to match each pool of risks with a requisite amount of capital, preventing losses in one spilling over into another.
4. Stunningly, Mervyn King imagines the “abolition of fractional reserve banking”:

 

“Eliminating fractional reserve banking explicitly recognises that the pretence that risk-free deposits can be supported by risky assets is alchemy. If there is a need for genuinely safe deposits the only way they can be provided, while ensuring costs and benefits are fully aligned, is to insist such deposits do not co-exist with risky assets.”

 

King does not advocate any of these radical plans – but the fact that he goes out of his way to list them, and to place them on the agenda of the UK’s Independent Commission on Banking, means that we are not yet at the end of the debate about long-term reform of the banks.

 

***

 

Beyond the technicalities, the fact that a central banker in a G7 country is prepared to imagine such outcomes is itself significant.

Moreover, King wrote to Ben Dyson and stated:

You suggest that banks should be forced to conform to the underlying purpose of the 1844 Bank Reform Act. You might be aware that I have said publicly that I think ideas in this spirit – such as those advocated by John Kay – certainly merit serious consideration in the debate as to how we reform our financial system. I remain sympathetic to these views. But as I said in my previous letter, I do not want to prejudice the outcome of the Banking commission’s deliberations. Now the Commission has been set up, I think we


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FX Intervention Fright Night?

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Whoooosh… or just another DXY flash crash? If this was indeed a BoJ intervention, it is the worst money spent by a central bank in the history of Keynesianism, with a half life of less than 30 minutes. Elsewhere, gold is predictably nearing its all time highs.





Did The EUR/USD Just Flash Crash?

Courtesy of derailedcapitalism

From DerailedCapitalism:

 

At 8PM EST tonight the EUR/USD cross sold off 80pips in seconds only to rebound 60pips. Is this another mini flash crash causing ripples through the fx markets with HFT’s going haywire? DXY spiked to 77.30. At what point are market regulators going to realize this gambling house is broken and there is no longer any creditability in capital markets?

EUR/USD

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DXY

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Iran Announces It Has Converted 15% Of Its $100 Billion+ In FX Reserves Into Gold

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

As of today, one of the world’s top oil exporters announced that has exchanged about $15 billion of its FX reserves into gold. Earlier, Iran announced that the country has converted about 15% of its foreign exchange reserves into gold, and “will not need to import the metal for the next ten years.” There is your mystery buyer to all that gold the IMF was selling in Q3… And since Ahmadinejad said that Iran’s total FX reserves exceed $100 billion, the amount of gold in stock held by Iran is more than $15 billion. Which is equivalent more than 345 tonnes at a closing price of about $1350. Which also means that the WGC’s official gold holdings are in dire need of an update, as Iran does not appear anywhere on the IMF’s listing of official gold holders, and with over 345 tonnes, it would make Iran a top 15 holder of the yellow metal.

From Bloomberg:

Iran has changed some 15 percent of its foreign exchange reserves into gold and will not need to import the metal for the next ten years, Mehr reported, citing Central Bank Governor Mahmoud Bahmani.

Iran’s gold reserves have “multiplied several times” in the past two years, Bahmani said in a report published late yesterday by the state-run news agency.

Bahmani gave no specific figures, only saying the country consumes 30 tons of gold a year and that the central bank will have “ample supplies for the next 10 years” even if it doesn’t increase its gold holdings further.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday his country’s foreign exchange reserves exceed $100 billion.

 





A Look At Global Economic Events In The Upcoming Most Important Week Of The Year – All Aboard The QE2!

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Week in review

Intense speculation over what the Fed will do and uncertainty over how much is priced kept markets trading in a relatively tight range through most of the week. European peripheral spreads have started widening again as sovereign concerns have started to re-surface. Reports late Friday afternoon that the Portuguese government has reached an agreement with the socialists on the 2011 budget should provide some relief to markets. Reports that the US Administration is considering extending middle income tax cuts permanently and higher income tax cuts temporarily may also provide some boost to sentiment.

Week Ahead

The macro calendar does not get any more packed than this. We kick off with the usual monthly global PMIs, in particular the China PMI and US ISM (slight moderation is expected for both, more details below). We get our final GLI reading as well, which is important to watch for confirmation of stabilizing momentum. The initial reading showed a positive uptick after four months of negative momentum.

The US mid-term elections is on Tuesday, followed by the all important FOMC meeting on Wednesday. Our US economists’ baseline view is for a program of about $500 bn in Treasury purchases, to be accomplished over a period of about six months, but it is quite possible that a program of similar implied size might instead be specified in terms of a monthly purchase rate. In either case, there should be a clear indication that the program could extend beyond the initial commitment. Ultimately, our US economists expect the cumulative easing to reach a possible $2trn..

We also have important central bank meetings on either side of the FOMC decision, with the latter weighing heavily on the individual response functions. The RBA meets the day before the FOMC and it is likely that they hold rates steady (although our Australia economists think they go ahead with a hike in December). BOE, ECB and BOJ are all scheduled to meet soon after the FOMC. The BoJ meeting was advanced to allow an earlier start of its asset purchases program. For the MPC, our UK economists do not expect an announcement of additional QE. Policymakers around the world will no doubt be closely watching the market reaction following the FOMC decision.

We end the week with the key non-farm payrolls release. We expect the headline at +50k and private sector…
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ZOMBIE HOUSEHOLDS

ZOMBIE HOUSEHOLDS

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

By Annaly Capital Management

Thursday’s third quarter GDP release provides a ton of fodder for the data dorks among us. There will be more to follow on this in the October monthly commentary, but today we’ll look at just one of the stand-out drivers of GDP in Q3: private residential investment. The chart below shows its astounding rebound, which added a full 0.53% to the 3.5% GDP number.

The percentage change becomes less impressive when viewed in the context of the dollar level of activity, but it also starts to look like the beginning stages of a typical recovery in housing. Compare the current reading to the previous bust in the late 1980s and subsequent boom that began in 1991. Are we in store for a similar road back to “normal”?

How comparable are the two situations, the early 1990s and the late 2000s? What happened in 1991 to help put in a bottom? First, mortgage rates came down from over 10% in 1990 to 7% by 1993. Second, household debt as a percentage of GDP was 60% in 1990. The ratio of household liabilities to disposable personal income was 85%. The respective levels of these metrics are now 95% and 130%, each at or very near all-time records of indebtedness. The tailwinds for the housing market were substantial in the early part of the previous decade: interest rates were coming down and borrowers had room to expand their debt loads. The official response during this crisis has been an attempt to artificially engineer the same tailwinds that existed naturally before. The Federal Reserve has purchased around $977 billion of agency MBS in an attempt to bring mortgage rates lower (despite already historically low rates). Tax credits have been created and expanded to incent already heavily-indebted households to take on more debt. So far, it’s worked!

low angle view of two young men and women coming down a buildings steps

We’ll close with a great quote from James Aitken, of Aitken Advisors, that sums up the situation perfectly:

“The primary difference between Japan and the United States at this point of their respective monetary malaises is that whereas Japan created a nation of zombie corporations, the United States is creating a nation of zombie households.”





Super Sectors By John Nyaradi

Courtesy of John Nyaradi

I don’t usually recommend books in a blog post but I make exceptions for exceptional books. John Nyaradi’s book “Super Sectors” just came out and I believe that it is a useful book for anyone wanting to really take advantage of rising industries and sectors. He includes a section in the book containing interviews with top advisers and industry experts (including yours truly) which adds a wealth of information that you won’t find in other books.

Buy the book here, enjoy! www.supersectors.net





Researchers Find the ‘Liberal Gene’

Researchers Find the ‘Liberal Gene’

By Jeremy A. Kaplan, FoxNews.com

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (Dna) Is A Nucleic Acid Usually In The Form Of A Double Helix That Contains The Genetic Instructions Specifying The Biological Development Of All Cellular Forms Of Life And Most Viruses. Dna Is A Long Polymer Of Nucleotides And Encodes The Sequence Of The Amino Acid Residues In Proteins Using The Genetic Code, A Triplet Code Of Nucleotides. Illus Dna Deoxyribonucleic Acid Biotech Research 523-153 Cmsp Custom Medical Stock Photo

Don’t hold liberals responsible for their opinion — they can’t help themselves.

A new study has concluded that ideology is not just a social thing; it’s built into the DNA, borne along by a gene called DRD4. Tagged "the liberal gene," DRD4 is the first specific bit of human DNA that predisposes people to certain political views, the study’s authors claim.

And the key to it all: Liberals are more open, said lead researcher James H. Fowler, a professor of both medical genetics and political science at the University of California, San Diego.

"The way openness is measured, it’s really about receptivity to different lifestyles, for example, or different norms or customs," he told FoxNews.com. "We hypothesize that individuals with a genetic predisposition toward seeking out new experiences [a measure of openness] will tend to be more liberal" — but only if they had a number of friends when growing up, Fowler cautioned.

This isn’t a typical gene association study," he said. "There’s a combination of genes and environment that matter."

Continue here >

Source: Friendships Moderate an Association between a Dopamine Gene Variant and Political Ideology

Jaime E. Settle,Christopher T. Dawes,Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler (2010).
The Journal of Politics, Volume 72, Issue 04, October 2010 pp 1189-1198
http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?aid=7909320





 
 
 

Phil's Favorites

How Does the Stock Market Bottom?

 

How Does the Stock Market Bottom?

Courtesy of 

Despite the recent selloff, things are still relatively fine. I know nobody wants to hear this right now, but the S&P 500 is still up double digits over the last year and 36% over the last three years. What has people shook, understandably, is the speed of this decline.

Depending on where stocks close today, we could be looking at a 10% haircut in just five sessions. Over the last 20 years, this only happened during the Yuan devaluation in 2015, the Eurozone crisis in 2011, the GFC (global financial crisis) in ’08 and ’09, and the dotcom bubble in ’00, &rsqu...



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Zero Hedge

NYSE Announces Disaster-Recovery Test Due To Virus Fears

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

In a somewhat shocking sounding move, given administration officials' ongoing effort to calm the public fears over the spread of Covid-19, The New York Stock Exchange has announced it will commence disaster-recovery testing in its Cermak Data Center on March 7 amid coronavirus concern, Fox Business reports in a tweet, citing the exchange.

During this test, NYSE will facilitate electronic Core Open and Closing Auctions as if the 11 Wall Stree...



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ValueWalk

Cities With The Most 'New' And Tenured Homeowners

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Homeownership is a major investment. Not just financially, but when a person or family purchases a home, they’re investing years – if not decades – in that particular community. 55places wanted to find out which real estate markets are luring in new homebuyers, and which ones are dominated by owners that haven’t moved in decades. The study analyzed residency data in more than 300 US cities and revealed the top 10 cities with the most tenured homeowners – residents who’ve lived in and owned their home for more than 30 years – are sprinkled across ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Financial Crisis Deja Vu: Home Construction Index Double Top?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Most of us remember the 2007-2009 financial crisis because of the collapse in home prices and its effect on the economy.

One key sector that tipped off that crisis was the home builders.

The home builders are an integral piece to our economy and often signal “all clears” or “short-term warnings” to investors based on their economic health and how the index trades.

In today’s chart, we highlight the Dow Jones Home Construction Index. It has climbed all the way back to its pre-crisis highs… BUT it immediately reversed lower from there.

This raises concerns about a double top.

This pr...



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Insider Scoop

A Peek Into The Markets: US Stock Futures Plunge Amid Coronavirus Fears

Courtesy of Benzinga

Pre-open movers

U.S. stock futures traded lower in early pre-market trade. South Korea confirmed 256 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, while China reported an additional 327 new cases. Data on U.S. international trade in goods for January, wholesale inventories for January and consumer spending for January will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Chicago PMI for February is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET, while the University of Michigan's consumer sentime...



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Biotech & Health

Could coronavirus really trigger a recession?

 

Could coronavirus really trigger a recession?

Coronavirus seems to be on a collision course with the US economy and its 12-year bull market. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

Courtesy of Michael Walden, North Carolina State University

Fears are growing that the new coronavirus will infect the U.S. economy.

A major U.S. stock market index posted its biggest two-day drop on record, erasing all the gains from the previous two months; ...



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The Technical Traders

SPY Breaks Below Fibonacci Bearish Trigger Level

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our research team wanted to share this chart with our friends and followers.  This dramatic breakdown in price over the past 4+ days has resulted in a very clear bearish trigger which was confirmed by our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system.  We believe this downside move will target the $251 level on the SPY over the next few weeks and months.

Some recent headline articles worth reading:

On January 23, 2020, we ...



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Promotions

Free, Live Webinar on Stocks, Options and Trading Strategies

TODAY's LIVE webinar on stocks, options and trading strategy is open to all!

Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of TradeExchange.com. It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

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Chart School

Oil cycle leads the stock cycle

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Sure correlation is not causation, but this chart should be known by you.

We all know the world economy was waiting for a pin to prick the 'everything bubble', but no one had any idea of what the pin would look like.

Hence this is why the story of the black swan is so relevant.






There is massive debt behind the record high stock markets, there so much debt the political will required to allow central banks to print trillions to cover losses will likely effect elections. The point is printing money to cover billions is unlikely to upset anyone, however printing trillions will. In 2007 it was billions, in 202X it ...

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Members' Corner

Threats to democracy: oligarchy, feudalism, dictatorship

 

Threats to democracy: oligarchy, feudalism, dictatorship

Courtesy of David Brin, Contrary Brin Blog 

Fascinating and important to consider, since it is probably one of the reasons why the world aristocracy is pulling its all-out putsch right now… “Trillions will be inherited over the coming decades, further widening the wealth gap,” reports the Los Angeles Times. The beneficiaries aren’t all that young themselves. From 1989 to 2016, U.S. households inherited more than $8.5 trillion. Over that time, the average age of recipients rose by a decade to 51. More ...



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Digital Currencies

Altcoin season 2.0: why bitcoin has been outgunned by crypto rivals since new year

 

Altcoin season 2.0: why bitcoin has been outgunned by crypto rivals since new year

‘We have you surrounded!’ Wit Olszewski

Courtesy of Gavin Brown, Manchester Metropolitan University and Richard Whittle, Manchester Metropolitan University

When bitcoin was trading at the dizzying heights of almost US$2...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

 

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:

Lee,

The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.