Archive for March, 2011

STaRT CoPiNG CHaRLie

Courtesy of williambanzai7

Munger

 

Until last summer, I thought Charlie Munger was just a quirky old American business sage in the tradition of his hypocritical boss Uncle Warren. Then he made the infamous “suck it in an cope” quote and I decided he is just another quirky old crony American douche bag waiting for his comeuppance, just like Uncle Warren.

Well his comeuppance could very well be on its way, because Uncle Warren’s golden boy Davy Sokol is now saying that he only did the same thing that good ol’ Charlie did when they invested in the Chinese battery maker BYD. Looks like skivvy laundering time may be coming soon at the Injunction. 

 

uw

 

I am sure the good old boys at Berkshire Hathaway are going to get a big slapping around by the media/blogosphere. But I rather doubt anyone will wind up in Martha Stewart’s Big House even though these good old codgers are supposed to know much much more about the technical rules prohibiting executive front running and ahem, “insider trading.”

But never mind all of that. Today I was reminded what a douche bag good old Charlie really is by NYT’s Dealbook. In response to all the fuss about Sokol’s lapse of ethical judgement, Charlie apparently said:

“Few people understand  how good he is, how really good he is…He is like a guy on a baseball team that could play six of the nine positions.”

Well I guess that means everything is a.o.k! That explains it all. If you can play 6 of the 9 positions, you can do no wrong. That could well be the mantra of American Ivy League Inc.

 Bull Shit Charlie!

Here is what a real American sage had to say:

“There are some people who, if they don’t already know, you can’t tell ‘em.”

Yogi Berra

“Suck it in you old dope.”

WilliamBanzai7

 

 





Fukushima Fallout Hits the US

By MIKE WHITNEY

Originally published at CounterPunch

Three of the six nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have partially melted down and plutonium is seeping into the soil outside. Plutonium is less volatile than other radioactive elements like iodine or cesium, but it’s also more deadly.  According to Business Week, "When plutonium decays, it emits what is known as an alpha particle, a relatively big particle that carries a lot of energy. When an alpha particle hits body tissue, it can damage the DNA of a cell and lead to a cancer-causing mutation." If plutonium leaches into groundwater or pristine aquifers, the threat to public health and the environment will be extreme.

This is an excerpt from an article in the Guardian:

"The radioactive core in a reactor at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant appears to have melted through the bottom of its containment vessel and on to a concrete floor, experts say, raising fears of a major release of radiation at the site. The warning follows an analysis by a leading US expert of radiation levels at the plant….

“Richard Lahey, who was head of safety research for boiling-water reactors at General Electric when the company installed the units at Fukushima, told the Guardian workers at the site appeared to have "lost the race" to save the reactor…" ("Japan may have lost race to save nuclear reactor", The Guardian)

It also appears that underground tunnels at the facility have been flooded with radioactive water that contains high-concentrations of caesium-137. A considerable amount of the water has made its way to the sea where samples show the levels of contamination steadily rising. This is from the Wall Street Journal:

"Levels of radiation in the ocean next to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have surged to record highs, the government said Wednesday, as operators try to deal with large amounts of radioactive water—the unwanted byproduct of operations to cool the reactors.

“The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said water taken Tuesday afternoon from the monitoring location for the troubled reactors Nos. 1 to 4 had 3,355 times the permitted concentration of iodine-131. That is the highest yet recorded at the sampling location, which is 330 meters south of the reactors’ discharge outlet." ("Seawater Radiation Level Soars Near Plant", Wall Street Journal)

All fishing has been banned in the vicinity as…
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Thoughts On Future Monetary Policy, As Rumors Kocherlakota Leaked Tomorrow’s NFP Number Mount

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Tomorrow’s NFP number will be one of the most critical releases from the BLS: if on one hand the number is far greater than expected, it will effectively mean that QE3 will not begin immediately after the end of QE2, just like QE1 ended on March 31, 2010 only to see QE Lite implemented 4 months later. That the Fed is not willing to take a political gamble and send oil to $150 is conceivable, which is what would happen should Jon Hilsenrath start leaking QE3 rumors. On the other hand, the economy is once again turning lower as recent diffusion data (not to mention housing) has been indicating. Should the Fed implicitly tighten, by not loosening, the economic contraction will accelerate drastically, and capital markets will follow suit. And since as Hugh Hendry noted earlier, there is no China to pick up the slack, the stakes on the all in gamble in this bet that the virtuous cycle has picked up, will likely cost Bernanke his job if he ends up wrong and QE3 is needed anyway. Of course, as many believe, and as Bernanke himself has said, manipulating the market and stimulating inflation is and continues to be the Fed’s only objective. Obviously, the waterfall effects in either direction here are huge. Which is why if tomorrow’s NFP number is a beat and not just any beat but a massive one (read well over 250,000), it will be an attempt by the administration to cement the idea that the economy is now recovering. Anything at or below consensus will merely push the decision one month forward, however it will be too late to prepare the political landscape for QE3 in May, just two months ahead of the end of QE2. So tomorrow is likely D-Day on QE3 (or at least a direct continuation of POMO past the June 30 expiration date).

In this light, it is interesting to note what Morgan Stanley has to say of Narayana Kocherlakota’s interview from late in the afternoon, which stipulated a 75 bps hike in rates as normal, and which caused a minor sell off into the close. According to David Greenlaw there are rumors that Kocherlakota may have seen, and therefore leaked, tomorrow’s NFP number, which by implication would have to be very bullish, in order for the Minneapolis Fed chairman to have…
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IceCap Asset Management – Kudlow’s Foot Meets His Mouth

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

From IceCap Asset Management:

Of today’s major events, our biggest concern lies with the uncertainty in the Middle East & North Africa. Most Westerners, ourselves included, do not understand the complexities of these societies. What we do (and need to) understand is that the situation today is at its most strenuous in any of our lifetimes. This region produces over 35% of the World’s oil supply. Since current global production is about 88 millions of barrels/day, and current global consumption at close to 86 millions of barrels/day, the slightest disruption of production from anywhere, especially the Middle East, will have profound effects on this delicate equilibrium. In response to these unusual times, we are holding healthy allocations to gold bullion, crude oil and other commodities. We continue with our neutral  allocation to stocks and will do so until our trend models signal otherwise.

Full report:

IceCap-Asset-Management-Limited-Global-Markets March 2011





Up, Up And Away (Part 2)

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

…But before people begin panicking that the radioactive printer plant housed in the Marriner Eccles building has melted down and is now releasing radioactive money straight into the liquidity system, recall that $195 billion of this is simply from the unwind of the Supplementary Financing Program, which feeds into the Adjusted Reserves, which together with currency in circulation feeds into the Adjusted Monetary Base. Therefore, with the unwind of SFP completed, we expect this growth to taper off materially, although by the end of June the Adjusted Reserve balance alone will hit $1.7 trillion, implying another $200 billion or so in growth, although at a slightly slower pace.

The chart below once again (since we show it each week), shows the cumulative change in Excess Reserves and Fed Assets since the start of QE2. In an ideal world these two should offset each other (ideal in as much as banks don’t lend out Excess Reserves and simply keep the fungible monetary electrons as substitutes for Discount Window access), and other change means a migration in(+) or out(-) of currency in circulation (inflationary or deflationary). While until February excess reserves lagged securities held dramatically, this has since flipped, assisted in part by the SFP unwind, which pushes the scales in the excess reserve balance favor. In other words, there is another $150 billion or so before equilibrium is reached, all else equal. Keep a close eye on this cumulative (in)quality as it is the most direct indicator of marginal monetary pressure imbalance (Fed assets less net currency) in the system currently.

Or, in English, the cumulative differential plunge recently is hella inflationary (as the imminent subsequent reversion to the mean means money going out of reserves and into currency).

 





Migration Of The Black Swans

Courtesy of Giordano Bruno, Neithercorp Press



The phrase “Black Swan” is really making the rounds these last few months. Uttering the term a year ago would have earned you a collection of confused looks and a general attitude of disinterest. Now, people behave as if they had learned about economic shockwave events and the global domino effect when they were in kindergarten. The problem is that when this kind of terminology hits the mainstream, in most cases it comes prepackaged with dumbed down and diluted definitions which promote an inadequate, cartoonish understanding of the circumstances.

To be sure, most Americans are well aware that the world’s political and economic foundations are about as stable as fresh pudding under a heat lamp. The problem is that they are now being conditioned by the mainstream media to view the idea of collapse as “cinematic”; a kind of live action fantasy in which we all get to play the part of the audience, watching safely from the dark in our cushy theater seats with a bag of overpriced popcorn, Dolby surround sound, and a hot date to keep us company during the boring parts. Three years ago, even mentioning the idea of a breakdown in society or a financial catastrophe beyond a minor recession earned you the label of “doom monger”; a rather inept and naïve attempt on the part of the MSM to silence any economic analysis that stepped outside the establishment Keynesian framework. Today, I turn around to look at a magazine stand at the airport and right in front of me is Newsweek openly declaring “Apocalypse Now”!

Is the mainstream finally catching up to the alternative media? No. The MSM is merely adopting pieces of our common language and twisting them to fit a more globalist friendly viewpoint. Because our readership is growing exponentially, and our traffic is skyrocketing while corporatized news sources are floundering, the MSM is losing its ability to obscure our fact based journalism with their over funded and highly sterilized adaptation of reality. So instead, they attempt to co-opt our particular vocabulary, and our news focus, while adding their own subtle spin and sensationalism. When people not familiar with the alternative media and the more in-depth information we provide talk about a “Black Swan event”, a depression, hyperinflation, etc., their concept of the implications of such disasters is far different than ours. They…
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Measuring the Performance of the Ivy Portfolio

Courtesy of Doug Short

I’ve been posting a monthly moving average update for the five ETFs in featured in Mebane Faber and Eric Richardson’s Ivy Portfolio since the spring of 2009, when I featured my review of the book.

In addition to the monthly updates, I’ve also made a couple of generic studies of momentum investing with moving averages.

Investing strategies are not the primary focus of my website, and I don’t personally track the performance of the Ivy Portfolio other than to highlight the monthly signals. For ETF performance tracking and backtesting, I use ETFReplay.com, an excellent website for analyzing the performance of individual ETFs and ETF portfolios based on customized moving-average strategies. There are many free tools on ETFReplay.com. However performance backtesting of portfolios does require a paid subscription.

The image below illustrates my research on the Ivy Portfolio since 2007. If you click the image, you’ll open a HUGE version that also shows the monthly performance over the complete range as compared to SPY (SPDR S&P 500 Index). For cash, I’ve used SHY (Barclays Low Duration Treasury (2-yr).

Now, the portfolio in this illustration doesn’t *exactly* match the Ivy five. I picked 2007 as my starting point to show the performance from before the market peak in the Fall of that year. Thus I was forced to make one substitution for the Ivy ETFs — EFA (iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund) in place of VEU (Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF), which was launched in early 2007 and didn’t produce a 10-month signal until December of that year. But the substitution presumably understates the all-Vanguard IVY portfolio: I make this assumption because VEU has outperformed EFA since the March 2009 market low (117.7% versus 97.2% as of March 31st).

For anyone interested in researching momentum investing with ETFs, the ETFReplay.com website is an outstanding resource, one that I’m pleased to include in my dshort.com Favorites.





Things That Make You Go Hmmm – On Silver Conspiracy Theories And Other Oddities

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

From Grant Williams: “There are many commentators for whom I have the utmost respect, who completely discount any silver conspiracy theories. They cite the fact that it would be impossible for the manipulation to be conducted in the way that the conspiracy theorists allege or that there are corresponding longs for every short, but yet answers from either the regulators or those supposedly involved in the manipulation are conspicuous by their absence. Let’s face it – if this were a simple case of a misunderstanding it wouldn’t take much in the way of  evidence to clear it up now, would it? Over the past several months, each time a futures contract has expired since the price break in silver began in earnest, the delivery situation has gotten progressively tighter until progressively closer to the wire and talk of a commercial signal failure has become progressively louder. The number of people opting to take warehouse receipts for delivery on first notice day has been climbing and stocks in the various warehouses have been declining to the point that it has been touch-and-go as to whether there would be enough physical silver on hand in the warehouses to satisfy demand for delivery. If, at some point in the (near?) future, time runs out and enough people stand for physical delivery, we will find out once and for all whether there is any truth to the manipulation/massive short position stories, and we will CERTAINLY discover how much physical metal there is available for delivery.”

Full report:

Hmmm Mar 30 2011 (2)





Guest Post: Legerdemath II: Anatomy Of A Banking Trick

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Submitted by Omer Rosen of Legedermath, who will gladly answer any reader questions related to the matter presented in the comment section.

Legerdemath II: Anatomy of a Banking Trick

In my previous article, “Legerdemath: Tricks of the Banking Trade,” I made brief mention of Treasury-rate locks:

Most brazenly, we taught clients phony math that involved settling Treasury-rate locks by referencing Treasury yields rather than prices.

A number of readers expressed a doubt that using a settlement method based on Treasury prices was appropriate. What follows is as good an explanation of Treasury-rate lock settlements as 2,000 words will allow. I have simplified some of the bond math and concepts and will end with an analogy that I hope will elucidate what the math did not. However, as this post hardly qualifies as an easy read, feel free to ask questions in the comments section. Confession: I fudged the word count a few sentences ago to increase the likelihood of you reading on.

Forget for a moment, everything you have heard or think you know about Treasury bonds. Taken in isolation, the purchase of a Treasury bond is nothing more than the purchase of a fixed set of future cash flows. If you find the term “cash flows” confusing, think instead of the following: buy a bond today, receive predetermined amounts of money on predetermined dates in the future.

In this column I will be referencing a 10-year Treasury bond paying a coupon of 5.00%, with a notional amount of $100. For convenience, I will christen this bond “Bondie.” Sans jargon, the fixed set of cash flows received when purchasing Bondie would be $2.50 every 6 months for 10 years and an additional $100 at the end of the 10th year.

There are two basic ways to describe the value of this fixed set of cash flows, either by price or by yield. Price answers a simple question: How much would it cost you to purchase this fixed set of cash flows? This price will change over time, in much the same way that the price of a stock changes over time. Yield expresses the return earned by purchasing these cash flows at a certain price.

If you had to pay $100 in order to receive the…
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Reactionary Violence: Man Drives Car Into Fukushima Daini Nuclear Plant, Arrested, Wanted To Stand Out

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

And so we move on to the long overdue reaction of pent up popular anger by the general public, which may have just hit its tipping point of being constantly lied to and put in harm’s way to protect the status quo.

  • A 25-year-old man arrested for driving into Fukushima Daini nuclear plant, smashing the gate. Says he wanted to “stand out”: RTRS

Comparisons to a self-immolating fruit vendor in Tunisia need not apply.

PS Daini is the “other” nuclear power plant

More as we see it.





 
 
 

Phil's Favorites

The dysfunctional debt ceiling and why we should kill it: 5 questions answered

 

The dysfunctional debt ceiling and why we should kill it: 5 questions answered

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin is taking ‘extraordinary measures’ to avoid busting the debt ceiling. AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Courtesy of Steven Pressman, Colorado State University

Editor’s note: The U.S. government maxed out its national credit card in March and has been moving money around ever since to avoid running out of cash. Very soon the Treasury Department ...



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Zero Hedge

This Is Where The Next Recession Will Start: An Epidemiological Study

By Nicholas Colas of DataTrek

(Published at ZeroHedge)

US recessions are like epidemics: they all begin somewhere, and the “tell” is state-level unemployment data. For example, the end of the 2000 dot com bubble hit Connecticut and Massachusetts first – two hubs for the financials services industry with lots of affluent investors to boot. The end of the 2000s housing boom predictably impacted Florida and Nevada before the rest of the country. This time around, the data shows the manufacturing-heavy states of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana are most at risk. No wonder “Dr. Fed” wants to inoculate the region with lower interest rates.

When medical professionals study epidemics, they look for the source of the ou...



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Digital Currencies

Cryptos Suddenly Panic-Bid, Bitcoin Back Above $10k

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Following further selling pressure overnight, someone (or more than one) has decided to buy-the-dip in cryptos this morning, sending Bitcoin (and most of the altcoins) soaring...

A sea of green...

Source: Coin360

Bitcoin surged back above $10,000...

Ethereum bounced off suppo...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Silver ETF (SLV) Testing Dual Breakout Resistance

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Silver (NYSEARCA: SLV) has been in a bit of a slumber when compared to the price action for Gold (NYSEARCA: GLD).

Precious metals bulls hope that this about to change, as bullish action from Silver is necessary to confirm any bull market / move in metals.

Today’s chart takes a closer look at the Silver ETF (SLV) on a weekly basis. As you can see, Silver is up 5 percent this week alone.

This is good news for metals bulls. But this rally isn’t confirming a breakout just yet.

As you can see in the chart below, SLV has been trading between support (1) ...



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Insider Scoop

Analysts Weigh In On Netflix's Rocky Quarter

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) reported second-quarter results highlighted by an uncharacteristic decline in U.S. subscribers while international subscriber adds missed expectations. Here is a summary of how some of the Street's top analysts reacted to the print.

The Analysts

Mor...



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Biotech

DNA testing companies offer telomere testing - but what does it tell you about aging and disease risk?

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

 

DNA testing companies offer telomere testing – but what does it tell you about aging and disease risk?

A telomere age test kit from Telomere Diagnostics Inc. and saliva. collection kit from 23andMe. Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Patricia Opresko, University of Pittsburgh and Elise Fouquerel, ...



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ValueWalk

Professor Shubha Ghosh On The Current State Of Gene Editing

 

Professor Shubha Ghosh On The Current State Of Gene Editing

Courtesy of Jacob Wolinsky, ValueWalk

ValueWalk’s Q&A session with Professor Shubha Ghosh, a professor of law and the director of the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute. In this interview, Professor Ghosh discusses his background, the Human Genome Project, the current state of gene editing, 3D printing for organ operations, and gene editing regulation.

...

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Chart School

Gold Gann Angle Update

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Charts show us the golden brick road to high prices.

GLD Gann Angle has been working since 2016. Higher prices are expected. Who would say anything different, and why and how?

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.



The GLD very wide channel shows us the way.
- Conservative: Tag the 10 year rally starting in 2001 to 2019 and it forecasts $750 GLD (or $7500 USD Gold Futures) in 10 years.
- Aggressive: Tag the 5 year rally starting in 1976 to 2019  and it forecasts $750 GLD (or $7500 USD Gold Futures) in 5 years.

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if ima...



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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

Excerpt:

The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 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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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.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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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. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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