Archive for 2011

Radiation Expert: “Sr-90 and Uranium and Particulates Will Be Building Up in the USA and Europe … For Now I Think It Prudent To Stop Drinking Milk”

Courtesy of George Washington

Washington’s Blog

Preface: I take very seriously any warning about consuming a product which is important for the local economy. But when a respected radiation expert issues this type of warning, I have to pass it on.

I wrote to radiation expert Dr. Chris Busby to ask him if he thought people living outside of Japan should take any actions to try to reduce their radiation exposure:

Epidemiologist Dr. Wing thinks people outside of Japan shouldn’t do anything to attempt to reduce radiation exposure: Leading Epidemiologist: Instead of Trying to Avoid Japanese Radiation, Put Your Energy Into Demanding a Saner Energy Policy

But the French anti-nuclear NGO CRIIAD says that pregnant women and infants should take steps to reduce exposure: French Nuclear Group Warns that Children and Pregnant Mothers Should Protect Themselves from Radiation

I’ve also researched the scientific literature, and found that antioxidants can help a little: Can Vitamins or Herbs Help Protect Us from Radiation?

What’s your advice for people outside of Japan?

Professor Busby replied:

I attach my "don’t panic" paper. However, since then I have re-thought this advice as the thing is still fissioning and releasing 10 to the fourteen becquerels a day. This will mean that Sr-90 [strontium 90] and Uranium and particulates will be building up in the USA and Europe. I will assess this later but for now I think it prudent to stop drinking milk. I also attach the particulates note. 

Busby – Fukuparticles2 Busby – Dont Panic Disclaimer: I am not a health professional or radiation expert.





Swing trading virtual portfolio – week of April 25th, 2011

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

This post is for live trades and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current virtual 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

Optrader 

Swing trading virtual portfolio

 

One trade virtual portfolio





China Proposes To Cut Two Thirds Of Its $3 Trillion In USD Holdings

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

All those who were hoping global stock markets would surge tomorrow based on a ridiculous rumor that China would revalue the CNY by 10% will have to wait. Instead, China has decided to serve the world another surprise. Following last week’s announcement by PBoC Governor Zhou (Where’s Waldo) Xiaochuan that the country’s excessive stockpile of USD reserves has to be urgently diversified, today we get a sense of just how big the upcoming Chinese defection from the "buy US debt" Nash equilibrium will be. Not surprisingly, China appears to be getting ready to cut its USD reserves by roughly the amount of dollars that was recently printed by the Fed, or $2 trilion or so. And to think that this comes just as news that the Japanese pension fund will soon be dumping who knows what. So, once again, how about that "end of QE" again?

From Xinhua:

China’s foreign exchange reserves increased by 197.4 billion U.S. dollars in the first three months of this year to 3.04 trillion U.S. dollars by the end of March.

Xia Bin, a member of the monetary policy committee of the central bank, said on Tuesday that 1 trillion U.S. dollars would be sufficient. He added that China should invest its foreign exchange reserves more strategically, using them to acquire resources and technology needed for the real economy.

And as if the public sector making it all too clear what is about to happen was not enough, here is the private one as well:

China should reduce its excessive foreign exchange reserves and further diversify its holdings, Tang Shuangning, chairman of China Everbright Group, said on Saturday.

The amount of foreign exchange reserves should be restricted to between 800 billion to 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars, Tang told a forum in Beijing, saying that the current reserve amount is too high.

Tang’s remarks echoed the stance of Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of China’s central bank, who said on Monday that China’s foreign exchange reserves "exceed our reasonable requirement" and that the government should upgrade and diversify its foreign exchange management using the excessive reserves.

Tang also said that China should further diversify its foreign exchange holdings. He suggested five channels for using the reserves, including replenishing state-owned capital in key sectors and enterprises, purchasing strategic resources, expanding overseas investment, issuing foreign


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Axel Merk: Why Is Anyone Still Waiting to Sell the Dollar?

Courtesy of Chris Martenson 

"The Fed can buy billions, even a trillion or so, but if and when the market is moving against the policymakers then there is no stopping. The Fed cannot stem that tide. There is only so much that they can manage and so it is something that they have to watch very carefully. At the same time, they are not terribly concerned. If the bond market is falling, you do not know whether it is because of more economic growth or because of more inflation, and you really only know after the fact.

So for now people think “We have economic growth kicking in”, until the next economic numbers are not as great as expected and so it is a bit like a boiling frog syndrome. You print in all this money, you think everything is great and you have some warning signs but you think “Things are moving along” and by the time that you really see the damage you have created, it is quite late to undo this damage and it is going to be very, very expensive and painful."

So remarks Axel Merk, currency specialist and founder of the Merk Mutual Funds, who is perplexed by those waiting for additional warning signs to sell the dollar. In his view, we have all the evidence we need. He and Chris discuss the inner workings of the Fed and the course it is determinedly charting – and the looming dangers ahead for the US dollar.

Click here to listen to Chris’ interview with Axel Merk (runtime 40m:55s):

Read the Transcript of the Podcast
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In this podcast, Axel explains:

  • Why Ben Bernanke is hell-bent on debasing the US dollar to spur economic growth
  • How the politics of the Fed work, where the power lies and which arguments and actions are likely to carry the day
  • Why inflation expectations actually matter more than actualy inflation, and why the Fed will not rest until it is satisfied the market expectations for inflation are higher
  • That the US is on its way to a fiscal trainwreck – a reality our political leadership continues to lack to backbone to address honestly
  • The Fed’s powers are prodigious, but not as great as the market. If


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The Big Secret?

Courtesy of Leo Kolivakis

Via Pension Pulse.

Morgan Korn at Yahoo’s Breakout reports, Superstar Managers Don’t Mean Superstar Returns: Renowned Investor:

Renowned investor Joel Greenblatt can’t keep a secret.

 

The founder of Gotham Capital, the hedge fund he started in 1985 that produced 40 percent annualized returns under his 20-year tutelage, wants you to be rich. Very rich. And it doesn’t mean pouring your hard-earned money into five-star rated funds or hiring talking head money managers (they are plenty of them on cable business channels). In Mr. Greenblatt’s latest book, The Big Secret for the Small Investor, he decodes the secrets of Wall Street for the average investor and debunks the most common myths of investing.

 

What’s the biggest secret revealed? “Investing comes down to valuing something and paying a big discount to that value,” Greenblatt recently told Breakout. In his book, Greenblatt gives plenty of examples of how to determine a company’s valuation with simplified numbers and mathematical equations. He strips away the grandeur and lays bare the basics of investing. Greenblatt says investors should look for a basket of companies that appear undervalued, because winning big in the stock market means “figuring out what something is worth and paying a lot less.” Of course, determining a company’s value and future earnings can be very difficult, even for the most sophisticated and experienced money managers, Greenblatt admits.

 

Another secret Greenblatt divulges is that market-cap weighed indexes beat most active managers —- and all successful managers go through periods of underperformance. Therefore, investors should avoid chasing managers based on prior performance stats — as we know, past performance does not guarantee future success. Historically speaking, Greenblatt said 70 percent of active managers have underperformed the market over the past 10 years and “odds are investors are not going to find that superstar manager.” Believe it or not, retail investors and money managers really do compete on an equal playing field, he adds. The market is “very emotional,” and to separate the emotion from the reward, Greenblatt recommends buying ETFs —- specifically Value Index ETFs.

 

Follow Greenblatt’s advice and your portfolio could soon be well ahead of the markets and outperforming even the most eminent managers. Warren Buffett and Ben Graham made fortunes looking for value, and so can you.

You…
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TV Talking Heads

Courtesy of Bruce Krasting





Guest Post: Debunking Anti-Gold Propaganda

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Over the weekend, Dian Chu proposed the “precious metals (and specifically silver) are a bubble” argument to a rather vociferous reaction from readers. Today, to keep the argument balanced, we present the counterpoint from Doug Casey: basically, there is no spoon…or bubble.

Submitted by Doug Casey of Casey Research

Debunking Anti-Gold Propaganda

A meme is now circulating that gold is in a bubble and that it’s time for the wise investor to sell. To me, that’s a ridiculous notion. Certainly a premature one.

It pays to remain as objective as you can be when analyzing any investment. People have a tendency to fall in love with an asset class, usually because it’s treated them so well. We saw that happen, most recently, with Internet stocks in the late ‘90s and houses up to 2007. Investment bubbles are driven primarily by emotion, although there’s always some rationale for the emotion to latch on to. Perversely, when it comes to investing, reason is recruited mainly to provide cover for passion and preconception.

In the same way, people tend to hate certain investments unreasonably, usually at the bottom of a bear market, after they’ve lost a lot of money and thinking about the asset means reliving the pain and loss. Love-and-hate cycles occur for all investment classes.

But there’s only one investment I can think of that many people either love or hate reflexively, almost without regard to market performance: gold. And, to a lesser degree, silver. It’s strange that these two metals provoke such powerful psychological reactions – especially among people who dislike them. Nobody has an instinctive hatred of iron, copper, aluminum or cobalt. The reason, of course, is that the main use of gold has always been as money. And people have strong feelings about money. Let’s spend a moment looking at how gold’s fundamentals fit in with the psychology of the current market.

What Gold Is – and Why It’s Hated

Let me first disclose that I’ve always been favorably inclined toward gold, simply because I think money is a good thing. Not everyone feels that way, however. Some, with a Platonic view, think that money and commercial activity in general are degrading and beneath the “better” sort of people – although they’re a little hazy about how mankind rose above the level of living hand-to-mouth, grubbing for roots…
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Investing for Income – Part Two

We are off to a super start already!

I was inspired to write up this virtual portfolio as an example of the kind of investments that would benefit my Mom and her friends down in Florida, who have little risk tolerance but NEED to draw a consistent income from their retirement accounts.  The state of financial planning from "expert advisers" is woeful to say the least so our intention has been to test-drive a virtual portfolio of $500,000 and see how it performs over time, our goal is going to be collecting $4,000 a month, nearly 10% without touching the principal.

One of the principles of a retirement virtual portfolio is to make it as low-touch as possible.  Here we have our first two-week check-up but, once things are set up, we should be able to visit less often than that – hopefully quarterly as long as the market remains in our range.  

Be sure to read the original post for my caveats regarding this type of investing, as well as the goals we have for long-term savings.  Most importantly, be aware that I am not a financial adviser – everyone's situation is unique and you need to consult with someone who is familiar with your overall financial situation.  In this particular case, were looking at a scenario where someone has $500,000 to invest and hopes to draw about $4,000 a month.  Our first trades were as follows:

  • 3,000 NLY at $17.23 ($51,690), now $17.58 (up $1,050) 
  • 30 NLY 2013 $12.50 calls sold for $4.95 (-$14,850), now $5 (down $300)
  • 15 NLY 2013 $15 puts sold for $2.05 (-$3,075), now $2.05 (even).  
  • No cash used to live on yet

Of course we don't worry about being called away and it doesn't matter too much what happens to the put and call prices as long as we are on track.  The bottom line is we put $17,925 in our pockets with and expectation of being called away with a $14,190 loss at $12.50 ($37,500) so a net gain $3,735 is expected on the stock + options combo on $33,765 cash committed is just 11% over 18 months but we are playing this one for the .62 quarterly dividend, which is another 14% with the next
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Stock World Weekly: Convergence of Trouble

Courtesy of ilene

Here’s the new Stock World Weekly: Convergence of Trouble 

Excerpt:

Lee Adler of The Wall Street Examiner wrote last week, “The market sailed through a week of light Treasury supply with reduced POMO support. A big Treasury paydown this week put extra cash in dealer trading accounts and it did exactly what we expected it to. S&P threw a little glitch into things on Monday by putting the US on a negative watch. They probably just had a big client with a huge buy order outstanding. A little negative news and Voila! Done!

Next week, Lee thinks, will be a little more interesting. “POMO will be insufficient to absorb $52 billion in new supply. With that much paper to sell, the government will want to see yields lower. So be on the lookout for a 3 AM stock futures selloff in the pre market probably Tuesday and/or Wednesday. There’s nothing like a little stock market liquidation to get a buying panic going in Treasuries. If that doesn’t happen, then something will need to take a hit around May 2. That’s settlement day for $45 billion in new notes. We would need to keep an eye on the technicals for clues to which market would bear the brunt of that if there’s no pre auction liquidation of stocks.” (The Wall Street Examiner, subscription required) 

Quantitative easing (QE2) is scheduled to expire at the end of June. In a recent interview with Jon Hilsenrath of the Wall Street Journal, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated that QE will not be pursued once the current program runs its course. In an interview with John Nyaradi of Wall Street Sector Selector, Phil pointed out that this is not actually the case. “QE2 isn’t going to end. This is a misnomer about QE2 because what’s going to end is the new funding. About 50% of what’s going in from the Fed now is rollover money… (The Fed) is buying 85% of the Treasury notes. They can’t stop. How could they stop? Who’s going to buy?”

When QE2 was announced, the budget for the program was set at $600Bn plus additional funds made available by reinvesting principal payments from agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities. Those additional funds boosted the total budget for QE2 to somewhere between $850Bn to $900Bn. In other words, the Fed had between $250Bn and…
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Guest Post: Crude Oil & Gasoline Seasonal Tendencies

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

From FMX Connect

Overview:  Crude Oil & Gasoline Seasonal Tendencies

As we start this new year, a number of events are likely to occur along with the normal changes in the weather. January gasoline is typically the lowest in any year and, despite the common mythology, gasoline consumption does not normally fall steeply after Labor Day and then recover miraculously after Memorial Day.

We do see an element of driving disappear after Labor Day, as drivers in the 16 to 25 year-old age bracket tend to drive less, or at least more predictably. Family vacations are also over by that point, as a general rule. But, there are pockets of demand during foliage sighting season and Thanksgiving Weekend is always the best four-day driving period in any year in which July 4th does not fall on a Tuesday or Thursday.

There is usually good driving through the month of December into New Year’s Eve, but it traditionally falls off a cliff right after the champagne glasses touch to ring in a new year. People park their cars and drive to work and school and to appointments. But it is not until March or April that more discretionary driving normally returns.

Refineries know this and they typically plan maintenance turnarounds from January through April or early May. During this period, there is a definite tendency for gasoline inventories to be drawn down; even though demand starts the year at its lowest levels, the maintenance usually goes on long after demand has started to mount a comeback.

Market Reaction

The market reaction is not what most people might believe. Regardless of the overarching trend, prices have a long history of advancing from early March through the middle of May. Despite the fact that the so-called “Driving Season” starts with Memorial Day and peaks on Independence Day, most of the buying has come into the market long before the end of May.

Gasoline Seasonal Trade

We are now trading “RBOB,” but it is effectively “unleaded gasoline,” and we include its history in all its various incarnations, from leaded regular to unleaded to oxygenated to RBOB. The tendency for prices is to advance from early March. Following the loose guideline of buying in the first two weeks of March and selling sometime before May 15th, the seasonal tendency has worked in 25 out of 26 years –…
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ValueWalk

#1 Performing Global Macro Hedge Fund Sees More Shorts Opportunities Ahead As China Bursts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Crescat Global Macro Fund update to investors on 1/19/2019

Crescat Global Macro Fund and Crescat Long/Short fund delivered strong returns for both December and full year 2018 in a difficult market. Based on ...



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Zero Hedge

Johns Hopkins, Bristol-Myers Face $1 Billion Suit For Infecting Guatemalan Hookers With Syphilis 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A federal judge in Maryland said Johns Hopkins University, pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Rockefeller Foundation must face a $1 billion lawsuit over their roles in a top-secret program in the 1940s ran by the US government that injected hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis, reported Reuters.

Several doctors from Hopkins an...



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Phil's Favorites

Divisive economics

 

Guest author David Brin — scientist, technology consultant, best-selling author and futurist — explores the records of Democrats and Republicans on the US economy in the following post. For David's latest posts, visit the CONTRARY BRIN blog. For his books and short stories, visit his web...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Stock declines did not break 9-year support, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

We often hear “Stocks take an escalator up and an elevator down!” No doubt stocks did experience a swift decline from the September highs to the Christmas eve lows. Looks like the “elevator” part of the phrase came true as 2018 was coming to an end.

The first part of the “stocks take an escalator up” seems to still be in play as well despite the swift decline of late.

Joe Friday Just The Facts Ma’am- All of these indices hit long-term rising support on Christmas Eve at each (1), where support held and rallies have followed.

If you find long-term perspectives helpf...



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Digital Currencies

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

 

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

Blockchain technologies can empower people by allowing them more control over their user data. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Ajay Kumar Shrestha, University of Saskatchewan

Blockchain has already proven its huge influence on the financial world with its first application in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It might not be long before its impact is felt everywhere.

Blockchain is a secure chain of digital records that exist on multiple computers simultaneously so no record can be erased or falsified. The...



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Insider Scoop

Cars.com Explores Strategic Alternatives, Analyst Sees Possible Sale Price Around $30 Per Share

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related 44 Biggest Movers From Yesterday 38 Stocks Moving In Wednesday's Mid-Day Session ...

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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 13, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

In last week’s recap we asked:  “Has the Fed solved all the market’s problems in 1 speech?”

Thus far the market says yes!  As Guns n Roses preached – all we need is a little “patience”.  Four up days followed by a nominal down day Friday had the market following it’s normal pattern the past nearly 30 years – jumping whenever the Federal Reserve hints (or essentially says outright) it is here for the markets.   And in case you missed it the prior Friday, Chairman Powell came back out Thursday to reiterate the news – so…so… so… patient!

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reinforced that message Thursday during a discussion at the Economic Club of Washington where he said that the central bank will be “fle...



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Members' Corner

Why Trump Can't Learn

 

Bill Eddy (lawyer, therapist, author) predicted Trump's chaotic presidency based on his high-conflict personality, which was evident years ago. This post, written in 2017, references a prescient article Bill wrote before Trump even became president, 5 Reasons Trump Can’t Learn. ~ Ilene 

Why Trump Can’t Learn

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore (...



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Biotech

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

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

 

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Bacteriophage viruses infecting bacterial cells , Bacterial viruses. from www.shutterstock.com

Courtesy of John Bergeron, McGill University

Today, the scientific community is aghast at the prospect of gene editing to create “designer” humans. Gene editing may be of greater consequence than climate change, or even the consequences of unleashing the energy of the atom.

...

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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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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:

 

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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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