Archive for 2012

Guest Post: Anything The Government Gives You, The Government Can Take Away

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Via John Aziz of Azizonomics

From the Guardian:

A majority of doctors support measures to deny treatment to smokers and the obese, according to a survey that has sparked a row over the NHS‘s growing use of “lifestyle rationing”.

 

Some 54% of doctors who took part said the NHS should have the right to withhold non-emergency treatment from patients who do not lose weight or stop smoking. Some medics believe unhealthy behaviour can make procedures less likely to work, and that the service is not obliged to devote scarce resources to them.

And that’s the trouble with services and institutions run from the taxpayer’s purse, administered by centralists and bureaucrats. It becomes a carrot or a stick for interventionists to intervene in your life. Its delivery depends on your compliance with the diktats and whims of the democracy, or of bureaucrats. Your standard of living becomes a bargaining chip. Don’t conform? You might be deemed unworthy of hospital treatment.

It seems innocuous to promise all manner of services in exchange for taxes. Citizens may welcome the convenience, the lower overheads, the economies of scale. They may welcome a freebie, and the chance to enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labour. They may feel entitled to it.

Many words have been spent on the problems of dependency; that rather than working for an honest living, the poor may be sucked into a vortex of entitlement, to such an extent that they lose the desire to produce. A tax-sucking multi-generational underclass can develop. Individuals can live entirely workless lives, enjoying a semi-comfortable existence on the teat of the taxpayer, enjoying the fruits — financial handouts, free education, free healthcare, a free home — of social engineers who believe that every problem under the sun can be remedied by government largesse and throwing money at problems. And who can blame them? Humans have sought out free lunches for as long as there have been humans.

Welfare dependency is generally assumed to be viewed negatively in the corridors of power. After all, broad welfare programs mean greater spending, and that very often means great debt. And why would a government want to be in debt? Surely governments would prefer it if more of the population was working…
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Market Forces

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by ilene.

Here’s the latest Stock World Weekly: Market Forces. 

Features this week include:

Excerpts:

TECHNICALS with Mark Hanna:

This week, the indexes broke through the tops of their boxes. The carbon and silicon-based life forms controlling the trading scene are now free to run the Risk-Off trade to new heights. As Mark observed on Thursday, 

.

“Looks like people are jumping on the upside bandwagon again as the S&P has cleared those highs of 1392-1393 at the ‘top of the box… Keep in mind Bernanke has us in a “Tepper moment” again. [Sep 24, 2010: Video - Appaloosa's David Tepper - Ben Bernanke Will Make Everything Go Up in the Can't Lose Environment

.

“Either the economy gets better, or the Fed comes in with guns blazing. Either scenario the stock market “wins” in simple think… [Apr 1, 2012: Is it Really as Simple as Don't Fight the Fed?]…

.

“Mr. Bernanke said the Fed ‘remains prepared to do more’ to help the economy should there be further deterioration. We don’t know what will trigger QE3, but it’s clear it’s still out there.

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“Technically now one can use the ‘resistance becomes support’ thesis, and S&P 1392ish is the line to work against.” [Clearly We've Broken Out of the Box to the Upside]

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S+P Two week

[Mark’s disclosure notice: Any securities mentioned on this page are not held by the author in his personal portfolio. Securities mentioned may or may not be held by the author in the mutual fund he manages, the Paladin Long Short Fund (PALFX). For a list of the aforementioned fund's holdings at the end of the prior quarter, visit the Paladin Funds website at http://www.paladinfunds.com/holdings/blog]

 

HFT TRADING with Washington’s Blog

Addressing the proportion of silicon to carbon-based traders, Washington’s Blog reported, “As of 2010, 50-70% of all stock trades were done by high frequency trading computer algorithms. And many other asset classes are dominated by high frequency trading as well.

“High-frequency trading distorts the markets. See this
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Hugh Hendry is Back – Full Eclectica Letter

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Hugh Hendry is back with a bang after a two year hiatus with what so many have been clamoring for, for so long – another must read letter from one of the true (if completely unsung) visionary investors of our time: "I have not written to you at any great length since the winter of 2010. This is largely because not much has happened to change our views. We still see the global economy as grotesquely distorted by the presence of fixed exchange rates, the unraveling of which is creating financial anarchy, just as it did in the 1920s and 1930s. Back then the relevant fixes were around the gold standard. Today it is the dual fixed pricing regimes of the euro countries and of the dollar/renminbi peg."

In the letter the most surprising insight from the perpetual contrarian is his almost predictable contrary view of the dominant investing meme at the moment. To wit: "We are, as a result, long the debt saddled west and short the vastly over vaunted and over owned BRICs." More on this: "There is a near consensus that China will supplant America this decade. We do not believe this. We are more bullish on US growth than most. The momentous nature of recent advances in shale oil and gas extraction and America's acceptance of the unpleasantness of debt and labour price restructuring looks to us as if it is creating yet another historic turning point. By embracing his inadequacies and leaping on his luck, the strong man may have finally broken the binds that had previously held him back. We are also more pessimistic on Chinese growth than ever. This makes us bearish on most Asian stocks, bearish on industrial commodity prices, interested in some US stocks, a seller of high variance equities and deeply concerned that Japan could become the focal point of the next global leg down. On the plus side we also believe that we are much closer than before to the beginning of a bull market of perhaps 1982, if not 1932, proportions. We just need the last shoe to drop."

We will let readers combs through the narrative that shapes Hendry's most recent outlook, although one chart worth pointing out is The Eclectica boss' visual summary of the "New Economic Order" which presents precisely…
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April 2012 Chat with Andrew Horowitz of ‘The Disciplined Investor’

Submitted by Mark Hanna

Courtesy of MarketMontage. View original post here.

I had another opportunity to speak with Andrew Horowitz this weekend — last we spoke [Mar 12, 2012: A Chat with Andrew Horowitz]  the market was in “teflon” mode (at least in large caps) in early March but of course since then things have become much more volatile.  Main topics of conversation were Investor Business Daily’s call back to (tentatively) constructive mid week, why Europe’s currency is holding the region back, recent market action, and corporate profits.   Long time futures/commodities trader Larry Williams was Andrew’s other guest in this week’s show.

Link to the interview can be found here (2/3rds down the page); those of you with iTunes can download the podcast here.

(please excuse my excessive use of the word “uhhh..” in the first 5 minutes, it was early in the morning) :)

Disclosure Notice

Any securities mentioned on this page are not held by the author in his personal portfolio. Securities mentioned may or may not be held by the author in the mutual fund he manages, the Paladin Long Short Fund (PALFX). For a list of the aforementioned fund’s holdings at the end of the prior quarter, visit the Paladin Funds website at http://www.paladinfunds.com/holdings/blog





Myth Buster:TARP Bailout May Realize A Positive Return for Taxpayers?

Courtesy of www.econmatters.com.

By EconMatters

The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) is a program initiated by the US government, funded by taxpayers, in October 2008 to bail out the banking and housing sector after the 2008 financial crisis. Due to the program’s complexity and “repayment” schemes, there has been different estimates of what TARP would ultimately cost.

We looked at the various TARP estimates in August, 2011 trying to shed some light on two very fundamental questions — (1) Where has Uncle Sams’ bailout money gone (2) Has the money been paid back yet.  At that time, we found some published non-government sources of the “amount outstanding” on TARP ranging from $239 billion tracked by Pro Publica to NYT’s $480 billion (CNNMoney data came to $357 billion).  And there’s also one jaw-dropping outlier--$1.5 trillion--estimated by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD)

Even after taking into account of government sources such as Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the U.S. Treasury Dept. is probably the only one repeatedly preaching the “profitability” of TARP.  After proclaiming that “Repayments to Taxpayers Surpass Tarp Funds Outstanding.” in June 2010, Treasury came out with this update earlier this month:

“Overall, the government is now expected to at least break even on its financial stability programs and may realize a positive return. Treasury’s TARP investments and overall stake in AIG, purchase of mortgage-backed securities, and Money Market Fund guarantee program are each currently expected to realize an overall positive return for taxpayers.”

A week later, along came a congressional report by SIGTARP (The Office of the Special Inspector General for the TARP) pouring ice water on the seemingly overly optimistic Treasury:

It is a widely held misconception that TARP will make a profit.….. As of March 31, 2012, $470.1 billion is obligated to TARP programs.6 Of that amount, $414.6 billion had been spent and $50.2 billion remained obligated and available to be spent.  Taxpayers are owed $118.5 billion as of March 31, 2012

The table below from SIGTARP report lists the most recent TARP program estimates from three agencies.

The update from Pro Publica, which tracks both the…
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Myth Buster: TARP Bailout May Realize A Positive Return for Taxpayers?

Courtesy of www.econmatters.com.

By EconMatters

The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) is a program initiated by the US government, funded by taxpayers, in October 2008 to bail out the banking and housing sector after the 2008 financial crisis. Due to the program's complexity and "repayment" schemes, there has been different estimates of what TARP would ultimately cost.

We looked at the various TARP estimates in August, 2011 trying to shed some light on two very fundamental questions — (1) Where has Uncle Sams' bailout money gone (2) Has the money been paid back yet.  At that time, we found some published non-government sources of the "amount outstanding" on TARP ranging from $239 billion tracked by Pro Publica to NYT's $480 billion (CNNMoney data came to $357 billion).  And there's also one jaw-dropping outlier--$1.5 trillion--estimated by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD)

Even after taking into account of government sources such as Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the U.S. Treasury Dept. is probably the only one repeatedly preaching the "profitability" of TARP.  After proclaiming that "Repayments to Taxpayers Surpass Tarp Funds Outstanding." in June 2010, Treasury came out with this update earlier this month:

"Overall, the government is now expected to at least break even on its financial stability programs and may realize a positive return. Treasury’s TARP investments and overall stake in AIG, purchase of mortgage-backed securities, and Money Market Fund guarantee program are each currently expected to realize an overall positive return for taxpayers."

A week later, along came a congressional report by SIGTARP (The Office of the Special Inspector General for the TARP) pouring ice water on the seemingly overly optimistic Treasury:

"It is a widely held misconception that TARP will make a profit.….. As of March 31, 2012, $470.1 billion is obligated to TARP programs.6 Of that amount, $414.6 billion had been spent and $50.2 billion remained obligated and available to be spent.  Taxpayers are owed $118.5 billion as of March 31, 2012

The table below from SIGTARP report lists the most recent TARP program estimates from three agencies.

The update from Pro Publica, which tracks both the broader $700 billion TARP bill and the separate bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, showed $225 billion is the net still outstanding as of Apr. 18, 2012.  The tally…
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Nokia in Talks to Sell Vertu to Permira -FT

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Nokia (NYSE: NOK) is currently in talks to sell its luxury phone brand Vertu to private equity group Permira, according to Financial Times. The sale price is reported to be $265 million.

The handmade Vertu phones can cost as much as $325,000 each.


For more Benzinga, visit Benzinga Professional Service, Value Investor, and Stocks Under $5.





How To Invest In Gold ETFs (GLD, IAU, SGOL, DGZ, GDX)

Courtesy of John Nyaradi.

goldSince 2001, there has been a gold bull market with gold prices having risen steadily to extremely high levels per ounce.  The increase occurred at the same time as U.S. debt continued to rise, thereby weakening the U.S. dollar as compared to other currencies.  In 2005, gold prices reached $500 for the first time since 1987. 

Just three short years later in 2008, gold prices reached $1,000.  The main reason why gold prices took off so rapidly was the financial crisis of 2008.  The crisis increased the demand for actual gold and exchange traded funds that dealt with gold.  In fact, the largest gold ETF, SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE: GLD) had a record of 1320 tons of gold in its possession, which is more gold than what is controlled by the Chinese National Bank.  Additionally, several central banks were planning on increasing their gold reserves, including the Chinese National Bank, the Central Bank of Russia, and the Reserve Bank of India. 

On December 7, 2010, gold prices reached a new record high of $1,431.60 per troy ounce.  Conversely, the U.S. dollar experienced an all-time low.  These events occurred because there were uncertainties revolving around whether the economic recovery was sustainable, increasing inflation, and the possibility of corporate bankruptcies.   

Additionally, the demand of gold was increasing due to the growing national debt, the low interest rates, and the increasing size of the money supply in the U.S.  Add to this the fact that gold production had declined by 10% since 2001coupled with strong gold demand for jewelry and by institutional investors, led to further skyrocketing of the price of gold.

If gold intrigues you as a worthwhile investment, you may be debating about whether to invest in gold mining shares or in gold ETFs.  Gold mining shares are stocks in companies that are in the business gold mining.  These companies vary in size from multibillion-dollar companies that have large mines in Africa, Australia, Canada, and Nevada to small exploration mining companies that are on the lookout for new areas to find gold throughout the world. 

“Major minors” are those companies that are stable and whose profits will fluctuate based upon what the price of gold is doing.  Smaller gold companies have to find gold before they can mine it and sell it.  Smaller gold companies can…
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The View From The Bridge Over The Rotten Boroughs of Europe

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Clive Hale from View from the Bridge

The Rotten Boroughs Of Europe

Once upon a time when Nigel Farage got up to speak you often wondered whether he was the full ticket, but today when he gives the European parliament the benefit of his opinion he is the only one making any sense and that includes most of our other politicos back home. Instead of planning to get out of the EU madhouse we have confirmed that £10 billion of our money, yours and mine, has been re-pledged to the IMF “pour encourager les autres” as I am sure was the phrase Christine Lagarde used as she sidled up alongside an impressionable young chancellor, who is totally out of his depth in such company – Lagarde’s youthful pastime of synchronised swimming for the French national team is now paying dividends. It is only a promise at this stage, but it already has parliamentary approval – slid through in a dark period rather like TARP in the States – without any proper scrutiny and an absence of opprobrium from the main stream media the supposed guardians of free speech. If only…

Talking of whom…the Old Man of Oz and his unspeakable offspring may be coming to the end of their days, but not before they do for the leadership of the Tory party. Cameron should sack Hunt but will he? Because he is as knee deep in lies and hypocrisy as his junior minister the spotlight would then focus even more tightly on the PM. Who can we trust these days to look after our best interests? I ask that question because I really don’t know the answer.

 And I could ask the same question in the US, France, Greece and Ireland where elections or referenda are taking place sooner or later. May 6th could be the turning point as France and Greece go to the polls. In both countries the stronger challengers are determined to have some say in the renegotiation of the EU austerity fiscal pact despite the Oxymerkel (the EU version of oxymoron suggested by “The Slog” a site well worth a visit) saying, “the discussion is closed.”

 She does hail from what was East Germany and has…
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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 ...

http://www.insidercow.com/ more from Insider

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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