Archive for 2012

United Welfare States of America: In 2011 Nearly Half The Population Received Some Form Of Government Benefit

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

While politicians may debate whether or not America is the most “generous” (with other generations’ money of course) socialist welfare state in the history of mankind, the undoctored numbers make the affirmative case quite clear and without any chance for confusion. The single most disturbing statistic: in 2011 nearly half of the population lived in a household that receives some form of government benefit, which in turn accounted for 65% of total federal spending, or $2.5 trillion, and amount to 15% of GDP. And yet some people out there still think these people, long since indoctrinated to do little but mooch off the welfare state (which will continue subsidizing its existence so long as debt rates are so low that the government can issue trillions each year without fears of consequences) will halt their iTunes purchases, will voluntarily stop subsisting on the government’s teat, or will rebel against a government which is their only source of income? Why? Especially since something tells us that there will be a peculiar overlap between this 50% and the 50% of Americans that pay zero taxes.

Of course, this chart should be observed in conjunction with the “What is this?” chart we presented two days ago from Morgan Stanley which pretty much explains everything about the US “economy”

From John Lohman





Weekend Virtual Portfolio Update 1/22/2012

Here is the virtual portfolio weekend update. Basically a recap of the positions and some notes about the trades. As usual, I’ll post the previous week’s P&L for comparison. Not the greatest of week in general!

AA Money

Only transaction last week as we bought back the AA Feb 9 puts on Tuesday for close to a 70% profit. The idea is to sell another set of put as soon as we get a chance.

Previous week P&L – $400.00

We lost some ground this week, but we’ll keep on selling premium!

FAS Money

We also lost some ground in this virtual portfolio, but we have sold plenty of premium for the coming week. A little correction would go a long way to help! On Wednesday we sold the FAS Feb 72 puts (already good for 50%), on Thursday we added the Jan4 78 calls and on Friday we had to roll the Jan 78 puts to the Jan 80 puts. We were hoping for these ones to expire worthless on Friday, but a late stick killed that hope.

Previous week P&L – $4372.00

IWM Money

Not the best of week either here… As with the other portfolios we were a tad bearish with more calls sold. On Wednesday we sold the TNA Feb 47 puts (already up 40%) and on Thursday we rolled the TNA Jan 46 calls to the Jan4 49 calls.

Previous week P&L – $2046.00

As with the FAS Money portfolio, plenty of premium sold to get us back on track.

FAS Strangle Experiment

One bad move on Friday almost wiped out the entire week’s profit. There might be 2 lessons learned from that:

1) Every Friday will be different –  the week before, patience was rewarded, this week, a late stick punished it.
2) Better to take the profits when we can.

I also tried to time the entries better and it did help earlier this week but I still need to work on that.

Previous week P&L – $10,190.00

We start the week with over $1 of premium sold. All we need is a move to the downside to make up the loss.

25KP Virtual Portfolio

I’ll let Phil comment any of the trades. Here is a recap of the positions.

The SQQQ Jan calls expired worthless on Friday.

Apple 50k Virtual Portfolio

I’ll let lflan add his…
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Activism-In-Motion

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

After months of increasingly aggressive shareholder activism, the long-standing co-CEOs (Balisillie and Lazaridis) of the struggling Blackberry maker have resigned as the former COO takes over as CEO and former-exchange executive takes over as chairperson.

  • RESEARCH IN MOTION CO-CEOS/CHAIRMEN QUIT POSTS – BBG
  • RIM NAMES BARBARA STYMIEST INDEPENDENT BOARD CHAIRMAN – BBG
  • RESEARCH IN MOTION NAMES THORSTEN HEINS PRESIDENT, CEO – BBG

Research In Motion has clearly morphed into Activism-in-Motion as the Globe and Mail reports: “The catalyst for change appears to have been the entry of a new personality: reserved but revered investor Prem Watsa, the CEO of Fairfax Financial. Mr. Watsa, who has been called Canada’s Warren Buffett.While chatter appears to be that change-is-good, G&M go on to note, “Critics of the company’s performance may not be immediately impressed by
a management shakeup that involves so little fresh blood.” as the Playbook fiasco is fresh in many people’s minds but perhaps new CEO’s Heins view that “We are not at a point where we try to define a strategy, that’s done” will not hearten those looking for real change.

The Globe And Mail – Jim Balsillie, Mike Lazaridis out, Thorsten Heins in as new RIM CEO

Research in Motion leaders Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis are stepping down as executives and co-chairmen of the board of directors in the the biggest shake-up in the 27-year history of the Waterloo, Ont.-based startup turned global giant. The sudden move follows a year of decline in which RIM lost three-quarters of its market value, botched the launch of its PlayBook tablet and watched rivals eat into its market share for smartphones.

 

The new chief executive of RIM will be Thorsten Heins – a man they recruited five years ago who came to be a trusted advisor and their hand-picked successor. Calls for radical change at the company have been mounting in recent months. Its BlackBerry device blazed the trail for smartphones and has 75 million active subscribers around the world, but RIM has struggled of late with dwindling market share and fierce competition from Apple Inc.’s iPhone and an array of devices running Google Inc.’s Android operating system.

 

The catalyst for change appears to have been the entry of a new personality:


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UPDATE: New Research in Motion Vice Chairman Lazaridis to Purchase $50M of RIMM Shares

Courtesy of Benzinga.


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





The End is the Beginning is the End

Courtesy of The Automatic Earth 

Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums Just watch me June 9 1902
Fron album of prisoners brought before the North Shields Police Court in England between 1902 and 1916.

Time has stopped before us 
The sky cannot ignore us 
No one can separate us 
For we are all that is left 
The echo bounces off me 
The shadow lost beside me 
There's no more need to pretend 
Cause now I can begin again."

Smashing Pumpkins, The Beginning is the End is the Beginning

Ashvin Pandurangi: The latest revolution of the Euro Crisis Cycle has brought us back to talks of restructuring Greek sovereign debt through "Private Sector Involvement" (PSI), which are somehow taking place in a Universe where debt restructuring is not allowed to be confused with "debt default" or "bankruptcy". On Friday January 20, the IIF (representing some of Greece’s creditors) and the Greek government announced that they had finally reached an "agreement" on the basic structure of the restructuring (or the basic restructuring of the structure?).  

Here’s the live blog update from The Guardian on Friday, which really stood out to me:

A framework of the deal — the basic structure of the bond swap that the Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos wants to present at Monday's eurogroup meeting — has been accepted by both sides, "put in place" and I understand committed to paper. 

But it would also seem that other aspects of the agreement – be them legal, technical or matters of substance — remain unresolved and will be discussed at negotiations that resume at 7:30pm local time [6.30 GMT] and look set to continue over the weekend. 

If Greece's massive €360 bn debt load is to be made manageable much will depend "on the inter-related role of all the interests at stake" insiders say. Even if a decisive agreement is reached, the proposal will have to be put to technocrats — given the complexity of the deal — and they could very likely change it again. 

"The outline won't be the end of the beginning but the beginning of the end," said another source again requesting blanket anonymity because of the delicacy of the talks.

That’s how these anonymous blankets, with their linear mindsets and scripts, really think about the process and justify the charade to everyone else who looks…
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Australia Roundup: Oceanfront Homes for 65% Off; Chain Sales and Contingent Offers; Retailers Brace for More Job Cuts; Cusp of a White-Collar Recession

Australia Roundup: Oceanfront Homes for 65% Off; Chain Sales and Contingent Offers; Retailers Brace for More Job Cuts; Cusp of a White-Collar Recess

Courtesy of Mish

Reader "Brisbane Bear" from down under sent potpourri of links on the dwindling prospects for the Australian economy. 

Oceanfront Homes for 65% Off

In apples, rot starts at the periphery and spreads to the core. In real estate, rot starts in condos and vacation homes, then slowly encompasses city after city.

Please consider Investors snap up coastal property bargains in Queensland.

While prices soar in some coastal towns close to mining centres, astute buyers are managing to secure ocean- front homes in traditional tourist locations for $500,000 or more off peak prices as vendors cave after years of trying to sell.

One buyer scored an oceanfront unit in a marina development at Cardwell, halfway between Cairns and Townsville, for $157,000 – almost $300,000 less than it sold for in 2006. The unit had been on the market for three years.

A penthouse with ocean views in the same development sold for $570,000 less than its 2007 sales price.

RP Data senior analyst Cameron Kusher said buyers of the most affordable seaside holiday homes needed to be prepared for a long commute. But he said coastal market values had fallen across Queensland, meaning bargains could even be found in popular locations.

Chain Sales and Contingent Offers

When all else fails, buyers accept any offer they can get including contingent sales as noted by The Age in Risky ride on the vendor-go-round.

SELLING a home is stressful at the best of times. Failing to sell at auction in the midst of a property downturn can be its own kind of nightmare.

But imagine if it turned out that the only way to sell your home depended on the buyer having to sell theirs first.

It is a scenario Gavin and Verity Carson never considered when their Abbotsford terrace house went to auction and was passed in.

After later negotiations with a bidder broke down, they were left at a loss about what to do next. Looming was the threat of a lengthy wait in the private sale market, already flooded with thousands of unsold homes.

"All the people that had been interested were no longer interested – we had to really start the campaign


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Interactive Visual History Of Financial Crises Since 1810 – Note Where The Fed Arrives

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

As the name implies. What is funny is how only after the advent of the Federal Reserve in 1913 did Financial crises expose increasingly more of world GDP to a crisis state. But at least the Fed and ECB tell us all they do is enforce price stabeeletee. Could they be lying!? We thought it was all the gold standard’s fault for causing unprecedented economic volatility… Guess not. From History Shots: “The giant wave in the top section of the graphic depicts the percentage of world GDP by region in crisis during the 200 year period. It includes the four major financial crisis types (sovereign default, banking, currency, and inflation) along with stock market crashes. The bottom section provides a detailed chart of all sovereign defaults by country, region and year. It shows the repeating nature of sovereign default, a central theme of Reinhart and Rogoff’s book.”

Full chronology after the jump.

Source: HistoryShots





Weekly Recap And Key Events In The Coming Week

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

By way of Goldman Sachs

The week past was one of improving sentiment for risky assets. The positive stream of data surprises out of the US continued with a sharp drop in initial jobless claims. The less positive Philly Fed print did not shake markets to a substantial extent. Optimism in Eurozone extended as well with the newsflow over the Greek PSI. Up until Friday (January 20) it appeared increasingly likely that an agreement could be imminent. However, on Saturday talks came once again to a stalemate due to ongoing disagreement over the level of sustainable coupons for the new Greek bonds.
This implies that the PSI deal will not be ready for approval during the European finance ministers meeting, starting on Monday. The market will look for any signal on the pace of discussions over the ESM pre-funding details and the fiscal compact. Flash PMIs in the Eurozone and the IFO will also be key to watch given market fears over the activity impact of tight fiscal policy linked to the Eurozone fiscal crisis.

Attention will likely shift to the US this week. Q4 GDP will likely exceed 3% mostly due to one-off drivers and less so due a genuine pick-up in final demand in our view. The FOMC statement and press conference are unlikely to lead to a change in US monetary policy. However, we will be focusing on the publication of the FOMC participants’ views of appropriate policy (specifically the path for the federal funds rate and guidance for the size of the balance sheet going forward). In addition, President Obama will give his State of the Union speech Tuesday night.

Monday 23rd January:

Ecofin Meeting: The Greek PSI, the ESM pre-funding schedule will be among other issues in the agenda.

Also Interesting: Euro-zone Consumer Confidence (Jan), Israel Monetary Policy Meeting (no change).

Tuesday 24th January:

Turkey Monetary Policy Meeting: We do not expect a change in the base rate but it will be interesting to assess the current CBRT thoughts on ongoing policy initiatives.

Hungary Monetary Policy Meeting: In response to currency risks, NBH is widely expected to raise interest rates by 50bp to 7.50%.

Euro-zone Flash Composite PMI (Jan): Consensus expects a print of 48.5, up from 48.3 in December.

Also Interesting: US Presidential State of the Union address,…
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Weekly Market Commentary: Another Good Week For Indices

Courtesy of Declan Fallon

Nothing fancy for the week, just steady gains for indices.  These gains keep in play the rally from October. Market breadth continued to improve alongside index gains. Certain market breadth indicators are at declining resistance dating back to 2010, important tests, because breach these and the rallies will be well placed to continue for the next few weeks (if not months).

The Percentage of Nasdaq Stocks above the 50-day MA is one such market breadth indicator at resistance. With 72% of stocks above this intermediate trend average it suggests the Nasdaq is only in the early phase of its rally (a couple of weeks ago the percentage of Nasdaq Stocks above 50%, was just above 50%).

Nasdaq Bullish Percents are above the 50% mark

And the Summation Index is above zero

These breadth indicators suggest there should be enough for the Nasdaq to break declining resistance (already breached for Small and Large Cap indices) and push on to new highs.

The Russell 2000 has made it to neckline resistance and it’s next big area of supply

The S&P managed resistance breaks in the parent index and supporting market breadth indices ($NYSI shown)

While resistance might stall things in the Nasdaq for a week or two, it should eventually follow the leads of the Russell 2000 and S&P.  Bulls maintain their edge and should be able to hold on by the end of the coming week.

——

Follow Me on Twitter


Dr. Declan Fallon is the Senior Market Technician and Community Director for Zignals.com.


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Phil's Favorites

How To Spend $45,000 On A $27,000 Car

Courtesy of Mike Shedlock, MishTalk

As cars become more expensive, and trade-ins worth less and less, buyers go deeper in debt on new cars.

Please consider taking a $45,000 Loan for a $27,000 Ride.

Consumers, salespeople and lenders are treating cars a lot like houses during the last financial crisis: by piling on debt to such a degree that it often exceeds the car’s value. This phenomenon—referred t...



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Zero Hedge

How To Spend $45,000 On A $27,000 Car

Courtesy of Mike Shedlock, MishTalk

As cars become more expensive, and trade-ins worth less and less, buyers go deeper in debt on new cars.

Please consider taking a $45,000 Loan for a $27,000 Ride.

Consumers, salespeople and lenders are treating cars a lot like houses during the last financial crisis: by piling on debt to such a degree that it often exceeds the car’s value. This phenomenon—referred t...



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Insider Scoop

These Analysts Love BellRing Brands

Courtesy of Benzinga

BellRing Brands Inc (NYSE: BRBR) is a nutrition products company known for its ready-to-drink protein shakes and was born out of the separation of Post Holdings Inc (NYSE: POST)....



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The Technical Traders

Welcome to the Zombie-land Of Investing - Part I

Courtesy of Technical Traders

This current market environment is very reminiscent of the 2006-08 market environment where price rotated into weakness on technicals and continued to establish new all-time price highs in the process – creating what we are calling a “zombie-land melt-up”.  This very dangerous price action is indicative of money chasing a falling trend.  Where technicals and fundamentals are suggesting that price is actually weakening quite substantial, yet the process of price exploration is continually biased towards the upside as investors continue to pile onto the back of the beast expecting a further melt-up.

Let’s take a look at what happened to the ES and Gold in 2006 an...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Gold Indicator Sending Fresh Bearish Message, Says Joe Friday!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Could the Gold/US Dollar ratio be sending a fresh concerning message to Gold bulls this week? Joe Friday says Yes!

This chart looks at the Gold/Dollar ratio over the past 8-years.

The intersection of two long-term channel met at (1) a few months ago. The ratio was testing the bottom of one as resistance and the top of another as resistance at the same time.

As the ratio was testing both channels as resistance, a sizeable bearish reversal pattern took place at (1).

Since the reversal pattern took place, the ratio has been heading lower.

Joe Friday Just The Facts Ma’am; The ratio is breaking below...



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Digital Currencies

3 Reasons Why One Trader Didn't "Manipulate" Bitcoin Price To $20K

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by William Suberg via CoinTelegraph.com,

Bitcoin price highs in 2017 were not the result of a single trader on an exchange, the CEO of payment company Circle claims. In a series of tweets on Nov. 4, Jeremy Allaire disputed ...



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Chart School

Gold Gann and Cycle Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Gold has performed well, golden skies are here again. In fact it has been a straight line move, and this is typically unusual and a pause can be expected.

It seems the markets are happy again, new highs in the SP500, US 10 year interest rates look to re bound, negative interest may soften. The US FED has reversed their QT and now doing $250BN (not QE) repo. The main point is the FED has stopped QT, and will do QE forever. The evidence now is the FED put is under market risk and the possibility of excessive losses do not exist. 

Point: If in future if there is market risk, the FED will print it's way out of it.
Subject To: In this blog view. The above is so until the amount required rocks confidence in the US dollar as a reserve currency.&n...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Today's Fed POMO TOMO FOMC Alphabet Soup Unspin

Courtesy of Lee Adler

But make no mistake, if the Fed wants money rates to stay down by another quarter, it will need to imagineer even more money.

That’s on top of the $281 billion it has already imagineered into existence since addressing its “one-off” repo market emergency on September 17. This came via  “Temporary” Repo Man Operations money, and $70.6 billion in Permanent Open Market Operations (POMO) money.

By my calculations that averages out to $7.4 billion per business day. That works out to a monthly pace of $155 billion or so.

If they keep this up, it will be more than enough to absorb every penny of new Treasury supply. That supply had caused the system to run out of money in mid September.  This flood of paper had been inundati...



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Biotech

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

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

 

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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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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.

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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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