Archive for 2012

Guest Post: Is Democracy Possible In A Corrupt Society?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

Democracy is for PR purposes only in corrupt neofeudal nations.
 

Correspondent Chris rightly critiqued me for not mentioning democracy (or the lack thereof) in my recent entry on China: Do We Have What It Takes To Get From Here To There? Part 2: China. It is indeed vital to include democracy in any discussion of corruption, for it raises this question: is democracy possible in a corrupt society?
 
We can phrase the question as a corollary: in honor of my new book Why Things Are Falling Apart and What We Can Do About It (print $24) (Kindle $7.95), let's call it WTAFA Corollary #1:
 

If the citizenry cannot replace a dysfunctional government and/or limit the power of the financial Aristocracy at the ballot box, the nation is a democracy in name only.

In other words, if the citizenry cannot dislodge a parasitic, predatory financial Aristocracy via elections, then "democracy" is merely a public-relations facade, a simulacra designed to create the illusion that the citizenry "have a voice" when in fact they are debt-serfs in a neofeudal State.
 
When the Status Quo remains the same no matter who gets elected, democracy is a sham. We might profitably look to Japan as an example of a nation which replaced its dysfunctional dominant party via elections to little effect (Do We Have What It Takes To Get From Here To There? Part 1: Japan).
 
We can ask this question of Greece: in a pervasively corrupt neofeudal society, is democracy even possible?
 
Neofeudalism is characterized by a carefully nurtured facade of social mobility and democracy while the actual machinery of governance is corrupted at every level.


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Will Taxing the Rich Fix the Deficit?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by CrownThomas.

Good luck with that. Eventually the bar the central planners use to determine the “wealthy” will be lowered, and the middle class will get slammed. We all know spending will never be addressed in any meaningful way, so this is the only solution.

Well that, plus inflation as the treasury sells directly to the federal reserve.

 





Unintended Consequences Of Bailouts: Greece Gets Slammed

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by testosteronepit.

Wolf Richter   www.testosteronepit.com   www.amazon.com/author/wolfrichter

Bailouts, particularly those by central banks, have become known for their so-called “unintended consequences”—however intended they might have been. And now, unintended consequences strike again. The ECB’s massive purchases of decomposing Greek debt—an under-the-radar bailout of banks and insurance companies that were holding it—are making the favorite solution to the Greek crisis, namely another deep haircut, legally impossible, said Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann.

Weidmann, an outspoken opponent of the ECB’s bond purchasing programs who has likened them to a pact with the devil [Monetary Schizophrenia in Germany], has seen the writing on the wall. “Apparently,” he said during an interview, “the political world has decided to continue financing Greece.”

In theory, the next bailout payment of €31.5 billion is contingent on the big report that the Troika—the ever so successful bailout and austerity gang from the ECB, the IMF, and the EU—is putting together. They’ve been working on it since June. No money would be transferred to Greece unless the report would show that Greece is implementing to the last iota the agreed-upon reform program.

In practice, Weidmann questioned the independence of the report. Politicians have been dripping with admiration for Greece’s progress and have been expressing their intention to restart the aid flow, though the report isn’t even finished. And he wondered how you could objectively evaluate Greece’s performance in implementing the reform program, “when you’re too afraid of the consequences of a negative judgment?”

Political careers might be at stake, even in Germany, as Greece would be cut loose from the bailout pipeline, if the judgment were “negative.” The country would default and possibly walk away from the Eurozone. It would be messy. And it would happen before next year’s election in Germany. Unthinkable.

But Weidmann, in staying clear of political ramifications, worried about the Euro System—the ECB and the national central banks—that has become “one of the largest creditors” of Greece during the crisis. One of the solutions to the Greek debacle that has recently been pitched in all corners calls for another haircut, but this time on public-sector creditors, namely the Euro System. It would be a much deeper default. But it would grant debt relief to Greece.

Impossible. Weidmann objected to the comparison between the private-sector holders of Greek debt who were…
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Corporate Bankruptcies Soar in Australia; Just a Start of What’s Coming

Courtesy of Mish.

Nearly every day I receive emails from “Brisbane Bear” regarding the sorry state of affairs in Australia. Here is another one to consider: Insolvencies for quarter near record high

CORPORATE insolvencies hit their second-highest peak on record in the last quarter, as the aftershocks of the global financial crisis continued to flow through the market, The Weekend Australian’s Anthony Klan reports.

According to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, there were 2552 insolvencies in the three months to September, which was up 10 per cent on the previous quarter.

In last year’s September quarter, total insolvencies reached a peak after 2961 companies hit the wall.

“All states and territories except the Australian Capital Territory experienced a rise in insolvency appointments compared to the previous quarter,” ASIC executive leader of insolvency practitioners Adrian Brown said.

According to ASIC, all types of insolvency were up on the previous quarter, led by voluntary administrations (up 17.2 per cent) and receiverships (up 13 per cent).

Court-ordered liquidations rose 9.2 per cent in the quarter and director-initiated voluntary liquidations were up 7.8 per cent, according to ASIC.

Receivership appointments were driven by rises in NSW and Victoria, up 25.4 per cent and 14.7 per cent respectively.

In the past three months, voluntary administrations soared 37 per cent in Queensland, followed by Victoria, which was up 19 per cent.

Mortgage funds such as Provident Capital and Banksia Securities were among the highest-profile collapses in the past quarter, owing investors almost $800 million combined.

Just a Start of What’s Coming

I expected this action as did Brisbane Bear who writes “Brisbane is the capital of Queensland so it’s no wonder I am so bearish!”

For a detailed look why this was easily foreseen (notably the China connection and Australia’s housing bubble), please see…



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Will Obama II Be Reagan I Or Truman III?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

There are plenty of analogs for market and economic behavior currently echoing the past – some scary, some terrifying, and some hopeful. Barclays found two interestingly similar election-bound relationships to the current environment but with very different outcomes: Harry Truman’s successful ‘Fair Deal’ 1948 campaign and Jimmy Carter’s unsuccessful 1980 re-election effort.

 

Via Barclays:

In both cases business confidence and capital spending were soft during the election year; however, during the sprint to the November elections the market went in completely different directions.

 

In 1948, the S&P 500 dropped 11% from June through late September, bounced in October then fell sharply after Truman won in a shocking upset.

 

In 1980, the S&P 500 rallied 36% from March through late September, had a 5% correction in October followed by a post-election rally to higher levels after Reagan won a decisive victory.

 

 

 

Capital spending fell sharply in late 1948 and 1H49, driving the economy into recession due in part to a monetary policy mistake (raising the reserve requirement), while in 1981 capital spending increased sharply.

 

 

 

This year’s election had similarities with both. Unfortunately the market traded as if this was 1980, but it turns out we could be headed for ‘Truman’s 3rd term’ (See Figures 3 and 4).

 

Clearly the risk is a policy mistake – this time fiscal – which could drive another capital spending bust and a shallow recession.

 

So, will Obama’s 2nd Term be more like Truman’s 3rd or Reagan’s 1st for the market and the economy – based on potential for policy mistake… or c) none of the above…





BHP warns of Australian job cuts

BHP warns of Australian job cuts (via AFP)

Global mining giant BHP Billiton warned Thursday of job losses at its Australian operations as it grapples with China's slowdown and ongoing turbulence in Europe. The Anglo-Australian miner is due to report its full-year results next Wednesday and speculation is growing of a significant drop in profits…





Social Isolation Disrupts Brain’s ‘White Matter’ Formation

Social isoloation connected to depression and brain changes in mice. ~ Ilene

Social Isolation Disrupts Brain’s ‘White Matter’ Formation – Key to Brain ‘Plasticity’, MS and Mood Disorders (via Planetsave)

There are three general types of brain tissue: grey matter (the dendrite component of neurons), white matter (the axon component of neurons) and glial matter (crucial cells that “support” and nourish these neurons). The experience of interacting with our environment can trigger changes in brain…





Chinese Gold Imports Surge In September, YTD Total Surpasses Official Indian Holdings

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Anyone who may have been concerned by the slowdown in Chinese gold imports in August, when the country imported “only” 53.5 tons of gold from Hong Kong (down from 75.8 in July), can breathe a sigh of relief. According to the Hong Kong Census Bureau, in September Chinese gross imports soared by 30% reverting to the long-term trendline of 65 tons in gross imports per month, and rising to a total of 69.7 tons. Net imports were 40% less, although that excludes organic Chinese gold mining and recirculation, which is why for all intents and purposes the gross number is the apples to apples one. And using that, Year-To-Date China has now imported a whopping 582 tons of gold, more than the official holdings of India at 558 tons, and which through November has certainly surpassed the holdings of the Netherlands, and make China’s gross imports in just 2012 nominally the equivalent of Top 10 largest sovereign holder of gold.

This way at least we know where China is recycling all that vast trade surplus, which incidentally in October just printed, goalseeked or not, at the highest level – $32 billion – since January of 2009. Too bad China no longer recycles all those excess reserves into US Treasury paper (as we showed previously here).

YTD China gross imports from Hong Kong:

Where does this put China:

And in historical perspective: the recent surge in demand for gold is quite unmistakeable:





Stock World Weekly (11/10)

NEW: Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

New Stock World Weekly is up! 

Comments appreciated. 





WHY THE GOP IS SO TOTALLY F*CKED

The Republicans are having a problem with alienating people who might vote Republican but won't because the Republicans are cemented to hardcore postions that many find repulsive. Maybe Mitt Romney could have been a decent president, but he was "twisted into pretzels" and now we won't know. Will the Republicans see what's in front from of them next time around?  ~ Ilene

REPUBLICAN EXPLAINS TO OTHER REPUBLICANS WHY THE GOP IS SO TOTALLY F*CKED

Courtesy of Richard Metzger of Dangerous Minds

 

 

David Frum. During the Bush administration, I used to really hate him, but now, kinda like how Bruce Springsteen has a grudging respect for NJ Governor Chris Christie, I think he’s pretty good (for a Republican). Pretty astute. Frum says really smart things.

Things the GOP ought to listen to.

David Frum’s instantly published new e-book, Why Romney Lost grabs the lapels of shell-shocked Republicans and attempts to talk some sense into them.

His article in The Daily Beast today, “How the GOP Got Stuck in the Past,” is a must read, an absolute must-read:

The ratification of the Obama agenda will understandably enrage and depress conservatives. Yet if there is any lesson conservatives ought to have learned from the past four years, it is the danger of succumbing to angry emotion. We’ve had four years of self-defeating rage. Now it’s time for cool.

Those who would urge the GOP to double down on ideology post-2012 should ask themselves: would Republicans have done better if we had promised a bigger tax cut for the rich and proposed to push more people off food stamps and Medi­caid? Would we have done better if we had promised to do more to ban abortion and stop same-sex marriage? If we had committed ourselves to fight more wars? To put the country on the gold standard? Almost half of those surveyed on voting day said they wanted to see taxes raised on Americans earning more than $250,000. Exit polls do tend to oversample Democrats, but the tax result is consistent with other polling that has found that even Republicans would prefer to raise taxes on the rich than see cuts in Medicare.

Some combative conservatives may wish that Mitt Romney had talked more about the various plots and conspiracies they believed Obama to have launched upon the land: Fast & Furious, ACORN, Pigford, U.N. bike lanes, Obama’s imagined plan to abolish


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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.

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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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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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