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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Phil's Favorites

Overpriced tech IPOs sell grand visions but aren't worth their valuations

 

Overpriced tech IPOs sell grand visions but aren't worth their valuations

rblfmr / Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of John Colley, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

The year of the tech IPO is 2019. Uber went public on May 10 with a US$82.4 billion valuation. Fellow ride-sharing app Lyft floated in March with a U$24 billion valuation and Pinterest had a US$10 billion IPO in April...



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Zero Hedge

Futures Slides As Trade Tensions Escalate

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

S&P futures were lower on Wednesday as investors sought safety in bonds, the Japanese yen and Swiss franc in muted trade amid renewed worries over the U.S.-China spat after reports Washington is considering cutting off the flow of American technology to as many as five Chinese companies including Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, the world's largest supplier of video surveillance products, expanding the US crackdown on China beyond Huawei to include world leaders in video surveillance. The dollar and 10Y yield were unchanged ahead of today's FOMC Minutes.

...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Emerging Markets About To Submerge If 3-Year Support Breaks?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Are Emerging Markets about to “Submerge” and head a good deal lower? What they do at (3) will go a long way in answering this question!

Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) has been lagging the broad market for the past 15-months. They hit their 50% retracement level of the last year’s highs and lows and falling resistance at (2) recently. The weakness of last has EEM trading below its 200-MA line.

EEM has spent the majority of the past 3-years inside of rising channel (1), which reflects that this trend remains up. The weakness of late has it testing the bo...



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Insider Scoop

Amgen To Buy Danish Collaborator Nuevolution For $167M

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) took a logical step forward in buying a preclinical biotech it has been collaborating with since 2016. 

What Happened

Amgen announced Wednesday an agreement to buy Copenhagen-based Nuevolution for $167 million.

Th...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap May 18, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

China – U.S. trade talk continued to dominate the week.   A heavy selloff Monday was followed by 3 up days, with Friday moderately down.

On Monday, Chinese officials announced retaliatory tariffs against the U.S., hitting $60 billion in annual exports to China with new or expanded duties that could reach 25%.

Then on Wednesday:

The Trump administration plans to delay a decision on instituting new tariffs on car and auto part imports for up to six months, according to media reports.

...

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Digital Currencies

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream - the battle is on to bring them under global control

 

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream – the battle is on to bring them under global control

The high seas are getting lower. dianemeise

Courtesy of Iwa Salami, University of East London

The 21st-century revolutionaries who have dominated cryptocurrencies are having to move over. Mainstream financial institutions are adopting these assets and the blockchain technology that enables them, in what ...



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Biotech

DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

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

 

DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

A map of DNA with the double helix colored blue, the landmarks in green, and the start points for copying the molecule in red. David Gilbert/Kyle Klein, CC BY-ND

Courtesy of David M. Gilbert, Florida State University

...



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ValueWalk

More Examples Of "Typical Tesla "wise-guy scamminess"

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Stanphyl Capital’s letter to investors for the month of March 2019.

rawpixel / Pixabay

Friends and Fellow Investors:

For March 2019 the fund was up approximately 5.5% net of all fees and expenses. By way of comparison, the S&P 500 was up approximately 1.9% while the Russell 2000 was down approximately 2.1%. Year-to-date 2019 the fund is up approximately 12.8% while the S&P 500 is up approximately 13.6% and the ...



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Members' Corner

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

Are you ready to retire?  

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

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

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



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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

Excerpt:

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

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



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

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

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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