Archive for 2012

Wall Street’s weekend LTRO conversation: Stealth sovereign bailouts

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Daily Collateral.

Analysts are questioning the “double-down effect” the ECB’s LTRO exercises are creating in eurozone sovereign spreads. Citi notes a spike in the purchase of government securities since the initial take-up in December:

Perhaps more striking is this chart, which shows rising proportions of sovereign securities to total assets in the banks of peripheral countries that have been most prone to interest rate shocks over the last few years:

Sure, it might seem counterintuitive to gobble up the very sovereign debt representing such an existential threat to one’s own capital base, but when one examines the effects that the LTROs have had on eurozone sovereign yields, it seems reasonable to assume that is the ECB’s plan and we will just have to live with it. As Citi puts it:

As the EBA announced in February, that the next stress test will be in 2013, periphery country banks have the blessing of European regulators (and probably the active encouragement of their national regulators and other national authorities) to expand their holdings of domestic securities, and specifically domestic sovereign debt.

Jefferies chimes in Sunday evening with a brief history of modern financial repression, following on the same threads that Dylan Grice and Credit Suisse strategists explored last week. Did you know, for example, that between 1945 and 1980, there was only a single year when Argentina saw anything other than negative real interest rates? Jefferies summarizes a piece of academic research put out by the Bank for International Settlements in November 2011:

It appears that individuals forget that financial repression has been used far more frequently in the past, particularly in liquidating the vast debt accumulated by developed countries post the Second World War. Indeed, in the past, the US and UK have seen their debt ‘liquidated’ using negative real interest rates by 2% to 3% of GDP on average per annum. The US and UK did not use high levels of inflation to do so in comparison to other countries. Argentina holds the record with negative real interest rates recorded every single year but one between 1945 and 1980.

Secondly, the inflation rate may not necessarily need to neither be that high

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According To Reuters, Soaring Energy Prices Are A Good Thing

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

When it comes to reporting the news, Reuters ability to get the scoop first may only be rivaled by its ability to “spin” analysis in a way that will make a normal thinking person’s head spin.  Such as the following piece of unrivaled headscrathing titled “The good news behind oil prices” whose conclusion, as some may have already guessed, is that “the surge in crude oil is looking more like a harbinger of better days.” Let’s go through the arguments.

From Reuters: The good news behind oil prices

  1. the Iran-driven spike masks a broader underlying trend, and as long as military strikes are avoided, it appears to pose only a limited risk. In other words, there is a good news story.”

Translation - Logic aside (namely that there is absolutely no connection between the precedent and antecedent sentences, but we’ll let that slide) the fact that at least $140 billion has been removed from consumers’ pockets YTD on an annualized basis (0.9% of GDP per $10 oil price increase), and has offset all the benefits from the payroll tax extension and then some, is not only irrelevant, but is apparently good news. Ignore that retail sales are abysmal for 3 months running, consumer spending has plunged and has already cost the US economy 0.3% in Q1 GDP, and all this happened even before the oil price surge, not to mention and European inflation is already above expectations on record Brent in Euros. All that matters is consumer confidence which is based on media “arguments” such as the one being deconstructed.

   2. “Equity prices have risen in lockstep with oil’s advance. When the two rise together, it usually indicates a broad-based economic expansion.”

Translation - Reuters appears to have forgotten those long ago days of, oh, 2011, when equity prices and oil rose in lockstep too.

Then everything came crashing down. And no, it does not indicate a broad-based economic expansion, although first-year journalism grads are excused for thinking that (if not so-called ‘strategists’ from Deutsche Bank) – what it does indicate is an exponentially rising central bank balance sheet which is seeping into and inflating asset prices across the board, in the process sowing even more seeds of runaway inflation when the velocity of money…
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Chaos In Public Housing

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by undertheradar.


On January 30, Het Financiele Dagblad reported that
Vestia, the biggest Public Housing Corporation in the Netherlands
with 79 thousand rental units, had had a margin call of 1.6 billion
euros on its interest rate derivative portfolio. Vestia had doubled
its derivative contracts to 10 billion dollars (in notional value) in
2010 on a loan portfolio of 6 billion euros. They say they had
arranged the extra “coverage” already for potential future loans.


The loan to cover the shortfall had
secretly been provided by the fund guaranteeing Public Housing
Corporations, the Warborgfonds, since September 2011. Recently Vestia
was able to secure a replacement loan from the De


According to RTLZ, Vestia’s Contract
Support Annexes will have to be examined in detail to figure out
exactly what the conditions are. The Interior Minister has been
promised the results of this examination sometime in March.


Twenty Woningcorporaties are preparing
to guarantee Vestia liquidity of another billion euros. They will
demand strict conditions on this sum according to NRC. They want
assurances that they will not have to contribute to the Centraal
Fonds Volkshuisvesting (CNV) so-called reorganization support if any
other corporations get into trouble.


It is not entirely clear how many
Woningcorporaties have derivative contracts but newspaper Trouw
estimates there to be 148 of them. A fall in interest rates of one
percent would require 24 to seek additional funding, according to
Interior Minister Spies in NOS news. Another 24 on the other hand
have been rumoured to be able to withstand this scenario. RTLZ
reports that 20 of them have already had margin calls on their
derivative products.


It could all lead to a viscous spiral
downwards in the sector according to NRC Handelsblad. In fact, four
directors of other Woningcorporations anonymously state in Trouw that
Public Housing corporations are too lax in offering guarantees to
each other through the Waarborgfonds. If the government or the CNV
intervenes, it could alarm bankers who will call in all…
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Bernanke Leaks, Spoils the Punch

Bernanke Leaks, Spills the Punch

Courtesy of Bruce Krasting

Jon Hilsenrath, at the WSJ, must have had a phone call with Ben Bernanke on Saturday. Accordingly, Jon put an article out just in time to influence the market on Monday morning. The headline says it all:


No doubt, Bernanke is watching the price of crude and the tape is telling him his inflation forecast is no good. The leak this evening is just Ben’s way of hinting to the market that he understands where we are on inflation, and he is not going to stir the pot anymore than he has.

The WSJ article indicates that the Fed is on hold for at least three months, till June. Moreover, Bernanke can’t do anything big on the monetary front within five months before a national election. Therefore, the next legitimate time for another LSAP/QE is in December of 2012.

Bernanke’s leak to Hilsenrath is not really new news. I have been saying that Ben is "done" for some time. This confirms it.

I don’t expect this development to significantly move markets. I see it as being mildly dollar supportive (other bigger factors are at play). It should put a floor under bond yields, but I don’t see this as a reason to sell bonds. It might very well take some froth out of the stock markets. I don’t see it affecting the price of crude one way or the other (again, bigger factors will drive crude).

Ben and Jon aren’t taking away the punch bowl just yet. We have a very long road ahead of ZIRP, and already bloated Fed balance sheets. I think the Fed is keeping the punch bowl full, but not putting any alcohol in it. Bernanke’s new punch might quench your thirst, but it won't get you high.



Said it before, I'll say it again. I’m disgusted that Bernanke uses Hilsenrath and the WSJ as his go-to place to leak monetary policy. Bernanke made a big deal about improving transparency at the Fed recently. He just blew any credibility that he might have gained. Nothing has changed. Ben B. is a leaker.



The Mystery Behind Rising Oil Prices Solved

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by CrownThomas.

From Michael Pento:


The Mystery Behind Rising Oil Prices Solved

Everything I’ve been warning about regarding the fallout from global central bankers’ love affair with inflation is coming to fruition. Consumers are once again dealing with the fact that the cost of filling up their gas tank is eating a significant portion of their disposable income. The price of a barrel of oil is now soaring above $100 a barrel; just as it always has done when the Fed has gone on one of their counterfeiting sprees. And it’s not just dollars that have been eroding in value because the price of oil in Euros is now at a record high. The sad truth is that with each iteration of QE, either in the U.S. or around the globe, it has sent oil prices skyrocketing, inflation rising and the economy into the tank.

But our nation’s Treasury Secretary continues to display how very little he understands about markets and the economy. Timothy Geithner said last week that there is “no quick fix” to higher oil prices and that there’s no easy solution for spiraling energy prices. What he does recommend is a long-term approach, “…to encourage Americans to be more efficient in how they use energy.” My guess is what Mr. Geithner means by “encouraging Americans to be more efficient” is to make sure our economic growth is anemic.

In contrast to what Geithner believes, there are two things he, the Fed and the Obama administration could do today to bring oil prices down below $75 per barrel in less than 30 days. First, is to raise the Fed Funds rate to 1% and repeal Bernanke’s pledge to keep interest rates at zero until the end of 2014. The second is for the president to proclaim that the U.S. does not support, in any way, a preemptive military attack on Iran. These two simple measures would dramatically strengthen the dollar, backing out at least $25 from the crumbling currency premium; and removing the $15 war premium built into the price of oil.

But seeing as neither of those things is likely to happen, we can look to recent history for what we can expect from soaring oil prices. In the summer of 2008, oil prices hit an all-time record high of $147 per…
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Next Phase in Merkel’s Desperate and Risky Gamble

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by testosteronepit.

Wolf Richter

The conflict within the Eurozone has been simmering for weeks. On one side: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her efforts to protect and promote her oeuvre. On the other side: Socialist François Hollande who is running against President Nicolas Sarkozy in the French presidential elections. But now, Merkel has raised the stakes by roping in three powerful allies and lining them up against Hollande—a desperate and risky gamble to keep Sarkozy in power.

She has been riding a wave of economic strength at home, with unemployment at a two-decade low (but a dive into the Federal Labor Agency’s report reveals a much darker story: read…. German Unemployment Obfuscation). And from that foundation, she has labored to create a fiscally united Europe of balanced budgets and “structural reforms”—a euphemism for lowering the cost of labor, including wages and benefits in southern Eurozone countries. It’s her prescription for getting out of the debt crisis. And throughout, Sarkozy held his nose and supported all of her remedies, whether he liked them or not, and together, they pushed through the fiscal-union pact that 25 of the 27 EU members signed in record time.

But Hollande is threatening to unravel her oeuvre: he wants to institute Eurobonds to spread risks; he rejects austerity policies and insists on stimulus; and he wants to renegotiate Merkel’s sacrosanct fiscal-union pact.

As President of France, he may find support among EU states for his policies. To prevent that, Merkel has set out to beat him on French soil before it’s too late. In early February, during a joint TV interview with Sarkozy at the Elysée Palace, the official residence of the French president, they both berated Hollande. Quite a show amid the gilded splendor of the palace—and a first in French history.

And now it has leaked out that Merkel has advanced to the next phase in her fight against Hollande: She roped in three powerful allies, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, and British Prime Minister David Cameron. All are conservatives, and they were "scandalized" by Hollande's plan to renegotiate the fiscal-union pact—though ironically, Cameron himself had refused to sign it. And they have entered into a confidential verbal agreement to boycott Hollande. Their motto: don't give him a platform.…
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Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by williambanzai7.



Troiclops has beaten the Greeks
They haven’t opposed him for weeks
He’s selling them out
To gain EU clout
He’s one of the Kleptocrat’s freaks

The Limerick King






The bail-out is headed for trouble
The Troika keeps blowing the bubble
If it springs a leak
They’re all up shit creek
Leaving one massive pile of rubble

The Limerick King






The war against women is here

The rebels are getting in gear

The Psy-Ops they’re using

Are somewhat confusing

Do scrawny legs fill men with fear?


The Limerick King


Leg by Jolie

Rifle by Kalishnakov






The girls have a hate on for Rush
His testes they would like to crush
To some he’s a bore
But he started a war
This turd should be given a flush!

The Limierick King




The King enjoys licking his nuts
While women are hating his guts
The King of Repugs
Should get some new drugs
Before saying women are sluts


The Limerick King






Bernanke-mon lookin’ so high
Bad Man be makin’ us die
Listen-up mon
Redemption be gone
Bloodclot – No Printer No Cry!

The Limerick King

Benzinga’s M&A Chatter for Friday March 2, 2012

Courtesy of Benzinga.

The following are the M&A deals, rumors and chatter circulating on Wall Street for Friday March 2, 2012:

Transatlantic and Alleghany Announce Preliminary Merger Consideration Election Results

The Deal:
Alleghany Corporation (NYSE: Y) and Transatlantic Holdings (NYSE: TRH) announced Firday the preliminary results of the elections made by Transatlantic stockholders regarding the form of merger consideration to be received in Alleghany’s pending acquisition of Transatlantic.

As previously announced, on November 20, 2011, Transatlantic entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger with Alleghany and Shoreline Merger Sub. Pursuant to the terms of the merger agreement, Transatlantic stockholders were entitled to elect to receive, for each share of Transatlantic common stock held, either shares of Alleghany common stock or cash consideration with a value equal to the sum of (i) 0.145 multiplied by the average of the closing sales prices on the NYSE for Alleghany common stock during the five trading days ending the day before the completion of the merger and (ii) $14.22, subject to proration in the event cash is oversubscribed or undersubscribed.

Transatlantic Holdings closed at $61.15 Friday, a gain of 0.49% on 71% of the average daily volume.

Alleghany Corporation closed at $328.50 Friday, a gain of 1.75% on almost 6 times the average daily volume.

Meredith Completes Acquisition of From Reader’s Digest

The Deal:
Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP) and The Reader’s Digest Association announced Friday that they have closed on the transaction for Meredith to acquire

The transaction is valued at $175 million. Meredith plans to invest in to optimize the site for today’s growing online and mobile audiences. This investment spending, along with normal business seasonality, is expected to make the acquisition slightly dilutive to Meredith’s fiscal 2012 full-year financial performance. Meredith expects the acquisition will be modestly accretive to earnings per share and free cash flow in fiscal 2013.

Meredith has financed the transaction by securing private placement notes with an average weighted interest rate of 2.94 percent.

Meredith Corporation closed at $32.66 Friday, a loss of 2.04% on half the average daily volume.

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

Chicago Trading Jobs

Courtesy of Declan Fallon

Other trading jobs can be found here.

Client Associate – Hedge Fund
Electronic Execution Broker
Investment Consultant – Salaried plus bonus! Chicago, IL
Trading System Associate – Chicago, IL
Investment Operations Analyst; $38-42K; Burr Ridge, IL.
Financial Consultant – Chicago, IL
Stock Broker Trainee, Chicago, IL
Risk Operations Analyst (0-2 years experience required), Chicago, IL
Trading Analyst – IS&T; Chicago, IL
Client Account Manager; Chicago, IL
Investment Analyst; Chicago, IL
Financial Analyst, Oakbrook Terrace, IL
Investment Banking Associate or Analyst; $90-100K; Chicago, IL
Risk Analyst – Risk Management
Private Client Associate; Chicago, IL
Derivatives Collateral Manager, Chicago, IL
Investment Advisor; $35-50K; Chicago, IL
Risk Analyst; Chicago, IL
Inside Sales, Investment Banking
Financial Advisor, Bartlelt, IL
Fincancial Advisor / Financial Planner, Chicago, IL.
Financial Advsior, Cicero, IL
Financial Services Representative, IL
Private Client Assistant, Chcago, IL
Wealth Management Associate, Chicago, IL
Sales Assistant – 7 & 63 or 66, Chicago, IL.
Client Services Manager, Chicago, IL
Mutual Fund Consultant. Chicago, IL
Treasury Analyst; Chicago, IL

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Weekly Market Commentary: Breadth Weakness Increases

Courtesy of Declan Fallon

Indices were little changed, but supporting breadth metrics continued their decline. Of the indices, only the Russell 2000 took a hit.

The Russell 2000 was rebuffed from a break of 830, giving up almost 3% on the week.  It’s on course to test former resistance – turned support – of the former head-and-shoulder neckline. If this fails, next support lies at channel support (initiated in 2011).

But Nasdaq Breadth offered the real divergence to the parent index.  The Nasdaq was able to close the week up just under a 0.5% on higher volume accumulation.

But supporting breadth indices, like the Percentage of Nasdaq stocks above the 50-day MA, fell sharply.

Along with the Nasdaq Summation Index.

While the Nasdaq Bullish Percents continued its peaking process, closing down slightly.

While this process continues the prudent course is to move to the sidelines or at least be more wary on buying.  However, this is the first decline from a very strong advance in breadth metrics and in such an environment buying the resulting dip can offer an excellent long term position. The dip hasn’t happened yet, but should the Nasdaq make it back to its 50-day MA it might offer a good buying opportunity.


Follow Me on Twitter

Dr. Declan Fallon is the Senior Market Technician and Community Director for I offer a range of stock trading strategies for global markets which can be Previewed for Free with delayed trade signals. You can also view the top-10 best trading strategies for the US, UK, Europe and Rest-of-the-World in the Trading Strategy Marketplace Leaderboard. The Leaderboard also supports advanced search capability so you can tailor your strategies to suit your individual requirements.

Zignals offers a full suite of FREE financial services including price and fundamental stock alerts, stock charts for Indian, Australian, Frankfurt, Euronext, UK, Ireland and Canadian stocks, tabbed stock quote watchlists, multi-currency portfolio manager, active stock screener with fundamental trading strategy support and trading system builder. Forex, precious metal and energy commodities too. Build your own strategy and sell it in the MarketPlace to earn real cash.

You can read what others are saying about Zignals on



#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 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 ... 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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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

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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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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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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