Archive for 2012

Why Isn’t Illinois A Bigger Story Than Greece?

Courtesy of John Rubino.

As the Greek default (and it is a default no matter what they end up calling it) is finalized this week, the consensus seems to be that failure to reach a deal would cause a global financial apocalypse.
 
That may be true. And if it is, why aren’t we more worried about Illinois? It’s more or less the same size as Greece, its finances are in the same generally catastrophic shape, and its leaders are just as feckless and dishonest. It owes tens of billions of dollars to various investors and stakeholders and will clearly have to stiff many of them at some point. The following article captures the “failed state” dilemma perfectly:

Dripping with red ink: Will anyone fix Illinois’ budget mess?

The question isn’t whether Illinois’ finances are in dreadful shape, it’s how to fix the problem. Or perhaps more accurately, will legislators have the political will to fix it when they return to Springfield for their spring session?

Even though the legislature and Gov. Pat Quinn last year imposed a temporary 67 percent state income tax increase, Quinn’s office expects to have a $500 million budget deficit this year.

Quinn is calling for a 9 percent cut in most areas of state government, except education and health care. But even with cuts at that level, the state would have a projected $800 million budget deficit for fiscal 2015, the year when most of the tax hike expires.

Quinn’s budget spokesman, Kelly Kraft, said the state’s fiscal situation is not pretty.

“These projections clearly demonstrate that action must be taken to control not only Medicaid costs but also (pension) costs, or all other areas of government will continue to be squeezed,” Kraft said.

Looking at the bigger picture, the state has a backlog of about $8.5 billion in unpaid bills and owes about $27 billion in outstanding bonds. And then there’s the roughly $80 billion owed to the state’s public employee pension funds.

Now, legislative leaders and Quinn are floating ideas to cut the two areas that account for the biggest chunks of the state budget — pension contributions and Medicaid.

In the proposed $33.7 billion budget for fiscal 2013, the state’s pension payment will be $5.3 billion, and Medicaid will cost taxpayers about $7 billion.

Proposals include reducing the benefits or the eligibility for Medicaid.


continue reading





Guest Post: Looking Back On A Century Of The Fed’s BS

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Thomas Gresham of Gresham’s Law,

After almost a century of the centrally planned dollar we’re delighted to present a timeline of the most amusingly disturbing speeches delivered by the Federal Reserve & Co.





The CDS Market And Anti-Trust Considerations

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The CDS index market remains one of the most liquid sources of hedges and positioning available (despite occasional waxing and waning in volumes) and is often used by us as indications of relative flows and sophisticated investor risk appetite. However, as Kamakura Corporation has so diligently quantified, the broad CDS market (specifically including single-names) remains massively concentrated. This concentration, evidenced by the Honolulu-based credit guru’s findings that three institutions: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citibank
National Association, have market shares in excess of 19% each
has shown little to no reduction (i.e. the market remains as closed as ever) and they warn that this dramatically increases the probability of collusion and monopoly pricing power. We have long argued that the CDS market is valuable (and outright bans are non-sensical and will end badly) as it offers a more liquid (than bonds) market to express a view or more simply hedge efficiently. However, we do feel strongly that CDS should be exchange traded (more straightforward than ever given standardization, electronic trading increases, and clearing) and perhaps Kamakura’s work here will be enough to force regulators and the DoJ to finally turn over the rock (as they did in Libor and Muni markets) and do what should have been done in late 2008 when the banks had little to no chips to bargain with on keeping their high margin CDS trading desks in house (though the exchanges would also obviously have to step up to the plate unlike in 2008).

 

Kamakura Corp. – The Credit Default Swap Market and Anti-Trust Considerations

Donald van Deventer __ 1/19/2012 3:22 AM

This is the seventh in a series of blogs on trading volume and the degree of competitiveness in the credit derivatives market. In this post, we use credit derivatives data from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency from June 30, 1998 to September 30, 2011 to measure the degree of concentration among commercial bank dealers in the credit derivatives market.  We conclude that the credit derivatives market is very highly concentrated, which increases the probability of collusion and monopoly pricing power.

The first six blogs in our series on trading volume in the credit default swap market focused on the share of dealer-dealer trading, trading volume in all 1,090 reference names reported…
continue reading





Happy Chinese New Year!

Courtesy of www.econmatters.com.

 

Year of The Dragon Opens In Beijing

Please click here to read more articles at EconMatters.





Investor Sentiment: Is This the End of the Road for the Rally?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by thetechnicaltake.

The “dumb money” indicator has become extremely bullish (bear signal), and this is what one would expect with rising prices. The higher prices go the more bulls that are recruited. But is it the end of the road for the rally? Not necessarily so. In 1995, 2003, 2009, and Q4 2010/Q1 2011 we saw the phenomenon that I have dubbed “it takes bulls to make a bull market”. It is a market characterized by rising prices and excessive bullishness. In the case of 1995, 2003, 2009, the excessive bullishness and multi-month rally seem to be warranted as the markets were bouncing back from steep losses or a prolong period of consolidation (1995). The Q4 2010/ Q1 2011 version of this phenomenon was a QE2 induced feeding frenzy. With investors taking their cues from the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank, the current market environment resembles Q4 2010/ Q1 2011. For now, we need to respect this dynamic as we could be witnessing another melt up. The bulls have the ball in their court and are on the cusp of turning this recent price move into a multi-month barn burner.





KuNG Hei: GaME BoY/FaT BoY…FaT CHoi!

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by williambanzai7.

KING HORNEY THE NEWT

.

NEWTZILLA 2012
.

THE EMPEROR AT CHARLESTON

 

.
THE ASS-ASS-INBy Aristarchan

 

MAD MAD MAD NEWT WORLD

Shut up and drive you big Morman!

.
IMMORTAL NEWT

“The secret to perpetual youth is arrested development.”--Alfred North Whitehead

.

SUPER MARIO ESF
.

 

CHINESE FINANCE ZODIAC





Q&A On The Greek Restructuring, And Why It’s All For Nothing

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Lots of questions, and unfortunately, answers, from Credit Suisse in this Q&A on the Greek default/restructuring, much of it already covered previously, but the only one that matters is this: “Would the restructuring make the Greek situation sustainable? No. Sorry, but no is the answer. Even with full repudiation of the Greek debt, the situation would not be sustainable. In that event, the deficit would move to the primary balance, 5-6% last year. Not sustainable. And the current account deficit would be in the high single digits. Not sustainable either.” So you’re telling me there’s a chance?

Q&A on the Greek debt restructuring

The IIF and Greece are approaching agreement on the Greek PSI, according to latest reports. We believe collective action clauses will be used to force a high participation rate, which means that credit default swaps will be triggered, but also that the ECB could be forced to take a loss. We look at the implications.

When?

20 March is the deadline.

The next major debt repayment Greece faces is a €14.5bn bond redemption on 20 March. In all likelihood, the Greek government will not have the cash to repay the bond, which means this is in effect the deadline for restructuring the country’s debt.

There are two scenarios in which talks could nonetheless carry on after that date. First, if our above hypothesis is wrong and Greece does in fact have the cash to repay the maturing bond – we doubt this is the case. Second, if Greece receives external support from the IMF and/or other European countries. This would be akin to the Fund and/or European states bailing out investors – again, we doubt this will happen.

So, if the debt is not restructured before 20 March, Greece is very likely to default.

Is Greece on an IMF programme?

No, it is not.

The IMF adjustment programme launched in April 2010 was formally terminated in December 2011 with the payment of an €8bn tranche. Greece is therefore no longer under an IMF programme at present. A second programme will commence after Greece’s debt has been restructured. One key reason for the timing is that two-thirds of the money from the first IMF bailout was used to repay existing bonds maturing; only one-third was actually…
continue reading





Weighing the Week Ahead: The State of the Union, Bernanke, Earnings

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Normally the State of the Union Address would be the focal point for the week’s events. In a general sense this is still true, but our focus in this weekly series is much narrower: What will influence markets?

This SOTU speech is unlikely to have a big market effect. The political lines have been drawn. We can all hope for initiatives that will generate some compromise, but I am not hopeful. I expect themes related to the major national problems — housing and jobs.

My forecast last week was that by Thursday we would all be talking about earnings. I expect earnings to dominate the story this week as well.

I’ll take this up further in the conclusion, but first let us do our regular review of the week’s news and data.

Background on “Weighing the Week Ahead”

There are many good sources for a comprehensive weekly review. My mission is different. I single out what will be most important in the coming week. My theme for the week is what we will be watching on TV and reading in the mainstream media. It is a focus on what I think is important for my trading and client portfolios.

Unlike my other articles at “A Dash” I am not trying to develop a focused, logical argument with supporting data on a single theme. I am sharing conclusions. Sometimes these are topics that I have already written about, and others are on my agenda. I am trying to put the news in context.

Readers often disagree with my conclusions. Do not be bashful. Join in and comment about what we should expect in the days ahead. This weekly piece emphasizes my opinions about what is really important and how to put the news in context. I have had great success with my approach, but feel free to disagree. That is what makes a market!

Last Week’s Data

In last week’s report I observed that there was a change in tone. We saw more of the same this week. In the absence of specific bad news from Europe, the market “wants to move higher.” All of a sudden there is more attention paid to specific stock news, and a general upward trend. I’ll consider this important development further in the conclusion.

The Good

There was some very good news this week.

  • Initial


continue reading





BP May Move On Cove Energy

Courtesy of Benzinga.

BP (NYSE: BP), Europe’s second-largest oil company, is reportedly considering a takeover offer for U.K.-based Cove Energy PLC, the company that recently discovered natural gas off the coast of Mozambique. The news was originally reported by the Sunday Times of London, which did not identify sources.

Cove put itself up for sale after the Mozambique gas discovery and India’s Gail and ONGC have been rumored to be potential suitors for the company. A sale of Cove could fetch $1.2 billion, the Financial Times recently reported.

BP has done business in Mozambique since the 1920s and has the second-largest presence there of any major oil company, according to the company’s Web site. The British oil giant says it has 150 staffers in the African nation.


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





Hours Ahead Of Monday’s Euro FinMin Meeting There Is No Greek Deal; IIF “Remains Hopeful”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

But wait, we thought Greece and the ECB had an upper hand? Wouldn’t they exercise said upper hand by now, considering its now 9pm in Greece on a Sunday, the day before the critical European finmin meeting by which point the Greek deal was supposed to be in place?

From Reuters:

Greece’s private creditors are working closely with Athens on a debt swap deal, their chief negotiator said on Sunday, adding that he was confident a deal could be reached.

 

“We are at a crossroads and I remain quite hopefull,” International Institute of Finance chief Charles Dallara told Antenna TV on Sunday.

 

Greece and its private creditors are converging towards a deal but many details are still unresolved, sources close to the negotiations said during the weekend. Much of the attention will now turn to a meeting of euro zone finance ministers on Monday, and to how EU states and the IMF view the progress in the debt swap talks.

Much of the attention will now turn to a meeting of euro zone finance ministers on Monday, and to whether EU states and the IMF consider that the deal that is being put together by Athens and bankers does put Greece’s debt back on a sustainable track. One key question will be whether the deal attracts a big enough participation rate.

 

“We are working together with the Greek government, European and global leaders and we can mobilise very very high participation,” Dallara said.

Too bad hold out hedge funds with a blocking stake can’t pay their LPs with hope. In the meantime, the EURUSD is not happy to start the Sunday session.





 
 
 

Phil's Favorites

How tech firms make us feel like we own their apps - and how that benefits them

 

How tech firms make us feel like we own their apps – and how that benefits them

ESB Professional/Shutterstock

Courtesy of Melody Zou, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

Possessions are going out of fashion. An endless stream of media reports claim millennials – that amorphous mass of people...



more from Ilene

Insider Scoop

Earnings Scheduled For July 16, 2019

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Companies Reporting Before The Bell
  • Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS) is projected to report quarterly earnings at $5.00 per share on revenue of $9.13 billion.
  • Domino's Pizza, Inc. (NYSE: DPZ) is expected to report quarterly earnings at $2.02 per share on revenue of $836.92 million.
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. ...


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

Zero Hedge

US Beekeepers Lost 40% Of Honeybee Colonies Last Year, UMD-Led Survey Finds

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Recent budget cuts by the Trump Administration slashed funding for the US Department of Agriculture's annual Honey Bee Colonies report that has recently detailed a collapse in the bee population across the nation. Now researchers will be observing a new study, one that hasn't been affected by spending cuts, shows beekeepers lost 40.7% of their bee colonies from April 2018 to April 2019.

The nationwide survey administered by the University of ...



more from Tyler

Kimble Charting Solutions

Silver/Gold Ratio Making A Bullish Reversal?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Silver (NYSEARCA: SLV) is an important cog in the precious metals world. Not only is it a core precious metal but it is often a leading indicator for metals bulls.

Silver is a good risk-on / risk-off indicator. When it is out-performing Gold, it is risk-on. When it is under-performing, it is risk-off. It’s been the latter for the better part of the past 8 years.

And when the trend remains down, which historically means that metals rallies will be sold.

The Silve...



more from Kimble C.S.

Digital Currencies

Bitcoin Breaks Back Below $10k, Crypto-Crash Accelerates As Asia Opens

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Update 2010ET: Having briefly stabilized after this morning's weakness, cryptos are tumbling once again as Asian markets open.

Bitcoin has broken below $10,000 again...

*  *  *

While all eyes are on Bitcoin as it slides back towards $10,000, the real mover in the last 12 hours has been Ethereum after...



more from Bitcoin

Biotech

DNA testing companies offer telomere testing - but what does it tell you about aging and disease risk?

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

 

DNA testing companies offer telomere testing – but what does it tell you about aging and disease risk?

A telomere age test kit from Telomere Diagnostics Inc. and saliva. collection kit from 23andMe. Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Patricia Opresko, University of Pittsburgh and Elise Fouquerel, ...



more from Biotech

ValueWalk

Professor Shubha Ghosh On The Current State Of Gene Editing

 

Professor Shubha Ghosh On The Current State Of Gene Editing

Courtesy of Jacob Wolinsky, ValueWalk

ValueWalk’s Q&A session with Professor Shubha Ghosh, a professor of law and the director of the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute. In this interview, Professor Ghosh discusses his background, the Human Genome Project, the current state of gene editing, 3D printing for organ operations, and gene editing regulation.

...

more from ValueWalk

Chart School

Gold Gann Angle Update

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Charts show us the golden brick road to high prices.

GLD Gann Angle has been working since 2016. Higher prices are expected. Who would say anything different, and why and how?

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.



The GLD very wide channel shows us the way.
- Conservative: Tag the 10 year rally starting in 2001 to 2019 and it forecasts $750 GLD (or $7500 USD Gold Futures) in 10 years.
- Aggressive: Tag the 5 year rally starting in 1976 to 2019  and it forecasts $750 GLD (or $7500 USD Gold Futures) in 5 years.

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if ima...



more from Chart School

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...



more from Our Members

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...



more from M.T.M.

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 ...



more from OpTrader

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

...

more from Promotions





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...

Learn more About Phil >>


As Seen On:




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.

Market Shadows >>