Archive for July, 2014

“Nancy’s VoiceBox”, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Google Glass

Courtesy of Mish.

Occasionally I receive a touching email that also offers a practical solution to extreme challenges. This is one of those times. Please consider this email from reader “Zentagle“.

Hi Mish,

I have been following your blog for years now. Time is precious and not many writers “stick” . . . but you have. Thank you for your insights and passion throughout the years.

Your stories of your wife’s and your struggle with ALS had a powerful impact because during that time a dear friend and employee, Nancy, was in the same struggle.

My wife and I worked out a novel way for Nancy to communicate. We just posted a blog about it and I wanted you to be the first person I told.

With our belated sympathies, gratitude and heartfelt best wishes,

Rick Roberts & Maria Thomas


Let’s hop over to Zentagle’s most recent blog entry, simply labeled “ALS“.

The article notes how Maria Thomas came up with an idea to get around the ALS communication problem.

I went through the same things.

My wife Joanne could not talk but she could write. Then she lost that ability but could manage to push a button say select phrases. Then everything went.

With that personal background, here is the idea that Maria Thomas came up with after several months of unsuccessfully trying to use a very expensive, speech-generating device (basically a computer with technology that tracked eye movements)….

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The Coming Slump

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Alasdair Macleod via The Cobden Centre blog,

Governments and central banks have made little or no progress in recovering from the Lehman crisis six years ago. The problem is not helped by dependence on statistics which are downright misleading. This is particularly true of real GDP, comprised of nominal GDP deflated by an estimate of price inflation. First, we must discuss the inflation adjustment.

The idea that there is such a thing as a valid measure of price inflation is only true in an econometrician’s imagination. An index which might be theoretically valid at a single point in time is only subsequently valid in the wholly artificial construction of an unchanging, or “evenly rotating economy”: in other words an economy where everyone who is employed remains in the same employment producing at the same rate, retains the same proportion of cash liquidity, and buys exactly the same things in the same quantities. Furthermore business inventory quantities must also be static. All human choice must be excluded for this condition. Only then can any differences in prices be identified as due to changes in the quantity of money and credit. Besides this fiction, an accurate index cannot then be constructed, because not every economic transaction is reported. Furthermore biases are built into the index, for example to overweight consumer spending relative to capital investment, and to incorporate government activity which is provided to users free of cost or subsidised. Buying art, stockmarket investments or a house are as much economic transactions as buying a loaf of bread, but these activities and many like them are specifically excluded. Worse still, adjustments are often made to conceal price increases in index constituents under one pretext or another.

Economic activities are also only selectively included in GDP, which is supposed to be the total of a country’s transactions over a period of time expressed as a money total. A perfect GDP number would include all economic transactions, and in this case would capture the changes in consumer preferences excluded from a static price index. But there is no way of identifying them to tell the difference between changes due to economic progress and changes due to monetary inflation.

To illustrate this point further, let’s assume that in a nation’s economy there is no change in the…
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Saudi Man Receives 3 Year Prison Sentence And 450 Lashes For Being Gay

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Saudi Arabia and its Medieval, inhumane monarchy has been a highlighted topic on Liberty Blitzkrieg for well over a year now. My government’s close alliance with this autocratic, homophobic and primitive fiefdom exposes the sham that is U.S. foreign policy more clearly than anything else. In exposing this authoritarian regime for what it really is, I hope that the American public will never again fall for war under the guise of false “humanitarian” purposes. There is nothing whatsoever humanitarian about U.S. foreign policy.

From the UK Independent:

A Saudi Arabian man has been sentenced to three years in jail and 450 lashes after he was caught using Twitter to arrange dates with other men.


The 24-year-old man who has not been named, was given his sentence after the court in Medina, Saudi Arabia, found him guilty of “promoting the vice and practice of homosexuality.”


According to a report in the daily Arabic newspaper Al-Watan, the man was arrested following an entrapment ploy by the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV).


In Saudi Arabia, like most of the Middle East, homosexuality is a taboo and can result in harsh punishments if someone is found guilty.


By law, any married man found engaging in sodomy or any non-Muslim who commits sodomy with a Muslim can be stoned to death.


Other punishments to be handed out to those found guilty of homosexuality include chemical castrations, imprisonment and execution.

All these practices sure don’t stop the U.S. from forming alliances left and right throughout the region. Look, I get it. In foreign policy, you sometimes have to be pragmatic and deal with nations with abhorrent “cultural” practices. That said, don’t ever try to turn around and tell me you need to use my taxpayer dollars to go bomb some country for “humanitarian purposes.” My country’s government has less than zero regard for human rights, internally or externally. So stop with the fucking bullshit already.

For more examples of Saudi inhumanity and U.S. links to it, see:

How the NSA is Actively Helping Saudi Arabia to Crackdown on Dissent

Must Watch Video – Congressman Thomas Massie Calls for Release of Secret 9/11 Documents Upon Reading Them

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Chinese Yuan Surges & Stocks Jump To 2014 Highs After PBOC Unleashes QE

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Quietly, and without the drama associated with The Fed and ECB, China unveiled what looks like QE recently (as we discussed in detail here). Whether this is a stealth creation of a ‘fannie-mae’ structure to support housing or merely another channel for the PBOC to shovel out hole-filling liquidity is unclear. However, one thing is very clear, demand for CNY is surging (even as the PBOC weakens its fixing) and the Shanghai Composite is surging as hot money chases free money once again…


The Yuan has rallied (lower on the chart) for 8 days straight as PBOC weakened its Fix.


The Chinese stock market has quietly surged to its highest since December – outperforming the Dow now year-to-date…


BofA believes 3 factors are at play here:

1. China: better data on exports & PMI, GDP upgrades (BofAML upgraded 2014 GDP growth forecast to 7.4% from 7.2%), policy U-turn putting floor on growth, hopes for a Chinese QE, success in anti-corruption igniting hopes for reform. And China is of course relatively inexpensive and out of favor: in price-to-book terms, Chinese financials are trading at their cheapest level in more than 9 years relative to global financials


2. US growth: NE Asia has historically been a play on US growth; no coincidence that flows to NE Asian markets are coinciding with stronger US GDP (up 4% in  Q2).


3. The end of the carry-trade: this is the more intriguing argument. Almost all investors we meet believe that a rise in stock markets and a decline in bond yields will not continue indefinitely. We believe concern that rates must inevitably “normalize” in coming months as growth picks-up, and concern that a flip in Treasury yields causes stocks to decline is causing investors to consider raising cash and finding uncorrelated investments. Japan, China and Korea rank in the top ten equity markets least positively correlated with SPX and most positively correlated with movements in 30y UST yield (correlation analysis based on weekly log change over the past 10 years). Carry-trades are at risk from rising rates. We think markets with low yields and higher exposure to US economic growth will be better protected if the backdrop flips from Low Rates-Low Growth to High Growth-Higher Rates.

Charts: Bloomberg

China PMI Jumps To 2 Year Highs (Jobs Contract For 27 Months), Japan PMI Slips (Jobs Worst In 11 Months)

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

China’s official manufacturing PMI beat expectations by the most since Nov 2013 and jumped to its highest since April 2012 – sure it did after all the forget-the-reforms liquidity, QE-lite, and local government spending dragged forward.


Perhaps worryingly the steel industry saw domestic and export new orders crater (from 55.7 to 48.2 in July). The employment sub-index fell once again (now in contraction since May 2012) as large enterprises dominated the upbeat report (medium and small clinging to 50.1 PMIs).

*  *  *

Japan’s PMI dropped for the first time in 3 months from 50.8 to 50.5 with output contracting and payrolls only marginally positive (slowest since August 2013).

Manufacturers in Japan reported a fall in output from a previous month of growth during July. That said, the rate of contraction was only fractional. According to panellists, the increase in the sales tax was still having a detrimental effect on production levels.



*  *  *

And then to end the night, Markit/HSBC’s China Manufacturing PMI drops from its Flash 52.0 to 51.7 – perfectly in line with the government’s data.


Markit’s data confirms the ongoing contraction in employment but new export orders surged by the most in 44 months (to whom?)


“The HSBC China Manufacturing PMI rose to 51.7 in the final reading for July, the highest since early 2013. This is slightly lower than the flash reading released earlier, as several sub-indices saw small downward revisions. Nevertheless, the economy is improving sequentially and registered across-the-board improvement compared to June. Policy makers are continuing with targeted easing in recent weeks and we expect the cumulative impact of these measures to filter through in the next few months and help consolidate the recovery.”

*  *  *

While we know the trade data for China is still fake, we leave it to Diapason Commodities’ Sean Corrigan to explain the ‘discrepancies’ that abound in the PMI surveys and hard data

And why not when, pressured from above to ‘frontload’ their outlays, local government expenditures rose 16.4% year on year in the first half (and 6.1% in June alone)

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3 Things Worth Thinking About (Volume 2)

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Last week, I started a new weekly series entitled “3 Things Worth Thinking About”. The focus here will be three things, ironically enough, that are worth considering with respect to your portfolio and related investments. As I have discussed many times previously, focusing only on “bullish” commentary when markets are rising is really of little use as it creates a “blind spot” to related investment risks. The same goes for when markets are falling. These cognitive biases get in the way of making logical and disciplined investment decisions to not only garner returns when markets rise, but avoid depletion of capital when they don’t.

I hope you will enjoy this series, and I welcome your feedback or suggestions (email or tweet).

1) Effect Of Buybacks On Earnings & Revenue

Let me start by saying that I do not disagree that improving earnings and revenue have indeed been important to the rise of the markets over the last 5 years. However, impact of a surge in corporate borrowing in order to reduce outstanding shares has begun to distort the level of actual profitability of corporations. The chart below shows how share purchases have elevated both operating and reported earnings as well as revenue per share.

Click to View

The bullish argument used to support inflated asset prices has been the sharp improvement of “operating” [what would have been earned before all of this other stuff] earnings. While this is not incorrect, it is also important to understand the “quality” of those earnings as well. An increase in earnings by reducing outstanding shares did not increase the number of dollars actually earned.

This is an important concept because there is a major difference between what is happening at the bottom line of the income statement and the top line. While earnings can be inflated through the use of a myriad of accounting tactics, share manipulation and tax avoidance, (for more on this issue read “4 Tools Of Corporate Profitability”) there is little than can be done to boost actual sales. As shown in the chart below, sales per share growth has grossly lagged both earnings and the inflation of asset of prices.…
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Previewing Tomorrow’s ‘Anti-Goldilocks’ Payrolls Data

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

It appears – judging by today’s shenanigans – that good news for Main Street (rising employment costs) is bad news (for stocks), though obviously there are other factors; but tomorrow’s payrolls data is the last best hope before the Fed finishes its taper for them to pull a ‘data-driven’ U-turn out of the bag. Consensus is for a drop from last month’s exuberance at 288k to 230k (with Barclays slightly cold and Deutsche slightly hot). The fear, for market bulls, is that the print is anti-goldilocks now – not bad enough to provide excuses for lower-longer Fed rates; and not high enough to justify the hockey-stick of miraculous H2 growth priced into stocks. Average S&P gains on NFP Friday are 0.5% but recently have become more noisy.

Over 200k would be the 6th month in a row for the first time since 1997!

Over 300k (above highest expectations) and we suspect The Fed would be under pressure as that would mean a six-month average above the last expansion cycle peak…

Under 150k (below lowest expectations) and The Fed will fall back into lower longer, tease with moar QE mode…


Barclays is modestly lower than consensus:

We forecast a rise of 225k in US payrolls in July, softer than June’s 288k gain, but in line with the 231k average monthly increase in 1H 14. Initial and continuing jobless claims fell between the June and July survey weeks, and other indicators also point to solid job growth. The breadth of improvement across labor market indicators and recent trends in job growth hints at some upside risk to our forecast. We look for the strong pace of job growth to lead to a fall in the unemployment rate to 6.0% from 6.1%. Elsewhere in the report, we look for a 0.2% rise in average hourly earnings and for the workweek to remain unchanged at 34.5.

Goldman’s Jari Stehn is right above consensus at 235k:

  • We expect a 235,000 increase in nonfarm payrolls and a one tenth drop in the unemployment rate to 6.0%. As far as payrolls are concerned, our forecast would be a solid gain but at a pace slightly below that seen over the past few

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Thursday Humor: The Fed Is Hiring

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

An auditor…

Job Description:

The Audit Function assists the Bank’s Board of Directors and senior management in the effective discharge of their fiduciary responsibilities by assessing the adequacy and effectiveness of the controls within Bank business areas over (1) financial reporting, (2) effectiveness and deficiency of operations, and (3) compliance with laws and regulations, and the adequacy of the Bank’s risk management and governance processes. 

Job Responsibilities

  • Plan and conduct audits of various Federal Reserve Bank operations to assess the adequacy and effectiveness of its internal controls.
  • Develop knowledge of the risk applicable to the operations in order to create formal risk profiles and identify appropropriate risk-based audit scopes.
  • Develop understanding of the Bank’s businesses and department interrelationships; and apply this knowledge to form appropriate conclusions on the efficiency and effectiveness of business processes.
  • Prepare complete, clear, and concise workpaper documentation and audit memos that reflect timely and relevant analysis and recommendations.
  • Complete assignments within established timeframes
  • Communicate the audit results to Audit and Bank senior management verbally and in a formal

Job Competencies

  • BS/BA undergraduate degree
  • Minimum 2 years of internal audit experience, preferably with strong knowledge of business process risks and controls.  Knowledge of cash vault operations or Federal Reserve Bank cash processing a plus
  • Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) designation or a willingness to complete a program to obtain certification within 1 year of the hiring date
  • Team player capable of building teamwork, as well as, collaborative relationships with operations management throughout the organization
  • Strong critical thinking, analytical, written, and verbal communication skills
  • Proficient in the use of PC applications and automated analysis tools and
  • Ability to travel up to 25- 30% to other sites within the Twelfth Federal Reserve District, and to other Banks in the Federal Reserve System.

*  *  *

Perhaps they are preparing for this.

Ebola Comes To America

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Via Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

If the worst Ebola outbreak in recorded history reaches the United States, federal law permits "the apprehension and examination of any individual reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease".  These individuals can be "detained for such time and in such manner as may be reasonably necessary".  In other words, the federal government already has the authority to round people up against their will, take them to detention facilities and hold them there for as long as they feel it is "reasonably necessary".

In addition, as you will read about below, the federal government has the authority "to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill".  If you want to look at these laws in the broadest sense, they pretty much give the federal government the power to do almost anything that they want with us in the event of a major pandemic.  Of course such a scenario probably would not be called "martial law", but it would probably feel a lot like it.

If Ebola comes to America and starts spreading, one of the first things that would happen would be for the CDC to issue "a federal isolation or quarantine order".  The following is what the CDC website says about what could happen under such an order…

Isolation and quarantine are public health practices used to stop or limit the spread of disease.

Isolation is used to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of certain diseases. For example, hospitals use isolation for patients with infectious tuberculosis.

Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms. Quarantine can also help limit the spread of communicable

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“Scorched Earth”: How Israel Converted 40% Of Gaza Into A Wasteland Of Rubble

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Moments ago, after weeks of relentless humiliation for John Kerry, Israel and Hamas agreed to yet another 72 hour ceasefire - one which if the previous “ceasefires” are any indication, will be broken within hours if not minutes. Regardless, Kerry, who cobbled this agreement after much “hard work” alongside the UN’s Ban Ki-moon, was ecstatic: “We urge all parties to act with restraint until this humanitarian ceasefire begins, and to fully abide by their commitments during the ceasefire,” Kerry and Ban said. “This ceasefire is critical to giving innocent civilians a much-needed reprieve from violence.”

What Kerry did not say is that the ceasefire is merely an extended occupation by the IDF: as Reuters reported, the ceasefire statement said “forces on the ground will remain in place” during the truce, implying that Israeli ground forces will not withdraw. Which also assures that it is only a matter of time before yet another stray rocket is launched into Israeli fields, before the IDF retaliates by blowing up another school or hospital allegedly housing Hamas rockets, and so on.

However, while this too ceasefire will come and go, something far more insidious is taking place in Gaza : as the Daily Beast reports, “The Israeli military, relentlessly and methodically, is driving people out of the 3-kilometer (1.8 mile) buffer zone it says it needs to protect against Hamas rockets and tunnels. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the buffer zone eats up about 44 percent of Gaza’s territory.”

To be sure, Israel has been quite clear about its intentions and has given Gazans plenty of advance notice:

It’s not like Israel didn’t plan this. It told tens of thousands of Palestinians to flee so its air force, artillery and tanks could create this uninhabitable no-man’s land of half-standing, burned-out buildings, broken concrete and twisted metal. During a brief humanitarian ceasefire some Gazans were able to come back to get their first glimpse of the destruction this war has brought to their communities, and to sift through their demolished homes to gather clothes or other scattered bits of their past lives. But many were not even able to do that.

They will have a chance to do so again for…
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Phil's Favorites

Coronavirus: the blow to the Chinese economy could be felt for years


Coronavirus: the blow to the Chinese economy could be felt for years

Courtesy of Chusu He, Coventry University

Investors are still being fairly complacent about the novel coronavirus. After the number of new daily cases suddenly shot up to more than 15,000 on February 12 following more than a week of decline, there were some jitters in the markets. With Chinese authorities saying the increase was due to a decision to broaden the definition for diagnosing people, there were falls in the region of 1% in European markets, and smaller retrenchments in Asia and North America.

It is...

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Biotech & Health

Coronavirus: the blow to the Chinese economy could be felt for years


Coronavirus: the blow to the Chinese economy could be felt for years

Courtesy of Chusu He, Coventry University

Investors are still being fairly complacent about the novel coronavirus. After the number of new daily cases suddenly shot up to more than 15,000 on February 12 following more than a week of decline, there were some jitters in the markets. With Chinese authorities saying the increase was due to a decision to broaden the definition for diagnosing people, there were falls in the region of 1% in European markets, and smaller retrenchments in Asia and North America.

It is...

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Zero Hedge

China Adopts 'Cultural Revolution-Style' Social Controls To Crush Outbreak As Death Toll Nears 2,000

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.


  • Taiwan reports 1st coronavirus death
  • Hubei reports 1,933 new cases, 100 deaths
  • Hubei health officials report 1,933 new cases, 100 new deaths
  • Taiwan taxi driver who died from virus carried passengers from mainland, Hong Kong, Macau
  • Singapore reports 3 more cases
  • Total cases aboard 'Diamond Princess' climbs to 355 as US prepares to evacuate citizens
  • Indonesia says 6 passengers from Westerdam cruise ship tested negative
  • There are now at least 68,500 cases worldwide, and at least 1,665 de...

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Members' Corner

How to Stop Bill Barr


How to Stop Bill Barr

We must remove this cancer on our democracy.

Courtesy of Greg Olear, at PREVAIL, author of Dirty Rubles: An Introduction to Trump/Russia


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The Technical Traders

Is The Technology Sector Setting Up For A Crash? Part I

Courtesy of Technical Traders

One thing that continues to amaze our research team is the total scale and scope of the Capital Shift which is taking place across the globe.  For almost 5+ years, foreign investors have been piling into the US stock market chasing the stronger US dollar and continued advancement of US share prices. It is almost like there is no other place on the planet that will allow investors to pool capital into such a variety of strong assets while protecting against foreign capital risks.  Yet the one big question remains – when will a price reversion event hit the US stock

So many researchers, even our team of researchers, believe we have found the keys to unloc...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Joe Friday Says Germany (DAX) Could Rally 30%, Happy Valentines Day For The Bulls!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

German DAX Index “weekly” Chart

The German DAX is one of the more important global stock market indices, as it represents the largest economy / market in the Euro Zone.

So it would be a real treat for the bulls to see this stock market index breakout as we celebrate Valentine’s Day.

The facts, Ma’am. Just the facts; The German DAX looks to have formed a bullish ascending triangle over the past 3 years and it is currently attempting to breakout above the top at (1)....

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Insider Scoop

Nissan Shares Tumble To Decade Low After Q3 Earnings Miss

Courtesy of Benzinga

The shares of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (OTC: NSANY) dropped to a decade low on Thursday after the company missed third-quarter earnings estimates and significantly cut its annual forecast for the financial 2019 year.

What Happened

Nissan, on Thursday, reported a net loss o... more from Insider


Russell 2000 Index (RUT) hits an almost one-month high

By Gorilla Trades. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Ad the Russell 2000 Index (INDEXRUSSELL: RUT) hit an almost one-month high today, commenting on today’s trading Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman said:

Q4 2019 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Russell 2000 Index (INDEXRUSSELL: RUT) Outperforms Large-Cap Benchmarks

While the overnight session was nothing short of scary stocks held on to most of yesterday's gains and small-caps even extended their winning streak. The Russell 2000 Index (INDEXRUSSELL: RUT) hit an almost one-month high today, finishing higher for the fourth day in a row while outperforming the large-cap benchmarks, and since the Volatility...

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Chart School

Dow theory warning from the Utilities Index

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Charles Dow died in 1902, and the investors should thank him for his ever lasting Dow Theory Analysis.

Carrying on this blog theme looking at the Utility stocks. Previous post.
Dow Jones Utility index could trade like the FANGs
Formula for when the Great Stock Market Rally ends

You can learn about Dow Theory here

This post is concerned wi...

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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin Price May Hit $27K All-Time High By Summer, Predicts Fundstrat's Tom Lee

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by William Suberg via,

Bitcoin is primed for average gains of almost 200% over the next six months, one of its best-known supporters has told mainstream media. 


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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires


Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:


The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...

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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:


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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...

Learn more About Phil >>

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.