Archive for September, 2014

RX For Revisionist Bunkum: A Lehman Bailout Wouldn’t Have Saved The Economy

Courtesy of David Stockman via Contra Corner

Here come the revisionists with new malarkey about the 2008 financial crisis. No less august a forum than the New York Times today carries a front page piece by journeyman financial reporter James Stewart suggesting that Lehman Brothers was solvent; could and should have been bailed out; and that the entire trauma of the financial crisis and Great Recession might have been avoided or substantially mitigated:

What happened that September was the culmination of circumstances reaching back years – of ordinary people too eager to borrow, of banks too eager to lend and of Wall Street financial engineers reaping multimillion-dollar bonuses. Even so, saving Lehman from complete collapse might have shielded the economy from what turned out to be a crippling blow.

That is not just meretricious nonsense; its a measure of how thoroughly corrupted public discourse about the fundamental financial and economic realities of the present era has become owing to the cult of central banking. For crying out loud, yes, there would have been a Great Recession – even had Lehman been pawned off to Barclays with a taxpayer guarantee or if it had been bailed-out in some other manner.

In fact, the Barclay’s logo did end up on Lehman’s 7th Avenue glass tower shortly after the September 15th screen shot below. Yet the decision to allow Lehman’s stock and bondholders to take a severe haircut first did not cause the thundering collapse of the housing and credit markets, nor the loss of the artificially bloated level of consumption spending, jobs and income that had accompanied the giant financial bubble that finally burst in September 2008.

The villain is the Greenspan Fed and the rampage of debt and speculation its cheap money and “wealth effects” coddling of Wall Street had engendered over the previous two decades. When Greenspan took office in 1987, total credit market debt outstanding was $10.5 trillion, but by the time of the Lehman event it was nearly $53 trillion. This means that the debt burden on the US economy had soared by 5X during a period when nominal GDP grew by only 2.9X. That’s called leveraging up big time—–and it fueled a party of consumption and speculation like the nation had not experienced since the…
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Recovery? 60% Of Greeks Live At Or Below Poverty Levels

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

While Greek government yields (and political leaders) proclaim the troubled peripheral European nation is ‘recovering’, the risk of major political upheaval in Greece has not gone away ahead of next year’s presidential vote next year. As Reuters notes, under growing pressure from anti-bailout leftists, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras desperately needs a new narrative to get the backing of lawmakers and rally Greeks fed up with four years of austerity. We wish him luck as Keep Talking Greece notes, it is high time that the real data of the economic situation of the Greek society come to the surface and so it did this week. A report from Greece’s State Budget Office found that three in every five Greeks, or some 6.3 million people, were living in poverty or under the threat of poverty in 2013 due to material deprivation and unemployment.

As we noted previously, poverty rates are disturbing in Greece

 

As Reuters reports,

Four years after a messy descent into emergency funding to stave off bankruptcy, Greece’s government is trying to pull the plug on a deeply unpopular bailout program to secure its own survival.

Under growing pressure from anti-bailout leftists, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras desperately needs a new narrative to get the backing of lawmakers in a crucial presidential vote next year and rally Greeks fed up with four years of austerity.

It is a gamble with high stakes for the Greek economy and Athens’ relations with its euro zone peers. Failure by Samaras to get his presidential nominee elected would trigger new polls that his anti-austerity rivals would almost certainly win.

He better try hard as the situation is dismal… (as ekathimerini reports,)

Three in every five Greeks, or some 6.3 million people, were living in poverty or under the threat of poverty in 2013 due to material deprivation and unemployment, a report by Parliament’s State Budget Office showed on Thursday.

 

Using data on household incomes and living conditions, the report – titled “Minimum Income Policies in the European Union and Greece: A Comparative Analysis” – found that “some 2.5 million people are below the threshold of relative poverty, which is set at 60 percent of the average household


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Draghi Pressures ECB to Buy “Junk-Rated” Loan Bundles of Greece and Cyprus

Courtesy of Mish.

On September 4, ECB President pulled out a financial bazooka including a pledge to build up the ECB’s balance sheet by another €1 trillion.

Draghi confirmed the asset purchases would “include the real estate, the RMBS, real estate ABS. It would also include a fairly wide range of ABS containing loans to the real economy,” but only “the senior tranches, and the mezzanine tranches only if there is a guarantee.

Now, just three weeks later, he wants to buy outright junk, presumably without guarantees.

Please consider Mario Draghi pushes for ECB to accept Greek and Cypriot ‘junk’ loan bundles.

Mario Draghi is to push the European Central Bank to buy bundles of Greek and Cypriot bank loans with “junk” ratings, in a move that is set to exacerbate tensions between Germany and the bank.

The ECB’s executive board will propose that existing requirements on the quality of assets accepted by the bank are relaxed to allow the eurozone’s monetary guardian to buy the safer slices of Greek and Cypriot asset backed securities, or ABS, say people familiar with the matter.

However, the idea is likely to face staunch opposition in Germany, straining already tense relations between the ECB and officials in the eurozone’s largest economy.

Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann, who also sits on the ECB’s policy making governing council, has already objected to the plan to buy ABS, which he says leaves the central bank’s balance sheet too exposed to risks.

Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s finance minister, has also voiced his opposition, saying purchases would heighten concerns about potential conflicts of interest between the ECB’s role as monetary policy maker and bank supervisor.

While the safer slices – or senior tranches – of Greek and Cypriot ABS only make up a tiny proportion of Europe’s securitisation market, it would free up billions in liquidity for banks in two of the eurozone’s weakest economies, and potentially boost lending to credit-starved smaller businesses in the currency area’s periphery.

Free Up Liquidity?

The idea that swapping money for junk will free up liquidity is as ridiculous as moving a rotting fish from your pantry to the living room in hopes the stench will go away.

In this case, the stench on Greek bank balance sheets will not go away. Instead, stench will also appear on the balance sheet of the ECB….



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These Are The Warships Attacking Syrian Militants From Afar

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Two classes of warships kicked off the U.S.-led attacks on Islamic State and the al Qaeda-linked Khorasan group.

 

WSJ’s Jason Bellini explains what are these ships’ capabilities?

 

Source: WSJ Video





“If Something Rattles This Ponzi Scheme, Life In America Will Change Overnight”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

I know that headline sounds completely outrageous.  But it is actually true.  The U.S. government is borrowing about 8 trillion dollars a year, and you are about to see the hard numbers that prove this.  When discussing the national debt, most people tend to only focus on the amount that it increases each 12 months.  And as I wrote about recently, the U.S. national debt has increased by more than a trillion dollars in fiscal year 2014.  But that does not count the huge amounts of U.S. Treasury securities that the federal government must redeem each year.  When these debt instruments hit their maturity date, the U.S. government must pay them off.  This is done by borrowing more money to pay off the previous debts.  In fiscal year 2013, redemptions of U.S. Treasury securities totaled $7,546,726,000,000 and new debt totaling $8,323,949,000,000 was issued.  The final numbers for fiscal year 2014 are likely to be significantly higher than that.

So why does so much government debt come due each year?

Well, in recent years government officials figured out that they could save a lot of money on interest payments by borrowing over shorter time frames.  For example, it costs the government far more to borrow money for 10 years than it does for 1 year.  So a strategy was hatched to borrow money for very short periods of time and to keep "rolling it over" again and again and again.

This strategy has indeed saved the federal government hundreds of billions of dollars in interest payments, but it has also created a situation where the federal government must borrow about 8 trillion dollars a year just to keep up with the game.

So what happens when the rest of the world decides that it does not want to loan us 8 trillion dollars a year at ultra-low interest rates?

Well, the game will be over and we will be in a massive amount of trouble.

I am about to share with you some numbers that were originally reported by CNS News.  As you can see, far more debt is being redeemed and issued today than back during the middle part of the last decade…

2013

Redeemed: $7,546,726,000,000…
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The U.S. Government Is Borrowing About 8 Trillion Dollars A Year

Courtesy of Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse

The U.S. government is borrowing about 8 trillion dollars a year, and you are about to see the hard numbers that prove this.  When discussing the national debt, most people tend to only focus on the amount that it increases each 12 months.  And as I wrote about recently, the U.S. national debt has increased by more than a trillion dollars in fiscal year 2014.  But that does not count the huge amounts of U.S. Treasury securities that the federal government must redeem each year.  When these debt instruments hit their maturity date, the U.S. government must pay them off.  This is done by borrowing more money to pay off the previous debts.  In fiscal year 2013, redemptions of U.S. Treasury securities totaled $7,546,726,000,000 and new debt totaling $8,323,949,000,000 was issued.  The final numbers for fiscal year 2014 are likely to be significantly higher than that.

So why does so much government debt come due each year?

Well, in recent years government officials figured out that they could save a lot of money on interest payments by borrowing over shorter time frames.  For example, it costs the government far more to borrow money for 10 years than it does for 1 year.  So a strategy was hatched to borrow money for very short periods of time and to keep "rolling it over" again and again and again.

This strategy has indeed saved the federal government hundreds of billions of dollars in interest payments, but it has also created a situation where the federal government must borrow about 8 trillion dollars a year just to keep up with the game.

So what happens when the rest of the world decides that it does not want to loan us 8 trillion dollars a year at ultra-low interest rates?

Well, the game will be over and we will be in a massive amount of trouble.

I am about to share with you some numbers that were originally reported by CNS News.  As you can see, far more debt is being redeemed and issued today than back during the middle part of the last decade…

2013

Redeemed: $7,546,726,000,000

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Summing Up The ‘Recovery’ In 1 Simple Chart

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The “confidence” gap between high-income and low-income earners has never been larger… Thank you Ben and Janet…

 

 

Chart: Bloomberg





Does Surging Demand For Gold & Silver Coins Signal A Bottom?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by John Rubino via DollarCollapse blog,

Reports of individuals snapping up near-record numbers of gold and silver coins are coming in from around the world:

U.S. Mint American Eagle gold coin sales set to rise sharply in Sept

(Reuters) – The U.S. Mint has sold nearly 50,000 ounces of American Eagle gold coins so far in September, almost double its total in August, as a sharp pullback in gold prices and geopolitical tensions boosted interest for physical products from retail investors.

With only six business days left until the end of September, sales of American Eagle bullion gold coins made for investors were 46,000 ounces, up 84 percent from August sales of 25,000 ounces, the latest U.S. Mint data showed on Monday.

 

Record highs in U.S. equities also prompted some retail investors to buy precious metal products to diversify their portfolios, said David Beahm, vice president at New Orleans coin dealer Blanchard & Co.

German Bullion Dealers Report Major Increase in Sales

(Gold Reporter) Bullion dealers from all regions report that gold sales in the German bullion trade market surge since last week. Suppressed prices for gold and silver are obviously considered buying rates by German investors. The German precious metals trade reports a surge in sales.

“For about a week we record considerably increased turnover again, which is now on previous year’s level, so it doubled compared to the recent months.”, Rene Lehman from the internet dealer Münzland in Dresden told Goldreporter.

“We can confirm that customer demand has considerably increased in the recent days.“, said Dominik Kochmann, CEO of ESG Edelmetalle in Rheinstetten.

 

Daniel Marburger, Director of Coininvest GmbH in Frankfurt/Main also stated that “In the past seven working days we have seen an extreme surge in demand.”

 

Christian Brenner, Chief Executive of Philoro Edelmetalle GmbH: “Already in August we noticed an increase on orders compared to the previous months, but September… September beats it all. From a German viewpoint it’s the strongest month of 2014.”

Perth Mint Gold and Silver Bullion Sales Surge in August

(Coin News) Australian sales of bullion gold and silver surged in August after falling to a three-month low in


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More Lies: Watchdog Finds Government “Greatly Exaggerated” Success In Funding Small Businesses Last Year

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

New investigations by the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Inspector General have found SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet’s announcement that small businesses received 23.39% of all federal contracts was greatly exaggerated. As WaPo reports, Federal agencies overstated their success last year in contracting with small businesses that face socio-economic disadvantages finding $400 million worth of contracts that agencies gave to ineligible firms but still counted toward their targets. Rather stunningly, the report found of the top 100 recipients of the highest dollar amount of federal small business contracts, over 75% were actually current large businesses. Trust…

 

 

As The Washington Post reports,

Federal agencies overstated their success last year in contracting with small businesses that face socio-economic disadvantages, according to a watchdog report released Wednesday.

 

The Small Business Administration’s inspector general’s office said it identified $400 million worth of contracts that agencies gave to ineligible firms but still counted toward their targets.

 

The findings are significant because 2013 was the first year that the Obama administration claimed to have met the federal government’s small-business contracting goals. The flawed numbers led to inaccurate reports to Congress and the American people, according to the report.

And as MarketWatch adds,

The most recent data from the Federal Procurement Data System indicates of the top 100 recipients of the highest dollar amount of federal small business contracts, over 75% were actually current large businesses.

 

 

The first SBA Inspector General investigation that uncovered fraud in federal small business contracting was released in 1995. In 2003 an investigation by the Government Accountability Office found over 5,000 large businesses were receiving federal small business contracts.

 

The American Small Business League (ASBL) has launched a national campaign to secure a Government Accountability Office (GAO) and FBI investigation to uncover the specific individuals that were responsible for the two decades of fraud that have been uncovered at the SBA.

*  *  *
So much for caring about the middle-class and small business… but we assume this won’t be mentioned on the mainstream media platforms that need access to The White House.





Caught On Tape: HFT Algo Manipulating GOOGL 1000 Times Per Second

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Via Nanex,

It is very common to find examples of stock quotes changing rapidly – hundreds and sometimes thousands of times per second in a single stock. At the extreme, we've seen in excess of 25,000 quote changes in a single stock in one second of time or less (this page has a chart that documents every extreme example). Often there are no trades during these events. Sometimes a simple pattern evolves from the quote price changes, such as in the case of a certain High Frequency Trading (HFT) algorithm that we've recently seen run every day in Google stock.

This particular algorithm starts with a bid (or offer) several dollars away from the bids (offers) from one of the other 10 exchanges trading Google Class A stock (symbol GOOGL). We've also seen this algo running in other higher priced stocks. The algo in this example only appears to run from the Nasdaq-Boston (BOST) exchange. In the chart below, we show bids and offers color coded by reporting exchange (there are 10 exchanges in GOOGL). Note that these are "top of book" quotes – that is, they are the highest bid price and lowest ask price from that exchange. The best top-of-book bid and ask become the National Best Bid/Offer (NBBO) and  is shown as light gray shading in these charts. Note, this algo only affects the NBBO when it gets near the end of its price stepping loop.

The algo starts with an order to buy 100 shares at $581.87. This is replaced, sometimes only milliseconds later, with an order to buy 100 shares at $581.88 (1 penny higher). Over the course of 1.5 seconds, this process repeats another 253 times, ending with a order to buy at $584.41. Within less than a second, the $584.41 order is canceled and replaced with an order several dollars lower, and the cycle repeats.

In the case below, the number of quote changes from this HFT algo is averaging 175 per second, but during some periods the rate approaches 1000 per second (1 per millisecond).

1. GOOGL bids and asks color coded by reporting exchange over a 5 second period of time.



Now, some folks (particularly the math/physics challenged) will say:

"So what? HFT


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Phil's Favorites

Directors are in the crosshairs of corporate climate litigation

 

Directors are in the crosshairs of corporate climate litigation

Melting glaciers threaten the village of Huaraz, Peru. Uwebart/Wikimedia, CC BY-SA

Courtesy of Lisa Benjamin, Dalhousie University

The directors of RWE, a German energy company, had probably never heard of the small village of Huaraz, Peru before 2015. But Saúl Lliuya, a mountain guide and farmer there, sued RWE for climate-related harms that year.

Lliuya&rs...



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Zero Hedge

Manufacturing Employment Expectations Crash Despite Empire Fed Survey Rebound

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

After June's plunge in regional Fed business surveys, July's Empire Fed headline printed a better-than-expected +4.3 (exp +2.0) from -8.6 in June.

However, despite the pickup in the main index, details of the report show that the industry continues to struggle.

A gauge of current orders crept up, though more of the state’s factories said bookings were lower in July than higher.

And, both current and future expectations for employment tumbled, with th...



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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...



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Insider Scoop

Earnings Scheduled For July 15, 2019

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Companies Reporting Before The Bell
  • Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) is estimated to report quarterly earnings at $1.81 per share on revenue of $18.49 billion.
  • ShiftPixy, Inc. (NASDAQ: PIXY) is projected to report quarterly loss at $0.08 per share on revenue of $14.39 million.
  • Eros International Plc (NYSE: ...


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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...



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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, ...



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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.

...

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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...



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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:

 

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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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