Archive for 2014

Internet Censorship Explodes – Google Receives 250,000 “Removal” Requests

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

In the walls of the cubicle there were three orifices. To the right of the speakwrite, a small pneumatic tube for written messages, to the left, a larger one for newspapers; and in the side wall, within easy reach of Winston’s arm, a large oblong slit protected by a wire grating. This last was for the disposal of waste paper. Similar slits existed in thousands or tens of thousands throughout the building, not only in every room but at short intervals in every corridor. For some reason they were nicknamed memory holes. When one knew that any document was due for destruction, or even when one saw a scrap of waste paper lying about, it was an automatic action to lift the flap of the nearest memory hole and drop it in, whereupon it would be whirled away on a current of warm air to the enormous furnaces which were hidden somewhere in the recesses of the building.

 

He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.

 

- From George Orwell’s 1984

The reason Big Brother and his band of technocrat authoritarians spend so much time and effort erasing history in the classic novel 1984, is because they are a bunch of total criminals and they know it. Their grip on power is made so much easier if the proles are kept ignorant, confused and in the dark. This strategy is not just fiction, it is the philosophy of tyrants and authoritarians throughout history.

While the internet is an amazing tool for communication and free speech, we must also be aware of how it can be abused by those in power who wish to whitewash history. For more on this epic struggle, read the post, Networks vs. Hierarchies: Which Will Win? Niall Furguson Weighs In. In it, Mr. Furguson explains that the biggest threat to networks overcoming hierarchies is if government technocrats are able to gain a hold of the technological tools we now use to communicate with each other. He fears this is already happening with the NSA’s PRISM program and the complicity of all the major tech companies in the agency’s unconstitutional spying.

So it appears Orwell’s feared “memory hole” has…
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Digital music sales are in a free fall, as Spotify does to iTunes what iTunes did to CDs

Digital music sales are in a free fall, as Spotify does to iTunes what iTunes did to CDs

Courtesy of  

online music

Why would you pay $9.99 or more for one album on iTunes when for the same price each month you can hear millions of songs on a streaming music platform like Spotify?

The concept of digital downloads is something more and more listeners are questioning, as new numbers from Nielsen Soundscan show that album and track sales continued to plummet in the first half of 2014. From January 1 to June 29, the industry sold 121 million albums and 593.6 million tracks. Comparing that to the 142 million albums and 682.2 million tracks sold in the first half of 2013, we see declines of 15 percent and 13 percent, respectively. These rates of decline closely matchthe precipitous fall of physical CD sales through the 2000s. In other words, Spotify is doing to iTunes what iTunes did to CDs.

It’s pretty clear that streaming music is to blame for the decline in digital sales. Since 2011, the percentage of music industry revenues generated by streaming has accelerated:

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 12.49.01 PM

Keep reading Digital music sales are in a free fall, as Spotify does to iTunes what iTunes did to CDs | PandoDaily.

[Picture by Hallie Bateman]





European Banks Are In Trouble

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

With Austrian bank contagion impacting European stocks on Friday, we thought it worth a look at the ‘recovering-out-of-the-crisis-all-is-well-and-stress-tests-will-prove-it’ European banks. It appears, having bid with both hands and feet for Europe’s peripheral debt – thus solidifying the very sovereign-financial-system linkages that were the cause of the European crisis contagion – Europe’s banks had the jam stolen from their donuts when Mario Draghi did not unveil a massive bond-buying scheme (by which they could offload their modestly haircut collateral at 100c on the euro, raise cash, take profits, and all live happily ever after). A TLTRO is no use to the banks who now know even the first sign of one dumping his domestic bonds will cause this illiquid monstrosity to collapse under its own weight. It is clear – as the following chart shows – that investors are quickly coming to that realization and exiting European bonds in a hurry.

 

Since Draghi failed to unveil QE, European banks have collapsed to one-year lows relative to world banks…

 

Of course, some knife-catching Bill-Miller-ite will come to the rescue, buying-the-dip – but as BNP’s Ian Richards notes,  

“The prospect of supporting material credit growth and better earnings revisions in the banking sector is further down the line than the market had hoped.”

Source: Bloomberg





Larry Page: Maybe we should all be part-time workers

 

Larry Page: Maybe we should all be part-time workers

Courtesy of 

What if everyone were a part-time worker?

Google founder and CEO Larry Page has a fascinating take on the future of our labor market. In a just-posted video from a recent appearance, Page cites the fact that 90% of the population were farmers in 1900 and, by 2000, just 2% were – so we shouldn’t be shocked about the prospect of a major shift in the structure of the labor force.

The below is an excerpt from Page’s chat, via Liz Gannes at Recode:

Vinod Khosla, interviewer and long-time technology investor who tried to buy Google when it first started: The vast majority of employment shifted from farming to only needing about 2 percent of the U.S. workforce. That happened between 1900 and the year 2000. I see the beginnings of that happening again with the rapid acceleration the next 10, 15, 20 years.

Page: I totally believe we should be living in a time of abundance, like the Peter Diamandis book. If you really think about the things that you need to make yourself happy: housing, security, opportunity for your kids. I mean, anthropologists have identified these things. It’s not that hard for us to provide those things. The amount of resources we need to do that, the amount of work that actually needs to go into that is pretty small. I’m guessing less than 1 percent at the moment. So the idea that everyone needs to work frantically to meet people’s needs is just not true. I do think there’s a problem that we don’t recognize that. I think there’s also a social problem that a lot of people aren’t happy if they don’t have anything to do. So we need to give people things to do. You need to feel like you’re needed, wanted and have something productive to do. But I think the mix with that and the industries we actually need and so on are– there’s not a good


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Mike Maloney: The Dollar As We Know It Will Be Gone Within 6 Years

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Adam Taggart via Peak Prosperity,

This week's podcast sees the return of Mike Maloney, monetary historian and founder of precious metals broker GoldSilver.com.

Based on historical patterns and the alarming state of our current monetary system, Mike believes the fiat US dollar is in its last years as a viable currency. He sees its replacement as inevitable in the near term — as in by or before the end of the decade:

All of this is converging with the crazy experiments the Federal Reserve has done.

 

I absolutely believe that there are economic consequences to this that are inescapable. The Fed is not just in a box; a trap has been set. And before the end of this decade, if there is still a US Dollar around it will not be this US Dollar. It will be a dollar that is tied to a very different monetary system.

 

The last three shifts in our monetary system were little baby steps off of the classical gold standard where it was fully backed. We went down to a 40% reserve ratio with the Federal Reserve in the United States during the Gold Exchange Standard. Then the Bretton Woods system didn't have a reserve ratio specified, but I believe the dollar was about 8% backed by gold by the time Nixon took us off of gold in '71. Now, the only backing that the US Dollar has is the promise to tax us all in the future: it is US Treasury bonds, or the Fed doing its quantitative easing and buying mortgage-backed securities.

 

And how corrupt is the notion that you can give some entity the power to have a check book that has a $0 balance and they can go out and buy anything they want with that and it just creates currency? That is corrupt in itself.

 

Think about how immoral this is. First of all, the Fed whipped up that currency not out of thin air but by indebting the public. They buy a Treasury bond or a mortgage-backed security, and now they own the mortgage on your house or they own a Treasury bond that you are going to work for in the future and pay taxes


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Central Bank Smackdown

Central Bank Smackdown

Courtesy of  JOHN MAULDIN

Smackdown: smack·down, ?smak?doun/, noun, US informal

1.  a bitter contest or confrontation.

"the age-old man versus Nature smackdown"

2.  a decisive or humiliating defeat or setback.

The term “smackdown” was first used by professional wrestler Dwayne Johnson (AKA The Rock) in 1997. Ten years later its use had become so ubiquitous that Merriam-Webster felt compelled to add it to their lexicon. It may be Dwayne Johnson’s enduring contribution to Western civilization, notwithstanding and apart from his roles in The Fast and The Furious movie series. All that said, it is quite the useful word for talking about confrontations that are more for show than actual physical altercations.

And so it is that on a beautiful July 4 weekend we will amuse ourselves by contemplating the serious smackdown that central bankers are visiting upon each other. If the ramifications of their antics were not so serious, they would actually be quite amusing. This week’s shorter than usual letter will explore the implications of the contretemps among the world’s central bankers and take a little dive into yesterday’s generally positive employment report.

BIS: The Opening Riposte

The opening riposte came from the Bank for International Settlements, the “bank for central banks.” In their annual report, released this week, they talked about “euphoric” financial markets that have become detached from reality. They clearly – clearly in central banker-speak, that is – fingered the culprit as the ultralow monetary policies being pursued around the world. These are creating capital markets that are “extraordinarily buoyant.”

The report opens with this line: “A new policy compass is needed to help the global economy step out of the shadow of the Great Financial Crisis. This will involve adjustments to the current policy mix and to policy frameworks with the aim of restoring sustainable and balanced economic growth.”

The Financial Times weighed in with this summary: “Leading central banks should not fall into the trap of raising rates ‘too slowly and too late,’ the BIS said, calling for policy makers to halt the steady rise in debt burdens around the world and embark on reforms to boost productivity. In its annual report, the BIS


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The Impact Of The World Cup On Stock Markets, In One Chart

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

What “harsh weather”, aka completely unpredictable cold snaps and snow during the winter were to Q1 US GDP, which somehow cratered from an expected 2.5% increase to a -2.9% collapse (a $200 billion negative swing in the US economy due to weather, let that sink in for a second), the Brazil world cup may be to the stock market. At least that is the following chart from Bloomberg, highlighting the “World Cup Syndrome” shows.

According to ECB data, workers everywhere—even financial types—are paying more attention to the games than to their jobs. One way of measuring the global epidemic of distraction is to look at plunges in stock market trading volumes. The European Central Bank analyzed data from the 2010 World Cup showing significant drops in trading during all games. The effect was especially pronounced when the traders’ own country was on the field.

And consider this: this analysis was done in 2010 when people actually still traded, as opposed to merely central banks transacting with vacuum tubes. One can only imagine the absolutely cratering in trading volumes in late June and early July, not only thanks to a record low VIX but also as nobody really pays attention to rigged stocks any more when at least football provides a somewhat less rigged diversion.

We can’t wait to find out how big is the cliff that bank revenues fell off in Q2 (and Q3) as their employees – largely oblivious to what happens to a “market” that is now purely on “up and to the right” autopilot – were much more focused on the action in the football stadium, where for now at least, there are no dark pools to ruin the fun.





Merkel goes to China to halt German economic slowdown

Merkel goes to China to halt German economic slowdown

Courtesy of Sober Look 
 
The yield spread between US treasuries and German government bonds hit a new high last week (see chart). Was this divergence in rates simply a response to the ECB action last month (see post) in combination with stronger jobs data in the US or is there more to it?

Part of the answer has been softer than expected economic data out of Germany. The nation that had pulled the euro area out of its recession has been experiencing some headwinds. Germany's recent expansion has been partially driven by exports – both to the Eurozone and to elsewhere. And while the nation's domestic demand remains relatively strong (see German retail PMI), weakness in exports is beginning to show.
 

Source: Barclays Research

Signs of this growth moderation have been visible for some time now, including the manufacturing PMI report (see chart), softening economic sentiment (chart below), and even weaker employment figures (see story). Most economists did not anticipate this, and some have attributed it to weaker growth in China.
 

Source: Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung GmbH (ZEW)

To be sure, German economic growth remains strong on a relative basis. Many also expect a better second half, as China's economy picks up (see chart). Some of this optimism comes from the fact that the US consumer is finally tapping those credit cards (see chart) and driving up imports (see chart). Moreover, the German government remains heavily focused on business expansion abroad, particularly given the recent slowdown (what a novel idea – a business-focused administration).

Xinhua: – Angela Merkel is paying another visit to China this weekend – her 7th trip to the Asian powerhouse as German Chancellor, leading a high-level economic delegation. 

German analysts believed Merkel's trip is aimed at keeping the dynamic in the current Sino-German relations going further. Given that the bilateral economic relationship has quickly developed, economy is widely regarded as the focus of the chancellor's visit.

 




PBS Frontline: To Catch a Trader

PBS Frontline: To Catch a Trader

Courtesy of Jesse's Cafe Americain

“The disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and the powerful, and to despise, or, at least to neglect, persons of poor and mean condition is the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments.”

Adam Smith

Got inside trading information?

Got a co-located high speed trading server?

Got a privileged position of trust in society or even better, in the game itself?

Then buddy, you got edge.

Related: The Taming of the Trading Monster





What Next For Ukraine – Ethnic Cleansing?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Authored by Daniel McAdams via The Ron Paul Institute,

Global chessboard enthusiast Zbigniew Brzezinski has a plan for Ukraine. In a recent speech to the Woodrow Wilson Center, excerpted by the Atlantic Council, he argues forcefully in favor of the United States providing the Ukrainian military far more weapons. 

Under the guise of preventing a Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has been the rallying cry of those who seek more US involvement in the region, Brzezinski believes that the US must provide Ukraine with enough weapons to deter Russian aggression toward Ukraine.

The odds of defending against the invading Russian military being very low, Brzezinski has a different idea of how the US should arm the Kiev government.

Said the former National Security Advisor:

I feel that we should make it clear to the Ukrainians that if they are determined to resist, as they say they are and seemingly they are trying to do so (albeit not very effectively), we will provide them with anti-tank weapons, hand-held anti-tank weapons, hand-held rockets—weapons capable for use in urban short range fighting.

The US must provide urban warfare equipment to the Kiev government, he says, in order to forestall the impending Russian invasion.

But what else could a huge shipment of urban warfare weapons and the advisors that go with them be used for? 

Ethnic cleansing. 

We already see with the resumption of Kiev's attacks on the east, a sharp turn toward the targeting of civilian apartment blocks and non-military targets. We know from a recent United Nations report that more than 100,000 have already fled eastern Ukraine. The country's post-coup president, Petro Poroshenko, was very clear, ending the ceasefire (that wasn't much of a ceasefire) by stating that "We will attack and we will liberate our land!"

Does that mean liberating it from the "others" who do not accept rule by the post-coup government? Those who Kiev's prime minister Arseniy "Yats" Yatsenyuk has already called "subhumans"? 

Urban warfare equipment and training for the Kiev military machine would, as Russian political scientist Yevgeny Minchenko points out, mean "municipal infrastructure will be destroyed, leading to a humanitarian catastrophe." In his view, “[t]he war will continue, and people will gradually leave their homes. It will be bad for…
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Zero Hedge

Auto Shares Surge As Fiat, Renault Confirm Merger Talks

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With President Trump in Japan for a state visit and most of Europe headed to the polls to vote in the quinquennial EU Parliamentary elections, there was enough news to keep market watchers occupied during what was supposed to be a quiet holiday weekend in the US. 

But on top of these political headlines, on Saturday afternoon, the news broke that Italian-American carmaker Fiat Chrysler had approached France's Renault with a merger proposal that would leave the shareholders of each carmaker with half of the combined company, in a tie-up that would create the world's third-largest au...



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Phil's Favorites

Trump and the problem with pardons

 

Trump and the problem with pardons

Courtesy of Andrew Bell, Indiana University

As a veteran, I was astonished by the recent news that President Trump may be considering pardons for U.S. military members accused or convicted of war crimes. But as a scholar who studies the U.S. military and combat ethics, I understand even more clearly the harmful long-term impact such pardons can have on the military.

My researc...



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Insider Scoop

Jefferies Sees 60-Percent Upside In Aphria Shares, Says Buy The Dip

Courtesy of Benzinga.

After a red-hot start to 2019, Canadian cannabis producer Aphria Inc (NYSE: APHA) has run out of steam, tumbling more than 31 percent in the past three months.

Despite the recent weakness, one Wall Street analyst said Friday that the stock has 30-percent upside potential. 

The Analyst

Jefferies analyst ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

DAX (Germany) About To Send A Bearish Message To The S&P 500?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Is the DAX index from Germany about to send a bearish message to stocks in Europe and the States? Sure could!

This chart looks at the DAX over the past 9-years. It’s spent the majority of the past 8-years inside of rising channel (1), creating a series of higher lows and higher highs.

It looks to have created a “Double Top” as it was kissing the underside of the rising channel last year at (2).

After creating the potential double top, the DAX index has continued to create a series of lower highs, while experiencing a bearish divergence with the S...



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Chart School

Brexit Joke - Cant be serious all the time

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Alistair Williams comedian nails it, thank god for good humour! Prime Minister May the negotiator. Not!


Alistair Williams Comedian youtube

This is a classic! ha!







Fundamentals are important, and so is market timing, here at readtheticker.com we believe a combination of Gann Angles, ...

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Digital Currencies

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

 

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

The high seas are getting lower. dianemeise

Courtesy of Iwa Salami, University of East London

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



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Biotech

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

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

 

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

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

Courtesy of David M. Gilbert, Florida State University

...



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ValueWalk

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

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

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

rawpixel / Pixabay

Friends and Fellow Investors:

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



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Members' Corner

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

Are you ready to retire?  

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

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

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



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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

Excerpt:

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

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



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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

 

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

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

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

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



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

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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.

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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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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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