Archive for April, 2015

Kathamandu: Before And After The Devastation

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

As the death toll in Nepal tops 5,000 (with some fearing it could reach 10,000) the devastation across the country is unbelievable (with the Nepalese government stating 130,033 homes destroyed). Nowhere is this more evident than in its capital Kathmandu…

Ancient buildings in Basantapur Durbar Square…

Only the base of Dharahara, also called Bhimsen Tower – a nine-storey tower built in 1832 – remains after most of it collapsed in the 7.8-magnitude earthquake

Remains of the temples in Patan Durbar Square reduced to rubble by the earthquake

A pillar and statue of Garuda, a Hindu divine character,  is partially damaged after the earthquake

A satellite image shows Kathmandu’s historic centre before the earthquake, left, and after, right

And finally, satellite before and after images show an area of ground in Kathmandu used as an open air shelter after the earthquake.

Images: The Guardian

Inching Toward Conflict: US Navy To Escort Cargo Ships In Persian Gulf; Iran Refuses To Back Down

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Stocks took a nasty fall on Tuesday when Al Arabiya erroneously reported that Iran had captured a cargo ship with a crew of Americans on board. It also sent oil surging. Things promptly normalized when it was revealed that the “confiscated” ship was merely one with a Marshall Island flag, at which point its fate was quickly forgotten (it may still be held by Iran, or not). But one thing is certain: both Iran and the US are itching for a provocation, whether a direct one or the far more traditional false flag type.

Earlier today, Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said that presence of the 34th fleet of the Iranian Navy in the Gulf of Aden is in accordance with international law to protect Iranian trade vessels against pirates.

Quoted by Iran’s IRNA news agency, Sayyari, who was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony to mark the National Teacher’s Day, said that the Iranian Navy has maintained a continuous presence in the Gulf of Aden, Bab el-Mandeb Strait and western India since 2008 Sayyari

He added that claims that Iranian warships have been warned and that they have left this region are not correct.

The Navy commander reiterated that the Iranian fleet does not enter territorial waters of other countries and is only present in international waters to ensure security for Iranian trade vessels.

Sayyari said that the 34th fleet of the Iranian Navy has also helped other countries in protecting their ships against pirates.

A laughable excuse of course, but no less laughable than the one provided by the US navy offered ten days ago when we learned that a US Navi aircraft carrier and a warship are being dispatched to intercept Iranian weapons shipment to Yemeni rebels.

And, as expected, moments ago there was yet another step up in the Persian Gulf naval escalation when CNN reported that the U.S. Navy will escort U.S.-flagged cargo ships through Strait of Hormuz in wake of Iran seizure this week, a US official says. Specifically, the Navy will henceforth accompany ships on concern that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard may seize them, CNN’s Jim Sciutto says in Twitter post, citing CNN’s Barbara Starr.

As a reminder the Straits of Hormuz is one of the busiest shipping…
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Employment Compensation Costs (Wages and Benefits) Jump in First Quarter

Courtesy of Mish.

A BLS report out today shows Compensation Costs up 0.7% December 2014-March 2015 and 2.6% over the year ending March.

Civilian Workers

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.7 percent, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month
period ending March 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries
(which make up about 70 percent of compensation costs) increased 0.7 percent, and benefits (which
make up the remaining 30 percent of compensation) increased 0.6 percent.

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 2.6 percent for the 12-month period ending
March 2015, rising from the March 2014 increase in compensation costs of 1.8 percent. Wages and
salaries increased 2.6 percent for the 12-month period ending March 2015, which was higher than the
1.6-percent increase in March 2014. Benefit costs increased 2.7 percent for the 12-month period ending March 2015, compared with a 2.1-percent increase for the 12-month period ending March 2014.

Private Industry Workers

Compensation costs for private industry workers increased 2.8 percent over the year, higher than the
March 2014 increase of 1.7 percent. Wages and salaries increased 2.8 percent for the current 12-monthperiod ending March 2015, also higher than the March 2014 increase of 1.7 percent. The cost of benefits rose 2.6 percent for the 12-month period ending March 2015, which was higher than March 2014, when the increase was 1.8 percent.

Private Industry Compensation Percent Change From Year Ago

click on chart for sharper image

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Dow Tumbles Back Into The Red For 2015

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.


Dow joins Trannies in the red year-to-date…

Triggered by Iran headlines…

The Street loses faith in Twitter

Due to an accidental early post on the company's website on Monday, picked up by a company called Selerity, Twitter started tanking before officially announcing its earnings miss (Nasdaq Takes Blame for Twitter’s Earnings Leak). 

The Street loses faith in Twitter

Courtesy of 

Twitter’s the ultimate “belief” story – you either think it will be one of the most import and influential media platforms on earth or you don’t.

If you are a believer, then you accept the lumpiness inherent in a fledgling ad model that hasn’t yet been proven and the nonstop impossible comparisons to the honor student in the family, Facebook. If you are not a believer, then there’s really nothing to talk about. The company is obscenely expensive given its relatively meager financials and the wobbly appearance of its management and monetization strategy.

Analysts weighed in on Twitter’s messy, awful Q1 earnings report this morning. Even the biggest bulls are dejected and lowering price targets. Costolo and Co certainly aren’t making it easy for the faithful.

First, here’s Bob Peck from SunTrust, who cannily downgraded the stock the day before the miss:

Peck’s Points.1) Twitter reported a difficult quarter missing on core Ad revenues and lowering guidance for the full year which we believe will likely make investors put Twitter back in the “prove it” category. 2)Headwinds Twitter is facing are significant (both on users and products) and potentially multi-quarter in nature and investors will need to see that the company can overcome them. The report touched on several of the issues we discussed in our downgrade note.We are still long-term believers in the opportunity in front of Twitter, but believe the short-term headwinds will weigh on results and investor sentiment and increase the focus on execution. We maintain our Neutral rating with a $45 target (reduced from $50) based on35x EV/EBITDA and 9x EV/Revs on our updated 2016 estimates.

Here’s Mark May at Citi, who carries a Neutral rating and a 44 target:

Unlike Q4 when user growth disappointed but advertiser demand and monetization over-delivered, in Q1 user growth improved but advertiser demand and monetization disappointed – and, as a result, Twitter

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Markets & The FOMC – the Game Of Chicken Continues

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Pater Tenebrarum via,

The Most Non-Surprising FOMC Statement Ever

Kremlinologists were probably a bit baffled by the brevity and complete lack of surprises in yesterday’s press release by the preeminent US central economic planning agency. What else was supposed to happen though?

Readers can compare the statement with the previous one with the help of the WSJ’s trusty statement tracker. Try not to fall asleep while reading it. However, the Fed has taken steps to enable the broadcasting of timely information by testing a new internal teleconference system with reporters. You know, just in case something more interesting happens, like a rate hike. Or an emergency intra-meeting meeting (possibly shortly after the rate hike). Why would there be an emergency you ask? Isn’t everything just hunky-dory? Well…before we get to that, here are the handful of sentences from the statement that are worth knowing:

16 trillion woman

What, $16 trillion? Is it? My, we seem to have lost count …

“To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today reaffirmed its view that the current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate. In determining how long to maintain this target range, the Committee will assess progress–both realized and expected–toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation. This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments.

The Committee anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when it has seen further improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its 2 percent objective over the medium term.

The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction. This policy, by keeping the Committee’s holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions.”

(emphasis added)

We actually have a modest proposal with respect to the wording that could help to inject even more to the point brevity into the statement:…
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Guess Who Predicted The Failure Of QE

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Janet Yellen:

As Japan found during its quantitative easing program, increasing the size of the monetary base above levels needed to provide ample liquidity to the banking system had no discernible economic effects aside from those associated with communicating the Bank of Japan’s commitment to the zero interest rate policy.

I think my views on this mirror those that you expressed in your opening comments, Mr. Chairman.”

- FOMC Minutes from Dec 2008

How did that work out?

We assume principles go out the window when the orders come down from the banker-owners on high…

*  *  *

However, today we get more total hypocrisy from the newly found bond guru and hedge fund adviser via his blog…

Responding to The Wall Street Journal’s questioning the efficacy of monetary policy (specifically ZIRP and QE), Bernanke scoffs:

Where [monetary policy] can be helpful is in supporting the return to full employment, and there the record has been reasonably good. Indeed, it seems clear that the Fed’s aggressive actions are an important reason that job creation in the United States has outstripped that of other industrial countries by a wide margin.

The WSJ also argues that, because monetary policy has not been a panacea for our economic troubles, we should stop using it. I agree that monetary policy is no panacea, and as Fed chairman I frequently said so. With short-term interest rates pinned near zero, monetary policy is not as powerful or as predictable as at other times. But the right inference is not that we should stop using monetary policy, but rather that we should bring to bear other policy tools as well.

So while in 2008, QE had no discernible economic effects… in 2015 it is a powerful tool for lowering unemployment rates? What a farce!?


Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by williambanzai7.







Martin Armstrong Explains Why The Richest 1% Get Richer

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Martin Armstrong via,


The socialists love to tout that 1% of the world’s population will own more wealth than the other 99%. From the socialists’ viewpoint, this justifies stealing from one group to give to another, despite this model failing in the past. It is also in clear violation of the Ten Commandments. But why does this trend even happen? Is it that the 1% suppress the 99%? Or could it be that government suppresses the 99%?

We have to look closely at how wealth is even measured. This is not cash in the bank, but market value of assets. In other words, unrealized gains. It was this way of thinking that destroyed the independent farmers. The land values soared and estate taxes came into play, the government valued the land at levels as if it was stripped mined for housing. Farmers had to sell off land to pay the taxes.

This standard of measuring wealth is really dangerous for it amounts to unrealized gains, not cash. I donated my time trying to save Social Security by transforming it into a real investment account back in the 90s. The money should have been invested in equities. The Dow Jones Industrials would have been about 3500. The rich get richer from investments – not salary. I was trying to transform Social Security into an investment fund. I gave up because politicians could not agree on who the managers would be because they effectively wanted kickbacks. Social Security is now broke; the 99% paid into the fund and now its gone. Had the money been invested in equities rather than pretend U.S. government debt, they would have made almost 500%. There would have been real assets for individual retirement.

The 99% cannot get richer because government robs them every day. What should have been put into savings and investments, was squandered as usual by politicians. So is it the fault of those who actually invest on their own? The socialists want to blame the rich and rob them, handing more and more assets to the political class who waste it on themselves.


The 99% need to wake up. It ain’t the 1% – It is those who pretend to be on your side who deprive you of your real right to economic freedom.

The “Scariest Spreadsheet In Fed Possession” Just Revealed A Very Scary Number For Q2 GDP

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Earlier today, Goldman initiated its Q2 GDP tracking at 3.0%.

A few hours later, the Atlanta Fed, whose “preposterous” below-consensus forecast we first flagged in early March, and which nailed the Q1 GDP to within 0.1% of the final print, came out with its own first Q2 GDP tracking estimate. The number: a recession-worthy 0.9%.

And cue panic as the entire Wall Street sell side scrambles to converge with the forecasting superstar Atlanta Fed, which unless sees a dramatic pick up in its own estimate, means that the US is looking at a 0.5% GDP for the first half, and anything less than 4% average GDP growth in the second half will lead to the weakest US growth in 2015 since 2011!

So for all those weathermen “economists” who scramble to do actual math in their GDP calculation instead of merely goalseeking meaningless numbers, we would like to remind you that we showed precisely how to recreate the Atlanta Fed number almost two months ago in “The Scariest Spreadsheet In Fed Possession Revealed.”

Most ignored it, and most were massively wrong.

Something tells us this time everyone will be poring for hours over the Atlanta Fed GDPNow model.

This is how the Fed bank presents its GDP predicting spreadsheet:

Is GDPNow an official forecast of the Atlanta Fed or the Bank’s president?

No, it is not an official forecast of the Atlanta Fed, its president, the Federal Reserve System, or the FOMC. 

Is any judgment used to adjust the forecasts?

No. Once the GDPNow model begins forecasting GDP growth for a particular quarter, the code will not be adjusted until after the “advance” estimate. If we improve the model over time, we will roll out changes right after the “advance” estimate so that forecasts for the subsequent quarter use a fixed methodology for their entire evolution. 

When will forecasts of GDP growth in a particular quarter start being made?

About 90 days before the “advance” estimate for GDP growth for the quarter is released. GDPNow forecasts begin the weekday after the BEA’s “advance” estimate of GDP growth for the previous quarter is released. For example, the advance estimate of real GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2013 was released on January 30, 2014. The GDPNow forecasts for real GDP

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Phil's Favorites

Are Stock Buybacks Driving Wealth Inequality?


Are Stock Buybacks Driving Wealth Inequality?

Courtesy of 



It’s not lost on me that we’re posting this on a day where the S&P 500 trades above 3100 for the first time…

Ben Hunt joins Michael Batnick and Downtown Josh Brown at The Compound to explain what he’s so angry about – he sees wealth inequality as being driven by hijacked narratives about capitalism, stock buybacks, central banks and the managerial overclass orchestrating it all.


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Zero Hedge

The Inevitable Finale Of The Nord Stream 2 Saga

Courtesy of Venand Meliksetian,

Europe is quickly becoming one of the most important export destinations for gas exporters. Production is decreasing quickly due to political and technical developments. The next few decades are promising for exporters. Nord Stream 2 is arguably one of the most contentious projects currently under development. Denmark recently granted the last necessary permit to start construction activities in its EEZ and analysts now agree that the project’s completion is only a matter of time. In reality, the pipeline’s future was decided long before construction even started due to external factors such as Poland’s decision to d...

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The Technical Traders

What happens To The Global Economy If Oil Collapses Below $40 - Part II

Courtesy of Technical Traders

In the first part of this research article, we shared our ADL predictive modeling research from July 10th, 2019 where we suggested that Oil prices would begin to collapse to levels near, or below, $40 throughout November and December of 2019.  Our ADL modeling system suggests that oil prices may continue lower well into early 2020 where the price is exp...

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Insider Scoop

What Wall Street Thinks Of Google Cache

Courtesy of Benzinga

Alphabet, Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) subsidiary Google announced a new partnership with Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C) to launc... more from Insider

Digital Currencies

Is Bitcoin a Macro Asset?


Is Bitcoin a Macro Asset?

Courtesy of 

As part of Coindesk’s popup podcast series centered around today’s Invest conference, I answered a few questions for Nolan Bauerly about Bitcoin from a wealth management perspective. I decided in December of 2017 that investing directly into crypto currencies was unnecessary and not a good use of a portfolio’s allocation slots. I remain in this posture today but I am openminded about how this may change in the future.

You can listen to this short exchange below:


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Kimble Charting Solutions

Silver Testing This Support For The First Time In 8-Years!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Its been a good while since Silver bulls could say that it is testing support. Well, this week that can be said! Will this support test hold? Silver Bulls sure hope so!

This chart looks at Silver Futures over the past 10-years. Silver has spent the majority of the past 8-years inside of the pink shaded falling channel, as it has created lower highs and lower lows.

Silver broke above the top of this falling channel around 90-days ago at (1). It quickly rallied over 15%, before creating a large bearish reversal pattern, around 5-weeks after the bre...

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Chart School

Gold Gann and Cycle Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Gold has performed well, golden skies are here again. In fact it has been a straight line move, and this is typically unusual and a pause can be expected.

It seems the markets are happy again, new highs in the SP500, US 10 year interest rates look to re bound, negative interest may soften. The US FED has reversed their QT and now doing $250BN (not QE) repo. The main point is the FED has stopped QT, and will do QE forever. The evidence now is the FED put is under market risk and the possibility of excessive losses do not exist. 

Point: If in future if there is market risk, the FED will print it's way out of it.
Subject To: In this blog view. The above is so until the amount required rocks confidence in the US dollar as a reserve currency.&n...

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Lee's Free Thinking

Today's Fed POMO TOMO FOMC Alphabet Soup Unspin

Courtesy of Lee Adler

But make no mistake, if the Fed wants money rates to stay down by another quarter, it will need to imagineer even more money.

That’s on top of the $281 billion it has already imagineered into existence since addressing its “one-off” repo market emergency on September 17. This came via  “Temporary” Repo Man Operations money, and $70.6 billion in Permanent Open Market Operations (POMO) money.

By my calculations that averages out to $7.4 billion per business day. That works out to a monthly pace of $155 billion or so.

If they keep this up, it will be more than enough to absorb every penny of new Treasury supply. That supply had caused the system to run out of money in mid September.  This flood of paper had been inundati...

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The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

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


The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...

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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:


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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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Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"



Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:


·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union


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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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