Archive for November, 2015

Seeking A Savior

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Jeff Thomas via InternationalMan.com,

It’s an unfortunate truth that, when people are worried about the future, they often put their faith in politicians to somehow make everything better.

Politicians, of course, are famous for promising panaceas for whatever is troubling voters, and they even invent new troubles to worry about, presenting themselves as the only ones who can solve these woes.

Not surprising then, that, over time, any nation may slowly deteriorate into a population of nebbishes who turn to their government to do their thinking for them and take responsibility for their futures.

In the last year, the world has seen many elections in which the top spot (president, prime minister, premier, etc.) was contested. In Brazil, socialist President Dilma Rousseff was returned, but almost immediately ran into trouble over a failing economy, scandals, and corruption charges. In less than a year, her popularity sank to the lowest level for any Brazilian president on record.

In the UK, conservative Prime Minister David Cameron was returned, which immediately triggered riots in London by the anti-austerity crowd. He will soon be facing increasingly angry voters of all stripes who are boiling over with the dramatically worsening immigration question. In addition, he’ll soon be facing a referendum on the UK’s membership in the EU – an eventuality he’s been postponing for quite some time.

In Canada, voters have chosen to oust the conservatives and return to the golden promises of the Trudeaus. The Canadian dollar dropped immediately. Justin Trudeau plans a vast programme of public spending in the face of a declining economy, but hasn’t offered any explanation as to how this can be paid for.

Argentina has just had its election. The departing Peronist, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, has passed the baton (and a failing economy, rapidly declining peso, and civil unrest) to the more conservative Mauricio Macri.

Do we see a pattern here? No, except in the sense that countries habitually put in a conservative for a while, tire of him, and replace him with a liberal, then tire of him, and replace him with a conservative.

None of these leaders will be the solution to the problems of their nations. In fact, they are the problem. Each of them (and many others around the world) offered dramatic, unrealistic campaign promises for ever-increasing…
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Are These The Tankers Bilal Erdogan Uses To Transport ISIS Oil?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Regular readers are by now well acquainted with Bilal Erdogan, the son of Turkish autocrat Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Although Erdogan senior masquerades as President of a democratic society, he is in reality a despot who just weeks ago, capped off a four-month effort to nullify an undesirable ballot box outcome by scaring the electorate into throwing more support behind the ruling AKP in a do-over vote designed specifically to undermine the pro-Kurdish HDP, which put up a strong showing in the last round of elections, held in June. 

As the world’s interest in Islamic State’s illicit oil trade has grown over the past 60 or so days, so too has the scrutiny on how the group gets its stolen crude to market. In the seven days since Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 near the Syrian border, Moscow has done its best to focus the world’s collective attention on the connection between ISIS and Turkey. It’s common knowledge among those who pay attention to such things that Ankara is part of an alliance that includes Riyadh, Doha, and Washington whose collective goal is to fund and arm the Syrian opposition. What’s up for debate is the extent to which that alliance supports ISIS and, to a lesser extent, al-Nusra. 

Earlier today, Vladimir Putin explicitly accused Ankara of attempting to protect ISIS oil routes by shooting down Russian warplanes which have destroyed hundreds of Islamic State oil trucks in November. 

Erdogan of course denies the allegations, but as we’ve shown, it would be very easy for Turkish smugglers to commingle ISIS and KRG crude (which, by the way, is also technically illegal), effectively using Kurdish oil to mask Turkey’s participation in the Islamic State oil trade. 

Some contend that Bilal Erdogan’s marine transport company BMZ Group (which owns a Maltese shipping company) is involved in trafficking ISIS oil (see our full account here).

Here’s what Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoub said on Friday:

“All of the oil was delivered to a company that belongs to the son of Recep [Tayyip] Erdogan. This is why Turkey became anxious when Russia began delivering airstrikes against the IS infrastructure and destroyed more than 500


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Fourth Turning – Our Rendezvous With Destiny

Courtesy of Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform

In Part 1 of this article I discussed the catalyst spark which ignited this Fourth Turning and the seemingly delayed regeneracy. In Part 2 I pondered possible Grey Champion prophet generation leaders who could arise during the regeneracy. In Part 3 I focused on the economic channel of distress which is likely to be the primary driving force in the next phase of this Crisis. In Part 4 I assessed the social and cultural channels of distress dividing the nation. In Part 5 I examined the technological, ecological, political, military channels of distress likely to burst forth with the molten ingredients of this Fourth Turning, and finally in this final part, our rendezvous with destiny, with potential climaxes to this Winter of our discontent.

We are now in the seventh year of this Fourth Turning. A famous quote from the seventh year of the last Fourth Turning portended the desperate, bloody and ultimately heroic trials and tribulations which awaited generations of our ancestors. What will be our rendezvous with destiny?

“There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt – June 27, 1936 – Philadelphia, PA

Our Rendezvous With Destiny

“The seasons of time offer no guarantees. For modern societies, no less than for all forms of life, transformative change is discontinuous. For what seems an eternity, history goes nowhere – and then it suddenly flings us forward across some vast chaos that defies any mortal effort to plan our way there. The Fourth Turning will try our souls – and the saecular rhythm tells us that much will depend on how we face up to that trial. The saeculum does not reveal whether the story will have a happy ending, but it does tell us how and when our choices will make a difference.”  – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning

The people have been permitting a small cadre of elitists, billionaire financiers, corporate chiefs, propagandist media moguls, and crooked politicians to make the
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Pedro Da Costa Has The Courage To Review Ben Bernanke’s Memoir, Finds A Few Gaping Holes

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Pedro da Costa may no longer be asking Janet Yellen uncomfortable questions on behalf of the WSJ, but that doesn’t mean the Peterson Institute’s latest editorial fellow can’t opine on his favorite topic: central bankers.

In the following review of Ben Bernanke’s memoir “The Courage To Act”, Pedro has done just that, and while his review of what is contained in the book is enlightening for those who are still waiting for the deflated, “fair value” priced copy, it is Pedro’s “courage to write” what Bernanke conveniently forgot to add in his memoir, that makes this review so much more memorable than the generic sycophantic tripe written by his “access journalism” peers.

Yet the ongoing manipulation of key benchmark interest rates—which falls within the direct purview of the Fed—does not get a mention in the book. Neither do illegal foreclosures, the lack of transparency on Wall Street, banks’ concentrated political power, the revolving-door nexus of Wall Street and the regulatory world, or even the global banking system’s increasing vulnerability to financial crises (think Greece, China, Japan, Russia, Brazil, Turkey—and that’s just in the past year).

Bernanke does accept some blame for having missed the signs of looming financial disaster on his watch. But he stops well shy of a mea culpa. He says he was merely echoing the conventional wisdom of the time: that the housing bubble wouldn’t burst spectacularly and that, even if it did, the economic damage would be limited.

But at least Bernanke had the “courage” to cover everything else…

* * *

Originally posted on Book Forum, written by Pedro Nicolaci Da Costa

Anatomy of a Meltdown

Ben Bernanke’s Washington tell-all says too little, too late

Former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s new book feels more like the first of many acts than an authoritative memoir. And the main body of the narrative remains, so far as financial history is concerned, very much a work in progress.

Still, notwithstanding its provisional character, there’s no denying that The Courage to Act is a useful document. Bernanke was arguably the most powerful economic official in the world during the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression. His direct account of that event, staid though it can be, is invaluable—both for the official record and for understanding…
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Here’s How To Trigger A Bank Run

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Tim Price via SovereignMan.com,

On August 6, 1979, Paul Volcker as the new Chairman of the Federal Reserve was determined to eliminate the terribly high inflation that had taken hold of the system. And he succeeded.

The Fed’s primary interest rate stood at 11% when Volcker entered office. By June 1981 he had hiked them all the way to 20%.

Corporate America was not impressed. Indebted farmers blockaded his building.

But the pain was relatively short-lived. And as Volcker’s victory over inflation became more apparent, markets applauded. As bond prices started to rise, stock prices joined them.

Both credit and equity markets began a multi-decade bull run.

The trend in interest rates for years has been in the other direction; rates in the US are now effectively zero, though Janet Yellen is widely expected to announce a modest tightening next month.

Over here in Europe, zero has not marked the lower bound for rates. The European Central Bank’s deposit rate stands at negative 0.2%. And they’re widely expected to cut the deposit rate even further.

These policies have consequences. One of those consequences is that government bond yields throughout Europe have gone negative.

Government bond yields with durations up to two years are now negative in Switzerland. As well as Germany. Finland. The Netherlands. Austria. Belgium. Denmark. France. Ireland. Sweden. Italy. Spain.

Regardless of how heavily and unsustainably indebted those governments are, bond investors in all of those countries are still buying bonds even though they are now guaranteed to lose money.

But if this weren’t odd enough, the weirdness has spread from bonds to cash.

From January, depositors in Alternative Bank Schweiz in Switzerland will earn negative 0.125% on bank deposits. Depositors with over 100,000 Swiss francs will earn negative 0.75%.

If you wanted to trigger a bank run, this is certainly how you might go about it.

First, drive interest rates down to zero. Then cut rates even more. At the same time, start talking about banning cash altogether.

And if you’re in the euro zone, make sure you squander seven years doing precisely nothing to restructure your banking system after its near-death experience of 2008.

What should the rational investor do in an environment of ongoing financial repression?

To know the answer, we need to know whether central banks will…
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Number Of Millennials Living In Parents’ Basement Climbs (Again); Weddings Blamed (Again)

 

Number Of Millennials Living In Parents' Basement Climbs (Again); Weddings Blamed (Again)

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

Three weeks ago, we noted with some alarm that the number of women age 18 to 34 living with their parents is now the highest since record keeping began more than seven decades ago. 

According to a study by the Pew Research Center in Washington, 36.4% of young women have now moved back to the basement, so to speak. The culprit: weddings. No, really. From Bloomberg

Eternal happiness can wait. Millennials are much less likely to be married than their parents were at their age, and marriage often serves as an impetus to move out. 

Of course the real reason why 18-34 year-olds are moving home is because the US economic "recovery" is characterized by a labor market that, far from being a "robust" creator of breadwinner jobs, actually churns out bartenders and waiters. The sad thing is, between lackluster wage growth, crippling student debt, and bad decision making when it comes to picking a college major, some millennials are finding out that serving drinks is a far better way to make ends meet than taking a full-time job for a meager salary that all but guarantees you a spot among America's growing peasantry.

On Monday, we get still more evidence of the above, this time from the Commerce Department, which reports that 31.5% of 18-34 year-olds now live with their parents. As you can see from the following, this is one graph that is the definition of "up and to the right":

If that were a chart of some "key metric" a startup founder dreamed up with the help of a VC backer, you'd have yourself a billion dollar unicorn. Unfortnately it's not. It's an illustration of just how abysmal the US economic "recovery" truly is and it's also a reflection of what happens when you pair an inexorable rise in the cost of education with a jobs market that's a shadow of its pre-crisis self. 

Next, have a look at the chart of 25-34 year-olds living with their parents:


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Semiconductor Index Breaks 200-day MA

Courtesy of Declan.

Today offered a heavier than expected volume day post-holiday. The majority of this action was to the downside, but the Semiconductor Index bucked the trend.  The latter index was able to push above its 200-day MA as it posted a relative advantage against the Nasdaq 100. While the Nasdaq and Nasdaq 100 suffered losses today, both will be helped by strength in the Semiconductor Index.  All technicals for the Semiconductor Index are in the green, with a return of the MACD to a ‘buy’ trigger (above the bullish zero line – a bullish development).





The Nasdaq suffered a minor loss. It wasn’t able to challenge the recent high, but it’s close enough so that a small gain could be enough to make new highs.




The S&P took small losses, but not enough to confirm a break of the (tight) trading range from the last week or two.




The Russell 2000 came off a new swing high, which is still on course to test the 200-day MA.  Technicals are still in the green.




Bulls haven’t been back since the strong rally from the middle of November. However, bears haven’t been able to make the most of their absence. If tomorrow is able to take out Monday’s swing high then it will send shorts scrambling.



You’ve now read my opinion, next read Douglas’ and Jani’s.







Paper Gold Dilution Hits 294x As Comex Registered Gold Drops To New All-Time Low

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

One week ago, gold market observers were surprised when in the span of four days, gold held in the JPM Comex vault declined by nearly 50%, starting on November 16 when the 668,498 ounces held in the vault below 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza declined precipitously to just 347,899 ounces, a new all time low.

Furthermore, as of the latest Comex activity update, on Friday the Registered gold held by JPM dropped another 2,802 ounces to a record low and virtually negligible 7,975 ounces, essentially equivalent to zero as shown in the chart below, even as JPM’s eligible gold has also been seeing a substantial decline in recent months.

But while the decline of JPM gold has long been noted, it was the latest drop in total Comex registered gold which has again raised eyebrows, and which contrary to expectations it would be replenished either from external inflows or by conversion from Eligible both of which have not happened, has instead continued to decline. According to the latest data, total Registered gold dropped by another 11% overnight to just 134,877 ounces, just over 4 tonnes and another all time low…

… and since the gold open interest remains largely unchanged, the physical gold coverage ratio, or the ratio of gold claims to Registered gold, has just hit an all time high of 294 ounces of paper for every ounces of physical.





China’s rebalancing timetable

 

China’s rebalancing timetable

Courtesy of Michael Pettis

We often read in the press rather alarming stories about the rise of an ugly and belligerent nationalism in China, but while these stories are certainly very real, after the November 13 bombings in Paris I was struck by a very different kind of Chinese behavior. A lot of young people that I know in Beijing – high school and college students, young professionals, musicians, etc. – were horrified by the violence that occurred in Paris and very eager to express a real sympathy for Parisians, which they did in the ways that young people express themselves today, via smart phones, social media, and all the other things that wouldn’t have occurred to me. I saw an awful lot of these expressions of sympathy and while these are no more than small gestures, of course, they are personal, not official. As someone who loves Paris I was very happy to see lines of solidarity immediately stretch out to include so many young Beijingers, most of whom have never even been to France.

To turn to more mundane topics, last week I received an email from Jorge Guajardo, the former Mexican ambassador to China, with whom I regularly exchange emails in which we discuss the political and economic challenges associated with China’s economic adjustment, along with any insights that his knowledge of Mexican history might provide. While the differences between China and Mexico are obvious, too few of the analysts trying to understand the political economy of China’s adjustment seem to know much about Mexico, or indeed about other developing countries that have undergone similar experiences and whose histories can provide a useful framework with which to understand China.

It is far more common for example to look at the US and Japan for external references and comparisons, even though these two countries have social and political institutions that are far less like those of China than many, if not most, other developing countries. The differences in wealth alone are quantitatively so great that they also become qualitative hurdles. The US, after all, has 7.2 times the per capita GDP of China, according to the IMF, and American households earn around 11 times the per capita income of Chinese…
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ISIS: Oil as a Strategic Weapon

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by EconMatters.

By EconMatters

I have to admit that I am a news junkie. So my TV was glued to CNN on the day of the Paris terrorist attack. During its coverage, one of the CNN commentators mentioned that ISIS makes about $2 million a day in oil revenue. That piqued my curiosity and decided to find out more about ISIS oil operation.


Oil as a Strategic Weapon

According to FT, ISIS oil strategy has been long in the making since the group emerged in Syria in 2013. The group saw oil as a funding source for their vision of an Islamic state, and identified it as fundamental to finance their ambition to create a caliphate. ISIS controls most of Syria’s oil fields where it created a foothold in 2013. Crude is the militant group’s biggest single source of revenue.

ISIS has derived its financial strength from being the monopoly oil producer in a huge captive market in Syria and Iraq. Despite a US-led international coalition to fight ISIS, FT describes a “minutely managed” sprawling ISIS operation akin to a national oil company in just two years with an estimated crude production of 34,000-40,000 barrels per day (bpd).

$1.5 million a Day to Fund The Terrorist Group 

The group sells most of its crude directly to independent traders at the wellhead for $20-$45 a barrel earning the group an average of $1.5 million a day. Without being able to export, ISIS brought hundreds of trucks and started to extract the oil and transport it. According to an FT interview of a local sheikh, an average of 150 trucks is filled daily with about $10,000 worth of oil per truck. Most traders can expect to make a profit of at least $10 per barrel.

Son of Turkey’s President Is In on ISIS Oil?

The arbitrage had the potential to go a lot more than $10 a barrel when oil prices were high. Russia has accused Turkey of buying ISIS oil (allegedly the son of Turkey’s President is involved, and also allegedly the U.S. is aware of it), reselling it to Japan and Israel for huge profits. Smugglers have been using boats, pumps, carrying on foot, by donkey or horse. Some…
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Phil's Favorites

Decoding the Fed

 

Decoding the Fed

Courtesy of John Mauldin, Thoughts from the Frontline

“In the economic sphere an act, a habit, an institution, a law produces not only one effect, but a series of effects. Of these effects, the first alone is immediate; it appears simultaneously with its cause; it is seen. The other effects emerge only subsequently; they are not seen; we are fortunate if we foresee them.

"There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effe...



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Zero Hedge

The Verdict Is In: "Negative Rates Are A Huge Negative For Savers, Low-Income People, And Investors"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

With the IMF's annual meeting now concluded, few topics discussed during the past week which saw the IMF downgrade its outlook for the global economy to the lowest GDP since the global financial crisis...

... evinced as powerful a response as negative interest rates, and for good reason: long seen as the last "red line" of central banks before they are forced to admit defeat, some $15 trillion in debt now trades w...



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Digital Currencies

Five hurdles blockchain faces to revolutionise banking

 

Five hurdles blockchain faces to revolutionise banking

Shutterstock

Courtesy of Markos Zachariadis, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

Blockchain is touted as the next step in the digital revolution, a technology that will change every industry from music to wast...



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Chart School

Gold Stocks Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Gold stocks are swinging back forth between the range, and a break out swing higher is due. Gold stocks are holding a near perfect Wyckoff accumulation pattern. All should get ready to play this sector. Yet we must recognize that gold stocks are a one of the most crazy rides at the stock market fair, so play very carefully.

More from RTT Tv







GDX PnF chart from within the video

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Important channels around the HUI.
...

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The Technical Traders

Treasuries Pause Near Resistance Before The Next Rally

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our research team believes the US Treasuries and the US Dollar will continue to strengthen over the next 2 to 6+ weeks as foreign market and emerging market credit and debt concerns outweigh any concerns originating from the US economy or political theater.  Overall, the major global economies will likely continue to see strength related to their currencies and debt instruments simply because the foreign market and emerging markets are dramatically more fragile than the more mature major global economies.

We believe the US Treasuries may surprise investors by rallying from current levels, near price resistance, to levels above $151 on the TLT chart. 

Our belief ...



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Insider Scoop

48 Biggest Movers From Yesterday

Courtesy of Benzinga

Gainers
  • Hepion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: HEPA) shares climbed 43.2% to close at $3.58 on Thursday after the company announced the publication of a research article, "A Pan-Cyclophilin Inhibitor, CRV431, Decreases Fibrosis and Tumor Development in Chronic Liver Disease Models," in the peer-reviewed Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
  • Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SES) rose 26.9% to close at $9.20 after surging 12.24% on Wednesday.
  • Assembly Biosciences, Inc...


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Kimble Charting Solutions

Bank Index Breakout? Stock Market Bulls Sure Hope So

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

One of the most important sectors of the stock market is the banking industry and bank stocks.

When the banks are healthy, the economy is likely doing well. And when bank stocks are participating in a market rally, then it bodes well for the broader stock market.

In today’s chart, we look at the Bank Index (BKX).

As you can see, the banks have been in a falling channel for the past 20 months. As well, the banks have been lagging the broader market during this time as well – see the Ratio in the bottom half of the chart above.

That said, th...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Look Out Bears! Fed New QE Now Up to $165 Billion

Courtesy of Lee Adler

I have been warning for months that the Fed would need new QE to counter the impact of massive waves of Treasury supply. I thought that that would come later, rather than sooner. Sorry folks, wrong about that. The NY Fed announced another round of new TOMO (Temporary Open Market Operations) today.

In addition to the $75 billion in overnight repos that the Fed issued and has been rolling over since Tuesday, next week the Fed will issue another $90 billion. They’ll come in the form of three $30 billion, 14 day repos to be offered next week.

That brings the new Fed QE to a total of $165 billion. Even in the worst days of the financial crisis, I can’t remember the Fed ballooning its balance sheet by $165 bi...



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Biotech

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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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

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

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

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

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

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

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

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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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