Archive for 2015

The Obama Doctrine; An Astonishingly Good Deal? “Only Rand Paul Could Do Worse” Says Senator Graham

Courtesy of Mish.

Hardline skeptics in Iran, the US, and Israel all want to scuttle President Obama’s mission to forge a deal with Iran over its nuclear program.

Critics in the Iran want all sanctions removed, critics in US Congress claim Iran will never live up to the commitment, and critics in Israel do not want Iran to have any nuclear capability period.

An Astonishingly Good Deal

My position is the same as that of Vox writer Max Fisher who says This is an Astonishingly Good Iran Deal.

  • Iran will give up about 14,000 of its 20,000 centrifuges
  • Iran will give up all but its most rudimentary, outdated centrifuges: its first-generation IR-1s, knockoffs of 1970s European models, are all it gets to keep. It will not be allowed to build or develop newer models.
  • Iran will give up 97 percent of its enriched uranium; it will hold on to only 300 kilograms of its 10,000-kilogram stockpile in its current form.
  • Iran will destroy or export the core of its plutonium plant at Arak, and replace it with a new core that cannot produce weapons-grade plutonium. It will ship out all spent nuclear fuel.
  • Inspectors will have access to all parts of Iran’s nuclear supply chain, including its uranium mines and the mills where it processes uranium ore. Inspectors will also not just monitor but be required to pre-approve all sales to Iran of nuclear-related equipment. This provision also applies to something called ‘dual-use’ materials, which means any equipment that could be used toward a nuclear program.

Deal Fact Sheet

The deal is even better than described above. Here is the Fact Sheet of the agreement.

Iran nearly walked out because the US would not agree to end all sanctions.

Nothing Much Left of Weapons Proposal

I see absolutely nothing in that package to dislike. There is not much left of Iran’s nuclear weapons program to be worried about although Iran does get to keep a research center.

Republicans Blast Deal

Unfortunately, it’s politics as usual in Congress as Republican hopefuls take turns criticizing Iran nuclear deal. …



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Guest Post: NATO Is Building Up For War

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Brian Cloughley via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity,

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The German city of Frankfurt is continental Europe’s largest financial center and host to the country’s Stock Exchange, countless other financial institutions, and the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) which is responsible for administering the monetary policy of the 18-nation Eurozone. The place is awash with money, as demonstrated by the plush new ECB office building which is costing a fortune.

The original price of the bank’s enormous palace was supposed to be 500 million euros, about 550 million dollars, but the bill has now been admitted as €1.3 billion (£930 m; $1.4 bn). This absurdly over-expensive fiasco was directed by the people who are supposed to steer the financial courses of 18 nations and their half billion unfortunate citizens. If the ECB displays similar skill sets in looking after Europe’s money as it has in controlling the cost of constructing its huge twin-tower headquarters, then Europe is in for a rocky time.

Intriguingly, the Bank isn’t alone in contributing to Europe’s bureaucratic building boom. There is another Europe-based organization of equal ambition, pomposity and incompetence which is building a majestically expensive and luxurious headquarters with a mammoth cost overrun about which it is keeping very quiet indeed.

The perpetrator of this embarrassing farce is NATO, the US-Canada-European North Atlantic Treaty Organization which is limping out of Afghanistan licking its wounds, having been fighting a bunch of sandal-wearing rag-clad amateur irregulars who gave the hi-tech forces of the West a very hard time in a war whose outcome was predictable. But the debacle hasn’t dimmed the vision of the zealous leaders of NATO who are confronting Russia in order to justify the existence of their creaking, leaking, defeated dinosaur. Their problem is not only do they lose wars, but they then look for another one to fight — to be directed from a glittery new and vastly expensive building whose cost has soared above all estimates.

Just like NATO’s wars.

NATO’s operation "Unified Protector" to overthrow Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi involved a massive aerial blitz of 9,658 airstrikes which ended with the gruesome murder of Gadhafi — and caused collapse of Libya into an omnishambles where fanatics of the barbarous Islamic State are now establishing themselves.

In spite…
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Here Comes Solyndra 2.0: Obama To Hire 75,000 Solar Workers

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

What could possibly go wrong?

Clearly having not learned their lesson from 'interfering' in free markets (and all the deflation-creating over-supplying, crony-capitalizing, taxpayer money-wasting malinvestment that goes with it), NBC News reports, The White House has announced a goal to train 75,000 workers in the solar industry by 2020, many of them veterans. In a sentence only President Obama could utter, he explains "these are good-paying jobs that are helping folks enter the middle-class." Climate 'fixed', folks 'fixed', veterans 'fixed' middle-class-economics 'fixed'… and we are sure it will be unequivocally good for America (until trade wars pick up once again).

As NBC News reports,

The White House has announced a goal to train 75,000 workers in the solar industry by 2020, many of them veterans.

"These are good-paying jobs that are helping folks enter the middle-class," President Barack Obama said on Friday at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. The plan will expand on the Department of Energy SunShot Initiative's Solar Instructor Training Network currently running at more than 400 community colleges.

The White House also announced the Solar Ready Vets program aimed at helping veterans transition into the solar industry. A joint program between the Department of Defense and the DOE, it's currently being launched at 10 military bases across the country, including Hill Air Force Base and Camp Pendleton in California.

Obama touted the new goal as a way to bolster the economy and help meet the White House's climate change goals, which call for greenhouse gas emissions to be cut 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. The solar industry is creating jobs at a rate of 10 times faster than the overall economy, the White House said. Obama announced the new program the same day the March jobs report was released showing the most sluggish U.S. employment growth since December 2013.

*  *  *

And luckily it all fits in 140 characters so today's youff can understand…





Gold Surges After Goldman Says It Is Time To “Put Rate Hikes On Hold For Now”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

While equity futures are modestly higher compared to Friday’s early 9:15 am close, where only a short, 45 minute long bloodbath was allowed on Good Friday after the worst jobs report in two years, the one asset class that has moved the most by far this evening is gold, which has spiked by 1.5% and is on the verge of breaking out above the resistance level that has proven a tractor beam to any momentum breakout over the past 2 months.

If gold rises above $1225 overnight, or rather if the trading desk under the supervision of Benoit Gilson, the BIS’ “head of FX and gold” allows the price of paper gold to reach that level, a huge short squeeze will be imminent because, as a reminder, in addition to the EUR, gold shorts are also at a record high.

As for the reason why gold is suring off the bat, the main reason cited by trading desks is what Goldman announced late on Friday and what Zero Hedge reported first, namely Goldman’s economic team strong hint to the Federal Reserve that “believe that the right policy would be to put hikes on hold for now.

This is the punchline from Goldman’s 180 degree turn on its “above consensus” growth forecast for the US economy:

Simultaneous shocks are more likely to do the trick. Exhibit 5 provides an example of what could raise the confidence score above 75%, a likelihood one might consider to qualify as “reasonable confidence.” The chart shows the marginal impact on the confidence score of a combination of shocks. A ½pp improvement in the growth outlook would raise the confidence score by 8bp, a ½pp pick-up in wage growth on top of that would raise the confidence score by another 4pp and an additional ¼pp shock to inflation expectations would be enough to boost the confidence score for the combined scenario to over 75%.

 

It Is Hard to Be Confident

The FRB/US model is a helpful tool for analyzing the uncertainty around the inflation outlook, but it comes with a number of caveats. Inflation expectations, for example, play a very important role in determining inflation 2-3 years ahead, resulting in relatively minor roles for recent news on payrolls or actual inflation. Our analysis is


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Richard Duncan: The Real Risk Of A Coming Multi-Decade Global Depression

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Adam Taggart via PeakProsperity.com,

Richard Duncan, author of The Dollar Crisis and The New Depression: The Breakdown Of The Paper Money Economy, isn't mincing words about the risks he sees ahead for the world economy.

Essentially, he sees the past 50 years of economic prosperity fueled by globalization and easy credit in serious danger of being unwound, as the doomed monetary policies currently being pursued by the word's central banks result in a massive multi-decade depression that spans the globe.

The first version of The Dollar Crisis, the hardback, came out in 2003, so I wrote it in 2002. And at that time, the dollar against gold was $300. So the dollar has lost more than 75% of its value since The Dollar Crisis was written, and I don’t think it’s going to stop here. I expect it to continue to lose value over the years and decades ahead.

But what we’re seeing is that the real theme of The Dollar Crisis was that the post-Bretton Woods international monetary system was fundamentally flawed because it couldn’t prevent trade imbalances between countries. And the US had developed an enormous trade deficit with the rest of the world and this blew the trade surplus countries like Japan and China into bubbles. And then, the dollars boomeranged back into the United States and blew it into a bubble, as well. I didn’t know when the housing bubble was going to pop in the US but I knew it would. And I wrote in The Dollar Crisis that when it did, we would have a severe global economic recession/depression that would involve a systemic banking sector crisis in the United States and necessitate trillion-dollar budget deficits and unorthodox monetary policy to prevent a Great Depression from occurring.

And so that’s what we’ve seen. The crisis arrived in 2008 and the government responded with trillion-dollar budget deficits and quantitative easing on a multi-trillion-dollar scale. So they have managed to keep this immense global economic bubble inflated through unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus in combination. And so that’s where we are now. We still have a massive global economic bubble that the policymakers have continued to keep inflated. And that’s what they intend to continue to do because they believe


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Bubble Confirmed: From Sock Puppets To Action Heroes

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Mark St.Cyr,

There are times when not only truth is stranger than fiction, but also, when serendipity coincides with moments that are branded into the pages of history where they become the allegory of the times. Sometimes its hard to judge or pick just one. Reason being they’ll seemingly come one right after another instead of that just one, almost surreal, moment. I believe we are in one of those “one right after another” moments – punctuated with “the surreal.”

There’s no better illustration of these than the dreaded “front page magazine cover” proclaiming not only that the good times are here; but rather, the far more important underlying premise: they’re here to stay and will only get better! All the while insinuating – to worry about anything is a fool’s errand. i.e., “everything is awesome!”

Time™ has had the unfortunate honor of running more than one of these “everything is awesome” cover stories just before it fell apart. For who can forget their now famous/infamous story regarding housing in 2005 titled “Home $weet Home.” Or, how about their earlier example that ran in February of 1999 depicting Rubin, Greenspan & Summers as: “The Committee to Save the World.”  We all know what happened next in both instances. Awesomeness was not what followed.

They are far from the only one. Barron’s™ has had its share. Although they might not have marked the exact date either “the meme,” or premise of the cover story usually told you all you needed to know. That maybe – just maybe: things were getting a little too far ahead of itself for its own good. And, one would be prudent to see these as warning signs of the times. Just for a reminder here’s the example from March 24, 2008 Barron’s, “Are You Ready for Dow 20,000?” Need I remind anyone what happen next?

So once again here we are in 2015 entering our first earnings quarter without the benefit of QE and the “everything is awesome” meme is deteriorating faster than an Atlanta GDP report and it’s none other than Barron’s that just might once again mark a memorable point in history with their latest cover story piece dedicated to not only a bank, but the banker himself. The story is titled “JPMorgan Rising.” The cover


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Vacation-Home Sales Hit Record, Proving Rich People Still Rich

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Repeat foreclosures may be on the rise and the underwater mortgage may now be a permanent fixture in the US housing market, but you can certainly forgive the 0.01% — for whom none of that is relevant — for not caring because when your net worth exceeds $30 million, the question isn’t “can I pay my mortgage?,” but rather “where should my fifth residence be?” For these buyers, who understand Janet Yellen’s contention that accumulating financial assets is important and who have thus benefited from the fabled “wealth effect,” it’s as good a time as any to buy (another) vacation home, which is why vacation home sales soared nearly 60% last year on top of 30% the year before that. Furthermore, one in five home sales in the US is now a vacation home and as Moody’s told WSJ, there’s no reason why that figure shouldn’t rise going forward — “more or less.” 

Via WSJ:

Last year’s estimated tally topped the previous high from 2006 to become the biggest year for vacation-home sales volume since the Realtor association started tracking the market in 2003. Vacation homes accounted for 21% of all sales last year, the highest share since the survey’s inception.

The small sample size of the Realtor group’s survey, which was based on responses by just 1,971 people who bought U.S. homes in 2014, led some economists to posit that the results might be exaggerated. Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, suggested that the gains in the report might “overstate the strength” of that market.

Still, Mr. Zandi noted that vacation-home sales account for one-fifth of all home sales and “that should more or less rise over the next five to 10 years” as the income and number of vacation-home buyers increases…

The number of buyers is likely to grow in the years ahead as 76 million-plus baby boomers advance in age and buy vacation homes that eventually will become retirement homes.

Meanwhile, the prospect of rising prices has spurred buyers to act sooner than later. Rates on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages, which have hovered below 4% since November, are poised to rise later this year as the Federal Reserve increases short-term rates. And median resale prices on all homes, which increased by 7.5% from a year ago to $202,600


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If Anyone Doubts We Are In A Stock Market Bubble, Show Them This

Courtesy of Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse

The higher financial markets rise, the harder they fall.  By any objective measurement, the stock market is currently well into bubble territory.  Anyone should be able to see this – all you have to do is look at the charts.  Sadly, most of us never seem to learn from history.  Most of us want to believe that somehow “things are different this time”.  Well, about the only thing that is different this time is that our economy is in far worse shape than it was just prior to the last major financial crisis.  That means that we are more vulnerable and will almost certainly endure even more damage this time around. 

It would be one thing if stocks were soaring because the U.S. economy as a whole was doing extremely well.  But we all know that isn’t true.  Instead, what we have been experiencing is clearly artificial market behavior that has nothing to do with economic reality.  In other words, we are dealing with an irrational financial bubble, and all irrational financial bubbles eventually burst.  And as I wrote about yesterday, the way that stocks have moved so far this year is eerily reminiscent of the way that stocks moved in early 2008.  The warning signs are there – if you are willing to look at them.

The first chart that I want to share with you today comes from Doug Short.  It is a chart that shows that the ratio of corporate equities (stocks) to GDP is the second highest that it has been since 1950.  The only other time it has been higher was just before the dotcom bubble burst…

The Buffett Indicator from Doug Short

Does that look like a bubble to you?

It sure looks like a bubble to me.

In order for the corporate equities to GDP ratio to get back to the mean (average) level, stock prices would have to fall nearly 50 percent.

If that happens, people will be calling it a crash, but in truth it would just be a return to normalcy.

This next chart comes from Phoenix Capital Research.  The CAPE…
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The New Normal’s Three Branches Of Government

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Got Pen, Will Govern Dictate…

Source: Townhall





Range Bound Noise

Courtesy of Declan.

Friday’s gains came off the back of weak technicals, and didn’t really change the larger picture. The S&P is bound by the March swing high/low (the high also marking a double top around 2,115). Until either of these levels break there is little more to add. Even the 20-day/50-day MA isn’t offering much help.


The Nasdaq finished with an indecisive doji just above the 50-day MA. The failure of last week’s bounce to challenge 5,000 is a tick in the bear column, as was the generally negative reaction in FX markets to Friday’s jobs data. A move back into the prior trading range of 4,540/4,815 looks favoured, and should this happen, then a test of the lows has a high probability for success.

The Russell 2000 is behaving the best of the indices, but it hasn’t done enough to challenge recent highs just yet. Technicals are near term bearish, but are still net bullish over a 6-month time frame.

The Nasdaq 100 is holding on to 4,300 support. Friday’s action suggests a clean break of support for Monday, but if by early afternoon there is no recovery, then things could get ugly.

Monday will offer interesting insight. The Spring breakouts are under threat, which opens up 2015 swing lows as the next challenge. Lose these, and markets could struggle for the rest of the year.

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





 
 
 

Zero Hedge

Bloomberg System Goes Down Ahead Of US Open

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

For the second time in a few months, the Bloomberg Terminal system appears to be down and is causing panic across Wall Street ahead of the US market open...

Traders are not happy...

When Bloomberg panels go down 8 minutes before the open...... pic.twitter.com/pqoQoyoBHj

— NOD (@NOD008) January 17, 2019 ...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Triple Breakout Test In Play For S&P 500!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Is the rally of late about to run out of steam or is a major breakout about to take place in the S&P 500? What happens at current prices should go a long way in determining this question.

This chart looks at the equal weight S&P 500 ETF (RSP) on a daily basis over the past 15-months.

The rally from the lows on Christmas Eve has RSP testing the top of a newly formed falling channel while testing the underneath side of the 2018 trading range and its falling 50-day moving average at (1).

At this time RPS is facing a triple resistance test. Wil...



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Phil's Favorites

Brexit deal flops, Theresa May survives -- so what happens now?

 

Brexit deal flops, Theresa May survives -- so what happens now?

Courtesy of Victoria Honeyman, University of Leeds

As the clock ticks down to March 29 2019, all of the political manoeuvring, negotiating, arguing and fighting is coming to a peak. In the two and a half years since the 2016 EU referendum, views on both sides have hardened and agreement still seems as far away as it was the day after the referendum.

With Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement disliked by all sides, and voted down by an unprecedented majority in the House of Commons, everyone is wondering what can and should be done next?

...



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Digital Currencies

Crypto-Bubble: Will Bitcoin Bottom In February Or Has It Already?

Courtesy of Michelle Jones via ValueWalk.com

The new year has been relatively good for the price of bitcoin after a spectacular collapse of the cryptocurrency bubble in 2018. It’s up notably since the middle of December and traded around the psychological level of $4,000... so is this a sign that the crypto market is about to recover?

Of course, it depends on who you ask, but one analyst discovered a pattern which might point to a bottom next month.

A year after the cryptocurrency bubble popped

CCN...



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ValueWalk

D.E. Shaw Investment Calls For Leadership Change At EQT

By ActivistInsight. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Elliott Management has offered to acquire QEP Resources for approximately $2.1 billion, contending the oil and gas explorer’s turnaround efforts have done little to lift the company’s share price. The company responded and said that a thorough review of the proposition is imperative in order to properly act in the best interests of shareholders, “taking into account the company’s other alternatives and current market conditions.” The news came only a month after Travelport Worldwide agreed to sell itself to Siris Capital Group and Elliott’s private equity arm Evergreen Coast Capital for $4.4 billion in cash and two months after Athenahealth was bought by Veritas and Evergreen for $5.7 bi...



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Insider Scoop

UBS Says Disney's Streaming Ambition Gives It A 'New Hope'

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related DIS Despite Some Risks, Analysts Still Expecting Double Digit Growth From Communications Services In Q4 ...

http://www.insidercow.com/ more from Insider

Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 13, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

In last week’s recap we asked:  “Has the Fed solved all the market’s problems in 1 speech?”

Thus far the market says yes!  As Guns n Roses preached – all we need is a little “patience”.  Four up days followed by a nominal down day Friday had the market following it’s normal pattern the past nearly 30 years – jumping whenever the Federal Reserve hints (or essentially says outright) it is here for the markets.   And in case you missed it the prior Friday, Chairman Powell came back out Thursday to reiterate the news – so…so… so… patient!

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reinforced that message Thursday during a discussion at the Economic Club of Washington where he said that the central bank will be “fle...



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Members' Corner

Why Trump Can't Learn

 

Bill Eddy (lawyer, therapist, author) predicted Trump's chaotic presidency based on his high-conflict personality, which was evident years ago. This post, written in 2017, references a prescient article Bill wrote before Trump even became president, 5 Reasons Trump Can’t Learn. ~ Ilene 

Why Trump Can’t Learn

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore (...



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Biotech

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

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

 

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Bacteriophage viruses infecting bacterial cells , Bacterial viruses. from www.shutterstock.com

Courtesy of John Bergeron, McGill University

Today, the scientific community is aghast at the prospect of gene editing to create “designer” humans. Gene editing may be of greater consequence than climate change, or even the consequences of unleashing the energy of the atom.

...

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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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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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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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