Archive for 2015

Guest Post: Why Syriza Will Blink

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Authored by Anatole Kaletsy, originally posted at Project Syndicate,

Once again, Greece seems to have slipped the financial noose. By drawing on its holdings in an International Monetary Fund reserve account, it was able to repay €750 million ($851 million) – ironically to the IMF itself – just as the payment was falling due.

This brinkmanship is no accident. Since coming to power in January, the Greek government, led by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza party, has believed that the threat of default – and thus of a financial crisis that might break up the euro – provides negotiating leverage to offset Greece’s lack of economic and political power. Months later, Tsipras and his finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, an academic expert in game theory, still seem committed to this view, despite the lack of any evidence to support it.

But their calculation is based on a false premise. Tsipras and Varoufakis assume that a default would force Europe to choose between just two alternatives: expel Greece from the eurozone or offer it unconditional debt relief. But the European authorities have a third option in the event of a Greek default. Instead of forcing a “Grexit,” the EU could trap Greece inside the eurozone and starve it of money, then simply sit back and watch the Tsipras government’s domestic political support collapse.

Such a siege strategy – waiting for Greece to run out of the money it needs to maintain the normal functions of government – now looks like the EU’s most promising technique to break Greek resistance. It is likely to work because the Greek government finds it increasingly difficult to scrape together enough money to pay wages and pensions at the end of each month.

To do so, Varoufakis has been resorting to increasingly desperate measures, such as seizing the cash in municipal and hospital bank accounts. The implication is that tax collections have been so badly hit by the economic chaos since January’s election that government revenues are no longer sufficient to cover day-to-day costs. If this is true – nobody can say for sure because of the unreliability of Greek financial statistics (another of the EU authorities’ complaints) – the Greek government’s negotiating strategy is doomed.

The Tsipras-Varoufakis strategy assumed that Greece could credibly threaten to default, because the government, if forced
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Peak Population Growth?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The total number of living humans on Earth is now greater than 7 billion. As Max Roser notes, this large world population size is only a very recent development, as around just 200 years ago the world population was less than 1 billion. 

Since the 18th century, Roser continues, the world population has seen a rapid increase; between 1900 and 2000 the increase in world population was three times as great as the increase during the entire previous history of humankind – in just 100 years the world population increased from 1.5 to 6.1 billion. But, Roser concludes, this development is now coming to an end, and we will not experience a similarly rapid increase in population growth over the course of this century

World history can be divided into three periods of distinct trends in population growth.

The first period (pre-modernity) was a very long age of very slow population growth.

The second period, beginning with the onset of modernity (with rising standards of living and improving health) and lasting until 1962, had an increasing rate of growth.

Now that period is over, and the third part of the story has begun: the population growth rate is falling and will continue to fall, leading to an end of growth before the end of this century.

Source: OurWorldInData.org

While The United Nations (UN) sees world population continuing to rise until 2100, some, such as Deutsche's Sanjeev Sanyal, believe world population will peak at 8.7 billion people in 2055 and then decline to 8 billion by 2100… As Sanyal wrote previously, misrepresent underlying demographic dynamics – the future we face is not one of too much population growth, but too little.

According to the United Nations’ Population Division, the world’s human population hit seven billion on October 31. As always happens whenever we approach such a milestone, this one has produced a spike in conferences, seminars, and learned articles, including the usual dire Malthusian predictions. After all, the UN forecasts that world population will rise to 9.3 billion in 2050 and surpass 10 billion by the end of this century.

Such forecasts, however, misrepresent underlying demographic dynamics. The future we face is not one of too much population growth, but too little.

Most countries conducted their national population census last year, and


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Dan Ariely: Why The Next Market Downturn May Quickly Become A Full-Blown Panic

Courtesy of Adam Taggart via PeakProsperity.com

Behavioral economist and author of Predictably Irrational Dan Ariely returns to explain the science underlying the continued mismanagement and mal-investment within our financial system, despite 7 years of opportunity to learn from and address the causal factors of the Great Recession.

Behavioral science shows we are our own worst enemies in this story. In a realm where everything is so quantifiable, measurable and trackable, one would expect exceptionally good decision-making. But it's our human wiring, our proclivity for seeing things as we want them to be rather than as they truly are, that makes us vulnerable to influences we often aren't even conscious of. And the bad decisions — and bad outcomes — ensue:

For me, as somebody interested in human behavior, there are two elements that worry me a lot. The first one is Conflicts of interest.

Conflicts of interest is one of those things that get to us without us realizing how powerful it is. Imagine that you invite me to dinner, and you buy me a beer and a sandwich and we talk more and we become friends. To what degree am I going to be able to see the world in an objective way without taking your perspective into account? It turns out conflicts of interest are wonderful because they allow us to create friendship really quite quickly. You can buy someone a beer and a sandwich and they become your friend to some degree. Once you marry this with a complex system like the financial system, all of a sudden some not-so-good things can happen.

I think we really haven't done much to address conflicts of interest in our financial system — there are lots of places where people get paid in all kinds of ways that have conflicts of interest. There are companies that have divisions within them that create tremendous conflicts of interest. And human nature doesn't help. What happens is that you look at yourself and you ask: Do I have conflicts of interest? You say: No. Of course, not. I evaluate everything objectively; therefore, we don't need regulation. But I think we do, and actually to a much higher degree.

The second element that bothers me about which we have done to little is Trust. There are people who are


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Chinese Firm Reveals World’s First 3D-Printed Five Story Apartment Building

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

While China’s stock market continues levitating at an ever more amusing pace, this is happening at the expense of China’s far more important housing market, which sadly for three-quarters of China’s population (in the US 75% of household assets are in financial products, in China: in real estate) continues to deflate at a rate faster than US housing in the aftermath of Lehman. And for better or worse, Chinese home prices are likely set to drop even more, and not due to something as arcane as glitches in fiscal or monetary policy, but something far more tangible: technological advances, and specifically – 3D printed houses.

Meet WinSun: the Chinese company has been documented to print 10 complete houses in 24 hours, using a proprietary 3D printer that uses a mixture of ground construction and industrial waste, such as glass and tailings, around a base of quick-drying cement mixed with a special hardening agent. But while this in itself is impressive, the punchline is the cost: the houses can be produced for under $5,000, which means that if adopted widely, 3D printing can lead to a collapse in prices of new home construction across China, which while good for new buyers could be catastrophic for the economy and the banking sector where nearly $30 trillion in commercial loans are collateralized almost entirely by China’s overinflated housing sector.

Not content with building single-family houses (and WinSun’s own office), WinSun recently made history when it demonstrated the world’s first entirely 3D-printed five-story apartment building and a 1,100 square metre (11,840 square foot) villa, complete with decorative elements inside and out, on display at Suzhou Industrial Park.

According to CNET, while the company hasn’t revealed how large it can print pieces, based on photographs on its website, they are quite sizeable and ornate. A CAD design is used as a template, and the computer uses this to control the extruder arm to lay down the material “much like how a baker might ice a cake,” WinSun said. The walls are printed hollow, with a zig-zagging pattern inside to provide reinforcement. This also leaves space for insulation.

This process saves between 30 and 60 percent of construction waste,


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How China Covered The World In “Liquidity Swap Lines”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

As we’ve discussed on a number of occasions and at great length, the market is periodically hit by systemic dollar shortages. For instance, in 2007 European commercial banks found themselves staring down a dollar funding gap on the order of several trillion (all in). Meeting USD funding requirements became immeasurably more difficult as the crisis intensified, necessitating what amounted to a Fed bailout via dollar liquidity lines to foreign central banks.

Then, in November of 2011 (so right around the time when, just like today, the financial world was glued to Greece), the Fed extended its “temporary” swap lines with The Bank of Canada, the BoJ, the BoE, the ECB, and the SNB, and also lowered the price of dollar liquidity. 

The most recent global USD funding shortage began to show up earlier this year and as we noted in March, has been ironically created by central banks themselves (for those interested in a detailed account of the conditions which lead to episodic dollar dearths, see the articles linked above).

Central bank liquidity lines like those the Fed used to bailout the world seven years ago have become a fixture of the post crisis financial system and as you can see from the following maps, their growth since 2007 has been remarkable. Perhaps the most striking thing about the following graphics is the extent to which China has (literally) covered the world in renminbi swap lines. Essentially, China has used bilateral swap agreements to help embed the yuan in international trade in the the post-crisis era. As you’ll see below, counterparty countries have also tapped their yuan liquidity lines when they’re cut off from dollar funding, making China a critical lifeline for bolstering FX reserves and helping to alleviate shortages of imported goods.

Click here for the full interactive map 

Here’s more from The Council on Foreign Relations on the history of the Fed’s international dollar liquidity bailouts:

During the crisis, banks became highly reluctant to lend to one another, owing to fears about the true financial condition of counterparts. This drove up the cost of borrowing, as lenders demanded higher interest rates to compensate for rising counterparty risk. While central banks could provide local currency to their domestic banks to lower the


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The Deadliest Jobs In America

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The U.S. Department of Labor tracks how many people die at work, and why. The latest numbers were released in April and cover the last seven years. As Bloomberg reports, some of the results may surprise you.

click images for large interactive versions…

Source: Bloomberg





Billionaire Oil CEO Demands Scientists Terminated After Oklahoma Quake Study

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The billionaire CEO of Continental Resources told a dean at the University of Oklahoma that he wanted earthquake researchers fired. In one of the most transparently oligarchic tactics we have seen yet during this ‘recovery’, oil tycoon Harold Hamm demanded certain scientists be dismissed following their findings that fracking wastewater disposal was the cause of the spike in Oklahoma earthquakes. Despite his protestations recently that “I don’t try to push anyone around,” as the following email obtained by Bloomberg, exposes, “Mr. Hamm is very upset at some of the earthquake reporting to the point that he would like to see select OGS staff dismissed.”

As we noted previously, no matter what other problems may or may not be linked to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the disposal of wastewater from oil and gas drilling almost certainly is primarily responsible for the recent spate of earthquakes in Oklahoma, normally a seismologically quiet state.

That’s the conclusion of a report issued April 21 by the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS), in which the state geologist Richard D. Andrews and Dr. Austen Holland, the state seismologist, said the rate of earthquakes near major oil and gas drilling operations that produce large amounts of wastewater demonstrate that the quakes “are very unlikely to represent a naturally occurring process.”

Andrews and Holland concluded that the “primary suspected source” of the quakes is not hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in which water and chemicals are injected under high pressure to crack shale to free oil and gas trapped inside. It said the source is more likely the injection of wastewater from this process in disposal wells, because water used in fracking cannot be re-used.

“The OGS considers it very likely that the majority of recent earthquakes, particularly those in central and north-central Oklahoma, are triggered by the injection of produced water in disposal wells,” the statement said. It warned that residents should prepare for “a significant earthquake.”

Oklahoma recorded 585 earthquakes with a magnitude of 3 or greater, the equivalent of the force felt in Oklahoma City at the time of the terrorist bombing in 1995. This is a significant increase from 109 earthquakes of the same magnitude in 2013. Before 2008, when fracking became a popular drilling technique in the state, there were fewer


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“When Enough Is Never Enough” – What Do Millionaires Want?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The simple answer: moar.

While hardly a scientific study, it should come as no surprise that in a recent poll of high net worth clients by UBS, the “recidivist” bank found that the more money a high net worth individual has, the more money that same individual needs to retire comfortably.

Or, as the saying goes, “appetite comes with eating” even though according to that other saying: “the rat race has no exit.”

UBS’ explanation:

Satisfaction goes up as net worth increases, reaching 85% for those with $5 million or more. But enough is not enough for many millionaires to be fully satisfied, because lifestyle expectations rise along with net worth. Fifty-eight percent of millionaires say their expectations for their standard of living have increased in the last 10 years. Those whose wealth has increased significantly during this time period are even more likely to feel their standard of living expectations have gone up (64%). As a result, the majority of millionaires want more. Those with $1 million want $2 million; those with $10 million want $25 million.

And those with $100 million want $1 billion; those with $1 billion want to move AAPL with a single tweet and to stop being so bored with their lives, and so on.

The bottom line, when UBS asks “When is enough…enough?” and “Why the wealthy can’t get off the treadmill“…

… the answer is: never.

But there is good news, because all those overburdened millionaires now live in a crony capitalist system which rewards wealth above all else, and as a result the rich are assured of becoming even richer as the following summary of America’s record class divide explains.

For the not so wealthy, well… this is your “chance” to get off the treadmill for the simple reason that when it comes to the US middle class becoming wealthy, the lights were turned off the day the Fed’s printed was turned on.





Jim Rogers On The Coming Water Wars

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Erico Matias Tavares of Sinclair & Co.

Water – An Interview with Jim Rogers

Jim Rogers, Jr. is an American businessman, investor and author. He is currently based in Singapore. Rogers is the Chairman of Rogers Holdings and Beeland Interests, Inc. He was the co-founder of the Quantum Fund and creator of the Rogers International Commodities Index (RICI).

Erico Tavares: Jim, thank for being with us today. We would like to talk about water and other agricultural inputs, something you have been very vocal about in recent years.

To set the stage for today’s topic, a few years ago we worked on a biofuels project which took us all around the world. In a trip to Bolivia a pioneering Austrian engineer involved in the sector told us something very interesting. At that time the price of vegetable oils was much cheaper than diesel, prompting many people to start building biofuels facilities across Europe. He said this was crazy and in no way sustainable because crude oil is and always will be the lowest common denominator in an economy.

He was right, and many biofuels today need government support in order to be viable. But looking at the world we can argue that the lowest common denominator is in fact water. Even crude oil increasingly depends on it, particularly in the US with all the fracking. You are known for being ahead of the curve in many markets. As you look at the water situation across the globe, what do you see?

Jim Rogers: Water is one of the great opportunities of our times. If you look at the world there are some huge shortages developing in some parts but there is also a lot of water in other parts, just in the wrong place – like water in Siberia for instance, which is not where most people are.

There are going to be wars in the Middle East over oil east of the Red Sea, but west of that there will be wars over water since there are serious water problems in that region. We will also have problems in the western parts of the US with the depletion of a big aquifer, from what I read.

So we have a lot of water problems in a lot of…
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S&P Breakout Holds

Courtesy of Declan.

Friday’s action was good for what didn’t happen. Trading was muted, with action trading inside very narrow ranges, different to what had happened the day before. The S&P probably came out the best of it as Friday’s action held Thursday’s break of 2115.  Watch Monday’s premarket action closely. Assuming no damage in the Europe or Asian session there is a good chance bulls could be let off the shackles. Ideally, one would want an open above 2115 to set the tone.


The Nasdaq hasn’t yet mounted a challenge of’ 5,120. Bears looking for a reversal head-and-shoulder pattern would not want to see a push above 5,063 as this would negate the pattern. Bulls will have the MACD trigger ‘buy’ to work off.


The Russell 2000 had already delivered a clear channel breakout, but Friday’s trading marked a rejection of the 50-day MA. However, bulls also got a MACD trigger ‘buy’, which gives a fresh opportunity for a new moving average challenge.


The Semiconductor Index is working off converged support of 704, 50-day MA and declining resistance. It’s nicely set for Monday.


Next week could be the time bulls finally take indices out of their 4-month trading ranges and keep this six year rally ticking.

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





 
 
 

Zero Hedge

Johns Hopkins, Bristol-Myers Face $1 Billion Suit For Infecting Guatemalan Hookers With Syphilis 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A federal judge in Maryland said Johns Hopkins University, pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Rockefeller Foundation must face a $1 billion lawsuit over their roles in a top-secret program in the 1940s ran by the US government that injected hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis, reported Reuters.

Several doctors from Hopkins an...



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Phil's Favorites

This Is The One Chart Every Trader Should Have "Taped To Their Screen"

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

After a year of tapering, the Fed’s balance sheet finally captured the market’s attention during the last three months of 2018.

By the start of the fourth quarter, the Fed had finished raising the caps on monthly roll-off of its balance sheet to the full $50bn per month (peaking at $30bn USTs, $20bn MBS, although on many months the (balance sheet) B/S does not actually shrink by this full amount which depends on the redemption schedule) and by end-Q4 markets also experienced some of the largest volatility and drawdowns in nearly a decade.

As Nomura&...



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ValueWalk

The Competition For Capital Has Made Stocks Cheap

By Michelle Jones. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The new year is upon us, and now is the time many investors look at what 2018 was and prepare for what 2019 might be. Recession jitters are starting to pick back up again, especially now that the full picture of 2018 is in the books. But what if you could pick only one theme for 2018? Jefferies strategist Sean Darby and team have a suggestion which is especially timely given that it appears to mark the end of an era.

StockSnap / PixabayVolatility carries into the new year

This past year was one of extremes, and the markets ended i...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Stock declines did not break 9-year support, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

We often hear “Stocks take an escalator up and an elevator down!” No doubt stocks did experience a swift decline from the September highs to the Christmas eve lows. Looks like the “elevator” part of the phrase came true as 2018 was coming to an end.

The first part of the “stocks take an escalator up” seems to still be in play as well despite the swift decline of late.

Joe Friday Just The Facts Ma’am- All of these indices hit long-term rising support on Christmas Eve at each (1), where support held and rallies have followed.

If you find long-term perspectives helpf...



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Digital Currencies

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

 

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

Blockchain technologies can empower people by allowing them more control over their user data. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Ajay Kumar Shrestha, University of Saskatchewan

Blockchain has already proven its huge influence on the financial world with its first application in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It might not be long before its impact is felt everywhere.

Blockchain is a secure chain of digital records that exist on multiple computers simultaneously so no record can be erased or falsified. The...



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Insider Scoop

Cars.com Explores Strategic Alternatives, Analyst Sees Possible Sale Price Around $30 Per Share

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related 44 Biggest Movers From Yesterday 38 Stocks Moving In Wednesday's Mid-Day Session ...

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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.

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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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