Archive for 2015

Euro & Stocks Maintain Losses Before EU Open As China Market Cap Tops $10 Trillion For 1st Time Ever

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The total market capitalization of China’s stocks is now over 40% the size of the US stock market and topped $10 trillion for the first time in history. This represents at 8-fold increase in Chinese market cap since Lehman.

But after that initial pop, Chinese stocks are weak too.

Meanwhile in other markets the EUR is notably lower against the JPY and USD but appears to be protected from a plunge for now hovering at 138.40 and 1.1200 respectively after the Greek Deal failure news.

US equity futures are tumbling, down 9 points but off the initial lows for now.

Of course there is great incentive for some plunge protection tonight to SHOW the world that Grexit contagion is contained and nothing to worry about.

Charts: Bloomberg

How Obama’s “Trade” Deals Are Designed To End Democracy

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Eric Zeusse, author of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics,

U.S. President Barack Obama has for years been negotiating with European and Asian nations — but excluding Russia and China, since he is aiming to defeat them in his war to extend the American empire (i.e, to extend the global control by America’s aristocracy) — three international ‘trade’ deals (TTP, TTIP, & TISA), each one of which contains a section (called ISDS) that would end important aspects of the sovereignty of each signatory nation, by setting up an international panel composed solely of corporate lawyers to serve as ‘arbitrators’ deciding cases brought before this panel to hear lawsuits by international corporations accusing a given signatory nation of violating that corporation’s ‘rights’ by its trying to legislate regulations that are prohibited under the ’trade’ agreement, such as by increasing the given nation’s penalties for fraud, or by lowering the amount of a given toxic substance that the nation allows in its foods, or by increasing the percentage of the nation’s energy that comes from renewable sources, or by penalizing corporations for hiring people to kill labor union organizers — i.e., by any regulatory change that benefits the public at the expense of the given corporations' profits. (No similar and countervailing power for nations to sue international corporations is included in this: the ‘rights’ of ‘investors’ — but really of only the top stockholders in international corporations — are placed higher than the rights of any signatory nation.)

This provision, whose full name is “Investor State Dispute Resolution” grants a one-sided benefit to the controlling stockholders in international corporations, by enabling them to bring these lawsuits to this panel of lawyers, whose careers will consist of their serving international corporations, sometimes as ‘arbitrators’ in these panels, and sometimes as lawyers who more-overtly represent one or more of those corporations, but also serving these corporations in other capacities, such as via being appointed by them to head a tax-exempt foundation to which international corporations ‘donate’ and so to turn what would otherwise be PR expenses into corporate tax-deductions. In other words: to be an ‘arbitrator’ on these panels can produce an extremely lucrative career.

These are in no way democratic legal proceedings; they’re
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Should Students Voluntarily Default On $1.3 Trillion In Debt?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

One week ago, we highlighted a NY Times op-ed by Lee Siegel, a writer who holds not one, not two, but three degrees from Columbia, including two graduate degrees. Long story short, Siegel accumulated quite a bit of student debt on the way to obtaining three degrees from one of the nation’s top schools, but apparently no one told him that writers (or at least the type of writer he planned on being) don’t generally make a lot of money, and so when Siegel found himself falling behind, he simply decided he would not be repaying his student loans.

(Lee Siegel)

You see for Siegel, student debt is part of a system that’s “legal but not moral.” It’s “absurd that one [can] amass crippling debt as a result, not of drug addiction or reckless borrowing and spending, but of going to college.”

Of course, one might easily argue that taking out three large loans to fund three degrees from Columbia, none of which promise high-paying jobs, is the very definition of “reckless borrowing and spending.”

Siegel also says it’s ridiculous that the education system “open[s] a new life beyond [people’s] modest origins [only to] call in its chits and prevent [these people] from pursuing that new life, simply because [they] had the misfortune of coming from modest origins.”

But is it then immoral for auto lenders to expect to get their money back from low-income borrowers who take out car loans? After all, car loans also “open a new life” for people of “modest origins.” Before the loan they had to walk or take public transportation. After the loan they are able to go wherever they want, whenever they want in an expedient fashion. Is it then wrong for auto lenders to “call in their chits” by expecting borrowers to make their monthly payments? Obviously not. The argument is nonsensical.

Siegel sums up the difficult decision he faced as follows:

“Years later, I found myself confronted with a choice that too many people have had to and will have to face. I could give up what had become my vocation (in my case, being a writer) and take a job that I didn’t want in order to repay the huge debt I had accumulated in college and graduate school. Or I could take

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The Futility Of Our Global Monetary Experiment

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by David Stockman via The Mises Institute,

Jeff Deist: The Fed recently announced just this past week that it would not use specific dates for targeting higher Fed funds rate this year and you almost get the sense that poor Janet Yellen is at the end of this Greenspan-Bernanke experiment and there’s not much left for her to do. I mean, what’s our sense of Yellen and her position?

David Stockman: Yeah, I agree with that. I think in some ways they’re petrified as to where they ended up or they should be. After all, we’re in an experiment of monumental proportions.

Let’s just assess where we are. If they don’t raise the interest rate in June — and I think all the signals now are pretty clear they’re going to find another reason to delay — that will mean seventy-eight straight months of zero rates in the money market. As I always say, the money-market price, that is the Federal Funds Rate or Overnight Money or a short term treasury bill, is the most important price in all of capitalism because that determines the cost of carry, the cost of speculation and gambling.

When you conduct a monetary policy that says to the speculators, to the gamblers, “come and get it,” you are guaranteed free money to carry your positions, whether you’re buying German Bonds or you’re buying the S&P 500 Stock Index or the whole array of yielding or price gaining assets that are available in the financial market. This monetary policy also sends the message that you can leverage and carry those positions for free and roll it day after day without worry because the central bank has pegged your cost and production, and in a sense has pledged on its solemn honor that it will not change without many months of warning. And that’s what this whole thing is about — changing the language and so forth. I think you have created a massive distortion in the very heart of capitalism in the financial system.

Second, I think even though they stopped actually adding to their balance sheet in October — when QE supposedly ended in a technical sense — the Fed has put $3.5 trillion worth of basic financial fraud into the world financial system and economy. After all,…
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The Doomsday Bunker For Billionaires

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Two months ago we went inside the Fed’s “doomsday” bunker: a 135,000 square foot facility built in 1969, and nestled inside Mount Pony, east of Culpeper, Virginia that housed some $4 billion in hard currency as well as the central hub of FedWire, the computer network which allows the nation’s banks to communicate and transfer funds.

It was meant to ensure that the US banking system could still function in the event there were still any banks left in the post-apocalyptic world, Culpeper Switch (officially the Federal Reserve System’s Communications and Records Center) was equipped with everything a Fed official would need to survive in the wake of a nuclear holocaust.

And yet, it was in a word, “spartan” even by 1970s standards. After all who wants to greet the post-nuclear holocaust world surrounded by sterile plastic, a Fed spreadsheet (which caused the nuclear holocaust in the first place) and all the cash in the world, especially since the only currency accepted is silver, gold and of course, lead (not to mention a bunker-full of voodoo economists).

Then along came Vivos, a company which specializes in creating the ultimate in luxurious Doomsday bunkers which, however, are not only for the world’s richest, but also for those who Vivos founder, California entrepreneuer Robert Vicino, deems worthy: anyone can apply for a spot in the post-apocalypse world but only a select few will be admitted.

Until recently, the company’s only community shelter product was Vivos Indiana, a shelter “strategically located in midwestern America”, which the company describes as “one of the most fortified, nuclear hardened shelters within our network, located within a one-day drive from anywhere in the Midwest and the Eastern seaboard of America.  Built during the Cold War to withstand a 20 megaton blast, within just a few miles, this impervious underground complex accommodates up to 80 people, for a minimum of one year of fully autonomous survival, without needing to return to the surface.

Like a very comfortable 4-Star hotel, this massive shelter is tastefully and comfortably furnished and decorated, completely outfitted, fully stocked with food, toiletries, linens, medical supplies, a one year supply of fuel, a deep water well, NBC filtration systems, geothermal heating and cooling, bedroom suites, full size showers and bathrooms, a

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What Comes Next, Part 1: A Useful History Of The 20th Century

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Jeffrey Snider via Alhambra Investment Partners,

Value as a foundation seems almost too literal to be an economic or financial concept, but it is perhaps the bedrock association that makes the economic system. We are used to aspects like profits and money, even inflation, but those are all symptoms of the ever-changing world surrounding value. Karl Marx understood very well how deeply embedded value was even by the 1850’s, unleashed in just a few centuries’ time as Adam Smith’s wonderful summation recounted how mercantile capitalism was more than just some “invisible hand.” For Marx, he knew that the very rise of modern economic orientation would spoil all his plans and conceits for instituting equality as he saw it; that is why his revolution had to be worldwide and comprehensive, to totally and completely destroy all notions of value in order to start over.

I wrote quite exhaustively (as I typically do) about the socialist strands in our economic history here, but it is, I think, useful to emphasize the role of value in theory that animates if not all of the historical progression of the elements that define our systemic operation than at least a majority portion. As early as the 1830’s, “reformers” of all kinds were beginning to examine how value might be “exploitable” as means to achieve desired results.

In the 1830’s, Robert Owen, a Welsh “reformer”, had tried repeatedly to convert currency to labor function. Time-based currency was an idea where you were “paid” in time for labor (notes actually denominated in hours), exchangeable for products “valued” under the same terms. The idea was simple, namely that all labor should be equal so that inequality of class would be abolished. Time currency, then, meant that there was no value to labor, only to goods, which presented inordinate problems in valuing goods as they were also intermediate to labor.

Owen, therefore, had very little luck in actually creating a workable system outside of that theory. He had close experience with a similar system, though wholly opposite his egalitarian intentions, in the “truck system” of early 19th century Britain. Owen was a part-owner of a mill and it was typical practice to pay mill workers in tokens (either in part or even in full) that were only exchangeable at

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Sepp Blatter “Smells Fresh Air” At FIFA, Plans To Unresign

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Despite ‘generously‘ offering his resignation just hours after being re-elected FIFA President following the massively wide-spread scandal; Swiss newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag is reporting, thanks to “generous messages of support from Asia and African colleagues,” Sepp Blatter is considering remaining in charge of the fraudulent festering football fiefdom.

Blatter is not ready to relinquish his crown just yet…

Via Schweiz am Sonntag (via Google Translate)

Thanks to “messages of support from Asian and African nations”, Blatter may in fact continue his duties…

PR consultant Klaus J. Stöhlker who was Blatter’s personal advisor from January to the end of May and supported him in the re-election, says: “It’s hard to find someone who is an equal. Blatter has built the organization into a global, highly successful company – and he’s a top diplomat “

That is clear for Stöhlker:” Blatter has a fair chance.. It now it depends how it behaves in the coming months “

*  *  *

Welcome once again to the world of no consequences (if you have enough money).

Low Energy Prices And Conflict Drive Shell Out Of Ukrainian Shale

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Andy Tully via,

Royal Dutch Shell has been considering ending its partnership with a Ukrainian energy company in a shale gas exploration venture in eastern Ukraine because of the fighting in the region and prospect of little profit from the project.

In fact, at least two news reports say Shell already has notified Ukraine that it’s leaving in a formal “notice of withdrawal.”

The decision by the Anglo-Dutch oil major is more bad news for Ukraine, which had hoped that producing its own gas would make it less reliant on energy from its antagonistic neighbor, Russia, and potentially infuse the country’s distressed economy with much needed foreign investment.

As for Shell itself, sources identified by the Financial Times only as “insiders” said the company had concluded that the project wasn’t worth the effort because of the armed conflict and the precipitous drop in energy prices over the past year, which have made the extraction of oil and gas less cost-effective given the expense needed to ensure efficient output from underground shale formations.

The Kyiv Post quoted a Shell spokesman as saying in an e-mail that the fighting between Ukrainian government forces and separatists supported by Russia amounted to “circumstances beyond Shell’s control.” As a result, the spokesman said, the company has “been prevented from performing its commitments under [the] Yuzivska production sharing agreement,” or PSA.

“Therefore,” the spokesman said, “we have begun discussions with the Ukrainian government and our partner Nadra Yuzivska LLC on the way forward with the PSA, pursuant to its terms.”

Under the agreement, signed by Shell and the Kiev government in January 2013, the company was to have developed a large gas field in the eastern Ukrainian oblasts, or provinces, of Donetsk and Kharkiv, where the fighting has been ongoing for more than a year.

The field, discovered in 2010, has proven reserves of approximately 70.8 trillion cubic feet of gas. Production was supposed to begin in 2017.

A copy of the agreement, released by a Kharkiv city councilman soon after it was signed, would have been fairly lucrative for Ukraine. It required Shell to pay $25 million to the Ukrainian government for signing the agreement, another $50 million once gas production efforts began, $25 million more when the first gas was produced, and a payment…
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We Should All Strive to Be “Grave Dancers”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Capitalist Exploits.

By Chris at

In the investment world he’s known as the Grave Dancer. Like many successful and outspoken men, he is loathed by some and loved by others. Whatever you may think of him, it’s valuable to keep an open mind to both success and failure in order to seek the former and avoid the latter. He is undoubtedly one of the smartest investors of all time.

I’ve never met Sam Zell, though friends of mine have. They tell me he’s as intense as one would expect from a guy who entered the real estate world with all the finesse of a wrecking ball and today is widely considered to be the grandfather of institutional real estate.

Sam is probably best known for identifying early on the market cycle and peak of the US housing boom in the 80s. Before the market fell apart, Zell combined forces with Wall Street and created a war chest of capital – a $400 million fund, which at the time was a lot of money.

During the 90s, Zell was then putting that war chest to work accumulating high quality commercial and residential properties at significant discounts where he was often the only bidder. This process of buying deeply undervalued assets at times of distress garnered him the name “the Grave Dancer”.

One of my favourite quotes from Sam sums up his philosophy well:

Between ‘73 and ‘77, I acquired $3 billion worth of real estate. The banks had a problem carrying a large amount of distressed real estate with so many proper-ties in foreclosure. They weren‘t looking to make money. They were just trying to mitigate the losses their real estate loan portfolios were expected to generate.

In those days, institutions didn‘t have to mark-to-market, so I tried to figure out ways to preserve the principal of the asset for the seller and still make the deal work. It basically amounted to lowering interest rates on the debt to the point where you could almost carry it or you had a defined carry. We realized that if we could accumulate assets – particularly in an inflationary time – with cheap fixed rate debt, it was hard not to make a fortune.

When people looked at our performance during the ‘70s, they always asked, ?How

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Sellers Return

Courtesy of Declan.

Profit Takers return after a two days of buying.  The selling remains confined to broader trading ranges, which remain dominant until breached.

In the case of the S&P there is ‘bear trap’ support at 2,080 and resistance at 2,115 to consider. Friday’s action let it in the middle of this range, just below the 50-day MA. Volume was lighter, which weakened the importance of the selling.

The Nasdaq is easing back to converged wedge support and 5,038. As with the S&P, trading volume was lighter. Bulls may get some joy with a bounce off converged support with the index close to new all-time highs.

The Russell 2000 cleared the tentative downward channel. Friday’s action retesting the channel with a neutral ‘doji’. Monday could see a drop back inside its channel, but should it do so then the presence of converged 20- and 50-day MA support (1,252/4) could offer the opportunity for bulls to mount another round of buying.

If there is an index which bears may get some joy it’s the Dow Jones Index. Short term, a push back to the 200-day MA (also near horizontal support of 17,625) might deliver a quick return before a another bounce like the one in February is mounted.

Depending on Greece, Monday is likely set for another round of profit taking before bulls feel comfortable buying. A resumption of the trend will require a break of trading ranges, but there is nothing established yet in this regard.

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


Zero Hedge

Enemy Of The People?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Via The Zman blog,

There has never been a time when normal people did not know the media was biased and biased in a predictable direction. For every non-liberal in the media, there were at least ten liberals. The ratio was probably higher, but then, as now, some lefties liked to pretend they were independents or some third option.

The media used to invest a lot of time denying they had a bias and an agenda, but the only people who believed them were on the Left, which had the odd effect of confirming they had a bias and an agenda.


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Phil's Favorites

A 2019 Earnings Recession?


A 2019 Earnings Recession?

Courtesy of 

Shout to Leigh!

On the new Talk Your Book – Josh Brown is joined by Leigh Drogen of Estimize, one of the leading providers of crowdsourced financial and economic data to talk about the trend in corporate profits that could potentially lead to an earnings recession later this year.

What is the thing that Leigh is seeing in the data that Wall Street isn’t yet picking up on? What segment of the stock market is most at risk? Why is the crowd smarter than the narrow consensus of Wall Street analysts?

Check out Estimize ...

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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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Kimble Charting Solutions

Gold & Silver Testing Important Breakout Levels!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Gold and Silver from a long-term perspective have created a series of lower highs over the past 8-years. Will 2019 bring a change to this trend? A big test is in play!

Gold since the lows in 2016 has created a series of higher lows, while Silver may have created a double bottom.

Gold & Silver are currently facing break attempts a (1) and (2). These falling resistance lines have disappointed metals bulls for the past few years.

The direction of Gold and Silver weeks and months from now should be highly influenced by what each does as they are attempting to break above important resistance levels.

To become a member of Kimbl...

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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 ... more from Insider

Digital Currencies

Russia Prepares To Buy Up To $10 Billion In Bitcoin To Evade US Sanctions

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

While the market has been increasingly focused on the rising headwinds in the global economy in general, and China's economic slowdown in particular, while the media is obsessing over daily revelations that Trump may or may not have colluded with Russia to get elected, a far more critical, if underreported, shift has been taking place over the past year.

As we reported in June, whether due to concerns over draconian western sanctions and asset confiscations following the poisoning of former Russian military officer Sergei Skripal, or simply because it wanted to diversify away from the dollar, Russia liquidated virtually all of its Treasury holdings in the late spri...

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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 failure based on his personality, which was evident years ago. This article, written in 2017, references a prescient article Bill wrote before Trump became president, in July, 2016, 5 Reasons Trump Can’t Learn. ~ Ilene 

Why Trump Can’t Learn

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore (...

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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

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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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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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.

Market Shadows >>