Archive for 2015

A Refugee Crisis Made In America

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Philip Giraldi via TheAmericanConservative.com,

On April 29th, 2008 I had a Saul on the Road to Damascus moment. I had flipped open the Washington Post and there, on the front page, was a color photo of a two year old Iraqi boy named Ali Hussein being pulled from the rubble of a house that had been destroyed by American missiles. The little boy was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and had on his feet flip-flops. His head was hanging back at an angle that told the viewer immediately that he was dead.

Four days later on May 3rd a letter by a Dunn Loring Virginia woman named Valerie Murphy was printed by the Post. Murphy complained that the Iraqi child victim photo should not have been run in the paper because it would “stir up opposition to the war and feed anti-US sentiment.” I suppose the newspaper thought it was being impartial in printing the woman’s letter, though I couldn’t help but remember that the neocon-dominated Post had generally been unwilling to cover anything antiwar, even ignoring a gathering of 300,000 protesters in Washington in 2005. Rereading the woman’s complaint and also a comment on a website suggesting that the photo of the dead little boy had been staged, I thought to myself, “What kind of monsters have we become.” And in truth we had become monsters. Bipartisan monsters wrapped in the American flag. Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State Madeleine Albright once said that killing 500,000 Iraqi children through sanctions was “worth it.” She is now a respected elder statesman close to the Hillary Clinton campaign.

I had another epiphany last week when I saw the photo of the little Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach like a bit of flotsam. He was wearing a red t-shirt and black sneakers. I thought to myself that many Americans will shake their heads when looking at the photo before moving on, more concerned about Stephen Colbert’s debut on the Late Show and the start of the NFL season.

The little boy is one of hundreds of thousands of refugees trying to get to Europe. The world media is following the crisis by focusing primarily on the inability of unprepared local governments to deal with the numbers of migrants, asking why someone…
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US Futures Jump Unaware Gartman Short Has Been Stopped Out, China Hugs Flatline

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Following a string of weak economic news out of both Japan and the US, it was China’s turn to disappoint which it did over the weekend with the worst fixed-asset investment data - the primary driver of China’s GDP – since 2000, as well as yet another miss in Chinese industrial output, just the latest two indications that China’s economy is grinding to a halt if not slamming into reverse.

The result: just like with Japan’s latest dramatic economic deterioration, China’s data was merely taken as yet another indication the PBOC will be forced to ease more in the coming days. As Reuters reported, “the data add to expectations that Beijing will respond with more measures to prop up the economy. “The numbers fit with our view that China will have to roll out more monetary easing,” said Fumio Nakakubo, Japan CIO at UBS’s wealth management division.”

Because if it hasn’t worked so far, it is only because not enough has been applied right?

That, however, may not work for Japan where there has been a resurgence in calls for more easing out of the BOJ although as we first noted last year, and as the IMF confirmed last week, the BOJ no longer can boost QE simply because there is nothing incremental it can buy. It also explains why Reuters reported earlier that “Bank of Japan policymakers are in no mood to expand monetary stimulus this week, sources familiar with their thinking say, even as poor data challenges their presumption that economic recovery will boost inflation to its 2 percent target next year.”

There is still hope for an October rate hike, but just like September, the closer we get to the date, the more unlikely such a hike will “suddenly” become as even the BOJ is now officially out of QQE boosting ammo, and the best it can hope for is to last until 2017 without prematurely tapering.

And while the Shanghai Composite opened green only to turn red moments ago as doubt starts to creep in that someone, anyone will ease more…

… we don’t expect much of a move from China. As the following chart shows, ever since the Chinese government killed trading in Chinese index futures last week, the “market” is anything…
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An Angry China May Cancel Xi Trip To Washington Over US Cyber Sanctions

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

A little over a week ago, FT suggested that the US was set to slap China with sanctions in retaliation for what the US claims are a series of cyber attacks. The news came a month after the NSA leaked a “secret” map to the press which purported to show the locations of hundreds of cyber intrusions which NBC said were used “to steal corporate and military secrets and data about America’s critical infrastructure, particularly the electrical power and telecommunications and internet backbone.”

Furthermore, the report continued, “the prizes that China pilfered during its ‘intrusions’ included everything from specifications for hybrid cars to formulas for pharmaceutical products to details about U.S. military and civilian air traffic control systems.” NBC cited “intelligence officials.”

The release of the map and subsequent indication that the Obama administration felt it needed to send a message in the wake of the OPM hack described as “the largest theft of US government data ever,” marked the culmination of a long cyber propaganda campaign which began with accusations that North Korea had attempted to sabotage the release of a Seth Rogen film and reached peak absurdity when Bloomberg reported that Chinese hacker spies had taken control of the Penn State engineering department. 

Ultimately, all of this prompted the administration to “prepare a raft of sanctions to respond to [the] mounting commercial espionage,” FT reported. The problem with applying the sanctions now however, is that Xi Jinping is preparing to visit Washington and as anyone who knows anything about Xi is fully aware, he is not a man who enjoys being embarrassed, a fact that’s led some officials to voice concerns about the wisdom of leveling the sanctions now as opposed to after Xi and Obama have met and the Chinese President is back home in Beijing. The thinking is essentially this: “why risk making things awkward when the US could just wait and apply the sanctions later, allowing Xi to save face?” 

Well sure enough, it now looks like the very idea that Washington is set to move ahead with the sanctions may be enough to prompt Xi to cancel the trip altogether. The Hill has more:

Sanctions punishing China for hacking U.S. companies could drive Beijing to cancel President Xi Jinping’s upcoming U.S. visit, according to


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Lord Of The Flies: Dystopia Is Arriving

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Dave Kranzler via Investment Research Dynamics,

Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value – zero  – Voltaire

I was driving around Denver yesterday doing my “boots on the ground” due diligence scouting of the local housing market.  I continue to see some “sold” and “under contract” signs but I’m seeing a pile-up forming in new “for sale,” “price reduced,” and “for rent” signs.   The traffic update on the sports radio reported a back-up at an intersection in Denver caused by a fist-fight that had broken out between two drivers.  This country is sliding back into neanderthal times.

The U.S. economic system is slipping into dystopia and the Government/Fed is doing everything it can to try and prevent the process.  The two most obvious signs of this are the perpetual market interventions by the PPT to prevent a stock market dump and the relentless propaganda flowing through the mainstream media which originates from the policy-implementing elitists (business and political).  Both efforts are insidious attempts to force control over our system

Overnight this week, the S&P 500 e-mini futures were halted twice.   The SPX mini is the Fed’s choice intervention tool because it can direct the market with minimal capital requirements.  The e-mini is hyper-sensitive to big orders and tends to lead the big SPX directionally because of this.   The emini trading was halted after a sudden plunge in the futures at 5:51 a.m. EST, after which a massive buy order (the PPT) hit the tape and spiked the eminis straight up. The market was halted again after the spike up stalled and the emini was about to plunge again.   You can see the action here:   E-mini Market Halt

The graphic linked above was provided by Nanex’s Eric Hunsader.  Prior to the market’s first market halt, Hunsader tweeted:  “emini getting tossed around like a rag doll:”

Untitled

I found Hunsader’s allusion to “Lord of the Flies” to be quite haunting. For me it encapsulates the societal, political and economic direction in which the United States is headed. Rule of Law has been completely eroded by corrupt Presidents and citizen nonchalance. Many beside me have alluded to the fact that the U.S. political system now resembles that of a Central American Banana Republic. That’s no secret to anyone who cares to
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What Happens When Central Banks Hike Rates In The “New Normal”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Ten days ago, using Bank of America data, we summarized what it means to live in the New Normal: “In the 110 months [since the last Fed hike] global central banks have cut interest rates 697 times, central banks have bought $15 trillion of financial assets, zero [or negative] interest rates policies have been adopted in the US, Europe & Japan. And, following the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, both stocks and corporate bonds have soared to all-time highs thanks in great part to this extraordinary monetary regime.”

Indeed, what has happened in the past 7 years is nothing short of the greatest attempt ro reflate asset prices (if not so much the economy – that will come when the helicopters start paradropping bags of cash) the world has ever seen, driven entirely by the central banks and China. In fact, it is now so obvious even JPM finally figured it out.

However, while the desperate attempt to monetize a quarter of global GDP in tradable assets just to boost the confidence (and wealth) of the “1%” is no longer lost on anyone, the reality is that some banks did try to tighten monetary conditions and hike rates.

This is how they fared. According to the WSJ: “In the seven years since the world’s central banks responded to the financial crisis by slashing interest rates, more than a dozen banks in the advanced world have tried to raise them again. All have been forced to retreat.”

So the question then becomes: if the Fed does hike on Thursday as two-thirds of economists predict (we doubt it: Goldman said no rate hike until December, and more likely, not until 2015… in fact Goldman said “the Fed should think about easing” and what Goldman wants Goldman gets), will it be the first bank that avoids having to promptly “unhike”, which is unlikely or far more realistically – how long until the Fed is forced to admit “policy defeat” and go right back to ZIRP, or perhaps even NIRP, ultimately sliding right into QE4.

Alas, by now the script of hiking just to have an alibi to ease has become so trite even Deutsche Bank last weekend had the temerity to ask “Is The Fed Preparing For A “Controlled Demolition” Of The Market“?

We’ll know in 4 days.





Peter Hambro: “It’s Virtually Impossible To Get Physical Gold In London”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Koos Jansen via BullionStar.com,

Just after my colleague Ronan Manly wrote a very extensive article on how much gold is left in London (not much), Petropavlovsk Chairman and Co-Founder Peter Hambro discusses gold at Bloomberg Television. He, like Manly, concludes there is very little physical gold left in London. From Mr Hambro:

My baseline is they [the Chinese] have been buying and the Indian have been buying in enormous quantities. It’s virtually impossible to get physical gold in London to ship to those countries. We get permanent requests from Russia, would we please sell our physical gold to India and China. Because there is no physical, only endless promises. And I really worry that the market, that paper market, could be stamped on and people will say “sorry we’ll have a financial close out”, and it’s all over.

Perhaps this quote explains why UK gold export directly to China in June was not a net outflow from the UK – because there is little gold left in London (Manly, Hambro) and thus the UK had to ramp up import from the US in June to send forward to China.

The Financial Times reported on similar gold shortages in London. From the FT (2 September):

The cost of borrowing physical gold in London has risen sharply in recent weeks. That has been driven by dealers needing gold to deliver to refineries in Switzerland before it is melted down and sent to places such as India, according to market participants.

“[The rise] does indicate there is physical tightness in the market for gold for immediate delivery,” said Jon Butler, analyst at Mitsubishi.

I’ve also asked BullionStar CEO Torgny Persson in Singapore what he’s currently seeing in the precious metals markets. He replied there are shortages in both the gold and silver market. From Mr Persson:

I just got off the phone with A-Mark which is one of the world’s largest wholesalers. They are reporting that they have no gold and silver at all live available, that they have stopped taking orders for Silver Maples and Silver Philharmonics altogether and that Silver Eagles are available first in the end of November. For Pamp, there is similarly long delivery times for all minted gold bars.

 


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1 In 3 Americans Would Support A Military Coup… In America

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

One topic that seems to be of great concern to a relatively large swath of the US public is the militarization of American cities.

Indeed, with each passing “confrontation” between protesters and police, “protecting and serving” seems to look more and more like “subduing and controlling.” 

The fear of military and police overreach came to a head this year in the lead up to the US Spec Ops Command’s multi-state “training exercise” dubbed Jade Helm 15. Thanks to a few viral internet campaigns and some badly-timed Wal-Mart closures, some US citizens came to believe that the federal government had devised a plan to institute martial law in Texas. 

Be that as it may, if there’s anything Americans fear more than overt oppression enacted by force it’s covert oppression enacted by a nefarious combination of crony capitalism and corrupt (not to mention largely incompetent) politicians, which we suppose explains why nearly a third of Americans say they would support a military coup in the US. Here’s more from YouGov:

The United States military has long embraced the idea of civilian control of national affairs, and apart from certain rare moments the American officer corps has faithfully followed the orders of their civilian superiors.

YouGov’s latest research shows, however, that officers in the military are held in much greater esteem than their civilian superiors, and that they are widely viewed as having the best interests of the country in mind instead of their own selfish concerns. 70% of Americans believe that military officers generally want what is best for the country. When it comes to Congressmen, however, 71% of Americans believe that they want what is best for themselves, along with 59% for local politicians. 

29% of Americans could imagine a situation in which they would support the military seizing control of the federal government, while 41% could not imagine such a situation. 

Republicans (43%) are more than twice as likely as Democrats (20%) to say that they could conceive of a situation in which they would support a military coup in the United States. Independents tend to say that they could not (38%) rather than could (29%) imagine supporting a coup.

We present that with no further comment other than to note that Abraham Wyner, director of the undergrad program in statistics…
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A Closer Look at the Eric Holder “Doctrine” and the $1.87 Billion CDS Settlement

Courtesy of Pam Martens.

Sally Quillian Yates, Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice

Sally Quillian Yates, Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice

Two key legal events occurred last week and were reported as separate news items when, in fact, they are highly correlated.

First, the U.S. Justice Department’s Deputy Attorney General, Sally Quillian Yates, released a memo on Wednesday effectively reversing former Attorney General Eric Holder’s standard operating procedure of big money settlements on Wall Street with no individuals being charged. Yates launched the new think in a speech the next day at NYU’s School of Law – not exactly the most auspicious of venues for setting a higher moral tone.

Yates lost much of her credibility in the first five minutes of her talk. First she told the audience that was packed with Wall Street’s white collar defense attorneys that in “the few years since its launch, the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement has made its mark here in New York.”

What has actually made its mark in New York are nonstop crimes and cartel activity on Wall Street culminating in two of the largest banks in America, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, admitting to criminal felony charges in May of this year – a first in their more than a century of banking – with more criminal investigations in progress.

More credibility evaporated when Yates attempted to rewrite Eric Holder’s legacy. Yates stated:

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Civil Asset Forfeiture Has Enabled Police To Become The New “Highwaymen”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Jeff Thomas via InternationalMan.com,

The Highwayman has a romantic image as a bold, 18th-century scallywag who would ride up to a coachload of aristocrats on his horse, shouting, “Stand and deliver!” Having relieved the aristocrats of their purses, he would gallop off.

Today, the Highwayman is being revived in a big way in the US. But, far from being a scofflaw, he is, in fact, the law. He wears a badge and the law protects him in his roadside robberies.

The revival is the result, in part, of both the defunding of police departments (creating a demand for law enforcement departments to seek money from other sources) and the encouragement of the federal government for an overall expansion of the police state.

The legal justification for such highway robbery is the police practice of civil forfeiture, which has been on the books for decades. Civil forfeiture allows law enforcement to seize property (including cash, cars, and even homes) without having to prove the owners are guilty of a crime.

In many cases, drivers are not charged with any crime at all, not even a traffic citation. In fact, one Florida sheriff has noted that the best targets are those who are obeying the speed law. He knows whereof he speaks, having seized over $6.5 million on the highways of Florida. (Quite an advance on the size of the purses seized by the 18th-century highwayman.)

Typically, police stop a car and make the usual request to see license and registration. If the driver asks why he was stopped, a vague explanation may be offered by the officer, or he may simply ignore the question, then demand a search of the car or the driver’s person. The officer then seizes cash and other valuables as potential “evidence” of a crime (suspected drug dealing is a common accusation).

In some cases, police threaten drivers that, if they are not cooperative, their children may be taken by Child Protective Services.

The burden of proof is on the driver. In order to regain his possessions, he must prove his innocence in a court. However, in most cases, no charges are made, so there is no court case to try. Whether charges are made or not, law enforcement agencies are entitled to keep 100% of the forfeiture…
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Is The Fed Making A Huge “Policy Mistake”? This Market Reaction Will Give The Answer

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

As discussed here on Saturday and as should be abundantly clear from the sheer confusion that reigns across markets ahead of this coming week’s all important FOMC meeting where the absurd (and frankly terrifying) fact that the fate of the financial universe hinges on 25bps will be on display for all to see, the Fed is at risk of committing a policy error of epic proportions. 

To reiterate, the use of the term “epic” here has nothing to do with the magnitude of the hike which, if it occurs at all, will be more symbolic than anything else, and everything to do with the fact that in today’s centrally planned world, which for seven years has been coasting along on an magic carpet made of printing press money even as the entire system becomes ever more unstable, the smallest policy error will reverberate exponentially. 

To be sure, whether or not Yellen has made a mistake will become all too clear over time. All one need do is observe whether EMs careen further into chaos and/or whether the PBoC becomes even more schizophrenic, but as far as what to watch in the immediate aftermath of the FOMC announcement, we return to what we noted after September’s NFP print when we quoted BofAML. To wit: “If they do hike, watch the long-end.” 

Why? Because if there’s a flight to safety and the long bond rallies, the Fed will know it has officially erred, or, to quote Deutsche Bank: 

The market still looks cheap for a September policy error. We see scope for Treasuries to rally significantly from here given the likely risk-off market response to a policy error – we think 10s could rally to 1.75% given the confluence of poor market liquidity and monetary tightening from the Fed and emerging market reserve loss. 

In this extremely untenable situation, even doing nothing could end up producing the same result if that “nothing” is communicated poorly:

Even a hawkish hold is likely to keep downward pressure on the slope of the curve and risk asset valuations.

And as BofA suggests, the places to be in such a scenario will be “cash, volatility, and gold.” At that point, any and all “pet rock” jokes will cease being funny and the only thing humorous will be the…
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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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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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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 ...

http://www.insidercow.com/ 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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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"

 

 

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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.

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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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