Archive for 2015

Why The Big Banks Want Higher Interest Rates

Courtesy of John Rubino.

Something strange is happening in the banking business.

In theory, a low interest rate environment is good for banks because it allows them to borrow money for next to nothing and lend it to auto or home buyers for considerably more, making a nice fat spread.

And that’s pretty much how it’s been going. U.S. bank earnings were up 7% y-o-y in the second quarter, to a record $43 billion. Bank lending rose across the board from industrial to auto to mortgage loans, and delinquencies fell for the 21st consecutive quarter.

So the government’s care and feeding of the banks is a success, right? Well, no, apparently. From last week’s Wall Street Journal:

Fed Stance Squeezes Bank Profits

No wonder bank-stock investors are feeling a chill. The Fed has left them out in the cold.

 

This was supposed to be the year when superlow interest rates stopped squeezing net-interest income at U.S. banks. As recently as June, consensus estimates were that this would decline by just 0.8% in 2015 at large-capitalization banks, according to Sanford Bernstein’s John McDonald. Analysts thought next year would see a rebound with 6.6% growth.

That was predicated on the U.S. Federal Reserve raising short-term interest rates for the first time in nine years. Instead, the decision by the Fed Thursday to stand pat—along with the fact that the overall tone emanating from the central bank was more dovish than expected—is forcing investors to rethink banking prospects.

Namely, that it is now more likely that net-interest income and margins will remain flat, or possibly even decline further, in coming months. That will keep bank stocks under pressure as valuations had already been anticipating a more-favorable interest-rate environment.

Why is the outlook so grim if the Fed isn’t tightening policy? The primary driver of falling net-interest income has been a squeeze on net-interest margins, the difference between what a bank pays for deposits and the yield on its loans. The unusually long period of ultralow rates has compressed margins by more than 27% since 2010.

As a result, bank profits can shrink even if firms grow lending and market share. At some point, you just can’t make it up on volume.


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Going Back To What Works: Gold Is Money Again (Thanks To Utah)

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

As of today you really can pay your taxes, your credit cards, your mortgage, shop at Costco, and buy your groceries without so much as a bank account while using sound money.

As PopularLiberty.com explains,

The fact that Texas announced that it withdrawing its gold from Manhattan and is creating a state gold depository generated a good deal of interest because there would also be a way to transfer gold to others via said depository. So much interest that Texas received calls from all over the United States from folks that wanted to be part of such a system. The articles covering the future Texas depository cumulatively received millions of views. What was missed in all of this coverage is that a functional, and legal depository that allows anyone in the country to pay and save in gold dollars already exists. In Utah.

The United Precious Metals Association in Utah has gold and now separate silver accounts that act as checking accounts do at any bank or credit union. The way it works is that members deposit Federal Reserve Notes (or paper dollars) into their UPMA account which in turn translates them into golden dollars (or silver). The golden dollars are based off the $50 one ounce gold coins produced by the Treasury of The United States. They are legal tender under the law and are protected as such. So if I were to deposit $1,200 FRNs then I would have $50 golden dollars.

UPMA is the only institution in the country that I know of that doesn't have a buy/sell spread on their Golden Eagles or Silver Eagles. This means that all my $1,200 FRNs once converted to gold could be spent the next day without losing anything to any sort of premium. The price of a Gold Eagle is 5.8% above spot but when you 'cash out' you do so at 5.8% above gold spot. This effectively removes that barrier from sound money.

This year the UPMA released a gold backed debit card via American Express. The way it works is that a member may spend up to half of their gold or silver dollars in any given month period using the card. When I interviewed the founder of UPMA today, Larry Hilton, I learned that the way the card works is that


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Summing It All Up (In 1 Sad Cartoon)

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

It is true that income inequality has kind of gotten worse, but you can take the compensation of every CEO in America and make it zero and it wouldn’t put a dent into it. What really matters is growth. It’s not right to say we’re worse off … If you go back 20 years ago, cars were worse, the air was worse. People didn’t have iPhones.”

– Jamie Dimon

A reminder…

 

Main Street "doing God's work" for Wall Street…

h/t The Burning Platform





Guest Post: Safe Assets In A World Gone Mad

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Ton Chatham via Project Chesapeake,

Gold and silver are good assets to hold to insure the preservation of EXCESS wealth but there are other assets that are even more valuable longterm. Those things that can be used to produce a product are the elements that can be used to leverage your time, resources and talents to produce wealth. The ability to produce excess is the basis of the need for wealth preservation.

Physical goods in the form of equipment that can be used to create or produce goods needed by society are the basis of prosperity and wealth in the world. Gold and silver only become necessary when society begins to produce more products than the producer can use. This excess production is then traded for those things that can preserve the value of this excess production until it is needed by individuals.

Machines to build or repair such as saws and hammers, sewing machines, metal fabricating machines such as lathes and mills and machines to convert raw materials to value added products such as steel to I beams or pots and pans, wheat to flour or pasta, lumber to finished furniture and cotton to cloth are the assets that define how prosperous you are as a nation. A nation derives its wealth from having a product to sell. That will never change. It is true for nations as well as for individuals.

Individuals need to have the ability to produce something in excess of their needs to advance to the need to store that excess. This requires tools and equipment in most cases. You do not necessarily need to process your own resources to generate this excess. A miller can provide the equipment to grind grain for the community taking part of the production for his time and effort. This gives rise to the service economy where individual specialization is traded for other services and resources rendered. In most cases this service will require specialized equipment not possessed by the general population. This specialized equipment is an asset more valuable than gold and silver in many cases.

The goods need to exist before gold and silver can be traded for them and gold and silver need to exist to preserve this excess production for future use. Storing some of your excess…
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Global Stocks, EM FX Extend Losses Despite China Saying “No Collapse Is Nigh”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

US equity futures have retraced the late-day ramp from Friday with Dow down around 65pts. Asia is opening weaker (NKY -900 from Thursday highs) with EM FX appearing not to get the "but we didn't hike" message from The Fed with MYR the worst hit for now (after a few days of strength). EM outflows accelerated according to Morgan Stanley, down 6% AUM in 12 weeks. PBOC devalued the Yuan fix by 0.11% (the most in 2 weeks). While Fed uncertainty and fears about China have caused global derisking, PBOC chief Fan says "the economy is stable," and China's Beige Book suggests 'everything is awesome', as the survey summarizes, "perceptions of China may be more thoroughly divorced from facts on the ground than at any time in our nearly five years of surveying the economy." If that's the case, then why is Janet in panic mode?

Dow futures have retraced Friday's late-day ramp…

And Nikkei 225 is down 900 points from Thursday's peak BoJ manipulation highs…

EM FX continues to weaken..

  • *MALAYSIA RINGGIT EXTENDS DROP, NOW DOWN 0.8% TO 4.2397/DOLLAR

  • Baht declines 0.2% to 35.710 per dollar, set to snap two-day rally

EM equity fund outflows of $2.2b for week ended Sept. 16 mainly driven by Asia funds ($1.8b), compares with avg $6.5b outflow in last 4 weeks, Morgan Stanley analysts Jonathan Garner and Pankaj Mataney write in Sept. 18 note.

  • Cumulative 12-week outflow reaches US$40.2b, or 5.6% of assets under management
  • Taiwan, India, Korea had largest inflows
  • Philippines had biggest weekly outflow since Oct. 2013

New Zealand Consumer Confidence tumbled to 3 year lows…

*  *  *

With China open, the propaganda ramps up.. It appears it is time for some central banker credibility to be lost…

China’s economy isn’t as weak as it may look, according to a private survey that says it’s a myth that the nation’s slowdown is intensifying.

“No collapse is nigh” in the aftermath of the stock market plunge and currency devaluation, according to the third-quarter China Beige Book, published by New York-based CBB International and modeled on the survey compiled by the Federal Reserve on the U.S. economy. Capital expenditure rebounded slightly in the period and the services sector showed strength, the report said.

“Perceptions of China may


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Has the Fed Assumed a Third Mandate?

 

Weighing the Week Ahead: Has the Fed Assumed a Third Mandate?

Courtesy of Jeff Miller, Dash of Insight

Despite many signs of economic improvement, the Fed chose to maintain policy accommodation at emergency levels. In a week that is light on data and long on speeches, this news will be enough to keep Fed policy at the forefront. The punditry will be asking:

Has the Fed Assumed a Third Mandate?

Prior Theme Recap

In my last WTWA I predicted that it would be all Fed, all the time. That was an easy one! It was a sharply divided week, with a good-looking market into the Fed meeting and for a few minutes afterward. As he does each week, Doug Short’s recap describes the action with appropriate wariness about causality. As always, the full article includes several other helpful charts. (With the ever-increasing effects from foreign markets, you should also add Doug’s World Markets Weekend Update to your reading list).

The chart shows it as a flat week, but you can readily see why it did not feel that good. The week was good enough for the Texas boys to maintain the post-Cramer slot on CNBC, but another day or two of this will bring back “Markets in Turmoil.”

 

SPX-five-day

We would all like to know the direction of the market in advance. Good luck with that! Second best is planning what to look for and how to react. That is the purpose of considering possible themes for the week ahead. You can make your own predictions in the comments.

This Week’s Theme

We are in the period before the important new earnings season. The economic calendar is a bit light. There is a strong focus on international issues. I expect plenty of attention to the meeting of Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Chinese President Xi Jinping Has a state visit to the U.S., including a summit meeting with President Obama. Pope Francis will also continue his tour, including a Presidential meeting on Wednesday.

The international theme comes in the wake of last week’s FOMC decision, which acknowledged the influence of foreign markets on the U.S. economy. The Fed has two legal mandates:…
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Swing trading portfolio – week of September 21st, 2015

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

Optrader 

Swing trading virtual portfolio

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.</p></body></html>

 





Middle-East Migration – The Problem/Opportunity Dilemma

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Authored by Ben Tanosborn,

Pictures of migrant-exiles from the Middle East, not just Syrians but Iraqis and Afghanis as well, are currently being transmitted by CNN, Aljazeera English and other news giants to homes all over the world in customary repetition which most of us would agree exceeds the canons of proper news reporting. 

Fodder news portraying human pain and misery are being presented to viewing masses, too often depicting unwarranted blame and/or lack of humanity from/by Europeans who are trying to cope with an inherited humanitarian crisis not entirely of their making.  Rich sister Germany is somehow expected to offer leadership, and problem-solving direction, in managing this new crisis for Europe.  Greece, Serbia, Hungary and Austria are becoming transit stations for this migrant humanity in the yellow-brick which extends from Turkey to the promised Oz: Germany.

Amid this crisis-in-progress, Viktor Orban’s racially-charged comments announcing a lack of desire by Hungary to increase its foreign-born population acquires the same timbre and tone as those of America’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump.  But aren’t these self-exiles supposedly “political” migrants, not the economic migrants entering the US overwhelmingly from Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America?  These migrant waves are branded, inaccurately perhaps, with the same umbrella term… whether their odyssey is motivated by economic, social or political reasons.  And, truth be said, the economic reason does weigh heavily or you wouldn’t have Germany and the United States as the two major preferred destination points.

There is ample reason to believe that this recent flood of migrants is economically, not politically-rooted.  Recent rumors in refugee camps heralded the strong probability that much of Europe was contemplating more restrictive policies for admittance.  Thus the onrush to reach the promised land of opportunity: Germany; with any other EU nation as a second, third, or nth choice.

As for who or what is at fault for this current situation, pointing to Bashar al-Assad and his autocratic regime may seem as the politically correct answer to most Americans, and thus justify US’ role in the world as a “benign and orderly empire.”  Except that this empire the US inherited from the Brits, and have transformed to its capitalist image and likeness, has proven to be neither benign nor orderly when it comes to Middle East matters as we evaluate historical American foreign policy…
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How The World Spends

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Have you ever wondered how much money Russians spend on alcohol and tobacco compared to the rest of the world? Or how much households in Saudi Arabia allocate to recreation?

Today’s data visualization from The Economist shows how much people in households around the world allocate to different expenses such as food, housing, recreation, transportation, and education.

The first thing to note is that this looks at private spending only, and does not include any public spending that could be allocated to each household. As a result, in places like Canada or the EU, spending on healthcare is much smaller than in comparison to the United States, where households spend 20.9% of their money.

Source: VisualCapitalist

Here’s a few interesting stats:

In Russia, where housing is subsidized, people spend way less on housing, fuel, and utilities with only 10.3% of money allocated. At the same time, they are the biggest relative spenders on food, alcohol and tobacco, and clothing.
 
Developed countries are more or less the opposite of Russia in this regard. In places like the United States, Canada, Japan, or the EU, about 20-25% of money is spend on housing, fuel, and utilities. Meanwhile, consumption of food, alcohol and tobacco, and clothing are on the lower ends of the spectrum. In fact, its actually the United States that spends the smallest portion on food altogether, at only 6.8%.
 
Contrast that to India, where GDP per capita is by far the lowest at only US$1498.87. With little disposable income, Indians spend a much higher proportion of money on necessities such as food (about 30%), while using much less income on things like recreation (1.5%) or restaurants and hotels (2.6%).




Game Over

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Via NorthmanTrader.com,

When the Fed embarked on its mission to rescue the economy in 2009 it did so on the following premise: Save the banks by re-inflating the housing and stock markets via easy money and, as a result, companies would hire and the eventual scarcity of labor would produce wage growth with the end result that the resulting inflation would permit for a tightening cycle to normalize rates.

The problem: After 7 years and trillions of dollars in debt and balance sheet expansion there is no inflation nor is there any wage growth. And the reason for this is a structural one that central banks have been refusing to acknowledge and admit: The massive underlying shift in technology that is radically changing the global labor market. Not for the better, but for the worse.

And this shift has enormous implications for investors, the economy, society at large and the stock market. And these implications have the potential to signal Game Over for this bull market.

Before we get into this let’s briefly address the recent history in the stock market:

For years investing was easy. You just threw money at a market that never stopped going up. And when it occasionally fell, it was because the Federal Reserve had just ended a QE program. But not to worry, the next one was just around the corner. And sure enough every Federal Reserve press release or press conference produced an orgasmic buying feast every time the word “accommodative” was mentioned. Easy money, we have your back, the Bernanke put. You know the gig. Then we had the taper tantrum when Ben Bernanke merely mentioned the possibility of QE ending. Oh, but not to worry, we will stay at ZIRP. Free money for a long time to come and don’t worry we will let you know way in advance when we will raise rates. And even better: QE will be everywhere. In Japan, in Europe. And if things were to get really bad (i.e. the Ebola scare) we will bring QE4 back (Bullard, October 2014). But not to worry any issues are just transitory. Inflation is just around the corner don’t you know?

And for years the narrative worked. Markets went on to make ever new highs, even in 2015 after QE3 ended, spurred on by an unprecedented move of global QE and…
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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"

 

 

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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