Archive for August, 2016

Let The Viewer Beware – Case Shiller Lags and Understates the Bubble

Courtesy of Lee Adler of the Wall Street Examiner

Here’s how the Case Shiller Index (CSI) press release spun the data on the state of the US single family housing market today:

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 5.1% annual gain in June, unchanged from last month. The 10-City Composite posted a 4.3% annual increase, down from 4.4% the previous month.The 20-City Composite reported  a year-over-year gain of 5.1%, down from 5.3% in May.

The problem is that Case Shiller’s methodology causes price suppression and severe lag. That gives the impression that the US housing market isn’t in a bubble. It’s a misimpression, considering that market prices on average are actually above the 2006 bubble peak. If 2006 was the top of the most extreme bubble in US history, what does that make today’s higher prices?

Case Shiller uses only public record data. The current release, which purports to be June data, is really data culled from government records for recorded sales. The closings were purportedly in June, but the contracts were entered at least a month before, and in most cases 2 months to 3 months prior. So the current CSI release doesn’t represent the current market.

In fact, the lag is even greater than that. Case Shiller doesn’t merely use only the most recent month’s data, as you would think. It uses that month and the two prior months, so that effectively it represents average recorded closed sale prices for the 3 months of April May and June. It’s the average price as of the time midpoint of the period, in this case mid May. Add the typical 45-60 day closing and the current data represents contracts signed in mid to late March. It is now almost September. The Case Shiller data is from 5 months ago.

The housing market normally moves in very stable trends over years, if not decades, until there’s a crash. This lag factor isn’t too critical for those buying homes for their families to live in. It’s a little more critical for stock market traders and investors, because at major turning points, misleading data can lead to costly investing mistakes. For traders, using the Case Shiller data would be like making decisions based on where


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Three Hanjin Ships Stranded Off California Coast

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Earlier today we reported that in an surprising and abrupt development, one which may lead to ripple effects on global supply-chains and worldwide “just-in-time” logistics, the biggest South Korean shipping company and the world’s 7th largest container shipper, Hanjin Shipping, filed for bankruptcy leaving its assets frozen as ports from China to Spain denied access to its vessels.

 

It did not take long for the fallout from this historic bankruptcy – the largest ever for a container shipper in terms of capacity -  to reach the US, because as Bloomberg reported moments ago, at least three Hanjin ships are currently stranded off the California coast.

  • STRANDED SHIPS INBOUND FROM KOREA, CHINA, JAPAN: OFFICIAL
  • THREE HANJIN CONTAINER SHIPS STRANDED OFF CALIFORNIA COAST
  • MARINE EXCHANGE OF S. CALIFORNIA OFFICIAL COMMENTS ON SHIPS

While we await details on just how this asset “freeze” will be resolved, we wonder what is the cargo on these ships, where it was meant to be delivered to, and just how much US production will be bottlenecked as a result of missing key supply-chain components. And then, we extrapolate that to the dozens of Hanjin ships around the globe.





Half of Corporate America losing BILLIONS in Forex for no reason

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Here’s the big irony for the markets.  As we explain in Splitting Pennies book, Forex is the largest market in the world and the least understood.  Corporate America certainly doesn’t understand Forex.  Well, according to this report, about 50% do:

Forty-eight percent of nonfinancial companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges remained exposed to volatility in foreign exchange rates, commodity prices and interest rates in 2012 because they did not hedge them, according to a new study by Chatham Financial.  The interest-rate and currency risk adviser studied a sample of 1,075 companies ranging from $500 million to $20 billion in revenue. The nearly half that did not use financial instruments to hedge their exposures demurred despite the threat the risks posed to both the balance sheets and reported earnings (see chart at bottom). “That was surprising, knowing the pressure senior management teams and treasury feel around identifying ways to reduce risk to factors within their control so business can focus on other areas,”Amol Dhargalkar, managing director for corporate advisory at Chatham, says.

Many analysts have pointed to the fact that the new excuse of “Currency Headwinds” (accountant code word for “Don’t Understand Forex”) to define earnings in 2016:

Companies that do business outside of the USA have substantial forex exposure. This exposure can be an asset, if properly managed – but often it is a liability. Recently, the trend in corporate accounting has been to blame “currency headwinds” which can be a good excuse for up to $10 billion in losses. Did these executives ever hear about hedging?

So what does this data mean?  It means that half of Corporate America is speculating BIG in Forex.  Not hedging, when you have FX positions, is speculating.  For example, imagine you’re a big US multinational like McDonalds (MCD).  McDonalds (MCD) is a great example because they are one of the companies that lives off their FX hedges.  Without FX


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Paul Craig Roberts Asks “Can Americans Overthrow The Evil That Rules Them?”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

Paul Wolfowitz and the lies that he told in the high government positions that he held are responsible for a massive number of deaths and massive destruction in seven countries. Wolfowitz has announced his vote for Hillary Clinton. Does this make you feel reassured?

The real surprise would have been Wolfowitz’s announcement in favor of Donald Trump. So why was what was expected news?

Trump has said that he doesn’t see any future in the conflict Washington has initiated with Russia, and Trump questions the point of NATO’s continuing existence. These peaceful attitudes make Trump into a “national security risk” according to Wolfowitz. What Wolfowitz means is that a peace candidate is a threat to Wolfowitz’s doctrine of US world hegemony. In the crazed mind of Wolfowitz and the neoconservatives, America is not safe unless it rules the world.

Hillary is a warmonger, perhaps the ultimate and last one if she becomes president, as the combination of her hubris and incompetence is likely to result in World War 3. On July 3, 2015, Hillary declared: “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m president, we will attack Iran. . . . we would be able to totally obliterate them.” http://www.globalresearch.ca/hillary-clinton-if-im-president-we-will-attack-iran/5460484?print=1 The crazed Hillary went on from this to declare the President of Russia to be “the new Hitler.” Little doubt she thinks she can obliterate Russia also.

Hillary is the one who brought zionist neocon Victoria Nuland into the State Department to oversee the US coup in Ukraine in order to create more propaganda against Russia and force Washington’s European vassals to impose sanctions and place military bases on Russia’s borders, thus provoking a nuclear power and raising dangerous tensions.

This fits in perfectly with Wolfowitz’s intention. As Wolfowitz is Hillary’s likely Secretary of Defense, the two together mean World War 3.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, Wolfowitz, then a high Pentagon official, penned the Wolfowitz doctrine. The doctrine states that the principal goal of US foreign policy is to prevent the rise of other countries that could serve as constraints on US unilateralism. This means Russia and China,  The combination of Hillary with Wolfowitz should scare everyone in the entire world. The prospect of nuclear weapons being in such crazed hands as those of Hillary and Wolfowitz


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Pending Home Sales Rise 1.3%: Housing Liftoff?

Courtesy of Mish.

Signs of liftoff in housing as well as manufacturing are nothing more than an illusion in statistics.

This morning, the Pending Home Sales Index jumped 1.3%.

That is welcome news to those who believe chasing rising prices is a good thing. Beneath the good news, pending sales jumped 1.3% after a June revision from +0.2% to -0.8%.

Econoday Highlights

Pending home sales jumped higher in July but from a June that is now revised sharply lower. The July index came in at 111.3, a level that is only marginally above June’s initial reading of 111.0 but is 1.3 percent above the revised level of 109.9. The index hit a recent peak in April at 115.0.

Looking at the year-on-year rate, pending sales are up 1.4 percent which doesn’t point to much acceleration ahead for final sales of existing homes where this rate in July slipped into the negative column for the first time in two years.

Regional data show the West out in front after a sharp rise in July, at a year-on-year plus 6.2 percent followed by the Northeast at 1.1 percent and the South at 0.4 percent. The Midwest is only the region in the negative column, though only at 1.1 percent.

Sales of existing homes aren’t showing the life that sales of new home sales are showing though strength in the latter does point to strength ahead for the resale side.

Diving Into New Home Sales Strength

Econoday almost put out a decent article. The last sentence did them in.

At best, new home sales represent demand at increasingly lower prices. If one bothered to look, the reported surge in new home sales rose to the 1963 level.

new Home Sales 2016-08A

With the jump in sales came a not so pretty tidbit on median sales price.


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Amazon, Wells Fargo Unexpectedly Terminate Student Loan Partnership Announced Just One Month Ago

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Just over a month ago, on July 21, we reported that Amazon and Wells Fargo had launched a partnership which they dubbed at the time a “tremendous opportunity”, to offer college students an even greater incentive to get buried under student loans when Wells Fargo announced it would offer a discount on private student loans to members of Amazon’s “Prime Student” program.

“We are focused on innovation and meeting our customers where they are—and increasingly that is in the digital space,” John Rasmussen, a Wells Fargo executive, said in a July 21 news release. “This is a tremendous opportunity to bring together two great brands.”

As we said then, “in Amazon’s latest attempt to entice shoppers into its premium Prime program, Wells Fargo will cut half a percentage point from its interest rate on student loans to Amazon customers who pay for a “Prime Student” subscription, which provides the traditional Prime benefits such as free two-day shipping and access to movies, television shows and photo storage. The subscription-based service will cost $49 a year, half the regular Amazon Prime fee.”

Meanwhile, Wells Fargo, Buffet’s favorite US bank, would benefit by expanding the size of its student loan portfolio. The third largest U.S. bank by assets and the second-largest private student lender by origination volume, is interested in “meeting our customers where they are – and increasingly that is in the digital space,” John Rasmussen, head of Wells Fargo’s Personal Lending Group, said in a news release. The bank had $12.2 billion in student loans outstanding at the end of 2015, compared with $11.9 billion at the end of 2014.

Apparently, Wells was not interested enough, because just six weeks after revealing said “tremendous opportunity”, the two companies unexpectedly ended their partnership.

As Bloomberg recaps our previous thoughts, “the deal between the giant online retailer and the nation’s third-largest bank by assets represented Amazon’s first foray into the competitive market of lending to college students. For Wells Fargo, which has aggressively tried to build up its student loan business, the partnership was meant to help the bank reach millions of potential customers who shop on Amazon and might be enticed by the bank’s half-percentage point discount on its higher-education loans.”

There was little justification for the abrupt


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China Admits Facing “Great Difficulties” In Meeting Economic Targets

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Based on a supply-side estimate of potential growth and projections of the main components of demand; Bloomberg’s Chief Economist Tom Orlik notes that China potential growth – the rate at which the economy could expand when firing on all cylinders – will slow to 7.1% in 2016 and 7.0% in 2017 from 7.3% in 2015. The government’s growth target for 2016 is 6.5-7% and – based on the 13th Five Year Plan – a minimum of 6.5% from 2016-2020.

And that is why China is starting to manage expectations as the Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday, citing the head state planner, that China will need “arduous efforts” to meet annual economic targets, with the economy expected to be under continued pressure in the second half of the year.

As Reuters reports, the comments from Xu Shaoshi, head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), come as China’s economy shows signs of stabilizing, but concern remains as to the sustainability of growth driven by government investment and the property market.

Xu, however, said he was confident China “could meet major annual targets in economic growth, employment, commodity prices and residents’ income”, according to the state news agency.

“Great difficulties remain in meeting goals for investment and trade,” Xinhua quoted Xu as saying.

“Currently, the foundations for stable economic development are not solid enough and downward pressure remains large, with difficulties hard to underestimate.”

Despite the weakest economic growth in 25 years, government sources have said policymakers do not see the need to reduce interest rates or bank reserves amid evidence companies and banks are hoarding cash.

The focus instead has been on structural reform and fiscal measures…

“China will continue to design and implement targeted and flexible macro-control measures, and pursue a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy,” Xu said, according to Xinhua.

On the fiscal front, finance minister Lou Jiwei said China was considering higher export rebates for some mechanical and electrical products, Xinhua reported.

Xu concluded by warning of regional polarization, difficulties with farmers’ incomes and stable demand growth, and potential risks in finance and employment, as challenges facing the economy… but apart from that, everything is awesome??!!

And sure enough it was


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The Brazilian Economic Collapse Reaches Unprecedented Proportions

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

While the mainstream media was focused on today’s primetime Brazilian spectacle, namely Dilma Rouseff’s impeachment vote in the Senate, which passed as expected with a substantial majority permanently removing Rouseff from office and assuring that her replacement, Michel Temer rules until at least 2018 (unless the unpopular politician is also impeached in the meantime), what has gotten far less press is the ongoing devastation of the Brazilian economy which has failed to see even a token pick up in recent months despite the change in the ruling administration.

Here are the latest stunning updates.

According to the most recent economic data, the labor market continues to implode: the unemployment rate surged to 11.6% with the ranks of the unemployed topping 11.8 million (up from 8.6 mn a year ago) as the following chart from Goldman Sachs shows.

The national unemployment rate printed at 11.6% in the 3-month period ending in July, up from 11.3% in June and up from 8.6% a year ago, and 6.9% two years ago. In seasonally adjusted terms the unemployment rate climbed to 11.4% in July, from 11.1% in June and 8.4% a year ago.

Formal salaried employment in the private sector shrank 3.9% yoy, while employment in the informal sector grew 0.9% yoy. Self-employment grew 2.4% (a reflection of increasingly limited salaried employment opportunities). By sector of economic activity, industrial employment shrank by a large 10.6% yoy (-1.4mn jobs).

Employment declined 1.8% yoy in the 3-month period ending in July, while the economically active labor force grew 1.5%. 

Meanwhile, as the number of working Brazilians tumbles, average real wages conttinued their unprecedented decline, sliding 3.0% yoy. The labor force participation rate rose one-tenth from a year ago: to 61.5%.

Alas, there is little hope in sight: according to Goldman, the labor market is set to deteriorate further given the forecasted weak performance of the economy, particularly of the labor-intensive services sector.

It wasn’t just the labor market that continues to flounder, however. According to today’s GDP report, in the second quarter the economy continued to contract , driven, among other things by the impact of the ongoing credit crunch and severe labor market deterioration on consumption. Specifically, real GDP dropped -0.6% qoq in Q2 sa (non-annualized) once again missing the consensus print of


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The Central Banks Are Now Ready To Launch Their ‘Brave New World’

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.com,

The latest Federal Reserve meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is over and so far it would seem that the general investment world is not too happy about Janet Yellen’s statements as well as those of other Fed officials.  In fact, many people are looking for some simple clarity as to what the central bank is actually planning.

Most importantly, investors want to know why the Fed is suddenly so adamant about continued interest rate hikes in 2016.  Only a couple months ago, almost everyone (including alternative economic analysts) was arguing that the Fed would “never dare” to raise rates again so soon, and that there was no chance of a rate hike so close to the presidential elections.

Instead, investors have been greeted with surging rate-hike odds as Fed officials openly hint of another boost, probably in September.

As I have been saying for years, if you think the Fed’s motivation is to protect or prolong the U.S. economy, then you will never understand why they do the things that they do.  Only when people are willing to accept the reality that the Fed’s job is to undermine the U.S. economy can they grasp central bank behavior.

Here is the issue that scares mainstream markets — many day traders are greedy, but not necessarily dumb.  They KNOW full well that the only pillar holding up stocks at record highs has been central bank intervention.  A vital part of this intervention has been the use of near-zero interest rates.  That is to say, cheap and free overnight loans through the Fed have allowed banks and other corporations to remain “solvent,” and these loans have been the fuel companies have used for corporate buybacks of stocks.

Corporate buybacks have been a primary driver in the bull market rally that supposedly saved the world from the ongoing deflationary destruction of capital.  In 2015, buybacks reached historic levels and garnered one of the largest equities reversals in history.   While these buybacks do little or nothing to heal the economy on Main Street, they certainly do wonders for equities portfolios.  By buying up their own shares, corporations boost the value of remaining shares through a brand of legal trickery.  And, in the process, these corporations also boost the overall perceived value of global stock


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Donald Trump Explains His Immigration Policy – Live Feed

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Following what even the mainstream media sheepishly admitted was a relatively successful trip across the border to meet with Pena Nieto this afternoon, Donald Trump is about to unveil his all-new – perhaps slightly softer on the rhetoric side – immigration policy (in an attempt to put to rest weeks of uncertainty).

So far the media’s reaction can be summarized thus…

But the earlier press conference with Mexico’s Pena Nieto went relatively well… (they did not scream, punch, kick, or yell at each other)

Although Pena Nieto did tweet this afterwards…

Al inicio de la conversación con Donald Trump dejé claro que México no pagará por el muro.

— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) August 31, 2016

Translated: “At the beginning of the conversation with Donald Trump, I made it clear that Mexico would not pay for the wall.”

*  *  *

So, as The Hill details, here are the five most important things to watch for in tonight’s speech

What’s his tone?

Like other major Trump speeches, the style and rhetoric could be as important as the content. A different Trump has taken to the stump since the elevation of pollster Kellyanne Conway to campaign manager and the hiring of Breitbart News executive Steve Bannon — one that’s featured an almost constant diet of scripted remarks. As the campaign hashes out the content of the speech, the rhetorical decisions Trump and his aides make will show whether he’s prioritizing a push toward the center geared at attracting Hispanics and moderate voters or one aimed at reassuring and rallying his base. But the wildcard remains whether Trump will stick to the language approved by his campaign or if he’ll break in a way that could backfire later.

What about deportations?

The biggest question dogging Trump is whether he will still stand by his call for a “deportation force” to remove the 11 million undocumented immigrants.  That hard line helped him steamroll his GOP primary foes, but it is less helpful with a more moderate general election audience. So with polls sagging, Trump and his campaign have issued contradictory signals over whether he’d be willing to moderate, leading to even more confusion. The Trump campaign has recently focused on his call to immediately deport


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Phil's Favorites

How Does the Stock Market Bottom?

 

How Does the Stock Market Bottom?

Courtesy of 

Despite the recent selloff, things are still relatively fine. I know nobody wants to hear this right now, but the S&P 500 is still up double digits over the last year and 36% over the last three years. What has people shook, understandably, is the speed of this decline.

Depending on where stocks close today, we could be looking at a 10% haircut in just five sessions. Over the last 20 years, this only happened during the Yuan devaluation in 2015, the Eurozone crisis in 2011, the GFC (global financial crisis) in ’08 and ’09, and the dotcom bubble in ’00, &rsqu...



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Zero Hedge

NYSE Announces Disaster-Recovery Test Due To Virus Fears

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

In a somewhat shocking sounding move, given administration officials' ongoing effort to calm the public fears over the spread of Covid-19, The New York Stock Exchange has announced it will commence disaster-recovery testing in its Cermak Data Center on March 7 amid coronavirus concern, Fox Business reports in a tweet, citing the exchange.

During this test, NYSE will facilitate electronic Core Open and Closing Auctions as if the 11 Wall Stree...



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ValueWalk

Cities With The Most 'New' And Tenured Homeowners

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Homeownership is a major investment. Not just financially, but when a person or family purchases a home, they’re investing years – if not decades – in that particular community. 55places wanted to find out which real estate markets are luring in new homebuyers, and which ones are dominated by owners that haven’t moved in decades. The study analyzed residency data in more than 300 US cities and revealed the top 10 cities with the most tenured homeowners – residents who’ve lived in and owned their home for more than 30 years – are sprinkled across ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Financial Crisis Deja Vu: Home Construction Index Double Top?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Most of us remember the 2007-2009 financial crisis because of the collapse in home prices and its effect on the economy.

One key sector that tipped off that crisis was the home builders.

The home builders are an integral piece to our economy and often signal “all clears” or “short-term warnings” to investors based on their economic health and how the index trades.

In today’s chart, we highlight the Dow Jones Home Construction Index. It has climbed all the way back to its pre-crisis highs… BUT it immediately reversed lower from there.

This raises concerns about a double top.

This pr...



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Insider Scoop

A Peek Into The Markets: US Stock Futures Plunge Amid Coronavirus Fears

Courtesy of Benzinga

Pre-open movers

U.S. stock futures traded lower in early pre-market trade. South Korea confirmed 256 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, while China reported an additional 327 new cases. Data on U.S. international trade in goods for January, wholesale inventories for January and consumer spending for January will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Chicago PMI for February is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET, while the University of Michigan's consumer sentime...



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Biotech & Health

Could coronavirus really trigger a recession?

 

Could coronavirus really trigger a recession?

Coronavirus seems to be on a collision course with the US economy and its 12-year bull market. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

Courtesy of Michael Walden, North Carolina State University

Fears are growing that the new coronavirus will infect the U.S. economy.

A major U.S. stock market index posted its biggest two-day drop on record, erasing all the gains from the previous two months; ...



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The Technical Traders

SPY Breaks Below Fibonacci Bearish Trigger Level

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our research team wanted to share this chart with our friends and followers.  This dramatic breakdown in price over the past 4+ days has resulted in a very clear bearish trigger which was confirmed by our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system.  We believe this downside move will target the $251 level on the SPY over the next few weeks and months.

Some recent headline articles worth reading:

On January 23, 2020, we ...



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Promotions

Free, Live Webinar on Stocks, Options and Trading Strategies

TODAY's LIVE webinar on stocks, options and trading strategy is open to all!

Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of TradeExchange.com. It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

...

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Chart School

Oil cycle leads the stock cycle

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Sure correlation is not causation, but this chart should be known by you.

We all know the world economy was waiting for a pin to prick the 'everything bubble', but no one had any idea of what the pin would look like.

Hence this is why the story of the black swan is so relevant.






There is massive debt behind the record high stock markets, there so much debt the political will required to allow central banks to print trillions to cover losses will likely effect elections. The point is printing money to cover billions is unlikely to upset anyone, however printing trillions will. In 2007 it was billions, in 202X it ...

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Members' Corner

Threats to democracy: oligarchy, feudalism, dictatorship

 

Threats to democracy: oligarchy, feudalism, dictatorship

Courtesy of David Brin, Contrary Brin Blog 

Fascinating and important to consider, since it is probably one of the reasons why the world aristocracy is pulling its all-out putsch right now… “Trillions will be inherited over the coming decades, further widening the wealth gap,” reports the Los Angeles Times. The beneficiaries aren’t all that young themselves. From 1989 to 2016, U.S. households inherited more than $8.5 trillion. Over that time, the average age of recipients rose by a decade to 51. More ...



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Digital Currencies

Altcoin season 2.0: why bitcoin has been outgunned by crypto rivals since new year

 

Altcoin season 2.0: why bitcoin has been outgunned by crypto rivals since new year

‘We have you surrounded!’ Wit Olszewski

Courtesy of Gavin Brown, Manchester Metropolitan University and Richard Whittle, Manchester Metropolitan University

When bitcoin was trading at the dizzying heights of almost US$2...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

 

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:

Lee,

The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.