Archive for 2016

Why We’re Ungovernable, Part 15: Violence Goes Random

Courtesy of John Rubino.

This series is based on the premise that debt works the same way for countries as it does for individuals and families: When you borrow too much your life spins out of control. For national and multi-national entities that means elections become unpredictable, economies function erratically, and public policies become more ad hoc and less effective.

And civil unrest becomes the rule rather than the exception. In the US, for instance, it’s suddenly open season on both black men and the police. And in Europe, the following happened in just the past couple of weeks:

Machete-Wielding Syrian Refugee Kills One; Injures Two In Southern German City

(Zero Hedge) – The perpetrator had an argument with a woman near the central bus terminal in Reutlingen, and during the altercation severely injured the woman using a machete. The woman died of her injuries at the scene, police said. The perpetrator was then detained near the scene “in minutes” after the incident but managed to injure another woman and a man, police added. The eye witnesses described the attacker to Bild as “fully insane,” adding that he tried to attack a police car with his machete.

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German Police Kill Assailant After Ax Attack Aboard a Train

(New York Times) – WEIMAR, Germany — A 17-year-old Afghan youth who came to Germanyas a migrant last year attacked several passengers with an ax and a knife on a train in the south of the country late on Monday, injuring at least four people, while 14 others were treated for shock, the police said.

After the train made an emergency stop, the attacker fled and was pursued by police officers, who fatally shot him, according to the interior minister of the state of Bavaria, Joachim Herrmann. The motive for the attack remained unclear.

The young man had entered Germany without his parents and applied for asylum, Mr. Herrmann said. According to government figures, more than 14,400 unaccompanied minors arrived last year among the more than one million migrants who entered the country.

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Munich shooting: 9 victims, gunman dead, police say


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Paul Craig Roberts Warns “Armageddon Approaches” After German Leak

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

The Western public doesn’t know it, but Washington and its European vassals are convincing Russia that they are preparing to attack. Eric Zuesse reports on a German newspaper leak of a Bundeswehr decision to declare Russia to be an enemy nation of Germany.

According to a report issued on June 6th in German Economic News (Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, or DWN), the German government is preparing to go to war against Russia, and has in draft-form a Bundeswehr report declaring Russia to be an enemy nation. DWN says: “The Russian secret services have apparently thoroughly studied the paper.

In advance of the paper’s publication, a harsh note of protest has been sent to Berlin: The head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian State Duma, Alexei Puschkow, has posted the Twitter message: ‘The decision of the German government declaring Russia to be an enemy shows Merkel’s subservience to the Obama administration.’”

This is the interpretation that some Russian politicians themselves have put on the NATO military bases that Washington is establishing on Russia’s borders.

Washington might intend the military buildup as pressure on President Putin to reduce Russian opposition to Washington’s unilateralism. However, it reminds some outspoken Russians such as Vladimir Zhirinovsky of Hitler’s troops on Russia’s border in 1941.

Zhirinovsky is the founder and leader of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party and a vice chairman of the Russian parliament. In a confrontation with the editor of a German newspaper, Zhirinovsky tells him that German troops again on Russia’s border will provoke a preventive strike after which nothing will remain of German and NATO troops. “The more NATO soldiers in your territory, the faster you are going to die. To the last man. Remove NATO from your territory!” 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has expressed his frustration with Washington’s reliance on force and coercion instead of diplomacy. It is reckless for Washington to convince Russia that diplomacy is a dead end without promise. When the Russians reach that conclusion, force will confront force.

Indeed Zhirinovsky has already reached that point and perhaps Vladimir Putin also. As I reported, Putin recently dressed down Western presstitutes for their role in fomenting nuclear war.

Putin has made it clear that Russia will not


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China Bans Websites From Original Reporting

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

It was about six months ago when global stock markets were crashing, that China tightened its control on local media, and ordered the local press and news outlets to stick to “positive reporting” or else “risk the stability of the country.”  As we reported back in February “China is now openly declaring war on anyone who dares to even suggest that not all may be well in China.  A separate commentary by Xinhua yesterday said that controlling public opinion was essential for a a ruling party: “With one hand we grab the guns; with the other we grab the pens,” it said. “Mobilising public opinion is the great tradition of our party.”In other words, China is worried that popular anger and negative sentiment is starting to stir especially after the recent economic troubles, and that those who dare to promote an objective version of reality will likely be promptly quieted.”

Since then while superficially the economy may have improved on the back of nearly $2 trillion in freshly-created new loans, it appears that reports of bad news have not stopped. As such, China has decided to come up with an even more draconian measure: ban original reporting altogether.

Chinese authority to shut down news-gathering sectors(breaking and investigative) of multiple portals. Confirmed. pic.twitter.com/wTE9J5VUgc

— Wei ZHOU (@cissy_chow) July 22, 2016

According to The Paper, major internet portals in China including Sina, Sohu, Netease and Ifeng.com have shut down some of their original reporting operations after receiving “harsh criticism” from country’s top industry regulator

As Bloomberg adds, the Beijing branch of Cyberspace Administration of China has set deadlines for portals for rectification. It also reports that an unidentified head of Beijing branch cited portals for violating China’s internet regulations by carrying plenty of news content obtained through original reporting.

What happens to those who dare to do what news organizations are expected to by definition, i.e., original reporting? Nothing good: portals also to face other penalties including fines and warnings.

Full source from China’s The Paper, google translated:

Recently, the Beijing Information Office of the territorial network Sina, Sohu, Netease, Phoenix and other sites provide a large number of illegal behavior in the presence of Internet News Information


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Breaking News And Best Of The Web

Courtesy of John Rubino.

Stocks correct. Britain’s economy is shrinking, China’s debt is soaring, Japan’s trade is plunging. Gold corrects; several analysts see a top here. Oil falls hard. Several more terrorist attacks. Trump makes long, dark acceptance speech, very well-received by Republicans. Clinton picks Tim Kaine for VP. Wikileaks sends DNC into turmoil.

Best Of The Web

How to profit form these massive, Brexit-induced trends – Casey Research
5 reasons why Trump will win – Michael Moore
An upside down world – Financial Sense
IceCap asks what happens hwen the bond bubble finally pops – Zero Hedge
It’s all connected – Globe And Mail
The central planning virus mutates – Acting Man
Cycle of insurgency: cops are being targeted, what’s next? – The Fifth Column
The real reason pharma companies hate medical marijuana – Liberty Blizkrieg
The world is taking its revenge against elites – Guardian
This ‘market’ discounts nothing except monetary cocaine – David Stockman
Something big happened in the gold market – SRSrocco Report
Put your hope in radical decentralization – Mises Institute
From the levellers to the leavers: a history of revolt – Prospect

—————————————————————–

Breaking News

The Economy

7/25    Japan’s exports decline again in June, for ninth straight month – Bloomberg

7/25    Oil falls to two-month low as US drilling climbs amid surplus – Bloomberg

7/25    Deutsche Bank set for investor scrutiny as short sellers circle – Bloomberg

7/25    Oil bulls headed over demand cliff as refinery shutdowns loom – Bloomberg

7/25    Debt rattle – Automatic Earth

7/25    China’s growth sucks in more debt bucks for less bang – Reuters

7/25    Oil bulls headed over demand cliff as refinery shutdowns loom – Bloomberg

7/25    G20 will use ‘all policy tools’ to lift growth as Brexit weighs – Reuters

7/25    Denial of the obvious, praise for lies – Mish

7/25    Debt rattle – Automatic Earth

7/25    Making the wrong choices for the wrong reasons – Peak Prosperity

7/25    Policy changes driving China’s debt problem – South China Morning Post

7/25    Italy has ‘no banking problem’: finance minister – China Post

7/24    Chinese companies are turning Japanese – Bloomberg

7/24    Britain’s economy shrinking at fastest rate since 2009 – Guardian

7/24    Inequality: the nexus of


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With Kuroda Under Pressure To Increase Stimulus Again, Dissenters Appear

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With the yen strengthening ~12% against the US dollar and the Nikkei down ~10% YTD, it seems Haruhiko “Peter Pan” Kuroda is having a difficult time working his magic in favor of Abenomics. As the WSJ reports, Kuroda is under increasing pressure from the Prime Minister’s advisers to coordinate efforts to jumpstart the economy. Earlier this month, we first reported of the secretive meeting between Kuroda and Bernanke, where the former Fed Chairman urged Japan to unleash helicopter money.

With what little credibility it still has, the Bank of Japan is set to meet this week and likely agree on the size of yet another stimulus package for the economy. Prime Minister Abe’s main economic advisor Etsuro Honda recently detailed in an interview that the BOJ should increase its Qualitative and Quantitative Monetary Easing (QQE) program from ¥80 trillion to ¥90 trillion.

In addition, there has been growing speculation regarding coordinated fiscal and monetary stimulus. The fiscal stimulus efforts are not expected to be unveiled until August, according to the WSJ. Expectations point to a “multiyear program valued at ¥20 trillion ($188 billion), including direct spending, government loans and public-private financing.”

Perhaps more interesting, this time, Kuroda may have a difficult time convincing the 8 remaining members of the monetary board. As the Journal notes, “other BOJ officials are signaling a reluctance to act, underscoring questions about whether the central bank has reached the limits of its powers to revive Japan’s economy. They note that monetary policy is already extremely accommodative, with bond yields and interest rates at or near record lows, and express doubts that additional easing would make fiscal stimulus much more effective, according to people familiar with the central bank’s thinking.”

As core metrics and corporate expectations of inflation plummet, Kuroda’s promise to do “whatever it takes” to reach 2% inflation seems to be under significant threat. Doing nothing now would “amount to an admission that the BOJ’s monetary policy has reached its limits—it wants to move, but it can’t,” said Yuichi Kodama, chief economist at Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance.

Not unlike the Fed, it is clear that the BOJ is trapped in its own end game. As Kyle Bass recently told CNBC, “The textbooks aren’t working for the academics … I fear they’re going to have


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Politics & Your Money

 

Politics & Your Money

Courtesy of Wade of Investing Caffeine

Congress - Capitol Building

Will you be able to retire, and what impact will the elections have on your financial future? Answering these questions can be a scary endeavor. And unless you have been living in a cave, you may have noticed we are in the middle of a heated U.S. presidential election campaign between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Regardless of which side of the political fence you stand on, the prospects of your retirement are much more likely to be impacted by your personal actions than by the actions of Washington politicians.

Even if you despise politics and were living in a cave (with WiFi access), there’s a high probability you would be overloaded with detailed and dogmatic online editorials from overconfident Facebook friends. Besides offering self-assured predictions, these impassioned political pleas generally itemize the top 10 reasons your favorite candidate is a moron, and another 10 reasons why their candidate is the greatest.

Your friends’ opinions may have pure intentions, but unfortunately, rarely, if ever, do their thoughts alter your views.  A reference from a recent Legal Watercooler article summed it up best:

“Political Facebook rants changed my mind…said nobody, ever.”

Nearly as ineffectual as political Facebook opinions on your politics is the ineffectual influence of presidential elections on your finances. For example, over the last four decades, stock prices have gone up and down during both Republican and Democrat presidential terms. The picture looks much the same, if you analyze the fiscal performance of conservatives and liberals since 1970 – debt burdens as a percentage of economic output have risen and fallen under both political parties. No matter who wins the presidency, many investors forget the ability of that individual to affect change is highly dependent upon the political balance of power in Congress. If Congress holds a split majority in the House and Senate, or the opposition party commands the entire Congress, then the winning presidential candidate will be largely neutered.

Rather than panic over a political loss or celebrate a candidate’s victory, here are some tangible actions to improve your…
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Deep Underground Military Bases? California Hit By Mysterious Clockwork “Booms” Daily For Years

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Piper McGowan via The Daily Sheeple,

For years now, residents of Sonora, California have been hearing a window-shaking loud and so far officially unexplained BOOM! that always happens between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily.

Inquisitr reports that the explanation floating around Sonora from a local geologist/teacher is that an Army Depot in Hawthorne, Nevada, all the way across the state and behind a mountain range which disposes of old munitions like bombs, might be what residents have been hearing.

But do they have so many old bombs to dispose of that they do it daily every single day even on weekends and holidays without fail for years? Why would Sonora, California of all locations near Hawthorne be the seemingly most affected city of all?

Besides, even people who work at the depot aren’t hearing the booms regularly (via ABC News):

Ken Thomas, a contracting officer for the Hawthorne Army Depot, told ABC News today that they do detonate munitions regularly at the depot when the munitions are past their shelf-life, but he is not convinced that it can be heard in Sonora.

“It doesn’t feel right that what we’re doing here would be heard 200 miles away when there’s a mountain range in between us,” Thomas said. “My office is 27 miles from where they detonate the old munitions, I only hear it here maybe one time a month, and just barely and it’s like ‘Was that a boom?’”

On top of that, not only are they clockwork, but these have been described as deep, low booms which can almost be felt by the people who live there. In fact, a friend who lives near Sonora said that sometimes they can actually see their windows warp during the booms.

So what is it? Lots of conspiracies are, of course, floating around including aliens (as per the usual).

But one in particular sounds a lot more plausible than an old weapons depot that’s a three-hour drive from Sonora: DUMBs.

Deep underground military bases.

We all know there’s an extensive network of them which has been significantly expanded since 9/11 and the creation of Homeland Security

…and we’re all just supposed to put our fingers in our ears and go “la la la” and


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“Game Over” – Nintendo Crashes Most Since 1990 After Admitting “Limited Earnings Impact” From Pokemon Go

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Update: Things have proceeded south… Nintendo is now down over 17% – the biggest drop since October 1990… following Super Mario World’s release on the NES & Gameboy and the crash in the Tokyo Stock Market…

After the close Friday, Nintendo admitted that the earnings impact from the newly-released ‘Pokemon Go’ game would be limited (and that it has no plans to adjust its forecasts). This has sent Nintendo shares down over 16% today, following last Wednesday’s 12% collapse. 

Nintendo has given up half its panic-buying gains of last week…

Today’s drop is the largest since March 2000…







Pokemon Going, Going Gone: Nintendo Crashing Most Since 2000 After Admitting “Limited Earnings Impact” From New Game

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

After the close Friday, Nintendo admitted that the earnings impact from the newly-released ‘Pokemon Go’ game would be limited (and that it has no plans to adjust its forecasts). This has sent Nintendo shares down over 16% today, following last Wednesday’s 12% collapse. 

Nintendo has given up half its panic-buying gains of last week…

Today’s drop is the largest since March 2000…







Did Verizon Just Signal The Top?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The last time AOL (bought by Verizon in May 2015) was involved in a mega merger was January 2000, when AOL acquired Time Warner for $182 billion in what was the mega deal of the last tech bubble, creating a $350 billion behemoth… which nearly dragged down both companies a few years later. The timing could not have been more perfect as it marked the tech bubble top…

Will it happen again?

As Bloomberg reports, Verizon Communications will announce plans to buy Yahoo!’s core assets for about $4.8 billion on Monday, a move that would finally seal the fate of the iconic web pioneer after months of speculation and pressure from investors.

News of the takeover is expected to come before the market opens, said a person with direct knowledge of the situation who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The deal includes Yahoo real estate assets, while some intellectual property is to be sold separately, the person said. Yahoo will be left with its stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan, with a combined market value of about $40 billion.

With its core wireless business maturing, Verizon is expected to keep Yahoo mostly intact to compete with Alphabet’s Google and Facebook in digital ads by tapping into users on sites like Yahoo Finance. The takeover will double the size of Verizon’s digital advertising, placing it as a distant third behind Google and Facebook in the $187 billion market.

“The deal speaks to a clear strategy shift at Verizon,” Craig Moffett, an analyst with MoffettNathanson, said Sunday. “They are trying to monetize wireless in an entirely new way. Instead of charging customers for traffic, they are turning to charging advertisers for eyeballs.”

Desperately overpaying for already over-valued assets with market-wide valuations at record levels. What could go wrong?





 
 
 

Phil's Favorites

The guts of an Apple iPhone show exactly what Trump gets wrong about trade

 

The guts of an Apple iPhone show exactly what Trump gets wrong about trade

The components of an iPhone add up to a different cost than the phone itself. Poravute Siriphiroon/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Jason Dedrick, Syracuse University; Greg Linden, University of California, Berkeley, and Kenneth L. Kraemer...



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Zero Hedge

Bonds, Bitcoin, & Bullion Jump; Stocks Dump On Powell-Pullback, Trade-Talk

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A stunned equity market could not believe that Batman Powell and Doveboy Bullard dared to talk down the odds of a 50bps rate-cut in July...

Ugly day in China overnight after Monday's snoozefest...

Mixed bag in Europe with a weak open but France and Spain rallying into the close (still red on week)...

Ugly ...



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ValueWalk

Beyond Meat vs Impossible Burger: Comparing The Vegan Meat Burgers

 

Beyond Meat vs Impossible Burger: Comparing The Vegan Meat Burgers

Courtesy of Vikas Shukla, ValueWalk

Pexels / Pixabay

The trend of vegan food has been gathering momentum in the last few years as people become more health conscious. They have also begun to realize the environmental impact of raising meat for human consumption. According to PETA, it takes an estimated 1...



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Insider Scoop

Wedbush Steps To The Shopify Sidelines

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Shopify Inc (NYSE: SHOP) ha introduced multiple new initiatives to spur growth, but the stock's valuation is already full at current levels, according to Wedbush.

The Analyst

Wedbush's Ygal Arounian downgraded Shopify from Outperform to Neutral with a 12-month price target lifted from $270 to $305.

The Thesis

Shopif...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Wilshire 5000 Creating A Triple Top? An Important Breakout Test Is In Play!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

The stock market has been on fire of late, rallying up to the edge of price resistance on several indexes. Today, we look at one of those stock market indexes: the Wilshire 5000.

The Wilshire 5000 tracks all of the stocks in the US market, so it is a broad-based index that carries significant importance when gauging the health of the overall US stock market.

Looking at the long-term “weekly” chart above, it is pretty clear that the index is at an important price juncture.

The Wilshire 5000 spent the last 25 years trading within a rising price channel (1)...



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Chart School

Formula for when the Great Stock Market Rally ends

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

When valuations for the boring water company or the boring electric company is trading like your Facebook, Apple, Amazon or Netflix or Google (ie FANG) you know something is wrong.

This is when a seriously over valued market is screaming at you.

Of course the reader must understand in a world where money printing goes super nuts (Zimbabwe style) the stock market may go hyper inflationary and picking a time frame for a top is never a good idea, but we are not there yet. There is no Ben Bernanke helicopter money to the masses yet (ie MMT). 

To see when water company's (and such like) are nearing the crazy FANG like valuations a review of the Dow Jones Utility Index channel shows us how history can repeat. The c...

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Digital Currencies

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream - the battle is on to bring them under global control

 

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream – the battle is on to bring them under global control

The high seas are getting lower. dianemeise

Courtesy of Iwa Salami, University of East London

The 21st-century revolutionaries who have dominated cryptocurrencies are having to move over. Mainstream financial institutions are adopting these assets and the blockchain technology that enables them, in what ...



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Biotech

Consumer genetic testing customers stretch their DNA data further with third-party interpretation websites

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

Consumer genetic testing customers stretch their DNA data further with third-party interpretation websites

If you’ve got the raw data, why not mine it for more info? Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Sarah Catherine Nelson, University of Washington

Back in 2016, Helen (a pseudonym) took three different direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests: AncestryDNA, 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA. She saw genetic testing as a way...



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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

Excerpt:

The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...



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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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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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