Archive for 2016

“I’ve Never Seen Anything Like This Before” – The Housing Markets In The Hamptons, Aspen And Miami Are All Crashing

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

One month ago, we said that “it is not looking good for the US housing market”, when in the latest red flag for the US luxury real estate market, we reported that sales in the Hamptons plunged by half and home prices fell sharply in the second quarter in the ultra-wealthy enclave, New York’s favorite weekend haunt for the 1%-ers.

Reuters blamed this on “stock market jitters earlier in the year” which  damped the appetite to buy, however one can also blame the halt of offshore money laundering, a slowing global economy, the collapse of the petrodollar, and the drastic drop in Wall Street bonuses. In short: a sudden loss of confidence that a greater fool may emerge just around the corner, which in turn has frozen buyer interest.

A beachfront residence is seen in East Hampton, New York, March 16, 2016.

We concluded this is just the beginning, and sure enough, several weeks later a similar collapse in the luxury housing segment was reported in a different part of the country. As the Denver Post reported recently, high-end sales that fuel Aspen’s $2 billion-a-year real estate market are evaporating, pushing Pitkin County’s sales volume down more than 42 percent to $546.45 million for the first half of the year from $939.91 million in the same period of 2015.

The collapse in transactions means that Aspen’s high-end real estate market “one of the most robust in the country, with dozens of options for buyers ready to spend more than $10 million” finds itself in its first-ever sustained nosedive, despite “dense summer crowds, soaring sales tax revenues and high lodging occupancy.”

Like in the Hamptons, the question everyone is asking is “why”? There are many answers:

Ask a dozen market watchers why, and you’ll get a dozen answers. Uncertainty around the presidential election. Fear of Trump. Fear of Clinton. Growing trade imbalances with China. Brexit. Roller-coaster oil prices. Zika. Wobbling economies in South America. The list goes on.

“People are worried about all kinds of stuff these days,” says longtime Aspen broker Bob Ritchie. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

The speed of the collapse has been stunning. Until just last year, the local market was beyond robust, with Pitkin County real estate


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What Life Will Be Like After An Economic Collapse

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Megan Stewart via SurvivalSullivan.com,

If you have been waiting for a public announcement or news headline to let you know that an economic collapse has begun, you are in for the surprise of your life. If history in other countries and in Detroit, Michigan is any indication, there won’t be an announcement. An economic collapse tends to sneak up on a city, region, or country gradually over time. In some cases, the arrival of an economic collapse is so gradual that most people living in it aren’t even aware of it at first.

Things just get gradually worse, often so gradually that people and families adjust as best they can until one day they actually realize that it’s not just their home or their neighborhood that has been hit so hard financially, it’s everyone. By that time, it’s often too late to take preventative action.

In March of 2011, Detroit’s population was reported as having fallen to 713,777, the lowest it had been in a century and a full 25% drop from 2000. In December 2011, the state announced its intention to formally review Detroit’s finances. In May of 2013, almost two years later, the city is deemed “clearly insolvent” and in July of 2013, the state representative filed a Chapter 9 bankruptcy petition for Motor City. Detroit became one of the biggest cities to file bankruptcy in history.

So we have only to look at what happened in Detroit, Michigan post-bankruptcy, to get an indication of what might soon be widespread across the United States and what is already widespread in countries like Brazil and Venezuela.

Increased and Widespread Hunger

Grocery stores and other businesses will fail one by one or be shut down from the riots and looting. In Detroit, the economic collapse left less than 5 national grocery stores for over 700,000 people. Imagine the lines even if food was still being shipped in on trucks. Small independent corner stores and family owned stores become the most convenient place to shop. These are stores with already high prices who make most of their profit from beer, wine, lottery, and cigarettes.

Now imagine that shipping schedules have been affected by the economic crisis, this would mean longer lines with less certainty that any food would even be available once you got into the


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What If Only Taxpayers Voted?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

If “pay-to-play” is good enough for Hillary’s State Department, then why not the nation?

Source: The Burning Platform





Minimum Wage Claims Its Latest Victims – Ashley Furniture Slashes 840 Jobs In California

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A few weeks back we pointed out a couple of the reasons that businesses are fleeing California by the 1,000′s (“3 Simple Charts That Help Explain Why 9,000 Businesses Have Left California In Just 7 Years“).  Clearly the implementation of a State-wide $15 minimum wage hasn’t helped “lure” business owners.

On Friday, Ashley Furniture’s 840 employees working in the company’s production and warehouse facility in Colton, California became the latest victims of California’s minimum wage hike.  Ashley announced they would be leaving open their retail store in Colton, but would be relocating the production facility that accounts for most of the location’s jobs.  Per the San Bernadino Sun, Ashley Furniture released the following statements about the closure:

We thank our employees for all their hard work, but closing these plants on Oct. 25 and rebalancing our manufacturing mix strengthens production capability and cost structure and will help ensure Ashley’s continued ability to compete effectively long-term in the global marketplace from a U.S. base.

The majority of production in Colton will move to U.S. plants in Wisconsin, Mississippi and North Carolina.

By shifting the majority of Colton production to other U.S. facilities we will create more efficiency and better use of existing capacity in our manufacturing network.

Ashley Furniture

Certainly, it’s not surpurprising that Ashley would choose to relocate their California prodcution capacity to Wisconsin, North Carolina and Mississippi given that they each sport minimum wages that are a mere 52% lower than California’s proposed $15 floor.

Minimum Wage by State

But, as per the norm, misinformed politicians rarely seem to take the heat for their reckless policies as Ashley employees prepared to protest the layoffs in Colton. 

We cannot let companies like Ashley bleed the American dream,” Naja said. “It’s not only the employees, but the families, the kids, the wives. They’ve got wives with medical situations and things like that. There’s no way a huge company like Ashley’s can shut down the doors.

We’re going to be here making a protest and we’re calling everybody that can come to please support us and find out what they did to us,” Zuniga said. “Come and support all the hard-working employees and parents that take income to their house. I’m the only one supporting my


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Shoulda Called Huma…

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Presented with no comment…

Source: Townhall.com





What Preppers haven’t Prepped for – the big gaping hole

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Reading stories about Preppers is often more inspiring than reading about startups.  Preppers dedicate their entire life to their new way of life, as it were.  Take for example this recent article in the Washington Post about the American Redoubt:

Those migrating to the Redoubt are some of the most motivated members of what is known as the prepper movement, which advocates readiness and self-reliance in man-made or natural disasters that could create instability for years. It’s scenario-planning that is gaining adherents and becoming mainstream in what Redoubt preppers described as an era of fear and uncertainty.  They are anxious about recent terrorist attacks from Paris to San Bernardino, Calif., to Orlando; pandemics such as Ebola in West Africa; potential nuclear attacks from increasingly provocative countries such as North Korea or Iran; and the growing political, economic and racial polarization in the United States that has deepened during the 2016 presidential election.

Although the reasons for prepping are extremely varied, most dedicated preppers share several axioms of their prepping philosophy, such as:

  • Being ‘off the grid’ or self-reliant, for food, power, medical needs, and any needs or wants
  • Living in a secure, remote area
  • DIY mentality (Do It Yourself)
  • 6 month – 2 year supply of food and other supplies
  • Gold & Silver for if/when the financial system collapses

Before exposing the big gaping hole in the prepper’s main doctrine, let’s give uber-credit to this ‘movement’ if you want to call it that.  Although many preppers are fueled by irrational fears, and some based on a low probability, high impact event statistic (for example, a meteor several miles wide can strike the Earth, causing widespread volcanoes, earthquakes, and other end of days scenarios, but the chance of this happening in next 100 years is very low, probably 1 in 100 million); their approach towards life is very American, in fact it was this type of survivalist gusto that made America what it was originally.  The land was untamed, there were ‘terrorists’ (called in those days, American Indians) and Americans had to be self-reliant because well, there was no DHS to call.  If your village was attacked by Indians or the British you had to defend yourself.  There was also the chance of a lifetime – live


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The Deep State (And The Rise Of The Unspeakable)

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Via Jesse’s Cafe Americain,

The state within a state is hiding mostly in plain sight.

The pressure to conform to an authority figure or peer group can cause people to behave in shocking ways.

It is not too much to say that Wall Street may be the ultimate owner of the Deep State and its strategies, if for no other reason than that it has the money to reward government operatives with a second career that is lucrative beyond the dreams of avarice – certainly beyond the dreams of a salaried government employee.

The corridor between Manhattan and Washington is a well-trodden highway for the personalities we have all gotten to know in the period since the massive deregulation of Wall Street.”

-Mike Lofgren

Because inflated salaries, inflated stock prices and inflated ruling-class personalities are month to month, these should evaporate more quickly, over a debris field once known as some of richest counties in the United States.  Can I imagine the shabbiest of trailer parks in the dismal swamp, where high rises and government basilicas and abbeys once stood?  I’d certainly like to.  But I’ll settle for well-kept, privately owned house trailers, filled with people actually producing some small value for society, and minding their own business.

Can a lack of public support reduce the deep state, or impact it?  Well, it would seem that this is a non-factor, except for the strange history we have had and are witnessing again today, with the odd successful popular and populist-leaning politician and their related movements.  In my lifetime, only popular figures and their movements get assassinated mysteriously, with odd polka dot dresses, MKULTRA suggestions, threats against their family by their competitors (I’m thinking Perot, but one mustn’t be limited to that case), and always with concordant pressures on the sociopolitical seams in the country, i.e riots and police/military activations.  The bad dealings toward, and genuine fear of, Bernie Sanders within the Democratic Party’s wing of the deep state is matched or exceeded only by the genuine terror of Trump among the Republican deep state wing.   This reaction to something or some person that so many in the country find engaging and appealing — an outsider who speaks to the


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One Striking Chart Shows Why, According to MS, The Next Global Recession Begins In China

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Much has been said about China in the past year. Now, courtesy of Morgan Stanley’s Chetan Ahya, here is one additional data point revealing why China will be ground zero for the next global economic slowdown.

As Ahya notes in his Sunday Start note, “several large economies in the world including but not limited to the US, euro area, China, Japan and UK are facing the 3D challenge of demographics, debt and disinflation. Among these economies, we believe that China, which currently accounts for 18% of global GDP and 27% of global manufacturing and contributes 45% to global growth, will be the biggest drag towards lower nominal GDP growth and consequently lower expected returns.

Surprisingly, unlike many other Chinese doomsayers, Morgan Stanley does not think the catalyst of China’s upcoming “hard landing” will be financial, or debt-related:

The key concern that investors have on China is that its debt build-up could result in a potential financial shock, which would be akin to the experience of the US in 2008 and emerging markets in the 1990s. However, we think that the macro set-up and policy preferences will mean that the risk of a financial shock in China is low. There are three key characteristics of China’s current macro set-up: i) Debt is being largely funded domestically, i.e., China is misallocating its own excess saving; ii) It remains a net creditor to the world (with a net international investment position of 14.7% of GDP) and it runs a current account surplus; and iii) It is facing significant disinflationary pressures, which will allow the central bank to inject liquidity to manage any potential risk-aversion in the domestic financial system. While there are non-performing loans in the banking system, policy-makers will likely have significant control of liquidity conditions to prevent a financial shock, in our view.

Ideally, a quick adjustment approach following our five-step process of accepting lower potential growth, cutting excess capacity/recognising non-performing loans, recapitalising banks, cutting real interest rates and stimulating consumption with fiscal transfers to households for education and healthcare is needed to transition to a new productive growth cycle.

That however, is unlikely for a country in which social tensions and rising unemployment are already the thing that keeps Beijing up at night: “However, considering the risks to social


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Breaking News And Best Of The Web

Courtesy of John Rubino.

Odds of rate hike go up after Yellen speech. US Q2 GDP lowered, expected to rise in Q3. World trade continues to contract. Gold and US stocks fall post-Yellen. Negative interest rates getting a lot of attention, mostly critical. Europe doesn’t seem fixable. Trump hires new people, keeps falling in polls. Clinton emails remain major problem.

Best Of The Web

The 11 bone-chilling things I gleaned from Yellen’s chart – Wolf Street

Political left and right being upended by globalization politics – Nouriel Roubini

Yellen speaks Japanese – Talk Markets

Jim Rickards: “There will be a war on gold” – Sprott Global

Weekly commentary: Yellen unveiling, Jackson Hole 2016 – Credit Bubble Bulletin

All is calm, all is not right – Best Minds, Inc.

The reckoning – Alhambra Partners

French support for the EU project is crumbling on the Left and Right – Telegraph

Eight! – FOFOA

These Olympian gold royalty companies are insanely attractive – US Funds

Monetary policy has nationalized the Japan stock market – CNBC

Bubbles in bond land – a central bank made mania, part 1 – David Stockman

The “neutral rate” – Credit Bubble Bulletin

—————————————————————–

Breaking News

The Economy

8/29    BOJ needs massive move to shock & awe – Bloomberg

8/29    Hong Kong July retail sales fall for 17th straight month – Reuters

8/29    Central banks double down on the mistakes of 2008 – 24hGold

8/29    Dallas Fed dead-cat-bounce dies – Zero Hedge

8/29    Are central bankers coming to a bitter end? – Armstrong Economics

8/29    Consumer spending rises, inflation remains tame in July – CNBC

8/29    Mass Media embracing this bull market; correction is likely – Sol Palha

8/29    If you’re investing for the long term, ‘you’re crazy’ – MarketWatch

8/29    Fed nears rate hikes, policymakers plan for ‘brave new world’ – Reuters

8/29    A negative interest rate world – Proactive Investors

8/29    Deutsche Bank and hedge funds panic over


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Merkel’s Approval Continues To Slide: Half Of Germans Are Against Her Serving A Fourth Term

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The last time we checked on Angela Merkel’s plunging support in the polls, was in early August, when right after the three most recent terrorist attacks on German soil all conducted by ISIS-affiliated refugees, popular support for the Chancellor had plunged by a whopping 12%, with her approval rating crashing to just 47%. This marked her second-lowest score since she was re-elected in 2013. In April last year, before the migrant crisis erupted she enjoyed backing of 75 percent.

Nearly a month later, with the recent terrorist attacks having subsided from memory, a new Emnid poll reveals that the traditional bounce in Merkel’s popularity has failed to materialize, and instead  50% of Germans are now against her serving a fourth term in office after a federal election next year.

According to Reuters, half of the 501 people questioned in the Emnid poll for the Bild am Sonntag newspaper were against Merkel staying in office beyond the 2017 election, with 42 percent wanting her to remain. In November, the last time Bild am Sonntag commissioned a survey on the issue, 45 percent had been in favor of Merkel serving a fourth term, with 48 percent against.

When asked about her plans for the 2017 election in an interview with public broadcaster ARD on Sunday, Merkel said she would comment on this “in due course”, but did not elaborate. Germany’s political parties are gearing up for next year’s election. Asked in the ARD interview when Germans would get tax relief given that Germany has a budget surplus, Merkel said that would come “in the next legislative period.”

Perhaps Merkel’s lack of enthusiasm is due to the recent calculation by the head of Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) who told Bild am sonntag that he expected a maximum of 300,000 refugees to arrive in Germany this year. While less than the 1 million refugees Germany accepted last year, judging by the recent social mood in Germany, this is about 300,000 too many.

“We’re preparing for 250,000 to 300,000 refugees this year,” BAMF head Frank-Juergen Weise told Bild am Sonntag newspaper in comments due to be published on Sunday.

Germans tend to use the word “refugee” to refer to both refugees and migrants who are seeking protection but do


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Phil's Favorites

Congress is considering privacy legislation - be afraid

 

Congress is considering privacy legislation – be afraid

Courtesy of Jeff Sovern, St. John's University

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called privacy the “right to be let alone.” Perhaps Congress should give states trying to protect consumer data the same right.

For years, a gridlocked Congress ignored privacy, apart from occasionally scolding companies such as Equifax and Marriott after their major data breaches. In its absence, ...



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Zero Hedge

Key Events This Week: Trade War, EU Elections, Durables, PMIs And Fed Minutes

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

Looking at this week's key events, Deutsche Bank's Craig Nicol writes that while the unpredictable nature of US-China trade developments will likely continue to be the main focus for markets again next week, we also have the European Parliament elections circus to look forward to as well as various survey reports including the flash May PMIs which may offer some insight into the impact of trade escalation on economic data. The FOMC and ECB meeting minutes are also due, along with a heavy calendar of Fed officials speaking.

The European Parliament elections will kick off next Thursday with voting continuing into the weekend across the continent, with results expected on Sunday. With the elections surrounded by internal and external challenges for the EU, members di...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Will S&P 500 Double Top Derail The Rally?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

The rally off the December stock market lows has been strong, to say the least. The S&P 500 rallied 25 percent before hitting and testing the 2018 high.

The old highs proved to be formidable resistance and ushered in some volatility in May… and a 5 percent pullback.

In today’s 2-pack, we look at that resistance level – could that be a double top? We can see similar patterns develop on the S&P 500 Index and its Equal Weight counterpart.

Both indexes are testing short-term Fibonacci retracement levels of the recent decline at point (2).

What takes place here after potential double top highs will be important. Stay tuned...



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Insider Scoop

60 Biggest Movers From Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Gainers
  • Fastly, Inc. (NYSE: FSLY) shares jumped 50 percent to close at $23.99 on Friday. Fastly priced its 11.25 million share IPO at $16 per share.
  • Outlook Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: OTLK) shares climbed 37.3 percent to close at $2.10 on Friday after the stock rose over 68 percent Thursday following an Oppenheimer initiation at Outperform with a price target of $12.
  • Cray Inc. (NASDAQ: CRAY) shares rose 22.5 percent to close at $36.52 after Hewlett Packard Enterpri...


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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap May 18, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

China – U.S. trade talk continued to dominate the week.   A heavy selloff Monday was followed by 3 up days, with Friday moderately down.

On Monday, Chinese officials announced retaliatory tariffs against the U.S., hitting $60 billion in annual exports to China with new or expanded duties that could reach 25%.

Then on Wednesday:

The Trump administration plans to delay a decision on instituting new tariffs on car and auto part imports for up to six months, according to media reports.

...

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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

DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

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

 

DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

A map of DNA with the double helix colored blue, the landmarks in green, and the start points for copying the molecule in red. David Gilbert/Kyle Klein, CC BY-ND

Courtesy of David M. Gilbert, Florida State University

...



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ValueWalk

More Examples Of "Typical Tesla "wise-guy scamminess"

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Stanphyl Capital’s letter to investors for the month of March 2019.

rawpixel / Pixabay

Friends and Fellow Investors:

For March 2019 the fund was up approximately 5.5% net of all fees and expenses. By way of comparison, the S&P 500 was up approximately 1.9% while the Russell 2000 was down approximately 2.1%. Year-to-date 2019 the fund is up approximately 12.8% while the S&P 500 is up approximately 13.6% and the ...



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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:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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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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