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Thrilling Thursday – Banks Pass Stress Tests (after being given $3.5Tn)

The banks all passed!  

After being handed $3.5Tn in various forms of relief by the Federal Reserve (and we already forgot another Trillion from TARP), our friendly Banksters were all given the go-ahead from the Fed (a cartel of Banksters that is NOT a Government Agency) to beign transferring that wealth (through dividends and stock buybacks) to the Top 1% while the losses from those bailed-out assets will be taken on by the Bottom 99% as additional Federal Debt.  

Image result for top 10% 75% of wealthSeems like business as usual in America to me where the Top 10% of the population (30M) hold 75% of the nation's wealth AND make 50% of the income – yet they need tax breaks to get by….  

As you can see from this distribution chart, no, this is not normal – the US has the worst wealth distribution in the developed world, you have to go to Oilgarchys like Russia or Dictatorships to find another country where the Top 10% takes more of the pie away from the Bottom 90% than they do in the US.  That's why our own Oligarchs rigged an election to install a more Russia-like system (where the top 10% have 85% of the wealth) – at some point they need to worry about the rubes realizing how much they are being screwed and rising up against them so the time to install an authoritarian regime is now – you have to nip dissent in the bud before it spreads.  

That's why the "Fake (non-Fox) News Media" is under attack, ideas cannot be spread to the masses unless they are the State's ideas – all other opinions must be squashed or invalidated.  Just the fact that I'm saying this here will cause this post to be censored at Seeking Alpha and several other places that usually syndicate our Morning Report.  

And it's not really about the Top 10%, they are generally poor compared to the Top 1% but they do go along (like any good party Member) because what's good for the Top 1% is usually good for the Top 10% as they actually do get a little bit of trickle from time to time.  What the Russian takeover of the United States is about is the Top 1%, who currently have about 35% of the wealth wanting to double their share and the ONLY country in the World that has pulled that off without a Government overthrow (well, after they overthrew the last Government) is Russia.  

So Russia is welcomed with open arms by our own oligarchs.  Isn't that always the way though?  The gates are opened from within the fortress by greedy people who are willing to watch their fellow citizens be slaughtered in order that they may enrich themselves.  And, whether you believe this Administration is tied to Russia or whether you think the Russians simply chose Trump to be President over Hillary, it's all a distraction as to what's really happening, which is the largest-ever transfer of wealth from the Bottom 99% to the Top 1% in the history of "Democracy" – whatever that means these days.

Image result for wealth distribution in russiaThis is your future.  When Putin took power in 1999, he was a former spy of modest means from a middle-class family.  Now, just 18 years later, he is one of the richest men in the World with a net worth of approximately $75Bn accumulated while he was Prime Minister, President, Prime Minister and now President again.

Putin's wealth is just a "tip" for overseeing the transfer of roughly 40% of the country's wealth from the Bottom 99% to the Top 1% in less than two decades.  Notice the "Next 4%" in Russia has dropped to 11.7%, less than half of what our Next 4% holds.  The 5% after that also had their wealth cut in half becuase, what the idiots in the US Top 10% don't understand is that the bottom 90% – even if they gave ALL of their wealth and ALL of their salaries to the Top 1%, would not have enough to double their wealth so the money MUST come from the Top 10% – they are the last fortress left to pillage.  

Image result for share of the wealth pie cartoonThe Health "Care" Bill will strip away Billions of Dollars from the poor and sick and the Tax Plan will shift the burden of taxes from the Top 1% to the Bottom 99% sinifcantly but that's only good for 5-10% more wealth for the Top 1% – how could that possibly satisfy them?  Sure GDP might grow and the "pie" might grow for all of us but the pie has been growing for decades and the share of the Top 1% has gone up while EVERYONE else has gotten less.  

This is going to be a crisis folks, but it will take a very long time to play out and you will have forgotten all about it by Tuesday so I guess it doesn't fit the American definition of crisis, which is something very scary that will be solved by tomorrow (or at least someone will pretend to solve it or deny it's real or, failing that, deny it's a big deal or blame God or Obama or some other outside thing that can't be fixed), when the next distraction will come along. 

Windows are still being dressed but S&P 2,440 is still a strong barrier – be very careful out there. 


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  1. From Briefing :

    ~~RAD -22.1% (Rite Aid and Walgreens (WBA) terminate merger, sign new agreement whereby Walgreens will acquire 2,186 stores, related distribution assets and inventory from Rite Aid for an all-cash purchase price of $5.175 bln; also reported earnings).
    •FRED -19.6% (in response to termination of WBA/RAD deal).

  2. Good morning!

  3. More from Briefing :

    Hanj & Scott :

    ~~OMER +6.4% (Omeros states it is 'aware of a report posted on-line' by Art Doyle; defends itself against allegations).


    ~~VRX +3.6% (Salix announced FDA accepted the New Drug Application for NER1006 (PLENVU); expects FDA decision in first-quarter 2018).

  4. Was that another dip to be bought? Number 50 in the last 4 years it seems. Even Pavlov's dogs didn't require that much training.

  5. This latest video from the NRA is pretty scary:

    Phil – This is your first step toward the authoritarian regime? Don't people remember history or even learn from the present. Journalists and opposition leaders get killed with rethoric like this in places that our president admires. 

  6. OOPS !

    Don't know where Briefing got the info on OMER, but I noticed it's no longer up that big in pre-market.

    My apologies.

  7. Good Morning.

  8. Didn't scare me, but the nerve of THOSE people to express their opinion, huh? Propaganda is everywhere, We've gotten very good at it, divide and conquer, feeding hate to the masses. BOTH sides. Keep feeding the beast, fear and hate abounds. God bless the America I used to know… or thought I did anyway. We are so far gone we elected a drama queen. It's downright embarrassing but speaks volumes as to how far we've fallen.

  9. Paris – Have a great trip Phil. If you have not tried the restaurant Chez L'Ami Louis then it is worth it – although reservations are often difficult to come by. My favourite restaurant in Paris when someone else is paying!

  10. Good morning!  

    RAD going just like I thought it  would, raped by WBA in the end.  You can see why I'm such a cynic – I used to get paid for warning companies things like this were going to happen to them!  

    Submitted on 2016/11/08 at 10:47 am

    CVS/Options – Ever since WBA formed, I've pretty much decided RAD and CVS are essentially doomed.  Boots really has it together in Europe and they are spending big to revamp Walgreens over here and it will cost Billions for CVS and RAD to start catching up, which will impact earnings, etc.  Actually, RAD already gave up and is being swallowed by WBA as well, which does not bode well for CVS.

    Submitted on 2017/01/27 at 2:58 pm

    RAD/DC – They don't make anything on their own and, if the deal isn't done, then WAG is their competitor and they are DOOMED.  It's a nasty but common tactic to string a competitor along by dangling a deal in front of them and then letting it fall apart – leaving them up a creek without a paddle.  I get that vibe here.  

    Bloomberg recently reported that Walgreens has yet to satisfy the FTC’s requirement, which caused Rite Aid stock price to collapse. This coupled with the failure to extend the deadline has caused mass panic and a great deal of uncertainty.

    If they REALLY wanted the deal, they certainly could have hit the FTC's numbers.  

    Furthermore, why announce the Fred’s purchase of 865 Rite Aid stores in December, to satisfy the FTC’s requirement for store divestments? And finally, why tell analysts and investors earlier this month that it still planned to close the acquisition in early 2017?

    Why does that not make sense?  Boots bought WAG and they wanted to dump stores but, being English, they didn't want to seem like bad guys so they are "forced" to dump 865 stores cheaply, rather than just closing them. 

    RAD/Pat – I think WBA is going to kill them eventually.  Even at $4.50, you'll be lucky if they cover 0.05/share for a p/e of 90 and this is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a growth story.   So, from that info – I'd say short Einhorn! 

    Big Chart – Nas bouncing back but still has to clear the 45% line for us to get longer.  2,440 is back as our main focus – very suspicious rally if we can't hold that.

    NRA/StJ – WOW!  WTF???  Holy crap, I have to get my children out of this madhouse! 

    And what Mkucs said (well, I mean that the fact that he said it makes me realize how endemic the problem is, which proves the point).  

    Yes Mkucs, it's all the same.  The Democrats urge people to peacefully protest and the NRA says the only way to save America is to arrest the protesters and, if the police won't do their job – well, you KNOW what you need to do {wink, wink}.

    Image result for killing liberals animated gif

    Sounds good Winston, Thanks!  

    Keep in mind I'm off to Europe Thursday night so my main focus is on CASH!!! and BALANCE!

    My vacation schedule:

    I'm flying to Paris today, leaving 1pm, arrive tomorrow am so normal day as long as I get checked into the hotel but don't expect a full day out of me on Friday in Paris!

    Monday is July 3rd, most likely I will skip (but there will be a morning post) as it's a travel day for us, 4th is a holiday and Wednesday is another travel day but I expect to work pre-market and end of day from London.

    July 6th and 7th should be normalish.

    The following Monday (10th), will be another light day and Tuesday is a travel day but I expect all to be normal the rest of that week (other than my time-shift from London). 

    Back in the command center on the 17th.  

     No official webinars in Europe though I plan to test one for quality from London on the 12th (affects my future travel plans)

  11. Phil / CLF – I have 40X  naked '18 $5 calls. that I'm looking for your take not his stock .  It's had a good run and I'm at the point where I can sell them and break even or I can sell the '18 $9 calls and cover and hold on.  Do you still feel good about the PT of 9ish at end of year on this company?

  12. Phil/London restaurants

    Momo   Moroccan food, very good, if your kids like Lebanese then they would probably like this and casual enough to go in jeans.

    Quilon   Michelin Star Indian food, near Buckingham gate. fancy & expensive, but one of the finest in London

  13. Wow, my /TF and /NKD shorts finally went green.  That was hard work….

    CLF/Batman – They are on a good tear.  I think they could go higher but let's say they go up 50% to $10, you make $3, right?  Your Jan $5s are $2.50 now and you can sell the $7s for $1.37 so you are taking half off the table but you'll still net back $3.37 at $7 or better whereas you'd need $8.37 to make that with your calls(ish).  That's the proper way to play (locking in profits, leaving 50% more upside) but I know that doesn't satisfy you so you can ALSO:

    Sell 15 (1/3ish) 2019 $7 puts at $1.90 ($2,850) 

    Buy 20 2019 $7 calls at $2.20 ($4,400) 

    That gives you a lot more upside potential for net $1,550 and, if CLF fails $7, then you can sell 20 of the $12 calls (now 0.90) to turn it into a net credit OR you could cash out half your 2018 $5s and you'd still be fully covered.  

    Quilon/Stock – That's one I do want to try.  Kids will be mad if they have to keep dressing up for dinner on vaca though so the casual's a good idea.  

  14. Phil/Indian restaurant -Veeraswamy is one of my favourites, close to Piccadily circus. Can vouch for the authentic food there.

  15. Phil/Pubs – try Copperfields at the end of the Tower Bridge – supposedly Dickens imbibed there.

  16. Phil / CLF – thanks.   I'm covering at 7 and already have some $5 puts that I'll just hold….  These were naked after we uncovered the BCS a few weeks ago…. will see how this goes.

  17. Thanks Ravi.

    • It's a third straight day of big price declines (yields higher) for bond prices as the hawkishness spreads from the Fed to the Bank of Canada, the ECB, and the Bank of England.
    • The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield is up another six basis points to 2.28% – it stood near 2.10% about 72 hours ago. The German 10-year Bund yield is higher by another 8 basis points to 0.454%; Italy up 12 bps, Spain up 10 bps, and the U.K. up 7 bps.
    • Some say the move is just getting started, noting the 10-year Treasury yield is still less than one percentage point higher than an all-time low of 1.366% hit last July. Bulls say structural changes – insurance companies and pensioners needing safe yield – mean plenty of buyers are standing ready.
    • Previously: Western central banks threaten to hit the brakes (June 28)
    • TLT -1.2%TBT +2.4%


    • GDP Q1: +1.4% vs. +1.2% consensus, +1.2% previous estimate.

    • Stocks start lower, with weakness in technology shares weighing on the Nasdaq; Dow -0.1%, S&P -0.2%, Nasdaq -0.7%.
    • Bank stocks are rallying after the 34 biggest U.S. banks passed the Fed's annual stress test; the financial sector has been bullish this week and looks to extend its 2.7% week-to-date gain.
    • European markets are mostly lower, with U.K.'s FTSE flat, Germany's DAX -0.7% and France's CAC -1.1%; in Asia, both Japan's Nikkei and China's Shanghai Composite closed +0.5%.
    • In M&A news, Rite Aid (-24.8%) and Walgreens (+2.6%) terminated their merger deal and signed a new deal where Walgreens will acquire 2,186 Rite Aid stores, related distribution assets, and inventory for $5.175B; the divestiture agreement with Fred's (-22.4%) also was terminated.
    • On the data front, the third reading of Q1 U.S. GDP pointed to an expansion of 1.4%, better than the prior 1.2% reading and double the initial 0.7% estimate.
    • U.S. crude oil +0.8% at $45.09/bbl after government's report yesterday that U.S. production fell by 100K bbl/day in the steepest weekly drop in nearly a year.
    • U.S. Treasury prices are lower, with the 10-year yield up by 6 bps at 2.28% and back above its 50-day and 200-day moving averages for the first time in a month, while the two-year yield rises 2 bps to 1.38%.
    • Still ahead: EIA natural gas inventory

    New funding for EV charging player Chargepoint

    • Global electric vehicle charging network Chargepoint announces that it secured another $43M in funding through a Series G round.
    • Daimler (OTCPK:DDAIF), Siemens (OTCPK:SIEGYOTCPK:SMAWFOTC:SMQFY), Linse Capital, Rho Capital Partners, BMW i Ventures (OTCPK:BMWYY) and Braemar Energy Ventures all participated the Series G fundraising.
    • "Investment and partnerships with technology leaders like Siemens will enable our team to accelerate the expansion in Europe and encourage EV adoption in the region. Growing support from influential industry players and investors demonstrates widespread confidence in our business model and product and service portfolio," says Chargepoint CEO Pasquale Romano.
    • ChargePoint press release
    • Standpoint Research raises General Electric (NYSE:GE) to Hold from Sell, citing the recent underperformance of the shares.
    • The firm sees fair value for the shares at $24 and thinks the stock will reach that level in a market correction.
    • GE +0.5% premarket
    • Nike (NYSE:NKE) reports earnings tonight in what will be a closely-watched report for the retail sector. Amazon wasn't mentioned once during Nike's FQ3 earnings conference call (transcript), but that won't be the case today as the company's decision to sell directly on the e-commerce site is justified. Stocks such as Foot Locker (NYSE:FL), Finish Line (NASDAQ:FINL), Hibbett Sports (NASDAQ:HIBB), Under Armour (UAUAA) and Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS) could all see extra volatility depending upon what Nike says.
    • Nike numbers to watch: Consensus estimates are for Nike to report revenue of $8.63B, EPS of $0.50, gross margin of 44.3% of sales and futures orders growth of +1.25%.
    • Seeking Alpha contributor L&F Capital Management has a more detailed earnings preview.
    • Trucking industry insiders say Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) has subtly put trucking companies on notice that if they do business with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) it could impact their relationship with the Arkansas retail giant.
    • Wal-Mart contracts with a number of trucking companies, including Swift Transportation (NYSE:SWFT) and Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ:WERN) in the past.
    • The development mirrors news from earlier this week that Wal-Mart was applying some heat on its vendors that are Amazon AWS customers. It's likely that Wal-Mart will find plenty of other ways to counteract the growing influence of Amazon in retail.

    • Constellations Brands (NYSE:STZ) races higher after cruising past profit estimates with its FQ1 report.
    • Beer sales were up 8% while sales of wines and spirits fell 4%. Operating margin popped 530 bps to 34.6% of sales. "Excellent execution" in the U.S. during the Cinco de Mayo and Memorial Day holidays was cited by Constellation management.
    • Looking ahead, Constellation sees FY18 adjusted EPS of $7.90 to $8.10.
    • STZ +4.56% premarket to $192.05

    • Lululemon (LULU +4.5%) breaks higher after some insider buying is reported.
    • Chairman Glenn Murphy picked up 100K shares in range of $55.48 to $55.50.
    • The rally in LULU today follows some go-private chatter yesterday and has shares threatening to crest $60 for the first time since late March.
    • SEC Form 4
    • The merger between Coach (NYSE:COH) and Kate Spade (NYSE:KATE) landed approval from antitrust regulators in Japan, according to Bloomberg.
    • The deal between the two retailer is expected to close in Q3.
    • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (NYSE:TEVA) is up 1% premarket on light volume in response to the news that the FDA has accepted the Biologics License Application (BLA) from commercialization partner Celltrion seeking approval of CT-P10, a biosimilar to Biogen and Roche's Rituxan (rituximab). The agency's action date should be in Q1 2018.
    • The companies inked their agreement in October 2016. Teva has commercialization rights in the U.S. and Canada while Celltrion is responsible for completing all clinical development and regulatory activities.They will share profits.
    • Shares of Fred's (NASDAQ:FRED) are down 19.64% in premarket action after the rug was pulled out from the company's plan to add Rite Aid stores.
    • Investors will now assess what's next for Fred's as the landscape in the sector abruptly shifted with today's development.
    • The drug store operator fired off a poison pill yesterday, an action that indicates that it's not looking for a buyout.
    • EU antitrust authorities have paused consideration of Qualcomm’s (NASDAQ:QCOM) acquisition of NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) after the companies failed to comply with an information request.
    • Authorities were investigating whether the acquisition would unfairly push aside competitors as Qualcomm could bundle its products with NXP’s widely used baseband chipsets and NFC chips. 
    • The investigation started earlier this month and was mean to end by October 17.
    • Authorities will restart the investigation clock with a new due date if the companies supply the requested information.
    • Delays could give NXP more time to ask Qualcomm for a higher offer as desired by activist investors. 
    • Qualcomm shares are down 0.82%.
    • NXP shares are down 0.34%.
    • Previously: Qualcomm extends NXP offer; Morgan Stanley thinks QCOM can pay more (June 28)

    Samsung planning "super OLED" factory

    • Samsung (OTC:SSNLFOTC:SSNNF) plans to build a “super OLED” factory with South Korea as the potential location, according to Naver sources.
    • The new plant could surpass the production of Samsung’s largest existing Display plant by 30%. 
    • Samsung’s board will meet next month to decide on an investment plan for its next OLED factory. Start-up costs could amount to KRW 16 trillion. 
    • If approved, construction of the new factory could begin in 2H with the plant ready for production in 2019. 
    • HBO (NYSE:TWX) is in advanced talks with Hulu (CMCSADISFOXTWX) to provide content for the streamer, according to New York Post.
    • Rival premium channel Showtime is already offered on Hulu.
    • Time Warner didn't responded to the Post story.
    • The British government is delaying a final decision on 21st Century Fox's (FOXFOXA) £11.7B takeover of Sky (OTCQX:SKYAY), referring it to the domestic competition authority.
    • Despite U.K. Culture Secretary Karen Bradley acknowledging that the deal does raise public interest concerns regarding media plurality, the government added that it sees no material issues with regards to broadcasting standards.
    • The decision by the Competition and Markets Authority is now due in mid-July.
    • Previously: Decision due on Fox's Sky takeover (Jun. 29 2017)

  18. Phil –  Hope you and your family have a safe and happy holiday.  Safe Travels

  19. Pubs/Snow – Sure, I'll bring the kids for happy hour!  cool

    Volume much higher today and we're selling off.  That pre-market BS was such a prop job!  

    We'll see how Europe finishes up. 

  20. Good morning all!

    The webinar replay is now available!

  21. Veeraswamy - that was my Dad's favourite restaurant 50 years ago – it was like stepping back into the days of the Raj. But I went back a couple of years ago and they had completely changed it – for the worse I thought. Personally, a stellar Indian restaurant in Mayfair is Gymkhana – (has a Michelin star). 

  22.      this one is really good too, lunch or dinner.   Israeli-British chef

    I doubt in need to mention this,  Borough Market for lunch, similar to Faneuil Hall.   There was a terrorist incident there on June 4. Show your kids they don't need to live in fear

  23. albo/OMER thanks!

  24. Phil or anyone / BLCM,

    They are down 10% due to the news:

           June 28 (Reuters) – Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc :Bellicum Pharmaceuticals files prospectus relating to disposition of up to about 5 million shares of co's common stock held by the selling stockholders.Bellicum Pharmaceuticals says it is not selling any shares of common stock and will not receive any of the proceeds from sale of shares by selling stockholders.

    Can you clarify what this means and what the impact is long term?


  25. Thanks for travel suggestions guys, happy to have them – you never know what's new and cool. 

    I have a lot more time in London than Paris to explore.  

    BLCM/Jeddah – It's a nice way of saying insiders are looking to sell 5M shares on the open market.   There's only 27M total shares so that's not the best of signs as insiders only held 24% so about 7M which means they are selling (possibly) 70% of their shares.  There's just no way to look at that as a positive – sounds more like the end game of a scam, which is very possible as the company has no sales and lost $70M last year and $22M last Q, so it's not getting better.   Also, the CFO is the Treasurer too and is getting paid $500K and Tom Farrell is getting paid $680K as a consultant.  

    I know Pharm likes their process of turning off the "switch" on T-Cells and it's great if it works and if their patent holds up (KITE just won a patent) etc., etc, but the above is nothing like a vote of confidence from the insiders (if true).  

    Bellicum Pharmaceuticals EHA Presentation Helps Validate Its Platform

    Analysts Remain Encouraged By Bellicum Pharma's Progress

    Good news released last couple of days but the selling now makes it seem like maybe they were just pumping it up into the sale (like TSLA does).

  26. Many thanks Phil!!

  27. It's that time already:

    Clearly we are due for another war:


    Here's what's wrong with this country in one picture.  Remember, when I am talking about the Top 1%, I'm talking about our Corporate "Citizens" as well:

    The Fed is PLANNING to double that interest on debt figure – it could easily triple and THEN Trump is planning to pump it up 50% from there.  So let's see, that's $200Bn x 3 = $600Bn + 50% = $900Bn/year in interest.  I wonder what will get cut to pay for that (because raising taxes is out of the question)?

    Watson finally gets us moving again:

    We have a small IBM in the LTP:

    Long Call 2018 19-JAN 140.00 CALL [IBM @ $155.13 $-0.10] 10 4/12/2016 (206) $19,500 $19.50 $-2.00 n/a     $17.50 - $-2,000 -10.3% $17,500
    Short Call 2018 19-JAN 165.00 CALL [IBM @ $155.13 $-0.10] -10 4/12/2016 (206) $-8,700 $8.70 $-5.20     $3.50 $0.00 $5,200 59.8% $-3,500
    Short Put 2019 18-JAN 135.00 PUT [IBM @ $155.13 $-0.10] -5 6/15/2017 (570) $-4,800 $9.60 $-0.30     $9.30 $0.26 $150 3.1% $-4,650

    Europe closed at lows – not good for US.   Very nice on our shorts though.

    You're welcome Jeddah.

  28. ~~Shortly before 9 a.m., as Ms. Brzezinski’s MSNBC show “Morning Joe” was ending, Mr. Trump used Twitter to taunt Ms. Brzezinski and her co-host, Joe Scarborough, referring to them as “low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe” and saying that at one point Ms. Brzezinski was “bleeding badly from a face-lift.”

    Very Presidential, eh.  Doesn't he have anything better to do.  We need to get him outta there !

  29. Good perspective after reading all those "rise of ETF" articles:

    Go short ISIS!  Islamic State’s monthly revenue has dropped 88%

    Very interesting, the plot thickens:

    In October, we began hearing rumors that McConnell directly or indirectly threatened Obama that he would make it a partisan issue if the administration went public with the full extent of what it knew about Russian interference in the presidential election. A month after the election, the Washington Post published what should have been a bombshell, but was surprisingly disregarded at the time.

    In the the Post’s account, in September the administration sent James Comey, former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, and Lisa Monaco, Obama’s counterterrorism and homeland security adviser, to Capitol Hill to brief congressional leadership plus the chairmen and ranking members of the two intelligence committees.

    “According to several officials, McConnell raised doubts about the underlying intelligence and made clear to the administration that he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.”

    Now, eight months since the election, the Post has published the fullest account to date on the Obama administration’s discovery of the Russian hacking and its early, fumbling attempts to respond. It reiterates the Republican role in pushing back against the revelation of Russian interference, and McConnell’s role in particular:

    Trump's problem (and now it's all Republicans' problem) is that he is such a pathological liar with so little grasp of what's going on that he accuses the Democrats of stuff the Republicans are actually doing.  When he hears the Republicans actively squashed any action against Russia before the election – Trump thinks it's an opportunity to say the Democrats didn't do anything about it.  Unfortunately, he calls attention to the issue, people start looking into it and the other truth comes out.  

    “The Dems were, ‘Hey, we have to tell the public,’” recalled one participant. But Republicans resisted, arguing that to warn the public that the election was under attack would further Russia’s aim of sapping confidence in the system.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) went further, officials said, voicing skepticism that the underlying intelligence truly supported the White House’s claims. Through a spokeswoman, McConnell declined to comment, citing the secrecy of that meeting.

    Key Democrats were stunned by the GOP response and exasperated that the White House seemed willing to let Republican opposition block any pre-election move.

    While it is frustrating that Obama seemed to handcuff himself into avoiding aggressive action, and that he even appeared to fall for Republicans’ “concern trolling” that going public with the allegations would somehow play into Putin’s hands, there is no question that the villain in this saga was McConnell.

    The gambit paid off for him personally. After the election, Trump duly nominated Elaine Chao, McConnell’s wife, to become secretary of transportation. That is a position which will surely offer lucrative post-government opportunities for the person administering Trump’s giveaway of public infrastructure to private interests.

    Image result for mitch mcconnell animated gif

    GOP is not getting rid of Obamacare because it's unpopular or doesn't work, but only to cut taxes for the rich.

    Ahead of next week's G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, chancellor Merkel had some fiery words about her two least favorite topics: Donald Trump and Brexit. In a speech to lawmakers in Germany’s lower house of parliament on Thursday, Merkel said that “the world has become less united” and acknowledged that discussions at the G-20 meeting in Hamburg on July 7-8 “will be very difficult.” Quoted by Bloomberg, Merkel said that “the discord is obvious and it would be dishonest to paper over the conflict."

  30. Well-timed and well-said commentary for the 4th of July!  You said exactly what most logical people know but don't talk about.

    Safe travels and have a good time.  Hope you decide to come back (if this country hasn't blown up yet).

  31. Rollercoaster… first burn of the dip buyers? We gonna get a real correction now? Looking more likely…

  32. Phil

    Notre Dame

    What I was there a few year ago you could go to the top for a view of Paris.

  33. In the end it won't matter which team "wins" the battle, we're loosing the war. Debt will be our downfall.

  34. Thanks for all the knowledge and advice. Enjoy your vacation. I'm on my second 10,000 hour cycle and I think i'm getting it.

  35. London/Phil – Rules is about as British as it gets..   (and personal note, is where I proposed to my spouse).

    York – I'll be heading to and through York in a few weeks myself. Haven't been there since I was a student. Anyone have any suggestions for food and/or activities in that part of ye olde?

  36. Commentary/Bai – One of the main reasons I wanted to be a writer was to help steer the conversation.  Hopefully my small contributions will have some effect.  

    Correction/Mkucs – Still just minor pullbacks but (and I hesitate to say it) the VOLUME indicates the moves down are much more serious than the moves up.

    Notre Dame/QC – That's a good idea, less of a line than the Eiffel Tower I'll bet.  

    Debt/Mkucs – Debt doesn't matter (when the Republicans are in power).  

    Image result for congress debt gop

    20,000 hours/Den – Gosh I hope so!  Thanks. 

    Rules/Scott – No more carveries, right?  I think those died off when they had Mad Cow but that was my favorite thing in the UK.   Of course, I must have my Harry Ramsden's – that's the thing I crave the most!

    Oh Nikkei, you're so fine!  

  37. Phil  Biggest hurdle was letting go of my personal beliefs and political views and desired outcomes and just listening to the market. And letting go of greed, and taking the quick gains the market gives you regularly. 

  38. Seriously, am I the only one who thinks this will eventually lead to a revolution?  

    Map reveals where billionaires are stockpiling land that could be used in the apocalypse

    No, I guess not…

    Trump’s UN ambassador brags about slashing UN peacekeeping budget

    Illinois Is in Deep Trouble: What Investors Need to Know – Wall Street Journal –

    Wow, go long on AAPL – Look how many more people need phones!  

    Donald Trump gave the Keystone XL oil pipeline the green light. Now oil companies are saying, "No thanks."

    Good progress Den.  

    Aging bridges are “going to be a growing problem because the mathematics are against the available money to stay current with repairs on good bridges, let alone failing bridges,” said Barry LePatner, a construction-industry lawyer who wrote “Too Big to Fall: America’s Failing Infrastructure and the Way Forward.”

    Most of the funds for highways and bridges come from the federal gasoline tax, which hasn’t been increased since 1993. That prompted about 25 states in recent years to boost their own pump taxes or recalculate formulas to generate funds for upgrades.

    Time for me to get ready to go.

    Have a great day folks.  

    If, for some reason, I can't get on-line tomorrow to make a new post, just use this one and I'll catch up in chat here.  Not likely but good to have a plan.

  39. We may raise a generation that knows no other way to get stuff.   My 18 year old nephew thought nothing of using Amazon prime to order a coke and candy bar.  He lives 5 miles from a fulfillment center which makes a difference but still he got it delivered in 52 min at a cost no more than if he had driven to a store himself to get it.

  40. Trump / Albo – When are conservatives going to wake up and see how much damage this guy is doing to our system? Not just the economy, but how we conduct ourselves – see the NRA video. The GOP in congress are making comments that it's not appropriate but they are just as happy to have him as president because they can advance their agenda no matter what happens to 99% of us. And that excuse that he is defending himself is just so stupid – for 8 years they portrayed Obama as a monkey, called him the "N" word, made fun of his wife and not once did he tweet something inappropriate. That's class – something that Trump will never have no matter how much money he has.

  41. Phil – London and Paris, so much to do, so little time. Aside from the usual suspect touristic destinations… 


    Mid day grub at Sherlock Holmes Pub

    When you go to Westminster Abbey, don't follow the packs of lemmings waiting in lines. ASK one of the Harry Pothead stewards where Hogwarts, er I mean, the Sanctuary and Chapter House is. On the right of the Abbey, behind the guard shack, through the stunning 13th Century Cloisters in the rear where the Deans yard is.

    Unlike the Abbey, admission is FREE and few tourists know of its existence.  Be sure to see the Little Cloister in the monastery.   See the Chapter House and Pyx Chamber, again FREE, built by the Masons. On your walk, pay attention to the ceilings, walls, floors, and you might even spot a familiar face.

    When you are finished, have breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea at the Cellarium Cafe located in the medieval vaults next to the Dean's Yard.

    Theater District: Buy 50% off tickets at TKTS

    Have a pre show pint and knosh (salty beef sandwich), right up Bow St – Coach and Horses Pub – Where locals go, not tourists.

    Catch a show, Beautiful The Carole King Musical at the Aldwych Theatre

    Have dinner, right around the corner. Best Thai food in London – Thai Square – The Strand

    And don't forget to report in and pick up the "package" at 85 Albert Embankment.


    All day trip, take a train to the Palace of Versailles, its worth it.

    Unless you want to get skinned alive, stay off the Chump's Elysee, because that is who its for.

    If they must shop, do so in the Montmartre Garment District and go see the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur and Moulin Rouge amongst other things.

    And don't forget to get your mo-jo risin and pay your respects.  See Morrison, Wilde, Piaf, Chopin, Balzac, Bizet, Stein…  literally thousands.  Père Lachaise cemetery is the most visited non secular cemetery in the world with good reason. Cemeteries tell tales and this one speaks volumes, the headstones are spectacular.  

    I recommend a bottle, bota bag, sack with adult beverages to salute the dead with. Enjoy and Out.

  42. PSW/SVXY

    dropping like a rock….people contemplating something bad is going to happen to market??


  43. Wow, the minute I get up?  This market can't survive without me I suppose…

    Sadly, I cashed /TF and /NKD but still it's been a great way to start my vacation.

    AMZN/Tangled – And how can they possibly make a profit on that?  So silly.  

    Damage/StJ - 

    I've seen the needle
    and the damage done
    A little part of it in everyone
    But every junkie's
    like a settin' sun.

    Good list Naybob – Broadway we have but the kids would like to see Harry Potter and I want to see Shakespeare in the Park if its on.  Can't burn a day on Versailles, unfortunately, Sacred Heart is great, especially at the right time of day and I've gotten stoned at that cemetery in my younger days – one of life's highlights…

    SVXY/Pat – About friggin' time!  

    We have the Sept $145/105 bear put spread in the OOP.

    Speaking of the OOP, I guess we are bearish – it just popped 10%!  

  44. Revolution Phil?/ Yes I'm surprised as well that it hasn't happen yet.  How long can this wackadoodle BS go on?  What is the tipping point?  Even though I'm in Canada and our whack jobs aren't as heavily armed as yours,  I fear we might get taken out in the crossfire.  If you find a safe place to hide in Europe, take me with you

  45. Phil – for some historic drinking, you may want to consider the following: if you do find yourself near Borough Market (and that is a cool foodie's place) then check out the pub called the Barrow Boy and Banker – just before the bridge. You'll be drinking in what some consider the largest bar in a pub in London. The pub food should be good as well. To continue the theme, on your way back to Heathrow airport – first get an Uber to another historic pub, the Dove at Hammersmith. They do a good fish and chips and there is an outside area to enjoy the views from the banks of the river Thames. The Dove has what some consider as the smallest bar in a London pub. As the pub lies on the main drag to London Heathrow, just get another Uber and in no time at all you will be checking in at the airport. Don't forget to drink the nectar of the gods called 'London Pride' in these two pubs.

  46. NAS bounced off of 5,600. Back up the roller coaster.

  47. scottmi/OMER  Just sold the Novs 14 for $1.30 – come and get me f$#kers.

    Also putting on a spread trade: sell the nov 17s puts and buy the 26 calls for $0.00 – same thing, come and get me f#$kers.

  48. I'd say dead cat bounce… but they certainly don't want to go any lower. Tomorrow will be fun when mom and pop see what happened today… and the dip buyers aren't going to be quite as confident.

  49. LOL Hanj

  50. Nice bounce, now we test the lows

  51. Don't know if anyone noticed this USGS report back on Nov 15th. More supply.

  52. Scottmi/OMER  I put that spread on for a .05 credit

  53. Anybody think the Plunge Protection Team is gearing up for a monster stick? Nothing shocks me any more.

  54. PSW/algo strategies,

    Anyone running algo strategies here?. My friend is looking into developing a few and wanted some advise on which ones to start with or which ones are better ones.

    thanks as always.


  55. CDNjay/Safety – you all are welcome to join me in Korea. I'm feeling safe there (although currently in southern California over the summer break. The language is a bear, though. I'm still learning it after 40+ years.

  56. patswap/algo  I ran a quant fund for years.  What does your friend want to know?  Just let him know I live in a state where MAryJane is legal so my responses might not be trusted. haha

  57. Haha thanks hanjongin

    If I am interpreting him correctly. He just wants to know what can be a good market neutral strategy and what are some of the common strategies used.

  58. patswap/algo  Well, your friend will be competing against algo's that have a physical advantage of being co-located next to the exchanges, funding advantages, and not least the advantage coming from hiring programmers that are the best in their field, along with other disciplines.  If he still wants to try it out – tell him to save his money.  This is not a space that the small investor should toil in – sorry.  My fund was very profitable but we shut it down right before the crash of 08 since the data was no longer "matching" up with the historical data – simply, things were nuts.

  59. Interesting last hour, looked like a bull-bear tug of war in everything – oil, indexes, Nikkei.  Tomorrow should be fun.

  60. Thanks hanjongin

    he said he wants to focus more on fundamental algos rather than doing high frequency. What was your fund focused on before you shut it down ? if you don't mind me asking.

  61. patswap/algo  Reversion to the mean trades that lasted 5mins to 1 day.  It was a scalping algo.  Worked very nicely.  Of course when we were doing it there were about 1/10th the quant funds as their are today therefore there was more of an advantage – today, not so much.

    Sounds like your friend wants a fundamental screener – send him over to and have him join for free.  Then he can set up custom screens that he can run each day and pick from their.

    Any algo funds that are fundamental usually are using news screeners as well as price algos combined.  These can cost millions to develop.  

  62. Thanks hanjongin

  63. Hi All – Zero Hedge on this site should now be relatively free of propaganda pieces! It's hard to block out every biased/snarky remark, but the whole package now is much improved, with a focus on the financial content. 

  64. Ilene – thanks for your efforts

  65. Safe travel Phil and don't let these damn French people show off because they elected someone who can string 2 sentences together president! If needed, use the clenched fist of freedom.

  66. Phil,

    Safe travels and a most rockin' vacation to you and yours!

  67. Hi Deano, you're welcome. We want to help the world stay clear of b.s. angel

  68. OMER/Hanj – that's the spirit! ;-)  long 26 calls, though? Will have to examine the decay on that..! 

  69. Options podcast – keep it simple with Steven Pace

  70. Good morning from Paris!  

    It's a bit chilly here (60s) and rainy but hopefully will clear up later.  

    I'm in a nice hotel on the Seine, a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower.

    Took Uber from the airport to the hotel, worked out just as cheap as train and direct to the hotel.  Same app works just fine – that kind of stuff amazes me.  Phones working as promised too – AT&T charges $10/day when you are in a foreign country and, other than that, your same plan applies (you have to choose that program before you go). 

    Indexes were flatlining but turning up a bit now but may be the same pre-market BS that took us up yesterday.  Europe not even weak-bouncing and they are having a regular Friday (no holiday weekend), so I would think their markets are more realistic than ours today.

    Should have just kept my oil bet – had 20 long for a while:

    On the other hand, cashing in /NGV7 was the wise move.

    Trump Declares End to Obama-Era Energy CurbsPresident pledges an era of ‘energy dominance’ by boosting nuclear and liquid natural gas and opening federal lands.

    It’s been an ugly first half for commodities in 2017

    I'm going to find out if this is true this weekend:

    Happy Europeans May Bring Back Spark to Lagging Consumer Stocks. Europeans haven’t felt this good about spending in 16 years. That bodes well for companies focused on shoppers. The MSCI Europe Consumer Discretionary Index, which has typically tracked improvements in sentiment, has so far lagged gains in the broader regional measure this year. That may change, with the euro-area consumer confidence in June surging to its highest level since early 2001. 

    The mall, oddly enough, has one of those AMZN drop boxes.  I'd like to order something just to see what happens.  So silly, malls are desperate to fill space so they turn to Amazon.  

    I was just in the mall next to the hotel, it was pretty dead at 11 am.

    Global Debt Hits A New Record High Of $217 Trillion; 327% Of GDP

    China Manufacturing Rose in June Amid Global Upturn. (videoChina’s official factory gauge rose, adding to evidence that the world’s second-largest economy maintained its momentum in the second quarter.

    Japan May industrial output falls 3.3 percent on-month, marking fastest pace of decline since 2011

    The "Diplomatic Quagmire" In Qatar Deepens 3 Days Before The Saudi Ultimatum Expires

    Nike(NKE) tops Wall Street expectations; confirms deal with Amazon(AMZN)

    "This Is Getting Out Of Hand" – Another Vol Event Strikes As FANGs Face Worst Week In 5 Months

    Alibaba(BABA) is working on an Amazon Echo rival that speaks Chinese, report says

    And this plot gets thicker every day:

    GOP Operative Sought Clinton Emails From Hackers, Implied a Connection to FlynnPeter W. Smith portrayed the former general as an ally in an effort, independent of the Trump campaign, to find personal emails deleted by Hillary Clinton

  71. Won't be around later so here are the lines:

    Nasdaq showing the first cracks!

  72. Republicans frustrated as their to-do list grows

  73. Why France Is Taking a Lesson in Culture From Silicon Valley

  74. Phil / Paris;

    Paris is as Barcelona breaking records in tourism 75 M. Spain and well over 80 m France  for this year so real economics will be distorted by July and August , peak months.

    On the other hand, Europe is doing well,  most of UE countries are growing and many political problems are being lubricated by this.


    NN already gave you a good choice for London visit, your problem will be trying something good to eat in Bournemouth, try Edge if (if your relatives approves…lol).  Enjoy your trip and try to do what Europeans does very well…disconnect.

  75. Hi Phil – safe travels. Do let me know if you are available to meet while in london, would be a pleasure to invite you to lunch or coffee and discuss your hedge fund plans.

  76. Lunch on Thursday or Friday are my best chance as it's pre-market, so I can take a break and the kids probably won't even be up yet.  I'm going to be at the 4 Seasons – Trinity Square so just let me know what's good for you. 

  77. Hope you have a great trip. 

    EUR has been up and dollar down so exchange rate not in tourist's favor right now. Would be interested in local prices of some everyday things- coffee; newspaper; taxi; etc,; 

    Some photos would be nice.