Archive for September, 2017

Last Minute Poll Shows Huge 80+ Percent Surge For Independence

Courtesy of Mish.

Numerous sites keep posting stats that claim a majority in Catalonia want a vote but do not support independence.

I have stated those polls are old and likely wrong thanks to the pitiful tactics of prime minister Mariano Rajoy.

A new last-minute poll suggests I have this correct.

Please consider Huge upsurge in support for independence is revealed in world exclusive final Catalan poll.

A SENSATIONAL new poll which The National is publishing on the eve of the Catalan independence referendum shows an upsurge in support for independence that varies dramatically depending on whether or not Spain’s central government boycotts the vote.

The telephone poll was carried out over the last three weeks and completed on Thursday, but the results could not be published in Catalonia. They were released to The National yesterday.

Two scenarios were put to a sample of nearly 3300 voters: “With the current situation in Catalonia, with Spanish government and main Spanish political parties calling for a boycott of the referendum,” and “a referendum agreed with the Spanish authorities”.

Jordi Sanchez, president of the Catalan National Congress, welcomed the results and told The National: “This poll confirms there’s a majority of people that want to vote and will vote, and this can’t be stopped by any police or state of emergency.

Ok Rajoy, what are you going to do?

If there is a vote, the expected results are pretty clear.

The Spanish government claims most of the polling places are closed? The Catalonia government says the vote will take place and millions will show up.

Which side is correct?


Continue reading here…





The Truth About Nuclear Proliferation And North Korea

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The U.S. is communicating with North Korea about its nuclear program and testing Pyongyang’s appetite for negotiations, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in the first public acknowledgment by a senior administration official of direct contact on the matter. As Bloomberg reports,Tillerson, speaking to reporters on Saturday after meeting Chinese officials in Beijing, insisted that the U.S. would never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea.

His remarks offered the clearest glimpse so far into U.S. strategy, and suggested a willingness to get to the negotiating table with Kim Jong Un’s regime — even after President Donald Trump tweeted in August that “talking is not the answer!”

“We are probing, so stay tuned,” Tillerson said.

“We can talk to them, we do talk to them directly, through our own channels,” adding that the U.S. has “a couple, three channels open to Pyongyang.”

All of which was 'good' news in a time when we need some. However, a few hours later, the State Department commented that…

"North Korean officials have shown no indication that they are interested in or are ready for talks regarding denuclearization."

And that, as Jim Rickards warns below, is why war is coming…

Authored by James Rickards via The Daily Reckoning,

I’ve been arguing for months that we are headed for war with North Korea because of its nuclear program.

This brings us to the topic of nuclear proliferation.

Nuclear proliferation of the kind we are seeing in North Korea is nothing new. The U.S., Soviet Union (now Russia), U.K. and France all had nuclear weapons by 1960. China joined the club in the mid-1960s.

India and Pakistan started becoming nuclear powers in the 1970s. Israel has never officially announced it has nuclear weapons, but it is well-known that Israel possesses them. At various times, South Africa, Brazil, Iran, Syria, Iraq and Libya have pursued nuclear weapons development.

The Iranian program is the only one of those that is still active.

Critics of any effort to attack North Korea to stop its nuclear weapons program point to this extensive proliferation over 60 years as a reason not to risk war.

According


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TEPCO Admits Contaminated Water Leaked Into Fukushima Groundwater “Due To Erroneous Gauges”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

In a revelation that, for some, will dredge up memories of TEPCO’s stunning admission back in 2013 that nearly 300 tonnes of radioactive material had leaked from the ruins of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant into the water outside, contaminating virtually the entire Pacific Ocean, officials at the Japanese power company told the Associated Press that contaminated water may have leaked into the soil surrounding the plant after human error caused safety mechanisms to fail.

TEPCO officials said the settings on six of the dozens of wells surrounding the plant’s ruined reactors were accidentally set 70 centimeters below the required levels, briefly causing groundwater at one well to sink below the contaminated water inside in May, possibly allowing radioactive water to leak into the soil.

Fortunately, groundwater samples have shown no abnormal increase in radioactivity and leaks to the outside are unlikely, according to TEPCO spokesman Shinichi Nakakuki.

The problem with the wells – most of which were drilled in April to help pump groundwater, reducing the possibility that it would be exposed to contamination -  was discovered earlier this week while the company was preparing to drill another well. While Tepco maintained several wells around the plant before the disaster, many more have been drilled since to try and stanch the flow of radioactive materials from the plant.

It has been six-and-a-half years since a massive earthquake and tsunami critically damaged the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear-power plant, located about 200 miles away from Tokyo, triggering the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl – and the Japanese people are still uncovering new evidence of TEPCO's dishonesty and incompetence demonstrated during the aftermath of the disaster.

Of course, while the coverup was happening, few in the media dared to entertain suspicions that the company might be acting in bad faith – after all, what serious organization would so brazenly defy the public’s trust, not to mention local laws?

But five years later, those conspiracy theories were transformed into conspiracy facts when TEPCO’s then-President Naomi Hirose admitted last year on NHK that his company intentionally concealed the reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima plant immediately after the storm. The power company didn't officially admit the meltdowns until more than


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A Market In Which “Shocks No Longer Shock”: Deutsche’s Kocic Explains How To Trade It

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Back in June, one of Wall Street's more philosophical derivatives strategists, DB's Aleksandar Kocic looked at the state of the market and postulated that far from "stable" the existing risk  "equilibrium" is one which can be described as "metastable", the result of widespread complacency, and which he compared to an avalanche where "a totally innocuous event can trigger a cataclysmic event (e.g. a skier’s scream, or simply continued snowfall until the snow cover is so massive that its own weight triggers an avalanche." Putting it in his usual post-modernist style, Kocic said that "complacency encourages bad behavior and penalizing dissent – there is a negative carry for not joining the crowd, which further reinforces bad behavior."

This is the source of the positive feedback that triggers occasional anxiety attacks, which, although episodic, have the potential to create liquidity problems. Complacency arises either when everyone agrees with everyone else or when no one agrees with anyone. In these situations, which capture the two modes of recent market trading, current and the QE period, the markets become calm and volatility selling and carry strategies define the trading landscape. But, calm makes us worry, and persistent worrying causes fear, and fear tends to be reinforcing.

Kocic framed the current state of the market as follows:

Unfortunately, the relentless grind ever lower in volatility, which as reported yesterday has resulted in both the lowest average September VIX on record…

… as well as the lowest September monthly settlement on record and only the second sub-10 monthly settlement… 

… appears to have finally unsettled Kocic' expectations, even if ever so tacitly implied, for a spike higher in suppressed vol, and as he writes in his latest ruminations on volatility, "as volatility continues to be unfazed by what lies ahead in the near term, short of surprises in inflation, we are likely to linger at low levels."

Following up to his note from last week, which explained how the Fed's fake "transparency" killed long-term investor, Kocic writes that "as transparency became the word of the decade, by its very nature it created


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Georgetown Bank Teller Steals $185,000 From Homeless Customer With Garbage Bag Full Of Cash

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Where did all this money come from?

That’s probably the first question that Phelon Davis of District Heights, Maryland, asked himself when a homeless man shuffled into the Wells Fargo branch in Georgetown where Davis worked as a teller three years ago and tried to deposit a garbage bag full of cash.

His next question was probably "do you think he'd notice if some of it went missing?"

Instead of helping the customer deposit the money into his account, Davis instead decided to take advantage of the situation, setting up a fraudulent second account under the customers’ name and eventually stealing more than $185,000 from the man, according to the Washington Post.

The 29-year-old bank teller stole more than $185,000 from a homeless customer who tried to deposit a garbage bag full of cash at a Wells Fargo branch in Georgetown.

In a deal with prosecutors, Davis pleaded guilty this week to one federal felony count of interstate transportation of stolen property, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Deepening the intrigue surrounding the story, the court filings didn’t name the man, or furnish an explanation as to how he came to possess such a large sum of cash. It describes the man only as a "street vendor."

Here’s WaPo with more:

The victim was unnamed in court filings but was described as a homeless street vendor and longtime Wells Fargo customer who had more than one account that had gone dormant because of a lack of activity.

Court filings did not identify the customer or say why a homeless person would have a large amount of cash in a bag when he showed up at the M Street NW branch where Davis worked. Outside the courtroom, Davis’s attorney, Bruce Allen Johnson Jr., said he also did not know how the individual came to have the cache of cash. “That’s the million-dollar question,” Johnson said.

In plea papers, Davis acknowledged that the customer had “thousands of dollars of cash” that he wanted to deposit in October 2014, but he lacked identification. Davis told the customer where to get ID documents


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Expanded Russell 2000 Breakout – Nasdaq Ready to Follow

Courtesy of Declan.

Yesterday saw big gains for the Russell 2000 as it accelerated past breakout support. A large part of this buying was likely driven by short covering but today’s defense of those highs is a vote of confidence by buyers who are looking to hold for longer than a few days. The target of 1,560 is the first overbought target to aim for at the 85th percentile rising to 1,637 for the 95th percentile (of historical prices going back to 1987).






The Nasdaq is back on the breakout watch after an earlier scare in the move back to the 50-day MA / rising support channel.





The Nasdaq 100 is lagging a little behind the Nasdaq and isn’t as well set for a breakout but from a risk:reward perspective it’s offering the best value for buyers.





The S&P maintains its steady trend higher with little reason for holders to sell or for shorts to jump in. Technicals are also in a healthy state – another good sign for longs.





For tomorrow it’s mostly a watch-and-wait. The Nasdaq is the index best placed to deliver momentum traders a reward. Value players may want to take a punt on the Nasdaq 100, especially if the Nasdaq makes a genuine push to break resistance.




You’ve now read my opinion, next read Douglas’ blog.




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Eve of the Vote: Mish Reader on Vacation Sends Video of Barcelona Counter Protest

Courtesy of Mish.

Reder David is on vacation in on vacation Catalonia. He is now in Barcelona and will go fly fishing in the Pyrenees. He sent videos that he took of a peaceful anti-independence protest in Barcelona.

David Writes …

Buenos Dias du Barcelona, Mish. On a long-ago scheduled visit to Barcelona and the Pyrenees (fly fishing), my lucky day, having a prime spot for the big demonstration this afternoon. I will try to send videos taken on my phone this afternoon.

The demonstration was lively and friendly. On a mild day, with very light rain, the demonstration began at 400pm (local time) and passed slowly under my window for over 30 minutes. I am not a crowd estimator by any means, but I would the guess the group was perhaps 20,000 people, mostly younger.

In chatting with people, I’m still not sure about the clarity of the basis for the actions. Catalunya and the rest of Spain have a long history. The ‘aftertaste’ of Franco, including the executions and disappearances of thousands of people, influence the social mood. A strong social competition exists between Madrid and Barcelona. The lingering effects of the recent economic collapse also influences opinion. Unemployment remains a huge problem, and especially younger people feel they have been screwed over by decisions made long ago and far away (in Brussels and in Germany). They feel they have no voice in the things that matter to them. I ask ‘where to go for a good job,’ they say ‘Germany.’

By the way, on my first visit here, I offer my highest recommendation. Catalonia offers great food and wine, history and culture, gracious hospitality, and favorable prices for goods and services. Already I imagine a return visit.

Barcelona, si. Catalunya, si.

David

Note: The MOV file David sent was much sharper than the result from a Google upload to YouTube.

Tensions Mount

The Guardian reports Catalonia riven with tension as referendum day arrives.

Catalonia was tense this weekend ahead of an independence referendum that has divided Spain. At the final rally, the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, said the region was only one step away from independence. “We’ve got this far and we have until Sunday to win,” he told the crowd on Friday evening.

The authorities have confiscated voting papers and ballot boxes,


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Brewing a great cup of coffee depends on chemistry and physics

Courtesy of Christopher H. HendonUniversity of Oregon

File 20170925 17462 1pcmbbe

What can you do to ensure a more perfect brew? Chris Hendon, CC BY-ND

Coffee is unique among artisanal beverages in that the brewer plays a significant role in its quality at the point of consumption. In contrast, drinkers buy draft beer and wine as finished products; their only consumer-controlled variable is the temperature at which you drink them.

Why is it that coffee produced by a barista at a cafe always tastes different than the same beans brewed at home?

It may be down to their years of training, but more likely it’s their ability to harness the principles of chemistry and physics. I am a materials chemist by day, and many of the physical considerations I apply to other solids apply here. The variables of temperature, water chemistry, particle size distribution, ratio of water to coffee, time and, perhaps most importantly, the quality of the green coffee all play crucial roles in producing a tasty cup. It’s how we control these variables that allows for that cup to be reproducible.

How strong a cup of joe?

Besides the psychological and environmental contributions to why a barista-prepared cup of coffee tastes so good in the cafe, we need to consider the brew method itself.

Science helps optimize the coffee. Chris Hendon, CC BY-ND

We humans seem to like drinks that contain coffee constituents (organic acids, Maillard products, esters and heterocycles, to name a few) at 1.2 to 1.5 percent by mass (as in filter coffee), and also favor drinks containing 8 to 10 percent by mass (as in espresso). Concentrations outside of these ranges are challenging to execute. There are a limited number of technologies that achieve 8 to 10 percent concentrations, the espresso machine being the most familiar.

There are many ways, though, to achieve a drink containing 1.2 to 1.5 percent coffee. A pour-over, Turkish, Arabic, Aeropress, French press, siphon or batch brew (that is, regular drip)…
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California Assemblyman Promises Bill To Ban Gas Cars By 2040

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting would like for you to know that he has every intention of introducing new legislation in 2018 that will (i) make it much more difficult for low-income Californians to buy affordable vehicles and (ii) increase greenhouse gas emissions.  Of course, Ting didn't word it in exactly that way but his proposal to ban combustion-engine vehicles will inevitably result in both of the unintended consequences above.

As the Sacramento Bee points out this morning, Ting has promised to introduce his destructive legislation in January saying at some point you just need to "put a line in the sand."

France and the United Kingdom are doing it. So is India. And now one lawmaker would like California to follow their lead in phasing out gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles.

When the Legislature returns in January, Assemblyman Phil Ting plans to introduce a bill that would ban the sale of new cars fueled by internal-combustion engines after 2040. The San Francisco Democrat said it’s essential to get California drivers into an electric fleet if the state is going to meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets, since the transportation sector accounts for more than a third of all emissions.

“The market is moving this way. The entire world is moving this way,” Ting said. “At some point you need to set a goal and put a line in the sand.”

“California is used to being first. But we’re trying to catch up to this,” Ting said.

Meanwhile, we suspect that Ting will ignore the fact that California's previous attempt to push electric cars on consumers has been a complete failure…presumably because people would prefer to not spend way more for a car that has half the performance of a gas car and doubles their electricity bill…just a hunch.

California already committed five years ago to putting 1.5 million “zero-emission vehicles,” such as electric cars and plug-in hybrids, on the road by 2025. By that time, the state wants these cleaner models to account for 15 percent of all new car sales.

But progress has been modest so far, as consumers wait for prices to drop and battery ranges to improve, or opt for


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“They Won’t Know What Hit Them” Shocking Undercover Footage Exposes Antifa’s “Premeditated” Violence

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As if the public needed any more evidence that violence is a central part of Antifa’s mission, conservative comedian Steve Crowder has published footage that he and his producer surreptitiously recorded after infiltrating a local Antifa cell and accompanying it to a protest at the University of Utah.

The shockingly candid footage offers a disturbing glimpse into the innerworkings of Antifa – a loosely organized band of far-left agitators – and the central tenant of violent resistance that encapsulates the group's philosophy. The footage primarily focuses on a transgender woman, the purported leader of a small cell of Antifa protesters, who can be heard telling Crowder's producer that she’s armed with a handgun, and that she expects reinforcements to arrive later with “two AKs”. The organizer can also be heard recommending that Crowder’s producer buy a small blade at a military surplus store and strap it to his ankle “just in case.”

What they show appears to confirm that the group protesters were planning to disrupt a speaking event hosted by conservative commentator and Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro, whom Antifa has accused of being a nazi despite the fact that he is Jewish. Shapiro's recent appearances at UC Berkeley and other university campuses drew protests, with demonstrators labeling him a “fascist.”

But perhaps the most surprising thing about the footage was the fact that mainstream media reporters AND police essentially told Crowder & Co. to get lost when they shared it with them.

In another shocking excerpt, the Antifa leader – whom Crowder didn’t name because he said he didn’t want to “dox” anybody, though he added that police have confirmed that they have been monitoring her – described a plan to lure right-wing demonstrators to a secluded area where, presumably, they would be attacked by Antifa.

“Plain clothes, hard tactics, I don’t think they’ll know what hit them. Because they’re not prepared for what we’re planning,” the organizer says at one point.

In the video, another unnamed Antifa member who goes by the pseudonym Clark can be heard explaining that the difference between Antifa and other activist groups is a “willingness to respond with violence.”

As we’ve


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Zero Hedge

Explosion Hits Russia's Largest Virus Lab Which Houses Plague, Smallpox, Ebola And Other Deadly Viruses

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

A sudden explosion at a Siberian virus research center on Monday reportedly left the facility engulfed in flames, according to several Russian news outlets. 

Firefighters and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the "Vector Institute" located several miles from Novosibirsk - an emergency which was upgraded "from an ordinary emergency to a major incident," a...



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Phil's Favorites

The future of work will still include plenty of jobs

 

The future of work will still include plenty of jobs

Even though the future is unknown, Canada’s employment rate has risen steadily from 53 per cent in 1946 to more than 61 per cent today. (Shutterstock)

Courtesy of Wayne Simpson, University of Manitoba

There is now widespread anxiety over the future of work, often accompanied by calls for a basic income to protect those displaced by automation and other technological changes.

As a labour economis...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Is The Drone Strike a Black Swan?

Courtesy of Lee Adler

Pundits are calling yesterday’s drone strke a “black swan.” Can a drone strike on a Saudi oil facility, be a “black swan.”

According to Investopedia:

A black swan is an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences. Black swan events are characterized by their extreme rarity, their severe impact, and the practice of explaining widespread failure to predict them as simple folly in hindsight.

I seriously doubt that no one expected or could have predicted a drone strike on a Saudi oil facility.

Call Me A B...

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Insider Scoop

New Relic Cuts 2020 Sales Guidance, Announces Changes In Management

Courtesy of Benzinga

New Relic (NYSE: NEWR) has reaffirmed its second-quarter guidance and cut its sales guidance for fiscal year 2020 from $600 million-$607 million to $586 million-$593 million.

The company’s chief technology officer, Jim Gochee, and chief revenue officer, Erica Schultz, have resigned. New Relic also named board member Michael Christenson as its chief operating officer. Christenson joins from his ...



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The Technical Traders

Metals are following downside sell off prediction before the next rally

Courtesy of Technical Traders

It is absolutely amazing how the precious metals markets have followed our October 2018 predictions almost like clockwork.  Our call for an April 21~24 momentum base below $1300 followed by an extensive rally to levels above $1550 has been playing out almost like we scripted these future price moves.

Now that the $1550 level has been reached, we are expecting a rotation to levels that may reach just below the $1490~1500 level before attempting to set up another momentum base/bottom formation.  And just like clockwork, Gold has followed our predictions and price is falling as we expected. Just look at our October 2018 chart where we forecasted the price of gold...



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Chart School

Crude Oil Cycle Bottom aligns with Saudi Oil Attack

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Do the cycles know? Funny how cycle lows attract the need for higher prices, no matter what the news is!

These are the questions before markets on on Monday 16th Aug 2019:

1) A much higher oil price in quick time can not be tolerated by the consumer, as it gives birth to much higher inflation and a tax on the average Joe disposable income. This is recessionary pressure.

2) With (1) above the real issue will be the higher interest rate and US dollar effect on the SP500 near all time highs.

3) A moderately higher oil price is likely to be absorbed and be bullish as it creates income for struggling energy companies and the inflation shock may be muted. 

We shall see. 

...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Bond Yields Due For Rally After Declining More Than 1987 Stock Crash

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

U.S. Treasury Bond Yields – 2, 5, 10, 30 Year Durations

The past year has seen treasury bond yields decline sharply, yet in an orderly fashion.

This has spurred recession concerns for much of 2019. Needless to say, it’s a confusing time for investors.

In today’s chart of the day, we look at a longer-term view of the 2, 5, 10, and 30-year treasury bond yields.

Short to long term bond yields are all testing 7 to 10-year support levels as momentum is at the lowest levels in a decade.

A yield rally is likely due across the board after a recent decline that was bigger than the stock crash in 1987!

If yields fail to ral...



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Digital Currencies

China Crypto Miners Wiped Out By Flood; Bitcoin Hash Rate Hits ATHs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Last week, a devastating rainstorm in China's Sichuan province triggered mudslides, forcing local hydropower plants and cryptocurrency miners to halt operations, reported CoinDesk.

Torrential rains flooded some parts of Sichuan's mountainous Aba prefecture last Monday, with mudslides seen across 17 counties in the area, according to local government posts on Weibo. 

One of the worst-hit areas was Wenchuan county, ...



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Biotech

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

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

 

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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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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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