Archive for 2017

Complaint Alleges SEC Watchdog Retaliated Against Whistleblowers

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Who blows the whistle on the whistleblowers?

Nobody – if they can help it.

In yet another example of big-government hypocrisy allegedly committed by an office meant to hold other government employees accountable, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the watchdog for the Securities and Exchange Commission has himself become the subject of complaints by several whistleblowers. At least two employees working for SEC Inspector General Carl Hoecker have filed complaints to a different federal whistleblower-protection agency, alleging that he and his senior staff retaliated against them for calling out misconduct within the inspector general’s office, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The SEC watchdog encourages staff at the top securities regulator to blow the whistle on misconduct and fraud involving SEC employees, from insider trading to expense fraud.

The whistleblowers also reported the allegations to Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the bipartisan Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus, which focuses on laws and other issues affecting whistleblowers. A Grassley spokesman said he is “looking into the matter, and his office intends to reach out to the whistleblowers in question to see what can and should be done."

Of course, the office has vigorously denied the allegations. Raphael Kozolchyk, a spokesman for the SEC IG, said “a number of the claims contain significant factual inaccuracies, while others are grossly misleading.” He added that the office does “not comment on ongoing personnel matters."

The whistleblower-retaliation allegations stem from complaints made to Hoecker last year by at least three officials in his office. The complaints allege misconduct by two of their fellow employees. The Office of Special Counsel, whose mission is to protect federal whistleblowers, is reportedly investigating the retaliation allegations. The office has the power to prosecute cases before an independent board, which can order agencies to pay compensation to harmed employees. A spokeswoman for the office declined to comment.

Initially, the two complainants at the center of the allegations filed complaints with the head of the SEC IG office – which operates independently of the agency it’s supposed to monitor – after noticing that two employees, a senior supervisor and one of his subordinates, were engaging in what appeared to be an

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“Google & Facebook Are 1984″ – Tax Them ‘Til They Bleed

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth blog,

An entire library of articles about Big Tech is coming out these days, and I find that much of it is written so well, and the ideas in them so well expressed, that I have little to add. Except, I think I may have the solution to the problems many people see. But I also have a concern that I don’t see addressed, and that may well prevent that solution from being adopted. If so, we’re very far away from any solution at all. And that’s seriously bad news.

Let’s start with a general -even ‘light’- critique of social media by Claire Wardle and Hossein Derakhshan for the Guardian:

How Did The News Go ‘Fake’? When The Media Went Social

Social media force us to live our lives in public, positioned centre-stage in our very own daily performances. Erving Goffman, the American sociologist, articulated the idea of “life as theatre” in his 1956 book The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, and while the book was published more than half a century ago, the concept is even more relevant today. It is increasingly difficult to live a private life, in terms not just of keeping our personal data away from governments or corporations, but also of keeping our movements, interests and, most worryingly, information consumption habits from the wider world.

The social networks are engineered so that we are constantly assessing others – and being assessed ourselves. In fact our “selves” are scattered across different platforms, and our decisions, which are public or semi-public performances, are driven by our desire to make a good impression on our audiences, imagined and actual. We grudgingly accept these public performances when it comes to our travels, shopping, dating, and dining. We know the deal. The online tools that we use are free in return for us giving up our data, and we understand that they need us to publicly share our lifestyle decisions to encourage people in our network to join, connect and purchase.

But, critically, the same forces have impacted the way we consume news and information. Before our media became “social”, only

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“How To Forecast Markets”: A Departing Top JPMorgan Strategist Reveals What He Learned After 30 Years

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

One of the most popular JPMorgan analysts, traders and commentators, Jan Loeys, head of global asset strategy and author of the weekly "The JPMorgan View" piece is moving on (to a different, non-client facing part of the company), and is using his last weekly address to JPM clients to recap the main lessons he has learned over his 30 year career.

For those carbon-based traders who still trade on the basis of fundamental analysis, inductive reasoning, and discounting, and forecasting the future – instead of merely relying on the fastest laser-based algos to react to the news or hoping for central bank bailouts – we have excerpted the entire piece, and are excited to note that while Loeys may be leaving, he will be replaced by two of our favorite JPM analysts and commentators, Nikos Panigirtzoglou and Marko Kolanovic, who under John Normand will take over as JPM's new Cross-Asset Strategy team.

So, without further ado, here is the latest, and last, from JPM's Jan Loeys, explaining "What have I learned?" after 30 years of doing this…

What have I learned?

How to forecast markets?

  • The theory and empirical literature of Finance are the best starting point as they deal directly with asset prices. Next are macro economics and statistics. Markets are not Math or Engineering, but a forever learning and adapting system with all of us observing and participating from the inside. Quantitative techniques are indispensable, though, to deal with the complexity of financial instruments and the overload of information we face. Empirical evidence counts for more than theory, but you need theory to constrain empirical searchers and avoid spurious correlations.
  • The starting point of Finance is the Theorem of Market Efficiency which posits that under ideal conditions what we all know should be in the price. Only new information moves the price. Hence, it is changes in expectations about the future that drive asset prices, not the level of anything.
  • How to forecasts view changes? The good news is that changes in opinions about fundamentals such as growth and inflation tend to repeat. This is one driver of momentum in asset prices, and is likely driven by the positive feedback between risk markets and the

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Great Voids Have A Way Of Filling

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Sven Henrich via,

I feel compelled to keep documenting reality to raise awareness of the ever larger market dangers which keep lurking underneath the current bubble. Indeed I keep seeing a great void not only in awareness but also in price discovery that have propelled markets to current levels leaving investors and participants ever more lulled into a false sense of security by the current unprecedented phase of volatility compression.

Take these comments as part of an ongoing journey outlining building risk factors. You can read about additional updates/background in the Macro Corner, Market Analysis , NT Blog and the Market Analysis sections of the site..

Briefly to get everyone on the same page:

Two way price discovery, as a normal part of market functioning, has practically seized to exist. I’ve pointed out charts of this nature before, but I’ll use the quarterly $DJIA chart as an example to illustrate the point:

Several points to make here:

The $DJIA is on its 9th quarter of consecutive price appreciation. The last red candle was before the now almost $5 trillion in combined global central bank intervention since February 2016.

The $DJIA, as the $SPX, is now on its 4th consecutive quarter of not reconnecting with its quarterly 5 EMA. Such an extended disconnect has never occurred in the 100 year market history I reviewed. And believe me, I’ve looked:

The few examples of extended quarterly 5EMA disconnects I could find were associated with coming market pain.

Aside from global central bank intervention (also see Liquidity Wave) the other key contributing factor to the no 2 way price discovery equation is the unprecedented influx of passive ETF investing and plenty of data exists to illustrate this point:

What has happened? I consider it retail capitulation. For years hedge funds have underperformed central bank liquidity infested market waters yet retail investors keep seeing markets go up with no downside ever and no apparent associated risk with rising multiple expansion.


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One River’s CIO: “Not Since The Housing Bubble Has Society Succumbed To Such Financial Hysteria”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Following the first excerpt from the latest weekend note by One River's prolific CIO, Eric Peters, in which the hedge fund manager discusses the outer limits of speculation, and why there is no such thing as "this time will be different" in markets, he also had some notable observations on why of all the asset bubbles currently abounding, that of bitcoin may be the most informative about human nature…


Bitcoin is important,” said Lithium, handsfree on Highway One. “It reminds people that supply scarcity, capital flows, and imagination, matter more than anything.”

Bitcoin printed another 20% weekly range. “Risk tolerance is the market’s most important fundamental,” said Lithium, racing through Malibu, SoCal’s sun streaming, steaming, “It’s also the most mysterious of all market drivers.”

Like every form of intangible money, Bitcoin is an illusion, that derives value through our collective acceptance of its worth. And if that sounds circular, it is. Anyhow, Bitcoin’s value fluctuates like any other currency,  just more wildly. That’s because people hold vastly different opinions as to its worth; ranging from zero to near infinity.

What these opinions have in common is that they’re each the product of an active imagination.   “Bitcoin’s ascent reminds people of all the money they’re not making.”

Not since the housing bubble has society succumbed to mass financial hysteria. Before that had been dotcom fever, which followed the Asian Tigers, and so on, infinitum. But in recent years, we’ve succumbed to incrementalism.

As interest rates collapsed to zero, each basis point took on greater significance. Central banks moved in ever decreasing increments. They printed money on pre-defined schedules. Balance sheet reduction is now formulaic. Drip, drip, drip. As interest rate expectations rise or fall 10bps, global asset prices ebb and flow, slavishly, one tethered to the other.

Imagination remains absent, unlike 1999, when people used credit card cash advances to buy fairy tales. In 2007 they bought castles on credit, scoffing at each 25bp rate hike – until they didn’t. That’s how these things end.

“Bitcoin is igniting imaginations. Unleashing speculative spirits. And for money managers, the only defense against a bubble is to buy it. Which is exceedingly difficult, because this kind of story ends like 1987.”

Chaos In Detroit: Undercover Cops Battle Each Other In Sting Operation Gone Wrong

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

This weekend, a big “embarrassment” is festering inside the Detroit Police Department after undercover units from two separate police precincts exchange blows during a sting operation gone wrong.

Fox2 says it all started when two special operations officers from the 12th Precinct were posing as drug dealers to entrap city residents in a ‘push off’.

The officers were working in Andover on Detroit’s east side, known for high drug activity.

As officers from the 12th Precinct pretended to be dope dealers, two special operations officers from 11th precinct showed up pretending to be customers. As the deal went bad, the 11th precinct officers ordered the 12th Precinct officers to the ground not knowing that they were fellow colleagues.

That is when all hell broke out and we’ll let Fox2 describe what happened next:

FOX 2 is told the rest of the special ops team from the 12th Precinct showed up, and officers began raiding the drug house in the 19300 block of Andover. But instead of fighting crime, officers from both precincts began fighting with each other.

Sources say guns were drawn and punches were thrown while the homeowner stood and watched. The department’s top cops were notified along with Internal Affairs. One officer was taken to the hospital.  

Taryn Asher, Fox2 Anchor/Reporter in Detroit, shares her story of what went wrong…

In a rare incident of ‘blue on blue violence’– this is something that is rarely discussed nevertheless happens. Each officer is now under investigation- as the top brass of the police department and internal affairs have now started their investigations. Nevertheless, top brass of the Detroit Police Department declined to comment and said more details next week.

Bottomline: The story is still developing and we suspect this incident could gain more attention when the ‘reported body-cam footage’ is released.

FX Weekly Preview: Is The USD Correction Done Yet?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Shant Movsesian and Rajan Dhall MSTA of

USD correction done yet?

After a number of weeks of painfully tight ranges, there is little on the horizon which looks potent enough to warrant a break out.  Has the apathy in global stocks spread into FX? It looks like it, especially when looking at the carry trade.  Watching USD/JPY has been nothing short of tortuous as we currently remain hemmed into a 113.00-115.00 range.  We have been getting used to watching EUR/USD as the benchmark rate to spark off fresh activity across the currency spectrum, but despite the open 'ended-ness' of the APP come Jan 2018, the pair is now in a fresh stalemate as bids in the mid 1.1500's have only served to limit the correction which was so evidently needed once we had reached the first objective at 1.2000.  For USD/JPY, the market is pinning hopes for tax reform to take off, but the chinks are starting to show again with the corporate rate tax cut to 20% set to be delayed until 2019.  As we saw in the aftermath of president Trump's victory, there seems to be little concern over how these tax cuts are going to be paid for and perhaps move significantly greater concern as to how much they will add to GDP if/when implemented.

Scepticism set in earlier this year once we had pushed above the 116.00 mark, and while the extension stretched into the 118.00's, calls for 120.00 soon fell flat.  After the move down into the 107.00's, we have since moved back into the upper end of the 2017 range, but still looking for a move above 115.00.  There was little data to feed off in the US last week, but we have inflation and consumer data in the week ahead which will shed more light on whether the USD run is truly exhausted or not.  Little correlation with rates at the moment, with the 10yr US benchmark backing off 2.50% in recent weeks, but to little effect, but 2.30% has held since then.  

In Europe, as the turmoil in Spain calms down, divisions inside the ECB flare up again, with Germany calling for firmer guidance towards signalling an end

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Over 61 Dead, 300 Injured After Huge Quake Strikes Iran-Iraq Border

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Update: AP reports that Iranian officials raise death toll to at least 61, more than 300 injured during earthquake on Iran-Iraq border region.



Iranian state TV said Iraqi officials had reported six deaths and 200 injuries inside Iraq, though there was no official comment from Iraq's government.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered 19 miles (31 kilometers) outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja.

The Islamic Republic of Iran News Network quoted the head of the country's emergency medical services, Pirhossein Koulivand, as saying at least 61 had been killed and 300 injured on Iran's side of the border.

Iranian state TV also said Iraqi officials reported at least six people dead inside Iraq, along with more than 50 people injured in Sulaymaniyah province and about 150 in Khanaquin city. No reports were immediately available from Iraq's government.

Koulivand earlier told a local television station that the earthquake knocked out electricity in Iran's western cities of Mehran and Ilam. He also said 35 rescue teams were providing assistance.

The semi-official Iranian ILNA news agency said at least 14 provinces in Iran had been affected by the earthquake.

*  *  *

Update: Iranian Student News Association (ISNA) reports that officials are saying "so far, 30 people were killed and 200 people injured with more expected to be added to this number as first responders being excavation to fix the problem, we are delivering water and electricity to the people."

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Stockman Warns “Mind The Junk” – This Ain’t Your Grandfather’s Capitalism

Courtesy of David Stockman, Contra Corner blog

The financial system is loaded with anomalies, deformations and mispricings – outcomes which would never occur on an honest free market. For example, the junk bond yield at just 2% in Europe is now below that of the "risk-free" US treasury bond owing solely to the depredations of the ECB.

Indeed, madman Draghi has purchased $2.6 trillion of securities since launching QE in March 2015, and during the interim has actually bought more government debt than was issued by all the socialist governments of the EU-19 combined!

Euro Area Central Bank Balance Sheet

Outrunning Europe's deficit-addicted welfare states is quite a feat in itself, but that wasn't the half of it. The ECB's printing press became so parched for government debt to buy that it has ended up owning more than $120 billion of corporate bonds. In some recent cases, the ECB has actually taking down 20% or more of new corporate issues—an action that surely leaves the fastidious founders of its Bundesbank prodecessor turning in their graves.

In turn, the ECB's Big Fat Thumb on the investment grade scale stampeded fund managers into the junk market in quest of yield, especially for BB rated paper which makes up 75% of the European high yield market. So doing, these return hungry managers have crushed the the yield on the Merrill Lynch junk bond index, driving it down from 6.4% in early 2106 to an incredible 2.002% last week.

That is to say, leveraged speculators in European junk have made 100% plus returns over the last 20 months on dodgy paper that should be yielding double or triple its current rate.

In fact, the current lunatic euro-trash yield is completely off the historical charts. Euro-junk rarely yielded under 5% in the past, and had spiked to upwards of 10% at the time of Draghi's "whatever it takes" ukase, which, in turn, was modest compared to the 25% blow-0ff high during the depths of the financial crisis.

Then again, there has rarely been a greater gift to speculators. The front-runners who took Draghi at his word back in 2012 have made 1000% returns. On bonds!

Needless to say, these utterly false price signals would never occur on the free market. Yet by attracting tens of billions of yield-seeking capital into

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Israel Shoots Down Syrian Recon Drone Over Golan Heights

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Early this morning, Reuters reported that Israel has intercepted and downed a Syrian reconnaissance drone approaching its northern border over Golan Heights.

The drone was shot down by the US-MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile (SAM) system…

Over the Golan demilitarized zone that has separated Israeli and Syrian forces since the ceasefire after the 1973 war.

Lauren Izso, news anchor, correspondent for i24NEWS in Jaffa Port provides footage of this mornings incident…

#BREAKING: Israel shoots down drone attempting to infiltrate border with Syria, according to the @IDFSpokesperson @ShaiBenari @i24NEWS_EN

— Lauren Izso (@LaurenIzso) November 11, 2017

The official Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Twitter confirmed…

Moments ago, the IDF used a Patriot Missile to intercept a UAV that attempted to infiltrate Israeli airspace in the Golan Heights

— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) November 11, 2017

In another report, the IDF initially told Reuters it was a ‘Russian-manufactured’ UAV, but offered no evidence.

The military initially told Reuters the UAV was Russian-manufactured but offered no evidence. A military source later said it was unclear whether the UAV was indeed Russian-made.

Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus, told Reuters “it was a reconnaissance UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) and not an attack UAV and we are checking whether there is any connection to Iran and Hezbollah”.

In response to the incident, “the State of Israel regards with utmost seriousness any violation of its sovereignty and will respond with force to any provocation,” made in a statement by Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liebermam.

Sputnik provides the backdrop of why tensions are high in ‘disputed Golan Heights’ between Israel and Syria,

Israel and Syria have attacked each other on numerous occasions over the disputed Golan Heights, which were partly seized by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967; further gains were made by Israel as a result of the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

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Phil's Favorites

Legal cannabis celebrates its first anniversary in Canada: What's next?


Legal cannabis celebrates its first anniversary in Canada: What's next?

Montrealers hold up a Canadian flag with a marijuana logo on it outside a government cannabis store in the city Oct. 17, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Courtesy of Michael J. Armstrong, Brock University

This week marks the first anniversary of Canada’s recreational cannabis legalization. It’s an appropriate time to review what happened last year and consider what’s coming next.

Legalization brought big changes for some folks. About 9,200 employees now work at cannabis producers, with ...

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Zero Hedge

Pork-Panic Sends China CPI To 6 Year Highs As Factory Deflation Deepens

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

China's producer prices deflated for the 3rd straight month, slumping 1.2% YoY - the biggest deflationary impulse since July 2016 - but, thanks to the explosion in pork prices (as 'pig ebola' spreads), Chinese consumers are facing the worst inflation since 2013.

  • China Sept CPI +3.0% YoY (2.9% exp and 2.9% prior)

  • China Sept PPI -1.2% YoY (-1.2% exp and -0.8% prior)


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Chart School

Review of Andrew CardWell RSI with Wyckoff price waves

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

RSI measures relative strength of price action of a set period versus prior set periods. It helps review the price swings or waves, the power of each price thrust into new ground, or lack of it. Price thrust like many things relies on energy, and energy is not a constant, it has a birth, a life and a death and relative strength helps us see that cycle. 

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Banks Should Send Critical Message To Stocks This Week!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Bank earnings could go a long way to impacting the broad market in a big way this week. Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Bank Of America, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley all announce earning the next couple of days.

As these earning announcements are to take place, the Bank Index (BKX) finds itself facing a key breakout test.

The index remains inside of bullish rising channel (1), as it has created a series of higher lows and higher highs over the past 8-years.

The index has little to brag about over the past 20-months, as it has created a series of lower highs and lower lows inside of falling chan...

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The Technical Traders

Daily Market Analysis and Trade Setups

Courtesy of Technical Traders



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Insider Scoop

22 Healthcare Stocks Moving In Tuesday's Pre-Market Session

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: RETA) stock surged 45.2% to $146.07 during Tuesday's pre-market session. The market value of their outstanding shares is at $2.8 billion. The most recent rating by Cantor Fitzgerald, on October 15, is at Overweight, with a price target of $180.00.
  • Aphria, Inc. (NYSE: APHA) stock increased by 18.6% to $5.16. The market value of their outstanding shares is at $1.8 billion. According to the most recent rating by CIBC, on July 26, the current rating is at Underperformer.
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Digital Currencies

Zuck Delays Libra Launch Date Due To Issues "Sensitive To Society"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by William Suberg via,

Facebook is taking a much more careful approach to Libra than its previous projects, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed. 

“Obviously we want to move forward at some point soon [and] not have this take many years to roll out,” he said. “But ...

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Lee's Free Thinking

Look Out Bears! Fed New QE Now Up to $165 Billion

Courtesy of Lee Adler

I have been warning for months that the Fed would need new QE to counter the impact of massive waves of Treasury supply. I thought that that would come later, rather than sooner. Sorry folks, wrong about that. The NY Fed announced another round of new TOMO (Temporary Open Market Operations) today.

In addition to the $75 billion in overnight repos that the Fed issued and has been rolling over since Tuesday, next week the Fed will issue another $90 billion. They’ll come in the form of three $30 billion, 14 day repos to be offered next week.

That brings the new Fed QE to a total of $165 billion. Even in the worst days of the financial crisis, I can’t remember the Fed ballooning its balance sheet by $165 bi...

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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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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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