Archive for 2018

Vacant Lot In Silicon Valley Listed For $15 Million

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Silicon Valley is one of the most expensive areas to live in the United States. In its epicenter, Palo Alto, California, the median price for a single-family home is roughly $2.6 million. Meanwhile, the median price of a single-family home across the country is $240,000. The housing bubble in Silicon Valley extends throughout the San Francisco Bay area to the north, which has developed into the housing affordability crisis.

Not too long ago, we reported on an 897 square feet Palo Alto bungalow – recently listed for $2.6 million. At $2,800 per square foot, the price was equivalent to the most extravagant penthouses in New York City and or Miami.

We even covered a listing back in April, where someone in the southern region of the San Francisco Bay Area listed their burned-out shack in San Jose’s Willow Glen neighborhood for $800,000.

Now, another absurdity has crossed our real estate bubble radar — this time, it is a vacant, one-acre dirt lot in Palo Alto, listed for a whopping $15 million.

The vacant lot at 4103 Old Trace Road “is the ONLY FLAT VACANT Acre parcel in Palo Alto available,” according to the Redfin listing. The plot of land is minutes away from venture capital firms, Stanford University, downtown Palo Alto, and about 15 minutes from Google’s Googleplex Headquarters.

The listing says “Dream it & Build it,” however the future owner must first shell out $15 million-plus the cost of a new structure. The listing emphasizes “Location! Location! Location!,” and tells prospective homebuyers to “visualize an exquisite villa with vineyard” on the 1.03-acre parcel.

The “exquisite villa” would be lacking privacy, as it is situated on the corner of a congested two-lane road. Nevertheless, this is the price one may pay very late into an overheated real estate market fueled by a tech bubble that could be large than in 2000. Tech workers in the region have the highest incomes in the country, and couple it with 10-years of zero lower bound rates via the Federal Reserve, well, a massive housing bubble was formed.

To visualize the extent of the housing bubble
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“Dark Path Ahead”: Why American Farmers Dread The Trade War

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

While automakers – and their dealerships – are getting most of the headlines this week, the effects of the escalating trade war (sorry, officially a trade tantrum, or trade discussion according to The White House) between Presidents Trump, Xi, and Putin are rippling across numerous US industries - directly, and indirectly.

Makers of whiskey, cheese, auto parts and more are contending with the global tariff battle – but it is US farmers that appear to be suffering the most.

Casey Guernsey, a spokesman for Americans for Farmers and Families, says in emailed statement that:

China dealt its latest blow to American agriculture today with threats of even more tariffs on the horizon,”

“Following Canada’s tariffs on U.S. products earlier this week, America’s farmers and families are staring down a dark path with no signs of relief in sight”

“We are counting on the administration and Congress to reach a resolution on responsible trade policies — before we’re forced to shut down our operations for good”

And he was not alone, American farm groups, companies and officials reacted as China’s tariffs on agricultural products went into effect on Friday.

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst appeared on CBS' "Face The Nation" warning that"

…farmers, ranchers are “always the first to be retaliated against” in these types of “trade negotiations," adding that farmers have been put in “very vulnerable position.”

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig says in statement on website:

“The continued escalation of trade tensions with China is having a real impact on Iowa farmers and businesses,”

“We have seen a significant drop in prices for both crops and livestock and this is creating even more stress and uncertainty during what was already a difficult time for the ag economy

“There are real issues in our trade relationship with China that need to be addressed, but Iowa agriculture cannot continue to bear the brunt of the retaliation from our trading partners”

 Jim Heimerl, president of the National Pork Producers Council and a hog farmer from Johnstown, Ohio, says in statement:

Tariffs from


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Underground Doomsday Bunker Embroiled In Colombian Drug Money Sting

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The developer of a high-end underground residential housing project advertised as a "five star playground with DEFCON 1 preparedness" is the subject of a federal criminal complaint after he agreed to launder money for Colombian drug cartels.

John Eckerd – owner and manager of the $330 million Trident Lakes condo project, along with an unnamed co-conspirator accepted money they thought to be the proceeds from the Colombian drug trade – but it was actually undercover FBI agents according to Dallas local station CBS 11.

The court documents allege Eckerd, 54, and an unidentified co-conspirator accepted $200,000 in purported drug money from undercover FBI agents over the past year. The federal sting culminated in February with Eckerd allegedly agreeing to launder $1 million from Colombian drug dealers through Trident Lakes, a planned 700-acre residential project in rural Fannin County.

An undercover FBI agent posing as a former narcotics trafficker learned of Eckerd last September when the unidentified co-conspirator, who lives in New Jersey, suggested that Eckerd’s development in rural Fannin County could be used to launder narcotics profits.

Eckerd, a McKinney resident, has been out on $100,000 bond since March. His attorney, Dallas defense lawyer Bob Webster, declined an on-camera interview, but questioned the charges against his client. -CBS 11

“As you know, the government, they can write in a variety of terms,” Webster told CBS 11 News. “And they choose the terms.”

A U.S. magistrate judge granted a continuance in the case in May, writing that "plea negotiations currently are in progress, and both the United States and the Defendant seek additional time to achieve successful resolution of these negotiations, which would render trial of this matter unnecessary."

The Trident Lakes project made headlines two years ago while advertising the project – yet aside from building a horse-themed water fountain, neighbors say nearly nothing has been done on the property. It was to feature an 18-hole golf course and 796 subterranean condos fortified to withstand catastrophic events from nuclear war to the next global pandemic. Sizes range from 1,084 to 3,974 sqft. Prices for each unit ranged from $449,000 to $1.9…
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Creating Dystopia: The Greatest Threats Humanity Faces

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Brian Wallace via HackerNoon.com,

Be Afraid…

Since robots first taking over industrial manufacturing, people have worried that they’ll replace us. But now, with the explosion of artificial intelligence applications, our jobs are more under threat than ever before.

Automated technology monitors and control production and manufacturing. Drones and driverless cars are taking over transportation and delivery services. Artificial intelligence acts as a personal assistant within our phones and devices, and controls smart home automation with the internet of things.

By 2030, between 75 million and 375 millions could be automated. As automation takes away the jobs of up to 14% of the workforce, and consolidates resources, massive economic inequality could result.

Beyond our jobs, autonomous technology is growing in military applications as well. More than 30 nations are developing, or already have, armed drones. In January 2015, over 100 founders and CEOs of A.I. and robotics companies signed an open letter stating their concern over the use of autonomous technology for warfare.

The United States Navy uses drone swarms, which fire 30 autonomous drones to jam radar and draw away fire. Meanwhile, DARPA is funding research to create and Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR) that will be able to create its own fuel from biomass.

Read this infographic to learn about other threats to humanity:

Source: TopMastersInPublicHealth.com





The Economic History Of The World In One Minute

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

"…and America's pre-eminence is over"

The economic history of the world in one minute pic.twitter.com/k2wgPKJJj1

— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) July 7, 2018

Remember, nothing lasts forever…

As we noted previously, history did not end with the Cold War and, as Mark Twain put it, whilst history doesn’t repeat it often rhymes. As Alexander, Rome and Britain fell from their positions of absolute global dominance, so too has the US begun to slip. America’s global economic dominance has been declining since 1998, well before the Global Financial Crisis. A large part of this decline has actually had little to do with the actions of the US but rather with the unraveling of a century’s long economic anomaly. China has begun to return to the position in the global economy it occupied for millenia before the industrial revolution. Just as the dollar emerged to global reserve currency status as its economic might grew, so the chart below suggests the increasing push for de-dollarization across the 'rest of the isolated world' may be a smart bet…

The World Bank's former chief economist wants to replace the US dollar with a single global super-currency, saying it will create a more stable global financial system.

"The dominance of the greenback is the root cause of global financial and economic crises," Justin Yifu Lin told Bruegel, a Brussels-based policy-research think tank. "The solution to this is to replace the national currency with a global currency."





A New Problem Emerges For Tesla

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

For a brief few hours last weekend, Elon Musk and his shareholders celebrated…

…as he proclaimed (albeit late for his self-imposed deadline) that thousands of Model 3's are now supposedly moving off of Tesla's production lines – whether they are being cranked out of the Fremont factory or whether they're part of the "lucky" 20% of vehicles being made in the company's super-futuristic tent, located outside of the factory.

But now a second layer of the onion has peeled back and serious questions are starting to be raised not only about the quality of these Model 3s, but how adept Tesla is in being able to service them in a quick and efficient manner for its customers.

Today, we want to take a look at the issue of Model 3 breakdowns. The reports of these breakdowns and poor quality issues seem to be accelerating, judging by Tesla forums online and complaints on Twitter. What also seems to be evident is Tesla's poor response time and overall poor ability to address these issues.

Much of the last couple of weeks for Tesla has been focused around hitting its 5,000 Model 3 per week production target. The stock and its corresponding movement has also been news. Most notably, the fact that the stock tanked from over $360 per share to near $310 per share on news of the company reaching its production target has been pointed out in the media and has caused some analysts to raise questions about whether or not a larger sentiment shift at Tesla is brewing.

On top of that, after the stock melted down to start the week last week, CEO Elon Musk himself also had a meltdown, once again lashing out at members of the media who have written even the slightest bit of critical press about his company. It has led some analysts to ask, "What the F*ck is Elon Musk Doing?" 

This isn't new, either. We have seen Musk lash out at the media over the last couple of months – blaming everybody from the Economist to Consumer Reports for being in a conspiracy to defame the…
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2017 Was A Year Of ‘Hope’, 2018 Is The Year Of ‘Reality’

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

Fireworks To Start Q3

As America went back to work following “Independence Day,” the markets set off some ‘fireworks” of its own with back to back gains Thursday and Friday. Moving average lines continue to play an important role in providing levels at which buyers have consistently shown up. Last week, the Dow gained +0.7% and continues to lag behind the rest of the market mainly due to several of its constituents are more vulnerable to trade problems. The S&P 500 gained a stronger +1.5% on the week and, as shown below, ended the week above its 50-day average. With MACD lines (lower box) getting close to turning positive, the market will have to deal with a lot of overhead resistance at both the June highs and the current downtrend line from all-time highs earlier this year.

The market has remained confined to a fairly broad trading range as shown below. While the decline from the June highs reversed the short-term overbought condition, the rally from the 50% retracement level has “reversed that reversal” once again.

Love volatility yet?

With the market still on a short-term sell signal, it suggests the current rally is likely limited to the June highs keeping the markets confined to the broader trading range for now.

The good news is the break above the 61.8% retracement level, as we noted last week, keeps the markets intact (Pathway #1) for now. And, as suggested above, a retest of recent June highs seems very likely. However, Monday will be key to see if we get some follow through from Friday’s close.

Currently, a continued trading range between the 100-dma and the June highs seems to have the highest probability levels (Pathway #2a and #2b). While there is always a risk of something going wrong (Pathway #3) the odds currently seem somewhat diminished. However, with the ongoing trade war rhetoric brewing between China and the U.S., a negative surprise certainly maintains a high enough probability to pay attention to.

As I noted over the last few weeks, participation remains concerning as Bob Farrell’s rule #7 states:

“Markets are strongest when they


continue reading





Chinese Refiner Halts US Oil Purchases, May Use Iran Oil Instead

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With the US and China contemplating their next moves in what is now officially a trade war, a parallel narrative is developing in the world of energy where Asian oil refiners are racing to secure crude supplies in anticipation of an escalating trade war between the US and China, even as Trump demands all US allies cut Iran oil exports to zero by November 4 following sanctions aimed at shutting the country out of oil markets.

Concerned that the situation will deteriorate before it gets better, Asian refiners are moving swiftly to secure supplies with South Korea leading the way. Under pressure from Washington, Seoul has already halted all orders of Iranian oil, according to sources, even as it braces from spillover effects from the U.S.-China tit-for-tat on trade.

"As South Korea's economy heavily relies on trade, it won't be good for South Korea if the global economic slowdown happens because of a trade dispute between U.S and China," said Lee Dal-seok, senior researcher at the Korea Energy Economic Institute (KEEI).

Meanwhile, Chinese state media has unleashed a full-on propaganda blitzkrieg, slamming Trump's government as a "gang of hoodlums", with officials vowing retaliation, while the chairman of Sinochem just become China's official leader of the anti-Trump resistance, quoting Michelle Obama's famous slogan "when they go low, we go high." Standing in the line of fire are U.S. crude supplies to China, which have surged from virtually zero before 2017 to 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) in July.

Representing a modest 5% of China's overall crude imports, these supplies are worth $1 billion a month at current prices – a figure that seems certain to fall should a duty be implemented. While U.S. crude oil is not on the list of 545 products the Chinese government has said it would immediately retaliate with in response to American duties, China has threatened a 25% duty on imports of U.S. crude which is listed as a U.S. product that will receive an import tariff at an unspecified later date.

And amid an escalating tit-for-tat war between Trump and Xi in which neither leader is even remotely close to crying uncle, industry participants expect the tariff to be levied, a move which would make future purchases of…
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Bookstore Owner Calls Cops On Woman Who Confronted Bannon

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The owner of a Richmond, VA bookstore says he called the cops on Saturday after a woman confronted and berated former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon – calling him a "piece of trash," according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which noted that Bannon grew up in Richmond. 

Nick Cooke, owner of Black Swan Books called police around 3:15 p.m. to report "someone yelling at a political figure in the bookstore." Richmond police confirmed the call to the Dispatch

“Steve Bannon was simply standing, looking at books, minding his own business. I asked her to leave, and she wouldn’t. And I said, ‘I’m going to call the police if you don’t,’ and I went to call the police and she left,” Cooke said. “And that’s the end of the story.”

Cooke told the Dispatch: "We are a bookshop. Bookshops are all about ideas and tolerating different opinions and not about verbally assaulting somebody, which is what was happening."

One wonders if Cooke can next look forward to angry protests outside his bookstore after defending Bannon.

The Saturday confrontation marks the latest in a spate of incidents in which pro-Trump individuals have been harassed by angry liberals, which has accelerated since Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) openly called for liberals to harass Trump supporters. 

In June, demonstrators confronted Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C., and the owner of the Red Hen, a restaurant in Lexington, declined to serve White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

This past Monday, a woman with her 2-year-old son confronted Trump’s now former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt in a D.C. restaurant and urged him to resign. Trump said Thursday that he had accepted his scandal-plagued EPA chief’s resignation. -Richmond Times-Dispatch

Protesters with the Democratic Socialists of America - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's party also showed up at Nielsen's Alexandria townhouse.

Protestors are outside of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s Alexandria townhouse, playing audio of the detained children. She appears to be still be home. pic.twitter.com/akIcxOcM3q

— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) June 22, 2018


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Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Blasts Centralized Crypto Exchanges: “I Hope They Burn In Hell”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Helen Partz via CoinTelegraph.com,

Co-founder of Ethereum (ETH) Vitalik Buterin criticized centralized exchanges, saying that he hopes they will “burn in hell,” in an interview with a TechCrunch journalist Jon Evans, July 6.

image courtesy of CoinTelegraph

Buterin has reiterated his positive stance on decentralization, claiming that by developing “better” decentralized platforms, the  crypto community should be able to take away the “stupid King-making power” from centralized crypto exchanges.

“I definitely personally hope centralized exchanges burn in hell as much as possible.”

The creator of Ethereum criticized centralized platforms for having the ability to decide which cryptocurrencies “become big.” According to Buterin, they do this by charging “these crazy ten to fifteen million dollar listing fees.” He then added that further decentralization would better satisfy the “blockchain values” of “openness and transparency.”

Decentralized exchanges (DEX’s), unlike centralized ones, are built in a such way as to allow users to retain ownership of their cryptocurrencies and private keys. However, DEX’s also have disadvantages – the relative lack of liquidity, compared to their centralized counterparts, being one of the examples.

In the interview, Buterin cited one example to demonstrate the advantages of the current decentralization of Ethereum: “if someone puts a gun to [his] head and tells [him] to write a hard fork patch,” he would definitely do so. However, “relatively few” users would then download and run the update, and that, according to Buterin, “is called decentralization.”

The degree of decentralization of Ethereum itself has been put in question by some experts, who cite, for example, the possibility of collusion between mining pools to manipulate the network.

As of press time, Ethereum is the second largest cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of around $47.5 billion.





 
 
 

Zero Hedge

Americans' Economic Hope Has Collapsed

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Which came first, the confidence or the stock market rally?

One thing is for sure, the crash in stocks in December has crushed the hope of Americans that their economic future is going to be better under President Trump.

Overall confidence dipped to 58.1 - a 4-month low, but, U.S. consumers this month were the most downbeat on the economy since November 2016, a third straight drop after expectations reached a 16-year high just three months earlier, as the partial government shutdown wears on toward a fourth week.

...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Triple Breakout Test In Play For S&P 500!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Is the rally of late about to run out of steam or is a major breakout about to take place in the S&P 500? What happens at current prices should go a long way in determining this question.

This chart looks at the equal weight S&P 500 ETF (RSP) on a daily basis over the past 15-months.

The rally from the lows on Christmas Eve has RSP testing the top of a newly formed falling channel while testing the underneath side of the 2018 trading range and its falling 50-day moving average at (1).

At this time RPS is facing a triple resistance test. Wil...



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Phil's Favorites

Brexit deal flops, Theresa May survives -- so what happens now?

 

Brexit deal flops, Theresa May survives -- so what happens now?

Courtesy of Victoria Honeyman, University of Leeds

As the clock ticks down to March 29 2019, all of the political manoeuvring, negotiating, arguing and fighting is coming to a peak. In the two and a half years since the 2016 EU referendum, views on both sides have hardened and agreement still seems as far away as it was the day after the referendum.

With Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement disliked by all sides, and voted down by an unprecedented majority in the House of Commons, everyone is wondering what can and should be done next?

...



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Digital Currencies

Crypto-Bubble: Will Bitcoin Bottom In February Or Has It Already?

Courtesy of Michelle Jones via ValueWalk.com

The new year has been relatively good for the price of bitcoin after a spectacular collapse of the cryptocurrency bubble in 2018. It’s up notably since the middle of December and traded around the psychological level of $4,000... so is this a sign that the crypto market is about to recover?

Of course, it depends on who you ask, but one analyst discovered a pattern which might point to a bottom next month.

A year after the cryptocurrency bubble popped

CCN...



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ValueWalk

D.E. Shaw Investment Calls For Leadership Change At EQT

By ActivistInsight. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Elliott Management has offered to acquire QEP Resources for approximately $2.1 billion, contending the oil and gas explorer’s turnaround efforts have done little to lift the company’s share price. The company responded and said that a thorough review of the proposition is imperative in order to properly act in the best interests of shareholders, “taking into account the company’s other alternatives and current market conditions.” The news came only a month after Travelport Worldwide agreed to sell itself to Siris Capital Group and Elliott’s private equity arm Evergreen Coast Capital for $4.4 billion in cash and two months after Athenahealth was bought by Veritas and Evergreen for $5.7 bi...



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Insider Scoop

UBS Says Disney's Streaming Ambition Gives It A 'New Hope'

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related DIS Despite Some Risks, Analysts Still Expecting Double Digit Growth From Communications Services In Q4 ...

http://www.insidercow.com/ more from Insider

Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 13, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

In last week’s recap we asked:  “Has the Fed solved all the market’s problems in 1 speech?”

Thus far the market says yes!  As Guns n Roses preached – all we need is a little “patience”.  Four up days followed by a nominal down day Friday had the market following it’s normal pattern the past nearly 30 years – jumping whenever the Federal Reserve hints (or essentially says outright) it is here for the markets.   And in case you missed it the prior Friday, Chairman Powell came back out Thursday to reiterate the news – so…so… so… patient!

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reinforced that message Thursday during a discussion at the Economic Club of Washington where he said that the central bank will be “fle...



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Members' Corner

Why Trump Can't Learn

 

Bill Eddy (lawyer, therapist, author) predicted Trump's chaotic presidency based on his high-conflict personality, which was evident years ago. This post, written in 2017, references a prescient article Bill wrote before Trump even became president, 5 Reasons Trump Can’t Learn. ~ Ilene 

Why Trump Can’t Learn

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore (...



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Biotech

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

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

 

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Bacteriophage viruses infecting bacterial cells , Bacterial viruses. from www.shutterstock.com

Courtesy of John Bergeron, McGill University

Today, the scientific community is aghast at the prospect of gene editing to create “designer” humans. Gene editing may be of greater consequence than climate change, or even the consequences of unleashing the energy of the atom.

...

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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

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About Phil:

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

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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