Archive for 2018

Adam Grant – Facing Adversity by Tackling the Elephant in the Room

By joniferdingcong. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Speaker: Adam Grant, Steinberg Professor of Management and Professor of Psychology, Wharton; Fellow, Martin Prosperity Institute at Rotman; Author

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In Conversation With: Roger Martin, Institute Director, Martin Prosperity Institute; former Dean, Rotman

Session Host: Martin Prosperity Institute

January 31, 2018

Big Ideas Speaker Series at Rotman

Located in downtown Toronto and part of the University of Toronto, the Rotman School of Management ( is the top business school in Canada.

Rotman offers a Full-Time MBA program, and several programs for working professionals, including the Morning and Evening MBA, Master of Finance, One-Year Executive MBA and Omnium Global Executive MBA. Whichever degree or program you choose, Rotman will give an edge in your career and help you make the most of your potential.

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North Korea’s Winter Olympics Cheerleaders “Forced Into Sexual Slavery” Back Home

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As mainstream outlets such as USA Today, ABC News, and the New York Times pumped out a steady stream of propaganda about North Korea’s cheerleaders at the Winter Olympics “stealing the spotlight” and wearing “matching snowsuits,” a more sinister story of sexual abuse and exploitation was apparently not worth the MSM’s investigative resources.

A North Korean defector says that members of the North Korean Olympic cheerleading squad are being forced into sexual slavery by the country’s top politicians, reports the New Straits Times.

“North Korea’s art troupe came here and performed with dances and songs, and it might seem like a fancy show on the outside. However, they also have to go to parties and provide sexual services, that sort of pain also follows,” said former military musician Lee So-yeon, 42. She now heads the New Korea Women’s Union – a group which helps defectors adjust to life in South Korea. 

They go to the central Politburo party’s events, and have to sleep with the people there, even if they don’t want it. Those sorts of human-rights infringements take place, where women have to follow what they are told to do with their bodies.”

“The women there, when they attend, they have to undress. They’re asked to undress, like objects. That’s the physical pain they have to go through.”

Bloomberg also spoke with Kim Hyung-soo, 54, who defected to South Korea in 2009 with his son – a North Korean national league skier. Kim said that all of the North Korean coaches and atheletes are “slaves” of Kim Jong-un, though he did not mention sexual abuse. 

“The cheerleaders, too,” he said. “They select people who are unlikely to defect, and people with loyal backgrounds. This factor is crucial from a very early stage.”

The cheerleaders are hand picked by the North Korean regime based on a stringent set of criteria, according to defector An Chan-il who runs the World Institute for North Korea Studies. 

“They must be over 163 centimetres tall and come from good families,” An said. “Those who play an instrument are from a band and others are mostly students at the elite Kim Il-sung University.”

That said, Mike Pence was a bit standoffish with Kim Jong-Un’s sister, the head of propaganda for North Korea – which in retrospect may have been more newsworthy than North Korea’s forced sexual slavery of it’s national cheerleading squad.

BofA Weighs In On Oil Services, Upgrades Schlumberger And Baker Hughes

Courtesy of Benzinga.

BofA Weighs In On Oil Services, Upgrades Schlumberger And Baker Hughes

Crude oil prices have been headed higher in recent months, and the global oil services industry appears to finally be stabilizing following its 2014 collapse. Oil services share prices have been headed in the right direction for patient investors, but one analyst says oil investors will soon turn their attention from the U.S. market to the international market.

The Analyst

Bank of America analyst Timna Tanners made the following adjustments to her ratings of the three largest global oil services stocks:

  • Tanners upgraded Schlumberger Limited. (NYSE: SLB) from Neutral to Buy and lowered her price target from $79 to $75.
  • Tanners downgraded Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL) from Buy to Neutral and lowered her price target from $61 to $50.
  • Tanners upgraded Baker Hughes, a GE company Class A (NYSE: BHGE) from Underperform to Neutral and lowered her price target from $35 to $33.

The Thesis

According to Tanners, the U.S. pressure pumping business will finally report normalized earnings in 2018. Unfortunately or Halliburton investors, the stock’s recent outperformance may have already fully priced in the normalized industry activity.

“While U.S. completion conditions remain strong, outperforming within oilfield services in 2018E, we believe this is largely recognized by the market, with most frac-exposed names already discounting a plateau or correction,” Tanners said in a Monday note.

Tanners said investors will likely soon shift their focus from the domestic U.S. oil industry to the international and, eventually, offshore business, where Schlumberger is the star of the show.

“The heavyweight in int’l oilfield services, SLB should benefit from long-awaited activity improvement even if better pricing takes time,” Tanners wrote.

Tanners said Baker Hughes no longer looks overvalued following its recent sell-off.

“BHGE shares have retreated 15%

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A Square Q4 Preview: Investors Underestimating Key Fundamental Drivers

Courtesy of Benzinga.

A Square Q4 Preview: Investors Underestimating Key Fundamental Drivers

Square Inc (NYSE: SQ)’s third quarter earnings beat in November helped push the stock higher to its all-time high of $49.56. Since then, the stock has lost its buying momentum and investors will be closely following the company’s fourth quarter earnings report Tuesday.

The Analyst

Buckingham Research Group’s Chris Brendler maintains a Buy rating on Square’s stock with an unchanged $50 price target.

The Thesis

Square is projected by Brendler to report the following:

  • Gross revenue guidance: $601.7 million (versus management’s guidance of $585 million to $595 million);
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $39.3 million (versus management’s guidance of $34 million to $37 million); and
  • GAAP EPS loss of 3 cents per share and Adjusted EPS of 8 cents per share.

Square’s third quarter report unexpectedly showed its transaction costs fell 3 basis points year-over-year, the analyst said. The company is expected to show in Tuesday’s report costs remained flat from the third quarter and down 0.5 basis points year-over-year for a Net Transaction Yield of 1.03 percent.

Investors should also pay attention to Square’s non-transaction revenue, which continues to be a key theme that the market is “not yet fully aware of,” Brendler said. The Subscription & Service-Based revenue is expected to show a 15 percent growth rate in the fourth quarter from a year ago to $50.7 million. This should account for 19 percent of total adjusted net revenue which marks an increase from 17 percent in the third quarter.

Square’s status as being a “unique tech disruptor” in the early stages of a global expansion remain unchanged and a beat-and-raise fourth quarter print will “continue into 2019.”

Price Action

Shares of Square were trading higher by more than 3.5 percent Monday at $46.47.

Related Links:

Buckingham Calls Square A ‘Unique Tech Disruptor’

Morgan Stanley, BofA Positive On Pagseguro, Brazil’s ‘Square With A Twist’

Image credit: Mybloodtypeiscoffee

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Ohio Sheriff Offers Free Gun Training To 50 Teachers; Forced To Cap At 300 After Huge Response

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

An Ohio sheriff who offered free firearms training to 50 teachers was forced to cap his offer at 300, after a flood of local school employees signed up in the wake of a Florida high school shooting that left 17 people dead. 

“We put it online, we thought we’d get 20 school teachers maybe. Within 20 minutes we had 40. Within an hour we had 100. Within four hours we had 200. By the next morning, at 300, we cut it off,” Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said on “Fox & Friends.”

If you listen 2 media teachers do not want to carry weapons in schools. We have over 300 said want 2.

— Richard K. Jones (@butlersheriff) February 24, 2018

School personnel start gun training in butler county Ohio Monday ccw. We will train this week over 120.

— Richard K. Jones (@butlersheriff) February 24, 2018

The Parkland, FL shooting has renewed a national debate on the Second Amendment. Sheriff Jones noted that only a few schools in Ohio allow the concealed carry of a firearm, and that the plan to arm teachers would only work if “the school boards have the guts to make it a reality.” Jones suggested that school staffers should go through mandatory firearms training to help them identify the sounds of gunfire. 

“We have to do something here because we can’t wait for our government to do anything. All they do is fight, they get nothing done,” he said.

Four days ago during a White House ”listening session” on school shootings, president Trump suggested arming teachers – a call he as repeated since. 

If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly, and the good thing about a suggestion like that — and we’re going to be looking at it very strongly, and I think a lot of people are going to be opposed to it. I think a lot of people are going to like it. But the good thing is you’re going to have a lot of [armed] people with that,” said the President. 

President Trump on concealed carry for

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Trump Pivots Toward Trade Wars With Promotion Of Trade Uber-Hawk Peter Navarro

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Trump is officially on a trade war path.

Defying threats of retaliation from the Chinese, on Friday Bloomberg reported that President Trump was pushing for the “harshest possible” global tariff of 24% on all steel imports and 10% on aluminum, a decision that would anger nearly every industrial manufacturer based in the US, while at the same time helping revive the fortunes of US steel producers. The rates were first proposed by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross last week.

Now, two days later, in the latest and clearest indication yet that Trump will not back down from the coming global trade wars, the WSJ reports that the president plans to promote his advisor Peter Navarro – also known as the author of  ”Death by China” and “Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World” and an unrepentant trade hawk, best known for his protectionist views on trade policy and giving economic nationalists a stronger voice in internal debates as the Trump administration nears decisions on high-profile trade issues.

Peter Navarro, an economist who helped shape Donald Trump’s 2016 protectionist campaign platform, will be named an assistant to the president, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Navarro, who one year wrote a WSJ  Op-ed in which he warned that deficits “Could Put US National Security In Jeopardy”, began Mr. Trump’s presidency with broad influence and regular access to the Oval Office but his role was quickly limited after he clashed with the aides who oppose his views on trade deficits and multilateral trade agreements.

Navarro was originally made head of a newly created National Trade Council, but was given little staff. That was eliminated in April and he was instead made head of a new Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy that was seen as having little influence and was ultimately made to report to Gary Cohn’s NEC.

As such, his sudden “reincarnation” within the Trump circle of trust likely indicates that the influence of Trump’s Wall Street-based globalist wing – Gary Cohn and Steven Mnuchin – is waning, and comes as the White House is nearing decisions on several high-profile trade matters (one almost smells an off the record phone call between Trump and Bannon here).

Meanwhile, with the Trump administration facing an April deadline…
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IceCap Asset Management: “Get Ready For The 2nd Half Of Global Financial Markets”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted from IceCap Asset Management

“The Halftime Show”

For many, the Super Bowl football game is a rather odd event.

To begin with, Americans claim the winner of the big game to be the world champion – despite never defeating the best from Europe, Asia, or Africa. Next, most of the Super Bowl games are duds. Aside from the crowd pleasing 5 victories by the San Francisco 49ers, and the crowd pleasing 5 losses by the New England Patriots – most games are forgettable.

Now, this lack of competitiveness, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, for most people the game is secondary to the entertainment including the commercials and the Halftime Show. The first ever Halftime Show in 1967 featured dogs leaping through hula hoops and catching Frisbees. Everyone agreed it was pretty cool.

In 1974, the Halftime Show scored a huge win when Miss Texas, Judy Mallett, played the fiddle to the 74,000 stomping fans in Houston. THAT was a good time.

Over the years, the Halftime Show developed into something bigger than the game itself, with the more memorable ones featuring wardrobe malfunctions and the ability of the Americans to actually make it rain while legendary rock star Prince sang about rain. And with the possibility of reuniting the Gallagher brothers and Oasis for next year’s final gig – the Halftime Show will cement itself forever as being the greatest show on turf.

As the Halftime Show literally occurs smack dab in the middle of the game – it should signal the mid-point of the big event. Yet, in reality the 2nd half breezes by fairly quickly with the outcome usually well decided and well accepted by everyone glued to their screen.

The irony of course, is that this year as millions prepare to enjoy the big show, millions of investors are simultaneously wondering if financial markets have also reached their very own Halftime Show.

Naturally, with stock markets hitting all time highs, and Bond yields hitting all time lows – very good arguments are made supporting a significant change in direction for each market.

And as life imitates art, it is reasonable to believe that the 2nd half of financial markets will zoom by just as fast as the 2nd half of the Super Bowl. So, to be safe. Buckle up. Strap…
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How Cryptocurrencies Spawned A New Media Industry

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

In the span of just a few years, Blockchain and cryptocurrencies have taken financial markets by storm. Blockchain technology has already created new ways of financing companies. Bitcoin is gradually changing the rules of the game in the financial market: over $3.7 bln was raised by 372 ICOs between 2015 and 2017, meanwhile despite recent volatility, crypto currencies have been some of the best investments in recent years, and according to JPM, on a risk-adjusted basis, bitcoin has generated higher returns than the S&P.

In the media industry where rapid changes have become part of everyday business, traditional sources were unprepared to work with the crypto community. As a result, a large field for media newcomers appeared. Crypto holders are their audience, crypto companies and ICO issuers are their clients.

Below we take a quick look at some of the most popular new crypto media outlets.


  • Website:; Twitter: @blockonomi
  • Audience: 2.4 mln visits per month according to SimilarWeb
  • History: Blockonomi was launched in 2017 by Kooc Media company. They are focused on writing reviews of companies and beginners guides, not news articles.
  • Editorial policy: No information. According to Blockonomi’s press-kit, the media accepts fiat only.
  • Business-model: Revenue from advertising.

The Merkle

  • Website:; Twitter: @themerklenews
  • Audience: 4.8 mln visits per month according to SimilarWeb
  • History: San-Francisco-based The Merkle was founded in June 2014. It is led by Mark Arguinbaev who also founded TheVRBase, media source about the VR industry.
  • Mission statement: The Merkle publishes cryptocurrency news and a variety of educational articles relating to Bitcoin.
  • Editorial policy: No information. The company accepts Bitcoin for press-releases, but do it through BitPay’s service, which turns Bitcoin into dollars.
  • Business-model: Revenue from advertising.

Bitcoin Magazine

  • Website:; Twitter: @BitcoinMagazine
  • Audience: 2.3 mln visits per month according to SimilarWeb
  • History: Bitcoin Magazine was the first magazine dedicated to cryptocurrency. It was founded by  Mihai Alisie and Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum, in 2012. They published the first issue in May 2012 and later joined forces with Coin

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Lifelong Kindergarten

By BroyHill. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Having too much fun can give the impression that you aren’t serious. But as far as we can tell, the correlation between appearing serious and actually being good at what you do is spurious at best. Because we love our work, our minds are always in gear. Because we are having fun, we are always engaged.

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In Lifelong Kindergarten, MIT Media Lab’s Mitchel Resnick demonstrates how lessons from kindergarten help us develop creative thinking skills.

The rest of school (even the rest of life) should be more like kindergarten. Throughout history, philosophers and psychologists have recognized the value and importance of play:

You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. – Plato

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. – George Bernard Shaw

In play, it is as though the child were trying to jump above the head of his normal behavior. – Lev Vygotsky

Play is the work of the child. – Jean Piaget

Through play, more than any other activity, children achieve mastery of the external world. – Bruno Bettelheim

Toys and games are the preludes to serious ideas. – Charles Eames

Lifelong Kindergarten

Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play by Mitchel Resnick

How lessons from kindergarten can help everyone develop the creative thinking skills needed to thrive in today’s society.

In kindergartens these days, children spend more time with math worksheets and phonics flashcards than building blocks and finger paint. Kindergarten is becoming more like the rest of school. In  Lifelong Kindergarten, learning…
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The States With The Most Gun Laws See The Fewest Gun-Related Deaths


This is from the The Atlantic, a couple years ago. 

While it's certainly true that a number of factors contribute to the high rates of gun violence in the U.S., a comparison of state laws versus rates of shooting deaths does show a correlation. The states that impose the most restrictions on gun users also have the lowest rates of gun-related deaths, while states with fewer regulations typically have a much higher death rate from guns.

Source: The Atlantic



#1 Performing Global Macro Hedge Fund Sees More Shorts Opportunities Ahead As China Bursts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Crescat Global Macro Fund update to investors on 1/19/2019

Crescat Global Macro Fund and Crescat Long/Short fund delivered strong returns for both December and full year 2018 in a difficult market. Based on ...

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Zero Hedge

Johns Hopkins, Bristol-Myers Face $1 Billion Suit For Infecting Guatemalan Hookers With Syphilis 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A federal judge in Maryland said Johns Hopkins University, pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Rockefeller Foundation must face a $1 billion lawsuit over their roles in a top-secret program in the 1940s ran by the US government that injected hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis, reported Reuters.

Several doctors from Hopkins an...

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Phil's Favorites

Divisive economics


Guest author David Brin — scientist, technology consultant, best-selling author and futurist — explores the records of Democrats and Republicans on the US economy in the following post. For David's latest posts, visit the CONTRARY BRIN blog. For his books and short stories, visit his web...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Stock declines did not break 9-year support, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

We often hear “Stocks take an escalator up and an elevator down!” No doubt stocks did experience a swift decline from the September highs to the Christmas eve lows. Looks like the “elevator” part of the phrase came true as 2018 was coming to an end.

The first part of the “stocks take an escalator up” seems to still be in play as well despite the swift decline of late.

Joe Friday Just The Facts Ma’am- All of these indices hit long-term rising support on Christmas Eve at each (1), where support held and rallies have followed.

If you find long-term perspectives helpf...

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Digital Currencies

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain


Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

Blockchain technologies can empower people by allowing them more control over their user data. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Ajay Kumar Shrestha, University of Saskatchewan

Blockchain has already proven its huge influence on the financial world with its first application in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It might not be long before its impact is felt everywhere.

Blockchain is a secure chain of digital records that exist on multiple computers simultaneously so no record can be erased or falsified. The...

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Insider Scoop Explores Strategic Alternatives, Analyst Sees Possible Sale Price Around $30 Per Share

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related 44 Biggest Movers From Yesterday 38 Stocks Moving In Wednesday's Mid-Day Session ... 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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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

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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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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Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"



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

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

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

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

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:


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


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About Phil:

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

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

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