Archive for 2019

The American GI in WWII, uncensored

 

The American GI in WWII, uncensored

File 20190310 86710 4irdfw.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Pfc Elias Friedensohn in June 1945 at the Special Services Distributing Point, Seine Section, Paris, France. National Archives

Courtesy of Edward Gitre, Virginia Tech

I can still recall the exhilaration I felt in the reading room of the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.

It was mid-April 2009. I was scrolling through roll after microfilm roll of the War Department’s “Opinion Surveys Relating to the Morale of U.S. Army Personnel.”

What I had discovered were tens of thousands of statements written by World War II American soldiers about their military experiences. Not only were they uncensored, but they were also composed during the conflict – not afterward, from re-created memories.

A postdoctoral fellow at the time in modern U.S. history, I felt confident that no other collection of WWII records compared to what had been saved on these unreproduced 44 microfilm rolls. Neither had I ever seen these documents used in any history of WWII.

I had just discovered a historian’s gold mine.

If only the public had access to these, I thought to myself.

Collecting opinions and measuring morale

The Army scheduled its first, benignly titled “Planning Survey” for early December in 1941. The survey was created by an internal Army research branch staffed and advised by some of the country’s leading social and behavioral scientists.

The objective of this and other subsequent surveys was to collect information that would help improve the Army’s organizational efficiency and effectiveness and shore up the adjustment of “citizen-soldiers” to their military service.

The research team started with some 1,900 soldiers from the Ninth Division stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The first group of roughly 50 men ordered to report to the camp theater that Monday morning in 1941 had no idea why they had been selected.

Unprecedented opportunity

Once inside, the assembled GIs were told by the private responsible for administering the survey that the military was doing something that had “never been done in this Army, or in any other Army in the world.” The researchers described this scene and reprinted the…
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Is 2019 About To Repeat 2018? 3 Similarities, 3 Differences… And JPM’s Ominous Conclusion

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

For several months at the start of 2019, analysts, pundits and the media argued that the year was shaping up as a mirror image of 2016, and specifically a repeat of the Shanghai Accord in January 2016 which resulted in a global credit explosion emanating from China and meant to arrest the global bear market. To be sure, in January of 2019 we saw a similar "gargantuan" credit tsunami out of China after the injection of an unprecedented 4.64 trillion yuan in January.

However, several months later, it appears that China's determination to reflate at all costs fizzled, Europe failed to piggy back on China's spike in the credit impulse, and suddenly comparisons to 2016 were quietly scrubbed. This is how Horseman Global's Russell Clark explained the shift in sentiment:

Markets turned around in 2016 when it became obvious that the Chinese policy of cutting capacity and pushing up commodity prices was the real deal. This was Chinese policy to create inflation internally to the benefit of corporates and the financial sector. However, it seems these polices have been reversed, and share prices of Chinese steel companies and banks are beginning to reflect these problems again. If the US dollar stays strong, and China cannot create inflation internally, then they are going to be forced to devalue. Many of the long positions of the fund began to reflect this at the end of April, including mining stocks and currencies.

As a result, Clark writes that "the likelihood of sustained inflation is beginning to disappear" and "deflation again looks more likely, just as it did from 2011 to 2016."

So if 2016 is not the appropriate comp for 2019, what is? Well, in a far more unpleasant – for the bulls – shift in the narrative, the year that is now discussed as the most likely comparison to what is taking place now, is 2018.

But is that also going to end up being a false comp?

To help answer this question, JPMorgan's Nikolaos Panagirtzoglou has dedicated his last two "Flows and Liquidity" weekly reports to dissecting first the three biggest similarities and then the three biggest differences between…
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Manhattan Home Prices Tumble Most Since 2010… And Buyers Reappear

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Proving that higher prices aren't always better news, housing in Manhattan may finally be catching a bid after a nearly yearlong slump in prices has plunged far enough to finally attract buyers. Additionally, inventory growth finally looks to be slowing down. 

Manhattan home prices were thrashed again in April, falling the most since 2010 – but this time, there may be somewhat of a silver lining. The falling prices caused buyers to "pounce", resulting in 1,193 homes under contract during the month – more than any month since April of 2015, according to data provided by Bloomberg and StreetEasy. Perhaps deflation is not so evil after all.

StreetEasy's price index fell 5.2% from a year ago to $1.11 million. The index measures change in resale prices for the same properties over time. It was the largest decline in the index since April 2010, when the index dropped 6.1%. 

The newfound bid for homes could be a sign that Manhattan's market may be emerging from a drought of buyers, who had been previously been sitting on the sidelines, scared of overpaying for properties. As prices move toward more realistic buyer expectations, capital has been put to work. 

Grant Long, senior economist at StreetEasy said: “Sellers are finally getting that many of their price expectations were not realistic. They’re lowering their prices to a point that’s attractive to buyers.”

Here are some of StreetEasy's additional findings:

  • The most homes went into contract since 2015. The number of pending sales in Manhattan increased 26.6% from last year, up by more than 250. The number of homes entering contract in Upper Manhattan doubled year over year, from 66 to 132.
  • Inventory growth slowed. While sales inventory growth remained in the double digits at 10.8%, it still moved at the slowest pace in 13 months. The volume of new inventory hitting the market shrank by 9.6% over last year.
  • As sellers priced homes more strategically from the start, fewer made price cuts. The share of homes with a price cut fell slightly for the first time in 13 months. Some 14.1% of Manhattan homes saw a price decrease in April — down 0.6


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Are West Coast ‘Tremor Bursts’ “Just Reminders” That ‘The Big One’ Looms?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A series of tiny quakes rattling California and the Pacific Northwest may signal an upcoming catastrophic earthquake, seismologists say, KOIN reported. Or experts say they might just be another reminder that the pressure’s always building on fault lines beneath the West Coast, KATU reported.

“Those are just reminders,” said Scott Burns, a Portland State University geology professor, according to the station. “We don’t know what they mean. They are reminders that we are in earthquake country, and they may be precursors to the ‘big one.’”

The tremors are indications of a “slow-slip” event, says Ken Creager, a University of Washington professor, KOMO reported.

But, as SHTFplan.com's Mac Slavo details, for the first time since 2011, three distinct zones in the Pacific Northwest have been “going off” all at once. According to King 5 News, scientists say that the theory is that the sub-ducting ocean plate is being stretched like taffy in the heat that is the mantle of the earth.

“Any signal you get is interesting,” said Tim Melbourne, a who runs the Northwest Geodetic Array, which is based at Central Washington University in Ellensburg.

“If you have something out in the dark, and you know it’s dangerous, you know it’s menacing, and every now and then you get a flash of light from it. Any flash of light doesn’t tell you a lot, but you piece them all together and you can start to put together all the angles, and you can start to see the dragon, and it’s a big dragon,” Melbourne said.

Melbourne’s metaphorical “dragon” is the Cascadia Subduction zone. Sections of the ocean floor are being pushed under the western edge of the North American continent creating pressure. Where the two plates join is a huge fault line, and the cooler upper portions of that fault are locked together. When they give way, typically between about 300 and 500 years, the result is a massive tsunami-triggering earthquake. The one scientists expect to occur off of our coast is expected to be a magnitude nine. And some government agencies have already been preparing for the inevitable event. 


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Cryptos Are Exploding Higher, Bitcoin At 12-Month Highs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The cryptocurrency market cap surged above $260 billion in early Asian trading tonight as the entire space legs to a new cycle high, led by Litecoin with Bitcoin hitting 12-month highs.

Source: CoinMarketCap.com

Litecoin is up around 12% in the last hour and the rest of the crypto-space is up 7-8% suddenly…

Bitcoin broke out of its recent tight range around $8000, surging up to $8800…

Its highest level since May 2018…

But almost the entire cryptospace is a sea of green…

Source: Coin360.com

While the timing is coincidental with EU election exit polls hitting (suggesting a significant shift to eurospektic parties), there is no indication of the buying pressure coming from that, rather more likely a renewed interest from Asia as US-China tensions continues to escalate and residents seek an alternative safe haven.





Silver Specs Signal It’s Time To Start Buying

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by John Rubino via DollarCollapse.com,

The gold futures market took a big step towards bullish — or at least neutral — in the past week. Speculators (usually wrong at big turning points) scaled back their long bets while commercials (usually right at turning points) reduced their net short positions.

This is progress, but still leaves speculators long and commercials short. The message: wait a few more weeks for 2019’s best entry point.

But silver’s story is a lot more interesting. In that market, speculators are now aggressively net short:

Here’s the same data in graphical form:

Note that in September 2018, the last time speculators were comparably net short (visually, with the gray bars below the above graph’s center divide), silver was putting in a bottom that preceded a nice run through February of 2019.

This divergence between gold (wait and see) and silver (start buying now) is confirmed by the gold/silver ratio, which is at a multi-year high, implying that silver is undervalued relative to gold.

Past spikes in this ratio have preceded precious metals bull markets in which silver outperformed gold.





“Wikipedia Is… Broken,” Controlled By Special Interests & Bad Actors Says Co-Founder

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Sharyl Attkisson,

I’ve done quite a bit of reporting about how Wikipedia is definitely not “the encyclopedia anyone can edit.” It’s become a vehicle for special interests to control information. Agenda editors are able to prevent or revert edits and sourcing on selected issues and people in order to control the narrative.

My own battle with Wikipedia included being unable to correct provably false facts such as incorrect job history, incorrect birth place and incorrect birth date.

What’s worse is that agenda editors related to pharmaceutical interests and the partisan blog Media Matters control my Wikipedia biographical page, making sure that slanted or false information stays on it. For example, they falsely refer to my reporting as “anti-vaccine,” and imply my reporting on the topic has been discredited. In fact, my vaccine and medical reporting has been recognized by top national journalism awards organizations, and has even been cited as a source in a peer reviewed scientific publication. However, anyone who tries to edit this factual context and footnotes onto my page finds it is quickly removed.

What persists on my page, however, are sources that are supposedly disallowed by Wikipedia’s policies. They include citations by Media Matters, with no disclosure that it’s a partisan blog.

Another entity quoted on my Wikipedia biographical page to disparage my work is the vaccine industry’s Dr. Paul Offit. But there’s no mention of the lawsuits filed against Offit for libel (one prompted him to apologize and correct his book), or the fact that he provided false information about his work and my reporting to the Orange County Register, which later corrected its article. Obviously, these facts would normally make Offit an unreliable source, but for Wikipedia, he’s presented as if an unconflicted expert. In fact, Wikipedia doesn’t even mention that’s Offit is a vaccine industry insider who’s made millions of dollars off of vaccines.

Meantime, turn to Dr. Offit’s own Wikipedia biography and– at last look– it also omitted all mention of his countless controversies. Instead, it’s written like a promotional resume– in violation of Wikipedia’s supposed politics on neutrality.


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Macron Suffers Huge Blow With Defeat To Le Pen

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

In what may be the biggest shock from today's European parliamentary elections, President Emmanuel Macron is set to suffer a blow with French voters set to hand a victory to Marine Le Pen’s National Rally, picking the vocal Eurosceptic and nationalist over the former Rothschild banker.

Macron’s En Marche (Republic on The Move) will have just 22.5% of the vote compared with 24% for Le Pen, according to pollsters Ifop. With Macron and Le Pen neck and neck ahead of the elections, the outcome will be a humiliation for the liberal politician who said before the elections that everything less than 1st place would be a defeat.

Rounding out the The Greens were third with 13%, the conservative Republicans got 8%, while the implosion of the Socialists continues, coming in dead last with just 6.5% of the vote.

Macron's default took place even as turnout was up around 10% points from 2014, however the increase was particularly marked in regions where Le Pen’s party has gained ground in the past years. In other words, as establishment apathy gets entrenched, the populist vote is increasingly demanding to be heard.

It gets worse: to the shock of globalists and statists everywhere, this is Le Pen’s second straight victory in the EU vote. In 2014 she beat the conservatives by 4 percentage points with Macron’s Socialist predecessor Francois Hollande trailing in third.

As Bloomberg notes, the result is a setback for the 41-year-old Macron who played a more prominent role in the campaign than any other European leader as he sought to mobilize voters.

The president is fighting for legitimacy as he tries to persuade the rest of the European Union to pursue tighter integration. Polls in Germany showed Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats came first, although with fewer seats than last time.

“For Macron this was a defining election and it’s him who made it like that,” said Bernard Sananes, president of Elabe polling institute. “Finishing second would mean a sense of isolation in Europe.”

Today's vote followed months of relentless protests which have seen looting and vandalism in Paris.…
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“The Fund Went Seriously Wrong This Month” – The World’s Most Bearish Hedge Fund Suffers Spectacular Loss

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

According to (always wrong) conventional wisdom, anybody who has remained bearish on global markets since the financial crisis has not only lost a boatload of money, but has missed out on the opportunity to cash in on one of the most torrid bull markets in recent memory. They should also be out of business, insolvent or both.

However, as Horseman Global's Russell Clark has proven over and over again, this is not the case at all. A few years back, we anointed Horseman "The world's most bearish hedge fund" for a very simple reason: Of all existing asset managers, Horseman may be the one with the biggest and longest net short position in history. Just look at the chart below, which shows not only that Clark's net exposure was a remarkable $-60.58% (after -88.14% in March), with a gross short position of 108%, but that he had been effectively net short since 2011.

Yet, to assume that Clark has either thrown in the bearish towel, or somehow lost his shirt over the past ten years would be a mistake. Actually, his fund outperformed the S&P 500 for the period between 2012 – when he first went net short – until the end of 2018, only underperforming in  2016. In 2014, Clark posted double-digit returns when oil prices cratered (he was short). In 2013, he made money shorting Brazilian equities. He started with just $111 million when he took over the fund in January 2011, but AUM peaked at $1.5 billion in 2015.

Assets

However, the fund's inconsistent performance (it's not unusual for Horseman to be up or down 5% in a single month) has alienated some investors who are uncomfortable with the volatility, even as Horseman has bested most other hedge funds in terms of performance, as one former investor told Bloomberg.

Tim Ng, chief investment officer of Princeton, N.J.-based Clearbrook Global Advisors LLC, says his fund pulled its money for similar reasons. "The stretches of negative performance and the high volatility of monthly returns became a consistent drag on our portfolio’s overall return, which prompted us to redeem," he says.

But…
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Farm Crisis: Corn Planting Slowest On Record For This Time Of Year

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

American farmers have some of the most corn acres left to plant, last week, than any other date on record, reported the Crop Progress Report -written by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA warned corn planting is currently at 49% complete, behind the 80% five-year average.

Highlights from the report:

  • Corn emerged from the ground 19% vs. 10% last week, 47% a year ago

  • Soybeans planted 19% vs. 9% last week and 53% a year ago

  • Soybeans emerged 5% vs. 24% a year ago

  • Spring wheat planted 70% vs. 45% last week, and 76% a year ago

  • Spring wheat emerged 26% vs. 10% last week and 34% a year ago

  • Cotton planted 44% vs. 26% last week and 50% a year ago

  • Winter wheat 66% g/e vs. 64% last week, and 36% a year ago

  • Kansas 60% g/e vs. 56% a week ago

As of last weekend, Iowa farmers had 70% of their corn planted versus the 89% five-year average. Illinois farmers had 24% of their corn planted versus the 89% five-year average. Indiana farmers had 14% planted versus the 73% five-year average. In the western Corn Belt, farmers had 70% of their corn planted versus the 86% five-year average.

"Disastrous weather conditions have led to an anomalous amount of corn yet to be planted across the United States. After 10-20 inches of rainfall since the beginning of April, field are wet and even flooded in parts of the corn belt. This has prevented farmers from planting corn this Spring, forcing a decision between planting into June (very late for healthy corn), switching their planting to soybeans, or taking prevent plant insurance to cover portions of their crop losses. With the trade war ongoing and impacting price, switching to soybeans is not as attractive as it would be in a typical planting year, putting farmers in a precarious situation, having to choose between the choices discussed above. Heading into


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Zero Hedge

$1 Billion Worth Of Cocaine Seized At Philadelphia Port

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Several thousand traders on Wall Street may be extra jittery tomorrow when the FOMC announcement hits at 2:00pm. The reason: shipping containers full of illegal drugs - mostly blow - were found and seized at a Philadelphia port in what authorities described as the largest seizure in the region's history. Back in March we reported by what at a time seemed like a giant haul when a ton and a half of cocaine seized at the port of New York and New Kersey, in what was describe...



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Phil's Favorites

With cryptocurrency launch, Facebook sets its path toward becoming an independent nation

 

With cryptocurrency launch, Facebook sets its path toward becoming an independent nation

The world’s newest country? railway fx/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Jennifer Grygiel, Syracuse University

Facebook has announced a plan to launch a new cryptocurrency named the Libra, adding another layer to its efforts to dominate global communications and business. Backed by hug...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Consumer Staple and Yields about to send key message to stocks?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Could the Staples sector and the yield on the 10-year note be on the verge of sending an important message to the stock and bond markets? It sure looks that way.

Staples ETF (XLP) is currently attempting to break above the January 2018 highs at (1). If it does, it would be a breakout of the trading range that has been in play for the past 18-months, as it looks to have created a double bottom last year.

The yield on the 10-year note (TNX)  has declined nearly 35%, since pea...



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Insider Scoop

30 Stocks Moving In Tuesday's Pre-Market Session

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Gainers
  • Moneygram International Inc (NASDAQ: MGI) rose 128.3% to $3.31 in pre-market trading after the company reported a strategic partnership with Ripple. Blockchain payments firm Ripple has made an investment in MoneyGram and will also allow the group to use its XRP cryptocurrency as part of the cross-border payments process. Ripple made an initial investment of $30 million in the money transfer company, made up of common stock and a warrant to purchase common stock. Ripple purchased newly-issued common stock including the shares underlying the warrant from MoneyGram at $4.10 per share.
  • Blue Apron Holdings, Inc....


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Biotech

Consumer genetic testing customers stretch their DNA data further with third-party interpretation websites

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

 

Consumer genetic testing customers stretch their DNA data further with third-party interpretation websites

If you’ve got the raw data, why not mine it for more info? Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Sarah Catherine Nelson, University of Washington

Back in 2016, Helen (a pseudonym) took three different direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests: AncestryDNA, 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA. She saw genetic testing as a way...



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Chart School

Silver Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

The folks in the federal reserve will debase the US dollar currency to an extreme degree silver will finally lift off the floor.. 

Note: Readers should re watch the silver back screen news video, here.

The following video looks at price action and Wyckoff logic.

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Chart in video

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If gold moves, silver wi...

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Digital Currencies

Cryptos Are Crashing As Asia Opens, Bitcoin Back Below $8k

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Having survived the day's bloodbath in US tech stocks, cryptos are crashing in the early Asian session, apparently playing catch-down to the day's de-risking.

While no catalyst is immediately evident, there are some reports noting 13 large global banks are preparing to launch digital versions of major global currencies next year, though we suspect this drop was more algorithmic that fundamental-driven.

...



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ValueWalk

More Examples Of "Typical Tesla "wise-guy scamminess"

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Stanphyl Capital’s letter to investors for the month of March 2019.

rawpixel / Pixabay

Friends and Fellow Investors:

For March 2019 the fund was up approximately 5.5% net of all fees and expenses. By way of comparison, the S&P 500 was up approximately 1.9% while the Russell 2000 was down approximately 2.1%. Year-to-date 2019 the fund is up approximately 12.8% while the S&P 500 is up approximately 13.6% and the ...



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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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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

Excerpt:

The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...



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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:

 

·       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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