Author Archive for ilene

Britain has its first new deep coal mine in decades – a result of pretending climate change isn’t political

 

Britain has its first new deep coal mine in decades – a result of pretending climate change isn't political

File 20190321 93039 v3vybh.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Oscar Johns / shutterstock

Courtesy of Rebecca Willis, Lancaster University

The UK is widely seen as a climate leader. Its Climate Change Act, which passed into law ten years ago, is the envy of the world. It has targets for carbon reduction enshrined in law, and recently, the government hinted that it would adopt a target of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (the current target is an 80% reduction). Four years ago, the government, with cross-party support, announced it would phase out coal-fired power generation by 2025.

And yet, at a planning committee meeting in the northern English county of Cumbria, where I live, local councillors have voted unanimously to approve a new deep coal mine, Britain’s first in three decades. The mine would extract nearly 3m tonnes of coal a year, primarily for the steel industry rather than power generation. According to Scientists for Global Responsibility, this would result in more than 9m tonnes of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere, every year for 50 years – that’s equal to the emissions from a million households.

How can a country with such strong ambitions to reduce carbon emissions, approve a plan to increase them so significantly? My research, which is based on interviews with MPs and looks at how politicians understand and respond to climate change, suggests why such a contradictory situation could have arisen.

The new mine will take coal from the seabed near St Bees Head, Cumbria. StaceyCheck / shutterstock

For the past decade, there has been a cross-party consensus in support of long-term carbon targets. Just five out of 650 MPs voted against the Climate Change Act. Yet a side-effect of this consensus has been that politicians have not talked about climate change very much. Political debate is conspicuous by its absence, the climate is rarely discussed in parliament, and few MPs champion the issue. One climate-conscious MP said that he was “known as a freak” for speaking out,…
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Why some counties are powerhouses for innovation

 

Why some counties are powerhouses for innovation

File 20190220 148539 1uibfnn.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Santa Clara County produced more patents than any other U.S. county in recent history. MintImages/shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Christopher Boone, Arizona State University

By the time the application window closed, Amazon had received 238 proposals from cities and regions throughout North America looking to become the second headquarters of the behemoth tech company.

Amazon invited proposals especially from places that looked a lot like its native Seattle: metro areas with more than a million people; a stable and business-friendly environment; communities that could “think big and creatively” about real estate options; and a location that would attract and retain technical talent.

In the race to attract high-tech companies, what can cities and regions do to become centers of innovation? At the moment, some places are clearly in the lead.

By my analysis of data from the U.S. Patent Office, Santa Clara County, California, is sprinting ahead of the country. Between 2000 and 2015, more than 140,000 patents were granted in Santa Clara County. That’s triple the number for second-ranked San Diego County.

Four other counties in California – Los Angeles, San Mateo, Alameda and Orange – make the top 10. Washington’s King County, Massachusetts’s Middlesex County, Michigan’s Oakland County and Arizona’s Maricopa County round out the list.

These counties are in large metropolitan areas that are known as technology and innovation centers, including San Francisco, San Diego, Boston and Seattle. The other metro areas in the top 10, not the usual tech-hub suspects, are Greater Los Angeles, Detroit and Phoenix.

Higher education

Besides large concentrated populations, these metro areas share two other ingredients that support innovation. All of them have one or more leading research universities and a large proportion of college-educated people.

Santa Clara County is home to Stanford University, an institution that has become synonymous with the high-tech and innovation economy of Silicon Valley.

Stanford’s rise as a world-class research university coincided with a rapid increase in federal and military spending during the Cold War. The university’s suburban location gave it an advantage,…
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Livestreamed massacre means it’s time to shut down Facebook Live

 

Livestreamed massacre means it's time to shut down Facebook Live

File 20190319 60975 bnaej0.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Facebook Live can be fun – or really scary. I'm friday/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Jennifer Grygiel, Syracuse University

When word broke that the massacre in New Zealand was livestreamed on Facebook, I immediately thought of Robert Godwin Sr. In 2017, Godwin was murdered in Cleveland, Ohio, and initial reports indicated that the attacker streamed it on Facebook Live, at the time a relatively new feature of the social network. Facebook later clarified that the graphic video was uploaded after the event, but the incident called public attention to the risks of livestreaming violence.

In the wake of Godwin’s murder, I recommended that Facebook Live broadcasts be time-delayed, at least for Facebook users who had told the company they were under 18. That way, adult users would have an opportunity to flag inappropriate content before children were exposed to it. Facebook Live has broadcast killings, as well as other serious crimes such as sexual assault, torture and child abuse. Though the company has hired more than 3,000 additional human content moderators, Facebook is not any better at keeping horrifying violence from streaming live online without any filter or warning for users.

In the 24 hours after the New Zealand massacre, 1.5 million videos and images of the killings were uploaded to Facebook’s servers, the company announced. Facebook highlighted the fact that 1.2 million of them “were blocked at upload.” However, as a social media researcher and educator, I heard that as an admission that 300,000 videos and images of a mass murder passed through its automated systems and were visible on the platform.

The company recently issued some analytic details and noted that fewer than 200 people viewed the livestream of the massacre, and that surprisingly, no users reported it to Facebook until after it ended. These details make painfully clear how dependent Facebook is on users to flag harmful content. They also suggest that people don’t know how to report inappropriate content – or don’t have confidence the company will act on the complaint.

The video that remained after the livestream ended was viewed nearly 4,000 times…
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Fed’s Powell Wasn’t Expecting this Kind of Drama at his Press Conference

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Jerome (Jay) Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Speaks at a Press Conference Following FOMC Announcement on March 20, 2019

Jerome (Jay) Powell, Chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Speaks at a Press Conference Following FOMC Announcement on March 20, 2019

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

The real drama in the market yesterday was not the 2:00 p.m. release of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement to hold rates steady but what happened about twenty minutes into the press conference that began at 2:30 p.m. when Fed Chairman Jerome (Jay) Powell began to answer questions from an intrepid group of reporters. The youthful, fresh-scrubbed faces from well-known media outlets presented a paradoxical contrast to the gritty questions they lobbed at the man who clearly understood that losing his cool could tank the stock market.

But despite Powell’s calm exterior, the stock market didn’t like the questions or the responses from Powell. Opacity is treasured by the masters of today’s stock market. Too much transparency or honesty sends hedge funds and dark pools running for the safety of Treasury notes. Not only did the Dow Jones Industrial Average begin a sharp descent about 24 minutes into the press conference (see chart below) but so did each of the five largest Wall Street bank stocks: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley.

So exactly who were these truth-seeking reporters and what was the nature of the uncomfortable questions they asked?

Victoria Guida, Reporter for Politico, Asks a Very Uncomfortable Question for the Fed Chair During March 20, 2019 Press Conference

Victoria Guida, Reporter for Politico, Asks About Recent Change to the Fed’s Stress Tests During March 20, 2019 Press Conference

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How The Patient Investor Sees the World More Clearly

 

How The Patient Investor Sees the World More Clearly

Courtesy of Cullen Roche, Pragmatic Capitalism 

?One of my favorite things to think about in investing is the theoretical investor who slept through 1987. We all know about “Black Monday”, the crash of 1987, when stocks fell 23% in one day. It was terrifying. But the craziest thing about 1987 is that the S&P 500 had a total return of 5.81% that year. The stock market was positive in a year that is known for being a terrifying crash! So, if you had checked your portfolio on January 1, 1987 and then slept through the entire year and woken on December 31, you would have looked at your portfolio and said “huh, pretty slow year in the markets, but not bad!”

This is one of the great paradoxes of investing – the more you pay attention the more behavioral risk you create for yourself. Most people think it’s the opposite. They think they have to keep a watchful eye over their money or it might get up and walk away. But the opposite is true for the financial markets. The assets we own are inherently long-term instruments and no matter how much you trade them or try to make them do certain things they are inherently designed to generate a certain return over medium to long-term time horizons. The more we play around with them the more we incur taxes and fees along the way. The patient investor knows this and let’s the market do what it’s gonna do while the impatient investor tries to make the market do something it cannot mathematically do.

The last 12 months are a great example of how the patient investor sees the world more clearly. Keep in mind, I hate 12 month time horizons. They are not nearly long enough to reasonably judge instruments like stocks and bonds. But you’ll get the point.

This first chart is like our investor who sleeps through 1987 except they wake up 4 times a year and peak at the quarterly closing prices for the S&P 500 over the last year. This investor sees a pretty mild total return of 1.3% and a max drawdown of 6%. On the whole, the last 12…
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Even if Netanyahu goes, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will continue

 

Even if Netanyahu goes, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will continue

File 20190318 28468 ci6z3.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. AP/Sebastian Scheiner

Courtesy of Dov Waxman, Northeastern University

After a decade in office, Benjamin Netanyahu’s long tenure as Israel’s prime minister may soon be ending.

Whether his Likud Party loses power following Israel’s election on April 9, or he’s forced to resign the premiership after being indicted on multiple corruption charges, Netanyahu’s downfall appears imminent.

Without the hawkish Netanyahu – who opposes full Palestinian statehood – at Israel’s helm, what are the chances for peace between Israelis and Palestinians?

Not good. Even an Israel-friendly peace plan, like the one expected to be proposed by the Trump administration, has little chance of success in a post-Netanyahu world.

Blue and White party billboard, left; panel on the right showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flanked by extreme right politicians. AP/Oded Balilty

No domestic pressure for peace talks

If the popular political newcomer Benny Gantz, who heads the recently formed “Blue and White” centrist alliance along with Yair Lapid, becomes Israel’s next prime minister, he is unlikely to prioritize peace talks with the Palestinians.

Although the official platform of the Blue and White alliance expresses a willingness to enter negotiations with the Palestinians, Gantz will be in no hurry because there’s no public pressure for peace talks.

Most Israelis, like most Palestinians, have concluded that they have no partner for peacemaking and they’ve given up on the peace process.

Israelis are more concerned with their economy and their security. Though they would like to resolve their long-running conflict with the Palestinians, or at least “separate” themselves from Palestinians and stop ruling over them in the West Bank, most Israelis see no safe or easy way to do so. However unsatisfactory it is, the status quo is bearable for them.

Major concessions unlikely

Even if peace talks do eventually get underway, an Israeli government led by the Blue and White alliance would be only slightly more
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Animal Spirits: The Expectations Gap

 

Animal Spirits: The Expectations Gap

Courtesy of 

Stories Discussed:

How the feds found out about the college admissions scandal

Some ides for college

Putting investors first, go Dina!

Doubling down on private equity

J.P. Morgan’s Guide to Retirement

Lifestyle creep

Ben’s take on income alpha

Harry Markowitz’s investing thesis

Performance of fired and hired fund managers

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Beneath a Scarlet Sky

Malcolm Gladwell’s Toyota story

Chris Paul and J.J. Redick

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How to Sell a Big Winner in the Stock Market

 

How to Sell a Big Winner in the Stock Market

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Small brewers show how craft principles could reshape the economy – but they’re under threat

 

Small brewers show how craft principles could reshape the economy – but they're under threat

File 20190319 60995 12b1nsh.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

shutterstock.

Courtesy of Maikel Kuijpers, Leiden University; Catalin Popa, Leiden University, and Jochem Kroezen, Cambridge Judge Business School

Our economy currently relies heavily on unsustainable industrial principles of mass scale, never-ending growth and throwaway consumerism. The transition to a sustainable economy, then, requires a shift in how we think about production.

In contrast to industrial production, craft production prioritises local production, human skill and excellence. Although craft principles were cast aside as industries were modernised, a revival is taking place. Examples of craft revival are visible in many sectors, ranging from butchering to textile production, but one of the most illustrative examples comes from the booming craft beer sector.

In the Netherlands, about 1,000 breweries existed at the beginning of the 19th century. Following the industrial revolution, there was a dramatic switch to the mass production of one beer style: pilsner. Only 13 breweries, all now using industrial principles of production, remained by 1980 and 90% of the market was controlled by the four largest players. But since then, a revival of craft production has fuelled a dramatic resurgence of the brewery population. Today, there are well over 300 breweries again.

The Brewer. Designed and engraved in the 16th century by J Amman. Wikimedia Commons

The Netherlands is not the only country where craft brewing has been revived. In 11 of the biggest beer producing nations, the number of breweries has grown by a factor of five in recent decades. If we exclude Belgium and Germany, where industrialisation had less of an effect on the traditional brewing population, the factor is even greater: 23. The US brewing population, for instance, grew from a mere 89 craft breweries in 1978 to well over 6,000 today.

Challenges

Part of this dramatic craft renaissance is explained by a change in demand. Fuelled by nostalgia and an anti-mass production sentiment, the market demand for local, authentic products is growing, most notably in the food industry.…
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Goldman Sachs’ Trading Bloodbath Looks to be Coming from JPMorgan and Citi

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Source: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

Source: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

Last Thursday, Kevin Dugan at the New York Post reported that Goldman Sachs was laying off employees, “focusing on traders and salespeople in the equities and credit divisions, according to two people familiar with the layoffs.”

Buried deep in the bowels of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the federal regulator of national banks, is a report that helps to explain the trading pain being felt at Goldman Sachs.

According to the OCC report for the third quarter of 2018, JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. reported $2.7 billion in trading revenues from cash instruments and derivatives; Citibank N.A. reported $2 billion; Bank of America N.A reported $957 million while Goldman Sachs Bank USA reported a minuscule $266 million.

Equally noteworthy, Goldman Sachs Bank USA was the only one of the four banks to report trading losses on its cash instruments and derivatives. The OCC says it lost $173 million trading interest rate positions and $37 million from credit positions.

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Phil's Favorites

Britain has its first new deep coal mine in decades - a result of pretending climate change isn't political

 

Britain has its first new deep coal mine in decades – a result of pretending climate change isn't political

Oscar Johns / shutterstock

Courtesy of Rebecca Willis, Lancaster University

The UK is widely seen as a climate leader. Its Climate Change Act, which passed into law ten years ago, is the envy of the world. It has targets for carbon reduction enshrined in law, and recently, the government hinted that it would adopt a target of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (the current target is an 80% reduction). Four years ago, the government, with cross...



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ValueWalk

The Future Of National Beverage Corp. (FIZZ) Stock; Cannabis Webinar

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Whitney Tilson’s email to investors discussing the LaCroix maker National Beverage Corp. (FIZZ)’s stock; Tesla; Cannabis webinar; question 3; Jamaica.

1) I’m still sniffing around National Beverage Corp, best known for its LaCroix brand of flavored sparkling water, which I wrote up as my Stock Idea of the Day in my ...



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Zero Hedge

"It Feels Eerily Like 2007" - DoubleLine's Gundlach Blasts Fed's "Unprecedented Reversal"

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

As the whipsaw in stocks and the dollar sank in today - while the bond market remains unimpressed by the machine's liftathon today - market participants are still shaking their heads at what just happened.

One of the more outspoken of those market participants is DoubleLine CEO Jeffrey Gundlach who took to Twitter this morning to express his disdain...

Three months ago the Fed predicted totally different policy than where they are now. How can they predict 2020 policy with a straight face?

— Jeffrey Gundlach (@TruthGundlach) March 21, 2019

 

But he was not done, in a brief i...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Interest Rates Sputter... Is U.S. Economy Next?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

The Federal Reserve wasn’t quite as hawkish as investors expected. The result: Treasury bond yields (interest rates) fell sharply.

In today’s chart of the 10-Year US Treasury Yield, we highlight the reversal in rates that occurred late last year.

This wasn’t just any old reversal, though. It occurred along the same long-term downtrend line that produced reversals in the years 2000 and 2007.

A closer look at the chart and it appears that 10-year yields are breaking short-term support. This is also occurring as monthly momentum rolls over fr...



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Chart School

Silver is cheap vs Gold

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Metal investors will be paying attention to how out of favor silver is relative to gold. And it is hard to wonder why with the well forecast boom of electric cars expected over the next 10 years. Who owns all the silver? JM Bullion has a series of charts here. Notice the stock pile held by JPM. They will do will if silver gets to $30 USD an once!

Chart up to April 2017



As of the 20th of March 2019 the US Federal Reserve has switched to dovish...

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Insider Scoop

Wells Fargo Expects FedEx Margins To Remain Under Pressure From Market Woes

Courtesy of Benzinga.

FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX) reported disappointing third-quarter results Tuesday and lowered its fiscal 2019 guidance.

The flexibility of the company’s network allows it to respond more quickly to competitive threats and a tough supply chain environmen...



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Biotech

Marijuana is a lot more than just THC - a pharmacologist looks at the untapped healing compounds

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

 

Marijuana is a lot more than just THC - a pharmacologist looks at the untapped healing compounds

Assorted cannabis bud strains. Roxana Gonzalez/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of James David Adams, University of Southern California

Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states as of November 2018. Yet the federal government still insists marijuana has no legal u...



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Digital Currencies

Facebook's cryptocurrency: a financial expert breaks it down

 

Facebook's cryptocurrency: a financial expert breaks it down

Grejak/Shutterstock

Courtesy of Alistair Milne, Loughborough University

Facebook is reportedly preparing to launch its own version of Bitcoin, for use in its messaging applications, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram. Could this “Facecoin” be the long-awaited breakthrough by a global technology giant into the lucrative market for retail financial services? Or will...



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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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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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