Author Archive for Zero Hedge

Russian And South Korean Fighter Jets Face Off In “Mid-Air Confrontation”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

For the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian jets flying through South Korean airspace provoked the South Korean military into a “midair confrontation” that involved firing hundreds of warning shots. All told, South Korean jets fired 360 machine-gun rounds and at least 20 flares, Bloomberg reports.

Three Russian military planes (two Tu-95 bombers and one A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft) entered South Korea’s air defense identification zone off the country’s east coast, the South Korean Defense Ministry said. South Korean fighter jets scrambled in response, and fired 80 rounds of machine gun fire and 10 flares – what they described as “warning shots.” Two Chinese bombers joined with the Russian planes on Tuesday, and even violated South Korea’s airspace from the Southwest, though media reports didn’t specify whether they were participating in some kind of exercise with the Russian planes, or whether it was a separate incident entirely. It’s not uncommon for Chinese jets to wander into South Korean airspace.

Plane

The Russian jets retreated, but one of them returned later, prompting South Korea to scramble its jets again for a second confrontation. This time, they fired 280 machine-gun rounds, and another 10 flares.

South Korea wasn’t the only country to lodge a protest. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga made what the Japanese government described as a “stern protest” to Russia, based on the perception that the Russian plane violated Japanese airspace.

The former Soviet Union supported the North during the Korean War, which left millions of Koreans dead. In 1983, a Soviet fighter jet fired an air-to-air missile at a South Korean passenger plane that strayed into Soviet territory, killing all 269 people on board. In later years, diplomatic relations between the two countries gradually improved in the years before the Soviet Union fell.

Moscow swiftly denied that its jets had violated South Korean airspace, and it also denied that the “mid-air confrontation” had taken place.

Seoul: Russia violated our airspace.

Moscow: No we didn’t.

Seoul: We fired 360 warning shots at your aircraft.

Moscow: No you didn’t.

Russia & South Korea not exactly on the same page about this incident.

— Steve Rosenberg (@BBCSteveR) July 23, 2019

The airspace allegedly violated by Russia lies over…
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Bulgaria’s Revenue Agency Falls Victim To Biggest Cyber Heist In History

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Alex Kimani via SafeHaven.com,

When you hear of large-scale cyber-attacks, you probably conjure up images of nefarious computer geeks outmaneuvering state-of-the-art infosec systems and spiriting away mountains of precious data. Turns out, it’s more like taking candy from a baby.

The sheer speed and ease with which Russian hackers have been infiltrating global digital networks has become something of a running joke. 

And the Bulgarian government has become the latest victim to discover this the hard way after suffering its biggest cyber heist in history. 

Russian hackers have infiltrated Bulgaria’s revenue agency, the NRA, and stolen personal records of five million taxpayers in a spectacular phishing attack.

The heist was so extensive that it’s feared that 2 out of 3 of the country’s adult records have been compromised – the largest ever data breach for the Balkan nation. 

The Bulgarian prime minister, Boyko Borissov, has called an emergency meeting to examine the extent of the damage and has also apologized to the country.

Casual sociopaths

The leaked information includes names, personal data and the financial earnings of both individuals and companies. 

Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov has revealed that said that the hackers infiltrated more than 110 of the agency’s databases (about three percent of its total count) though he has reassured citizens that no classified information or anything that can endanger financial stability was accessed. 

The government plans to seek help from the EU cybersecurity agency to perform extensive audits of its most sensitive systems.

The motive of the attack is yet to be established though it’s suspected to be an act of retaliation after the Bulgarian government purchased several U.S. F16 fighter jets.

It could also be a bad case of casual sociopathy considering the attackers sent the Bulgarian government an email taunting “…the state of your cybersecurity is a joke.” 

Indeed, the finance minister has already rejected a possible link to the jet purchase pointing out that the attack happened before the deal was approved. Bulgarian media also received emails containing download links for the stolen data from the hackers via Russian mail provider, Yandex--yet another cynical jibe.

More of the same

Your guess is as good as ours that this will not be the last time Russian hackers infiltrate sensitive databases of governments, companies and businesses and steal valuable information.

After all,…
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Margins Pressured As Freight Brokers Forced To Slash Prices To Keep Business

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Freight brokers continue to paint an ugly picture for the industry ahead. According to FreightWaves, despite higher rates at the end of June, brokers are saying that conditions have “eased” again and pressure is coming on gross margins from customers. 

J.B. Hunt called out “flattish” rates for its trucking business in its Q2 call as a reason for optimism and, on July 17, Morgan Stanley saied that “commentary stayed mixed this update as carriers continue to be notably more positive than peers as they see signs of an ‘adjustment’ to capacity in the coming months.” Late June data was also being used to peddle a stabilization narrative about the freight market where rates may have reached their bottom.

But new channel checks tell a starkly different tale.

Management at Trident Transport in Chattanooga called June’s market as an extended “hangover” from Roadcheck week. They said margins will compress because capacity made a sluggish return to the market and drove rates higher. 

William Kerr, president of Chicago-based Edge Logistics said: 

“It was very difficult to cover loads and make margin, worse than it usually is, and no one knows why. The market was a little shaky for a while and it was pretty hard to make money for the rest of June.”

Data and color from brokerage executives now say that the market is loosening once again. This chart shows the tightening in June and subsequent freeing up of capacity heading into July.

Jason Roberts, vice president of sales at Chattanooga-based Avenger Logistics said: 

“Most customers are realizing now they have a lot of the power back in their hands, and they’re putting pressure on us to get their rates down or they’ll give it to someone else. We’ve had to cut some rates to keep the business. We had customers who had been sitting at higher margins, and we reduced the margins by 5 percent [i.e., 500 basis points] in some cases.”

Kerr says his business continues to see good volume, despite being down about 2% on a national basis: “I’m very food and beverage focused — that’s insulated us a little bit from the volume volatility. We like to work with America’s largest shippers.”

Roberts continued, commenting on capacity: 

“As far as capacity goes, it’s loose as a goose. The


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New Climate Study Warns London As Hot As Barcelona By 2050

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A recent climate change study has found that London’s weather could feel more like Barcelona’s in 2050.

Even though that might sound like a dream for Londoners, Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes that the change could be accompanied by severe drought. The research focused on 520 major cities and it was published in journal Plos One. Its most concerning finding was that residents in around a fifth of all cities including Jakarta, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur will experience climate conditions that have never been seen in any major cities.

Infographic: London Could Feel As Hot As Barcelona By 2050  | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

By 2050, it is forecast that Madrid will feel like Marrakech, Stockholm will feel like Budapest, Seattle will feel like San Francisco and New York will be like Virginia Beach.

In the UK, the temperature increase would see the country’s average temperature during its hottest month soar around six degrees to 27C.





Largest Builder Of Bootleg Luxury Vehicles In Brazil Busted: Police Raid Secret Fake Lambo Factory

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Police in the city of Santa Catarina, Brazil recently raided a secret factory that was used to create bootleg replicas of luxury vehicles, according to CNN

Santa Catarina Civil Police’s investigative unit seized eight nearly assembled replicas of Lamborghinis and Ferraris during last Monday’s raid, according to a police press release.

The replicas were being sold for between $48,000 and $66,000 – a small fraction of the list price for an original. The starting price for a Ferrari, for instance, is generally around $215,000. In addition to seizing the replica vehicles, tools, molds, fibers and frames used to manufacture the cars were also seized.

The shop was owned by a father and son duo who now both face criminal charges for falsifying commercial property. They are being called “the largest manufacturers of bootleg luxury vehicles in Brazil”.

Ferrari and Lamborghini representatives had contacted the Santa Catarina civil police, which prompted the investigation to begin with.





Busted Billion-Dollar Bagholders Hire Private Eyes To Probe Goldman-Led Airline Bailout

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Several years ago, when ZIRP and NIRP was (again) raging, investors jumped at the chance to buy $1.2 billion in bonds whose proceeds wound up with a cluster of airlines linked to Etihad Airlines. As Bloomberg details, the deal was unusual in several ways: Goldman had teamed up with two relatively obscure brokerages and controversial German financier Lars Windhorst was helping structure the deal behind the scenes.

Ultimately, the deal wound up going bust and a group of creditors has now hired a private eye firm to dig out the details into how the deal came together, including the roles played by Windhorst, Goldman and others.

The deal and its ensuing investigation are bad PR for Goldman Sachs and highlight the company’s “willingness to raise large pools of capital in unorthodox or risky deals.” It also pairs the company with Windhorst, who has been under scrutiny in recent weeks especially over his role in the blow up of the ill-named H20 fund.

Roger King, an analyst at research firm CreditSights said:

“There were a lot of strange characteristics. It was a bizarrely complicated deal. A hairy deal no matter who brought it.”

One of the main questions about the deal was why did Goldman Sachs step in after another notoriously law-breaking bank, HSBC, dropped out. The financing likely wouldn’t have taken place without the help of a global bank.

Now, creditors including investment managers BlueBay Asset Management and Gramercy Funds Management have enlisted private investigators to help them push for maximum recoveries from the busted bonds. While it is not unheard of for bondholders to hire intelligence companies for due diligence purposes, it’s relatively rare that they will employ them in these types of scenarios.

Etihad had an issue in 2015. It had bought stakes in several smaller airlines but some of them, like Air Berlin, kept bleeding cash. Windhorst, who was once the airlline’s largest shareholder, was looking to help fix these issues. He proposed that a special purpose vehicle close to Etihad could sell bonds and then turn around to slice up the proceeds to many of the smaller carriers. Those companies would then pay back the special purpose vehicle.

Anoa, a small brokerage that was contracted to work out the details by Windhorst, was an affiliated company of his investment arm.…
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Wall Street Trading Desks Suffer Worst First Half In Over A Decade

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With Morgan Stanley reporting Q2 results yesterday, the first half earnings of all "big 5" US banks are now public, and when it comes to sales and trading they are nothing short of a disaster.

With the S&P at or near all time highs, institutional traders have, paradoxically, been increasingly moving to the "sidelines" for much of the second quarter as Wall Street trading desks posted their worst first half to a year in a decade, according to Bloomberg calculations. David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs, made note of this over the last two quarters, and other major banks like JP Morgan and Citigroup have followed.

The slowdown in trading revenue has been due to uncertainty about trade war politics and global Central Bank policy. However, in the past, these types of uncertainties have spurred more trading, not less. This has raised the question of whether or not the slowdown in trading is permanent, instead of temporary.

Morgan Stanley CFO Jon Pruzan said in an interview Thursday: “It’s more of a subdued up than sort of the animal spirits you would generally characterize in this type of environment. We haven’t seen some of the traditional things in a market like this — we haven’t seen a lot of people repositioning their portfolios, we haven’t seen leverage increase.”

Trading revenue at the five biggest Wall Street banks was down 8% in the second quarter, which followed a 14% slide in the first quarter. European banks are expected to post even larger drop offs next week when they report.

This will likely push revenue from equity and fixed income trading substantially below the $60.8 billion that was posted in the first half of 2017. These major firms generated $77.5 billion as recently as the first half of 2012.

One reason for the shrinkage – hedge funds have suffered outflows, which has also helped slow down trading volume. In addition, new rules that have limited lenders' ability to make principal bets with their own money have acted as a headwind. Technological advancements have also narrowed spreads in many areas of trading.

And over the last couple of quarters, Wall Street firms can’t decide whether or not they…
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Something’s Not Quite Right – “This Is Not Your 2016/2017/2018 Bull Market”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Sven Henrich via NorthmanTrader.com,

Tech Oddity

Tech making new highs again in July as markets are anticipating rate cuts from the Fed later in the month. It’s still early in the earning season, but about to get heavy with reports.

$NFLX was a stinker last week, but $MSFT delivered, technically as extended as it may be.

All eyes then on the standard bearers for $FAANG, $GOOGL,$AMZN, $AAPL and $FB. But when an index makes new highs it’s always useful to look under the hood and there’s a signal chart that raises some eyebrows.

Indeed one might call it a tech oddity. New highs on $NDX? Yes, but check the cumulative advance/decline index $NAAD, it tells a very different story:

What does this chart tell us?

Well, for one, during the run up from the 2016 lows into the 2018 highs $NDX ran in a steady trend higher as did $NAAD. Very clean channel as a matter of fact. Then it all fell apart in Q4 2018. But on the heels of the Fed pivot markets recovered and are now back to all time highs. $NDX made a new all time high again in April and also last week in July.

But note $NAAD did not play along. Far from it. First making a notable lower high in April it made yet another lower high last week. And by doing so it has formulated a new trend line. Instead of a steady uptrend as in 2016-2018 it has formed a line of resistance & is potentially forming topping pattern.

Notable also the relative weakness on the RSI above.

What’s the message here from a technical perspective?

Firstly note that $NDX, despite making new highs remains below the broken 2016 trend line, but new highs are also coming on an ever weakening trend in the cumulative advance/decline index.

Something’s not quite right. This is not your 2016/2017/2018 bull market. This is a different animal, it’s an oddity. A tech oddity.

Ground control to Major Tech: Put your helmet on.

*  *  *

For the latest public analysis please visit NorthmanTrader. To subscribe to our market products please visit Services.





Leaked Documents Expose Huawei’s Role In Building North Korean Wireless Network

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Huawei has already been accused, with good reason, of violating US and UN sanctions over doing business with Iran. Now, the Washington Post reports, citing clandestine internal documents, that Huawei secretly helped build a North Korean wireless network.

The revelation is the latest threat to undercut trade talks between Washington and Beijing, which have already reportedly stalled.

The telecoms giant partnered with a Chinese state-owned firm called Panda International Information Technology Co. on a variety of projects in North Korea over the span of eight years, according to past work orders, contracts and detailed spreadsheets taken from a database that charts the company’s telecom operations worldwide.

The way the partnership was structured made it difficult to detect Huawei's involvement. The spreadsheets and other documents were provided to The Post by former Huawei employees who believed the information is in the public interest. Other sets of documents were provided to WaPo by others who hoped to see them made public. All three sources spoke with WaPo on the condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals.

Taken together, the revelations raise questions about whether Huawei, which uses American technology and components in its products, violated US export controls regarding business dealings with North Korea.

The Commerce Department has been investigating potential links between Huawei in North Korea since 2016, but it hasn't publicly connected them. Meanwhile, Huawei said it has "no business presence" in North Korea. Spokesman Joe Kelly didn't comment, and he didn't dispute the authenticity of the documents, either.

"Huawei is fully committed to comply with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries and regions where we operate, including all export control and sanction laws and regulations" of the United Nations, United States and European Union, the statement read. A spokesman for Panda Group, Huawei's alleged partner, also declined to comment.

A State Department official explained the administration's frustration with Huawei over the situation.

"All of this fits into a general concern we have about corporate responsibility and a company like Huawei that is not trustworthy because of its company culture and numerous incidents indicating a willingness to evade or outright violate laws," the official said.


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Illinois Lawmakers Push Property Tax Hikes To Fund Affordable Housing

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Mark Glennon via WirePoints.org,

Property taxes will go up to pay for affordable housing if legislation now pending in the General Assembly passes. It’s not styled as a property tax increase, but that’s exactly what it is. It’s styled as property tax caps or reductions for affordable housing, which would directly result in increases for homeowners and everybody else.

Senate President John Cullerton

Two bills are pending. The first is Senate Bill 2259, sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago). It would artificially limit increases in assessments of new or rehabilitated apartment complexes if the owner commits at least 20 percent of the building’s units to a rent cap for families that make less than a set income depending on the area. The second, House Bill 2168, goes further and would directly reduce assessments on similarly defined affordable apartments. It has nine House sponsors.

In other words, both bills would give a property tax break to owners of apartments for lower income renters. The problem is that the levy – the total amounts collected by each taxing authority – wouldn’t change. That means all other property owners pay the difference. The end result is simple and undeniable: Property owners would fund a special subsidy for affordable housing.

You’d think lawmakers had learned their lesson. In 2017, Chicago wanted a way to soften the blow of the city’s property tax increases, or at least make them look softer. Singling out the city wasn’t workable, so it got Springfield to pass increases in the homestead and senior exemptions for all of Cook County. We wrote about the dismal results for other taxpayers here, which the Chicago Tribune detailed. Other property owners got clobbered, especially in lower income areas.

As the Tribune reported on those results, “Many, many people are saying it’s not financially beneficial for them to pay the taxes they pay on their homes, when every 11 to 13 years, they’re paying the total costs of their home in taxes,” said Harvey Ald. Keith Price, economic development committee chairman.

“I’ve talked to a couple of people that have personally told me that they are


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Phil's Favorites

Why are Atlantic and Gulf coast property owners building back bigger after hurricanes?

 

Why are Atlantic and Gulf coast property owners building back bigger after hurricanes?

Surf threatens beach houses on Dauphin Island, Alabama, September 4, 2011 during Tropical Storm Lee. AP Photo/Dave Martin

Courtesy of Eli Lazarus, University of Southampton and Evan B. Goldstein, University of North Carolina – Greensboro

U.S. coastal counties are densely populated and extensivel...



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Zero Hedge

Russian And South Korean Fighter Jets Face Off In "Mid-Air Confrontation"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

For the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian jets flying through South Korean airspace provoked the South Korean military into a "midair confrontation" that involved firing hundreds of warning shots. All told, South Korean jets fired 360 machine-gun rounds and at least 20 flares, Bloomberg reports.

Three Russian military planes (two Tu-95 bombers and one A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraf...



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Insider Scoop

The Daily Biotech Pulse: Acadia Schizophrenia Drug Fails, Viveve Plummets, Eisai Gets Breakthrough Therapy Designation

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Here's a roundup of top developments in the biotech space over the last 24 hours.

Scaling The Peaks

(Biotech stocks hitting 52-week highs on July 22)

  • Acasti Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: ACST)
  • Apellis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: APLS)
  • Arcturus...


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Kimble Charting Solutions

Is Crude Oil Sending a Bearish Message to the Stock Market?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Crude Oil (NYSEARCA: USO) and the S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP: .INX) have peaked and bottomed together several times in the past 9 months. See points (1) and (2) on the chart above.

In summary, the correlation between Oil and the stock market has been quite interesting and demands investors attention.

Crude Oil has been creating lower highs of late and is breaking price support at (3).

If the correlation remains the same, Crude Oil may very well be sending a bearish message to stocks.

Tricky spot for active investors – careful here.

...

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Chart School

RTT Plus Chart Book (Sneak Peak)

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

The magic of support and resistance channel lines and how they direct price. Here are some chart disclosed to members via the RTT Plus service. All charts are a few weeks old. 


XAU bound by parallel channel lines.


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Newmont Mining support from Gann Angles.



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US Dollar index (DXY) dominate cycle ...

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Digital Currencies

Cryptos Suddenly Panic-Bid, Bitcoin Back Above $10k

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Following further selling pressure overnight, someone (or more than one) has decided to buy-the-dip in cryptos this morning, sending Bitcoin (and most of the altcoins) soaring...

A sea of green...

Source: Coin360

Bitcoin surged back above $10,000...

Ethereum bounced off suppo...



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Biotech

DNA testing companies offer telomere testing - but what does it tell you about aging and disease risk?

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

 

DNA testing companies offer telomere testing – but what does it tell you about aging and disease risk?

A telomere age test kit from Telomere Diagnostics Inc. and saliva. collection kit from 23andMe. Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Patricia Opresko, University of Pittsburgh and Elise Fouquerel, ...



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ValueWalk

Professor Shubha Ghosh On The Current State Of Gene Editing

 

Professor Shubha Ghosh On The Current State Of Gene Editing

Courtesy of Jacob Wolinsky, ValueWalk

ValueWalk’s Q&A session with Professor Shubha Ghosh, a professor of law and the director of the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute. In this interview, Professor Ghosh discusses his background, the Human Genome Project, the current state of gene editing, 3D printing for organ operations, and gene editing regulation.

...

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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:

 

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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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