Archive for the ‘Permissions’ Category

Going Down With The Ship: After Raging At Moody’s For Downgrade To Deep Junk, Masa Son Pledges 40% Of SoftBank Stake To Lenders

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Last October, in the aftermath of the WeWork and Uber fiasco, we asked if SoftBank, that chronic seed (and not so seed) investor in cash-incinerating zerocorns startups would be "The Bubble Era's "Short Of The Century." Subsequent events have only made our query more pressing: with the global economy frozen, with social distancing and self-quarantine now a mandatory part of life, the "sharing economy" that is the basis of so many of SoftBank's investments has ground to a halt, making its already unsustainable cash burn explode to obscene levels.

Not helping matters is that one month ago, activist investor icon Paul Singer officially engaged SoftBank, demanding a higher stock price and forcing Son to announce on Monday plans to liquidate a whopping $41 billion in viable assets ( including $14 billion of shares in Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba) in a bid to raise SoftBank's price by announcing another massive stock buyback, something the company did first last February when it said it would repurchase 10.3% of its stock (apparently Masa Son has learned absolutely nothing from Boeing's PR fiasco involving tens of billions in stock buybacks over the past decade, only to come crawling for a bailout in recent weeks not surprisingly finding a hostile rececption).

The good news: news of the massive buyback helped SoftBank stock surge 55% which last week fell to a four-year low as investors panicked over its hefty debt exposure.

The bad news: unfortunately for SoftBank and Masa Son, the rating agencies noticed the company's latest attempt to boost its stock price now at the expense of jeopardizing the company's long term viability (see Boeing), and on Wednesday Moody's issued a two-notch downgrade of SoftBank that cut its debt deeper into junk status.

Moody’s cited SoftBank’s “aggressive financial policy” for its decision to cut its rating from Ba1 to Ba3, saying the value of the group’s portfolio would be reduced if it sold off its lucrative stakes in Chinese ecommerce group Alibaba and Sprint during the market volatility caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"Asset sales will be challenging in the current financial market downturn, with


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Stimulus package will remain half-baked unless local governments get more of the dough

 

Stimulus package will remain half-baked unless local governments get more of the dough

People still need baked goods even during a lockdown. Frederic Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Courtesy of Stephanie Leiser, University of Michigan

Lawmakers are pinning their hopes on a US$2 trillion package to prop up the U.S. economy and provide relief to individuals and business ravaged by the coronavirus.

The stimulus is expected to pump $150 billion in aid to state and local governments. But with nearly 40,000 local governments across all 50 states, the money will be stretched thin and is likely to run out quickly. Many local officials are already bracing for severe budget shortfalls and mid-year cuts.

I study the fiscal health of local governments, and believe the federal government will need to do much more to provide relief to local governments in this crisis.

To understand why local governments are in such a vulnerable and precarious position as this pandemic-induced economic crisis begins, consider this analogy: local governments as “bakeries.”

Self-rising costs?

Imagine you are a bakery owner in a small town. The coronavirus pandemic has caused everything to shut down, but you get a call from your local school principal asking if you’ll give out free loaves of bread to local kids in need of meals. So you continue baking bread even as revenues from paying customers dry up.

As the weeks go by, you worry more and more about running out of cash. You consider a bridge loan but realize that’s not allowed – these “bakeries” are supposed to keep their budgets balanced. If revenues fall unexpectedly, they have to cut spending, hike prices or maybe dip into their reserves – if there are any.

Increasing prices is not feasible because your customers are in no position to pay more and, in in this analogy, would certainly vote against it. And you can’t cut production because you know the community depends on your bread. Reducing expenses will be tough because most of your costs are labor, and you don’t want to lay off employees or cut their wages. Oh, and you still have the mortgage to pay.…
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Why The World’s Doing A Double-Take On China’s No-New-Infections Claim

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Richard Bernstein via RealClearInvestigations,

China’s announcement this month of nearly a week of no new infections in Wuhan, the hard-hit city where the coronavirus pandemic originated, was both hope-inspiring — and hard to believe.

Medical professionals said the draconian set of policies imposed by the Chinese government – including widespread testing, isolation of all infected people and anyone they came in contact with – are proven methods for limiting contagion. Other countries, South Korea and Taiwan, for example, have followed similar courses, and they have also reported steep declines in new infections, though neither says it has achieved no new local infections, as China claims.

A Taiwan network reported that one hospital was under pressure from the central government not to admit patients so it could report no new cases.

“What we don't know is the degree to which they're being transparent and the degree to which they're following up on existing infections,” Don Goldmann, a professor of immunology, infectious diseases, and epidemiology at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, said in a phone interview. 

Dr. Goldmann said Chinese scientists have been extremely transparent about what they've discovered about the coronavirus so far; they have shared information on the genetics and sequencing of the virus and details of autopsies, clinical care and outcomes, he said. They've also shared fatality rates among different age groups. 

“So I'm not sure why they would make this up,” he said, “especially since risking another wave of this would not be in their interests or in the interests of their leadership.” 

Still, skepticism about China's no-new-local-infections claim is widespread, including, at least according to the anecdotal evidence, inside China. The doubt is fueled both by China's Communist Party's long history of propaganda and by the obvious benefits of changing the focus from the government’s initial efforts to suppress information about the coronavirus to its supposedly glorious victory over the disease crippling much of the world. 

“A propaganda spokesman's job is the turn messy facts into a clean narrative,”


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Baltimore Population Plunges To Lowest In Over A Century As Homicides Soar

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Baltimore City's population dipped below the 600,000 level, not see in more than a century, as record homicides, an opioid crisis, and now an economic depression risks sending the city deeper into chaos.

The Baltimore Sun, citing new US Census data released on Thursday, estimates that the population in the city was 593,490 as of July 2019.

To give you some perspective on the collapsing population trend in Baltimore. In 1950, the city had 950,000 residents. Now it has 593,490, which is a loss of 356,510 people, or about 37.5% of the entire population in seven decades.

We've mentioned on several occasions how deindustrialization, "white flight" of the 1960/70s, the crack epidemic of the 1980/90s, and now the murder and opioid crisis has created another mass exodus, with many people fleeing for Baltimore County and other surrounding counties.

Michael Rendall, director of the Maryland Population Research Center and a sociology professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, said after the 2015 Baltimore Riots, no other counties surrounding the city saw a fall in population.

The city's plunging population, Rendall said, "is not a phenomenon reflective of the overall metropolitan area."

Over the previous year, Baltimore City lost 8,953 people, or 1.5% of its population.

Back in 2014, when Democratic Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was in office, the city had more than 623,000 residents. Which means the city has lost nearly 5% of its population in five years.

Since the riots, Baltimore's economic revival was halted, homicides surged, and opioids flooded low-income neighborhoods. Many people have packed their bags and exited the city, reflected in recent population trends. 

With a depression expected to hit the US economy in the second quarter, the fear is that Baltimore could dive deeper into chaos. Most of the jobs in the city are service-based, completely wiped out by the virus-related shutdowns. Economic downturns have been known to stoke violence, drug use, and could risk another uprising in the city by angry folks who have not just lost their jobs but have been living in a hellhole for the last several decades.





Marvel Introduces Superheros “Snowflake” & “Safespace”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, your finances, and your prosperity… and on occasion, poetic justice.

*  *  *

Alcohol to go: Why wasn’t this always a thing?

You realize how absurdly micromanaged the economy is when the government starts lifting pointless restrictions.

For example, New York and Washington DC will now allow people to order takeout and to-go alcoholic beverages from bars and restaurants.

But these governments still can’t totally let go of control. The new rules in DC require restaurants and bars to obtain special permission from the government to sell drinks to-go.

And even then, in both DC and New York, customers can only order drinks if they also buy food.

See New York’s rules here, and Washington DC’s here.

*  *  *

Marvel introduces superheros “Snowflake” and “Safespace”

We had to check to make sure this one wasn’t fake news. It’s real.

Marvel, the group behind Captain America, Ironman, etc., has now introduced two new superheroes: Snowflake, and their brother Safespace.

(Snowflake is non-binary and uses pronouns they/them/their.)

Snowflake creates icy throwing stars, while Safespace has more defensive powers. Both use “violence to combat bullying,” according to the author.

They must also be antifa members if they respond to words and dissenting opinions with violence.

Click here for the full story.

*  *  *

DOJ wants the power to detain Americans indefinitely during crises

We see two forces at work during a crisis.

On the one hand, the government is eliminating unnecessary laws and burdensome regulations.

This is to make the response easier, and to placate people who are dealing with restrictions on their freedom to run a business or carry on with normal life.

On the other hand, you have the government grab at more “temporary” powers… that never seem to expire.

Using


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Global Pandemic Response Handing Governments Sweeping Powers They May Never Relinquish

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

While the response to the coronavirus pandemic have ranged from mocking the disease (such has Brazil's Bolsonaro) to physically sealing people inside of apartment buildings in China, governments are deploying an array of legislative and technical measures to track and control citizens during the outbreak which has killed over 21,000 in roughly three months.

As the situation deteriorates, many fear that the current efforts to control the virus will have dire consequences for individual freedoms long after the danger of COVID-19 has passed, according to Bloomberg's Ian Marlow – who notes "In desperate times like these, leaders on all levels are going to extraordinary lengths to do whatever possible to contain the virus."

Like the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S., the coronavirus pandemic is a crisis of such magnitude that it threatens to change the world in which we live, with ramifications for how leaders govern. Governments are locking down cities with the help of the army, mapping population flows via smartphones and jailing or sequestering quarantine breakers using banks of CCTV and facial recognition cameras backed by artificial intelligence.

The restrictions are unprecedented in peacetime and made possible only by rapid advances in technology. And while citizens across the globe may be willing to sacrifice civil liberties temporarily, history shows that emergency powers can be hard to relinquish. -Bloomberg

"A primary concern is that if the public gives governments new surveillance powers to contain Covid-19, then governments will keep these powers after the public health crisis ends," says Adam Schwartz, a senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation based in San Francisco. "Nearly two decades after the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. government still uses many of the surveillance technologies it developed in the immediate wake."

In China, authorities have leveraged their extensive monitoring network to trace people exposed to COVID's epicenter in Hubei, and encouraged citizens to monitor their neighbors' health and movements. And perhaps this has worked – as the country has lifted standing travel restrictions as the rest of the world goes into lockdown (reported resurgence aside).

"China was able to control the outbreak because


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New Orleans Mayor: Mardis Gras Go-Ahead Was ‘Trump’s Fault’ As Big Easy Becomes Southern Epicenter

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

"Hot spots like Detroit, like Chicago, like New Orleans… will have a worse week next week than what they had this week," US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams warned in a "CBS This Morning" on Friday. This as Louisiana has surpassed 2,300 confirmed cases, and New Orleans seemingly 'out of nowhere' emerged as a US epicenter alongside New York, given it was only two weeks ago Louisiana had 300 just coronavirus cases total, but now New Orleans alone has reached 1,000 cases.

And separately federal officials stationed in New Orleans say the city faces a drastic shortage of ventilators and protective equipment: "This is going to be the disaster that defines our generation," Collin Arnold, director of the city's Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, told CNN Thursday.

Already the blame-game has begun, as previously neglected Louisiana is thrust into the spotlight. Consider this astounding CNN appearance by New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, who says it's all Trump's fault because she thought it was 'safe' to go ahead with Mardi Gras which likely infected hundreds with coronavirus:

She claimed she as the mayor would have canceled Mardis Gras if only Trump had warned her! Talk about what is likely to remain the most cringe-worthy moment of passing the buck to come out of this crisis

“Leaders on the ground, we rely on the facts to make decisions for the people that we serve,” said Cantrell, adding there were no “red flags” in February about Mardi Gras, which it should be noted sees some 1.4 million tourists descend on the Big Easy each year from January 6 to February 25, which marks Fat Tuesday.

“In hindsight, if we were given clear direction, we would not have had Mardi Gras, and I would have been the leader to cancel it,” Mayor Cantrell told CNN.


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Fitch Downgrades UK Credit Rating To AA- After Sterling’s Best Week Since 1985 Plaza Accord

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

The Pound Sterling soared a stunning 7.1% this week – its greatest weekly gains since 1985 and the beginning of the Plaza Accord – but apparently that strengthening currency was not enough for Fitch who downgraded The United Kingdom's credit rating to AA-.

The downgrade of the UK's IDRs reflects the following key rating drivers and their relative weights:

HIGH

The downgrade reflects a significant weakening of the UK's public finances caused by the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and a fiscal loosening stance that was instigated before the scale of the crisis became apparent. The downgrade also reflects the deep near-term damage to the UK economy caused by the coronavirus outbreak and the lingering uncertainty regarding the post-Brexit UK-EU trade relationship. The commensurate and necessary policy response to contain the COVID-19 outbreak will result in a sharp rise in general government deficit and debt ratios, leading to an acceleration in the deterioration of public finance metrics over the medium term.

The Negative Outlook reflects our view that reversing the deterioration in the fiscal metrics beyond 2020 will not be a political priority for the UK government. Moreover, uncertainty around the future trade relationship with the EU could constrain the strength of the post-crisis economic recovery.

The coronavirus outbreak has inflicted an unprecedented shock on financial markets and economic activity, with policymakers struggling to avert a longer-lasting downturn. In common with other advanced countries, the UK has shut down parts of its economy to slow the spread of the disease, which will cause a deep contraction centred on 2Q20. On 23 March, Prime Minister Johnson announced more drastic measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, including closure of all non-essential shops and a ban of public gatherings of more than two people.

Under our much-revised baseline forecast that reflects the lockdown measures across the UK, we now estimate that GDP could fall by close to 4% in 2020. In the baseline, we assume that containment measures can be unwound in 2H20, allowing for recovery in sequential growth and the broader economy, leading to a sharp recovery in growth to around


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JPMorgan’s Equity Derivatives Desk Has Made A Massive $1.5 Billion Score So Far This Year

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

While there has been widespread chaos among Wall Street, with the coronavirus proving to some alpha male traders that they're not as tough as they think there are, there has been one sliver of the street that has been making a score during the recent panic. 

Cash is coming in non-stop at J.P. Morgan's equity derivatives unit, which has generated $1.5 billion in revenue so far this year, according to Bloomberg. That number equals almost all of what JPM reported from all equity market businesses in last year's first quarter. It's also about twice what the desk usually earns. 

The monster score for the desk highlights why investment banks have been rumored to keep employees coming in during the city's lockdown. "Some members of the derivatives desk could still be seen sitting closely together inside the bank’s Manhattan offices late last week," Bloomberg noted.

It also shows how large sums of revenue can shift wildly as a result of the overall economic turmoil. The top line boost from this division will likely help offset losses elsewhere. Bank stocks have taken a hit as lending margins are expected to fall due to lower rates. This will negatively impact other parts of J.P. Morgan's business, like wealth management. 

J.P. Morgan has the largest share of the market for equity derivatives and as HFTs and hedge funds are strained to help make a market for these transactions due to the record-setting price swings, investment banks have been able to capture more market share. JPMorgan and Citigroup Inc. had together generated about $500 million in additional revenue by March

And despite scattered (pun intended) reports of J.P. Morgan employees defying social distancing guidelines, the company had previously said in a statement: “We have taken many precautions over the past several weeks to spread traders out within floors and across buildings, and from what we’ve seen they are adhering to social distancing guidance.”

Well, that certainly makes us feel better. And hey, if you're one of the traders at J.P. Morgan literally putting your life on the line to help the investment bank boost its Q1 numbers, don't let anyone tell you that you didn't earn that bonus this year.





COVID-19 May Attack Testicles, Reduce Testosterone: Study

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Doctors in central Wuhan are planning to conduct a long-term study of the effects of COVID-19 on the male reproductive system after a small study of 81 men revealed that coronavirus patients had roughly half the normal ratio of testosterone after contracting the disease, according to SCMP.

Though still preliminary and not peer reviewed, the study is the first clinical observation of the potential impact of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, on the male reproductive system, especially among younger groups.

In a paper published on the preprint research platform  medRxiv.org, the researchers – from Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University and the Hubei Clinical Research Centre for Prenatal Diagnosis and Birth Health – said they analysed blood samples from 81 men aged 20 to 54 who tested positive for the coronavirus and were hospitalised in January.

The median age of the participants was 38 and roughly 90 per cent of them had only mild symptoms. The samples were collected in the last days of their stay in hospital. -SCMP

Previous studies have shown that coronavirus binds with the protein receptor cell, ACE2, a large number of which are found in the testicles.

Researchers looked at the ratio of testosterone to luteinising hormone (T/LH) – finding that the average ratio for COVID-19 patients was 0.74, around half the normal level. A low T/LH ratio can signal hypogonadism – a malfunction of the testicles which could lead to lower production of the sex hormone.

Testosterone is the main male sex hormone critical for the development of primary and secondary sexual characteristics including testes, muscle, bone mass and body hair. Luteinising hormone is found in both men and women, and best known for its ability to trigger ovulation. -SCMP

Those with hypogonadism can develop large breasts and erectile dysfunction – a condition which can be cured with testosterone treatment.

"Since more than half of the people with Covid-19 were reproductive-aged, more attention should be paid to the effect of Sars-CoV-2 on the reproductive system," the Wuhan researchers wrote – noting


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Zero Hedge

Going Down With The Ship: After Raging At Moody's For Downgrade To Deep Junk, Masa Son Pledges 40% Of SoftBank Stake To Lenders

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Last October, in the aftermath of the WeWork and Uber fiasco, we asked if SoftBank, that chronic seed (and not so seed) investor in cash-incinerating zerocorns startups would be "The Bubble Era's "Short Of The Century." Subsequent events have only made our query more pressing: with the global economy frozen, with social distancing and self-quarantine now a mandatory part of life...



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Phil's Favorites

Stimulus package will remain half-baked unless local governments get more of the dough

 

Stimulus package will remain half-baked unless local governments get more of the dough

People still need baked goods even during a lockdown. Frederic Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Courtesy of Stephanie Leiser, University of Michigan

Lawmakers are pinning their hopes on a US$2 trillion package to prop up the U.S. economy and provide relief to individuals and business ravaged by the coronavirus. ...



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The Technical Traders

These Index Charts Will Calm You Down

Courtesy of Technical Traders

I put together this video that will calm you down, because knowing where are within the stock market cycles, and the economy makes all the difference.

This is the worst time to be starting a business that’s for sure. I have talked about this is past videos and events I attended that bear markets are fantastic opportunities if you can retain your capital until late in the bear market cycle. If you can do this, you will find countless opportunities to invest money. From buying businesses, franchises, real estate, equipment, and stocks at a considerable discount that would make today’s prices look ridiculous (which they are).

Take a quick watch of this video because it shows you ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Broadest Of All Stock Indices Testing Critical Support, Says Joe Friday!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

One of the broadest indices in the states remains in a long-term bullish trend, where a critical support test is in play.

The chart looks at the Wilshire 5000 on a monthly basis over the past 35-years.

The index has spent the majority of the past three decades inside of rising channel (1). It hit the top of this multi-decade channel to start off the year, where it created a monthly bearish reversal pattern.

Weakness the past 2-months has the index testing rising support and the December 2018 lows at (2).

Joe...



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Insider Scoop

Why SmileDirectClub's Stock Is Trading Higher Today

Courtesy of Benzinga

SmileDirectClub (NASDAQ: SDC) shares were trading higher on Friday, after the company announced it's now producing medical-grade face shields for health care workers amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

SmileDirectClub says it has capacity to print up to 7,500 face shields per day and is accepting orders from healthcare org...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Coronavirus treatments and vaccines - research on 3 types of antivirals and 10 different vaccines is being fast-tracked

 

Coronavirus treatments and vaccines – research on 3 types of antivirals and 10 different vaccines is being fast-tracked

Scientific research on the novel coronavirus has progressed at unprecedented speed. Mongkolchon Akesin / Shutterstock

Courtesy of Ignacio López-Goñi, Universidad de Navarra

Just three months after China first notified the World Health Organization about a deadly new coronavirus, studies of numerous antiviral t...



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Chart School

Cycle Trading - Funny when it comes due

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Non believers of cycles become fast believers when the heat of the moment is upon them.

Just has we have birthdays, so does the market, regular cycles of time and price. The market news of the cycle turn may change each time, but the time is regular. Markets are not a random walk.


Success comes from strategy and the execution of a plan.















Changes in the world is the source of all market moves, to catch an...

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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin Tested As A Safe Haven After Biggest Stock Crash Since 2009

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Horus Hughes via CoinTelegraph.com,

Gold and Bitcoin react to global panic

Amid all of yesterday's chaos in bond, commodity, and stock markets, with the yield on the 10-year US Treasury note dropping below 0.5% for the first time in history - a strong indicator that investors are desperately looking for safe harbors - two supposed safe-havens in 'alternative currencies' behaved qui...



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Members' Corner

Bloody Mob Sh*t: An Interview with Lincoln's Bible

 

Bloody Mob Sh*t: An Interview with Lincoln's Bible

We talk Trump, Mogilevich, Epstein, Giuliani, Fred Trump, Roy Cohn, and more.

Courtesy of Greg Olear at PREVAIL, author of Dirty Rubles: An Introduction to Trump/Russia

(Originally published on Feb. 21, 20.)

...

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ValueWalk

Entrepreneurial activity and business ownership on the rise

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Indicating strong health of entrepreneurship, both entrepreneurial activity and established business ownership in the United States have trended upwards over the past 19 years, according to the 2019/2020 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Global Report, released March 3rd in Miami at the GEM Annual Meeting.

Q4 2019 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

The Benefit Of Entrepreneurial Activity ...

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Promotions

Free, Live Webinar on Stocks, Options and Trading Strategies

TODAY's LIVE webinar on stocks, options and trading strategy is open to all!

Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of TradeExchange.com. It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

...

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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

 

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:

Lee,

The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.