Archive for the ‘Permissions’ Category

2.2 Million Homes In America Still Have Negative Equity, Despite Record High Prices

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As the boom in mortgage applications and refinancing activity last week would suggest, the return of interest rates toward multi-year lows this year is helping to pump more froth into the already bubblicious American housing market.

But while somebody will inevitably be left holding the bag when the bubble bursts, for now, at least, the inexorable rise in American home prices has bequeathed an outsize benefit on at least one group of people: American homeowners who were stuck with underwater mortgages following the last housing bust.

However, even with average national home values back above their pre-crisis highs, CoreLogic's most recently quarterly survey of national homeowner equity found that there are still 2.2 million homes underwater in the US – a sign of just how bad the last bubble was, and a warning for where we might be headed.  

The percentage of homes with underwater mortgages in the US has shrunk between Q4 2018 and Q1 2019 by a full percentage point to just 4% of all mortgaged properties (or just 2.2 million homes). On a YoY basis, negative equity fell 11% from 2.5 million homes, or 4.7% of all mortgaged properties.

However, in terms of national aggregate value, negative equity climbed slightly to approximately $304.4 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2019, an increase of $2.5 billion, from $301.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018.

To be sure, this represents a massive shift from the final quarter of 2009, when negative equity peaked at 26% of all mortgaged residential properties.

The national aggregate value of negative equity was approximately $304.4 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2019. This is up QoQ by approximately $2.5 billion, from $301.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018. Over the full year, the average homeowner gained approximately $6,400 in equity. Nevada homeowners saw the highest increase, with an average of $21,000 (likely thanks to that flood of California refugees fleeing to Sun Belt states for more affordable lifestyles.

Map

Some of the frothiest housing markets (think San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area) are now the least burdened by negative equity.…
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The “Polar Silk Road” Could Be A Gamechanger For Natural Gas

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Haley Zaremba via OilPrice.com,

It’s been well over a year since the then-United States Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis accused Russia and China of being “revisionist powers” each working its way toward making a power grab on the world stage and announced that the U.S. would be shifting its international relations focus away from fighting terrorism and instead prioritize what Mattis referred to as a "great power competition." Now, 17 months later, it looks like Mattis’ nightmares are coming true as Russia and China have increasingly worked together in defiance of the Trump administration in a kind of diplomatic ‘marriage of convenience’.

Just this month, Chinese President Xi Jinping made his eighth official visit to Russia in a trip highly publicized in both Russian and Chinese media. “This year marks the 70th anniversary of our diplomatic ties and China’s ties with Russia are deepening at a time of profound change in the global geopolitical landscape,” remarked former Chinese ambassador to Britain Ma Zhengang, as quoted by the South China Morning Post.

One of the most current examples of this newly strengthened relationship between Beijing and Moscow is a new joint venture between state-owned shipping corporations in Russia and China to create a “Polar Silk Road” in the Arctic Sea. a year ago, officials in Beijing announced that China would be pursuing investment across the Arctic Route to encourage commercial shipping through the northern passage as a part of the country’s Belt and Road Initiative. Belt and Road is a massive undertaking involving investments programs worth trillions of dollars, which will go toward connecting Asia and Europe by sea, rail, and road to promote more trade between the continents.

This week, reporting by the Wall Street Journal this week tells us that “China is breaking into Arctic transport through a joint venture between the country’s biggest ocean carrier, Cosco Shipping Holdings Co., and its Russian counterpart PAO Sovcomflot to move natural gas from Siberia to Western and Asian markets.” Both China and Russia are members of the Arctic Council, which the Wall Street Journal describes as…
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Homelessness And The Failure Of Urban Renewal

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,

Homelessness today is often blamed on both "gentrification" and "neoliberalism." When these terms are used in the context of urban housing, it is usually implied that too much market freedom makes housing unaffordable to large swaths of the population. Thus, we are told capitalism is the primary culprit we now find in many large citiesfrom Boston to Los Angeles.

But there is much more to the story.

Since the Progressive Era, government agencies — from the federal level on down — have been front and center in subsidizing, regulating, and planning city development in ways that have made housing in city centers more sparse and more expensive for households who aren't part of the hipster-millionaire demographic that so many urban planners and politicians are working hard to attract.

While rising demand for housing in a fixed number of square miles will indeed increase the price of land and housing, various types of government intervention makes housing more expensive than it would otherwise be. And sometimes, through zoning ordinances and other regulations, cities largely outlaw just the sorts of housing that are most needed by low-income residents.

To gain a better understanding of why homelessness is a recurring problem with apparently growing numbers, it is helpful to examine the origins of what is now standard operating procedure for cities: centralized urban planning. While very-low-income households and persons have long been part of the urban landscape in both the United States and Europe, city officials in the past often recognized that low-income neighborhoods were simply something that had to be tolerated. Although reformers often complained of the unclean and allegedly immoral nature of these places, a lack of government power — and resistance from private owners — prevented city officials from abolishing the areas of cities that provided housing. This housing  — however sub-optimal it may have been — was preferable to homelessness.

The Progressives and the Idea of Urban Planning

Those low-income communities began to meet more organized opposition during the Progressive Era, although it's not difficult to see why the idea of urban planning as we now know it was…
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The World Is Facing A $400 Trillion Retirement Shortfall By 2050

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Though many Americans are probably more worried about an immediate financial emergency than their long-term prospects for retirement, the World Economic Forum, an organization comprising jet-setting billionaires and corporate captains of finance and industry, has published a study to remind ordinary Americans they better get used to the idea that they will be working until they die, unless Elizabeth Warren improbably succeeds in her campaign to be the next president and simply bails out everybody who is drowning in student loan debt, millennials will likely continue to see the 'retirement gap' – the 'shortfall' between how much money one has saved, and how much one will need to make it to the end of their lives – expand. Put another way, millennials are going to have a hard time making sure their money lasts longer than they do.

According to BBG, the size of the world's collective savings gap could be larger than $400 trillion by 2050. That's up from $70 trillion in 2015. In further bad, though not surprising, news, the US is forecast to have the biggest retirement savings gap at $137 trillion, followed by China ($119 trillion) and India ($85 trillion).

Some are saying this issue now requires "action" from "policymakers, employers and individuals" before droves of the elderly find themselves in the worst financial predicament of all: broke, and too old to do much about it.

Jim

Unless something is done, older people will either need to delay retirement, or learn to get by on less.

according to the data, in the US, 65-year-olds have enough savings to cover just 9.7 years of retirement income. That leaves the average American man with a gap of 8.3 years, while Women, who live longer, face a 10.9-year gap.

Under their methodology, which seems fairly conservative, the forum assumed retirees would need enough income to cover 70% of their pre-retirement pay. But on the other hand, they didn't factor in Social Security or other government welfare payments, which method might overestimate the true number.

Still, millennials have gotten so used to the idea that they will never retire, that they make resigned jokes about it. Unfortunately, with birth rates dropping, we…
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Corporate Tax Receipts Plunge Far More Than Expected As Result Of New GOP Tax Law

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Tax payments for big businesses are declining much faster than was initially anticipated due to Republican tax cuts, according to Politico. As we profiled earlier this year, this could provide significant ammunition for Democrats who are calling for corporate tax increases as a staple of many 2020 platforms.

The US Treasury says that they saw a 31% drop in corporate tax revenue last year. This is almost twice the decline that official budget forecasters had estimated. Receipts were projected to rebound this year, but so far they have only continue to fall. They are down by almost 9% this year, or $11 billion.

At the same time, business profits continue to rise and total corporate taxes are at the lowest level seen in more than 50 years.

And overall taxes paid by individuals under the new law are up so far this year by 3%, as a result of higher wages and salaries. Last year, tax payments by individuals were up 4%.

This drop comes despite Republicans like Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin claiming that the new law would pay for itself.

Democratic candidates like Elizabeth Warren have already made corporate taxes a staple of their newborn 2020 bids for president. House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal has also proposed hiking the corporate tax rate by 1% to help pay for expanded breaks for low and middle income individuals.

Government analysts are dumbfounded by the decline in corporate tax payments. Big surprise.

Some theories they have come up with include businesses making wider use of the law’s expanded breaks for business investments and an unexpected side effect of the ongoing trade wars.

Kyle Pomerleau, chief economist at the Tax Foundation said:

 “I don’t think any of us can point to something specific and say this is definitely what’s going on.”

In April 2018, the non-partisan CBO predicted that corporate receipts would drop 18%, to $243 billion, from 2017. However, payments actually came in at $205 billion, lower by nearly 1/3 from the previous year.

In January of this year, the CBO projected receipts would bounce back, increasing by 20%, or $40 billion. Through last month, they were down 8.7%. And the CBO also says it doesn’t know what’s going on.

The agency said: 

“Weakness in corporate tax collections goes


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Watch: Tesla Driver Appears To Be “Fully Sleeping” For 30 Miles On California Freeway

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A Tesla driver appeared to be "fully sleeping for at least 30 miles" while barreling down a Southern California freeway, according to NBC.

A passenger alongside of the vehicle, Shawn Miladinovich, began taking video when he noticed that the driver was passed out, and that he had something "tied to the steering wheel" that the report assumes was used to trick Autopilot into thinking hands may have been on the wheel. 

Miladinovich said: "I’d seen it on the news before, I just couldn’t believe I was actually seeing it." 

He said he first noticed the driver in Westminster, but saw him again about 30 miles later on his way from San Clemente to San Pedro.   "I realized he was fully sleeping. Eyes shut, hands nowhere near the steering wheel. If his little thing tied around that steering wheel fell off, and he was still sleeping, he would have slammed into somebody going 65 miles per hour," Miladinovich said.

How could anyone get the wrong idea by a Tesla feature called "full self driving" or "Autopilot"?

After all, everybody knows that Tesla's in-car driver assistance technologies require you to keep your hands on the wheel and be attentive at all times, right? And certainly, Elon Musk hasn't sold these technologies to the public any differently, right?





How Iran Was Swindled Out Of $3.2 Trillion

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Simon Watkins via OilPrice.com,

Underlying the one-year anniversary in mid-August of the signing of the ‘Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea’ is one of the greatest oil industry swindles in recent years.

When representatives of the five Caspian littoral states meet on the 11th and 12th of August, Iran intends to seek some redress from Russia on Moscow’s manoeuvring last August. The Islamic Republic believes that it was robbed of its historical rights in the Caspian, conned out of a US$50 billion per year income, and left without Russia’s support against the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions.

Little of any apparent consequence was decided last August when the five Caspian littoral states – Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan – signed the ‘Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea’. The limited publicity that surrounded the signing stated only that the agreement stipulated that relations between the littoral states would be based on the broad principles of national sovereignty, territorial integrity, equality among members, and the non-use of threat of force.

It refrained from specifically going into details about share allocations in the Caspian Sea resource and talked only vaguely about giving the area ‘a special legal status’. However, a senior oil and gas industry source who works closely with Iran’s Petroleum Ministry told OilPrice.com that there was a secret second part to the deal that has proven explosive for the perennially fractious relations between the Caspian states.

At stake is the massive Caspian Sea hydrocarbons resources prize that has been fought over since the dissolution of the USSR in 1991 resulted in three additional partners – Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan – to the original partnership of Russia and Iran. Prior to the fracturing of the USSR into its constituent independent states, Iran and the USSR had struck the original agreement in 1921 to split all ‘fishing rights’ in the Caspian area 50-50. This was amended in 1924 to include ‘any and all resources recovered’, meaning in practical terms that all hydrocarbons resources would be shared equally between Russia and Iran.

“Iran should have said back then that Russia should have shared its Caspian stake with the three former USSR states, but it [Iran] was content to wait for the official legal dispute to be settled,” underlined the Iran source.

At stake
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Iceland Is The “Most Peaceful” Nation In The World

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The latest edition of the Global Peace Index has found that global peacefulness has improved for the first time in five years but that the world remains less peaceful than a decade ago.

Infographic: The State Of Global Peace | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

Published by the Institute for Economics and Peace, a non-profit think tank, Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes that the research revealed that 76 countries saw their score decline while 86 recorded improvement.

Infographic: The Most And Least Peaceful Countries Worldwide  | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

The index measures peace across a five-point scale through three filters. These are safety and security in society, ongoing domestic or international conflict as well as the degree of militarization in different countries.

This year Iceland topped the ranking, a position it’s held since 2008. New Zealand comes second while Portugal rounds off the top three.

Afghanistan has now replaced, Syria at at the bottom of the index, followed by South Sudan and Yemen.

And perhaps most shocking is that the United States only comes 128th out of the 163 countries in the ranking.





Is The US Preparing For War With Russia?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Leonid Salvin via Oriental Review,

The RAND Corporation recently published a document entitled Overextending and Unbalancing Russia. Assessing the Impact of Cost-Imposing Options. The study is the collective effort of experienced diplomats, including former Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and US Ambassador to the European Union James Dobbins; a professor (Brookings Institution, American Enterprise Institute, National Defence University) and military intelligence branched lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, Raphael Cohen; and seven other RAND researchers who specialise in international relations, the military industry, intelligence, politics, and technology.

It is a practical recommendation for how the US can use Russia’s weakness and vulnerability to further limit its political and economic potential.

It is also a kind of summary of a much more extensive monograph of some 300-odd pages entitled Extending Russia. Competing from Advantageous Ground by the same authors.

So what, exactly, are these influential political analysts suggesting to the American establishment?

Their full spectrum of operations is divided into four sections – economic, geopolitical, ideological and informational, and military measures. It is clear that the experts approached the development of their strategy rationally by measuring the potential costs for the US itself.

The economic section consists of four options that Russia has already been directly affected by in previous years. The first of these is expanding the production and export of US energy resources, which would affect global prices and therefore limit Russia’s profits. The second is strengthening sanctions, where the involvement of other countries in such a process is seen as essential. Next is helping Europe find new gas suppliers, including for LNG supplies. And, finally, encouraging migration from Russia to other countries, especially with regard to skilled workers and educated young people. It is assumed that the first three options would be the most beneficial to the US, although imposing deeper sanctions could bring certain risks.

In the section on geopolitical measures, the US experts propose six geopolitical scenarios aimed at weakening Russia. They don’t just involve the Russian Federation, either, but neighbouring countries as well. Each scenario has certain risks, costs, and an expected impact.

According to the Americans, helping Ukraine by supplying the country with weapons would exploit Russia’s greatest vulnerability. But any increase…
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US First Responders Fly Chinese Drones To Save American Lives 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Acting division chief of operations with the Fremont (California) Fire Department, Jeff Kleven, told VOA News that every firetruck would carry a drone. The department already operates 14 drones, uses the aerial vehicles to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance of an incident scene.

The fire department is supplied with drones from Shenzhen-based SZ DJI Technology Co.

Several years ago, the US Army halted the use of all DJI products from the modern battlefield.

The DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recently urged US firms to “be cautious” of Chinese-built drones “as they may contain components that can compromise your data and share your information on a server accessed beyond the company itself.”

Kleven told VOA that his department wouldn’t be transferring sensitive material over the internet through DJI products, which means they’re on a localized system where it’s impossible to hack.

“We are well aware of the accusations that are being made. It’s not something new. There are ways we localize our data so it doesn’t go out,” Kleven said. “There are ways we don’t have to be connected to the internet. We don’t have to transfer things over the internet. We can isolate our data within our system. We are confident with that.”

Romeo Durscher, head of public safety integration at DJI, dismissed the cyber theft allegations and said more than1,000 US fire, police, and other first responders have put their trust into DJI drones.

As DJI becomes one of the most popular drone brands for first responders, it has been caught in the middle of the trade war between Beijing and Washington.

“We certainly live in a very different and challenging time right now with what is happening politically worldwide,” Durscher said. “We’re putting mitigative solutions in place so the data security risk is managed and manageable.”

Despite DHS’ warning about Chinese drones and the risk the Trump administration could target DJI with sanctions, it seems that America’s first responders are very confident that Chinese drones save American lives.





 
 
 

Zero Hedge

2.2 Million Homes In America Still Have Negative Equity, Despite Record High Prices

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As the boom in mortgage applications and refinancing activity last week would suggest, the return of interest rates toward multi-year lows this year is helping to pump more froth into the already bubblicious American housing market.

But while somebody will inevitably be left holding the bag when the bubble bursts, for now, at least, the inexorable rise in American home prices has bequeathed an outsize benefit on at least one gro...



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Phil's Favorites

Oh, the Conspiracies!

 

Scientist, technology consultant and best-selling author, David Brin explores the topic of conspiracies theories and how to avoid being sucked into them. He shares his "coping mechanism" and the questions he asks himself when evaluating stories to see where they fall on the continuum betwen total garbage, half-truths, and plausible accounts of actual events.

For David's latest posts, visit the Contrary Brin Blog. For his books and short stories, visit his website

 

...

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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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Kimble Charting Solutions

Gold Bugs Index Attempting 8-Year Breakout, Says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Are Gold Bugs fans about to receive positive news they haven’t had in years? Possible!

This chart looks at the Gold Bugs Index (HUI) on a weekly basis over a couple of decades. The index has spent the majority of the past 20-year inside of rising channel (1).

The index hit the top of the channel in 2011, where it peaked and started creating a series of lower highs for the past 8-years, which has formed line (2).

The index is now kissing the underside of falling resistance and the underside the 2016/2017 lows at (3).

Joe Friday Just The Fa...



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Insider Scoop

Wedbush: Apple's Stock Could Gain $20-$25 From US-China Trade Deal

Courtesy of Benzinga.

The Sino-American trade dispute and near-term developments could prove to be a "major swing factor" for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), according to Wedbush.

The Analyst

Daniel Ives maintained an Outperform rating on Apple with an unchanged $235 pric...



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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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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.

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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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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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