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Three reasons it’s not 1929

 

Three reasons it’s not 1929

Courtesy of 

I could be wrong, but let me point out three things that I think about when I hear Great Depression analogies being made to the current crisis.

The first thing I think about is that the financial markets of the 1930’s were prehistoric. Yes, the Federal Reserve was in existence, but it was nowhere near as powerful and it hadn’t had any institutional memory (or history) to draw on. Its basic structure was patterned on the still-nascent central banks of various European countries thanks to the listening tour Senator Nelson Aldrich and others had made across the Continent. Fun fact: the US Senators’ delegation took one of their most critical meetings with German monetary authorities at the Adlon Hotel in Berlin, where Michael Jackson would infamously hang his baby off the balcony for paparazzi almost 100 years later.

Anyway, this time we have an experienced Fed and the Fed knows how powerful it can be. There was a rippling global financial crisis in the midst of the 1990’s bull market and the Fed shut it down in approximately ten seconds. The lessons of Bernanke’s actions during ’07-’09 have taken on a practically Talmudic quality within the institution, from what I’m told. And the Fed has already jumped in with both feet – as Wells Fargo strategist Christopher Harvey put it in Barron’s this weekend, “The Fed took the kitchen sink and threw it at the market. Then it took another kitchen sink and threw it at the market.”

The second thing I would point out is that the cause of the Crash of 1929 is, to this day, still unknown. Yeah, you can chalk it up to valuations and excesses, but that’s a copout. The reality is that there is nothing special that had happened in the days and weeks leading up to the Great Crash, it just sort of got rolling and then kept going – feeding on itself as sentiment turned and the desire to sell infected everyone. But there was no spark. I wrote 


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“What Is Really Essential”? In The US Golf And Guns, In France Wine And Pastries

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Among countless other unprecedented changes and transformation, the coronavirus pandemic has unveiled an odd divergence within global cultures: the definition of what's deemed "essential" for people across the world, and what things we really can't do without, even though we might not need most of them for survival.

As AP reports, in its attempt to slow the spread of the virus, authorities in many places are determining what shops and services can remain open. They're also restricting citizens from leaving their homes. Stay-at-home orders or guidance are affecting more than one-fifth of the world's population. This has left many contemplating an existential question: What, really, is essential?

Whether it is in Asia, Europe, Africa or the United States, there's general agreement: Health care workers, law enforcement, utility workers, food production and communications are generally exempt from lockdowns. But some lists of exempted activities reflect a national identity, or the efforts of lobbyists.

In some U.S. states, golf, guns and ganja have been ruled essential, raising eyebrows and — in the case of guns — a good deal of ire.  In many places, booze is also on the list of essentials. Britain at first kept liquor stores off its list of businesses allowed to remain open, but after reports of supermarkets running out of beer, wine and spirits, the government quickly added them.

"Recent events clearly demonstrate that the process of designating 'essential services' is as much about culture as any legal-political reality about what is necessary to keep society functioning," said Christopher McKnight Nichols, associate professor of history at Oregon State University.

Countries including India and U.S. states are listing the information technology sector as essential. The world's dependency on the internet has become even more apparent as countless people confined to their homes communicate, stream movies and play games online to stave off cabin fever.

Several states where marijuana is legal, such as California and Washington, deemed pot shops and workers in the market's supply chain essential. For some, the emphasis is on medicinal uses, not enabling cooped-up people to get stoned.

“Cannabis is a safe and effective treatment that millions of Americans rely on to maintain


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NY Prisoners Say They’re Re-Packaging Hand Sanitizer, Not Making It From Scratch, Under Cuomo’s Program

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Who can forget Governor Andrew Cuomo's presser weeks ago where he exclaimed that he would be putting New York state prisoners to work making hand sanitizer? The goal was to produce 100,000 gallons of it every week to be distributed, for free, to schools, government agencies and other needy institutions. 

Well, that doesn't appear to actually be what's happening. Instead, prisoners are apparently taking hand sanitizer from elsewhere and just re-packaging it and re-branding it as "NYS Clean" sanitizer, according to a new expose from Vice

At the time, Cuomo boasted that the NYS Sanitizer would be better than Purell's due to its 75% alcohol content and its floral scent. 

He also bragged about the economics: “This is also much less expensive than anything the government could buy—a gallon bottle is $6.10, the 7-ounce bottle is $1.12 our cost, and then there’s a very small size… which is 84 cents. So it’s much cheaper for us to make it ourselves than to buy it on the open market.”

“We are problem solvers, state of New York, Empire State, progressive capital of the nation,” he proudly stated after revealing NYS-Clean branded sanitizer. 

But a New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision source says that the sanitizer itself is being produced at an outside vendor and that the prisoners are only bottling it and labeling it.

An inmate, who said that the rollout began on March 7, also said that people are bottling the sanitizer 24 hours a day in three 8 hour shifts. He also said that there's as many hours as people are willing to take on: “There's one guy who worked 116 hours in one week, and just stays there. They ask people if they want overtime, but a lot of people refuse it. It's not actually overtime, it's just more hours but you still get paid the same amount.”

He said the work mainly consists of "turning a nozzle" and filling gallon sized bottles. Inmates have been instructed to bottle 6,000 gallons of the sanitizer, he says, which is brought in by truck from an outside vendor for every shift. 

He said they make $2


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As States Shutter Gun Stores Amid Surging Demand, Rights Activist Launches “Netflix For 3-D Guns”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Cody Wilson, the self-described anarchist and leader of the 3D-printed gun movement, is absolutely bat sh*t crazy. He released a new promo video, highlighting several ghost guns, himself wearing a 3M N-95 virus mask, and at the end of the video, Wilson takes a bow at the Fannin Memorial Monument in Texas. 

Wilson has pioneered the technology and know-how behind developing plastic guns with three-dimensional printers, something gun-control advocates and the US government are absolutely terrified about.

He is the founder of "Defense Distributed" and "Defcad," which have had many legal disputes with the federal government over not just the production of the 3D printed weapon parts, but also the right to share the blueprints online. 

For the third time, Wilson has released 3D weapon blueprints to the public: 

"This was the third time he [Wilson] has released such files, but the first time he has abided by US foreign export controls online, using what he said are digital verification tools to ensure legal file downloads," The Wall Street Journal said. 

Wilson told The Journal that the latest release of blueprints for 3-D weapons would be "impervious" to legal challenge and would allow the public to access the files for a small fee. 

For a yearly subscription fee of $50, or about $4.16 per month, anyone can have access to the "Netflix for 3-D guns" service. This means anyone with a 3-D printer can print a weapon in their garage.

The debut of Wilson's "Netflix for 3-D guns" service comes as gun stores across the country are seeing a massive influx of people who want guns and ammunition amid a pandemic that is worsening by the day. Reports have indicated that specific weapons and a wide range of ammo have sold out as states are shuttering stores.

Gun advocates have denounced Wilson's latest move, saying it will lead to the proliferation of 3-D printed weapons. Guns that are printed don't have a serial number and are considered "ghost guns," mostly because the government cannot track


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CFTC Quietly Bails Out Capital One

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Last Friday, around the time of the quad-witching collapse which sent the S&P to levels not seen since Trump's inauguration, amid the flurry of headlines bombarding shell-shocked traders, was one that was particularly ominous if bizarrely incomplete. Shortly after the close, Bloomberg blasted the following headline:

  • CFTC PROVIDING RELIEF TO LARGE U.S. BANK ACTIVE IN OIL, GAS

There was little additional information to go with the report, aside from the CFTC saying it would temporarily exempt a U.S. bank from a requirement to register as a “Major Swap Participant” even though its growing energy swaps exposure would technically require it to do so by the end of the next quarter, and since the bank was not named, traders' attention quickly shifted to whatever the next crisis du jour, or rather du minute was.

However, late last week, Reuters reported citing two sources, that the bank in question was Virginia-based Capital One, best known for questionable retail lending and cheesy credit card commercials starting Samuel L Jackson.

So what exactly happened? According to a spokesman for the CFTC, the commodities regulator issued a waiver to protect the bank and its energy clients from "undue disruption," given the unprecedented market conditions over the past month amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“We have actively encouraged all market participants to identify regulatory relief or other assistance that may be needed to help support robust, orderly and liquid markets in the face of this pandemic,” the spokesman said, implicitly admitting that the CFTC intervention amounted to what was an effective bailout of the bank.

At the core of the issue were plunging oil prices, which ended up having a margin call effect on the bank's swaps exposure; and since Capital One’s waiver lasts until Sept. 30, if energy prices remain low or the bank’s exposure remains above the threshold, it will register as a swap participant or make business adjustments, the CFTC said on Friday.

And here is why anyone who currently has a deposit account at CapitalOne may consider quietly moving the money elsewhere: according to Reuters, the CFTC designation entails a number of complex and costly reporting and compliance obligations, which the CFTC spokesman said could hurt the


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Greenland Bans Alcohol Sales To Reduce Child Abuse As Coronavirus Hits

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

For several weeks after the start of the global coronavirus pandemic there was a running joke that Trump's offer to purchase Greenland was brilliant in hindsight as the northern island appeared immune to any the covid cases. That all changed on March 16 when the territory registered its first case.

Fast forward to today when dpa reports that Greenland has banned alcohol consumption in the capital Nuuk and nearby settlements in a bid to decrease incidences of child abuse as people stay inside to avoid spreading coronavirus. 

The Sunday decision from Greenland's government bans all sales of alcoholic drinks with immediate effect in Nuuk and in the settlements of Kapisillit and Qeqertarsuatsiaat until April 15. Explaining the move, Prime Minister Kim Kielsen said the coronavirus emergency response had necessitated a lot of different responses.

"But at the heart of my decision is protecting children," Kielsen said. "They should have a secure home."

Perhaps due to its location where social distancing was a given long before the coronavirus emerged, Greenland has a well-documented history of sexual abuse of minors, with some studies showing one in three adults living there having experienced it as a child. Many have linked the phenomenon to increased incidences of alcohol and drug abuse, among other things.

Under the influence of alcohol, people were also less aware, increasing the risk of infection with coronavirus, Kielsen said on Sunday.

So far only ten people have tested positive for coronavirus in Greenland. No one has died.

Greenland is largely independent, but officially belongs to Denmark; Last August Trump sparked a diplomatic scandal when he suggested buying Greenland (the purchase price was never disclosedd), sparking Denmark's fury. Around 55,000 people live on the territory, which is the largest island on earth. About a third of them live in the capital Nuuk.


 





Pentagon Orders Essential Staff To Deep Underground Mountain Bunker As Pandemic Prep Escalates

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) & the US' Northern Command (NORTHCOM) held a Facebook Live town hall meeting on Tuesday, March 24, informing the public how their essential teams in charge of homeland security are isolating at the Cheyenne Mountain bunker in Colorado amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Air Force General Terrence O'Shaughnessy, who commands NORAD and NORTHCOM, told reporters on Facebook Live last Tuesday that essential staff is being moved from Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado to the underground bunker complex that is 24 miles away in Cheyenne Mountain. The facility is more than 2,000 feet underground and can survive a 30 megaton nuclear explosion.

"To ensure that we can defend the homeland despite this pandemic, our command and control watch teams here in the headquarters split into multiple shifts and portions of our watch team began working from Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, creating a third team at an alternate location as well," O'Shaughnessy said. 

"Our dedicated professionals of the NORAD and NORTHCOM command and control watch have left their homes, said goodbye to their families and are isolated from everyone to ensure that they can stand the watch each and every day to defend our homeland.

"It's certainly not optimal, but it's absolutely necessary and appropriate given the situation."

NORAD and NORTHCOM have already used up about 30% of the underground facility, according to The Drive. O'Shaughnessy said with the increased personnel, his "primary concern was … are we going to have the space inside the mountain for everybody who wants to move in there, and I'm not at liberty to discuss who's moving in there."

If the staff at Cheyenne are infected, there is a third team of higher-ranking military officials operating at another facility that can remotely assume command. 

With the virus crisis deepening in the US, confirmed cases have now surged over 124,000, with 2,191 deaths (as of Sunday morning). President Trump signed an executive order Friday, allowing the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security to activate National Guard and reservists


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White House Extends Coronavirus Guidelines Until April 30, Trump Expects “Peak” In About 2 Weeks

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Update (1855T): Trump's press conference continued well into the evening, with the president feuding in classic Trump style with CNN reporters asking him questions about a rumor that Trump had withheld aid to certain governors who didn't show him sufficient respect.

After a few minutes of jousting, Trump slammed CNN as "fake news", to which a reporter replied "we're not fake news", prompting Trump to spout "yes you are, sit down."

It was an amusing episode.

Asked about the news networks not wanting to cover Trump's daily press briefings, Trump scoffed, and slammed the media "we're getting the word about it…and a lot of people aren't…they should be happy about it but they're not." Trump then praised Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx. "They've been fighting this stuff their whole lives…they don't want to be stars…the American public they should be the decider…we have Monday Night Football-type ratings…and that's from the New York Times…and they're not honest people but that's okay…that's what they said."

"When they don't want the president of the United States to have a voice…you're not talking about Democracy any longer."

*   *   *

Update (1824ET): Trump has offered a few more thoughts on why he isn't releasing some 10,000 ventilators to states like New York and Louisiana (states that, Trump's critics complain, are governed by Democrats). Trump said the government is only holding on to the ventilators for now until the crisis arrives, That apparently leaves room for the government to dole them out to the states that need them in the coming days.

And of course, Trump said he spoke with some of the most respected restaurateurs in the country, and they apparently reminded him that they can't stay closed forever without significantly more help from the government – or they're all going to go out of business. As Trump said, he wants to make sure these restaurants "get moving"…but not until after April 30.

Trump also claimed that Humana and Cigna agreed to waive all costs – including copays – for coronavirus-related treatments. "It's a lot of money they're waiving," Trump said, during the Q&A, and said "yeah, I do" when asked if he was calling on other insurers to do the


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The EU’s Betrayal Of Italy May Be Its Undoing

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Francesco Giubilei via TheAmericanConservative.com,

When countries are turning to China because their supranational institutions won’t help, that’s a problem…

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a greater toll on Italy than any other nation. The Italians are facing their most severe crisis since the Second World War, with Lombardy in the industrial north particularly hard hit. Yet for all its rhetoric about global citizenship and solidarity, the European Union has all but abandoned them. 

That’s even though communist China, arguably globalization’s greatest and shrewdest state beneficiary, is ready to fill the void and help Italy put out the fire its own virus started.

The coronavirus first appeared in Italy on January 31 when two Chinese tourists from the Hubei province tested positive in Rome, eight days after they’d landed at the Milan airport in Lombardy. The two were immediately isolated and quarantined in the Roman Spallanzani hospital, and the situation seemed under control—until February 21. That day, Italy confirmed 16 new coronavirus cases, 14 in Lombardy and two in Veneto. A 38-year-old Italian from Codogno near Milan with acute respiratory symptoms was identified as patient zero. Despite Italy’s attempts to contain the virus by locking down the city of Codogno, coronavirus infections spread.

In just a few days, Italy had the highest number of infections in Europe, with Lombardy as the pandemic’s epicenter. To avoid the spread of infections to the rest of Italy, the government locked down the entire region of Lombardy and other areas in northern Italy, effectively quarantining 17 million people. A few days later, as the situation deteriorated, the whole of Italy was declared an “orange zone”—all “non-essential” commercial activities were shut down and the free movement of citizens was limited to grocery and pharmaceutical shopping and work obligations deemed by the state as of “prime importance.”

The economic repercussions of a complete shutdown loomed large. Consequently, Italy asked the EU for more flexibility on its accounts and requested that emergency measures be deployed to support Italian citizens and businesses. At the time, the crisis was hardly felt in the European powerhouses, France or Germany. The EU’s response was slow and inefficient, and Italians


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Harvard Researchers Propose “Intermittent” Lockdowns And “Widespread Surveillance” Of Americans To Avoid Critical-Care Capacity

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Researchers from Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health published a study titled "Social distancing strategies for curbing the COVID-19 epidemic," Tuesday (March 24) on the medRxive pre-print server for health sciences, detailing how a single prolonged widespread lockdown of the country is not the best strategy to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the study calls for "intermittent" lockdowns and "widespread surveillance" to mitigate the spread and prevent hospital systems from being overwhelmed.

The study's authors Stephen Iissler, Christine Tedijanto, Marc Lipsitch, and Yonatan Grad of the Chan School said that "a single period of social distancing will not be sufficient." They said without repeated intervals of distancing, "there was a resurgence of infection when the simulated social distancing measures were lifted" in the computer model scenarios. 

Keep in mind, as per ZDNet's Tiernan Ray, the study is not yet peer-reviewed, suggesting other scientists have not vetted the computer models of "intermittent" social distancing to solve the virus crisis. 

However, the computer models are based on other pandemics and already show that one prolonged lockdown of the country is not the best solution because the virus will return in waves. 

The study says some parts of the country where virus cases are low can remain open for business. While other parts that are hard-hit can enforce trict "stay-at-home" public health orders to mitigate the risks of overwhelming hospital systems. 

"The SARS-CoV-2 [the virus that causes COVID-19] pandemic is straining healthcare resources worldwide, prompting social distancing measures to reduce transmission intensity," read the study. "The amount of social distancing needed to curb the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in the context of seasonally varying transmission remains unclear."

The study said the pandemic would likely hit in waves, with the virus subsiding this summer, but could return this fall. 

"Using a mathematical model, we assessed that one-time interventions will be insufficient to maintain COVID-19 prevalence within the critical care capacity of the United States. Seasonal variation in transmission will facilitate epidemic control during the summer months but could lead to an intense resurgence in the autumn." 

The study concludes by saying, "intermittent distancing measures" on 20-week intervals for specific


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Phil's Favorites

Three reasons it's not 1929

 

Three reasons it’s not 1929

Courtesy of 

I could be wrong, but let me point out three things that I think about when I hear Great Depression analogies being made to the current crisis.

The first thing I think about is that the financial markets of the 1930’s were prehistoric. Yes, the Federal Reserve was in existence, but it was nowhere near as powerful and it hadn’t had any institutional memory (or history) to draw on. Its basic structure was patterned on the still-nascent central banks of various European countries thanks to the listening tour Senator Nelson Aldrich and others had made across the Continent. Fun fact: the US Sen...



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Biotech/COVID-19

5 reasons the coronavirus hit Italy so hard

 

5 reasons the coronavirus hit Italy so hard

A nursing home resident in Rome is moved to a hospital. Mauro Scrobogna/LaPresse via AP

Sara Belligoni, University of Central Florida

Italy is one of the nations worst hit by the global coronavirus pandemic. As a scholar in the field of security and emergency management who has studied and worked in Italy, I have determined that there are at least five major reasons why the country is suffering so much.

1. Lots of old people

Italians have the ...



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Zero Hedge

"What Is Really Essential"? In The US Golf And Guns, In France Wine And Pastries

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Among countless other unprecedented changes and transformation, the coronavirus pandemic has unveiled an odd divergence within global cultures: the definition of what's deemed "essential" for people across the world, and what things we really can't do without, even though we might not need most of them for survival.

As AP reports, in its attempt to slow the spread of the virus, authorities in many places are determining what shops and services can remain open. They'...



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Chart School

Big moving Averages and macro investment decisions

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

When price is falling every one wonders where demand will come in.


RTT black screen Tv videos study the simplest measure of price (simple moving average). What has happen before guides us now. 














Changes in the world is the source of all market moves, to catch and ride the change we believe a combination of Gann Angles, ...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Tech Testing 9-Year Support, With Fear Levels At 2009 Highs!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Is an important Tech Index sending a bullish message to investors? It is making an attempt!

Does that mean a low in this important sector is in play? Humbly it is too soon to say at this time!

This chart looks at the Nasdaq Composite Index over the past 25-years on a monthly basis.

The index has spent the majority of the past 9-years inside of rising channel (1), as it has created a series of higher lows and higher highs. It created bearish reversal patterns in January & February as it was kissing the underside of the top of the channel and...



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Insider Scoop

With Everybody Stuck At Home, Investor Conferences Are Going Virtual

Courtesy of Benzinga

With the world at a COVID-19-induced standstill, many conference organizers have either gone online (Benzinga is one of them) or had to cancel upcoming events altogether. There is no clear timetable on how much longer we will be in this state.

Publicly traded companies are already limited in wh...



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Members' Corner

10 ways to spot online misinformation

 

10 ways to spot online misinformation

When you share information online, do it responsibly. Sitthiphong/Getty Images

Courtesy of H. Colleen Sinclair, Mississippi State University

Propagandists are already working to sow disinformation and social discord in the run-up to the November elections.

Many of their efforts have focused on social media, where people’s limited attention spans push them to ...



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Digital Currencies

While coronavirus rages, bitcoin has made a leap towards the mainstream

 

While coronavirus rages, bitcoin has made a leap towards the mainstream

Get used to it. Anastasiia Bakai

Courtesy of Iwa Salami, University of East London

Anyone holding bitcoin would have watched the market with alarm in recent weeks. The virtual currency, whose price other cryptocurrencies like ethereum and litecoin largely follow, plummeted from more than US$10,000 (£8,206) in mid-February to briefly below US$4,000 on March 13. Despite recovering to the mid-US$6,000s at the time of writin...



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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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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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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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