Archive for the ‘Phil’s Favorites’ Category

In a World of Their Own

 

In a World of Their Own

Courtesy of George Monbiot, published in the Guardian, 7th Novemeber 2018 (David Attenborough has betrayed the living world he loves)

By downplaying and misrepresenting our environmental crisis, David Attenborough and the BBC have generated complacency, confusion and ignorance.

Knowingly creating a false impression of the world: this is a serious matter. It is more serious still when the BBC does it, and yet worse when the presenter is “the most trusted man in Britain”. But, as his latest interview with the Observer reveals, Sir David Attenborough sticks to his line that fully representing environmental issues is a “turn-off”.

His new series, Dynasties, will mention the pressures affecting wildlife, but Attenborough makes it clear that it will play them down. To do otherwise, he suggests, would be “proselytising” and “alarmist”. His series will be “a great relief from the political landscape which otherwise dominates our thoughts.” In light of the astonishing rate of collapse of the animal populations he features, alongside most of the rest of the world’s living systems, and when broadcasting as a whole has disgracefully failed to represent such truths, I don’t think such escapism is appropriate or justifiable.

It is not proselytising or alarmist to tell us the raw truth about what is happening to the world, however much it might discomfit us. Nor do I believe that revealing the marvels of nature automatically translates into environmental action, as the executive producer of Dynasties claims. I’ve come to believe it can have the opposite effect.

For many years, wildlife film-making has presented a pristine living world. It has created an impression of security and abundance, even in places afflicted by cascading ecological collapse. The cameras reassure us that there are vast tracts of wilderness in which wildlife continues to thrive. They cultivate complacency, not action.

You cannot do such a thing passively. Wildlife filmmakers I know tell me that the effort to portray what looks like an untouched ecosystem becomes harder every year. They have to choose their camera angles ever more carefully to exclude…
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An infinity of waste — the brutal reality of the First World War

 

An infinity of waste — the brutal reality of the First World War

File 20181108 74757 15ijmc3.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

A scholar takes a pilgrimage of the Western Front to try to comprehend the loss of lives of the First World War. Here British soldiers in a battlefield trench, c. 1915-1918. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Robert France, Dalhousie University

With the armistice signing on Nov. 11, 1918, it was all over: one of the greatest conflagrations the world had seen, the butcher’s bill, in the end, totalling 6,000 soldiers per day for four of the longest years ever experienced. A century on, over the past four summers, I undertook a pilgrimage walk along the complete length of the Western Front from the Swiss border to the English Channel, to bear witness to this inconceivable loss. It was a distance of more than nine hundred kilometres, with side trips ranging over the major killing fields and eastward to the location of the first and the last battles at Mons.

Throughout, I was conscious, often to the brink of heart-rendered grief, of the overwhelming death count. Traversing the landscape slowly on foot rather than by motorized travel enables one to develop a private and profound intimacy with both the terrain and what it reveals, as well as the way in which memory is invoked.

Heaps of bones

The first year’s walk ended in Verdun, a place which set the template in terms of pointless wastage for that which was to come. Here, the Germans hurled everything they had, and the French adopted their “They Shall Not Pass” motto, the result being more than 700,000 dead on both sides. The remains of many these victims are visible today as vast heaps of bones glimpsed through the observation windows at the massive ossuary there.

Menin Gate. Canada War Museum

When standing in front of the Thiepval Memorial or the Menin Gate, many find it hard to wrap their heads around the tens of thousands of names inscribed of those who are “missing,” having no known graves. It may be easier to comprehend this immensity when…
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The World’s 10 Largest Economies by GDP

Courtesy of Jeff Desjardins, Visual Capitalist

Just weeks ago, we showed you a colorful visualization that breaks down the $80 trillion global economy.

[Visual Capitalist]

While such a view provides useful context on the relative size of national economies, it’s also a static snapshot that doesn’t show any movement over time. In other words, we can see the size of any given economy today, but not how it got there.

Today’s animation comes to us from Jaime Albella and it charts how GDP has changed over the last 57 years for the world’s 10 largest economies.

It provides us with a lens through time, that helps show the rapid ascent of certain countries and the stagnation of others – and while there are many noteworthy changes that occur in the animation, the two most noticeable ones have been described as “economic miracles”.

JAPAN’S ECONOMIC MIRACLE

You may have heard of the “Japanese economic miracle”, a term that is used to describe the record-setting GDP growth in Japan between the end of World War II and the end of the Cold War.

Well, the above animation shows this event better than pretty much anything else.

In 1960, Japan had an economy that was only 10% of the size of the United States. But in just a decade, Japan would see sustained real GDP growth – often in the double digits each year – that allowed the country to rocket past both the United Kingdom and France to become the world’s second-largest economy.

It would hold this title consecutively between 1972 and 2010, until it was supplanted by another Asian economic miracle.

ECONOMIC MIRACLE, PART DEUX

The other rapid ascent in this animation that can be obviously seen is that of China.

Despite falling off the top 10 list completely by 1980, new economic reforms in the 1980s and 1990s helped pave the way to the massive economy in China we know today, including the lifting of hundreds of millions of people out of extreme poverty.

By 1993, China was once again one of the world’s largest economies, just squeezing onto the above list.

By 2010 – just 17 years later – the country had surpassed titans like the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and even Japan to secure the second spot on the list, which it continues to hold today in nominal terms.

***

Watch the automated graphic here.  

 

 

 

 





Actual, for real, 100% unedited totally not fake footage

 

Hilarious clip from Stephen Colbert.





Three Things I Think I Think – What In the Hell is Going On Out There?

 

Three Things I Think I Think – What In the Hell is Going On Out There?

Here are some things I think I am thinking about.

1) Has Mr. Market Finally Lost His Mind? It seems that everyone is losing their mind over politics so I’ve been rather amazed that the financial market has held it together this long. That changed a bit in October as the MSCI All World Stock Index took a 12% dive.

Now, what’s interesting about the stock market downturn is that the wheels have been in motion here for almost all of 2018. The MSCI All World Index, the only true measure of “the stock market”, peaked in January. While US stocks continued higher the total world has done rather poorly all year long. So this isn’t really all that new if you’ve been paying attention.

But has the market lost its mind and will it get crazier? Well, no one knows for sure, but there’s a strong argument to be made that the market had lost its mind for 8 years. After all, bear markets are born in bull markets. The way I like to see things, the stock market is an instrument that pays about 7-8% per year in nominal terms and can’t mathematically pay out much more than that over the very long-term. That is, after all, approximately the rate of corporate profits. So, when you go through these long periods of multiple expansion and 10%+ returns you have to wonder – “when is Mr. Market going to give back some of that excess return?” Said differently, a little smoothing in stock market returns in the coming years isn’t really a bad thing. It’s actually Mr. Market adjusting for what had been a period of very high unsustainable returns.

2) Wait a Second, Should we be Begging for a Bear Market? Speaking of bear markets – I posted this chart on Twitter and some people lost their minds over it. What it’s showing is somewhat theoretical, but also practical. Basically, when the stock market falls it generally results in multiple compression and higher expected future returns. So, let’s say you have two investors who earn a


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Factory of lies: Russia’s disinformation playbook exposed

 

Factory of lies: Russia's disinformation playbook exposed

By Ben Popken, NBC News

Americans who want to be ready for the next Russian attack can just read an old newspaper.

During the Cold War, hundreds of bogus headlines around the world appeared: The U.S. invented AIDS. Wealthy Americans were adopting children to harvest their organs. If these sound like the kind of conspiracies pushed by Russian trolls during the 2016 election, there’s a good reason: They were once promulgated by Russian or Soviet agents.

Russia has a century-old playbook for “disinformation,” historians and former intelligence officers say, recycling tactics and narratives, and giving clues to detect their next information-warfare attack on our elections.

“I believe in Russia they do have their own manual that essentially prescribes what to do,” said Clint Watts, a research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a former FBI agent.

“The main difference is the technology available to them,” said Todd Leventhal, a retired senior counter-disinformation officer at the State Department. “The methodology is the same.” 

Read the full article here.

NBC News Signal presents factory of lies: Democracy under attack

 





Americans elected mayors who care about climate change

 

Americans elected mayors who care about climate change

File 20181108 74763 1ewzqyi.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Do events like the Global Action Climate Summit raise the profile of politicians like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio? AP Photo/Eric Risberg

Courtesy of Mary Alice Haddad, Wesleyan University

Being pro-environment was a winning strategy for this country’s mayors.

Twelve mayors in America’s 100 largest cities faced re-election battles during the 2018 midterms, and mayors – both Democrats and Republicans – who followed pro-environmental policies were rewarded. All six mayors who had demonstrated their commitment to the environment by signing the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy – including Stephen Adler of Austin, Texas, Greg Fischer of Louisville, Kentucky, and Libby Schaff of Oakland, California – won re-election. The other big city mayors in re-election battles weren’t so fortunate – two won, two lost and two are facing runoffs.

Of course, voters consider many issues when they cast their ballot. It’s unlikely that the environment was the deciding issue in these races. However, mayors that prioritize the environment seem to be making changes in their cities that please constituents. The positive election results in 2018 were not an anomaly – all 15 mayors who signed the covenant and sought re-election in the last two years have been victorious at the ballot box, usually by large margins.

Mayors with pro-environmental agendas aren’t just popular. I believe they are an important part of the answer to the global challenge of climate change.

As a scholar of civil society and environmental policy – this is just one of the positive signs I see not just in American cities, but around the world.

Climate change is urgent

A month before the election, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its latest report about the risks associated with climate change. The news was bad. Our planet is now expected to reach a 1.5 degrees Celsius increase in average global temperatures as early as 2030. One billion people will regularly endure conditions of extreme heat. Sea levels will rise, exposing between 31 and 69 million people to flooding. Seventy to 90 percent of coral reefs will die. Fishery catches will decline by…
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From shell-shock to PTSD, a century of invisible war trauma

 

From shell-shock to PTSD, a century of invisible war trauma

Image 20170403 27251 14zcqdy.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Some soldiers’ wounds in WWI were more mental than physical. George Metcalf Archival Collection, CC BY-NC-ND

Courtesy of MaryCatherine McDonald, Old Dominion University; Marisa Brandt, Michigan State University, and Robyn Bluhm, Michigan State University

In the wake of World War I, some veterans returned wounded, but not with obvious physical injuries. Instead, their symptoms were similar to those that had previously been associated with hysterical women – most commonly amnesia, or some kind of paralysis or inability to communicate with no clear physical cause.

English physician Charles Myers, who wrote the first paper on “shell-shock” in 1915, theorized that these symptoms actually did stem from a physical injury. He posited that repetitive exposure to concussive blasts caused brain trauma that resulted in this strange grouping of symptoms. But once put to the test, his hypothesis didn’t hold up. There were plenty of veterans who had not been exposed to the concussive blasts of trench warfare, for example, who were still experiencing the symptoms of shell-shock. (And certainly not all veterans who had seen this kind of battle returned with symptoms.)

We now know that what these combat veterans were facing was likely what today we call post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. We are now better able to recognize it, and treatments have certainly advanced, but we still don’t have a full understanding of just what PTSD is.

The medical community and society at large are accustomed to looking for the most simple cause and cure for any given ailment. This results in a system where symptoms are discovered and cataloged and then matched with therapies that will alleviate them. Though this method works in many cases, for the past 100 years, PTSD has been resisting.

We are three scholars in the humanities who have individually studied PTSD – the framework through which people conceptualize it, the ways researchers investigate it, the therapies the medical community devises for it. Through our research, each of us has seen how the medical model alone fails to adequately account for the ever-changing nature of PTSD.

What’s been missing is a cohesive explanation of…
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“How Central Bankers Rigged The World”: An Interview With Nomi Prins

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Former Goldman managing director, Nomi Prins, join Chris Blasi on The Great Reset Opportunity Report to discuss her new release Collusion, as well as current geopolitical and macroeconomic issues. 

In this interview Nomi makes the case that central bankers have been rigging markets for the sake of the bankers at the expense of regular citizens, and will continue to do so. Nomi further shares her conclusion that should the ongoing machinations of the central bankers lead us into another global financial crisis they have no plan B.

The details supporting Nomi’s thesis and conclusions can be heard here along with her personal investing strategy





France Takes The Lead In Protecting Iran Oil Trade From U.S. Sanctions

Courtesy of Tsvetana Paraskova, Oilprice.com

France aims to lead the European Union (EU) efforts in defying U.S. sanctions on Iran, by supporting the creation of a payment mechanism to keep trade with Iran and making the euro more powerful, France’s Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said in an interview with the Financial Times.

“Europe refuses to allow the US to be the trade policeman of the world,” Le Maire told FT, adding that the EU needs to "affirm its sovereignty" in the rift between the EU and the United States over the sanctions on Iran.

The EU has been trying to create a special purpose vehicle (SPV) that would allow the bloc to continue buying Iranian oil and keep trade in other products with Iran after the U.S. sanctions on Tehran return.

The idea behind the SPV is to have it act as a clearing house into which buyers of Iranian oil would pay, allowing the EU to trade oil with Iran without having to directly pay the Islamic Republic.

As the U.S. sanctions on Iran snapped back on Monday, the SPV hasn’t been operational and reports have had it that the undertaking is very complicated and politically sensitive. The bloc is also said to be struggling with the set-up, because no EU member is willing to host it for fear of angering the United States, the Financial Times reported recently, citing EU diplomats.

On Monday, the Belgium-based international financial messaging system SWIFT said that it would comply with the U.S. sanctions on Iran and would cut off sanctioned Iranian banks from its network. This was a blow to the EU’s attempts to defy the U.S. sanctions.

The decision by SWIFT highlights the need for an SPV, France’s Le Maire told FT, but he refused to name countries that could host such a special vehicle. Yet, there have been expressions of interest, he told FT.

Meanwhile, the United States has been dismissive of the idea of an SPV, and Brian Hook, U.S. Special Representative for Iran and Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of State, said in a press briefing with European reporters on Monday:

“We have not seen much, if any, demand for the Special Purpose Vehicle. I think if you take a look at the over 100 corporations that have decided to choose the United States market over the Iranian market, they’re not looking to avail themselves of any type of vehicle.”  





 
 
 

Zero Hedge

Apple Slumps Back Below Key Technical Support, Loses $150 Billion In A Week

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Apple has never lost more market cap in seven short days... ever. The 'no brainer' stocks

Following yet another downgrade overnight (from Goldman this time), the world's largest market cap company fell back below its 200DMA at the open, attempted to stage a comeback,

...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Party Like 1999 & 2000 or respect bearish divergences?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

This 4-pack looks at the DJ Home Construction, Banks, Junk Bonds and the S&P 500, highlighting that bearish divergences took place in 1999 and 2007 at each (1). These assets were sending bearish topping messages “BEFORE” the tops in 2000 & 2007.

Looking at this year, each asset has been creating bearish divergence since early 2018 at each (2).

Are each of these assets sending an important Risk/Reward message again or will it be different this time?

Just the Facts Ma’am– The majority of stock indices remain above respectiv...



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Phil's Favorites

NY Times: OPERATION INFEKTION

 

This is a three-part Opinion Video Series from NY Times about Russia’s meddling in the United States’ elections as part of its "decades-long campaign to tear the West apart." This is not fake news. Read more about the series here.

OPERATION INFEKTION

RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION: FROM COLD WAR TO KANYE

By Adam B. Ellick and Adam Westbrook

EPISODE 1

MEE...



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Members' Corner

NY Times: OPERATION INFEKTION

 

This is a three-part Opinion Video Series from NY Times about Russia’s meddling in the United States’ elections as part of its "decades-long campaign to tear the West apart." This is not fake news. Read more about the series here.

OPERATION INFEKTION

RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION: FROM COLD WAR TO KANYE

By Adam B. Ellick and Adam Westbrook

EPISODE 1

MEE...



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Insider Scoop

Things Are Going From Bad To Worse For GE

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related GE Putting GE's Horrible 3-Week Run Into Perspective Bulls & Bears Of The Week: Apple, Disney, Ford, Target And More ...

http://www.insidercow.com/ more from Insider

Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Nov 11, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

This past week was saw another positive move up by bulls – especially in the Dow and S&P 500; the NASDAQ was not quite as enthusiastic.   Wednesday’s rally was on the legs of an election that was seen as market friendly or at least not as bad as it could have been.   Essentially – paying people a lot of money to get nothing done the next 2 years – woo hoo!

The market is interpreting Wedneday’s result as insuring that “no big things will get done,” in Washington between now and 2020, Craig Birk, chief investment officer at Personal Capital told MarketWatch. “The market appreciates the relative certainty of the slow legislative agenda.” he said.

“As President Trump plans his 2020 reelection campaign, a gridlocked Congress is unlik...



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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin's high energy consumption is a concern - but it may be a price worth paying

 

Bitcoin's high energy consumption is a concern – but it may be a price worth paying

Shutterstock

Courtesy of Steven Huckle, University of Sussex

Bitcoin recently turned ten years old. In that time, it has proved revolutionary because it ignores the need for modern money’s institutions to verify payments. Instead, Bitcoin relies on cryptographic techniques to prove identity and authenticity.

However, the price to pay for all of this innovation is a high carbon footprint, created by Bitc...



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ValueWalk

Vilas Fund Up 55% In Q3; 3Q18 Letter: A Bull Market In Bearish Forecasts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The Vilas Fund, LP letter for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018; titled, “A Bull Market in Bearish Forecasts.”

Ever since the financial crisis, there has been a huge fascination with predictions of the next “big crash” right around the next corner. Whether it is Greece, Italy, Chinese debt, the “overvalued” stock market, the Shiller Ratio, Puerto Rico, underfunded pensions in Illinois and New Jersey, the Fed (both for QE a few years ago and now for removing QE), rising interest rates, Federal budget deficits, peaking profit margins, etc...



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Biotech

Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

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

 

Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

Breast cancer type 1 (BRCA1) is a human tumor suppressor gene, found in all humans. Its protein, also called by the synonym BRCA1, is responsible for repairing DNA. ibreakstock/Shutterstock.com

By Jay Shendure, University of Washington; Greg Findlay, ...



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Mapping The Market

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

Via Jean-Luc:

Famed investor reflecting on his mistakes:

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

One that stands out for me:

Instead of focusing on how value factors in general did in identifying attractive stocks, I rushed to proclaim price-to-sales the winner. That was, until it wasn’t. I guess there’s a reason for the proclamation “The king is dead, long live the king” when a monarchy changes hands. As we continued to update the book, price-to-sales was no longer the “best” single value factor, replaced by others, depending upon the time frames examined. I had also become a lot more sophisticated in my analysis—thanks to criticism of my earlier work—and realized that everything, including factors, moves in and out of favor, depending upon the market environment. I also realized...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

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

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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