Posts Tagged ‘Bankruptcy’

State Bankruptcy Option Is Sought, Quietly – NYTimes.com

A Path Is Sought for States to Escape Their Debt Burdens

By MARY WILLIAMS WALSH, NY Times

Policy makers are working behind the scenes to come up with a way to let states declare bankruptcy and get out from under crushing debts, including the pensions they have promised to retired public workers.

Unlike cities, the states are barred from seeking protection in federal bankruptcy court. Any effort to change that status would have to clear high constitutional hurdles because the states are considered sovereign.

But proponents say some states are so burdened that the only feasible way out may be bankruptcy, giving Illinois, for example, the opportunity to do what General Motors did with the federal government’s aid.

Beyond their short-term budget gaps, some states have deep structural problems, like insolvent pension funds, that are diverting money from essential public services like education and health care. Some members of Congress fear that it is just a matter of time before a state seeks a bailout, say bankruptcy lawyers who have been consulted by Congressional aides.

Continue here: State Bankruptcy Option Is Sought, Quietly – NYTimes.com.


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Bankruptcy as Economic Stimulus

Bankruptcy as Economic Stimulus

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

With bankruptcy this lucrative, who needs solvency?

Lehman Brothers’ demise has so far meant more than a billion dollars in fees for its reorganization pallbearers.  Makes you think we missed a great opportunity for economic stimulus by propping up so many other faltering companies up…

From DealBook:

Lehman Brothers Holdings on Monday said it has paid more than $1 billion to its lawyers, consultants and financial advisers since filing the largest U.S. bankruptcy two years ago, Reuters reports.

Professional and other fees totaled $1.01 billion through September 30, up $51.8 million from $961.3 million a month earlier, a filing with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Manhattan shows.

Lehman’s bankruptcy is the costliest in U.S. history, surpassing Enron and WorldCom, according to the UCLA Law School professor Lynn LoPucki.

Well, I want in on some of that action!  Maybe I’ll walk over and see if they could use a blogger on the job or something.  I mean, since it’s a carrion feast anyway, how could one more beak in the mix hurt anyone?

Source:

Lehman Bankruptcy Fees Top $1 Billion (DealBook) 


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Check Out Chris Whalen’s Terrifying Presentation On The 2011 Foreclosure Crisis

Check Out Chris Whalen’s Terrifying Presentation On The 2011 Foreclosure Crisis

Courtesy of Gus Lubin at Business Insider

whalenThe biggest bear in foreclosure-gate is Institutional Risk Analytic’s Chris Whalen.

At a conference Wednesday, Whalen said the foreclosure crisis would make 2008 look like a cakewalk (via Prag Cap):

"The U.S. banking industry is entering a new period of crisis where operating costs are rising dramatically due to foreclosures and defaults. We are less than ¼ of the way through the foreclosure process."

Whalen says subprime losses never really showed up on balance sheets. But a coming wave of foreclosures will make them a reality. At a time when banks are already stressed, these rising operational costs will cause bankruptcy.

Even without foreclosure-gate banks were screwed. As the government stalls the clear out of toxic assets, bank liabilities will rise even more.

Click here to see Whalen’s presentation > 


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China Calls Our Bluff: “The US is Insolvent and Faces Bankruptcy as a Pure Debtor Nation but [U.S.] Rating Agencies Still Give it High Rankings”

China Calls Our Bluff: "The US is Insolvent and Faces Bankruptcy as a Pure Debtor Nation but [U.S.] Rating Agencies Still Give it High Rankings"

creditor chinaCourtesy of Washington’s Blog 

America’s biggest creditor – China – has called our bluff.

As the Financial Times notes, the head of China’s biggest credit rating agency has said America is insolvent and that U.S. credit ratings are a joke:

The head of China’s largest credit rating agency has slammed his western counterparts for causing the global financial crisis and said that as the world’s largest creditor nation China should have a bigger say in how governments and their debt are rated.

“The western rating agencies are politicised and highly ideological and they do not adhere to objective standards,” Guan Jianzhong, chairman of Dagong Global Credit Rating, told the Financial Times in an interview.

***

He specifically criticised the practice of “rating shopping” by companies who offer their business to the agency that provides the most favourable rating.

In the aftermath of the financial crisis “rating shopping” has been one of the key complaints from western regulators , who have heavily criticised the big three agencies for handing top ratings to mortgage-linked securities that turned toxic when the US housing market collapsed in 2007.

“The financial crisis was caused because rating agencies didn’t properly disclose risk and this brought the entire US financial system to the verge of collapse, causing huge damage to the US and its strategic interests,” Mr Guan said.

Recently, the rating agencies have been criticised for being too slow to downgrade some of the heavily indebted peripheral eurozone economies, most notably Spain, which still holds triple A ratings from Moody’s.

There is also a view among many investors that the agencies would shy away from withdrawing triple A ratings to countries such as the US and UK because of the political pressure that would bear down on them in the event of such actions.

Last week, privately-owned Dagong published its own sovereign credit ranking in what it said was a first for a non-western credit rating agency.

The results were very different from those published by Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, with China ranking higher than the United States, Britain, Japan, France and most other major economies, reflecting Dagong’s belief that


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New York Pension Story Gaining Attention in Mainstream Press

New York Pension Story Gaining Attention in Mainstream Press

Courtesy of Trader Mark at Fund My Mutual Fund 

Man with oversize playing cards

The study I highlighted yesterday on New York pensions has hit the mainstream this morning, with a quite massive write up in the New York Times. There is a lot more detail in the story so I encourage a read through for anyone interested. (story here) Recall I was looking for the ages of these retirees so there are some eye openers in the piece! I am always fascinated by public opinion as well, so for a look through of the avalanche of comments already washing ashore go here. 

As I’ve written for the past 3 years, I believe eventually  (if trend lines continue without any fixes) we’re going to see some social issues arise in the U.S. due to the growing inequity between the public v private sectors.   Especially since it appears a massive bailout will eventually be needed to "keep promises" to this select class.  Wherever you fall on this debate, any system that pays out MORE in pension than a person ever earned in a working year is beyond belief. But when you can game the system by adding a ton of overtime in your last year – it’s all just ‘dealing with the cards we were dealt’. (On a side note I did not realize pensions were FREE of state and local taxes – maybe it’s only a New York thing, I do not know)

Much like the deficit stood in shadows for years as some vague ‘issue’ (I still doubt 8 in 10 Americans could tell you the total debt within $2 trillion), I just don’t think most Americans have a clue yet about the growing problem – hence this sort of transparency we saw in the study is going to be an eye opener for those who don’t troll in certain financial blogs.

Via NYTimes:

  • In Yonkers, more than 100 retired police officers and firefighters are collecting pensions greater than their pay when they were working. One of the youngest, Hugo Tassone, retired at 44 with


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91 Banks Miss May TARP Payment, 68 Banks Miss Multiple Payments; Top 10 Sovereign Debt Default Risks; New “Merle Hazard” Song – “Legal Tender”

91 Banks Miss May TARP Payment, 68 Banks Miss Multiple Payments; Top 10 Sovereign Debt Default Risks; New "Merle Hazard" Song – "Legal Tender"

Courtesy of Mish 

Six hundred small banks still hold $130 billion in unpaid TARP payments with taxpayers on the hook. Records show Over 90 Banks Miss their May TARP Payment.

Statistics, compiled by SNL Financial from U.S. Treasury data, showed 91 banks and thrifts skipped the May dividend payment under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. It was the first missed payment for 23 of the banks; for the others, it was at least their second miss.

The number of banks missing their TARP payments rose for the third straight quarter. In February, 74 banks deferred their payments; 55 deferred last November. SNL Financial’s analysis found 20 banks have missed four or more payments since the program began in 2008, while eight banks have missed five payments.

While many of the largest U.S. banks easily repaid billions in TARP aid, more than 600 smaller banks still hold $130 billion from the program, created at the height of the financial crisis.

Most of the banks failing to make TARP payments are bankruptcy candidates.

Top 10 Sovereign Debt Default Risks

Inquiring minds might also be interested in a slideshow of Government Debt Issuers Most Likely to Default.

Minus the slide images here are the results.

1. Argentina – CPD: 50.14% – Mid Spread: 1081.14
2. Venezuela – CPD: 49.76% – Mid Spread: 1013.78
3. Ukraine – CPD: 44.12% – Mid Spread: 884.91
4. Pakistan – CPD: 42.17% – Mid Spread: 803.20
5. Dubai, UAE – CPD: 32.46% – Mid Spread: 572.92
6. Republic of Latvia – CPD: 29.13% – Mid Spread: 513.31
7. Iraq – CPD: 28.25% – Mid Spread: 475.97
8. Iceland – CPD: 27.03% – Mid Spread: 476.34
9. Greece – CPD: 24.92% – Mid Spread: 341.54
10. Dominican Republic – CPD: 23.37% – Mid Spread: 375.00

From the article: "The countries are ranked by their cumulative probability of default (CPD), which gives the market’s assessment of an issuer’s likelihood of default over the life of a CDS contract."

Those numbers are from March as ranked by CMA. Greece is certainly higher now.

New "Merle Hazard" Song – "Legal Tender"

“Legal Tender” is an original lyric by Merle Hazard and…
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Jim Rogers: “I Am Buying Gold For A Relief Rally” But All Fiat Currencies Are Doomed

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Coins in a Cash Box

On one hand you have BNP revising their mid-term EURUSD forecast to 0.98, on the other you have such pessimists as Jim Rogers saying to buy the Euro. Who to trust anymore? Granted, Rogers’ thesis is only predicated on a a relief rally, pretty much the same as what we suggested when we saw the Goldman downgrade of the EURUSD, and immediately beckoned readers to get right back in. We consider the +50,000 pips picked in the ensuing week a direct gift from god (or at least his favorite worker). At this point the relief rally has likely fizzled, and the direction now is indeed down, at least until the next time the CFTC notes the net EUR shorts have hit a fresh record. Back to Rogers: in the long-term, Jim is just as bearish as always: "The European governments are not getting their act together, not at all. All paper money is flawed, nearly every currency in the world."

Rogers on European credibility: "If Greece went bankrupt it would send the signal to the world, and to the rest of Europe – ok, we’re not going to let people lie about their finance anymore, we are not going to let them spend money they don’t have, we are going to run a tight ship. That means the euro would be an extremely sound currency, it would the old Deutsche Mark." On Keynesianism: "You can’t keep spending money you don’t have because eventually the whole thing collapse in a house of cards." On the transition to reality: "I am not suggesting it is going to be a good time, don’t get me wrong. But if you wait 5 years from now, 10 years from now, when there is nothing you can do, and the whole system collapses, then you have real chaos in the streets, then you have Greece never recovering. In the US we have had states go bankrupt, cities go bankrupt, counties go bankrupt. It didn’t end the US, it didn’t end the US dollar." And on the flaws of our political system, which are just as applicable to our own president: "Greece is just trying to get through the next election, I am trying to figure out what’s good for country, what’s good for the world, what’s good for Europe, what’s good for the financial system."


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Rumour: BP To Cut Its Dividend Next Week, and Yet Another Goldman Sachs Stock Scandal

Rumour: BP To Cut Its Dividend Next Week, and Yet Another Goldman Sachs Stock Scandal

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

Soaked in oil, browns await cleaning at a rescue center set up by the International Bird Rescue Research Center in Buras, Louisiana, June 7, 2010. Oil has been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico for over a month since a massive explosion on the BP oil rig Deepwater Horizon, injuring wildlife and fouling the fragile marshlands. UPI/A.J. Sisco.... Photo via Newscom

This is making the rounds as a rumour, but it has credibility, and I have been expecting it as they need to set aside some serious reserves for litigation and damages caused.

The company is in deep trouble, and the CEO is making all the classic errors we learned not to do in the crisis management courses in business school.

The rumour is so widespread that I am sure it will make the wires somewhere and I will look for it.

I do not expect BP to declare bankruptcy as this story suggests, although it would be an interestingly foul gambit to try and avoid its liabilities.

British Petroleum had been at the heart of darkness many years ago, as in the example of the Iranian coup d’etat of 1953 and imprisonment of Iran’s democratically elected leader Mohammad Mosaddegh, followed by over twenty years of tyranny and torture. Some think this is what had inspired Eisenhower’s parting words about the Anglo-American military-industrial complex.

Although through aggressive use of public relations had improved its image, BP has long been noted by investigative reporters and environmentalists as a bad boy among the corporate multinationals, preferring to spend money on PR, politicians, and regulators rather than planning and safety. BP: Slick Operator and BP’s Other Spill by Greg Palast for example, and those radicals at the Seattle Times: BP’s Trail of Accidents and Scandals Lead to Alaska. When Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska winks and says "I’m your gal," she just might not be winking at you, chump change.

I thought it was interesting that they bought the search term "oil spill" from Google to better direct the flow of information from the public.

And then of course there is the issue of insider selling that occurred prior to the more complete release of the extent of the Gulf oil leak disaster involving BP executives and former executives, and of course Goldman Sachs. Gulf Oil Spill to Drag Goldman Sachs into Trading Scandal?

This is not to say that all corporations are corrupt all the time, not at all. But neither are they naturally good, all the time. It underscores the need for regulation, and investigations into the type of corruption which was apparently widespread in the…
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TALKING OURSELVES OFF THE EDGE OF THE CLIFF

TALKING OURSELVES OFF THE EDGE OF THE CLIFF

WSOP No-Limit Texas Hold 'em World Championship

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Yesterday’s WSJ MarketBeat blog took David Einhorn to task for his op-ed in the NY Times titled “Easy Money, Hard Truths“.  They make the argument that Einhorn is simply pushing his massive gold position.  I fear Einhorn is doing something much worse – helping to scare us all into continued recession.

First off, I have no problem when someone talks their book.  In fact, I almost prefer for people to talk their book.  There’s a certain trust in someone who is willing to “put their money where their mouth is”.  It’s the primary reason why I believe the hedge fund business is such a wonderful advancement beyond traditional mutual funds – the manager’s interests are generally aligned with those of the investor.  If you can find a manager who is not only intelligent, but has a sound moral compass you’ve wandered upon quite a gem.  From all accounts David Einhorn appears to fit the mold.  But I take very serious issue with his recent comments which I believe are filled with half-truths and propaganda that we continually hear from the inflationistas (all of whom have been terribly wrong thus far in terms of their macroeconomic outlook) who are driving the country towards the edge of the cliff.

Einhorn is a great investor and clearly a brilliant man, but for two years I have watched policymakers and fear mongerers misdiagnose the problems that we confront and this is, in my opinion, why we are still wrangling with these issues. In 2008 I wrote a letter to the Federal Reserve saying that this was a classic “balance sheet recession” with problems rooted in the private sector – specifically the consumer.  I told them that saving banks was not the solution and that monetary policy would prove as fruitless in the U.S. as it has in Japan.  I was shocked to receive a friendly response to my letter but not shocked to see Mr. Bernanke implement his Friedman-like monetarist campaign of “saving the world”.  Obviously it hasn’t worked (unless you’re a banker) as we sit here two years later still discussing this wretched credit crisis and the ranks of the unemployed continue to climb.  If we cannot properly diagnose the problems we cannot find a proper cure.  Thus far, we have failed.…
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Antioch California Considers Bankruptcy; Former LA Mayor Predicts Bankruptcy for LA

Antioch California Considers Bankruptcy; Former LA Mayor Predicts Bankruptcy for LA

Courtesy of Mish

Bankruptcy talk is heating up in California with the city of Antioch on the front burner. Please consider Bankruptcy talk spreads among California municipal officials.

Two years after Vallejo, California, filed for bankruptcy protection, officials in nearby Antioch are also tossing around the ‘B’ word.

Antioch’s leaders earlier this month said bankruptcy could be an option for the cash-strapped city of roughly 100,000 on the eastern fringe of the San Francisco Bay area.

"We just want to alert people to the possibility," Antioch Mayor Pro Tem Mary Helen Rocha said.

Orange County Treasurer Chriss Street would not be surprised if more local governments across the Golden State sound a similar alarm.

Street expects more talk of municipal bankruptcy across California because local government finances are in such dire shape — a situation underscored on Wednesday when a top finance officer for Sacramento County projected a worse-than-expected shortfall for the county of $181 million, which could force more than 1,000 layoffs from the county’s payroll.

Marc Levinson, a lawyer with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP who is representing Vallejo in its bankruptcy proceeding, agrees that California’s hard times and lean local budgets are forcing local leaders to weigh bankruptcy.

"It’s a topic on everyone’s lips because cities and counties and local governments are hurting," Levinson said.

Like Vallejo, Los Angeles is suffering from weak revenue at the same time the cost of its pensions and other retirement benefits are rising. Former Mayor Richard Riordan said those factors put the government of the second largest U.S. city on track to declare bankruptcy between now and 2014.

Riordan sees bankruptcy as a necessary tactic for squeezing concessions from the city’s public employee unions. It could also pave the way for 401(k) retirement accounts for new city workers instead of defined pension benefit plans with escalating costs, he said.

"The threat of bankruptcy is really the only way you’re going to get them to make major changes," Riordan recently told Reuters.

Talk of municipal bankruptcy has not escaped California’s politically powerful public employee unions. A number of them are pressing the legislature to pass a bill that would require local governments to get the approval of a state board before filing for bankruptcy. Since the board could be stacked with union-friendly appointees, bankruptcy pleas could be


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Zero Hedge

Florida Prosecutors Plan To Release Kraft Rub-And-Tug Video

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Florida prosecutors have indicated that they plan to release police surveillance videos of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who was busted in February along with 24 other men for allegedly receiving sexual favors at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, FL.

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg’s office said in c...



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Insider Scoop

Benzinga's Top Upgrades, Downgrades For April 18, 2019

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Top Upgrades
  • Analysts at Morgan Stanley upgraded Smart & Final Stores Inc (NYSE: SFS) from Underweight to Equal-Weight. Smart & Final shares fell 0.3 percent to $6.47 in pre-market trading.
  • Cowen & Co. upgraded Gogo Inc (NASDAQ: GOGO) from Market Perform to Outperform. Gogo shares fell 2.14 percent to $5.25 in pre-market trading.
  • JP Morgan upgraded ResMed Inc. (NYSE: RMD) from Underweight to Neutral. ResMed shares closed at $97.37 on Wednesd...


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Phil's Favorites

Faster, more accurate diagnoses: Healthcare applications of AI research

 

Faster, more accurate diagnoses: Healthcare applications of AI research

As machine learning progresses, its applications include faster, more accurate medical diagnoses. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Seokbum Ko, University of Saskatchewan

When Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo shockingly defeated legendary Go player Lee Sedol in 2016, the terms artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and deep learning were propelled into the technological mainstream.

BBC Newsnight: AlphaGo and the future of Artificial Intelligence.

AI is generally defined as the capacity for a compu...



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Digital Currencies

5 Cryptocurrency Tax Questions To Ask On April 15th

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by David Kemmerer via CoinTelegraph.com,

Depending on what country you live in, your cryptocurrency will be subject to different tax rules. The questions below address implications within the United States, but similar issues arise around the world. As always, check with a local tax professional to assess your own particular tax situation.

...



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Chart School

RTT browsing latest..

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Please review a collection of WWW browsing results. The information here is delayed by a few months, members get the most recent content.



Date Found: Thursday, 18 October 2018, 05:33:01 PM

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.


Comment: Why The Stock Market Is Heading For Disaster youtu.be/Gubf0A5pHL0



Date Found: Monday, 29 October 2018, 12:55:07 PM

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Comment: Ross Beaty: We Are Star...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Silver Bear Market Faces Big Price Support Test!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

When silver, gold, and the precious metals industry were red-hot bullish in the 2000’s, investors could do no wrong.

You could buy SILVER at just about any price and it would go higher.

In today’s chart, you can see three large green bullish ascending triangles from the 2000’s that lead to big gains. But that was the bull market before the current bear market.

The tables have turned since the 2011 price top. Silver quickly formed a bearish descending triangle and fell another 50 percent when that broke down. This sent a vicious bear mark...



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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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Biotech

Marijuana is a lot more than just THC - a pharmacologist looks at the untapped healing compounds

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

 

Marijuana is a lot more than just THC - a pharmacologist looks at the untapped healing compounds

Assorted cannabis bud strains. Roxana Gonzalez/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of James David Adams, University of Southern California

Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states as of November 2018. Yet the federal government still insists marijuana has no legal u...



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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

Excerpt:

The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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

 

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

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

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

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



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

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

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

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

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

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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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