Posts Tagged ‘Bear Stearns’

Oh, So Allstate Wasn’t Just Sold Crap By ONE Bank?

Courtesy of Karl Denninger, The Market Ticker

banksOh hoh, and there were…. all of them?

In its complaint, Allstate alleges the defendants "made numerous misrepresentations and omissions regarding the riskiness and credit quality" of the loans backing the securities sold as part of the transaction. JPMorgan Chase acquired Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual — along with the banks’ assets — back in 2008 when the housing meltdown hit. While both firms are technically defunct, each still has structured finance trading platforms unwinding.

Same basic allegations in the last lawsuit.  Statistical sampling says "you intentionally hosed us."

In a land with an actual justice system by now there would be some people in "pound-me-in-the-ass" Federal Prison. Instead, we do the quaint lawsuit thing.

Incidentally, Matt’s at it again over at Rolling Stone.

"Everything’s ****ed up, and nobody goes to jail," he said. "That’s your whole story right there. Hell, you don’t even have to write the rest of it. Just write that."

I put down my notebook. "Just that?"

"That’s right," he said, signaling to the waitress for the check. "Everything’s ****ed up, and nobody goes to jail. You can end the piece right there."

And until we, the people, demand that this change and enforce that demand with an Egypt-like protest, it won’t change, and you, dear reader, will keep getting screwed.

Right up until the debt bubble pops…. which it will.

And soon.

Pic credit: Jr. Deputy Accountant 


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Professors Black and Wray Confirm that Bear Pledged the Same Mortgage to Multiple Buyers

Professors Black and Wray Confirm that Bear Pledged the Same Mortgage to Multiple Buyers

Courtesy of Washington’s Blog 

I have repeatedly pointed out that mortgages were pledged to multiple buyers at the same time. See this and this.

Today, in another must-read piece, economics professors William Black and L. Randall Wray confirm:

Several banks would go after the same homeowner, each claiming to hold the same mortgage (Bear sold the same mortgage over and over).

As USA Today pointed out in 2008, Bear was one of the big players in this area:

Bear Stearns was one of the biggest underwriters of complex investments linked to mortgages. Two of its hedge funds, heavily invested in subprime mortgages, folded in July.

***

Bear Stearns was linked to many other financial institutions, through the mortgage-backed securities it sponsored as well as through complex financial agreements called derivatives.

The Fed wasn’t so much concerned that 85-year-old Bear Stearns would go bankrupt, but rather that it would take other companies down with it, causing a financial meltdown.

Alot of toxic mortgages and mortgage related assets ended up on the taxpayer’s tab directly or indirectly. 

For example, as Bloomberg noted in April 2009:

Maiden Lane I is a $25.7 billion portfolio of Bear Stearns securities related to commercial and residential mortgages. JPMorgan refused to buy them when it acquired Bear Stearns to avert the firm’s bankruptcy.

The Fed’s losses included writing down the value of commercial-mortgage holdings by 28 percent to $5.6 billion and residential loans by 38 percent to $937 million as of Dec. 31, the central bank said. Properties in California and Florida accounted for 45 percent of outstanding principal of the residential mortgages.


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SOME BAILOUT QUESTIONS FED CZAR ‘BERNANKE THE MAGNIFICENT’ STILL HASN’T ANSWERED (BEATDOWN)

MUST READ: Some Bailout Questions FED Czar ‘Bernanke The Magnificent’ STILL Hasn’t Answered (Beatdown)

Courtesy of The Daily Bail 

Fed Chairman Bernanke

Ben Bernanke

Hank Paulson Ben Bernanke Bailout TARP Cartoon

Why were bank bondholders made whole, while taxpayers got shafted?  That’s the most important question of all, yet no one has ever asked him.

Two exceptional editorials from the WSJ earlier this week.  Reprinted with permission.

On the key facts behind the bailouts of 2008, regulators have stonewalled the public, the press and even the inspector general of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. On Wednesday, we’ll find out if they can also stonewall the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

Chairman Phil Angelides and his panel will begin two days of hearings on the subject of "Too Big to Fail," featuring testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Sheila Bair.  Across bailouts from Bear Stearns to AIG, the government has refused to release its analysis of the "systemic risks" that compelled it to mount unprecedented interventions into the financial system with taxpayer money.  Two years after the crisis, Mr. Angelides and his colleagues should finally let the sun shine on this critical period of our economic history.

A year ago we told you about former FDIC official Vern McKinley, who has made a series of Freedom of Information Act requests.  He wanted to know what Fed governors meant when they said a Bear Stearns failure would cause a "contagion."  This term was used in the minutes of the Fed meeting at which the central bank discussed plans by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to finance Bear’s sale to J.P. Morgan Chase.  The minutes contained no detail on how exactly the fall of Bear would destroy America.

He also requested minutes of the FDIC board meeting at which regulators approved financing for a Citigroup takeover of Wachovia.  To provide this assistance, the board had to invoke the "systemic risk" exception in the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, and it therefore had to assert that such assistance was necessary for the health of the financial system.  Yet days later, Wachovia cut a better deal to sell itself to Wells Fargo, instead of Citi.  So how necessary was the assistance?

The regulators have been giving Mr. McKinley the Heisman, but two weeks ago federal Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle made the FDIC show her the Wachovia documents. She is still…
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John Taylor Vomits All Over Zandi And Blinder’s Cover Letter For Modestly Paid Treserve Posts

John Taylor Vomits All Over Zandi And Blinder’s Cover Letter For Modestly Paid Treserve Posts

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Businessman sitting on toilet with feet up, writing list on paper

Yesterday’s "paper" (more in the napkin sense than as a synonym for "intellectual effort") by Mark Zandi and Alan Blinder, which was nothing more than a glorified cover letter for selected perma-Keynesian posts in the administration’s Treserve complex, was so outright bad we did not feel compelled to even remotely comment on its (lack of any) substance. A man far smarter than us, Stanford’s John Taylor (the guy who says the Fed Fund rates should be -10%, not the guy who says the EURUSD should be -10), has taken the time to disassemble what passes for analysis by the tag team of a Princeton tenurist (odd how those always end up destroying the US economy when put in positions of power), and a Moody’s economist, who is undoubtedly casting a nervous eye every few minutes on the administration’s plans for EUCs and other jobless claims criteria. Below is his slaughter of dydactic duo’s demented drivel.

From John Taylor’s Economics One:

Yesterday the New York Times published an article about simulations of the effects of fiscal stimulus packages and financial interventions using an old Keynesian model. The simulations were reported in an unpublished working paper by Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi. I offered a short quote for the article saying simply that the reported results were completely different from my own empirical work on the policy responses to the crisis.

I have now had a chance to read the paper and have more to say. First, I do not think the paper tells us anything about the impact of these policies. It simply runs the policies through a model (Zandi’s model) and reports what the model says would happen. It does not look at what actually happened, and it does not look at other models, only Zandi’s own model. I have explained the defects with this type of exercise many times, most recently in testimony at a July 1, 2010 House Budget Committee hearing where Zandi also appeared. I showed that the results are entirely dependent on the model: old Keynesian models (such as Zandi’s model) show large effects and new Keynesian models show small effects. So there is nothing new in the fiscal stimulus part of this paper.

Second, I looked


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DB: Greece is Bear Stearns, (fill in the blank) is Goldman Sachs

DB: Greece is Bear Stearns, (fill in the blank) is Goldman Sachs

Courtesy of Andy Kessler 

Dailybeast

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-06-19/andy-kessler-on-greece-germany-and-the-euro-crisis/p/

NEW YORK - MARCH 26:  A protestor stands outside Bear Stearns headquarters March 26, 2008 in New York.  Hundreds of housing activists stormed the lobby of the Bear Stearns skyscraper in Manhattan, overwhelming security and staging a noisy rally, protesting the government-backed sale and bailout of the investment bank.   (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Even a win in the World Cup soccer tournament won’t save Europe. Nor will the G-20 meeting in Toronto this week. With Grecian urns, Irish eyes, Spanish flies, and Portuguese waterdogs all up to their eyeballs in debt, it’s only a matter of time before the whole venture implodes. Even after an almost trillion dollar bailout across Europe, Moody’s Investors Service last week downgraded Greece’s debt from A3 to Ba1--junk bonds.

We’ve seen this movie before—in 2008, when it was banks, not countries, reeling out of economic control. Once you recognize this pattern—desperate nations behaving just as the desperate banks did—the next 12 months of news will all make sense. Here is a handy guide.

Greece is clearly Bear Stearns. They’ve taken on too much debt, used derivatives created by Goldman Sachs to put off payment well into the future, and aren’t generating enough tax revenue to pay for their bloated expenses. The cost of Greece’s debt financing is skyrocketing, now 8 percent higher than the benchmark German bund. Either Athens defaults, causing more firebombs to be tossed and even larger riots in the streets, or the European Union arranges a takeover by deep-pocketed Germany.

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 10:  People walk under a ticker sign announcing Lehman Brothers financial losses September 10, 2008 in New York.  Lehman Brothers plans to sell a majority stake in its investment management business and said a sale of the entire company was possible.  (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

 Germany is the JP Morgan of this story. It will provide a lowball 200 billion Euros to Greece and then end up paying 1000 billion, reminiscent of JP Morgan offering $2 and then paying $10 for Bear Stearns. Now wait a second, I can hear you complain, countries can’t merge like companies.

Of course they can, it happens all the time—though usually when tanks roll. Ask Poland. Or Hungary. In this case, Germany won’t legally own Greece, but in reality, it will absolutely be in charge of fixing Greece’s mess. My sense is the Germans will be quite good at tax collection and not so strong at dismantling the welfare state. But Greek debt will be resolved and maybe the Euro will even rally.

But it won’t be over quite yet. That’s because sadly, Spain is Lehman Brothers. With 22 percent unemployment, and loaded with debt and deteriorating real estate prices, who is going to save it? Tongues will wag that defaulting on debts will teach a lesson to countries that live beyond their means. As a huge exporter,…
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THREE THINGS I THINK I THINK

THREE THINGS I THINK I THINK

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Investigating the

  • Just a few brief comments on the market at the current levels. I was relatively optimistic about the equity markets coming into the beginning of the year.  The themes that had dominated much of 2009 (better than expected earnings, accommodative Fed, continuing stimulus, etc) appeared to be largely intact.   To my surprise, the rally ran a bit farther than I expected, but Greece and the downturn in China were game changers in my opinion.  I was a few weeks early to lay my short positions, but the market ultimately came around to my thinking (better to be lucky than good).  Where are we now?  In my opinion, we have a global economy that ispre-Greece and a global economy that is post-Greece.  The dominoes appear to be lining up in an eerie fashion at this point in time – there are now dozens of negative catalysts in the coming 12 months (which I will detail in a soon to be released report).  Although the markets are once again oversold and at risk of a bounce the fundamentals are quickly deteriorating and my expectation of a weak second half appears to be right on cue.  I would continue to approach this market with a great deal of caution despite the current oversold conditions.
  • What do the Germans know? This short selling ban is very desperate looking.  I hate to speculate, but my gut tells me that they are beginning to realize how bad the situation is over there.  They now understand that the problems in the Euro cannot be solved through intra-country debt issuance and bailouts.  The short ban looks like one more act of desperation from a group of nations that have severely underestimated the problems they confront.  Unfortunately, I still don’t think they’ve realized that this is a currency crisis and not a solvency crisis.  That means they’ll continue to kick the can down the road and markets will battle with the turbulence.  This truly does have a very Bear Stearns feel to it.
  • Will we scare ourselves into a double dip or even a second great depression? Everyone and their mother appears to be in the same camp regarding all the very scary “money printing”.  I’ve never in my life heard the drumbeat so loud for fiscal austerity.  In fact,


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Geithner Allowed CDS ‘Kiting’ on Wall Street

Geithner Allowed CDS ‘Kiting’ on Wall Street

Courtesy of John Lounsbury

Colorful kite in sky

Definition from Wikipedia:

Check kiting is the illegal act of taking advantage of the float to make use of non-existent funds in a checking or other bank account. It is commonly defined as writing a check from one bank knowingly with non-sufficient funds, then writing a check to another bank, also with non-sufficient funds, in order to cover the absence. The purpose of check kiting is to falsely inflate the balance of a checking account in order to allow checks that have been written that would otherwise bounce to clear.

From July 2004 through September 2008, Lawrence G. McDonald was a Vice President of Distressed Debt and Convertible Securities Trading at Lehman Brothers (LEHMQ.PK). He is now a Managing Director at Pangea Capital Management LP. Lawrence is most famous as author of the best selling book "A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: the Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers".

MacDonald, in an article at The Huffington Post entitled "The Geithner Deception", lays major blame for the financial collapse of 2008 at the feet of now Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Geithner was President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 2003 through 2008 as the credit bubble expanded and exploded into crisis.

Unsettled Derivatives Trades

McDonald’s premise is that a major reason for the collapse of Lehman and, very quickly, the world’s financial structure, was unsettled derivative trades. The most notorious of these were known as CDS (credit default swaps) which amounted to guarantees by a seller to make payment to the buyer should there be a credit default by a third party. We’ll come back to discuss CDSs further in the next section.

But first, let’s complete the picture so well laid out by Lawrence McDonald. He compares the operation of CDS trades to those in a regulated market, such as the stock exchanges or regulated derivative markets such as the CBOE (The Chicago Board of Options Exchange). When trades are made in those markets, the buyer must deliver payment by the settlement date or the trade is cancelled. In the case of stocks, settlement is required within three days.

McDonald says the problem became blatantly evident to Geithner in…
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Twenty-first century competitive currency devaluations

Twenty-first century competitive currency devaluations

Courtesy of Edward Harrison at Credit Writedowns 

High angle view of a globe on a heap of Indian banknotes and Euro banknotes

Marshall Auerback was on BNN’s SqueezePlay yesterday talking about the crisis in Greece (this time without his banker’s pinstriped suit – but we all know he’s a fund manager anyway!). He made some interesting comments about currencies I wanted to run by you.

Greece is the Bear Stearns of sovereign debtors

I know you have already seen comments from me, Marc, Claus, and the other Edward on Greece today. But this is a very big deal. Marshall calls it the Bear Stearns event in the sovereign debt crisis, a line he got from me. Here’s the thinking:

Talk about Minsky moments. We are facing one right now.

It reminds me a little of the subprime crisis.  When it engulfed Bear Stearns, policy makers stepped in with bailout money.  The immediate problem of Bear Stearns’ collapse was solved, but the systemic issues remained. Yet, recklessly, policy makers did almost nothing in the few months afterwards to deal with those issues. This was a crucial error given that people like me were warning of impending calamity. I was mystified (see comments at the end of my Swedish crisis post). The Minsky moment came and policy makers missed it entirely.

In fact, many were incensed because they thought Bear should have failed. So when Lehman came around, it did fail.  And we all know how that turned out.

So, here we are again. The sovereign debt crisis has been building for three months now – ever since Dubai World announced it wanted to default on its loans. In my view, we have now reached a critical juncture. If Greece is allowed to default, all hell will break lose.  On the other hand, Greece has run a deficit for years. It’s ‘cheated’ to meet the standards set forth in its previously agreed-to treaties and it is unwilling to take austerity measures that Ireland, faced with similar circumstances, has taken. What should the EU do?

The dilemma is this: how do you eliminate moral hazard for perceived free riders while still credibly safeguarding against the destruction and contagion that a Eurozone sovereign default would create?

-Greek death spiral hits bank credit ratings. What should the EU do?, Feb 2010

Whether deficit hawk or dove, pro- or anti-bailout, these are the real issues we all see:…
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Goldman Sachs: Overreach, Hubris, and the Inevitable Blowback

Jesse converses with his pit-dwelling friend and shares what he learned at the Cafe. – Ilene 

Goldman Sachs: Overreach, Hubris, and the Inevitable Blowback

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

"We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics. Out of the collapse of a prosperity whose builders boasted their practicality has come the conviction that in the long run economic morality pays…

We are beginning to abandon our tolerance of the abuse of power by those who betray for profit the elementary decencies of life. In this process evil things formerly accepted will not be so easily condoned…"

Franklin D Roosevelt, Second Inaugural Address, January 1937

The hubris associated with the trading crowd is peaking, and heading for a fall that could be a terrific surprise. It seems to be reaching a peak, trading now in a kind of euphoria.

I had a conversation this morning with a trader that I have known from the 1990′s, which is a lifetime in this business. I have to admit that he is successful, moreso than any of the popular retail advisory services you might follow such as Elliott Wave, for example, which he views with contempt. He is a little bit of an insider, and knows the markets and what makes them tick. 

He likes to pick my brain on some topics that he understands much less, such as the currency markets and monetary developments, and sometimes weaves them into his commentary, always without attribution. He has been a dollar bull forever, and his worst trading is in the metals. He likes to short gold and silver on principle, and always seems to lose because he rarely honors his first stop loss, which is a shocking lapse in trading discipline.

His tone was ebullient. The Street has won, it owns the markets. They can take it up, and take it down, and make money on both sides, any side, of any market move. I have to admit that in the last quarter his trading results are impeccable.

We diverged into the dollar, which he typically views as unbeatable, with the US dominating the international financial system forever. He likes to ask questions about formal economic terms and relationships, or monetary systems and policy. He


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Rep. Alan Grayson: You Own the Red Roof Inn, Thanks to the Fed; Why the Fed Does Not Want an Audit; America is Wall Street’s Sucker

Rep. Alan Grayson: You Own the Red Roof Inn, Thanks to the Fed; Why the Fed Does Not Want an Audit; America is Wall Street’s Sucker

Courtesy of Mish

Please play this must-see video by Alan Grayson explaining in great detail exactly why the Federal Reserve does not want to be audited, and thus why it absolutely needs to be audited.

"Let’s find out once and for all who owns the hotels, who owns the houses, and let’s try and put this wild beast that creates money out of nothing and jams it in the pockets of special interests like Maiden Lane, like Bear Stearns, like JPMorgan, like all their friends. Let’s put them under some degree of restraint before it all comes crashing down, on us."

Please play the video!

Mike "Mish" Shedlock


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Zero Hedge

First Federal Execution In 17 Years Halted On Coronavirus Fears

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

A year ago the Department of Justice announced for the first time in nearly two decades the resumption of capital punishment in federal cases, with Attorney General William Barr announcing the process for the execution of five death-row in mates is set to move forward, marking the first federal executions since 2003

The first federal execution in 17 years was to take place on Monday of this next week prior to a federal judge in Indiana halting it. 47-year old Daniel Lee is to die by lethal injection for the 1996 slaying of a family&n...



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ValueWalk

Proposed Ban on Sugary Soft Drinks Could Save Billions

By JOHN F. BANZHAF. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Simple Low Cost Governmental Actions On Sugary Soft Drinks Can Slash Obesity and Its Huge Costs

A proposed ban on sugar-sweetened beverages for young children, along with a 40% reduction in sugar use for everyone, would be important first steps in reducing the nation’s epidemic of pediatric as well as adult obesity, and slashing the hundreds of billions which obesity annually costs Americans, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

Banzhaf, who helped save millions of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars in unnecessary medical costs by prohibiting cigarette commercials and banning smoking in a growing number of workplaces and public plac...



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Phil's Favorites

How to Protect Your Portfolio

 

How to Protect Your Portfolio

Courtesy of 

If there was a way to protect your portfolio from periodic blowups like the one earlier this year, would you want it? Of course you would, but so would everybody else. And because there is such a strong desire for this type of insurance, the eventual payoff might not be worth it if the premiums that you pay along the way are too expensive.

AQR took a closer look at tail risk hedging strategies and showed that:

Over the 35 years or so where we h...



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Chart School

Dow 2020 Crash Watch - Update

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Like 1929 the markets have bounced. This time it is on the back of the FED $6.5T money printing.

Previous Post: Dow 2020 Crash Watch 

But can the FED blow $6T every time the market rolls down to test support.

Yes, maybe before the US 2020 elections the FED will do 'what it takes'. But post elections not so much, the year 2021 is a long way from the next election (presidential or congress) and defense of the markets may not be so supportive at $6T or $10T per market smash. The FED may hesitate, and that will be window for stocks to break lower.

The 36 month simple moving a...

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Biotech/COVID-19

Coronavirus's painful side effect is deep budget cuts for state and local government services

 

Coronavirus's painful side effect is deep budget cuts for state and local government services

Washington state cut both merit raises and instituted furloughs as it faced a projected $8.8 billion budget deficit because of the coronavirus. Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

Courtesy of Carla Flink, American University

Nationwide, state and local government leaders are warning of major budget cuts as a result of the pandemic. One state – ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Red Hot China Attempting Key Breakout, Says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

China ETF (FXI) has been “Red Hot” of late? Is it about to run out of steam or will it remain on fire going forward?

This chart of FXI comes from Investors Business Daily and Marketsmith.com. It reflects that FXI is above key long-term moving averages and its RS ratings is moving sharply higher of late.

Line (1) has been support and resistance several times over the past 3-years. The rally of late has FXI ...



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The Technical Traders

Retail Traders & Investors Squeezed to Buy High-Risk Assets Again

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Yes, we certainly live in interesting times.  This, the last segment of our multi-part article on the current Q2 and Q3 2020 US and global economic expectations, as well as current data points, referencing very real ongoing concerns, we urge you to continue using common sense to help protect your assets and families from what we believe will be a very volatile end to 2020.  If you missed the first two segments of this research article, please take a moment to review them before continuing.

On May 24th, 2020, we published this ...



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Lee's Free Thinking

These Charts Show COVID 19 Is Spreading in the US and Will Kill the Economy

 

These Charts Show COVID 19 Is Spreading in the US and Will Kill the Economy

Courtesy of  

The COVID 19 pandemic is, predictably, worsening again in much of the US. Only the Northeast, and to a lesser extent some Midwestern states, have been consistently improving. And that trend could also reverse as those states fully reopen.

The problem in the US seems to be widespread public resistance to recommended practices of social distancing and mask wearing. In countries where these practices have been practi...



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Digital Currencies

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

 

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

App-etising? LDprod

Courtesy of Michael Rogerson, University of Bath and Glenn Parry, University of Surrey

Food supply chains were vulnerable long before the coronavirus pandemic. Recent scandals have ranged from modern slavery ...



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Members' Corner

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

 

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

No matter the details of the plot, conspiracy theories follow common patterns of thought. Ranta Images/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Courtesy of John Cook, George Mason University; Sander van der Linden, University of Cambridge; Stephan Lewandowsky...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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Promotions

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Feb. 26, 1pm EST

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

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

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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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