Posts Tagged ‘Depression’

Raise Rates, Cowards

Raise Rates, Cowards

Courtesy of Joshua M. Brown, The Reformed Broker 

Here’s the deal, FOMC – I’m going to give you the intellectual cover you need to do what many people believe is impossible right now.  I’m going to help you get the jelly out of your spines.  Bear in mind that what I’m about to hit you with is coming from both street smarts and Street smarts; I ain’t the professor of nothing.

Benji, your "I’m a student of the Depression" rap is totally rate-arded at this point.  No one’s going to call you Hoover, you can stop now.

What should you do?  Pay close attention, because I choose my words very carefully and I never repeat myself…

The Move:

The Fed Funds target rate needs to go to 1% immediately. It should happen out of nowhere, not during one of your regularly scheduled FOMC slumber parties.  That’s how China rolls, nobody gets advance notice of nothing.  No jawboning, no telegraphing.   It just IS.

The Perception:

The statement should be something to the effect of "now that the recovery has firmly taken hold…"  Anyone who’s raised themselves up in the business world understands the concept of "Fake it til you Make it" and a lot of economic activity is based on perception and confidence.  Your woe-is-me rate policy gives me all the confidence of an airline pilot wearing two different shoes.…
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Hooked on Prescription Drugs – Half of US Took at least One Prescription Drug in Previous Month

My comments in red. – Ilene

Hooked on Prescription Drugs – Half of US Took at least One Prescription Drug in Previous Month

Courtesy of Mish

AN ELDERLY WOMAN IS HOLDING PILL BOTTLES.PROPER MEDICATION CAN RELIEVE THE COMPLICATIONS OF AGING. IT IS IMPORTANT FOR A PERSON TAKING MORE THAN ONE MEDICATION TO HAVE A DOCTORS SUPERVISION TO AVOID SYNERGISTIC SIDE EFFECTS. ADDICTIONS CAN ALSO RESULT FROM INAPPROPRIATE MEDICATION.

Here is an interesting article on Bloomberg regarding prescription drug usage. The study is from 2008. Please consider Prescription Drug Use Rose to Include Half of Americans in 2008.

Almost half of Americans took at least one prescription drug per month in 2008, an increase of 10 percent over the past decade, a U.S. study found.

One of every five children ages 11 or younger took at least one medication each month in 2008, led by asthma and allergy treatments, according to the survey released today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among those ages 60 or older, 37 percent used five or more prescriptions per month.

The most common medications for adolescents were treatments for attention-deficit disorder, a condition in which people have trouble paying attention and engage in impulsive behavior.

For adults ages 20 to 59, antidepressants, including Eli Lilly & Co.’s Cymbalta and Pfizer Inc.’s Zoloft, were the most-used drugs. In the last 10 years cymbalta withdrawal symptoms have dramatically been lowered to levels accepted by regulatory agencies. Cholesterol-lowering medications, including Pfizer Inc.’s Lipitor and AstraZeneca Plc’s Crestor, were the most common drugs taken by people ages 60 and over, with 45 percent of those in that age group on such therapies.

$238 Billion Industry

Prescription drug were a $234.1 billion industry in 2008. The number is certainly higher today. Are pharmaceutical companies interested in curing anything or just treating the symptoms?

[The pharmaceutical companies are most interested in making profits, though individual scientists that work for the pharmaceutical companies are typically more ethical than the collective "corporation," aiming to both cure disease and alleviate symptoms.  Unlike some conspiracy theorists, I don't believe that bad outcomes driven by the profit motive are a result of massive plots to make money and make people so sick they need more medications.  See for example: After Avandia: Does the FDA Have a Drug Problem?]

Throughout grade and high school,…
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Back to the Future?

Back to the Future?

Courtesy of Steve Keen in Debtwatch

HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 16:  Actor Michael J Fox   who attended the launch party of the 'Back to the Future' DVD release held at Universal Studios on December 16, 2002 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Things are looking grim indeed for the US economy. Unemployment is out of control—especially if you consider the U-6 (16.7%, up 0.2% in the last month) and Shadowstats (22%, up 0.3%) measures, which are far more realistic than the effectively public relations U-3 number that passes for the “official” unemployment rate (9.6%, up 0.1%).

The US is in a Depression, and the sooner it acknowledges that—rather than continuing to pretend otherwise—the better. Government action has attenuated the rate of decline, but not reversed it: a huge fiscal and monetary stimulus has put the economy in limbo rather than restarting growth, and the Fed’s conventional monetary policy arsenal is all but depleted.

This prompted MIT professor of economics Ricardo Cabellero to suggest a more radical approach to monetary easing, in a piece re-published last Wednesday in Business Spectator (reproduced from Vox). Conventional “Quantitative Easing” involves the Treasury selling bonds to the Fed, and then using the money to fund expenditure—so public debt increases, and it has to be serviced. We thus swap a private debt problem for a public one, and the boost to spending is reversed when the bonds are subsequently retired. Instead, Caballero proposes

a fiscal expansion (e.g. a temporary and large cut of sales taxes) that does not raise public debt in equal amount. This can be done with a “helicopter drop” targeted at the Treasury. That is, a monetary gift from the Fed to the Treasury. (Ricardo Caballero)

The government would thus spend without adding to debt, with the objective of causing inflation by having “more dollars chasing goods and services”. This is preferable to the deflationary trap that has afflicted Japan for two decades, and now is increasingly likely in the US. So on the face of it, Cabellero’s plan appears sound: inflation will reduce the real value of financial assets, shift wealth from older to younger generations, and stimulate both supply and demand by making it more attractive to spend and invest than to leave…
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Rosenberg Explains Why Not One New Home Priced Over $750,000 Sold In July

Rosenberg Explains Why Not One New Home Priced Over $750,000 Sold In July

Political cartoon by Thomas Nast (1840 - 1902) depicting the 'Fine-Ass' Committee,' a group of Democratic Congressmen as donkeys, blowing financial bubbles after the Panic of 1873. (Photo by Kean Collection/Getty Images)

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

The most damning words on the recent horrendous housing data come from David Rosenberg: and since he has long been spot on in his macro observations, the 15% or so in additional price losses anticipated, will make this depression a truly memorable one (we will investigate not only the surging supply side of the housing equation, but the plunging demand side in a later post), and will leave the Fed with absolutely no choice other than the nuclear option: "If the truth be told, if we are talking about reversing all the bubble appreciation that began a decade ago, then we are talking about another 15% downside from here. The excess inventory data alone tell us that this has a realistic chance of occurring…The high-end market, in particular, is under tremendous pressure. In fact, it is becoming non-existent. Guess how many homes prices above $750k managed to sell in July. Answer — zero, nada, rien; and for the second month in a row."

From today’s Breakfast With Rosie

Once again, the consensus was fooled. It was looking for 330k on new home sales for July and instead they sank to a record low of 276k units at an annual rate. And, just to add insult to injury, June was revised down, to 315k from 330k. Just as resales undercut the 2009 depressed low by 15%, new home sales have done so by 19%. Imagine that even with mortgage rates down 100 basis points in the past year to historic lows, not to mention at least eight different government programs to spur homeownership, home sales have undercut the recession lows by double-digits.

This is what we have been saying for some time, in the aftermath of a credit bubble burst and a massive asset deflation, trauma has set in. The rupture to confidence and spending from our central bankers’ and policymakers’ willingness to allow the prior credit cycle to go parabolic has come at a heavy price in terms of future economic performance. Attitudes towards discretionary spending, credit and housing have been altered, likely for a generation.

The scars have apparently not healed from the horrific experience with defaults, delinquencies and deleveraging of the past two years — talk about a horror flick in 3D. The number…
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ZeroHedge: Richard Russell Slams Robert Prechter, Praises Gold, Tells Readers Get Out Of Stocks.

Excellent analysis by Jesse covering a number of items, including Robert Prechter’s successes and failures, the contraction in credit, gold, the Federal Reserve, the financial elite, and the sad truth that America’s dominant industry is financial fraud. - Ilene 

ZeroHedge: Richard Russell Slams Robert Prechter, Praises Gold, Tells Readers Get Out Of Stocks.

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

First, Richard Russell does not ‘slam’ Prechter because he is a gentleman and doesn’t really ‘slam’ anyone. Fights between pundits can be fun in a voyeuristic way, but they are largely unproductive and generally used as a means of gaining attention, and providing distraction from what really matters, in the manner of panem et circenses. And sometimes people use provocative headlines to garner interest as well, in the manner of the New York Post and Daily News.

What Russell is saying is that Prechter is wrong in his interpretation of how deflation will play out, and what the endgame will look like. And he is saying almost the same thing that others, including Eric Janszen and myself, have been saying for quite some time, but in a slightly different ways.

Second, what Bob Prechter does not realize is that a contraction in credit does not imply a one for one decrease in ‘money’ just as an increase in credit these days does not result in a one for one increase in money. That is because credit is not money, it is the potential for money. Why more people don’t get that is beyond me. They trumpet the diminishing returns of money production for each marginal dollar of credit, but they don’t admit that this credit is vaporous, and as it dissipates it does not reduce money supply one for one either.

Third, and probably most importantly of all, even as the credit contracts, and the money supply contracts at some lesser rate as show in the money supply figures, the ‘basis of value’ of the money is also contracting. Since the US dollar is not based on gold, we have to look at what is providing the basis of its value. And what are those things, and what is happening to THEIR value.

And finally, there is a huge overhang of eurodollars out there, that are largely parked in Treasuries mostly of a moderate duration of three to ten years. By buying the Three and Ten year notes the Fed is ‘monetizing them’ and taking…
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Naked Capitalism and My Scary Minsky Model

Naked Capitalism and My Scary Minsky Model

Courtesy of Steve Keen at Debtwatch

I met with Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism on the weekend, at a superb Japanese restaurant that only New York locals could find (and I’ll keep its location quiet for their benefit–too much publicity could spoil a spectacular thing). Yves was kind enough to post details of my latest academic paper at her site in a post she entitled “Steve Keen’s scary Minsky model“.

Yves found the model scary, not because it revealed anything about the economy that she didn’t already know, but because it so easily reproduced the Ponzi features of the economy she knows so well.

I have yet to attempt to fit the model to data–and given its nonlinearity, that won’t be easy–but its qualitative behavior is very close to what we’ve experienced. As in the real world, a series of booms and busts give the superficial appearance of an economy entering a “Great Moderation”–just before it collapses.

The motive force driving the crash is the ratio of debt to GDP–a key feature of the real world that the mainstream economists who dominate the world’s academic university departments, Central Banks and Treasuries ignore. In the model, as in the real world, this ratio rises in a boom as businesses take on debt to finance investment and speculation, and then falls in a slump when things don’t work out in line with the euphoric expectations that developed during the boom. Cash flows during the slump don’t allow borrowers to reduce the debt to GDP ratio to the pre-boom level, but the period of relative stability after the crisis leads to expectations–and debt–taking off once more.

Ultimately, such an extreme level of debt is accumulated that debt servicing exceeds available cash flows, and a permanent slump ensues–a Depression.

There are 4 behavioural functions in the model that mimic the behaviour of the major private actors in the economy–workers, capitalists and bankers. Workers wage rises are related to the level of employment and the rate of inflation; capitalists investment and debt repayment plans are related to the rate of profit; and the willingness of banks to lend is also a function of the rate of profit.…
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Ever Wondered How You Know You’re In A Depression? David Rosenberg Explains

Ever Wondered How You Know You Are In A Depression? David Rosenberg Explains

Man sitting at table

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

As usual, some terrific points from the man who was far too smart for Merrill Lynch. We are also glad that Rosie caught our observation over the weekend that securitized loans have plummeted by trillions recently: easily the single biggest argument for QE2.

From Breakfast with David:

YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN A DEPRESSION WHEN …

Congress moved to extend jobless benefits seven times, as has been the case over the past two years, at a time when almost half of the ranks of the unemployed have been looking for at least a half year.

The unemployment rate for adult males (25-54 years) hit a post-WWII this cycle and is still above the 1982 recession peak, and the youth unemployment rate is stuck near 25%. These developments will have profound long-term consequences – social, economic and political.

The fiscal costs of the depression continue to mount, with the White House on Friday raising its deficit projection for 2011 to $1.4 trillion from $1.267 trillion. That gap in the forecast – $133 billion – was close to the size of the entire budget deficit back in 2002. Amazing.

You also know it is a depression when you find out on the weekend that the FDIC seized and shuttered another seven banks, making it 103 closures for the year. What a recovery!

Meanwhile, how are the surviving banks making money? By cutting their provisions for bad debts (at a time when the household debt/income ratio is still near record highs of 120% and at a time when one-quarter of the consumer universe has a sub-600 FICO score – which means they are also ineligible for Fannie or Freddie mortgage financing. The banks thus far have reduced their loan loss reserves between 23% (Cap One) and 73% (First Horizon) – as Jamie Dimon said last week, these are not real earnings.

You also know it’s a depression when a year into a statistical recovery, the central bank is still openly contemplating ways to stimulate growth. The Fed was supposed to have already started the process of shrinking its pregnant balance sheet four months ago and is now instead thinking of restarting Quantitative Easing. Of course, we are in this bizarre environment where bank credit continues to contract – last…
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Understanding Robert Prechter’s ‘Slope of Hope’

Understanding Robert Prechter’s ‘Slope of Hope’ 

By Elliott Wave International

Almost everybody who follows financial markets has heard about climbing the "wall of worry": the time when prices head up bullishly, but no one quite believes in the rally, so there’s more worry about a fall than a rise.

What’s the opposite condition in the market?

Bob Prechter named it the "slope of hope," meaning that as prices head down, no one wants to believe the market really has turned bearish, so there’s more hope for a rise than fear of a fall.

The market has been rising recently, following a bearish decline from late April through the end of June, which makes now the perfect time to learn more about the slope of hope.

* * * * *

Excerpted from The Elliott Wave Theorist by Robert Prechter, published June 18, 2010

According to polls, economists are virtually unanimous in the view that the “Great Recession” is over and a recovery is in progress, even though “full employment will take time,” etc. Yet mortgage writing has just plunged to a new low for the cycle (see Figure 1), and housing starts and permits just had their biggest percentage monthly drop since January 1991, which was at the end of a Primary-degree recession. But the latest “recession” supposedly ended a year ago. How can housing activity make new lows this far into a recovery? The answer is in the subtitle to Conquer the Crash, which includes the word depression. The subtleties in economic performance continue to suggest that it “was” not a “recession.” It is a depression, moving forward, in punctuated fashion, slowly but inexorably.

Number of New Mortgages Plunges Again

Despite this outlook, keep in mind what The Elliott Wave Theorist said last month: “Even though the market is about to begin its greatest decline ever, the era of hope is not quite finished.” For as long as another year and a half, there will be rallies, fixes, hopes and reasons to believe in recovery. Our name for this phase of a bear market is the Slope of Hope. This portion of the decline lasts until the center of the wave, where investors stop estimating upside potential and start being concerned with downside potential. Economists in the aggregate will probably not recognize that a depression is in force until 2012 or perhaps beyond. That’s the year the 7.5-year cycle is due to roll over (see April 2010 issue). Stock…
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Depression III, Double Dip Recession, Cooling or Slowing Economy?

Depression III, Double Dip Recession, Cooling or Slowing Economy?

Courtesy of Ron Rutherford

The Institute of Supply Management (ISM) has again graced us with another two reports on the Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®. In this and other posts on the ISM, we wish to delve deeper into the raw numbers and get a better degree of understanding of the underlying currents in the macro-economy.   Along the way let us also look at other voices and opinions of the macro-view.

Headline Numbers of ISM Report On Business®.

The PMI index {manufacturing index} was reported as 56.2% and NMI (non-manufacturing index/composite index) was reported as 53.8%.   Both numbers missed Market Watch’s Economic Calendar consensus numbers with ISM Manufacturing consensus at 59% and Non-Manufacturing at 55.3%.   Econoday reports ISM Mfg Index as 59 consensus and the range as 57.6 to 59.7 and ISM Non-Mfg Index as 55 consensus and the range as 53.5 to 56 which indicates that only non-manufacturing fell within the range of consensus.

Both reports are remarkably similar in that the composite chart is marked most prominently in “Slower” under the rate of change. The indexes and indicators are mostly growing but are growing at a slower pace.   Considering the number of months of trending growth especially in the manufacturing report, this slow-down could just be head winds slowing progress or just a small hill that will easily reverse and accelerate the growth in future months.   I am just not certain that the slow-down is worth wringing hands over, but could easily frighten the equity markets as they appear to have done prior to this past week.   Econoday notes the possible reaction from markets.

Today’s report is not good news for the stock market which may continue to discount economic slowing for the months ahead.   Today’s report will also increase talk that new rounds of government stimulus may be in order.

Not sure another stimulus is a prudent move at least at this time. I also want to quote from both reports on the recent cooling episode.

Peak growth may have already come and gone, a worry of the global markets and indicated by the ISM’s June report on non-manufacturing.

The acceleration in manufacturing cooled but only slightly in June, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s composite index which slowed to 56.2 from May’s


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23 Doomsayers Who Say We’re Heading Toward Depression In 2011

23 Doomsayers Who Say We’re Heading Toward Depression In 2011

Paul Krugman Leonard Lopate

By Michael Snyder writing at The Business Insider/Clusterstock 

Micheal Snyder is editor of "The Economic Collapse Blog"

Could the world economy be headed for a depression in 2011?

As inconceivable as that may seem to a lot of people, the truth is that top economists and governmental authorities all over the globe say that the economic warning signs are there and that we need to start paying attention to them.  The two primary ingredients for a depression are debt and fear, and the reality is that we have both of them in abundance in the financial world today.

Meet The New Doomsayers >

In response to the global financial meltdown of 2007 and 2008, governments around the world spent unprecedented amounts of money and got into a ton of debt.  All of that spending did help bail out the global banking system, but now that an increasing number of governments around the world are in need of bailouts themselves, what is going to happen?  We have already seen the fear that is generated when one small little nation like Greece even hints at defaulting.  When it becomes apparent that quite a few governments around the globe cannot handle their debt burdens, what kind of shockwave is that going to send through financial markets? 

The truth is that we are facing the greatest sovereign debt crisis in modern history.  There is no way out of this financial mess that does not include a significant amount of economic pain. 

When you add mountains of debt to paralyzing fear to strict austerity measures, what do you get?


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Zero Hedge

These Are The Most (And Least) Generous Countries In The World

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

The Charities Aid Foundation has released the 2019 edition of the World Giving Index which surveyed 1.3 million people in 128 countries to determine generosity levels.

Unfortunately, as Statista...



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Phil's Favorites

How Asia transformed from the poorest continent in the world into a global economic powerhouse

 

How Asia transformed from the poorest continent in the world into a global economic powerhouse

By sladkozaponi/Shutterstock

Courtesy Deepak Nayyar, University of Oxford

In 1820, Asia accounted for two-thirds of the world’s population and more than one-half of global income. The subsequent decline of Asia was attributed to its integration with a world economy shaped by colonialism and driven by imperialism.

By the late 1960s, Asia was the ...



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Digital Currencies

Five hurdles blockchain faces to revolutionise banking

 

Five hurdles blockchain faces to revolutionise banking

Shutterstock

Courtesy of Markos Zachariadis, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

Blockchain is touted as the next step in the digital revolution, a technology that will change every industry from music to wast...



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Chart School

Gold Stocks Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Gold stocks are swinging back forth between the range, and a break out swing higher is due. Gold stocks are holding a near perfect Wyckoff accumulation pattern. All should get ready to play this sector. Yet we must recognize that gold stocks are a one of the most crazy rides at the stock market fair, so play very carefully.

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GDX PnF chart from within the video

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Important channels around the HUI.
...

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The Technical Traders

Treasuries Pause Near Resistance Before The Next Rally

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our research team believes the US Treasuries and the US Dollar will continue to strengthen over the next 2 to 6+ weeks as foreign market and emerging market credit and debt concerns outweigh any concerns originating from the US economy or political theater.  Overall, the major global economies will likely continue to see strength related to their currencies and debt instruments simply because the foreign market and emerging markets are dramatically more fragile than the more mature major global economies.

We believe the US Treasuries may surprise investors by rallying from current levels, near price resistance, to levels above $151 on the TLT chart. 

Our belief ...



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Insider Scoop

48 Biggest Movers From Yesterday

Courtesy of Benzinga

Gainers
  • Hepion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: HEPA) shares climbed 43.2% to close at $3.58 on Thursday after the company announced the publication of a research article, "A Pan-Cyclophilin Inhibitor, CRV431, Decreases Fibrosis and Tumor Development in Chronic Liver Disease Models," in the peer-reviewed Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
  • Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SES) rose 26.9% to close at $9.20 after surging 12.24% on Wednesday.
  • Assembly Biosciences, Inc...


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Kimble Charting Solutions

Bank Index Breakout? Stock Market Bulls Sure Hope So

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

One of the most important sectors of the stock market is the banking industry and bank stocks.

When the banks are healthy, the economy is likely doing well. And when bank stocks are participating in a market rally, then it bodes well for the broader stock market.

In today’s chart, we look at the Bank Index (BKX).

As you can see, the banks have been in a falling channel for the past 20 months. As well, the banks have been lagging the broader market during this time as well – see the Ratio in the bottom half of the chart above.

That said, th...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Look Out Bears! Fed New QE Now Up to $165 Billion

Courtesy of Lee Adler

I have been warning for months that the Fed would need new QE to counter the impact of massive waves of Treasury supply. I thought that that would come later, rather than sooner. Sorry folks, wrong about that. The NY Fed announced another round of new TOMO (Temporary Open Market Operations) today.

In addition to the $75 billion in overnight repos that the Fed issued and has been rolling over since Tuesday, next week the Fed will issue another $90 billion. They’ll come in the form of three $30 billion, 14 day repos to be offered next week.

That brings the new Fed QE to a total of $165 billion. Even in the worst days of the financial crisis, I can’t remember the Fed ballooning its balance sheet by $165 bi...



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Biotech

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

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

 

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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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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.

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