Posts Tagged ‘gulf oil spill’

BP’s Crude Oil May Be Radioactive

BP’s Crude Oil May Be Radioactive

Courtesy of Washington’s Blog

New Orleans attorney Stuart Smith knows something about radiation from oil drilling:

Smith is well known for his role as lead counsel in an oilfield radiation case that resulted in a verdict of $1.056 billion against ExxonMobil for contaminating land it leased from the Grefer family in Harvey, Louisiana –– and attempting to cover it up.

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The court stated that from June 1986 to March 1987, “Exxon officials intentionally withheld information,” and that the company “knew the [radioactive] scale posed a direct danger to the physical health of those workers.” Oilfield waste, or TERM, is primarily composed of radium, a highly radioactive chemical element. Exposure to radium is known to cause a variety of devastating illnesses, including cancer. Radium’s impact on the human body is particularly acute because it is similar chemically to calcium –– and as such is frequently absorbed into bones after entering the body.

But at least there’s no radiation being released from BP’s oil spill in the Gulf, right?

Well, as Smith wrote on August 4th:

This is directly from the EPA website discussing oil drilling activity:

“These processes may leave behind waste containing concentrations of naturally-occurring radioactive material (NORM) from the surrounding soils and rocks. Once exposed or concentrated by human activity, this naturally-occurring material becomes Technologically-Enhanced NORM or TENORM. Radioactive materials are not necessarily present in the soils at every well or drilling site. However in some areas of the country, such as the upper Midwest or Gulf Coast states, the soils are more like to contain radioactive material.”

“Radioactive wastes from oil and gas drilling take the form of produced water, drilling mud, sludge, slimes, or evaporation ponds and pits. It can also concentrate in the mineral scales that form in pipes (pipe scale), storage tanks, or other extraction equipment. Radionuclides in these wastes are primarily radium-226, radium-228, and radon gas. The radon is released to the atmosphere, while the produced water and mud containing radium are placed in ponds or pits for evaporation, re-use, or recovery.”

“The people most likely to be exposed to this source of radiation are workers at the site. They may inhale radon gas which is released during drilling and produced by the decay of radium, raising their risk of lung cancer. In addition, they are


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Gulf Coast: Dead Oysters, Dead Jobs, Dead Policy

Gulf Coast: Dead Oysters, Dead Jobs, Dead Policy

dead oysters, gulf oil spillCourtesy of Mish 

Yahoo!Finance reports Federal policy created a Perfect Storm for Louisiana’s Economy.

In the blink of an eye, the economic focus in Louisiana has shifted from recession recovery to avoiding actual and potential job losses piling up at a staggering rate.

And there’s very little that the state can do: The tally is due to the Obama administration decisions affecting petroleum, defense and space — all coming together in a perfect storm.

Last Tuesday, Northrop Grumman Corp., faced with tighter Pentagon spending and Obama administration priorities aimed at Afghanistan and away from the Navy, said it would shut its Avondale shipyard — the state’s largest industrial employer with about 5,000 workers — in early 2013 after two military ships are finished.

Another source of misery is the deepwater petroleum drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico. The six-month "pause" that the Obama administration insists on could kill the drilling business off the Louisiana coast for years, industry and government officials warn.

Of the 33 deepwater rigs in the Gulf when the Deepwater Horizon exploded, two found new long-term homes in Egypt and off the coast of Africa within a week — just as the industry promised would happen.

Louisiana State University economist James Richardson said a six-month moratorium could slash 18,000 to 20,000 jobs. With that prediction, consider that the entire state, at the lowest point of the post-2008 economic meltdown, had lost about 49,000 jobs.

The oil spill already has had a well-documented effect on fishing and tourism along the coast. Quantifying a number is difficult — the first state jobs report since the moratorium and the full arrival of the spill is due out July 23 — but state officials already have warned that it won’t be pretty.

Then there’s the end of the space shuttle program. Earlier this month, the last external fuel tank expected to fly rolled out of the Lockheed Martin Corp. operation at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. By the end of September, only about 200 workers will still be around from a payroll of 2,700 in 2008 and 5,000 during the mid-1980s.

The Oysters are Dead

Please consider this video regarding oyster harvesting in the gulf.

Alternative link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Larp-93rWp0

Oysters are bottom feeders and concentrate pollutants. Even if the oysters were not dead,


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Oil Spew Update: Where’s The Doom?

Karl Denninger separates fact and fiction in the Gulf Oil Spill story. 

Oil Spew Update: Where’s The Doom?

RACCOON ISLAND, LA - JULY 15: Pelicans are seen atop a piece of a destroyed boat July 15, 2010 at Raccoon Island, Louisiana. Biologists say at least 300 pelicans have been smeared with oil on the island, which is the largest nesting area for seabirds on the coast of Louisiana. BP is testing a new oil cap, and is temporarily allowing oil to leak from a second pipe as part of preparations for closing the valves to see if the cap can withstand the pressure and stop the flow of oil into the gulf. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

I was promised an earth-shattering ka-doom!

Well, not really.

And the spew is not, in fact, funny.

But what’s even less funny is the number of people who have come completely unhinged with their "imminent death of everything and everyone" nonsense.

Let’s go down the list of the some of the better ones:

Everyone who worked on the Exxon Valdez spill is dead (or alternatively, that across the entire population of those who worked on the Valdez spill, the average age of death is 51.)

Really? Can you source that? I’ve been trying. Yeah, I’ve found the claim – 10 seconds with Google finds it. It’s been repeated everywhere. CNN had an alleged "expert" on who made the 51 year life expectancy claim – "almost all who worked on the Exxon Valdez cleanup are now dead."

Can I find an actual documented source for the claim? Nope. And I’ve tried to find it. No luck.

The same interviewee claimed that the components of the dispersent, Corexit, were not disclosed.  This we know to be false; there are two formulations and we know what’s in them.  The nastiest component is called "Butyl Cellusolve", and is indeed a nasty chemical solvent.  The question is concentration; incidentally, you can buy cleaning solutions containing butyl cellusolve at Home Depot, among other places.  I don’t recommend drinking it.

All of these claims appear to be traceable to one so-called self-identified "expert."  If she has actual evidence, such as a roster of all the people who worked on the Exxon Valdez, their ages, and the disposition of their health (and death, as she alleges) then let’s have it.  This sort of extreme claim requires strict proof.  Period.

There is a second well that BP (and/or Diamond Offshore) is hiding that is the real leak that is five (or alternatively seven) miles away; this is a sideshow and they can’t plug either.  The pressures are off the charts, never encountered before.

Really?  Then how come they just did plug the well?  Off the charts?  About two weeks ago there was a pressure gauge on one of the downhole lines, and it read 7,000 psi.  The water at that depth exerts ~2,000 psi.  If this was an absolute gauge (probably true) then the in-bore relative pressure (relative to the sea floor) was…
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Something Broke: Containment Cap Removed From BP Oil Leak After Problems Encountered; Massive Increase In Spill Rate

Something Broke: Containment Cap Removed From BP Oil Leak After Problems Encountered; Massive Increase In Spill Rate

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

This is bad to very bad. Coast guard reports two deaths have occurred in the containment effort. Not all is lost – in what probably shouldn’t pass for an attempt at humor yet achieves precisely that, the US coast guard said the oil flow is not completely unrestrcited, and some oil was being burned off on the surface. Nothing like a little oil rain for the already happy happy gulf region.

Click on image for live view

Watch live streaming video from wkrg_oil_spill at livestream.com

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Another Blown Crisis Triggers a Classic TBP Post

Another Blown Crisis Triggers a Classic TBP Post

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

Take the 5 to 10 minutes necessary to read Barry Ritholtz’s version of how Obama’s Oval Office address should have gone (link below).

ripped the address to shreds an hour after it aired as I found the President uninspiring, incredibly non-specific and completely unaware of how much power comes to the Chief in times of crisis.

This President has a chance to make sweeping energy, regulatory and campaign finance reforms now.  Like, today.  His address the other night tells us that he has no such inclinations.

Barry has a list of initiatives that should have been front and center and it’s an instant classic post.  Many of them are idealistic, but you gotta aim high if you want to save the democracy.

Me, I’m a bit more cynical.  I’d say the downfall of our country can be neatly summed up in the image below and everything it represents…

OK, enough of that.  Here’s how The Big Picture would’ve tackled this crisis and moment in time…

Missed Opportunity: BP Gulf of Mexico Disaster (TBP)


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Oil Drilling Liability Cap Led To The Gulf Spill

Oil Drilling Liability Cap Led To The Gulf Spill

Courtesy of Jeff Harding, The Daily Capitalist 

oil spill

I never ever thought I would agree with Nancy Pelosi on anything, yet here it is:

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress should consider eliminating any cap on the damages a company such as BP Plc might have to pay for harm caused by oil spills.

“There is a movement afoot in Congress for that. Why have a cap?” Pelosi said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt” to air this weekend.

Pelosi had previously voiced support for a proposal under consideration to raise the existing $75 million cap to $10 billion for economic damages caused by each environmental disaster. After being thwarted March 13 in the Senate, backers of that legislation have vowed to renew efforts to win passage.

“You would hope that there would not be more than $10 billion of damage, but understand it is for each episode,” she said. Asked about eliminating the cap altogether, Pelosi said: “I think it’s worthy of looking at.”

I’m not against Big Oil, Little Oil, or anyone in the Oil Patch, but the liability cap is just another example of how industry uses the government to gain market advantages at the expense of someone else. In this case it is the Gulf Coast inhabitants and those that live off of that huge resource.

As I understand the law, BP is responsible to pay 100% of the cost of the clean-up. What the liability cap does is to cap economic damages to $75 million. What that means is if anyone suffers a loss of income or property as a result of a spill, BP is only obligated to pay $75 million even though the losses may be in the billions. That is not right.

Businesses seeking advantages from legislators is not news. While lobbying is often a proper and necessary response of business to legislation that would be harmful to them, it is a two-edged sword when they try to gain economic or competitive advantage. Our history is full of examples, most recently, tire import tariffs. While it is right to condemn business for this we should blame legislators who have the primary duty to act…
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Simmons Says Obama Should Detonate Nukes to Seal Oil Leak; Obama Suspends Deep Water Drilling Programs; Scientists Locate Another Vast Oil Plume

Simmons Says Obama Should Detonate Nukes to Seal Oil Leak; Obama Suspends Deep Water Drilling Programs; Scientists Locate Another Vast Oil Plume

Courtesy of Mish

BP uses Top Kill method to try to stop oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico

News in the gulf regarding BP’s oil leak is grim. The "Top Kill" plan has reportedly failed although BP says it will continue efforts.

Worse yet, Matt Simmons says "Top Kill" is a sideshow, misses the big problem, and we might need nukes to seal the leak.

Let’s take a look at those stories starting with BP Engineers Making Little Headway on Leaking Well.

BP engineers struggled Friday to plug a gushing oil well a mile under the sea, but as of late in the day they had made little headway in stemming the flow.

Amid mixed messages about problems and progress, the effort — called a “top kill” — continued for a third day, with engineers describing a painstaking process of trying to plug the hole, using different weights of mud and sizes of debris like golf balls and tires, and then watching and waiting. They cannot use brute force because they risk making the leak worse if they damage the pipes leading down to the well.

Despite an apparent lack of progress, officials said they would continue with the process for another 48 hours, into Sunday, before giving up and considering other options, including another containment dome to try to capture the oil.

Deep Water Drilling Grinds to Halt

Bloomberg reports Oil Industry Faces Its ‘1,000-Year Flood’ as Drilling Is Halted

“The spill is like the 1,000-year flood: it’s the worst- case scenario,” said Brian Youngberg, an analyst with Edward Jones in St. Louis. “It’s hard to prepare for those extreme situations like that.”

Obama dropped plans to open waters off the coast of Virginia to drilling, canceled a lease sale in the Gulf, and suspended the permitting process for Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s planned wells off of Arctic Alaska. He said new safety rules will be imposed on offshore drilling.

U.S. oil output may be cut by 160,000 barrels a day next year as a result of the ban, according to Deutsche Bank AG. A one-year delay to deep-water projects would reduce global supplies by 500,000 barrels a day between 2013 and 2017, Sanford C. Bernstein said.

Shell has five wells affected by Obama’s call to halt drilling at 33 exploratory locations. Eni SpA, based in Rome, and


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BP Pressured Worker, 30-Year Old Playbook Response

BP Pressured Rig Worker to Hurry Before Disaster, Father Says

Oiled Guillimot after Empress oil spill,West Wales

By Joe Carroll and Laurel Brubaker Calkins, Bloomberg

May 28 (Bloomberg) — The highest-ranking crew member to perish aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig warned his family that BP Plc was pressuring him to sacrifice safety for the sake of time and money, his father said.

Jason Anderson, one of 11 rig workers presumed dead after an April 20 explosion and fire sank the Deepwater Horizon and triggered the worst oil spill in U.S. history, told relatives in February and March that BP was urging him to accelerate work on the Macondo well off the Louisiana coast, said his father, Billy Anderson.

On previous wells drilled with the same rig, Jason Anderson, a 35-year-old employee of vessel owner Transocean Ltd., had been able to convince BP representatives to eschew shortcuts that he believed would compromise safety, his father said. But in the eight weeks preceding the disaster, BP stepped up the pressure and overruled safety objections, Billy Anderson, 66, said.

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BP Using 30 Year-Old Playbook in Responding to Oil Spill? 

Washington’s Blog

Preface for my conservative readers: Yes, I know … Maddow is very liberal. But her claims are either true or they are not true. Let’s focus on her claims. If anyone can refute them, let me know, and I’ll post a retraction.

Rachel Maddow claims that a top kill type maneuver – pumping in cement and saltwater – was tried during the giant 1979 Ixtoc oil spill, but didn’t work.

Maddow also says:

  • The precursor to the same company operating the Deepwater Horizon drilling well – Transocean – operated the Ixtoc rig
  • The cause of both oil spills was the same: a malfunctioning blowout preventer
  • The location of the spill was the same: the Gulf
  • The sizes of both spills were massive
  • A "top hat" operation was attempted unsuccessfully. During the Ixtoc spill, it was named


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BP Admits Crucial Mistake; Big Spat on Rig Preceded Explosion; Top Kill Underway

BP Admits Crucial Mistake; Big Spat on Rig Preceded Explosion; Top Kill Underway; Workers Getting Sick; More Videos

Courtesy of Mish 

Oil floats on the surface in Pass A Loutre near Venice, Louisiana

In what is absolutely guaranteed to spawn more lawsuits BP Cites Crucial ‘Mistake’

Oil giant BP PLC told congressional investigators that a decision to continue work on an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico after a test warned that something was wrong may have been a "fundamental mistake," according to a memo released by two lawmakers Tuesday.

The document describes a wide array of mistakes in the fateful final hours aboard the Deepwater Horizon—but the main revelation is that BP now says there was a clear warning sign of a "very large abnormality" in the well, but work proceeded anyway.

The rig exploded about two hours later.

According to the memo, BP identified several other mistakes aboard the rig, including possible contamination of the cement meant to seal off the well from volatile natural gas and the apparent failure to monitor the well closely for signs that gas was leaking in, the congressmen wrote in their post-meeting memo. An immense column of natural gas, erupting from the oil well, fueled the fireball that destroyed the rig.

A Transocean spokesman said in response to the memo: "A well is constructed and completed the same way a house is built—at the direction of the owner and the architect. And in this case, that’s BP."

The memo sheds new light on a key test performed hours before the explosion that has been a focus of congressional investigations. BP previously told investigators that a "negative pressure" test, which checks for leaks in the well, was inconclusive at best and "not satisfactory" at worst.

But in the meeting Tuesday, BP went further, saying the results were an "indicator of a very large abnormality" but that workers—unnamed in the memo—decided by 7:55 p.m. that the test was successful after all. That may have been a "fundamental mistake," BP’s investigator said in the meeting, according to the memo.

Gulf Coast Struggles With Oil Spill And Its Economic Costs

Transocean argued with BP before blast

Transocean is attempting to absolve itself from legal blame, perhaps rightfully so.

Tonight we see Big Spat on Rig Preceded Explosion 

Douglas H. Brown, Transocean’s chief mechanic on the Deepwater Horizon rig, said key representatives from both companies had a "skirmish" during an 11 a.m. meeting on April 20. Less


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Explosion in Search Traffic for “Shrimp Futures” and Related Terms

Explosion in Search Traffic for “Shrimp Futures” and Related Terms

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

Shrimp boats sit idle, as all activities were called off due to inclement weather conditions in Venice, Louisiana

The big story of national interest this weekend was the worsening ecological sitch in the Gulf, specifically as it pertains to the seafood industry. The waters may be unsafe for shrimping for longer than what we had initially thought, and people are apparently searching high and low for a way to play this crisis financially.

Ain’t that America?

Anyway, I had accidentally predicted this development last Friday with my post Shrimp Futures Soar on Gulf Oil Spill.  It was a sardonic yet prescient piece of writing in which I quoted a fictional spike in the ‘Shellfish Index’ and mentioned the trading activity on the ‘New York PrawnEx’.

Well, a glance at my blog’s backend statistic page tells an interesting tale this morning – the search engines are being flooded with speculators and investors looking to play the potential scarcity crisis in gulf shrimp.  Viewers are being directed to my site when placing the following queries in the Google search box:

  • "Shrimp Futures"
  • "How can I buy shrimp futures"
  • "Trading shrimp"
  • "Gulf shrimp crisis plays"

will lament the fact that I have no way to express the shrimp trade for my own benefit. Shorting Darden ($DRI), the owner of Red Lobster, had crossed my mind, but I think most of their shellfish is frozen, farmed or fake anyway.

Holler at me if you have any interesting plays, I’m looking around but have come up with nothing so far…

Meanwhile, having a website that’s search engine optimized and relevant for the term "Shrimp Futures" is my crowning achievement as a blogger.

Read Also:

Shrimp Futures Soar on Gulf Oil Spill (TRB)


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Zero Hedge

Russia's Only Aircraft Carrier Has Erupted In Flames

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

According to TASS News and social media footage, a fire has erupted onboard Russia's only aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, at a naval dock in Murmansk, northwest Russia. The aircraft carrier was undergoing repairs and maintenance when fuel tanks caught fire.

RT News...



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Phil's Favorites

The British election explained in five key phrases

 

The British election explained in five key phrases

Courtesy of Veronika Koller, Lancaster University

The UK government’s decision to hold its third general election since 2015 is a baffling one to many – including the weary voters who have to take part.

Tensions have been high as the country attempts to resolve the identity crisis first sparked by the Brexit vote in 2016. It’s a complicated moment for the nation and, at times like these, it can help to observe the big issues through the lens of language. The slogans and terms that get thrown around again and again during a campaign can often tell us a lot about the bigger picture. Here are five such slogans that can help explain what’s happening in the UK right now.

‘Get Br...

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Digital Currencies

Three Men Arrested In NJ For Running Alleged $722 Million Crypto Ponzi Scheme

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Kollen Post via CoinTelegraph.com,

United States authorities in New Jersey have announced the arrest of three men who are accused of defrauding investors of over $722 million as part of alleged crypto ponzie scheme BitClub Network, per a Dec. 10 announcement from the Dep...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Is Freeport McMoRan (FCX) Making A Run For the "Gold"?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Mining company Freeport McMoRan NYSE: FCX is enjoying the tailwind from a strong year for gold and silver prices. And although Copper prices are down, Copper has been turning up lately.

This has helped Freeport’s stock price recover in 2019 and has FCX testing a key breakout level.

Below is a “weekly” chart of Freeport McMoRan (FCX). The shaded channel outlined by each (1) highlights the longer-term downtrend that FCX has been stuck in.

But this could change on a dime, especially if FCX can breakout above (2). This area represents its re...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Wednesday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • The MBA's index of mortgage application activity for the latest week is schedule for release at 7:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Consumer Price Index for November will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • The Census Bureau quarterly services survey report for the third quarter is schedule for release at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Atlanta Fed's Business Inflation Expectations survey report for December will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on petroleum inventories in the U.S. is schedule for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee will announce its policy decision at 2:00 p.m. ET.
  • The U.S. Treasury budget report for November will be released at 2:00 p.m. ET.
  • ...


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Lee's Free Thinking

Chart Shows the Fed Ramping Up Not QE - Funding Almost All Treasury Issuance

 

Chart Shows the Fed Ramping Up Not QE – Funding Almost All Treasury Issuance

Courtesy of Lee Adler, Wall Street Examiner 

The Fed is ramping up “Not QE” .

The Fed bought $2.2 billion in notes today in its POMO, “not QE,” operations. Actually $2.15 billion because they sold back a whole $50 million. Must have been a little glitch in the force.

This brings the Fed’s total outright purchases of Treasuries to $170 billion since it started Not QE, on September 17.

It also did $107 billion in gross new repo loans to Primary Dealers to buy Tre...



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Chart School

Silver stock taking the sector higher

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

As the US economy begins to show late cycle characteristics like: GDP slowing, higher inflation, higher wage costs, CEO confidence slump. 
Previous Post: Gold Stocks Review

The big players in the market are looking for the next swing off good value lows. This means more money is finding it way into the gold and silver sector, and it is said gold and silver stocks actually lead the metal prices. The cycle below shows prices are ready to move in the months ahead (older chart re posted).




 

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Members' Corner

Sacha Baron Cohen Uses ADL Speech to Tear Apart Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook

 

Sacha Baron Cohen Uses ADL Speech to Tear Apart Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook

By Matt Wilstein

Excerpt:

Sacha Baron Cohen accepted the International Leadership Award at the Anti-Defamation League’s Never is Now summit on anti-Semitism and hate Thursday. And the comedian and actor used his keynote speech to single out the one Jewish-American who he believes is doing the most to facilitate “hate and violence” in America: Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

He began with a joke at the Trump administration’s expense. “Thank you, ADL, for this recognition and your work in fighting racism, hate and bigotry,” Baron Cohen said, according to his prepared...



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The Technical Traders

VIX Warns Of Imminent Market Correction

Courtesy of Technical Traders

The VIX is warning that a market peak may be setting up in the global markets and that investors should be cautious of the extremely low price in the VIX. These extremely low prices in the VIX are typically followed by some type of increased volatility in the markets.

The US Federal Reserve continues to push an easy money policy and has recently begun acquiring more dept allowing a deeper move towards a Quantitative Easing stance. This move, along with investor confidence in the US markets, has prompted early warning signs that the market has reached near extreme levels/peaks. 

Vix Value Drops Before Monthly Expiration

When the VIX falls to levels below 12~13, this typically v...



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Biotech

Why telling people with diabetes to use Walmart insulin can be dangerous advice

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

 

Why telling people with diabetes to use Walmart insulin can be dangerous advice

A vial of insulin. Prices for the drug, crucial for those with diabetes, have soared in recent years. Oleksandr Nagaiets/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Jeffrey Bennett, Vanderbilt University

About 7.4 million people ...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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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