Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

Wednesday Worries – Putin Puts Pressure on Ukraine

 photo putin_zps43535164.gifNow what?  

Well, same old, same old really.  As the US and Europe ratchet up the sanctions, Putin has ordered "retaliatory measures" of an unspecified nature and has massed more troops along the Ukraine boarder:

"Political tools of economic pressure are unacceptable, they contradict all norms and rules," he said. "In that connection, the government of Russia has already proposed a series of retaliatory measures against the so-called sanctions of certain countries. I think that in current conditions, with the goal of protecting the interests of domestic producers, we could certainly think about that." he added.

SPY 5 MINUTEIn recent days, Russian regulators have banned shipments of some European fruits and vegetables and raised questions about the safety of products from MCD in Russia, threatening to ban their sale. Officials deny any political motivation for those moves.  wink  

Russia's Vedomosti newspaper reported Tuesday that the government was considering a partial or total ban on overflights of Siberia by European airlines, which use the route to shorten trips from Europe to Asia.  

European markets are already suffering with Italy dropping 2.9% this morning on news that it has officially slipped back into a Recession with GDP falling 0.2% in Q2 – a far cry from the +0.2% predicted by leading economorons.  The IMF has cut their optimistic growth estimate for Italy to 0.3% in 2014 and dropped Spain to 1.3%.  Spanish markets are down 2% today as well.  

We decided this was a good time to buy this morning and, at 6:58 this morning, I put up this chart for Members in our Live Chat Room, saying:

Check this out – all hitting the S1 lines so far:

It's certainly worth playing for a small bounce at


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The Tidal Forces Ripping Europe Apart

Tidal forces are pulling the European Union apart. On one end, European governments have taken on debt and liabilities—both public and private—which they cannot possibly meet, rendering many of the smaller European states insolvent. On the other end, Europe is unwilling to carry out sovereign default and restructuring of debt of any one of its member nations. So as Europe gets closer and closer to the Global Depression, we are seeing as these two opposing forces—insurmountable debt vs. unwillingness to default and restructure—pull the continent apart as surely and relentlessly as tidal forces. — Gonzalo Lira

The Tidal Forces Ripping Europe Apart

Courtesy of Gonzalo Lira

In July of 1994, a comet named Shoemaker-Levy 9 crashed into Jupiter—it was quite a sight. 

According to astronomers, Shoemaker-Levy was a comet that was captured by Jupiter’s gravity twenty or thirty years before it was discovered. As the comet circled Jupiter, at one point it passed the Roche limit—the line around a large mass where its gravity will rip apart a smaller mass by way of tidal forces. 

Comet Shoemaker-Levy,
after Jupiter’s tidal forces
ripped it apart. 

By the time Shoemaker-Levy crashed into Jupiter, tidal forces had had their way with the comet. As the picture shows, it was no longer a single comet—it was a string of small lumps of rock and ice

Tidal forces are pulling the European Union apart. 

On one end, European governments have taken on debt and liabilities—both public and private—which they cannot possibly meet. These debts and liabilities are near-term enough that there is only one way to characterize many of the smaller European states: They are insolvent. 

On the other end, Europe is unwilling to carry out sovereign default of any one of its member nations. Indeed, there is a sense that—constant drumbeat of the Germans aside—Brussels is unwilling to evencontemplate the very notion of sovereign default and debt restructuring. Brussels and the European Central Bank believes in bailouts, not default, because they believe that the entire European project rests on the non-default status of all the EU members. They believe that all EU debt is backed by the entire EU, no matter how irresponsible the EU country that issued the EU debt. 

As we watch Europe get closer and closer to the Global Depression,…
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The Road to World War III – The Global Banking Cartel Has One Card Left to Play

The Road to World War III – The Global Banking Cartel Has One Card Left to Play

By David DeGraw (h/t ZH)

The following is Part I to David DeGraw’s new book, “The Road Through 2012: Revolution or World War III.” This is the second installment to a new seven-part series that we will be posting throughout the next few weeks. You can read the introduction to the book here. To be notified via email of new postings from this series, subscribe here.

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Editor’s Note: The following is Part I to David DeGraw’s new book, “The Road Through 2012: Revolution or World War III.” This is the second installment to a new seven-part series that we will be posting throughout the next few weeks. You can read the introduction to the book here. To be notified via email of new postings from this series, subscribe here.

I: Economic Imperial Operations

The Road to World War III - The Global Banking Cartel Has One Card Left to PlayWhen we analyze our current crisis, focusing on the past few years of economic activity blinds us to the history and context that are vital to understanding the root cause. What we have been experiencing is not the result of an unforeseen economic crash that appeared out of the blue with the collapse of the housing market. It was certainly not brought on by people who bought homes they couldn’t afford. To frame this crisis around a debate on economic theory misses the point entirely. To even blame it on greedy bankers,…
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Paul Farrell Expects No Recovery Until The End Of Obama’s Second Term… IF He Gets Reelected

Paul Farrell Expects No Recovery Until The End Of Obama’s Second Term… IF He Gets Reelected

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Paul Farrell’s take on Jeremy Grantham’s recent essay Seven Lean Years (previously posted on Zero Hedge) is amusing in that his conclusion is that should Obama get reelected, his entire tenure will have been occupied by fixing the problems of a 30 year credit bubble, and if anything end up with the worst rating of all time, as the citizens’ anger is focused on him as the one source of all evil. "Add seven years to the handoff from Bush to Obama in early 2009 and you get no recovery till 2016. Get it? No recovery till the end of Obama’s second term, assuming he’s reelected — a big if." Also, Farrell pisses all over the recent catastrophic Geithner NYT oped essay, which praised the imminent recovery which merely turned out to be the grand entrance into the double dip: "In his recent newsletter, "Seven Lean Years Revisited," Grantham tells us why expecting a summer of recovery was unrealistic, why America must prepare for a long recovery. Grantham details 10 reasons: "The negatives that are likely to hamper the global developed economy." Sorry, but this recovery will take till 2016."

For those who have not had a chance to read the original Grantham writings, here is Farrell’s attempt to convince you that Grantham is spot on:

But should you believe Grantham? Yes. First: Like Joseph, Grantham’s earlier forecasts were dead on. About two years before Wall Street’s 2008 meltdown Grantham saw: "The First Truly Global Bubble: From Indian antiquities to modern Chinese art; from land in Panama to Mayfair; from forestry, infrastructure, and the junkiest bonds to mundane blue chips; it’s bubble time. … The bursting of the bubble will be across all countries and all assets … no similar global event has occurred before."

Second: The Motley Fools’ Matt Argersinger went back to the dot-com crash of 2000: Grantham "looked out 10 years and predicted the S&P 500 would underperform cash." Bull’s-eye: The S&P 500 peaked at 11,722; it’s now around 10,000. Factor in inflation: Wall Street’s lost 20% of your retirement since 2000. Yes, Wall Street’s a big loser.

Third: What’s ahead for the seven lean years? Wall Street will keep losing. Argersinger: "Grantham predicts below-average economic growth, anemic corporate-profit margins, and other


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Counterparty Risk Increasing

Counterparty Risk Increasing

Courtesy of Rom Badilla, CFA – Bondsquawk.com

Due to the European debt crisis, counterparty risk is increasing as banks are reluctant to lend to each other, which is remiscient of the bank freeze at the beginning of the fiancial crisis of 2008. The LIBOR-OIS spread which is a gauge of banks willingness to lend, widened 2 basis points today to a spread of 26. Despite the unveiling of the near one trillion dollar Stabilization Fund last week, it continues to drift higher.  The spread has now increased 20 basis points from the most recent low achieved on March 15.

As mentioned last week here at Bondsquawk, the spread inched higher from 13 basis points in late July 2007 to 19 basis points the following week. As market conditions deteriorated, the widening accelerated. By late August, the spread widened to 73 basis points and the route was on. During the height of the financial crisis which is marked by the fall of Lehman Brothers, the spread reached a high of 364 basis points by October of 2008. While it remains to be seen if this will turn into another credit crunch as we have warned several days ago and as Bank of America’s Jeff Rosenberg had suggested earlier today, today’s action is certainly a growing concern and deserves further monitoring. 


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The Road to Recession

The Road to Recession

By MIKE WHITNEY writing at CounterPunch 

Man fastening his belt

Debt woes in Greece have sent bond yields soaring and increased the prospect of sovereign default. A restructuring of Greek debt will deal a blow to lenders in Germany and France that are insufficiently capitalized to manage the losses. Finance ministers, EU heads-of-state and the European Central Bank (ECB) have responded forcefully to try to avert another banking meltdown that could plunge the world back into recession. They have created a nearly-$1 trillion European Stabilization Fund (ESF) to calm markets and ward-off speculators. But the contagion has already spread beyond Greece to Spain, Portugal and Italy where leaders have started to aggressively cut public spending and initiate austerity programs. Belt-tightening in the Eurozone will decrease aggregate demand and threaten the fragile recovery. We are at a critical inflection point.

From American Banker:

"Bank stocks plunged last week under the theory that banking companies will take large losses in Europe. The theory is correct. Banks will get hurt," Richard Bove of Rochdale Securities LLC wrote in a research note.

Bove wrote in a separate report last week that "big American banks have a bigger stake in this drama than thought." He estimates that JPMorgan Chase has $1.4 trillion of exposure across all of Europe alone, while Citigroup Inc. has $468.4 billion.

Analysts said large U.S. banks have opaque ties to the region through their overseas counterparts. U.S. money-center banks trade derivatives, orchestrate currency swaps and handle other transactions with large European banks. U.S. banks may not hold a lot sovereign debt in Europe, but those European institutions do. If Greece defaults, that could create a crisis of confidence in the European banking market that would spread to large U.S. banks.

An MH-60S Seahawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Eight-Five (HSC-85

"Obviously, the European banks have exposure to Greece. The U.S. banks have loans out to those banks," said Keith Davis an analyst with Farr Miller & Washington. "There are a number of different ways they can have exposure — it’s not hard to imagine how a wildfire can spread." (Europe’s debt Crisis, US Banks Exposure", Paul Davis and Matt Monks, American Banker)

China and the United States have begun to hunker down and pursue deflationary policies. China has already been blindsided by a steep 14.5% rise in the renminbi over the euro in the past 4 months which is beginning to hurt exports.…
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Today’s Unprecedented Swiss Bank Intervention Driven By Massive Capital Flight From Germany To Switzerland; Result Was Euro Surge

Today’s Unprecedented Swiss Bank Intervention Driven By Massive Capital Flight From Germany To Switzerland; Result Was Euro Surge 

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Earlier today we disclosed what were not one but several massive central bank interventions in the Euro-Swiss Franc exchange rate. The intervention was large enough to push the rate up by 300 pips, a gargantuan amount in a world where applied leverage is often in the thousands. The amount of capital required to achieve this was likely unprecedented. Yet what bothered us was why would the SNB so glaringly intervene in the FX market not once but three or even more times. Thanks to the Telegraph we find out that the reason was a massive €9.5 billion capital flight from Germany into Swiss deposit accounts just this morning, according to BNP. Unfortunately for Germany this is only the beginning of capital reallocation from the country into neighboring Switzerland. And the technical bounce in the EUR today was in fact an even greater sign of weakness: in fact, as the IMF’s Tim Kingdon pointed out, the money run in Club Med banks last week resulted in a massive €56 billion of interbank lending as the move from the periphery to the core accelerated. Now that the next stage of the run is from the core, Europe will very soon find itself with depleted depository capital very soon. Because if money is fleeing Germany, it is certain that France, Italy and the UK can not be far behind.

Below, is a chart we posted earlier of the record Swiss National Bank intervention.

And here are more details on today’s unprecedented move from Evans-Pritchard:

The market is left asking what skeletons are lurking in the cupboard," said Marc Ostwald from Monument Securities. The short ban follows a report by RBC Capital Markets that circulated widely in the City accusing German banks of failing to come clean on 75pc of their €45bn exposure to Greek debt.

German lenders have the lowest risk-weighted capital ratios in the world after Japan. They were slow to rebuild safety cushions after the sub-prime crisis, and now face a second set of losses on Club Med holdings. Reporting rules have let Landesbanken delay write-downs, turning them into Europe’s "zombie" banks.

Even so, nothing adds up in this BaFin episode. Germany acted alone, prompting a tart rebuke from French finance


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Slow Motion PIGS Wreck; Dollar Soars as Contagion Spreads to Portugal; Greece “will default at some point”; What’s Next?

Slow Motion PIGS Wreck; Dollar Soars as Contagion Spreads to Portugal; Greece "will default at some point"; What’s Next?

Courtesy of Mish 

Royal Melbourne Show 2009 Continues

The US dollar soared today in the midst of a crisis in the Eurozone no longer contained to Greece. Please consider Portugal’s Debt Rating Lowered by Fitch on Finances

Portugal’s credit grade was cut by Fitch Ratings for the first time, underscoring growing concern that Europe’s weakest economies will struggle to meet their debt commitments as finances deteriorate.

The rating was lowered one step to AA- with a “negative” outlook, Fitch said in a statement today, adding that further economic or fiscal underperformance this year or in 2011 may lead to another downgrade. The euro extended its decline, dropping against all but one of the 16 most-traded currencies. Portuguese stocks and bonds fell.

“A sizeable fiscal shock against a backdrop of relative macroeconomic and structural weaknesses has reduced Portugal’s creditworthiness,” Douglas Renwick, associate director at Fitch, wrote in the statement from London. “Although Portugal has not been disproportionately affected by the global downturn, prospects for economic recovery are weaker than 15 European Union peers, which will put pressure on its public finances over the medium term.”

The governments of Greece, Ireland, Italy and Spain are seeking to narrow budget deficits that have swollen as their economies have been battered by the recession. Portugal’s deficit is 9.3 percent of gross domestic product, more than triple the European Union’s 3 percent limit. Failure by the EU to agree on a mechanism to help countries shore up their finances has hurt the euro, putting it on course for its worst quarter against the dollar since 2008.

The Portuguese and Greek economies may face a “slow death” as they dedicate a higher proportion of wealth to paying off debt and investors drive up government borrowing costs, Moody’s said on Jan. 13. While the two countries can still avoid such a scenario, their window of opportunity “will not be open indefinitely,” Moody’s said.

Slow Motion PIGS Wreck

PIIGS stands for Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain. I dropped an "I" to focus on the "Club-Med" countries.

Bloomberg reports Euro Drops as Portugal Downgrade Underlines Concern on Greece 

“Fitch opened up another front against the euro,” said Alan Ruskin, head of currency strategy at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in Stamford, Connecticut, who predicted the


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Smoking Swap Guns in EuroLand: Sovereign Debt Buyer Beware

Smoking Swap Guns in EuroLand: Sovereign Debt Buyer Beware 

Courtesy of Reggie Middleton’s BoomBustBlog.com

Inner court, Fleet

There are broad indications hinting that Italy and Greece are not the only countries that have used swap agreements to manipulate its budget and deficit figures. France and Portugal may be two other European economies which have resorted to similar manipulations in the past in order to qualify as part of single currency member nations (Euro Zone). Below is a small subset of the research that I have been gathering as I construct a global sovereign default model. This model is very comprehensive and thus far has indicated that quite a few (as in more than two or three) nations of significance have a 90% probability of defaulting on their debt in the near to medium term.

More on this later. Now let’s dig into what we have found that looks like gross manipulation of the numbers in order to hide debt in several European countries. I think I’ll call it the Pan-European Ponzi. Conspiracy theorists are going to love this post.

Like Italy (see below), Portugal has also been known for years to take advantage of derivatives contracts to dress up its budget numbers in the late 1990s. In a recent press article (Debt Deals Haunt Europe) Deutsche Bank’s spokesman Roland Weichert commented that the bank executed currency swaps on behalf of Portugal between 1998 and 2003. He also said that Deutsche Bank’s (DB) business with Portugal included "completely normal currency swaps" and other business activity, which he declined to discuss in detail. He also added that the currency swaps on behalf of Portugal were within the "framework of sovereign-debt management," and the trades weren’t intended to hide Portugal’s national debt position (yeah okay!).

Though the Portuguese finance ministry declined to comment on whether Portugal has used currency swaps such as those used by Greece, it said Portugal only uses financial instruments that comply with European Union rules. Thus, if the use of these instruments complied with


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Italy a Bigger Threat to EU than Greece; Italian Derivatives Draw Scrutiny; Mundell Wants Cap on Euro Gains; Academic Wonderland

Italy a Bigger Threat to EU than Greece; Italian Derivatives Draw Scrutiny; Mundell Wants Cap on Euro Gains; Academic Wonderland

Euros

Courtesy of Mish

Robert Mundell, the man who laid the groundwork for the establishment of the Euro claims Italy is a bigger threat to EU stability than Greece.

Please consider Italy Is Top Threat to Euro, Columbia’s Mundell Says

Italy, saddled with the euro region’s second-largest debt, is the “biggest threat” to the economy of the 16-member bloc, according to Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Mundell.

“Italy has got to be worried,” Mundell, a professor at Columbia University, said today in a television interview in New York. “If Italy became a target then this would create a big problem for the euro. Whatever is being done to Greece, possibly to Portugal and maybe Ireland, has to also save Italy from that problem.”

Italian officials have tried to prevent Italy from being lumped together with some of the euro zone’s smaller economies – – Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain — that have drawn investor concern about their ability to control deficits and debt. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Feb. 10 that those nations were doing “much worse” than Italy and that the “markets have given us their faith.”

“It would be very difficult if Italy got tarnished with the same problem,” Mundell said, referring to the risk the European Union may need to provide financial assistance to some of its members. “It would be very difficult to bail out Italy.”

Mundell won the Nobel Prize in 1999 for research that helped lay the foundation for Europe’s single currency.

Italy’s high debt level would create problems for the entire euro region if rising financing costs make it difficult to service the country’s borrowing, Mundell said. Italy has about 1.8 trillion euros ($2.5 trillion) in debt, more than five times that of Greece and the equivalent of about a quarter of the euro zone’s debt.

If markets were to lose confidence in Italian public finances, then the European Central Bank would have its hands tied by the Maastricht Treaty, which says the central bank must orient monetary policy exclusively toward keeping inflation under 2 percent.

“The Treaty of Maastricht puts a straight jacket on the ECB,” Mundell said. “Monetary policy itself would have to bend a little if a country as big as Italy got into trouble.”


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Phil's Favorites

Here's how scientists are tracking the genetic evolution of COVID-19

 

Here's how scientists are tracking the genetic evolution of COVID-19

Why do scientists care about mutations on the coronavirus? Alexandr Gnezdilov Light Painting

Niema Moshiri, University of California San Diego

When you hear the term “evolutionary tree,” you may think of Charles Darwin and the study of the relationships between different species over the span of millions of years.

While the concept of an “evolutionary tree” originated in Darwin’s “...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Here's how scientists are tracking the genetic evolution of COVID-19

 

Here's how scientists are tracking the genetic evolution of COVID-19

Why do scientists care about mutations on the coronavirus? Alexandr Gnezdilov Light Painting

Niema Moshiri, University of California San Diego

When you hear the term “evolutionary tree,” you may think of Charles Darwin and the study of the relationships between different species over the span of millions of years.

While the concept of an “evolutionary tree” originated in Darwin’s “...



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Zero Hedge

"They've Left Me High And Dry": Here Is The Real Reason Companies Have Drawn Down A Record $293 Billion In Revolvers

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

One week ago, we reported that starting exactly one month ago on March 5, an unprecedented wave of corporate revolver draws was unleashed, resulting in what JPMorgan calculated was a record $208BN in revolving credit facilities being fully drawn (for the full list of companies see ...



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ValueWalk

AZO and ORLY: Which one is a better buy?

By Marek Mscichowski. Originally published at ValueWalk.

AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) and O’Reilly Automotive Inc (NASDAQ:ORLY): Both auto parts retailers are uncorrelated to S&P 500, but which one is a better buy?

By Price Earnings Ratio Tracker Team

Q4 2019 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Over recent months I have created valuation models for the two main competitors in the auto parts retail business – AutoZone, the leader on the coasts with a $26 billion market ca...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

S&P Repeating 2000 & 2007 Patterns Almost Exactly?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Does History Repeat? Is does rhyme sometimes!!!

This chart looks at the S&P 500 on a weekly basis over the past 20-years.

The S&P declined by 50% during the 2000-2003 bear market. On the week of 3/23/2001, it experienced its first counter-trend rally, which lasted 8-weeks, before the bear market resumed.

The S&P declined by 50% during the 2007-2009 bear market. On the week of 3/21/2001, it experienced its first counter-trend rally, which lasted 8-weeks, before the bear ...



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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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The Technical Traders

Founder of TradersWorld Magazine Issued Special Report for Free

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Larry Jacobs owner and editor of TradersWorld magazine published a free special report with his top article and market forecast to his readers yesterday.

What is really exciting is that this forecast for all assets has played out exactly as expected from the stock market crash within his time window to the gold rally, and sharp sell-off. These forecasts have just gotten started the recent moves were only the first part of his price forecasts.

There is only one article in this special supplement, click on the image or link below to download and read it today!

...

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Chart School

Big moving Averages and macro investment decisions

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

When price is falling every one wonders where demand will come in.


RTT black screen Tv videos study the simplest measure of price (simple moving average). What has happen before guides us now. 














Changes in the world is the source of all market moves, to catch and ride the change we believe a combination of Gann Angles, ...

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Members' Corner

10 ways to spot online misinformation

 

10 ways to spot online misinformation

When you share information online, do it responsibly. Sitthiphong/Getty Images

Courtesy of H. Colleen Sinclair, Mississippi State University

Propagandists are already working to sow disinformation and social discord in the run-up to the November elections.

Many of their efforts have focused on social media, where people’s limited attention spans push them to ...



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Digital Currencies

While coronavirus rages, bitcoin has made a leap towards the mainstream

 

While coronavirus rages, bitcoin has made a leap towards the mainstream

Get used to it. Anastasiia Bakai

Courtesy of Iwa Salami, University of East London

Anyone holding bitcoin would have watched the market with alarm in recent weeks. The virtual currency, whose price other cryptocurrencies like ethereum and litecoin largely follow, plummeted from more than US$10,000 (£8,206) in mid-February to briefly below US$4,000 on March 13. Despite recovering to the mid-US$6,000s at the time of writin...



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Promotions

Free, Live Webinar on Stocks, Options and Trading Strategies

TODAY's LIVE webinar on stocks, options and trading strategy is open to all!

Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

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

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of TradeExchange.com. It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

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

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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

 

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:

Lee,

The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...



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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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