Posts Tagged ‘naked short selling’

Let’s Make Murder Illegal!

Let’s Make Murder Illegal!

Vinyl Ready Art - Holidays

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

In a particularly picayune piece of irony FT reports:

The German government is planning to ban the naked short-selling of all German stocks listed on the country’s exchanges in a sweeping enlargement of last week’s contentious bar on the naked short-selling of some securities.

To be clear: Naked short-sales are already illegal.

A bit of explanation is called for here.  You can’t sell something you don’t own.  Therefore, to sell short you have to first acquire what you wish to sell.  To do this you borrow it from someone else.  For example:

"A" owns 100 shares of IBM stock.
"B" wishes to sell short 100 shares of IBM stock.

"B" therefore borrows "A"s stock, replacing that stock with an IOU for the 100 shares, and then sells them to "C".

There are still only 100 shares of stock.  "A" is entitled to whatever dividends would normally be paid by those 100 shares even though he doesn’t have them any more, and "B" has to make good on that.  "C" has the physical shares and gets the cash dividends that are paid on them, if any.

If "A" wishes to sell his 100 shares "B" must return them.  He must return them because the IOU "A" has is callable on "A"s demand, irrespective of the price "B" might have to pay to acquire them!

That price might be very high if there are no willing sellers at a "reasonable" price when "B" has to repurchase them.  But that doesn’t matter – "B" agreed to this when he entered into the short sale.  This event, called a "short squeeze", is one of the risks of selling securities short – since you don’t own them and have to borrow them the person you borrowed them from might want them back at any point in time – and you’re obligated to deliver if that happens, even if it bankrupts you (and sometimes it does!)

Unscrupulous people can and have gotten around this problem.  How? By not actually having acquired the securities they allegedly sell short!

Hang on a second…. how is that possible?

Today, it’s very possible.  "Back in the day" it was pretty tough, since stocks were represented as physical pieces of paper.  When the trade settled you…
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The German Government Has Had Enough

The German Government Has Had Enough

German Chancellor Merkel answers questions as she leaves the European Council after a Euro Zone leaders summit in Brussels

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker

If you thought the German government was going to be a lapdog for Sarcozy, or worse, was going to fellate Brussels and the ECB, you got a rude shock today.

It appears that the German Government has just plain had enough of the crap that the banksters have tried to pull, and has decided to do what Barack Obama should have done in early 2009.

That is:

  • No more naked credit crap, especially against sovereigns but not only against sovereigns.  No insurable interest, no CDS – period.
  • Naked shorting will now be actually stopped in 10 leading financial institutions.
  • Germany has had it with naked shorting of Gold, and specifically noted bank manipulation of gold prices via naked shorts beyond intent or ability to deliver.
  • Germany has also said that they’re not going to permit Euro derivatives that are not a "bonafide" FX hedge.  That is, no more naked bets on Euro movements either.
  • Hedge funds are going to be regulated, position size limits mandated and enforced, reporting enhanced and a transaction tax is coming.
  • It’s about damn time.
Handcuffed businessman holding credit cards

Oh, and it appears that instead of telling all the banksters what they were going to do and "getting permission" first, or even discussing it with other governments, the German Government did what all governments should do - make up your mind and then do it without giving a good damn whether the banksters or other governments like it – and without giving them input into the decision or notice that it’s coming.

The bid rigging, the game-playing and the rest are all a bunch of crap.  I’ve been hollering about this now for more than three years and yet our government spends it’s time fellating the bankers and their dogs instead of enforcing the law.

It is illegal to defraud people.

It is illegal to rig markets, including the massive bid-rigging that I wrote about this morning, the Jefferson County Alabama scam and dozens if not hundreds more – all committed, it is alleged (and in some cases proved) by the major banks.

It is illegal to short stocks with no intention or ability to deliver.

And it is illegal to bribe government officials, no matter how you accomplish it.

These are not "isolated incidents" or even a pattern of conduct – as the bid-rigging report this morning makes clear ripping people off has become an institutionalized…
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Manipulating Gold and Silver: A Criminal Naked Short Position that Could Wreck the Economy

Manipulating Gold and Silver: A Criminal Naked Short Position that Could Wreck the Economy

Courtesy of Mark Mitchell at Deep Capture 

Close-up of traditional puppets, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Everyone from U.S. Senators to prominent hedge fund managers say that criminal naked short sellers had a hand in the financial collapse of 2008, but the regulators aren’t listening. Not a single criminal has been prosecuted. Indeed, the regulators continue to allow the miscreants to manipulate the markets — not just the stock markets, but also the markets for corporate bonds, derivatives, U.S. Treasuries, and all manner of commodities – even when the regulators are provided with indisputable evidence of a massive crime in progress. They could easily fix the flaws in the settlement system that allow much of the manipulation to occur, but they refrain from doing so either because they are too captured by the miscreants or too cowed by the possible consequences of throwing the lights on what may be an enormous confidence game.

So I am inclined to say that it is hopeless. Everyone loves an optimist – but, yes, it is hopeless. We are like the audience in one of those cheesy horror flicks – yell and scream all you like, but the dumb blonde is still going to walk into that room and get hacked to pieces. Except that it is not a movie. It is real. And it’s not just the dumb blonde who is going to get slaughtered. It is all of us. It is our economy. It is our standard of living. It is our financial system – the lifeblood of the nation.

The latest case of regulatory indolence was recently exposed by Andrew Maguire, a successful metals trader and whistleblower who went to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission with data that strongly suggested that a small number of criminal short sellers had rigged the markets for silver and gold. Maguire not only provided the regulators with a Dummies’ guide to how the manipulation generally worked, but also warned them of a specific crime – a dramatic take-down of the gold and silver markets – that he said would occur at an exact time on a specific date in the near future. That is, Maguire told the regulators that a massive crime was about to happen, and the crime happened precisely as he predicted it would.

With Maguire’s warning, the regulators…
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NY Post: Trader Blows Whistle On Gold and Silver Price Manipulation

NY Post: Trader Blows Whistle On Gold and Silver Price Manipulation

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

"Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on." Robert Kennedy

The CFTC hearing in Washington was about safeguards against, and limits on, naked short selling at the COMEX. The LBMA in London is a ‘cash market’ and while short selling is accepted, large leverage and blatant naked short selling is not. The crux of the scandal is that the Banks and hedge funds have been selling what they do not have in order to manipulate the price and cheat investors, in this market as they have been shown repeatedly to have done in other markets.

The story gets sticky in the States because, as disclosed in the motions in a New Orleans trial, the players filed a motion claiming immunity because they were acting in partnership with the Treasury and the Federal Reserve, and other central banks who were not within the Court’s jurisdiction.

Watch this story unfold, and then make up your own minds. But be prepared for smears, diversions, misconceptions, and false denials. The accused parties will consistently try to ignore this, and change the subject. The attempts to pressure the media to ignore tihs altogether are a ‘tell’ if there ever was one.

I am shocked at the extent to which the Banks influence and control the American media. This was testimony at a public hearing, and it has been largely squashed. Judging by history, this is going to get ugly.

Thanks to the NY Post for breaking ranks with the mainstream media. Despite some significant behind the scenes pressure, the Post is actually publishing some words that the Banks do not wish the American people to hear. And many Americans to not wish to hear it, because it shakes their faith in the system, and threatens them with the unknown. And too many, including economists and even bloggers, are only too willing to ‘go along to get along’ and be invited to the posh gatherings of the famous, and receive some sinecure from the monied interests.

I do not know if this is true or not, or what the truth may be.…
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The Audacity Of Synthetics

Karl Denninger discusses an article posted here several weeks ago, John Paulson and the Greatest Pump and Short Fraud Ever, by Mark Mitchell at Deep Capture. - Ilene 

The Audacity Of Synthetics

Courtesy of Karl Denninger, The Market Ticker

DeepCapture has picked up something I’ve written about before, but none of these folks seem to put together the "big picture", as I outlined yesterday on my Blogtalk show.

As Fiderer explains, Paulson asked the banks to create those CDOs “so that they could be sold to some suckers at close to par. That way, Paulson’s hedge fund could approach some other sucker who would sell an insurance policy, or credit default swap, on the newly minted CDOs. Bear, Deutsche and Goldman knew perfectly well what Paulson’s motivation was. He made no secret of his belief that the CDOs subordinate claims on the mortgage collateral were close to worthless. By the time others have figured out the fatal flaws in these securities which had been ignored by the rating agencies, Paulson could collect up to $5 billion.

Let’s step back a second.

A "CDO", or "Collateralized Debt Obligation", is in theory a very simple instrument.  It is, at it’s core, a collection of income-producing "assets" that have a cash flow that can be diced up paid to people who have purchased components of the CDO.

The usual thought process when someone says "CDO" is that some bank bought a bunch of bonds, compiled them into a CDO and then sold off the tranches.

The CDO itself is typically held off-balance sheet in a SIV/SPV, lest the bank be forced to recognize it as part of it’s "assets."  This is permissible because the bank doesn’t own the assets, the legal entity does, and it got the money to buy them from the people who bought the tranches that were issued.  The banks do this because they get a nice fee for filing the papers to establish the entity along with a management fee to act as the servicer – that is, the "guy in the middle" who takes the money that comes in from the debt instruments and slices it up, paying out those funds to the buyers of the CDO’s tranches.

So you can think of a CDO, in it’s simplest form, as a way of taking a


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John Paulson and the Greatest Pump and Short Fraud Ever

John Paulson and the Greatest Pump and Short Fraud Ever

Courtesy of Mark Mitchell at Deep Capture

John Paulson - the business insider By now, everybody knows that the market for collateralized debt obligations was riddled with fraud in the lead-up to the financial crisis. What is less known is the fact that hedge fund managers helped create and inflate the market for these toxic securities specifically so that they could bet against them and profit from the inevitable collapse.

An example of a particularly sordid scheme, orchestrated by hedge fund billionaire John Paulson, was discovered some time ago by David Fiderer, a blogger for the Huffington Post. The information in Fiderer’s blog is rather incriminating, and, of course, the mainstream media is not on the case, so I think it bears repeating.

In a close reading of Wall Street Journal Gregory Zuckerman’s book, “The Greatest Trade Ever”, an otherwise starry-eyed account of Paulson’s bets against the mortgage market, Fiderer discovered this nugget:

Paulson and [partner Paolo Pellegrini] were eager to find ways to expand their wager against risky mortgages. Accumulating it in the market sometimes proved to be a slow process. So they made appointments with bankers at Bear Stearns, Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), and other banks to ask if they would create CDOs that Paulson & Co. could essentially bet against.

As Fiderer explains, Paulson asked the banks to create those CDOs “so that they could be sold to some suckers at close to par. That way, Paulson’s hedge fund could approach some other sucker who would sell an insurance policy, or credit default swap, on the newly minted CDOs. Bear, Deutsche and Goldman knew perfectly well what Paulson’s motivation was. He made no secret of his belief that the CDOs subordinate claims on the mortgage collateral were close to worthless. By the time others have figured out the fatal flaws in these securities which had been ignored by the rating agencies, Paulson could collect up to $5 billion.

Bear Stearns“Paulson not only initiated these transactions, he also specified the terms he wanted, identifying which mortgages would be stuffed into the CDOs, and how the CDOs should be structured. Within the overall framework set by Paulson’s team, banks and investors were allowed to do some minor tweaking.”

It is not clear which banks ultimately participated in Paulson’s scam, but Fiderer quotes…
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Wall Street’s Naked Swindle

Worth reading if you haven’t yet. – Ilene

Wall Street’s Naked Swindle
A scheme to flood the market with counterfeit stocks helped kill Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers — and the feds have yet to bust the culprits

Low angle view of a mid adult man tied up in rope

By MATT TAIBBI in Rolling Stone

On Tuesday, March 11th, 2008, somebody — nobody knows who — made one of the craziest bets Wall Street has ever seen. The mystery figure spent $1.7 million on a series of options, gambling that shares in the venerable investment bank Bear Stearns would lose more than half their value in nine days or less. It was madness — "like buying 1.7 million lottery tickets," according to one financial analyst.

But what’s even crazier is that the bet paid.

At the close of business that afternoon, Bear Stearns was trading at $62.97. At that point, whoever made the gamble owned the right to sell huge bundles of Bear stock, at $30 and $25, on or before March 20th. In order for the bet to pay, Bear would have to fall harder and faster than any Wall Street brokerage in history.

The very next day, March 12th, Bear went into free fall. By the end of the week, the firm had lost virtually all of its cash and was clinging to promises of state aid; by the weekend, it was being knocked to its knees by the Fed and the Treasury, and forced at the barrel of a shotgun to sell itself to JPMorgan Chase (which had been given $29 billion in public money to marry its hunchbacked new bride) at the humiliating price of … $2 a share. Whoever bought those options on March 11th woke up on the morning of March 17th having made 159 times his money, or roughly $270 million. This trader was either the luckiest guy in the world, the smartest son of a bitch ever or…

Like all the great merchants of the bubble economy, Bear and Lehman were leveraged to the hilt and vulnerable to collapse. Many of the methods that outsiders used to knock them over were mostly legal: Credit markers were pulled, rumors were spread through the media, and legitimate short-sellers pressured the stock price down. But when Bear and Lehman made their final leap off the cliff…
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Short Sales: The Real Issue

Karl Denninger presents a compelling argument that market makers should not be exempt from rules preventing short-selling shares that cannot be borrowed (naked short selling). Because the quantity of a given stock in "float" is fixed, traders and market makers should not be allowed to create unreal and illogical bets on stocks that result in perversion of market dynamics and wild price swings. That’s my summary, Karl explains in detail. – Ilene

Short Sales: The Real Issue 

Stack of red gambling chips over two numbers on roulette table

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker

Matt Taibbi once again writes in Rolling Stone, this time on naked short sales, and while he gets a good part of the issue right, he (and many others who have opined on this situation over the years) miss the forest for the trees.

Matt writes:

But the most damning thing the attack on Bear had in common with these earlier manipulations was the employment of a type of counterfeiting scheme called naked short-selling. From the moment the confidential meeting at the Fed ended on March 11th, Bear became the target of this ostensibly illegal practice — and the companies widely rumored to be behind the assault were in that room. Given that the SEC has failed to identify who was behind the raid, Wall Street insiders were left with nothing to trade but gossip. According to the former head of Bear’s mortgage business, Tom Marano, the rumors within Bear itself that week centered around Citadel and Goldman (GS). Both firms were later subpoenaed by the SEC as part of its investigation into market manipulation — and the CEOs of both Bear and Lehman were so suspicious that they reportedly contacted Blankfein to ask whether his firm was involved in the scam. (A Goldman spokesman denied any wrongdoing, telling reporters it was "rigorous about conducting business as usual.")

Matt gets so close, but fails in the closing.

See, there are two area of naked shorting that nobody wants to really deal with, yet both have to be if we are ever to make a difference. Let’s deal with them in turn.

The first, the writing of "naked" swaps, is one that I’ve written about before. The essence of a "credit default swap" is a contract whereby the buyer of protection insures…
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Michael Milken, 60,000 Deaths, and the Story of Dendreon

It’s very been very exciting to bring terrific new authors together at Phil’s Favorites and today I’m pleased to welcome Mark Mitchell of Deep Capture to our site. Mark’s written a fascinating account of the real story behind Dendreon’s (DNDN) most unusual trading activity in recent years. Here’s the first chapter of Mark’s 15 part series. – Ilene

Michael Milken, 60,000 Deaths, and the Story of Dendreon (Chapter 1 of 15)

drugs, pharmaceuticals, studiesCourtesy of Mark Mitchell at Deep Capture

What follows is part 1 of a 15-part series. The remaining installments will appear on Deep Capture over the next several weeks, after which point the story will be published in its entirety. It is a story about the travails of just one small company, but it describes market machinations that have affected hundreds of other companies, and it contains a larger message for anyone concerned about the “deep capture” of our nation’s media and regulatory bodies.

This story, like too many others, begins with Jim Cramer, the CNBC personality, making “a mistake.”

On September 26, 2005, Cramer  announced to his television audience the sad news (punctuated by funny sound effects – a clown horn, a crashing airplane) that Provenge, an experimental treatment for prostate cancer, had flopped. Thousands of end-stage patients had been pinning their hopes on Provenge, but according to Cramer the treatment had just been rejected by the Food & Drug Administration. It would never go to market.

This seemed odd, because Dendreon (NASDAQ: DNDN), the company developing Provenge, had not yet submitted an application for FDA approval. As everybody in the biotech investment community knew, Dendreon had, in fact, only recently completed Phase 3 clinical trials and probably would not face scrutiny from an FDA advisory panel for at least another year.

As for the likelihood that the advisory panel would eventually vote in favor of Provenge, the odds looked quite good. The Phase 3 trials had demonstrated that Provenge significantly increased patient survival with only minimal side-effects, such as a few days of mild fever. Moreover, Provenge was an altogether different sort of treatment – one that fought tumors by boosting patients’ immune systems rather than subjecting them to the ravages of chemotherapy.

Provenge was not a magical elixir of life, but Dendreon was doing more than just developing a new technology. It…
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Kimble Charting Solutions

Apple Bullish Breakout Suggesting Tech Follows In Its Path?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Is Apple sending a bullish message to the overall Tech market? Sure could be

Apple (AAPL) is working on a breakout above last year’s highs at (1), after creating a series of higher lows over the past year.

Tech ETF QQQ has been a similar-looking pattern to Apple over the past few months, as it is near old highs while creating higher lows.

Is Apple’s upside breakout suggesting that QQQ will follow in its footsteps and breakout?

Str...



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Phil's Favorites

Fed Chair Powell Met with a Sovereign Wealth Fund in August and Had a Call with a Central Bank Holding Tens of Billions in U.S. Stocks

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve

This morning the Federal Reserve pumped another $58.15 billion into Wall Street securities firms under the repo loan program it initiated on September 17. That program has been pumping out hundreds of billions of dollars each week to Wall Street with no authorization from Congress, as far as the public is aware.

We decided to take a look at Federal Reserve Chairman ...



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Zero Hedge

Despite Pushback Against FAA, Boeing Shares Extend Plunge As Analyst Downgrades Accelerate

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Boeing said on Sunday that it told U.S. regulators "multiple times" that it had expanded the role of its MCAS system and that the FAA had observed the system operating in flight tests before the 737 Max was certified for service, according to Bloomberg

The statement was posted online as a result of Friday's ...



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Insider Scoop

10 Biggest Price Target Changes For Monday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • UBS raised the price target for Teradyne, Inc. (NASDAQ: TER) from $47 to $63. Teradyne shares closed at $58.93 on Friday.
  • Bank of America cut the price target on Boeing Co (NYSE: BA) from $400 to $370. Boeing closed at $344.00 on Friday.
  • Raymond James raised the price target for Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU) from $151 to $170. Kansas City Southern shares closed at $145.25 on Friday.
  • H.C. Wainwright boosted Foamix Pharmaceuticals Ltd ...


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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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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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About Phil:

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