Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Natural Selection, Finance and Extinction

Charles makes an interesting analogy between the banking system and a parasite whose aggressive feeding on its host will eventually lead to its extinction.  - Ilene 

Natural Selection, Finance and Extinction  

Courtesy of Charles Hugh Smith Of Two Minds 

Iguana, the great herbivorous sea lizard of the Galapagos Islands. Charles Darwin's study of the fauna of the islands contributed to his theory of evolution. Wood engraving c1890.

The current U.S. financial sector has been selected to reap enormous profits off a very narrow ecology of speculation, credit, risk and leverage. That parasitic specialization makes it highly vulnerable to extinction.

One of my projects is to integrate the insights offered by the processes of natural selection into the Survival+ critique and recommendations.

This line of inquiry has led me to ask: is the current financial system as robust and resilient as its many backers claim, or beneath the hype and propaganda, is it actually acutely vulnerable to collapse?

From the point of view of selection, we would start by considering the ecology the system has evolved in, and ask how specialized the system has become--in other words, how dependent is the financial system on narrow and potentially vulnerable sources of energy?

In nature, species which go extinct often do so when they have become increasingly specialized to exploit a narrow source of sustenance. Such species evolve that specialization in order to exploit the windfall offered by a food supply that has fewer (or even no) competitors.

This lack of competition offers the species rich rewards for specializing (long beaks maximized to fit certain flowers, etc.) even as they increase the species’ vulnerability to a breakdown or collapse in the limited source of food they have been selected to exploit.

The narrower the base of food and the greater the specialization, the more vulnerable the species will be to reductions in that food source. Thus a plant disease which wipes out the specific flowers will drive the bird with a highly specialized beak to extinction unless it can adapt quickly enough to another food source, or leave that ecology for one with a new source of similar flowers.

The U.S. financial system has already exploited the standard ecologies of capital and lending. How profitable is originating and holding plain-vanilla mortgages? Not very profitable at all, compared to the vast profits generated by securitizing mortgages and writing derivatives against those bundled and tranched loans.

The U.S. financial system in effect stumbled into a new ecology of profitable windfalls that no one else had ever seen or exploited:…
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Historical PE Ratios: Marking the Tops of Economic Expansions

Historical PE Ratios: Marking the Tops of Economic Expansions (and Warning of Coming Economic Contractions)

Courtesy of Michael Clark 

Robert Schiller recently posted a chart showing the history of American interest rates in the 20th Century and the history of PE ratios in American stocks.

Note the similarity between the historical PE ratios (blue line) and our contention that financial cycles run in 36-year periods, top to top.  We don’t agree exactly with the dates of economic tops in this chart — but we’renearly in agreement.

We have American economic cycles in the Twentieth Century exhibiting tops in the following years:

TOPS

1893
1929
1965
2001

BOTTOMS

1911
1947
1983
2019

Interest rates should be lowered as we proceed toward economic bottoms and should be raised as we proceed toward economic tops.  Had we begun raising interest rates slowly as we approached 2001 then we would have avoided all this mess of this decade — and the coming decade.

We need to realize that Nature has patterns and cycles — and we need to put our human ego aside (the human desire to control nature) and work WITH these cycles, instead of against them.  

We CANNOT have perpetual economic expansion in a system that has dual movements of expansion AND contraction.  Inflation needs to be followed (each time) by deflation.  Our view that inflation is GOOD and deflation is BAD may be true for the rich in the nation but it is not true for the society as a whole. 


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Phil's Favorites

Why do so many people fall for fake profiles online?

 

Why do so many people fall for fake profiles online?

Do you want to be friends with this person? Sasun Bughdaryan

Courtesy of Arun Vishwanath, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

The first step in conducting online propaganda efforts and misinformation campaigns is almost always a fake social media profile. Phony profiles for nonexistent people worm their way into the social networks of real people, where they can spread their falsehoods. But neither social media companies nor technological innovations offer reliable ways to iden...



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Zero Hedge

Just How Low Can Iran's Oil Exports Go?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Tsvetana Paraskova via Oilprice.com,

Iran’s oil exports started to fall noticeably in August as key customers in Asia began to curtail oil purchases to either comply with the U.S. efforts to bring Iranian exports to zero, or to win waivers with the U.S. Administration.

...



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ValueWalk

Jeremy Seigel: Buy Moar Stocks

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Jeremy Siegel, professor of finance at The Wharton School, discusses the “incredible strength” of the markets.

H/T Dataroma

Seigel: Markets Show US And China Can’t Have A Full Trade War

Q2 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc

Transcript

I just finished my class here at Wharton and I inherited who's a who's afraid of the big bad Trump. Clearly the stock market is I mean you know you thought tariffs are g...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

King Dollar Created Multi-Year Topping Pattern?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

The currency markets often play a role in asset management for investors. And one key asset that pays close attention to the US Dollar is Gold (and precious metals). Could a near-term trend change be in store for the US Dollar… and its counterpart, the Euro? Precious metals bulls would love to see the US Dollar topping and the Euro bottoming.

In the chart below, you can see that the two currencies are showing similar reversal patterns – a traditional head and shoulders top for the US Dollar Index and an inverted head and shoulders bottom for the Euro.

BUT, they need to confirm these pattern by breaking down / up.

It’s worth noting that NOTHING has been proved so far, but the potential of both creating longer-term reversal patterns is there and traders should stay tuned.

US D...



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Insider Scoop

Morgan Stanley Bullish On Amazon's New Automated Stores

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related AMZN Stitch Fix Falls After Piper Jaffray Downgrade; Analyst Says 'Smallest Hint Of Pressure' Could Threaten Valuation ...

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Digital Currencies

Mania to Mania

 

Mania to Mania

Courtesy of 

“Russell rarely played the stock market and had little investing experience when he put around $120,000 into bitcoin in November 2017.”

This comes from a CNN money article, Bitcoin crash: This man lost his savings when cryptocurrencies plunged. From January 2017 through the peak in early 2018, Ethereum gained 16,915%.

Any time you have something go vertical, you just know that some peopl...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Sep 16, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

Slow and steady drip up all this past week in a very quiet news environment.  A gap down top open the day Tuesday (which was recovered quickly) and a gap up Thursday (which held) were the highlights!

The latest on TRADE WARS!(tm):

Tuesday, news hit that China vowed to retaliate and plans to ask the World Trade Organization next week for permission to impose sanctions on the U.S. for Washington’s noncompliance with a ruling in a dispute over U.S. dumping duties, Reuters reported. That’s part of a dispute that goes back to 2013.

“Trade wars are certainly a concern, but I don’t know that they’re a one...



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Members' Corner

Nike, Colin Kaepernick and the pitfalls of 'woke' corporate branding

 

Adding this article to Members Corner, in case anyone wants to share their opinions on Nike and Kaep, or on divisiveness in general. Also see "A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come" and "What’s behind the current wave of ‘corporate activism’?" ~ Ilene

Nike, Colin Kaepernick and the pitfalls of 'woke' corporate branding

Courtesy of Simon Chadwick, University of Salford and ...



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Biotech

Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

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

 

Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

Breast cancer type 1 (BRCA1) is a human tumor suppressor gene, found in all humans. Its protein, also called by the synonym BRCA1, is responsible for repairing DNA. ibreakstock/Shutterstock.com

By Jay Shendure, University of Washington; Greg Findlay, ...



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Mapping The Market

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

Via Jean-Luc:

Famed investor reflecting on his mistakes:

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

One that stands out for me:

Instead of focusing on how value factors in general did in identifying attractive stocks, I rushed to proclaim price-to-sales the winner. That was, until it wasn’t. I guess there’s a reason for the proclamation “The king is dead, long live the king” when a monarchy changes hands. As we continued to update the book, price-to-sales was no longer the “best” single value factor, replaced by others, depending upon the time frames examined. I had also become a lot more sophisticated in my analysis—thanks to criticism of my earlier work—and realized that everything, including factors, moves in and out of favor, depending upon the market environment. I also realized...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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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.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

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

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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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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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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