Posts Tagged ‘Obama Administration’

Corporate Hacker Tries to Take Down WikiLeaks

Stephen Colbert reports on technothriller going on between Wikileaks, Anonymous (a "global hacker nerd brigade") and Aaron Barr. H/t Ron. – Ilene

Corporate Hacker Tries to Take Down WikiLeaks

A corporate hacker tries to take down WikiLeaks by faking documents and blackmailing American journalists.


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CHRIS WHALEN DESCRIBES WHY 2011 COULD MAKE 2008 LOOK LIKE A CAKEWALK

CHRIS WHALEN DESCRIBES WHY 2011 COULD MAKE 2008 LOOK LIKE A CAKEWALK

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Christopher Whalen makes a remarkably convincing case for why we’ve simply kicked the can down the road and why the banks could be in for a repeat of their 2008 nightmares in 2011.  If Mr. Whalen is right the banking sector is in for a whole new round of government intervention, takeovers, likely nationalizations and general disaster:

The U.S. banking industry is entering a new period of crisis where operating costs are rising dramatically due to foreclosures and defaults. We are less than frac14; of& the way through the foreclosure process. Laurie Goodman of Amherst Securities predicts that 1& in 5 mortgages could go into foreclosure without radical action.

Rising operating costs in banks will be more significant than in past recessions and could force the U.S. government to restructure some large lenders as expenses overwhelm revenue. BAC, JPM, GMAC foreclosure moratoriums only the start of the crisis that threatens the financial foundations of the entire U.S. political economy.

The largest U.S. banks remain insolvent and must continue to shrink. Failure by the Obama Administration to restructure the largest banks during 2007?2009 period only  means that this process is going to occur over next three to five years –whether we like it or not.  The issue is recognizing existing losses ?? not if a loss occurred.

Impending operational collapse of some of the largest U.S. banks will serve as the catalyst for re?creation of RFC?type liquidation vehicle(s) to handle the operational task of finally deflating the subprime bubble.   End of the liquidation cycle of the deflating bubble will arrive in another four to five years.

Fast forward to the 1:07 minute mark where Mr. Whalen begins.

 


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WHAT DID WE EXPECT WITH LEADERS LIKE THIS?

Brief review of why it’s about time Summers says goodbye. – Ilene 

WHAT DID WE EXPECT WITH LEADERS LIKE THIS?

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

It’s no secret that the economic recovery in the United States has been meager at best (and that’s assuming you believe this is not just one ongoing recession). While there is plenty of blame to go around for our current plight the buck ultimately stops with the most influential people in this economy – the leaders that help frame the regulations and policies that help to keep the U.S. economy running smoothly. I don’t think these men and women (mostly men) have been held accountable over the years. I personally believe many of these men have flawed models (Alan Greenspan has admitted as much and Ben Bernanke has essentially rehashed his flawed model) and continue to help promote and implement economic policy in the U.S. that is counterproductive, ineffective and at times downright destructive.

I’ve been highly critical of Obama’s economic team over the years because many of them were key players in helping cause the financial crisis. Tim Geithner was the head of the NY Fed when the banks were busy turning themselves into casinos. Ben Bernanke (who Obama should have never reconfirmed) failed to even acknowledge the potential existence of problems in the U.S. economy leading up to the financial crisis and then implemented his great monetarist gaffe which has now been proven to be what I called it from the very beginning – a bailout of Wall Street and a slap in the face for Main Street. He receives endless praise for helping to avoid a supposed second Great Depression. This is like the man who sees a fire in his front yard, ignores it, then when it’s finally becoming a widespread danger decides to save his own house from burning (the banks), lets all of the surroundings houses burn to the ground (Main Street) and then receives endless praise for his courage under fire.

But there have been few people in power over the last 25 years that have been more misguided and downright destructive than Larry Summers. This is a man who believes that women are intellectually inferior (I’ll tell you one thing – this economy wouldn’t be such a mess if it wasn’t run primarily by arrogant, narcissistic males) and has done more to help


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OMG! Obama Scrambles To Keep the Homedebtor Scam Running

OMG! Obama Scrambles To Keep the Homedebtor Scam Running

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant 

h/t WCV

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t inflate the housing bubble back again…

Bloomberg:

The Obama administration plans to set up an emergency loan program for the unemployed and a government mortgage refinancing effort in the next few weeks to help homeowners after home sales dropped in July, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said.

“The July numbers were worse than we expected, worse than the general market expected, and we are concerned,” Donovan said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program yesterday. “That’s why we are taking additional steps to move forward.”

The administration will begin a Federal Housing Authority refinancing effort to help borrowers who are struggling to pay their mortgages, and will start an emergency homeowners’ loan program for unemployed borrowers so they can stay in their homes, Donovan said.

“We’re going to continue to make sure folks have access to home ownership,” he said.

These additional steps are really starting to hurt, when does it end? Oh duh, it ends when the rest of the world gets smart and realizes that we’re abusing our printing press. Obv. 


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Banks Recruit Investors to Oppose Honest Valuation of Assets; Just how Unprepared are Banks for Major Losses?

Banks Recruit Investors to Oppose Honest Valuation of Assets; Just how Unprepared are Banks for Major Losses?

Courtesy of Mish 

Reader "Henry" has a question on the loan loss provision chart I posted in Former Fed Vice Chairman vs. Mish: Is the Fed Out of Ammo?

Henry writes …

Hello Mish,

Thanks for writing and sharing your wonderful column. It has been very informative and educational.

Could you please help us mere mortals decipher the ALLL/LLRNPT chart in a follow up post?

I have difficulty reconciling the units, and I suspect I’m not the only one. Exactly what does that chart depict?

Thanks.

Henry

From my previous post …

Assets at Banks whose ALLL Exceeds their Nonperforming Loans

The ALLL is a bank’s best estimate of the amount it will not be able to collect on its loans and leases based on current information and events. To fund the ALLL, the bank takes a periodic charge against earnings. Such a charge is called a provision for loan and lease losses.

One look at the above chart in light of an economy headed back into recession and a housing market already back in the toilet should be enough to convince anyone that banks already have insufficient loan loss provisions.

That is one of the reasons banks are reluctant to lend. Lack of creditworthy customers is a second. Quite frankly would be idiotic to force more lending in such an environment.

To further clarify, the chart depicts the ratio of loan loss provisions to nonperforming loans across the entire banking system (all banks). There are 33 ALLL charts by bank size and region for inquiring minds to consider. The above chart is the aggregate.

The implication what the chart suggests is that banks believe nonperforming loans are NOT a problem (or alternatively they are simply ignoring expected losses to goose earnings).

The implication what I suggest is banks earnings have been overstated. Why? Because provisions for loan losses are a hit to earnings. I believe losses are coming for which there are no provisions.

The chart depicts a form of "extend and pretend" and overvaluation of assets on bank balance sheets. The Fed and the accounting board ignore this happening (encourage is probably a better word), hoping the problem will get better. With more foreclosures and bankruptcies on the horizon, I suggest it won’t.

Magnitude of the Problem

The above…
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Eight Banks Seized, One with Ties to Obama; Regulators Allow “Unusual Bid” for Failed Bank

Eight Banks Seized, One with Ties to Obama; Regulators Allow "Unusual Bid" for Failed Bank

bank closures

Courtesy of Mish 

The bell rings once again on "Foreclosure Friday". The toll this week is 8 banks. One of the banks, Shore Bank, has ties to the Obama administration, Goldman Sachs, and other notables.

Eight Banks Shuttered as 2010 Failures Reach 118 

Bloomberg reports ShoreBank, Seven Others Shuttered as 2010 Failures Reach 118

ShoreBank Corp., the Chicago lender operating under a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. cease-and- desist order for 13 months, and seven other banks were shut by regulators as 2010 bank failures climbed to 118.

Regulators also closed four banks in California, two in Florida and one in Virginia. All eight closures cost the FDIC’s deposit-insurance fund $473.5 million, the agency said yesterday. This year’s bank failures will surpass last year’s total of 140, FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said last month in a Bloomberg Television interview.

Regulators Allow "Unusual Bid" for Shore Bank

The Wall Street Journal reports Regulators Seize ShoreBank; Management Takes Over

Regulators seized ShoreBank Corp. on Friday and agreed to sell assets to a team led by the community lender’s executives and backed by several large U.S. financial firms.

The bank closure, among the 118 failures in the U.S. this year, caps months of uncertainty for a $2.16 billion Chicago bank that had ties to the Obama administration and deep roots on Chicago’s South Side. The new institution will be known as Urban Partnership Bank and led by William Farrow, a former First Chicago Corp. executive who was ShoreBank’s president and chief operating officer at the time of its failure.

The decision to sell to management is a rare move by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which generally bars investors who own more than 10% of the failed bank from bidding on its assets. The FDIC also typically wants to know if bidders have "ever been an officer or director of a failed institution" and "participated in a material way in one or more transactions that caused a substantial loss to any such failed institution," according to an FDIC document.

The structure of the deal "is unusual," said Atlanta banking attorney Chip MacDonald.

The holding company will remain intact, according to a person familiar with the deal. Urban Partnership is backed by a consortium of large U.S. financial institutions, including Bank


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US Ceding Parts of Arizona to Criminal Activity, As It Has Been Doing in the Financial Markets

US Ceding Parts of Arizona to Criminal Activity, As It Has Been Doing in the Financial Markets

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

This situation is an analogue to the US economy, where increasingly larger portions of the financial markets in the US are being ceded to white collar fraud and manipulation by the gangs of New York. The problem is not with law enforcement per se, but that the basic functions of government are being overwhelmed by inept and corrupt lawmakers and regulators, the powerful rule of special interests, and a general lack of concern and disdain for the needs of the ordinary citizens. These are the root cause of the failures of government in the US.

This is not a problem of Republicans versus the Democrats. It is the age old problem of the avarice of an oligarchy of the self-proclaimed elites against the rights of the private individual, and the common people.

"From whence shall we expect the approach of danger? Shall some trans-Atlantic military giant step the earth and crush us at a blow? Never. All the armies of Europe and Asia…could not by force take a drink from the Ohio River or make a track on the Blue Ridge in the trial of a thousand years. No, if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we will live forever or die by suicide."

Abraham Lincoln

"In a press conference ignored by the American national media, the sheriff described how his deputies were outmanned and outgunned by the cartel smugglers who increasingly operate using military tactics and weapons. The result, said Sheriff Babeu, was that a wide corridor of Arizona from the border North to the outskirts of Phoenix is effectively controlled by the cartels. "We do not have control of this area," the sheriff said.

At the same time as the sheriff’s ignored press conference, the national media did cover assurances from the Obama Administration that crime was down at the border; that the border had never been safer. This ludicrous propaganda was based on selected crime stats from San Diego, Phoenix, Austin and San Antonio. The new reign of terror on the border in Arizona was airbrushed out of the picture.

Here’s the real picture Obama does not want you to see. Warning signs were posted this past month by the federal government 80 miles…
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Crossing a Dangerous Threshold

Crossing a Dangerous Threshold

Courtesy of Michael Panzner at Financial Armageddon 

BeatDeadHorse

(Image: Source.)

Although it might seem like I’m beating a dead horse with my frequent updates on the troubles south of our border — see "No Glossing Over This Story," "As Bad As Ever," "Not So Sweet Lies," "Deteriorating Fast," "Failed State in Our Own Backyard" and "Morphing Into an Economic Problem" -- the reality is that things seem to be getting worse with each passing day. In fact, based on the following Human Events commentary by Roger Hedgecock, "Mexican Drug Cartels Control Parts of Arizona," some would say that events have crossed a dangerous threshold.

The United States is ceding parts of Arizona to the Mexican drug cartels. So says Pinal County (Ariz.) Sheriff Paul Babeu.

In a press conference ignored by the American national media, the sheriff described how his deputies were outmanned and outgunned by the cartel smugglers who increasingly operate using military tactics and weapons. The result, said Sheriff Babeu, was that a wide corridor of Arizona from the border North to the outskirts of Phoenix is effectively controlled by the cartels. "We do not have control of this area," the sheriff said.

At the same time as the sheriff’s ignored press conference, the national media did cover assurances from the Obama Administration that crime was down at the border; that the border had never been safer. This ludicrous propaganda was based on selected crime stats from San Diego, Phoenix, Austin and San Antonio. The new reign of terror on the border in Arizona was airbrushed out of the picture.

Here’s the real picture Obama does not want you to see. Warning signs were posted this past month by the federal government 80 miles North of the border on the South side of I-8 between Casa Grande and Gila Bend urging U.S. citizens not to camp or hike in the "Active Drug and Human Smuggling Area" because "Visitors May Encounter Armed Criminals." Here is a picture of one of those signs:

Border

Think about it. A part of America is off limits to U.S. citizens because it is now controlled by an army of foreigners.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife staffers report that the 3,500 acre Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in this area is closed to U.S. citizens as well and is


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SEC Formally Charges Goldman Sachs In Derivatives Fraud with Paulson and Company – another ‘Rogue Trader at Work?’

SEC Formally Charges Goldman Sachs In Derivatives Fraud with Paulson and Company – another ‘Rogue Trader at Work?’ 

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

“Only fraud and falsehood dread examination. Truth invites it.”
- Dr. Samuel Johnson

The SEC is formally charging Goldman Sachs with fraud in the derivatives markets, specifically with regard to Collateralized Debt Obligations related to subprime mortgages.

Investors in Goldman’s Abacus CDO lost one billion dollars.

In addition to the company, an individual VP in Goldman’s international group is being charged, Fabrice Tourre.

Paulson and Company, a major hedge fund, paid Goldman to structure a CDO based on mortgages that Paulson selected, so that they could bet against it.

"The product was new and complex, but the deception and conflicts are old and simple. Goldman wrongly permitted a client that was betting against the mortgage market to heavily influence which mortgage securities to include in an investment portfolio, while telling other investors that the securities were selected by an independent, objective third party,” said Robert Khuzami, director of the division of enforcement.

This could be construed as a deft way of throwing red meat to the angry mob, nailing a specific individual at Goldman while limiting the criminal charges against the company although there will be significant civil cases, and dealing with the billionaire hedge fund owner Paulson who made a fortune betting against the subprime market.

This could be more damaging if this includes other Goldman bets against its customers on products it represented and created, and it shows an overall intent to create fraudulent products for the purpose of shorting them. For now the SEC will not say if this fraud is a singular event or more systemic. 

Goldman will almost certainly attempt to spin this as the actions of a ‘rogue trader‘ who was an aggressive exception.

Last week the White House asked Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein to ‘cool it’ on their intense lobbying efforts against derivatives and financial reform.

Perhaps this will help them in their decision.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. The Wall Street Banks are knee deep in fraud.

No one can obtain the kind of consistently odds


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HAMP to the Rescue

HAMP to the Rescue

 

Courtesy of MIKE WHITNEY writing at CounterPunch 

jr. deputy accountantLast Friday, the Obama administration announced changes to its Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) The most significant change is "principal reduction". By reducing the balance on underwater loans, the administration hopes to lower the number of foreclosures which have soared to more than 300,000 per month.  This looks like a plan that could work, since most foreclosures are the result of  negative equity or unemployment. If the banks and other investors agree to the terms of the program (and it looks like they will) then more homeowners will be able to avoid foreclosure, prices will stabilize, and the recovery will gain momentum. There is one drawback, however, which is moral hazard writ large.  The new program rewards the speculators who bet on dodgy investments and who’ll be able to exchange their garbage securitizations for government-guaranteed FHA loans.

In fact, it looks like that was the real purpose of the program from the very beginning. This is an excerpt from March 30, Bloomberg News:

"Subprime-mortgage securities are rising at an accelerating pace as the U.S. begins to encourage reductions to homeowners’ balances, which may lead to fewer foreclosures and a quicker end to the housing slump….Subprime-loan bonds rated AAA when created in the first half of 2006 climbed 3.2 percent last week to 49.1, the highest since January 2009, according to Markit Group Ltd.

“Senior-ranked bonds tied to borrowers with poor credit will mostly benefit after the Treasury Department said for the first time it would seek to cut the size of mortgages, reducing the likelihood that loan modifications will fail, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Barclays Plc. The revised plan also supports the housing market by helping avert more foreclosures, Amherst Securities Group LP analyst Laurie Goodman said." (Bloomberg)

So, it looks like Obama’s modification program has touched-off a gold rush in toxic paper. Subprime securitizations which had been worth next to nothing, are presently the hottest item on Wall Street. Main Street’s loss will, once again, mean windfall profits for Wall Street’s hedge fund managers and brokerage kingpins. It’s a subprime bonanza! A recent interview I had with a Wall Street veteran (anonymous) had this to say on the topic: 

"It sounds like the investors in securitizations will be swapping underwater real estate for government-insured paper… I


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Phil's Favorites

Identifying a fake picture online is harder than you might think

 

Identifying a fake picture online is harder than you might think

If you know how photo editing works, you might have a leg up at spotting fakes. Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Mona Kasra, University of Virginia

It can be hard to tell whether a picture is real. Consider, as the participants in our recent research did, these two images and see whether you think neither, either or both of them has been doctored.

...



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Zero Hedge

Shocking Before & After Photos Reveal Awful Truth About Widespread US Crop Failures In 2019

Courtesy of Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse

Torrential rains have been hammering the heartland of America for months, and at this point vast stretches of farmland in the middle of the country are nothing but mud.  As a result of the endless rain and unprecedented flooding that we have witnessed, millions of acres of farmland will have nothing planted on them at all in 2019, and that is a major national crisis.  But most farmers were able to get seeds planted in the deplorable conditions, and now they are desperately hoping that something will actually grow.  Unfortunately, on farm after farm what is coming out of the ground looks absolutely terrible.  Even if we get ideal weather conditions for the rest of the summer, there is no way that many of t...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Wilshire 5000 Creating A Triple Top? An Important Breakout Test Is In Play!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

The stock market has been on fire of late, rallying up to the edge of price resistance on several indexes. Today, we look at one of those stock market indexes: the Wilshire 5000.

The Wilshire 5000 tracks all of the stocks in the US market, so it is a broad-based index that carries significant importance when gauging the health of the overall US stock market.

Looking at the long-term “weekly” chart above, it is pretty clear that the index is at an important price juncture.

The Wilshire 5000 spent the last 25 years trading within a rising price channel (1)...



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Insider Scoop

Jefferies Upgrades Deere, Cites 'Significantly Improved Farmer Income Outlook'

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Farmer buying power will remain pressured for 2019, but this will change for the better next year and will help support Deere & Company (NYSE: DE), according to Jefferies.

The Analyst

Jefferies' Stephen Volkmann upgraded Deere from Hold to Buy with a price target lifted from $150 to $190....



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Chart School

Formula for when the Great Stock Market Rally ends

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

When valuations for the boring water company or the boring electric company is trading like your Facebook, Apple, Amazon or Netflix or Google (ie FANG) you know something is wrong.

This is when a seriously over valued market is screaming at you.

Of course the reader must understand in a world where money printing goes super nuts (Zimbabwe style) the stock market may go hyper inflationary and picking a time frame for a top is never a good idea, but we are not there yet. There is no Ben Bernanke helicopter money to the masses yet (ie MMT). 

To see when water company's (and such like) are nearing the crazy FANG like valuations a review of the Dow Jones Utility Index channel shows us how history can repeat. The c...

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ValueWalk

The "Tesla Killer" Car Is Nowhere In Sight

 

The “Tesla Killer” Car Is Nowhere In Sight

By Jacob Wolinsky, ValueWalk

Here’s some catnip for the Tesla bulls on this email list: my analyst, Kevin DeCamp, a longtime TSLA shareholder and car owner, took a test drive of the Jaguar I-PACE and, while it “looks great and is fun to drive… it is lacking in a few areas where Tesla really shines.” He concludes that “Tesla may end up killing itself, but the “Tesla killer” car is nowhere in sight.”

The Tesla Killer Hasn’t Arrived Yet: My Test Drive of the Jaguar I-PACE

By Kevin DeCamp

As a long-time, devoted Tesla...



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Digital Currencies

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream - the battle is on to bring them under global control

 

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream – the battle is on to bring them under global control

The high seas are getting lower. dianemeise

Courtesy of Iwa Salami, University of East London

The 21st-century revolutionaries who have dominated cryptocurrencies are having to move over. Mainstream financial institutions are adopting these assets and the blockchain technology that enables them, in what ...



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Biotech

Consumer genetic testing customers stretch their DNA data further with third-party interpretation websites

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

 

Consumer genetic testing customers stretch their DNA data further with third-party interpretation websites

If you’ve got the raw data, why not mine it for more info? Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Sarah Catherine Nelson, University of Washington

Back in 2016, Helen (a pseudonym) took three different direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests: AncestryDNA, 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA. She saw genetic testing as a way...



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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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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

Excerpt:

The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...



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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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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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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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