Posts Tagged ‘plastic’

GTFO of the Week: China Making Plastic Rice

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

fake riceHere’s your GTFO article of the week…

Fake Plastic Rice from China

According to the Korean-language “Weekly Hong Kong” (which many Vietnam websites are referencing as well), Singapore media claim that fake rice is being distributed in the Chinese town of Taiyuan, in Shaanxi province. This “rice” is a mix of potatoes, sweet potatoes, and plastic. It is formed by mixing the potatoes and sweet potatoes into the shape of rice grains, then adding industrial synthetic resins. Since the rice does not behave like normal rice, it stays hard even after it has been cooked. Such synthetic resins can also be very harmful if consumed.

A Chinese Restaurant Association official said that eating three bowls of this fake rice would be like eating one plastic bag. Due to the seriousness of the matter, he added that there would be an investigation of factories alleged to be producing the rice. Meanwhile, the low cost of the fake rice is allowing wholesalers to make large profits.

Can this possibly be true?  Well, they put lead in childrens’ toys so what can we put past them after that?

Source:

China Makes Fake Rice From Plastic, Vietnam Reacts (Very Vietnam)

 

 


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Oil, Oil Everywhere

Oil, Oil Everywhere

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

Boat passes through heavily oiled marsh near Pass a Loutre, Louisiana

We’re now about a month into the BP Oil "blowout" incident in the Gulf.

We still don’t know exactly what caused the blowout, but that’s not the important factor from my point of view. 

We know that a gas "bolus" got into the drill pipe and expanded as it rose, and that was the proximate cause of the blast and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon.

What we don’t know is why the blowout preventer failed to close.

There have been several theories and claims, among them:

  • The Blowout Preventer’s hydraulic system has one or more leaks in it, and as such it couldn’t close.  If this is true then the question becomes who knew of the leak, if anyone, as it would have caused the preventer to fail routine tests.
     
  • There are also claims that the well failed a negative pressure test a few hours before the incident.  That would imply that there was a problem with the casing integrity (or the cement job done to lock it in place) and work continued without addressing this first.

Let me provide some context here: I live in the Florida Panhandle and in a "worst case scenario" the value of my home is likely to be destroyed.  On April 30th I wrote a piece called "Drill Baby Drill", and I stand behind it today, even with the increased knowledge we now have.

Gulf Coast Struggles With Oil Spill And Its Economic Costs

I want answers to the above two questions, and I want the firms and persons responsible for those two breaches of protocol and common sense (along with safety measures) tarred, feathered and bankrupted, in that order, with every penny they personally and corporately possess confiscated to perform whatever remediation we can.

What I do know is this: A deepwater rig like the Horizon costs about $500,000 per day to have on site and operate.  There was obviously a decision taken by someone that halting operations to pull and repair or replace the blowout preventer stack would cost millions (such an operation would result in significant downtime, of course, during which the rig would be sitting idle) and thus it was not done.

But this does not change my base view, which is that we have no valid alternative to drilling in the Gulf and elsewhere – indeed, everywhere we can find oil and gas.

What…
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Can Crocs Be More Than a One-Hit Wonder?

Never had a pair of these colorful plastic potato-shaped shoes, so add one more to the un-crocced planet walkers. – Ilene  

Can Crocs Be More Than a One-Hit Wonder?

By Tara Kelly, courtesy of TIME

crocsThere was a time a few years ago when it seemed that the only people on the planet not wearing a pair of Crocs — those quirky, brightly colored rubber clogs — were hard-core fashionistas and Somali nomads. Actually, even Somali nomads were probably wearing them. President George W. Bush had at least one pair. So did Rosie O’Donnell and George Clooney. As well as, oh, about 2 billion children. Sales at the Colorado-based company climbed from a meager $24,000 in 2002 to more than $847 million in 2007. When Crocs went public in February 2006, it raised $208 million — the largest shoe-firm IPO in market history.

Then fortunes turned. Demand for Crocs, which are named after a crocodile because they can be worn on both land and in the water, began to cool in early 2008. Throw in the global downturn and sales tumbled 15% to $721.5 million in 2008, leading to a loss of $185 million, following a profit of $168 million a year earlier. Its share price plummeted from a high of $74 in November 2007 to a low of just $1.05 last November. It was, says John Duerden, Crocs’ chief executive, "the perfect storm."

Crocs’ journey from hot to not is a familiar tale. Reinventing yourself from a one-hit wonder into a profitable, long-term company has to be one of the biggest challenges in business. Plenty fail. Remember Beanie Babies? LA Lights? Slap-on bracelets? Duerden, 68, who joined Crocs in March from the London-based brand consultancy Chrysalis Group, says he can help Crocs avoid disappearing altogether and turn the company into "a financially stable company and brand."

The crucial first step is to lower costs, inventory and manufacturing infrastructure to levels more in line with demand. Overzealous production had left the company with millions of dollars’ worth of unwanted stock by mid-2008. Some of the work was already under way: Crocs has shed 32% of jobs since 2007, shuttering factories, paring its distribution network and cutting its inventory in half over the past couple of years. That’s helped nudge Crocs’ stock close to $7, but for it "to move higher, [the company] ultimately needs to become…
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ValueWalk

The Combination Of Loose Monetary Policy And Large Fiscal Stimulus

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Insights into the market and economic conditions from the wealth advisors and portfolio managers at Bel Air Investment Advisors, an investment firm that focuses on overseeing and managing the over $8 billion in assets for 300 high-net-worth families, individuals and foundations. They discuss President-elect Joe Biden’s fiscal stimulus plan, the loose monetary policy, coronavirus vaccine distribution, oil and copper prices and much more.

Q3 2020 hedge fund letters, confere...



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Phil's Favorites

Wall Street Fears Gary Gensler Because He Knows Too Much

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Gary Gensler

Last Tuesday, Wall Street was stewing over the Reuters report that President-Elect Joe Biden was likely to name Gary Gensler, the former Chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), as the new Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The CFTC oversees the futures market. The SEC oversees the trading of stocks; the stock exchanges; the broker-dealers and investment banks that underwrite and trade stocks; and how all o...



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Zero Hedge

Options Positioning Collapse Sparks "Potential For High Volatility"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

As we detailed last week, Friday's very large options expiration sparked a ~50% reduction in single stock gamma, leaving markets vulnerable to short-term volatility.

As SpotGamma warned, the  markets were entering a period with the potential for high volatility:

This creates volatility because as large options positions expired, are closed and...



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Politics

What is the 'boogaloo' and who are the rioters who stormed the Capitol? 5 essential reads

 

What is the 'boogaloo' and who are the rioters who stormed the Capitol? 5 essential reads

Rioters mass on the U.S. Capitol steps on Jan. 6. Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Courtesy of Jeff Inglis, The Conversation

In the wake of the insurrection on Jan. 6, the U.S. is bracing for the possibility of additional violent demonstrations and potential riots at the U.S. Capitol and state capitol buildings around the nation. W...



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Chart School

Why did selling SP500 volatility trades blow up?

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Many have made their fortunes selling volatility premium and then losing it, that is because they are running down the lit fuse and not understanding that eventually the strategy blows up.

In the chart below periods marked with A, B, C, D are periods of chasing yield which was so great the selling of option premium became vogue. Yes, this strategy worked for a while and 'this time was different' worked, until it didn't.

Selling volatility work great during period gray A until the cycle ended at red A.
Selling volatility work great during period gray B until the cycle ended at red B.
Selling volatility work great during period gray C until the cycle ended at blue C.
Selling volatility work great during period gray D un...

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Biotech/COVID-19

The simple reason West Virginia leads the nation in vaccinating nursing home residents

 

The simple reason West Virginia leads the nation in vaccinating nursing home residents

By mid-January, only about a quarter of the COVID-19 vaccines distributed for U.S. nursing homes through the federal program had reached people’s arms. Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Courtesy of Tinglong Dai, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing

The urgency of vaccinating nursing home residents is evident in the numbers. The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of mo...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Treasury Bond Yields At Make-Or-Break Decision Point Says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Treasury bond yields (and interest rates) have been falling for so long now that investors have taken it for granted.

But bond yields have been rising for the past several months and perhaps investors should pay attention, especially as we grapple with questions about inflation and the broader economy (and prospects for recovery).

Today we ask Joe Friday to deliver us the facts! Below is a long-term “monthly” chart of the 30 Year US Treasury Bond Yield.

Counter-Trend Rally In Yields Facing Strong Resistance!

As you can see, treasury bond yields have spent much of the past 25 years trading in a falling channel… but the coronavirus crash sent yields...



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Mapping The Market

The Countries With The Most COVID-19 Cases

 

The Countries With The Most COVID-19 Cases

By Martin Armstrong, Statista, Jan 12, 2021

This regularly updated infographic keeps track of the countries with the most confirmed Covid-19 cases. The United States is still at the top of the list, with a total now exceeding the 22 million mark, according to Johns Hopkins University figures. The total global figure is now over 85 million, while there have been more than 1.9 million deaths.

You will find more infographics at ...



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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin: why the price has exploded - and where it goes from here

 

Bitcoin: why the price has exploded – and where it goes from here

B is for blast-off (but also bubble). 3DJustincase

Courtesy of Andrew Urquhart, University of Reading

Bitcoin achieved a remarkable rise in 2020 in spite of many things that would normally make investors wary, including US-China tensions, Brexit and, of course, an international pandemic. From a year-low on the daily charts of US$4,748 (£3,490) in the middle of March as pandemic fears took hold, bitcoin rose to ju...



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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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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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Promotions

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

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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. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.