Posts Tagged ‘property rights’

The Coming Collapse of the Real Estate Market

Here’s another great article on the frauds at the heart of the mortgage and banking sectors. – Ilene 

The Coming Collapse of the Real Estate Market 

foreclosure Courtesy of Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds 

The system for financing mortgages and regulating that financing has failed, completely and utterly. The mortgage and real estate markets are now in collapse.

Yesterday I wrote about how positive feedback loops lead to collapse. Welcome to the U.S. housing and mortgage markets. As I have documented here numerous times, the entire U.S. mortgage market has already been socialized: 99% of all mortgages are backed by the three FFFs--Fannie, Freddie and FHA--and the Federal Reserve has purchased a staggering $1.2 trillion in mortgage-backed assets in the past year or so to maintain the illusion that there is a market for mortgage-backed securities.

There is, but only because the mortgages are backed by the Federal Government and propped up by the Federal Reserve.

The mortgage market is completely dependent on government guarantees and quasi-Government purchases of securitized mortgages. If the mortgage market were truly socialized, then the Central State would own the banks which originate, service and own the mortgages.

But then the private owners and managers of the "too big to fail" banks would not be reaping hundreds of billions in profits and bonuses. And since the banking industry has effectively captured the processes of governance (that is, Congress and the various regulatory agencies), then what we have is a system of private ownership of the revenue and profits generated by the mortgage industry and public absorption of the risks and losses.

Could anything be sweeter for the big banks? No.

The incestuous nature of the system is breathtaking. The Fed creates the credit which enables the mortgages, the Treasury guarantees the mortgages via Fannie, Freddie and FHA, the Fed buys the mortgages ($1.3 trillion in mortgages are on their balance sheet) and the private banks collect the fees and profits.

One of the core tenets of the Survival+ critique is the State/Financial Plutocracy partnership. There are many examples of this partnership (crony capitalism in which the State is the "enforcer" which collects the national income and distributes it to its private-sector cronies), but perhaps none so blatant and pure as the mortgage/banking sector.

But now the entire legal basis for that privatized-profits, socialized losses system has dissolved. The foreclosure scandal…
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An Age of Miracles and Wonders

An Age of Miracles and Wonders

Courtesy of Tim at The Psy-Fi Blog 

Low angle view of a woman with outstretched arms against blue sky

S-t-r-e-t-c-h

Stretch your arms out to either side and imagine you’re looking at the economic growth of the human race over its entire four thousand year documented history. From the fingertip on your right hand to the first wrinkle on its index ftinger more or less covers the first three thousand eight hundred years. From there to the end of the index finger on your left hand represents growth over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

We truly live in an age of miracles and wonders. Medical advances have ensured more people live longer than ever before, scientific achievements have created a world in which we’re surrounded by astonishing labour saving creations and inventions which allow us to waste the time we’ve saved and the extra years of life we’ve been granted. Meanwhile our economic understanding of how this happened has, well, gone nowhere very interesting really. How did we achieve this state of grace?

Science and Medicine

View of female pharmacist holding and yellow and white box

 One thing’s perfectly clear – the massive economic growth seen over the last couple of hundred years doesn’t have an awful lot to do with economics. Perhaps the prevalence of capitalist doctrines has prevented excessive government intervention in free markets at too early a stage, but otherwise we’ve veered about wildly while booming and busting our way to a greater level of wealth and health than ever before seen on the planet.

On the other hand this has had a lot to do with medical advances. Medicine has ensured that our useful lives are greatly extended – although a lot of the increase in average lifespans so often discussed is down to vast decreases in infant mortality. Still, we no longer die en-masse of septicaemia. Better, though, improvements in healthcare have extended the useful working lives of people: imagine a world in which most people were dead by 45. Heck, no politicians.

From Third World to First

Along with this we’ve seen incredible advances in science and engineering. In my father’s living memory he recalls the arrival of electricity, sewage disposal and tarmac to his home village. My grandmother was born before the Wright Brothers took flight and outlived – by far – the Apollo program. Yet her grandfather lived in a world virtually unchanged for a millennium: a world of hard…
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Property Rights and Wrongs

Property Rights and Wrongs

magna cartaCourtesy of Tim at The Psy-Fi Blog

It Begins: The Magna Carta

In 1215, at Runneymede in England, King John set his seal upon the document known as Magna Carta and thus kicked off nearly a thousand years of property madness. The charter was the result of the King’s ruthless trampling over the rights of existing nobles and, extracted from him at the point of a sword, gave all freemen of England certain, inalienable rights.

One of these was the right not to be unlawfully deprived of their property and, such is the way of these things, this was to lead to the Anglo-Saxon obsession with housing which has been at the heart of so many recent financial debacles. It may be that “an Englishman’s home is his castle” but mistaking a heavily mortgaged property for a safe financial haven isn’t the cleverest bet you’ll ever make. Although it may still be better than investing in the stockmarket for most people.

Property Rights

At the heart of the Magna Carta were a number of provisions that echo down the ages:

"No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land."

The document is, to be fair, rather a rambling read and at points gets oddly excited about making the King give back all the stuff he’d stolen from Wales including "the son of Llywelyn." Quite why King John had such a liking for the Welsh isn’t recorded, but they clearly weren’t happy with the attention. According to the charter he’d also acquired the sisters of the King of Scotland on his travels, so he seems to have been an inveterate Celtic kleptomaniac.

Although the charter enshrined a lot of rights, many of which are traceable into important future constitutional documents like the American Declaration of Independence, the English more or less observed it in the breech for a few hundred years. Kings may have nominally been as one with everyone else before God but in practice they had the biggest armies, the


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Brokedown Palace: The Undermining of Property Rights in America

This is a very good essay on how property rights have gone the way of the frog, slow cooking in the pot of water on the fire.  (It’s reprinted in the Zero Hedge section below as well.) – Ilene

Brokedown Palace:  The Undermining of Property Rights in America

property rights Courtesy Zero Hedge, by Client 9

ZeroHedge recently highlighted the TPG raid on CDOs. This action puts into focus the alarming trend of the undermining of creditor rights. When even the Courts are in on the gang bang, what hope do we have?

The battlefield: CDOs, mortgages, corporate debt
The players: hedge funds, management teams, elected officials, lobbyists, unions
The weapons: loopholes, new precedents, bankruptcy court, political pressure
 
The Chrysler debacle was stink enough, but the trend of collateral tampering is an outright stench today. Property rights have allowed the U.S. to flourish.  They are bedrock of our economy.  They allow facilitate the spread of credit and economic growth that some other countries cannot match.
 
In Chrysler we saw legal precedent created where a *secured creditor* received less on its contracted collateral than unsecured creditors. In one fell swoop, we saw fiduciaries abscond, “disinterested” advisors incented to rubber-stamp, and the Courts join in on the rubber stamping party (more on this later). Most importantly, we witnessed a government that not only sanctioned this egregious behavior but astonishingly pushed for it. The Government actually labeled those who filed objects to the deal as “terrorists” (you can’t make this up). The Government actually vetoed Chrysler’s offer to give secured creditors additional consideration. Our lawmakers were so involved that Chrysler’s own attorneys tried to block discovery of their communications with Washington (the attorney’s clients were Chrysler, not Washington). We must never forget Obama’s alleged threat of using the “White House Press Core” to weaken what little opposition remained (who exactly were the terrorists?).
 
Chrysler is not the only company to pervert Chapter 11 for the purpose of disenfranchising creditors.  The briefs filed in Charter Communications are full of shenanigans. The DIP roll-up drive-bys of 2009 rewarded handsomely those with the means to literally ‘stick up’ a Court.  Case in point: Lyondell.  Ask yourself, does a company with $27BN of assets really only realize at the last minute it must file for bankruptcy? 


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Brokedown Palace: The Undermining of Property Rights in America

Courtesy of Client 9

ZeroHedge recently highlighted the TPG raid on CDOs.  This action puts into focus the alarming trend of the undermining of creditor rights.  When even the Courts are in on the gang bang, what hope do we have?

 

The battlefield: CDOs, mortgages, corporate debt
The players: hedge funds, management teams, elected officials, lobbyists, unions
The weapons: loopholes, new precedents, bankruptcy court, political pressure

 

 

The Chrysler debacle was stink enough, but the trend of collateral tampering is an outright stench today.  Property rights have allowed the U.S. to flourish.  They are bedrock of our economy.  They allow facilitate the spread of credit and economic growth that some other countries cannot match.

 

In Chrysler we saw legal precedent created where a *secured creditor* received less on its contracted collateral than unsecured creditors.  In one fell swoop, we saw fiduciaries abscond, “disinterested” advisors incented to rubber-stamp, and the Courts join in on the rubber stamping party (more on this later).  Most importantly, we witnessed a government that not only sanctioned this egregious behavior but astonishingly pushed for it.  The Government actually labeled those who filed objects to the deal as “terrorists” (you can’t make this up).  The Government actually vetoed Chrysler’s offer to give secured creditors additional consideration.  Our lawmakers were so involved that Chrysler’s own attorneys tried to block discovery of their communications with Washington (the attorney’s clients were Chrysler, not Washington).  We must never forget Obama’s alleged threat of using the “White House Press Core” to weaken what little opposition remained (who exactly were the terrorists?).

 

Chrysler is not the only company to pervert Chapter 11 for the purpose of disenfranchising creditors.  The briefs filed in Charter Communications are full of shenanigans.  The DIP roll-up drive-bys of 2009 rewarded handsomely those with the means to literally ‘stick up’ a Court.  Case in point: Lyondell.  Ask yourself, does a company with $27BN of assets really only realize at
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More Stupidity: Obama / Chrysler

Obama, having taught Constitutional Law, it would seem, would remember this:  "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.   – Ilene

More Stupidity: Obama / Chrysler

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market-Ticker


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Zero Hedge

China 2018 GDP Growth Slows To Weakest In 28 Years

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Update: Not wanting to bury the lead, here is some context for the mixed bag tonight from China. China's annual GDP growth in 2018 was +6.6% - that is the weakest annual GDP growth since 1990...

*  *  *

After downbeat headlines over US-China trade talks, and following ...



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Phil's Favorites

Bogle's Big Mistake

 

Bogle’s Big Mistake

Courtesy of 

The world lost a legend this week. Jack Bogle had a greater impact on the average investor than anyone who ever lived.

Bogle, however, was not an overnight sensation. The index fund, which he is best known for, wasn’t created until his fifth decade on the planet.

I wanted to share the challenges he overcame on his way to cementing a place on the Mount Rushmore of finance with this chapter from my book, Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and ...



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ValueWalk

#1 Performing Global Macro Hedge Fund Sees More Shorts Opportunities Ahead As China Bursts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Crescat Global Macro Fund update to investors on 1/19/2019

Crescat Global Macro Fund and Crescat Long/Short fund delivered strong returns for both December and full year 2018 in a difficult market. Based on ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Stock declines did not break 9-year support, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

We often hear “Stocks take an escalator up and an elevator down!” No doubt stocks did experience a swift decline from the September highs to the Christmas eve lows. Looks like the “elevator” part of the phrase came true as 2018 was coming to an end.

The first part of the “stocks take an escalator up” seems to still be in play as well despite the swift decline of late.

Joe Friday Just The Facts Ma’am- All of these indices hit long-term rising support on Christmas Eve at each (1), where support held and rallies have followed.

If you find long-term perspectives helpf...



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Digital Currencies

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

 

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

Blockchain technologies can empower people by allowing them more control over their user data. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Ajay Kumar Shrestha, University of Saskatchewan

Blockchain has already proven its huge influence on the financial world with its first application in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It might not be long before its impact is felt everywhere.

Blockchain is a secure chain of digital records that exist on multiple computers simultaneously so no record can be erased or falsified. The...



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Insider Scoop

Cars.com Explores Strategic Alternatives, Analyst Sees Possible Sale Price Around $30 Per Share

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related 44 Biggest Movers From Yesterday 38 Stocks Moving In Wednesday's Mid-Day Session ...

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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 13, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

In last week’s recap we asked:  “Has the Fed solved all the market’s problems in 1 speech?”

Thus far the market says yes!  As Guns n Roses preached – all we need is a little “patience”.  Four up days followed by a nominal down day Friday had the market following it’s normal pattern the past nearly 30 years – jumping whenever the Federal Reserve hints (or essentially says outright) it is here for the markets.   And in case you missed it the prior Friday, Chairman Powell came back out Thursday to reiterate the news – so…so… so… patient!

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reinforced that message Thursday during a discussion at the Economic Club of Washington where he said that the central bank will be “fle...



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Members' Corner

Why Trump Can't Learn

 

Bill Eddy (lawyer, therapist, author) predicted Trump's chaotic presidency based on his high-conflict personality, which was evident years ago. This post, written in 2017, references a prescient article Bill wrote before Trump even became president, 5 Reasons Trump Can’t Learn. ~ Ilene 

Why Trump Can’t Learn

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore (...



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Biotech

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

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

 

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Bacteriophage viruses infecting bacterial cells , Bacterial viruses. from www.shutterstock.com

Courtesy of John Bergeron, McGill University

Today, the scientific community is aghast at the prospect of gene editing to create “designer” humans. Gene editing may be of greater consequence than climate change, or even the consequences of unleashing the energy of the atom.

...

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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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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

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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.

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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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