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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Why are equities bummed out today? The Fed, of course!

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

It's Time To Stop Using Ancient Rockets

Two years ago, Elon Musk said this about Orbital Sciences' use of Russian rocket engines to ferry cargo for NASA to the International Space Station:
One of our competitors, Orbital Sciences, has a contract to resupply the International Space Station, and their rocket honestly sounds like the punch line to a joke. It uses Russian rocket engines that were made in the ’60s. I don’t mean their design is from the ’60s—I mean they start with engines that were literally made in the ’60s and, like, packed away in Siberia somewhere.
Yesterday, the third flight of Orbital's rocket which was to deliver supplies to the ISS blew up shortly after lifting off. While we don't yet know that a rocket engine on the first stage failed, we do know that an identical engine blew up on a test stand in May. The cause of that explosion has not been disclosed yet.

Orbital's competitor to deliver supplies to the ISS is, of course, Musk's SpaceX, which builds and fully-tests its own rocket engines. One of them failed on an earlier flight, but because the Falcon 9 rocket is designed to safely get to orbit even if one engine fails, the mission was a success for NASA. Orbital not only uses 50-year-old rocket engines purchased from Russia, it uses only two engines on the first stage of the rocket. So, if one fails, the mission itself is a complete failure.

It's time to re-examine the logic behind Orbital's use of half-century-old rocket technology before they have another failure.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. It's a critical time for stocks as a key indicator is at a turning point.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Dueling trendlines, but only one is likely to win out in the end.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Portfolio Risks Due To Climate Change

The Bank of England has started asking financial firms to assess their risks from Climate Change. According to the Financial Times “The Bank of England has written to dozens of insurance companies to assess the risk that climate change poses to their solvency and earnings, in a sign of regulators’ concern about the potential financial fallout of global warming.”

With the IPCC due to release a major report next week on the rising risks from climate change, it appears that the money crowd is finally getting the message.

Elon Musk Jumps the Shark

Elon Musk has jumped the shark.

While Musk has been very successful at going up against the perceived wisdom, he's now clearly getting delusional. Just read what he said at MIT last week:

Musk: I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful with artificial intelligence.

I’m increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish. With artificial intelligence we’re summoning the demon. You know those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram, and the holy water, and he’s like — Yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon? Doesn’t work out. [audience laughs]

Q: So I’ll take it there’ll be no HAL9000 going to mars?

Musk: Heh. HAL 9000 would be easy [to deal with in comparison to the AI he’s talking about]. It’s way more complex… it’d put HAL9000 to shame. That’s like a puppy dog.
When did he first show signs of delusion? We date it to the gigafactory. Betting $5 billion on a decade-old technology like Lithium-Ion batteries is a very risky bet—and will end up losing investors much money. New battery technology will make the gigafactory obsolete even before it opens.

Investors pay heed: Jumping the shark is going to lose lots of investment cash for Musk.

Another Reason Why Texas is the Armpit of the USA

Over the years, we've seen many instances of idiocy in Texas (the current idiot-in-charge is Rick Perry), but the new Texas Voter ID law has to be the most insane law of all. Years ago, Texas had a poll tax whose only purpose was to disenfranchise poor people. It worked very well in keeping the poor from voting. But, then, the Supreme Court ruled, surprisingly, that requiring a voter to pay for the privilege was illegal.

Today, the Texas Voter ID Law has replaced the poll tax. And, the law has been upheld in court (so far). It keeps the poor, who disproportionately do not have the right kind of identification, from exercising their right to vote. The supporters of the law, the current ruling class in Texas, claim that voting fraud is being prevented by this law. In truth, they are the ones committing voter fraud by keeping the poor from voting. Eventually, the Supreme Court will rule this law is as unconstitutional as the poll tax. But, for now, the law is in effect and will help the ruling class maintain their iron grip on Texas.

Does a 93-year-old veteran get to vote in the current election? No, according to the law, his driver license has expired and therefore he's not eligible to vote anymore. What they're saying is that he lost his rights when his driver license expired? Are you kidding? Why isn't an expired license just as valid for authenticating his identity? He certainly didn't become a different person when the license expired, did he?

The ruling party of Texas (they were once called “carpetbaggers” after the Civil War, by the way) is simply daring true patriots to eliminate them at the polls or in the courts in coming years. It will be a turn for the better for Texas.

In the meantime, we have the prospect of a crashing economy in the State of Texas to look forward to in 2015 and 2016. Guess who will get the blame? Yes, indeed, the ruling class is going to come crashing down with the economy. And, rightly so.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

UN: Some Effects of Climate Change Are Irreversible

The latest report from the IPCC paints a very bleak future for the human race, as Reuters reports:

Delegates from more than 100 governments and top scientists meet in Copenhagen on Oct 27-31 to edit the report, meant as the main guide for nations working on a U.N. deal to fight climate change at a summit in Paris in late 2015.

They will publish the study on Nov. 2.

European Union leaders on Friday agreed to cut emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, in a shift from fossil fuels towards renewable energies, and urged other major emitters led by China and the United States to follow.

"The report will be a guide for us," Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, who will host a U.N. meeting of environment ministers in Lima in late 2014 to lay the groundwork for the Paris summit, told Reuters.

He said the synthesis report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), drawing on three mammoth scientific reports published since September 2013, would show the need for urgent and ambitious action in coming years.

Many governments want the 32-page draft to be more clearly and punchily written in warnings of more powerful storms, heat waves, floods and rising seas. The United States said some tables "may be impenetrable to the policymaker or public".

In a paragraph summing up the risks, the draft says that a continued rise in world greenhouse gas emissions is "increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems."

It adds that "a combination of adaptation and substantial, sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can limit climate change risks."

ALL AFFECTED

Among more than 2,000 comments on the text by governments, the European Union said the IPCC should add that "all regions are affected, regardless of wealth".

The United States called for clarification of the meaning of "irreversible". Jonathan Lynn, spokesman of the IPCC, said that the meeting would take account of all comments.

Past reports have warned that warming could, for instance, trigger impacts irreversible on human time scales such as a runaway meltdown of Greenland's ice that would raise sea levels and swamp coasts from Florida to Bangladesh.

Two artists were to unveil 100 tonnes of ice on Sunday in 12 massive blocks brought from near Nuuk, Greenland, outside Copenhagen's City Hall to remind delegates of the risks.

"We can save the ice by burning less coal, conserving electricity, and driving better cars," Danish Climate Minister Morten Helveg Petersen said of the Ice Watch exhibit.

The IPCC says that it is at least 95 percent certain that human activities, led by the burning of fossil fuels, are the main cause of climate change since 1950, up from 90 percent in the previous assessment in 2007 and 66 percent in 2002.

Opinion polls indicate many people, especially in the United States, are unconvinced and suspect that natural variations in climate are to blame. That gap between public and scientific opinion is a big complication for work on the Paris accord.

What Percentage of Americans Are Idiots?

Newsmax conducted a poll of Americans, asking whether they think Global Warming is a hoax. Fully three-quarters of respondents said, “Yes, global warming is a hoax.” The other quarter said, “No, it is a real threat.”

What does this say for America? It says the country is going down the drain very quickly now. Being unable to recognize an obvious threat to our survival means that we have lost our ability to survive as a species on one of the best planets in the Universe. It won't be a habitable planet much longer if the idiots get their way, which it appears they are doing.

Is it the fault of the government that so many idiots exist in America today? After all, the government operates most of the schools in this country and if anyone is responsible, it's the government. Perhaps we should require global warming denialists to attend special schools to learn the facts. We should certainly require those in school to take tests assessing their ability to distinguish fact from fiction.

The most frightening conclusion is that in a representative democracy, three-quarters of the voting public simply is too moronic to be allowed to vote.

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. Where are the big returns setting up in stocks and bonds?

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Viable Battery Storage For the Grid: Two Years Away?

According to Bloomberg, Viable Battery Backup for Rooftop Solar Still Years Away, it will be two years before battery-backed home solar will be cost-effective for homeowners:

That means homeowners who add solar panels to save money on utility bills will continue to lose electricity during blackouts, even after an 80 percent decline in battery costs over the past decade.

Residential solar systems typically send power to the grid, not directly to the house, and don’t run the home during a blackout. For batteries to save consumers money, stored energy must be drained daily, said Jamie Evans, who runs the U.S. Eco Solutions unit for Panasonic Corp., which supplies lithium-ion cells for Tesla Motors Inc.

Solar will need storage for grid stability,” Evans said yesterday in an interview at the Solar Power International convention in Las Vegas. “Battery costs need to come down and regulatory structures have to change to really scale up.”

As residential solar becomes more common from California to New York, utility grids will increasingly become stressed without storage to ease supply and demand imbalances, he said.

For now, that means battery storage only makes economic sense for large businesses that get hit with extra fees when their power usage exceeds utility expectations.

These so-called demand charges can add up to half of a company’s utility bill, said John Carrington, chief executive officer of Stem Inc., a storage supplier backed by General Electric Co. that offers three-year leases on battery systems for customers including hotel chain Extended Stay America Inc.

“Residential solar plus storage isn’t ready yet,” Carrington said in an interview. “Lithium batteries cost too much to be used for just back-up power in an emergency.”

That’s why rooftop solar developers and battery companies are working with regulators in California and New York to change utility rate structures so that batteries in a home can get paid to supply power to the grid when needed, said SolarCity Corp. CEO Lyndon Rive.

“Storage will have to provide additional services besides backup power, like voltage and demand management,” Rive said. “When you start to see gigawatts of solar deployed the grid will need this.”

But, are industry experts going to be surprised when new battery technology bursts upon the scene in the year ahead? Yes, indeed, they will be!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Dirty Secret Big Oil Wants To Hide

Oil is not only a major contributor to global warming when it's burned, it's now the main source of revenue for the Islamic State (IS). The terrorist group which masquerades as a sovereign nation earns an estimated $1 million per day from selling oil it obtains in occupied regions of Iraq and Syria.

It's bad enough that the oil is mainly burned for transportation, upping the CO₂ load on the planet higher than anytime in the last 800,000 years. That's a load that we humans should have eliminated a long time ago by use of renewables. It's even worse that murderous IS is profiting from the crimes it commits—including selling oil which is mainly burned for energy.

There's no technological reason we can't eliminate fossil fuels we have today. It's a matter of paid-off politicians preventing the widespread adoption of renewables who are greedy and being bribed by Big Oil to stand in the way of progress. And, now those politicians are caught on the same side of the road as IS terrorists. They may not personally like or approve of IS, but they are definitely fellow travelers on the wrong side of the road.

As for the global warming denialists? Are they visibly-distinguishable from IS? They'd better wake up and smell the coffee!

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Will we retest last week's lows? One indicator holds the key to that.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Is the rebound rally over? We look at what could really stop the rally quickly.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Climate Change Deniers Are Certifiable

We realized that deniers have something wrong in their heads a long time ago. Now, a respected psychologist, Doug Craig, agrees:

As a psychologist for nearly 30 years, it has been my experience that not everyone understands mental illness. People who have had direct experience with severe anxiety, depression, PTSD, chronic pain, suicide, bipolar illness, schizophrenia or extreme despair and hopelessness get it. They understand because of their own life experience or from their connection with a loved one who has suffered significant pain as a result of their mental or emotional difficulties.

On the other hand, there are many who mistake their good luck or positive genetics as a message that mental illness is a myth. Just because they are not depressed or anxious, they cannot relate to those who struggle with these serious disorders on a daily basis. We have all seen or heard from these individuals. Contemptuous, condemnatory judgements drip from them like toxic sludge. They have no compassion or understanding as they spew their hateful views on people they do not know or care to know.

How quickly this changes, of course, when the course of their own life turns. The good fortune they enjoyed shifts for some reason and they find themselves suddenly down, out or disabled by inner demons they never knew were there. When life kicks us from the inside, we become humble, open and receptive to help wherever we can find it. We no longer have the luxury of our ignorance and prejudice. Our survival depends on facing our truth and discovering the right combination of medicine and therapy that enable us to regain our balance, peace and joy.

Similarly, it is hard to deny the climate is changing when the evidence of your lived experience says otherwise. If you live on an island or in a coastal community, for example, you are more likely to have personally felt the cold, wet hand of climate change.

It is both comic and tragic that so many believe that the Earth’s rising temperature cannot be described as global warming. What is it then? It is laughable and cruel how our conservative friends buy the lie that billions of tons of human-generated, heat-trapping gases are somehow not responsible for our steadily warming planet, even though this is the consensus view of nearly every climate science study and scientist on Earth in the last 25 years. It is odd and sad that they cannot connect a hotter world with melting glaciers and melting glaciers with rising seas and rising seas with devastated communities in all nations where land meets sea, including our own.

Like someone who must confront the truth of their mental illness as they fight suicidal thoughts; severe, chronic pain or crippling panic attacks, the island nations are forced to face a reality that will inevitably and permanently remove their nations from the maps of the world. They cannot play denier games. They cannot pretend the cruel lies of the contrarians contain any credibility worth their children’s futures or their precious, diminishing time. Instead, they must speak out as you would if you stood in their wet shoes, their eyes trained on the rising seas threatening their homes and all they hold dear.

There's a part of the United States which will sink beneath the seas in a relatively short period of time. Did you know that South Miami, Florida is doomed by rising seas? That's why they are petitioning for secession from the climate change deniers of Florida. Read on....

Evidence of Another Even More Sweeping Housing Bust is Already Starting to Appear

Evidence of Another Even More Sweeping Housing Bust is Already Starting to Appear

By Elliott Wave International

Editor's note: With permission, the following article was adapted from the October 2014 issue of The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, a publication of Elliott Wave International, the world's largest market forecasting firm. You may review an extended version of the article for free here.

In February, The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast discussed the great boom in New York City's residential real estate and its keen resemblance to what happened in 1929, when the demand for luxury housing also spiked to previously unseen heights. At 133 East 80th Street, we found this plaque commemorating the earlier era's brick-and-mortar monuments to a Supercycle degree peak in social mood.

The plaque went up in 2010, demonstrating the strength of the bullish echo from the end of Supercycle wave (III) to the final after-effects of Supercycle wave (V). Another link to the prior manic era is that many of Rosario Candela-designed apartment towers from the 1920s have become "some of New York's most coveted addresses." As architectural historian Christopher Gray puts it, Candela is now Manhattan real estate brokers' "name-drop of choice. Nowadays, to own a 10-to 20-room apartment in a Candela-designed building is to accede to architectural as well as social cynosure."

Of course, the most brilliant stars in the New York skyline are those that sell for the highest prices, and that honor belongs to the brand new penthouses that the Financial Forecast talked about in February. Most are popping up along the rim of Central Park, forming a ring of cloud-topping towers that will be so pronounced it is already called Billionaires' Row.

Here is a short video that shows two of them as they were topped off in February.

The video helps illustrate our point from February: "As in the 1880s, the views and proximity to Central Park drive development, but the new buildings rise so high that the park's presence fades away."

As the Dow rallied to its September high, prices for space in these buildings also entered the stratosphere. According to Forbes, a penthouse apartment on the 89th and 90th stories of One57 (building at the end of the clip) sold for $90 to $100 million, a new record. In another building, 520 Park Avenue, owners are asking a record high $130 million for a penthouse, which will cap its top three stories. If they sell it soon -- and they will have to if they hope to land that price -- the developers should demand a big down payment. The Greatest Depression has yet to begin, but the evidence of another even more sweeping housing bust is already starting to appear. Bloomberg notes, for instance, that in the immediate vicinity of One57, three copycat buildings are "rushing" toward completion, and "some real-estate experts warn of an oversupply of luxury dwellings." Across the river in New Jersey, the story is the same: "Real estate officials are predicting the [market] is heading toward a glut" (NorthJersey.com, Sept. 21).

Meanwhile, the first whiffs of a renewed decline in single-family housing are also appearing. U.S. home prices increased at the slowest pace in 20 months in July. In the housing bellwether of Southern California, sales plunged in July and August. In fact, at less than 18,800 units sold, they were down 18.5% from a year earlier, the lowest total in four years.

The September Financial Forecast noted a similar August cratering for home sales in London, another global pacesetter. The top line on the next chart shows that the timing is about right, as British home prices have traced out a nice five waves in a rise that dates back to the early 1970s.

The lower panel on the graph shows inflation-adjusted prices in Britain and an even more pronounced rise in Canadian home prices. Now look at the red lines, which show the trend in Japan's home prices. These are the most important lines on the chart, as the Financial Forecast has long held that "Japan leads the way." Home prices in Japan have been falling steadily since the early 1990s. The chart shows that deflationary forces have come a long way but also have a long way to go. In due time, every major real estate market in the world should fall in with the downtrend in Japan.

Editor's note: For a limited-time, Elliott Wave International has unlocked an extended version of this article for non-subscribers to read completely free. Please follow the link here to read the rest of EWI's commentary about deflation spreading worldwide. Get the extended version of the article here - it's free.


Decline and Fall: Disaster Ahead for US Government

Science magazine reports that “When US voters head to the polls on 4 November, they are poised to set in motion a major political shift that promises to intensify partisan strife over issues such as climate change, immigration and research funding. For the first time since 2006, Republicans are likely to win full control of the US Congress — having seized the House of Representatives in 2010, they are now predicted to take control of the Senate.”

The only conclusion which can be drawn is that the long term decline and fall of the USA continues with no end—other than dissolution of the country—in sight.

Read US midterm elections offer little hope for science.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. The market found support today, but an important test is coming soon.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Earth To European Leaders: Cutting CO2 40% By 2030 "Too Little And Too Late"

The politicians just don't get it. The Earth is heating up due to our burning of fossil fuels. Yet, they think this is a crisis which can be “contained.” They'd better wake up because when the “little people” wake up, they'll be at their doors with flaming torches. The BBC reports:
Europe's leaders are about to consign the Earth to the risk of dangerous climate change, a UN expert says.
Prof Jim Skea, a vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says the EU's plan to cut CO₂ emissions 40% by 2030 is too weak.
He says it will commit future governments to "extraordinary and unprecedented" emissions cuts.
Prof Skea, vice-chair of the economics working group of the IPCC, told BBC News the EU's 40% target for 2030 would not lead to the desired cut by the middle of the century.
He said the easy climate protection measures — like energy saving — had been snapped up, leaving to future leaders the job of introducing new clean technologies in every walk of life.
"I don't think many people have grasped just how huge this task is," he said. "It is absolutely extraordinary and unprecedented. My guess is that 40% for 2030 is too little too late if we are really serious about our long-term targets."
He believes some politicians have not grasped the relative mathematics of transforming the energy economy step-by-step from 1990 baseline through to 2050.
He says the Commission's current stance means that future leaders will need to make a three-fold cut in just 20 years — which Prof Skea believes is scarcely credible.
Prof Skea believes governments are setting targets by what appears to be politically achievable rather than what is necessary to transform the way we make and use energy as the century unfolds.
Much of the political difficulty lies in fears that Europe's competitors will not play their part in reducing emissions, leaving EU firms and consumers saddled with high energy prices.
Poland says the 40% target will damage its economy. Other nations like the UK say the target should be made more ambitious if the US and China agree strong action to protect the climate.
Other negotiations around the EU's climate and energy package centre on whether Europe should agree a mandatory energy efficiency target.
Environmentalists and several industry groups argue this is the best way of cutting emissions whilst also reducing dependency on Russian gas.
The UK's Energy Secretary Ed Davey maintains that nations should be able to decide on their own strategies for cutting emissions without being bound by too many rules.
Prof Skea, who is based at Imperial College London, agrees with him. The best way of cutting emissions, he says, is by Europe ratcheting up efficiency standards across all products that use energy.
Some politicians recently complained that new EU efficiency standards were denying people the opportunity to buy the best vacuum cleaners.
But Prof Skea maintains that industry standards take the least efficient machines off the market, which benefits consumers without excessive political pain.

American Traitors: Climate Change Deniers

Climate change deniers know that what they are fighting for is fatal for America. Therefore, it's clear that these people are traitors to America.

Take Ted Cruz for example: Tell Ted Cruz to Face the Facts on Climate Change:

Ted Cruz recently said that climate change is not supported by the data.

"The last 15 years, there has been no recorded warming," he said.

But here are the facts: Ted Cruz and his Republican colleagues continue to reject 97% of scientists who say that climate change is real. The GOP is denying science at the expense of our environment and future generations.

If people like Ted Cruz get their way, there is no future for our descendants on this planet. It's time that climate deniers are treated like the American traitors they are!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. It's do or die here after a bounce off last week's lows.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. More Hallowe'en goblins are ahead as investors get a visit from the bear.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Huge number of bears are coming out of the woodwork now.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. If you took our advice, you took profits in government bonds today!

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. What is October famous for?

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Was today's market spooked by the ghost of larger than life criminals past?

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Peter Diamandis: "Self-Driving Cars Are Coming!"

Peter Diamandis says, “Self-Driving Cars Are Coming! And, here are some of the implications:
  1. Reduced deaths, reduced accidents: In the U.S. alone, there were over 33,000 automobile deaths in 2013. For those aged 5 to 34 in the United States, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death, claiming the lives of 18,266 Americans each year.
  2. Saving LOTS of Money and Time: It’s estimated that AVs could save over 2.7 billion unproductive hours commuting to work. This in turn translates to an annual savings of $447.1 billion per year in the U.S. alone (assuming 90% AV penetration). This number was calculated by taking into account crash cost savings, congestion benefits, reduced travel times, fuel savings, parking savings, changes in total number of vehicles, and other factors.
  3. Massive Fuel Savings: Today, a 4,000-lb. SUV spends less than 4% of its energy moving a 150-lb. driver around. Imagine if a car could be significantly lighter (because they don’t crash), getting four times the mpg?
  4. No New Roads, Less Traffic: Autonomous vehicles packed with sensors can drive fast and efficiently at 8 times the packing density of today’s human-driven cars. This means no traffic jams and no need to build new roads. Plus, when they pack closely together, the reduction in wind drag alone could reduce fuel use up to 20 - 30 percent.
  5. No Ownership – Just “On-Demand” Usage: Today your car is an unused asset 95% of the day. Why own a car when you can have access to whatever car you want, whenever you want it? On-demand car usage will change the future. (Who wins? You do. Who loses? Detroit). It is estimated that at 90% AV penetration, we could actually reduce the number of cars on the road by 42.6%.
  6. No Garages, No Driveways, No Parking: In his book, Eran Ben-Joseph notes, “In some U.S. cities, parking lots cover more than 1/3 of the land area.” But what if you never need to park your car? What if it just drops you off and goes and does something useful? No need for parking garages, parking lots, driveways… Plus, one MIT study found that 40 percent of total gasoline use in cars in urban areas is spent while drivers look for parking.
  7. No Mandatory Car Insurance: Self driving cars won’t crash and will disrupt the $200 billion auto insurance industry.

A Cultural Shift to Sharing – The 6 D’s of Transportation:

The true future of Uber is autonomous Cars. Today an UberX in Los Angeles costs me about $2 per mile. But the majority of the cost of my UberX ride is the driver in the front seat. Take out the driver and the cost drops 5 to 10-fold.

So to summarize:

  • Deceptive: While autonomous cars have been in a period of deceptive growth over the past 30 years, they are now poised for disruption.
  • Disruptive: Every major car company is making investments and the value proposition of saved money, time and lives will drive disruptive change in the decade ahead.
  • Dematerialization: Car ownership will begin to dematerialize as the cost per mile plummets and convenience skyrockets (Uber has already started that process). Why own a car when you can have access to a car (any car)? Plus, we’ll have no cost of insurance, maintenance, repair, parking…
  • Demonetization: As mentioned above, autonomous cars have the potential to drop the cost of transportation (per mile) by 10-fold. Add to this, no cost of acquiring the asset up front. It is true demonetization. Add to this a future of fully electric vehicles, and in the sunny parts of the world, transportation gets even cheaper.
  • Democratization: Everyone will have access to autonomous vehicles, including those who previously couldn’t drive: kids, senior citizens, disabled and the poorest among us.

So there you have a glimpse of the future of autonomous cars. It’s an area that I am monitoring closely.

BTW, if you’d like to join me, and learn more about this area from a business perspective, it’s a subject I discuss with the entrepreneurs in my mastermind, Abundance 360. If you’d like more info, and to apply, you can do so here.

P.S. Every weekend I send out a “Tech Blog” like this one. If you want to sign up, go to Peterdiamandis.com and sign up for this and my Abundance blogs.

P.P.S. Please forward this to your best clients, colleagues and friends — especially those who could use some encouragement as they pursue big, bold dreams.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. Find out why a bounce could setup the real buying opportunity later.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. A key technical indicator, the number of new 52-week lows, is non-confirmational.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Texas and Germany: Energy Twins?

Ben Paulos writes in Texas & Germany: Energy Twins?:
Germany and Texas have some intriguing similarities when it comes to their electricity systems, and may share a common future.
Policy makers in both Texas and Germany believe strongly in competitive markets and have largely deregulated their power industries. Both regions have a large and growing amount of renewable energy and are likely to see much more in the future — in Germany, due to the strong policies of the Energiewende and in Texas, driven by abundant natural resources and the increasing maturity of wind and solar power.
In both places, belief in competition has led to "energy-only" wholesale markets, where generators compete to sell their juice on daily and hourly markets, an approach lauded by market economists as the most economically efficient approach. Many other states and countries provide long-term payments to power producers to be ready to provide power as needed, called a "capacity" payment.
These factors (and others) have led to very low wholesale prices in both Germany and Texas. Low prices are driving incumbent utilities toward bankruptcy, shuttering power plants and tightening operating margins, as well as triggering a contentious debate about reforms to market designs.
In Texas, near-outages in 2011 triggered the debate. Power plant owners argued that prices were too low, no new plants would be built, and power shortages were just around the corner. They were countered by large consumers, maintaining that low prices were simply the result of market forces at work, capacity payments were a form of welfare and adding them would drive up costs.
Earlier this year, under substantial political pressure, the state utility commission in Texas decided the market was "healthy" and made relatively minor fixes.
In Germany, the same debate is just heating up. The ongoing growth of wind and solar is pushing conventional technologies out of the market, inflicting serious financial damage on the incumbent generation companies. Yet those traditional "dispatchable" power plants are needed for when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine.
European generators E.ON, RWE, GDF Suez and Vattenfall all saw major losses in 2013. RWE has called it "a crisis in conventional power generation," and has closed 12,600 MW of capacity since the start of 2013. Another 15,000 MW of conventional power plants have requested permission to shut down.
The companies are also lobbying hard for capacity payments to reduce their losses. Just as in Texas, though, there is strong resistance to capacity payments, for the same reasons of economic efficiency and competitiveness.
Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel recently compared capacity markets to an unemployment program. "When it comes to capacity markets, this cannot be a [welfare program] for power plants—where you do not work but earn money," he told an energy industry conference in June.
Given that the goal of the Energiewende is an 80% share of renewable power by 2050, these market concerns are fundamental to the future of energy in Germany. And they are a harbinger of things to come in places like Texas, where wind and solar are competitive, the resources are large, and the pressure for pollution reduction is growing.
In this future, conventional power plants run less and less, but are still needed for reliability. If they aren't going to make a living selling electrons, they need to make it selling reliability and integration services. And they must compete with "smart grid" technologies that are making the demand side more interactive.
To make it work, the money flows of power systems dominated by renewable energy will have to look fundamentally different from those designed for traditional power plants.
What's missing in the discussion is the role storage will play. With cheap battery storage due to change the playing field dramatically in the future, the need for conventional fossil fuel power plants will wither and die. The utilities will be stuck with power plants built to pay back their costs over a period of decades being unable to compete. Bankruptcy or corporate welfare will be the alternatives for many electric utilities who fail to see the oncoming 800-pound gorilla of renewables. It won't be government which forces renewables down consumers' throats. It will be that old reliable: free market capitalism which drives the electric utilities into a financial hole from which they will never emerge.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Seasonal low in equities comes in right on time today.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. The 8th is a full moon and the average seasonal low for the equity market.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Battery Storage: More Disruptive Than Solar

We've been telling you what a key technology battery storage is. Now, some big Wall Street banks are joining the movement. According to How battery storage costs could plunge below $100/kWh by Giles Parkinson in RenewEconomy.com.au:
The flow of analysis about battery storage from big-end investment banks continues apace. Last week it was HSBC and Citigroup with ground-breaking reports – which we wrote about here and here. UBS also jumped in on the act too.

Why is this so? Well, according to UBS, interest from both investors and corporates has accelerated in recent months. That’s because the big end of town is suddenly alive to the opportunities of a technology that will likely be even more disruptive than solar. And the key is in the forecast on costs.

Citigroup last week cited $230/kWh as the key mark where battery storage wins out over conventional generation and puts the fossil fuel incumbents into terminal decline.

UBS, in a report based around a discussion with Navigant research, says the $230/kWh mark will be reached by the broader market within two to three years, and will likely fall to 100/kWh.

And it predicts that the market for battery storage will grow 50-fold by 2020, mostly in helping households and businesses consumer more of their solar output, but also at grid scale and with electric vehicles.

So here are some highlights gleaned from the UBS discussion with Navigant:

Navigant estimates the cost of materials going into a battery at the Tesla Gigafactory on a processed chemical basis (not the raw ore) is $69/kWh [this metric is per kW per hour of operation].

The cost of the battery is only ~10-20% higher than the bill of materials – suggesting a potential long-term competitive price for Lithium Ion batteries could approach ~$100 per kWh. Tesla currently pays Panasonic $180/kW for their batteries, although conventional systems still selling for $500-700/kWh. But Navigant says that the broader market place will reach the levels Tesla is paying in the next two to three years.

A typical ‘load shifting’ 4-hour battery (designed to address the afternoon/evening peak) costs anywhere from ~$720-2,800/kWh, depending entirely on the scale of the Lithium Ion battery employed and the size of order.

The average $500-700/kWh for a typical battery is probably closer to the $2,000-3,000/kW when including the balance of the system costs ( around $400-500/kW), with a trend towards around $1,500/kW within the next 3-years. Navigant estimates the global market for batteries will grow from 400 MWh in 2013 (ie – 100 MW assuming 4-hour systems), to 20GWh (or around 5GW/yr) by 2020, globally.

UBS believes that the ‘merchant’ entry of batteries for wholesale purposes on the grid remains a few years off. Some above-market PPAs [Power Purchase Agreements] will be supported by utilities looking to use the technology to balance their grids but UBS believes commercialisation of battery storage will remain biased towards ‘short-usage’ needs, and by businesses looking to clip their ‘peak’ usage charges.

Still, over the long run, the advantages of scale will mean that utility-scale storage will evolve much more rapidly compared to the residential product.

As for the market for batteries, UBS cites three sub-sectors:

Transportation: low-cost, high-density, low-weight batteries. We emphasize this sector is likely to take a different direction from utility solutions.

Utility-scale: The main focus, with the primary consideration for these solutions being their ability to deploy quickly, into high density populations without contributing to air or water permitting hassles.

Distributed resources: in both commercial and industrial, and residential applications. “While many would point to the ability to move ‘off the grid’ entirely, we suspect the economics are unlikely palatable. Rather, the ability to clip ‘peak’ demand contributions by industrial customers is particularly notable. “

As for the question of which technology, Navigant expects lithium ion to remain the market leader for grid as well as small-scale storage for the next ten years. The main risks remains the uncertainty on input costs for Lithium, as well as Cobalt and Graphite, where Navigant thinks the greater “pinch points” await.

Other technologies being considered include flow batteries, such as advanced lead acid carbon, which are also functionally well suited for grid storage/long duration applications. Newer chemistries, such as the currently under research lithium sulfur and magnesium-Ion batteries may gain traction by early next decade.

Beyond batteries, pumped hydro faces the problem of limited favorable locations available, but fly wheels and compressed air storage (combined – and dispatched through gas turbines) may yet find their respective niches, although could well be excluded from ongoing state processes to kick-start the battery sector.

“In the end, lower prices are coming, but the technology is not yet clear,” UBS notes.

And, it quotes Navigant researcher Sam Jaffe in this clear point, that battery storage is coming now.

Jaffe said most of his ten years in the sector had been “sitting at conferences hearing the same presentations from the same people about the same hypothetical benefits of energy storage.

”But I see a very important change in the last two years where most of the presentations at these conferences are now talking about actual deployment of storage. So what has been a hypothetical concept for so long is now becoming a real business.”

As Jaffe noted, the $180/kWh price paid by Tesla compares to about $1500/kWh even five years ago, maybe seven years ago when it was $1200 to $1500 per kilowatt-hour. “So $180 per kWh is the price of those batteries, not the manufacturing cost but the price that they’re paying for them,” he said..

He also made this point about the comparison between battery storage and gas-fired peaking plant:

“If you assume that we’re at around a $200 per kilowatt- hour price point today for high quality Lithium-Ion batteries that are going to last ten years under frequent cycling, and if you wanted to build a very large peaker plant with four hours of energy duration behind it, it would be about $1400 per kilowatt on those costs.

“Interestingly, that’s actually pretty comparable to the cost of building a natural gas fired peaker plant. Keep in mind, you’re not buying fuel for batteries – you’re essentially just arbitraging low and high cost of daily electricity.”

Note: The analyses cited above are too pessimistic. In other words, battery storage is coming much faster than they expect.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. A seasonal bottom is due soon. Could be a strong rally coming.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. Is the correction over? Where will the market go from here?

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Stocks tried to bounce today, but didn't fool anyone. Trend still down.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

High Frequency Trading: Just the Tip of the Iceberg Crooks Use

Today, a High-Frequency Trader was indicted for manipulating markets. This is the little fish compared to some, but it's the start of a process which should lead to the indictment of many CEOs of high profile S&P companies for falsifying earnings:
Between August and October 2011, Coscia allegedly defrauded participants in the CME Group and ICE Futures Europe markets. In August 2011, Coscia began a high-frequency trading strategy in which he entered large-volume orders that he intended to immediately cancel before they could filled by other traders, the indictment alleges.
Coscia devised this strategy to create a false impression regarding the number of contracts available in the market, and to fraudulently induce other market participants to react to the deceptive market information he created, the indictment states. His strategy moved the markets in a direction favorable to him, enabling him to purchase contracts at prices lower than, or sell contracts at prices higher than, the prices available in the market before he entered and canceled his large-volume orders, it adds. Coscia then allegedly repeated this strategy in the opposite direction to immediately obtain a profit by buying futures contracts at a lower price than he paid for them, or by selling contracts at a higher price than he paid for them. Each such trade allegedly occurred in a matter of milliseconds. As a result of the aggregate of those fraudulent high-frequency trades, Coscia illegally profited approximately $1,592,867 over approximately three months, the indictment alleges.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Buying bonds is turning out to be a great move as stocks plumb the deep here.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Obama Offers a Billion Dollars in Financing for Indian Clean Energy

In Historic Visit To D.C., Obama Offers Indian Prime Minister $1 Billion In Financing For Clean Energy:
The governments will focus on bringing power to the 400 million Indians still without access to regular electricity by accelerating the deployment of solar technology and using policies and business models to make clean energy an appealing commercial opportunity for investors. Shortly after being elected in May, Modi announced that his government wants every home to be able to run at least one light bulb by 2019. As India pursues this goal, solar could play an important role, especially in reaching those off the grid. But coal fired-power plants are expected to make up the bulk of the power capacity increase, and the resulting emissions could make India the global GHG leader — ahead of the U.S. and China — in coming decades. "The silver lining here is that for all of Modi's efforts to squelch dissent at home over coal expansion, he really is all in on diversifying to clean energy," said Guay. "More than anything it is his demand for investment in solar that elevated climate change, and clean energy investment, to a priority in this historic meeting."
The other agreements focused on improving Indian air quality, strengthening climate resilience in the face of extreme weather like droughts and floods that have recently wreaked havoc on the subcontinent, and building energy security by reducing the country's reliance on imports.
Of course, one might question the sincerity of the Obama Administration, which had a golden opportunity to revive the economy and provide ‘too cheap to meter’ electricity back in 2009, an opportunity which was squandered by Obama's ineffectual management of the government. Has he finally learned enough to actually be a good President? Only time will tell, of course.

Are US Companies Lying About Earnings?

In the past few years of so-called ‘recovery,’ we've seen a strange combination of rising corporate earnings and falling real wages. And, profit margins are at record highs as well. This is all while the economy is debatably not growing at a rate commensurate with such earnings rises. Something is fishy here. Are corporations lying about earnings?

One of the big changes which would tend to cause this misinformation is that corporate leadership's pay rate is determined largely by increases in share prices. And, share prices increase with rising earnings. So, it's in the interest of corporate management to boost earnings to up their take-home pay. Andrew Smithers has a description of this:

The massive rise in bonuses paid to managements, which depend on the data the companies publish, has encouraged companies to boost profits in the short-term as bonuses often depend on short-term changes in earnings per share or return on equity. Even when they are more directly related to changes in share prices, these often respond to similar changes in the published data. Parallel with this rise in incentives to misrepresent profits has been an increasing ability to do so, with the change from "marked to cost" to "marked to market" accounting.
The result might be compared to the increase in theft that we might expect if windows and safes had to be left open by law, and items stolen were declared to be the lawful property of the thieves.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Where is cash building up? Where does it always build up this time of year!

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Big trend change is coming in equities.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

National Science Foundation: California Drought Linked to Man-Made Global Warming

Climate deniers will hate it. But, they'll have to live with it. The reality of the climate change crisis is not deniable by any rational person—but, of course, the deniers aren't rational and will never accept the proven fact that climate change is caused mostly by humans burning fossil fuels. Now, the National Science Foundation tells us:
The atmospheric conditions associated with the unprecedented drought in California are very likely linked to human-caused climate change, researchers report.
Climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh of Stanford University and colleagues used a novel combination of computer simulations and statistical techniques to show that a persistent region of high atmospheric pressure over the Pacific Ocean--one that diverted storms away from California--was much more likely to form in the presence of modern greenhouse gas concentrations.
The result, published today in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, is one of the most comprehensive studies to investigate the link between climate change and California's ongoing drought.
"Our research finds that extreme atmospheric high pressure in this region--which is strongly linked to unusually low precipitation in California--is much more likely to occur today than prior to the emission of greenhouse gases that began during the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s," says Diffenbaugh.
The exceptional drought crippling California is by some measures the worst in state history.
Combined with unusually warm temperatures and stagnant air conditions, the lack of precipitation has triggered a dangerous increase in wildfires and incidents of air pollution across the state.
The water shortage could result in direct and indirect agricultural losses of at least $2.2 billion and lead to the loss of more than 17,000 seasonal and part-time jobs in 2014 alone.
Such effects have prompted a drought emergency in the state; the federal government has designated all 58 California counties as natural disaster areas.
"In the face of severe drought, decision-makers are facing tough choices about the allocation of water resources for urban, agricultural and other crucial needs," says Anjuli Bamzai, program director in the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, which funded the research.
"This study places the current drought in historical perspective and provides valuable scientific information for dealing with this grave situation. "
Scientists agree that the immediate cause of the drought is a particularly tenacious "blocking ridge" over the northeastern Pacific--popularly known as the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge, or "Triple R"--that prevented winter storms from reaching California during the 2013 and 2014 rainy seasons.
Blocking ridges are regions of high atmospheric pressure that disrupt typical wind patterns in the atmosphere.
"Winds respond to the spatial distribution of atmospheric pressure," says Daniel Swain of Stanford, lead author of the paper.
"We have seen this amazingly persistent region of high pressure over the northeastern Pacific for many months, which has substantially altered atmospheric flow and kept California largely dry."
The Triple R was exceptional for both its size and longevity.
While it dissipated briefly during the summer months of 2013, it returned by fall 2013 and persisted through much of the winter, California's wet season.
"At its peak in January 2014, the Triple R extended from the subtropical Pacific between California and Hawaii to the coast of the Arctic Ocean north of Alaska," says Swain, who coined the term "ridiculously resilient ridge" to highlight the persistent nature of the blocking ridge.
Like a large boulder that has tumbled into a narrow stream, the Triple R diverted the flow of high-speed air currents known as the jet stream far to the north, causing Pacific storms to bypass not only California, but also Oregon and Washington.
As a result, rain and snow that would normally fall on the West Coast were instead re-routed to Alaska and as far north as the Arctic Circle.
An important question for scientists and decision-makers has been whether human-caused climate change has influenced the conditions responsible for California's drought.
Given the important role of the Triple R, Diffenbaugh and colleagues set out to measure the probability of such extreme ridging events.
The team first assessed the rarity of the Triple R in the context of the 20th century historical record.
Analyzing the period since 1948, for which comprehensive atmospheric data are available, the researchers found that the persistence and intensity of the Triple R in 2013 were unrivaled by any previous event.
To more directly address the question of whether climate change played a role in the probability of the 2013 event, the team collaborated with scientist Bala Rajaratnam, also of Stanford.
Rajaratnam applied advanced statistical techniques to a large suite of climate model simulations.
Using the Triple R as a benchmark, Rajaratnam compared geopotential heights--an atmospheric property related to pressure--between two sets of climate model experiments.
One set mirrored the present climate, in which the atmosphere is growing increasingly warmer due to human emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
In the other set of experiments, greenhouse gases were kept at a level similar to those that existed just prior to the Industrial Revolution.
The researchers found that the extreme heights of the Triple R in 2013 were at least three times as likely to occur in the present climate as in the preindustrial climate.
They also found that such extreme values are consistently tied to unusually low precipitation in California, and to the formation of atmospheric ridges over the northeastern Pacific.
"We've demonstrated with high statistical confidence that large-scale atmospheric conditions similar to those of the Triple R are far more likely to occur now than in the climate before we emitted large amounts of greenhouse gases," Rajaratnam says.
"In using these advanced statistical techniques to combine climate observations with model simulations, we've been able to better understand the ongoing drought in California," Diffenbaugh adds.
"This isn't a projection of 100 years in the future. This is an event that is more extreme than any in the observed record, and our research suggests that global warming is playing a role right now."
The research was also supported by the National Institutes of Health. Rajaratnam was also supported in part by DARPA, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the UPS fund.

An Epic Optimism that Can Be Reversed Only by a Huge Bear Market

An Epic Optimism that Can Be Reversed Only by a Huge Bear Market

By Elliott Wave International

Editor's note: The following article was republished here with permission from the co-editors of the September issue of The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, a publication of Robert Prechter's Elliott Wave International, the world's largest financial forecasting firm. From Sept. 25 to Oct. 1, EWI is throwing open the doors to all of its investor services 100% free. Click here to join EWI's free Investor Open House now.

Recent weeks brought the biggest confrontation with Moscow since the Cold War, a race riot, a new low in the popularity of President Obama and grisly beheadings at the hands of religious terrorists amidst a major re-escalation of the war in Iraq.

If this sounds a lot like 1968, when Russia invaded Czechoslovakia, President Johnson bowed out of the presidential race as his popularity plummeted and the Vietnam war took a decisive turn for the worst, there's a perfectly logical Wave Principle basis for it; both periods contain the end of high degree B-wave rallies. This week there was also a cyber attack on major banks and a report of the lowest summer box office in 30 years.

Near the beginning of Grand Supercycle wave III (circled) (Elliott wave labels not shown), not even the United States rated designation as a functioning democracy. But a broadening of suffrage laws in the 1810s and 1820s made it the lone liberal democracy by the end of Supercycle wave I in 1835.

The negative news causes some observers to insist that investors are in a dark mood and that stocks are climbing a "wall of worry." At last week's San Francisco Money Show, for instance, a subscriber noted that one pundit was bullish because "everyone is bearish." This contrary position would stand every chance of panning out, if it were true. But it's not even close.

Investors Intelligence recorded just 15.1% bearish advisors in their current weekly survey, which, except for December of last year, matches the lowest total since 1987. The bullish plurality in the weekly American Association of Individual Investors poll, a cautious group in general, jumped to 32.7%, the highest extreme for the year and the third highest in eight years. The percentage of sentiment indicators tracked by SentimenTrader.com that are "bullish for stocks" is zero. On the other hand, optimistic extremes, which are "bearish for stocks," have been featured in virtually every 2014 issue of The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast. These measures depict an epic optimism that doesn't just disappear; it can be reversed only by a huge bear market.

According to Freedom House, the total number of functioning democracies is 88, down from a peak of 90 in 2007. The current total remains historically high, but it's back to where it was in 1998.

Such confidence has been showing up everywhere, from the eager buying of junk bonds to elevated M&A activity, which the Financial Forecast showed in July. This month, Burger King's bid for Tim Hortons, a Canadian coffee shop chain, and other merger deals put the U.S. on pace to possibly "top the all-time record set in 2007."

According to CNNMoney, the latest big deals, are "good news because they signal growing confidence. People and businesses don't spend big amounts of money unless they are optimistic about the future."

"We've got a steadily improving economy, there aren't issues out there that will derail things," says an investment banker. This kind of supreme confidence is the hallmark of a major stock market peak.

As the events at the top of this article attest, there are increasing manifestations of negative social mood. But as the Financial Forecast discussed last month, optimism is so entrenched that even bad news is perceived as good for stocks. An example that we cited last month was the outbreak of hostilities between Israel and its enemies, which investors quickly labeled as an opportunity to buy stocks. Not so. The August issue of the Financial Forecast included a chart that shows similar outbreaks accompanying most of the major stock market tops since 1929.

Negative economic news is also cropping up, but every bad number simply evokes a cry of "Buying opportunity!" from investors. When word hit on August 13 of an unexpected stall in July U.S. retail sales, investors saw "the silver lining."

"Shockingly bad economic data in Europe" says a Bloomberg article, "is being treated as good news by the markets."

Many of these calls are rooted in the belief in an omnipotent U.S. Federal Reserve.

"Investors who say, 'It's up too much, you can't buy it' have been playing a fool's game," said a money manager. "The Fed's not about to rein in the economy any time soon."

Under the headline, "Markets Rarely Crater in Periods of Carefulness," The Wall Street Journal on August 14 noted that "stocks are heavily dependent on Fed support."

We'll stick with our unpopular and contrary view on this one: Unbridled faith in central bankers and their money printing efforts is not "careful," it's cavalier. Believing in the Fed's omnipotence is the biggest and most dangerous investment myth of all time, and it will end unhappily for bullish investors.

To continue reading Hochberg and Kendall's 10-page issue of The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, click here to join EWI's free Investors Open House now.


This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline Inside Look: An Epic Optimism that Can Be Reversed Only by a Huge Bear Market. EWI is the world's largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts led by Chartered Market Technician Robert Prechter provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. The next wave up is getting started as the economy rolls over.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Made In Space: 3D Printing On The Space Station

The first 3D printer arrived on the International Space Station last week. It promises to revolutionize transportation of objects into space by transmitting instructions from Earth to the ISS and executing them on the printer. Up to 30% of the items needed on the ISS can be printed on a 3D printer. A report on the new printer explains the process.
I'm pretty jaded when it comes to start-ups suggesting that their product will "disrupt" everything, but, as hyperbolic and cliche as it might sound, the Zero-G Printer arriving to the ISS really is "only the beginning". In the short term, the Made In Space machine can produce tools on the ISS. Whether in the case of an Apollo 13-style emergency or run-of-the-mill astronaut activities, crew members will be able to manufacture, on demand, components critical or quotidian. According to the company, 30% of the spare parts currently aboard the ISS can be manufactured with their 3D printer. With a single shipment of filament, the space station would no longer need to await parts flown up to them, costing valuable weight and space on a given spacecraft that could be used for other items. As 3D printing technology improves, including the variety of materials, the potential for what types of object can be printed will increase the usefulness of a printer in space greatly.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Rockefellers Dump Fossil Fuel Investments

Last week, Rockefeller heirs dumped their investments in fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy. The fortune built by John D. Rockefeller was based upon oil and now it has come time to change to clean energy.

Rockefeller's great grandson said:

John D Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil, moved America out of whale oil and into petroleum.
We are quite convinced that if he were alive today, as an astute businessman looking out to the future, he would be moving out of fossil fuels and investing in clean, renewable energy.

How To Tell Iran Is Lying About Nuclear Power

Some people believe Iran when they say their nuclear program is aimed at peaceful production of electrical energy. There's a good reason that you should not believe them and that's the simple fact that nuclear is far inferior to solar.

There's a good reason why we aren't building any new nuclear plants anymore. That reason is that nuclear simply cannot compete with solar. As we have said many times, solar will become the predominant source of energy in the next decade.

Here's what Ray Kurzweil has to say:

Solar power has been doubling every two years for the past 30 years — as costs have been dropping. He says solar energy is only six doublings — or less than 14 years — away from meeting 100 percent of today's energy needs. Energy usage will keep increasing, so this is a moving target. But, by Kurzweil's estimates, inexpensive renewable sources will provide more energy than the world needs in less than 20 years. Even then, we will be using only one part in 10,000 of the sunlight that falls on the Earth.
In places such as Germany, Spain, Portugal, Australia, and the Southwest United States, residential-scale solar production has already reached “grid parity” with average residential electricity prices. In other words, it costs no more in the long term to install solar panels than to buy electricity from utility companies. The prices of solar panels have fallen 75% in the past five years alone and will fall much further as the technologies to create them improve and scale of production increases. By 2020, solar energy will be price-competitive with energy generated from fossil fuels on an unsubsidized basis in most parts of the world. Within the next decade, it will cost a fraction of what fossil fuel-based alternatives do.
It isn't just solar production that is advancing at a rapid rate; there are also technologies to harness the power of wind, biomass, thermal, tidal, and waste-breakdown energy, and research projects all over the world are working on improving their efficiency and effectiveness. Wind power, for example, has also come down sharply in price and is now competitive with the cost of new coal-burning power plants in the United States. It will, without doubt, give solar energy a run for its money. There will be breakthroughs in many different technologies, and these will accelerate overall progress.
Thus, it's not hard to tell that Iran is lying about nuclear power. It doesn't take a weatherman to smoke out the lies Iran would have you believe about their nuclear program.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Wave 3 down had more to come, surprising the buy-the-dippers.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Nice dip and traders made a lot money today.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Elliott Wave International's Open House Starts Thursday at Noon

EWI is, for the first time, set to open up all of their services for free to the public this Thursday at noon Eastern. The Open House will end next Wednesday, so sign up today: SIGNUP HERE and obtain access to a preview video right now.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. A trend reversal is nearing. Will you capture your open position profits in time?

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Punk Economics: Tomorrow's Ireland -DoneDeal - Farming Report (Video)

Hedge Funds Surpass 2007 Leverage; New Era of 'Permanent Investigations' Confirms Imminent Reversal

Hedge Funds Surpass 2007 Leverage; New Era of 'Permanent Investigations' Confirms Imminent Reversal

By Elliott Wave International

Editor's note: The following article was republished here with permission from the co-editors of the September issue of The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, a publication of Robert Prechter's Elliott Wave International, the world's largest financial forecasting firm. From Sept. 25 to Oct. 1, EWI is throwing open the doors to all of its investor services 100% free. Click here to join EWI's free Investor Open House now.

Hedge funds are further out on the same limb they occupied in 2007, right before the collapse shown on this chart of the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index.

According to Eurekahedge, a global hedge fund monitoring service, hedge funds' gross assets hit 170% of capital in January, which surpasses the previous peak of 168% in 2007.

Leverage at many of the largest hedge funds is far higher.

For instance, in April, the New York Post noted that Citadel Investment Group, one of the 25 biggest US hedge funds, had implied leverage of about 8.8 times its total investment capital. The Post also noted that Citadel's "leverage last came under scrutiny in 2008, when it had to unwind a leverage of 8.2 times as the financial crisis unfolded."

The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast asserted in April that hedge funds will be even more of a focal point for losses in the next wave down. The chart of the HFRX Index shows that global hedge fund performance has been essentially flat since 2011. The A-B-C rally from 2009 has now retraced 63% (5/8) of the decline from 2007-2008, so an even more precipitous downtrend seems near for hedge funds.

The U.S. Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations confirms the imminence of a reversal.

In July, Congress opened a major probe into the inner workings of the hedge fund industry. A report from one set of hearings is titled "Abuse of Structured Products: Misusing Basket Options to Avoid Taxes and Leverage Limits." The subcommittee recommended that regulators "take steps to examine complex financial arrangements."

It never fails. When a mania ends, the instruments of the uptrend are often subject to recrimination and "reform."

In the early 1930s, there was the Pecora Commission, which led to the Glass-Steagall Banking Act of 1933. This is a bigger peak, so the politicians will extract more than just their average pound of flesh.

To continue reading Hochberg and Kendall's 10-page issue of The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, click here to join EWI's free Investors Open House now.


This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline Hedge Funds Surpass 2007 Leverage; New Era of 'Permanent Investigations' Confirms Imminent Reversal. EWI is the world's largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts led by Chartered Market Technician Robert Prechter provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.

The Coming Era of Free Energy

We've explained many times that the future will bring us virtually free energy. The argument is sound, but most people simply can't accept the fact that we already have a running fusion reactor which is providing us with 10,000 times as much energy as we currently use.

Of course, the trick is in capturing that energy, converting it into a usable form and storing it. We're talking about our nuclear reactor at the heart of our local region of the Milky Way Galaxy—our Sun. It's an all-natural fusion reactor which is safely located almost a hundred million miles away.

The coming era of unlimited — and free — clean energy presents an analogy involving a well-known and ubiquitous product you may own:

In the 1980s, leading consultants were skeptical about cellular phones. McKinsey & Co. noted that the handsets were heavy, batteries didn't last long, coverage was patchy, and the cost per minute was exorbitant. It predicted that in 20 years the total market size would be about 900,000 units and advised AT&T to pull out.
McKinsey was wrong, of course. There were more than 100 million cellular phones in use in 2000; there are billions now. Costs have fallen so far that even the poor, all over world, can afford cellular phones.
The analogy is apt. As the technology progresses, we will bring the cost of energy down to zero. The “energy deniers” have been telling us that we are running out of cheap energy and present graphs of oil to prove their point. Well, of course, we are running out of cheap energy from oil. That's absolutely certain. But, barring a major catastrophe on the Sun, we look forward to having billions of years' worth of free energy raining down. All we need is a way to capture it and use it.

Or, as Robert Heinlein wrote in his speculative fiction novel Friday:
Those who spoke of "energy scarcity" and of "conserving energy" simply did not understand the situation. The sky was "raining soup"; what was needed was a bucket in which to carry it.