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Friday, July 31, 2015

The Fed Can't Stop the Commodity Bear Market

Only a shift in investor psychology -- i.e. the Elliott wave pattern -- can

By Elliott Wave International

For many commodity investors, the last four years have felt like one long, bad dream. The kind where you're tied to a railroad track as a train heads straight for you -- in slow motion. You can't move, can't scream, can't do anything but lay there and wait for the point of impact. On July 29, that point seemed closer than ever when the S&P GSCI index, a measure of a basket of 24 commodities, plunged to its lowest level in 13 years.

Meanwhile, the bellwether Thomson Reuters Core Commodity CRB Index dove to a 7-year low, having dropped 34%-plus since June 2014.

But, according to the mainstream experts, there's one surefire way to stop the commodity bear market train in its tracks; namely, the Federal Reserve jumps into the conductor's seat and slams on the brakes via easy money and low rates. Here, a July 29 news source cuts to the chase:

"Driving the selloff in commodities are expectations that the Fed will raise borrowing costs in coming months, a move that investors expect to further boost the dollar and pressure the prices of commodities.

"It's hard to see how the Fed would even consider hiking rates against such a weak backdrop."

From our standpoint, it's hard to see how belief in the Fed's ability to re-route the commodity rout persists -- even as the facts say otherwise. Case in point: If maintaining a loose monetary policy is good for commodities, then why did the market crash 60% in 2008 -- the same year the Fed slashed rates seven times to record low of 0-.25% while launching the first round of quantitative easing?

Chalk it up to a glitch, perhaps?

Not likely. Because in 2011, as commodity prices came barreling back to multi-year highs, the same Fed-led explanations reemerged. After all, the world's largest central bank was smack dab in the middle of injecting a few trillion more dollars into the U.S. economy via QE 2 and QE 3. The mainstream saw no reason for the commodity bull run to end, to wit:

In April 2011, the Daily Sentiment Index (prepared by showed the percentage of commodity bulls at a record 93%.

Yet -- that same month, the Thomson Reuters CRB Index peaked and turned down in the four-year long, 30%-plus bear market we see today.

Despite the Fed's supposed pro-inflation, rate-slashing, money printing campaign, our May 2011 Elliott Wave Theorist identified a perfect bearish trifecta on the CRB Index's price chart: A three-step, countertrend rally ... inside of a parallel trend channel ... at a [Fibonacci] 62% retracement:

With all these changes occurring, the commodity rebound -- it has not been a bull market -- is probably over.

I think the dollar is starting a 5-year bull market, which will coincide with a bear market in everything else."

Two years into the commodity selloff, our November 2013 Elliott Wave Theorist put the fallacy of a Fed-led market to bed:

Charts tell the truth. Notice the four short arrows on the chart. Based on their positions, you might think they would mark the timing of accurate sell signals generated by a secret indicator. But there's no secret indicator. These happen to be the times at which the Fed launched its inflationary QE programs!

Investors believed the Fed's QE actions would be bullish for commodities. But -- ironically yet naturally -- every launch of a new QE program provided an opportunity to sell commodities near a high.

None of the believers in omnipotent monetary authorities and their pledges to inflate saw any of those changes coming. Meanwhile, we couldn't see how it could turn out any other way.

Understanding the Fed eBook

This eye-opening complimentary report, which represents more than 10 years of research, goes beyond the Fed's history and government mandate; it digs into the Fed's real motivations for being the United States' "lender of last resort."

Download Understanding the Fed eBook Now >>

This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline The Fed Can't Stop the Commodity 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.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. The message our lead dog is sending. Flight-to-quality into bonds.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. It's been a nice rally, especially in the Dow. What's next?

Investors Fleeing Fossil Fuels

The inexorable Law of Supply and Demand is at work. Robert Scribbler writes in Climate Change Changes Everything — Massive Capital Flight From Fossil Fuels Now Under Way:

Massive Investor Flight Away From Fossil Fuels

And this year it appears that a number of investors are starting to get it. Get the fact that there’s no future left in burning coal, oil or gas. No future worth living in at least. For investors by the droves are now engaged in removing their assets from fossil fuel based companies.

Some are being pushed out by divestment campaigns run by responsible college students. Students who look to the future and don’t like what they see and so, encourage their schools to scrub carbon emissions from their investment funds. It’s a campaign that has also touched churches — including the great Catholic Church itself — setting off a broadening wave of religious-based divestment. And it’s a campaign that has reached into the sovereign wealth funds of entire nations.

Still more are being shoved along by a death spiral of coal, oil and gas prices. A wholesale disintegration of the paper billions of dollars once claimed on fossil fuel company balance sheets. A disintegration led by plummeting demand for fossil fuel products due to a combined increased efficiency and an ever more rapid adoption of non carbon based energy sources.

It is perhaps for these combined reasons and due to the encroachment of ever-more inexpensive and accessible renewable energy sources that has led to a massive flight of capital away from fossil fuel based energy. Arch Coal, for example, has lost 95 percent of its market capitalization in the past year. Other corporations who’ve cast their lot with continued fossil fuel burning have suffered similar, though slightly less dramatic fates. Suncor, one of the chief tar sands extractors, has lost 20 percent of its value, Exxon Mobil 12 percent, Chevron 18 percent, Chesapeake Energy 55 percent, Conoco Phillips 24 percent, Suncoke 36 percent, and Peabody 85 percent. These are industry-wide losses that are in the process of setting off a string of malinvestment-based bankruptcies that would put the ‘tempest in a teapot’ hype surrounding Solyndra to shame. In essence, it’s the epic and compounding failure of drill, baby, drill politics.

Investors told late last year that oil, gas and coal fortunes would rebound have been sorely disappointed. Coal continues its 5 year long string of monthly bankruptcies. Oil and gas companies trail the S&P 500 by 40 percent. And more than 118 billion dollars in new oil projects has now been shelved. Growing ever more sour on what appears to be an escaped-from-reality chorus of fossil fuel cheerleaders, investors have finally had enough and gone in search of greener pastures. In this case, green pastures include a wind farm now being built off Cape Cod. One that will provide renewable energy based electricity to 30,000 homes that previously got their electricity through dirty, expensive and hothouse-amplifying diesel fuel burning.

It’s the kind of choice investors and the rest of us need to be making if we’re going to avoid the worst of this climate change nightmare we’ve already set in play. And we’d better get a move on. For as commenter Mblanc from the UK recently noted in response to a previous post:

I’ve got a really bad feeling about this. That feeling has been building up over the last few months. Every time I see an anomaly map these days, I can’t help feeling that we in the UK are right in the firing line of Greenland ice melt, and the firing might have already started.

It’s starting. Climate change changes everything — makes our world, our nations and our homes less secure, more vulnerable in the path of oncoming and ever more violent weather. But, if Hansen and other scientists have it right, we can still avoid the worst impacts if we don’t listen to the fossil fuel cheerleaders and keep making all the wrong choices. Thankfully, it appears investors may have wised up a bit. Let’s hope that trend continues.

How Free Energy From Space Can Produce Clean Water

One of the biggest problems is the availability of clean water. A group in Egypt may have found an answer which uses free energy from space—the sun, in other words.

Innovative System to Extract Water from Air Using Solar Energy describes a way to extract water from the air using free energy from space. It works by adsorbing water during the day out of the air and collecting it in a tank at night. It costs about $100 to build and just works to produce up to 2.3 L of water per square meter.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. What is the lead dog stock index saying right now about the possibility of a rally?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Markets at turning points this week. What goes up will come down?

Is Global Warming the Central Issue for 2016?

The Democratic candidates for the 2016 Presidential campaign seem to be coming together to make Global Warming the main issue. ThinkProgress reports:

Hillary Clinton is going all in on renewable energy.

On Sunday evening, the Democratic presidential candidate released a fact sheet detailing her plan to fight climate change, and it focuses heavily on promoting clean energy generation across the country.

Among other things, the plan includes a promise to install half a billion solar panels by 2021, or the end of Clinton’s first term. That would represent a 700 percent increase from current installations, she said. Clinton also promised that, if elected, enough renewable energy would be produced to power every home in the country within 10 years.

“We can make a transition over time from a fossil fuel economy, predominantly, to a clean renewable energy economy, predominantly,” Clinton said in Iowa on Sunday, Yahoo reported.

Democratic contender Martin O’Malley arguably has an even more aggressive climate agenda. His plan is to make the country powered completely by renewable energy by 2050 — meaning no fossil fuel use at all. He has condemned President Obama for approving offshore drilling, supporting domestic oil production, and shying away from bold stances on high-carbon tar sands oil from Canada, which would be transported by the Keystone XL pipeline if it were approved.

“We cannot meet the climate challenge with an all-of-the-above energy strategy, or by drilling off our coasts, or by building pipelines that bring oil from tar sands in Canada,” O’Malley wrote in an op-ed published last month.

Clinton’s other Democratic rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) hasn’t released an official climate plan yet. But in an interview with the Washington Post in May, he said he would go further than President Obama has in tackling the problem.

Sanders’ plan, he said, “would look like a tax on carbon; a massive investment in solar, wind, geothermal; it would be making sure that every home and building in this country is properly winterized; it would be putting substantial money into rail, both passenger and cargo, so we can move towards breaking our dependency on automobiles. And it would be leading other countries around the world.”

If the Democrats make Global Warming the central issue in the campaign, the Republican Party will be facing very strong headwinds, making their hold on Congress tenuous at best. And, recapturing the White House for the GOP virtually impossible.

The biggest worry, though: Getting a Democratic sweep of the Congress and the Presidency and then seeing a replay of the Clinton-Gore Administration, which dropped the ball on Global Warming. They weren't even as effective as the Bush-Cheney Republican Administration which followed them in office.

Do We Need to Bring Back Internment Camps?

By Ron Paul, originally published at Ron Paul Institute For Peace and Prosperity.

Last week, Retired General Wesley Clark, who was NATO commander during the US bombing of Serbia, proposed that “disloyal Americans” be sent to internment camps for the “duration of the conflict.” Discussing the recent military base shootings in Chattanooga, TN, in which five US service members were killed, Clark recalled the internment of American citizens during World War II who were merely suspected of having Nazi sympathies. He said: “back then we didn’t say ‘that was freedom of speech,’ we put him in a camp.”

He called for the government to identify people most likely to be radicalized so we can “cut this off at the beginning.” That sounds like “pre-crime”!

Gen. Clark ran for president in 2004 and it’s probably a good thing he didn’t win considering what seems to be his disregard for the Constitution. Unfortunately in the current presidential race Donald Trump even one-upped Clark, stating recently that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is a traitor and should be treated like one, implying that the government should kill him.

These statements and others like them most likely reflect the frustration felt in Washington over a 15 year war on terror where there has been no victory and where we actually seem worse off than when we started. The real problem is they will argue and bicker over changing tactics but their interventionist strategy remains the same.

Retired Army Gen. Mike Flynn, who was head of the Defense Intelligence Agency during the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, told al-Jazeera this week that US drones create more terrorists than they kill. He said: “The more weapons we give, the more bombs we drop, that just … fuels the conflict.”

Still Washington pursues the same strategy while expecting different results.

It is probably almost inevitable that the warhawks will turn their anger inward, toward Americans who are sick of the endless and costly wars. The US loss of the Vietnam war is still blamed by many on the protesters at home rather than on the foolishness of the war based on a lie in the first place.

Let’s hope these threats from Clark and Trump are not a trial balloon leading to a clampdown on our liberties. There are a few reasons we should be concerned. Last week the US House passed a bill that would allow the Secretary of State to unilaterally cancel an American citizen’s passport if he determines that person has “aided” or “abetted” a terrorist organization. And as of this writing, the Senate is debating a highway funding bill that would allow the Secretary of State to cancel the passport of any American who owes too much money to the IRS.

Canceling a passport means removing the right to travel, which is a kind of virtual internment camp. The person would find his movements restricted, either being prevented from leaving or entering the United States. Neither of these measures involves any due process or possibility of appeal, and the government’s evidence supporting the action can be kept secret.

We should demand an end to these foolish wars that even the experts admit are making matters worse. Of course we need a strong defense, but we should not provoke the hatred of others through drones, bombs, or pushing regime change overseas. And we must protect our civil liberties here at home from government elites who increasingly view us as the enemy.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Obama's Hypocrisy Exposed Again

Over the years, we've noticed a tendency for Barack Obama to say the right things and do the wrong things. At first, it could be rationalized as an inexperienced politician trying to maximize the approval of citizens. But, it became clear that this man is an inveterate liar who sold his soul to the highest bidder. His blather is not to be believed.

With Global Warming having been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt as the major challenge for the continuation of life on Earth, you would think the president would be fighting the fossil fuel industry on every front. Sadly, the ethical sham that is Obama is proving he's a chameleon whose colors are set by who's next with bribe money.

The latest proof comes from Obama's approval for Shell to drill in the Arctic. We don't need more oil and we certainly don't need more climate change in the Arctic. Obama will go down in history as yet another corrupt politician who should have been spending more time in the Big House than in the White House.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Have the central bankers created a permanently-high stock market plateau? Could be.

New York City: We Hardly Knew You

If you want to see New York City, do so soon. It's not going to be a viable city for too much longer.

Climate scientist James Hansen and fellow scientists have just published a forecast for sea level rise that says sea levels are likely to rise by 50 feet in the next 50 years. This will flood New York City and many other coastal cities around the world. The first to go will likely be Miami, which regularly sees flooding at high tides right now.

The UN's IPCC is wrong in assuming that seas will only rise 3 feet this century. Instead, the rise is likely to be much more. Hansen et al. have studied what happened the last time CO2 was at this level: seas were much higher. This was during the last interglacial period called the Eemian. The UN thinks we should keep the total rise in Earth's temperature to 2°C over pre-industrial levels, but that would result in a 50-foot rise in seas if Hansen's group is right. Hansen's paper proposes that we keep the rise to just 1½°C. But, since the temperature of the Earth has already risen about a degree already, that leaves just ½°C for temperatures to rise. Moreover, given the level of CO2 in the atmosphere already, most of that is already “baked in the cake.”

Only an immediate reversal of CO2 emissions and return to lower levels can possibly head off these catastrophic sea level rises. This would include a moratorium on building new coal-fired generators as well.

A reasonable person can only conclude that humanity has set its course for disaster and will not turn away from the consequences of both greed and folly. The politicians have lied to us for years about why they cannot take action to avert disaster. Maybe it will soon be time for the population to take action to punish those who have set humanity on this course.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Buy the dip is new mantra despite givebacks. A very short term rally could end quickly, though.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Disappointment on Apple sees the collapse spreading to the blue chips.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Only four stocks pushed the NASDAQ-100 to new, all-time highs. Optical illusion?

June 2015: Earth's Warmest June on Record

Jeff Masters of Weather Underground reports that June 2015 was the warmest June ever:
June 2015 was Earth's warmest June since global record keeping began in 1880, said NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) on Monday. NASA also rated June 2015 as the warmest June on record. June 2015's warmth makes the year-to-date period (January - June) the warmest such period on record, according to both NOAA and NASA. A potent El Niño event in the Eastern Pacific that crossed the threshold into the "strong" category in early July continues to intensify, and strong El Niño events release a large amount of heat to the atmosphere, typically boosting global temperatures by at least 0.1°C. This extra bump in temperature, when combined with the long-term warming of the planet due to human-caused emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide, makes it likely that 2015 will be Earth's second consecutive warmest year on record. Four of the six warmest months in recorded history (for departure from average) have occurred this year, according to NOAA.

Ron Paul: Iran Agreement Boosts Peace, Defeats Neocons

By Ron Paul

Last week’s successfully concluded Iran agreement is one of the two most important achievements of an otherwise pretty dismal Obama presidency. Along with the ongoing process of normalizing relations with Cuba, this move shows that diplomacy can produce peaceful, positive changes. It also shows that sometimes taking a principled position means facing down overwhelming opposition from all sides and not backing down. The president should be commended for both of these achievements.

The agreement has reduced the chance of a US attack on Iran, which is a great development. But the interventionists will not give up so easily. Already they are organizing media and lobbying efforts to defeat the agreement in Congress. Will they have enough votes to over-ride a presidential veto of their rejection of the deal? It is unlikely, but at this point if the neocons can force the US out of the deal it may not make much difference. Which of our allies, who are now facing the prospect of mutually-beneficial trade with Iran, will be enthusiastic about going back to the days of a trade embargo? Which will support an attack on an Iran that has proven to be an important trading partner and has also proven reasonable in allowing intrusive inspections of its nuclear energy program?

However, what is most important about this agreement is not that US government officials have conducted talks with Iranian government officials. It is that the elimination of sanctions, which are an act of war, will open up opportunities for trade with Iran. Government-to-government relations are one thing, but real diplomacy is people-to-people: business ventures, tourism, and student exchanges.

I was so impressed when travel personality Rick Steves traveled to Iran in 2009 to show that the US media and government demonization of Iranians was a lie, and that travel and human contact can help defeat the warmongers because it humanizes those who are supposed to be dehumanized.

As I write in my new book, Swords into Plowshares:

Our unwise policy with Iran is a perfect example of what the interventionists have given us—60 years of needless conflict and fear for no justifiable reason. This obsession with Iran is bewildering. If the people knew the truth, they would strongly favor a different way to interact with Iran.
Let’s not forget that the Iran crisis started not 31 years ago when the Iran Sanctions Act was signed into law, not 35 years ago when Iranians overthrew the US-installed Shah, but rather 52 years ago when the US CIA overthrew the democratically-elected Iranian leader Mossadegh and put a brutal dictator into power. Our relations with the Iranians are marked by nearly six decades of blowback.

When the Cold War was winding down and the military-industrial complex needed a new enemy to justify enormous military spending, it was decided that Iran should be the latest “threat” to the US. That’s when sanctions really picked up steam. But as we know from our own CIA National Intelligence Estimate of 2007, the stories about Iran building a nuclear weapon were all lies. Though those lies continue to be repeated to this day.

It is unfortunate that Iran was forced to give up some of its sovereignty to allow restrictions on a nuclear energy program that was never found to be in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. But if the net result is the end of sanctions and at least a temporary reprieve from the constant neocon demands for attack, there is much to cheer in the agreement. Peace and prosperity arise from friendly relations and trade – and especially when governments get out of the way.

Re-blogged from Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. The equity is collapsing internally now.

The Stock Market Collapse Has Started

Friday's market reminds us of two other tops, one in 2000 and one in 2007. The parallels are clear as day. Our preliminary #SubscriberNotes describes why the stock market collapse has already begun.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Are we near the end of the run?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Time to hunker down as holding long stocks is the risk.

New Report on the Current Bubble in Markets

Exclusive invitation: Our friends at Elliott Wave International have just released a new subscriber report, A Bubble in Trouble. On an exclusive, limited-time basis, they've allowed us to share it with you, for FREE. Learn more and read their research-packed report now >>

Exclusive invitation: Our friends at Elliott Wave International have just released a new subscriber report, A Bubble in Trouble. On an exclusive, limited-time basis, they've allowed us to share it with you, for FREE. Learn more and read their research-packed report now >>

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Great profits on paper. But, is it time cash in our chips and short this puppy?

Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Why the current rally is doomed to fail.

First Battery-Powered Airplane To Cross the English Channel

Airbus' E-Fan battery-powered airplane takes off from England and lands in France last Friday to become the first battery-powered plane to cross the English Channel:

Greece Today, America Tomorrow?

By Ron Paul from Ron Paul Institute For Peace and Prosperity

The drama over Greece’s financial crisis continues to dominate the headlines. As this column is being written, a deal may have been reached providing Greece with yet another bailout if the Greek government adopts new “austerity” measures. The deal will allow all sides to brag about how they came together to save the Greek economy and the European Monetary Union. However, this deal is merely a Band-Aid, not a permanent fix to Greece’s problems. So another crisis is inevitable.

The Greek crisis provides a look into what awaits us unless we stop overspending on warfare and welfare and restore a sound monetary system. While most commentators have focused on Greece’s welfare state, much of Greece’s deficit was caused by excessive military spending. Even as its economy collapses and the government makes (minor) cuts in welfare spending, Greece’s military budget remains among the largest in the European Union.

Despite all the handwringing over how the phony sequestration cuts have weakened America’s defenses, the United States military budget remains larger than the combined budgets of the world’s next 15 highest spending militaries. Little, if any, of the military budget is spent defending the American people from foreign threats. Instead, the American government wastes billions of dollars on an imperial foreign policy that makes Americans less safe. America will never get its fiscal house in order until we change our foreign policy and stop wasting trillions on unnecessary and unconstitutional wars.

Excessive military spending is not the sole cause of America’s problems. Like Greece, America suffers from excessive welfare and entitlement spending. Reducing military spending and corporate welfare will allow the government to transition away from the welfare state without hurting those dependent on government programs. Supporting an orderly transition away from the welfare state should not be confused with denying the need to reduce welfare and entitlement spending.

One reason Greece has been forced to seek bailouts from its EU partners is that Greece ceded control over its currency when it joined the European Union. In contrast, the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency is the main reason the US has been able to run up huge deficits without suffering a major economic crisis. The need for the Federal Reserve to monetize ever-increasing levels of government spending will eventually create hyperinflation, which will lead to increasing threats to the dollar’s status. China and Russia are already moving away from using the dollar in international transactions. It is only a matter of time before more countries challenge the dollar’s reserve currency status, and, when this happens, a Greece-style catastrophe may be unavoidable.

Despite the clear dangers of staying on our recent course, Congress continues to increase spending. The only real debate between the two parties is over whether we should spend more on welfare or warfare. It is easy to blame the politicians for our current dilemma. But the politicians are responding to demands from the people for greater spending. Too many Americans believe they have a moral right to government support. This entitlement mentally is just as common, if not more so, among the corporate welfare queens of the militarily-industrial complex, the big banks, and the crony capitalists as it is among lower-income Americans.

Congress will only reverse course when a critical mass of people reject the entitlement mentality and understand that the government is incapable of running the world, running our lives, and running the economy. Therefore, those of us who know the truth must spread the ideas of, and grow the movement for, limited government, free markets, sound money, and peace.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. Expecting more profits from short term trading directly ahead.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Greece wants Germany to repay €279bn it was forced to loan the Nazi authorities during WWII

In a shocking turn, Greece is demanding that Germany repay its own debts before demanding debts be repaid by Greece. The Independent:
The Greek government has demanded that Germany pays it back €279bn (£205bn) in loans Greece was forced to give the Nazi authorities who occupied the country during World War Two.
Greece has long demanded reparations from Germany but in a statement on Monday Greece's deputy finance minister Dmitris Mardas put an exact figure on the amount the country says it is owed for the first time.
Mr Mardas was speaking at a committee set up by the country's left-wing Syriza government to calculate how much money Germany owed Greece.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Which index should turn up in relative strength to warn the trend is turning up? We tell you tonight.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Can Shanghai's crash be stopped? Or, even derailed?

PIIGS: Big Users of Oil

Gail Tverberg makes an interesting point. The PIIGS countries (Greece, Portugal, Italy and Ireland) turn out to be very big users of oil—and are financial basket cases. Is there a connection between high oil usage and debt? What Greece, Cyprus, and Puerto Rico Have in Common explores this aspect of modern debt.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Oil prices continue to decline toward our long term target of ten dollars per barrel.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Punk breadth, but the buyers are playing the seasonal tendencies in equities.

Germany Has Never Paid Its Debts

The Greek crisis needs to be put into perspective: Greece will never repay its debts.

Yet, Germany demands that Greece repay its debts. Germany should remember that it has never repaid any of its own debts.

Thus, the German people should realize that if they require Greece to pay its debts, it should start by paying its own debts as a good example.

Reference Thomas Piketty in a Zeit Online interview.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Today's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. Greece could be within 24 hours of a new bailout deal.

Friday, July 03, 2015

The End of the Oil Age

Norman Pagett writes in The End of the Oil Age:

But how can we define an oil age? It has been about 150 years since the first deep oilwells were sunk, and just over 200 years since the viable steam engine was developed. The two are linked, because the steam engine made deep drilling of oilwells possible and gave us access to a hundred million years worth of fossilized sunlight. Perhaps we have not strictly had an oil age, but rather the first and only age where we enjoy vast amounts of surplus energy that we have extracted from hydrocarbon fuels, of which oil is the most energy dense. It has brought us material wealth, and the means to indulge in wholesale killing of each other and all other species. It gave excesses of food and a population that consumed that food and grew to five or six times the sustainable level of the planet. In the timespan of human existence, the ascendance of modern industrialised man has been a short flash of light and heat that has briefly lifted us out of the mire of the middle ages, but at a considerable cost to the environment.

Pagett is another gloom-and-doomer who explains why the old growth model is totally busted. And, what that means for our species. But, is the ultimate outcome of our civilization to fail miserably? The probability seems high, but humans over history have shown that last-minute saves are our speciality. Perhaps when faced with extinction, we will change our model to fit the environment. Moreover, we may be able to change our environment to fit within it. Perhaps we can find a “living wage” that doesn't doom us to fall back into the Dark Ages.

One part of our solution is what Kent Moors calls “Space Energy.” Planet Earth is surrounded in space by vast amounts of energy. If we could tap this energy, it would dwarf the amounts we extract from the ground in the form of fossil fuels. Moreover, it's highly likely that we are going to tap this infinite source of power in the next few decades. Thus, one problem is solved: unlimited, virtually-free energy for our use, replacing dirty fuel with clean, sustainable energy. As Dr. Moors points out, Albert Einstein didn't win his Nobel Prize for relativity. He won it for “Space Energy.” Now, 110 years later, we are on the verge of “Space Energy” taking the lead in energy and eliminating fossil fuels entirely.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Cash markets are closed on Friday, but CMEgroup futures will trade until 13:00.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Illiquid markets going into Sunday's Greek referendum magnify risk for traders.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Consolidation at the lows today. Seasonals are positive in July for equities, however.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Where is support in this market? Will it hold? Why we've been on the short side for many days now.

A Roseanne Roseannadanna Market

John Hussman writes in Durable Returns, Transient Returns:
This is not a Goldilocks market. No, this is a Roseanne Roseannadanna market (Gilda Radner’s character from Saturday Night Live). Though investors seem to believe that catalysts for a market plunge should be known ahead of time, they’re likely to learn in hindsight that the specific catalyst didn’t matter. History teaches that once obscene valuation is coupled with overvalued, overbought, overbullish extremes, and is then joined by deterioration in market internals, the outcome is already baked in the cake. Afterward, investors discover “Well Jane, it just goes to show you… It’s always something. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.”
The market is on tap to lose half of its value multiple times in the next big half cycle. The last two half cycles took place during 2000-2003 and 2007-2009. The next one is likely to be even bigger.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. After yet another profitable week, looking ahead.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Time for a rebound in stocks? Yes, but the trend remains down into July.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Stock market correction looks a lot like March-April. Are we following Mercury's lead?

Ten Ideas To Save the Economy: Get Big Money Out of Politics

Everything we want to achieve in the fight to #SaveTheEconomy comes down to getting money out of politics. Robert Reich explains in under three minutes. #GetMoneyOut

Posted by on Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Latest Government Lies About the Economy

The government tells us that First Quarter GDP contracted at “just” -0.2%, but in doing so they revealed their lies once again. The deflator used to convert nominal GDP to real GDP was just about zero. However, the much more accurate Billion Prices Project shows that inflation was running at about 1.6%, so the real GDP figure should have been reported as contracting by -1.8%.

It's clear that the economy is doing just fine—only if you believe the government lies they tell.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Does lack of volatility present risks for the market?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Market cheers Greece as Grexit appears unlikely. Can the rally continue?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Inexorable Temperature Rise Continues

The deniers have no place to hide.

Decoded Science reports:

It’s sounding like a broken record — literally and figuratively.

For the seventh time in the last ten months, the global land and sea temperatures have established a new record high.

May temperatures were highest ever for land, sea, and land and sea combined.

Furthermore, the temperature for any period of time ending with May is the highest ever recorded for that period.

So much for a slowdown in global warming.

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. A major turn in equities is upon us.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Sixth Great Mass Extinction Event Is Underway Now

There is no longer any doubt: We are entering a mass extinction that threatens humanity's existence. That is the bad news at the center of a new study by a group of scientists including Paul Ehrlich, the Bing Professor of Population Studies in biology and a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Ehrlich and his co-authors call for fast action to conserve threatened species, populations and habitat, but warn that the window of opportunity is rapidly closing. Read more:

Medicare Isn't the Problem. It's the Solution.

"If more #Americans were allowed to join #Medicare, it could become more efficient by using its growing bargaining power to get lower drug prices, lower hospital bills, and healthier people." - Robert Reich

Posted by on Friday, June 19, 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Long near the opening meant big profits on today's rally. Maintain sell stops on open stock index futures.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Downtrend isn't dead, but we were long for today's rally in equities.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Signs of life in some left-for-dead sectors suggests the bear drumbeat is early in the process.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Make Polluters Pay

#FACT: The carbon that is released into the atmosphere costs society between $40-$100 per ton (and we release millions of tons). Oh, there's more. Take it away, Robert Reich. #SaveTheEconomy #ClimateAction

Posted by on Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. Markets went to plan last week; this week, more of the same.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Gargantuan Financial Trap

David Stockman explains why the global financial system is a Gargantuan Financial Trap in The Futility of Our Global Monetary Experiment:
Sometimes we get so caught up in the monthly so-called incoming data and the short-term releases — that are seasonally maladjusted anyway and get revised four times over — that we really lose track of where we are. So, the other day I said let's just look at two extended periods of time that occurred in different economic and policy environments and do an assessment of where we are.
I took 1953 to 1971, that representing the end of the Korean War and the beginning of the Great Prosperity in the middle century, ending in the August 1971 fatal mistake that Nixon made when he closed down Bretton Woods and the rest. I call that the Golden Era of Prosperity. During that period, the economy grew and I use real final sales to measure the growth because that takes out the inventory fluctuations and distortions that are in the GDP number per se. But, if you take real final sales for that eighteen-year period, it was 3.6 percent a year compounded during a time in which the Fed was run by William McChesney Martin, a survivor — or veteran, you might say — of the 1929 crash and the trauma of the 1930s. He was a man who wasn't necessarily, in the classic sense, a hard-money gold-standard advocate, but he certainly was a wise financial hedge who understood the dangers of speculation in the financial markets and of too much heavy-handed intervention in the financial system.
During that eighteen-year period from 1953 to 1971, the balance sheet of the Federal Reserve expanded by only $42 billion over eighteen years. (Now during QE, that was about two weeks worth of expansion at the peak.) More importantly, if you look at it in real terms — in inflation-adjusted terms — the balance sheet of the Fed in that period grew about 3 percent a year, and the economy grew at nearly 4 percent. Therefore, the Fed was engaged in a very modest light-touch policy allowing the mechanism of capitalism, including the financial markets at the heart of it, to function. The balance sheet of the Fed grew by 0.8 percent of the growth in the GDP.
Now, let's take the last fourteen years, we're in a totally different world. Greenspan has changed the whole notion of the role of the central bank, followed by Bernanke and Yellen. During that period, GDP growth of the economy has down shifted sharply to 1.8 percent a year over the last fourteen years, half of what occurred during the golden era. By contrast, the balance sheet of the Fed grew from $500 billion to four and a half trillion. But look at it in the same annual terms: 17 percent a year growth in the balance sheet, and 15 percent after adjusting for inflation.
That means that the Fed's balance sheet grew eight times more rapidly than the economy during the last fourteen years. That's just the inverse of the relationship that occurred back in the Golden Era.
So, I think if you need any proof at all of this massive intrusion into the financial system isn't working; the huge amount of money printing and balance sheet expansion; the unremitting financial repression and pegging of interest rates; look at the fundamental comparison that I just made. It's not working in the real economy. That is, it's not generating expansion and giving standard gains on Main Street.
The only thing it's really doing is simply inflating the serial bubble that ultimately reach unsustainable peaks and collapse. We've had two of them this century already from that policy and we're now overwhelmingly — if you really look at the evidence — in a third great bubble that is in some ways more fantastic than the earlier two. It's only a matter of time before it bursts and implodes and we'll then be back to square one.
Hopefully on the third strike, the people who gave us these bubbles will be out. I think that might be a fair metaphor or proposition to make. Hopefully, when this next big bust comes — and surely it will when you look at the degree of speculation of the stock market in the high yield market or many other sectors that we can talk about — there will be a great day of reckoning in the country in terms of demanding a fundamental change in monetary policy and we'll see the resignation of all the people who are sitting on the Fed today that have led us right into this gargantuan financial trap.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Daily aspirin could block growth of breast, other cancers, lab study suggests

A new lab study found that a daily dose of aspirin was effective at blocking breast tumor growth. Previous studies have already shown a similar effect on colon, gastrointestinal, prostate, and other cancers.

"Take two aspirin and call me in the morning" has been the punchline for countless jokes. Could it also be good advice for cancer patients?

A lab study to appear in the July 2015 issue of Laboratory Investigation found that a daily dose of aspirin was effective at blocking breast tumor growth. Previous studies have already shown a similar effect on colon, gastrointestinal, prostate, and other cancers.

The trick, says Dr. Sushanta Banerjee, research director of the Cancer Research Unit at the Kansas City (Mo.) Veterans Affairs Medical Center, is to ensure conditions around cancer stem cells aren't conducive for reproduction, something aspirin seems able to do.

"In cancer, when you treat the patient, initially the tumor will hopefully shrink," says Banerjee. "The problem comes 5 or 10 years down the road when the disease relapses." Cancer has stem cells, or residual cells. These cells have already survived chemotherapy or other cancer treatment and they go dormant until conditions in the body are more favorable for them to again reproduce. "When they reappear they can be very aggressive, nasty tumors," he says.

To test his theory that aspirin could alter the molecular signature in breast cancer cells enough that they wouldn't spread, Banerjee, also a professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center, used both incubated cells and mouse models.

According to Banerjee, exposure to aspirin dramatically increased the rate of cell death in the test. For those cells that did not die off, many were left unable to grow.

The second part of his study involved studying 20 mice with aggressive tumors.

"We found aspirin caused these residual cancer cells to lose their self-renewal properties," says Banerjee. "Basically, they couldn't grow or reproduce. So there are two parts here. We could give aspirin after chemotherapy to prevent relapse and keep the pressure on, which we saw was effective in both the laboratory and the mouse model, and we could use it preventatively."

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Are stocks about to generate yet another short term sell signal?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Today's rally in stocks was tipped by our best indicator on Monday. Are rising bond yields kryptonite for stocks?

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. The Fed, caught between a rock and a hard place, could restart QE and jumpstart the stock market.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. MidCaps stay stronger while the LargeCaps tumble. A seasonal change may be in store.

Bubble Stock Valuations

Snapchat's CEO Evan Spiegel points out that tech stocks are in a bubble and doomed to crash at some point in time. This is refreshing since it comes straight from a CEO of an obscenely-valued tech stock.

Mises Institute writer Ryan McMaken reports:

Spiegel said the investment bubble is being fueled by an "easy money policy" and low interest rates, which may not last a whole lot longer according to recent economic indicators. Those low interest rates are funneling investments toward stock markets, hedge funds and, yes, startups.
John Hussman explains that valuations based upon interest rates are only weakly related to reality in Why Stocks are Not "Cheap Relative to Bonds":

If one cares about evidence, the evidence will demonstrate that the most reliable valuation measures across a century of market history are those that implicitly or explicitly adjust for variation in profit margins over the economic cycle. See Margins, Multiples, and the Iron Law of Valuation for extensive detail on this fact. The argument is not that record profit margins need to retreat at all anytime soon, only that history teaches that one should not base equity valuations on the presumption that record profit margins will persist for the next five decades. This is particularly true when we can clearly identify their temporary origin in exteme mirror-image deficits in the household and government sectors. For as much detail on this as one could wish, see An Open Letter to the FOMC: Recognizing the Valuation Bubble in Equities, and Profit Margins, Is the Ladder Starting to Snap?

Indeed, across a wide range of measures including price/trailing earnings, price/forward operating earnings, the Fed Model, price/book value, price/dividend, Shiller P/E, Tobin’s Q, market capitalization to GDP, and even S&P 500 price/revenue, the ratio-based valuation measure most tightly correlated with actual subsequent S&P 500 nominal total returns over the following decade is the ratio of nonfinancial market capitalization to national nonfinancial gross value added (which I introduced in order to account for the estimated impact of foreign revenues). We’ll simply call this measure “market cap/GVA.” Call it the “Hussman Ratio” if you want it to be completely dismissed by investors here, and to suddenly become a revered valuation metric after all the horses have left the stable. Champ to chump, chump to champ. Bubble-era soundtrack of value investors everywhere.

We're near the third peak in a Fed-induced bubble in equities and wondering why the economy can't grow at its historic rate. The answer is simple: you can't create wealth out of an ink pot. That's a lesson many investors have yet to learn even after three major stock market bubbles of the last fifteen years.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

riday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. Is this the week most likely to see countertrend rallies?

Friday, June 05, 2015

Another Paint-By-The-Numbers Friday

David Stockman calls it Another Paint-By-The-Numbers Friday:

It’s another paint-by-the-numbers Friday. The headline number was predictably rosy, but please don’t look underneath the hood. The jobs engine is still coughing and sputtering.

For instance, among the grand total of 280,000 new jobs reported for May, the entire goods producing sector—-construction, manufacturing, mining and energy—- accounted for just 6,000 or 2% of the gain. And that’s not just a monthly aberration. Employment in the most productive sector of the US economy has been shrinking for 15 years, and is 2.4 million or 11% below its pre-recession level.

Its worth noting that the average pay in the goods sector during May amounted to $47,000 at an annualized rate—-or in the vicinity of a living wage. Not so with the big gainers in today’s report, however.

According to the BLS, the nation gained 57,000 jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector—-that is, bartenders, waiters, bellhops and hot dog vendors at the ball park. While the talking heads were cheerleading the headline number, of course, they naturally failed to note that from a production and income point of view, these are just one-third jobs. Owing to low hourly rates and only about 26 hours per week on average, the annualized pay equivalent in the leisure and hospitality category is just $16,000.

Moreover, unlike the high productivity, high pay goods sector, the waiters and bartenders sector has been growing for 15 years and accounts for 43% of all the net new jobs gained since the pre-recession peak. That’s right. According to the BLS establishment survey there were just 3.7 million more jobs in the entire US economy during May than at the pre-recession peak, but fully 1.6 million were in the bread and circuses economy.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Has the Dow formed a major top in May? And, which index will be the weakest?

Asian Markets Are Flashing Strong Buy Signals

Elliott Wave International's Asian-Pacific Financial Forecast editor offers you his forecasts for long-term investment opportunities

By Elliott Wave International

In this informative new interview, Elliott Wave International's Asian-Pacific Financial Forecast editor, Mark Galasiewski, tells you about three new investment opportunities in the region.

Enjoy Mark's insights!

Market Outlook: CHINA

EWI Asian-Pacific markets editor Mark Galasiewski always finds compelling indicators to support his forecasts -- indicators that few others see. This past December he highlighted a little-followed sector index to help support his outlook for Chinese stocks. You can read his analysis in Elliott Wave International's new free report.

Download your free report now »

This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline (Interview) Asian Markets Are Flashing Strong "Buy" Signals. 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.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Bonds growing more attractive to value investors by the day while stocks struggle.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Monday, June 01, 2015

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Stocks stuck in the middle, trend neutral. Is June the cruelest month?

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. Volatility in a tight range only a trader could love.

Friday, May 29, 2015

US, Canada GDP Negative

They scoffed when we said that the economy was in recession. But, when the governments of both Canada and the US reported Q1 GDP actually falling, they aren't scoffing anymore. Canada's GDP fell by 0.6% while the US fell by 0.7%, both subject to substantial revisions in the future. You may recall that during the last recession, the first reports had GDP shrinking by a similar amount. Years later, the government confessed that the economy was in freefall in the early days of the recession.

Now, GDP being negative isn't a definition of recession. But, it certainly isn't a vote of confidence. With stock prices having been pushed to nosebleed levels for the third time in the last two decades, there's a cliff and the stock market is looking awfully unsteady with the prospect of a recession. And, remember, the Fed is out of bullets, only having QE to stimulate asset prices, not the real economy. There's a reason why the Fed wants to raise interest rates—to be able to lower them if a recession strikes—but it may just be too late in the business cycle for that to happen. If so, expect the Fed to trot out QE and push stocks further toward orbit.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Pay attention to the leaders, not the laggards, and you'll find it pays off.

Hollowing Out Our Economy

With obscene valuations, US stocks are far too expensive and promise to fail to advance over the next decade. That's the conclusion of value investors, who see the current business cycle as greatly extended and due for a crash in the stock market.

The reasons why are easy to see: stock buybacks have boosted prices while reducing capital investment and productivity. The US stock market is in for a long decline.

The details can be read in Wall Street Gamblers At Work—–U.S. Firms Spend More On Buybacks Than Factories. Here's the bottom line:

An analysis conducted for The Wall Street Journal by S&P Capital IQ shows that companies in the S&P 500 index sharply increased their spending on dividends and buybacks to a median 36% of operating cash flow in 2013, from 18% in 2003. Over that same decade, those companies cut spending on plants and equipment to 29% of operating cash flow, from 33% in 2003.
At S&P 500 companies targeted by activists, the spending cuts were more dramatic. Targeted companies reduced capital expenditures in the five years after activists bought their shares to 29% of operating cash flow, from 42% the year before, the Capital IQ analysis shows. Those companies boosted spending on dividends and buybacks to 37% of operating cash flow in the first year after being approached, from 22% in the year before.
Capital spending by businesses accounts for about one-eighth of all spending in the U.S. economy. Historically, it has been an important driver of long-term growth, as upgrades make workers and companies more productive, says Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
Money plowed into dividends and buybacks doesn't disappear from the economy. Its recipients can spend it, too.
But Washington University's Mr. Fazzari says that most stock is owned by the wealthy, who tend to save more of their income. By contrast, he says, many kinds of business investment—from building construction to equipment maintenance and purchases—involve payments to contractors and suppliers who pay wages to middle and low-income workers.
Many companies have made changes while under no direct threat from activists. General Electric Co.'s institutional investors had long urged the conglomerate to scale down its large lending business. In April, GE said it would sell off that business and buy back $50 billion of its stock.
The surge of activism has sharpened the debate about the fundamental purpose of a company. Does it exist to satisfy shareholders or does it have an imperative also to try to build for the long term?
The answer is far from settled. If the activists are right, they are stopping companies from throwing good money after bad. "If they aren't, then we have to worry about the impact," says Yvan Allaire, the executive chairman of the Institute for Governance of Private and Public Organizations. "It has to be a fairly significant impact on the economy.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Traders bought the dip today. It's why we use trailing buy stops on short positions to take profits.

The Crash of 2015: Going Global

Mike Stasse is looking for a global collapse. He re-blogs Tom Lewis, who says:
What’s wrong with the global consumer? In the immortal words of Howard Davidowitz, a leading expert on retail, consumers “don’t have any f’ing money.” It is slowly — way too late — dawning on the Masters of the Universe that unless ordinary people have money to spend — and by that we mean real money, not more credit cards or a third mortgage — the Masters are toast.

There is the ultimate explanation for why the global economy peaked in 2008: the consumer, 70% of the economy, got hit with the inevitable. We're now suffering through a central banker-induced coma of forced liquidity which isn't repairing anything, just keeping the patient, the global economy, on life support.

Lewis states what's ahead:

Now, even if you believe, as I do, that the notion of infinite growth on a finite planet is ridiculous, and the notion that all growth is always good is suicidal, you still live, as I do, in a system that will crash if its faith on growth is broken. So pay attention to these idiots. They’re driving.
The consumer knows that the system is broken. It may take a while to convince the Masters of the reality of that statement. When will they finally admit the system is so broken it can never be fixed? That's the bottom line truth: the economy is dead and artificial money creation only borrows time from the future. The system is in a state of collapse under the surface. It's only a matter of time before it becomes clear to the Masters that their time is up.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Downtrend confirmed in stocks, but it's early days in the bear market of 2015.

Global Warming: Stronger Than Ever

Deniers will deny it, but they've proven themselves better called liars than deniers.

Weather pattern Government, named by Decoded Science, has been dumping huge amounts of rain accompanied by numerous tornadoes on Texas. This is causing flash flooding in a state which has been suffering from drought for several years. Is this a consequence of global warming? Yes, it is.

Global warming's effects go beyond just making the temperature rise. One effect is stalling the jet stream in place for many days, or even several weeks, at a time. Thus, the weather you get just keeps on keeping on. Government is just the latest version of a stalling in the atmosphere caused by global warming. A few years ago, global warming caused the average summertime temperatures in Texas to reach levels normally seen in Tucson, Arizona, or about 115° day after day. Normally, midsummer temperatures in central Texas only reach about 95°, so we saw a 20° rise in daily maxima. That was another example of the effects of global warming. Now, Government is forcing a trough in the upper atmospheric winds to dump rain for weeks at a time, overflowing drainage systems which were never designed to handle such extremes.

Since we know that burning fossil fuels is the cause of global warming, we should be demanding that those who have caused this disaster pay for it. But, of course, that would only be the right thing to do. It won't happen because those who own fossil fuels are protected by government from the effects of Government. Ideally, government should seize the assets of fossil fuel companies to protect citizens from further damages. We don't think keeping oil in the ground is the right answer, however. Oil is good for many other uses that don't involve burning. Adding CO2 to the atmosphere just isn't something any sane race would condone.

Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet

If you had a 10 percent chance of having a fatal car accident, you'd take necessary precautions. If your finances had a 10 percent chance of suffering a severe loss, you'd reevaluate your assets. So if we know the world is warming and there's a 10 percent chance this might eventually lead to a catastrophe beyond anything we could imagine, why aren't we doing more about climate change right now? We insure our lives against an uncertain future--why not our planet?

In Climate Shock, Gernot Wagner and Martin Weitzman explore in lively, clear terms the likely repercussions of a hotter planet, drawing on and expanding from work previously unavailable to general audiences. They show that the longer we wait to act, the more likely an extreme event will happen. A city might go underwater. A rogue nation might shoot particles into the Earth's atmosphere, geoengineering cooler temperatures. Zeroing in on the unknown extreme risks that may yet dwarf all else, the authors look at how economic forces that make sensible climate policies difficult to enact, make radical would-be fixes like geoengineering all the more probable. What we know about climate change is alarming enough. What we don't know about the extreme risks could be far more dangerous. Wagner and Weitzman help readers understand that we need to think about climate change in the same way that we think about insurance--as a risk management problem, only here on a global scale.

Demonstrating that climate change can and should be dealt with--and what could happen if we don't do so--Climate Shock tackles the defining environmental and public policy issue of our time.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. Major turns coming for stock and bond markets soon.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

More Evidence the Economy Is In Recession

Dave Kranzler collects the fundamentals which point toward the US economy being in recession now, or very close to one:

There are many other economic data series which are indicating a rapid decline in economic activity across the country. For instance today (Thursday, May 21) the Kansas City Fed's manufacturing index plunged to -13 in May from April's -7 reading. Wall Street had been expecting the index to print at -2. Looked at collectively, I believe the data I presented above indicates the likelihood that the U.S. economy is currently in a recession. If not a recession, then it's headed into one. I believe this economic downturn has a high probability of being worse and last longer than the 2009 recession. While it's impossible to forecast when the stock market will reflect my expected reality with a sharp sell-off, I would advise investors to move their stock holdings into short term Treasuries and other short duration havens of wealth preservation.

Note that the stock market will be falling 50% or more in the future. The decline could start at any time, even overnight when US investors are sleeping.

The Fed Could Plunge Us Into another Great Depression

The Fed is threatening to hike interest rates to “normalize” them. That's just exactly the wrong thing to do as the economy has already plunged into a recession—a recession that remains unrecognized by mainstream pundits.

First quarter GDP slowed at a -0.7% rate according to CNBC. And, the second quarter hasn't gotten off to a great start, either. The latest GDPNow projection has GDP growing at a tepid +0.7% rate. Within that figure, business investment is actually going in reverse at a -2.3% rate of decline. That's a picture of an economy in recession.

The latest bit of confirmation that a recession is in progress comes from truckers. According to the latest reports:

The vast $700 billion US trucking industry, with its 3.4 million drivers who hauled 10 billion tons last year -- 69% of the nation's freight -- is an early warning system for the overall economy. And it's been making the wrong rumbling sounds.

Rates for intermodal containers by rail dropped on a year over year basis in January, February, and March, according to the Cass Intermodal Price Index by Cass Information Systems. April hasn't been released yet. Cass tried to explain the March decline this way: railroads were facing weaker demand and losing pricing power as shippers were shifting loads to trucks because diesel has gotten cheaper.

But spot rates for tractor-trailers started dropping in April. It triggered all kinds of explanations at the time, for example, in the Journal of Commerce:

"Rather than a sign of underlying economic weakness, the softening spot market may indicate shippers are finding the trucking capacity they need, for now, with contractual partners."

Given the exuberance of record year 2014, carriers have added lots of new trucks to replace older equipment and to expand capacity. Swift Transportation, the largest U.S. truckload carrier, added over 900 trucks over the past three quarters, with more to come in 2015. J.B. Hunt added over 1,085 tractors in 2014. Smaller carriers added equipment as well. But by mid-April, the phrase "excess capacity" started cropping up.

In reality, over-the-road shipping volumes fell 5% in March from the prior year. It seemed like a fluke. But in April, according to the just released Cass Freight Index, shipping volumes fell again, this time by 2.5%. The index for shipping expenditures fell 3.5% in March and 4.7% in April.

We know the first quarter was crummy. But April is in the second quarter. This weakness is now infecting it as well. That's what the trucking industry is saying.

There are numerous reasons why this might be happening, including the $110-billion inventory buildup during the first quarter. Businesses will eventually whittle it down by trimming their orders. And sales continue to be lousy. For example, retail sales in April inched up only 0.9% year over year. That's less than the rate of inflation. So in terms of shipping volume, it marks a down month.

The trucking business is an early thermometer of the real economy. Things might turn around on a dime. There might be a sudden surge of sales that will propel the economy to escape velocity. But we doubt it, and we'll keep listening to the truckers for more clues going forward.

When the People's Bank of China spoke of "big downward pressure," it wasn't kidding.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. When investors fail to see the reason to hedge, a major top could be near.

Fossil Fuel Subsidies Run At Least $10 Million Every Minute

When we look at the cost of fossil fuels versus renewables, we have to take massive subsidies into account. The IMF finds governments subsidize fossil fuels to the tune of $10 million per minute. Moreover, that figure exceeds the amount governments pay for health care.

And, to add insult to injury, that's a lowball estimate which doesn't include the effects of Climate Change caused by the burning of fossil fuels into account.

The Guardian newspaper reports:

The IMF, one of the world’s most respected financial institutions, said that ending subsidies for fossil fuels would cut global carbon emissions by 20%. That would be a giant step towards taming global warming, an issue on which the world has made little progress to date.

Ending the subsidies would also slash the number of premature deaths from outdoor air pollution by 50% – about 1.6 million lives a year.

Furthermore, the IMF said the resources freed by ending fossil fuel subsidies could be an economic “game-changer” for many countries, by driving economic growth and poverty reduction through greater investment in infrastructure, health and education and also by cutting taxes that restrict growth.

It's clear that we need to end subsidies for energy in general. Without the flow of public money into fossil fuels, the free market will steer the course toward replacement by renewables. It's the natural way the free market steers us toward a healthy fossil fuelless future.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. The bond market has raised rates already. When will the Fed follow?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. FOMC minutes at 14:00 could be a volatility trigger on Wednesday

Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Breadth once again powered the market higher, just as it did earlier in the month.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. When the majority of stocks are in downtrends, it's a bear market.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Expand Social Security

Robert Reich makes the case for expanding Social Security and making it more solvent at the same time. How? Hint, anyone making over $118,500 per year pays no more Social Security tax above that level at all! By eliminating the cap on Social Security, the system can not only be made more solvent, the payout can be raised for all:

Friday, May 15, 2015

Hawaii On Track For 100% Renewable Energy

From worst to first, Hawaii is on track to get 100% of its energy from renewable sources. Exactly when that goal will be achieved isn't certain, but there is an unstoppable trend at work there.

Tam Hunt writes Hawaii May Be Closer to Achieving a 100% Renewable Grid Than You Think:

Hawaii’s electricity and natural gas rates are the highest in the nation, so there is a strong economic incentive to get off fossil fuels, along with the environmental and energy independence benefits.

HECO, the state’s sole privately owned utility company, which provides power to all the main islands except Kauai, produced a major report (the Power Supply Improvement Plan for each subsidiary utility) in 2014 looking at how it could achieve higher levels of renewables. HECO found that the 40 percent by 2030 goal was easily achievable and the utility company could in fact get to almost 70 percent by 2030, at a large net cost savings for customers.

The Big Island, the second largest grid on HECO’s system (after Oahu, which is by far the biggest) could get to over 90 percent by 2030 — also at a net cost savings for customers.

That such a high level of renewables can be reached with net savings is a remarkable conclusion. It is made possible by the dramatic declines in costs for renewables, combined with the very high prices that Hawaii electricity customers currently pay. Hawaii consistently has the highest electricity rates and bills in the nation, making the state ripe for a renewable energy extreme makeover.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Final rally? Probably, but patience is required in this bubble market.

Punk Economics :: Britain - The Balkans of Europe?

David McWilliams | Punk Economics

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. On track for some fireworks, both directions, in stocks and in bonds.

Is the US Market Ready for Distributed Batteries Like Tesla’s Powerwall?

Reblogged from GreenTech Media:

The Energy Gang chats about how to make America a storage powerhouse.
Stephen Lacey
May 7, 2015

Tesla’s new stationary storage units have everyone talking about distributed batteries. But is the U.S. market ready for them?

This week, we’ll talk about what needs to happen on a regulatory level to take distributed storage beyond the hype.

Sky Stanfield, an attorney representing the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, joins us to chat about proactive approaches to storage integration. We’ll also look at a new bill introduced in Congress that would implement best practices for interconnection nationwide -- and what it means for batteries and solar.

Then, we’ll look more specifically at the cost and applications of and reaction to Tesla’s new storage units.

We’ll end with a discussion on whether fracking wastewater can be economically used as a geothermal resource.

This podcast is sponsored by ReneSola, a Tier 1 solar cell and module manufacturer with a decade of experience in the cleantech industry. 

The Energy Gang is produced by The show features weekly discussions between energy futurist Jigar Shah, energy policy expert Katherine Hamilton and Greentech Media Editor Stephen Lacey.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Traders frustrated by the trading range are waiting to go with the flow. Could that be a trap?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Are bonds coming into a buying zone later in May?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. When will the last gasp rallies end?

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Our breadth indicators' buy signals yesterday were very timely today as the market rallied. When will this short term rally top out?

Texas House Committee Votes For Marijuana Legalization

Last night, the Texas House of Representatives Criminal Jurisprudence Committee approved a bill that would end marijuana prohibition in the state by a vote of 5-2. HB 2165, introduced in March by Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview), would strike references to marijuana offenses from Texas statutes, resulting in marijuana being treated similarly to other legal crops.

Nearly three out of five Texas voters (58%) support making marijuana legal for adults and regulating it like alcohol, according to a statewide survey conducted by Public Policy Polling in September 2013.

Four states have adopted laws that regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol. Two of them, Colorado and Washington, have established regulated systems of marijuana cultivation and sales. Alaska and Oregon are in the process of implementing similar systems.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. A major opportunity in stocks and bonds. See today's Notes for details.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Volatility within a range continues. It's a sign of a long term top building in equities.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. The progression and divergences continue as equities may have entered a bear market.

Going Off-Grid in Hawaii

Electricity from the local utility in Hawaii is so expensive that customers can save money by cutting the cord. According to Siddharth Dalal, SolarCity Fires Warning Shot At Hawaii Utility: The Future Is Here:
As the Tesla Gigafactory progresses and prices drop further, it will make solar plus storage a very compelling solution. Any utilities making noises about eliminating net metering will soon have to face a behind-the-meter solution that will significantly reduce consumption from the utility and the utility will lose the solar power provided by the consumer.
It is a lose-lose proposition for the utility. For places like Hawaii, where power is very expensive and the utility was delaying solar connections to the grid, going off grid is now a viable proposition. Maybe they knew exactly what was coming when they approved all the delayed applications recently. Now SolarCity has fired their first warning shot directly at the Hawaiian utility inviting customers to go off grid starting next year.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Today's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. When projective indicators disagree, coincident ones shine.