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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 MoveOn.org 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: http://stanford.io/1RgQBMj

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 MoveOn.org 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 MoveOn.org 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 Greentechmedia.com. 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.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. The downtrend continues into our projected cyclic low date in May.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. The market takes no prisoners as bears have been having trouble getting the downtrend rolling.

US Economy Likely Mired in Recession Now

Today's government report of First Quarter GDP growth should be taken with a large helping of salt. That's because the government has a horrible record at tracking the economy.

For instance, in 2008, with the economy a half-year into the worst recession since the Great Depression, the government reported the economy was growing at a +0.6% rate. After numerous revisions over the next 64 months, they finally decided that the economy was declining at a -2.7% rate!

That's why the government's report that the economy grew in the first quarter could just as easily be revised to a huge decline over the next 64 months. As it is, the government tells us that GDP was growing at a +0.25% rate. Garbage in, garbage out.

China's Stock Market Bubble

Harry Dent calls it what it is in The Curse Of The 'Mini' Bubble: China's Period Of Worsening News.

As you can see, we've hit a ceiling on the trendline connecting the 2005 and 2008 bear market lows:

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Is Wall Street engineering a panic to forestall the Fed's raising rates?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. The troops continue the retreat while the generals advance in the face of enemy fire.

The Real War on the Middle Class

By Ron Paul

One of the great ironies of American politics is that most politicians who talk about helping the middle class support policies that, by expanding the welfare-warfare state, are harmful to middle-class Americans. Eliminating the welfare-warfare state would benefit middle-class Americans by freeing them from exorbitant federal taxes, including the Federal Reserve’s inflation tax.

Politicians serious about helping middle-class Americans should allow individuals to opt out of Social Security and Medicare by not having to pay payroll taxes if they agree to never accept federal retirement or health care benefits. Individuals are quite capable of meeting their own unique retirement and health care needs if the government stops forcing them into one-size-fits-all plans.

Middle-class families with college-age children would benefit if government got out of the student loan business. Government involvement in higher education is the main reason tuition is skyrocketing and so many Americans are graduating with huge student loan debts. College graduates entering the job market would certainly benefit if Congress stopped imposing destructive regulations and taxes on the economy.

Politicians who support an interventionist foreign policy are obviously not concerned with the harm inflicted on the middle-class populations of countries targeted for regime change. These politicians also disregard the harm US foreign policy inflicts on Americans. Middle- and working-class Americans, and their families, who join the military certainly suffer when they are maimed or killed fighting in unjust and unconstitutional wars. Our interventionist foreign policy also contributes to the high tax burden imposed on middle-class Americans.

Middle-class Americans also suffer from intrusions on their liberty and privacy, such as not being able to board an airplane unless they submit to invasive and humiliating searches. Even children and the physically disabled are not safe from the Transposition Security Administration. These assaults are justified by the threat of terrorism, a direct result of our interventionist foreign policy that fosters hatred and resentment of Americans.

Some “military Keynesians” claim that middle-class workers benefit from jobs in the military-industrial complex. Military Keynesians seem to think that the resources spent on militarism would disappear if the Pentagon’s budget were cut. The truth is, if we reduced spending on militarism, those currently employed by the military-industrial complex would be able to find new jobs producing goods desired by consumers. Even those currently employed as lobbyists for the military-industrial complex may be able to find useful work.

Few things would benefit the middle class more than ending the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve’s inflationary policies erode middle-class families’ standards of living while benefiting the financial and political elites. Middle-class Americans may gain some temporary benefits from Federal Reserve created booms, but they also suffer from the inevitable busts.

As I write this, the dollar still reigns as the world’s reserve currency. However, there are signs that other economies are moving away from using the dollar as the reserve currency, and this trend will accelerate as the Federal Reserve continues to pump more fiat currency into the economy and as resentment toward our foreign policy grows. Eventually, international investors will lose confidence in the US economy, the dollar will lose its reserve currency status, and the dollar bubble will burst.

These events will cause a major economic downturn that may even be worse than the Great Depression. The main victims of this crisis will be average Americans. The only way to avoid this calamity is for the American people to force Congress to free them from the burdens of the warfare state, the welfare state, taxation, and fiat currency.
Copyright © 2015 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
Please donate to the Ron Paul Institute

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. Troops retreating while generals advance. Where have we seen this before?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Shape of Things To Come

Some of the critical climate issues that need to be headed off within the next 20 to 30 years if massive impacts are to be avoided:
  • The loss of all summer sea ice in the Arctic;
  • The large-scale triggering of the melt of peri-Arctic permafrost (likely irreversible once started);
  • The mobilisation of the melt of Arctic ocean permafrost and clathrates;
  • The melt, destabilisation and loss of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet;
  • The destruction of the bulk of the world's coral reefs;
  • The acidification of the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean to the point where organisms with calcified shells cannot survive;
  • The flooding and disruption of the small island states;
  • The spread of the Sahara into Southern Europe and the Middle East and the large-scale extension of many desert systems globally;
  • The large-scale conversion of the Amazon forest to grasslands;
  • A severe ramping up of extreme weather events;
  • Extreme food shortages;
  • Very large-scale refugee movements; and
  • Serious risk of climate wars.

Source: Safe Climate Restoration Scenarios

Traitors In Charge of the USA Cutting Research Funding

The USA won't fall to terrorists. No, the USA is being destroyed from within by traitors in charge.

Don't believe it? Just read the latest report from MIT entitled “The Future Postponed: Why Declining Investment in Basic Research Threatens a U.S. Innovation Deficit" to be released Monday, April 27th.

KurzweilAI reports:

U.S. competitors are increasing their investment in basic research. The European Space Agency successfully landed the first spacecraft on a comet. China developed the world’s fastest supercomputer and has done research in plant biology uncovering new ways to meet global food demand and address malnutrition. Meanwhile, U.S. investment in basic plant-related research and development is far below that of many other scientific disciplines, despite the fact that the agricultural sector is responsible for more than 2 million U.S. jobs and is a major source of export earnings.

The report, entitled “The Future Postponed: Why Declining Investment in Basic Research Threatens a U.S. Innovation Deficit,” highlights opportunities in basic research that could help shape and maintain U.S. economic power and benefit society.

In the report, MIT faculty members provide examples of critical fields in which investment is required, highlighting potential opportunities and areas where U.S. government support is needed. The authors explain that the FDA has approved 19 new cancer drugs in the past two years, thanks to more than four decades of basic research on the biology of cancer.

The report was prepared by the MIT Committee to Evaluate the Innovation Deficit to examine how research cutbacks will affect the future of scientific research in the U.S.

Delusional Human Race Doomed to Extinction

As we all know, the human race is delusional. We push asset prices in the stock market to the sky and never expect them to collapse. Yet, in the last 15 years, that has happened twice. Why would we expect the third time to avoid a collapse?

But, crashing stock markets are just a minor blip on the radar compared to Climate Change. The deniers have kept us from taking any meaningful action to avoid a collapse of life on this planet. It may be too late to avoid that collapse right now.

The politicians have set an unreasonable goal for warming—2°C above pre-industrial temperatures. That goal, which we are not on target to stay below, may actually be too high to avoid catastrophe. At the present time, with temperatures having warmed by just below 1°C so far, we are seeing Arctic ice gradually disappear, superstorms like Sandy hitting northern latitudes, seas rising and flooding coastal communities, and many more. The effects are obvious. They are facts, not debatable. Yet we have done nothing to stop Global Warming. It's as if we're in a car racing down the highway with no working brakes.

David Spratt makes it clear what action we should be taking:

The catastrophic and irreversible consequences of 2°C of warming demand a strong risk-management approach, with a low rate of failure. We should not take risks with the climate that we would not take with civil infrastructure.

There is no carbon budget available if 2°C is considered a cap or upper boundary as per the Copenhagen Accord, rather than a hit-or-miss target which can be significantly exceeded; or if a low risk of exceeding 2°C is required; or if positive feedbacks such as permafrost and other carbon store losses are taken into account.

Effective policy making can only be based on recognising that climate change is already dangerous, and we have no carbon budget left to divide up. Big tipping-point events irreversible on human time scales such as in West Antarctica and large-scale positive feedbacks are already occurring at less than 1°C of warming. It is clear that 2°C of climate warming is not a safe cap.

In reality, 2°C is the boundary between dangerous and very dangerous climate change and 1°C warmer than human civilisation has ever experienced.

In the lead up to the forthcoming Paris talks, policy makers through their willful neglect of the evidence are in effect normalising a 2.5–3°C global warming target.

This evidence in "Recount: It's time to 'Do the math' again" demonstrates that action is necessary at a faster pace than most policy makers conceive is possible.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Why Renewables Can’t Be Stopped

Energy Gang podcast this week:

In 2014, after a two-year dip in global clean energy spending, the world saw a record $310 billion invested in solar, wind, storage and energy efficiency.

Although yearly investment levels are still below what IEA estimates are needed to address climate change, the increase shows that appetite for funding projects and companies is increasing. Some say the investment figures prove that fossil fuels in the electricity sector have already lost the long-term race to renewables.

This week, we’ll talk with Michael Liebreich, founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, about what the global numbers tell us.

Then, we’ll look at how renewables are factoring into the upcoming parliamentary elections in the U.K.

Finally, we’ll talk about why the White House’s Quadrennial Energy Review is so important for planning the future grid.

Making Batteries Obsolete: Why Tesla's Gigafactory is Doomed To Fail

The future is in capacitors, not batteries. By the time the Tesla Gigafactory is up and running, it will be obsolete.

The future will see capacitors replace batteries everywhere. A hint of what's coming is given by the fact that researchers at UCSD have tripled the capacity of graphene in Charged holes in graphene increase energy storage capacity:

Engineers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have discovered a method to increase the amount of electric charge that can be stored in graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon, which could increase battery storage capacity.

The research, published in the journal Nano Letters, may provide a better understanding of how to improve the energy storage ability (energy density) of capacitors for potential uses in cars, wind turbines, and solar power. Capacitors charge and discharge very fast (have high power density), so they are useful for quick large bursts of energy, such as in camera flashes, but they store less energy than batteries.

Punching holes in graphene

The industrially viable solution to increasing charge capacity, found in the lab of mechanical engineering professor Prabhakar Bandaru at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UCSD, was to take advantage of defects — holes corresponding to missing carbon atoms — in graphene material.

To do that, the team used argon-ion based plasma processing to bombard graphene samples with positively charged argon ions. That knocked out carbon atoms, leaving behind “holes” containing positive charges, which increased the capacitance of the materials three-fold. These “armchair” and “zigzag” defects are named based on the configurations of the missing carbon atoms.

Why 2 of U.S. Dollar's Recent Bottoms Have 1 Thing In Common

Why 2 of U.S. Dollar's Recent Bottoms Have 1 Thing In Common
In 2009 and 2014, a simple chart pattern enabled us to turn bullish the dollar, just in time for HUGE rallies. Learn to use this pattern now.

By Elliott Wave International

Imagine you're on an airplane, mid-air, when the intercom from the cockpit accidentally turns on. You and the entire cabin crew overhear the pilot say this to his copilot:

"I know we're heading northeast at 430 mph. But... I have no idea when or where I'm supposed to land."

That's when you cough up your bag of peanuts!

Dramatic? Sure. Imaginary? Yes. But it also highlights the real limits of mainstream financial analysis, which has no trouble identifying the current trend in a financial market -- but has little idea as to when or where that trend will end.

This is where the Wave Principle really can help you. Elliott wave analysis recognizes about a dozen distinct price patterns in financial markets. Each pattern conforms to clear, objective rules and guidelines that help you -- the investor or trader -- determine,

  1. Exact price levels where each wave should end
  2. Fibonacci price levels to help you further fine-tune price targets
  3. Support and resistance price levels -- to manage your risk
  4. And, ultimately, where the entire pattern will end -- and the next opportunity will begin

One Elliott wave pattern above all else signals the trend will soon end: the aptly named, Ending Diagonal. It only forms in the final position of a wave sequence -- i.e., wave 5 of a 5-wave impulse, or wave C of a correction, just as the trend is about to turn.

Most importantly, when this pattern ends, it's followed by a swift and powerful reversal that retraces the entire length of the diagonal. Here's an idealized depiction, in bull and bear markets:

To fully appreciate the wonder of ending diagonals you have to see them in a real-world market -- like the U.S. dollar, where this pattern precipitated not one, but two of the most dramatic turning points in the buck's recent history.

First, 2009, the year the music of the world's main monetary unit was supposed to die:

  1. The U.S. dollar circles the drain of a 15-month low
  2. Global central banks accumulate the lowest proportion of new U.S. dollar reserves on record (Nov. 6, 2009 Time Magazine)
  3. And, the UN calls for a "new global currency to replace the dollar, proposing the biggest overhaul of the world's monetary system since World War II." (Sept. 8, 2009 Telegraph.co.uk)

Lo and behold, all the mainstream "pilots" could see was the dollar's descent continuing into total oblivion:

"Dollar Slump Persisting As Top Analysts See No Bottom... As long as the Fed maintains interest rates at historical lows, the EUR-USD should return on a bullish trend." (Nov. 23, 2009 Reuters)

Of course, you know that the Fed has kept interest rates at the same low levels, near zero, since 2009, for 6 long years -- yet EURUSD did the opposite of what the mainstream pundits expected.

On the other hand, thanks to the ending diagonal Elliott wave pattern, you knew of the coming bullish reversal in the dollar/ bearish reversal in the EURUSD ahead of time. Elliott Wave International's October 21, 2009 Short Term Update wrote:

"The [U.S. Dollar Index] still has not 'spiked beneath 74.92, the lower trendline of the fifth-wave ending diagonal that we've been discussing. Absent this price behavior, a rally above 77.48 would be another signal that a significant low is in place. Until then, we patiently wait for the current wave structure to complete."

Reinforcing the bullish outlook was Elliott Wave International's October 2009 Elliott Wave Theorist (notice the ending diagonal on the dollar's price chart):

"The dollar sentiment remains bleak as night... and the wave count once again appears terminal. The coming advance in the dollar should be exceptionally powerful."

Result: As the ending diagonal pattern suggested, soon after the U.S. dollar index took off in a powerful rally to a one-year high against the euro.

Now, flash ahead to May 2014: Once again, U.S. dollar "doom talk" is back. Against the euro, the dollar stands at a 2.5 year low, near $1.40.

This time, Elliott Wave International's June 2014 European Financial Forecast saw a bearish ending diagonal on the EURUSD price chart, suggesting another greenback comeback ahead:

"The wave labels on the chart denote the pertinent legs of the rally...Wave C of (4) traced out an ending diagonal to complete the advance. Last month, prices broke below the diagonals lower boundary, confirming the end of the large degree rally. The decline should be the first of many down waves that carry the euro lower over the remainder of 2014."

Result: From that May 2014, the U.S. dollar soared (and the euro slid) in the fastest rise in 40 years, ascending to a 12-year high against its European foil by March 2015.

This is why ending diagonals are one of the most high-confidence Elliott wave patterns. But it's just one of many. Imagine how much knowing other patterns could help you with your markets.


Trader Education Week

Free "Trader Education Week"

Register now, 100% free, and get instant access to 3 insight-packed introductory trading lessons.

Then each day through April 28 we will email you more free trading lessons that you can apply to your trading immediately.

Register now, 100% free -- and access 3 intro lessons instantly >>

This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline Why 2 of U.S. Dollar's Recent Bottoms Have 1 Thing In Common. 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, April 23, 2015

Today's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Watch that next step down!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Bonds plunged today and boosted stocks, which is why we currently favor the third alternative.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Volatility declines as the day of reckoning approaches.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. We have two very significant turn dates ahead for equities.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. Calm before the storm this week?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Launch, Land and Re-Launch

SpaceX Launch You Up (Uptown Funk Parody) from Cinesaurus on Vimeo.

Solar Bonds

Solar City is offering bonds with up to a 5¾% yield based upon solar energy. They write:
Solar Bonds are open to everyone. They offer attractive returns and you can invest directly with no fees. Best of all, you’re helping to support the growth of clean solar energy.
It's yet another way to “Get Paid By the Sun.”

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Watch that next step down: it could be a very big one.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Internal deterioration in the stock market at new all-time highs bodes ill.

Professor Steve Keen on why the recovery is doomed

Why are we back in recession? Professor Steve Keen explains what economists in general simply don't understand:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Running out of momentum, stocks could be in trouble very soon now.

Tech bubble: Different this time

Tech bubble: Different this time?

By Elliott Wave International

Editor's note: This article is from Elliott Wave International's brand-new investment report, "U.S. Investors Face a Giant, Historic Bubble." It originally appeared in the April issue of The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, published March 27, 2015. For a limited-time, EWI has agreed to give our readers exclusive free access to the full report. Please click here to read it now.

In March, we covered the return to a popular fascination with technology.

The striking resemblance to 2000's technology mania is not going unnoticed. How can it? With the NASDAQ's much heralded return to 5000 and magazine covers proclaiming "Google Wants You To Live Forever," concern about an "asset bubble" is being raised. But this is actually another throwback to early March 2000, when the NASDAQ reached its all-time high and the Financial Forecast remarked on a "public ambivalence toward warnings of any kind."

The March issue of The Elliott Wave Theorist explains that while people may remember some of the details, they "forget their prior mood and rationalize present extremes into normality."

This March 7 headline from a major financial paper offers a perfect example of how this "normalization" works: "Forget 2000. It's a Different Investing Ballgame." Really? Yeah, really. "It really is different this time," says another. "The crazy valuations seen at the turn of the millennium -- when silly concepts, such as collecting eyeballs, attracted billions of dollars from breathless speculators wanting to get in on the new, new thing -- are absent."

There's just one problem with this assessment, it's not accurate. Here's the reality, or should we say surreality, as depicted in Bloomberg on March 17:

The Fuzzy, Insane Math That's Creating
So Many Billion-Dollar Tech Companies

The article discloses how companies are shooting to "astronomical valuations," mostly with Internet ideas that capture people's bullish imaginations and, as in 2000, cause them to look beyond mundane things such as cash flow and profits. Once again, such stone-age metrics are less important than "the number of people using the product" and "whether they pay for it. Investors salivate over what's called 'hockey-stick' growth curves, indicating massive uptake. Costs, especially operations costs, are largely ignored."

As in 2000, the fever has been spreading fast. According to Bloomberg, start-ups with billion-dollar valuations were once dubbed "unicorns" because of their rarity. Now, Bloomberg counts more than 50 of them. Many have expanded ten-fold, so a new buzzword, "decacorn," now applies to those with capitalizations of more than "$10 billion, which includes Airbnb, Dropbox, Pinterest, Snapchat and Uber."

Of course, the driving force behind many of these investments is the same--a fear of missing out (FOMO).

"A severe case of FOMO can cause some to do crazy things to get into the hottest deals," says Bloomberg. This is exactly what the Financial Forecast said in March 2000, when we explained why people fail to heed ample warnings in the final throes of a mania: "Acting on such an opinion might mean missing something on the upside. 'The average person must ride it out,' says [a] Nobel Prize winner. Quotes such as these will deserve preservation in bronze when the bear market is mature." Clearly, that time still lies ahead.

For compelling Elliott wave evidence of a culmination of the Mania Era, see the five-wave advance in the share price of the current technology leader, Apple Inc., on page 3 of the March Elliott Wave Theorist. As the Theorist notes, after rising more than 14,500% over the past 12 years, S&P Dow Jones Indices added the stock to the Dow Jones Industrial Average on March 19.

This is one more remarkable parallel to the prior technology mania, as Microsoft was added to the Dow Industrials just prior to its January 2000 top. Here's how EWFF interpreted its addition in November 1999:

The ultimate concession to technology is due November 2, when Microsoft will be inducted into the Dow Jones Industrial Average. For most of the bull market, the world's most dominant stock was excluded from the world's premier blue-chip average. But just as RCA was added to the Dow in October 1928 (and removed in 1932), Microsoft has assumed its rightful place at the head of the pack, in time to lead the way down.

Apple has just been acknowledged in the same way and for the same reason. The pressure to pile onto the technology bandwagon has proved irresistible to the Dow's purveyors. This has generally happened when the most important stock market reversals were at hand.

Editor's note: This article is from Elliott Wave International's brand-new investment report, "U.S. Investors Face a Giant, Historic Bubble." It originally appeared in the April issue of The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, published March 27, 2015. For a limited-time, EWI has agreed to give our readers exclusive free access to the full report. Please click here to read it now.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. More puts likely to be on fire and subject to extinguishment this week.

US Economy in Recession

The US economy is now firmly in recession despite what the TV Talking Heads tell us.

More evidence of this fact comes from the National Association of Credit Management (NACM), whose latest report reveals:

"We now know that the readings of last month were not a fluke or some temporary aberration that could be marked off as something related to the weather," said NACM Economist Chris Kuehl. "These readings are as low as they have been since the recession started and to see everything start to get back on track would take a substantial reversal at this stage."

The combined score of 51.2 is moving dangerously close to contraction zone. The index of favorable factors dropped to 55.4 while the unfavorable factors drastically fell to 48.5--a place this index has not seen since after the end of the recession. "The signal this sends is that many companies are not nearly as healthy as it has been assumed and that there is considerably less resilience in the business sector than assumed," said Kuehl.

Most categories showed decreases this month, but the real damage occurred in the unfavorable changes categories. According to Kuehl, the most disturbing drop happened in the rejection of credit applications category, which fell from 48.1 to an even weaker 42.9. The accounts placed for collection fell to 49.8, disputes improved slightly to 49, dollar amount beyond terms fell to 45.5, and dollar amount of customer deductions dropped to 48.7.

"The year-over-year trend remains miserable and seems to be getting worse and thus far nearly all the blame can be laid at the feet of credit access," Kuehl said. "There is just not a lot of confidence in those that are doing the credit offerings these days."

Get Ready For GFC II

The global financial crisis of 2008 (GFC) is gearing up for another appearance. Get ready to hand the Too Big To Fail banks more of your hard-earned cash to compensate them for failure.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank, whose role as Big Daddy Warbucks protects the Little Orphan Annie banks from failure, the banks passed their latest stress test with flying colors. But, the Fed is making the same mistake it did last time and that's overcounting the value of derivatives. According to Thomas Hoenig, vice chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and former Fed governor, capital at the TBTF banks averaged only 4.97% at the end of 2014. The Fed itself, however, calculates that capital level at 12.9%.

The difference is substantial. In fact, a similar discrepancy occured just before the GFC. The late Fed governor Edward Gramlich warned of a similar discrepancy of capital—and was ignored. Will history repeat itself? Maybe not. But it could certainly rhyme. Will the Congress bow down to the TBTF banks again? We suspect that the fury of the taxpayer will eliminate another bailout.

But, if the banks truly own the government, we should expect the same result, unfortunately.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Short Term Energy Outlook

The deal with Iran could drop prices by $5-15/bbl according to the US government agency EIA. That's according to notes in their Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO). They say:

On April 2, Iran and the P5+1 reached a framework agreement to guide the next three months of negotiations, which will target a comprehensive agreement by June 30. Under the framework, U.S. and European Union nuclear-related sanctions (which includes oil-related sanctions) will be suspended after the International Atomic Energy Agency verifies that Iran has complied with key nuclear-related steps. If a comprehensive agreement that results in the lifting of Iranian oil-related sanctions is reached, then this could significantly change the STEO forecast for oil supply, demand, and prices. However, the timing and order that sanctions could be suspended is uncertain. In addition, the pace and volume at which more Iranian oil can re-enter the market is uncertain and depends on how quickly Iran can move oil out of storage and ramp up production.

In this STEO, EIA's forecast of oil supply, demand, and price is mostly unchanged from last month. Given the preliminary nature of the recent developments, EIA has not changed its short-term projection for Iranian production, which assumes that production will stay close to the current level. However, if a comprehensive deal is reached, the re-entry of more Iranian barrels could result in a $5-$15/bbl lower baseline STEO price projection in 2016 compared with the current STEO.

Iran is believed to hold at least 30 million barrels in storage. It is possible that Iran will attempt to move oil out of storage more quickly sometime during the second half of 2015 in preparation to increase production if discussions on sanctions show progress. As a result, the global market may see incremental increases in Iran's crude oil exports before seeing a substantial increase to Iran's production, but the pace at which oil in storage could be withdrawn is uncertain.

EIA believes that Iran has the technical capability to ramp up crude oil production by at least 700,000 bbl/d by at least the end of 2016, of which 600,000 bbl/d represents capacity that was previously shut in and 100,000 bbl/d is new capacity. EIA's current STEO projects that growth in global inventories declines from 1 million bbl/d in 2015 to 100,000 bbl/d in 2016. If Iran ramps up production by 700,000 bbl/d by at least the end of 2016, then this could result in an annual average growth of about 500,000 bbl/d in global inventories in 2016, which would stress storage capacity limits and put downward pressure on prices. The potentially large inventory build in 2016 implies that production growth outside of Iran could be lower or that global consumption growth could be higher than projected in the current STEO.

Although the timing and volume of Iran's exports remain uncertain, the market perception surrounding increased future supplies will apply downward price pressure to near-term crude oil prices. Overall, North Sea Brent crude oil prices could be lower by about $1-$3/bbl in 2015, decreasing the 2015 annual Brent price from the current projection in the high $50/bbl range. If and when significantly increased volumes of Iranian barrels start entering the market, the price effect could be greater. The uncertainty of the impact lies in the secondary effects on production outside of Iran, including in the United States, as well as any increases in global consumption as a response to lower oil prices, among other factors.