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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Employment Report Friday dead ahead. Watch the market react to the report.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Stocks remain on track for a significant top coming up in April.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Yellen promises a rollback in rates if the economy continues to deteriorate.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Stocks churn sideways, but the canaries in the coal mine are sick.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Current Bubble Bursts

Valeant Pharmaceuticals is the latest example of the bubbles on Wall Street. David Stockman describes it in A Scam Called Valeant—Why The Casino Is Going To Blow:

If you need evidence that Wall Street is a financial time bomb waiting for ignition look no further than the recent meltdown of Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX). In round terms, its market cap of $90 billion on August 5th has suddenly become the embodiment of that proverbial sucking sound to the south, having plunged to less than $12 billion by Wednesday’s close.

That’s nearly a 90% haircut and VRX was no microcap penny stock. It was a giant inhabitant of a hedge fund hotel.

Needless to say, the cliff-diving pattern in the graph below provides evidence that the ticking bombs in the casino are of the neutron variety. In this case, the hotel may be still standing but the inhabitants have been ionized. On a single day last week, hedge funds lost $5.3 billion in value.

Condign justice, some might say, for the likes of rank gamblers like William Ackman (Pershing Square) and Jeffrey Ubben (ValueAct Holdings) who lost $700 million each that day. The fact that they have successfully promoted themselves for so long as masters of the universe, however, is the real moral of the story.

The financial markets and media have been so corrupted by central bank bubble finance that they did not even recognize that Valeant was a monumental scam and that Ackman and Ubben are snake oil salesman in $5,000 suits. Presently it will become clear that the hedge fund hotels are heavily occupied by many more of the same.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Stock market rallies ahead of Easter for the 18th time in the last 18 years.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Stocks tend to rally during Easter. Was today a setup for that rally?

Global Warming + Atlantic Cooling = UK Storms (Video)

Jason Box explains why the cold pool of water in the North Atlantic (caused by Greenland and Canadian ice melt) is causing storms in the U.K.:

Evolution of Government

Scott Adams explains how government has evolved from a republic to a form of social media in Social Media is the New Government. It's an important point and a nice change from what he calls “Economic Fascism” which is a form of government controlled by the very rich.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Gold managed to bounce, but did little on the Brussels attack. Trend is down in gold.

GameChangers: How Energy Storage Transforms the Power System (Video)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Stocks staggered higher, but there's a better shorting opportunity right now in gold.

How Can Global CO2 Levels Soar When Emissions Are Flat?

Joe Romm writes in Climate Progress:

Last year saw the biggest jump in global CO2 levels ever measured, as NOAA reported on March 9. Yet in 2015 the world economy grew while energy-related CO2 emissions were flat — for the second year in a row — according to the International Energy Agency, as ClimateProgress reported last week.

This puzzled more than one reader. One emailed me the following: “the IEA is saying that emissions have gone flat, while, at the same time, NOAA is announcing that we just had the largest-ever jump in CO2 [levels]. Logic would seem to dictate that someone has their figures wrong. Flat emissions should not translate into record CO2 jumps.”

What’s going on? Two things:

  • Annual CO2 emissions are very different from global CO2 levels.
  • CO2 levels tend to have big jumps in El Niño years.

Let’s go through those two, especially since this discussion gets to the heart of what I call “the biggest source of confusion in the public climate discussion” in my recent book, “Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know.” It also goes to the heart of why delaying action is so dangerous and costly.

The CO2 Bathtub Analogy

Avoiding catastrophic warming requires stabilizing CO2 concentrations (or levels) in the atmosphere, not annual emissions. Studies find that many, if not most, people are confused about this, including highly informed people, mistakenly believing that if we stop increasing emissions, then global warming will stop. In fact, very deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are needed to stop global warming.

One study by MIT grad students found that “most subjects believe atmospheric GHG concentrations can be stabilized while emissions into the atmosphere continuously exceed the removal of GHGs from it.” The author, Dr. John Sterman from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, notes that these beliefs “support wait-and-see policies but violate conservation of matter” and are “analogous to arguing a bathtub filled faster than it drains will never overflow.”

BathtubEarthEPA

CREDIT: EPA

While atmospheric concentrations (the total stock of CO2 already in the air) might be thought of as the water level in the bathtub, emissions (the yearly new flow into the air) are the rate of water flowing into a bathtub from the faucet. There is also a bathtub drain, which is analogous to the so-called carbon “sinks” such as the oceans and the soils. The water level won’t drop until the flow through the faucet is less than the flow through the drain.

Similarly, carbon dioxide levels won’t stabilize until human-caused emissions are so low that the carbon sinks can essentially absorb them all. Under many scenarios, that requires more than an 80 percent drop in CO2 emissions. And if the goal is stabilization of temperature near or below the 2°C (3.6 °F) threshold for dangerous climate change that scientists and governments have identified, then CO2 emissions need to approach zero by 2100.

So the first key point is that CO2 levels will continue rising if we merely keep annual CO2 emissions flat. In fact, they will keep rising at a faster and faster rate because the land and ocean carbon sinks are weakening (see below).

The Temporary Impact Of El Niño

NOAA reported two weeks ago that the CO2 concentrations “measured at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii jumped by 3.05 parts per million during 2015, the largest year-to-year increase in 56 years of research.” That is a big jump compared to the average annual rise at Mauna Loa from 2005 to 2014 of 2.11 ppm per year.

But the second-highest single-year growth rate for CO2 levels was back in 1998, which saw a jump of 2.93 ppm (whereas the average annual rise from 1995 to 2004 was 1.87 ppm per year).

You may notice a pattern here — big jumps during big El Niño years.

“El Niño years tend to be bad years for plant growth, due to things like widespread drought or other extreme weather,” Stefan Rahmstorf, co-chair of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, explained in an email. “So the biosphere loses some carbon. You see that happening in 1998 as well. Below is a diagram from the AR5, you see from the squiggly line how variable the land sink is, it dominates interannual variability in the carbon budget.”

Annual manmade CO2 emissions and where they end up. The partitioning is between the ocean sink (dark blue), the atmosphere (light blue) and the land sink (green).

CREDIT: IPCC

A crucial point is that, based on actual observations and measurements, the world’s top carbon cycle experts have determined that the land and oceans are becoming steadily less effective at removing excess CO2 from the atmosphere, as I reported last year. This makes it more urgent for us to start cutting carbon pollution ASAP, since it will become progressively harder and harder for us to do so effectively in the coming decades.

In particular, the defrosting permafrost and the resultant release of CO2 and methane turns part of the land sink into a source of airborne greenhouse gases. Similarly, as global warming increases forest and peatland fires — burning trees and vegetation — that also turns one part of the land carbon sink into a source of atmospheric CO2. So does ever-worsening droughts that scientists are observing in the United States southwest and other parts of the world.

We are destroying nature’s ability to help us stave off catastrophic climate change. “Clearly nature is helping us” deal with atmospheric CO2 right now much more than it will be decades to come, as Dr. Josep (Pep) Canadell, executive director of the Global Carbon Project, told me last year. Ultimately this is one more reason why delaying action to cut carbon pollution is a costly and dangerous mistake.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Last Week's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. We will update our #WeekendAnalysis report later today.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Money managers expect recession, but can't afford to sit on the sidelines in cash.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Why the precious metals bear market isn't over yet and what will signal it is.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Consolidation was the name of the game today in equities.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Last Week's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. Seasonals are a big factor in the markets today.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Crazy volatility is a sure symptom of a top in overvalued/overbought equities.

Energy Storage Poised For a Breakthrough

“It doesn’t always rain when you need water, so we have reservoirs — but we don’t have the same system for electricity,” says Jill Cainey, director of the UK’s Electricity Storage Network. But that may change in 2016, with industry figures predicting a breakthrough year for a technology not only seen as vital to the large-scale rollout of renewable energy, but also offering the prospect of lowering customers’ energy bills. Big batteries, whose costs are plunging, are leading the way. But a host of other technologies, from existing schemes like splitting water to create hydrogen, compressing air in underground caverns, flywheels and heated gravel pits, to longer term bets like supercapacitors and superconducting magnets, are also jostling for position. Read full article.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Key resistance lies just overhead in stocks.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. The rally seems to have eliminated the bearishness and paved the way to the downside.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Is the commodity bear market over now?

Bring the SAVE Benefits Act to the floor of the United States Senate for a vote

Tens of millions of Americans rely on Social Security for a majority of their income, but this year – for just the fourth time in the history of the program – beneficiaries didn’t receive a cost of living adjustment. Meanwhile, CEO pay has continued to skyrocket.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has introduced a bill called the Seniors and Veterans Emergency Benefits Act (SAVE Benefits Act)1 that would give seniors, veterans, people with disabilities and surviving spouses who rely on Social Security a one-time payment of $580 to help make ends meet. It would be paid for by closing a loophole that subsidizes excessive CEO pay.

In a few days, Sen. Warren, Sen. Chuck Schumer and progressive groups will be delivering the signatures on this petition to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Add your name to the petition now to help build pressure on Sen. McConnell to allow a vote on the bill.

Tell Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Allow a vote on the SAVE Benefits Act. Click here to sign the petition.

In October, the Social Security Administration announced that there would not be an automatic increase in Social Security benefits in 2016, as there is in most years.2 Right now, the average Social Security benefit is less than $15,000 per year – and many of the tens of millions of Americans who rely on Social Security to get by desperately need a raise.

Meanwhile, CEO pay at the 350 biggest firms in the U.S. now averages more than $16 million per year – over 1,000 times more than the average Social Security benefit. In 2014, the last year for which data is available, these CEOs saw their pay increase by 3.9 percent. Incredibly, much of this compensation slips through the so-called “performance pay” loophole, which allows corporations to deduct CEO pay from their taxable income as long as it is based on performance.

The SAVE Benefits Act addresses both of these problems at once by providing a one-time $580 Social Security payment that is paid for by eliminating this egregious loophole. It’s a smart bill that will give a much-needed raise to our seniors and veterans instead of wealthy CEOs.

But Sen. McConnell has so far refused to allow a vote on the SAVE Benefits Act. That’s why Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Schumer and progressive groups are organizing a big petition delivery this week. Add your name to our petition now to make sure it is included in the delivery.

Tell Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Allow a vote on the SAVE Benefits Act. Click here to sign the petition.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

By Century's End, Some Parts of Earth Will Be Uninhabitable

James Hansen, noted climate scientist who warned us decades ago of the dangers of fossil fuels, now suggests that we are on track to make parts of our planet uninhabitable by the end of this century:

The tropics and the Middle East in summer are in danger of becoming practically uninhabitable by the end of the century if business-as-usual fossil fuel emissions continue, because wet bulb temperature could approach the level at which the human body is unable to cool itself under even well-ventilated outdoor conditions. Lesser warming still makes life more difficult and reduces productivity in these regions, because temperatures are approaching the limit of human tolerance and both agricultural and construction work are mainly outdoor activities. Middle latitude countries have a near optimum average temperature for work productivity, while warmer countries such as Indonesia, India and Nigeria are on a steep slope with rapidly declining productivity as temperature rises (see Fig. 2 of Burke et al., 2015).

Warming and climate effects are not uniform within the regions that we illustrate. In the U.S., e.g., warming is largest in the Southwest, consistent with expected amplified warming in dry subtropical regions. Similarly summer warming is amplified in the Mediterranean and Middle East region, where at minimum it intensifies drought conditions such as those of Syria in recent years, if not being a principal cause of the drought.

Results for additional individual nations are available at www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/CO2Emissions/.

Human health is affected by higher temperature via impacts on heat waves, drought, fires, floods and storms, and indirectly by ecological disruptions brought on by climate change including shifting patterns of disease (see Chapter 11 of IPCC, 2014, and references therein). Vector-borne diseases, usually involving infections transmitted by blood-sucking mosquitoes or ticks, can spread to higher latitudes and greater altitudes as global war

In an assembly of 60 quantitative studies covering all major world regions, it is found that interpersonal violence increases by 4% and intergroup conflict by 14% for each standard deviation increase of temperature. Such findings do not constitute natural laws, but they provide a useful empirical estimate of impacts of temperature change.

Human health is affected by higher temperature via impacts on heat waves, drought, fires, floods and storms, and indirectly by ecological disruptions brought on by climate change including shifting patterns of disease (see Chapter 11 of IPCC, 2014, and references therein). Vector-borne diseases, usually involving infections transmitted by blood-sucking mosquitoes or ticks, can spread to higher latitudes and greater altitudes as global warming increases.

National responsibilities for global warming can be assigned because fossil fuel CO2 is the main cause of long-term warming. Deforestation and agricultural activities contribute to airborne CO2, but restoration of soil and biosphere carbon is possible via improved agricultural and forestry practices and, indeed that is required if climate is to be stabilized. In contrast, fossil fuel carbon will not be removed from the climate system for millennia. Other trace gases contribute to climate change, but CO2 causes 80% of the increase of greenhouse gas climate forcing in the past two decades and much of the other 20% is related to fossil fuel mining or fossil fuel use.

Climate change is accurately proportional to cumulative CO2 emissions (Fig. 3a). The U.S. and Europe are each responsible for more than a quarter of cumulative emissions, China for about 10% and India 3%. The disparity between developed and developing country emissions is even greater with consumption-based accounting of emissions. Even without consumption-based accounting, the per capita emissions of the U.S. and Europe are at least an order of magnitude greater than most developing countries.

There is thus a striking incongruity between locations of largest climate change and responsibility for fossil fuel emissions. Largest bell curve shifts are in tropical rainforest, Southeast Asia, the Sahara and Sahel, where fossil fuel emissions are very small. Climate change is also large in the Middle East, where emissions are large and rapidly growing, with several nations having higher per capita emissions than the United States (see paper).

Discussion. We conclude that continued business-as-usual fossil fuel emissions will begin to make low latitudes inhospitable. If accompanied by multi-meter sea level rise, resulting forced migration and economic disruption could be devastating.

Even global warming as small as 2°C, sometimes called a safe guardrail, may have large effects. Bell curve shifts shown for 2005-2015 result from global warming of ~0.6°C relative to 1951-80. Thus 2°C warming relative to pre-industrial (1.7°C relative to 1951-1980) will result in bell curve shifts and climate impacts about three times greater than those that have occurred already. Global warming of 2°C is expected to cause sea level rise of several meters, leading to inference that the potential sea level rise this century is dangerous.

The overall message that climate science delivers to society, policymakers, and the public alike is this: we have a global emergency. Fossil fuel CO2 emissions should be reduced as rapidly as practical. We argue that country-by-country goals, the approach of the 21st Conference of the Parties cannot lead to rapid phasedown of fossil fuel emissions, as long as fossil fuels are allowed to be the cheapest energy. It will be necessary to include a carbon fee that allows the external costs of fossil fuels to be incorporated in their price. Border duties on products from countries without a carbon fee, would lead to most nations adopting a carbon fee.

Last Week's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis reports have been updated on the website. Correction dead ahead for stocks.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Danielle Fong: Co-Founder of LightSail Energy


Danielle Fong is passionate about finding a solution to energy sustainability. "I have patience with people but not with systems" and her life choices proves this. With guidance and advice from fellow contemporary innovators like Steve Jobs she continued to follow her vision of finding the missing technology -something she instinctively felt- to conserve energy.

Self-described as ‘a girl from the future’, the 27-year-old Canadian innovator, entrepreneur and eco-pragmatist has been featured in Forbes' 30 under 30 in the category of Energy & Industry, as well as interviewed by Forbes.com in a video entitled "Danielle Fong May Save the World". She has also been named as one of the “Top 35 Innovators under 35” by the MIT Technology Review. Left junior high school at the age of 12 to attend Dalhousie University, graduated with first class honors in computer science and physics, then entered the Plasma Physics Department at Princeton University as a PhD student. She went on to co-found LightSail Energy, where she currently works as “Chief Science Officer” developing a form of compressed air energy storage. Danielle works actively to mentor and inspire entrepreneurship and invention in hard technology, working as a mentor. She tours extensively, speaking on behalf of invention and the environment, and publishes essays at www.daniellefong.com.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Overbought stocks have almost reached our price target of SPX 2000.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Nice Head and Shoulders patterns point toward reversals to the downside in stocks.