Fear and Greed; main reasons most investors to lose money in the Stock Market

Stock Market Fear

Stock Market Fear and Greed are the primary driving force behind all markets

Introduction to Market sentiment Analysis

Stock Market Investing is all about not allowing one’s emotions to do the Talking; once your emotions start talking your money starts walking away from you. The financial crisis of 2008 scarred many individuals and scared away even more; add in the Great Recession, and one can see that the average Joe can come up with many reasons to avoid the stock market. However simple market sentiment analysis could have saved many a person from losing a significant portion of their wealth.   To make matters worse, the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high, and wages in most instances are dropping instead of rising which means that many Americans have little to no disposable income left after expenses. Don’t for one second believe the twisted statistics issued by the BLS (Bureau of labour department); those statistics are on par with toilet paper.

Most  individuals assume that they need a lot of money to invest in the markets 

Stock Market Fear: Individuals making $30,000 or less per year are more likely to avoid the stock market, citing insufficient funds as one of the main reasons. There appears to be a misconception in thinking that one needs a lot of money to invest in the markets. Nothing could be further from the truth.  One can start off with small amounts and slowly add to this base over the years.; the power of compounding is amazing. If you start young enough even putting away $50-$100 a month can add up to a sizable bundle by the time you retire.

The average person thinks that investing in the markets is very risky

This is just another misconception that has grown especially after the devastating crisis of 2008.  If one is investing for the long haul and in quality stocks, then investing is one of the surest ways of making money and building a sustainable nest egg. However, one needs to understand what one is getting into and not plunge into the markets blindly as is the case with most individuals.

People assume  that investing is hard to learn or master

Market sentiment analysis reveals that People assume  that investing is hard to learn or master

We are referring to financial education and not higher education from institutes such as colleges or universities. We would even go as far as to suggest what these institutes teach regarding the stock market is useless. As with everything in life, if one wants to master a new skill, one needs to set some time aside for this endeavour.  If you are going to talk the talk, then be ready to walk the walk. Don’t expect some expert to guide you to the promised land, for you will find that instead of finding paradise you are more likely to be welcomed into Hell.

Regarding the stock markets it would be wise to look at the history of the markets; study past stock market crashes; the events that lead to the crash and events that set the foundation for the next bull run.  Then paper trade before deploying your hard earned cash?

If you are going to rely on a financial advisor; how are you going to know if he is not selling you sack of sawdust if you know next to nothing. In most cases people set themselves up to lose in the markets or to be taken advantage of; it takes two to tango. Surveys done by bank rate shows that Millennials were twice as likely as any other group to cite lack of financial knowledge as their main reason for avoiding the markets.  If this trend persists, they are going to be ten times more likely to ask the government for handouts when they retire.

 

Most Investors Distrust the Financial Markets

Yes, one could say there is a valid reason to fear the markets as many Millennials have grown up in an era of financial disasters; two of the most painful ones were the dot.com bubble and the Financial Crisis of 2008, which later came to be known as the Great Recession.  However, again, lack of financial knowledge and the wrong perspective is what provides the foundation for this fear.  Fear is a useless emotion when it comes to the stock markets; the best time to buy is when blood is flowing freely; translation, so-called disasters always provide opportunities for the astute investor.   Additionally, one could have easily sidestepped both disasters by paying attention to market sentiment; in both instances the masses were euphoric, and they thought the bull market could last forever. Nothing lasts forever and when the masses are ecstatic it is time to leave the party. Disaster can be viewed as an opportunity or as a tragedy; it all comes down to one’s perspective. Alter the angle of observance and the perspective changes.

The Concept of retirement planning is nonexistent for many

Bankrate states that only 25% of Americans check their investments and retirement accounts more than once a month. These same individuals can spend countless of hours on their phones texting each other or on Facebook or otherwise known as Face Crack.  One does not need to look at one’s investments every day, however, spending time on finding out what’s trending or where the crowd is leaning could make the difference between banking your profits or trying to catch a falling dagger.

Ideally, individuals should have a rough idea of how much they would like to have by the time they retire and then come out with a feasible plan. Otherwise, they are bound to come up with some harebrained scheme that is fuelled by fear when they suddenly realise that the years have passed away, but the account is looking as miserable as it did on the day of its inception.

 

Fear and Greed drive the masses; they are Euphoric before a market crashes and panic close to market bottoms

Disaster is usually opportunity knocking in disguise, instead of running, stop and give it a massive a hug. The chart below clearly indicates that stock market crashes and other negative financial events are nothing but mouthwatering long-term buying opportunities.

The financial world often refers to black Monday (the crash of 1987) when they want to ratchet up the fear factor; on a long-term chart, it is just another blip that more aptly represents an opportunity rather than a disaster. In every instance before the market pulled back firmly, the sentiment was extremely bullish; in other words, the crowd was euphoric. If you used just followed the emotion you would have managed to avoid almost every disaster and this dates back to the tulip bubble. We are not talking about timing the exact top; those that try to time the exact top usually have plenty of time on their hand and an enormous appetite for pain.

For the masses, sharp pullbacks feel like a crash because they have the uncanny ability to buy exactly at the wrong time; they buy high and sell low.  We will examine the concept of opportunity being masked as a disaster in a future article.

How Fear and Greed  to your advantage 

The word disaster represents an opportunity for the astute investor. It is only the uneducated investor that views a market pullback through a negative lens, and this is usually done because they have not taken the time to study the markets.  One would be well served if one spent some time in examining the history of stock market crashes and what was taking place before the markets crashed. In every instance, one will find out that the crowd was bullish and every Tom, Dick and Harry was busy giving out financial advice.  When the crowd is happy, you should leave the party.

Spending a little time on history and market psychology could prove to be priceless. If you take the time to do this, you will have a better understanding of the markets than most so-called financial experts.  The phrase “knowledge is power” was not coined for no reason, but there is a difference between knowledge and rubbish. When it comes to the stock markets, most of the stuff that is marketed as valuable is nothing but garbage and in many cases what the experts make fun of is what you should be paying attention to.

For instance, market sentiment is far from bullish even though the stock market is trading close to its highs. Hence, all sharp pullbacks have to be viewed as buying opportunities. When the crowd embraces this bull market, it will be time to leave the party.

Articles Of Interest

What is quantitative easing?
The Boom And Bust Cycle: Fiat
Long Term Trends: stock market bull vs bear
Stock Market Correction
Bearish vs Bullish outlook: The Trend favours higher Market prices

Why Most Investors lose Money in the Stock Market?

Stock Market Game

Jesus said, “ Recognize what is in your sight, and that which is hidden from you will become plain to you. For there is nothing hidden which will not become manifest.

The Gospel of Thomas vs 5 ( from The Nag Hammadi Library )

Information overload and the Stock Market Game

Stock Market Game: Under the guise of being “well informed”, the Age of Communication races toward the time when information is instantaneously available via a modem and brain interface made of nonmaterial’s and implanted at birth. Hello, the ultimate cyber-geek. However, there is no proof that more information helps the majority to be any happier, compassionate, or give us a few more nanoseconds of leisure. Information overload is one of the reasons most Investors lose Money in the Stock Market; they don’t know how to separate the riff from the raff.  At the end of the day, investing is nothing but a stock market game; understand the rules and win or vice versa.

Most of the information on the Internet is Tainted

If unable to evaluate information, or realise that all information is tainted with someone else’s values, its values become part of you, just like viral code being entwined in our own cell’s machinery – or computer code – or belief sets.

Our parents first mould These belief sets. It was then the role of religious institutions and schools to develop our “internal software”, but now we are in a time when most are weaned onto the boob tube. At school, we have teachers who were themselves nurtured on “the boob tube”. Take this principle one step further and apply it to the markets and you can see Most Smart Investors don’t lose money in the Stock Market. They don’t allow the values of these so-called experts to become part of them and then they start to think like these experts. Most of these experts are nothing but shills selling false information they would never use themselves.

Television destroys an individual’s ability to Imagine or think out of the box

With television, imagination is not needed for entertainment, and information of many types comes “plain wrapped” with no need to discriminate between reality and fiction, the useful or useless. Just 15 minutes of watching cartoons a day kill a child’s creativity.

There are many reasons that have been advanced as to why traders fail. My own experiences with educating traders are that:

  1. thinking without discrimination
  2. skimming information without understanding
  3. impatience with the expectation of quick gratification

 

The above three factors are major contributors to poor results.

Just as burning the bra didn’t help women’s liberation, smashing the boob tube is not going to change the way you think.

We must abandon ourselves to uncertainty and not cling to anything because it appears to be the answer. It is when we are prepared to look at multiple possibilities that we have the option to identify and follow The Truth.

By abandoning incorrect beliefs and certainty, we can follow The Truth.  Strange but True. Beliefs that are forged in the fires of doubt can survive the light of reality. All other beliefs remain untested. Will they survive? Will you survive?

Additional Insights to playing the Stock Market Game 

Most investors are not aware of Fiat and the dangers it poses. If you understand that Fiat only exists because the masses have been conned into believing it’s real money, then you will understand that all financial disasters are planned and that there will always be a solution. Why? Money is created out of thin air; hence, central bankers can create as much money as they want to rescue the financial system from the disaster they created. Each disaster creates a new breed of poor and makes the rich even richer.

Understand the  simple law of Paradoxes; it will help keep you on the right side of the markets

Understanding the law of Paradoxes could help you in many aspects of your life, especially in the financial arena. The stock market is full of snake oil salesman, all trying to sell you a different take but most of these experts don’t put a penny into what they are marketing. They make their money by selling you junk that they would never touch.

Grasp the simple concepts that fall under the field of Mass Psychology  & win the investing Game

Mass psychology states that one should never abandon the carriage until it’s about to buckle under its own weight. If you apply this principle to the markets; it boils down to buying when the masses panic (or there is blood in the streets) and selling when the masses are jumping up in Joy.  While you are at it, master the simple principles of being a contrarian investor.

Information overkills creates a breed of dumb investors

The video aptly covers this topic and highlights the dangers of information overkill

Published courtesy of the Tactical Investor

Americans Are Becoming Dumber

Americans Are Becoming Dumber

Math Scores dropping precipitously indicating that Americans are becoming Dumber

A random study was conducted with 348 young children to find how many of them   (3-7 years of age) had a television in their room. The results were shocking, over 70% of them had televisions in their rooms.  These kids had an 8-point drop in math scores, a 7-point drop in reading scores and another 8-point drop in writing scores.   A similar study was conducted by John Hopkins University with 400 children. Full Story.  The evidence illustrating that Americans are becoming dumber is growing. A more recent article from USnews indicates that math scores continue to drop and there appears to be no end in sight.

“We’re losing ground — a troubling prospect when, in today’s knowledge-based economy, the best jobs can go anywhere in the world,” said Education Secretary John B. King Jr. “Students in Massachusetts, Maryland, and Minnesota aren’t just vying for great jobs along with their neighbours or across state lines, they must be competitive with peers in Finland, Germany, and Japan.”

 

Research indicates that the Victorians were much smarter than Today’s Generation 

Nonetheless, the researchers say that a meta-analysis of simple reaction times recorded between 1884 and 2004 shows a substantial decline in general intelligence: “1.23 IQ points per decade or fourteen IQ points since Victorian times.” While some dispute the notion that reaction time is an accurate measure of intelligence, Dr James Thompson, the honorary senior psychology lecturer at UCL told The Daily Mail that reaction times are “a real measure, with a reasonably large correlation with IQ, so this is an alarming finding and needs further investigation.”  Big think

 

Americans are becoming dumber due to their obsession with watching Television

The English call the Television the boob tube and rightly so; individuals are weaned from one breast that provides nourishment to another that provides nothing but pure arsenic for the mind.  Most of these kids watch meaningless cartoons where the concept of extreme selfishness and violence is the norm of the day; is it any wonder then that they grow up only thinking about themselves, their own needs, the fastest possible way to satisfy them and how to make a quick buck.

 

Throw in Reality TV, and you have the perfect recipe for stupidity on steroids.

After leading the world for decades in 25-34-year-olds with university degrees, the U.S. is now in 12th place. The World Economic Forum ranked the U.S. at 52nd among 139 nations in the quality of its university math and science instruction in 2010. Nearly 50% of all graduate students in the sciences in the U.S. are foreigners, most of whom are returning to their home countries;

The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs commissioned a civic education poll among public school students. A surprising 77% didn’t know that George Washington was the first President; couldn’t name Thomas Jefferson as the author of the Declaration of Independence, and only 2.8% of the students actually passed the citizenship test. Along similar lines, the Goldwater Institute of Phoenix did the same survey, and only 3.5% of students passed the civics test; Psychology today. If regular TV made individuals think less, reality TV is almost as TV on steroids regarding its effect on the brain. A brain is not even necessary when you look at what passes for TV today.

 

As people get Dumber morale values decline

More and more parents are being put into nursing homes because these chaps don’t want to be burdened with any problems. They forget all the hard work and sacrifice their parents went through to raise them.  There are more frivolous law suits now than any time in history; everyone is looking to make a big quick buck minus the hard work.  The rate of fraud has reached historic proportions, and people are willing to do more insane things for a quick buck; a woman auctioned the space on her forehead for 10,000 dollars. This gives the online casino that won the bid the right to tattoo her forehead with their logo for life.

According to a very recent Gallup Poll, US moral values have slipped to a 7-year low.

Americans ratings of US moral values

Americans’ ratings of U.S. moral values, consistently negative through the years, have slipped to their lowest point in seven years. More than four in five (81%) now rate the state of moral values in the U.S. as only fair or poor. Gallup.com

 

The massive decline in moral values proves that Americans are becoming dumber by the day; the new mantra is anything for a buck.

 

Individuals have Kids for the wrong reasons

The previous generation was dumbed down to a certain extent but the present generation is getting a super sized portion of dumbness, and the biggest culprits, for the most part, are the parents. They simply don’t spend enough time with their children; their reason for this is “we don’t have enough time we are too busy trying to earn a living”. Our response to them is then why did you have kids in the first place.

We posed this question to some of our associates and we rather surprised to find out that many of them were doing the same thing.  In many instances the answer was “Oh we felt it was time to have kids” or we wanted to have kids or some variation of that answer. Not once did any of them state that they wanted to have kids to maybe make this world a better place by teaching them the things they were denied or something along these lines.

 

Parents are catering to their Kids and in doing creating Generation of Spoilt Brats

Parents claim they want to give their children all the things they did not have when they were growing up.  However, this only turns normal kids into brats. It seems this world thinks that material things will make for a better generation (many parents seem to think that if they give the kids all the material things they lacked that they are doing a good job; wrong they are doing a terrible job. If these individuals have nothing to strive for as kids they will not want to work hard for anything when they grow up).

The dinner table is ground zero. “When parents begin to cede control to their kids, food choices are often the first thing to slide,” Sax writes in his new book, The Collapse of Parenting: How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grown-Ups. A rule such as “No dessert until you eat your broccoli” has recently morphed into “How about three bites of broccoli, and then you can have dessert?” The command has become a question capped with a bribe, as Sax puts it. Dinner at home requires polling kids on what they’re willing to eat; the options might include roast chicken and potatoes or chicken fingers and fries. You can bet which they choose. So parents renegotiate: How about sweet potato fries? Full Story

Once the parent gives in, it’s all downhill from there. It’s the same thing with investing. If you give in and follow the herd, the result is always brutal. Only those that don’t follow the masses tend to well in life and the stock market.  Indirectly, parents are teaching kids that is good to be part of the herd. It’s good to give in as you will be rewarded; real life does not work this way.

 

Today’s general has lost the ability to think inductively

Inductive thinking is where you have to determine something without being fed standard or distorted data. For example, real Technical Analysis; here you look at a chart and try to determine a pattern, but you do so based on indicators that appeal to you and you also determine how you should use them. Now in fundamental analysis, you just look at fixed data, so you and everyone else end up with the same conclusion. The same is true for the so-called Technical Analysis the average Joe tries to memorise and hopes that this information is enough to make him a fortune.  The masses are taught to use a standard set of tools in a specific manner, so no inductive thinking is involved.

 

Reading stimulates the Mind; TV puts the mind to sleep

That’s why it’s far better to let kids read books or play games than to let them sit by the TV and vegetate in every sense of the word.  Is it any wonder then that the United States cannot even make it to the top 20 in the world when it comes to Mathematics, Science, and Writing skills even though we spend more money than any other nation on education; some of the poorest countries in the world are leading in these areas.  For more details click on this link Americans are behind other developed nations

 

Today’s Generation does not understand the principle of hard money

The main purpose of creating a generation of dummies is so that no one will question Fiat.  Fiat money is backed by nothing other than people’s faith in their government. As corrupt individuals run our government, it is easy to project that the deficit will continue to grow in the trillions with the passage of each year.  Most of the today’s generation does not even understand that they are being paid with a worthless currency that is created out of thin air.  Then they wonder why the cost of goods continues to rise; well the number of dollars has risen, so your purchasing power is dropping.

Very few people know the true significance of Gold and how it could end all the misery caused the insidious silent killer tax otherwise known as inflation.

 

To become a successful investor, you need to think out of the box

The crowd will always be used a cannon fodder and more so now as each generation seems to become dumber than the previous generation. This creates a vicious cycle, and the top players are only too happy to let it continue.  The crowd never bothers to learn from history; if they did, they would not fall for the same ploy over and over again.  They are tricked into buying assets when they are over inflated and then pushed into selling them when they are underpriced.

 

Dumb People are easier to Manipulate; expect more financial boom and bust cycles

Think like a true contrarian investor and not a fashion contrarian. Understand the basic principles of Mass Psychology, and you can avoid 90% of the pitfalls the average Joe succumbs to especially when it comes to the financial markets. In the financial markets, there is no room for hope or desperate people. In their desperate attempt (it may not seem desperate but study the actions of most parents, and you will find that in general, it is) to give their kids a better life than they had, they are giving them one that is infinitely worse than they could have ever imagined.

 

Once again we find ourselves mouthing the same phrase “welcome to the new world order”, an order which will be built on chaos and the “I want everything now syndrome”.

 

Published courtesy of the Tactical Investor

Central Banks Stock Market Rigging Driving stocks to new highs

Central Banks Stock Market Rigging Driving stocks to new highs

Here’s how Central Bankers Rig the Markets

Central Banks Stock Market: Central bankers utilise fiat money to rain misery and pain on the unknowing masses. They no longer take from Peter and give to Paul, they make sure that Peter and Paul try to rob each other and everyone else to survive. They control the game, and you are just a pawn in this game. The only day the outcome will change, is when the Fed is eliminated from the equation. Many Great presidents and leaders warned of this day of reckoning but as usual, nobody listened, and it’s time to pay the Piper now.

Brian Rich, of Forbes, seems to agree wholeheartedly; this paragraph succulently summarizes his views.

stock market stocks surging

Stocks continue to surge; stock market volatility continues to sit at ten–year (pre–crisis) lows. The interest rate market is much higher than it was before the election but now quiet and stable. Gold, the fear–of–the–unknown trade, is relatively quiet. This all looks very much like a world that believes a real economic expansion is underway, and that a long–term sustainable global economic recovery has supplanted the shaky post-crisis (central bank–driven) recovery that was teetering back toward recession.

The Fed is on course to eliminate the middle Class in the United States and create a new generation of slaves. In fact, it has already destroyed a significant portion of this group.

According to article published on CNN, 6 in 10 American’s don’t even have $500 in savings

Nearly six in 10 Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $500 or $1,000 unplanned expense, according to a new report from Bankrate.

Only 41% of adults reported having enough in their savings account to cover a surprise bill of this magnitude. A little more than 20% said they would put it on a credit card, the report said, while 20% would cut their spending and 11% would turn to friends and family for financial assistance.

“This is a persistent American problem of how you should handle your finances and spending,” said Jill Cornfield, retirement analyst for Bankrate. Full Story

 

Another survey finds that nearly 7 in 10 Americans have $1000 or less in their savings accounts. GoBanking surveyed 7,000 people and found that 34 percent of the respondents had $0 set aside.

The current stock market bull is based on hot money; had the fed not injected trillions of dollars into the system, there would be no stock market bull or the so-called economic recovery.

These Quotes illustrate the Fed’s Nefarious Agenda

“The few who understand the system will either be so interested from its profits or so dependent on its favours, that there will be no opposition from that class.” — Rothschild Brothers of London, 1863

“Give me control of a nation’s money, and I care not who makes its laws.”– Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild

Great leaders have gone out of their way to try and educate the masses, but the masses have no interest in learning from history so will be doomed to repeat the mistakes of their ancestors; the price for this stupidity rises with the passage of each day. Each generation pays a higher and higher price for their lack of foresight and preparedness. These shadowy players rely on the fact that the masses are ignorant regarding what real money is. They control the education system and so ensure that from day one you learn what they want you to learn. The only way to break out is to start educating yourself.

“Most Americans have no real understanding of the operation of the international moneylenders. The accounts of the Federal Reserve System have never been audited. It operates outside the control of Congress and manipulates the credit of the United States.” — Sen. Barry Goldwater

“Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is the absolute master of all industry and commerce.” — James A. Garfield, President of the United States

“To expose a 15 Trillion dollar ripoff of the American people by the stockholders of the 1000 largest corporations over the last 100 years will be a tall order of business.” — Buckminster Fuller

“It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” — Henry Ford

“We have, in this country, one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board. This evil institution has impoverished the people of the United States and has practically bankrupted our government. It has done this through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it.” Congressman Louis T. McFadden in 1932

“Some people think the Federal Reserve Banks are the United States government’s institutions. They are not government institutions. They are private credit monopolies which prey upon the people of the United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign swindlers.” — Congressional Record 12595-12603 — Louis T. McFadden, Chairman of the Committee on Banking and Currency (12 years) June 10, 1932

As soon as Mr Roosevelt took office, the Federal Reserve began to buy government securities at the rate of ten million dollars a week for ten weeks, and created one hundred million dollars in new currency, which alleviated the critical famine of money and credit, and the factories started hiring people again.” — Eustace Mullins

Suggested Strategy

Manipulation is the order of the day, and one can see this in every aspect of one’s life. This trend will continue to gather steam, and it will only end when the masses revolt.  The masses are notorious for responding very slowly, so we can assume that by the time they snap out of their comatose, the markets will be trading at unimaginable levels.  Tactical Investor April 2016

Well, the markets have soared significantly higher as expected and corporate debt continues to rise. Corporations are plugging money into share buybacks as this is the easiest way to create the illusion that EPS is rising. It is a win-win game; corporate director’s reward is based on performance.  As long as they can create the illusion that earnings are improving their paychecks continue to increase.

One other powerful tool that investors can employ is to pay close attention to mass sentiment. When the masses are nervous, the markets will continue to trend higher. That’s why this bull market is often referred to as one of the most hated bull markets of history.  Despite all odds, it has trended higher, and we predicted this would happen as mass sentiment was and is still somewhat negative. Until the masses embrace this crazy bull market, the path of least resistance appears to be in the upward direction.

We expect corporate debt to trade at levels that will make today’s insane levels appear sane one day.  As long as Fiat is in play; every major pullback/correction has to be viewed as a buying opportunity.  The markets will continue to be manipulated probably until the end of time or until Fiat is eliminated from the equation Therefore until the trend changes, every substantial pullback should be viewed through a bullish lens.

 

Published courtesy of the Tactical Investor

Wells Fargo exec was fired for not scamming N.J. customers

Wells Fargo exec was fired for not scamming N.J. customers

Wells Fargo: A Somerset County woman is suing Wells Fargo Bank alleging she was fired for refusing to participate in an alleged scheme similar to the bank’s widespread account scam that led to millions of dollars in federal fines.
Melinda Bini, a former assistant vice president and regional private banker at the Highland Park bank’s branch, says in a recent lawsuit that supervisors instructed her to manipulate accounts and sell banking products or investments that were not the customers’ best interest or without their knowledge.

The lawsuit, filed in Middlesex County Superior Court on April 5, names Wells Fargo and three local bank supervisors.

The Franklin Park woman accuses her former superiors in the suit of running or knowing about alleged banking and investment fraud scheme at the local branch.
A spokesman for Wells Fargo, Kevin Friedlander, said the three supervisors named in the lawsuit are still employed by the bank, but did not comment on the allegations.

“Since this is an ongoing legal matter, we are unable to comment any further on the lawsuit,” Friedlander said in an emailed statement.

Bini, who is a licensed financial advisor hired by the bank in 2002, refused to participate the “unlawful and unethical banking” and was harassed in retaliation, according to the suit.

In April 2016, Bini was fired, a move she said was manufactured by her supervisors for not joining the alleged scheme, according to the suit. Full Story

A New Jersey woman has sued Wells Fargo Bank, saying she was fired for refusing to participate in a scheme to manipulate accounts and sell products that weren’t in customers’ best interest.

Melinda Bini filed a lawsuit in state court in New Jersey on April 5 against the bank and three supervisors from the branch she worked at in Highland Park, NJ.com reported.

In the lawsuit, Bini accused her superiors of running or knowing about the scheme and says she was retaliated against and later fired for refusing to participate. Bini, a former assistant vice president and regional private banker, is seeking her job back and damages.

In September, San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. agreed to a $185-million settlement with Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency after employees were found to have created as many as 2 million checking, savings and other accounts in customers’ names without those customers’ knowledge or consent.

The tactics, blamed on onerous sales goals, were first uncovered by the Los Angeles Times in 2013.

Kevin Friedlander, a spokesman for the bank, said the company doesn’t tolerate retaliation against employees who express their concerns.

“Our nonretaliation policy makes clear that no team member may be retaliated against for providing information about suspected unethical or illegal activities or possible violations of any Wells Fargo policies,” Friedlander said. Full Story

A former executive at Wells Fargo claims in a lawsuit that the bank fired her because she refused to participate in a scam like the bank’s well-publicized fake account scandal, which led to a $185 million fine after more than 5,000 of the bank’s former employees opened more than 2 million potentially unauthorized accounts to get sales bonuses.

NJ.com has the details:

Melinda Bini, a former assistant vice president and regional private banker at the Highland Park bank’s branch, says in a recent lawsuit that supervisors instructed her to manipulate accounts and sell banking products or investments that were not the customers’ best interest or without their knowledge.

The lawsuit, filed in Middlesex County Superior Court on April 5, names Wells Fargo and three local bank supervisors.

The Franklin Park woman accuses her former superiors in the suit of running or knowing about alleged banking and investment fraud scheme at the local branch.

And after Bini refused to take part in the scheme, she claims she was harassed and eventually fired in retaliation.

It should be noted that Bini’s allegations are merely allegations so far. The bank is not commenting on the lawsuit beyond saying that it “does not tolerate retaliation against team members who report their concern.”

The lawsuit is just the latest in a string of bad headlines in the wake of the fake account fiasco. Full Story

China Seeks Foreign Help in Risky Work Finding Oil in Disputed Sea

south china sea dispute

South china sea dispute: Beijing is looking for foreign contractors to help find oil and gas under the South China Sea but expects to meet resistance because other governments contest its claims and any discoveries may bring low returns.

China’s state-run China National Offshore Oil Corp. issued a tender last week for foreign companies to join it in exploring for fossil fuels in 22 tracts south of the country’s coastline. The blocks spanning a combined 47,270 square kilometers cover waters contested by Taiwan and Vietnam. Vietnam has been particularly outspoken since the 1970s about its claims.

Complicated matter

Foreign oil companies eyeing the bids, which close in September, probably worry that their ties to the Chinese maritime claim could spoil their reputation among rival South China Sea claimants or that any oil found would be a disputed asset, analysts say.
South China Sea Territorial Claims

“Given the area in question, there are risks around the sovereignty issue,” said Thomas Pugh, commodities economist with Capital Economics in London. “If they enter a deal with China and Chinese firms, they could risk not being allowed to work with other countries in the region who are disputing ownership of the area.”

Disputes over ownership continue

Discoveries themselves could also be contested by other countries, said Raymond Wu, managing director of Taipei-based political risk consultancy e-telligence. Full Story

The Chinese government is looking to foreign businesses to help find oil and natural gas under the South China Sea.

Yet China expects to meet resistance because other countries dispute Chinese territorial claims to much of the sea. In addition, observers say any oil and gas discoveries might not be very profitable.

Last week, China’s state-operated China National Offshore Oil Corporation made an appeal for foreign help. The company said it wants to work with foreign businesses in exploring for fossil fuels in 22 areas south of the country’s coast.

When combined, that represents more than 47,000 square kilometers of territory. The governments in Taiwan and Vietnam also claim those waters. Vietnam has been outspoken about its claims since the 1970s.

Foreign oil companies are now studying the Chinese offer, which closes in September. Experts say the companies may be worried that any work they do for China could hurt their ability to work for other countries. And they say the companies may also be worried that any oil or gas they find could be claimed by China’s neighbors.

Thomas Pugh works for the Capital Economics research service in London. He says if foreign companies start working with “China and Chinese firms, they could risk not being allowed to work with other countries…who are disputing ownership of the area.”

Raymond Wu is the managing director of e-telligence, a Taipei-based service that specializes in political risk. He also notes that any oil and gas discoveries could be claimed by other countries. Full Story

Ant Financial sees rich opportunities

Ant Financial sees rich opportunities
Ant Financial Services, China’s largest online payment operator, sees mobile wallet applications becoming the next big technology trend in the emerging markets of South America and Africa.
Kenny Man, head of international investment for Ant Financial, said over the next five years, emerging markets including those in South America and Africa will be priority for the company’s global partnerships. A clear trend is emerging whereby mobile wallet applications, and financial transactions done over mobile internet, are set for widespread acceptance in emerging market economies.

Over the past three years Ant Financial, the fintech affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding has done nine partnerships. Within Asia, Ant Financial has forged partnerships with local companies in South Korea, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Hong Kong, Man said, adding that the company will continue to expand its footprint in the region.
“China has leapfrogged over traditional credit cards to the mobile wallet. That same change will be even more radical and faster in different parts of the world, whereby people will embrace mobile payments,” Man said.
Ant Financial, which just completed a US$14 billion series-C funding round in June from leading investors including Temasek, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Carlyle Group, and Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, formally known as GIC, has been increasingly active in expanding its technology and know-how through partnership in emerging Asia. Full Story

Ant Financial Services Group said on Monday it will extend its indigenous mobile payment technologies to economies along the Belt and Road Initiative and unveil a number of Alipay-like services this year.

The plan marks the company’s accelerated pace in expanding globally, adding to the existing five Asian markets where the financial technology powerhouse has announced investment plans since 2015.

“Technology exports will effectively save five to eight years’ time of our local partners in developing new technologies and conducting feasibility tests,” said Jia Hang, senior director of international business at Ant Financial.

The firm is counting on partners outside China to bring its model of online finance and local services to emerging Asian markets, where a substantial number of the population have no access to banking services and are underserved by traditional financial institutions.

Through strategic investments, the company can tap into the vast resources of one of the world’s most populous regions, Jia noted.

For instance, its investment in Thailand’s Ascend Money, an arm of the agricultural-to-telecom conglomerate, can give them access to local users and merchants.

In its latest overseas move, Ant Financial linked up this month with Indonesia’s second-largest media firm Emtek to form a payment platform within BlackBerry’s messaging service, which covers 63 million users in the country. Full Story

Ten years ago, Alipay was just a rapidly growing online payments service. Today, Alipay is the modern gateway to Ant Financial’s ecosystem of financial services, from wealth management and insurance to lending and credit scores.

Ant Financial was initially launched to support online payments. Today, it’s the largest fintech player globally.

As the financial affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, Ant Financial encapsulates a fintech ecosystem that starts with its dominant mobile payments service, Alipay, and expands into credit scoring, wealth management, insurance, and lending.
At $150B, the current valuation of Ant trumps the market capitalizations of leading financial institutions around the world, from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to Banco Santander and The Royal Bank of Canada.
As China undergoes a cashless revolution, many view Ant as a mobile payments company.

But Ant — which today counts nearly 600M Alipay users, plus 110M+ Alipay partners across 15 countries — is much bigger than payments alone.

100M+ users use all 5 of Ant’s key functions, meaning that they not only use Ant’s payments function to make everyday purchases, but also use Ant to take out loans, buy insurance, check credit scores, and invest assets in Ant’s money market fund — Yu’e Bao.

That’s not to say Ant doesn’t face its share of challenges. In the last year, Chinese regulators have clamped down on China’s burgeoning fintech sector. Full Story

 

IMF: Global Economic Growth Speeds Up a Bit

IMF Global Economic Growth Speeds Up

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the global economic outlook is “brightening,” but warns that “protectionism” and geopolitical tensions could hurt economic growth.

The IMF published the report Tuesday, ahead of this week’s gathering of top economic officials from around the world for meetings of the World Bank and the IMF.

The IMF’s Maurice Obstfeld told journalists that global growth will probably accelerate from a 3.1 percent annual rate in 2016 to 3.6 percent in 2018. He says commodity prices have “firmed” since early last year, but at a relatively low level. That leaves commodity exporters in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America with challenges. He also says bad weather and civil unrest mean several low-income nations face mass starvation.

In the report, economists say there are many “downside risks” including political pressure to restrict trade, which they argue will hurt rather than help growth. The report’s authors say slow and unequal income growth, meager growth in productivity, the financial crisis, and other problems have generated political support for “zero-sum” approaches to trade. Obstfeld says nations that pull out of the multilateral trading system could suffer a “self-inflicted wound.”

The IMF says in many cases, wages have not kept up with rising productivity, and labor’s share of national incomes has dropped. These experts urge policymakers to do more to ensure that the gains from growth and trade are shared more widely. Full story

The IMF said on Monday it expects global growth this year of 3.5 per cent, down from 3.7 per cent in 2018 and from the 3.7 per cent it had forecast for 2019 in October.
“After two years of solid expansion, the world economy is growing more slowly than expected and risks are rising,” said Christine Lagarde, the IMF managing director, as she presented the new forecast at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The fund left its prediction for US growth this year unchanged at 2.5 per cent – although a continuation of the partial 31-day shutdown of its federal government poses a risk. The IMF trimmed the outlook for the 19 countries that use the euro currency to 1.6 per cent from 1.8 per cent.

Growth in emerging-market countries is forecast to slow to 4.5 per cent from 4.6 per cent in 2018. The IMF expects the Chinese economy – the world’s second biggest – to grow 6.2 per cent this year, down from 6.6 per cent in 2018 and slowest since 1990.
The World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development have also downgraded their world growth forecasts. Full Story

Indoctrination Definition

Indoctrination Definition - aka Brainwashing

Indoctrination Definition: Are Your Perceptions Really Yours?

To understand this topic, what indoctrination means, let’s start with a question. If two men are arguing and one guy has data to back up his stance, and the other does not have data to back up his stance but irrefutably believes his view is the right one.  Who is correct and who is wrong?

The obvious answer would be to state that the guy that has the data to back his point, but if one digs deeper one would have to ask whether this data is indeed valid, has it been independently verified are the sources legit, etc.  But even that does not matter, for no matter what data either individual provides to the other, they will both stick to their guns.

The right answer is that they are both right, for nothing anyone can say will move them to change their position.  Welcome to the world of indoctrination.  Being conservative or liberal or open-minded or closed-minded, or whatever label you want to come up, is in most cases nothing but a form of indoctrination. You think the way you do because of your parents, the school you went to, the friends you have and your religious bent and so on.

Taking things even further, one can state that the liberals are not wrong for the way they see the world because they believe in that line of thinking and the same applies to the conservatives. Alt-right and Alt-left are nothing but forms of indoctrination and the extreme right and left have just received a super dose of brainwashing.

The masses are Indoctrinated Into Believing Experts Know it all

This is the main reason we have stated over and over again, that one should not wear their emotions on their sleeves, for no good can come from it.  What has made things worse today is that very few people agree to disagree and move on to a new topic. Today opposing groups want to beat their views into the other group, regardless of whether they agree or not.

This is how the trend of polarisation started. Once you start telling a group that does not agree with you, that they are wrong, that they are stupid and start calling them names, a dangerous sequence of events is triggered and nothing the other camp says or no matter what evidence is provided, the opposing camp will refuse to budge. Look around today for that is where we are and the trend is still in its infancy.

Noam Chomsky Provides A Nice Overview On the Field of Indoctrination

This is a long topic and thankfully, Noam Chomsky provides a nice overview of this subject. We will cover this topic in more detail but if you are interested in understanding more about the inner working of the mindset, then this is a topic one should familiarise themselves with and this video provides a good starting point

Random notes on other topics besides indoctrination

The idea is to incept the seeds of doubt; if you want more clarification on this topic, just watch the movie Inception.  The top players have been incepting ideas into the masses for millennia; it works brilliantly and the results are highly rewarding so this process is not going to stop soon.  Once the seeds are sown, it is easy to use mass media to provide this seed with a nourishing environment and from seedling,  this doubt grows into a massive tree.

In the guise of trying to provide individuals with information, the medias main goal is to brainwash individuals. One of the main ploys is misdirection; this technique revolves around the ploy of creating a mountain out of a molehill to redirect the masses focus. Sadly, this technique works like a charm. The two most effective  Brainwashing institutions are public schools and the mass media

Brainwashing Techniques: Using paid experts to support a false narrative

This is another technique that works like a charm and it is blatantly used in the financial sector. Expert after expert spouts an opinion and often the opinions are in direct opposition to each other. The idea is twofold, first to load you with so much information that you don’t quite remember all the details. Secondly, the idea is to cover both ends of the story and when the outcome comes to pass, they make it look like that was the main outcome they were broadcasting all along. In other words,  when it comes to the markets, the experts cover both ends of the game, therefore there is no way they can lose.

However, what the masses fail to understand is that they are guessing just like the crowd is, but the only difference is that they control the media, while the people in the crowd are nothing but passive observers, waiting to be taken for a ride. Brainwashing Techniques Institutions & The Media Utilize

How Brainwashing Works

Dur­ing the Korean War, Korean and Chinese captors reportedly brainwashed American POWs held in prison camps. Several prisoners ultimately confessed to waging germ warfare — which they hadn’t — and pledged allegiance to communism by th­e end of their captivity. At least 21 soldiers refused to come back to the United States when they were set free. ­It sounds impressive, but skeptics point ­out that it was 21 out of more than 20,000 prisoners in communist countries. Does brainwashing really work in any reliable way?

In psychology, the study of brainwashing, often referred to as thought reform, falls into the sphere of “social influence.” Social influence happens every minute of every day. It’s the collection of ways in which people can change other people’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. For instance, the compliance method aims to produce a change in a person’s behavior and is not concerned with his attitudes or beliefs. It’s the “Just do it” approach. Persuasion, on the other hand, aims for a change in attitude, or “Do it because it’ll make you feel good/happy/healthy/successful.” The education method (which is called the “propaganda method” when you don’t believe in what’s being taught) goes for the social-influence gold, trying to affect a change in the person’s beliefs, along the lines of “Do it because you know it’s the right thing to do.” Brainwashing is a severe form of social influence that combine­s all of these approaches to cause changes in someone’s way of thinking. Full Story

 

The True Story of Brainwashing and How It Shaped America

Journalist Edward Hunter was the first to sound the alarm. “Brain-washing Tactics Force Chinese Into Ranks of Communist Party,” blared his headline in the Miami Daily News in September 1950. In the article, and later in a book, Hunter described how Mao Zedong’s Red Army used terrifying ancient techniques to turn the Chinese people into mindless, Communist automatons. He called this hypnotic process “brainwashing,” a word-for-word translation from xi-nao, the Mandarin words for wash (xi) and brain (nao), and warned about the dangerous applications it could have. The process was meant to “change a mind radically so that its owner becomes a living puppet—a human robot—without the atrocity being visible from the outside.” It wasn’t the first time fears of Communism and mind control had seeped into the American public. In 1946 the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was so worried about the spread of Communism that it proposed removing liberals, socialists and communists from places like schools, libraries, newspapers and entertainment. Hunter’s inflammatory rhetoric didn’t immediately have a huge impact—until three years into the Korean War, when American prisoners of war began confessing to outlandish crimes.

When he was shot down over Korea and captured in 1952, Colonel Frank Schwable was the highest ranking military officer to meet that fate, and by February 1953, he and other prisoners of war had falsely confessed to using germ warfare against the Koreans, dropping everything from anthrax to the plague on unsuspecting civilians. Full Story

United Airlines CEO: No one will be fired in passenger-dragging incident

United Airlines incident

United Airlines will not fire employees involved in the recent dragging of a passenger from his seat, an incident CEO Oscar Munoz on Tuesday called “a system failure.”

Executives of the Chicago-based airline sought to assure investors that United is working to learn from the recent uproar over viral videos of Chicago Aviation Department security officers dragging Dr. David Dao from a Louisville-bound flight. Dao was removed from the plane at O’Hare International Airport after he refused to give up his seat to make room for airline employees.

“This is a true learning opportunity and will ultimately prove to be a watershed moment for our company as we work harder than ever to put our customers at the center of everything we do,” Munoz said on a conference call discussing the airline’s quarterly earnings.

There was “never consideration” of firing an employee over the incident, he said.

The airline is reviewing policies around handling oversold flights to prevent similar incidents, including talking to some passengers and employees about how the airline can take a more “commonsense approach,” Munoz said.

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It’s too soon to say whether the April 9 incident has affected customers’ willingness to travel with United, particularly since it happened during the week before Easter, when the airline typically sees fewer passengers, executives said. Full Story

 

United Continental CEO Oscar Munoz said Tuesday that no one will be fired for the airline’s recent debacle involving a passenger being dragged off an overbooked flight.

“The buck stops here. And I’m sure there was lots of conjecture about me personally,” the apologetic CEO said on the company’s earnings call Tuesday. “Again, it was a system failure across various areas, so no, there was never a consideration for firing an employee.”

The company has been embroiled in controversy ever since a video surfaced of Dr. David Dao being dragged off an overbooked flight in Chicago.

The fiasco has hurt shares of United Continental, which dropped about 4 percent on Tuesday, despite the company reporting better-than-expected earnings late Monday.

Munoz once again apologized for the confrontation, saying, “The incident on Flight 3411 has been a humbling learning experience for all of us here at United and for me in particular. In addition to apologizing to Dr. Dao, as well as all of the passengers aboard, I also want to apologize to all our customers. You can and should expect more from us and as CEO, I take full responsibility for making this right,” he added during Tuesday’s conference call.

Munoz reiterated that United will make policy changes, including not using law enforcement to take passengers off a flight unless there is a security issue and requiring that crews be booked at least an hour before takeoff. Full Story