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.
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 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
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
What is quantitative easing? We are entering a new paradigm; get used to forever Quantitative Easing – QE, though it will be given other names along the journey to make it appear more palatable. The US and by default worldwide debt is set to soar to preposterous levels; get used to it and embrace this fact for nothing has changed since we got off the Gold standard and nothing will change until the system collapses, though waiting for that day might prove to be fatal as the masses are completely asleep.
If a national debt of almost $22 trillion is shocking to some; imagine how they will feel when the debt soars to $100 trillion. Many might say no way in hell that is going to come to pass. Take a look at the national debt numbers in the early 1900s. Go back to 1900 and then fast forward to the present. Once upon a time, our national debt was less than 1 million USD.
Now if you told people back then it would be at $22 trillion one day; would the reaction not be the same? We will go on record to state that there is a good chance that worldwide debt will surge to $1000 trillion before the masses discover the emperor is naked, fat, bald and ugly; until then they will continue to believe he is a handsome prince. It currently stands at $247 trillion.
Clarida hints at the Forever QE reality
In a Feb. 22 speech, Clarida acknowledged no doubts. He said that radical monetary policy has worked, that it will continue to work, and that it may well become more radical. He contended that low-interest rates are here to stay and that new policy “tools” must be sharpened and kept at the ready. As to potential adverse consequences of administered rates and the mind-control games meant to “anchor” our collective expectations of the future, he mentioned none.
Certainly, rates are astoundingly low—Bank of America Merrill Lynch recently was able to count $11 trillion of bonds worldwide quoted at yields of less than zero. Clarida said that the decline in the so-called neutral rate of interest “is widely expected to persist for years.” Full Story
Stories like this barely receive much media attention, and the masses are too busy dealing with the problems on reality TV or being misdirected by highly politicised B.S. News that only serves to allocate even more time to trivial matters. These developments indicate that developed nations like the US and most of western Europe will become increasingly hostile places to live in. This topic is beyond the scope of this publication, but the trend is in place, the US is no longer the bastion of Freedom and will soon not make it even to the top 10 of the best places to live in.
In The Forever QE Era; strong corrections have to be embraced
In terms of the stock market, until the Fed changes its mind, all sharp corrections have to be viewed as buying opportunities, and backbreaking corrections have to be placed in the category of “once in a lifetime events”, provided of course the trend is positive. That is what we are here for; to inform you if the trend is positive (Up) or negative (down). The world is going to witness a Fed that has decided to make a cocktail of Coke, Heroin, Crack and Meth and take it all in one shot. Imagine what a junkie on this combination of potent drugs is capable of doing, and you will have an idea of where the Fed is heading in the years to come.
Now the Gold bugs will cry “I told you so”. Our response to this statement; not so fast little bugs. While precious metals will do well, we think stocks in key sectors (and we are not referring to Gold stocks) will pulverise the precious metals sector in terms of returns. One such area is robots (particularly Sex-bots) and AI.
Courtesy of Tactical Investor
Random views on QE
What is Quantitative Easing?
Quantitative easing is an unconventional monetary policy in which a central bank purchases government securities or other securities from the market in order to increase the money supply and encourage lending and investment. When short-term interest rates are at or approaching zero, normal open market operations, which target interest rates, are no longer effective, so instead a central bank can target specified amounts of assets to purchase. Quantitative easing increases the money supply by purchasing assets with newly created bank reserves in order to provide banks with more liquidity.
Quantitative easing, or “QE,” is the name for a strategy that a central bank can use to increase the domestic money supply.
QE is usually used when interest rates are already near 0 percent and can be focused on the purchase of government bonds from banks.
QE programs were widely used following the 2008 financial crisis, although some central banks, like the Bank of Japan, had been using QE for several years prior to the financial crisis. Full Story
Quantitative Easing Explained
Quantitative easing is a massive expansion of the open market operations of a central bank. It’s used to stimulate the economy by making it easier for businesses to borrow money. The bank buys securities from its member banks to add liquidity to capital markets. This has the same effect as increasing the money supply. In return, the central bank issues credit to the banks’ reserves to buy the securities.
Where do central banks get the credit to purchase these assets? They simply create it out of thin air. Only central banks have this unique power. This is what people are referring to when they talk about the Federal Reserve “printing money.”
Lower interest rates allow banks to make more loans. Bank loans stimulate demand by giving businesses money to expand. They give shoppers credit to purchase more goods and services.
By increasing the money supply, QE keeps the value of the country’s currency low. This makes the country’s stocks more attractive to foreign investors. It also makes exports cheaper.
Japan was the first to use QE from 2001 to 2006. It restarted in 2012, with the election of Shinzo Abe as Prime Minister. He promised reforms for Japan’s economy with his three-arrow program, “Abenomics.”
The U.S. Federal Reserve undertook the most successful QE effort. It added almost $2 trillion to the money supply. That’s the largest expansion from any economic stimulus program in history. Full Story
Why do we need quantitative easing?
The aim of QE is simple: by creating this ‘new’ money, we aim to boost spending and investment in the economy.
We are tasked with keeping inflation – rises in the prices of goods and services – low and stable.
The normal way we meet our inflation target is by changing Bank Rate, a key interest rate in the economy.
When the global recession took hold in late 2008, we quickly lowered Bank Rate from 5% to 0.5% to support the UK’s economic recovery. Lower interest rates mean it’s cheaper for households and businesses to borrow money – which encourages them to spend and invest, whether that’s a family buying a new car or a company wanting to build a new factory.
But there’s a limit to how low interest rates can go. So when we needed to act to boost the economy, we turned to another method of doing so: we introduced quantitative easing. Full Story
What should traders have learned from the Nov-Dec 2018 crash?
There is only one answer really; fear pays poorly. We sent out an inordinate amount of updates during the crash phase, as we did through every crash like phase the market has experienced over the past several years. The reason we did this, was to prove in real time that giving into fear is a waste of time, money and good health. Once again the so-called crash of 2018 will have to be labelled as the crash that never was.
One day the market will experience something that will fall under the “crash” category that all the experts have been warning since the inception of this bull. For that to occur, bullish sentiment will have to soar to the extreme ranges and remain in that zone for an extended period.
This Stock Market Bull is unlike other bulls
Long before this pullback, we stated that this bull market would soar to heights that would surprise even the most ardent of bulls, and that prediction has mostly come to pass. Some of the most ardent of bulls started to keel over as early as 2016, and the last strong correction virtually knocked all of them out. So where did they err? Over-reliance on old systems; the paradigm has changed, the players have changed, and as a result, the perceptions have changed. When it comes to the markets; the main driving force is emotions (perceptions); everything else on its top day is secondary at best.
Media Lies To The Masses; Trying To Convince Them That Nothing has changed
This bull market is unlike any other; before 2009, one could have relied on extensive technical studies to more or less call the top of a market give or take a few months; after 2009, the game plan changed and 99% of these traders/experts failed to factor this into the equation. Technical analysis as a standalone tool would not work as well as did before 2009 and in many cases would lead to a faulty conclusion. Long story short, there are still too many people pessimistic (experts, your average Joes and everything in between) and until they start to embrace this market, most pullbacks ranging from mild to wild will falsely be mistaken for the big one.
The results speak for themselves; the majority of our holdings were in the red during the pullback, but now they are in the black, proving that one should buy when there is blood flowing in the streets. It is a catchy and easy phrase to spit out but very hard to implement, because when push comes to shove, the masses will opt for being shoved.
V readings are still at ultra-high levels
We have alluded to the fact that there is a pattern between extreme weather and market action. Extreme weather usually pushes many people to act in wildly unpredictable ways. Look at animals when there is a sign of impending danger they act strangely, humans are not that different. The only real difference is that humans are not aware of this and tend to blame other factors for this irrational behaviour; this behaviour is reflected in and out of the markets. Violent crimes and or bizarre crimes usually surge during these periods. However, one of the best places to see this type of action is in the markets and the action over the past three months is clear evidence of this.
We have spotted what could turn out to be a new trend between the V-indicator and the Trend Indicator. Our hypothesis:
“Higher (V-Readings) readings, are more likely to ensure that the least probable outcome will come to pass in regards to the markets.”
For example, the least probable outcome from Dec 2018 to Jan 2019 was for the markets to mount a strong rally, but that is precisely what took place. This pattern, if it continues, will provide another level (secondary) of confirmation that this bull market is destined to trend a lot higher than the most ardent of bulls could ever dream of.
Follow the trend for it is your friend, the rest is just hot air and noise
Courtesy of Tactical Investor
Random views on Popular Media Lies
Forget fake news, investors should realize the markets are fake, says asset manager
The global rally in financial markets is unsustainable because it only seems to respond to changes in the real economy when it fits a certain narrative, according to the CIO of investment firm Fasanara Capital.
“I call it fake markets… you know, these days they talk about fake news (but) these are fake markets in a way right?” Francesco Filia, CIO of Fasanara Capital, told CNBC on Wednesday.
Filia argued financial markets had become “complacent” and “insensitive” to fundamental changes in the economy. He suggested while markets appeared to surge higher on so-called good data, a mirrored response lower on negative sentiment had not been evident.
“I think this kind of market environment is both unstable and unsustainable… at some point, something is going to happen that is going to all of a sudden wake up markets as to this overvaluation,” Filia said.
European bourses were trading lower on Wednesday after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi appeared to hint the ECB would be prepared to scale back its monetary policy amid improving economic prospects for Europe.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., the broader S&P 500 index posted its biggest one-day drop in about six weeks overnight and closed at its lowest point since the end of May. Wall Street’s losses appeared to accelerate on news that the U.S. Senate had delayed voting on a health care reform bill. Full Story
Why robot traders haven’t replaced all the humans at the New York Stock Exchange—yet?
As in so many other industries, robots have been marching into Wall Street for years. That’s especially the case in stock trading, where algorithms now do the majority of buying and selling. Instead of a boisterous trading floor, these days many US equity transactions happen in a data center in suburban New Jersey. One place where human traders are safe, though, is the New York Stock Exchange, which has roots going back two centuries. The stock exchange has made sure its human presence is protected, for now.
NYSE’s several hundred traders and brokers are the face Wall Street, and form a crucial part of the NYSE brand, which is perhaps the best known in the financial industry. The stock exchange packs a marketing punch few, if any, businesses can match. But given that computers dominate stock trading just about everywhere else around the world—and play a pretty big role at NYSE, too—it’s reasonable to ask whether the people milling around the trading floor at 11 Wall Street in Manhattan are worth keeping around. Critics argue that it’s a façade for television cameras, a kind of capitalist Disneyland.
“If you were going to start from scratch, trading would be fully automated,” said Larry Tabb, founder of research and consulting firm Tabb Group. ”That said, I think the human role does provide assistance in trading.” Full Story
With seemingly everyone from the blogosphere to the Tweeter-in-chief chiming in on fake news, have investors considered their risk/return profile may also be “fake”? When it comes to investing, who or what can we trust, is the market rigged, and why does it matter?
For eight years in a row now, an investment in the S&P 500 has yielded positive returns. In recent years, expressions like “investors buy the dips” and “low volatility” have become associated with this rally.
In the “old days”, investors used to construct portfolios that, at least in theory, provided a risk/return profile that they were comfortable with. For better or worse, I allege those “old days” are over. To be prepared for what’s ahead, let’s debunk some myths.
The system is rigged
For those that say the system is rigged, I concur. In my assessment, central banks are largely responsible for a compression of “risk premia.” All else equal, quantitative easing and its variants around the globe have made assets from equities to bonds appear less risky than they are. This is at the very core of central banks efforts to entice investors to take risks, as risk taking is key to making an economy grow. In practice, central banks have foremost pushed up financial assets, but have largely disappointed in generating real investments. As a result, those holding financial assets have disproportionally benefited. Full Story
Fiat Money: The mother of all evils is fiat. Without Fiat, none of the above developments would have taken off. As money can be created out of thin air, those in the know have unlimited mechanisms to increase their wealth easily. The devastating boom and bust cycles the markets experience are not natural; they are created. Each cycle is pushed to the MAX in order to create more of an opportunity for those in the know how. Now if you control the money, you can purchase all the main media outlets. When you control the media and the money supply you are king of the hill; less than 10% of the populace is strong enough to resist from falling for what they have directed to see.
The left and the right are being directed;
They are both being played, and none is the wiser. This technique is used everywhere. The strategy employed is to provide the masses with two to three options to give them the illusion of choice but all the choices lead to the same outcome, and that is what they fail to see. When one takes an extreme position it does not matter whether you are swinging to the right or to the left, you are being controlled and it’s impossible for that person to see anything else besides the data they have been fed.
So how does this all tie up; all those events we briefly mentioned are being used and will be used to polarise the crowd even more? What is immoral today is moral tomorrow; what changed? The only thing that changed was the perception. So if you program children young enough with the perception you want, you can make them accept almost anything as moral, and that is what the public education system is all about. Remember nothing is free and what appears to be free usually ends up costing you 10X more down the line. One wise man I knew would often use this sentence when anyone made references to free stuff. He would say I am not rich enough to accept free things.
Fiat Money is behind everything
As Fiat is behind everything, and the money supply continues to go ballistic, we can expect levels of polarisation to soar to levels that are unimaginable today. With an unlimited supply of money and a vast understanding of the topic of Mass psychology, there is almost nothing in place to stop the top players from pushing these trends to their limit. The only defence is not to allow your emotions to do the talking, sit down and imagine its reality TV minus the Boob tube.
We have gone on record for several years on end, stating that market crashes are nothing but buying opportunities and today we provided a brief glimpse into the reasoning behind this stance. There is no way the Fed is going to allow the markets to crash and burn. They will create the illusion of a crash, and the masses will react in the way they have been programmed to react; dump the baby with the bathwater. The conniving top players will come in and scoop everything. What separates a correction from a crash? Your entry point; the early bird gets the worm, and the late bird has to contend with the bullet. That is why mass psychology states that one should sell when the masses are euphoric and buy when the masses are panicking or in a state of uncertainty.
Take a look at these charts, and a pattern will start to emerge
The shaded areas represent recessions, and a recession usually follows a disaster. After each recession, the currency in circulation continued to soar.
The same thing occurred with M1 money stock, and after each recession, the M1 money stock surged even more. Look at the spike after the 2008 financial crisis.
Moreover, the same can be said of the monetary base, but the move in this chart was explosive after 2008.
In 1790 the national debt was a minuscule $75.4 million, and today we add more than that on a monthly basis. So when experts especially from the “hard money camp” state that the masses will revolt one day. The only part that is true in that sentence is “one day” but that day could be decades away from today because their perception has been altered. They believe that the dollar is good as gold and as long as they believe that, Fiat has no chance of being unseated and nothing is standing in the way of the national debt moving to $100 trillion. If it could move from $75.4 million to almost $21 trillion without the masses revolting; the move from $20 trillion to $100 trillion is paltry by comparison
So what stands out is that the principles of Pavlov have been used wonderfully against the American and now the world populace at large. The masses have accepted that if there is a crisis, the government will find a way to solve it. Indeed they will find a way, but they will pass the bill onto the unsuspecting masses in the form of inflation and taxes; double whammy for inflation is a silent tax.
Therefore we can make the following conclusions
Nations will continue to take on more debt; the US will lead the pack. In order to do this without interference from the masses, disasters and divisions will have to be created. Remember the saying conquer and divide or united we stand but divided we fall. The only ones falling will be the masses. History indicates that the ones that are least able to pay always pay for the lion’s share and they do so for the disasters created by the very people that are sending them the bill. There are no free meals, just illusions of free meals.
If the above premise is correct, then the next conclusion is that the governments will never allow a repeat of the great depression. Today’s society will never accept hardships like that; they will string the people in charge of the nearest tree, but this is precisely the mindset the top players fostered. For in the guise of helping the masses than can fleece the living daylights out of them. Ultimately this informs us that every market crash no matter how bad or strong will prove to be a buying opportunity for it gives these players an excuse to ramp up the money supply
A disaster needs to be manufactured in order to provide the masses with a solution
You can only provide the masses with a solution if you manufacture a disaster that appears to be so terrible that the masses will accept conditions they would not have accepted before the disaster because they have been led to believe the aftermath will be infinitely worse. It is a win-win situation for the top players; they get their cake and their pie. This is why we do not fear stock market crashes because we understand the game plan and we know that the masses will always be used as cannon fodder.
Having said that, jumping and buying stocks when the markets are crashing is not an easy thing to do. We spent over a decade in coming out with the trend indicator, and we have our custom indicators to inform us of when a trend change is close at hand or when the markets are exhibiting definite signs of a bottom.
What are the average player’s options?
Take time to understand the main principles of Mass Psychology as without that you will give in to fear every time the market’s pullback strongly. Understand that our first reaction is to flee when confronted with any danger, don’t fight that feeling, study it and understand it for it is. When you study it, you will come to see how bad such emotions are and in doing so, you will have moved to the stage where you will have the power to say yes or no when exposed to a similar situation. Read history books; you do not have to learn from your experiences only; you can learn by studying the reactions of other people
Once you have mastered that, find 2-3 technical indicators that appeal to you. They must appeal to you; don’t just choose them because they sound fancy or they are promoted as being the best ones out there. Once you find some appealing technical indicators, study them and look for patterns. Technical analysis is like art; beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Use long-term charts preferably weekly and monthly charts.
Courtesy of Tactical Investor
Random views on FIAT money
Boom and Bust Cycles Are Primarily Due To Fiat Money
Make the Masses focus on other factors so they don’t focus on the Fiat Money Factor
The ploy from the day we got of the Gold Standard has been to redirect the masses attention. The masses are directed to focus on they could buy with all this money. In other words, Fiat money appears to be incredibly valuable, even though it has no intrinsic value.
To cement this illusion, a small segment of the population is paid fantastic salaries and their flamboyant lifestyles are broadcasted for everyone to see. The goal of creating divisions in society is to make one group of individuals wish for the lifestyle that this other group is living. The more divisions you create, the greater the cover; in other words, these divisions are created to ensure that the masses forget the real task at hand. This has worked very well, for almost no one today questions Fiat. Their main agenda today is to make more money so that they can lead a better life; little attention is paid to the fact, that they have to work harder and harder for less and less. The money they are paid is constantly being diluted; this is the true defintion of inflation. An increase in the money supply and not an increase in prices. Rising prices are only the symptom of the disease. Full Story
World FIAT Currencies List
Unlike commodity money which is covered by the value of the precious metal it was created from, usually silver or gold, the value of fiat currency is dependent on the interaction between demand and supply forces. The parties, buyer, and seller, engaged in its exchange will come to an agreement on its value.
Fiat is a Latin word. Translated into English, fiat means “Let it be done”. Fiat Currency is money that does not have intrinsic value but is recognized or accepted as a form of legal tender through government regulation. To read more about fiat currencies click on the following links to jump to the correct sections:
While most money was backed by physical goods or precious metals, fiat currency is contingent on people’s belief and faith in a country’s economy.
Many of today’s paper money is considered fiat money. They do not carry user value. The function of the paper money is to facilitate a payment. A government would produce coins out of precious metals and manufacture paper currency that would have an equivalent value in terms of a physical good. In the case of fiat currency, it cannot be redeemed. Neither can fiat currency be converted.
Fiat currency because popular and widely used in the 20th century particularly during the period of 1968 and 1973 when the Bretton Woods Agreement was terminated and the United States no longer allowed the U.S. Dollar to be converted to gold. Full Story
Billionaire Tim Draper: Only Criminals Will Use Fiat Money, As Cryptos Will Hit Mainstream in Next Few Years
Legendary billionaire venture capitalist, Tim Draper has predicted that in the next five years, fiat currencies will only be used by those involved in illicit activities.
According to the well-known bitcoin (BTC) bull, cryptocurrencies will achieve mainstream adoption within the next few years – while fiat money will mostly be used by criminals. Draper’s comments came during an interview (on February 18th) with Fox Business in which he told the financial news outlet that cryptocurrency transactions can be tracked easily through block explorers.
Draper, who acquired 30,000 bitcoins during a US Marshals Service auction (after they had been seized from Silk Road’s black markets), remarked:
“The criminals will still want to operate with cash, because they catch everybody who is trying to use Bitcoin.”
Last year in August, an agent working for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had said that it was easier for her department to monitor cryptocurrency transactions – when compared to illegal deals conducted using fiat money. The agent had explained that block explorers provide advanced tools which allow government agencies to accurately track crypto transactions on the blockchain.
During his latest interview, Draper also mentioned that he thinks the fiat money in his bank account is not as secure as his cryptocurrency holdings. According to the business tycoon:
“My bank is constantly under a hack attack.”
Business Investment; the best time to buy is when the crowd is scared
Business investing: One of the best places to invest in is the stock market, provided one understands how the masses operate. The mass mindset is wired for failure; it is programmed to panic when anything stressful presents itself and that is very dangerous when it comes to the stock markets. In short, as a business investment, the stock market could be considered to be one that provides the best return on capital provided one does not allow one’s emotions to do the talking.
Look at the recent headlines; all the top players are going out of their way to create a mountain out of a molehill. I wonder why? Are they doing this because they love the masses so much? We think not; the idea is to fleece the masses both ways; on the way and on the way down.
Nothing drives the masses more insane then uncertainty. Suddenly create the illusion of uncertainty, and all hell will eventually break loose. All hell is the secret code word for long-term opportunity. Individually these stories are not a big deal, but what stands out is all these comments were made around the same time; it almost seems like a coordinated event.
Even Stan Druckenmiller doesn’t know where markets go next
After a wild three months in the financial markets, the billionaire investor is warning that trading conditions may become even more challenging as central banks withdraw stimulus from a global economy that’s already slowing. He anticipates lousy returns on stocks for years to come and has been buying US Treasuries on the expectation that yields will keep dropping.
“If you look at the indicators I have historically used in my business, they’re not red yet, but they are definitely amber. https://bit.ly/2Q1qgYY
Greenspan Says Politics Today Are Unlike Any He’s Seen
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the current state of U.S. politics is unlike anything he’s seen.
“I was in the U.S. government for almost 20 years and I’ve never seen anything remotely close to what we’re observing today,” Greenspan said on Bloomberg TV on Wednesday. “I think the economic outlook is being significantly affected by the poor politics,” he said, adding that he’s “very much concerned.” https://bloom.bg/2SmATr2
Janet Yellen is worried about the next financial crisis
Janet Yellen is worried about the next financial crisis and told a small, intimate audience at an event Wednesday night in Washington, D.C., that her biggest concerns were the potential for reversal of financial safeguards put in place after the crisis and growing corporate debt.
“I am worried that we are in a deregulatory mode and I see a lot of pressures building in the system to go further to really weaken fundamental safeguards that were created in Dodd-Frank. We are a decade after the financial crisis so that would be worrisome and wrong to do,” Yellen told the audience at the Women in Housing and Finance holiday event. https://on.mktw.net/2SOVuEu
What was the difference between the Feb 2018 correction and the current one?
At least there was a proper trigger for that event. Bullish sentiment surged to a seven-year high, even though it only maintained this reading for roughly ten days. Had that correction morphed into a back-breaking correction, we could justify it as at least two triggers were there; bullish sentiment soared to a seven-year high, and the markets were trading in the extremely overbought ranges. This time around, bullish sentiment did not even make it to the 54% mark, and our indicators had already pulled back from the overbought ranges. In fact, they were dangerously close to the oversold ranges on the monthly charts.
Higher interest rates were never issue
The next interest rate hike was already priced in and so were the effects of the tariffs. However, when these events were weaponized, they started to become an issue. Now that the big players have seen the benefits of this type of attack first hand expect it to be used ruthlessly in the years to come. However, if you stop and focus on the forest as opposed to a single tree, this weapon will have no effect on you.
After everything was said and done, if you had held onto your shares from the 2008 crash and then added more as the market tanked incrementally, you would have made a fortune ten years later. Let’s look at some random examples. To simplify matters we are going to assume that one lot of each stock was purchased roughly at the highest price during the 2007-2008 top and an equal amount was purchased at roughly at the lowest price in 2009. However, any person employing simple Technical Analysis and Mass Psychology would have achieved a better average entry price, even though they did not purchase at the top or the exact bottom.
Courtesy of Tactical Investor
Random views on Business Investing
The Stock Market: Risk vs. Uncertainty
Life is risky. The future is uncertain. We’ve all heard these statements, but how well do we understand the concepts behind them? More specifically, what do risk and uncertainty imply for stock market investments? Is there any difference in these two terms?
Risk and uncertainty both relate to the same underlying concept—randomness. Risk is randomness in which events have measurable probabilities, wrote economist Frank Knight in 1921 in Meaning of Risk and Uncertainty.1 Probabilities may be attained either by deduction (using theoretical models) or induction (using the observed frequency of events). For example, we can easily deduce the probabilities of the possible outcomes of a game of dice. Similarly, economists can deduce probability distributions for stock market returns based on theoretical models of investor behavior.
On the other hand, induction allows us to calculate probabilities from past observations where theoretical models are unavailable, possibly because of a lack of knowledge about the underlying relation between cause and effect. For instance, we can induce the probability of suffering a head injury when riding a bicycle by observing how frequently it has happened in the past. In a like manner, economists estimate probability distributions for stock market returns from the history of past returns.
Whereas risk is quantifiable randomness, uncertainty isn’t. It applies to situations in which the world is not well-charted. First, our world view might be insufficient from the start. Full Story
How Do Investors Respond to Uncertainty?
By Jyoti Madhusoodanan
Uncertainty in the economy—triggered, say, by a change in government, a diplomatic conflict, or a turn of the business cycle—is usually considered bad news for people who want to invest their money. But a new analysis from researchers at the Yale School of Management and Northwestern University looked at an unprecedentedly wide range of markets and found that investors are more concerned about actual volatility in prices than periods of high uncertainty. Indeed, their analysis suggests that investors historically have viewed periods of high uncertainty as being good news.
“There’s good reason to believe that just uncertainty by itself is bad,” says Yale SOM professor of finance Stefano Giglio, who led the study. The theory goes that a jump in uncertainty makes firms and individuals less likely to invest, driving down growth. “But we also know that when there’s high volatility there’s also high opportunity. So it wasn’t entirely clear: Are investors truly worried about market uncertainty?”
To answer that question, Giglio and his colleagues examined the prices of options, which are contracts that give investors the ability to buy or sell assets at a pre-specified price at some point in the future. They drew these data from the CME group, which includes information from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Kansas City and Chicago Boards of Trade, and the New York Mercantile and Commodity Exchanges. Full Story
Understand the difference between risk and uncertainty while investing
Most people are unable to appreciate the difference between risk and uncertainty. When you invest in the markets or in any other asset class, there is an element of risk.
If you have seen investors getting confused between risk and uncertainty then they are not the only ones. Most people are unable to appreciate the difference between risk and uncertainty. When you invest in the markets or in any other asset class, there is an element of risk and also an element of uncertainty. In many ways, you can say that uncertainty is a very extreme form of risk. You can predict risk based on a mathematical formula and set the limits. In case of uncertainty, it is hard to set limits. That is why uncertainty cannot be managed; it can only be insured against.
Risk has a negative connotation and a positive connotation to it. For example, stock markets hate risk and any stock with a higher degree of risk gets a lower P/E valuation. What is the positive connotation of risk? Remember, all your investment decisions are risk-return trade-offs. To earn higher returns, you need to take higher risks. However, higher risk, by itself, does not guarantee you higher returns. How do we define risk? The risk is the potential for loss. Full Story
Stock market bull vs bear: Each point on this chart represents a month’s worth of data; the worst one day crash (black Monday) is just an insignificant blip on this long-term chart, clearly proving that until Fiat money is eliminated that stock market crashes from a long-term perspective represent buying opportunities.
The yearly chart of the Dow from 1985
The same chart but now each point represents a year’s worth of data; one could argue that depending on the time frame one chooses, a back-breaking correction on the daily and weekly charts might appear as a small event on the monthly charts and almost a non-event on the yearly charts.
The stronger the deviation, the better the opportunity; markets always revert to the mean. No matter how much one might be tempted to disagree, the above charts state otherwise.
There are two main underlying themes behind every single market crash; a euphoric crowd and an extremely overbought market. Both elements were missing this time around, clearly highlighting that something else is at play here, and it smells dangerously akin to market manipulation. Market manipulation via weaponized news?
From a long-term perspective, this sharp pullback is creating another once in a lifetime buying opportunity event. The crash of 2008 was one of the most painful in recent history and yet despite this vicious pullback; the Dow is still trading well over 200% above its 2009 lows.
Another myth that is peddled over and over again is the issue of how long it takes a market to recoup it has lost gains. Our response is who cares? What matters is the stocks you are buying and not a particular market index. A vast number of stocks had already tacked on gains of several hundred percentage points before the Dow traded above its 2008 highs. The same is going to happen this time around. Strong companies will recoup their gains 2X to 3X faster than the broader markets, so when the Dow trades past 27K, some of these stocks will be showing gains in excess of 100%.
So what is going on now?
Why are the markets acting differently; one-word weaponized News. The action has been downright brutal, but something was off, the crowd was never euphoric, and the markets were not trading in the extremely overbought ranges.
The markets had already priced in Tariffs and a rate hike, but then things changed. Suddenly Trump had to emphasise that he is “tariff man”. Then he starts taking pot shots at the Fed. The Fed, in turn, takes shots at him, albeit indirectly, and the media goes ballistic. We are not taking sides here, what we are trying to portray is that old news was and is being turned into something sinister. Moreover, not a day goes by without some old nonsense being respun into a scarier version of the original story. When spin doctors are in charge of the media you need to take their sage advice with a shot of whiskey and a barrel of salt. In other words, when they scream you sing and vice versa. Mass psychology states that stock market crashes are buying opportunities; end of story.
Courtesy of Tactical Investor
Random Views on Long Term Trends in stock market 2019
Stock Market Tantrums Are Over, But For How Long?
Equities have been behaving like a recession is looming. That dire outlook seems overdone. While major global stock markets were battered in 2018 – and even the initially resilient U.S. Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 stumbled – we still expect equities to deliver solid returns in 2019. Assuming no price-to-earnings (P/E) expansion this year, and tagging on a 2% dividend, the S&P 500 could return 8%. Any modest P/E expansion could deliver 12% returns. Bank earnings this week, including JP Morgan and Wells Fargo, are likely to restore some faith in equity markets over the short-term.
However, trade tensions between the U.S. and China and fears over Federal Reserve System of the United States (Fed) tightening are definitely taking their toll on investor sentiment. Earlier in January, Apple posted a reduced revenue outlook, blaming Chinese demand, causing its stock price to tumble. Yale University’s Stephen Roach warned that it was “the canary in the coal mine.”
These fears could strangle growth, but fundamentally, the bleak backdrop for equities is starting to improve. Investors want evidence that the Fed is not on autopilot, and will continue to be hyper-sensitive to data disappointments until they get some positive U.S.-China trade news. A reduction in these risks could see an expansion in the P/E ratio – delivering a boost to equity markets. Full Story
Sven Henrich: My 2019 stock-market outlook
Cataclysmic action in the fourth quarter left investors shell-shocked, as U.S. stocks plummeted and over 90% of dollar-based asset classes fell for all of 2018.
Macro monsters from trade wars, Brexit, slowing economic growth, a slump in global property prices, political uncertainty, yield-curve inversions, deficit explosions, technical breakdowns, etc., are lurking everywhere, leaving investors blindfolded while they try to navigate highly volatile market waters in search for a safe destination in 2019.
As we learned in 2018, extremes can become more extreme, long-term trends matter, patterns matter, divergences matter, technical disconnects matter and now we’re dealing with the aftermath and their implications.
My main market message for 2019: Pay close attention and stay fully informed. There are a lot of complex moving technical and macro pieces driving markets and the global economy that make for a foggy outlook for the year ahead.
Wall Street tends to focus on a destination when it projects higher year-end target prices. Indeed, as in 2018 and in 2008, Wall Street is again projecting higher prices for this year. While higher prices are always a possibility, my focus in this report is on the journey rather than the destination, as I expect wild price swings within the 2018 range (2,340-2,941 points in the S&P 500 Index SPX, +0.12% ) and possibly a much lower range still to come. Full Story
Stock Market Forecast For 2019: 7 Critical Trends To Watch
The new year begins with a gnawing question: Is the stock market correction of the past three months a harbinger of an awful 2019, or a launchpad for a new bull market? While it’s folly to make a decisive stock market forecast for 2019, a few trends hold clues.
On the face of it, financial markets seem to sense trouble. On Christmas Eve, the S&P 500 index hit the 20% threshold for a bear market.
Few experts see a recession, but signs of slowing economic growth are piling up. The 10-year Treasury yield has fallen to the lowest since April, even as the Fed tightens and unwinds its quantitative easing program.
Of all these factors, two stand out because of their unpredictability and consequences: trade policy and interest rates. The trade war can expand suddenly into multiple industries and cause spillover effects. Markets fear Fed rate hikes will overshoot, sending the economy into recession.
Here’s a look at each of the seven factors, plus tips on how stock market investors can prepare for whatever 2019 brings.
1. Stock Market Volatility
For much of 2018, the stock market tolerated a trade war, Treasury yield anxiety, Europe’s political spasms and other risks. In the final months of the year, investors could bear it no longer. As 2019 begins, the market has to pick itself up from the worst correction since 2011. On Dec. 20, the Nasdaq sank to a bear-market depth. Full Story
What is the difference between a Market correction and a back-breaking correction?
A sharp stock market correction is the thing that we encountered in Feb of this current year. The pullback is sharp and quick, and the dread dimensions rise significantly. A backbreaking revision is unique. The term itself is demonstrative of the distinction. The pullback is exceptionally solid however the unpredictability is crazy, and the market seems, by all accounts, to be bipolar. Chaos is by all accounts the request of the day, and even the absolute most impassioned of bulls begin to scrutinize their stance. Every positively trending business sector encounters one such adjustment. Be that as it may, it is difficult to tell ahead of time which redress is going to fall under the extremely difficult category. Trying to figure out which adjustment falls in this class has an exceptionally high open door cost. It is hard to break out of the “uneasiness arrange” in the event that you have been stuck in it for quite a while. These brokers in the long run get their desire of solid adjustment, however they are scared to the point that they can’t act; they keep on expecting that the market will prop up lower and lower.
Advanced warning for market correction
We expressed in July 2017 that the there would be one revision where the Dow would shed 3500-5000 points.
Without a smidgen of uncertainty, we can express that there will be somewhere around one rectification that drives the Dow lower by 3500-5000 points before this positively trending business sector is over. Market refresh June 2, 2017.
Two help focuses become possibly the most important factor. On the off chance that the Dow closes underneath 2400 on a month to month premise, at that point we can anticipate that the pullback should fall nearer towards the 5000 point range. If the Dow closes beneath 23348 on a week by week premise, at that point the above standpoint will likewise hold. 23348 is the low the Dow set in April of this year. Market Update Dec 18, 2018
As the above help calls attention to taken out, we expressed that the following stage was for the market to test the 22,000-23,000 territories. That has happened, the following stage for the market is to step water while gathering up speed to slant higher. This stage will be pressed with unpredictability as the market powers the feeble hands to dump their stocks. Brokers who have experienced this stage before will perceive for it is; an ideal purchasing opportunity occasion.
So do not focus on what happens if the stock market crashes scenario; instead, focus on building a list of stocks you always wanted to own at a lower price. History and Mass psychology both illustrate that permanent stock market bears die broke and that stock market crashes have always proven to be buying opportunities; pull up and long-term chart and try to argue otherwise.
THE STOCK MARKET CORRECTION IS PURPOSELY BEING MADE TO LOOK WORSE THAN IT IS
It looks terrible, the media is siphoning apocalypse type situations, solid bulls are appearing of shortcoming, and even contrarian financial specialists are beginning to break. Unadulterated contrarians are more brilliant than the majority, yet they do have defects; the most brilliant financial specialists are the ones that put the standards of mass brain research into play. They watch the mass mentality, and they comprehend that notwithstanding when dread begins to crawl into the condition, they are constrained to ask this question: Was the group in a condition of rapture when the market beat out? In the event that the appropriate response is “no”, at that point regardless of how horrendous the image may look, the end diversion is that the group is being set up for a bogus descending move. And the ordinary reaction would “why”. Simple answer, this is an advanced form of Pavlovian training.
Take a gander at the above notion information; in the meantime refresh conveyed before today we expressed that bearish slant would come in the 45-47 territories; rather, it remains at 49, which is right around a seven-year high rather than a multi year high. We turned wary in Feb of this current year and put all our plays on hold in light of the fact that bullish assumption took off to a seven-year high; despite the fact that this flood in assessment was transitory, it was sufficient for us to turn mindful. Given the present pattern, the following refresh could drive bearish readings north of 50. This information was gathered up to Saturday of a week ago. At the present time the quantity of people in the bearish and unbiased camps means an astounding 80; this consolidated score nearly coordinates the perusing of the 2008-2009 base. The last time we had such readings was more than 10 years back.
Presently take a gander at the nervousness check, this is the most minimal perusing since the initiation of this measure and given the present pattern it could finish up redlining one week from now; we may even be compelled to broaden the range if the perusing is altogether higher than the current week’s perusing.
Let us look at some other factors
The S&P 500 is trading 14.3 times below 2019 earnings of $178 per share. However, we if remove the highly overpriced FANG stocks, it is priced roughly 12 times 2019 earnings. The historical average is 16.2
Value line states that over 100 companies have a forward P/E of 8 or lower; the last time this took place was during the 2008 meltdown but the economy was in shambles at that point, and that is not the case today.
A lot of fear is being created due to an inverted yield curve; first of all not all inversions lead to recessions, and secondly, there is roughly a two year lag between the inversion and the recession
Investors are sitting on hoards of cash; this refers to those that were active in the markets. If we include those who have avoided the markets, then one can state that there is a huge group that has missed this entire Bull Run. They will be dragged into this market for the top player’s need many suckers do dump their huge holdings onto.
The number of “Gloom & Doom” articles is surging, and soon we will have individuals predicting Dow 10,000. Insanity sells; investors were lapping the nonsensical targets of 100K, 200K and the last target of $1 million issued for Bitcoin with straight faces. Very few insane high-level projections have been made for the Dow.
A backbreaking correction is not easy to deal with. In fact, it is hard for everyone to deal with; the only way to get through it is to pull up long-term charts and examine previous corrections. When you look at those charts, try to imagine what the investors felt as the markets pulled back. If you experienced one of these previous corrections remember the thoughts flashing through your mind. One does not have to go back to far; 2008-2009 the markets experienced one of the most brutal of corrections. The master of “Gloom” were projecting Dow 2K during the height of the corrective phase; ten years later, one can clearly see how full of rubbish they were. These same guys are now laying out similar predictions.
The best time to kill a Bull is when it is fat, lazy and arrogant. The current bull is a lean and could turn into a “mean fighting machine” after the recent pullback.
The Journal, citing unnamed sources, reported that job cuts were likely to extend into 2019.Separately, Bloomberg News reported the bank was planning to withdraw from a number of equities markets across the globe.
The Bloomberg report, which also cited unidentified people, said that Deutsche would sharply scale back its presence in the United States, and had started cutting activities in Central Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.Deutsche Bank, which holds its annual shareholder meeting on Thursday, declined to comment. The loss-making bank said last month that it was planning to scale back its global investment bank and that equities was one of the areas it was looking at for possible cuts.A person familiar with the matter told Reuters last month Deutsche Bank was expected to cut around 1,000 jobs or 10 percent of its workforce in the United States.
It has also said that it would cut back U.S. bonds trading and the business that services hedge funds.The bank has been expected to announce further details of its reorganisation plans ahead of its AGM on Thursday. hareholders, fed up with a languishing share price and dwindling revenue, will call on the bank’s management to speed up the recovery process at the AGM.
Hans-Christoph Hirt, head of shareholder adviser Hermes EOS at Hermes Investment Management, told Reuters on Wednesday he wanted to see a “credible strategy with achievable targets.” Full story
Now they are firing to balance the books, in the near future they will be firing to get rid of the “expensive human element”. Sadly most of today’s high paid individuals get way too much for doing way too little, and AI is going to dramatically alter the landscape. Remember the equation must always balance, and the more skewed things become the stronger the blowback as the market moves back to the point of equilibrium.