Thursday, January 19, 2017
18 years in Wall Street, left after finding out it was all horseshit. Founder/ Master and Commander: iBankCoin, finance news and commentary from the future.
Joined Nov 10, 2007
15,131 Blog Posts

Slow News Day; Come Try Exodus Free for a Week

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TRIALS ARE HERE and hardly anyone will be convicted GUILTY and hung for their sins.

I entreat you to enter the great halls of Exodus and try it out for a week.

BY ACCEPTING THIS FREE TRIAL, I READILY ADMIT TO BEING A DISHEVELED MOUNTEBANK, A GRIFTER, AND A MISER.

There’s lots of stuff to do inside the platform. A curious mind can concoct his/her own investment methods and then test them out without backtesting tools. There’s a lot of ‘stuff’ to take in and it can be woefully overwhelming, especially if running money for other people. This is precisely why I created it — to free up some of my time so that I might partake in hedonistic games of pleasure. Instead of sifting over 10ks, why not snort a bag of cocaine and have Exodus do it for you?

Trials end in one week. Let me know what you think and how I might improve upon it.

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Alibaba’a Jack Ma Drops a Redpill in Davos: The U.S. Wasted $14 Trillion on Wars Over the Past 30 Years

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And there it is, the unvarnished, raw, truth about how everything went wrong for middle class America.

Since the Vietnam war, more than 45 years ago, the US has embarked on a neocon strategy of war in an effort to build a global empire. The result of that strategy has left American infrastructure second rate, its school system in shambles, and its healthcare system a complete and utter joke.

Just imagine what America could’ve done with $14t of investable dollars, instead of waging wars.

Aside from the wars, America spends more than 50% of its discretionary budget on the military, per annum, 16% of its overall budget.
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That’s the main issue, the sordid topic that is rarely discussed in American politics, for fears of crossing the military-industrial complex.

Jack Ma from Alibaba doesn’t share those same fears, being a Chinese national worth $27b of zero fucks.

In a very rare glimpse into what the Chinese really think about American imperialism and how it shaped the global economy, all the better for China might I add, Jack Ma spoke candidly today in an interview with CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin.

“It’s not that other countries steal jobs from you guys,” Ma said. “It’s your strategy. Distribute the money and things in a proper way.”

He said the U.S. has wasted over $14 trillion in fighting wars over the past 30 years rather than investing in infrastructure at home.

To be sure, Ma is not the only critic of the costly U.S. policies of waging war against terrorism and other enemies outside the homeland. Still, Ma said this was the reason America’s economic growth had weakened, not China’s supposed theft of jobs.

In fact, Ma called outsourcing a “wonderful” and “perfect” strategy.

“The American multinational companies made millions and millions of dollars from globalization,” Ma said. “The past 30 years, IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, they’ve made tens of millions — the profits they’ve made are much more than the four Chinese banks put together. … But where did the money go?”

He said the U.S. is not distributing, or investing, its money properly, and that’s why many people in the country feel wracked with economic anxiety. He said too much money flows to Wall Street and Silicon Valley. Instead, the country should be helping the Midwest, and Americans “not good in schooling,” too.

“You’re supposed to spend money on your own people,” Ma said. “Not everybody can pass Harvard, like me.” In a previous interview, Ma said he had been rejected by Harvard 10 times.
Along those lines, Ma stressed that globalization is a good thing, but it, too, “should be inclusive,” with the spoils not just going to the wealthy few.

“The world needs new leadership, but the new leadership is about working together,” Ma said. “As a business person, I want the world to share the prosperity together.”

Here’s why your country is falling apart.
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The Russians didn’t do that.

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Goldman Edges Higher After Earnings Beat

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The world’s most influential and successful bank did it again, thanks to fixed income and trading. They beat on both the top and bottom lines — crushing estimates and making the analysts who cover the stock look like complete jerkoffs.

The Wall Street giant said it earned $5.08 a share on revenue of $8.17 billion, with $2.15 billion in net income representing a near-quadrupling in profit. Goldman was expected to post earnings of $4.82 a share on revenue of $7.742 billion, according to analysts surveyed by Reuters. Return on equity was 11.4 percent compared to a 10 percent benchmark for cost of capital.

A jump in trading revenue helped spur the growth, with revenue from bond-related trading soaring 78.3 percent from a year ago to $2 billion. The bank attributed the gain to a fourth-quarter environment “generally characterized by improved market conditions, including rising interest rates and tighter credit spreads.” The news came a day after Morgan Stanley said its trading revenue spiked 173 percent.

Shares are slightly higher early going.
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It’s worth noting, however, Goldman had a shitty year, in spite of the shares being up 30% since election night. Aside from debt trading, Goldman bled out in nearly every aspect of their bank.

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That’s actual proof that the people who’ve been buying the stocks are essentially clueless. The fundamentals only got better because of the massive Trump induced short squeeze. Other than that, Goldman had nothing going on, at all.

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Chinese New Home Prices Soar by 12.4% in December — Higher by 25% in Tier One Cities

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What can go wrong, after all? The Chinese government has already informed us their real estate market, which is being driven by records amount of debt, is NOT in a bubble, so relax, chill and enjoy a large overflowing bowl of wanton soup.

Take Larry Hu, for example, economist from Macquarie. He posited, back in October, that the +25% year over year price jumps for Chinese property wasn’t indicative of a bubble…because MUH lack of supply. Perfectly normal stuff.

Source: BBG

Big cities like Shanghai are experiencing net immigration with only limited blocks of land coming on the market. “If Shanghai sells only one parcel of land in a year, the price of the land must be extremely high – this is not a bubble; this is a shortage of supply,” Hu said.

We can revisit a litany of smug remarks by any number of US economists before the US housing market collapsed — almost mocking those who warned against unchecked gains in property prices.

Take, for example, the missives of Jonathan McCarthy and Richard W. Peach — senior economists at the NY Fed.

“Home prices have been rising strongly since the mid-1990s, prompting concerns that a bubble exists in this asset class and that home prices are vulnerable to a collapse that could harm the U.S. economy.

“A close analysis of the U.S. housing market in recent years, however, finds little basis for such concerns. The marked upturn in home prices is largely attributable to strong market fundamentals: Home prices have essentially moved in line with increases in family income and declines in nominal mortgage interest rates.”

Or, we can look back at the advice of Chris Flanagan, head of ABS Research, JP Morgan — and laugh at how stupid he was.

“Based on what we know and see in terms of employment and interest rates, it is extremely difficult to see how five years from now we could be looking back and observing a historical 5-year growth rate of, say, less than 5%. That should be more than adequate to support the continued good credit performance of sub-prime mortgage pools.

“It is important to understand — we can contemplate home price growth rates declining, albeit modestly, but we do NOT envision home prices declining!”

This out of China tonight — record home prices.

Source: Beijing Monitoring Desk
Average new home prices in China’s 70 major cities rose 12.4 percent in December from a year earlier, slowing slightly from a 12.6 percent increase in November, an official survey showed on Wednesday.

Compared with a month earlier, home prices rose 0.3 percent nationwide, slowing from November’s 0.6 percent, according to Reuters calculations from data issued by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing prices rose 23.5 percent, 26.5 percent and 25.9 percent, respectively, from a year earlier.

Monthly growth in Shanghai and Shenzhen slowed but was unchanged in Beijing as local governments’ tightening measures took effect. China relied heavily on a surging real estate market and government stimulus to help drive economic growth in 2016, but policymakers have grown concerned that the property frenzy will fuel price bubbles and risk a market crash, with serious consequences for the broader economy. Soaring home prices have prompted more than 20 Chinese cities to tighten lending requirements on house purchases, while regulators have told banks to strengthen their risk management on property loans.

Hindsight is 20/20 and it’s never easy to time tops or bottoms. But this is child’s play. None of these gains are due to some grass roots renaissance, thanks to some technological breakthrough or keystone event that caused prices to jump. The price jumps in China are due to record levels of debt, leverage, greed, avarice, and wanton chicanery.

It’s most definitely a bubble — whether it cracks this year or not is anyone’s guess.

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In Light of Chelsea Manning’s Commuted Sentence, It Appears Assange is Willing to Stand Trial in the US

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Just a short while ago, Wikileaks tweeted that Julian Assange would gladly take Chelsea’s place in prison — undergoing extradition to the US — should Obama grant her/him clemency.
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It appears the Ecuadorian embassy in London will soon have one less resident — as the groundwork for a defense appears to be taking shape, at least via statements from Wikileaks and his lawyer.

For the globalist elite, this is a great trade off — and a fucking stupid one for Wikileaks. Mr. Manning had known the risks associated with leaking intel. With Assange locked up in the American prison system, one could expect a sizeable drop in Podesta styled leaks. Alas, all good things must come to an end and I’m sure Assange is sick and tired of living in that god foresaken embassy. Perhaps a little finality and closure is what’s more important to him now, in favor of the movement.

Here is his official statement.

I welcome President Obama’s decision to commute the sentence of Ms. Chelsea Manning from 35 years to time served, but Ms. Manning should never have been convicted in the first place. Ms. Manning is a hero, whose bravery should have been applauded not condemned. Journalists, publishers, and their sources serve the public interest and promote democracy by distributing authentic information on key matters such as human rights abuses, and illegal acts by government officials. They should not be prosecuted. In order for democracy and the rule of law to thrive, the Government should immediately end its war on whistleblowers and publishers, such as Wikileaks and myself.
Mr. Assange’s lawyers also made a statement

Mr. Assange welcomes President Obama’s decision to commute Chelsea Manning’s sentence. Whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning serve the public interest. She should never have been prosecuted and sentenced to decades in prison. She should be released immediately. Likewise, publishers of truthful information serve the public interest, promote democracy, and should not be prosecuted. The war on whistleblowers should end now and should not be continued in the new Administration. For many months, I have asked the DOJ to clarify Mr. Assange’s status. I hope it will soon. The Department of Justice should not pursue any charges against Mr. Assange based on his publication of truthful information and should close its criminal investigation of him immediately.”

According to Assange’s attorney, the US has not made an official extradition request as of now.

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Obama Frees Chelsea Manning: Will Assange Turn Himself Over to U.S. Authorities?

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Well this is interesting.

When I read that Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, several things came to mind — mainly because I like to believe in people.

Maybe Obama was a ‘good guy’ after all, and was just kept hostage by CIA fuckers the whole time, the deep state and their pizza parties?

Or, he’s just really sympathetic towards transgenders, mainly because he’s married to one.

Or, Wikileaks has dirt on him or someone in power and a deal was struck.

Or, and this is the final or, he’s taking Assange up on his bargain — exchanging Assange’s freedom for Manning.

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Via NY Times:

Ms. Manning was still known as Bradley Manning when she deployed with her unit to Iraq in late 2009. There, she worked as a low-level intelligence analyst helping her unit assess insurgent activity in the area it was patrolling, a role that gave her access to a classified computer network.

She copied hundreds of thousands of military incident logs from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, which, among other things, exposed abuses of detainees by Iraqi military officers working with American forces and showed that civilian deaths in the Iraq war were likely much higher than official estimates.

The files she copied also included about 250,000 diplomatic cables from American embassies around the world showing sensitive deals and conversations, dossiers detailing intelligence assessments of Guantánamo detainees held without trial, and a video of an American helicopter attack in Baghdad in two Reuters journalists were killed, among others.

She decided to make all these files public, as she wrote at the time, in the hope that they would incite “worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms.” WikiLeaks’ disclosed them — working with traditional news organizations including The New York Times — bringing notoriety to the group and its founder, Julian Assange.

The disclosures set off a frantic scramble as Obama administration officials sought to minimize any potential harm, including getting to safety some foreigners in dangerous countries who were identified as having helped American troops or diplomats. Prosecutors, however, presented no evidence that anyone was killed because of the leaks.

At her court-martial, Ms. Manning confessed in detail to her actions and apologized, saying she did not intend to put anyone at risk and noting that she was “dealing with a lot of issues” at the time she made her decision.

Testimony at the trial showed that she had been in a mental and emotional crisis as she came to grips, amid the stress of a war zone, with the fact that she was not merely gay but had gender dysphoria. She had been behaving erratically, including angry outbursts and lapsing into catatonia midsentence. At one point she had emailed a photograph of herself in a woman’s wig to her supervisor.

Prosecutors said that by making secret material available for publication on the internet, anyone — including Al Qaeda — could read it. And they accused Ms. Manning of treason, charging her with multiple counts of the Espionage Act as well as with “aiding the enemy,” a potential capital offense, although they said they would not seek her execution.

Ms. Manning confessed and pleaded guilty to a lesser version of those charges without any deal to cap her sentence. But prosecutors pressed forward with a trial and won convictions on the more serious versions of those charges; a military judge acquitted her of “aiding the enemy.”

In her commutation application, Ms. Manning said she had not imagined that she would be sentenced to the “extreme” term of 35 years, a term for which there was “no historical precedent.” (There have only been a handful of leak cases, and most sentence are in the range of one to three years.)

“I take full and complete responsibility for my decision to disclose these materials to the public,” she wrote. “I have never made any excuses for what I did. I pleaded guilty without the protection of a plea agreement because I believed the military justice system would understand my motivation for the disclosure and sentence me fairly. I was wrong.”

What do you think?

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I’M BACK IN TREASURIES, ZERO FUCKS STYLE

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Several of my stocks are getting “TNT’d” today, as the establishment devils prepare to annihilate the stock market when Trump takes power. Like I’ve said to you lads a thousand times heretofore, the post election rally all counted for Obama. Everything past 1/21 will be Trump’s and it will most likely be red hell.

Nevertheless, I’ve dedicated myself towards the purposes of ‘extreme investing’ this year, with very little regards for personal safety or well being. As such, I’ve been buying all of the very worst stocks mankind has to offer — from bulkers to deathly hallowed biotech stocks, to Chinese electric car makers to nuclear energy plays.

Everything I do today shall determine my future. Henceforth, I will either die under the weight of my own stupidity, or ascend to levels unseen before — floating through the air like a winter mist in a long, dark, cavernous, landscape — home of the owls and other predators.

I purchased treasuries today, placing my cash reserves at precisely zero. Incidentally, I bought zeroes too (how lovely!). Zero coupon bonds pay out zero dividends and only give the buyers exposure to price action. It’s pure beta, with zero fucks.

The ticker is $ZROZ and I don’t give a shit what it does tomorrow — so fuck off.

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Here’s How Einhorn is Playing the Trump Presidency

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For the three people who are still interested in what a professional hedge fund manager is buying and selling, I grabbed excepts of Einhorn’s letter which outlined his plans.

Bear in mind, David has a wretched 2015 and made just 8% or so last year. Nevertheless, he’s representative of the establishment fund in the professionally managed space and is always transparent enough to earn my interest.

“While it’s hard to know exactly where President-elect Donald Trump stands from day to day, his main economic policy objective appears to be employment. To that end, he has proposed corporate tax cuts, infrastructure investment and military buildup, combined with anti-immigration policies and trade protectionism,” he added.

To take advantage of Trump’s agenda the hedge fund manager is “long a variety of low multiple, tax-paying, U.S. value stocks.” He noted any corporate tax reduction would benefit companies that pay large amounts of taxes. Einhorn said Amerco, Chemours, Dillard’s and DSW will benefit as examples of “full federal taxpayers with healthy profits.”

The hedge fund manager also discussed these other Trump trades:
Long Apple: “AAPL stands to benefit from repatriation of foreign cash and tax reform.”

Long General Motors: “More jobs, higher income for savers, and higher wages should drive demand for consumer durables, and there is no better consumer durable than an automobile.” The letter noted Greenlight Capital increased its position in GM.

Long gold: “Our sense is that Mr. Trump doesn’t hold any core policy beliefs and is apt to change his mind as he sees fit. This will lead to more political and economy uncertainty,” which is positive for gold, according to Einhorn.

Short “bubble basket”: “Bubble basket stocks mostly don’t have profits, which makes them unlikely to benefit from corporate tax cuts.” Einhorn is short a basket of high-valuation stocks he calls the “bubble basket.” He cited Netflix as a member.

Short oil fracker companies: “Despite repeated claims in their slick presentations, the economics still don’t work when all investment and corporate costs are taken into account.”

Short Caterpillar: “Even in a U.S. infrastructure boom, CAT is overpriced.”

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Trumpflation on Pause Following Trump’s Remarks Complaining Over the Strong Dollar

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Well, well, well. What do we have here?

Didn’t I say a strong dollar was fucking retarded and that rising bond yields would serve as a roadblock for his fiscal stimulus plans?

Good thing Trump has surrounded himself with business savvy Wall Streeters and not a bunch of no nothing rednecks from Alaska.

In a WSJ interview published last night, Trump complained over the strong dollar and then his advisor, Anthony Scaramucci, said we needed an independent Fed — firing warning salvos across our outrageously stupid hawkish Fed.

“Our companies can’t compete with them now because our currency is too strong. And it’s killing us,” Trump told The Journal, referring to competition from China.

His comments have put an end to this stupid Trumpflation trade, at least for today.
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