Featuring small cap companies with disruptive technologies that will forge our new future ... TS
We are proud to host this year's second annual Bright Lights Conference on May, 10 -11th at the Le Parker Meridien Hotel in New York City. This event will again feature over 40 of the most innovative companies (List) with disruptive and market changing IP, as screened by PatentVest. Last year's conference, (Investor Registration Page) held in San Francisco, proved that there is a growing awareness and increasing desire to better understand and invest in companies with important intellectual property. Our inclination is that IP rich companies are steadily becoming an emerging asset class ("Best & Brightest" 2011 Capturing ALPHA in the IP Asset Class) and an important part of an investor's portfolio. [more]
We are now roughly just 11% from an ALL TIME HIGH ON THE DOW.... NEW HIGHS FOR GOLD AND SILVER BEING HIT ALMOST DAILY.... Food and gas prices are skyrocketing.... We are definitely In the twilight zone... TS If the objectives of Quantitative Easing 2 (QE2) were to: a) raise interest rates; b) slow economic growth; c) encourage speculation, and d) eviscerate the standard of living of the average American family, then it has been enormously successful. Clearly, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight these results represent the Federal Reserve's impact on the U.S. economy, regardless of their claims to the contrary.
For example, the Fed promoted the idea that implementation of QE1 and QE2 would lower interest rates. Apparently this fantasy was based on the assumption that the flow of their purchases would heavily offset (and in the case of QE2 almost fully offset) the flow of new debt being issued by the U.S. Treasury. This flow analysis appears irrefutable in concept, but actually interest rates rose across the yield curve in both cases. Why? Concentrating on the flow of Treasury debt, apparently the Fed failed to take into account that the existing stock of outstanding Treasury debt totaled nearly $8 trillion. The holders included individuals, mutual funds, pension plans, insurance companies, state and local governments and foreigners. Their actions indicate that they perceived Federal Reserve activity to be inflationary, and therefore harmful to their position. Their response was to reduce their relative holdings of Treasuries and purchase riskier assets. Interest rates rose. One large investor famously sold all his Treasuries—a rational choice in the shorter end of the Treasury market as some day QE2 will have to be reversed.
Why the Fed would believe the economy could benefit from the addition of $600 billion (the QE2 target) in reserves to a banking system that already had over $1.1 trillion in unused, idle, but potentially inflationary reserves on hand nearly defies understanding. The action, however, was not lost on holders of the $8 trillion Treasury securities outstanding.
This increase in the level of interest rates occurred, not only during QE2, but in QE1 as well (Table 1). Thus the Federal Reserve engineered a rate increase, and the injection of excess reserves had several other deleterious ramifications for the U.S. economy.
Speculation and Lower Growth
By definition, the massive increase in the Fed's balance sheet encourages speculation and lifts the fear of inflation. Banks have had few customers who wish to borrow for productive means. Bank credit has been falling since 2008 when the Fed-induced housing bubble burst (Chart 1). However, large hedge funds and other financial investors/speculators have an inexhaustible supply of credit to underwrite derivatives and leverage to anticipate and profit from the inflationary atmosphere the Fed seems to be attempting to engineer. According to the outstanding monetary researcher, Rod McKnew, Ph.D. of Newedge, the Fed facilitated inflation through a more direct channel than expectations. He points out that reserve balances, which are not money, increased much more than money. In the past two years, M2 rose 6% while total reserves jumped 85%. But this does not mean that unused reserve balances had no influence on prices, and in particular on commodity prices. To quote McKnew, "In a world of advanced derivatives, high cash balances are not required to take speculative positions. All that is required is that margin requirements be satisfied." With reserve balances at unprecedented levels, margin risk is minimized for those market participants who wish to take positions consistent with the Fed's goal of higher inflation and have either direct or indirect access to the Fed's mammoth reserve balances, which can satisfy margin requirements.
These activities, while profitable to speculators in the short run, slow real economic activity in several ways. First, the rising interest rate environment also raises mortgage rates (Table 1). Of course this means more marginal buyers are priced out of the market and unable to purchase homes. Is it any surprise that this beleaguered sector of the economy has taken another leg down in terms of sales and price (Chart 2 & 3). Consequently, this sector has become more of a drag on economic growth. Second, homes happen to be the largest net worth asset on consumer balance sheets, and the prospect of their largest asset moving lower in price hardly inspires greater willingness to spend.
continued ..... http://www.gurufocus.com/news/129624/qe2-was-no-help--hoisington-investment-management [more]
What Is happening to your family? Are you seeing the benefits of a recovery In the economy? Anybody have a real story to tell ? Does anyone care? TS 35 Statistics That Show The Average American Family Has Been Broke Down, Tore Down, Beat Down, Busted And Disgusted By This Economy The economic statistics that you are about to read are incredibly shocking, but they are also very, very real. Tonight there are going to be millions of men and women all across America that cannot sleep because they are consumed with anxiety about their financial problems. Even as you read this, there are a lot of parents out there that are trying to figure out how to explain to their children why their homes are being taken away. There are also hordes of very hard working Americans that are incredibly frustrated because they have sent out thousands of resumes and yet they can't seem to get a job interview. Have you ever been at a point where you couldn't pay the mortgage or put food on the table for your family? It can be an absolutely soul-crushing experience. In fact, there are some cities in the U.S. that have been so utterly devastated by this economy that it seems as though virtually everyone has had the hope sucked right out of them. The mainstream media is trying to convince all of us that we are in an economic recovery, but that is a lie. The truth is that we are in the middle of a long-term economic decline and the greatest economy in the history of the world is dying right in front of our eyes.
The average American family is under more economic stress right now than at any other time since the Great Depression. Just check out the following statistics.... [more]
Looks like I am not the only one "sounding the alarm" on our very precarious financial situation here In the United States, TS By Matt Egan Published April 18, 2011 Sounding the alarm about the country’s deep fiscal problems, Standard & Poor’s on Monday became the first major credit ratings agency to downgrade its outlook on the U.S. to “negative.” The move signals the seriousness of the debt crisis in the U.S., which at most times is considered the safest investment in the world. It is likely to increase pressure on Washington to fix the country's beleaguered balance sheet and could mark the first step to the U.S. losing its coveted 'AAA' credit rating that allows it to tap the capital markets at low rates. Wall Street was spooked by the S&P downgrade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting close to 200 points at the opening bell, the U.S. dollar slumping against the yen and gold flirting with $1,500 a troy ounce for the first time ever. European markets, already jittery about their own debt crises in Ireland, Greece and Portugal, also tumbled. S&P explained its rationale for cutting its outlook on the U.S. to “negative” from “stable” by citing the nation’s “very large budget deficits and rising government indebtedness.” http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2011/04/18/sp-slashes-outlook-negative-amid-soaring-debt/ [more]
BY Ariel SchwartzFri Apr 8, 2011
Nobody goes to McDonald's in the U.S. expecting to buy chicken nuggets made out of healthy, fairly-treated chickens; they just want crunchy nuggets, no questions asked. Things are a little different in China, where food safety is a major concern, especially after scandals like the one in 2008 where milk and infant formula throughout the country was tainted with melamine, a plastic used to make countertops and dry-erase boards. [more]
By: Patrick Allen
2011 is beginning to look very like 2008 before the collapse of Lehman Brothers—except the numbers involved are much bigger this time around, according to Simon Derrick, the chief currency strategist at Bank of New York Mellon. [more]
Marc Faber: "Everything Is Going Up. Only At The Federal Reserve Is There No Inflation" Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/08/2011
Marc Faber was on CNBC earlier, once again discussing things so patently obvious only the Fed can not grasp them. Namely that as long as cheap money floods the system hard assets will continue rising in value, and gold will continue surging. Which is merely part of the bigger picture: nominal prices continue rising as real prices, denominated in paper and linen, continue to decline. But have no fear: Bernanke can fix everything in 15 minutes. Only that's total BS: "One day they will increase it by a quarter percent. But what does it mean when commodity prices are going through the roof, energy prices are going up, health care costs are going up, insurance premiums are going up?" Somehow, Bernanke believes, a hike will immediately undo months and years of downstream costs progressing through the system. And surely subprime is contained... As for the proverbial gold bubble: "If it were a bubble a lot of people would have gold. The whole world would be trading gold 24 hours a day. But I don't think it's really a bubble. I think gold is maybe cheaper today than it was in 1999, when it was $252." http://www.zerohedge.com/article/marc-faber-everything-going-only-federal-reserve-there-no-inflation [more]
Inflation inflicting pain, as wages fail to keep pace with price hikes
Inflation is back, with higher prices for food and fuel hammering American consumers, and this time it really hurts. By Neil Irwin, Monday, April 4, http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/inflation-inflicting-pain-as-wages-fail-to-keep-pace-with-price-hikes/2011/03/09/AF6K2seC_story.html [more]
EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: Latest Satellite Imagery From Fukushima Tells Sobering Tale
Noting that the press has largely turned its resources off of the Fukushima complex, and needing up-to-date information on the status of the damage control efforts there, we secured the most up-to-date satellite photo from DigitalGlobe (dated March 31st), which we analyze below. This is the first photo of the damaged reactor site at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear facility made available to the public in over a week. That means you, our readers, are the first public eyes anywhere to see this photo. [more]
These photos help bring to life what Is happening In a far different world than we are experiencing here In America. Lets just hope that this does not find It's way here .... TS
Since the beginning of 2011, eight countries across the Middle East and Northern Africa are in some stage of upheaval. Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Bahrain and Algeria have all experienced some level of revolt in the new year. Never before has instability been so widespread in the region. We take a look at some of the best photographs of the past two months. http://blogs.denverpost.com/captured/2011/02/25/on-war-revolution-in-the-middle-east-and-northern-africa/2751/ [more]
The only guy at CNBC that really knows what Is goin on .....
Thursday’s USDA March U.S. acreage and stocks report enlightens us in many ways. [more]
The equities markets seem to be saying something different,what are Americans missing ? [more]
One of my favorite authors,Victor Davis Hanson along with Peter Berkowitz talk about the chaos In the middle east .... http://bcove.me/q20guoj3
Don't think that our government Is out of control,think again TS More Americans work for the government than in manufacturing, farming, fishing, forestry, mining and utilities combined.
If you want to understand better why so many states—from New York to Wisconsin to California—are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, consider this depressing statistic: Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government. [more]
President Obama accepted a transparency award from open-government advocates this week – during an unpublicized, closed-door meeting. LOL !!!!!!! The most transparent administration In history ! "WE have to pass the bill (healthcare) so you can find out what's In It ! LOL !!!!!!!!!
It was a strange conclusion to a two-week saga, in which the White House announced the award before canceling the ceremony at the last moment citing scheduling conflicts. The abrupt cancelation came as some questioned Obama's commitment to meet his campaign pledge on government openness.
"What I will not concede is that his record on the issue is anything but exemplary," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said amid mounting questions about the award.
The secrecy of the event reportedly puzzled some of those doling out the award to Obama. And other transparency advocates said the honor was premature at best.
"There is too much work left to be done to be handing out awards," Steven Aftergood, a transparency advocate who runs the Federation of American Scientists' Government Secrecy Project, previously told The Washington Examiner. "Secrecy continues to be a problem, particularly the use of state secrets privilege to halt litigation on controversial topics. Efforts to use the [Freedom of Information] Act are frustrated by delays, incomplete disclosure and a frequent lack of response."
Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/03/obama-finally-accepts-transparency-award-private-meeting#ixzz1IJozNnyG [more]
Published April 28th, 2008 in Market Internals As a technical analyst, I normally look at price action exclusively but volume is undeniably, another important element of the market. I’m a bit reluctant to delve into the concept of volume because a lot of what is already out there is bunk. [more]