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Another day, another dip to be bought aggressively in China. The only catalyst for moar - aside from "well it was up yesterday" - is the news that the Shanghai-HK Stock Exchange aggregate quota will be abolished, leaving room for more speculative excess to flood into 500%-gainers.  CSI-300 is now up almost 6% since Friday's close and Shenzhen and CHINEXT are soaring back from underperformance yesterday. To round things out on a superlative note, the Shenzhen Composite - which contains all the ponzi-based self-collateralized idiot-makers, is now up over 100% year-to-date. Simply put, you can't keep a bad market down...     Which has sent the Shenzhen Composite above the 100% return mark for 2015...   Charts: Bloomberg

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Wolf Richter   www.wolfstreet.com   www.amazon.com/author/wolfrichter How great was the global economy in the first quarter? We know the US economy was crummy. The revised GDP estimate will likely sink into red mire. Hence the heated proposals these days, including at the Fed, to apply “a second round of seasonal adjustment” that would “correct” the first-quarter GDP estimate, no matter how bad, into positive territory. An elegant way of covering up an unsightly sore. So was it just a crummy quarter in the US, or was it a global thing, in which case we might have to apply a “second round of” whatever to adjust the global downturn out of the picture? Because here is the thing: in the first quarter, one of the crucial measures of the global economy – global trade – slumped the most since the Financial Crisis. But ironically, it wasn’t because of the USA. The CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, a division of the Ministry of
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The nation is wallowing self-piteously in a fetid trough of denial and adolescent rage/magical thinking now that the nation's bogus, debt-based "prosperity" has crashed and cannot be restored.If you type Deep State into the custom search window in the right sidebar, the search results fill 10 pages. I think it is fair to say I have long had a deep interest in the Deep State.The Deep State is generally assumed to be monolithic: of one mind, so to speak, unified in worldview, strategy and goals. In my view, this is an over-simplification of a constantly shifting battleground of paradigms and power between a number of factions and alliances within the Deep State.Disagreements are not publicized, of course, but they become apparent years or decades after the conflict was
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  Source: Global Times

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I am a cynic when it comes to both CEOs and equity research analysts. I think that many CEOs are political animals, bereft of vision and masters at using strategic double-speak to say absolutely nothing. I also believe that many equity research analysts are creatures of mood and momentum, more market followers than leaders. Once […] The post No Light at the end of the Tunnel: Investing in Bad Businesses appeared first on ValueWalk.

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Activist disciples – looks like Stella getting her groove back. Activist stories and news for May 22 set up below – note that the free newsletter is on a 24-hour delay; Activist Strategy subs only ones getting it the day of. Still taking leads at @activiststocks and daily newsletter sign up is still here. Another […] The post Daily Activist Investing May 23: Twitter’s Unlikely Activist appeared first on ValueWalk.

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Up until this moment, Greece may not have had the financial wherewithal to pay its creditors, forced instead to use circular math gimmicks in which the IMF paid the IMF for the country's most recent €750 million due on May 12 when it effectively pre-defaulted and used SDR reserves as "payment", but at least it had a united facade when facing Europe and political cohesion when dealing with the Troika. That too may have just evaporated over the weekend, when in a surprisingly close vote showing just how deeply the ruling Greek Syriza party has splintered, the hard line "Left Platform" a faction within Syriza, proposed that Greece stop paying its creditors if they continue with "blackmailing tactics" and instead seek "an alternative plan" for the debt-racked country. Its motion called for the government to default on the IMF loans rather than compromise to creditor demands, among which a change to value-added tax rates, further liberalization of the labor market and changes to the
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Submitted by Scott Spangler via JetWhine.com, Most Americans today have but two connections with those who serve and have served in the military, and especially those who have perished in that service. The first is the hollow seconds it takes to utter “Thank you for your service,” an seemingly autonomic reflex when seeing someone in uniform. The other occurs should they see a film about any of our many conflicts. Since America’s last declared war, which ended 70 years ago, Memorial Day has become an annual celebration of patriotic hypocrisy, when people might notice that the American flag they ran up their front yard pole last year is faded and frayed and, maybe, add a new one to their celebration’s shopping list. True appreciation is measured by our depth of experience and understanding. Today, less than 1 percent of the population reaps the benefits resulting from the service and sacrifice of the less than 1 percent of the population who serve the politicians elected by the
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OPEC's Next Meeting Is A mere 11 days away... On June 5, all eyes will be on OPEC as the group convenes in Vienna to discuss its course for the second half of 2015. It will probably be straightforward with no change to the status quo but it could be dramatic. The most bullish scenario that could occur would be for OPEC to reverse strategy and re-introduce production quotas.  The most bearish would be for OPEC to continue with no constraint at the same time as a nuclear agreement is reached allowing an unsanctioned Iran to re-enter the market at full throttle.    Not everyone is happy? Remember that prior to the November meeting, Iran, Venezuela and (non-OPEC) Russia engaged in frenetic efforts to convince the group's Gulf leaders to cut output which went unheeded.  The facts are very clear.  No OPEC country can meet its budgetary requirements at this price level without digging deep into reserves. OPEC members face a financial crisis. They are collectively
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In my widely-discussed recent paper on Fox News, I suggested that its Republican bias was hurting the GOP in many ways. One specific example I raised on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” was that Republicans deluded themselves that Mitt Romney was doing better than he really was in 2012 due to cheerleading coverage on Fox, the only...Read More

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Never forget...     Source: Investors.com

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Early last month we highlighted a ThinkProgress report which suggested that more people were killed in encounters with police in the US in the month of March than were killed in encounters with UK authorities in 100 years.  From the report: A new report by ThinkProgress.com unearthed disturbing figures when it came to the number of police-related deaths that occurred in America in the month of March alone.   Just last month, in the 31 days of March, police in the United States killed more people than the UK did in the entire 20th century. In fact, it was twice as many; police in the UK only killed 52 people during that 100 year period.   According to the report by ThinkProgess, in March alone, 111 people died during police encounters — 36 more than the previous month. As in the past, numerous incidents were spurred by violent threats from suspects, and two officers were shot in Ferguson during a peaceful protest. However, the deaths follow a national pattern:
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John Nash, who died with his wife, Alicia, in a car crash Saturday at 86, was a mathematician, not an economist.  But the phenomenon he described — known as Nash's Equilibrium — revolutionized the world of economics and game theory. Around the end of World War II, game theory was gaining steam in academic circles, says Dale Jorgenson, a professor of economics at Harvard University. "But there really wasn't much evidence that this was having much effect on the way people thought about strategic situations," Jorgenson says.  Before Nash came along, game theory was about zero-sum games: one party wins, one party loses. Nash provided a mathematical way of understanding games that more closely resemble the real world, where we don't necessarily have clear winners and losers.  "When [people] look back at the Nash Equilibrium they think, 'Oh my God, this is so simple, it's amazing that it was so groundbreaking because it seems so obvious,' " says Alex Bellos, author of "Alex’s Adventures in Numberland." "And it seems so obvious because it's just become part of culture." Today, game theory is used to describe myriad social phenomena, including those in business and politics. Bellos says every time someone says "zero-sum game," they owe a little credit to Nash.  When Roger Myerson, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, was starting his academic career in the 1970s, Nash’s work was maturing. Even so, Nash had withdrawn from public life as he battled paranoid schizophrenia.  "At that time I knew he was alive, but there was no hope we could ever meet him," Myerson says.  Myerson says while Nash was out of the public eye, his work revolutionized the field of economics.  "It’s moved economics from a focus on resource allocation to a focus on understanding how behavior responds to incentives," Myerson says. After Nash reentered public life in the 1980s, he was famous. In 1994, he won a Nobel Prize, and in 2001, his life story was fictionalized for the film "A Beautiful Mind."

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When Shahrouz Varshabi was about 17 years old, he was accepted to a college outside of his hometown in Iran. This was good news for Varshabi, but it also meant a financial strain for his parents. “I was feeling so bad about the situation because I was coming from a sort of poor family, and I didn’t want to have pressure on my father’s shoulders,” Varshabi says.  When Varshabi couldn’t find a job in the city where his new school was located, he decided to get entrepreneurial and make one for himself. Varshabi was studying graphic design, and he noticed a common problem he and his fellow students were encountering: a lack of high-quality printers for their projects. “The price of the printer is like the same as one month’s rent,” Varshabi says. “I paid my rent to buy a printer actually.” But his risk paid off and, before long, Varshabi had an abundance of student customers for his printing business. "My parents was like, 'Hey you doing all right, you need money?' And I was like 'I don't really need money. If you want money, I can help you, actually,' " he says.  As Varshabi will tell you, it was his entrepreneurial success in Iran that gave him the confidence to pursue other career goals.     “… I started from zero, and I made so much money that I paid my tuition, my rent and I bought a car, I had some savings,” Varshabi says. “So it just gave me so much confidence to do whatever I want to do for myself. I know that there’s no limits now.” 

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In my widely-discussed recent paper on Fox News, I suggested that its Republican bias was hurting the GOP in many ways. One specific example I raised on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” was that Republicans deluded themselves that Mitt Romney was doing better than he really was in 2012 due to cheerleading coverage on Fox, the only...Read More

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Google new photo app, a promising new experience separate from Google+, will surely be arriving later or sooner, but now (thanks to Android Police) we have screenshots of the Android version of the app. What makes the new photo app more exciting is its standalone status from Google+. Separate from Google+ Rumors of a standalone […] The post Google’s New Standalone Photo App: Screenshots Leak appeared first on ValueWalk.

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A growing number of working people use food stamps to help make ends meet. Often they work in retail, food and service industry jobs, where pay is traditionally low. But there’s another group of working people turning to food stamps that might surprise you: active-duty military personnel and their families. What do we know about food stamp use in the military?   Every year the Department of Agriculture publishes data about where food stamp benefits (officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) are being spent. The categories range from grocery stores and super stores to convenience stores and farmers markets. Also on the list, surprisingly, are military commissaries — those stores on military bases that sell groceries just above cost to active duty and retired military personnel and their families, as well as those in the reserves and National Guard.   In 2014 more than $84 million-worth of food stamp benefits were spent at military commissaries. That’s just a fraction of a percent of all the food stamps spent in the U.S. last year. But the number is sobering when you think of who is doing this spending — people who served or are currently serving our country and are still having trouble making ends meet.   Do we know how many active-duty military personnel are on food stamps?   The numbers are hard to come by. Neither the military nor the USDA tally those numbers, but recently the USDA estimated that between 2,000 and 22,000 active-duty military members used food stamps in 2012, the latest data available. (There’s an interesting explanation of how those vastly divergent numbers are arrived at in this PDF, a report from the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission.) These estimates suggest that between 1 percent and 2 percent of active-duty military members used food stamps in 2012.   What about veterans?   The USDA estimates that in 2012, more than 1.5 million veterans used food stamps, or about 7 percent of all veterans.    How low does your income have to be to qualify for food stamps?   Pretty low — though it depends on how big your household is. A single person has to be grossing less than $15,180 a year. For a family of four, the annual income threshold is $31,008.    So what is military pay these days?   If you are a very junior member of the military on active duty, your annual base pay can be less than $19,000. Add in housing and food allowances and it can go up to the high $30,000s. But if you've got a big family, if your spouse isn't working (which, if you're moving around from base to base or if one parent is overseas can often be the case), that money may not go too far. You might very well qualify for food stamps, or at least find yourself struggling to get by.   What kinds of financial challenges face military families?   Jennifer Daelyn grew up in a military family and now runs the Hand Up Youth Food Pantry near Camp Pendleton, the Marine Corps base north of San Diego. When she tells people that she helps a lot of active-duty military families, “often people are really surprised that it's even needed,” she says. “They're like ‘they don't need that — that doesn’t really happen.' But it does.”   Daelyn says she hears common concerns from the military families she serves. “They might have things set up if everything is going as planned, but if unplanned costs arise — someone needed to get new tires for their car, or had an unexpected pregnancy, it's difficult to handle considering the financial situation that they're in.”   And then there’s the added challenge that military families are moved around a lot. “It can be hard to maintain family and social support networks,” Daelyn says. “People who are in different states than their parents, than the kids’ grandparent that was providing support for them emotionally, financially, just with coping.”   Does it matter if military personnel use food stamps?   You could look at the issue of military personnel on food stamps as academic — it’s all government money after all. Does it matter if lower-paid military members are getting part of their paychecks supplemented through one taxpayer-funded program, SNAP, rather than subsisting on their taxpayer-funded paychecks alone?   Others argue it’s just not right that wages for some of those serving in the military haven't kept up with inflation.

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Having previously shown that money can buy happiness, it appears, as Bloomberg reports, that the cost of buying that happiness is soaring. With well-managed government-provided statistics on inflation, why would one look elsewhere for clues as to the declining standards of living across much of America... but look we did and with wages stagnant, the 2900% surge in prices to Disneyland since 1971 makes 'the happeist place on earth' a place only the wealthy can afford to visit.    

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As the war in the gold and silver markets continues to rage, today King World News is warning readers about incredibly important action taking place in the war in the silver market. The post WARNING: Incredibly Important Action Taking Place In The War In The Silver Market appeared first on King World News.

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"Zero Hedge long ago gave up discussing corporate fundamentals due to our long-held tenet that currently the only relevant pieces of financial information are contained in the Fed's H.4.1, H.3 statements... macro economic data now is essentially one big joke."       - Zero Hedge, January 2010   "we have been saying since day one [...] that when it comes to securities price formation in a centrally-planned regime, it is flow not stock that matters."      - Zero Hedge, June 2012   Those were the rantings of a "tinfoil hat-wearing", "conspiracy theory-heavy" website, which dared to speak up time and again against widely-accepeted economic and financial dogma, which has been the foundation of the Fed's flawed experiment now in its 8th year. And they were right. Here is what the global head of credit strategy at Citigroup just said this last Friday. If there were any lingering doubt, this week’s gyrations
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There aren’t a whole lot of 92-year-old theaters left in the country. For the Vista Theatre in Hollywood, success means walking a fine line: adapt to the changing times while holding on to the motif from days gone by. With just one screen, there’s not a lot of room for error. “You can’t make a lot of mistakes here,” owner Lance Alspaugh says. “You can’t book the wrong movie, or you’re gonna be slow for a week or two. It’s very important to always be right.“ If always picking a hit isn’t hard enough, Vista’s success is closely tied to the quality of the movies Hollywood puts out. “[With] all of the technology, there are so many opportunities for people to not go here,” Alspaugh says. “It’s gotta be something unique that’s attractive to the audience, so they can’t wait to see it.” With its 50-foot screen and Dolby speakers, visually impressive movies tend to fare the best. So, how’s business? Alspaugh says things could always be better, but there are frequent surprises: the theater’s recent screening of "Mad Max" was so wildly successful, they decided to keep it for an extra week, pushing back Disney’s "Tomorrowland." Video credits: Produced by Preditorial  www.preditorial.tv Director and Editor: Rick Kent Cinematographer: Anton Seim

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