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How to Replace Austerity with Freedom, Independence and Prosperity

The Economic Collapse Blog has this list of examples of how European-style “austerity” is already hitting the U.S., including cities closing schools and fire stations, and states eliminating whole state agencies and raising taxes. That includes the state of Illinois whose legislature has passed a “temporary” 66% personal income tax hike that the Democrat governor will sign. Rest assured, this income tax hike will be as “temporary” as the one in Massachusetts , still in place since 1989. Such austerity measures may lead to the same kind of social unrest Europeans have been experiencing. The Economic Collapse Blog concludes, We are entering a time of extreme financial stress in America.  The federal government is broke.  Most of our state and local governments are broke.  Record numbers of Americans are going bankrupt.  Record numbers of Americans are being kicked out of their homes.  Record numbers of Americans are now living in poverty. The debt-fueled prosperity of the last several decades came at a cost.  We literally mortgaged the future.  Now nothing will ever be the same again. To say that “nothing will ever be the same again” is just pessimistic and unnecessary. We actually can return to the prosperity of the past, by replacing debt and austerity with freedom and independence. There is no need for Americans to suffer through what European countries are suffering, because nearly all the problems we face are caused by governmental intrusions into many aspects of our personal and economic lives — intrusions by federal, state and local governments. Regardless of the good intentions that the welfare and military socialism statists have in justifying their use of compulsory government powers, what America needs is to cut the shackles of State-imposed dependence, restrictions, regulations, taxation, all those policies of moral relativism that involve violations of the Rule of Law: theft, trespass, denial of Due Process, and other acts of State-initiated criminal aggression. Freeing Americans includes repealing all forms of intrusive presumption-of-guilt regulations and restrictions that are in place having nothing to do with whether any individual is suspected of any crimes against others. Regulations are before-the-fact demands by the government that presume the individual and one’s business guilty, in which one must submit one’s private personal or financial information to the government to prove one’s innocence. Government regulations and arbitrary restrictions are literally searches and seizures by the government of information that is none of anyone else’s business, and effect in the stifling of everyday citizens’ growth and prosperity. Ending all personal income taxes , corporate taxes, estate taxes, and capital gains taxes frees people who own or share in the ownership of businesses — i.e. employers and prospective employers — to invest in their own research and development and in the expansion of their businesses, which is the genuine force behind jobs creation, in both blue collar and white collar sectors. Ending all personal income taxes frees people to explore their own ideas and inventions, and to start their own businesses that will employ more people and advance society further. Also…

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How Not to Stop a Terrorist

Filed in AMAG, BP, deflation, euro, lead, Lear, New Gold, o, silver, target by on January 26, 2011 0 Comments

As Glenn Greenwald predicted, terrorists have attacked the next most logical target. A suicide bomber has caused the death of nearly three dozen people in Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport by attacking a crowded area not subject to rigorous security measures. Mr. Greenwald expected the next terrorist bombing to take place in the crowded lines just before the security checkpoint. Instead, they went for a soft target just outside of the hard target, but it wasn’t quite the soft target Mr. Greenwald expected… The suicide bomber went to the back door instead of the front. The other unguarded end of the airport was attacked: the part just beyond the security line where passengers crowd together to pick up their bags and find ground transportation or meet relatives and friends. “Medvedev Orders Bomb Probe, Threatens Sackings,” reads an Associated Press headline this morning. The article continues… “Medvedev lashed out at law enforcement and airport authorities over the attack at Domodedovo, an international hub and major gateway to Russia, which killed at least eight foreigners… “‘It is clear that there is a systemic failure to provide security for people’ at Domodedovo, said Medvedev. “He ordered the Interior Ministry to recommend transport security officials for dismissal and said authorities found culpable would be held responsible, suggesting they could face prosecution.” Exactly what were security officials supposed to do?: “Domodedovo Airport said it was not responsible for the blast. ‘We fully met all the requirements in the sphere of air transport security for which we are responsible,’ spokeswoman Yelena Galanova said in televised comments.” Domodedovo Airport is like just about every other airport in the world. That is to say, there is no protocol to stop random people from wandering into the baggage claim area. Now I suppose there may be. But I’m not sure it will help. You can “harden” one target all you want; there will still be an unprotect zone just beyond your securest point. Medvedev doesn’t want to accept that… “He urged officials to develop a system that would provide for ‘total checks’ on people and bags at airports.” I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean. Wherever these “total checks” start, there will be people congregating somewhere prior to being totally checked. These people will…

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NYSE Euronext Upgraded to “Outpeform” at Wells Fargo (NYX)

Stock exchange operator NYSE Euronext ( NYX ) on Monday saw its rating, price target, and earnings estimates all raised by analysts at Wells Fargo. The firm said it boosted its rating on NYX from “Market Perform” to “Outperform,” while raising its valuation range from $30-32 to $40-$42. That new range implies a possible 30% upside to the stock’s Friday closing price of $32.38. A Wells Fargo analyst commented, “Following several years of infrastructure buildout and M&A, we believe NYX has improved its competitiveness and service offering. This, coupled with a more optimistic outlook for exchange volumes, positions the company to deliver better growth over the near to medium term, in our view…We are also increasing our 2012 EPS estimate to $2.95 from $2.87.” NYSE shares rose 22 cents, or +0.7%, in premarket trading Monday. The Bottom Line Shares of NYSE Euronext ( NYX ) have a 3.71% dividend yield, based on Friday’s closing stock price of $32.38. The stock has technical support in the $28-$30 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $34-$35 price levels. NYSE Euronext ( NYX ) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars. Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .

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Raising the Debt Ceiling

Filed in BP, Debt, euro, european union, Gold, GOld juniors, Gold Market, lead, o, obama, silver, stimulus, target by on January 21, 2011 0 Comments
Raising the Debt Ceiling

The United States government seems to enjoy spending our money with the zeal of a rap star. They like it so much, in fact, that they’re going to need a little more from you… Last week, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warned Congress that this year’s statutory limit on federal debt will be reached as early as spring — between March 31st and May 16th. Geithner alerted congressional leaders saying: Even a very short-term or limited default would have catastrophic economic consequences that would last for decades. For these reasons, I am requesting that Congress act to increase the limit early this year, well before the threat of default becomes imminent. I don’t buy it. We’ve already been down this road before… Bush’s TARP and Obama’s Economic Stimulus effectively did the same thing. And look what happened: more than 90% of the money went right to the banks, where it still resides. Bush and Obama did their jobs. They protected the banks at all costs. And that was, of course, the design from the start. To bring confidence back into the U.S. system, we’re simply going to have to cut out the reckless spending. This would point America in the right direction and reduce the risk of a default or devaluation that looms in our near future. Unfortunately, this does not appear to be the road our politicians want to take. ~~SIGNUP_WD~~ The trouble with this train wreck of a debt picture is that rates are going to have to go higher in the near future. That’s because the folks who have been buying our debt over the course of the last 30 years are no longer interested in our new debt offerings at current interest rates. Not only are they not interested in buying our new debt; but they’ve decided to dump the Treasury paper they already have. This puts the U.S. in a tricky situation. To make our obsessive borrowing more attractive, we’ll have to continue to raise rates. This is where things really start to go south… And the whole of society could fail because of unsustainable spending and debt scenarios at every level of government worldwide. This was typical of every other empire our world has ever known before their ultimate collapse: the Spanish, Greek, Roman, and British Empires all came to an end because they spent themselves into oblivion— just as the European Union, England, Japan, and the U.S. are doing today. Just consider how truly desperate some situations have become… Last week, the state of Illinois increased personal income tax by 66% and corporate income tax by 45%. These increases are designed to address a $15 billion state budget deficit that lawmakers said was leading the state into insolvency. How long is it before we start seeing headlines that include “State Bankruptcy”? On its current path, the United States could not possibly meet all of its future obligations. And the end game could mean collapse. That means as an investor, you need to get your ducks in a row. The

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Telefonica (TEF) Calls Up Growth and Value

Filed in Bank Gold, euro, o by on January 17, 2011 0 Comments
Telefonica (TEF) Calls Up Growth and Value

Filed under: International Markets , Newsletters , Stocks to Buy , Telefonica SA (TEF) “Telefonica SA ( TEF ) is a member of our model portfolio; it meets 100% of the criteria we use in our James P. O’Shanghnessy growth and value model,” notes John Reese . The editor of Validea explains, “The company operates in three business areas: Telefonica Spain, Telefonica Latin America and Telefonica Europe.” He continues, “The O’Shanghnessy approach — called the Cornerstone Value Strategy — looks for large, well known companies whose market cap is greater than $1 billion. Continue reading Telefonica (TEF) Calls Up Growth and Value Telefonica (TEF) Calls Up Growth and Value originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Mon, 17 Jan 2011 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink | Email this | Comments

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Tupperware Downgraded at Goldman Sachs on Euro Concerns (TUP)

Filed in dividend, earnings, euro, Gold, Gold Investing, goldman sachs, o, shares, target by on January 12, 2011 0 Comments

Consumer products maker Tupperware Brands Corporation ( TUP ) on Wednesday saw its rating and earnings estimates lowered by analysts at Goldman Sachs. The firm said it cut TUP from “Buy” to “Neutral” with a $57 price target, which still implies a 21% upside to the stock’s Tuesday closing price of $47.30. Goldman also cut its earnings estimates for the company, citing concerns over the weak Euro. Tupperware shares were mostly flat in premarket trading Wednesday. The Bottom Line Shares of Tupperware ( TUP ) have a 2.54% dividend yield, based on last night’s closing stock price of $47.30. The stock has technical support in the $44 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $50-$52 price levels. Tupperware Brands Corporation ( TUP ) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars. Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .

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Market Wrap-Up for Jan.10 (DUK, PGN, DD, SLE, STRA, more)

Filed in Debt, dividend, downgrade, earnings, euro, Gold Investment, o, shares, upgrade by on January 10, 2011 0 Comments

According to Standard & Poor’s (S&P), U.S. companies added $26.5 billion to dividend payments in 2010, with $8 billion of that increased amount coming in the fourth quarter. 1,729 companies increased dividend payouts, compared to 1,191 companies recording increases in 2009. Only 145 companies decreased dividend payments in 2010, versus the 804 that did so in 2009. Now that the markets are no longer worried about the expiration of the Bush-Era tax cuts, we can get back to the show at hand. Rising dividends and increased deal-making will likely keep a decent foundation under the price of stocks as we head further out into 2011. Remember, a sideways market isn’t a bad thing when it comes to dividend-paying stocks, since you get paid just for owning them! Everyone that reads our stuff knows that we think dividend-stock investing is a must for building long-term wealth, as well as creating new income streams. Personal Finance legend Suze Orman has a new book coming out this March titled “Money Class”, and she has been talking about dividend investing as part of her game plan as we head into 2011. She continues to see a bit of a shift away from bonds, and into quality dividend-paying stocks and dividend ETFs. I hope everyone had a great weekend (it was great for us Jets fans and some of the others who’s teams pulled out wins as well as the NFL playoffs kicked off). Sports aside, I hope everyone has given thought to what I wrote last week about sitting down with family members and bring everyone …

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Big Ben’s Stimulus Party: Only the Top 20% Received an Invite

Big Ben’s Stimulus Party: Only the Top 20% Received an Invite

What if they threw a recovery party and only the top 20% showed up? It looks like we are about to find out….. From the Telegraph by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard entitled: Deepening crisis traps America’s have nots “ The US is drifting from a financial crisis to a deeper and more insidious social crisis. Self-congratulation by the US authorities that they have this time avoided a repeat of the 1930s is premature. There is a telling detail in the US retail chain store data for December. Stephen Lewis from Monument Securities points out that luxury outlets saw an 8.1pc rise from a year ago, but discount stores catering to America’s poorer half rose just 1.2pc. Tiffany’s, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue are booming. Sales of Cadillac cars have jumped 35pc, while Porsche’s US sales are up 29pc. Cartier and Louis Vuitton have helped boost the luxury goods stock index by almost 50pc since October. Yet Best Buy, Target, and Walmart have languished. Such is the blighted fruit of Federal Reserve policy. The Fed no longer even denies that the purpose of its latest blast of bond purchases, or QE2, is to drive up Wall Street, perhaps because it has so signally failed to achieve its other purpose of driving down borrowing costs. Yet surely Ben Bernanke’s `trickle down’ strategy risks corroding America’s ethic of solidarity long before it does much to help America’s poor. The retail data can be quirky but…

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Puritanism, Paternalism, and Power

Filed in BP, deflation, euro, lead, o, Progressive, target, ubs, US Dollar by on January 10, 2011 0 Comments

“Live and let live” would appear to be a simple, sensible guide to social life, but obviously many Americans reject this creed with a vengeance. They find toleration so unpleasant that they support the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of individuals whose personal behavior they regard as offensive. Why do so many Americans favor the use of coercive sanctions to enforce repression? Perhaps the answer lies in our history… Puritanism Politicians and other patriotic posturers like to declare that the Europeans came to America seeking freedom. The claim is at best a half-truth. In the colonial era, most Europeans arrived in North America bound in some form of indentured servitude, many of them children or convicts put out to work. Disregarding such servants, one finds that the free colonists sought mainly to improve their economic well-being. To be sure, some of them, including the early arrivals in Massachusetts, were fleeing religious oppression, but the Pilgrim Fathers had absolutely no intention of establishing a community in which individuals would be free to behave according to the dictates of their own consciences. The Puritans had already seen the light, and, by God, they intended to use all necessary means to ensure that everybody comply with Puritan standards. Far from free, their “City upon a Hill” was a hard-handed theocracy. For them, pleasure seemed the devil’s snare. Their vision of the good life was austere, and they looked askance on the possibility that others might embrace hedonism. In H.L. Mencken’s famous characterization, Puritanism was “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” Moreover, if the Puritans suspected that someone might be having fun, they had no compunction about using government coercion…

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EURUSD Weekly Summary: Slipped below the neckline, Euro could hit 1.2700 – 1.2600

Filed in euro, Gold, Gold Bullion prices, lead, o, silver by on January 8, 2011 0 Comments
EURUSD Weekly Summary:  Slipped below the neckline, Euro could hit 1.2700 – 1.2600

EURUSD Weekly Summary: Slipped below the neckline, Euro could hit 1.2700 – 1.2600 next week The EURUSD had a significant bearish movement this week, made a big bearish candle on weekly chart, hit 1.2900 support area and slipped below the neckline of the head and shoulders pattern as you can see on my daily chart below, suggests potential bearish continuation scenario testing 1.2700 – 1.2600 area next week especially if price able to make convincing move below the neckline and 1.2900 support level. Immediate resistance at 1.3020 (Friday’s high). Break above that area could trigger further upside correction testing 1.3150 region and lead us back to a range market, but unless we have big surprise on Euro fundamental condition that could create a sentiment shift , I think overall the pressure should remain strongly bearish. Have a great weekend and see you guys next week.

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Watching Paint Dry

Watching Paint Dry

January Crude closes virtually unchanged on the day but as we’ve hinted in recent blogs we think there is more work to be done on the downside. The “whippiness” continues in Natural Gas with prices down 3.7% today. We’ve gone from bullish to bearish back to bullish and prefer the sidelines for clients in this indecisive environment. Though we’ve yet to get a clear signal, some of our more aggressive clients opted to get short the S&P today. We are not advising futures at this juncture, but our suggestion would be purchasing 75-100 point March ES put spreads. This may be premature, but if prices were to start rolling over, we think a quick 4-6% move lower could be captured. The 20 day MA continues to be the pivot point in the US dollar; in December that level is 79.70.We continue to suggest buying dips in the Euro, Pound and Swissie. Inside day in both Gold and Silver. For the first time in several months, we think the path of least resistance is lower in both precious metals. In February Gold our target remains $1330, and in March Silver $27. The USDA grain stocks report comes out tomorrow before the market open. Here are the average estimates in millions of bushels from one of our more informed floor traders: Corn 803, Wheat 849, and Soybeans 167. We advised most of our clients to lighten up in their profitable Corn positions. We remain bullish, but don’t like carrying trades into potentially market moving reports. The only real excitement in the softs sector was Lumber moving up limit, or 3.85% today. Nearly a 10% appreciation in the last three sessions. We feel there is more upside, but suggest waiting for a retracement if you are not already long. Risk Disclosure:

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When will it end?

Filed in economy, euro, Gold, Gold Futures, Gold Investing, o, silver, silver futures, ubs by on January 8, 2011 0 Comments
When will it end?

We had expected trading to slow down by this time but the volumes are still there and we’re seeing plenty of tradable action. $87.50-88 has served as major support in February Crude for the last week and that continued in today’s session. We’re starting to think we may not get a break lower, on a settlement above $90 we will advise clients to start initiating longs again. February natural gas was higher by 4.2% today trading back over the 50 day MA. Aggressive traders could scale into February futures or purchase February or March 50 cent call spreads. If trading futures place stops below the contract lows; which also may serve as a triple bottom…stay tuned. A fresh 10′ high in the indices but we’re still looking for a correction in the coming weeks. We’ve yet to advise clients to short futures but do still like the idea of purchasing March ES put spreads. Looking at the charts it appears we may get a 2-3% appreciation in the dollar index in the coming weeks. If that plays out we feel the best way to trade is selling rallies in the Euro, Swissie or Pound. Live cattle traded back above the 20 day MA but settled just below that level. Aggressive traders can start re-establishing longs as we feel into next year we could see new contract highs followed by

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