Sunday, January 29, 2017

Observations and Sample of Trades ( RVT, PYT, TGHA, IDE): 1/29/2017 /The GOP and First Amendment Conservative Values

President Trump and the Alleged Rampant Voter Fraud That Cost Him the Popular Vote:  

The Orange King, possibly a direct lineal descendant of the Sun King, is certain that 3 or 4 million voted illegally for Hillary, relying on the work of someone called Greg Phillips who purports to have the names of 3 million people who voted illegally in the last election. 

Phillips was questioned by Andrew Cuomo about his findings. Possible source of Trump's mass voter fraud claim says proof is on the way - I would recommend viewing that interview after putting your ideology in your pocket and viewing this cross examination as you would as a juror during trial. Is Phillips remotely credible? 

He is just a guy, who worked in the 1980s and 1990s in the Mississippi and Alabama republican parties who has an organization somewhere called VoteStand. Maybe that is an just an APP that can be downloaded by disgruntled white men who discover illegal voting by non-white people at elections. 

He has been making this claim, which Trump accepts as true, without providing anyone with proof.

NBC has some of this tweets from Mr. Phillips: 

No matter what Obama or anyone else says, the only entity that hacked election systems was Obama's Department of Homeland Security." 

"The most tyrannical result of Obama's eight years was weaponization of Government against the people."


True Believer? 


Birds of a feather flock together? I will answer that one. Yes they do. 

I can see why the Orange King finds him so appealing and trustworthy. 

I would also recommend reading the transcript of David Muir's interview with Trump. 

Here are two excerpts: 

Quotes From Interview

"DAVID MUIR: Do you think that that talking about millions of illegal votes is dangerous to this country without presenting the evidence?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, not at all.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Not at all because many people feel the same way that I do. And ...
DAVID MUIR: You don't think it undermines your credibility if there’s no evidence?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, not at all because they didn't come to me. Believe me. Those were Hillary votes. And if you look at it they all voted for Hillary. They all voted for Hillary. They didn't vote for me. I don't believe I got one. Okay, these are people that voted for Hillary Clinton. And if they didn't vote, it would've been different in the popular." (emphasis added)
DAVID MUIR: What you have presented so far has been debunked. It's been called ...
DAVID MUIR: ... false.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, it hasn't. Take a look at the Pew reports.
DAVID MUIR: I called the author of the Pew report last night. And he told me that they found no evidence of voter ...
DAVID MUIR: ... fraud.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Really? Then why did he write the report?
DAVID MUIR: He said no evidence of voter fraud.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Excuse me, then why did he write the report?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: According to Pew report, then he's -- then he's groveling again. You know, I always talk about the reporters that grovel when they wanna write something that you wanna hear but not necessarily millions of people wanna hear or have to hear."
End of Quotes: 
Trump is certain that (1) three to five million votes were cast illegally; (2) everyone one of those votes went to Hillary; and (3) the author of the Pew report has changed his tune and is now groveling again. 
By the way, among the people registered in two states are Steve Bannon (Trump's close advisor), Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner (Chief Guru), Trump's Press Secretary (the Alternate Fact Guy) and Trump's daughter Tiffany. Trump is certain that every single person who is registered in two states voted for Hillary. Proof is no longer necessary before a U.S. President makes that kind of statement. Perhaps his investigation into voting fraud needs to dig deep into whether or not his inner circle are sleeper agents of the vast Left-Wing Creeping Socialism Conspiracy by voting for Hillary.   
What does this tell you about Trump? 

Does it suggest that he is even capable of exercising good judgment after gathering the facts or is he perpetually engaged in his own reality creations? 

Again, look at it as a juror performing their duty to reach the right verdict.  

‘Up Is Down’; Black is White; Lies are True; True is False; Make America Great Again= Newspeak

Who Is Gregg Phillips, the Man Trump Name-Checked to Prove Voter Fraud? - NBC News

Fact-check: Did 3 million undocumented immigrants vote in this year's election? | PunditFact

The Houston Chronicle has an interesting story about Mr. Phillips, Trump's voting fraud source, that was published in 2005.

I have # hired thousands of researchers to look into Trump's claim that it won the popular vote. After an exhaustive study and having access to a huge database containing all pertinent records, my researchers first found that Trump actually won California by 5 million votes before even considering the 1.5 million votes cast by non-citizens (or "people who are not angry white people") for Hillary (and we know those votes were all cast for Hillary by examining each and every secret ballot available on the internet). We have pictures of non -white election officials with purple hair and rings in their noses dumping Trump votes into the Pacific Ocean which accounts for the disparity in the vote count. In due time, we will provide the press with all of evidence as soon as it is ready for public dissemination. We have to check all of our facts and figures first before providing the evidence on this matter. (# Alternate Facts)

And now we have Jeff Sessions, who has already reached the same conclusion as Trump without any evidence (remember-no longer required), leading an inquiry into voter fraud demanded by Trump because he lost the popular vote and he will not accept it. 2016 National Popular Vote Tracker (Final) We can all rest assured that Jeff Sessions has our back and will go that extra mile to protect and defend civil and constitutional rights.
 Can't we?  

There is certainly reason for True Conservatives, the antithesis of the Modern Day GOP, to be concerned that this "investigation" is merely a pretext for GOP controlled states to pass more restrictive voter laws in order to suppress non-whites from voting. 

When Trump and other GOP tribe members identify where this massive voting fraud occurs, needless to say they omit any reference to white rural America, overwhelmingly filled with the 62.979+M Trump voters, but refer only to geographic areas where there are high concentrations of non-white voters.  

What is this really about? 

I just call balls and strikes as I see them and others can draw their own conclusions. IMO, the evidence supports only one conclusion.   

For a long time now, the GOP has been engaged in a transparent attempt to undermine and discredit institutions essential for the proper functioning of a Democracy in order to acquire and maintain political power. Trump has simply increased those efforts in a more transparent and obvious way.  

Undermine the truth=Undermine Democracy. That should be Trump's slogan rather than Make America Great Again.   

Almost 63M adults voted for Trump and they knew exactly what kind of man they were putting in the Oval Office. 

Trump never tried to obfuscate who he was, like so many other politicians, and he is doing now and will continue to do what most, if not all of those 63M voters wanted him to do. 


The Party of Individual Liberty Stands Firm on Religious Freedom- Yes of Course We Love IT*  

(*Except for Muslims, other Non-White Religions or whatever angry and fearful white middle age men do not like)

The Tennessee GOP tribe members were up in arms a few years back when the Republican Governor Haslam hired for God's Sake One of Those Muslims trying to bring Sharia Law to Tennessee. Now don't get on me for that sentence. I am only a messenger here. 

Yes, that republican traitor hired a young lady by the name of Samar Ali, who was born in the middle of nowhere Waverly, TN and graduated with honors from Vanderbilt and its law school, as the international director in Tennessee's Economic Development Department.

Samar Ali ’06 (BS’03) | News | Law School | Vanderbilt University

Ms. Ali is now an attorney with the blue blood and white shoe Nashville law firm of Bass, Berry & Sims and had worked as a White House Fellow to assist in the fight against ISIS.

Republicans were certain that Ali and the Governor were trying to bring the Tennessee Economic Development Department into compliance with Sharia law, arguing that this young lady was an "agent of financial jihadists" She was in deep cover to be sure and where better to hide her than in Waverly. Anti-muslim website says Bill Haslam promotes the interests of radical Islamists | PolitiFact TennesseeTennessee Tea Partiers To GOP Gov: Stop Employing Muslims and Gays

The following linked article, published in the Nashville Scene, which quotes statements made by GOP tribe members, is instructive on their "thought" process: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Shari ... Look Out It's Behind You!

The republicans in my county even passed this resolution:

"Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has elevated and/or afford [sic] preferential political status to Sharia adherents in Tennessee, thereby aiding and abetting the advancement of an ideology and doctrine which is wholly incompatible with the Constitution of the United States and the Tennessee Constitution,"

I am not making this up. Perhaps they need a grade school student to write their resolutions from now on. 

Being someone of a stickler for what the Constitution actually says, I would have to say that the Williamson County GOP resolution is wholly incompatible with the Constitution of the United States and the the Tennessee Constitution. (important to remain anonymous where I live)  

{Proof and facts do not matter. An accusation or allegation is the same as a fact. Just a more modern and less slick version of McCarthyism, named for Senator Joseph McCarthy (R).} 

To make matters far worse, the Governor had also hired one of Them Homosexuals too.

To make matters worse than worse, and how could any republican do this (unless he was a communist, Jihadist or even worse, a Democrat), Haslam vetoed a bill passed by the GOP controlled legislature that would have made the Bible the official book of Tennessee. The GOP representatives came so very close to overriding that traitor's veto, making Tennessee the first state to pass such a law. Bid to override Haslam veto of Bible as Tennessee book fails | Fox News 

The Supreme Court will soon get straightened out good and for a long time on this First Amendment separation of church and state nonsense. Soon enough, children in our schools will be bobbing their heads up and down reciting the bible, though there will still be a class on creationism and field trips to the Creation Museum where children can see Adam and Eve walking with the dinosaurs. A. A. Gill on Kentucky's Creation Museum | Vanity Fair
Creation Museum - Religion - The New York Times

Trump fits right into this mind set. And, I am not referring to the mind set of Tennessee's Governor.

Immigration EO and the Vetting Process: Try Waterboarding Immigrants?

While the vetting process for Syrian refugees averages 18 to 24 months, and Trump claims without of course any evidence that the existing process is insufficient, he has barred by Executive Order, effective immediately, anyone entering the U.S. from "terror" prone nations (i.e. 7 Muslim countries) for 90 days. Full text of Trump's executive order on 7-nation ban, refugee suspension -

Oddly, no American has been killed by an immigrant from those seven countries: 

Five Reasons Congress Should Repeal Trump’s Immigrant & Refugee Ban | Cato @ Liberty

Keep your huddled masses: Donald Trump gets tough on refugees | The Economist

Terrorism and Immigration: A Risk Analysis | Cato Institute ("Including those murdered in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11), the chance of an American perishing in a terrorist attack on U.S. soil that was committed by a foreigner over the 41-year period studied here is 1 in 3.6 million per year.")

What I find interesting is that Saudi Arabia is not on that list. My memory is a bit foggy at times, but I can still remember that most of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia (15). 

The others were from Egypt (1), Lebanon (1) and the United Arab Emirates (2) who are not among those 7 countries either. 

I don't want to be a stickler here, but Bin Laden, the guy who put that plan in motion, was a rich Saudi, and there is some evidence that other powerful Saudis supported the attack. Just forget about that I suppose. 

September 11th Hijackers Fast Facts -

Claims of Saudi Role in 9/11 Appear Headed for Manhattan Court - The New York Times

Trump's EO on immigrations has the look of a law passed by the House and Senate and then signed by our Great Leader. Alas, that is no longer necessary.  Donald knows what is best for the country and over 62M U.S. citizens support him. 

Right Brain wanted to know what new measures are included in the GOP's new extreme vetting process that will identify those radical Islamic Terrorists.

Since Trump likes torture and approves of waterboarding (torture is an approved core GOP conservative value now), maybe his solution will be for the U.S. to waterboard every refugee seeking entry into the U.S. until we get the truth out of them.

The CIA can tell them that we will stop the waterboarding when they admit to being a terrorist.

That will prove that waterboarding works as a screening tool.

My suggestion is that the refugees might want to reconsider their requests for entry into the Land of the Free and just go to Canada or some other civilized nation where Reality Creations and Fear Mongering by Demagogues are not the Soup Du Jour. 

The Canada P.M. issued a statement responding to Trump that Canada will welcome Syrian refugees turned away from America by the GOP. World blasts Trump's refugee move, although some cheer it

Wonder and Worry, as a Syrian Child Transforms-The New York Times (reference is to a Syrian child now living in Canada)

After reading that article in the Times about Syrian refugees in Canada, I can understand why 41% of Americans want a wall built along the border with Canada.

Somehow, those Crazy Canucks found out about that poll and tried to make a big deal out it: 41% of Americans would support a wall on the Canadian border: poll - Trending - CBC News

What they have not heard -yet -is that the GOP will want Canada to pay for it. 

If the U.S. had won the Battle of Quebec (1775), the GOP would not have this Canadian problem now since Canada would be part of the U.S. Invasion of Quebec (1775) - Wikipedia

Canada (#) is letting those terrorists in without the proper vetting (i.e. waterboarding). Once the Mexican terrorist route is closed off, then they will flow in like locust from Canada. Of course, and this goes without saying, our southern wall will keep out the rapists, drugs (?) and child molesters who speak Spanish as well (# Warning: Reality Creations & Alternate Facts) 

I am sure glad that the drug flow into this country will soon end. Personally I do not use any, nor do I even drink alcoholic beverages. But those white drug users who voted for Donald might think twice about doing it again. You don't want to piss off too many white  voters, which is my advice to the GOP.  

A ship full of refugees fleeing the Nazis once begged the U.S. for entry. They were turned back. - The Washington Post (bad result from that U.S. action)

GOP's Religion Test for Immigration:

Jihadists are already using the GOP's Muslim ban in their propaganda campaign, so more than just Trump supporters are happy about the immigration EO.  Jihadist groups hail Trump’s travel ban as a victory - The Washington PostOfficials worry that U.S counterterrorism defenses will be weakened by Trump actions - The Washington Post

Maybe there are two republicans who view Trump's actions as a gift to Jihadists. Trump bashes McCain, Graham after they call travel ban ‘self-inflicted wound’ - MarketWatch

Trump has also suspended by Executive Order the U.S. Refugee Admissions program for 120 days when it will be reinstated only from countries (i.e. Not Muslim countries) where proper vetting can take place in Trump's judgment. (reference here is to Trump's cabinet, but I am going to shorten that to Trump himself for the sake of accuracy)

There is a a thinly veiled reference in the Order that gives preference to immigration by Christians. Trump signs executive order to keep out 'radical Islamic terrorists' -

This is the GOP's religious screening test, which they try unsuccessfully to hide for anyone with functioning brain cells, in the verbiage: 

"(e) Notwithstanding the temporary suspension imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest -- including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement, or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship -- and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States."

Question: Are Christians a religious minority in Muslim nations? 

Donald swears up and down this is not a Muslim ban. Trump defends order: 'It's not a Muslim ban' | TheHill

Rudy Giuliani says Trump tasked him to craft 'Muslim ban' - NY Daily News

Paul Ryan agrees with him. Neither Trump nor Ryan are conservatives. The GOP is not a conservative party. Stocks, Bonds & Politics: Paul Ryan is a Reactionary (Not a Conservative)-An Advocate of a Gilded Age Political Philosophy (8/15/12 Post)Stocks, Bonds & Politics: GOP's Plan To Bankrupt the Middle Class (7/15/2011 Post); Stocks, Bonds & Politics: What is the Appropriate Political Label (1/3/2009 Post); Stocks, Bonds & Politics: Radical Reactionaries (10/19/13 Post)Conservative or Delusional Reactionaries? (3/13/2010 Post)Stocks, Bonds & Politics: Accurate Information is Not a Side to an Issue/Lying Works In Politics (12/21/2008 Post)Stocks, Bonds & Politics: Is the Failure to Learn from History Consistent with Conservatism? (2/4/2009 Post); Stocks, Bonds & Politics: GOP and the Lochner Era (1/31/2009 Post)Stocks, Bonds & Politics:  Going to War Decisions: Conservative or Liberal vs. Competent or Incompetent? (12/28/2008 Post); Stocks, Bonds & Politics: Is Conservatism Consistent with Support of Bush's Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (4/23/2009 Post)Stocks, Bonds & Politics: Regulations and Conservatism (2/4/2009 Post)Stocks, Bonds & Politics: Ideology and Facts: Coexistence Not Allowed (12/22/2008 Post)Stocks, Bonds & Politics: "Conservative" ideologues: Blame it all on minorities (1/2/2009 Post)


Trump's extreme vetting for refugees? Already here

Trump says Syrian refugees aren’t vetted. We are. Here’s what we went through. - The Washington Post

Trump's 'extreme vetting' order sows seeds of panic - BBC News

Let's Send Our Home Grown White Male Terrorists To Syria-My Reverse Immigration Plan:  

I was wondering, though, whether we can ship our home grown terrorists to Syria.

The KKK and the American Nazi Party now have a strong voice in the White House that talks to the President daily.

But that started me wondering some more. 

Are White Nationalists that murder and terrorize U.S. citizens terrorists? 

I was under the impression that they were, but I am not into the latest "conservative" thoughts on these issues. 

White Nationalists, Racists, Sexists and Neo-Nazis are now "conservatives" apparently.  

I must have slept through their conversion and rebranding process, sort of a sleep that lasted twice as long as Washington Irving's Rip Van Wrinkle's somnolence. 

I did read over the weekend a report that the woman who accused a 14 year African American child, Emmett Till, of touching her (a capital offense), admitted that she lied. 

Emmett was taken from his home, some liberals would call that kidnapping, and beaten to death. 

His mother wanted the world to see what was done to her child and photos of the result can be found in numerous places. 

The white men who "allegedly" committed the murder and admitted to forcefully taking him from his home were acquitted of murder and kidnapping by a Georgia jury, which goes without saying. Woman Linked to 1955 Emmett Till Murder Tells Historian Her Claims Were False - The New York TimesEmmett Till’s Murder: What Really Happened That Day in the Store? - The New York Times 

Are those White Men terrorists? How about that  Dylann Roof  and countless others?

There is certainly no shortage of home grown terrorists in the U.S. 

And what about those Saudis who actually did commit the largest terrorist attack on U.S. soil in history. Why didn't Donald ban Saudis from traveling to the U.S. while doing this to a family from Iraq, ‘Donald Trump destroyed my life,’ says barred Iraqi who worked for U.S. - The Washington Post or to a Syrian trying to visit her hospitalized mother: A Syrian woman flew to the U.S. to see her hospitalized mother. She was forced to turn around. - The Washington Post

The Lying Free Press

As Donald just said, journalists are  “among the most dishonest human beings on earth.”  

The following sample of articles proves once again why America needs to get rid of the lying free press. 

I am just trying to channel the new Groupthink and Newspeak now. I may need some practice, but I am 100% certain that I will be fluent in Newspeak within 4 years.

No one should be allowed to write the following linked stories about our President and his Chief Advisor. 

Proof of Donald's assertion about the lying free press can be found primarily in journalists pointing out the lies that pour out of our Commander in Chiefs mouth and these kind of articles:  

Does Donald Trump's Personality Make Him Dangerous? | The Report | US News;

The US has elected its most dangerous leader. We all have plenty to fear-The Guardian;

We Are Running Out of Ways to Say That President Trump Is a Dangerous, Delusional Lunatic | GQ;

Trump’s careless ignorance could make him the world’s most dangerous man - LA TimesWhy Trump is now the most dangerous man in the world | TheHill

So let's just shut the press down. Everyone had enough already? It's the only alternative left to salvage our freedoms. Did I say that right. Yes, that looks about right. Might as well shut down the courts infested with liberal lice as well starting with the judge who stayed Steve Bannon's EO. I meant to say Donald's EO. Was he a Mexican? 

That Press Secretary, what's his name, can tell us all we need to know from now on. Isn't he a trustworthy guy? 

Freedom from being a responsible and informed citizen will be so refreshing for everyone. I am already feeling better.  What a load has been lifted off my shoulders. 

More examples, if more are needed, supporting a law requiring journalists to keep their mouths shut. 

We can dispense with Congress passing a law. 

Steve Bannon can write it for us, save time and money. 

Trump’s David Duke Amnesia

‘No Vacancies’ for Blacks: How Donald Trump Got His Start, and Was First Accused of Bias - The New York Times

Trump gives Stephen Bannon National Security Council role

Who Is Steve Bannon - 14 Facts About Donald Trump's Chief Strategist-Cosmopolitan

White nationalists see advocate in Steve Bannon who will hold Trump to his campaign promises -

KKK, American Nazi Party praise Trump's hiring of Bannon | TheHill

Donald Trump Picks White Nationalist Hero as Top White House Advisor | Vanity Fair

My thinking is that we need to allow Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller  to write all legislation for the country and to publish them as Executive Orders or just S & S Orders (or just shorten it to SS), rather than leaving it up to those politicians in Congress who can still give an advisory vote up or down.  

I learned from Mr. Miller, reading some of his "scholarly" and "well researched" articles that the pay gap is due to women wanting to work in lower paying jobs and for fewer hours. Sorry feminists | The Chronicle  

To be frank about this, I suspect that more than a few Trump white male voters (few defined here in terms of millions) would express the same thoughts as Miller in the Locker Room, where their wives can't hear them talk about what is really in their minds including their many conquests that would make the Donald so proud of them.


1. Short Term Bond/CD Ladder Basket Strategy 

A. Bought 2 Enterprise Bank & Trust .7% CDs (monthly interest) Maturing on 10/31/17

Common Stock Quote  Enterprise Financial Services (EFSC)(holding company)

Enterprise SEC Filings

Enterprise sold a 4.75% fixed-to-floating rate subordinated note a few weeks ago. The fixed coupon rate lasts until 11/1/2021. Enterprise may call on or after that date. Unless redeemed early at the issuer's option, the notes mature on 11/1/2026. The floating rate which starts on 11/1/21 is 338.7 basis points (3.387%) above the 3 month Libor rate. Bond Detail It is standard for a U.S. issuer to have the option to redeem when the security transitions from a fixed coupon to a floating rate and thereafter at its option. 

I do not expect an increase in the federal funds rate at the October 31st meeting, but do anticipate one in December 2017 and another in July 2017 or earlier. 

I currently view two .25% hikes as the most likely scenario for 2017, with three hikes being more likely than just one. 

I am clustering the maturities accordingly with that future forecast. 

Famous Forecasting Quotes --Exeter University ("If you have to forecast, forecast often")

B. Bought 2 Trustmark  .6% CDs Maturing on 5/2/2017

Common Stock Quote: Trustmark Corp. (TRMK)  SEC Filings 2016 4th Quarter Earnings

All of my CD purchases fall under FDIC insurance. Nonetheless, I still view the bank's solvency to be the first line of defense and would not want to rely on the FDIC fallback ever.

I have owned Trustmark's stock in the past. Item # Bought 100 TRMK at $23.12 (8/9/14)Item # 6 Bought:  50 TRMK at $22.73 (5/10/14 Post)Bought 50 TRMK at $21.54 (11/26/12Post); Bought 50 TRMK at $19.57 (8/21/2010 Post)

I do not currently own the common stock viewing it to be too richly at 22.8 times TTM GAAP earnings based on a closing price of $33.95.

Trustmark Corporation Announces 2016 Financial Results

C. Bought 2 Huntington Bank .8% CDs Maturing on 8/15/17

I have also owned HBAN in the past but have sold out of my position. 

Huntington SEC Filings 

Earnings Report for the 2016 4th Quarter 

It looks like this ladder is heading toward $300K. 

D. Bought 1 Statoil 1.15% Senior Unsecured Bond Maturing 5/15/18

FINRA does not show the S & P rating for Statoil's senior unsecured debt. The preceding snapshot shows that S & P has assigned a A+ rating with Moody's at Aa3.  

The snapshot shows a 1.156% current yield and a 1.573% YTM. There is not much of a spread between my total cost and par value, but there is also not that much time until par value is paid. YTM takes both into account. 

I am building up a maturity cluster in the May-July 2018 time frame. 

So far, I have the following short term bonds and CDs maturing in that time frame. 

SU= Senior Unsecured

2 Northeast Utilities 1.45% SU 5/1/18

1 Citigroup 1.75% SU 5/1/18
2 Apple 1% SU 5/3/18
1 Enterprise Products 1.65% SU 5/7/18
2 Corning  1.5% SU 5/8/18
2 J.P. Morgan 1.625% SU 5/8/18
1 Statoil 1.15% SU  5/15/18
1 U.S. Treasury 1%  5/15/18
1 Wisconsin Electric 1.7% SU 5/15/18  
2 Qualcomm 1.4% SU 5/18/18 
1 Paccar 1.4% SU 5/18/18
2 Merck 1/3% SU 5/18/18
2 American Express 1.55% SU 5/18/18
1 Treasury Note 5/31/18 .875% 5/31/18
1 Southern Company 1.5% SU 6/1/18 
2 Pfizer 1.2% SU 6/1/18
1 Southern Company 1.55% SU 7/1/18 
1 Kraft Heinz Foods 2% SU 7/2/18
2 Capital One CDs 1.4% 7/11/18
1 U. S. Treasury .875% 7/15/18

Principal Amount = $29K

I will add some fillers to that list  in both June and July but not in May.  

2: Securities That Pay the Greater of a Fixed Coupon or a Spread Above the 3 Month Libor:

This type of security provides a measure of low inflation/deflation and problematic inflation in the same security. The security addresses the problematic inflation scenario through the 3 month Libor float provision. The low inflation/deflation scenario is addressed through the minimum coupon.

It is the type of security that I will buy opportunistically and trade. I started to buy this type of security in 2008. None of the ones that I have owned have increased their coupons above the minimum rate due to the low Libor rates. That may be about to change.

A. Bought Back 50 PYT at $19.78 Using a Commission Free Trade

This security is similar to GYB which I have discussed several times recently. 
Update For Exchange Traded Bond And Preferred Stock Basket Strategy As Of 7/13/16 - South Gent | Seeking Alpha

PYT makes quarterly interest payments at  the greater of a 3% coupon or .85% above the 3 month Libor rate applied to a $25 par value. There is a maximum coupon of 8%. 


The underlying bond owned by the Grantor Trust is a Goldman Sachs 6.345% junior bond (a trust preferred) that matures on 2/15/34. That bond has a $1K par value and trades in the bond market.

Standard & Poor's RatingBB (09/29/2014)
Fitch RatingBBB- (12/13/2016)

The owner of PYT is exposed to the underlying bond's credit risk as the beneficial owner of that bond through the PYT Grantor Trust. If GS pulls a Lehman, I can tell you now what the value of a GS junior bond will be in bankruptcy-zero and PYT would be a zero as well. In that kind of scenario, senior unsecured bond owners would probably be fortunate to recover 20 to 25 cents on the dollar. The common, equity preferred and junior bond owners will see their money again in either Money Hell or Money Heaven, as the case may be.

On the day of my PYT purchase, the underlying bond closed at $119.58 creating at that price a yield-to-maturity of about 4.89% using the Morningstar Bond Calculator. For some reason, FINRA does not provide the YTM information. The current yield would be about 5.3% at a total cost of $119.58.  

The PYT trustee receives the interest payments from Goldman Sachs and swaps that payment with the swap counterparty, the brokerage company who created the Grantor Trust, for the payment due the owners of PYT.

This Trust Certificate is  scheduled to mature on that same date. Assuming GS pays the trustee the principal amount, the trustee will then redeem the trust certificates at their $25 par value.

While I have flipped GYB more than PYT in the past and currently own 100 GYB shares, I do have a long history with PYT as well:

Bought 50 PYT at 11.2 April 2009
Bought 50 PYT in Roth at 13.34 August 2009
Pared Trade: Sold 70 PYT at 18.66 & Bought 70 GYB @ 18.49 in Regular IRA March 2010
Pared Trades in Roth: Sold 100 PYT at 19.25 & Bought 100 GYB at 18.98 October 2010
Sold 50 PYT at $17-Roth IRA April 2012
Bought 50 PYT at $16.24- Synthetic Floater January 2013 

The largest gain was on this 100 share lot: 

2010 PYT 100 Shares +$685.08
Snapshots of round trip synthetic floater trades can be found in Stocks, Bonds & Politics: Trust Certificates: New Gateway Post.

3. Gradual Paring of Stock Allocation into Parabolic Price Spike

Last Friday, I sold $3k of the Vanguard Equity Income Fund Admiral Class, which was my 4th $3k pare of that fund during the post election rally. 

Vanguard Equity Income Fund;Admiral Fund Price Today (VEIRX:MFD)

The closing price was $69.25. 

A. Sold the Remainder of RVT:  Eliminated at $13.85+ (satellite taxable account): 

Quote: Royce Value Trust Inc. (RVT)

Profit Snapshot: +$190.93

This CEF has a managed minimum distribution policy that results in "quarterly distributions at an annual rate of 7% of the average of the prior four quarter-end net asset values." Distributions and Dividends - The Royce Funds Most of those dividends will be sourced from capital gains distributions. In the past, when unrealized gains evaporate as was the case during the Near Depression period, the Board will suspend the managed distribution policy rather than source dividends out of capital ("ROC" = Return of Capital), which is the right thing to do IMO.

Data Date of Trade:

Closing Net Asset Value Per Share: $16.36

Net Asset Value Per Share: $13.86
Discount: -15.28%
CEF Connect

Semi-Annual Report Period Ending 6/30/16

Sponsor's Website: Royce Value Trust (RVT)

Royce Value Trust (RVT) Total Returns

I periodically buy and then eliminate this CEF.

The last elimination occurred in 2013:

2014 RVT 505+ Shares +$436.03
I made a mistake in buying a 100 share lot in 2007 and discussed my flawed rationale here: Stocks, Bonds & Politics: Buy High & Sell Low /Retrospective on the Good & Bad (October 18, 2008 Post)

I re-initiated a position thereafter and started to pare that position in 2016. I have had better luck with the Royce Micro Cap Fund (RMT) over the years.

B. Eliminated Remaining IDE Shares: Sold 100 at $13.85:

Profit: +$46.96

Received One Quarterly Dividend: 

Total Return =  $75.96 or 7.21% with about a 2 month holding period. 

Closing Data Date of Trade: 

Closing Market Price: $ $13.82

Closing Net Asset Value Per Share: $15.31
Discount: -9.73

Source: IDE Voya Infrastructure Industrial and Materials CEF - CEF Connect 

SEC Form N-Q: Holding as of 11/30/16 

Last SEC Filed Shareholder Report Period ending 8/31/16

I sold in November 2016 another 100 share lot:  

2016 IDE 100 Shares +$70
Item # 1 Sold 50 IDE at 18.7 (9/30/10 Post)(+$49.08)

Item # 3 Sold 100 of the Stock CEF IDE at $20.3 (3/11/11 Post)(+$227.25) 

Item # 2 Sold 50 of the Stock CEF IDE at $18.61 (5/10/12 Post)(+$55.58) 

Item # 3 Sold 50 IDE at $17.12 Roth IRA (7/6/13 Post)(+$34.48) 

Item # 5 Sold 100 IDE at $17.47 (3/24/14 Post) (+$138.39)

Total Profit = +$621.55 (plus dividends)

This one is never a long term hold. Just look at the sell price numbers from past trades which I felt a need to color red and place in bold type face.  

4. Gradual Paring of Potentially Long Duration Exchange Traded Bonds

Sold 50 THGA at $25.36: 

Quote:  Hanover Insurance Group Inc. 6.35% Subordinated Debenture due 2053  (THGA) 

The word "subordinated" means lower in the capital structure than senior unsecured debt. In other words, subordinated in this context means a junior bond that is superior in the capital structure only to common stock and equity preferred stock.  

THGA will make quarterly interest payments at the fixed coupon rate of 6.35% on a $25 par value. This security may be redeemed by the issuer on or after 3/30/18. Hanover may defer interest payments for up to 5 years. However, during any such deferral, Hanover can not make cash dividend payments on its junior securities. The stopper clause can be found starting at page S-15. PROSPECTUS 

The remaining 16 THGA shares in this account were bought at $24.32 in a partial fill of a 50 share limit order. I will not be selling those shares anytime soon. Instead, I will simply wait for a better price, preferably below $22, to buy back the 50 shares sold at $25.36. 

I sold the lot that was discussed here: 

4. Bought Back 50 THGA at $24.98-Update For Exchange Traded Bonds And Preferred Stock Basket Strategy As Of 1/22/16 - South Gent | Seeking Alpha 

I currently own 116 shares (16 left in the IB taxable account/50 in Roth IRA/50 Schwab Taxable bought with commission free trade).

Of those 116 remaining shares, I own 50 in a ROTH IRA where this  6.35% coupon bond becomes tax free. 

I am more likely to buy back the 50 shares in this account. I am not currently concerned about the issuer's credit risk. However, a pop over $25.5 and one more interest payment would likely cause this 50 share lot to disappear from the account. 

THGA was another ETB that was bought during the 2013 interest rate spike and quickly sold when rates started to decline in 2014. 

Sold THGA: 50 Shares at $23.46-Roth IRA and 50 Shares Taxable Account at $23.67 (5/17/14 Post) (profit snapshots=$143.84 plus interest payments)-Item # 3 Roth IRA: Bought 50 THGA at $21.58 (11/6/13 Post)

Hanover Insurance SEC Filings 

Common Stock Quote: Hanover Insurance Group (THG)

THG Analyst Estimates

Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor but simply an individual investor who has been managing my own money since I was a teenager. In this post, I am acting solely as a financial journalist focusing on my own investments. The information contained in this post is not intended to be a complete description or summary of all available data relevant to making an investment decision. Instead, I am merely expressing some of the reasons underlying the purchase or sell of securities. Nothing in this post is intended to constitute investment or legal advice or a recommendation to buy or to sell. All investors need to perform their own due diligence before making any financial decision which requires at a minimum reading original source material available at the SEC and elsewhere. A failure to perform due diligence only increases what I call "error creep". Stocks, Bonds & Politics: ERROR CREEP and the INVESTING PROCESS Each investor needs to assess a potential investment taking into account their personal risk tolerances, goals and situational risks. I can only make that kind of assessment for myself and family members


  1. I accidentally hit the publish button before finishing this blog. I subsequently added some material in the draft section regarding the PYT purchase.

    It is possible to find prior discussions of securities here through the "label" links provided on the right side. I am still adding to those links, since they provide me with an easier means than a blog search to locate prior discussions.

    I ran into some problems with this blog which are similar to past problems here. Some of those issues involve coloring where I did not want to color and some alignment problems which do not appear in my draft and are present in the published version.

    Gold is moving up some in electronic trading this evening:

    +5.20 +0.44%
    Jan 29, 2017 8:22 p.m

    I have argued previously that Trump may be good for gold. Never before in our history have we had such a loose cannon. I am not a fan in case anyone was wondering.

  2. I am learning Newspeak as fast as I can. I have never been good at learning a foreign language, but I will try to overcome that past disability.

    In Newspeak, Trump is Doubleplusgood. So that is a start.

    Doubleplusgood - 1984 - Eurythmics

    I do not particularly like that song.

    I do not believe that the downdraft today is specifically tied to the GOP's Muslim Ban.

    S&P 500
    2,273.83 -20.86 (-0.91%)
    As of 2:12PM EST.

    Instead, if there is any link, and no certain cause can be drawn, the cause is broader in scope and simply reflects a growing unease among investors about Trump's decision making process.

    Gold is up slightly so far today:

    SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)
    113.86 +0.37 (+0.33%)
    As of 2:15PM EST.

    The 7 to 10 year treasury bond is up .05%. Neither the gold or bond moves point to anything in particular IMO.

    iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond (IEF)
    $104.77+0.05 (+0.05%)
    As of 1:20PM

    In other words, if I saw that price action in IEF and GLD without knowing anything about current events, I would conclude that nothing was happening other than normal market movements related more to the market's internal dynamics rather than to an external event.

    I am anticipating another flight to safety move in bonds, most likely triggered by Trump.

  3. Nordea Bank (NRBAY)(own): I noticed that NRBAY had been moving up in a down market today and late last week, but was slow to look into why.

    Nordea Bank AB
    $12.02+0.05 (+0.46%)
    As of 2:33PM EST

    I didn't think that it was due to Nordea's CEO calling Trump a bigger threat than negative rates to his bank:

    "Nordea CEO Says Trump, Brexit Bigger Threats Than Negative Rates"

    That article summarizes Nordea's 4th quarter results:

    "Scandinavia’s biggest bank reported fourth-quarter profit that rose 30 percent from a year earlier as income from handling clients’ assets grew. . . The Stockholm-based bank proposed a dividend of 0.65 euro per share, in line with analyst estimates. It paid out 0.64 euro for 2015."

    1 ADR = 1 Ordinary Share

    If I converted €.65 into USDs now, I get $.6952. Using a total cost of $12.02 for the ADR, that would produce a dividend yield of about 5.78%.

    While I have bought and sold Nordea shares in the past, I have held onto my current 100 share lot for over a year now.

    2. Bought Back 100 NRBAY at $11.56

    I received last year's annual dividend payment on that lot. Sweden withheld 15% so Fidelity got that one straight.

    Snapshot of Dividend Payment
    Scroll to Recent Developments

    Other brokers may not take the necessary steps to secure the treaty tax rate by claiming U.S. citizenship for their customers.

    The ordinary shares are priced in Swedish Krona (SEK) which has been weak against the U.S.D. in large part due to the Swiss CB's Jihad Against the SEK.

    10 year SEK/USD Chart:

    The weakness in the SEK/USD that started around March 2014 would cause the ADR to underperform the shares traded in Stockholm priced in SEKs.

    I am trouble seeing the SEK losing more but I really don't know. In the back of my mind, I suspect that Trump will cause a massive loss in U.S. prestige and influence and will contribute to rise of China and potential alternatives to the USD being the reserve currency.

    The general consensus now is that the USD will continue to gain strength under his administration. I am not so confident.

    If a border adjustment tax is implemented, that is widely expected to cause the USD to rise in value as I previously discussed in a prior comment.

    I am going to leave this position alone. Hopefully, I will get a boost someday when the SEK/USD moves significantly in my favor.

    4th Quarter Report:

  4. The ACLU had a good weekend, raking in $24M in online donations from 356+K people or six times its annual average.

    Over the next 4 years, that organization will probably receive a multiple of the total contributions received in its 100 year history prior to Trump's election.

    Lawsuits based on alleged violations of the Constitution will become commonplace throughout Trump's tenure.

    As I noted earlier, no immigrant from the seven nations included in the GOP's Muslim ban has committed a terrorist act in the U.S. over the 41 year period covered in a Cato Institute study. That could not be more irrelevant to Trump and his supporters.

    Trump did not include on the list countries where he has business interests and whose citizens have committed terrorist acts against the U.S. That is not relevant either.

    Trump has a new slogan that will resonant with over 60M American voters: "Make America Safe Again".

    You can buy a hate with his slogan:

    In the new American version of Newspeak, analysis and facts do not matter.

    The slogan is the only fact.

    If Trump says his actions Make America Safe Again, then no further thought is necessary. Any disagreement is coming from "hysterical" leftists.

    Trump's slogan is the only relevant consideration for at least 60+M U.S. voters and probably a lot more than that number.

    The U.S. protests that foreigners see on the TV will have zero impact on the GOP and their supporters. It will be dismissed by them as unimportant and of no concern in their plan To Make America Safe Again.

    The Jihadists will of course use this order and an array of future Trump actions and words as a powerful recruiting tool. This will probably be successful since Trump fits so easily into a Jihadist propaganda campaign and recruitment efforts.

    If an attack against Americans is then caused here or abroad in response, Trump will of course deny there is any connection, his party will support that denial, and then the restrictions on immigration and travel to the U.S. will become broader and so on.

    We shall see in the fullness of time whether Trump will make the U.S. safer or less safe. If I had to place a bet, Trump and his supporters will end up making the U.S. a less safe place and will cause a loss of U.S. prestige in the international community. Bush/Cheney and their supporters did not make America safer either.

    The Iraq invasion made America less safe, resulted in over 100K people losing their lives and far more maimed for life cost of over $2 trillion dollars and created havoc throughout the Middle East. I just expressed a minority sentiment. Maybe 40% of U.S. voters would agree with that opinion. Those who are responsible for those consequences, directly or derivatively, will never take any blame.

    If terrorism flows directly from Trump's actions and rhetoric, neither he nor his supporters will ever admit to making America less safe either, even when the facts clearly point in that direction to any objective, rational and informed person that sees Newspeak for what it is.

  5. Trump’s voter fraud expert (Greg Phillips) is registered in 3 states. According to Trump, everyone who is registered in more than 1 state voted for Hillary in every state where they are registered to vote.

  6. Orwell's "1984" is a book I've re-read several times over the years. It's coming true in front of our eyes.

    These people have been nursing their hatred, bigotry and fear for the past 8 years. They cannot be reasoned with.

    Hopefully the foundations of our democracy (checks and balances, judicial process, freedom of speech and press) will be used to keep this dangerous man and his supporters from doing too much damage. Thanks for all the useful links you provide.

  7. Cathie: I have had major disagreements with the policies of every American President since I started to acquire facts and to think for myself. I was about 14 when I started to oppose LBJ's Vietnam policies.

    I have seen Newspeak making inroads throughout my life.

    Those who are susceptible to it are the majority now or close to it. I call them True Believers. They are immune to processing actual facts.

    The GOP has already been successful into converting tens of millions into the Newspeak language.

    Prior to Trump, no U.S. President IMO was consistently talking in Newspeak.

    False propaganda existed in the past, but the thought never even occurred to me that a prior President had launched the U.S. into a Newspeak Era. That has now happened IMO.

    What is even more important for the future, tens of millions are already fluent in Newspeak and will never speak anything else. They are not even reachable with accurate information.

    Those who dominate trading in the stock market believe that Trump's policies will strengthen the U.S. economy and launch the nation into a new era of prosperity and growth.

    We shall see.

    The facts contradicting that belief will need to be undeniable for that opinion to change (e.g. a worldwide recession with U.S. unemployment going over 10%). Facts supporting the opinion or refuting it will simply take time to develop.

    If the past is prologue, the repatriation of foreign cash, which involves only a few publicly held corporations, will not create more jobs. Those who make that claim do not know their history and have not listened to CEO's like the Chuck Robbins who have already stated that the cash will be used for that purpose.

    The use of repatriated cash to acquire other companies will result in job cuts rather than job gains.

    1. In the prior comment, I left out the word "not" in the sentence dealing with Cisco's CEO. Cisco will NOT use the repatriated cash to create U.S. jobs.

  8. I am having trouble deciding whether Trump's Chief Advisor Steve Bannon, who is now a member of the NSC as well, leans more toward being a Neo-Nazi or a Nihilist.


    I am as a certain as one can be that no other U.S. GOP President would allow Steve Bannon or Stephen Miller in the White House, let alone give them offices and appoint them as the most prominent advisors to the President. The KKK and the American Nazi party have already made their approval public.

    An example of Bannon's Nihilism is the rollout of the GOP's Muslim Ban. Only a handful of people were involved in the formulation of that political statement and they were political operatives. Homeland Security and the State Department, the "Establishment", had no input. Homeland Security was tasked to carry out the SS (Steve + Steve) Order and the Homeland Security Director first learned of its existence after it was signed.

    The chaos that followed was due mostly to the failure to involve non-political operatives in the decision making process and to give them time to prepare for its implementation.

    In true Newspeak form, Our Dear Leader blamed the protestors at a few airports and Chuck Schumer's crocodile tears for the chaotic rollout.

    Possibly, Chuck will be less chummy with Trump in the future.

    There are some reports that Jeff Sessions played an important role in drafting the memo. He needs to be called back for questioning before the Senate votes on his confirmation as Attorney General.

    1. "Secretary of Homeland Security found out about President Trump's Muslim travel ban by watching TV"

  9. For anyone interested, Orwell's book was turned into a movie staring John Hurt and Richard Burton.

    A more modern version would probably turn into a blockbuster now.

    1. 2 + 2 = 5 Scene from 1984 film:

  10. Gold is up so far today.

    Gold - Electronic Apr 2017
    +10.50 +0.88%

    For the first time in years, I have started to buy gold miners. Yesterday, I bought ABX at $17.92. The general idea is that Trump will be good for gold. I started the gold mining stock purchases recently and discussed the first two here:

    Observations, Ruminations and Sample Trades (SNY, OMER, PWFPRT, THO:CA, G:CA )-JANUARY 18, 2016

    I may discuss the ABX as a sample trade in my next post.

    My current thinking is that Congress will be unable to pass a border adjustment tax that would likely cause the USD to move up in value. The Koch brothers are opposed to it and I have not heard a single Democrat to come out in favor.

    Without that tax being implemented, my current opinion is that Trump and the GOP will erode America's standing and influence in the world and that will have negative long term repercussions for the USD.

    The DXY has fallen below its 50 SMA line and is now struggling to stay over 100.

    An opinion that Trump and the GOP are bad for the USD is notably a contrarian view. The last major collapse of the USD's value did occur when the nation had a GOP President. Trump has made his opinion clear that the USD has risen in value too much.

    I am referring to the USD's decline during the Reagan Presidency when Jim Baker was treasury secretary.

    For reasons that are not entirely clear to me, the herd consensus is that Trump will be good for the USD. That opinion appears to be predicated on a belief that his policies will turn the U.S. economy into a juggernaut of growth and job creation that will cause a spike in interest rates.

    Bush had the worse job creation in modern U.S. history after he lowered taxes, and the repatriation tax holiday resulted in job losses among most of the corporations who brought back foreign cash.

  11. South Gent,

    For trading PM ETFs (GLD, SLV, PPLT) and PM miners how would you set the trading rules? I have long given up on the model of 5-10% PM in the portfolio, but I wouldn't mind taking them as a trading component.

  12. I have not had more than 1% exposure to silver and gold since the late 1970s.

    There are several reasons. Precious metals do not produce income, and I have always been an income focused investor.

    Gold mining stocks may pay a small dividend, but I could never justify their purchase based on their dividend yield.

    Another important reason is discussed in this post:

    Scroll to
    Gold's Price: Is There a "Fair Value"?

    The PM bullion has no discernible fair value range. Is gold worth $800 or $2000 per ounce? You can not say based on any traditional measure for assigning value. Gold does not generate cash flow or earnings. Its value depend on someone else willing to buy it from you and then hoard it. In that sense, unpredictable psychological factors have a major influence on price which makes the price inherently unpredictable.

    Gold and silver have had in the past clearly defined long term secular bull and bear markets.

    We are currently in a long term bear market. The last bull market, which started in 2002 as I recall, ended when gold pushed over $1900 per ounce in 2011. Any rallies since that time have been short term cyclical bull rallies within the context of that dominant bear trend.

    In short, there can be no trading rules IMO other than my feel for the market's direction.

    I nibbled on GLD, PPLT and SLV shortly before the BREXIT vote and then sold into the rally. That was just pure feel for the markets.

    My feel now is that Trump is good for gold. That may prove to be the wrong feel or spot on. Time will tell. In any event, I play the long cycles with the bullion stored in a safety deposit box. I last sold silver and gold in September 2011 and January 2012 and have not bought or sold since that time.

  13. Harsh words directed by Trump's Trade Advisor, Peter Navarro, at Germany are contributing this morning to a decline in the USD. In calling Germany a currency manipulator that was undermining jobs in the U.S., he also called the EURO grossly undervalued. Those comments are contributing also to a rise in PM prices this morning IMO.

    The DXY has now moved back below 100:

    99.78 Change -0.59 -0.59%
    Jan 31, 2017 9:39 a.m.

    I do not see any indication yet that the DXY has hit support.

    Trump leveled also another attack this morning against drug companies calling their prices astronomical. He also wants to lower their regulations, apparently referring to FDA regulations, and taxes. He also stated that "We're going to be ending foreign freeloading," He is apparently referring to the argument that foreign countries demand lower prices than a "fair price", which in effect causes U.S. consumers to subsidize the cost of drug discovery and trials for the entire world. How he intends to control foreign government actions on drug prices remains a mystery.

  14. CAD/USD 0.7699 +1.04%
    As of 8:56AM

    1.0121 +0.73%

    AUD/USD .7605 +0.65%

    I own those currencies and stock positions in ordinary shares or ADRs priced in those currencies.

    I have discussed Nordea above, a large banking institution based in Sweden whose ordinary shares are price in Swedish Krona.

    SEK/USD .1143 +0.84%

    I also recently discussed here buying Orkla, a Norwegian consumer product company.

    NOK/USD .1215 +0.92%

    As always, I would emphasize that this is an early morning daily trend. The question remains whether the USD's rise is now kaput.

  15. Another relevant issue to asset allocations will be how far Trump will go to disrupt and set back relations with the EU that may even extend to NATO which he has called a relic of the past and Putin agrees with him.

    IMO, Trump is doing what he can as a U.S. President to break up the EU and to favor BREXIT votes from other EU members.

    While that approach which is clear to me may be part of his effort to Make America Great Again through weakening competing trade blocks, such an approach is consistent with Putin's European policy to break the EU into pieces and emasculate NATO.

    This will be an important area to monitor closely over the coming weeks and months. So stay tuned to it.

    Trump was a major proponent of BREXIT and has been leveling fire against other EU members on trade and immigration policies from Muslim nations in a consistent pattern.

    The salvo launched against Germany this morning may be only the beginning.

  16. "We must bind together in this bloody war and form a Christian Militia" - Steve Bannon

  17. Overall, drug companies are responding favorably to Trump's remarks earlier today. Basically, he is going to give them lower taxes and more responsive FDA in exchange for lower drug prices.

    My large pharmaceutical are up, including PFE which had a disappointing earnings report. The small cap biotech lottery ticket basket is up 2.8% at the moment.

    All of my accounts are up due in part to their esoteric flavors and balances.

    Bonds are moving up in price and down in yield. My short term bond basket, now nearing $300K, is showing gains across the board, though nothing of a meaningful nature given the short durations.

    Some of the recently purchased intermediate term bonds are in profit territory including one that I bought early today. The possibility of selling one or two for profits may arise with continued upward price momentum.

    iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond (IEF)

    Individual foreign stock positions are higher in dollar terms. That is mostly due to the decline in the USD except for NVS and a few other foreign stock positions that were up today in local currencies.

    NOVARTIS N (NOVN.VX) Currency in CHF
    CHF 72.45+0.45 (+0.62%)
    At close: 5:30PM CET

    Novartis AG (NVS)
    73.73+1.43 (+1.98%)
    As of 3:16PM EST

    I am also getting upside movement in healthcare ETFs and CEFs and expect my two healthcare mutual funds to be up today significantly as well.

    Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT)
    129.78+1.71 (+1.34%)

    The Vanguard Health Care fund (VGHCX) position is now meaningful for me. I have been adding to it throughout the month on downdrafts.

    When you compare the percentage gains in the NVS shares, the positive impact of the CHF rising in value against the USD today can be seen easily.

    The PMs are up:
    SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)
    115.56+1.59 (+1.40%)
    As of 3:12PM EST.

    The U.S. stock market is moving up and off its earlier lows now.

    My REIT positions are mostly up, with the basket currently up over $500. The Canadian REITs are at least contributing to the plus column in local currencies and much more when the CAD value is converted into USDs.

    CAD/USD +0.76%
    As of 8:23PM GMT

  18. CNN has an excerpt of a recorded Bannon statement where he made the following statement:

    "Islam is not a religion of peace. Islam is a religion of submission. Islam means submission,"

    He was mocking Bush's statement that Islam was a religion of peace and then went on to say the following:

    "I mean, the whole thing is just, he is the epitome, he's a Republican version--not a conservative--he's a Republican establishment, country club version of the Clintons. That's all they are. It's the baby boomer, narcissistic, he wants to feel loved."

    In Bannon's view the entire Republican establishment are not conservatives and I would agree with that statement as far as it goes. He views himself and his followers as the real conservatives. It would be difficult to fine anyone further removed from conservative values and philosophy including IMO Christian values.

    A couple of points need to be made in response. First, nothing is gained by a White House operative making these statements that would be offensive to over 1 billion muslims.

    Second, Bannon is an ignorant and now extremely dangerous True Believer with Nihilistic and Anarchist tendencies.

    The word Islam is derived from the Arabic word "salam" which means peace. The word Islam refers to the voluntary submission to God's will which is no different than what Christians aspire to do.

    Sure, there have been people who claim to be followers of Islam who have committed terrorism. If Bannon was not ignorant and had even a token knowledge of world history, people claiming to be following a particular religion have committed murder, rape and pillage throughout recorded history including those who called themselves "christians".

  19. Earlier today, my brain started to explode considering this problem. Would I be better off buying a Canadian Gold Bullion ETF using CADs that is hedged to the Canadian dollar or one that is not hedged to the Canadian dollar.

    Rather than blow a gasket, I allowed the market to tell me which one would be better when the CAD rose in value against the USD when gold was moving up in price.

    iShares Gold Bullion ETF Hedged
    $10.60 Change +0.12 +1.10%
    Volume 293,824
    Jan 31, 2017


    iShares Gold Bullion ETF Non-Hedged
    +0.07 +0.50%
    Jan 31, 2017

  20. The EU is starting to reach the correct conclusion in my opinion. The U.S. is more than likely going to be a threat to the EU. and as hostile to European interests as other external threats. Possibly more than Russia based on what I seen so far.

    European Union President Donald Tusk mentioned the Trump administration as part of an external “threat” to the bloc alongside China, Russia, radical Islam, war and terror.

    “Particularly the change in Washington puts the European Union in a difficult situation; with the new administration seeming to put into question the last 70 years of American foreign policy,” Tusk said.

    They are not focusing their attention yet on what I perceive as a fundamental change in U.S. policy toward the EU as a political and economic union.

    1. The statements made about the U.S. from the EU's President are unprecedented. There is silence from European capitals about his labeling the U.S. as a threat to the EU alongside Russia and Jihadists. It is going to get worse IMO.

      The letter refers to Trump in the external threat list which is in the third paragraph from the top:

      "Particularly the change in Washington puts the European Union in a difficult situation; with the new administration seeming to put into question the last 70 years of American foreign policy."

      As I said previously, the EU is not yet up to speed about the U.S. being an external threat. Possibly, the tirade launched by Trump today against Germany (through his trade guru) will wake them out of their slumber.

      AAPL looks like it may be able to lift up the averages in tomorrow's trading based on the market's current reaction to the quarterly report released after the close:

      After Hours
      +4.16 +3.43%
      Jan 31, 2017 5:45 p.m.

      I would just note that net income fell from the year ago quarter, and E.P.S. rose to $3.36 per share, up from $3.28, due to share buybacks that significantly reduced the shares outstanding Y-O-Y.

    2. The Washington Post is digging into prior public comments made by Steve Bannon, now one of the most powerful persons in the U.S. Bannon is of course endorsed by both the KKK and the American Nazi Party.

      It is clear from his prior statements that he does not favor letting Muslims into the country period. He disagreed that the U.S. should undergo the expense of vetting.

      “We need to put a stop on refugees until we can vet,” Zinke said.

      Bannon cut him off.

      “Why even let ’em in?” he asked.

      Spend the money used to vet in the U.S. was his response.

      On Europe, he is on record as favoring a break-up of the EU that will allow the U.S. to negotiate bilateral agreements with each country.

      Those views are consistent with Trump's own rhetoric.

      "On one of the first Breitbart Radio shows, in early November 2015, Bannon praised the growing movement in Britain to exit the European Union. ... Bannon has been supportive of similar movements in other European countries to pull out of the union. Trump has echoed those sentiments in his first few days as president. It is a remarkable shift in U.S. policy: After decades of building multinational alliances as a guarantee of peace, now the White House has indicated it may undermine them."

      The Europeans are at least attuned to this titanic shift now in U.S. policy toward them. Yes, an American President wants to break up the EU and negotiate bilateral trade agreements.

      Now, that has really serious implications for investors IMO if Trump continues along that path for very much longer.

      Trump's Nihilism is also reflected in several cabinet appointments where he picked people who wanted to abolish the agency that they will head or openly hostile to it.

  21. Trump had the constitutional power to fire Sally Yates as attorney general for any reason. The firing did cause me to have a flashback to another GOP President's Saturday Night Massacre.

    Who Is Sally Yates:

    Nixon had the authority to fire the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General for disobeying a Presidential Order to fire the Watergate Special Prosecutor which was part of Nixon's coverup of his own criminal wrongdoing. He could have fired them for no reason at all or even an illegal one to obstruct justice.

    The issue is not IMO the firing of Ms. Yates who had the legal duty to examine the totality of evidence regarding the legality of the EO, including statements made by Trump.

    The EO was sufficiently suspect as a matter of Constitutional law that she could not enforce it as the U.S. Attorney General. She knew that would result in her being fired.

    She had an exchange with Jeff Sessions many years ago on that same topic. The AG has to stand up to the President on these issues as Eliot Richardson did many years ago with Nixon..

    Other Attorney Generals have been Presidential sycophants like Nixon's AG John Mitchell who went to prison for his role in Watergate.

    I have zero hope that Jeff Sessions will restrain Trump but will instead be an instigator.

    Instead, the problem is how Trump fired her, showing once again that he is a thoroughly disgusting excuse for a human being, regardless of whether one agrees with views.

    A decent person would have simply relieved Ms. Yates of her duties and thanked her for her 20 years of service in the Justice Department, starting as a federal prosecutor in the late 1980s. Trump is not a decent human being.

    Instead, he used the dismissal letter to slam Ms. Yates for betraying the Department of Justice and went out of his way to attack her my making allegations with no supporting proof.


    On several occasions Trump has used the word ban to describe his immigration order.

    His Press Secretary has use the word ban too.

    Giuliani said Trump asked him to work on a legal Muslim Ban.

    The ban clearly excepts Christians from the ban.

    Trump repeatedly called for a Muslim Ban to the campaign.

    Everything that was being said by the Administration was supporting the opponents constitutional argument that GOP has instituted a travel restriction based on religion.

    Now, Trump and Spicer say that the word "ban" that has been repeatedly used by them does not mean ban. It means something else. The EO is phrased specifically in terms of stopping travel to the U.S. from 7 Muslim countries for 90 days and from Syria indefinitely. Ban is the only word to describe what has happened. Now Ban means something else.


    This is a statement made by Trump available on his website:

    Some GOP lawyers just dressed that sentiment up, tried to hide it as well as they could, while creating an exception for Christians in Muslim countries. That exception points to religious discriminatory intent on its face.

  22. The appointment to the Supreme Court of Neil Gorsuch replaces Scalia with a younger version. This guy will be as reactionary as Scalia but less bombastic.

    The Newspeak name for reactionary Supreme Court Justices is Originalist.

    He is 49 and will be the youngest Supreme Court Justice appointed since Clarence Thomas was confirmed in 1991.

    It could have been worse though.

    The Supreme Court will be swung into a full reactionary mode for a long time when Trump replaces one of the 4 "liberal" justices. I view that as likely given the health of Justice Ginsberg (B. 1933) and the age of Justice Breyer (born August 1938). If both survive four years, and Trump is re-elected, then forget about it.

    On hot button social issues like the gay marriage decision, replacing Anthony Kennedy (B. 1936) will accomplish the GOP's roll back effort.

    Kennedy was a necessary vote in the 5 to 4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges and wrote the opinion.

  23. The European manufacturing PMI numbers are providing a lift for European equities that is carrying over into the U.S. Europe needs to make more than a nominal contribution to world GDP. The number of 55.2 hit a 69 month high. This is not news however. The flash estimate was reported at 55.1 on 1/24/17. Any excuse will do to take markets higher now.

    My largest European country exposure is to Swiss stocks. My largest European fund exposure is SWZ at close to 1600 shares. That is partly due to a desire to maintain a significant exposure to the Swiss Franc, notwithstanding the Swiss National Bank's Jihad against the CHF.

    So far this year, I have increased my weightings in European equities some, viewing their multinationals to be more reasonably priced than their U.S. counterparts. I am reluctant to add much given potential economic and political disruptions during 2017, precipitated by a growing U.S. government hostility to the EU and the potential outcomes of elections in France and Germany tilting toward White Nationalism, Xenophobia, anti-globalization and potential exits from the EU. The first round in France’s presidential election will be held on 4/23/17. The top two candidates will then face off on 5/7.

    Marine Le Pen is currently leading in the national polls as a former frontrunner, Fillon, becomes embroiled in a nepotism type scandal.

    Marine Le Pen has managed to improve the image of the National Front Party that was widely viewed as racist and anti-semetic: I doubt that much has really changed other than better PR. She is characterized as being “far right’ or “alt-right” conservative which generally really means “reactionary” or "neo-nazi” in the current Newspeak vernacular. The more accurate labels are the antithesis of conservatism but conservative does sound better as PR than neo-Nazi. She would be France’s version of Steve Bannon.

    The consensus now is that she will not win a two way face off. Perhaps Trump needs to campaign for her. After Fillion’s fall from grace, the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron is expected to win in the run-off with non-National Front voters rejecting Le Pen and going with the remaining “establishment” candidate. There will be a lot of hand-wringing, however, when Le Pen is left standing after the first round.

  24. Previously, I have discussed here that economists believe that the GOP's border adjustment tax will not lead to a competitive advantage for U.S. companies. That tax will result in a rise in the U.S. Dollar's value that will eliminate the competitive advantage that would otherwise exist.

    I am just repeating here and elsewhere what I have read. Fortunately, I have no training in economics and my mind remains unmuddled as a result.

    I mentioned above that Peter Navarro, Trump's trade representative, came out yesterday in favor of a stronger EUR/USD and a border adjustment tax. Those are two contradictory ideas which are believed to be true by our new trade representative.

    Currency traders are scratching their heads, but will not explicitly state that the new Administration is clueless which is the conclusion to draw from their remarks.

    "Trump administration’s dollar don’t add up, say traders"

    Some argue that the GOP's border adjustment tax will cause a worldwide depression.

    "Carlson Capital: Trump Tax Will Start “Global Depression”; Age Of “Kim Kardashian celebrityism” Brings Dire Dangers"

    If that happens, then Obama will clearly be at fault. Similar to Trump causing the good job numbers for January 2017reported today by ADP. (+246K)

    Krugman who is an expert on this kind of economic issue voices what I view as the consensus opinion. The GOP's plan would result in no competitive advantage to U.S. based companies since the U.S.D. would rise in value sufficiently to wipe out any advantage created by the tax.

    A significantly stronger dollar from current levels would have its own series of adverse impacts that would result in a net negative.

  25. So far this entry did not show up in my email. Shoot. Hopefully the next well, and I made my efforts at changing delivery after you wrote this.

    I saw the DAVID MUIR interview on TV, and was very disappointed that he let it end with Trump's idea that PEW was just groveling. Up till then Muir insisted on truth with his counter comments. Then he dropped the ball and let Trump present his lame excuse without challenge. Going forward it will be important to challenge Trump's lies and made up stuff EVERY TIME, every sentence uttered. It will be the most effective way to counter them (it's out of the playbook of what to do to contain a sociopath (who's making things up)).

    PEW said that's not what they wrote. So it would have been a simple answer to respond to Trump that "PEW didn't publish that there was fraud, only that there's names on multiple registers..."

    The media keeps working too hard to make it look like they are taking him seriously then countering with facts. From trying to do this is antisemitism and bigotry at Israel, I can tell you that it doesn't work and you don't win that way. The "facts" move, and you wind up in complicated explanations and moving targets, and ultimately make one little mistake in facts that becomes the rallying cry against you. Simple denial of lies, without much more explanation each time, are a better approach.

    Plus as a culture and world ... we have to figure out how to counter this type of stuff, more so than I know how to. This will not be the first autocrat type person to appear in places of power.

  26. Replies
    1. Krugman is a typical Keynesian economist who believes that the government can solve economic problems by spending boatloads of money. I do not view him as either a stock market bull or bear. He just believes that the government needs to spend more borrowed money and that will solve the problem. He is not concerned about a $20T national debt that is growing in a parabolic fashion.

      The issue that I am talking about is neither a liberal or conservative issue but involves a prediction on the USD would react to the GOP's border adjustment tax. I have not yet seen any dissent that such a tax would cause the USD to rise in value. Some differ as to whether the USD's rise would completely offset the competitive advantages flowing from this plan.

      You will never be able to convince a Trump supporter with facts. They have their own facts.

      Donald's statements that I highlighted in this post are either a lie which he enjoys telling since the True Believers want to hear it or proof that he is delusional. It is such an outrageous statement that he knows that 3+M people voted illegally and ALL OF THEM VOTED FOR HILLARY. Those kind of asinine statements flow from Trump as easy as breathing and they solidify his support rather than diminish it.

  27. RHHBY (own) is the ADR for Roche Holdings that is traded on the U.S. pink sheet exchange. Volume is typically over 1M shares daily so there is good liquidity.

    1 ADR = .125 ordinary shares

    Roche shares were up today In Zurich:

    Roche Holding AG
    CHF 237.50
    +4.50 +1.93%
    Feb 1, 2017

    You have to convert that CHF closing price into USDs and then divide by 8. The USD priced shares added to the Swiss closing price, but the overall gain was restrained by a decline in the CHF/USD conversion rate today.

    CHF/USD -0.34%

    Roche released its earnings report which was decent but not stellar IMO.

    Like many European companies, Roche pays an annual dividend and declared the dividend in its earnings release today subject to Board approval.

    The rate will be CHF 8.2 per share which will be Roche's 30 consecutive dividend increase.

    Fidelity has secured the 15% treaty tax rate for Roche dividends. Other brokers may not file the necessary forms to claim U.S. citizenship for their customers. Switzerland will then withhold 30% as I recall.

    The actual dividend amount will also depend on the conversion rate. The CHF/USD is currently near par.

    If 1 CHF bought 1 USD when the dividend is converted, then the gross amount before taxes and the ADR custodian fee will be $1.025 per ADR share or about 3.42% based on a total cost of $30 per share.

    The USD price will be determined by the ordinary share's CHF price converted into USDs. There can be some fluctuation base on intra-day exchange rates and/or the ADR price being marked up or down subsequent to the Zurich's market's close.

    Generally the ADR price hugs the Swiss price converted into USDs very close.

    My most recent buy was an average down. I bought 30 shares in my IB account at $27.2.

    Comment at 12/6/16 7/29 P.M.

    As discussed there, one issue with Roche's stock is that Novartis periodically makes noises about unloading its stake which is large. The stake was acquired many years ago in an attempt to acquire Roche but the Hoffman family would not sell their controlling stake.

  28. Barron's technical analyst states the obvious in his recent column that "there is very little room for error by dollar bulls" now. The DXY is close to failing an upside breakout that started in November 2016. "Failed bullish breakouts are another bearish sign".

    His opinion is that the USD needs to stabilize and bounce some or he "will have to conclude that the breakout failed".

    There is a lot of optimism that Trump's economic agenda will produce economic growth but that will take time to show up in the data and may easily disappoint.

    What is showing up now is growing international concerns among foreign governments that the U.S. is embarked on a confrontational path with most of the world.

    I would call that path Nihilistic: a purposeful blowing up of existing trade relationships and a major change in relations with continental Europe as Trump seeks break up the EU and then pick off the countries one by one in bilateral trade negotiations.

    The Washington Post confirmed in an article tonight that Trump's objective was to divide and conquer:

    "Trump and his administration have expressed a preference for bilateral deals, which they say allow the United States to better wield its economic heft at the negotiating table."

    In a survey of 41 prominent economists, 85% agreed or strongly agreed that the U.S. was better off under Nafta than the pre-existing bilateral agreements and none disagreed with that better off statement. The problem was that the adverse impact was concentrated in a few rust belt communities, and the government failed to respond adequately. Trump exploited that to his advantage in states that Clinton needed to win.

    If Trump terminates Nafta, and bilateral trade agreements with tariffs are put in its place, the Trump supporters will see that as win even if the evidence clearly shows that the U.S. ended up worse off and Mexico's economy far worse off, making it even more unstable.

    Trump threatens to send U.S. troops to Mexico, reports say

    If that story is true, then Mexico's government is less likely to bow to our Bully in Chief potentially igniting a costly trade war for both sides.

    The Europeans have certainly picked up on the change in U.S. policy toward more confrontation and less reliable support for Nato, as shown by the recent letter circulated by the EU's President naming the U.S. as one of the main external threats to the the EU along with Russia and Jihadists.

    I am not surprised that those growing concerns are translating into a lower dollar.

    Muslim governments, China and other countries may retaliate by selling more U.S. assets and converted the USD proceeds into other currencies.

    Trump will get major pushback when he tries to bully China.

    Trump has ignited considerable furor in Muslim nations in his first week. I do not see Trump cooling down the furor but stoking and igniting it more in the weeks and months ahead.

    Trump can easily convince the True Believers that he is motivated only by security concerns, notwithstanding his long antipathy toward that religion, but those protestations of a non-religious motive will fall on deaf ears in the Muslim world and other countries as well when made by someone who wanted to introduce a muslim registry.

    Summary: Trump and Racism/Bigotry

    Longer term, the reserve status of the USD may be put in jeopardy by a continuation and acceleration of the kinds of events described above

    This is one of those areas where politics and investment decisions become intertwined.

    The USD had a bad January after moving up after Trump's election. It is very unusual for a reserve currency to fall 2.7% in a month.

  29. Links to DXY and Bloomberg Spot Dollar Index:

    U.S. Dollar Index (DXY)
    99.60 Change -0.15 -0.15%

    Bloomberg Spot Dollar Index:
    1,232.89 -1.74 -0.14%
    As of 8:30 PM EST 2/1

    I also think that it is noteworthy that gold is moving up:

    Gold Futures,Apr-2017
    1,214.50+6.20 (+0.51%)
    As of 8:22PM EST.

    Live Spot Gold:

    If Trump threatened to send use troops to Mexico in a conversation with Mexico's President and opined that Mexico's soldiers were cowards, then he is only proving once again that he is unfit to be President.

  30. This is just off the charts worrying:

    "On call with Australian prime minister, Trump badgers and brags"

    "President Trump blasted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a refu­gee agreement and boasted about the magnitude of his electoral college win, according to senior U.S. officials briefed on the Saturday exchange. Then, 25 minutes into what was expected to be an hour-long call, Trump abruptly ended it."

  31. I have never said what I am about to say about any President elected in my lifetime. I have not even said it about any U.S. politician that has held office during my adult life.

    I am now deeply worried that our nation has elected a President with a serious mental illness.

  32. I have tried to stay more neutral in SA (not neutral just more so). I will say this here.

    You are not alone in your worry.

    First off he is a textbook case of a sociopath. I haven't met a psychologist who hasn't seen it.

    Sociopaths are dangerous because they are so manipulative and not able to look out for general populations good, but he appears to have additional issues. Though these aspects are common in sociopaths too: need for constant stimulation, impulsiveness, wild risk taking. All to the point of creating major problems in their lives.

    On my earlier comment about the media being honest. It's not to change the "true believers" who aren't going to change views.

    It's a tactic at a sociopath. First it helps those outside him, to stay strong and grounded and not confused by his manipulations. (The goal of the manipulations are not to win, but to create confusion. That's the grooming. Later they come in and take over authority. We haven't seen that stage yet, believe it or not.)

    Second they react two ways to it. It tells them there is strength against them, and they do tend to rein in. Also it challenges them and bugs them and gets under their skin. They get bolder which helps because they start making mistakes at judging how far they can go. When it's far enough, it's so obvious, that it's much easier to find the hooks to end things with them/ to take them down.

    The big question is what to do. I know people who are calling their congress people, and white house and signing petitions. Those counts seem to matter. Republicans that are hitching themselves to him, will be less inclined if they can get reelected standing up to him.

    The problem is Pence is not cool. My hope is the admin as a whole violates law badly enough that the whole admin is removed and we get a special election.

    This is sad and ridiculous though. He even has a few okay ideas... but he thinks nothing through in a real way.


    1. LMH: Under section four of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, a President who is unfit (physically and/or mentally) can be removed in two ways.

      The first option is for Mike Pence and a majority of cabinet members to declare Trump unfit. If the President disagrees with their opinion, which Trump would do of course, then the matter has to be decided by Congress.

      Both Houses of Congress would then have to declare him unfit by a 2/3 majority.

      It is difficult to even imagine that happening unless he had a physical disability that rendered him a human vegetable on life support.

      I have no choice but to conclude that Trump's mental condition will deteriorate further as more people worldwide openly question his sanity and criticize his actions and words. The pressures of the office will also contribute to his growing instability and irrational behavior.

      His business history was never a reason to vote for him but a reason to scratch his name of the list.

  33. There are a number of reports today that Steve Bannon stated the U.S. was headed toward a war with China, linking an audio recording that aired over the radio.


    Mexico has denied that Trump threatened to send the military into Mexico. In addition to the AP, a Mexican journalist reported a similar account:

    This one is too close to call, though I view the AP report as more credible than the denial.

    I would expect the Mexican government to deny the report whether it was true or false.

    Given the already tense relationship with Trump, and Mexico's dependence on trade with the U.S., the Mexican government could never admit that this threat was made or that Trump called the Mexican military cowards.

    If the Mexican government admitted that Trump made those statements, their political ability to reach an agreement with Trump would be close to nil IMO.

    The statements reported by the AP are IMO consistent with Trump's dominant personality characteristics and his past actions and words relating to Mexico.

  34. TRVN (own, LT Biotech Basket):

    Marketwatch claims that the Ladenburg firm started coverage of TRVN with a buy rating and a $15 price target.

    SA says that this firm started as a buy:

    The StreetInsider site claims that Ladenburg downgraded TRVN to buy with a $15 price target:

    I do not have access to that report. The StreetInsider note does contain what appears to be a partial summary.

    I barely have a Lotto position:

    4. Bought 50 TRVN at $6.5:


    CYTK (own Lotto Ticket Small Cap Biotech Basket)

    CYTK made this announcement today:

    I view this as a positive since CYTK is avoiding raising cash through a stock offering. CYTK will receive a higher royalty from Amgen by co-funding the Phase 3 trial of omecamtiv mecarbil. In pre-market trading, only 200 shares have traded, so it remains to be seen how the market will react.

    I sold 50 CYTK shares for a profit and currently own 80 shares.

    I discussed my first CYTK purchase in the same post as my TRVN purchase (Item # 1). My last purchase was a 30 share lot in my IB account purchased at $8.75 (9/15/16). I have a snapshot a $94.99 profit on a 50 share lot here:

  35. Facts are irrelevant:

    Reality creations are the only facts.


    The Stock Jocks are probably 90%+ in favor of Trump and will see only blue skies ahead.

    The Bond Ghouls are starting to question whether the entire post election euphoria has a reality base.

    iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF
    $105.05 Change +0.36 +0.34%
    Volume 340,178
    Feb 2, 2017, 10:48 a.m.

    Gold investors sense danger ahead.

    SPDR Gold Trust
    $116.21 Change +1.01 +0.87%
    Volume 2.81m
    Feb 2, 2017 10:49 a.m.

    Currency traders are backtracking on their former consensus opinion that Trump was good for the USD.

    U.S. Dollar Index (DXY)
    99.42 Change -0.32 -0.32%

    The AUD is gaining ground today after reporting a record high trade surplus:

    While my two recently bought Australian REITs are down in AUDs, I am up about $200 in USDs. I would prefer to be up on both the currency exchange and the ordinary share price.

  36. You might need nearly $350,000 to pay for health-care costs in retirement- Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)

    Link to Report:

    This kind of estimate assumes that the person is now 65 and has an average life expectancy. The cost estimates do not include non-Medicare covered expenses (e.g. nursing home, caregivers). The cost estimates do not include changes in Medicare benefits such as substituting the GOP's voucher program for traditional Medicare that would dramatically increase premium costs.

    As previously discussed, most U.S. households will not be in a financial position to pay those expenses, and the number of households in financial distress will likely increase as health care costs accelerate at a faster pace than inflation.

    I doubt that investors in the aggregate are making realistic assessments about retirement costs and whether their current financial positioning will likely be able to cover them, even under optimistic scenarios for the stock market now at historical levels and assuming no simultaneous long term secular bear market in bonds and stocks similar to 1966 to 1982 occurring near or during retirement.

  37. More about Steve Bannon:

    "He is legitimately one of the worst people I've ever dealt with," former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro told TIME last year. "He regularly abuses people. He sees everything as a war. Every time he feels crossed, he makes it his business to destroy his opponent." The sentiment was echoed by conservative commentator Dana Loesch, a former Breitbart employee. "One of the worst people on God's green earth," she said on her radio show last year.

  38. "U.S. military officials told Reuters that Trump approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations.

    As a result, three officials said, the attacking SEAL team found itself dropping onto a reinforced al Qaeda base defended by landmines, snipers, and a larger than expected contingent of heavily armed Islamist extremists."

    1. The Pentagon and the White House of course denied that the statements made in the Reuters report and a NYT report:

      Donald Trump and his Pentagon will never admit to those kind of charges.

      What do you expect Trump and the Pentagon to say?

      Admit to sending the Seals into hostile territory without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations.

      If those charges are true, you will always hear a denial, irrespective of whether the charge is true or false.

      Anyone who trusts whatever is told to them by the Pentagon and the White House need to learn more about U.S. history and maybe then those alleged truthful statements are met with more scrutiny and a skeptical eye.

      While hat is a given IMO, there is no way for me to know whether the official version about that attack or the alternative version provided by anonymous sources in the Pentagon is truthful or at least closer to truth.

      I simply know there is an alternative version to the party line. The Alternate Facts may be the Party Line.

      This will be happening with some regularity over the next four years. Trump will not tolerate any criticism or dissent within the Executive Branch.

      Those with information disputing the official Trump line will speak with reporters only on an anonymous basis, assuming they are still employed by the government or are under a legal restriction about disclosure of classified or confidential information.

      Those anonymous source leaks will not convince Trump voters about anything. They will quickly label it as fake news.

      We can draw certain conclusions. Trump will make decisions based on inaccurate and incomplete information. He has already proven that he is unable to distinguish between good information and his own reality creations. He is naturally impulsive and has a short attention span. He believes that he can not make a mistake and that his decisions are without question the right ones to make. No one will be able to question the basic facts underlying a decision and remain employed. Alternate facts and reality creations will be facts that can not be challenged by anyone.

      Possibly in a few years, enough powerful and cogent evidence will leak out that proves to reasonable and informed people that the anonymous sources were right and the official version was a lie.

      Then, if the issue is important enough, and televised hearings grip the nation as witness after witness tells the non-Administration of version of what happened, and there are an abundance of documents including tape recordings that back up their testimony, then it is possible that a slender majority will accept that the Administration lied.

      You would have to have lived through the Watergate years to know what I am talking about. A sizable minority believed then and now that Nixon did not deserve to be impeached. The polls will vary over time. Generally about 40% of the public believe that he was innocent and guilty of nothing other than bad judgment as Nixon claimed.

      And, 45% of the people told pollsters than Clinton's email troubles was worse than Watergate.

  39. I would be interested in hearing an opinion from anyone knowledgeable about the following small cap Canadian energy companies: Advantage Oil (AAV), Whitecap, and Raging River.

    I have just bought Lotto Tickets in those three companies for several reasons. (1) a hedge for Trump throwing gasoline on the Middle East and lighting a match; (2) a hedge that Trump provokes OPEC's muslim countries, along with Mexico and Venezuela, to boycott the U.S. bringing back memories of the 1973 embargo and/or (3) demand and supply come into balance and crude works its way higher from current levels.

    AAV was bought on the NYSE using USDs and a commission free trade.

    Whitcap was bought on the U.S. Grey Market using Schwab, my best broker for Canadian ordinary shares traded there. I got a little pop today on that one after buying 50 at $8.16 early this morning.

    Whitecap Resources Inc. (SPGYF)
    $8.30+0.24 (+2.93%)
    At close: 2:52PM EST

    I bought Raging River in Toronto (C$1 commission) using CADs. Raging River does trade in the U.S. Grey Market:

    There were no trades today but sometimes volume can go over 10K shares.

    1. South Gent,

      I own ENY, which has 4.12% allocation to Whitecap. I also own CNDA that has 2.24% in Whitecap. Small cap Canadian energy is a good play as you have outlined the reasons. I was a bit too early (late 2014 - early 2015). Also I don't believe fossil fuel and the industry will go away any time soon so I have an overweight in the energy sector for a while now.

    2. Y: I sold out of ENY and the Canadian energy ETF XEG:CA after a pop in price a few weeks ago.

      I bought back XEG this morning at C$12.98.

      There is a difference in allocations and weightings.

      The most important differences are that (1) ENY includes the pipelines like Enbridge, Transcanada and Pembina, which are absent from XEG so XEG is a pure E & P play, (2) XEG has a far greater exposure to the larger Canadian E & P companies and (3) the index used by ENY's employs something more similar to an equal weighting strategy.

      The differences are tied to tracking different indexes. ENY tracks the S&P/TSX High Income Energy Index:

      Mostly, I am kicking up some dust trading in these names. I sold 100 XEG for a C$61 profit at C$13.38 (10/25) and held the position for two months. I owned 150 ENY for about a month and sold out for a $73.9 profit last December.

      Perhaps, I am really just entertaining myself but I do have some fundamental reasons for buying now.

      iShares S&P/TSX Capped Energy Index ETF (XEG:CA)

      SUNCOR ENERGY 25.61%

      The top two holdings in ENY are Transcanada and Pembina. Suncor is at 4.91%.

  40. "A sizable minority believed then and now that Nixon did not deserve to be impeached. The polls will vary over time. Generally about 40% of the public believe that he was innocent and guilty of nothing other than bad judgment as Nixon claimed."

    Really? With the tape and all, I thought it was a closed case. Completely proven. I still think so, and have to wonder about humans.

    I've read and agreed with a lot here. Saved me some time figuring out what the news stories are tonight.

    On the idea of impeaching, good to know it can be done under mental defect. It's not going to as you point out. So question continues to be... what can be done.

    1930 Germany probably did not seem like it could get to 1945 Germany or even 1935 Germany. I don't think we'll get to 1945, but we are far too close to mixed up stuff that is dangerous.

    My worry is that Trump will be smarter or less integrity than Nixon's (already low amount, but he did turn over the tape) and destroy any evidence needed along the way.

  41. LMH: I checked the polling on Nixon. The last poll was done in 2002 by ABC.

    "Over four in ten Americans in Gallup and AP polls since 1982 have said that Watergate was “just politics, the sort of thing that both parties do.”

    A poll in 1997 found that 42% believed he did nothing to warrant his "resignation".

    Among republicans in a 2014 poll, only 5% chose Nixon as the worse President while 63% picked Obama.

    There were several republicans on the Judiciary committee that voted innocent on all counts. The ones that vote guilty would not have a chance of being elected by the republicans now.

    The New England states used to have a number of republican House representatives and now there are none with Christopher Shays being the last:

    There were several GOP politicians that voted for Medicare, but I doubt that one would vote for it now if it was new legislation.

    The GOPs want to get rid of what we have now as shown in their almost unanimous 2011 vote that would have substituted a voucher program for traditional Medicare for those then 55 or younger (costing them in 2022 about twice as much in premiums according to the CBO study).

    Poll Information Sourced From:

    One of the key reasons that people voted for Trump, as shown in the exit polls, is a belief that he would stand up to the rich and powerful.

    Trump has done nothing for the middle class, unless one calls repeatedly refusing to pay what he owed workers and small firms as helping them out. He lived in a gold plated NY apartment until moving into the White House that looked like a replica of Versailles, travels in his own jet, plays golf at the swankiest clubs around etc. And, he is not going to keep the GOP representatives from passing more tax cuts for the rich.

    Sure, maybe he will be able to keep some factory jobs in the U.S. primarily in the automotive industry but will be the total cost if he blows up the two way trade with Mexico in the process and increases costs to American consumers. He does not think through these issues.

    We shall see how the bottom three quintiles fare under Trump? Better or worse off? I would predict no meaningful change in real income and possibly a decline due to ill-advised trade and other policies. The data is compiled and we share see soon enough.

    Apparently, he came up with a new policy overnight about Jewish settlements:

    Might as well piss off Israel along with everybody else in the world, though he might just being trying to show for show that he is thinking about this issue mightily. The point is that a major policy can change in a nano second, and may come and go with the wind or may stay in his head percolating for awhile until he talks to someone else like Netanyahu.

    America’s Leading Authoritarian Intellectual Is Working for Trump

  42. I am expecting a higher level of White House disinformation over the next four years than normal. A heightened decree of skepticism and challenges to the Trump's Administration version of events is in order IMO.

    "The White House says a deadly raid in Yemen was long planned in Washington. Not true, say officials who served Obama."

    The claim made by Press Secretary Spicer is most likely a false one.

    So the evidence is starting to tilt toward a conclusion that supports the Reuters and NYT reports on this particular matter.


    I probably need to review my comments before publication since I am making a number of typos. This site does not have a spell check on spelling errors. I am not going to do that since I grow bored writing these comments and a review before publication just adds to the boredom.

  43. This WP article highlights Bannon's view about Muslims that underlie his push for a Muslim Ban:

    "The eight-page draft, written in 2007 during Bannon’s stint as a Hollywood filmmaker, proposed a three-part movie that would trace “the culture of intolerance” behind sharia law, examine the “Fifth Column” made up of “Islamic front groups” and identify the American enablers paving “the road to this unique hell on earth.”

    Anyone who does not believe that Muslims are radicals bent on the destruction of the U.S. are enablers.

    Has he changed his opinions? The evidence is that his worldview has been consistent with what he has said and done recently, as displayed, for example, in this video where he is talking just to a computer and his drift is obvious IMO:

    He is not a very person who assembles relevant information and then exercises good judgment. He assembles a piece of information and then draws conclusions that are inconsistent with most facts (Muslims are peaceful, law-abiding U.S. citizens and immigrants). His opinions are perpetually warped since he is at his core an individual governed by deep seated prejudices against just about anything other than a male dominated white Christian culture.

  44. The Pentagon released a video earlier today that was captured in the recent Yemen raid. The purpose was to show that the raid captured highly valued intelligence.

    In this particular video, a man is shown mixing chemicals for a bomb.

    Reporters told the Pentagon that this video was almost 10 years old. The Pentagon said it did not know and took the video down from its website.

  45. Der Spiegel, one of the world's largest circulation magazines, has a new cover out, and it is relatively mild compared to what I have seen elsewhere.

    It is a picture of Our Leader with his mouth wide open in a fit of rage and holding a bloody machete. He has just cut of the Statute of Liberties head which is seen with blood dripping from it.

    Yes, I know that this will have zero impact here in the U.S. Most citizens will be disgusted by that image, and they could care less about how billions in the world see America or how they are reacting to our new leader's foreign policies.

    Why? It is really simple.

    Donald is making America Safe Again.

    If he says that a few times, that is the end of the discussion. Period. All facts and analysis are irrelevant.

    It does not matter, for example, that no immigrant from the seven countries had committed a terrorist act in the U.S. over the past 47 years. Why would that be relevant? Donald is making America Safe Again.

    Jihadist use of the Muslim Ban to increase their ranks is also not relevant. More muslims that hate us and more terrorists are not relevant since Donald has Made America Safe Again.

    The large number of people who had valid visas to the U.S. and who were turned back with no evidence that they were dangerous is so irrelevant that I just wasted my effort in typing this sentence.

    And, it does not matter that countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, whose citizens have committed major attacks within the U.S., are not on the list.

    An Egyptian national committed today a terrorist act at the Louvre today.

    Do we now ban all Egyptian citizens from entering the U.S.?

    Steve Bannon would say so and Trump would unless someone is able to restrain him.

    If the GOP's Muslim ban was based on national security concerns rather than just a political statement made by Demagogue providing red meat to the True Believers, regardless of the many potent negatives, then why not include countries like Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

    Trump is simply not capable of weighing in an informed and intelligent manner the risks and rewards prior to making a decision.

    The Muslim Ban does serve to feed red meat to Trump Nation, 62+M strong, but will not make America more safe but less safe and far less respected in the world.

    Republicans of course support the ban. 45% of Americans approved of the EO and 85% of the Republicans. The division breaks along party lines with so-called independents approving of it by 44%:

  46. To protect savers, Trump today signed an order requiring the Labor Secretary to reconsider the fiduciary rule.

    This rule requires brokers working with retirement savers to act in their client's best interest rather than their own.

    For those who have been around awhile, history highlights the need for the rule, but financial firms say it is burdensome on them to comply.

    It is difficult for them to comply given their history of putting their own self interest ahead of their clients and selling them inappropriate products and engaging in churning to increase income for the brokers.

  47. I wrote to the Mexican President, to thank him for standing up to my president about paying for the wall.

    I just wrote to the white house to tell them they are making American "UN"great again. By humiliating us with all to the world the lies and game playing.

    I normally have a lot to write. I can't imagine Trump caring about much of anything. So my letter was short.

    Meanwhile, economic numbers are doing well. And so are the market.

    1. I doubt that the Mexican President will win in 2018. A growing number of Mexican voters view him as too weak.

      "The Anti-Trump Is Rising in Mexico, Feeding on Every Snub"

      The next election is in 2018.

      Andrés Manuel López Obrador is leading in the polls now , "who promises to end a relationship of “subordination” to the U.S."

      Trump is doing what he can to elect someone who will be even more unlikely to give Trump what he wants.

      The White House admitted that Trump threatened to send the U.S. military into Mexico. The White House explained Trump's comments in two contradictory fashions. Trump spoke in a "lighthearted" way, just a big joke, or the discussion was in the context of "how the United States and Mexico could work collaboratively to combat drug cartels and other criminal elements, and make the border more secure."

      Will that version be accepted in Mexico?

      There are more leaks to the press than normal. Why? Hard to say, but one explanation is that too many insiders have seen Trump up close and personal, and find him to be mentally unstable and a threat to U.S. national interests. They are selecting conversations to leak that show a serious mental illness.

  48. That's a downer. I will be assuming everything is a lie or unknowable, but not a fact or truth from the admin without outside confirmation.

    The hope is the leaks keep coming, and they aren't able to plug them up. There's certainly speculation from press that gets the leaks, so they know the sources, that it's out of concern for the what he's doing/ how he is.

    Have you heard any news that isn't about this? I'm curious if the rest of the world's events are still out there... and watching news channels isn't telling anything.