Monday, May 31, 2010

What about the Deutsche banks?

How's their balance sheet? Thought you would never ask! Have you ever heard of counterparty risk...its waiting for the perfect moment to trigger the next shoe to drop. Right on-time! By-the-way, who do you think is one of the largest counterparties on the other side of the JPM 79 trillion ponzi scheme derivatives book? You guess right if you said Deutsche Bank. European banks are in trouble and so are the US counterparts...lets see what Bernake can come up with this time.

EURO update

What do really you have? What do not have? What are you really worth?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Gentle Barn

I love to take field trips to new and interesting places.  I've always wanted to visit The Gentle Barn and today I decided it was time to go and see all of the lucky animals living on their farm for life.

As they describe on their website, "The Gentle Barn Foundation is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1999 as a safe haven and place of recovery for abused farm animals and children. We are home to over 120 rescued animals and we are host to at-risk, inner-city and special needs kids.

Our unique treatment philosophy rehabilitates animals and connects their stories of survival and healing to the personal experiences of at-risk and special needs children who have suffered physical, mental or emotional trauma.

Through the interaction with our animals, the children learn forgiveness, courage, strength, leadership skills, trust, empathy and kindness. The healing that takes place is truly miraculous!"

It was a sight to see.  It felt nice to witness all of the animals living in a safe environment for life.  They are only open to the public each Sunday from 10-2pm,  so I wanted to take the opportunity to hug a cow, pet a pig and watch them interact with each other.  I would recommend a visit if you are in the area.  It's a great place to take the kids.  For more photographs of my visit, click HERE.

The Fed and PPT is F**Ked

Obama loves the Fed and I said before government in general has been bought and paid by the Fed and their cronies. Please see my previous post on the subject: Votes for sale

Are you in the pocket of the government?...the wealth transfer continues

If you are not, guess who is? well your buddies at JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Tax, Bank of America and a host of other ponzi scheme, fractional reserve, derivatives money creator government lobbying manipulators...hmmmm - BANKS! The great wealth transfer continues.

Totally misshandled practices, misjudgments and corrupt politics

That's the basis for this oil spill. Five weeks ago Obama was Mr. "We need drilling in the Gulf" guy now he's Mr. TarBall. How many more lies does our bought and paid for president want to spew?

90+ years of financial abuse and nothings changed

Since 1913 our governmental system has been controlled by finance...after the meltdown and clear demonstartion of the hypocrisy of the system, reforms have been made, prognostications prognosticated and guarantees made...the irony is NOTHING's CHANGED!

More at The Real News

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Unexpected Life Turns

In life, you never know what will happen. Things can change in an instant and the unexpected is always around the corner. Case in day yesterday.

Since it was the beginning of the holiday weekend, I decided to go out and treat myself to a $15 massage.  In little Saigon, there is a place I like to go to that gives you an hour massage for fifteen dollars in a room full of other people doing the same. You pretty much sit in a lazy boy chair with your clothes on and they give you a rub down for an hour. I had no idea what was in store for me on this particular day.

It started during the first five minutes of the massage. I was sitting on a stool and he was rubbing my neck and shoulders. I tend to like it more on the firm side, so I told him that the pressure was ok. Well, he dug into my neck. Hard. I didn't want to say "ouch" or "back off." I thought the pain would be a good thing in the end. I started to feel dizzy, nauseous and that is all I remember.

Next thing I see is several feet on the ground surrounding me. The lights were on, everyone in the room was gone and about 20 employees and a few customers were staring at me. All I remember saying is, "What's going on? What are you looking at? Where is everyone?" Less than a minute later a team of EMT's were around me asking all sorts of questions like, "What day is it? Where are you? How old are you? (I had to think about that one), etc." At this point, I am shocked and pretty embarrassed and started fighting back the tears.

After much debate with the EMT's on what I should do, I agreed to go in the ambulance to a hospital for some tests. One of the EMT's went to my car to get my phone so I thought it would be best to document my experience with some camera phone pictures as it was happening. Nevermind thinking if I was ok, I just thought that it could make a good blog.  Sick, I know.  It was all so surreal. It was as if I was in a dream.

I arrived at the hospital and answered more questions and told my story over and over. Oh what fun they had laughing at my expense. I suppose the story sounds pretty odd looking back.  The nurse asked if I had something to eat. I thought about it and said, yes I had an ice cream a few hours ago. She said, " ice cream and a must be nice!" I said, "Oh yes, you too can have that luxury and end up here." She did make me laugh.

I couldn't stop thinking about how much it is going to cost me. I asked for the EMT's to give me a menu of prices for what they wanted to do (a tad sarcastic with a hint of hope) . Wouldn't that be nice? It's like a restaurant for treatment options with prices attached. The doctor ordered blood work and an EKG and my first reaction was, "how much will that cost?" Of course he didn't know. I asked for a water and when it came, I asked the worker if that was around five dollars. They didn't get it.  They just dropped off about 50 papers to sign.

I would have denied treatment but I knew that my mother would be happier if I went and had the tests done.  I did and everything came back normal.  I have a slight problem asking for help, since I feel I can do everything on my own, so I left the hospital and walked about 4 miles back to my car and went home.

What an interesting day.

It's a good thing I am so thrifty and found a place that charges only fifteen dollars for a massage. It turns out that this is going to be the most expensive one yet.

Here's a slideshow of some pictures I took with my camera phone on my trip to the hospital:

Does Red Wine Protect the Cardiovascular System?

The 'French paradox' rears its ugly head again. The reasoning goes something like this: French people eat more saturated animal fat than any other affluent nation, and have the second-lowest rate of coronary heart disease (only after Japan, which has a much higher stroke rate than France). French people drink red wine. Therefore, red wine must be protecting them against the artery-clogging yogurt, beef and butter.

The latest study to fall into this myth was published in the AJCN recently (1). Investigators showed that 1/3 bottle of red wine per day for 21 days increased blood flow in forearm vessels of healthy volunteers, which they interpreted as "enhanced vascular endothelial function". The novel finding in this paper is that red wine consumption increases the migration of certain cells into blood vessels that are thought to maintain and repair the vessels. There were no control groups for comparison, neither abstainers nor a group drinking a different type of alcohol.

The investigators then went on to speculate that the various antioxidant polyphenols in red wine, such as the molecule resveratrol, could be involved. This could be true, but there's another possible mechanism here...

Ethanol-- plain old alcohol. You could drink a 40 oz bottle of malt liquor every night and it might do the same thing.

No matter what the source, alcohol consumption is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease out to about 3-4 drinks per day, after which the risk goes back up (2, 3)*. The association is not trivial-- up to a 62% lower risk associated with alcohol use. Controlled trials have shown that alcohol, regardless of the source, increases HDL cholesterol and reduces the tendency to clot (4).

Should we all start downing three drinks a day? Not so fast. Although alcohol does probably decrease heart attack risk, the effect on total mortality is equivocal. That's because it increases the risk of cancers and accidents. Alcohol is a drug, and my opinion is that like all drugs, overall it will not benefit the health of a person with an otherwise good diet and lifestyle. That being said, it's enjoyable, so I have no problem with drinking it in moderation. Just don't think you're doing it for your health.

So does red wine decrease the risk of having a heart attack? Probably, yes, just like malt liquor does. I do think it's interesting to speculate about why alcohol (probably) reduces heart attack risk. Could it be because it relaxes us? I'm going to ponder that over a glass of whiskey...

* The first study is really interesting. For once, I see no evidence of "healthy user bias". Rates of healthy behaviors were virtually identical across quintiles of alcohol intake. This gives me a higher degree of confidence in the results.

Funny when Russian Television has WAY more open media than its US counterparts

Maybe the US press can continue to promote the 5,000 barrels a day theory regarding our oil spill while suppress professional testimony several weeks ago that suggests its more like 95,000 barrels a day. I wonder how many other facts are being managed...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Is your money safe?

EURO system for the month

SP500 system setup for a short

Despite the exits from the longs yesterday...many of the long-term models are not yet short...however, they are setting up for that likelyhood and this presents a likely huge opportunity. I would like to state for the record that IF these systems trigger short...its most likely the end of this grand-puff-job perpetrated by the fed and their cronies. In case you need a little sunlight on that read below:
The U.S. Federal Reserve is also active in currency markets, German Economics Minister Rainer Bruederle said Friday.
His comments come on the heels of remarks made by his Swiss counterpart who said that the Swiss National Bank purchased euros to buttress the single currency.
"It is a regular procedure of central banks," to intervene in currency markets, Bruederle said. "It is not a secret," that central banks have a foreign exchange rate target, he added.
Bruederle said "eruptive" movements have to be avoided. He previously said that China holds 25 percent of its foreign exchange reserves in euros. 
If the fed feels that they need to participate in the currency markets...treasury markets, bond markets, derivative markets - why not stock markets - stock market futures no less? Where will they stop? In any case, the one thing that is clear is that the Fed will lose...the main question is when? Everything in my system work is saying its pretty soon - if not now. A rally is possible, not necessary.

While it is unlikely for these systems to miss a big short...the fact that the market fundementals are so poor and the units that are used to price these markets (ie currencies) so flawed...we can not under-estimate the risks of there being relatively little follow through to the upside. Which ever way the winds decide to blow, I will try to keep some general market triggers available through my blog. It is just too much work for me to publish every signal, but it is important for me that there is some reasonable information available regarding this potentailly dangerous setup in the markets.

Currently, the only systems still with a view that this may be a dip are the Small Cap systems. That could change in a jiffy however and I take the recent exits from long positions VERY seriously.

Memorial Weekend Road Travel

AAA is projecting 32 million people on the road for Memorial Day weekend.  If you are one of them, I hope you drive safely and take lots of pictures of things you come across.  A few road trips ago, I took some pictures of what I saw with my big 3 megapixel camera phone.  Some of those photographs I like even better than the ones I took with my fancy camera.  Here are a few that I took on a seven hour road trip.  You never know what you are going to get. I wish all of you a fun and safe holiday weekend.   

SP500 Earnings from 1936

With first-quarter earnings basically in the books (99% of S&P 500 companies have reported for Q1 2010), today's chart provides some long-term perspective to the current earnings environment by focusing on 12-month, as reported S&P 500 earnings. Today's chart illustrates how earnings declined over 92% from its Q3 2007 peak to Q1 2009 low -- the largest decline on record (the data goes back to 1936). Since its Q1 2009 low, S&P 500 earnings have surged (up over 700%) and currently come in at a level that has only been exceeded during the latter years of the dot-com and credit bubbles.

Update and Overview

I wanted to point out that most of the systems are looking short - all have sold their long positions and some have already begun short positions on this rally. Unlike previous rallies off of selloffs this one is setting up short so far for the systems...just a word of caution regarding having too much optimism relating to this market.

We have touched logical resistance, returned and so far found resistance at the mean zone and the Trend following analytics have turned to favor short.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sweet Potatoes

We can debate the nutritional qualities of a food until we're blue in the face, but in the end, we still may not have a very accurate prediction of the health effects of that food. The question we need to answer is this one: has this food sustained healthy traditional cultures?

I'm currently reading a great book edited by Drs. Hugh Trowell and Denis Burkitt, titled Western Diseases: Their Emergence and Prevention. It's a compilation of chapters describing the diet and health of traditional populations around the world as they modernize.

The book contains a chapter on Papua New Guinea highlanders. Here's a description of their diet:
A diet survey was undertaken involving 90 subjects, in which all food consumed by each individual was weighed over a period of seven consecutive days. Sweet potato supplied over 90 percent of their total food intake, while non-tuberous vegetables accounted for less than 5 percent of the food consumed and the intake of meat was negligible... Extensive herds of pigs are maintained and, during exchange ceremonies, large amounts of pork are consumed.
They ate no salt. Their calories were almost entirely supplied by sweet potatoes, with occasional feasts on pork.

How was their health? Like many non-industrial societies, they had a high infant/child mortality rate, such that 43 percent of children died before growing old enough to marry. Surprisingly, protein deficiency was rare. No obvious malnutrition was observed in this population, although iodine-deficiency cretinism occurs in some highlands populations:
Young adults were well built and physically fit and had normal levels of haemoglobin and serum albumin. Further, adult females showed no evidence of malnutrition in spite of the demands by repeated cycles of pregnancy and lactation. On the basis of American standards (Society of Actuaries, 1959), both sexes were close to 100 percent standard weight in their twenties.
The Harvard Pack Test carried out on 152 consecutive subjects demonstrated a high level of physical fitness which was maintained well into middle-age. Use of a bicycle ergometer gave an estimated maximum oxygen uptake of 45.2 ml per kilogram per minute and thus confirmed the high level of cardiopulmonary fitness in this group.
Body weight decreased with age, which is typical of many non-industrial cultures and reflects declining muscle mass but continued leanness.

There was no evidence of coronary heart disease or diabetes. Average blood pressure was on the high side, but did not increase with age. Investigators administered 100 gram glucose tolerance tests and only 3.8 percent of the population had glucose readings above 160 mg/dL, compared to 21 percent of Americans. A study of 7,512 Papuans from several regions with minimal European contact indicated a diabetes prevalence of 0.1 percent, a strikingly low rate. For comparison, in 2007, 10.7 percent of American adults had diabetes (1).

I'm not claiming it's optimal to eat nothing but sweet potatoes. But this is the strongest evidence we're going to come by that sweet potatoes can be eaten in quantity as part of a healthy diet. However, I wish I knew more about the varieties this group ate. Sweet potatoes aren't necessarily sweet. Caribbean 'boniato' sweet potatoes are dry, starchy and off-white. In the US, I prefer the yellow sweet potatoes to the orange variety of sweet potato labeled 'yams', because the former are starchier and less sweet. If I could get my hands on locally grown boniatos here, I'd eat those, but boniatos are decidedly tropical.

Instead, I eat potatoes, but I'm reluctant to recommend them whole-heartedly because I don't know enough about the traditional cultures that consumed them. I believe there are some low-CHD, low-obesity African populations that eat potatoes as part of a starch-based diet, but I haven't looked into it closely enough to make any broad statements. Potatoes have some nutritional advantages over sweet potatoes (higher protein content, better amino acid profile), but also some disadvantages (lower fiber, lower in most micronutrients, toxic glycoalkaloids).

End of day setups

Possible long entry at the close

Euro Target is still 1.40...

Please refer to my last post on the subject...the setup implied a retest that sucked in all the Euro shorts and then bankrupts them on the reversion to control.

EURO HLA Continues

Taking the Road, Unexpected

Saying yes to opportunities is much more fun than saying no.  When you say no, you are saying yes to the same, the predicted, and the comfort of the expected.  Even though there might be the feeling of unease of not knowing in a yes, the rewards are far greater.  You learn lessons, you try something new, you push yourself and take away something good from a yes.

When I was camping in Kernville, I decided to take a day trip to visit an old ghost town called "Silver City."  It was listed on my roadside attractions app for my iphone so I thought it might be worth a stop for some pictures.  It was just ok.  Imagine walking into an old Hollywood studio of a small ghost town and that's what you get at silver city.  As I walked in, I asked the ticket taker/owner/curator, "where are all of the cowboys?"  He said, "maybe they might come later." I knew it was a nice response when he really thought, "good luck lady..this is a ghost town."

While walking around the "city" and taking pictures, I found more interest in the local cat following me around the town and into the jail.  So I did a cat photo shoot in the jail.  After about 15 minutes, I saw everything there was to see so I decided to wander back to the car.  As I was settling in, the caretaker came out and said, "hey, you still want to see some cowboys?"  I said, "sure." He then told me to "drive up that-a-way for about 10 minutes and you'll see some gun slingers for the Havilah days celebration."

I wasn't really sure what he was talking about or what direction he was pointing me in but I decided to give it a shot.  I drove up a steep road with twists and turns for about fifteen minutes not knowing where I was going but low and behold the small town appeared with two buildings and a few people gathered so I knew I was in the right place.

Some of the locals were dressed up in old western wear so of course I had to take pictures of them.  It was too late to participate in "chicken poop bingo" but I am sure that it was a sight not to be missed.  All of the locals came up to me to tell me about it.  Even one gentleman told me to pull up a chair while he told me the history of the town.  Everyone there was friendly and happy to be photographed.  Even Wild Bill Cody wanted to be sure I put his photograph in sepia tone.  He said, "do you know what sepia is?"

Sometimes you will find the most interesting places from word of mouth.  If you take a chance and say yes, you never know what you will find.  I am glad I did and I look forward to more "yes" moments.

Next time I will arrive early enough to play chicken poop bingo.

CL HLA 1 minute trades

This curve represents $10,000 futures trades in the CL for the last 2 and a half months with a $150,000 account. Max trade is $80,000 and PL lock is not enabled.

EURO system keeps on trucking


EURO 1 minute HLA system

Gorgeous trades again. No losers...

Monday, May 24, 2010

CL Trades today...via HLA model

The HLA model is designed to trade crazy volatile markets like the currencies and Oil, ironically it works well on short term charts for precisely the same reasons as it works on currencies as shown above. It appears that short term charts trade very much like the longer-term charts of currencies...The system is averaging consistent daily returns with an average trade size of around $19,000 and a maximum trade size of around $100,000.

No System trades on close

California Sisters On The Fly

This past weekend, I joined the California chapter of Sisters on the Fly for a weekend at the Kern river in Kernville, CA.  What fun we had!  As you might know, I love taking portraits of people and especially love taking pictures of women and their rigs.

All of the sisters in this group gave me a warm welcome (being the newbie and all) and I instantly felt comfortable being there among about forty or so women that gathered at this campsite for the weekend.  As social as I might seem, I get shy meeting new people and sometimes it takes me a while to feel comfortable in a group situation.  Having a camera around my neck allows me to hide at times, but it didn't take long for me to unwind and be myself.

I love the fact that these women camp solo with their trailers.  Since this was not an "official" sisters trip, dogs and husbands were welcome to join.  It's perfect for me because I prefer to travel with my dog, Max and I think a lot of the husbands were happy to be included with the group to see all of the fun the women have together.  It was cute to see some of the husbands with a sad face when the sisters were announcing upcoming trips and said it was a "sisters only" trip.  I think it's great that the husbands are so supportive of their wives running off with a trailer in tow to meet up with other women doing the same.

For a lot of women, camping solo may seem like a daunting task.  I receive emails from women every so often asking how I am able to travel solo as a women and feel safe.  I usually trust my gut and try to camp where there are people around, however I have made some mistakes here and there and I've learned some big lessons from them.  I think this group is great for women who are afraid to make the leap to solo travel.  You can find meet ups in your area with these women and believe me, you won't feel so alone.

I enjoyed my weekend with these ladies and I hope to come across more sisters on my travels when Max and I head out on the open road.  For more pictures of these women, click HERE.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

EURO 1 minute HLA system

Up great since 6 pm on Sunday...8 hours...WOWSA!

I would like to point out that I am assuming nearly $50,000 per month of slippage and $38,000 in commissions. In reality, I get much less slippage than that in the Euro contract which is one of the reasons I like to trade it.

EURO 1 minute system trades tonight

Up over $5,000 tonight so far.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gerald Celente update

Bail out whom?...not us...not definitely not us...the Fed is not involved in any bailouts

Pastured Dairy may Prevent Heart Attacks

Not all dairy is created equal. Dairy from grain-fed and pasture-fed cows differs in a number of ways. Pastured dairy contains more fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamin K2, vitamin A, vitamin E, carotenes and omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains more conjugated linoleic acid, a fat-soluble molecule that has been under intense study due to its ability to inhibit obesity and cancer in animals. The findings in human supplementation trials have been mixed, some confirming the animal studies and others not. In feeding experiments in cows, Dr. T. R. Dhiman and colleagues found the following (1):
Cows grazing pasture and receiving no supplemental feed had 500% more conjugated linoleic acid in milk fat than cows fed typical dairy diets.
Fat from ruminants such as cows, sheep and goats is the main source of CLA in the human diet. CLA is fat-soluble. Therefore, skim milk doesn't contain any. It's also present in human body fat in proportion to dietary intake. This can come from dairy or flesh.

In a recent article from the AJCN, Dr. Liesbeth Smit and colleagues examined the level of CLA in the body fat of Costa Rican adults who had suffered a heart attack, and compared it to another group who had not (a case-control study, for the aficionados). People with the highest level of CLA in their body fat were 49% less likely to have had a heart attack, compared to those with the lowest level (2).

Since dairy was the main source of CLA in this population, the association between CLA and heart attack risk is inextricable from the other components in pastured dairy fat. In other words, CLA is simply a marker of pastured dairy fat intake in this population, and the (possible) benefit could just as easily have come from vitamin K2 or something else in the fat.

This study isn't the first one to suggest that pastured dairy fat may be uniquely protective. The Rotterdam and EPIC studies found that a higher vitamin K2 intake is associated with a lower risk of heart attack, cancer and overall mortality (3, 4, 5). In the 1940s, Dr. Weston Price estimated that pastured dairy contains up to 50 times more vitamin K2 than grain-fed dairy. He summarized his findings in the classic book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. This finding has not been repeated in recent times, but I have a little hunch that may change soon...

Vitamin K2
Cardiovascular Disease and Vitamin K2
Can Vitamin K2 Reverse Arterial Calcification?