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The Difference Between A Good And A Bad Trader: What Brain Imaging Reveals

The distinction between the world's only two types of traders (good vs bad) has been a very vague one. Until now. According to a new study by researchers at Caltech and Virginia Tech that looked at the brain activity and behavior of people trading in experimental markets where price bubbles formed, an early warning signal tips off smart traders when to get out even as the "dumb" ones keep ploughing in and chasing the momentum wave. In such markets, where price far outpaces actual value, it appears that wise traders receive an early warning signal from their brains—a warning that makes them feel uncomfortable and urges them to sell, sell, sell.



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How To Fight The Ex-Im Bank

Here’s a radical suggestion to help counter to the pro-crony forces: be upfront about the true sinister nature of organizations like the Ex-Im Bank. Let’s call a spade a spade, and finally describe the Ex-Im Bank what it truly is: fascism. Such a word comes off as a boogey man term used to rile up emotions. But in the battle of ideas, sophistry always comes up short. Just as the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, precise words are better than vague words when it comes to making a point.



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Marc Faber: Stocks Could Crash 30% Because "Obama's A Very Poor President"

"There is a colossal bubble in all asset prices and eventually it will burst," is the subtle recurring message from The Gloom, Boom, & Doom Report's Marc Faber, warnings that "maybe has begun to burst already." While Faber admits he has called for such a correction previously, he notes that the difference now is that "valuations are so much higher; and contrary to what the mainstream economists believe, I don't believe the global economy is strengthening; in fact I believe it is weakening." Furthermore, while "you never know what will trigger for a bull market or bear market is until after the fact," Faber offers 3 factors (aside from the Fed) that could trigger a 30% crash or more... beginning with "a) In The White House we have a very poor President - which will lead to political issues domestically in the US," which are not priced in.



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Guest Post: GUNS: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Gun ownership and gun control are very controversial topics. If more people own guns then will there be more violence and more crime? If everyone is allowed to own guns then will there be negative consequences? Both of these questions are debateable and each of them has its proponents and opponents.  In this article we’ll take a look at some interesting gun statistics from an objective viewpoint. The point is not to argue for or against gun ownership and or gun control. With that said, let’s look at the good, the bad, and the ugly gun statistics.



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125 Years Ago... Or Today?

Ripped from the pages of the Wall Street Journal in July 1889 - it's never different this time...



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Doug Casey: "America Has Ceased to Exist"

"America is a marvelous idea, a unique idea, fantastic idea. I’m extremely pro-American. But America has ceased to exist,” says Doug Casey in this fascinating interview with Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie. Casey warns of the political, social, and economic challenges the US must conquer as well as lessons we can learn from failed states.



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High-School Bathroom Cleaner: "$15/Hr Salary Will Change Everything"

"I’m not exactly sure how my life will be at $15 per hour. I’ve never made that much money, and I’ve been doing custodial work since I was 15."



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What "Rosy" Job Numbers? Wal-Mart CEO Slams Recovery Mirage

When the CEO of the world's biggest company doubts the veracity of US economic data, you know you have a problem. After quarters of disappointing growth in the face of miraculous equity market performance; Wal-Mart CEO Bill Simon warns that shoppers aren’t returning at the pace one might expect years after the recession peaked, despite mainstream media interpretation of the data showing unequivocal growth. Simply put, he exclaims, "the unemployment numbers particularly have been difficult to read with the number of people dropping out of the work force," adding that if we see a further drop in the participation rate it would fit with the fact that "middle-class and lower-class are still economically challenged, only spending during holidays and for family occasions," adding that traction has only come at the top-end.



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How To Die Poor

The trouble with capitalism’s guardians is that they have no respect for it. Markets have been around for at least 2,000 years. Since then they have evolved in many directions, with fancy and sophisticated techniques… and elaborate systems and complicated instruments that take a PhD to understand. But despite all the brain power put into trying to figure them out, markets still surprise, confound and puzzle everyone. You’d think Janet Yellen and other central bankers would take a step back and stand in awe. Heaven and hell are full of people who thought they could take the risk out of markets. Some went broke. Some blew their brains out... others both.



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Freedom: Summed Up In One Image

Braveheart's William Wallace would be proud...



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Debt: Eight Reasons This Time Is Different

Many seem to believe that if we worked our way out of debt problems in the past, we can do the same thing again. The same assets may have new owners, but everything will work together in the long run. Businesses will continue operating, and people will continue to have jobs. We may have to adjust monetary policy, or perhaps regulation of financial institutions, but that is about all. I think this is where the story goes wrong. The situation we have now is very different, and far worse, than what happened in the past. We live in a much more tightly networked economy. This time, our problems are tied to the need for cheap, high quality energy products. The comfort we get from everything eventually working out in the past is false comfort.



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Gaza Today, In One Photo

While the world was busy preparing to watch the Brazilian drubbing in the world cup, one which Goldman did not predict, this is what happened in Gaza today.



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"Treasuries - As A Relative Asset Class - Look Cheap"

Long-duration Treasuries continue to look attractive; a view that Scotiabank's Guy Haselmann has unwaveringly maintained for the past six months for a variety of diverse reasons. Of all of the various reasons, private pension demand is the most interesting and compelling (and the least understood). The bottom line is that PBGC rule changes will cause persistent and incremental demand over time that overwhelms net visible secondary market supply.  Concerns about funding status will trump the private defined benefit plan manager’s fiduciary desire to ‘maximize return per unit of risk’. There are other factors, but the point is that Treasuries as a relative asset class looks attractive.



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The Immigration Scandal For Dummies

Who could have seen this coming?



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Stock Buyback Shocker: Companies Using Secured Bank Loans To Repurchase Stock

"US lending to businesses is reaching record levels but banks are privately warning that the activity should not be seen as evidence of an economic recovery." And the stunner: "Much of the corporate lending is going to fund payouts to shareholders, finance acquisitions and fuel the domestic energy boom, bankers say, rather than to support companies’ organic growth."



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