Truly Terrible Thursday Not Received?

Fri, 2018/02/02 - 11:40am | Your editor


After all my efforts, not all readers got Thursday's blog headlined Truly Terrible Thursday. Until we figure out where things went wrong, please go to our website to check for my commentary,

The issue seems to involve Alphabet (formerly google) which supplies our gmail account but I am not sure.

I will now write my Friday blog.

Truly Terrible Thursday

Thu, 2018/02/01 - 3:24pm | Your editor

It's terrible Thursday today with more results from our companies than I can cover much before the market closes. Moreover a new search engine safety update was very slow to load. Today we have important news from Denmark, the UK, Switzerland, Finland, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Mexico, Colombia, and South Africa.

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Global Income Growth Gainers; Muji PJs

Wed, 2018/01/31 - 3:28pm | Your editor


I have good news and bad. We'll start with the good:

Researchers at Ohio State University say deep brain stimulation from a device similar to a cardiac pacemaker can slow the decline of problem-solving and decision-making skills in Alzheimer’s patients.In a study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, they reported that implanted thin electrical wires into the frontal lobes of patients with Alzheimer’s disease as a brain pacemaker could improve cognitive, behavioral, and functional abilities in patients with this form of dementia. Using deep brain stimulation targetting the frontal brain regions can delay and reduce the overall performance decline typically seen in people with mild or early-stage Alzheimer’s. The disease affects more than 5 million people in the U.S. That number is expected to rise to as many as 16 million by 2050 because of demorgraphics, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. (Source:

Now for the bad. An analysis of income increases since 1980 reveals that globally, the top 10% of income earners got 57% of the total income growth. The top 1% got 27%. And the top 0.1% got 13%. The bottom 50% of income earners got only 12%.

Moreover in North America, dominated by the US, the top 10% of earners received 67%of the total income growth; the top 1% 35%; and the top 0.1% 28%. Again the bottom 50% got little, a mere 2% of total income growth. Even the land of th3e moghuls, India, has less inequality than the USA. In China and Europe, the bottom 90% got half the total earnings growth, unlike the US situaion. (Source: Llelwllyn Consulting Independent Economics, London,, headed by the former deputy chief economist of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. '

The message: accept that there is a basis for populism in the USA and also in India, with lesser but still considerable risk in China and globally.

A word of warning from Visa. If you are not from one of the following countries, you will be unable to enroll in or renew your sub on-line: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, or the United States (including its territories.) Today is the last day during which we can accept subscriptions from outher countries including Malta, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Turkey, Haiti, Venezuela, Paraguay, Uruquay, Panama, Ukraine, and Caribbean countries and Central America. Sign up before your cards become unacceptable on February 1. This is not a decision by my company, but by the credit card issuers.


My sister-in-law's favorite shopping chain, Muji, a Japanese firm specializing in non-throw-away garments and objects, is having to throw away its catalogue because it mislabeled Taiwan as a country and failed to give credit to China for the disputed islands offshore. Marriott Hotels of the US and Zara, a Spanish clothing chain, also have been ordered to respect Chinese territorial claims in their global maps. Naturally they comply because there are more Chinese they can sell to. One of my shopping problems I getting cotton pyjamas for my large husband which have the same pattern top and bottom, which department store seem to be dropping. I used Muji over our Christmas break but will now try to find another PJ supplier.


More news today including a nifty company Q4 report, another takeover bid for a company I own (but not a GI stock), and news from Spain, Brazil, Japan, Israel, Canada, the UK, Sweden, the Dutch Antilles, Bermuda, Mexico, China, South Korea, India, Belgium, and Chile.

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Reporting Glut

Tue, 2018/01/30 - 2:39pm | Your editor

Today is proving another news-laden day and I will therefore again keep my comments to the world (pre-subscribers) to a minimum. I did not get another hot-stock tip from Russia today, but one of the stocks we own which has a non-resident oligarch among its owners did get listed by the US Administration on its Ukraine sanctions list. However, oligarch Oleg Deripaska has nothing to fear so far as the sanctions list is not being used to impose US sanctions on the Putin crowd. If you wonder what the Russians gained from their intervention in the US election, you know now.

After the market drop yesterday I wondered if it had been a one-off. However, after another plop today I think we are in for a correction.


More from Russia, Canada, China, Israel, Chile, Britain, Brazil, Sweden, Hong Kong, Colombia, the Dutch Antilles, Brazil, and Japan, including a 9-mo and an annual report.

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Russian Stock Tip

Mon, 2018/01/29 - 2:06pm | Your editor

The tables which were mislabeled yesterday have been corrected. Thanks to readers who spotted my error.

Today a Russian blogger sent me infomration about an unknown OTC stock called Stargaze Entertainment Group, STGZ. Thank you to Stephanie Henkel for the tip. No, I will not follow up. And if you heard about STGZ as a profit opportunity too, from an unknown source, you have been warned. This is a scam. STGZ is not an amazing company. Free information on stocks from promoters is spam. We have a tip ourselves in today's issue.


The Guardian today published the result of a UK poll on whether there should be a second referendum on British exit from the European Union once the terms are known. While 47% of Britons want a revote, 34% of them are opposed. More importantly, by a narrow margin, most UK votes told the Politico pollsters that they would vote to remain in the EU rather than for Brexit.


There is plenty of news today so I will resist the temptation to hold forth about Russians on the web. More today from Switzerland, France, Belgium, the US, Hong Kong, Japan, Indonesia, Bermuda, Mexico, Brazil, Israel, Chile, Canada, Finland, and Britain. We also have a new stock pick from Martin Ferera up north and news of lots of deals.

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Eating Humble Pie

Sun, 2018/01/28 - 3:02pm | Your editor

Having just worked out our portfolio gains and losses today, I am about to eat humble pie. Our performance was in no ways due to brilliance in picking stocks, funds, and bonds. It simply reflected the accelerating drop in the US$ after the messy commentary by Pres. Trump and has Treasury Secy. Because we don't hedge our foreign currency positions, as a matter of principal, our stunning performance is mostly about dollar weakness. To view the result, please visit:, our website. But recall that this is a fluke rather than something to boast about.

Apart from the dollar drop, another impact on the portfolio rise came from two of our paid writers, who have expertise I do not have. Details follow for paid subscribers.

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Fri, 2018/01/26 - 2:51pm | Your editor


The warmth of the setting sun is shining on my back;

Got some memories of yesterday tucked safely in my pack..

Just one more hour of daylight as I walk this endless road,

And I'm grateful for the earth and sky to be my new abode.


Every step a revelation, every mile an open door,

Far behind, an old life smolders in the hazy fog of war.

Now the moonlight is upon me as I settle into night,

She reminds me to have courage as I take this valiant flight.

   For my heart is my compass, the horizon my new friend,

There are rivers to cut across and mountains to ascend.

A gentle night wind whispers there are better days ahead,

Got a blanket of stars above to keep me warm in bed.


Blanket of Stars, by Daniel Neer, on the occasion of the United Nations Chamber Music Society of the UN Refugee Council's benefit concert for refugees, All Saints Episcopal Church, Jan. 29, 2017.


Last night at a local community meeting at the Catholic Center, the Levy Choir of All Saints sang this song about refugees—something of an ecumenical occasion.


My parents were refugees from Nazi Germany equiped with papers, passports, visas, cash, baggage, and affidavits of support. The affidavits were hard to get in 1937 and calling on wealthy relatives long settled in the US didn't always result in them taking a financial risk on their German cousins. (The affidavit requirement was dropped after World War II.) My family history and this song explain why I oppose the Administration position and that of some European countries to restrict immigration. It is also why this Shabbat I will recall Holocaust Memorial Day. My maternal grandparents and one of my father's uncles didn't manage to emigrate and died in the camps.


My building demanded that I remove from my door to the world a small card from HIAS (the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) reading “my people were refugees too”. This is a reaction to that move by the board and the management company being enforced by the super.


More for paid subscribers from Argentina, Australia, Britain, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, and Western Sahara.

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Do You Want A Robot With That?

Thu, 2018/01/25 - 1:48pm | Your editor

To my amazement, I did not receive negative emails from any of my readers after writing a brief history of the three great monotheistic religions' claims on Jerusalem as a capital. Today Pres. Trump took time out in Davos to back his plan to move the US Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem with negative remarks about the Palestinian reaction. Today I am talking down another misleading trend, robotic investment.


The deliberate erosion of the value in foreign currencies of the US dollar is continuing. While I think the main beneficiaries are US holders of foreign stocks whose fundamental trading goes on in a foreign market in foreign currency, there is a risk. If the foreign company in which you own shares does a lot of business in the USA, it will face negative reaction from local investors as the Greenback falls. If it uses a commodity whose price in dollar-denominated, it will be spending more for raw materials.


More about this for paid subscribers along with news from Argentina, Brazil, Britain, Chile, Canada, Colombia, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, and China. Today we begin with some funny ways stock markets behave. The notes below explain why you don't want to buy shares with a robotic programs and why I recommend human stock selection. And we have a semi- annual report from one of our under-the-radar companies.

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The Wailing Wall

Wed, 2018/01/24 - 2:41pm | Your editor

The visit of VP Michael Pence to the “wailing wall” underscored an important historical fact, namely that Jerusalem is a historical sacred city not only to Jews, but also to Christians, as the site of the Crucifixion, and in some gospels, also of Jesus's birth (in David's royal city, as the carol sings). Christians can also cite the Crusades and their complicated control of their holy sites in Jerusalem. Alas, the Jewish control of the wall was exhibited by banning women who were in the Pence press group from accompanying him there, because the Orthodox rabbinate disallows co-ed prayer.

This wall is the only part of the Haram al-Sheikh that Jews are allowed to go to, lest they walk on the Biblical Holy of Holies. Ariel Sharon and a team of Israeli soldiers defied the rabbis and some Jews say that was why he was incapacitated with a stroke which left him in a coma for a decade.

Then there is the Muslim claim, that their capitol is East Jerusalem, established by the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque atop the Haram el Sheikh. Mosques built by the Turks also stand at the north and south side of the old town Church of the Holy Sepulchre, although the original Mosque of Omar in the old city was on its eastern side, and set the direction Muslims face during prayer.

Many—but not all—Muslims believe that the Prophet Mohammed was  transported by a magic carpet from Mecca to Jerusalem during a night journey, al Aqsa. The original Jerusalem mosque built at the supposed site of the prophet's landing was destroyed several times in the 8th century. In 1099 the Crusaders captured Jerusalem and turned the mosque into a church until it was taken by the Kurd Saladin in 1187 in a deal with Richard the Lionheart. Real all about it in Sir Walter Scott's tendentious Ivanhoe.

Jerusalem was controlled by Muslims (again mostly Turks) until Israel captured the city during the 1967 war. The sites sacred to the Muslims remain under Sunni control by the Waqf endowment, although from 1948 to 1967, the Jordanian occupantss destroyed many synagogues and banned Jews from entering the city. Israel avoided a tit for tat.

Some Muslims also believe that the prophet ascended to heaven from the Haram el Sheikh, the Dome of the Rock. Under a long-term agreement Israel leaves the administration of the top of the Mount to the Waqf, the Muslim charity inherited from the Turks. However Israel has excavated under the Haram (because it would have been under the Holy of Holies, and therefore is allowed.) Among other things, a prayer site for orthodox women was carved out under the mountain which is as close to where the Temple probably stood as the Western Wall. It is used for rituals celebrating the New Moon by Jewish women.

For a feminist, an interesting aspect of the Jerusalem imbroglio is that under the Turks, the waqf was often funded by women (often unmarried or childless) to prevent their property from going to relatives of their husbands, as is required under Sharia rules, and keep it for their side of the family.

Obviously this outline of the history of Jerusalem is colored by my being a Jew, but not pro-Zionist or Orthodox.

After our Treasury Secy Steven Mnuchin cheered the fall in the dollar, it fell further. Sterling hit $1.42, a 3-yr record. The euro hit $1.24. The Israeli shekel hit $3.40. The loonie topped 81 cents. The renminhbi and the Swissie are up despite both countries trying to limit capital movements (in by the Swiss, out by the Chinese.) Then in Davos Wilbur Ross threatened an out and out trade war with China over intellectual property breaches, and the Greenback fell some morea day  after the President slapped tariffs on Chinese washing machines and Asian solar panels. I own a Chinese washing machine, if with an Italian name.

This money more improves the performance of any portfolio investing globally because most of our stocks are run in foreign currencies.. More for paid subscribers from Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, Argentina, Australia, and Austria.

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Dr Copper?

Tue, 2018/01/23 - 2:09pm | Your editor


Today the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation (run by Roddy Boyd) examined a German company Wirecard AG. It claims it spent between 175 mn and 285 mn on acquiring an Indian payment processing firm. However, his investigation in India revealed that the money was never spent there, so he suspects fraud.

To read the article visit or use the Twitter friendly link

I donate to SIRF and help distribute their investigations. If you choose to donate after reading please do so and identify yourself as coming from More on fraud watch in the paid subscription section today.


*Metals today got hit by selling, notably iron ore and copper. While it is early days yet, there are stock market theories that “Doctor Copper” predicts the course of global economic growth. With markets YTD in synchronized bullishness, this may be a harbinger of trouble. Or it may be only a fluke caused by Chinese inventories rising as heavy industry is shut in to stop pollution from burning coal.

More on the subject for paid subscribers along with a disappointing result from one of our companies follows. We also got a whopping gain from a speculative holding.


We have news from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Dutch Antilles, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, San Tome & Principe, and Sweden. We have news of M&A in Mexico not involving Patron Tequilla.

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