Valencia To People: 'Don't Get Sick' As Pharmacies Strike Indefinitely

The regional government of the Communidad Valencia owes pharmacies in Valencia, Alicante, and Castellon five and a half months of prescription payments. The EUR450mm debt that is owed has prompted a remarkable (and somewhat justified) action by the pharmacies. As ThinkSpain reports, from today, two in every three pharmacies will be closed each day, on rotation, until the debt is settled. Last week the government settled half of their April debt and half of their May debt using funds from the Regional Liquidity Fund (FLA) but as the pharmacists point out, “this [merely] moves [them] back to where [they] were, since on Wednesday, we’ll be adding another month’s worth to the ongoing debt.” Perhaps this fact – among all the others – combined with the ECB’s lies, will bring some reality to the minds of those who see these bailouts as anything but a band-aid – and in fact (in this case) an entirely back-filling band-aid as everyone is faced with a “dramatic situation which has forced [pharmacies] to close indefinitely.”

Visualizing The Gun-Control Flip-Flops Of Both Presidential Candidates

Via Sam Jacobs of,

Americans are on pace to buy more firearms than ever before in 2012. Yet in the run-up to the 2012 election, both President Obama and Governor Romney have downplayed the topic of gun control. And given that neither one is an avid shooter, special interest groups such as the NRA and the Brady Campaign have dominated much of the campaign rhetoric.

But the winner of the 2012 race is likely to nominate at least one new Supreme Court justice – and with two high-profile Second Amendment cases being narrowly decided by split 5-4 Supreme Court decisions in the last four years, it’s important to look at how each candidate’s position on gun control has evolved over time since entering the political arena.

Scroll down for a historical look at how the position on guns of both Governor Romney and President Obama has “evolved” since both entered the political realm. You’ll see that each of them started out more in favor of gun control than either campaign would like you to remember.

Shooting Straight: A Surprising Look At How Both Presidential Candidates Have Changed On Gun Control [INFOGRAPHIC]

Comic Interlude: Mark Cuban Vs Donald Trump

By now we are confident that everyone is sick to death and beyond of listening about elections, polling, conditional probabilities, permutations, (confusing) statistical sampling and heuristics, and all those other things that the vast majority of the population fail in STAT 101 yet somehow end up as experts in during cocktail hour, on TV, on Op-Ed columns and, of course, on twitter. Which is why we are delighted to bring you this comic interlude. Presenting Donald “The Hairpiece” Trump vs Mark “Avion Tequila” Cuban.

It all started with this:

@mcuban just made the greatest charity offer EVER: Trump shaves his head, Mark donates $1,000,000 to any charity The Donald chooses. #genius

— Sean Heath (@theseanheath) November 2, 2012

And then quickly got out of hand – and by out of hand we mean a Donald Trump self-promotional circus… because nobody would expect anything less, or more.



Dummy @mcuban is at it again trying to use me to get publicity for himself!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2012


.@mcuban tries so hard to be a star and he truly doesn’t have what it takes and never will!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2012


Only 1 mill. dollars @mcuban? Offer me real money and I’d consider it. Your team and networks lose so much money I doubt you have much left!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2012


.@mcuban When Apprentice became the #1 show on tv you tried copying me with The Benefactor- a complete and total ratings disaster for @abc.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2012


. @realdonaldtrump Ok DJT, Im already in 1mm for #Sandy victims, if it all is dedicated to #Sandy rebuild , here is what i will do…

— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) November 5, 2012


. @realdonaldtrump This is about charity. Im ready to make you a better offer.But to hear it you have to commit $ 1mm to #Sandy relief first

— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) November 5, 2012


.@mcuban Baseball commissioner and owners were smart when they didn’t want you to buy a team— but I don’t think you have the money anyway.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2012


Come on@realdonaldtrump ,you need to do better with the insults.This reminds me of when I used to pick on you when we were kids in Kenya

— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) November 5, 2012


.@mcuban, Shark Tank was shoved to Friday evening– Friday is considered “dead television.” Besides, you are not the star (& never will be).

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2012



After 13 seasons, @apprenticenbc easily beat Shark Tank in ratings last year– better demos as well.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2012


.@mcuban Letterman @late_show had his best ratings with me–and you bombed. People don’t care about Mark Cuban.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2012






* * *

And so on.

Because this, ladies and gents, is how some people spend their time…

Monday Market Uncertainty – Waiting to See Who Runs America

Monday Market Uncertainty – Waiting to See Who Runs America

Courtesy of Phil’s Stock World

Today doesn’t matter.

Tomorrow won’t matter either. Nothing will matter much, trading-wise, until we know what direction the US will be taking for the next 4 years. Not only do we not usually get such a stark contrast in political viewpoints to vote for but also this is such a critical (and precarious) time for our economy. It’s not all surprising that we’ve had some wild gyrations leading up to this event.

However, for all these ups and downs, we still haven’t failed the September lows – other than the AppleDaq while the NYSE, our broadest index, has been making some good progress, matching the S&P and Russell to hold roughly 2.5% above the Must-Hold line while the Dow and Nasdaq are below theirs, but holding their 200 dmas – for now.

Notice how the indexes ran back to our bounce levels but were soundly rejected there on Friday,where I warned Members in our Morning Alert:

Let’s keep those strong bounce lines in mind – we got 3 of 5 but not impressive until 5 of 5 as the goals were not very high-bar:

  • Dow  –  13,170 (weak), 13,300 (strong) – now 13,267
  • S&P  –  1,418, (weak), 1,431 (strong) – now 1,433
  • Nas   –  3,010 (weak), 3,050 (strong) – now 3,026
  • NYSE – 8,220 (weak), 8,280 (strong) – now 8,329
  • RUT   –    818 (weak), 826 (strong – now 830

That’s where we were at 9:48 am Friday morning. It was downhill all day from there, and we ended up failing all of our weak bounce levels except for the NYSE, which is barely over its bounce level at 8,235. In the bigger picture, we need to hold those Must Hold lines on the S&P (1,360), NYSE (8,000) and Russell (800), with the Russell closest to failure at 814.  Just like we needed all 5 indexes to bounce to get bullish – we need all 5 indexes to fail to get bearish – otherwise, we’re simply playing a fairly narrow 5% range while we wait for the market to decide which way to go.

Whoever wins the election – attention will immediately shift to the “fiscal cliff” crisis and the G20 finance ministers are already freaking out at their meeting in Mexico and calling for swift action to prevent an automatic $607Bn in US tax increases as well as “automatic” spending cuts that go into effect in January if no resolution is reached.

“In the near-term, clearly the U.S. situation is the higher risk” compared with Europe, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told reporters.

Assuming the cuts pass through entirely to the economy, a 4 percent consolidation would be enough to shrink the U.S. economy 0.5 percent next year and generate a 2.2 percent contraction in the euro area and limit Chinese expansion to 4.4 percent, according to a model created by Dario Perkins, a former U.K. Treasury official now at Lombard Street Research in London.

Highlighting the growing unease toward the U.S., 42 percent of investors polled last month by Bank of America Merrill Lynch identified the fiscal cliff as the main threat to their strategies, up from 26 percent in August. By contrast, 27 percent branded European debt their main concern, down from 65 percent in June. While the ECB has calmed its markets, Greece’s government will this week try to piece together political support for further austerity needed to keep aid flowing. Meantime, Spain is holding out on tapping a bailout, and there are differences over the speed of a continent-wide banking union. Japan, which has a debt of 237 percent of GDP, is also facing fresh budgetary challenges. Its Ministry of Finance is warning that a refusal by lawmakers to authorize 38.3 trillion yen ($476 billion) in borrowing risks leaving the government unable to hold debt auctions as planned.

Whether the route to lasting economic recovery lies through austerity or measured stimulus remains an evolving debate within the G-20. Just two years ago, the group’s advanced nations, with the exception of Japan, vowed to cut their budget deficits in half by 2013 and stabilize or reduce government debt as a share of GDP by 2016. IMF forecasts show only Germany, South Korea, Canada and Australia largely on course to meet both goals.

The election won’t really solve any of this, of course, but at least it will move us on to the final stage of negotiations with Congress and, if either Romney or Obama are able to do something about the Fiscal Cliff before the holidays – we may get our Santa Clause Rally after all. Obviously, that’s more likely with Obama as Romney wouldn’t actually become President until January – and we can’t afford to wait that long with the artificial deadlines in place.

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Complete European Sovereign Event Calendar Until 2013

The following is a list of key events (and commentary) to watch over the next two months. From Germany’s voting phases for Greek aid to various national strikes and regional elections, there’s plenty here of critical importance to the future of the sovereign debt crisis.


Start-November: ESM ready to make financial commitments. After the first board meeting on 8 October, ESM Director Klaus Regling said the new fund would be available to make financial commitments to Spain’s bank recapitalisation programme from the start of November.


3 November: Dutch PvdA (Labour) Party votes on coalition agreement with VVD (Liberal) party.


3-5 November: G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. Meet in Mexico.


5 November: Greek MoU amendments to be submitted to parliament. This are the austerity measures and structural reforms to unlock the next tranche payment.


6-7 November: Greek public and private sector unions hold 48 hour strike against austerity.


6 November: US presidential election.


6 November: Greece auction. Bills.


7 November: Greece to vote on austerity and reforms. This is required to unlock the EUR31.5bn next tranche of the second bailout programme.


7 November: Greek 2013 Budget to be submitted to parliament.


7 November: European Commission Economic Forecasts. Autumn update.


8 November (tbc): Special Eurogroup meeting on Greece. This will be dependent on Greece having approved the austerity and reforms.


8 November: ECB Governing Council meeting. We do not expect any changes, whether to standard (rates) or non-standard (liquidity, asset purchases) policies. The question for the ECB is whether the dichotomy between improving bank funding and deteriorating economy prospects merely reflects lags in the transmission of financial conditions to economic conditions or whether it reflects a more worrying break in the relationship. For now, the ECB can afford to be patient, in our view. Since the ECB Council claims to expect a ‘gradual’ recovery in 2013, we would not expect them to reject their assumptions on the back of the marginally weaken Q3 bank lending survey alone.


8 November: Spain auction. Bonds.


10 November: VVD-PvdA (Liberal-Labour) government ought to assume power in the Netherlands.


11 November: Greek 2013 Budget to be voted on in parliament.


12 November: Merkel visits Portugal.


12/13 November: Eurogroup/ECOFIN finance ministers’ meetings. Chances are EU finance ministers will still be discussing how to finance an extension of the Greek loan programme. The aid programme for Cyprus could also be approved. This may also be an important date in terms of Spain’s potential request for a precautionary programme, which could lead to the activation of the ECB’s OMT.


13 November: Italy auction. Bills.


13 November: Greece auction. Bills.


14 November: Portuguese strike. The CGTP (General Confederation of Portuguese Workers), the largest trade union confederation in Portugal, is to stage a strike against the government’s austerity measures.


14 November: Italy auction. Bonds.


15 November: Q3 GDP reports. Eurostat will publish the flash estimate of euro area GDP growth for Q3 2012. Our current estimate is -0.3% qoq.


19-20 November: ECB workshop on excess liquidity and money market functioning. ”The workshop organised by the ECB intends bringing together central bankers, practitioners and academics to discuss the current state of health of money markets, the impact on their functioning of the recently implemented non-standard measures and the possible side effects of large amounts of excess liquidity currently present in many developed economies” (European Commission). The market will watch this closely for any suggestions about the operations of the OMT and/or prospects for policy rates to fall into negative territory.


20 November: Spain auction. Bills.


21 November: Spain auction. Bonds.


22-23 November: EU Leaders’ Summit. Officially to discuss the EU Budget for 2014-2020, but also an occasion to address crisis policies (including Greece, Spain and Cyprus if necessary). Following the UK parliament’s rejection of the Cameron government position of a real-term freezing of the EU budget at worst — the opposition and rebels wanted a real terms cut — it is unlikely the EU will yet reach a comprehensive agreement on the new Budget.


25 November: Catalonia regional election. Early elections for the parliament of the autonomous region called by Arturo Mas, head of the Catalan regional government.


25 November: Italy centre-left primaries, first round. The centre-left coalition led by the Italian Democratic Party (PD) is due to elect a leader for the Italian parliamentary elections to be held no later than April 2013. PD’s incumbent leader Pierluigi Bersani looks to be the favourite with Matteo Renzi, the Mayor of Florence, likely to be his main challenger. Nichi Vendola, the governor of Puglia and leader of the junior coalition party SEL5, is the other prominent candidate. The first round is due to be held on 25 November. Should no candidate secure 50% of the vote, a second round run-off will be held on 2 December. PD is currently leading in the opinion polls with 25%-29% support in the opinion polls held in October.


27 November: Spain auction. Bills.


27 November: Italy auction. Bonds.


28 November: Italy auction. Bills.


29 November: Italy auction. Bonds.


2 December (tentative): Italy centre-left primaries, second round. See 25 November entry.


3-4 December: Eurogroup/ECOFIN meetings. The regular meeting of the euro area 17 finance ministers followed by the EU 27 ministers.


4-6 December: German SPD Annual Party Conference.


5 December: Spain auction. Bonds.


5-7 December: German CDU Annual Party Congress.


6 December: ECB Governing Council meeting, followed by the interest rate announcement and press conference.


9 December: German SPD Party Special Conference to elect challenger for 2013 federal elections.


11 December: Spain auction. Bills.


12 December: Italy auction. Bills.


13-14 December: European Council summit. The final gathering of 2012 of the EU 27 heads of state and Government. One intention is to sign off on the legislation embodying the common bank supervisory regime under the ECB.


13 December: Spain auction. Bonds.


13 December: Italy auction. Bonds.


16 December (tentative): Italy PDL primaries. The centre-right Italian People of Freedom (PDL) party is planning to hold primaries to select its leader for the upcoming Italian parliamentary elections to be held no later than April 2013. The party was previously led by ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who announced on 24 October that he would not be running in the PDL primaries and would not be seeking re-election as Prime Minister.


18 December: Spain auction. Bills.


27 December: Italy auction. Bills.


28 December: Italy auction. Bonds.

Source: Deutsche Bank

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