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The defining book for the current

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Gordon T Long

RESEARCH ANALYTICS for the GLOBAL MACRO

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Shifting Risk to the Innocent

 

Uncle Sam, You Sly Devil!

 

Is the US Facing a Cash Crunch?

 

Gaming the US Tax Payer

 

Manufacturing a Minsky Melt-Up

 

Hitting the Maturity Wall

 

An Accounting Driven Market Recovery

 


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"SULTANS OF SWAP"

 

ACT I

Sultans of Swap: Smoking Guns!

ACT II

Sultans of Swap: The Sting!

ACT III

Sultans of Swap: The Get Away!

 

 

ALSO

SULTANS OF SWAP: Explaining $605 Trillion in Derivatives!

 

SULTANS OF SWAP: Fearing the Gearing!

 

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EXTEND & PRETEND: Stage I Comes to an End!

The Dog Ate my Report Card

 

Both came to an end at the same time: the administration’s policy to Extend & Pretend has run out of time as has the patience of the US electorate with the government’s Keynesian economic policy responses. Desperate last gasp attempts are to be fully expected, but any chance of success is rapidly diminishing.

Before we can identify what needs to be done, what the administration is likely to do and how we can preserve and protect our wealth through it, we need to first determine where we are going wrong. Surprisingly, no one has assessed the results of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act 2009 (ARRA) which was this administration’s cornerstone program to place the US back on the post financial crisis road to recovery.

We can safely conclude either:

1-    The administration completely under estimated the extent of the economic crisis, even though we were well into it when the ARRA was introduced.

2-    The administration was unable to secure the actually required stimulus amount which was likely 4-5 times that approved.

3-    The administration failed to implement the program in a timely manner.

4-    The administration failed to diagnose the problem correctly and that in fact it is a structural problem versus a cyclical and liquidity problem, as they still insist it to be.

I personally believe it is all four of the above.

READ MORE

 

 

SULTANS OF SWAP: BP Potentially More Devastating then Lehman!

 

As horrific as the gulf environmental catastrophe is, an even more intractable and cataclysmic disaster may be looming. The yet unknowable costs associated with clean-up, litigation and compensation damages due to arguably the world’s worst environmental tragedy, may be in the process of triggering a credit event by British Petroleum (BP) that will be equally devastating to global over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives. The potential contagion may eventually show that Lehman Bros. and Bear Stearns were simply early warning signals of the devastation lurking and continuing to grow unchecked in the $615T OTC Derivatives market.

 

What is yet unknowable is what the reality is of BP’s off-balance sheet obligations and leverage positions. How many Special Purpose Entities (SPEs) is it operating? Remember, during the Enron debacle Andrew Fastow, the Enron CFO, asserted in testimony nearly 10 years ago that GE had 2500 such entities already in existence. BP has even more physical assets than Enron and GE. Furthermore, no one knows the true size of BP’s OTC derivative contracts such as Interest Rate Swaps and Currency Swaps. Only the major international banks have visibility to what the collateral obligations associated with these instruments are, their credit trigger events and who the counter parties are. They are obviously not talking, but as I will explain, they are aggressively repositioning trillions of dollars in global currency, swap, derivative, options, debt and equity portfolios.

 

READ MORE


READER ROADMAP -  2010 TIPPING POINTS aid to positioning COMMENTARY

 

 

 

1

         

SOVEREIGN DEBT PIIGS

EU BANKING CRISIS
BOND BUBBLE

STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENT

CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE
BANKING CRISIS II
RISK REVERSAL

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

CREDIT CONTRACTION II

RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE - PHASE II
EXPIRATION FINANCIAL CRISIS PROGRAM
US FISCAL IMBALANCES
PENSION CRISIS
CHINA BUBBLE

TODAY'S TIPPING POINTS UPDATE

Last Update: 07/16/2010 05:06 AM

RED ALERT

AMBER ALERT

ACTIVITY

MONITOR

Click to Enlarge

 

 

POSTS:   FRIDAY 07-16-10

 

 

GEO-POLITICAL TENSIONS - ISRAEL / KOREA / IRAN

 

IRAN

IRNA Reports Two Bomb Blasts Hit South-Eastern Iran

Iran-Backed Militias Seen As Threat to Bases in Iraq  WSJ

Iranian-supported militias targeting American bases now pose a more serious threat to U.S. forces than al Qaeda as they seek to exert influence over Iraq's uncertain political makeup, the top American general in Iraq said

 

ISRAEL

 

KOREA 

 

SOVEREIGN DEBT & CREDIT CRISIS

 

How the ECB Engineered the Euro's Recovery Dorsch

 

GREECE

 

SPAIN / PORTUGAL

Spanish Bond Sale Eases Funding Concern - Euro Stregthens BL

 

FRANCE

 

GERMANY

 

ITALY

 

UK

 

ICELAND

 

JAPAN

IMF asks Japan to push ahead with sales tax hike AFP

 

CHINA

Chinese economy starts to cool down  FT

 

USA

Latest Economic Deterioration Confirmation- Philly Fed Plunges To 5.1, Consensus At 10.0, Previous At 8.0  ZH

Results from the Business Outlook Survey suggest that regional manufacturing activity continues to expand in July but has slowed over the past two months. Surveyed firms reported a decline in new orders this month compared with June. Employment showed a slight improvement this month. The survey’s broad indicators of future activity continue to suggest that the region’s manufacturing executives expect growth in business over the next six months, but optimism has waned notably in recent months.The survey’s broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, decreased from a reading of 8 in June to 5.1 in July. The index, although still positive and suggesting growth, has fallen for two consecutive months (see Chart). Indexes for new orders and shipments also suggest a slowing this month: The new orders index fell 13 points, to its first negative reading in 12 months, and the shipments index decreased 10 points but remained positive. Indicating weakness, indexes for both delivery times and unfilled orders fell and were in negative territory this month.

The index is now back to mid-2009 levels.

Full release

 

EU BANKING CRISIS

 

European Short-Term Funding At Worst Levels Of 2010  ZH

For all that talk about good news out of Europe, it would be great if there was any "good" news to actually report, instead of just ECB's ongoing monetization of ever more sovereign debt at higher and higher yields, and the Eurozone regulators pretending its insolvent banks are healthy. Case in point - every single overnight funding indicator is now at the worst levels of 2010, including Libor, Interbank Deposit Rates, Repos and Commercial Paper. Nobody is willing to drink the European stability Kool Aid - the entire continent continues to be locked out when it comes to the ever critical ST funding market. As all this debt accumulates and needs to roll, it means the ECB will soon be required to provide not only long-term but short-term funding. In the meantime, the market continues to buy euros from Goldman.

 

Barclays Sees European Banks Needing Over $100 Billion In Capital After Stress Tests  ZH

Producer Prices Fall More Than Forecast  on Fuel, Food BL

Jobless claims fall
Manufacturing in N.Y. Area Expanded at Slower Pace in July BL

 

BOND BUBBLEBOND BUBBLE

 

FOMC Says It Will Take At Least Five Years To Get Growth Back On Track  BI

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee has come out with their minutes, on delay, from their June meeting.  The result is a cut in projected growth rates and the FOMC expects hiring to remain slow. The headline, though, is that members felt it would take at least 5 years to move back to the previous growth path:

Participants generally anticipated that, in light of the severity of the economic downturn, it would take some time for the economy to converge fully to its longer- run path as characterized by sustainable rates of output growth, unemployment, and inflation consistent with participants’ interpretation of the Federal Reserve’s dual objectives; most expected the convergence process to take no more than five to six years/strong>..

Fed members are also considering more stimulus to deal with the current situation.

Projections for GDP growth, cut by 0.2%:

GDP 714

Projections for Unemployment:

Unemployment 714

Read the full report here

STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENT

 

U.S. State CDS Tightening After Rough Month Of June  BI

CDS prices on U.S. state sovereign debt is decreasing at the moment, but serious concerns remain about some states.

Illinois, California, and New York still have extremely high CDS prices, due to concerns about the state of their fiscal positions. Illinois has just passed Iceland on the list of highest sovereign default risks.

From CMA Datavision:


CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE

 

 

HUNGARY

 

BANKING CRISIS III

 

 

Dick Bove- This Was Not A Good Quarter For JPMorgan  BI

Dick Bove spoke with CNBC this morning about JPMorgan's earnings, and how they are slightly misleading about the real state of the bank.

  • 0:45 Jamie Dimon is not telling us what JPMorgan will be doing to offset the costs of financial reform; he will likely be adding new charges for accounts.
  • 2:30 These are manipulated earnings based upon the company moving reserves and counting them as earnings, if you are a bear on the stock.
  • 3:00 This is not a good number for JPMorgan in anyway, shape, or form.
  • 4:00 Banks are all going to do the same thing, explaining away reducing the amount of reserves they have. But if the economy is not as strong as they suggest, those reserves will come back. 
  • 5:00 Can we trust the banks' vision on the economy? They are now increasing their vulnerability, but they may be wrong about the economy.
  • 6:00 Regional banks will show some increase in revenue, but the majors will not.
  • 7:20 Banks are shrinking their loan portfolios, reducing the money supply at the highest rate since the depression, and there is no way the economy can grow robustly if that money supply isn't high.
  • 99:00 Jamie Dimon missed it completely on housing; there is no indication they knew what was happening.
 

 

 

DODD FRANK ACT

Finance-Overhaul Clears Senate Hurdle, Moves to Final Action BL

The Ugly Truth About Financial-Regulatory Reform Harvey Pitt

US Senate passes financial reform  FT

Bill lays out route map for Wall St FT

Congress's Approval of Finance Bill Shifts Focus to Regulators  BL

 

Here's the financial reform bill that just passed the Senate  BI
  • Volcker Rule: Only 3% of a bank's tangible common equity can be invested in hedge funds or private equity.

  • Also under the Volcker Rule, prop trading at bank holding companies is not allowed, but of course this will be subject to substantial debate about what prop trading is.

  • As CNBC's Kate Kelly reports, there's also language in the bill that could prevent banks from hedging their exposure to trades done on behalf of clients. This is a response to the Goldman ABACUS scandal, and the idea that banks are taking positions contrary to their clients wishes. Major banks are said to be very concerned about this.

  • Blanche Lincoln's anti-derivatives rule remained somewhat intact. Banks will be allowed to use various swaps to hedge their own exposure, but dealing of many derivatives will be forced into separately capitalized hives of the big firms.

  • As Reuters notes, the Fed is gaining several powers in this including greater oversight of systemic risk, and it will house the consumer protection agency.

  • As for the consumer protection agency, it remains unclear what shape it will take. Much of it may depend on who is helming it, and what political party is in charge. This was previously seen as a particularly controversial measure, but nobody is all that worried about it right now.

  • Regarding the consumer, the bill limits fees debt card firms can charge.

  • The Fed will be audited regarding its open market activities, but will not face oversight on actions related to monetary policy.

  • The Ratings Agencies will be subject to greater oversight, and will have more liability, according to Reuters.

  • Broker dealers will still not have fiduciary duty says Reuters.

  • Auto dealers remain exempt from any financial regulations says Reuters.

RATING AGENCIES

 

RISK REVERSAL

 

Citi Explains How It Hid Risk  WSJ
Citigroup for the first time publicly detailed one way it dressed up its balance sheet and incorrectly hid risk from the public, involving "repo" transactions.

 

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

 

 

RRESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE - PHASE II

 

 

U.S. home foreclosures reach record high in second quarter LAT

If that pace continues through the year, the number of homes taken by banks is likely to top 1 million by the end of 2010

Some Sellers Slashing Prices, While Banks Mow the Lawn CNBC

 

EXPIRATION FINANCIAL CRISIS PROGRAM

 

 

PENSION & ENTITLEMENTS CRISIS



CHRONIC UNEMPLOYMENT

 


GOVERNMENT BACKSTOP INSURANCE

 

 

CORPORATE BANKRUPTCIES

 

BBP - British Petroleum

 


BP stops leak from stricken gulf well  FT


Inside BPStaff depict the oil giant beset by fear and fury  FT
BP speeds up $20bn asset sale  FT



BP May Saddle Asset Buyers With Suits as Claims Rise  BL

BP Plc may saddle potential buyers of its assets with lawsuits as it tries to raise money to pay claims that could reach $100 billion from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, lawyers and analysts said.




 

OTHER TIPPING POINT CATEGORIES NOT LISTED ABOVE

Greenspan Says Congress Should Let Bush's Tax Cuts Lapse  BL

FLASH CRASH - HFT - DARK POOLS

 

MARKET WARNINGS

 
 

 

 

ICI Reports Largest Equity Fund Outflow In Two Months, Coinciding With Short Covering Market Surge

Remember how the market surged last week? One would think this may have been driven by something as fundamental as actual capital instead of HFT channel stuffing, frontrunning, and other no volume gimmicks, and that retail might actually be participating in a rally for once... One would be wrong. According to ICI even as the market was surging, once again - on no volume, it was merely an orchestrated means for mutual funds to sell out of stocks at slightly better prices to cover another week of massive outflows. In the week ended July 7, ICI reports that domestic equity mutual funds saw $4.1 billion in outflows, the largest outflow in the past 2 months, and the third biggest weekly redemption in 2010! This is also the tenth sequential outflow, amounts to $34 billion in total outflows YTD, and represents a losing streak even worse than that of the BDIY.... Yet stocks jumped. One day we hope congress will ask the Fed to explain this particular observation. And yes, in other lack of news, investors no longer trust stocks period: $6 billion in capital was allocated to taxable bond funds. Nobody cares about 10% returns with the possibility of a total wipe out. 4%, capital preservaton, and staying away from the corrupt and broken stock market is more than enough for most Americans nowadays.

 

GOLD MANIPULATION

 

VIDEOVIDEO TO WATCH

 

This places Obama in a difficult position

He must politically talk austerity while the money supply collapses

The bottom line here is that Americans don’t believe in President Obama’s leadership,” says Rob Shapiro, another former Clinton official and a supporter of Mr Obama. “He has to find some way between now and November of demonstrating that he is a leader who can command confidence and, short of a 9/11 event or an Oklahoma City bombing, I can’t think of how he could do that.”

I found this quote in an FT article earlier in the week and it sent chills all over my body.  This is how the strategists in Washington D.C. think.  They are sick, twisted people.  This guy doesn’t even realize how sick and twisted what he said is which is why he said it.  Imagine what they say off the record!  

 

Guest Post- The Dangers Of A Failed Presidency  ZH

 
I have been calling Barrack Obama’s Presidency a failure for at least six months now and it seems that I now have considerable company in this assessment as it becomes obvious to most.  It is not a failure because of the Republicans.  It is not a failure because of events beyond his control.  It is a failure because this was a man that filled a depressed and downtrodden nation with the audacity of hope.  When I voted for the man I knew it was against my personal financial interests.  It was clear what he would do with taxes.  Nevertheless, I got to the polls and voted for this fifth avenue creation thinking maybe, just maybe he might do some of the things he said.  Most important to me were two issues related to the military-industrial complex (see Eisenhower’s warning on this during his Farewell Address http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y06NSBBRtY) and civil liberties.  George W Bush was turning America into a depressed police state with perpetual war and consolidation of power between a corporate oligarchy and entrenched political class.  A nation where the masses voluntarily gave up many of the liberties the founding fathers fought for merely to ease the fear that consumed them and which was propagated by the administration and the media.  I and many others that voted for him even though they disagreed strongly with his economic policies thought he would at least reverse this trend.  Why did we think this?  Cause he said so.  How foolish we were. 

That being said, the real answer was certainly not John McCain as I think we would be in just as bad shape with him.  I think that what this experience has taught us is that the President of the United States answers to others behind the scene.  There are many theories on who these others are but I will keep it very simple.  There is clearly a power elite that consists of a union between big corporate and financial oligarchs and career bureaucrats in Washington D.C.  These are the folks that pull the strings of all administrations.  All you have to do is look at the trends that have been in place since George W Bush and continue under Obama to see what these players want.  Bigger government and thus more Federal power, more wealth for the oligarchs (thank you Federal Reserve) and an erosion of the middle class, and reduction of civil liberties in the name of the 1984-like never-ending “war on terror.”  I believe in a war on terror of my own.  A war against the terror that Washington D.C. is constantly trying to inject into your head so that you sheepishly give away all you rights and power to them.  That’s my war on terror. 

Ok, so what do I mean by “The Dangers of a Failed Presidency.”  I mean that it is July of an election year and Obama’s magic spell that held sway over the American people and the world for about three months has completely washed away.  I mean that the printed money mirage recovery that we have had to tragically watch is ending and we have no job growth to speak of other than a few hundred thousand census workers.  The public has no appetite for more spending and Bernanke has no cover to print more money (yet).  As such, if people think things are in freefall now for this administration just wait and see how the next several months pan out.  This then brings me to the following quote:

The bottom line here is that Americans don’t believe in President Obama’s leadership,” says Rob Shapiro, another former Clinton official and a supporter of Mr Obama. “He has to find some way between now and November of demonstrating that he is a leader who can command confidence and, short of a 9/11 event or an Oklahoma City bombing, I can’t think of how he could do that.”

I found this quote in an FT article earlier in the week and it sent chills all over my body.  This is how the strategists in Washington D.C. think.  They are sick, twisted people.  This guy doesn’t even realize how sick and twisted what he said is which is why he said it.  Imagine what they say off the record!  You can take this quote in many different ways but none of them are good.  I am not going to say anything beyond the fact that I would be VERY suspicious if some sort of event occurred before the elections.  Google the term “false flag.”  Also remember Rahm Emmanuel’s famous quote of  “you don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste; it’s an opportunity to do important things that you would otherwise avoid.”  Think about this deeply.  This doesn’t mean do what the public wants, or follow the constitution.  It means that that those pulling the strings of power have the opportunity to do what THEY want, what fits THEIR ideology.  Hitler is the most famous modern example of a leader that used a crisis to form his fascist state.  Again, I am not talking about Obama in isolation.  I am referring to the power structure that has been firmly in place since the 9/11 attacks.  Many call it a silent coup.  I agree with this assessment. 

This email is not meant to create fear.  It is actually meant to get people ready if things get crazy for whatever reason.  It is a challenge to people.  I challenge everyone to think about how they would react should another terrorist attack or something along those lines occur.  I was there for 9/11 and I saw the buildings go down in person.  I know what it was like to be manipulated by my own government and media in the wake of such an emotional trauma.  I also see that what we have done since, with things such as the Patriot Act and two wars that are still ongoing, and I have reflected on how they have changed America for the worse and provided a fertile ground for the elite to take away more of our rights and our wealth.  So my rallying cry is that we must be strong and fearless in the face of fearful events.  In the wake of anything that may occur in the years ahead we must not react on emotion and NEVER give away our inalienable rights in the name of protection from big brother.  Be fearless, strong and resolute.  Spend more time with your neighbors and build things up at the local level.  If we have those supports then we will be less inclined to cry to the magicians in D.C. and the Federal Reserve for “help.”

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

 

"In a market, the cumulative expenditure of the modestly endowed easily trumps the expenditure of the rick. And even the rich are ultimately answerable to the market: They became rich by satisfying customers, and will remain rich only so long as they (or their investments) continue to satisfy consumers. Consumer sovereignty is far more powerful a constraint on the rich than political sovereignty. Indeed, even the erosion of the rich by democracy is ultimately self-defeating, for it eliminates that class of men and women in public life who are under no financial pressure to remain at their posts, pursuing policies in which they no longer believe. It is no coincidence that the democratization of politics has been accompanied by a decline in resignations on points of principle or of honor. The vast majority of modern politicians simply needs the money. rong>But even the restoration of a rentier political class would not be enough to restore the blessings of good government. As long as politicians must compete for votes, they cannot govern honestly, or even disinterestedly. They cannot reverse decisions or policies that have proved unworkable. They must persist, even in intellectual error, and cannot escape a certain narrowness of vision. To release politicians from this predicament, a revolution is required. That revolution must be one not of blood, but of constitutional and political ideas. It must put an end to democracy without limits, before the prosperity of the species is destroyed and liberty extinguished...The only lasting solution to the plague of unlimited democracy is to attack democracy at its moral foundation: the political equality of the citizen."

Dominic Hobson

Editor-in-Chief
Global Custodian magazine
 

 
The ECB is barely on speaking terms with the IMF

 IMF - "Inflation Maximizing Fund"

as it was dubbed in a Bundesbank memo.

From:

Deutschland uber alles does not mean a trickledown recovery in EMU Pritchard

 


ZH - Zero Hedge - Business Insider, WSJ - Wall Street Journal, BL - Bloomberg, FT - Financial Times

 

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Gordon T Long is not a registered advisor and does not give investment advice. His comments are an expression of opinion only and should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as recommendations to buy or sell a stock, option, future, bond, commodity or any other financial instrument at any time. While he believes his statements to be true, they always depend on the reliability of his own credible sources. Of course, he recommends that you consult with a qualified investment advisor, one licensed by appropriate regulatory agencies in your legal jurisdiction, before making any investment decisions, and barring that, we encourage you confirm the facts on your own before making important investment commitments.

 

© Copyright 2010 Gordon T Long. The information herein was obtained from sources which Mr. Long believes reliable, but he does not guarantee its accuracy. None of the information, advertisements, website links, or any opinions expressed constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any securities or commodities. Please note that Mr. Long may already have invested or may from time to time invest in securities that are recommended or otherwise covered on this website. Mr. Long does not intend to disclose the extent of any current holdings or future transactions with respect to any particular security. You should consider this possibility before investing in any security based upon statements and information contained in any report, post, comment or recommendation you receive from him.

 

         

TODAY'S NEWS

FRIDAY

07-16-10

JULY
S M T W T F S
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18
19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

ARCHIVAL

SOVEREIGN DEBT PIIGS

EU BANKING CRISIS
BOND BUBBLE

STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENT

CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE
BANKING CRISIS II
RISK REVERSAL

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

CREDIT CONTRACTION II

RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE - PHASE II
EXPIRATION FINANCIAL CRISIS PROGRAM
US FISCAL IMBALANCES
PENSION CRISIS
CHINA BUBBLE
CHRONIC UNEMPLOYMENT
INTEREST PAYMENTS
US PUBLIC POLICY MISCUES
JAPAN DEBT DEFLATION SPIRAL
US RESERVE CURRENCY.
GOVERNMENT BACKSTOP INSURANCE
SHRINKING REVENUE GROWTH RATE
FINANCE & INSURANCE WRITE-DOWNS
RETAIL SALES
CORPORATE BANKRUPTCIES
US DOLLAR WEAKNESS
GLOBAL OUTPUT GAP
CONFIDENCE - SOCIAL UNREST
ENTITLEMENT CRISIS
IRAN NUCLEAR THREAT
OIL PRICE PRESSURES
FOOD PRICE PRESSURES
US STOCK MARKET VALUATIONS
PANDEMIC
US$ RESERVE CURRENCY
TERRORIST EVENT
NATURAL DISASTER

 

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Gordon T Long is not a registered advisor and does not give investment advice. His comments are an expression of opinion only and should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as recommendations to buy or sell a stock, option, future, bond, commodity or any other financial instrument at any time. While he believes his statements to be true, they always depend on the reliability of his own credible sources. Of course, we recommend that you consult with a qualified investment advisor, one licensed by appropriate regulatory agencies in your legal jurisdiction, before making any investment decisions, and barring that, we encourage you confirm the facts on your own before making important investment commitments.

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© Copyright 2010, Gordon T Long. The information herein was obtained from sources which the Gordon T Long. believes reliable, but we do not guarantee its accuracy. None of the information, advertisements, website links, or any opinions expressed constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any securities or commodities. Please note that the Gordon T Long. or its principals may already have invested or may from time to time invest in securities that are recommended or otherwise covered on this website. Gordon T Long does not intend to disclose the extent of any current holdings or future transactions with respect to any particular security. You should consider this possibility before investing in any security based upon statements and information contained in any report, post, comment or recommendation you receive from us.