January 8, 2013
- The “God Switch,” immortality… and the implications for your investment profile…
- Gold recovers, stocks swoon… $200 billion investors have missed by following the herd…
- Greek bonds up 32% last year… really… how you should play the trends in 2013…
- Will AIG bite the hands that saved its a$s?… what comes around goes around…
- Krugman for Treasury secretary (good grief!)… an epic spat between economists… the real meaning of “free”…a sly endgame for the debt ceiling debate… and more!
He’s dubbed it the “God Switch.”
Before we get started today, you should know our lead subject is so controversial we’ve taken the unusual step of concealing the identity of the writer we contracted to research it.
“It’s the biggest discovery in the history of modern medicine,” our researcher announced recently, “if not medicine itself.”
Last week, we touched on its implications briefly and promised to reveal a video clip with mind-blowing proof. As a disclaimer, we also warned that some might take offense to the nature of the video. (If you didn’t catch it in your inbox, you can find it here.)
Let’s begin with a practical application.
“Most investors,” Patrick Cox writes upon reviewing the material, “look wistfully back at the early days of Google and Amazon.com wishing they’d invested. Back then, however, most of the experts considered these unprecedented enterprises nothing but novelties or fads.”
Despite the controversy that surrounds this company and its research, “The vision of this project is as grand as those behind Google and Amazon,” says Patrick.
The project in question “is a single online encyclopedia of biological knowledge ranging from genes to diseases to cell types,” Patrick explains.
“As such,” he goes on, “this authoritative source is enormously useful to researchers, corporations and students. However, it is much more, because it provides researchers with access to research products associated with the subjects being researched. As such, it is sort of a combination of Amazon and Wikipedia.”
The project has vast implications for the way information is spread through multinationals, labs and research facilities at universities around the globe. But that’s only one market the company holding the IP has set out to dominate.
Another project along a similar vein has the potential to flip a genetic switch within our DNA.
Hence, the “God Switch.”
Now the controversy. The company hasn’t just excelled at deciphering and cataloguing the genetic code, it’s sniffed out the specific code that stops, and even reverses aging in human cells.
That makes the cells, essentially, immortal.
“Indeed,” our secretive researcher writes, “every time the God Switch is flipped, it returns the aged, tired, worn-out cells of your body to the biologically pristine state they were on day one — the day you were born.”
I’m sure you can imagine how this could cause controversy. But offensive or not, the company has already been granted hundreds of patents for the “God Switch,” and the wheels are in motion to bring this to the mainstream.
Our anonymous researcher has prepared a presentation that explains the science behind this “God Switch” in the least technical manner possible — no small feat when describing the human genome, DNA replication and the scientific quest for immortality.
He will also reveal why the short video below is causing mountains of controversy — and could potentially cause mountains of profit for those who get in at the best time possible… before the video becomes mainstream and the stock flies through the roof.
Click the video for the full “God Switch” presentation… As we write, gold has regained some footing after its recent landslide… back up to $1,656. For its part, silver is sitting steady at $30.36. The dollar index raised a hair, to 80.43, in overnight trading.
Meanwhile, stocks lose support as investors brace themselves for quarterly earnings. The Dow shaved off 79 points, to 13,304. The Nasdaq lost 20 points, to 3,078. And the S&P clipped off 10 points, to 1,452.
“$200 billion,” our resident trend watcher Jonas Elmerraji writes, with a forecast for what to expect in equities this year. “That’s how much Bloomberg estimates individual investors have missed out on in the past four years by keeping their cash out of the market.
“At some point, all of that missed opportunity is going to be tough to ignore for the folks sitting with their cash on the sidelines. And that, in turn, should help to fuel stock buying in 2013.”
In the last few years, Jonas explains, most investors have been stuck between a rock and a hard place: “Would you rather park your cash in Treasuries and guarantee your principal slowly gets eaten away by inflation or put your money in stocks and get a potentially higher return in exchange for more risk?
“A glimpse at Treasuries over that time period tells you which option most folks have been choosing — by now, you know that it’s not stocks.”
“In fact,” Jonas goes on, quoting Bloomberg, “‘The percentage of households owning stock mutual funds has also fallen, dropping every year since 2008, to 46.4% in 2011, the second lowest since 1997, according to the latest ICI annual mutual fund survey.’
“That’s even more evidence piling up that we’re experiencing a historic sentiment swing against stocks right now, and a stronger contrarian case that we’re due for upside this year.”
[Ed. Note: Our trend analysts haven't lacked for opportunities in the past year: 11% on a snack maker... 17% on a hated solar company... and 30% on the equally hated BlackBerry maker Research In Motion -- each in 21 days or less. And today, they've created a way for you to take advantage of all of their recommendations for less than it costs to watch CNBC, here.]
“If I had told you to buy Greek stocks at the beginning of 2012,” our wayfaring managing editor Chris Mayer writes, further illustrating the contrarian flavor you’ll find among most of our writers, “you would have thought I was crazy.
“The Greek economy was in deep crisis. Mass protests choked the streets of Athens. As 2012 loomed, thousands marched on the Greek Parliament building. Some threw Molotov cocktails. Police responded with tear gas. By February 2012, half a million people gathered in protest. Who could’ve worked up the courage to buy Greek stocks with all that going on?
“Yet Greece’s stock market was among the best-performing in the world last year, up 32%. And the crisis is ongoing.”
Fact is, “it pays to be contrary,” Chris writes, “as that old market philosopher Humphrey Neill liked to say.
“Neill wrote a little book called The Art of Contrary Thinking in 1954. As Neill frames it, the art of contrary thinking was to get in the habit of asking questions of the consensus such as ‘Suppose the opposite is true, then what?’
“Consensus has the European economies shrinking and ill winds blowing across its markets for years to come.
“Maybe so,” he says, and many would say this is a clear sign to steer clear.
Supposing the opposite is true? Just as in the case of Greece, Chris explains, “Crisis creates fear, and fear means low prices. Low prices turn, later, into fat returns for investors.” For a list of contrarian bets Chris has on the table right now, click here.
Thanks, but no thanks: American International Group (AIG) recently regained solvency after paying back in full a $182 billion bailout… and is now considering suing its lenders.
“Behind the scenes,” The New York Times reports, “the restored insurance company is weighing whether to tell the government agencies that rescued it during the financial crisis: Thanks, but you cheated our shareholders.”
Tomorrow, according to court records, the board of AIG will meet to consider a $25 billion shareholder lawsuit against the government. Heh.
You may recall the demise of the 75-watt incandescent bulb we touched on last week. It will be sad when we’re all going blind from overexposure to white light. But there’s actually more to the story…
“Despite their large energy savings,” professor Miriam Rafailovich from Stony Brook University told Sciencedaily.com this week, “consumers should be careful when using compact fluorescent light bulbs.”
To test the bulb’s safety, researchers at Stony Brook University exposed healthy human skin cells to CFL light and compared it with the effects of the incandescent light bulbs.
“Our study revealed that the response of healthy skin cells to UV emitted from CFL bulbs is consistent with damage from ultraviolet radiation,” professor Rafailovich explains.
“The results were that that you could actually initiate cell death,” another researcher, professor of dermatology at Stony Brook Marcia Simon, told CBS Miami.
The Stony Brook team believes they’ve found the culprit: “In every bulb that researchers tested,” reports CBS, “they found that the protective coating around the light creating ‘phosphor’ was cracked, allowing dangerous ultraviolet rays to escape.”
And the incandescent bulbs’ effect on healthy cells? Zilch.
But at least the new federally mandated bulbs are eco-friendly… right? Actually, no. That is, unless Mother Nature thrives in mercury-rich environments.
“The problem with the bulbs,” executive director of the Solid Waste Association of North America, John Skinner explains, “is that they’ll break before they get to the landfill. They’ll break in containers, or they’ll break in a Dumpster or they’ll break in the trucks. Workers may be exposed to very high levels of mercury when that happens.”
Federally mandated mercury?If mercury-enriched landfills don’t give you goose bumps, Skinner assures us there’s also a danger of contaminating residential soil from prematurely broken bulbs. Not to mention the water supply.
Throw in the numerous reports floating around the news feeds of the new bright bulbs exploding without warning and we’re even more thankful that Congress has taken upon itself the responsibility of protecting us from those dastardly old yellow bulbs.
[Ed. Note: What business does Congress have meddling in the market for retail light bulbs, anyway? In today's 5 Min. Forecast PRO, below, we feature four stocks you should avoid. All four companies have powerful enemies in high office taking actions to put them out of business... and creating "value traps" for unsuspecting investors. See below.]
“I couldn’t help it,” one subject line reads in the mailbag this morning. “Heh-heh,” reads another, directly below.
Two readers with similar senses of humor and impeccable timing brought this to our attention:
“This link is for a petition,” the first one wrote, “to encourage President Obama to nominate Paul Krugman for Treasury secretary. For all your past comments on him, I wonder what your reaction will be…buy gold and move out of the USA?”
The 5: Well, that’s one option.
“For five years,” Laissez Faire’s Jeffrey Tucker wrote yesterday of the long buildup to a spat between economists Brad DeLong, Paul Krugman and our friend Robert Murphy, “[DeLong and Krugman] have engaged in an unrelenting rhetorical ploy. When there’s good economic news, they say: Look how government intervention worked! When there’s bad economic news, they say: We told you that there needed to be more government intervention!
“It’s pretty clear that no existing reality will ever shake their faith in the power of government to cure all ills through regulations, inflation, spending and taxation. It’s an infallible doctrine.
“It’s been fascinating to watch mainly for one reason. Those of us with a non-Keynesian understanding of economic processes knew all along that the post-2008 stimulus would not fix the problem, and would actually end up doing more damage. The proponents like DeLong and Krugman — two among multitudes — said repeatedly that only government measures would cure the problem.
“Then at year’s end, both blew a gasket.
“DeLong went first. He called out Murphy on his prediction that we would see 10% price increases by 2013, and further drew attention to a $500 bet that Murphy made with economist David Henderson on this point. Then Krugman jumped in too, further flogging Murphy. Both said that Murphy needs to apologize to his readers and rethink his entire worldview.”
Our crew at Laissez Faire is currently in production on an educational video series with Robert Murphy on Austrian business cycle theory, in which he will most assuredly not apologize for his entire worldview. But will do just the opposite… and help you understand how the business cycle theory works and understand booms and busts in the economy. And plan accordingly. Stay tuned.
“I’ll add my 2 cents,” a third reader writes, “to the complaint about calling stuff ‘free’ that isn’t actually ‘free.’
“We all know you’re in business to make money. We don’t begrudge you that. Really!
“However, you know what concise means, and I’ll bet you appreciate concise yourself. Yet you have people write email ads and produce video ads that are just about the most extreme possible instances of nonconcise. They repeat the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over… getting tired of this yet? We sure do!
“So I challenge you to create a few of the most extremely concise ads anyone has ever created. Try them. See if they work [nearly] as well as the insanely long and repetitious ads you guys created. You might find that we appreciate concise ads as much as we appreciate The 5 for being concise.
“Also, we’d appreciate if you’d stop calling things free that aren’t free… that require we purchase something else in order to get the ‘free’ item. That is as low-class as it is common. Stand above the riffraff, don’t copy them. At least try it out.”
The 5: The debate between “long copy” versus “short copy” is as old as the direct response industry itself, dating back to Sears, Roebuck catalog mailings in the late 1890s. Long copy always wins. “The more you tell, the more you sell” is an industry mantra among copywriters.
But far be it for us to rest on our laurels. We try to make “short” copy work on a regular basis. We’d rather write shorter, “more concise” promotional pieces ourselves!
First attempt: Heaven’s Been Robbed!
Second attempt: Storm Signals: Cheaper Than CNBC!
Third attempt: 13th Annual Investment Symposium: In HD!
If you vote with your wallet, maybe together we can reverse the 130-year-old trend. We’ll share our results with you for free.
The 5 Min. Forecast
P.S. We’re already sensing an endgame for the debt ceiling drama in Washington this morning, before it even gets under way.
Follow along: Yesterday the president nominated former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel as secretary of Defense. It’s a “controversial” choice mostly because Hagel doesn’t march lock step with the bipartisan Israel-right-or-wrong consensus in Washington.
Now, we’re not going to make a prediction per se, but we’ll venture a guess here. If the nomination runs into trouble, there will be another backslapping meeting between Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell — much as there was leading up to the “fiscal cliff” faux solution last week. The deal: The administration kicks Hagel to the curb… and Senate Republicans roll on raising the debt ceiling. The House will likely go along; even though it doesn’t vote on cabinet nominations, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is raising a squawk about the Hagel pick.
Meanwhile, if Hagel gets through, the empire keeps on truckin’: Spencer Ackerman at Wired casually examines the record: “Spying on Americans’ communications without warrants? Have at it, said Hagel. A ballistic missile shield? Yes, please, and who cares if it angers the Kremlin. NATO’s 1999 war in Kosovo? Hagel was willing to flood it with U.S. soldiers.”
All the more reason to “make the empire pay,” we say. We’re hard at work on the next issue of Apogee, in which we make several recommendations for doing just that.