Your Questions About Paper Trading Futures

Donald asks…

Has any of you ever flipped a house?

If so, was it a good or bad experience and do you have any tips to future flippers?

John answers:

Flipping a house can be a wonderful,profitable venture if you are willing to endure all the stress and unpleasant surprises. Do your homework first and find out what the surrounding property is worth.create some curb appeal,paint and a new roof can breath new life and good profits.I would make sure that everthing is up to date. The latest trend seems to be wide plank laminate throughout and nice kitchens,lots of wood,dark greens,twig colors and earth tones.A couple of bucks spent on modernizing the bathroom wouldn’t hurt . Make damn sure that you utilize professionals to do the stuff you can’t,not some guy out of the local paper..the pros will always do a good job..Avoid the “Jack of all trades”. Get youself a realtor that sells lots of houses,if he is hot in the market,he can sell your house quickly.Plan a strategy,set a date,and make sure that your spouse is ready for the rollercoaster of realestate.

Richard asks…

Is oil in backwardation or contango right now?

I am currently trading USO and was wondering if the oil futures are showing backwardation or contango right now. I’ve heard that backwardation can be bullish for USO.

Also, how can I tell which one it is in the future? Thanks!

John answers:

I. Let us first understand the two terms:

2. ‘Backwardation’ means that forward contracts are priced lower than nearer term contracts, or spot, and when it occurs it is a sign of price deflation to come. As an example, suppose you could buy gold today (Dec. 8, 2008) for $700/oz, and suppose the June 2009 contract were priced at $690/oz. That means gold today is worth more than what the futures market says it is going to be worth in the future. This sort of condition typically happens due to momentary supply shortages in a spot market for “soft” commodities, especially natural gas or oil.

2. The opposite condition to backwardation is “contango”, and it is the normal condition for most futures markets, especially for gold.
Looking at those prices for Friday, suppose that the Oct. 2009 contract were priced at $800/oz instead of 758.70. Someone could buy some spot gold, store it for 10 months, and sell a futures contract for Oct 2009 delivery. He would pocket $51 profit on that transaction.


3. Please see a financial news paper and compre the spot and future prices of oil and you will get the reply.

Joseph asks…

How to found a political intiative in the US ?

Has any law student an idea, if there are restriction or bzreaucratic papers, that i can fill out in order to create an independant initiative for german-american business and technlogy improvement ?

As non resident of the US it is not easy to find access to politicians who are responsible for anything, so i would like to create forum to get a platform for dialoques. But in your nation law is totally different and there are many restrictions especially on technolgy exchange. Therefore i need a legal background in the US, that would allow me to speek free. Lets say the opportunities if our two nation strenghten its exchange will not be only financially attractive but also good for the people inside our countries and in our world. So i need a total diffrent base as only always speaking to funds managers. Therefore access to political engaged people, democrats and republicans as well is necessary. I`d like to know more what they know about ecenomy and what they wish for the future.

John answers:

Your question is hopelessly vague, but there are literally 1000s of trade associations that exist for the explicit purpose of influencing US political decisions. Most are based in Washington DC or New York City. Whatever business you are in, I’m sure there is one that fits your needs. Contact your local (German, I assume) trade association or guild, tell them what you want to do and ask them for the names of suitable organizations in Washington DC.

Ruth asks…

Is it time to impeach 0bama for not complying with the war powers act?

I’ve resisted calling him 0bama until now, when it’s clear he views the Constitution as toilet paper.

John answers:

If Congress wants to be nice, they can play along as they have been. On Sunday there is nothing Obama can say or due to justify the war.

Obama was in violation of the War Powers act of 1975 on the day that he sent troops in to attack Libya.

I am going to educate Thorstein, primarily because he said that you were ignorant of the act and the facts and I will educate Wise Guy because he seems to think that George Bush violate the act.
Both are WRONG.

The War Powers Act consists of several components but the primary objective is namely to “insure that the collective judgment of both the Congress and the President will apply to the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities,” and that the President’s powers as Commander in Chief are exercised only pursuant to a declaration of war, specific statutory authorization from Congress, or a national emergency created by an attack upon the United States (50 USC Sec. 1541).

There was no declaration of war, Obama therefore had no authority to make a unilateral decision.

Next the second part requires the President to consult with Congress before introducing U.S. Armed forces into hostilities or situations where hostilities are imminent, and to continue such consultations as long as U.S. Armed forces remain in such situations (50 USC Sec. 1542).

There were no attacks on the US or property of the US nor were there imminent threats, thus Obama can not unilaterally induce our troops into military conflict without approval of congress

The third part sets forth reporting requirements that the President must comply with any time he introduces U.S. Armed forces into existing or imminent hostilities (50 USC Sec. 1543); section 1543(a)(1) is particularly significant because it can trigger a 60 day time limit on the use of U.S. Forces under section 1544(b).

The fourth part of the law concerns Congressional actions and procedures. Of particular interest is Section 1544(b), which requires that U.S. Forces be withdrawn from hostilities within 60 days of the time a report is submitted or is required to be submitted under Section 1543(a)(1), unless Congress acts to approve continued military action, or is physically unable to meet as a result of an armed attack upon the United States. Section 1544(c) requires the President to remove U.S. Armed forces that are engaged in hostilities “without a declaration of war or specific statutory authorization” at any time if Congress so directs by a Concurrent Resolution (50 USC 1544).

Even, if Obama were allowed by the War Powers Act he would still have but 60 days in which the troops could be kept in place and then an additional 30 days to have all troops withdrawn. Sunday his 30 days expires.

@ s a

UN Resolution 1973, did not compel the United States to participate in any actions.

@Thorstein — You have been busted and you have shown your ignorance of the act and the facts.

@Wise Guy

2001: In the wake of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Congress passed Public Law 107-40, authorizing President George W. Bush to “use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.” For the first time, “organizations and persons” are specified in a Congressional authorization to use force pursuant to the War Powers Resolution, rather than just nations.

2002: Congress authorized President George W. Bush to use force against Iraq, pursuant to the War Powers Resolution, in Public Law 107-243.

You too have been busted, I will add even more because you may decide to edit your answer and make it George H. W. Bush

1990-91: President George H.W. Bush sent several reports to Congress regarding the buildup of forces in Operation Desert Shield. President Bush took the position that he did not need “authority” from Congress to carry out the United Nations resolutions which authorized member states to use “all necessary means” to eject Iraq from Kuwait; however he did ask for Congressional “support” of U.S. Operations in the Persian Gulf. Congress passed, and the President signed, Public Law 102-1 authorizing the President to use force against Iraq if the President reported that diplomatic efforts had failed. President Bush did so report, and initiated Operation Desert Storm.

@Randy B
Seriously the Huffington Post? GTFOH with that bullshit
When did the White House start writing legislation? Just because they say it isn’t in violation does not mean that it isn’t

Susan asks…

Why are people starting to ignore the future tax liability and future tax assets on the balance sheet analysis

For example..some people say the future tax liabiltiy is not reversing and therefore should be ignored when analyzing? why? if it is not it still not a liability?

John answers:

Please be assured that people are not starting to ignore future tax liablity on balance sheet ahatysis. Rather it is the opposite.

In response to widely publicized corporate failures, regulators have created stringent new legislation: Sarbanes-Oxley and its Canadian equivalents have ushered in a new era of transparency and accountability for publicly traded companies.

The suggestion that murky business practices are best eliminated by exposure to intense scrutiny — or sunlight – was voiced by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis in the early 20th century. Recently, this concept has been resurrected. This time, however, the regulators are focusing on an area outside the realm of mainstream accounting: namely, the treatment of taxation.

Sarbanes-Oxley also set forth new requirements that the responsibilities of the audit committee be increased. Although the Act did not outline specific changes, its direction for additional responsibility clearly encourages a move toward a more independent and active audit committee.

As the lid is fully removed from the Pandora’s Box of corporate behaviour, it is becoming increasingly evident that misconduct can occur at many levels, in many departments, and across many operations. Accordingly, regulators are expanding the focus of their efforts to identify opportunities for misappropriation, malfeasance and misleading reporting.

Revenue authorities continue to test the water in terms of access to taxpayers’ documents and advisers’ working papers. Buoyed by judicial confirmation of the extent of their legislative powers (in MNR v. Kitch, Tower et al. 2003 DTC 5540, the FCA confirmed the CRA’s extensive rights to “information” through an interview process or documents, and the lack of accountant-client privilege11), the Canadian Revenue Authority is requesting audit working papers from accountants even in circumstances where fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation is not alleged, or where the information may otherwise exist with the client.

In the context of the new regulatory environment, it’s clear that when faced with a choice between tax opportunity and tax risk, there is an increasing tendency to reduce risk at the expense, perhaps, of a legitimate opportunity.

Tax risk is certainly not limited to issues that arise with taxing authorities. Adopting such a perspective would not only limit the scope of potential tax risk, but might also result in an after-the-fact rather than a prospective management of that risk.It’s also important to note that areas of potential tax risk are not restricted to transactions and processes under the direct authority of the corporate tax function. An educated guess suggests that the tax function does not directly or exclusively manage more than 25 to 30% of tax risks in a given organization. Clear areas of responsibility include tax accounting and tax compliance processes (such as the preparation of tax forms and tax provisions); tax-reduction planning initiated by the tax group, and monitoring of externally-generated risks such as changes in tax and business laws and practices.

The gap that exists between active tax oversight on only approximately 25% of risks and the remaining 75% is the crux of the challenge. The Sarbanes-Oxley and Canadian equivalent rules apply to the design and effective operation of the company’s internal controls and procedures over financial reporting — thereby encompassing every process that touches the reported results.

Examples of tax impacts on the financial statements:-
Income statementExamples of where tax is embedded
Sales• Sales and use taxes
• Cross-border issues Cost of Goods Sold
• Custom duties
• Transfer pricing issues
• Property taxes
• Payroll taxes
• Employee benefits
• Provincial Capital taxes Income Tax Expense
• Federal income taxes
• Provincial income taxes
• Foreign income taxes

Balance Sheet

• Taxes payable/receivable
• Future income tax assets/liabilities
• Unclaimed property liabilities

Add increased complexity and globalization to the mix, and it is clear that tax risk is becoming a “stay awake” issue for management and boards. In today’s environment, managing this significant risk will require a program of commensurate depth and breadth.

Will the risk map be a road map for taxing authorities?

The current regulatory/governance environment and increased legislative and administrative focus being adopted by taxing authorities around the globe requires much greater transparency for tax issues and tax accounting. But will this transparency invite additional attention from tax authorities?

There is no definitive answer, but all indications are that a well-implemented tax risk management system reduces overall controversy with tax authorities, and enables more effective implementation of tax reduction opportunities.

With harsh sunlight focused on the tax function, the need for proactive tax risk management has never been greater.
So beware.

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