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Big Jake

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  • The Super Committee's Lowest Hanging Fruit [View article]
    Tim, you have 50,000 followers and as far as I can see on my computer screen right now, I'm the first (perhaps only) to comment. Really makes us SA contributors wonder if anyone is reading at this point.

    In any case, like you, I doubt that the super committee will get to serious deficit reduction. Trimming around the edges of social security and counting imaginary savings from not invading the rest of the world, is not what the supercommittee was set up to do, although that's the most likely outcome at this point.

    I also want to point out that the "automatic" cuts that are supposed to take place if the supercommittee does not do its job, are not automatic at all. There is no way that Congress, today, can legally bind itself to doing or not doing something, tomorrow. Anyone familiar with Congressional practice and with our Constitution knows that all the "automatic" talk was nonsense from the get-go. It was political cover to certain so-called fiscal conservatives for agreeing to raise the debt limit, nothing more.
    Nov 2 01:26 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This Bank Of America Nonsense [View article]
    Sorry, I apparently set myself up to be misunderstood. Of course, it would be even worse than the current situation. No one doubts that. Ideally, we would have no central bank at all. The current version was written into existence by the bankers, for the bankers, in belated response to the Panic of 1907. They literally wrote the law, for their own benefit, much as corporations and their lobbyists do today. What is most amazing is that people nowadays have no conception that money and credit can exist without a central bank. It's as if money did not exist prior to 1913.

    And yes, the Fed most certainly is a private cartel. My copy of the "Standard Dictionary of Facts" (published 1914) states that the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks were (at that time being) formed directly from each of 12 large private banks, once in each region. It was not some kind of government entity that was formed from scratch in Washington. Far from it.
    Oct 19 07:54 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This Bank Of America Nonsense [View article]
    Given that the Fed is a private cartel made up of regional heads nominated by their own regional (private) banks, with only the Chairman being appointed by our elected government, it is not surprising that they will do anything for their constituent banks at the expense of the rest of the population. Of course, it was set up and intended to be that way.
    Oct 19 10:45 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Those Millimeters Do Add Up [View article]
    This is the second time in recent days that the Eurocrats have leaked an alleged "imminent solution" to the UK's Guardian newspaper. It is certainly a strange choice of medium. Understandably, they are wary of Euroskepticism at the other, more financially-savvy UK papers such as the Telegraph. But it seems strange that they are moving away from their normal choice for leak-publishing, the Financial Times. Perhaps the FT is beginning to feel used and stupid for being their usual mouthpiece. It does seem that the FT has lost some credibility after publishing so many bogus Eurorumors lately.
    Oct 19 10:27 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Economy: No Sign Of A Double-Dip Recession [View article]
    Thanks for the charts. Going by the first chart, it would seem that, over two years into an "economic recovery", the dollar value of U.S. manufacturing output is still 10 percent lower than it was at the start of the last recession. That is catastrophic. And the same (or worse) can be said for many other indicators of productive activity, including construction, home sales, and so forth. So as long as we are still stuck way below pre-recession levels, it really doesn't matter if there is technically a "double dip" or not. The fact is that the economy is unable to generate growth for a rapidly expanding population. This means that per capita real GDP (also known as "standard of living") has been falling continuously throughout this so-called recovery. So I wouldn't even waste my breath arguing about double-dip or no double-dip. It's a useless argument over nomenclature, having no bearing on reality. Again thanks for the charts, and for the opportunity to comment.
    Oct 18 12:02 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Obama's Plan: Impact Minimal, Prospects Poor, Investors Not Impressed [View article]
    Hello sir, thanks a lot for reading. Fact is, this website is not intended to be used to pitch opinions about policy solutions for society at large. You have the newspaper op-ed pages and talk radio for that. The owners and editors of this website demand analysis of how things are, not how things should be in an ideal world. If I or any other contributor were to submit the latter, I regret to say that it would not be published, period. (Never has, never will be). Take care, all the best to you.
    Sep 10 10:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Playing The U.S. Debt Downgrade: Long Malaysia; Short India [View article]
    Sir, I imagine you've not been to Malaysia recently. The country is poised for a crack-up like never before. Political tensions are higher than at any time since the 1960s, discontent is simmering, crime is rising, Islamization is proceeding apace, the economy continues to fall below its long-term growth trend, and finally, the country continues to make no sense whatsoever as its Chinese minority dominates virtually all business (both large and small), leading me to question what is so "Malaysian" about "Malaysia". In short, all of this cannot continue for much longer without some unpleasant effects on the local financial scene.

    So, next time, please do your research before recommending nation-tracking ETFs based on past performance and short-term trends.

    Also, regarding your last paragraph, which reads as follows:

    <<Though the Malaysia fund is more expensive on a price-earnings basis, I believe it will outperform the India fund due to its lower reliance on exports and relatively strong domestic growth.>>

    In fact, Malaysia (and most of Malaysia's largest companies) are many, many times more reliant on exports than India.


    Aug 30 08:37 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Lost Decade for U.S. Equity Markets? Hardly [View article]
    As far as I can tell, the author is arguing that if we spin the pattern of equity returns in a positive light, then it will appear in a positive light. Well, no kidding.

    It's good to know that the smallest (e.g. Russell 2000) stocks did better than the S&P 500. But, the fact is that most of the money is on the S&P 500. And most of us proles have our 401ks stashed in mutual funds that track the S&P 500 or major segments thereof. And we certainly have gone nowhere in ten years, net of contributions made since 2000. This is undeniable.
    Dec 6 09:42 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Deepwater Horizon Drama Thickens: Visual Proof That BP Is Hiding Truth [View article]
    Hello. Thanks for your comment. Please note that I was reffering to liability, not direct economic cost. We have no limit on punitive damages in this country.

    May 14 10:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Deepwater Horizon Drama Thickens: Visual Proof That BP Is Hiding Truth [View article]
    Hello again Allan. Do I detect some bitterness? Would you deny that BP is flat-out lying about the 5000 bpd? Would you also care to extend your earlier rosy estimate of the time it will take to plug the leak?

    Best regards,
    May 13 12:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • BP’s Gulf of Mexico Disaster: Expect the Unexpected [View article]
    No, my dear fellow, what is "truly naive" is to predict that "90 percent of this slick is going to wash up on Padre Island, like always" when the entire scientific community is warning that we may be literally days away from crude oil coming ashore in southeastern Florida and, subsequently, further up the East Coast. If that is not talking out of one's dorsal section, I don't know what is. But I imagine that you will give that gentleman a pass.

    It seems that the industry players and investors who track Seeking Alpha's energy-specific boards are so hyper-defensive and so blinded by their paychecks that they cannot understand why someone might be just a little concerned on this subject. One gentleman posting below ("rms3") even quoted some on-the-payroll hackjob to the effect that this "really won't effect the environment". Amazing!

    This thing is getting worse by the day, and some folks out there can find nothing better than to criticize my (and the media's) use of the term "geyser". I find that quite amusing but also quite telling. These gentlemen really should go and work for BP's public relations office, if it's still around when this is all said and done.

    I will give you the last word, as you seem to have a lot of time and I can't compete with your 6700+ comments.


    The Author
    May 5 12:18 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BP’s Gulf of Mexico Disaster: Expect the Unexpected [View article]
    Sir, I understand that you are an industry player and that you wish to be recognized as such, and I very much respect your profession, but I feel that you are being unnecessarily pedantic, and in fact, some of your “facts” are demonstrably nothing more than your own opinions.

    First, as regards the pedantism, I am not the first to use the terms “geyser”, “gusher”, etc., when referring to this phenomenon. I have merely borrowed language that is being widely used in the mainstream media. So you can complain to them if you like. Moreover, even if the leaking well does not fit your own personal definition of “geyser”, I am sure that the flow is nonetheless strong enough to bowl either one of us over.

    Second, your confidence in the relative stability and resilience of the borehole infrastructure reflects your own opinion. There are other, contrary, opinions to yours, which, again, have been carried in the mainstream media and even quoted by government officials. So while I respect your informed opinion, it’s just one opinion among many others.

    Third, your assessment of the likely environmental impact of this disaster is at odds with that of just about every oceanographer, meteorologist, etc., that has been quoted recently in the media. In fact, the experts are right now saying that East Coast contamination is imminent. So, again, your opinion and nothing more.

    Again, I am not making anything up, but merely repeating what has been carried in the media and pointing out what the worst-case scenario could be. I regret that I have upset some oil-and-gas people, you included, who have their own strong opinions and are understandbly feeling extremely touchy and defensive given the political environment at the top right now. I have learned my lesson and will not be stepping on anyone's toes in the future.

    By the way, I do appreciate your description of the remedial work that BP will be undertaking. That is not something that has been covered in detail in open sources.

    Best regards,

    The Author
    May 5 09:11 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BP’s Gulf of Mexico Disaster: Expect the Unexpected [View article]
    I normally enjoy reading comments on my articles, even if they are extremely critical, but a number of the comments this time around are really off the mark. Please note that I did not invent the worst-case scenario, which came straight from BP as well as from several independent experts quoted in the mainstream media. I am merely stating the fact that if, again, if the worst-case scenario (or anything close to it) pans out, and it takes months or longer to fix this thing, as they are warning us it could, then the Gulf Coast as we know it is done, over, period, as is BP.

    I understand that day traders whose only thought on this matter is “should I buy BP at 52 or wait till it hits 50”, might have trouble seeing the broader implications here—economic as well as environmental. I also understand that this is a day trader-oriented website for short-term strategies, which is fine. (Some of us are not interested in sea turtles, and I respect that). But I would hope that we can all see how macroeconomic and other larger factors might have some impact on the equities market and on our own lives. None of us lives in a vacuum.

    I wish you all the very best,


    The Author
    May 4 05:48 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Russia Join Club of Major Debtor Nations? [View article]
    Yes, but such a reserve is for supporting the national currency on the world market. It would not be raided for domestic spending purposes, except in an emergency. I am not saying that Russia is anywhere near broke, simply that it is going to go further into debt. (As Kudrin himself made clear, although I did not quote him to this effect in my piece, debt issue will rise substantially in 2010).

    Thanks very much for reading!
    Jan 12 12:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Russia Join Club of Major Debtor Nations? [View article]
    Yes but this fund is strictly for supporting the national currency on the world market. It would not be raided for domestic spending purposes, except in an emergency. I am not saying that Russia is broke, simply that it is going to go further into debt (as Kudrin himself made clear, debt issue will rise substantially in 2010).

    Thanks for reading!
    Jan 12 12:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment