Seeking Alpha
View as an RSS Feed

Charles A. Smith  

View Charles A. Smith's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • The Natural Gas Industry Will Meet An Untimely Collapse [View article]
    "But why do we need the government to spend money to make the economy function properly?"

    We don't. A "properly" functioning market economy delivers the most utility to the greatest number of consumers at the lowest prices. This happens only IF the market is not first corrupted by fiscal, monetary and regulatory policies designed to entrench certain favored participants. A perfect example of such corruptive forces in today's economy is the Federal Reserve. The Fed's current touchstone is the inviolable 2% inflation rate. Why is this? What is so scary about deflation, particularly in consumer prices, which would act to drive up real wages, a stated goal of every politician? The late 19th century, a period of unequaled and broad economic progress in the U.S., was marked by virulent deflation.Yet deflation is prevented at every turn because it is VERY scary to two important constituencies at the very nexus of the Fed: banks and government bureaucrats. Deflation reduces the value of assets securing bank loans, threatening the positions, wealth and power of bankers in our over indebted and over-financialized economy. It also directly reduces tax revenues, which threatens the power and influence of government at all levels in our over regulated society. So it doesn't happen. In many ways, the Fed's 2% inflation mandate is the most "anti-progress" policy in place in America today.

    "...but one part is that in a capitalist economy the smartest monkeys gather all the bananas to themselves leaving less and less bananas in the jungle for the rest of the troop."

    Typical "zero sum" argument. Life is decidedly NOT zero sum, particularly if the proper incentives are in place to promote freedom, growth and change. In other words, assuming entrenched interests (mostly in the guise of government - there they are again!) haven't already corrupted the system, there is nothing to stop Monsanto from inventing a way to produce bananas at 10X the current rate for 1/2 the cost? They will only do so if they can get PAID for it, however.

    "Every two generations or so, A situation develops where the debt, both public and private, used to finance bananas to fill the gap compounds upon itself to a point where it can not be supported by the few bananas still left in the jungle and it defaults all at once. This...has been repeating since the invention of agriculture..."

    Again, let deflation happen. If the bankers and bureaucrats are too moss-backed to deal with it, too bad. The system will adjust, and the inequalities which are a natural result of dynamic economic growth will be rectified over time. Far better than the stunted, half-baked zombified world we live in today. Make room for REAL progress!
    Jun 30, 2015. 02:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Export-Import Bank to halt lending [View news story]
    If your argument is that Exim is vital for small business, then there should be no issue with limiting Exim loans to firms with less than $100 million in revenue.
    Jun 30, 2015. 08:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Natural Gas Industry Will Meet An Untimely Collapse [View article]
    I'm fully aware of the numerous subsidies for fossil fuels. The simple fact is that the net BENEFIT to taxpayers from oil and gas producers (these firms pay tens of billions in taxes, fees and penalties - as do their millions of employees) is far greater than the net SUBSIDY that taxpayers give to renewable companies. This is incontrovertible.
    Jun 30, 2015. 08:48 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Natural Gas Industry Will Meet An Untimely Collapse [View article]
    "Renewables" are only renewable in the sense that it takes massive subsidies every year to make them viable.

    Best definition I've seen yet of "renewable" energy. Renewable = subsidized.
    Jun 30, 2015. 08:27 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Natural Gas Industry Will Meet An Untimely Collapse [View article]
    "From their point of view that's not how slavery... I mean a wage based economy is supposed to work."

    And just how do you propose an "economy" is supposed to function? We've seen how the modern alternative works out (They pretend to pay us...and we pretend to work!) Enlighten us.
    Jun 29, 2015. 09:42 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The False Debate - Deficit Spending Vs. Austerity [View article]
    "I'm afraid that is actually the goal of all this theft and corruption."

    Nah. They're just dumb.
    Jun 23, 2015. 08:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The False Debate - Deficit Spending Vs. Austerity [View article]
    In Krugman's one-dimensional world, any time government spending as a % of GDP goes down, that's "austerity".
    Jun 22, 2015. 10:15 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The IMF Just Destroyed The Best Argument Against Clean Energy [View article]
    Nothing like making the giant leap of redefining externalities as subsidies. This approach simply ASSUMES that the (very real and quantifiable) benefits of using low-cost energy sources today are outweighed by the (very much unknown and unquantifiable) costs of using such sources tomorrow. Very similar to the "tax expenditure" trick of counting POTENTIAL new taxes that have yet to be enacted or collected as part of government deficit. Both switch the narrative to make it seem as if the matter is "settled". Far from it.
    Jun 10, 2015. 01:59 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • SolarCity: 2 Years Of Nothing [View article]
    OR, alternatively, the market is discounting the RV number at a greater rate because it doesn't believe it...take your pick.
    Jun 3, 2015. 03:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • SolarCity: 2 Years Of Nothing [View article]
    "You lease it, the company gets it..."

    You might have added that the company then sells the credits to others who have taxable incomes and are therefore able to benefit.
    Jun 2, 2015. 02:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Questions arise on Avon Products offer [View news story]
    Let's see...algos read "TPG" instead of "PTG" and "offer" in a heavily shorted stock...sounds like a great formula!
    May 14, 2015. 12:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Monsanto Doesn't Need Syngenta [View article]
    Wow. Tell us what you really think!
    May 7, 2015. 04:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Not Your Father's Microsoft [View article]
    Literally millions of small and mid-size businesses run on MSFT products, and when they transition to cloud-based IT, MSFT will be there to make the transition happen and take their money. Of course, this is if Nadella plays his cards right. He seems to be doing OK so far.
    May 6, 2015. 08:13 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Not Your Father's Microsoft [View article]
    "I have not always been bullish on Microsoft..."

    That's an understatement. But, as Keynes said:

    "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"

    MSFT always had the (latent) capability to become what Nadella is shaping today. It just couldn't happen under Ballmer. The value was there, it just needed a catalyst.
    May 5, 2015. 11:01 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kinder Morgan: Have You Missed The Boat? [View article]
    Kinder Morgan (KMI) Director sold 1 mln shares at $43.50-43.99 worth ~$43.70 mln
    Apr 24, 2015. 08:57 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment