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Deja Vu  

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  • Goldman in fight over $835M loan to failed Portuguese bank [View news story]
    Goldman banker to Portugese banker "What do you mean that there was a risk, for which there was the return we anticipated, when we lent the money? That's not the way it works here in the US...You mean to say there aren't taxpayers in Portugal to take on this risk you keep talking about?"
    Dec 30, 2014. 08:35 AM | 29 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Amazon Agrees To Purchase Twitch For $970M [View article]
    So the great Buffet of the flat out dishonest "My secretary pays a higher tax rate than I do", who supports raising taxes on the middle class to raise money for the US federal government, is investing & profiting in a transaction whose main attraction is moving offshore to evade US taxes.

    You go, old man, we should all pay more taxes, while you profit by helping companies avoid taxes. At least spare us the dishonest lectures.
    Aug 26, 2014. 07:31 AM | 26 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple (AAPL -1.7%) starting to see a brain drain in the post-Jobs era? "There is a growing level of dissatisfaction among Apple executives and employees, and a greater willingness to explore leaving," one VC tells BI. Another says his firm is seeing a lot more resumes from Apple employees, and attributes this both to the impact leadership changes have had on Apple's culture, and the higher pay offered by startups. A month ago, John Gruber warned Apple is at risk of losing top talent, and called it "the single biggest problem that Apple faces." [View news story]
    Quite simple. When the stock price falls, the unvested options go underwater. Employees would rather work somewhere else where they could get options that'll be worth something.

    Each two-bit programmer in Silicon valley thinks s/he is worth and entitled to millions. They look upon the lavish regular pay as merely a living allowance meant to defray day to day expenses.

    Falling stock prices mean that the options were granted at higher strikes and are hence worth less. Since the employees are not named Steve Jobs, they cannot back date their options nor will Al Gore come and anoint such backdating with a squirt of his anointing oil.
    Apr 15, 2013. 01:17 PM | 22 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: ECB Tests Find That 12 Banks Need To Raise $12B [View article]
    As Margaret Thatcher said, "the trouble with socialism is that you inevitably run out of other people's money"

    Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil - all patients infected with socialism virus in different stages of financial death rattle.

    Most of Europe, after failing to curb any of thier looney tax, labor and welfare practices, are about to max out the german credit card, having already maxxed out their own.

    When last seen ECB officials were reading "how to" manuals published by the Zimbabwe central bank and wondering whether to anoint Mugabe the next EU council president.
    Oct 27, 2014. 08:13 AM | 21 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Euro Plunges Closer To Dollar Parity [View article]
    $17,000 Apple watch.....a really expensive way to say "I'm an iDiot"....
    Mar 10, 2015. 08:19 AM | 20 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • White Collar Crime Expert Slams Herbalife: An Exclusive Interview With Sam Antar [View article]
    The below has nothing to do with Herbalife.

    But if you publicly take a stand against a MLM company, yes, expect a threatening letter in the mail from a big law firm.

    Such a letter, just a letter (threatening to sue you for tens of millions in a city distant from your residence), no actual lawsuit, has the potential to disrupt your life as you ponder how to muster up the resources to defend yourself. Your relatives and close friends will ask you what you were thinking and how you could expose your family to such a situation.

    You or your significant other will fear the mailman each day and be waiting and collect your mail with shaking hands and pounding hearts to see if anything else has arrived. You will do this for months. When you go on vacation, you will have your petsitter go to your house just after the mailman is scheduled to arrive and ask her to read to you the source of each letter and then only eat lunch.

    You will run to an expensive lawyer and pay about $45,000 in legal fees for research, advice, phone conferences and travel. You will even ponder a preemptive divorce or legal separation with your spouse taking the bulk of the assets so as to leave you with as little as possible to lose. Except your lawyer will advise you that is unlikely to work as a defense of your assets.

    You will wonder the benefit of taking such a stand vs. the economic harm you might suffer even if you win ( and economic suicide if you lose) and quickly conclude that you don't want to ever speak up against the industry or any specific company again.

    Don't ask me how I know. I again reiterate that this is just a fair warning of my speculation of what you can expect and has nothing to do with Herbalife. People with deep pockets who can afford expensive lawyers like Mr. Ackman should play this game not people who count their money in single millions.
    Jul 14, 2014. 12:42 PM | 19 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BP, Anadarko may face billions in fines after court ruling [View news story]
    Shakedown continues until every Democratic party apparatchik has built his dacha. Short BP....
    Jun 4, 2014. 07:46 PM | 19 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Herbalife plunges on DOJ/FBI probe report [View news story]
    Yes, every criminal wishes that the FBI notifies them when a criminal investigation is launched. "Hi Bob the conman, this is the friendly neighborhood FBI agent speaking, we intend to start a criminal investigation of you. We'll keep you updated with a daily progress report every day. Heck, we will even tell you where we have wiretaps, and whom we interview etc"

    Apr 11, 2014. 09:34 PM | 19 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Checkmate For Greece? [View article]
    I have a friend from Greece who is a full tenured university professor at a large 100,000 student US university. His wife and kids spend the majority of the year in Greece. I asked him how he affords the air fares and a second home in Greece. He replied "She & the kids make more money sitting at home in Greece than I do working here in the US." His wife is getting her fathers pension, forgot to tell the Greek government she is married etc etc

    Wiping out Greek debt just means they will restart issuing bonds that have the implicit and post Draghi "whatever it takes" explicit guarantee of European taxpayers in other countries. No austerity has been done in Greece at all. The government has just grabbed even more from the few who work. Greece is just the example of a whole two generations of Europeans who think they don't have to work and expect government checks as their birthright.

    Of course Obama will support such a system since he wants the US to wind up just like Greece with the majority of the population on welfare and terrified that the welfare checks might be taken away and voting for whomever promises to continue and expand the welfare.
    Feb 3, 2015. 09:21 AM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Bubble In Blue Chips - Part 1 [View article]
    Nice article. I agree completely with you. Can't invest long at these valuations. Can't invest short as the euphoria will last longer than my money. In almost all cash right now, which gives me heartburn as the bandit Bernanke keeps printing evermore of it.

    gold is too driven by demand in India. Not one of the structural problems such as never ending welfare, bloated public sector, labor laws, high taxes etc in europe has been resolved. Europe is being funded by the ECB which is printing money to buy soveriegn bonds both directly and via various fraudulent arms length mechanisms. one day we will see hyper inflation in Europe in the not too distant future.

    China is lying about ALL of their macroeconomic data. India is on track to be a big failed country driven by attempts to install a welfare state without enough of "other people's money"

    Brazil is collapsing under the same socialist banner aided by attempts of the morons in government to pick "champions" and by investing in stuppid infrastructure projects.

    We may also see the pending euro printing hyper inflation in the US (driven by dollar printing) which makes buying stocks a logical choice! I don't believe the Fed will stop the crack cocaine of QE until the dollar starts collapsing and US bond yeild start rising to about 10+ %. Previously the price of oil acted as a constraint against debasing the dollar, now with increasing oil production, that may be weakened.

    Unfortunately the fed idiots do not understand that the long term inflation expectations effect means that years of monetary tightening will be required to regain credibility. It's either going to be a decade of volcker like 17% interest rates driven recession or zimbabwe like dollar strength.

    OK, I will now drink a big bottle of kentucky bourbon after reading this article.
    Oct 18, 2013. 04:44 PM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry: Can It Still Explode Higher? [View article]
    I agree with your thesis. However, as a purely defensive move by google and/or Samsung that patent portfolio may have some value (being kept out of Apple's sue happy hands). Also the enterprise and BES value is diminished by the emergence of mobile device management systems from all major parties.

    The larger question is when the unbranded cheap and quiality Android tsunami will strike the US and wipe out Apple's bread and butter. It's not just Blackberry's handset business that is worthless, I believe in a couple of years the same may be true for Apple. Samsung may adapt by selling ever cheaper handsets.

    I'm reminded of a tale we tell in India. Gandhi is invited to the coronation of King George V. Representatives of all the British colonies come and offer gems and other valuable presents. Gandhi offers just a lemon saying "India is a poor country". Enraged, King George V orders the guards to stuff the lemon up Gandhi's rear end. Gandhi is observed to be laughing as they do. Puzzled King George asks "Why are you laughing". Says Gandhi "Well, Jinnah, leader of Pakistan is behind me, and he is bringing you a pineapple"

    Similarly, if Blackberry is a lemon for long investors, Apple may well turn out to be the pineapple when the iPhone sales collapse.
    Aug 25, 2013. 08:49 AM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Eurogroup heard from, Greeks awaited [View news story]
    Greek motto "Promise Everything. Do Nothing"

    German Motto "Ask Everything. Insist on Nothing"

    Media motto "See Same Thing. Pretend its New"
    Feb 20, 2015. 04:49 PM | 16 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Now That The iPhone 6 Is Out, Time To Put Down The Apple Kool-Aid [View article]
    Dear author,

    now you will get the feeling of someone who slips and falls at Pamplona
    Sep 29, 2014. 07:06 PM | 16 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney (JCP) confirms Ron Johnson is "stepping down and leaving the company." Mike Ullman, who was J.C. Penney's CEO until Nov. 2011, is replacing Johnson as CEO, and has also been elected to the company's board. Investors don't seem crazy about the choice, JCP now just +0.5% AH. (previous) Update (5:33): Shares are now down 4.4% AH. [View news story]
    A nice black eye for Ackman. A CEO who flew each week 2.5 hours each way to California and back to Texas, on the company jet at $42,000 per hour? His commute cost JCP $200,000 per week or $10 million per 50 week year. (JCP reported it as $344,000 per year, most likely based on the cost of a business cost ticket from Texas to California).

    This guy blew $42,000 per hour on the company dime while firing tens of thousands of employees who had no role in his bad decisions. Supporting this male Marie Antoinette makes Ackman really look like a hypocrite when he railed against the Herbalife CEO for ripping off the herbalife distributors.
    Apr 8, 2013. 05:36 PM | 16 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EU, Greece approach final showdown [View news story]
    I stopped watching WWF wrestling at age 9 when I realized it was fake.
    Feb 15, 2015. 09:57 AM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment