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Dirk McCoy

 
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  • The Problems Of HFT, Joe Stiglitz Edition [View article]
    The same people who decry HFT as taking from the poor support government Lottos that take from the poor. They decry HFT as enriching insiders but support schemes where sons and cronies get enriched by OHare WiFi contracts or Chinese solar installations or American solar companies. They decry HFT (and our Finance Industry) as producing no value for society while HFT and our Finance Industry generate significant tax revenues while making financing more efficient, and offset our massive trade deficits for over three decades.

    What these Socialist Elites really don't like is that a rich person will end up with control of the money. But in America, private property rights and profit motive has long put money in the hands of aggressive, forward-thinking minds instead of I-wasn't-smart-enough to-come-up-with my-own-idea bureaucrats. Our tradition of wealthy people who decide to spend their money on "extravagances" like hospital wings with MRIs and portable phones and indoor plumbing ("wait, Mr. Vanderbilt, you want to go bathroom INSIDE your house?) led to a country with 5% of global population producing/consuming almost a quarter of global output. HFT is just another opportunity for technology, infrastructure, and culture to be furthered, and you don't need to value the three milliseconds won by fiber through a mountain to value the impact of people investing in their own families, communities, and causes instead of sending it off to Washington (or, more likely, London, Hong Kong, Moscow, and Dubai).
    Apr 16 02:37 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power: Out Of The Pipe And Into The Light [View article]
    But there are different ways to raise money, such as secured debt or selling assets or junk bonds or issuing new shares, that don't reward PE for shorting into their warrants.

    If I was a shareholder, I'd expect every one of the people in management, save the guy who's in the process of closing some sales, to be living on raman. If the $1M insider note effectively clawed back some of their pay, then OK.
    Feb 1 08:56 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry's Foxconn Partnership - A Match Made In Heaven Or Hell? [View article]
    The pieces of BBRY could still be worth $15 to the right buyer(s), so the biggest challenge is to make sure they're not burning cash at billions a year. Foxconn helps with this in that they have high vertical integration, low cost production, and powerful sourcing. In fact... it's possible Foxconn could use this as leverage with Apple to threaten to get into the device business... though I suspect Chen will show some improved numbers the next couple quarters and then Amazon or Facebook or someone of that ilk will finally step in.

    The mobile device business is not a financial player's game, nor a decent business itself. Google/Motorola just dropped their pricing, all kinds of players selling cheap phones, margins will crash. Only a premium brand with a complete offering to enterprises (including schools, where Apple shines) will be able to make money and survive.

    As for security... most of the hacks occur out of the mobile network, BBRY won't help with that.
    Jan 2 11:23 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • When The 2-And-20 Crowd Drives Economic Research [View article]
    It's all about globalization, debt monetization, and growth. As long as there are no hard resource constraints- food, energy, water, peaceful real estate- then general good times will continue, not just for the US but for the rest of the world. It shouldn't take billions for think tanks to figure this out. But beware those out of power who would try to impede globalization, monetization, or growth with scare tactics in an attempt to gain power, as they'll only bring more hardship.
    Dec 5 02:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EMCORE Management Discusses Q4 2013 Results - Earnings Call Transcript [View article]
    Always next quarter. Their space photovoltaics should be a gold mine. Need to execute. Looks like someone in management paid the price this quarter, hope they adequately take competitive forces into account going forward.
    Dec 5 01:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Marketing Has Failed BlackBerry [View article]
    The phone market can be disrupted- witness Motorola, Nokia, Apple, Samsung swings in market share- IF you have something disruptive.

    I propose BBRY come out with an innovative new product called Ballz. It's a golf-ball sized device, fits in your pocket, intuitive tap and vibration answering, messaging, and notifications while still in your pocket so you don't interrupt meetings, opens up to convert into google-glass-like device for a flexibly immersive experience that can take advantage of BBRY's superior messaging and security capabilities.

    The extra volume can be used for more battery and memory, will help you know it's in your pocket or purse, and the small bulge will let everyone know you have Ballz (TM).

    This is a much better plan than anything I've heard and I expect a job offer to execute this plan for BBRY- or whoever else calls first- very soon. Otherwise, they should do what I said they should do six weeks ago and just liquidate...
    Nov 22 07:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Behind The 'Kandi Machine': China's Sweet EV Solution [View article]
    Excellent article and video.

    Now let me take a contrarian position and thank Mukticat for his participation. I love this stock because of the fact-based discussions around the future of EV in China, a future that KNDI undoubtedly has a strong position in deciding. Just as with the climate change debate, there are uncertainties, and every good debate needs skeptics. While I wrote very bullish article on KNDI a few months ago, I consider myself a skeptic, and when I read of additional production facilities I think in terms of subsidies and unsustainable investments for uncertain feet in the door positioning more than sales, revenues, profits, and share price increases. So I'm still in the "show me" category and only recommend this stock to friends I know who are looking for potential mega-baggers - but have money to lose.

    Also like the climate change debate, there are people with data on both sides and there are hacks. I'll say this about Mukticat- his data seems reasonable. Unlike Pearson and Sharesleuth, whose data and use of it strike me as irresponsible at best, Mukticat brings up some good points.

    So, too, do Art and Daryush and Aaron. And the last similarity to the climate change debate is that the truth is likely somewhere in the middle and quite complex.

    What does this mean to me? I doubt KNDI goes to $100 next year, just as I doubt NYC is covered by 20 feet (or even 1, although Sandy did a nice short term approximation) of seawater in the next 100 years. But just as I think there are good reasons to embrace some clean technologies without relying on the CO2 mythology, I think KNDI's sales will increase because hundreds of millions of Chinese want to drive cars, and am still as comfortable with 2015 target of $35 as I was in June.

    So please keep playing Mukticat, because sharing your reasoning and source data- as well as others'- is the only way we can collectively arrive at the truth a bit earlier than those not paying attention.
    Nov 22 04:37 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Long-Range BEVs Are An Economic, Energy And Emissions Abomination [View article]
    John, I wanted to thank you for pointing me to Kandi (KNDI) when I brought up the idea of replaceable batteries a couple years ago. I invested at about $3, today it's above $7 and I think it could go to $35 within a couple years because they are focused on short range BEV,and public car sharing in China, but also have ATV and go-kart product lines that have allowed them to get into the game without massive losses.

    Question: What is the possibility that Tesla acquires them? I know KNDI has a JV with Geely in China, but what about the US? Bike sharing has taken off in some US cities, could car sharing (in addition to Zipcar) drive development of short range EVs?

    And... is Axion working with Kandi?
    Nov 14 11:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry's Failed Turnaround Sends Avoid Signal [View article]
    And I'll reply to myself here: perhaps the talk of the brand is part of the negotiating strategy to get the most for the pieces. Fair enough.

    But consumers and companies (with BYOD strategies in fool bloom, and Apple, Google, and Samsung will make growing that job one) don't want a professional looking device, they want a beautiful, cool one.
    Nov 12 04:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry's Failed Turnaround Sends Avoid Signal [View article]
    Wang was an iconic brand. Zenith was an iconic brand. Blackberry was an iconic brand.

    Blackberry has a ton of contacts and relationships with enterprise customers, cash, patents, and real estate. Anyone who tries to extract value from the "brand" instead of these real assets is a fool.
    Nov 12 04:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • When Information Systems Fail [View article]
    How about the "don't give a shit" model of failure, where a complex system works 90% but because the designers and purveyors of the system don't have to use it, critical weaknesses are allowed to not only occur but continue. It was a predominant feature of Soviet life, and to avoid it with ACA, every politician (including Mr. Obama) needs to get their health plan through the exchange.
    Nov 9 09:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry Board Should 'Extend' Fairfax Due Dili Window [View article]
    The talk of cash and patents and real estate only matters if they're liquidated. Their greatest asset is an established enterprise sales force with tens of millions of active paying users, now. I don't see Watsa having a great vision for the company, rather, he was hoping to draw out other bidders.

    Has anyone announced they're not interested?
    Nov 4 10:00 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • GLD: Sell While You Still Have A Chance [View article]
    Asking any manager of currency to consider inflation and economic activity is like asking a boat captain to move it along but stay off the rocks. Perfectly normal.

    The bigger issue is why do we need currency managers? Because there aren't enough chickens and backrubs to fund houses and cars, let alone wars and dams. And while London condominiums and collector art are experiencing ridiculous amounts of inflation, food and midwest homes are still cheap. I do think Yellen will take some action to slow bank profits, though.
    Oct 27 03:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Great Unwind - How Is It All Going To End? [View article]
    The lense through which all of this must be viewed is globalization. The greatest asset the vast majority of Americans (and Westerners) have held is their income-earning ability, and it has deflated tremendously as five billion people have entered the global labor pool. The arbitrage of this labor has produced significant profits for many large corporations (and their banks and their lawyers) and has brought both cheaper goods here and better living standards around the world (so the news isn't all bad). QE was just another step in the necessary adjustments to bring US labor pricing closer to global average. Vietnam is still under $1/hour, so there's a long way to go and a lot of "softening" yet to be done until an engineer in China and and engineer in the US are compensated on a more equal basis than in the past. Clearly, China's access to lower cost labor has created a lot of production engineering jobs that aren't being created in the US like they used to be.

    The real debate in my mind is how much we tax and spend on protectionism and entitlements vs. private investment and charity to drive at least some incentives for people to behave in a productive manner. The answer will of course be "a mixture of the two" but I think it's important that we not lose site of the tension between giving people enough to live on that they don't turn to a life of crime vs. giving people enough to live on so they do nothing at all.
    Oct 22 09:32 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nixon Went To China, Reagan Made Peace With The Russians, Will Yellen Become A Hawk? [View article]
    Forced, perhaps, but there is inflation showing up at the very high end, which is the end that Arab Sheiks care about and the economy doesn't need higher oil prices. Reagan and Nixon, once put in the driver seat, left their off-center views, and I just think it's likely Yellen does the same thing here. I guess we'll see.
    Oct 16 10:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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