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  • Stability Of The European Union (23) January 1, 2015. [View instapost]
    Hollande gets pounded… again.

    March 29, 2015 - Hollande left bruised as Sarkozy and Le Pen triumph in French local elections.

    The French right has made large gains in the French local elections, handing President François Hollande’s ruling Socialist party its third electoral drubbing in a year and raising fears for the future of the left.

    Nicolas Sarkozy’s right-wing UMP party, in coalition with centrist allies, took the largest share of seats, wresting control of many traditional left-wing bastions from the Socialists.

    But key to the changing political landscape in France was the strong showing for the far-right Front National, which marked a major turning-point, with the party establishing a new grassroots presence across the country. After winning only two local council seats at the last election in 2011, Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigration and anti-Europe party was on track to win as many as 90 councilors, cementing the Front National’s transformation from what was once a simple national protest vote to a locally anchored movement that Le Pen hopes to use as a springboard for her presidential bid in 2017.
    Note: Paris and Lyon, France's two biggest cities, were excluded from Sunday's
    Mar 29, 2015. 06:51 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Stability Of The European Union (23) January 1, 2015. [View instapost]
    March 29, 2015 - Greek Bailout Proposals Lack Necessary Detail, Officials Say.
    From: WSJ.

    The WSJ reports, that EU officials say the Greek proposals for a revised bailout program don’t have enough detail - are too "piecemeal and vague" to satisfy international creditors.

    Greek proposals focused on improving tax collection and fighting corruption. But the eurozone is most concerned about three areas: Greece’s pension system [they want cuts], labor market rules and selling state-owned assets.

    Reductions in pensions and modifications of labor market rules will be politically difficult for the Greek government as Syriza's support comes from public-sector labor unions which are wary of changes. [To read the article, Google the title]
    With respect to the Greek PM request for an urgent parliament session on Monday to ask dilemmatic questions to the opposition it sounds like its designed to generate political cover for a cave-in to the Troika.
    Mar 29, 2015. 06:07 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Stability Of The European Union (23) January 1, 2015. [View instapost]
    March 29, 2015 - Greek PM Requests Urgent Parliament Session on Monday Regarding Ongoing Negotiations

    According to government officials, Tsipras will ask dilemmatic questions to the opposition during the discussion.

    Dilemmatic - A situation that requires a choice between options that are or seem equally unfavorable or unsatisfactory. A problem that seems to defy a satisfactory solution.
    Mar 29, 2015. 05:31 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Stability Of The European Union (23) January 1, 2015. [View instapost]
    In a "non-paper "review of the Greek government's work after two months in office that was released on Friday, the Greek Prime Ministry notes among others:

    “The government made it clear at all levels of the eurozone and the IMF, that it will NOT continue to service the debt from its own resources, if lenders do not directly proceed to the release of the disbursement which they have been delaying since 2014. The country has not received any disbursement by the European Commission or the IMF since August 2014, and yet it fulfills its obligations.”

    Noting that the bailout financing as of first half of 2014 “was intended solely to serve the payment of the public debt,” the non-paper stresses:

    “Greece has continued to pay IMF bonds in their maturity, pay interest and installments to the ECB and the ESM. Greece is the only country serving its debt without refinancing but from own national resources and internal borrowing (T-bills).”

    The non-paper notes also that:

    “the government has requested the removal of all restrictions imposed as of 4. February 2015 on the Greek banks funding as the government funding by the Greek banks on the basis of equal treatment and the operational rules of the European Central Bank.”

    A "non-paper" in international relations (an aide-mémoire) is a proposed agreement or negotiating text circulated informally among delegations for discussion without committing the originating delegation's country to the contents. It has no identified source, title, or attribution and no standing in the relationship involved.

    Meanwhile, the the Greek reforms list was sent on Friday and is being examined by the Brussels Group (Troika). So the Troika and the EU got two pieces of information on Friday, the reform list and the non-paper. I interpret the non-paper as a provocation, a threat.

    As of today (Sunday) I have read rumors that EU officials are disappointed with the Greek list. According to Greek newspaper TO VIMA, the Greek proposals are not being well received. If they are anything like the ones that I saw I can understand the disappointment as they were mostly non-detailed possibilities, not operational in nature.
    Mar 29, 2015. 11:22 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Freeport-McMoRan: The Market Is Clearly Mistaken About This One... A Textbook Case [View article]
    The company cut its dividend by 84% while larger companies like BHP offer much higher dividend yields. The author claims this is "not the point", but that current pricing offers a deep discount to a fair valuation.

    I argue that slashing the dividend by 84% is precisely the point. A good number of investors are interested in dependable quarterly returns not Pie-in-the-sky sometime in the future word dances. Slashing a dividend signals risk and uncertainty, factors that dividend investors avoid like the plague.
    Mar 28, 2015. 10:00 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator January 1, 2015 To ?? [View instapost]
    It's great to see that Maya. It reflects the strength of the company and the fact that most people believe the money they raise will be used to grow the company. I don't have any problem with dilution from a company like that.

    I only wish they released the offering price earlier. As a result, I started buying a big early. It looks like you hit it on the button like you usually do.
    Mar 27, 2015. 10:08 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 393: Mar. 26, 2015 [View instapost]
    Their are a lot of great technical folks and people with strong interests in energy storage on this blog. It would be nice to see some kind of technical blog evolve out of the APC. The only rule would be no discussion of Axion for the reasons that HTL stated.
    Mar 27, 2015. 09:40 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator January 1, 2015 To ?? [View instapost]
    That's an excellent price. My aggregate ended up at 8.1. I still have a reserve that I might employ if the price re-bounds enough. OH, and I got some in my Apple account at 7.6.
    Mar 26, 2015. 09:58 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator January 1, 2015 To ?? [View instapost]
    Absolutely. I re-entered at 8.6, and doubled down at 8.4. At that point I stopped buying and waited to see what the offerings per share valuation was. I will be buying my heavy tranche at the open. My target is to get the aggregate price down to about 10% over the offering price. So my aggregate target is just below 8.
    Mar 26, 2015. 09:37 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator January 1, 2015 To ?? [View instapost]
    March 26, 2015 - Novavax (NVAX) announced it has priced its' underwritten public offering of 24,137,931 shares at $7.25 per share.
    Mar 26, 2015. 08:25 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 392: Mar. 14, 2015 [View instapost]
    On some warrant exchanges, I have seen a "safety" cushion applied. For example, the number of authorized shares is kept at "twice" the number of possible warrant exchanges. It’s done that way to avoid “failure to deliver” situations.

    If a failure to deliver occurs, the company usually has to pay cash. If they don’t have the cash, could that trigger bankruptcy on behalf of the B warrant holders at that point in time?
    Mar 23, 2015. 11:00 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stability Of The European Union (23) January 1, 2015. [View instapost]
    An alternative new world order (ANWO).
    Mar 22, 2015. 09:38 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stability Of The European Union (23) January 1, 2015. [View instapost]
    Yes, the EU can't do two things. They can't be seen to cave in by other debt ridden states like Italy… the Germans in particular can't be seen to cave in to their own people since that would mean the people will be on the hook for the debt.

    We all know the Greeks can't ever pay all that money back, so the German people are on the hook anyway. The trick is to give the impression that the bad Greeks are getting squeezed and not the German taxpayers.

    I noticed this morning that the EU is now going to give something like 2.15 B euros for humanitarian aid to the Greek people. So the talks between the Greeks and the heads of state have accomplished recognition that the Austerity program is causing economic hardship among the Greek people. That's something new.

    Was this new aid grant put into place to cover the costs of that recent unilateral aid program approved by the Greek Parliament without consulting the Troika? Or does it represent some sneaky way to get liquidity to the Greeks that they can use to pay debt? I mean once it goes on the Greek books, who knows what happens.
    Mar 20, 2015. 01:34 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stability Of The European Union (23) January 1, 2015. [View instapost]
    Greek PM assures EU creditors reforms coming to unlock cash

    The risk of a continued standoff is underlined by the different descriptions of reforms Athens would need to launch stated by Tsipras and Merkel.

    Tsipras - "It is clear that Greece is not obliged to implement recessionary measures," referring to previously agreed reforms. "Greece will submit its own structural reforms, which it will implement."

    Merkel - who insisted that only the full completion of already approved measures would be acceptable to the creditors. "The reference point is the agreement of Feb. 20," she said. "We have not changed one iota."
    I can't wait to see the new list of "detailed" "non recessionary" structural reforms offered by the Greeks. The cashbox will remain locked.
    Mar 20, 2015. 07:28 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stability Of The European Union (23) January 1, 2015. [View instapost]
    Greece pushes utilities to lend government cash
    Reuters - March 19, 2015

    After Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's government dipped into the cash reserves of pension funds the government is now calling on the main utilities, such as the Athens Water Co (EYDAP), the Public Power Company and the telecom company OTE, to undertake repo transactions in which these entities lend money to the Greek debt agency through a short-term repurchase agreement. However, OTE is 40 percent-owned and managed by the German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom.
    Tsipras, is pushing for a political deal with Merkel and other European leaders on the sidelines of the summit meeting beginning Thursday in Brussels. Meanwhile, talks with the Troika have been put on hold while the summit takes place. Given that the Greeks violated their previous deal by unilaterally approving humanitarian aid without discussions of how it's going to be paid for, I expect little out of the summit. Tsipras meets with Putin right after that summit, signaling that the table stakes are being raised.

    If the Greeks claim that they put humanity before bill paying, the Germans could respond with questions concerning the timing of the aid. There has been plenty of time to discuss the aid and its ramifications with the Troika, but instead the timing has the feel of "grand-standing" in yet another attempt by the Greeks to avoid dealing with the Troika on what it considers as questions of state.

    Deposit outflows continue, and the ECB granted the Greeks only half of the requested Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA). Things will start hitting the fan when capital controls are placed on the Greek banks.
    Mar 19, 2015. 09:26 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment