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James Cullen

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  • Why Isn't Microsoft's Strategy Working Anymore? [View article]
    Having a poor strategy and poor stock returns can be two different things, especially when you're starting at a time of inflated valuation multiples.
    Jun 8, 2009. 09:44 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Five Reasons Citi's Worth the Long Risk [View article]
    Definitely the most one-sided article I've ever seen, and with extremely flimsy evidence - you need to bring the punch bowl to my next party.

    Please, try to show a little balance next time.
    Mar 2, 2009. 05:33 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why This Is No Time for Buy and Hold [View article]
    Exactly -- it's a cheap ad. Just look at the end of the article. It's conspiracy talk, conspiracy talk, "use my system."
    How did everyone else miss this?

    On Jul 20 04:17 PM speeddaimon wrote:

    > Bah,
    > This whole article is just an overblown advertisement for some half
    > assed BS trading system. Hell, check the links below his picture
    > on the article, the asshat can't even spell his own website description
    > right. singals?
    > Credibility = gone for you.
    Jul 21, 2009. 08:41 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stress Test Results Are Out - Leaks Were Right [View article]
    >>>Tyler said: And, of course, all leaks were right on the money.

    False, unless you have a very loose interpretation of "right on the money" - just days ago, your own headline (via the WSJ) said that Citigroup needed "up to" $10 billion in new capital. But in these times, what's overshooting by a couple billion, right?
    May 7, 2009. 10:34 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Just Pay Off Everyone's Mortgage [View article]
    Oh yeah, and the amount of household mortgage debt outstanding according to the Fed... $10.5 trillion!
    Feb 11, 2009. 02:34 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Shedlock-Schiff Affair: A Chronicle [View article]
    I don't know why Mish gets all the credit for pointing out Schiff's strategy has been a dog. I've been saying that for months.

    And while we're talking about sour grapes, I imagine Mish's outrage is due to Schiff getting all the attention, while Mish had a similar view but actually seems to have made money off it.
    Jan 30, 2009. 03:12 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Blogs, Profanity and Editorial Integrity [View article]
    I appreciate the balancing that goes on, but - to make a metaphor from your article about the NYT linking out - it probably isn't worth your while from a value-added perspective. Including the occasional f---, etc., is likely to create more headaches than it's worth, IMO, and I doubt that someone will read that and think, "I should definitely read more stuff here," because of that.
    Personally, I have no problem with it, but others feel differently and it's actually a meaningful issue to them...

    Why not drop a strategic dash or two into a word? We'll all know the intent.
    Dec 14, 2008. 01:23 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AIG CDS Unwind: From a Waterfall to a Trickle [View article]
    Another possible answer: spreads have been tightening across a variety of asset classes (CDX, ABX), and since the trades are not going against AIG as much as they previously were, their ability to hold them and see what happens has been improved.
    May 14, 2009. 03:22 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Warren Buffet, The Ultimate Dividend Investor [View article]
    Buffett has shown an ability to reinvest capital at a higher rate than people receiving the dividends could, so that isn't really self-serving, it's value maximizing (especially when you consider dividend taxation). Plus, if Berkshire authorized a huge dividend, a huge portion would go to their largest shareholder - Buffett - and you'd probably complain about that.

    Compare Berkshire's behavior with that of the many companies which continue to pay dividends, and then need to raise capital at usurous interest rates later. Who has better corporate governance and financial policies?
    Nov 2, 2008. 02:37 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • On Primus Credit Mitigations [View article]
    There's the possibility for a collateralized CDS seller, which could possibly be economic if spreads remain elevated, since it would operate with lower leverage than the CDPC. But if that's in the works, it's going to involve outside investors, since the stated operating plan is to run off PFP and return that capital. So there, you're relying not only on the ratings agencies to bless the endeavor, but whatever capital allocated to the structured credit markets that still exists to want to fund the venture.

    Devoting time and resources to building out a collateralized entity would also detract from the mission of building out Primus' asset management capabilities. There's plenty of institutional skepticism about how successful those efforts will be, so I don't know if management wants to tackle a second growth avenue at this point.

    You're right about the reduced competition finally making new business attractive (a theme applicable to a number of areas). I'd like to see them raise new capital and seed a collateralized DPC to extend the credit platform. But it'll take nine figures worth of fresh capital, so I don't know how realistic it is.

    On Aug 03 02:30 PM Gtarras wrote:

    > So, what is the future for Primus? do you believe they return to
    > writing new business/generating revenue?
    > if they do, how profitable do you think it will be? they will have
    > to post CSAs, how much of capital will this be tying up? will they
    > need a high rating?
    > TIA. i'm actually interested in this stock and this platform. given
    > the upcoming demand for risk management products, and wiped out competition
    > (such as monolines, AIG etc), i 'm curious if there is bright future
    > for Primus.
    Aug 4, 2009. 03:48 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • USG: Supply Is High, Demand Is Low and Pricing Is Still Improving [View article]
    Thank you both, Rick and Eric. Our group is not allowed to use options (we're long only, unless the short exposure is via an ETF), but I kept coming back to the same points about survivability and future returns, and USG seemed like a compelling stock to highlight at the time. Here's to it continuing to work out...
    Apr 29, 2009. 09:43 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Portfolio Reshuffle: Not All Debt Is Bad [View article]
    Have you read my in-depth comments on either of these companies, or is that just an impression? If the former, I'm curious about where you think I'm wrong.

    Apr 6, 2009. 04:44 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Andrew Wilkow's Solution for GM [View article]
    I guess since pretty much all of the benefits of GM's production as a public company have gone to workers and pension beneficiaries, you might as well make it official...

    Interesting plan, thanks for sharing it.
    Apr 5, 2009. 12:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Backwards Looking Leads to Bottom Blindness [View article]
    Mad Hedge Fund Trader,
    I'm completely in agreement - those are the kind of concerns I have, which keep me "close to the exit," as you say. Raising cash from 15% to 25% or so...
    Hopefully I'll have time to more fully explore those negatives in another article soon.
    Mar 25, 2009. 02:53 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Do People Make Market Forecasts? [View article]
    While I don't like CNBC, I do appreciate how well you capture the feeling of being around the market. More people should live a little...
    Mar 17, 2009. 04:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment