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John Lounsbury  

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  • Hydroelectric vs. Slow Volcanic Power [View article]
    Has there ever been a good study of the pros and cons of tidal flow power generation? Also, ever a good study of the feasibility of generation using wave motion?
    Sep 3, 2008. 10:16 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Questioning Obamanomics [View article]
    petyaczar -

    I am having trouble following your logic:

    1. "FICA Payments by employers are really the employees money? I don't believe that for a minute = more falso logic on your part. That money never "belonged" to the employee, the employee has no ownership rights to that employer contribution..."

    2. "FICA payments are not personal income taxes, they are an individuals contribution into that individuals deffered annuity - not into a general fund."

    FICA taxes and employer payments are both credited to the individual account. Either (a) both are taxes or (b) both are not taxes. I can accept the proposition that both are taxes because they are manditory payments even though they MAY be returned in the future (an annuity) with returns well below that of a diversified investment portfolio. Or I can accept that both are not taxes by the arguement that both constitute premiums to a government operated insurance system.

    The problem with either definition of FICA is that the "premiums" or "taxes" paid may not provide the "annuity" payment according to "plan" because the "insurance company"/government has not maintained the accounts in a fiscally responsible manner. The trust fund has been invested with a minimal (or even negative) ROI transforming the "annuities" into a future taxpayer obligation.

    Finally, a rhetorical question: Would you rather live in the U.S. and get to keep 25% of $100,000 very year or live somewhere else in the world with no taxes and get to keep 100% of a few hundred dollars a year?

    Actually, some people in the second group may live quite happy lives. But still, my answer is the same as most Americans. I can always chose to live the simple life if I have the money, but I can not chose to live the more complicated life if I am in the impoverished part of the world.

    Sep 1, 2008. 12:50 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Top Nine Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Mid-September [View article]
    I believe you must own the stock for 61 days or longer to qualify for the reduced tax rate on qualified dividends. Consult your tax advisor.
    Sep 1, 2008. 11:58 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Three Conditions Supporting Short-Term Oil Prices [View article]
    By the way, refer to the USO chart in the article. There is very strong support in the 70's and at 50. If reached, these are prices to take large long positions.
    Sep 1, 2008. 11:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Three Conditions Supporting Short-Term Oil Prices [View article]
    All those taking positions, long and short, COULD make money. There is a high probability that oil will trade below $80 and above $150 during the next twelve months. The problem is that some WILL lose money because volatility will probably be high and geopolitical shocks will be very influential and largely unpredictable. Those on the wrong side of an unexpected move usually close positions at a loss rather than hold on for a reversal.

    Nimble short-term traders will do very well. Investors taking long-term positions short on oil will probably lose. Anyone who buys oil today and holds for 3 years or more will probably make a good return.

    Regarding this article specifically, good job of technical analysis for the short-term trader.

    $harks$ - I agree with your trading positions for the past week and at least for the start of coming week. I expect you will reverse from short to long and then back and forth several more times in the rest of 2008 if you are to maximize your success. You would do well to have weeekly technical analysis reviews, such as this article provides, to stay on the right side of trades.
    Sep 1, 2008. 11:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Opportunities in Energy Storage Stocks [View article]
    Energy storage technology is at the very core of the future of transportation. It is also important, allbeit less critically, for developing electrical generation technology in general. Those who make the right investment bets here may well outperform the investment returns of the solar, wind, biofuel and distribution system investors.

    The big problem? Finding the right investments.
    Sep 1, 2008. 11:26 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Solar Breaks Oil Price Dependence [View article]
    Before Henry Ford only the wealthy could afford a car. Does anyone think the Henry Ford of solar technology is in the future?
    Sep 1, 2008. 11:02 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Top Nine Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Mid-September [View article]
    The ex-dividend date is the first day the stock trades without the upcoming dividend. If you buy the stock on the ex-dividend date you do not receive the dividend. If you sell the stock on (or after) the ex-dividend date you receive the dividend. Warning: there is a minimum period of ownership required to get the lower tax rate for eligible dividends.
    Sep 1, 2008. 10:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Happened to Peak Oil? [View article]
    Realsit - it may be a typo, but your term "which-hunt" is a brilliant play on words. If it really is a typo, deny that and take a big bow.

    Edward Harrison - I like your article. I don't want to repeat comments made recently to other articles. If anyone is interested you can click on the id link at the left.

    Aug 31, 2008. 03:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Obama's Green Promise [View article]
    Panchanguero - "Alaska can provide us with all the energy we need." What planet are you living on? There is no such Alaska on this planet.

    Yes, we can get a few more years of domestic oil by drilling everywhere we can. Then what? We have an economic opportunity in front of us that comes along only once every century or so. The 19th century saw the great opportunities of the railroads and the industrial revolution. The twentieth century saw the great opportunities of the internal combustion engine and the age of oil, followed by the information revolution. The century we are just starting will be the age of the energy revolution. Are we going to lead it or play second fiddle to someone else, like China?

    We need all the sources of energy we can get for the next 10-20 years - oil, gas, coal, nuclear, biofuels (especially from waste) plus emerging alternative energy sources. Ultimately, technology will make the free and relatively limitless energy sources of the sun, air in motion and water in motion the cheapest forms of energy available. There may even be technologies not yet seriously on the radar, such as tapping the energy of the earth's magnetic field.

    Go ahead and put all your money in drilling and mining coal. There should be some good profits. However, the great wealth creation of the next 10, 20 and 30 years will be in new technologies.
    Aug 31, 2008. 03:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Questioning Obamanomics [View article]
    Interesting opinions about presidential candidates. Let's review some history.

    1. George W. Bush was elected to expectations that the U.S. would reduce the national debt and not engage in "nation building".
    2. Bill Clinton was elected among fears of increased government spending and inceased deficits.
    3. George H.W. Bush was elected with "read my lips".
    4. Ronald Reagan was elected with expectations of stabilizing or reducing the national debt.
    5. Jimmy Carter was elected with expectations that new ethical and moral performance would lead to an improved economy and renewed world leadership.
    6. Richard Nixon was elected with expectations of renewed stability for the presidency.
    7. Lyndon Johnson was elected with expectations of avoiding involvement in a major war.

    The expectations for our recent presidents have not been met. In most cases the expectations have been undershot. How can one think that we can presume to know the predominant legacy of any president before he is elected? It is quite likely that the major positive expectations for either McCain or Obama will not be realized. It is also quite likely that the feared downsides will also not be realized.

    What are the odds that this time it is different? I think pretty low.
    Aug 31, 2008. 02:22 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ominous for the Globe but Good News for Oil Bulls [View article]
    By the way, I believe those (like Saudi Arabia) who say they are holding back reserves for future supply will make a lot of money in the coming centuries as fossil materials become raw materials rather than fuels.
    Aug 31, 2008. 01:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ominous for the Globe but Good News for Oil Bulls [View article]
    The future of petroleum (and coal) is more as raw materials than energy sources. As these fossil resources become more expensive other energy sources will become more attractive economically and actually have some downward cost pressures due to economy of scale.

    The current energy situation has moved us from the historical perspective of trying to avoid a problem to the awakening of a realization that we have an epic economic opportunity.

    The problem - of approximately 300 million Americans, possibly only 1 or 2 million really understand this opportunity. Perhaps another 50 million are getting an inkling. Approximately 250 million are clueless.

    Will our next president really get it? Will our next president get the truth on the table? Will our next president be able to lead this massive educational project? Both candidates appear to be trying to address the issue, but if either one of them tips their hand in the direction I have indicated is needed, he will lose the election. The campaign period is too short to get the job started. We can only hope the winner understands where our economic future lies and can educate a public still largely in the dark.

    Aug 31, 2008. 01:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Things That Matter More Than the GDP [View article]
    Americans are starting to learn the hard way that they can not create wealth by borrowing ever larger amounts and by selling houses to each other. Until we return to building wealth by building things that (1) produce needed consumables and/or (2) things that can produce more things of productive value, the road will be rough.

    It is the nature of the American psyche to strive to build things of real value, so I believe we will get there. There is just a hugh pile of toxic financial waste to get through first.
    Aug 31, 2008. 01:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 10 Factors in Market Mood Swings [View article]
    PS: My opinion - we have not yet reached the contempt stage of the cycle. My estimate is that we have been bouncing between denial and fear and have yet to get a majority of investors into the fear camp to stay.
    Aug 31, 2008. 01:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment