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John Lounsbury  

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  • Whither Oil Prices? [View article]
    The $70 ppb support from fundamentals is very interesting in the light of strong technical support around $70.
    Sep 7, 2008. 11:49 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Oil, Stock, and Housing Declines [View article]
    If there is major deflation in several major assets simultaneously (I would include all industrial commodities with oil), how can inflation be a problem? My answer: Either (1) the downturns being discussed are merely market corrections with upward valuations to resume shortly or (2) we have entered cyclic trends that will continue for many quarters (or even years).

    If option (1), inflation is a problem. If option (2), inflation will abate (best scenario), or deflation of world economies will occur (worst scenario), or something in between.

    I don't think many are considering option (2) possible. Therefore, as a contrarian, I keep it on my radar.
    Sep 7, 2008. 11:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Two-Ton Wall Street Conflict of Interest Few Dare To Talk About [View article]
    I don't object to political discussion in SA articles and commentary. I do object to political sloganeering, which is what most political imputs are, unfortunately. Discussion of specific political actions (or potential actions) affects on markets and/or specific investments are fine. Putting out jibberish like "liberal", "conservative", "leftist", "extreme right", "tax and spend", etc. offer nothing to an intelligent discussion. The economic-political interactions we must deal with (both as citizens and as investors) are far too complex for trivial labels.
    Sep 7, 2008. 11:19 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 10-Year TIPS: An Investor's Benchmark [View article]
    Philman wrote: "Ok, some of you will claim we are entering a period of "deflation." Well, I don't like Bernanke any more than anyone else. But, what he said, before he was appointed to the Chairmanship of the Federal Reserve, still holds true. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE DEFLATION in a economy based upon fiat money, because, in a pinch, the government can simply print money and drop it from helicopters -- which it most certainly will. Actually, with all the M3 growth we've seen over the past year, they not too far away from the helicopter drops right now!"

    There can always be periods of deflation in some assets. Current examples are houses and stocks over the past year or so. Maybe we are into a similar period for commodities (and maybe we're just having a short-lived correction).

    There are also examples of much longer duration. There are places in this country were (former) agricultural land sells for less today than it did 100-150 years ago. There was a 20+ year period starting in late 1929 when stocks were deflating much of the time. In the same period many other assets, including real estate, deflated. We had some vestiges of fiat currency during parts of this history, although not to the extreme we have had since 1972.

    Sep 4, 2008. 10:57 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sarah Palin: Wall Street's Candidate [View article]
    PIA said: "7 years since 9/11/01 and not one foreign attack on American soil."

    It was 8 years after the 1993 attempt on the World Trade Center before 9/11/01. Does this mean in 1999, 2000 or 2001 (through 9/10) that we should have praised the effectiveness of Clinton's anti-terrorist activity?

    I think that we need to stop taking positions based on our pre-disposed political prejudices and start thinking for ourselves. My opinion: both parties and both presidents of the past 16 years have made monumental mistakes and miscalculations. If we could start thinking outside the box of pre-disposed political prejudice, things might improve.

    The bad news: This type of awareness has rarely happened in our country's history. The cycle repeated again and again has been to throw out intrenched interests with "reformers" who then work to establish their own entrenched interests.
    Sep 4, 2008. 10:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 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