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Mark Bern, CFA  

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  • Quick Chat #281 June 1 2015 [View instapost]
    Well, it seems that those great measure taken by China to support stocks lasted a whole day!

    http://yhoo.it/1HJ2ewt

    HSI down .89%
    Shenzhen down 5.59%
    Shanghai down 3.19%
    ChiNext down 5.66%

    What next?
    Jul 6, 2015. 11:56 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Sector Outlook: Intermediate And Long Term [View article]
    WT - Thanks for reading and the supportive comment. Part II is in the works and I hope to have it ready to publish by Wednesday or Thursday. Still looking for a few pieces of source material to link to and make sure I have covered what I intended.

    Thanks again!
    Jul 6, 2015. 10:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #281 June 1 2015 [View instapost]
    Yup! I think eventually Greece is toast, as are Greek sovereign bonds and any swaps or other forms of derivatives connected to them.

    So, when do we get this over with?
    Jul 6, 2015. 10:21 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Stability Of The European Union June 1, 2015 To ??? [View instapost]
    Done!

    So it is written. So it will be.

    Totally agree, FPA. Both sides have dug their respective heels in and, even though the Greek leaders believe they now have leverage, they still don't have a leg to stand on. The Greek gov't hasn't taken any meaningful steps to correct the cultural and structural problems that brought them to this place. The Greek people need to pay taxes to support the gov't. The gov't need become smaller, providing only the services that are necessary. The gov't may need to sell off some public-sector businesses to raise money and reduce its operating deficit. The gov't needs to reform the tax system to one that is both reasonable and effective.

    Other than that, I see no real problems on the Greek side.

    How can the EU be so stubborn? (sarc)
    Jul 6, 2015. 10:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #281 June 1 2015 [View instapost]
    Interesting infographic on how many EZ citizens want Greece to exit EZ:

    http://yhoo.it/1KHV2RH
    Jul 6, 2015. 05:27 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Sector Outlook: Intermediate And Long Term [View article]
    Craig - I agree that Saudi Arabia may have ulterior motives that could be politically based. That was, to an extent, a motivation they had the last time they flooded the world with oil to bring down prices. They needed to reduce competition, maintain market share, and put a few other producers back in their respective places. There is also some banter about the Saudis being at odds with Russia. If true, the Saudis are using tight oil production gains in the US as justification to right perceived wrongs elsewhere in the world. Whatever the case, these are political perceptions that include a lot of guess work. I prefer to keep political angles out of the analysis because it is generally not clear enough to be dependable. It is all opinion. Nothing terribly wrong with opinion, but I'd prefer to leave the political analysis of differing opinions to others. I like to stick to what I know.

    Regarding the position that Saudi Arabia would be better off propping up oil now and selling less today while others pump out as much as they can, leaving the Saudis with more reserves to sell after oil production really has peaked: US producers have the same situation, so does Canada and every other major producer with large reserves, albeit not as large as Saudi Arabia. However, as enticing as the long term view can be, future revenue does not pay the bills today. Saudi Arabia and many of its fellow OPEC governments have committed to spending far more than can be achieved without both high prices and sustained market share. Saudi Arabia has reserves that it can draw from to offset current budgetary short falls but other OPEC gov'ts do not. A part of this effort is to shut down some excess production in high cost of production reserves and to slow down exploration and development of more such reserves; but another part of this equation is to bring OPEC cheaters back in line by reminding them that by continuing to produce over quota will eventually bring about lower prices and lower revenue. Many of the other OPEC nations are hurting and need to be reminded this lesson every now and then.

    Long-term thinking is usually better in terms of maximizing total return on an asset, especially one like oil reserves. Getting more $ for each barrel makes sense, but short-term needs seem to rule the day.

    Having said all that, I will touch on this in Part II. Thanks for the comment.
    Jul 6, 2015. 05:09 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Sector Outlook: Intermediate And Long Term [View article]
    Maya - Thanks for reading and the supportive comment. Working on the next installment now.
    Jul 6, 2015. 01:56 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #281 June 1 2015 [View instapost]
    Excellent catch, Maya!
    Jul 6, 2015. 01:55 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #281 June 1 2015 [View instapost]
    AiB - The ECB would need to buy the paper and use the proceeds to extinguish the debt it already owns. I realize this won't happen, but I don't see any other way that Greece can stay in the EZ at this point. Maybe EU leaders will surprise me!
    Jul 6, 2015. 01:54 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator May 23, 2015 To ?? [View instapost]
    If it's any consolation, I'm enjoying the article linked!
    Jul 6, 2015. 01:52 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator May 23, 2015 To ?? [View instapost]
    Maya - I suspect you meant to make this comment of the QC.
    Jul 6, 2015. 12:31 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #281 June 1 2015 [View instapost]
    So, a little over 2 weeks until another major showdown in the continuing Greek saga. Unless, of course, some other means of averting the inevitable can be found in the mean time.

    Here's an idea: instead of restructuring existing Greek debt, allow the Greeks to issue new debt with better repayment terms that can be used to pay off the existing debt. That would be a restructuring, but technically not a restructuring. The interest rate could be lowered and the term could be extended with no new payments due for three to five years. That would give Greece time to dig themselves a much deeper hole!

    Without some debt forgiveness, I don't see any other way to keep Greece out of default.
    Jul 6, 2015. 12:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #281 June 1 2015 [View instapost]
    I just published the first part (in a 3 part series) about the energy sector, in case anyone is interested here is a link:
    http://seekingalpha.co...
    Jul 6, 2015. 12:23 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #281 June 1 2015 [View instapost]
    LT - It appears that only the one Chinese exchange, Shanghai, bucked the trend. As you noted, the Hang Seng (Hong Kong) was down 3.3%, but also interesting to see the Shenzhen composite down 2.7%. Shanghai seems to be the only exchange that the brokerage firms agreed to support, thus the divergence of other China stock exchanges. I can't help but think that the puny $19.3 billion will run out and Shanghai will fall again to catch up with the other exchanges in the region.

    What is artificial and temporary by nature, will not last, imho.
    Jul 6, 2015. 12:21 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #281 June 1 2015 [View instapost]
    LT - "even the USA may see some changes"

    One can only hope!
    Jul 6, 2015. 12:16 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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