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Mark Bern, CFA  

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  • Quickchat #279, March 19, 2015 [View instapost]
    Guns - If the world experiences increased volcanic and earthquake activity this year, is it safe to say that it will be blamed on W?
    Apr 13, 2015. 12:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Quickchat #279, March 19, 2015 [View instapost]
    Very good point, Maya!
    Apr 10, 2015. 01:15 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quickchat #279, March 19, 2015 [View instapost]
    I would be surprised if REED continues to be on its own for very long. This smells like another potential buy for KO or PEP. KO especially needs some growth!
    Apr 9, 2015. 11:00 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quickchat #279, March 19, 2015 [View instapost]
    I rarely drink soda now, but used to drink several per day while my cohorts drank coffee. I wasn't alone. There were a lot of others who sought caffeine via soft drinks to keep them going at the desks in many offices. Don't know but expect it hasn't changed that much over the years.

    And then there are those who (I actually knew someone like this) sit down with a six-pack of their favorite soda each night...extreme! But I suspect that the average has to be close to one a day per person in the US if you include restaurants and fast food places.

    If they can get it into some mainstream eateries it could really take off!
    Apr 9, 2015. 10:56 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quickchat #279, March 19, 2015 [View instapost]
    Interesting article about a huge oil field found in the UK. 100 b/bbls of oil. Question is how much of it can be extracted with current tech. Then, the next question is: how much will be extracted in the future due to improvements in tech?

    http://yhoo.it/1CzVdow
    Apr 9, 2015. 03:28 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator January 1, 2015 To ?? [View instapost]
    LT - Patience pays off! Congrats!
    Apr 8, 2015. 01:32 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quickchat #279, March 19, 2015 [View instapost]
    Regarding whether the US might do something like this: I think we already have! But we don't need to issue a 2nd currency; instead the Fed just issues $3 trillion more in currency (called QE). The Fed then buys MBS and gov't bonds with the freshly minted currency. The Fed only keeps enough of its proceeds to fund its operations; the rest is given back to the US Treasury at the end of each year. The Treasury issues bonds at low interest rates (it really doesn't matter what the rate is as you will see shortly), and the Fed buys most of the newly issued bonds from the Treasury. The Fed doesn't need any of the proceeds from either the MBS or bonds since it already was able to fund its operation (and remit a surplus to the Treasury) before it expanded its balance sheet. Thus, the Fed reimburses all of the additional proceeds (interest, not principal) to the Treasury. Since the Treasury receives all of its interest back from the Fed plus additional proceeds from the MBS received by the Fed, the US is effectively borrowing for less than zero from the Fed.

    Isn't life wonderful!
    Apr 8, 2015. 01:30 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quickchat #279, March 19, 2015 [View instapost]
    LT - I understand that part. But it seems like, instead of bonds with a return of principal plus interest, with zero interest these notes become more like a currency. They are transferable (legal tender), payable by and back by government's ability to raise funds through taxation, and have no maturity date. That sounds like our promissory notes (dollars) or currency, to me. They can call them bonds, but a rose by any other name would still smell like a rose. This smells like currency!
    Apr 8, 2015. 12:27 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quickchat #279, March 19, 2015 [View instapost]
    Only slightly surprised to see this starting now. I really thought it would take a few more weeks before consolidation began. This seems like a sign that oil companies believe the bottom is either in or very near for oil prices.
    Apr 8, 2015. 12:15 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quickchat #279, March 19, 2015 [View instapost]
    Isn't that the 1st build in refined products in a while? But, I guess we are about to enter the summer driving season so it makes sense that there would be products building now through the rest of spring.
    Apr 8, 2015. 12:13 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quickchat #279, March 19, 2015 [View instapost]
    A 2nd fiat currency for domestic use only! Use Euros for international trade and the new internal fiat currency for domestic transactions.

    Somehow, I doubt it would work but who knows. Interesting, none the less.
    Apr 8, 2015. 12:09 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quickchat #279, March 19, 2015 [View instapost]
    This may have helped a little:

    Wayfair Inc. (NYSE: W) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $44 from $37 (versus a $30.81 close) at Janney Capital Markets. The firm sees online category trends as robust and a seasonally strong first quarter.
    Apr 7, 2015. 04:27 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quickchat #279, March 19, 2015 [View instapost]
    Joseph - Agreed! Good strategy to buy the behemoths on weakness. Low prices should be a catalyst for consolidation to position for the long term.
    Apr 5, 2015. 12:47 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quickchat #279, March 19, 2015 [View instapost]
    Don't know I agree with this assessment of US crude production not peaking until Sept 2015, but thought I'd provide the link:

    http://on.mktw.net/1Iw...

    I think the peak production is closer than that, maybe by May. Reductions in ND being offset by increases in TX will probably be temporary. Who knows. But if that article is correct the price oil could go down further than I had anticipated. A deal with Iran and how fast they increase production could create the next wave down in prices.
    Apr 3, 2015. 09:04 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quickchat #279, March 19, 2015 [View instapost]
    Walmart and Target both announced minimum wage increases recently, from $7.25/hr to $9.00/hr.

    According to the article in the following link employers in services and retail are having a hard time retaining good workers and finding quality replacements is getting more difficult. The increase is over 24% and affects about .8% of the US workforce.

    The question I have is whether this and similar moves within these industries by competitors will put enough upward pressure on wages to concern the Fed. It seems that the Fed puts a lot of emphasis on wage growth as a precursor to inflation.

    http://bloom.bg/1IwS8uk

    Here is a link to MCD wage raises coming: http://lat.ms/1IwSZeu

    TJMaxx and Marshalls following Walmart pay raise:
    http://yhoo.it/1IwT29W

    Ross, Finish Line, Foot Locker & Kohls also under pressure to increase wages. http://on.mktw.net/1Iw...

    Pressure seems to be growing on the inflation front. But demographics are the counterbalance as boomers are entering retirement and consuming less. This could get interesting before long.
    Apr 3, 2015. 08:52 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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