Seeking Alpha
View as an RSS Feed

Michael Nau  

View Michael Nau's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • Reinsurance Update: Interim 2013 Q1 Earnings Comparisons [View article]
    Thanks for the update! I'm no expert on reinsurance companies, but they don't usually trade much more than 120% BV, right? What is your sense about a 90%-95% BV valuation? is it about the median historically, or does it represent a pretty good discount relative to history? I'm just wondering because if these are middle-of-the-road valuations historically speaking, might it make more sense for a market pullback or a hurricane or something?
    Apr 27, 2013. 02:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Target Date Fund 'Safe Harbors' Attract A Minefield Of Possible Litigation [View article]
    Interesting article, thanks! One issue, though, is that with drawdown risk. I agree that is an important risk to consider, especially if it lead to people cashing out at the worst time. But another risk is longevity risk- outliving your savings. That risk is heightened with a 100% bond allocation in today's interest rate environment. So I'd argue that your solution is more focused on reducing one (albeit important) type of risk in exchange for increasing another. Some 55-year-olds that want their money to last to age 85 can't afford to put everything in negative real yield bonds.
    Apr 26, 2013. 04:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T: The Cost Of Being A Capital Extractor [View article]
    I agree with your AT&T assessment, it is a terrible company for consumers with outdated technology and poor customer service. Its lofty valuation given the mediocre fundamentals makes no sense to me, and is one of the strongest arguments I can think of in favor of a supposed "dividend bubble".
    Apr 26, 2013. 04:32 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Changing The Conversation [View article]
    I think the bigger problem is including the financial sector in GDP calculations. In the earliest versions, much of it wasn't included, and for a good reason: pushing around pieces of paper is not really a good or service, however important-sounding it is.

    If my bank decides to levy a $1,000 "service fee" on my savings, has GDP increased? Or, if I make a derivaties bet and lose, has the counterparty added to GDP? I'd argue no in both cases, its just a wealth transfer.
    Apr 26, 2013. 04:23 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Answer: "About $2B in market cap." Question: "How much are four executives really worth?" AIG has fallen 3% and can't get up after Berkshire poached 4 of its top insurance men. The question comes from Bernstein (presumably Josh Stirling). The dour answer from Forbes' Steve Schaefer. [View news story]
    Nope, its down for the day. Somthing else must be going on.
    Apr 26, 2013. 04:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Short Supply Of Assets [View article]
    Very interesting, thanks!
    Apr 26, 2013. 01:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Apple-Microsoft Comparison Is Valid [View article]
    Excellent point, Little Dude, apples and oranges. At its valuation peak, MSFT also had no dividends and no plans to reduce its float by 15%+
    Apr 25, 2013. 03:58 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. LNG Exports - No Cause For Alarm [View article]
    Elliott, thanks for the article. This is a complicated issue with a lot different and possibly conflicting policy goals: lower energy costs for consumers and businesses, reducing our balance of trade deficit, energy independence, revamping our transportation infrastructure, etc. Not sure what the right policy is.

    Maybe there's some sort of middle-ground compromise, like the following: companies are given the green light for unlimited exports, but a series of graduated export volume caps come into place as the price rises. That way, if the NERA report is correct, then we can export away for a net gain, but if the EIA report is correct, we can provide some sort of balance between competing interests.
    Apr 25, 2013. 12:49 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Haze Lifts: 96% Of Medical Marijuana Inc. Q4 Sales From Questionable Transaction [View article]
    Alan, thanks for the in-depth analysis. The SEC should cut you a check for this article along with SA.
    Apr 25, 2013. 12:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Protect Your Portfolio While VIX Futures Are Cheap [View article]
    There's a bunch of nickels lying on the ground and you're trying to push overpriced steamrollers. When the VIX moves up to the 18+ range, I'll take the opposite side of your trade, until then I'm in cash.
    Apr 25, 2013. 12:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Buying Medical Marijuana? You Are Being Robbed [View article]
    Keep up the good work! It just shocks me that these sorts of shenanigans are legal. Our economy is having enough trouble recovering, and the last thing we need is capital sinkholes like MJNA.
    Apr 25, 2013. 07:26 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Visualizing The VIX Term Structure Over Time [View article]
    Excellent article, thanks! I do think that the market will fizzle as the year wears on and that we've seen most of the gains we will see in 2013. I'm just waiting for your big macro event to initiate a short VIX position.
    Apr 24, 2013. 10:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Reinhart-Rogoff A Week Later: Why Does This Matter? [View article]
    ianxponent, I'm on the left, and I think that debt can be bad. It just depends. Its a double-edged sword: credit is what makes modern capitalism possible, but can lead to problems if the terms are too onerous or if it causes unnecessary risk. So the real debate is not about debt good vs. debt bad, but when exactly debt is good or bad.

    RR staked a strong claim about when debt moves from good to bad, and it looks pretty clear to me that they were wrong. So the question is: if there actually is a "debt tipping point" for countries, what is that tipping point? I'm not sure if there is one, but I'd build a more textured set of hypotheses that takes local political-economic conditions into account e.g. wars, form of government, currency independence, economic diversification, country-level wealth, etc. I wouldn't mechanically focus on debt-to-gdp.
    Apr 24, 2013. 10:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: How To Admit You're Out Of Ideas [View article]
    I disagree. AAPL is using tons of cash to reinvest in the business, $10B in the last year. That sounds like plenty to me. It makes sense to return the rest to shareholders after setting aside a rainy day fund.
    Apr 24, 2013. 10:14 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Reinhart And Rogoff Aren't The Real Villains: Scoring Last Week's Internet Debate [View article]
    I don't give the entire field of economics high marks on this one. Too much blather about correlation and not enough causal modeling.

    In the last few years the balance of my IRA has increased along with the death count in Syria. Correlation or causation?
    Apr 23, 2013. 11:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment