Seeking Alpha

Mike Maher

 
View as an RSS Feed
View Mike Maher's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • With the Fed more or less in complete control of the yield curve, nobody really talks about this anymore, but the 2/10 spread (the 10-year Treasury yield minus the 2-year) is at about 140 basis points - far above the flat to negative reads typical ahead of a recession, writes Eddy Elfenbein. With the 2-year at 0.25%, does this indicator still matter? [View news story]
    It matters if you are long mREITs or bank stocks.
    Oct 4, 2012. 04:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • IBM is thinking of making a bid for ResCap's mortgage-servicing assets in partnership with Ocwen Financial (OCN) on Oct. 23, the NY Post reports. That could put Big Blue in competition with Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B), believed to be partnering with a smaller firm. Some think Warren Buffett is only involved to get another bidder, Fortress Investment (FIG), to raise its offer, thereby allowing Berkshire to obtain more for its ResCap debt holdings. (previous[View news story]
    Hmm is this a change in direction for IBM or a means of putting cash to work outside of savings accounts? Interesting
    Oct 1, 2012. 10:09 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Stick the part from Dow Theory about the Transports and the DJIA needing to confirm each other in the same closet with your bell-bottoms, writes Jacqueline Doherty. Since the 1970s - as the U.S. has become a more service-oriented economy - the S&P 500 has gained an average 6.5% in the six months following a period (such as now) when the Transports have lagged. This handily beats the S&P's average 6-month gain of 4%. [View news story]
    So your argument is that knowledge is not wealth? UPS uses its knowledge and logistics systems to drive down costs for shippers and businesses, reducing costs, increasing efficiency, and as margins expand, increasing wealth. What about the railroads who transport coal and ore that are mined? By providing takeaway capacity to the mines and access to markets are they not creating wealth? Or songwriters or authors who create new works of art? Or computer programmers who write a new search algorithm and create a company like Google?

    You're correct, we dont need services to live. But without services like utilities, supermarkets, doctors, police, etc, everyone's quality of life would be much, much lower, and the amount of economic activity lost by people performing tasks they are not optimal at would send us back to the stone ages.

    Mercantilism ignores the ability of people to invent new techniques or processes to add wealth, and ignores the value of intellectual property. Why can't a nation simply provide IT services, and create its wealth by selling its knowledge and expertise overseas, rather than selling its goods overseas? Its worked quite well for IBM.

    And in your definition of wealth wouldn't raising livestock or harvesting wild animals be considered wealth creating? So killing birds mining or manufacturing would be destroying wealth.
    Sep 29, 2012. 04:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Stick the part from Dow Theory about the Transports and the DJIA needing to confirm each other in the same closet with your bell-bottoms, writes Jacqueline Doherty. Since the 1970s - as the U.S. has become a more service-oriented economy - the S&P 500 has gained an average 6.5% in the six months following a period (such as now) when the Transports have lagged. This handily beats the S&P's average 6-month gain of 4%. [View news story]
    70% of the economy is services, so yes there can get economic activity without manufacturing. Doctors, lawyers, appraisers, accountants, bankers, teachers, police, firemen, pilots, truck drivers, cashiers, software engineers, bartenders, cashiers, chefs and hundreds of other jobs exist without manufacturing or mining anything. The US should manufacture what it has an advantage at manufacturing, high tech, capital intensive products, like planes, locomotive engines, and large mining equipment. And we should mine all our resources in a safe, responsible way.
    Sep 29, 2012. 10:12 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Protestors in tree platforms as high as 80 feet are attempting to block work on the southern portion of TransCanada's (TRP) Keystone pipeline in Texas. Protesters have not yet disrupted any work, but they're in the planned route of crews clearing foliage and trees for the pipeline. [View news story]
    Still has the Keystone name, so it still brings out the crazies.
    Sep 26, 2012. 10:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Boone Pickens' enthusiasm notwithstanding, U.S. natural gas prices don't appear to be headed higher any time soon, as pipelines coming into service by year end are poised to extend the current supply glut. Deliveries from the Marcellus shale could grow by 30%, as ~1,000 area shale wells that now sit uncompleted because of a lack of pipeline infrastructure gradually come online. [View news story]
    Companies just started breaking ground on new nuclear plants in the US. Low natural gas makes them less profitable, but its not going to kill the industry the way its killing the coal fired plants.
    Sep 26, 2012. 10:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Boone Pickens' enthusiasm notwithstanding, U.S. natural gas prices don't appear to be headed higher any time soon, as pipelines coming into service by year end are poised to extend the current supply glut. Deliveries from the Marcellus shale could grow by 30%, as ~1,000 area shale wells that now sit uncompleted because of a lack of pipeline infrastructure gradually come online. [View news story]
    Dont forget new nat gas infrastructure in the Bakken to stop all the flaring of gas.
    Sep 26, 2012. 06:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The hot mortgage REIT sector gets a bit frothier as Javelin Mortgage (JMI) files to raise $125M in an IPO. The recently formed business, managed by ARMOUR Residential (ARR), will - what else - borrow short, lever up, and buy MBS. (S-11[View news story]
    VNR is an oil and gas mlp, they just converted to monthly
    Sep 25, 2012. 07:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) -2.8% premarket after announcing a public offering of 8M common units representing limited partner interests at $53.07/unit. The oil and gas pipeline operator plans to use net proceeds to reduce borrowings and for general partnership purposes. [View news story]
    I think this means they're planning something new. They havent come to market that often recently. Keep an eye on this one.
    Sep 25, 2012. 02:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Protestors in tree platforms as high as 80 feet are attempting to block work on the southern portion of TransCanada's (TRP) Keystone pipeline in Texas. Protesters have not yet disrupted any work, but they're in the planned route of crews clearing foliage and trees for the pipeline. [View news story]
    Because its to transport oil sands oil, they wanted to put it through a preserved area in Nebraska, and the general public doesnt realize there are already hundreds of thousands of miles of oil and gas pipelines in the US.
    Sep 25, 2012. 02:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What happens to housing and rental prices when (if) this group comes back on the market? The number of 26 year-olds living with parents has jumped nearly 46% since 2007, according to Census Bureau data. About 25% of those aged 18-30 now live with parents, bringing multigenerational households to the highest level since the 1950s, according to Pew Research. [View news story]
    Student loan payment will be replacing mortgage payments for my generation. Home ownership rates for people under 30 are not going to jump up anytime soon.
    Sep 25, 2012. 02:09 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Contrary to what the Presidential candidates have been saying, Cornell's Robert Frank says, "the nation doesn’t actually face difficult economic choices." Inter alia, Frank advocates spending money to repair crumbling infrastructure and so create jobs, and "replacing the current income tax with a more steeply progressive consumption tax, making big-ticket spending much more expensive." [View news story]
    So is being a smart ass. I never said they had it all under control, and we wont leave nato because it helps spread the spending around, and gives our defense companies export markets to sell to.
    Sep 24, 2012. 12:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Contrary to what the Presidential candidates have been saying, Cornell's Robert Frank says, "the nation doesn’t actually face difficult economic choices." Inter alia, Frank advocates spending money to repair crumbling infrastructure and so create jobs, and "replacing the current income tax with a more steeply progressive consumption tax, making big-ticket spending much more expensive." [View news story]
    http://bit.ly/UwemqD

    1.6%, compared to 4.6% in the US. The US number will be coming down as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan end. As for the US ending its policy of projecting power around the world, it wont happen. Policing the oceans, keeping shipping lanes open, and occasional regime change are all tasks that Europe wants, but would rather have the US do. Since the US has as much to lose as the other nations from piracy, unstable regimes with nukes, etc, the US acts. Washington has been arming the Gulf States, and Israel, to help take some of the burden off the US military, but a shift towards a world with a smaller US military power is decades off.

    And we arent wasting all our money via the military, 20% of the budget goes to defense spending, a number that will be coming down. Growth in healthcare costs are the big issue facing the government, and our society. We have a horribly innefficent healthcare system, where doctors are paid by drug companies, I pay the insurance company, the insurance company insists it should pay nothing to anyone, and the government pays everyone more than they should. There is corruption and waste at every level, and without a change in the system, it will only get worse.

    http://bit.ly/PZufjr
    Sep 24, 2012. 12:26 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Contrary to what the Presidential candidates have been saying, Cornell's Robert Frank says, "the nation doesn’t actually face difficult economic choices." Inter alia, Frank advocates spending money to repair crumbling infrastructure and so create jobs, and "replacing the current income tax with a more steeply progressive consumption tax, making big-ticket spending much more expensive." [View news story]
    BMW's and Toyotas are assembled in the states like South Carolina, Airbus is planning an assembly plant in Alabama, there's an embargo against Cuban products in the US, and Jack Daniels is awesome. I'm pretty sure no one suggested that Fords were better than BMW's because we have a more open market. I will however, argue, as others in this discussion are also arguing, that the things that people point out the US is falling behind in, ie healthcare cost and quality, and public education, are things the government is heavily involved in. Its not coincidence that the government agrees to pay medical bills through medicare and medicaid, and give out student loans to every 18 year old with a pulse, and the costs of healthcare and higher education skyrocket. Its economics.
    Sep 23, 2012. 09:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Contrary to what the Presidential candidates have been saying, Cornell's Robert Frank says, "the nation doesn’t actually face difficult economic choices." Inter alia, Frank advocates spending money to repair crumbling infrastructure and so create jobs, and "replacing the current income tax with a more steeply progressive consumption tax, making big-ticket spending much more expensive." [View news story]
    Peaceful nations can be attacked by the armies of other, less peaceful nations. Its why countries have defense forces. Maybe you should do a little bit of reading as to what Europe was like from the early 1900's til 1945.

    And Norway has F-16's, and as of June is considering buying 2 C-130's from the US. Sweden some Saab made fighters, and is planning on adding new helicopters. Lets not pretend that these nations dont have armies, or air forces, or any sort of military spending.
    Sep 23, 2012. 09:25 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
COMMENTS STATS
2,610 Comments
3,155 Likes