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  • Ukraine pro-Russian demonstrators refuse to stand down [View news story]
    I think the markets are surly too.
    Apr 18 10:45 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Great Graphic - Case Study: San Jose Hiked Minimum Wage [View article]
    I disagree totally. The political issue is whether or not the public should pay to improve the well-being of low-paid people.

    Whether we should achieve that goal by raising the minimum wage -- or by other, less distortive means, like the EITC or negative income tax is an implementation issue not a political one. And rational analysis and empirical evidence strongly suggest the latter two approaches are vastly superior to raising the minimum wage.
    Apr 15 08:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Great Graphic - Case Study: San Jose Hiked Minimum Wage [View article]
    "But it's different than the disguised interest represented by the "idea" that a higher minimum wage will hurt poor people."

    That's not a disguised interest at all, it's just rational economic analysis. Maybe you've never employed anyone. If you did, you would know this: if you set the minimum wage at $10.10/hour, in the long run anyone who produces less than $10.10/hour (plus SS and benefits), will be unemployed. The chief victims of such a policy are likely to be the most vulnerable, e.g. inner-city (minority) youth.

    I would guess that L. Kramer (above) shares your interest about "raising living standards for living people." My guess is he probably shares your political view generally. The difference is he proposes a method that would actually achieve it, rather than a ham-fisted fiat wage decree that is likely to achieve the precise opposite of what was intended.
    Apr 15 01:53 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Great Graphic - Case Study: San Jose Hiked Minimum Wage [View article]
    The other key point that hasn't been addressed here or in most of the academic studies is the distinction between the short and long-term effects of minimum wage policies.

    Imagine you own a fast-food restaurant and you're faced with paying all your employees $2-3 more per hour. Are you going to simply lay off the employees, incurring huge opportunity cost on the $thousands you have invested in fryers, dishwashing machines, and real estate? Probably not. But if you're a guy about to open a restaurant, a high minimum wage (or even the prospect of increases in the future) will influence how you set up the business. You'll probably implement all kinds of labor-saving devices.

    In fact, this is what we've seen in the Bay Area: lots of supermarkets are instituting "self checkout" counters with no checkers. Restaurants let you place your order on an Ipad, and so on.

    So minimum wage increases may not create a marked wave of lay-offs. They're more likely to create a frog-in-boling-water scenario, where low-wage employment is gradually eliminated. And five years down the road, the people who supported the policy will be left scratching their heads wondering how it happened.
    Apr 15 09:55 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Great Graphic - Case Study: San Jose Hiked Minimum Wage [View article]
    Yes. But if you see the article I referenced above, you can see that ALL employment in the SJ area grew much faster than the rest of CA. So if fast food employment is just keeping pace with rest of CA, that suggests that it is actually falling behind what it otherwise would have been.

    "And MLP not sure why you feel the need to insult people who arrive at a different conclusion that you. It is not helpful for an open discourse."

    That was really directed at the WSJ source, not you. But your point is well taken and I retract that last, gratuitous comment.
    Apr 15 09:33 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Great Graphic - Case Study: San Jose Hiked Minimum Wage [View article]
    You need to look at that graph a little more carefully. It looks to me like fast food employment growth for all of California went up fairly steadily, while the growth for San Jose dipped and then ended up where it started.

    This strongly suggests that San Jose had much worse fast food employment growth than it otherwise would have.

    Just in case you doubt, the reality is that ALL employment in the S.F. Bay Area grew much faster than the rest of California during that period.

    http://bit.ly/1qXwkOw

    For example, in May, the Bay Area accounted for 8600 of the 10,800 jobs added in the whole state! So, at most this study is just reflecting the fact that the San Jose area grew much, much faster than the rest of the state during that time period.

    In fact it casts serious doubt on the claimed thesis. If fast food employment had kept pace with the rest of San Jose's employment growth, it would have rocketed past the rest of California. Instead it just barely kept up.

    If the authors failed to note this, they were either ignorant or disingenuous.
    Apr 14 11:56 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China Slowdown Will Trigger Black Swan Event [View article]
    The EUR/USD and AUD/USD have made much bigger moves in that sort of time frame.
    Apr 12 08:20 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • China Slowdown Will Trigger Black Swan Event [View article]
    That's just it: there used to be 6.8 CNY to the USD; now there are 6.2. That means a stronger Yuan not a weaker one.

    Maybe the author is referring to the small reversal from 6.1 to 6.2. But again, that's hardly a huge move.
    Apr 12 04:32 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China Slowdown Will Trigger Black Swan Event [View article]
    "The yuan (CYB) has plunged since 2014 and is proof that China is unwinding (See chart below from Yahoo Finance)."

    That's not what the chart shows at all. You have it backwards. Fewer Yuan to the dollar = stronger Yuan.

    The Yuan has appreciated 10% since 2011. Now if you're talking about that tiny little move over the last 4 months..... that amounts to a whopping 2.5%. Hardly a "plunge."
    Apr 12 03:26 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Time To Buy Argent (And A 17% Yield) Before Earnings [View article]
    Geez rlp,

    You didn't actually buy a stock that I favored? Seems like you've been negative on just about everything I've liked -- sometimes quite successfully (e.g. EVEP), I'll admit.
    Apr 11 08:33 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Time To Buy Argent (And A 17% Yield) Before Earnings [View article]
    Thanks African,

    I don't even want to hazard a guess. You can look at the NAV and say the stock is trading at a 65% discount. But then, there's a whole bunch of Canadian E&P companies trading at huge discounts to NAV. Some, like TLM, have been there for many years.

    I feel like I was sold a falsely rosy picture by Prokop and Tremblay back in December. That is what spurred the positive articles I wrote. Prokop was fired. I'll have a little more confidence when Tremblay is fired too.
    Apr 10 05:36 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Time To Buy Argent (And A 17% Yield) Before Earnings [View article]
    Contributors need to provide SS numbers to SA, so I don't know how you could appear under a different name. I'm sure SA wouldn't allow it.

    As you can see I have a very long track record with SA, going back six years. Argent is not the first really bad idea I've had. Of course I've had some good ones too. I don't assure results. But I do put my money where my mouth is. In this case, it has cost me well into six figures. The reality is I was simply too gullible, putting my trust in a CEO who has now been fired. I'll own that.

    The bottom-line is that you have to take anybody's word with a grain of salt -- whether it's me, Jim Cramer, Mark Mobius, or Seth Klarman. You need to weigh the pros and cons for yourself. If you're buying or selling simply based on what someone else says on a website or a TV show, you're doing yourself a disservice.
    Apr 10 02:12 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Time To Buy Argent (And A 17% Yield) Before Earnings [View article]

    "Presenting info and letting readers digest and decide for themselves is one thing. Saying "it's time to buy!" is another."

    "Time to buy" was clearly my opinion and my own investment choice. Readers were free to evaluate that opinion and ignore it if they felt it was unwarranted. In fact, that's what you and others chose (vocally) to do. Frankly, I hope a lot of others followed your lead and spared themselves huge losses.

    "You had no real insight yet pretended you did."
    No. I simply laid out my case for buying - insider purchases, low price/NAV, upbeat conversations with executives. Clearly I was mistaken, taking executives at their word, underestimating the capacity of the DRIP to create a dilutive spiral, etc.
    Apr 10 12:42 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Use This MLP To Cash In On The Shale Boom [View article]
    This was a really great idea ... 6 months or a year ago. Now that the stock has run to an all time high and is only yielding 3.9%, it doesn't seem like such a slam dunk. Full disclosure: EPD is my single largest security holding. But I am not buying more at this level. Great company, but quite fully priced.
    Apr 10 09:55 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Time To Buy Argent (And A 17% Yield) Before Earnings [View article]
    Well this explains why I was unable to reach the CEO....
    Apr 10 09:52 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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