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  • Federal Reserve green lights resubmitted BofA capital plan [View news story]
    This is sad. TBTF banks will all end up begging the Federal Reserve and taxpayers for bailouts again. If it weren't for the giveaway zirp rates (which make it virtualy impossible for even a idiot not to make money) and the governments backing of TBTF banks making them appear safe because taxpayers are on the line if they become insolvent they'd probably be begging for taxpayer money and bankruptcy protection from their fraud lawsuits.

    The only way TBTF banks should be able to distribute its assets is by no longer being a TBTF bank and ditching using the public as their parachute. Sure you may make money by owning them and watching corrupt people allow them to screw the public without knowing, but you become the problem not the solution. Any business dependent on the government to survive isn't a viable business no matter what they say. Ergo managements interest to distribute assets out of the company to themselves as shareholders to protect such assets from covering future bankruptcy and loss. In the end taxpayers will pay for such losses.

    Once again, there is zero downside for bad decisions and personal upside for bad decisions at TBTF banks making them behave just like socialist state owned banks save for the fact there seems to be a lot more corruption than any other State owned bank in the world.
    Aug 6 12:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Retirement Strategy: Preparing For The Unknowns [View article]
    The difficulty of retirement is the same difficulty faced by businesses and investors. Given this economy is driven by government and central bank policy which can be all over the map, there is no reliable way of forecasting. This requires you to take the most conservative measures which is hard to do.

    If the Fed doesn't cut it could spur inflation and higher rates meaning don't put all your money in bonds or low interest savings. This keeps you from buying long term bonds or putting it all in CDs. If the Fed does cut it could cause a stock market crash. If the government doesn't curb expenses the dollar falls and commodity prices will rise. This can exacerbate if the Fed does more QE. If the government raises taxes and penalizes the economy then the economy goes down along with commodities.

    In the end, this is the problem with socialism, central bank and government run economies. One can not predict the future because it does not rest with economic forces but bureaucrats who may do anything at any time and is why socialist governments almost never experience strong growth save silly instances like China did which has made money off of the US which engaged in policies to encourage the out of control spending that fueled its economic engine.

    Sadly, the best way for retirement savers to hold their money is to split it up among all the asset classes which doesn't really give you extraordinary gains and exposes you to all potential losses. It's a mediocre strategy because that's what government run economies force everyone into.

    For businesses its even worse. Businesses this cycle have been forced to save not invest, rather than buy factors of production they have been encouraged to buy back stock, and rather than save they have been pushed to borrow more and cut their savings since it hemorrhages on their balance sheet because of the central banks policy of making sure no one can invest to keep up with inflation save by taking extraordinary risk. On top of that they had to plan for a hidden task of Obamacare, further reducing any expansion plans or hiring.

    It is no wonder our economy is flat and almost amazing its not down.
    Aug 6 12:26 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Deflation Menace [View article]
    Interesting article. Interesting in the fact that falling prices used to be considered part of the norm of business cycles and helps rebalance the economy. Indeed, large scale falling prices indicate a healthy market which enables consumers to buy more with disposable income. The issue is disposable income and the reason we aren't growing is people have precious little of it thanks to the government's ceaseless attack against any savings whatsoever.

    Indeed the current downturn is notable in the fact they have decided to artificially drop interest to zirp so as to make it as much a money losing business as possible for you to save. The best result you can do is play the market which is also clearly overvalued thanks to this government initiative. Inevitably, those buying in now will lose worse than earning under real inflation with your money.

    In the meantime, its the first time in history big banks don't care about depositors. They get funny money for free to lend from the Fed's QE pocket which undermines not just fairness but the whole capitalist system. Shame!
    Aug 5 11:15 PM | 18 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tech Bubble 2.0 - Prem Watsa's List Of Social Media Stocks To Avoid Or Short [View article]
    True but finding over value in tech stocks is like finding cars to give speeding tickets at the Indy 500. I congratulate whoever recalls the movie I got this analogy from.

    It's fine to pay a premium for a company with rising growth, but looking at most tech companies growth is slowing not rising, and yet their prices have continued to propel up along with this central government/bank led rally. I guess the powers that be believe in communism as they ruthlessly gut the capitalist market by proving they can make so much funny money you might as well not save, and even if you save you won't keep it with the taxes and low interest rate environment they are creating.

    If you think stocks are a safe haven income generating investment here, you are about to get a big dose of socialist reality. All markets based on government intervention collapse under their own weight spectacularly leaving such a big void communism seems like a solution. Talk about creating a self fulfilling prophecy. Central bank led economies = low to no growth with vast terrible downturns to break the monotony.
    Aug 5 11:03 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Groupon Deteriorates Further [View article]
    It's amazing Groupon is still around. Although I don't see much upside clearly while revenues hold up it's rough short. They have stickiness with their customers although non-customers hate their spam e-mail and annoying ads as well as many vendors who have burned themselves advertising on their platform.
    Aug 5 10:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Code Orange For Apple: Market Share Decline Is A Pounding Headache [View article]
    The issue is not total marketshare but high end marketshare. Clearly the larger screen will help Apple keep high end marketshare, however, I agree with the author that raising prices to offset the cost increase is shortsighted and dumb. Apple has a overpriced, customer fleecing issue which will only get worse unless it makes some significant technology advantage over competitors to justify itself.

    Copying Samsung with bigger screens clearly shows that it doesn't have anything and is playing catch up rather than leading. Hopefully they will not hit a Nokia, Motorola market point where they lose their lead most dramatically. They better start spending on technology rather than trying to please Wall Street speculators.
    Aug 5 10:36 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Three Chart Alarm: The Fed Has Set-Up The Corporate Bond Market For A Big Fall [View article]
    You are correct, the Fed has pulled its funds in to protect its interior, US Treasuries, like a person pulls in blood from the exterior to keep its core warm when freezing. Rates will rise towards their norm as interest rates rise regardless of inflation. Inevitably when even short term US Treasuries take it on the nose the reality that real cash is a scare commodity will come into play.

    When zirp ends there will be a crash. When QE ends it will be a bloodbath. Junk bond players will get what they deserve for their greed, a kick between the legs. Unfortunately, the well funded financials including TBTF banks in the know who sell them will be laughing at them for taking them off their hands in a clearly overvalued market just like they laughed at home buyers in the last crash.
    Aug 5 01:00 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Fed Is Changing Gear [View article]
    Rates will rise because in order for the Fed to cut QE it must keep US Treasury bond buying which is all almost all short maturities already. The Fed will kill the economy if it has to keep its treasury market stable. After all, that's the fundamental reason for its existence and its source of all its other power, despite how horrible it uses it.

    There are many articles on why the US is better off without the Federal Reserve and how it has exacerbated inflation, created massive collapses, etc. I expect more justifications for the bad things the Federal reserve does when it perpetrates the removal of QE because it can't be done without doing more harm than it has helped meaning a worse downturn than the last.

    That is why so many believe we will never exit QE but doing that is just dooming us to a Japanese style decade or longer weak economy at best and a socialistic economic collapse or a collapse of the value of our money which is much worse.
    Aug 4 03:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stopping Corporate Flight By Taxing More? [View article]
    I agree with the author that 1) taxing more to discourage corporate flight ignores the issue. The issue is the already excess burden we are putting on business in the US which includes Obamacare etc. which is essentially a corporate tax. Reward for staying in the US is a much more appropriate action given there is less and less of an incentive to do so, especially given the lack of real growth since the last downturn.

    Second is, indeed corporate taxes inevitably raise prices and is passed on to consumers. So in essence consumers bear the brunt of taxes 3 times: corporate taxes which raise prices, sales taxes, and then personal income taxes. The fundamental problem the US must address is just how much siphoning from the economy to the government can occur before you 1) make the US a socialist state 2) destroy the economy 3) undermine businesses and people so much everything stops working and businesses flee the US (the second is already happening).

    The last thing we need is more taxes and this issue is only being played now as a justification for more taxes. In reality this issue should come up, but the issue it should be couched in is part of the reason why the economy is doing so bad. Are we destroying American competitiveness with a bloated federal government that runs massive deficits and sucks more and more from people and companies. Apparently, corporations can decide to leave the US much easier than people although I heard wealthy people are leaving too.

    We need to cut taxes just like we need to cut government spending. We need to end the mommy state mentality that has permeated the market unless we want to go down like the USSR. That means ending government run real estate by ending Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, cutting QE, and refusing to have the US government bailout and buyout failures in the downturn including TBTF banks.

    Sure this will come as a shock to the market which shows just how much the market is not based on market fundamentals but government/socialistic lies. We better wake up before we find ourselves in a country with a lot more red and a lot less blue in our flag.
    Aug 2 02:22 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Short Sellers And Seeking Alpha [View article]
    100% agree. Without looking at both sides of a coin you can't tell if a coin is really a coin or just an imitation. Strangely there is a last commenter, the sides just like the coins. I like many commenters have fluxuated on stocks from buy to sell and from market bull to bear. I must say, the sides tell an even better story than the constant bulls and bears.

    Indeed, due to the weak economic growth, government and central back mucking around in the free market, and extended upturn may apparent bears seem like the tail on the coin; but I think you will find a great many of them actually the side and when a downturn and recovery come you will find them more bullish than bearish.

    I hate people misunderstanding the complex nature of posters and commenters on SA. We are a savvier bunch of investors, often not motivated to sell stocks or get people to sell their stocks. I myself post mostly to link up correlations for those who don't see them, counter a overly biased argument, or raise issues I don't see addressed.

    Personally, I think reading SA articles is only getting half the value of SA. The discussion and votes by readers is even more revealing than the articles.
    Aug 2 02:04 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mobileye blasts off following IPO [View news story]
    Yet another trumped up IPO to enrich the banks and insiders at the cost of those dumb enough to bid the price up. Whatever you do, don't get caught up in IPO hype right now. Just over extending yourself into the stock market now is dangerous.

    That said, the technology and bent of the market is there, however there will be a dearth of players in this market including Google when it develops. It is not a sure bet even if the market materializes.
    Aug 2 01:54 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 4% GDP Growth Is Not Really That Good, But The Jobs Report Really Was Good [View instapost]
    Indeed, little growth is better than no growth but still far from big growth. In reality, this just seems to be more of the same sustained by the fact that this small growth seems sure enough to bet on which it isn't given the extended economic cycle which historically could end anytime in the future.

    Even moderate growth may yet prove to be too much to ask for in this increasingly government, central bank run economy posing as the capitalism we have been so successful at in the last 200 years.
    Aug 2 01:47 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme's (SZYM) CEO Jonathan Wolfson on Q2 2014 Results - Earnings Call Transcript [View article]
    I gave up on SZYM when they started supplying their goo to oil drilling companies. Sure it makes big sales and profit, but if this is what they have to do to stay alive it is opposite of clean technology or energy they were founded on. Sadly the clean tech/energy is the brunt of their focus and will consume any profit made for the foreseeable future.

    In the end, their actual goals must be met which is less and less of a sure thing as their efforts get diverted towards oil sector related stuff.
    Aug 2 01:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Good News From A Bad Friday [View article]
    100% correct. If this scares the market and investors can't handle it then there are investors who shouldn't be in stocks in stocks. Most likely most of these are in stocks though funds that make them feel well safer than they are.
    Aug 2 01:37 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exxon 'Immobile' - No 3% Yield And No Plans To Form An MLP [View article]
    XOM's value can be seen when the market and oil prices slide. Exxon is a much better value than this and other reports make them out to be.

    Also, the returns are fine. Extremely fast returns often result in equally steep drops. If you don't like Exxon sell it. You are likely to be sorry for doing so in the next 5 year period.
    Aug 1 08:35 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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