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Latest comments  |  Highest rated
  • The Leveraged Buyout Of America [View article]
    Well people who care about the public interest talk about it, but it will never happen because too much bank lobbying money is going to elected officials who clearly don't care about the public interest and regulatory power is being passed to do nothing organizations like the Federal Reserve (what a joke).
    Aug 26 06:11 PM | 31 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Reasons to Dislike China [View article]
    Blaming a single country is not the correct thing to do. China like Japan, Korea, and now Vietnam is a player to the US' insatiable demand for low cost products with low labor costs from overseas. If it was not China it would be another country to provide the low cost products the US wants. Even now, as China becomes more affluent US corporations are moving new manufacturing to lower cost countries.

    Although China has refused to revalue their currency, inevitably they will not be able to compete with even lower cost labor in other countries and will have to move their economy upstream or face a collapse like all emerging countries. In the meantime, the US government feels like their endless debt drivenm shell game will go on forever and are accelerating the process towards their own economic collapse due to ignorant and self serving leadership that sells out America's future for short term political givaways and thereby creating insurmountable debt.

    In reality the problem lies with the destabilizing effect of China and the US collectively. They are like two people who hang on to each other as they cut off their leg. China cuts off domestic growth and demand to generate trade surpluses denying them the fruit of their labor and a real economy while the US guts its own economy and runs massive deficits to fuel its consumer led economy and mask the inflationary effect of its leadership giving away America to lobbying and special interest groups.

    This has been said over and over and is as apparent as daylight. Yet nothing is done. Don't just blame China please. The scope of the issue is wider than a single country. If the world was a car, China has increasingly become the engine. In this analogy it is clear the engine is not the one running the car over the cliff. It is the driver, not the engine. That driver is more the US than anyone else.

    Of course, at the rate the US is flooding the engine with gas (US dollars), it is likely the car will overheat and shut down before it gets much further. Inflation is burning a hole in China's economy already. It will reach us all too soon enough thanks to QE and constant trillion + deficits.
    Dec 27 01:22 PM | 31 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Roubini on Unemployment: 'The Worst Is Yet to Come' [View article]
    What we need is real jobs, not temporary government contrived or porkus ones nor government jobs that add cost and bureaucracy to an already overly bureaucratic and cost inefficient business environment.

    Real jos means jobs in the private sector not the public sector. Until people realize this the lose 5 private sector job for 1 public sector one and do a political victory dance will continue. The Obama we made 40,000 jobs at a cost of $247,000 per head boasting made me sick to my stomach. It is indicative as to why this down cycle can't right itself. It can't because capitalism is being supressed. However, for the sake of argument I'll play their game.

    If you want to add workers to the federal government I would suggest you add a few thousand people to monitor the financial sector as they gamble away the rest of the government's handouts (telling them to stop it is asking too much from the government). At least then when they bankrupt the US again it will be easier to press charges (meaning the SEC gets to extort a few million from them and then let them off scott free like BoA).

    What a world... No wonder I'm cynical.
    Nov 16 06:39 AM | 31 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • California: Entering Inflationary Depression [View article]
    The oil price rise is almost 100% due to dollar weakening. Thus their argument is that dollar depreciation is not a threat to the economy. This is a misnomer in the fact that many people view GDP as the absolute standard of economic growth which is being forced into the positive solely through dollar depreciation. No more goods and services or jobs are being made. The author is absolutely correct that this is not a recovery in any sense of the word.

    Without dollar depreciation and commodity inflation (they like to say non-core inflation or a rise in commodity asset prices) the US would still be showing contracting GDP. Just because you pay more for food and gas doesn't mean the economy is better does it? Just look at the Q3 financials. In total revenues declined once again. Recovery my ass. You are getting less bang for your buck and less of everything else as well.
    Oct 29 06:53 AM | 31 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Any High Quality Companies Decently Valued At The Moment? [View article]
    Cisco undervalued? Cisco is one of the worst managed tech companies that squandered their lead around. It seems like they were competing with Ballmer for who could kill a mega tech company fastest but Ballmer left. Cisco still owns tons of empty land for no good reason and resides in the swankiest most expensive office space they can get in the bay area. Fat is one thing but their utter lack of innovation is galling.

    Apple is arguably technically undervalued if it is guaranteed to remain the hottest tech fashion company for the next decade. They are undervalued the way Apple was before they almost went bankrupt. Or the way Nokia was undervalued when they dominated the cell phone industry. Or the way Motorola was dominant when they dominated the cell phone industry. tech companies must be valued not on their financials but on their technology. and they can't be valued by what they were but what they will be. Any hoard of money a tech company has can vanish in a bad downturn in a matter of a couple years. So no, I would not argue Apple is undervalued in any sense of the word.

    IBM may be undervalued in the sense that the cloud is suited for them if only they could beat Amazon and the likes who are stomping on them and their initiatives to champion open source. Of course, their failure is they financially don't do much to support it but then want to leech off of it to claim themselves as the "consulting" gurus. I'm still waiting for IBM to step up to the plate and actually fight for an open source technology.

    Chevron is errr ok, but why buy it when you can buy Exxon. And given the glut in US oil, why buy any of them until the price slides and the glut evaporates. Oh sorry, even if the price slides the US is literally swimming in it and oil companies are begging to export it before people realize $100 is an absurd price to pay for a commodity that has more supply than storage tanks to keep it.

    Intel... well you should never buy it except at the bottom of a semi cycle. It's not a discount except then. Enough said.

    Microsoft may be undervalued given the Ballmer discount takes time to wear off.

    Oracle is rich sucking money off of those too dumb to know what a database is and always overpay to ask someone else to do it for them. this especially goes to the rock heads who pay Salesforce to overcharge them even more for use of a Oracle database. How many overcharge intermediaries do you need to supply you your database? Well Oracle maybe is cheap if it exceeds 2. I would tend to say it's not undervalued but you can never underestimate the stupidity of Oracle's clients.

    Wall-mart is about as undervalued as is their employees wages. It stands as a testament to what your tax money for welfare/food stamp dollars really go to. Given the expansion of just about every mega big box selling food and everything else, I'm betting Wall-Mart is in for some bigger fights in the future than running mom and pop stores out of business. Not undervalued.

    Exxon, is a great buy almost always just because they are the last man standing no matter what price oil goes to unless Saudi Arabia is invaded. Which is why the US would rather import Saudi Arabian (light sweet crude) oil than use cheap domestic (light sweet crude) oil that the oil industry wants to export so badly. In fact the chief argument to support exporting Us oil is that there us magically no need or available refineries for processing domestic light sweet crude oil. Go figure. If anyone has the US government rigged it's Exxon.

    So of the top undervalued in this list there is only 2 real ones. Microsoft and Exxon. Microsoft because of the elimination of bad management and Exxon because of political insider power coupled with the cheapest oil contracts in the world. Thus I think this says a lot about why the market is probably overvalued and due for a cyclical pull back.

    I'm open for responses, lol.
    Apr 28 02:11 AM | 30 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Three Asset Classes that Can Actually Outpace Coming Inflationary Price Increases [View article]
    First, Greenspan's comments just shows he was fully cognizant that his policies, much the same as Bernake's, is bad for America and leads to dollar devaluation and asset bubbles. Which shows he just wanted to be superman on his watch regardless of the fact he was doing so by setting an economic timebomb. I still have no respect for the man.

    Regarding what he just said. He is thoroughly correct now that he's out of power. It's nice to know he knows something about fiscal prudence. But sorry, it's a bit too late and now he is just a mealy mouthed voice in a tornado of opinions. It serves him right.

    The reason why no opne is complaining that oil is $80 bucks a barrel and your fuel prices are rising is because everyone knows this is a Federal Reserved induced dollar devaluation. It has nothing to do with anyone else. No oil production curtailment, no gold shortage, no undersupply, or too much demand. Just too many dollars.

    When people say that it's our budget deficit they have it only 1/4 right or 3/4 wrong. In fact, the dollar's devaluation is mostly Federal Reserve QE related and artificialy stimulated liquidity driven by the prolonged abnormally low rates set by the Federal Reserve. In fact the Fed has poured more liquidity into the market than any elected official and spending program in 2008 and 2009. The deficit pales in comparison to the backstops and money the Fed balance sheet expansion has losed upon the world. Everyone knows it.

    So when Bernake goes on his next speaking tour, he should be chastizing himself not others for their lack of fiscal competence. The Federal Reserve is the biggest cause for low savings rates in the US, Trade imbalances, and dollar devaluation. They always have been and they always will be for as long as they are around. They are the printing press and big spenders. Even more so than our elected officials. It's just that they are allowed to hide their nefarious actions because they claim immunity from audits and from accountability because they are a "private company".

    I wonder, as a private company who made more per employee in 2009, GS or the Federal Reserve? And which bank is the biggest systemic risk? To have the Fed manage systemic risk is like asking AIG to manage the insurance industry.

    So don't be so down on yourself for electing Bush Jr. or Obama. Whoever you elect means so very little compared to who sits in the throne of the Federal Reserve. If anyone's going to ruin your life it will be them and they figure that there is almost no chance you can or will do anything about it.
    Oct 19 07:29 PM | 30 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Seeking Alpha Is Doing To Prevent Paid Stock Promotion [View article]
    It is almost impossible to stamp out all but the most egregious stock promoters. SA does have a very good avenue for vetting. It's called commenters and readers. Unfortunately, most of the promoter articles don't get read by regular commenters. Look for highly regarded commenters post on the article and discussions before believing the article on blind faith.

    SA did do better when it was more economically focused and didn't demand writers to indicate buys and provide stock direction. In reality, most stocks are risk neutral, meaning they may have a high chance or rising a little and a small chance of dropping significantly making the risk payout roughly the same as GDP (since there is strong argument that risk free US treasury prices are now manipulated lower than they should be).

    No stock/financial blog is perfect and can not assure quality, but SA is much better than the vast majority including the garbage fluff you get from brokerage houses and Bloomberg which is almost purely stock promotion.
    Mar 27 12:41 PM | 29 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Stocks Not In A Bubble; I'll Tell You What Is, Though [View article]
    If calling a bubble is a fools errand than calling not-a bubble is downright moronic. For one thing one can not say forward PE is reasonable because forward PE is liable to be as founded on false assumptions as the stock prices are. Clearly when a bubble pops we see that the PE ratios weren't say 18x earnings but more like 25x or worse.

    What one can look at is where the economic business cycle is. We are over 5 years into a terribly weak business cycle upswing and profit growth is slowing not accelerating. That implies a few things, that business slack is running out making it more expensive to grow (a potential cause for inflation), that the market generally gets lackadaisical in expecting more of the same with regards to steady growth which is often never the case, and that we are probably going to see a massive rush of new companies to the market making the market more competitive as well as dumping more and more issues into a market to fight over the liquidity in investment money.

    By the way, in the 90's you saw massive unnatural growth driven mainly by a mushrooming of government debt and spending as Reagan fought the cold war. I agree it was a wonder we didn't have an economic collapse on a major scale afterwards. In part, it was thanks to Bush Sr.'s wise rolling back of government spending that set the stage for a fairly mild recession and allowed Clinton to continue his fiscal restraint legacy which a second Bush and now Obama are destroying. 0I would not want to bet on a repeat of this and thing the government's expansive policy on debt, regulatory meddling, and nationalization is not just misfounded but a major danger to an efficient and fair capitalistic structure.

    All socialistic, managed economies have to deal with massive mispricing they cause. The US will not be an exception as it rushes headlong into socialized housing and banking.
    Nov 9 01:45 PM | 29 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Great Unwind - How Is It All Going To End? [View article]
    QE (quantitative easing) is basically a policy option that central banks use when their normal tools (rudimentarily described above) have reached a limit. QE is not a normal policy or process. There has never been a successful unwind in QE nor is there likely to be one since politically it is obviously never a policy option unless you reach catastrophic inflationary meltdown.

    And the fact that interest rates rise rather than fall when QE buying suspension is even considered by the Federal Reserve proves that there is a lack of interest in US debt not otherwise (plenty of demand would show tighter policy and generally would indicate falling rates as money becomes more sparse). The US willingly entered the never ending black hole of QE where money becomes worth less and less, the economy never recovers strongly, and everyone grasps for newly minted money provided by the central bank and government rather than try to rely or grow the private sector. This is almost not capitalism since banks no longer need or want private deposits and no one will pay very much interest for it.

    Compounded by the US' nationalization through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and state support of their big banks they should be put on warning for credit downgrades for the same reason heavily socialized countries are downgraded. Economic indicators are not reliable in such a state nor is economic signaling due to government meddling.
    Oct 22 01:57 AM | 29 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Tale of Two Lies: Oil and Silver [View article]
    A few things, the commodities correction already took place before oil's margin raise largely offsetting the already corrected imbalance. Also oil is a consumable and a much higher percentage of actual deliveries happen versus other commodities especially gold, silver, and stores of value.

    The higher margin rates would naturally affect silver much more than oil. Likewise silver's requirement raises were much more than a mere 25% increase and happened over more than 6 increases. It's not the one increase that is scary, its when they happen one after the other and don't stop. There was a physical delivery silver imbalance. That is the whole purpose of Comex's actions on silver. Silver will rise again.

    As for oil, I would tend to agree there is not so much a shortage imbalance but was a slight glut. The price drop solves a lot of that given the elasticity of the oil market and the fact that those holding the extra oil output had the money to pump it and let it sit around in the first place shows they are not worried about margin calls since they have the physical supply to start with. The squeeze only affects those who don't have the underlying asset backing the contract.

    Also might I add its easier for banks to meet margin calls than other investors. So the price actions you speak of shows where banker's interest lie. Bankers most likely were holding oil and short silver.
    May 10 05:05 PM | 29 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More Government = Fewer Jobs [View article]
    Government acts in its own self interest which is to grow. Peter Schiff is right that government spending almost always it at the detriment to the private sector and jobs. The government is slow, wasteful, and inefficient in most cases. And if government makes jobs those jobs will either be fleeting causing the effects of this recession to linger on for years as they unwind or will be a permanent drag on our economy since they are done though deficit spending. But worst of all, government may shove people and resources into fields and jobs that will become obsolete. Thus wrecking a whole mass of people and resources on efforts that make no economic sense.

    Take ethanol for instance. It will most likely be obsolete in favor of algae or other bio-fuels that don't take our entire food supply to make. The drive towards ethanol is one of the great reasons you pay more for food today than just a couple years ago. Good going US government. Not only do we lose money to dumb investments in an obsolete technology, you also get deficit spending, weird fuel additive rules, and food inflation to sock American's where it hurts the most in a recession (food costs).

    In all cases, government financed stimulus makes America's future all the more gray and downcast. Not the other way around.
    Feb 5 10:20 PM | 29 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Financial System: More Dangerous than an Al Qaeda Attack? [View article]
    The financial crisis is more a civil war than a international one. The stronger is taking from the weak. State and individual rights are being subjegated by the tyranny of not the rich but the priveledged. Wealth is being created and distributed at the cost of asset destruction by these priveledged parties which are TBTF and have no moral compass and no conscience as far as anyone can recognize.

    Thus, the financial debacle is much worse than the invasion of Afghanistan. For we had moral justification that the world recognized. All the world has recognized from the financial meltdown is that our international banks and financial institutions were crooked. We were the ones wreaking financial terrorism, not the other way around.

    Other than that, I have no criticism of this article. The revocation of Glass-Stegall was akin to removing our nuclear arsenal during the height of the cold war. Indeed, it was an act of madness. It is only natural MDS, CDS, etc. followed. The fact we don't reinstate it and the installation of Geithner (a tax cheat) and reconfirmation of Bernanke shows Obama to be the false agent of morality and change in Washington that he is.
    Jan 11 04:47 AM | 29 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Consumers Have Big Banks to Blame for High Gas Prices [View article]
    There is pretty much no way to stop banks from directly speculating in commodities because we have broken down the barriers between what a bank is and what a financial brokerage andan insurance company is, thereby letting banks gamble in stocks, commodities, etc. and over-leverage themselves. This was the whole purpose of Glass-Stegall. To prevent banks from gambling, over-leveraging, and putting the economy in jeopardy through direct speculation.

    The fault rests cleanly on the Federal Reserve and elected officials who want to get campaign contributions, money, and support from big banks and financial firms selling out you and America. Fortunately you can do something about it. Unfortunately, they know the citizens won't though. Partially because they made excuses to hide their fundamental greedy reasoning to destroy the one thing holding us from financial doomsday since the Great Depression (Glass-Stegall). My faith in the American monetary system will be restored with its re-implementation. All the rest of the "financial reforms" are just carefully executed lies for not reforming.
    Apr 3 02:40 PM | 28 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Double-Dip Recession Signs Materializing [View article]
    It never ceases to amaze me how little government cares or supports small business. Considering they represent 2/3 of all business you think they'd care. It just goes to show money speaks not anything else. Small businesses have little extra to give to Washington in the form of bribes like banking, insurance, oil, etc.
    Jun 28 12:38 PM | 28 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Really Happened To Silver: A Different Perspective [View article]
    The author only talks about monetization of treasuries which is the normal exchange of US government overspending and the Federal Reserve's job to finance it by buying it up (since it has flooded the market so much that actually selling it on the open market would make yields rise). That is bad, but what is worse is when the federal Reserve uses QE which just takes other debt off the banks or Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and just gives them cash. It is enrichment to the select few and is being used by the Federal Reserve to make this false enrichment help make banker friends they like rich and keep money going into a housing market to create yet another bubble at the risk to the public who backs the private bank called the Federal Reserve.

    The worst part is that this is selective entitlement and makes those least deserving wealthy (or keeps them wealthy) at the expense of the erosion of overall worth of the dollar.

    As for silver, inflation has nothing to do with its fall. It purely has to do with people printing more and more silver paper they can short without physical silver to back it up. Thus silver and gold is also being papertized by printing tons of it without regards to the actual amount that exists in the world. In the end, paper silver means you own paper saying someone owes you something that they don't have but maybe could get you if you asked for it (don't bet on it).
    Jun 9 10:51 AM | 27 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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