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  • Does Bitcoin Threaten The Future Of MasterCard And Visa? [View article]
    Hi Poor:

    You seem to be a user all many types of exotic currencies, credit cards, bank transfers and the like. These may or may not have value.

    The big difference in currencies is their backing. It's true that the backing of virtual money is somewhat more difficult to accept than is the full faith and credit of a government, but this guarantee is often ephemeral. You might remember the Zimbabwean $50 trillion note that may now be now purchased for 2 US dollars on Ebay. Think of Zimbabwe carefully when you ponder the time in 1971 that Richard Nixon removed gold backing from the US dollar.

    It is easy to confuse the concepts, "Virtual Money" and "Virtual Backing."

    Virtual money has a very specific definition. The European Central Bank specifies that virtual money is:

    "a type of unregulated, digital money, which is issued and usually controlled by its developers, and used and accepted among the members of a specific virtual community."

    Virtual backing is anything a guarantor of currency says it is.

    The important concepts of virtual currencies are:

    Unregulated - No governmental control

    Acceptance by a cohesive community (Other than those who under governmental regulation.)

    The portion of the above definition that notes, "Controlled by developers" is quickly disappearing, but the definition will hold even after developers disappear from the scene..

    Bitcoin is an stage in what will probably be the future means by which value will be transferred. When developers eventually disappear virtual currency will operate on its own beholden only to God.

    Jul 27, 2015. 09:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney: It's Bases Loaded [View article]

    I, too, visit JCP stores, and use my experience as a marker for performance.

    What's this? "I peeked in at JCP during the last decade and found it to be 'Vulgar name' until last year."

    You say this after visiting 50 stores? Why so much effort if you are not vested with Penney?

    JCP was at its height of visual development under Ron Johnson's tenure, not now. Please take another look, and reevaluate your past visits.

    Jun 25, 2015. 10:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney Is Making Music [View article]
    Hi loud:

    Great to hear from you. I have a busy summer so I have slowed my article production.

    I'm thinking, 'Customers back? They must be waiting in line at JCP's back door because of Q2's $2,857B at 36.4% GM to help them stay in the line. I hope all that liquidity doesn't flow down the river before they get in the store.

    I'm happy that Neely Tamminga at Piper Jaffray is going to buy your stash at $14 per share. I had a neighbor who sold his stash for a good amount, but his head was floating so far into the clouds that he didn't notice the cops until too late.

    Have a good summer.

    Jun 18, 2015. 05:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Will It Take To Get J.C. Penney Back At $15 Or More? [View article]

    Sorry about the May/Mays. I know the difference, and rented their Fishkill NY Store, that had been empty for many years about 10 years ago for warehousing.

    J.W. Mays is still around trading as NASDAQ:MAYS.

    Return for investor is magnificent. In Dec 2008 MAYS was selling for $4.60/share. Friday it closed at $55.00

    Who is the smartest; Lloyd Schulman who owns the largest slice of MAYS or you and me?

    To further prove Lloyd is a genius; his lifestyle mostly is running his empire from his farm in Fishkill while playing with his antique cars.

    I am not a creature of envy excepting that i lust for Lloyd's hand carved hickory dining table where he holds his board meetings while serving delicious food.

    Of course the return for the creditors in 1982 was not so spectacular, but Mays hug around for another 7 years. Didn't Federated go bankrupt in 1990?

    The only difference between May and Mays is that Federated, after emerging from bankruptcy, was smart and rich enough to purchase the May Co. for $11 billion. Maybe they should have waited until 2008 to purchase MAYS stock. Too bad there was not enough around to use up their 11 bil.

    Jun 15, 2015. 12:43 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Will It Take To Get J.C. Penney Back At $15 Or More? [View article]

    What a sharp eye you have. My transposition of 2012 for the pivotal year when JCP dropped under $15 instead of 2013 is unforgivable. I shamefully lower my eyes.

    I remember you dating a year and one half back when you commented on my article about Francescas.

    Possible my memory stayed sharp because, 45 years ago, I lived in your town on Steamboat Road, but more probably I remember the compliment about my article that you provided.

    You must be perplexed when you read Mr. Harm’s note:

    “J.C. Penney always struggled from a revenue perspective in comparison to most of its competitors”

    as you think about the tangle of no longer existent companies, which you acquired for Mays, and even more so confused when you read Mr. Harm’s non-sequitur about Dillards. At that juncture I realized that Mr. Harm's article had no relation to reality.

    Don’t bother to decode his article any further since I finally have figured it out; the article was created with a ROBO composition program.

    Good luck,

    Jun 13, 2015. 11:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Will It Take To Get J.C. Penney Back At $15 Or More? [View article]

    We're going to far. This is Mr. Harm's article, and we should let him speak.

    Unfortunately Mr. Ellison understands hardware and probably has forgotten his days at Target. His recent experience at HD may not greatly assist JCP.

    Have fun with your JCP, but remember that a few well-timed shorts will do well for you.

    Jun 13, 2015. 10:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Will It Take To Get J.C. Penney Back At $15 Or More? [View article]

    Wow! It took you a long time to realize that I posses a completely objective nature. I'm one of the few, possibly the only one ever, who doesn't embrace a bit of bias. No wonder why I am always correct.

    Since my absence of prejudice is so well established my commentary is now going to be directed toward small truths that have stepped in my path.

    The first of these observations is:

    Lets rid ourselves of GAAP accounting. Some of its precepts are just plain silly such as shareholder equity at JCP declining by a billion dollars during the last year.

    It's better to use non-GAAP measures like EBITDA, which will become useful when and if JCP earns a profit.

    A small thought about your comment concerning 'Goods that consumers want a lot of.'

    Not a good strategy. Trendy goods are not profitable. Success is derived from selling lots of goods that buyers really don't want.

    Sorry again, Mr. Harm, for using your article as a communications conduit.

    Jun 13, 2015. 01:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Will It Take To Get J.C. Penney Back At $15 Or More? [View article]

    Thanks for the welcome.

    Sorry that I can't write about JCP for a while. Some guy who read my more exciting articles about Penney hired me to write a newsletter and supply some research.

    I was getting paranoid when I read some of the more aggressive comments about my SA articles telling me of my intellectual inferiority Now, at least, I have a fan, and a paying one at that.

    Its not fair to use Mr. Harm's article for personal communication, so I must go. I'm certain Mr. Harm will second that intent.

    Jun 13, 2015. 12:48 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Will It Take To Get J.C. Penney Back At $15 Or More? [View article]

    You got it a bit wrong. JCP hasn’t performed as you tell, “J.C. Penney has been floating between $5-15 for over 5 years.” On Feb 10, 2012 (3.3 years ago). JCP hit $42.88.

    The first date in recent time that it fell below $15 was March 21, 2012 (2.2 years ago).

    What’s this? “Only once before JCP exhibited a relatively stagnant period of 4 years.” In early 2007 JCP reached $85. It has been an unusually volatile stock since early 1980’s. There was never a 4 year stagnation.

    “J.C. Penney was last among the competition?” Do you really believe your statement? I believe that many members of the competition went out of business in the period to which you refer.

    It’s interesting that you don’t foresee that JCP will experience ‘trouble.’ I THINK THAT THEY ARE ALREADY IN TROUBLE.

    I don’t understand, “The Company’s weakness in revenue growth in the past will slow its current potential.” HOW DOES YOUR STATEMENT CORRELATE TO ANYTHING THAT YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT?

    “If JCP hits strong profitability levels then shareholders might regain faith.” THIS IS LIKE SAYING, ‘IF I WIN THE LOTTERY I WILL BE RICH.’

    I could go on and on. I don't agree with even one sentence that you have written. My harsh complaint is caused by my belief that you, as your name implies, HARM all of us who write for SA.

    Jun 12, 2015. 10:19 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney Is Making Music [View article]

    I note the suggestion that JCP may be soon 'trading at 50% of sales' (Heaven forbid, because i'm a big JCP bear Is this how one should evaluate retail businesses?

    The following 'trade/sales' ratios make me wonder if one should use other aspects of valuation in order to determine the suitability of an investment.


    or how 'bout a moderately profitable supermarket, Kroger (KR) with steady but slow growth now selling at 'trade/sales' of 32%.

    Possible you could make your work a bit easier for us ordinary people to understand by finding a more descriptive term for 'trade/sales' and to use a percentage designation when you speak of basis points of margin that exceed a quarter of a percentage point. At least label increase or decrease of sales and margin with conformity, whether you use basis points or percentage.

    Retail Maven
    Jun 5, 2015. 11:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Sprint Perform Magic? [View article]

    Because of limited ownership it’s unlikely for Sprint to jump to speculative values. I believe that Sprint’s value will grow proportionately to its financial performance, and that the turn-around from its past has begun. My article tells why.

    I am vested in Sprint for gradual long-term gain that outperforms other telecom.

    You correctly see that Sprint is not an equity, which will draw the attention of large investors, and for this very reason the need for liquidity is why Mr. Son cannot take Sprint private (or should I say more private than he has,)

    Look at what Softbank is:

    An organization that holds assets of which its share of value is greater than Softbank, itself. Its assets, even if one removes Alibaba, are almost uncountable. This is reminiscent of when 3-Com owned most of Palm Pilot stock, which was worth almost twice the value of 3-Com. Softbank is waiting for eventual payout. They have no advantage to change their investment now nor any history of a large amount of privatizing any of their thousands of investments.

    Another reason for Sprint to remain as it is:

    Sprint’s management, which is heavily vested in its stock would be quickly gone if their investment suffered. Sprint’s success along with Softbank's profit is dependent upon careful management of its future.

    May 5, 2015. 09:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney: Shorting The Common Shares While Long Preferred [View article]

    Congratulations at reaching 666 followers.

    Apr 26, 2015. 03:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Sprint Perform Magic? [View article]

    2231 years ago Hannibal, the great Carthaginian general , who was displaced in a land far off from his home, led his army of 50,000 to defeat the larger 80,000 man army of the Roman Republic at the battle of Cannae, causing loses of between 60,000 and 70,000 men.

    Since that day I no longer think.

    Apr 6, 2015. 08:53 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Sprint Perform Magic? [View article]

    Here's a reply provide by asking you a circuitous question. This is the only way I know how to answer your comment.

    You may be right or may be wrong, but you have not given a reason for you to be either to be.

    Whe did AT&T ovver 39B for T-Mobile in 2011?

    Apr 1, 2015. 09:37 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Sprint Perform Magic? [View article]
    Hi MSF:

    You would never catch AT&T's chief saying anything about a merger between T-Mobile and Sprint. Randall Stephenson was there in 2011 when AT&T offered $39B for T-Mobile. He is also too smart to become in such speculation.

    Glenn Lurie, the CEO of AT&T mobility is new, and does not seem to understand the underlying politics of telecom. Otherwise he would not have said:

    "What's good for the industry is competition, period," he said in an interview at AT&T's wireless headquarters here. "Customers deserve and need choice. Customers deserve to have competition."

    Doesn't he remember the year 2011. Probably not, he must have been talking on his I-phone.

    Will T-Mobile attempt to merge with Sprint? I have not yet been elevated to seeing the future, but if a relationship did occur its form would be an arms length purchase of T-Moblie by M. Son, who is not now in a position to do so.

    I wonder what our regulators would think about this?


    Mar 31, 2015. 11:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment