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Rob Viglione

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  • Never Believe a 'Real Estate Economist' [View article]
    A “growing consensus” is easy enough for the schizophrenic...
    Jun 16 11:55 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tax Break on Mortgages May Disappear [View article]
    Housing markets have been manipulated way too much for way too long. Special treatment of debt capitalization is certainly one reason housing has long been overpriced and buyers have been goaded into assuming increasing levels of debt. Skewing capital structures towards debt increases system risks.

    Repealing this tax loop hole will have great long term benefits for the US, but doing so now will certainly accelerate general asset price deflation. The time to have done this was between 2003 and 2006.
    Jun 12 08:53 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Small Business and the Disappearing U.S. Consumer [View article]
    <The NFIB said the new aid is misdirected, as "only 5% of small business owners cite 'financing' as their top business problem but 31% cite 'poor sales.">

    What does such logic have to do with politics? It's about getting re-elected, which means "taking action" and paying off voters with subsidies.

    No politician can say "we need to sit, wait, and let the last 4 decades worth of bad decisions unwind."
    Feb 11 08:52 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Has Capitalism Failed? [View article]
    Rather than an "adversarial relationship" between government and business, how about NO relationship?

    Just as business should not have power to use government to its advantage, so too should government be shackled in using its power to disturb free commerce.

    Arguments for who should have the right to use what powers against whom always come down to unjust favoritism. Rather, we should be questioning whether or not these sorts of powers should even exist.

    On Sep 06 08:07 AM EEB wrote:

    > This article seems to state that the big, bad government has become
    > increasingly powerful over the last forty years, and, despite the
    > efforts of valiant capitalists, that's why the economy is so bad.
    > What hogwash. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan were two of the most successful
    > capitalists ever, and they basically controlled the federal government.
    > A look inside the federal government right now, and especially during
    > the last thirty years reveals a very cozy relationship between corporations
    > and government. These relationships exist across all industries
    > from defense to agriculture.
    > If you want real liberty, then you need to have a more adversarial
    > relationship between the government and corporations. In fact, the
    > more adversarial relationships that exist between government, business,
    > the media, established religion, etc. the better off the average
    > person is. When all the power is in the hands one part of our society:
    > government or the corporations or the churches, the group in power
    > becomes tyrannical.
    > But the idea that a care-taker government could exist that only guards
    > a few minimal individual liberties is a fantasy because such a weak
    > government would be overwhelmed and corrupted by powerful business
    > interests. This was already occurring during the last Bush administration
    > because the regulation of important business activities, such as
    > finance, was a joke.
    > In other words, the libertarian rant that all evil comes from government
    > is wrong, and it is usually either naive or disingenuous. There
    > are many sources of evil in our world, and bad government is certainly
    > one of them. But corporations, religion, evil individuals and many
    > other factors can be sources of evil as well.
    Sep 6 11:46 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jobless America [View article] puts the real unemployment rate, inclusive of IV and 1+ yr jobless at 20%.
    Apr 4 01:52 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Historical Patterns Predict This Crisis Will Last Through 2025 [View article]
    I can't help but think of the Bonner and Wiggin book "Empire of Debt".

    The American empire appears to be on the precipice...
    Mar 8 04:59 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 ETF Rally Killers to Watch Out For [View article]
    I'm all for commodities right now, despite what many are calling deflationary pressures. Gold and silver offer some of the only alternatives to global fiat currency debasement, so every portfolio should have exposure here.

    However, the short list of ETF's recommended in summary are insufficient to satisfy full portfolio requirements. Other asset classes should be represented, and even these recommendations should be hedged.
    Mar 8 04:55 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • VIX Suggests Changes in Selling Behavior [View article]
    Relatively modest VIX level given higher-than anticipated volatility (as gauged by VIX) provides an excellent equity hedge. Buy long VIX to protect against equity downside.

    Note: VIX ~ 50 is historically high, but certainly lower than the previous high of 82.
    Mar 7 01:10 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • When Will GM Hit Zero? [View article]
    It's almost certain that the federal government will assume GM's health care and pension liabilities. They may even take on the entire losing operations, who knows? Either way this presents yet another reason for shorting Treasuries, USD, and buying gold.
    Feb 16 04:43 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Long Case for Pfizer [View article]
    Let's throw into this analysis a forward P/E of 6.1, profit margin 17%, operating margin twice that, ROE 12%, and a forward dividend yield of 8.8% (courtesy of Yahoo Finance). This is priced to head off a cliff. If half of what Berkowitz says is true then this might not be a bad value play...
    Feb 16 04:12 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Where Are We on the Roadmap? [View article]
    We WERE the greatest Capitalistic nation in the world. Those days are gone. Capitalism works because of natural feedback in which bad resource allocation is wiped out by bankruptcy. TARP, the Fed, and every other legislative bailout measure eradicate the healthiest aspect of Capitalism. Not to mention the lack of respect for property rights by a Congress spending trillions of our money without even asking for it in taxes (just borrowing it on our behalf for everyone to repay later) and a Federal Reserve capturing an obscenely growing % of national output simply by printing money and taking resources. This is not Capitalism, but the breakdown of rule of law.

    On Jan 16 05:42 PM abetterplace wrote:

    > To all you Doomers and Gloomers;
    > This recession is going to be history in 2010! It is quite unfortunate
    > that all of you will still be "broke and crying" come 2011.
    > Yes we are "special". We are the greatest capitalistic democracy
    > in history. We have made mistakes but,despite views as yours, we
    > will survive and continue to be great.
    Jan 17 12:22 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Crisis Contained as Fed Purchases Mortgage Backed Securities [View article]
    As stated in this article, "exposure to risks posed by further defaults on home mortgages will be shifted from the lending institutions to the Fed."

    The cost of these risks has not disappeared, but has merely been "socialized". In other words, those who had nothing to do with the bad business decisions are now suffering the consequences.

    Playing the social engineering game is easy from the sidelines; at some point we must ask the question of whether or not this is good for the country's long term health, and even more importantly, is it morally justifiable to take and redistribute other peoples' property? I contend that it was this mentality that caused this financial crisis. More of the same will ensure we head down this path once again...
    Jan 1 10:47 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's been a nice rally, Treasurys, but it's time to bet against the government, Anthony Mirhaydari says. It's not just the usual suspects (ending QE, inflation pressure, the debt ceiling), but currency effects from a building euro - itself backed by ECB rate hikes - that will weigh on U.S. government bonds.  [View news story]
    One thing to consider is that keeping Treasury rates low is now a matter of national security. The U.S. government would quickly go insolvent if rates jumped past some nominal threshold. I'm guessing the powers-that-be would do everything to keep that from happening.

    Tough to bet against the umpire who makes the rules...
    Jun 11 01:44 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    It's interesting to note that HUD consistently overstates its housing estimates by 15.2%, on average.
    Jun 24 12:00 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Kubler-Ross Cycle for Dealing with Short Covering [View article]
    The big variable in this market is the degree to which governments are distorting things. Political risk is the biggest driver to trading right now.

    How fair is it to legitimate short traders who spot great trades when public funds are committed to unravel his bet?
    Apr 20 12:33 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment