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SA Editor Stephen Alpher  

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  • New York Fed chief Bill Dudley doesn't usually face a spirited crowd, but found one in his speech to the Queens Chamber of Commerce when he tried to play down inflation. Peppered with questions about food, he noted you can buy a much more powerful iPad 2 (AAPL) for the same price as the first model. Says one respondent: "I can't eat an iPad."  [View news story]
    Did Dudley really say that??? What an asinine statement.

    I think everyone has a pretty good idea that these guys are a bit out of touch w/reality. Occasionally they let something slip that shows the extent of it.
    Mar 11, 2011. 11:31 AM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Iceland and Ireland followed different paths since the financial crisis. Iceland refused to guarantee bank obligations, defaulted on its debt, and devalued. Ireland did the opposite. Both entered severe recessions in 2008, but Iceland has returned to growth, while Ireland's pain is set to get even worse. Which was the better way?  [View news story]
    Better for the citizen's of the respective countries ... probably Iceland.

    Better for Deutsche Bank ... definitely Ireland!
    Dec 7, 2010. 06:33 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Yellen warns on small cap and momo sector valuations [View news story]
    "Nevertheless, valuation metrics in some sectors do appear substantially stretched—particularly those for smaller firms in the social media and
    biotechnology industries."
    Jul 15, 2014. 12:05 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Best Ideas For 2014: Short IPO (And/Or Its Components) [View article]
    "They are partying because they used to own something… and now you do."

    Dec 13, 2013. 09:35 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • President Obama enters full re-election mode, blaming speculators for high oil prices and vowing to "monitor" gas stations for price gouging. Not mentioned: efforts to limit drilling, massive deficits requiring central bank monetization, or a 0% Fed Funds rate.  [View news story]
    It wasn't meant to be political at all. We're trying to help readers make better investing decisions and calling attention to the role of government policy (whether a D or R is in charge) as a force in the current commodity boom is the goal. I'm not saying it's the only factor or even the major factor, but it is a factor.

    I also believe a great deal of caution is warranted for drilling, but we can't restrict it and then blame speculators when the price of oil rises.

    Perhaps a rewording of the post:

    A tough re-election battle coming up, a politician blames speculators for high oil prices and vows to monitor gas stations for price gauging, but makes no mention of government policy as having a role in the situation.
    Apr 19, 2011. 05:11 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Spanish unemployment hit the "astronomical" level of 5.4M at 2011's end, says PM Rajoy. With the official figures not yet out, a bit of math suggests the unemployment rate jumped from 21.5% to about 23.2% - an astounding move in just 3 months. One wonders what's ahead as the government is set to unleash a new wave of austerity measures.  [View news story]
    This is misleading. Ireland went from having an enviably low debt/gdp ratio to bust nearly overnight when it brought the debts of its banking system onto the national balance sheet.

    Markets are factoring a bit of the same for Spain. The country may indeed have a solvency problem.

    As for primary surplus vs. what the budget actually is, it reminds of Warren Buffett who says he gets the shudders when he hears analysts talking about EBITDA. It's the bottom line that is important.
    Jan 15, 2012. 12:58 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Oil moves to new highs for the day following news the U.S. will ask the UNSC to approve a resolution authorizing a wide range of military options against Libya. The Obama administration now believes a no-fly zone by itself will be insufficient to save Benghazi from Gaddafi's forces.  [View news story]
    BO knows it will never get approved. Just a bit of CYA ...
    Mar 17, 2011. 11:08 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The double-dip recession concept has been oversold, notes Legg Mason's Robert Hagstrom. "The data just one month ago had H2 growth coming in between 1% and 1.5%, now we're seeing estimates upwards of 2.5%." Investors should be scooping up big-cap, high-quality growth stocks. Right now you can "buy the future for free," Hagstrom says, with stocks priced today as if they're expecting no earnings growth over the next 3-4 years. His picks: Amazon (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY). (video)  [View news story]
    "Right now you can 'buy the future for free,' Hagstrom says, with stocks priced today as if they're expecting no earnings growth over the next 3-4 years."

    Yet his favorite picks are AMZN trading at 106X earnings and ebay at 26X earnings. Does Not Compute.

    Oct 17, 2011. 08:23 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A sudden deterioration in demand has created the need for nearly all of the container ships headed from Asia to Europe to slow to the speed of a "fresh breeze." Outright idling of vessels is expected soon.  [View news story]
    The article was sourced from an Aussie paper, but deals with ships going to Europe, not Oz.
    Dec 8, 2010. 06:34 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sugar the new tobacco? Bottled water to soon surpass soft drinks [View news story]
    Type I and Type II diabetes are different animals and the issue with respect to sugar and obesity is its link to Type II. As far as I know there is no link between sugar consumption/weight and the onset of Type I.
    Oct 26, 2013. 10:01 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Speaking to the country regarding Libya, President Obama draws a clear line, saying the mission is to protect civilians through the air, but there is no possibility of American ground forces entering the country.  [View news story]
    Excellent points.

    42 people were massacred in Yemen today, but not a word. Yes, maybe some of those killed were bad guys, just as I'm sure all the rebels in Libya have something less than democratic ideals in mind.

    The contradictions and outright hypocrisies in American foreign policy can drive one batty.
    Mar 18, 2011. 03:02 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Incoming FOMC voter Charles Plosser, saying the 2008 Fed "crossed the Rubicon" into fiscal policy, argues to curb the central bank's powers. "Asking monetary policy to do what it cannot do with aggressive attempts at stabilization can actually increase economic instability rather than reduce it." Full text is here.
     [View news story]
    Yes. Sadly, I think Mr. Plosser will somehow be denied a seat at the "adult's table" during FOMC meetings.
    Jan 17, 2011. 10:44 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wlibur Ross views Ireland as a "distressed asset with sound fundamentals."  The man who made several fortunes turning these situations around sees tremendous value in a country with a young, well-educated, hard-working, tax-paying, english speaking populace.  [View news story]
    Well, Ross makes a clear distinction between Ireland and the Club Med countries. I think the "tax-paying" line is a key one.
    Dec 9, 2010. 05:29 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A sudden deterioration in demand has created the need for nearly all of the container ships headed from Asia to Europe to slow to the speed of a "fresh breeze." Outright idling of vessels is expected soon.  [View news story]
    Winter? I know the UK and Ireland have experienced especially cold weather. I assume the rest of Europe has as well.
    Dec 8, 2010. 06:36 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Massachusetts' state pension fund votes against the re-election of seven Wal-Mart (WMT) directors, including CEO Michael Duke and members of the Walton family, ahead of the retailer's annual meeting on Friday. Massachusetts joins CalPERS and other public pension funds in protesting the allegations of bribery and a cover-up in Mexico.  [View news story]
    Stock's up 14% since the NYT hit piece and has destroyed the S&P over the past year. They probably ought to give the directors a medal.
    May 29, 2012. 01:01 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment