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Tom Au, CFA  

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  • Political Will for Reform and the Concept of Corporate Communism [View article]
    Karl Marx knew what he was talking about, although the "cure" he proposed was worse than the disease.
    Oct 8, 2009. 09:12 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Airlines Say, "Take A Dump." [View instapost]
    Skimping on "service" is a lot of what got airlines into trouble. I HATE flying, nowadays, and won't do so, unless I absolutely HAVE to.
    Oct 8, 2009. 09:09 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Roubini and the Patty Hearst Affect [View instapost]
    The market is now overvalued and SHOULD fall. But whether it will remains to be seen.
    Oct 8, 2009. 09:08 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • CGTS DAILY -- THURSDAY 8 OCTOBER 2009 [View instapost]
    Wow! A bunch of markets all laid out. Will need time to digest it all.
    Oct 8, 2009. 09:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Volcker Should Advocate VAT and Drop the Carbon Tax Recommendation [View article]
    Unfortunately, Volcker will soon be "out of there," because he is way too independent for the rest of the team. Carter, to his credit, put him on, even though it cost Carter his own job.
    Oct 8, 2009. 09:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Baidu: Sky High Expectations Are a Recipe for Disaster [View article]
    Sky-high expectations is a recipe for disaster in ANY stock. But Bidu (and other tech stocks) lend themselves "better" to this than most others.
    Oct 8, 2009. 09:02 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Poker and Trading Mistakes [View instapost]
    Most stock traders (and poker players) err on the side of "buying" too much, rather than too little. ("Buying" is what you are doing when you call someone's bet in poker; you are accepting the proposition that you can beat him, even though he seems to like his hand).
    Oct 8, 2009. 09:01 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • When it comes to the auto industry bailout, "Congress and ultimately the American taxpayer have been left in the dark," according to a new report by the Congressional Oversight Panel, and taxpayers are unlikely to recover their $81B investment.  [View news story]
    Dear RC Mason:

    Welcome to my followers. I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, by the way. Lived in O'Hara Township; across the Allegheny from Oakmont.

    On Sep 09 07:45 AM RCMason wrote:

    > Is anyone actually surprised by this? My understanding of the investment
    > world is that to be paid back, the company receiving the initial
    > investment must be solvent, a trait the American auto industry hasn't
    > exhibited for decades.
    Oct 7, 2009. 04:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The SEC appeals a ruling that dismissed insider trading charges against Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban because he wasn't legally an insider at Cuban's sale of his stake avoided more than $750,000 in losses; his lawyers call the SEC's move a "desperate attempt to shock a heartbeat into a case that was dead on arrival."  [View news story]
    SEC is trying to rescue an embarrassing "loss" in a case they should never have started. "Not legally an insider" creates a very strong presumption of innocence; sounds like an adequate defense.
    Oct 7, 2009. 03:42 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Dow Double in 10 years? Easy [View article]
    The average annual total return on the Dow in the 20th century was something like 11%. That's certainly more than 7.2%

    But this 11% is composed of stretches, like 1982-1999 of 18%-20%, and other stretches, from 2000-2017(?) of 2%-4%.

    Most of the next ten years will be in the 2%-4% stretch. It's possible that the last three years could pull up the average to 7.2%, but that's not a given.

    A doubling of the Dow was "almost" a given from say, 1989 to 1999.
    Oct 7, 2009. 01:33 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • In a just-revealed presentation to banking regulators last month, the Fed lamented that U.S. banks are slow to book losses on commercial real-estate loans, and suggested regulators are bracing for a rerun of the home-lending breakdown: "Banks will be slow to recognize the severity of the loss - just as they were in residential."  [View news story]
    Banks are going to be slow to recognize losses because they basically can't, without admitting that they are broke.
    Oct 7, 2009. 01:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Beware Fortune Magazine's Gold Warning [View article]
    "When “fever” sweeps a market, people are buying in, not selling. "

    A very good point. That's why gold is not in a bubble.
    Oct 7, 2009. 01:00 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "A major transformational buy" could be in the cards for Barclays (BCS +1.3%) as it considers acquiring a Julius Baer-sized wealth management business to jump into private banking's top five. The No. 5 wealth manager, J.P. Morgan, manages $600B in assets; Barclays Wealth manages about $230B.  [View news story]
    Just a testimony to the global wealth concentration that has been occurring for the past decade or two.
    Oct 7, 2009. 12:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In another step in its clampdown on speculation, the CFTC considers further closing the "Enron loophole" that exempted many over-the-counter energy trades from regulation. The commission will examine 17 natural gas and power contracts for "significant price discovery function," meaning they should be regulated.  [View news story]
    The "Enron loophole" should have gone out with Enron. Now is eight years later.
    Oct 7, 2009. 12:18 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Global Labor Shock: Consequences and Future Options [View article]
    The global labor pool gave American capitalists the ability to turn American workers into Third World wage earners.

    As discussed in this post:
    Oct 6, 2009. 02:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment