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Tom Lindmark  

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  • Cash for Clunkers Meant for Detroit, Not the Environment [View article]
    Sorry, they anticipated that. You have to have owned the car for a year and have insured it for a year.

    On Jun 20 06:29 PM Chancer wrote:

    > I have not seen any details, like a requirement that you had to own
    > the clunker for a set period of time.
    > I could buy a clunker for $500 or less, and get up to $4500 in voucher
    > value for a new car. Right?
    > I have a low mileage(43,000) 2000 Camry that Toyota dealer offerred
    > me $5,000 cash for with no expiration on the cash offer.
    > I could sell Camry to dealer for $5,000 cash.
    > Buy clunker for 500
    > Get a voucher on trade-in for 4,500
    > Buy new Scion for 16,000
    > Net cash cost 7,000
    > Or just keep driving Camry for another 10 years, since I drive it
    > less than 5,000 miles per year. I also have a backup 1992 Toyota
    > 4WD pickup with 100K miles that I drive less than 1,000 miles per
    > year.
    Jun 20, 2009. 07:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Spain Calls It Quits on Fiscal Stimulus [View article]
    Does anyone have any idea of how to deal with solvedfg and all of the other aliases he slithers around the site under. The spamming is getting annoying. Since he's operating on behalf of just one site there should be some way to totally disrupt their operations. Any ideas?
    Jun 18, 2009. 07:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More Signs Recession Is Running Out of Steam [View article]
    LOL. It is a little weird isn't it? I just write, SA picks the headline.

    On Jun 18 05:07 PM Dave Wrixon wrote:

    > That has to be the most screwed up metaphor I have seen in a while.
    Jun 18, 2009. 05:15 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is China Playing the Protectionist Card? [View article]
    Nicely done!

    On Jun 18 12:14 AM HaavBline wrote:

    > Finally, the Chinese has joined the developed world and follow the
    > American leader.
    > They finally understand the meaning of "If you can't beat them, join
    > them!". Since we are sticking with our "Buy American" policy and
    > they figured they can't make our congress change anything. (Nobody
    > can.) They will just have to join the most advanced country in the
    > world and copy our "Buy xxx" program.
    > Someone please investigate whether they are infringing on our Interlectual
    > Property Rights.
    Jun 18, 2009. 12:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Even Under Reagan, Stimulus Took a While to Work [View article]
    Thanks for fleshing it out.

    On Jun 16 05:26 PM Tony Petroski wrote:

    > A bit of history. The "Reagan Tax Cuts," (Reagan was strongly in
    > favor of them) were called the "Kemp/Roth" tax cuts at the time.
    > They were structured to cut taxes 30% across the board, a bold move
    > that would have helped to stimulate the economy on the tail of the
    > Carter-era stagflation. The House, controlled by democrats, couldn't
    > resist the mandate that Reagan had won with his solid defeat over
    > Jimmy Carter, but they were determined to stop the 30% tax cut.
    > A compromise was cobbled out, a 5% cut in the first year, 1981, followed
    > by 10% in the following two years. In retrospect, that was a mistake,
    > and many businesses delayed any expansion until the full effect of
    > the tax cuts took place in 1983. In any case, Reaganomics was a
    > huge success and led to two decades of low-inflation growth.
    Jun 16, 2009. 06:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Russians Want Fewer Dollars - So They Say [View article]

    You ask the right question. There are a lot of stories but when the rubber meets the road the central banks still buy Treasuries.

    The best source you will find on this is Brad Setser's blog. He tracks the flow of international funds meticulously.


    On Jun 10 06:07 PM odin wrote:

    > Does anyone have any real data that this diversification is happening
    > in any meaningful way? It seems that these stories make headlines
    > with regularity but I dont see any meat behind them.
    > My questions to the Russians about IMF bonds -- how are IMF bonds
    > a more secure play than Treasuries given that:
    > - US$ forms a significant part of the SDR basket (42%).
    > - IMF is using the proceeds to lend money to economies in trouble
    > from Latvia to Ukraine to Pakistan. IMF has very little leverage
    > over these economies (demonstrably less so than the US Treasury has
    > over the likes of Citibank and GM). They cant force them to do
    > anything except when these countries need a continuous flow of funds
    > from the IMF (it is unsecured credit at low rates).
    > - IMF is selling part of its gold reserves (in an environment that
    > Russia is afraid is $-inflationary).
    Jun 10, 2009. 06:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Sunstone Hotel Investors: Classic Case of Buying at the Top and Ignoring Fundamentals [View article]

    My numbers were just guesstimates and I was trying not to go overboard. I wasn't aware of the numbers you report. That is truly awful. Thanks for the info.

    On Jun 10 10:35 AM Peet wrote:

    > How do you support a $45M loan with $2M of estimated 2009 EBITDA?
    > Company's internal valuation, as stated on its call, was $30M. Given
    > current EBITDA and 1.5x coverage, the property could probably get
    > a $15M loan, which is only stronger support for your thesis.
    Jun 10, 2009. 11:33 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Should Banks Be Allowed to Pay Back Their TARP Money? [View article]
    Clearly, the point is to move away from too big to fail. There is no alternative if the industry is going to continue as a privately owned sector of the economy. Getting there cannot be done overnight.

    On Jun 09 11:09 PM Moon Kil Woong wrote:

    > Great point Tom Lindmark regarding how TARP looks on their balance
    > sheet.
    > Actually if they pay back TARP they should be required to sign a
    > clause agreeing to no bailout or government funding and no assistance
    > unless they declare bankruptcy for 100 years. It might make them
    > blanche since banks and financial institutions have a crisis every
    > 20 years or less.
    > Before this crises there was S&Ls in the 80s. Before that there
    > was the a series of problems in the 1960's and 1970's including the
    > real estate debacle, high inflation, and the abandonment of the international
    > gold standard by Nixon.
    > And we all know about the 30's and it's aftermath lol.
    > In terms of long term financial stability, the US has not been a
    > paradigm of it despite what guff you might have been fed about it
    > in school. Regardless of whether they pay back TARP or not, they
    > need to abide by much harsher regulation and policing. Especially
    > if they dream of retaining their coveted too big to fail status.
    > In reality, any financial institution deemed too big to fail should
    > probably be cut up into little tiny pieces.
    > Any large bank without government support for 100 years probably
    > has a 50/50 chance of going bankrupt which probably would make signing
    > an agreement impossible since their bonds risk premium would rise
    > to the real risk rate of such a dubious business. Why, it may make
    > the bank actually have to entertain the idea of being truly conservative
    > and disclose their business in a transparent way in which all investors
    > know what type of business they are really running without the protection
    > of off balance sheet machinations and hidden derivatives bets. <br/>
    > Why, removing government support and all ideas of government backing
    > might make them downright legitimate. Perhaps we should make it clear
    > to all banks the government will not help them one bit ever save
    > supporting FDIC if or when they should go into bankruptcy (I mean
    > the real kind and not the government play bankruptcy going on with
    > Chrysler and GM). Perhaps that will solidify the financial sands
    > we have been standing on.
    Jun 9, 2009. 11:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Should Banks Be Allowed to Pay Back Their TARP Money? [View article]
    Nice comment. The only thing I might take issue with is the funding cost in the market versus TARP dollars TARP investments were in the form of preferred stock so the interest payments aren't deductible. That pushes the effective cost up substantially and probably makes it uncompetitive with privately sourced debt.

    On Jun 09 06:39 PM Mad Hedge Fund Trader wrote:

    > Hell, yes! The world’s largest hedge fund is taking profits on one
    > of its biggest positions. I’m talking about the US Treasury allowing
    > ten banks to repay $83 billion in TARP money. I guess the banks really
    > want to get the government green eye shades out of their board rooms,
    > who have been surreptitiously swiping the soap out of the executive
    > washroom. This means paying back 5% money when it costs 6% to fund
    > in the markets, and 10% of you want to raise equity. I guess it’s
    > worth it if this enables you to revive your celebrity golf tournaments
    > in California for “clients,” throw Caribbean parties for your top
    > producers, and get the Gulfstream out of storage after it couldn’t
    > be sold. Could bonus compensation also be an issue? Gee, do you think?
    > I have to begrudgingly give the government credit for making a ton
    > of money on this trade. Not only did they borrow from us at zero
    > and lend at 5% in huge size. They also got, at the point of a shotgun,
    > fistfuls of equity warrants that have tripled. And they did stop
    > the bank runs that took Morgan Stanley (
    > down to a near death experience of $6, boosting it back up to a positively
    > virile $32. Alas, if only I could play by their rules. I have a question,
    > Mr. Geithner. Does the government have to pay taxes on those profits?
    > Will it report them?
    Jun 9, 2009. 07:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Should Banks Be Allowed to Pay Back Their TARP Money? [View article]
    It is more important and no none of that has been eliminated.

    On Jun 09 05:20 PM user396040 wrote:

    > Does anyone know whether the banks have to give up the enhanced deposit
    > insurance(insuring larger deposits, interbank loans, and certain
    > new bonds) when they give up the TARP money? I always thought that
    > the deposit insurance was more important than the TARP funds.
    Jun 9, 2009. 05:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GM's Use of Bailout Money: What Else Aren't They Telling Us? [View article]
    There are two issues here. One is the support for Delphi and the other is the manner in which Delphi is being supported.

    It was always a foregone conclusion that Delphi would be bailed out in some manner. That's not in dispute nor is it the point of the article.

    The use of government funds to support a leveraged buyout of Delphi is the issue that troubles me. If it was necessary to "save" Delphi, it would have seemed more appropriate to do it head on and reserved the profits, if they ever materialize, for the government. This appears to be an out and out government subsidy for a PE firm.

    On Jun 08 01:49 PM TomWilkinsonatGM wrote:

    > Sorry, this post is a little bit of "fire, ready, aim." The potential
    > for GM support for Delphi's emergence was discussed on page 33 of
    > GM's February 17 viability plan, and has been a subject of discussions
    > with the Task Force ever since. There are plenty more details in
    > the 8-K GM filed on June 5. So to imply that all of this is a dark
    > conspiracy is just plain wrong -- it's there, online, in documents
    > filed with the SEC and posted on the GM Investor website.
    Jun 8, 2009. 02:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Countrywide Charges: Yes, They Could Have Kept Housing from Imploding, But They Weren't the Only Ones [View article]

    Are all prescriptions that are filled, filmed? It's an interesting idea that you put forth. Tell me more about the procedure.

    On Jun 06 11:31 PM Diegojames wrote:

    > If mortgage origination was controlled by licensing , auditors ,federal
    > auditors or boards and each individual mortgage was filmed and recorded
    > at its conclusion for later investigation as in my industry ....this
    > gigantic event would not have happened.
    > Now it is time to follow Mozillo/Money trail to Congress and Wall
    > Street and New York and build a new JAIL. This will surpass Watergate
    > and Nixon
    Jun 7, 2009. 12:54 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Time to Buy Real Estate in California? [View article]
    Sean and to any others who missed the irony. This post was intended to be taken as a humor piece, not as an endorsement of the idea that CA real estate is under valued.

    On Jun 05 06:59 PM Sean in CA wrote:

    > What, no graphs or cute little pie charts to support your claims?
    > B.S. artist rule #1 is, always quote statistics and use visual aids!
    Jun 5, 2009. 07:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jobs Improve, Retail Sales Still Weak [View article]
    Agree with both of you. It doesn't tell you anything except were wallowing around in a very bad job market.

    On Jun 04 05:13 PM billddrummer wrote:

    > I tend to agree with dw57. A gap downward of 50,000 would be statistically
    > significant. A gap downward of 4,000 is statistical noise.
    Jun 4, 2009. 05:40 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Man Behind the GM Solution [View article]
    Heck of a comment. Thanks for leaving it. If you want to email me with some more thoughts sometime please do so.

    On Jun 01 11:23 PM Delfin J Beltran MD wrote:

    > As in many test questions, the clue to the answer is in the question.
    > The Washington power lies in its ignorance. Washington is ignorant
    > of the real world because the system relies on the training received
    > under the genius politicians who are only concerned with re-election.
    > A parallel exists in the healthcare industry. Since the 1956 NIH
    > takeover that converted medical schools from the place to learn the
    > fundamentals of human existance, disease and therapy, into government
    > funded centers to train researchers to obtain more government grants
    > for the survival of the school. Eight years as a clinical faculty
    > in a famous center dedicated to create the future leaders of healthcare
    > was a learning experience that contributed little to my personal
    > ability to care for the needs of patients - it just wasn't one of
    > their goals. Government usurpation of human effort profits only the
    > politician. D J Beltran, MD
    Jun 2, 2009. 12:00 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment